I do not wish to call it ten o'clock, Mr. Chairman. I have only a few minutes in which to make my remarks and I hope you will bear with me because I certainly agree with my hon. friend from Proven-cher when he says there is a great deal of apprehension in the agricultural industry today. There is no greater apprehension than among the turkey producers of this country.
Earlier today we asked a question of the minister on this subject, but he did not happen to be in the house. However this is a question which we have asked for months, urging that the government make some policy statement regarding the industry, which will give some satisfaction to those people who are engaged in that industry which means so much to the Canadian public. On several occasions the minister made statements, but they all seem to have fallen short of the need to give assurance to the Canadian turkey producers.
At this time, in the spring of the year, when we expect the industry to be flourishing, its production is falling far short of what is necessary. Orders for turkey poults this year are 26 per cent less than last year, showing the trend of dissatisfaction on the part of those engaged in the industry, and their reluctance to invest further in the business of producing turkeys. Certainly those people who have invested a great deal of money in the industry deserve some statement from the minister to assure them that they will be kept in business at a profitable level so that they can continue to render the service that they have given over the years to this country.