Frederick Samuel ZAPLITNY

ZAPLITNY, Frederick Samuel

Personal Data

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)
Dauphin (Manitoba)
Birth Date
June 9, 1913
Deceased Date
March 19, 1964
insurance broker, real estate broker, teacher

Parliamentary Career

June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Dauphin (Manitoba)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  Dauphin (Manitoba)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Dauphin (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 367)

January 30, 1958

Mr. Zapliiny:

In order to clear this up, do I understand then that in the case of descendants of a male Indian there is no limit to the process that could go on, with the descendants still remaining Indian, but that descendants of a female Indian cease to be Indians if their father is a non-Indian?

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January 30, 1958

Mr. Zapliiny:

I have a question to ask the minister at this point. It is possible that by a careful reading of the regulations under the act this matter might become clear, but I do not have the regulations before me at the present time. Perhaps it would be useful if the minister would explain what is considered to be a descendant. This amendment refers to persons who are now registered and to their descendants. I know that in the past there has been at times some difficulty;

Indian Act

there has not been unanimity in the interpretation of "descendant". It might be useful if the minister now could put on the record what is the correct interpretation with regard to the term "descendant". In other words, to what point can a person be considered to be a descendant of an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act?

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January 30, 1958

Mr. Zaplitny:

That is exactly the reason I asked that question. In the interpretation section of the act there is to be found a definition of the word "child" which reads: " 'child' includes a legally adopted Indian child". Then it goes on with other descriptions. What I am thinking of in particular is this. From time to time Indians within the meaning of this act will marry persons of other racial origins. Then, of course, this process goes on until the descendants become-for want of a better description perhaps I can put it in this way-less and less Indian in the full meaning of the term "Indian". Is there a point at which a descendant of an Indian can cease to be an Indian within the meaning of this act, or does that process go on without limit so long as the child is registered as the child of an Indian?

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January 23, 1958

Mr. F. S. Zaplifny (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, this legislation is likely to be the most important of any to come before this house in the present session. While I have already on a previous occasion stated my views on the bill which is before us as originally introduced, I think at this time it is necessary to assess what progress has been made by this parliament in connection with this important legislation.

The situation with which we are faced at the present time is that the government has refused to accept the advice offered by the members of this group and of the Social Credit group to refer its subject matter to the committee on agriculture. On the other hand, we have been asked by members supporting the government, particularly in the speeches made yesterday, to accept this bill fairly well on faith, on the claim that they trust the powers which are granted to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Harkness) and they are asking us to do the same.

The members of the C.C.F. group have stood four square for the acceptance of the

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization

principle of parity prices for farm products for as many years as there have been C.C.F. members in this house. The members of the Social Credit party have also supported that principle. We are now being put in the position of having either to accept or reject the invitation from the government side to accept on faith a bill which does not meet the principle of parity prices for farm products.

The stand which we have taken in the past and which we are taking now is well supported by the farm organizations across Canada. It will not be necessary for me to document that support to any large extent because it has already been documented in great detail as the debate has proceeded. However, I am going to refer to one or two statements which have been put out by farm organizations and which deal with this legislation. Before I do so, however, I want to point out why it would be very difficult for either the members of this party at least and the Social Credit members-because apparently, by and large, the Liberal members are prepared to accept this bill on faith- to accept it in that way and why it would be difficult for the organized farmers to accept it on the basis of trusting the minister to administer the bill in such a way as to give the benefit of the doubt-if we can perhaps call it that-to the agricultural producer.

I have in my hand two statements which appeared in the Winnipeg newspapers on almost the same day. Both of them appeared during the Christmas recess, between Christmas day and New Years day. One of them was a statement, as reported by the Canadian Press, from the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Harkness). It appeared under the heading "Economic Outlook Good for '58, Says Harkness". The significant part of that statement is this. I may say this has a direct relationship to whether we can or cannot trust the administration of this bill to the minister in the hope that he can interpret as generously as possible what is contained in the bill itself. The minister is reported to have made this statement, and this is in quotation marks. If he did not use these words, he can correct them. These words refer to the question of prices of agricultural products and are as follows:

Regardless of circumstances that may develop, farmers will be assured prices almost as good as those secured in the past.

Almost on the same way there appeared a report of a speech delivered by the president of the Saskatchewan wheat pool, Mr. J. H. Wesson, under the headline "Farmers 96698-2354

Find Their Expenses Much Greater Than Their Income". The report goes on to say this:

He said, despite having delivered the equivalent of a better than average crop, farmers found their expenses for the year were much greater than their income. The reason was the continued increase in the cost of things farmers buy, while prices of farm products are declining.

