Hon. W. D. EULER (Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to
make a statement in correction of one made on Saturday and again yesterday by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). On September 9 he said the following, as reported at page 56 of Hansard:
The price of flour has risen without warrant, because the Canadian carry-over of wheat was all disposed of to the millers, exporters _ or speculators at least a month before this crisis developed, and at a very low price. The 100,000,000 bushels or so, speaking in round figures, of our carry-over of wheat was still mainly in Canada. Neither our government nor our farmers who produced it will reap any gain from that wheat. Only those who to-day stand between us and those who need it will make rich gains.
Then, yesterday he is reported at page 110 of Hansard to have said:
On Saturday I drew to the attention of the house the fact that a little more than a month ago it was reported that there was a carryover of nearly one hundred million bushels of wheat. Most of that wheat had been bought from the wheat board at a very low price. We saw a few days later in the newspaper that the board stated that it had disposed of its holdings of wheat and that this large quantity of grain had passed out of its hands. Since that time the price of wheat on the market has gone up by leaps and by bounds until to-day-I have not checked to-day's price -it is in the neighbourhood of thirty cents
a bushel higher than it was a few weeks ago. This means that during this period of tension, which for not a few of us has been something of an .agony, some persons in this dominion or elsewhere have made or can make out of that wheat about $30,000,000.
I called up the chairman of the wheat board with regard to this matter, and he has assured me that this is the fact: that the great proportion of the carry-over of 1938 is still under the control of the board and that the increase in price will inure to the benefit of the government so far as the 1938 crop is concerned, because much of the 1938 crop was sold below the present price; that any increase in price on the 1939 crop will inure to the benefit of the producers of that wheat, and that no speculators have had an opportunity of making a profit of some $30,000,000.
While I am speaking perhaps I might correct an impression that seems to be in the minds of western producers and say, that the profits that may be made or the receipts that may be had from sales of the 1939 crop at high prices will not be used to reduce the losses of the government on the 1938 crop, but will go to the benefit of the producers of the 1939 crop.
Topic: MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
Subtopic: INCREASE IN PRICE OF WHEAT AND ALLEGED PROFIT TO SPECULATORS