[Opening prayer by Mr. Speaker. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting petitions
Reading and receiving petitions
Presenting reports of standing and select Committees
The honourable member for St. Matthews.
DR. W. G. MARTIN (St. Matthews): Mr. Speaker, I wish to present the first report of the Special Select Committee.
MR. CLERK: The select special committee beg leave to present the following as their first report. Your committee was established and its chairman appointed by a resolution agreed to in the legislature of Thursday, the 23rd day of October, 1958. This resolution is set out below: Ordered that during the present session every Bill and every other matter that would under the rules be referred to a select standing committee of the House, shall instead be referred to a select special committee of all members of the House, and that the House hereby appoints that committee and that William G. Martin, Esq., member of the electoral division of St. Matthews be Chairman of this committee and of the committees of the whole House.
Your committee recommends that for the remainder of the session the quorum for this committee shall consist of 20 members. Your committee has considered Bill No. 4, An Act to amend The Municipal Act; No. 6, An Act to amend the Manitoba Civil Service Superannuation Act; No. 7, An Act for the Relief of Dennis Beaudry, and has agreed to report the same without amendments.
Your committee has also considered Bill No. 5, An Act to amend The Companies Act; No. 12, An Act to authorize the making of agreements between the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba and municipalities, for the purpose of increasing employment of persons in winter, and has agreed to report the same with certain amendments. All of which is respectfully submitted.
DR. MARTIN: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the honourable member for Roblin, that the report of the committee be received.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the honourable member for St. Matthews, seconded by the honourable member for Roblin, that the report of the committee be received. Are you ready for the question?
[Mr. Speaker put the question, and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Notices of motion; Introduction of bills; Orders of the Day.
MR. W. C. MILLER (Rhineland): Before the Orders of the Day I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the First Minister. Is he aware that he has acquired a new Cabinet colleague in the person of the honourable member for Seven Oaks? I refer him to Page 21 of Hansard, October 29th, second sitting.
HON. DUFF ROBLIN (Premier): It is a delightful surprise. I shall have to have the matter investigated.
MR. S. PETERS (Elmwood): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable Minister of Health and Public Welfare. At these conferences in November that they intend to have on Old Age Assistance, do they intend to discuss the problem of the disabled persons that have not reached the age for old age assistance?
HON. GEORGE JOHNSON (Minister of Health and Public Welfare): Mr. Speaker, I feel I'm prepared to answer that question now. The honourable member, at these conferences we were not specifically discussing the question of disabled persons. I just wish to say that since assuming my duties I have been most interested in this problem, and have looked into it rather thoroughly as I understood it was the wish of the previous House that the disabled persons allowance legislation was possibly a little harsh. To this end, I have been to see the Minister in Ottawa, the Minister of National Health and Welfare, and have also been investigating the matter, and I feel that we are going to continue to look into all the aspects of disabled persons allowance, and I should have something further in the next short while. But this specifically will not be - had not been planned to be discussed at this meeting.
MR. D. ORLIKOW (St. John's): Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct your attention to the presence in the gallery on my left to the Grade VIII class from Machray School in Winnipeg, which is in the heart of my constituency. They are accompanied by their teacher, Miss Arnott.
MR. EDMOND PREFONTAINE (Carillon): Je vois dans la gallerie à ma gauche quatre jeunes filles du grade 12 de l'école de St. Pierre Centre et je suis très heureux de leur souhaiter la bienvenue dans la langue française, langue qui a bien droit d'exister dans cette Chambre.
Good day, Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Honourable the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources, and ask him whether government policy has been finalized with respect to coming to the assistance of the settlers living in the bush country in the south-east part of the Province, where the cut is
too limited, in order that they might have a chance to live. The matter has been discussed with the Minister and I'm anxious to have an answer because these people are waiting for assistance.
HON. GURNEY EVANS (Minister of Mines and Natural Resources): It is not possible at this time, Mr. Speaker, to make an announcement of policy. I will say this, however, that considerable study has been put on the subject - a very concentrated study. Plans are afoot and I'm sorry that I can't announce them definitely at this time, but they will be announced shortly.
MR. T. P. HILLHOUSE, Q.C. (Selkirk): As a former pupil of Machray School and as a horrible example as to what might happen to a person if they don't mind their ways, I would like to join with the honourable member for St. John's in welcoming these students to the gallery of this House.
MR. SPEAKER: Orders of return. The honourable member for Selkirk.
MR. HILLHOUSE: I would like to have the leave of the House to change the form of motion from one for an order of return to one for a vote to be - an address to be voted to this Honour the Lieutenant-Governor.
MR. SPEAKER: Has the honourable member the permission of the House? Agreed.
MR. HILLHOUSE: I wish to move, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the honourable member for Springfield, that a humble address be voted to His Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor, for the production of copies of all Orders-in-Council issued under the Executive Council Act since the 30th day of June, 1958, appointing Ministers of the Crown, Acting Ministers of the Crown, and persons to whom the powers and duties of a Minister of the Crown were assigned and transferred.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the honourable member for Selkirk, seconded by the honourable member for Springfield that a humble address be voted His Honour,the Lieutenant-Governor for production of papers.
[Mr. Speaker put the question and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
Adjourned debate for second reading of Bill No. 8. The honourable member for Emerson.