If we take those two statements side by side, what do we find, Mr. Speaker? On the one hand the president of the Saskatchewan wheat pool-there is no doubt that all other farm leaders will agree with what he had to say on that occasion-is claiming that the farmers are finding that their expenses are greater than their income, that their prices are still declining while their costs of production are still increasing. That is the situation with which we are faced and with which we have been faced for the last few years. In the face of that situation, what does the Minister of Agriculture undertake to do? He undertakes that regardless of circumstances that may develop farmers will be assured prices almost as good as those secured in the past. In other words, he is undertaking publicly to administer the bill in such a way that farmers will receive a little bit less than they have been receiving in the past few years, because he says prices will be almost as good. If you take "almost as good" as something which is bad you get something which is worse, and that is what the minister is promising the farmers of Canada-prices a little worse than they have been in the last four or five years.

That is a statement of the minister himself as reported in the press and, on the basis of that statement, no farm organization, no individual farmer and no member of this house who is interested in agriculture can accept it and leave this bill to be administered, on the statement of the minister himself, in such a way as to result in such prices. The minister has already publicly declared that it would be administered in such a way that prices will be a little worse than they have been in the last few years, and that is the point I wish to emphasize.

So we find the situation where the C.C.F. and Social Credit members are continuing their struggle to have written into the bill something which will assure to the farmers their fair share of the national income and something that will bear a direct relationship to or acceptance of the principle of parity prices.

Members supporting the government in their speeches yesterday-I do not wish to take the time of the house to quote them in detail-said on several occasions that they believed the farmers should receive their fair


Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization share of the national income. This was said by several members of the Progressive Conservative party yesterday. At the same time, however, they said they did not believe in parity prices as a method by which farmers could receive such fair share. That declaration, coming from government-supporting members, gives us even more reason for worry and concern as to the effect of this bill. If it is to be passed in this house in its present form and be left to the minister to administer in accordance with his public statement that it is his declared intention to administer prices in such a way that they will be slightly worse than they have been in the last few years, some further consideration must be given to this subject.

These two statements are completely inconsistent and contradictory. If they profess to believe that farmers are entitled to their fair share of the national income there can be no semblance of logic in saying at the same time that they do not agree with the principle of parity prices, because parity means equality. If in one breath you say you believe the farmer is entitled to equality and in the next breath you say you do not then you cancel out your own argument.

In my respectful submission, therefore, we cannot entrust the administration of this bill in its present form to the Minister of Agriculture having regard to his declared intention, nor can we entrust it to the advice of those members supporting the government because in either case it appears to me the whole question of the parity price principle will be sacrificed to the law of supply and demand.

We also have to consider the further proof of the minister's own statement when introducing the resolution preceding this bill, in which he stated very definitely that it was one of his motives in the bill to avoid any incentive to production. In other words, he intended to keep prices low enough to make sure they did not encourage any large volume of agricultural production. I would ask the minister how he squares that statement with the traditional policy of tariff protection in his own party. What is tariff protection if it is not an incentive for certain manufacturing industries to expand the production of certain manufactured articles? It was put there for that express purpose-as an incentive- and has remained on the statute books of Canada ever since.

The present Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming), furthermore, is busily scurrying around trying to find ways and means to increase tariff protection', yet the Minister of Agriculture, who sits with him on the treasury benches, tells us it is all very well

and it is perfectly good to provide through our tariff structure an incentive to the manufacturer, regardless of whether that costs the Canadian consumer something- and it is costing them plenty, in fact, $400 million-but as soon as it comes to agriculture, he says, "No, we will not provide any incentive; we will allow the law of supply and demand to come in and make sure the farmer will always get a little less than his cost of production." That is the declared purpose and motive.

On the face of this we certainly have to go further than we have gone into this bill. Then we have to take into account the attitude of our Liberal friends on this side of the house because, after all, many of them represent agricultural constituencies. I should not say that many of them are from western Canada, because there are not many now, but there are a few. It is a matter of deep concern to me to note the attitude taken by the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Tucker) yesterday, when he stated he would not be guilty of voting for a bill which would repeal the Agricultural Prices Support Act. Today he reinforced that statement very forcibly, and I congratulate him on his stand because it is a consistent one. However, while he was talking all that ran through my mind was what was said in this house a couple of days ago by the hon. member for Meadow Lake (Mr. Harrison) and the right hon. member for Melville (Mr. Gardiner). When the hon. member for Rosthern made the statement to which I have just referred he was in effect accusing the other two members of being guilty of doing that very thing, because we find recorded at page 3610 of Hansard the following statement by the hon. member for Meadow Lake:

I hold in my hand the death warrant of any Conservative candidate running in a farming area in western Canada. I hold in my hand Bill No. 237. I would also say that I hold my own passport to this place after the next election.

