May 13, 1932 (17th Parliament, 3rd Session)

UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. COOTE:

This would stimulate the gold mining business because it would raise the price of gold. There is no question about that. Gold mining stocks perhaps might go up-I am not concerned about that. We might very well send 10,000 of our unemployed into the north country to hunt, for gold so long as we have to pay the United States in gold. But I am not concerned with the gold, mining business. I am concerned with the position of the agricultural community. I think Canada's very existence depends on taking care of her agricultural population, and I can see no other way out for Canada, nor for her agricultural
population, than by allowing our dollar to come down to a proper level. To-day our money needs to be diluted a little. The cream screw in the separator has been turned in too far; the cream that is going to the capitalists who are drawing interest on bonds, is too thick. The screw must be turned out a little so as to leave the cream the same thickness as it was in 1928 when we got into debt to the class who secured the 'bonds on *which we are so conicemed about paying the interest. We cannot go. on long paying interest on those bonds unless we can increase price levels; that is fundamentally sound. If the government could only make up their minds, they could get our currency down to par with the pound inside a month. This would be to the advantage of the government. It is true it would increase their expenditure for foreign exchange, but it would increase price levels in Canada and the amount of taxes which the government collect depends on price levels. The sales tax is a percentage on the volume of trade carried on; the income tax depends on the amount of our incomes, and rising prices will increase the receipts of the government through taxation sufficiently to take care of the increased amount they will have to pay for foreign exchange. I do not think there is the least doubt about that. Then, as I said on another occasion, we shall have this positive advantage that the unemployment relief for which the federal government, every provincial government and municipality have to pay, will be lessened. Quite a number of those at present unemployed will be put to work. If the price of farm commodities is increased, the farmers themselves will take a lot of this surplus labour off the market.
I respectfully suggest to the government that the time is long past due when we should take this action. The leader of the opposition, speaking on the budget debate a few weeks ago, in regard ito this question, suggested we should wait and see. And the Prime Minister agreed with everything he said in regard to the matter. But the people are repeating what the Good Book says: "How long, oh Lord, how long?" How long must we wait and see? We are almost the last nation now to take this action. New Zealand has depreciated her currency or it has depreciated in spite of her.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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