Mr. W. J. LOUCKS (Rosetown):
Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to take part in this debate but I finally decided to say a few words. Before I start I want to compliment the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) upon the bill now before us, and when I say that I think I voice the views of the wheat growers in my province and more particularly in my constituency. I cannot understand the argument of the former Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), nor can I understand the arguments of other hon. members who are growing wheat in my province. Reference was made this afternoon to the wheat pool, and I think I am right when I say-the former Minister of Agriculture can correct me if I am wrong-that he was in favour of the wheat pool. I believe the hon. member for South Battleford (Mr. Vallance) was also in favour of this pool. I think they will agree with me when I say that the object in the first place was the orderly marketing of wheat. I will not go back to conditions as they existed prior to the time we organized the pools, but I can remember very well that the wheat growers sent down a deputation -in fact more than one deputation-when hon. gentlemen now in opposition were in power, about the year 1922, asking them to reinstate the wheat board. And I can infer from the fact that they did not do so that the farmers of western Canada found it necessary to organize the pools. We were very anxious to have the old board reinstated because we felt that it was to the advantage of the farmers to have this done, and when it was not done it was decided to organize the pools. Hon. gentlemen who are now criticizing this bill so severely should bear in mind that they refused to give us the wheat board, and therefore there was nothing for us to do but to organize the pools. I believe that Alberta took that step in 1923 and we followed in 1924. We went into that business for the express purpose of having the grain marketed in an orderly way;
that was the object in organizing the pools.
I challenge hon. gentlemen opposite to say that the policy of the government in the last three or four years, or under Mr. McFarland, if you will, has not been for that same purpose, namely, to provide orderly marketing. What else is it? It amazes me to hear hon. gentlemen advocating the dumping of our wheat on the markets of the world, to the extent that they have suggested to-day.
I do not wonder so much when I hear that proposal coming from the hon. gentleman who has been acting as critic for the opposition, because he is a lawyer; but I am surprised to hear farmers from western Canada advocating it. They know very well that round about 1923 or 1924 we found it absolutely necessary to take the action we did then, and I am borne out in this by what the Prime Minister said yesterday. When wheat production began to go up, increasing to hundreds of millions of bushels, what else could we have done? I have been thirty years growing wheat in the west and I can remember when our exports amounted to less than one hundred million bushels. But when they got up to three and four hundred million bushels, the farmers of western Canada deoided that the time had come for a change of policy so far as the grain exchange was concerned, because they could not save the situation. The volume had increased to such an extent that we were obliged to make our own market, and that is why we went in for orderly marketing.
The hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart) this afternoon condemned the wheat pools; this attitude is characteristic of him. But I want to put on Hansard a few figures to show that the pools themselves did not have the carryover which the trade had for a period of four years. The total carryover for 1929 was 127,000,000 bushels, and the pool's proportion of that was 52,000,000 bushels. In other words, the western pools carried forty per cent of the carryover while the trade carried sixty per cent.
Topic: CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
Subtopic: PURCHASE, STORAGE AND MARKETING OP WHEAT AND OTHER GRAINS