There, Mr. Speaker, is a real expression of responsible statemanship; there is a member representing an agricultural community who regards this bill as a death warrant for any Conservative candidate running against him. Why? Because it is not good for agriculture. Furthermore, he regards it as a passport back to this house. I might advise the hon. gentleman that I think he will find he has got his passport and his death warrant all mixed up and I think it is a question of where he will end up after the next election.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

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January 23, 1958

Mr. Zaplitny:

However, I have two representative resolutions which I believe set out rather fully the attitude of both the federation of agriculture and of the farmers' unions in relation to what they expect this government to do with respect to farm prices.

I wish to read a resolution submitted by the Gilbert Plains local of the Manitoba farmers' union in my own constituency copies of which were forwarded to the Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker), the Minister of Agriculture, the hon. member for Springfield


Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization (Mr. Schulz) and to me. Some of the hon. members from the west will know that this particular part of Manitoba is the area in which the farm unions developed the earliest and this is one of the largest and most influential locals in the province. They placed the matter before the government and members of the opposition in the words of the following resolution:

That whereas decreased farm income due to depressed prices during a time when other industries are prospering and the cost to the farmer is ever increasing, drastically affects the living standard of the farmer;

And whereas there appears to he no lessening of the price-squeeze pressure on the agriculture industry, therefore he it resolved:

(a) That we urge the government of Canada to establish a price support program based on 100 per cent parity on all agricultural products produced and consumed in Canada; and be it further resolved

(b) That the export prices on farm produce be negotiated and set by the government and farm organizations.

I turn to a copy of a night letter which was dispatched to the Minister of Agriculture on December 18, 1957, by the provincial board of the Manitoba federation of agriculture and co-operation, which reads as follows:

Your proposed price support legislation fails to assure the farmer of improvement in present financial position. It is our contention and was one of the main planks in your election platform and continuing policy (Hansard, April 8, 1941; March 23, 1953; March 12, 1956) that price support legislation should provide a formula based on a period of years when the income of the farmer was in fair relationship to other groups in the Canadian economy.

That pretty well sets out the point of view of both those major farm organizations. The minister is well aware of that because in both cases copies of these, or the originals, were sent to the Minister of Agriculture as well as to the members of the house. Lest the minister thinks that this farm organization does not mean business, listen to this press dispatch that was issued somewhere around January 1 this year. I am not sure of the date but it was very close to January 1. This appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press, and reads as follows:

Two Manitoba farm leaders-in predictions for 1958-agree that Conservatives will lose considerable support in western Canada if proposed federal price support legislation passes in its present form.

May I point out that this was after the minister had offered those five amendments to which I shall make reference a little later on. I continue with the quotation:

James Patterson, president of the Manitoba farmers' union, and Percy Burnell, president of the Manitoba federation of agriculture and co-operation, both claim that the controversial price support bill is the most important matter facing the present government.

"The political future of government hinges largely on the price support bill," said Mr. Patterson. If it passes in its present form, it will have a detrimental effect on the government's position in western Canada.

This is borne out by the following statement by Mr. Burnell:

If in 1958 the farmer does not see an adequate degree of support, his present disappointment might well become resentment.

That sets out quite clearly that those farm organizations have not only placed before the government what their stand is on this particular question but they are prepared to follow it up by taking the appropriate action to see to it that the government is held to its pledges. In other words, they have pledged themselves publicly to keep the government honest, and we are trying to do the same thing on this side of the house.

I think that somewhere along the line the Minister of Agriculture will have to admit that his proposed legislation went off the tracks. When he introduced this legislation on December 11, I believe it was, he made a brave speech. It is all on the record and I do not need to quote from it. But he in effect told this house that the government had given full consideration to this question, had taken advice from the different sources from which he was going to take any advice and as much as said to the members of this House of Commons, which includes his own supporters, that this was the final word; this is what you are going to get whether you like it or not.

He did not get very far. He had hitched a very new shining engine to his farm train. Before he got to the next station the thing was derailed. The first thing he knew he was forced to bring in five amendments and put them before the house in a most unusual manner, a manner which was, of course, strictly out of order. If it had not been for the unanimous consent he received he could not have done it. Then he brought another bright, new, shining engine to the rescue, but it too went off the rails. He decided that what he needed was not a new locomotive but a new cowcatcher. Therefore, he hitched the preamble in front of the bill. He thought he was going to persuade the farmers that because he had put cost-price relationship in the preamble everything was going to be fine, because those who believe in parity prices are going to be satisfied that it means parity prices, and those who do not believe in parity prices, which includes more than half of his party and probably 90 per cent of it, are going to be satisfied that it does not mean parity prices. He thought he was going to satisfy everybody. The point I wish to

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization

make is that when you try to satisfy everybody by deceiving them you usually end up by satisfying nobody. That is what happened.

