Mr. Florian Cote (Richelieu):
Mr. Speaker, I believe I have always been somewhat like the hon. member for Okanagan Boundary (Mr. Whittaker) who, on starting his remarks, said he was a wise man. Like him, for many years, I have tried not to keep the House too long and simply repeat speeches to get my name into Hansard, to show that I had spoken or that I knew this or that.
So, I have been good, and today I did not even want to speak because, knowing the importance of this bill and the good results it can have, I would have liked to have seen it passed as soon as possible. But when the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski) spoke a while ago, I said to myself: It is almost impossible to overlook all those
Agricultural Stabilization Act
remarks. Two things occurred to me: either he knows nothing about the administrative past of his own political party, or else the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Korchinski) and the hon. member for Timiskaming (Mr. Peters) repeated each other. I then thought of putting a question to the hon. member for Mackenzie because his remarks were exactly contrary to the accusations of the hon. member for Crowfoot (Mr. Horner) against the minister.
I agree with some hon. members that that bill will bring no fundamental change in the field of agriculture. I agree that the bill should be introduced as soon as possible, but I did not understand why one hon. member had followed another in such quick succession to study the bill until today, to then refuse to refer it immediately to the committee. One hon. member followed another hon. member simply to kill time, without listening to each other.
On this side of the House, not too much of an attempt was made to fight back. I was offended when it was explained that the minister was only running around. First of all, my good friend for Mackenzie said that, to improve the bill, the minister should stop running about. It may be that the minister explains the agricultural policy throughout Canada well enough to describe to the population the preparation of some changes in the policy, in the philosophy underlying the adaptation of certain measures, and that somewhat hurts the hon. member for Mackenzie.
That hon. member, whom I tried to listen to with the most possible wisdom said: the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan) should do as he did in the milk industry in order that we realize that he is sincere about the measures concerning other farm commodities. What is amazing is that, last week, the hon. member for Crowfoot said: in agriculture, and especially in the milk industry, it is a total mess. Hon. members from eastern Canada should rise and scold the Minister of Agriculture. That is what the hon. member for Crowfoot was saying last week. On the other hand, the hon. member for Mackenzie is saying today that the minister should reorganize his policies along the same line as our dairy industry. There must certainly be a misunderstanding.
I suggest that the changes which this bill proposes, namely to use the average price over a five-year instead of a ten-year period, are important. What is still more important, however, is the adjustment on a yearly basis of base prices for farm products. I feel therefore that one and half or two years from now, we shall come closer to production costs. I do not want to take too much of the minister's time, but I want to make it clear that I did not agree with the hon. member for Timiskaming when he blamed the minister for providing the Canadian Dairy Commission with $140 million. In fact, he should check his figures, for these $140 million apply to last year only. He also blamed the government for establishing quota . ..
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION ACT