Charles Edward JOHNSTON

JOHNSTON, Charles Edward

Personal Data

Party
Social Credit
Constituency
Bow River (Alberta)
Birth Date
February 12, 1899
Deceased Date
December 1, 1971
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Edward_Johnston
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=c2d813a5-a966-4bb3-ae3f-2aa943b5d543&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
teacher

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
SC
  Bow River (Alberta)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
SC
  Bow River (Alberta)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
SC
  Bow River (Alberta)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
SC
  Bow River (Alberta)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
SC
  Bow River (Alberta)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
SC
  Bow River (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 929)


January 18, 1958

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

What I was going to say was this, and I am speaking about the principle. There is now a preamble to the bill-and as far as I recall that is one of the two places where there is improvement-where a cost-price relationship is referred to. That was one of the things the Conservatives promised they were going to institute as their policy. It should be remembered that in discussing any legislation which is brought before this house, nothing in a preamble has anything whatever to do with the bill itself. I therefore think we can disregard that reference entirely, because certainly the present government never intended to have anything which is said in the preamble apply to the bill itself or they would have put it in the bill.

There are three things in general which the government is introducing under this agricultural legislation. The first is the base price, the second is the floor price and the third is the prescribed or forward price. If I may, I should like to deal first with the base price. The base price was brought to us first as a three-year moving average, namely the last three years. May I remind you, Mr. Speaker, that this was Conservative policy after complete consideration and in consultation with all the Conservative backbenchers. Hence they all agreed with this three-year policy. No objection was raised in the house, and they said they were proud of the bill.

The three-year moving average was calculated at a time when agricultural prices were beginning to go lower. When the opposition members of this house pointed out how inadequate that would be, and how unsatisfactory it was to the agriculturists of this nation, because of that opposition the government was forced to change this period from three years to ten years.

A while ago I said there were possibly two places that showed some improvement, and this is the second one. When that change from the three-year to the ten-year moving average was made I think the base price would have been slightly better because, of course, in the first years of that ten-year period the prices were fairly good. But as that moving period advances the base price goes down, because there is every indication that the agricultural income is going to continue to fall. If that happens, of course the base price continues to get lower and lower.

We Social Crediters have contended that this period should be fixed so there would be some fair relationship to the cost when we are establishing this base period. The

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization Minister of Agriculture says that would be a terrible thing, that it was never government policy. When we read back we will find out whether or not it was government policy; and I wish to refer to remarks made in the house yesterday by the hon. member for Fraser Valley when he referred to the Prime Minister's definition of parity. I think this is worth putting on the record, especially when one remembers that this was a statement made during the election campaign.

Of course I do not want to start a fight between the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture, but the Prime Minister knew very clearly what a set period was. He knew the advantages to agriculture of having such a period, although the Minister of Agriculture does not think that is so-after the election. Let me read what the Prime Minister said when defining parity:

. Parity prices are the dollars and cents prices that give to farm products the same buying or purchasing power they had in a selected base period.

Can you understand that? That is a selected base period, not a moving period.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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January 18, 1958

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

That was on December 3; then there was the bill which was introduced on December 14, and then there was a reprint of that bill. All I am trying to say, in effect, is that the government is now so confused that we now have a third bill before us.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
Full View Permalink

January 18, 1958

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

I think you have explained it quite clearly. There was the first bill which was never distributed.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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January 18, 1958

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

The government seems to be just going around in circles.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
Full View Permalink

January 18, 1958

Mr. Johnston (Bow River):

This bill is the one which the minister has stated is going to do so much for agriculture. During the last election campaign it was stated that if the Conservative party were elected they would institute a system of parity prices, and would guarantee agriculture its fair share of the national income. When we examine the bill we find that there is not any place in the bill any formula whatever which will guarantee parity prices, nor is there any formula which will guarantee that agriculture receives its fair share of the national income.

During the election campaign they also said they would increase our markets for agricultural products. As a matter of fact the only thing the present government has done is to make a threat to the United States that they were going to reduce imports from that country by some 15 per cent. This government has not done much to increase agricultural markets. It is results which count. Certainly the government has sent costly missions over to Britain, but no practical results have been forthcoming as yet. It is time we received some results from the activities of those different missions, if they are ever going to amount to anything. That indication has not been forthcoming thus far.

The government introduced the resolution preceding this bill on December 11. It was on that occasion that the Minister of Agriculture himself stated in this house that this bill embodied the policy of the Conservative party. In fact he went so far as to say this, as recorded in Hansard at page 2189 of December 11, 1957:

I think this legislation will do everything we promised we would do so far as our campaign pledges are concerned.

I therefore think I can say that the first bill which was introduced embodied wholly and completely the Conservative policy after the Minister of Agriculture, as he said in this house, had consulted all the backbenchers with regard to the matter; and we never heard any protest from the Conservative members. We have not yet heard any protest in this house by Conservative members against this bill. There have been a great many protests from the Social Credit party, the C.C.F. party and farm organizations all across this country. Certainly they are not satisfied with the results that have been brought forth in this bill. There is still no formula for parity prices. There is still no formula to institute a cost-price relationship. There is nothing whatever to show that farmers are going to get their fair share of the national income.

I now want to refer in general to the bill. I know that at this time I cannot refer to specific sections and deal with those sections minutely or in detail. However, I want to make reference to the general principle of the bill. I want to say at once that there are one or two good points in it, I think.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
Full View Permalink