John VALLANCE

VALLANCE, John

Parliamentary Career

October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
LIB
  South Battleford (Saskatchewan)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  South Battleford (Saskatchewan)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB
  South Battleford (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 336)


July 4, 1935

Mr. VALLANCE:

Yes. Under this definition it will be possible for an owner as well as a tenant to take advantage of the bill. Section 6 of the bill is also to be commended. There is a belief abroad in Canada that some of the mistakes made by Mr. McFarland, provided that we admit that mistakes were made, might have been prevented had a board been set up instead of a one man commission. We have gone even further in this bill; we propose to set up an advisory committee. The section reads:

The governor in council may appoint during pleasure an advisory committee to advise the board, which committee shall consist of not more than seven members of whom four shall represent wheat producers.

[Mr. Vallance.1

The section then goes on to define the functions of this committee. The committee may be called at least once a month and it must report to the minister. Section 7 deals with the powers of the board. It reads, in part:

(e) to pay to producers delivering wheat at the time of delivery or at any time thereafter as may be agreed upon such fixed price per bushel,-

There were some who thought that a clause should be inserted to provide that the fixed price should cover at least the cost of production. It would be very difficult to determine the cost of production of a bushel of wheat. In some portions of the west the average crop will be between 30 and 45 bushels per acre, while in other portions the average is around 12 bushels. The average for the whole province of Saskatchewan is 16 bushels per acre, so it will be seen that it would be very difficult to arrive at the cost of producing a bushel of wheat.

We come now to section 8 which further defines the duties of the board. This section reads, in part:

(k) to make such investigations as from time to time it may deem necessary of the operations of the Winnipeg Grain and Produce Clearing Association and the Winnipeg Grain Exchange in their dealings with wheat and other grains where such wheat and other grains are the subject of transactions affecting interprovincial or international trade, and for the purposes aforesaid the board shall have, without the issue of any commission, all the power and authority conferred upon a commissioner appointed under the Inquiries Act, being chapter ninety-nine of the revised statutes of Canada. 1927, and shall from time to time report to the minister the result of such investigations.

I think this section gives us a weapon to investigate the transactions of the grain exchange. It will be noticed that the board can buy only from producers and that it has no right to buy hedges. The trade itself will have to depend on some other organization to take up their hedges. I contend that the very apposite result to that referred to by the hon. member for Acadia will result from the operations of this board. I believe that the board will have such control of the market that the trade will take very little grain. In my opinion the board will take seiventy-five per cent of the grain offered.

I do not know that I can say anything further. I am like the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Motherwell): if anyone oan suggest an amendment while we are taking up this bill clause by clause which will benefit the producer any more than he is benefited by this bill, I shall support it.

Companies Act-Senate Amendments

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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July 4, 1935

Mr. VALLANCE:

You are all wrong.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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July 4, 1935

Mr. VALLANCE:

Mr. Chairman, I have paid a great deal of attention to the discussion that has taken place on the bill that is now before the committee, and I can hardly follow the reasoning of the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) when he says that this board will be almost inoperative unless clauses 9, 10, 11 and 16 of the original bill are included in this bill. If he has read the bill, and I assume he has, I am sure he will agree that any power that was given to Mr. McFarland was given to this board; indeed the board has even greater power, because when it comes to the fixing of the initial payment the board has power to do whatever it chooses. Whether clauses 9, 10, 11 and 16 were in the bill or not, the board has still the same power to set the price, and the fact that these clauses are not in the bill does not mean that the board will act any differently from what they would if they were in the bill. So I do not see very much in that point.

1 Mr. Gardiner.]

The hon. member for Camrose (Mr. Lucas) compared the functions of this board with those of the pools. I do not think it is fair to make such a comparison, because this board, to begin with, has the financial backing of the government. It has that financial security; it will not be under the dictation of the banks and subjected to the many other influences to which the pools were subjected. If the fears expressed by the hon. member for Camrose were realized and became a factor in the operation of this act, the board itself would have the power to set aside certain sections of this act which would give the board all the necessary power it required subject to the approval of the governor in council.

All governments and every member of the committee, whether politically minded or not, are agreed that something must be done, and regardless of the political affiliations of the members of the committee I believe that this bill represents the best intentions of the committee to deal with the present situation. We believe we have got something in this bill that can be recommended to this house and to the Canadian people. I will say this without fear of contradiction, that in my opinion there was no political thought in the framing of this bill or in the discussions of the committee, more especially when we got in camera. On the contrary there was a desire, as has been pointed out by the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Motherwell), on the part of all members of the committee to frame a bill that would be acceptable to all concerned.

I listened to the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Kennedy) this afternoon and I could not follow his logic at all. When Mr. Mclvor was giving evidence he said that the cost to the government of the volume of wheat now held by Canadian Cooperative Wheat Producers Limited amounted to 85-9 cents per bushel. Surely my hon. friend is not arguing that the farmer got that 85 cents, because some of this wheat has been carried for three years, and it costs 10 cents a bushel a year to carry it. As Mr. Mclvor pointed out, the 15 cents excess that the farmer had got because of the operations of Mr. McFarland was, to use his own words, hypothetical. The question was hypothetical and the answer was hypothetical. I know that all the members in the southeast corner of the house who have taken any part in this discussion are themselves farmers. Are they going to tell me that many of the farmers in Peace River and northern Saskatchewan and Alberta who took less than 15 cents a bushel in 1932 are going to find any consola-

Grain Board

tion in the fact that they have 15 hypothetical cents in their pockets?

