Speaking in the interests of Doctor James W. Rutherford, Chatham, seriously injured in an automobile accident Wednesday, but who was resting comfortably Friday night, Premier Gardiner urged the utmost be done to retain markets.
"It would be good advertising for the people of Canada to market their wheat at a loss and win back the market" he said. "Western Canada will produce as much wealth in wheat in the next twenty years as it has in the past."
That is the report of the minister's statement at Ridgetown, Ontario, and what I say, Mr. Speaker, is that that statement appeared in the organ supporting the Liberal party, the principal paper of the Sifton press published in Saskatchewan, and if it did the minister an injustice I would be glad to see the Regina Leader-Post get any correction the minister might care to make.
We were told that we had to put our wheat back on the breakfast tables of the world. Let us look at a few figures. If we take the very worst period of the depression, from August, 1930, to August, 1934, the statistics show that of every 100 bushels of wheat placed on the world market, 35 bushels were Canadian; 20, Australian; 20, Argentine; 10, American; 8, Russian, and 7, miscellaneous. To Britain we supplied 22-7 per cent of her imports in 1929 and 1930 when hon. gentlemen opposite were last in power, as compared with 34-4 per cent in 1933 and 1934, and a higher percentage last year. It is true, of course, that Canada was accumulating a tremendous carry-over all through those years, but again let us look at some figures.
On August 1, 1921, just before the party of hon. gentlemen opposite first took office, the carry-over was 10,000,000 bushels; one year later it was 21,000,000 bushels; in 1928, it was 91,000,000 bushels, and when the attention of a former Minister of Trade and Commerce was drawn to the situation what did he say? He said that his department was not exercised over the sale of such commodities as wheat; that such commodities would find their own market. You will find that
The Address-Mr. Coldwell
statement in Hansard. The laissez faire political philosophy of those days was laying the foundations for the difficulties that followed. When hon. gentlemen opposite left office in 1930, the carry-over on August 1, 1930, had been accumulated to 127,000,000 bushels, an increase of 117,000,000 bushels since 1921. Then there was a change of government and a change of policy. It is not my purpose, as I said before, to defend that policy or that government, but I would just point out that during the years that followed the accumulation rose to 204,000,000 bushels as of August 1 of last year. Now it is said that that was due to the holding policies of the wheat board. 1 want to say-and I think this is the fact and it will come out upon investigation-that there was always Canadian wheat for sale.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY