That is the reason I brought up this matter. I was at a loss to know whether it had to do with the board of directors, having regard to the way the debate was proceeding; because the sum and substance of the debate seemed to be the increase in the board of directors. That is all I could get out of it, and as it seemed there was no attempt to bring the debate into line I thought I would continue along that line.
However, we are now talking about freight rates, and I listened to hon. members this morning referring to the Crowsnest pass rates and pointing out that none of the parties would be opposed to them. That is beside the point, because I have never heard of any party opposing them. They were established in the latter part of the nineteenth century to take care of the situation in the west. It was very necessary for the west to have these rates. We are now concerned with present conditions as to freight rates, and the matter of the directors who are going to sit on the board in the future has been interwoven in the debate. Members have injected any subject they wanted to discuss into the debate as if we were discussing a resolution preceding a bill.
I want to say that I brought up this question before. I was surprised to hear from the hon. member for Assiniboia and also the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate on
the matter of the Crowsnest pass rates. I thought they had discussed this subject once before, and I thought any interference with the Crowsnest pass rates was anathema to them. They said that we dare not touch those rates because they were a form of protection given to the farmers out west who were bringing their grain to market. This is something new coming from that motley crew of free traders over there.
However, since they are questioning these Crowsnest pass rates, perhaps it would be wise for us to examine the various things that have been brought forward with regard to the movement of our wheat. It was natural that when costs went up freight rates were increased. In the case of the Crowsnest pass rates, there was more or less a covenant that those rates would remain the same. I have no opposition to that. As I have said before, I have no particular objection to what I call these built-in preferences for the benefit of agriculture in the west, but now these free traders ask, where is the money coming from? If you are going to give subsidies, where is the money coming from?
I never heard such a nonsensical question before. It is quite obvious where the money is coming from. It comes from the people who pay taxes, the working people. This is the place from which all the money comes. No matter how you present the case to the people, the fact still remains that it is the people who pay taxes who supply the money that the government uses. We have to see that the money is wisely spent, wisely allotted. If the government is going to make more money available for freight costs out west, let us say frankly that it is going to be done by means of a subsidy or whatever the method may be. Let us say so, and let us be honest about it.
Let me make an interjection at this point, and I hope I will be allowed the same latitude as others were permitted on the subject of the board of directors. I have listened to the debate here, and I go along with the hon. member for Port Arthur and also the hon. member for Greenwood-
Topic: FREIGHT RATES REDUCTION ACT
Subtopic: AMENDMENT EXTENDING APPLICATION OF REVISED RATES