June 14, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That has already been decided by the Justice Department. I do not seek to impose my opinions as legal opinions on the House, but the Justice Department has held in the negative. The provinces could give that power. What this resolution contemplates is that two provinces shall in western Canada. They give these and all these compulsory powers to a board to be applied in Western Canada alone; in eastern Canada, the millers of which depend on that very wheat, there shall be no such powers at all. Such an arrangement simply will not work. For example, they would be compelled to sell at a certain price to the miller in Montreal. We will say that after that the wheat price goes up. Of course, the market here must be surrounded, bo the miller is going to get the whole advantage. If, however, the wheat goes down, and they have bought at a certain price dictated to them, why, the milling industry of Canada will be ruined. In a Word, you cannot operate a board half compulsory and half voluntary. You cannot give it all those powers, provincial and federal, those monopolistic powers that the old board had, and give it to them only in a part of Canada. You Cannot so geographically limit it, while in the rest of Canada, where the same industries are carried on, no such conditions exist at all. Surely -it is manifest to the House that no such system as that would work.
Under the conditions of 1919 the wheat board policy was the correct policy. I do not hear very many expressions of dissent at this time. I heard a great many at that time, but let those things pass; they are incidental to politics. Under those conditions, differing wholly from the conditions to-day, the wheat board policy was the right course to pursue, and it resulted in tremendous advantage, certainly to the people of western Canada, to the people of the whole of Canada. When hon. members recite, as one did yesterday in the House,
Wheat Board

that all that has ever been done for the West has been done by the enemies of hon. gentlemen here, I venture to suggest that by the wise handling of the crop of 1919 more was done for the farmers of western Canada than has ever been done by any government or by all governments together in this country.
Soane hon. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.

Topic:   WHEAT MARKETING
Subtopic:   REPORT OP COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
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