Major James William COLDWELL

COLDWELL, The Hon. Major James William, P.C., C.C.

Personal Data

Party
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)
Constituency
Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
December 2, 1888
Deceased Date
August 25, 1974
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_James_Coldwell
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=85a45525-d20a-41db-8c2a-1b91c360656b&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
author, gentleman, principal, teacher

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
CCF
  Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1972 of 1972)


February 13, 1936

Mr. COLDWELL:

Quite right; but in so far as that advisory committee advises the government regarding the wheat situation, it is certainly an advisory committee on wheat. And if the board, as we are led to believe, is taking its instructions from the policies laid down by the government, then to all intents and purposes that particular committee is an advisory committee on wheat.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 13, 1936

Mr. COLDWELL:

Mr. Speaker, when the house took its recess I was saying that our people are questioning the activities of the present wheat board. That questioning is becoming all the more insistent in the light of what transpired last December. Let me remind you that during the recent election campaign the policies of the wheat producers and of the old board were constantly under fire. It became customary to describe the policies of that board in terms that were not very complimentary to either the board or the government. The policy of the new administration and the new board, however, is being spoken of quite widely as a "fire sale" policy. The effect of the statements that were made by hon. members opposite during the campaign became apparent even before the campaign was over. For example, on October 5 the price of No. 1 northern wheat at Fort William was 96 cents a bushel. As the effect of the campaign became evident the market reacted so that on October 15 the price was 91f cents. The next day, when the results of the dominion election were definitely known, the price of wheat fell to 88| cents, a decline of 3 cents. On October 28 it was down to 85 cents, and on January 13, one month ago, it was 85-4 cents. It has fluctuated around that figure ever since. This has been the case, may I add, in spite of the fact that on December 12 the Argentine republic placed a set price of 90 cents a bushel on its wheat. What happened between the close of the exchange on the afternoon of the 12th and the re-opening of the exchange on the 13th is a matter of public interest which, I understand, will receive careful inquiry by this house. It has been alleged that some millions of bushels of wheat were sold during that short period at 2} cents below the opening pit price.

Speaking at Estevan, I believe, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) said that 8,600,000 bushels of wheat had been sold for export and that some 45,000,000 bushels of wheat in all had been disposed of. Yesterday the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) told us that 65,000,000 bushels of wheat had been sold during the first six weeks of the activities of the new board. The question that is being asked very widely is this: To whom was that wheat sold and why was it sold? In a public statement Mr. McFarland said that the speculators were caught in a trap. Were these sales made to get them out of that trap and, if so, to what extent?

The Address-Mr. Thompson

In view of all the circumstances can it be wondered at that the producers of western Canada believe they have been delivered into the hands of their old enemy, the grain exchange? That is what they believe, and it will require careful explanation before they can be persuaded to think otherwise. The brief reference in his excellency's speech will do nothing to dissipate that feeling, nor, I am persuaded, will the speech delivered yesterday by the Minister of Trade and Commerce do anything to alter the opinion that has been formed in western Canada.

There is one other point I should like to mention while there is yet time, and it is this: Another cause of great uneasiness is the delay on the part of the government in authorizing the 1930 equalization payments. It is my understanding that an agreement was reached some time ago between the Cooperative Wheat Producers'Limited and the late government in regard to this matter, and the producers believed that in a short time they would receive the payments that were due. We were told that the government were only waiting for the auditors' certificate. It should not take a long time to obtain that, and the farmers need the money that is due them in order to finance their spring operations. Moreover a date was set, later than that originally believed to have been set, and the price of wheat declined in the interval. As a consequence our producers are very restive in regard to this matter.

Then we have the news items in the press regarding the reference to the Supreme Court of Canada of the Natural Products Marketing Act and other measures. May I say that I am one of those who have been brought up to believe that parliament is the supreme authority; that there is no higher court than the high court of parliament. That is the British tradition, and I am indeed sorry to think that we have departed from that British precedent. The government might have waited until some outside body questioned the validity of those acts. It might at least have waited until this House of Commons assembled, because it had no authority from the parliament which enacted the legislation thus to test the validity of those measures.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, you are just about to rise to tell me that my time is up, so I will resume my seat.

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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February 13, 1936

Mr. COLDWELL:

It reads:

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
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