I think what is needed now-and I propose this as assistance to the minister rather than criticism-is for the members of this house to put that train back on the rails again. There is a way in which that can be done. Before I come to that I want to set out what in my opinion are some of the things that have to be put in the new bill that I am going to propose to the minister. I think this pretty well represents the opinion of organized agriculture as well as the opinion of a large number of hon. members in this house. These things are needed in order to clear away all this wreckage for which the minister is responsible and the confusion which he himself has introduced by first introducing a bill, and then introducing some amendments and reprinting the bill which has no legal status, and confusing almost everybody who reads Hansard as to what is actually before the house now. On top of that, I must say the minister intends to bring in some more amendments.

As a matter of fact I will make him a small wager at the present time. I will bet him a bottle of the finest pasteurized milk that money can buy-and I will purchase it at a parity price, too-that before this discussion is over he is going to introduce some more amendments to this already amended version of the reprinted bill. There is a danger that it may create still further confusion. I suggest to him that what he should do is withdraw this bill entirely and introduce a new one, and that new bill should contain certain principles which I shall mention in a moment.

Before I do that, in order to put the matter formally before the house, I am going to move as an amendment, seconded by the hon. member for Springfield; the following:

That Bill No. 237 be not now read a second time, but that it be resolved that in the opinion of this house consideration should be given to the advisability of introducing at this session legislation making definite and statutory provision for parity prices for agricultural products at levels that will assure to producers their fair share of the national income.

I have placed this amendment before the house, and I would like to mention now what in my opinion are five necessary inclusions in this proposed new bill which would do a great deal towards meeting the desire of organized agriculture and certainly would clear away the confusion which has been created by the minister again in trying to introduce his bill in two separate parts.

In my opinion, a satisfactory bill should contain within it, first, the parity price principle, and not in the preamble but expressed

in the legislation itself, having legal and binding effect. Second, it must contain a price formula which will relate support prices in the bill to the parity price principle. Third, it must have a firm provision for assuring producers that they will get full value of any deficiency payments that will be made. Fourth, it must give the stabilization board authority equal to the responsibility they will carry for the price levels that are adopted. Fifth, it must treat producers in all parts of Canada on the same basis.

It would be obvious that the five points are designed to fill out the inadequacies in the present bill. If time permitted I would go over each one of them to point out how the bill at the present time does not live up to these five main principles but I see that my time is rapidly running out. Therefore, I shall have to conclude by making one final appeal.

This is not to the Minister of Agriculture. He has already spoken on two occasions at least and he will probably speak again before this is decided. But I do want to make a special appeal to the Prime Minister himself. After all the speeches that have been made on the subject the record is full of the pledges that have been made by the Prime Minister at one time or another in the house and outside of it on the question of parity prices for farm products. The hon. member for The Battlefords (Mr. Campbell) only today placed on the record some of the statements made by the Prime Minister when he was sitting in the opposition indicating the attitude he then took, and supposedly his party along with him, on the question of parity for farm products.

I do not need to put any more quotations on the record. All farmers know, all members of the house know, everybody knows that the Prime Minister went across the country from one end to the other, spoke to agricultural audiences during the election campaign and pledged himself solidly that if he became prime minister he would introduce legislation to bring about parity prices for farm products. As a matter of fact, he spoke right in my home town and I heard him make the statement. Therefore there is no doubt as to what his pledge was.

The Prime Minister has seen fit to disregard or ignore the whole debate so far. There have been times when he has been present and has heard some of the views expressed and statements made from both sides of the house but he himself has not uttered one word either in defence of the proposed legislation or to state, as I think he should state, that this legislation is not adequate and therefore he is prepared to have


Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization the bill withdrawn and introduce something which does meet the pledges he made right across Canada. He has not done either the one thing or the other. He has ignored the debate. He has absented himself from the debate. He has taken the attitude that perhaps he is not involved in the debate and that any blame that will arise because of this inadequate legislation will fall upon other shoulders than his own.

I think that is quite unfair to the Minister of Agriculture. I see no reason why he should have to bail the Prime Minister out of all the pledges he made. I think the Prime Minister has a duty to the house, to the country and to agriculture to stand up in the house as Prime Minister and to defend his policies and the pledges which he made on behalf of his party. If he does not do that we shall have to assume that the members of the government are retreating from the position which they took before the election.

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