No; to be fair to Russia I do not think you could get anyone to put through such legislation as that in Russia now.
At that time it was the opinion of the Liberals that the Bennett administration was even more dictatorial than communist Russia. To what were they objecting? The objection on the part of the Liberal opposition was to the principle of compulsion behind the marketing act. Under the terms of that act the producers were not to be allowed to dispose of their products, boards would be set up which would have the power to make regulations under which the products would be sold. Every time that legislation of that kind has been brought in by the present administration during the last four years we heard the same argument against it from the Progressive Conservative opposition. Obviously they are both right or they are both wrong. They have used the same criticism against each other and have cancelled out each other's criticism. I am glad that the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) is able to stand up in his place today and say that the party with which he is associated is wholeheartedly behind the principle of this bill.
As a matter of fact, about all that there is to support in this bill is the principle behind it. There is very little else in it but the principle of orderly marketing. As it stands now, the terms of the bill are not clear enough nor effective enough actually to provide orderly marketing in either domestic or export trade. Basically the bill provides for the granting of power to boards set up under provincial legislation and extending their authority into interprovincial and export trade. That may work or it may not work, depending upon the circumstances under which the work is done.
One can easily appreciate the confusion that will be created if the marketing boards of various provinces were to attempt to sell products in such a way as not to result in a co-operative effort. It is the view of this party that this legislation should be changed in order to make it possible for the boards set up under provincial legislation to set up a central selling agency to act on behalf of all or a majority of the provinces in relation to world trade.
The hon. member for Restigouche-Mada-waska (Mr. Michaud) brought that out clearly in connection with the disposal of potatoes. He pointed out that this bill as it stands today would not be sufficient to cope with that problem, which has already become a big problem in his province and which may become a big problem in Prince Edward Island.
The C.C.F. has always urged that a comprehensive natural products marketing act should be introduced and if necessary submitted to the provinces for consultation. Such legislation should be broad and comprehensive enough to make it possible for farmers to dispose of their products and receive the greatest possible return for their labour. There should also be the minimum of speculation or profit-making because, as I have said before, profiteering or speculation does not add one iota to the value of the goods exchanged. That is the position we take today.
Topic: AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR MARKETING IN INTERPROVINCIAL AND EXPORT TRADE