I do not think the minister has given the committee the information I wanted, Mr. Chairman. He has stated that we would get this information from figures which are available. I think it is extremely difficult to get any authoritative figures with regard to an average cost of production. I should like the minister, if he can, to be more specific and say whose authority and whose figures the governor in council would accept in having regard to, or being guided by, in determining the
estimated average cost of production and setting these base support prices.
I think this is extremely important. Costs of production will vary all over the country. What type of farming will be used as a point of reference? Will it be the big corporation farm? Will it be the family farm, or will it be the smaller unit? At the present time our smaller farmers are going out of business in tens of thousands, and that is no exaggeration. Thousands of people are leaving the farms, and I should like to have some specific information from the government as to the means by which figures relating to the average cost of production are to be secured.
We in this group have said we think it is possible to get such figures. We think it is quite possible to find what is the cost of production, and from that to determine what is parity. I do not think the minister has given us any information. Is this to be done off the cuff? Is he going to proceed on the basis of some statistics compiled by the dominion bureau and by the universities, cr is the government itself going to determine these prices?
Subtopic: MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.