: There has been some discussion as to the control of production. We are probably all to blame for the extent to which production has increased. Ever since I have been a ..member of this house the hon. member for Peace River has insistently in season and out of season advocated the building of a railroad out of Peace River, and what would such a railroad have meant to the possibilities of production in that great country from which he comes? He knows, as every hon. member knows who has given any consideration to the problem of lessening production, that there are large areas in the western prairies which are useless for any purpose other than the growing of wheat, and where if the people were not producing wheat ninety-five per cent of them would have to leave that part of the country.

There are other factors that enter into the carry-over of wheat. I think the farmer members who addressed this house before I did will agree with me that if live stock had been at a little better price, or even at to-day's prices, the carry-over of wheat would not have been as great in Canada as it is . to-day, but you cannot feed wheat at 45 cents a bushel to 3 and 3|-

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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July 4, 1935

Mr. VALLANOE:

That is to-day. I said

that if prices were what they are to-day a lot of the surplus wheat would have been fed to hogs and cattle.

It has been pointed out that the Argentine must sell her wheat because she has not storage facilities. Is the hon. member for Acadia going to argue that because the Canadian farmer has been so efficient in building up great storage facilities, which he has built and paid for, he shall be crucified on that account? Is that any argument? Why should the Argentine or Australia build more storage facilities to. take care of their crop, as we have done, if they can get rid of their wheat? That argument is simply ridiculous.

As one of the members of the committee, having in mind the huge carry-over and the general position in which the wheat producer finds himself in Canada, and having in mind also the larger world picture, this Bill No. 98 in my opinion is one of the best efforts that could be made in the present circumstances, having the whole world picture in mind.

I do not propose to go into the evidence that was submitted to. the committee. What

are the difficulties that we are facing? 1 think that the greatest difficulty with which we are faced is the large carry-over of 228 , ipillion bushels.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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July 4, 1935

Mr. VALLANCE:

At the least it has been put at 180 million to 200 million bushels; but whatever the exact figure is, it represents a large carry-over, and we have to compete oil the world market with both Australia and the Argentine, our greatest competitors who have year after year a fixed policy with regard to wheat.

Coming back to my friends in the comer of the house, let me say that I am one of those who believe as they do, that Mr McFarland through his stabilization effort* did render to the Canadian wheat grower a service, but let me ask them this question: If Mr. McFarland1 has been so efficient, why this bill? Why the original bill? It has been, said1 that Mr. McFarland was not as successful as he should have been, but I do not propose to go into the ramifications of his actions. It will not do any good to go that, far back to consider the many periods through which the wheat grower has gone. However, I do propose to discuss this bill as it is applied to the problems with which we are faced.

I should like again to direct the attention of t'he committee to the type of organization in existence in the Argentine. When the resolution was before the house, the house seemed to be of the opinion that there was more than one marketing agency in theArgentine. I hold in my hand a publication put out by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hanson) dealing with the grain situation in the Argentine, and giving a resume of the activities of the control board for the past year. In order to make my point that they do have more than oneagency, I should like to read one paragraph of this report. I might mention that I drew this report to the attention of thecommittee in order to convince the chairman, if he needed convincing, that the

Argentine had met only the control board. The paragraph reads:

There has been only average activity on the market here during the past month. Prices have remained fairly steady, with a slight upward tendency towards the end, when the millers wrere competing for parcels of good quality to meet current needs. The announcement of the control board that whilst it would buy new wheat at the same rates as last year it would buy no more of the old crop.

I think that proves beyond a doubt that the system in the Argentine is similar to

Grain Board

that being proposed by this bill. Australia has a board and provides subsidies to her growers of three pence, or six cents, per bushel marketed and three shillings, or seventy-five cents, per acre sown. In the face of the necessity of meeting competition of that kind I was convinced that it was necessary to take some action at this session. I suggest that the bill now before us is about as good a compromise as could be arrived at. There are some features of the bill which I should like to see improved, but taking it all in all, I think it must be commended. If the hon. member for Acadia will read section 7 of the bill he will find there set out the powers of the board and I believe he will agree that they are greater than those ever held by John I. McFarland. Mr. McFarland was subject to order in council the same as this board will be. One of the powers of this board is:

(a) to receive and take delivery of wheat for marketing as offered by the producers thereof.

That is a very essential section. The definition of producer is as follows:

"Producer" includes, as well as any person actually engaged in production of wheat, any person entitled, whether as landlord, vendor, mortgagee or otherwise, by contract or operation of law to the wheat grown by a producer or to any share therein.

It will be remembered that the five cent wheat bonus was paid only to the actual grower of wheat. I might interject here that I am a farmer but as I was not actively working the 'land behind the plough and the harrow it was not my privilege to receive any of that bonus, even though I was paying the operating costs and carrying the whole load.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD
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