February 19, 1970 (28th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Bernard Dumont

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Dumont:

Mr. Speaker, we there demand the member's resignation, because he has misled the minister in connection with the dairy industry. The members who are not plucky enough should not be asked to settle the problem.
This parliamentary secretary reminds' me of a reed waving in the breeze. He has a real mug of a millionaire on a wretched body, because he is refusing $10 million to the Quebec farmers. He is the servant of finance, he bows before Mammon like those who worshipped the golden calf in olden times, instead of asking that funds be made available to farmers. I am asking for his immediate resignation, because even within the Liberal party, much more competent members could replace him. As for us, on the contrary, we are deferring to God's will, but before mankind, we are demanding justice on behalf of farmers. We are asking the establishment of fair prices in return for the farmers' work.
I now wish to refer to a suggestion that we have been making for a long time, namely a compensated discount for consumers who are unable to pay the farmers the price they ask for their products. This compensated discount existed during wartime. The hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Lambert) demanded a while ago that money be made available to individuals and that the compensated discount be established to decrease the consumption cost.
When consumers are unable to pay the producers for their production, the government, through the Bank of Canada, should grant a compensated discount that would make it possible to purchase Canada's total production. The latter would increase both in quantity and in quality and, as a result, we would be able to adopt the same measures as in the United States where a survey carried out in the schools has shown that, when the price of the half-pint of milk was reduced from 10 cents to 3 cents, consumption increased by 180 per cent. In primary schools, sales of milk at 3 cents per half-pint have increased by 208 per cent.
If, through the Bank of Canada, it was decided to grant a compensated discount to consumers who cannot afford milk at current

prices, this would be a good thing. That is the responsibility of the government. Assuming that the government wishes to establish a just society as it claims, it should, instead of lending $1 million to Korea without interest, grant this loan to Quebec farmers.
If the government can afford to spend $7,500,000 for Information Canada, it must also spend money to promote agriculture, thus giving Canada a sound balance which is sorely needed. Our farmers have been too long neglected.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to conclude because time is running out. I would like to speak about the recommendations made by the Catholic Farmers' Union. It is said that the Canadian Dairy Commission's budget should not be reduced for 1970-71, so that it will not end up with a deficit. The $10 million reduction announced by the Minister of Agriculture should be cancelled.
I am making this request on behalf of the 25,000 people who signed the petition tabled yesterday, as well as of the members of the C.F.U.
Besides, the budget of the Canadian Dairy Commission should be increased. Considering the quota they have registered with the Canadian Dairy Commission, the producers would be guaranteed a total income for a hundredweight equal to that of the year 1969-70, and a sufficient surplus to compensate for the yearly 5 per cent cost increase for goods and services.
This request involves increasing the Canadian Dairy Commission's budget from $20 to $22 million, but it is essential to the survival of the farming people. Those who oppose it may, at the next election, meet the same fate as several hon. members in 1962, that is, defeat.

Full View