Edward Richard SCHREYER

SCHREYER, The Right Hon. Edward Richard, P.C., C.C., C.M.M., O.M., C.D., B.A., B.Pd., B.Ed., M.A., LL.D., D.Sc.Soc.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Selkirk (Manitoba)
Birth Date
December 21, 1935
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Schreyer
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=674855dd-8640-4c34-8661-ec2649c17338&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
diplomat, professor

Parliamentary Career

November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
NDP
  Springfield (Manitoba)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
NDP
  Selkirk (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 171)


May 9, 1969

Mr. Ed Schreyer (Selkirk):

My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. On April 1 the minister told the house that within a few days he would receive a recommendation paper from the royal commission on farm machinery prices. Has he now received that policy paper? If so, is he prepared to make a statement about it soon?

Topic:   FARM MACHINERY
Subtopic:   ACTION FOLLOWING FINDINGS OF PRICE DIFFERENTIALS
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May 5, 1969

1. Will the Minister of Agriculture table the additional report on farm machinery prepared by Dr. Barber, referred to by the Minister in Hansard of April 1, 1969, page 7370?

2. What action is the Minister planning regarding the results of the above study and the study paper on farm machinery presented to the Congress on Agriculture?

Topic:   FARM MACHINERY-ADDITIONAL REPORT BY DR. BARBER
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May 1, 1969

Mr. Schreyer:

Earlier this afternoon, the minister put on the record certain figures indicating the number of farmers who were taking cash advances in western Canada. I will be one of the first to say that the cash advance legislation introduced by the Conservative government in the late fiftiesi was a very worth-while piece of legislation. I think hon. members of the Conservative party will acknowledge that the C.C.F. had also been trying to impress on a former Liberal government of the late fifties that such legislation should be implemented. It was incredible that the minister would cite the figures showing how much had been taken up in cash advances as something of which to be proud. To me, that is one of the best means of showing there is a serious cash position on the prairies. The more that is taken by way of cash advances, the more we should be worrying and shuddering about the prospects for repayment.

The number of farmers in Manitoba who took advantage of the cash advance legislation last year was very small. This year, I am informed the number of farmers who have taken out cash advances has increased by a factor of 10, ten times as many as was the case in preceding years. To me, that is a sign

of danger. The minister should not point to that as a defence.

I realize part of the problem facing agriculture in the west has to do with declining international sales, plugged markets and declining prices. I suggest to the minister there are some specific steps that should be taken. The government must try to help the Canadian Wheat Board in its task of promoting the sale of Canadian wheat. I suggest the sales staff of this organization should be supplemented. How many men are actually engaged as salesmen exclusively of the Canadian Wheat Board? It is a very small number. The number should be increased, either directly under the aegis of the Wheat Board or indirectly by using Canadian trade personnel at Canadian trade bureaus overseas as supplementary agents of the Wheat Board.

[DOT] (5:50 p.m.)

At a time of crisis, that is the least that should be done. For how long are we going to continue with a state of affairs in which the actual transactions for our entire export sales of wheat are dependent upon five or six international concerns? The minister knows to which ones I am referring-the Dreyfus Corporation, the Bungy Corporation, the Carghill Corporation of Minneapolis, and one or two others. To them, it is of little concern whether they are handling Canadian wheat or some other country's. The government has not taken the initiative to see that a Canadian corporation is established that would become engaged in precisely this kind of work. I suggest this should be done.

There is nothing to stop the minister from impressing upon his cabinet colleagues the seriousness of the situation, and the amount of money required to tide the prairie economy over this most difficult of times. There is nothing to stop him from getting the agreement of his colleagues to assist whatever entrepreneurship exists in Canada to set up an international trading agency.

I am sure the minister has enough facts and figures to back up his case. Why isn't he doing it? He is not in a weak position. He is one of the few Liberal cabinet ministers from the prairies. He is one of the few Liberal members of parliament from the prairies, and his colleagues must surely know that unless he is given some co-operation and authority there will be even fewer after the next election.

There is one other matter which I must refer to at this time. It is the way in which

May 1, 1969

the minister, inadvertently or otherwise, distorted what was said by my colleague relative to the matter of dairy quotas. To my knowledge, no one in this party or in the party to my right suggested that we were in favour of regionalization of dairy production or wanted to see any barriers against the interprovincial movement of dairy products No one said that.

But the minister must admit that since the establishment of the National Dairy Commission something serious has come to light. I refer to the fact that over the past two years the prairies' share of the national dairy quota pool has declined by 11 per cent to 12 per cent. The minister may say that, relatively speaking, dairying is not all that important to the prairies.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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May 1, 1969

Mr. Ed Schreyer (Selkirk):

Mr. Speaker, one of the purposes of this debate is to try to obtain from the government benches some indication of their opinion of the condition of Canadian agriculture at this time, and in particular the state of agriculture in western Canada. In this respect, the debate so far has been very confusing. Two members of the Liberal Party have spoken. One said he conceded agriculture in western Canada was in a state of emergency or crisis. The minister said he would consider the situation as "I wouldn't want to say the farmers never had it so good". This isi a grudging admission by the minister that perhaps there is a small problem.

If the minister wants my opinion as to what the situation is, I say without fear of exaggeration that it is one of crisis proportions. Surely, the minister must be aware of that. The minister does not have to take only the word of members on this side of the house. He can ask his colleague from Assiniboia (Mr. Douglas) or some of his colleagues who toured western Canada with the Committee on Agriculture. I recall that two weeks ago when the Wheat Board representatives appeared before the committee, two members from eastern Canada said in so many words that they considered the situation facing western farmers to be tragic and one of emergency. Those were the words they used. Surely, they must have meant what they were saying, unless they were playing to the press gallery.

The minister should admit it is time the government took some concrete action and

May 1, 1969

Business of Supply

presented to parliament some specific proposals on how to meet this serious situation. Quite frankly, the list of proposals the hon. member for Assiniboia put on the record a few months ago are, in themselves, all right, but I daresay this is probably the third time the hon. member has circulated that list. To what avail? What point is there in a supporter of the government enumerating a list of good ideas? He reads them into the record at a committee meeting; he reads them at a Liberal constituency meeting and probably appears before the minister on bended knees. The minister says, "I would not want to say that the farmers never had it so good". The hon. member for Assiniboia may as well save his energy.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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May 1, 1969

Mr. Schreyer:

But what is important is that it is a complementary operation for many farmers, and in fact is a main operation for many western farmers. A year such as this shows the importance of a supplementary cream shipping or milk shipping operation. If this trend continues whereby the prairies' share of the national quota pool continues to decline, then fewer farmers out west will have an opportunity to continue in dairy farming as a supplement to their grain operation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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