MR. J. TANCHAK (Emerson): Mr. Speaker, the honourable the Premier gave me the impression last night that Bill No. 8, Farm Credit Bill, had been quite discussed at quite a length, and that we should try to be fairly brief, so, therefore, I will oblige and I'll try to make my remarks very short.
All the members of this House have agreed that farm credit was necessary. The farmers have demanded a farm credit bill - a good farm credit bill. And therefore, I think it's expedient
that we do put through a Bill like this. I myself, believe that a farm credit bill is necessary at this time. Therefore, I support the second reading of this bill in this House, even though I know and realize that there is a partial duplication of the Ottawa services. Most of the members, or I should say some of the members here like to sit back in this House and pat themselves on the back, and keep repeating "It's a good Bill, it's a good Bill". And some even go as far as to think or suggest that no one has a right to come up with an amendment. I for one do not think that this thinking is right. We cannot be so complacent sitting in here as to think that whatever we have done is perfect. I don't think that we have reached perfection on this earth. The farmers have asked for this Bill, or, I don't say this Bill, but they have asked for a good farm credit bill, but they did not have a hand in forming this bill. And we cannot say that just because we are presenting this bill, or the government is presenting this bill, that they agree with every clause in that Bill. No, I'm sure that the farmers of Manitoba would like all of us to sit down and carefully scrutinize this bill, clause by clause - and we should not fail them. This bill is being born in this House today. As it grows, I'm sure some of the same members that protest so vigorously against amendments, may change their minds because, as I said before, we are not perfect; we have not attained perfection; and the bill will not be perfect.
I give credit however, to the honourable Minister, the Minister of Agriculture, for being so bold if I may use the word, as to tackle this huge problem. I'm sure that the Minister has spent a lot of time, and he was conscientious about his work, and he really tried to form a bill with his colleagues that would suit the needs of the farmers; but, again I say that no man is perfect. Still I congratulate him in taking us a step further in the right direction. After we are through with this Bill, the farmers will expect to be able to take advantage of the assistance offered. But, I hate to think of all those farmers who will be disappointed. There will be a great number of them that will be disappointed. Maybe rightly or wrongly, we have to know that we are dealing with the public funds. They may be under the impression that they should have had the loan, and they couldn't get it for some technical reason - but I still say that there will be a great number that will be disappointed.
Will all those farmers though who need the assistance and deserve it - will this bill take care of all of them? I'm afraid I must say "No". And I can cite numerous ones who really deserve credit and need it, and this bill will not take care of them. Take for instance, a young farmer who hasn't acquired the borrowing capacity, but he is a good young man, a good farmer willing to start, willing to become an independent - independent in his business - but his borrowing capacity is too low. Will this Bill help him? I dare say "no".
Take another young man, and this is a true fact, I think I have a letter here from a young farmer. He's a young man of 23 years. His father just passed away a month ago. For the past four years his father suffered with Leukemia. Of course, most
of the time he stayed at home. This young man was a good son; he took care of his father. When his father passed away he found himself with no cash. He got married and he was broke as usually is the case with most young couples. Will we be able to help this young man? I'm afraid not. In my own constituency we have a very good example, and there are numerous requests that have come in to me - "Will this farm credit bill help me". And I'm talking about these farmers that are engaged in supplying milk to Grunthal factory. We all know the factory at Grunthal.
Now, there are numerous farmers south of Grunthal, in my constituency. They would like to expand, and in fact, the time may come that they will have to expand, because times are changing, and there may be bulk deliveries in milk, and the companies may ask them to install these, these - the machinery necessary. But they find that they cannot do it. Will this Bill take care of these farmers? They deserve it, and they need it. I say No.
What about the little fellow? Just think of him. I know as I go through the constituency that many young farmers, young lads that are not even married yet, they have great faith in this Bill. They believe that now they will be able to start farming. I do not think that this Bill will be able to help - they wouldn't be able to take advantage of the assistance. True...There's another - there's a market gardener. This morning I spoke to one of my friends and he happens to be one of those that applies for partial employment during the winter, and he goes in to the City of Winnipeg to supplement his income. He is excluded from that.
Now I say, why couldn't we change this Bill in some way so that it would help this man and thereby this man will not deprive some man living in the City from this employment? True, this Bill will help a few farmers, all those farmers that through the years have been able to accumulate some wealth, and they have the borrowing capacity. This Bill will help them, but quite a number of them, I am sure, could help themselves. How - what percentage of the farmers will take advantage of such assistance? I wouldn't know, I could just guess - but I'd say maybe in the neighborhood of about ten percent of the farmers of Manitoba. It's just my guess, I'm no authority on that. We need a Bill like this. I only mentioned a few of these just to point out that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, for us to study this Bill carefully and its amendments, if there are any amendments, that we, that any one of the members regardless of which side of the House he sits on recommends, I think we should listen patiently and see if some of those amendments could not be implemented. We all know that the basic ill of the farmer these days is their inability to market the grain. There was one member previously that mentioned there's no cash - the farmer has no cash. This is one of the reasons why he has no cash - because he cannot market his grain.
Now, another is the cost price squeeze. We all know that. The cost of the product, especially grain, that the farmer produces is so high, its completely out of proportion with the income or the returns that he gets. Now, most of the good farmers of Manitoba try to avoid making loans, because they know, they realize that any loan that they make bears an interest, and
naturally, this interest is just like dropping money in the water, it never comes back! All it does, increases his, increases the cost of production of that product that the farmer does produce, thereby widening the gap between the cost and the returns. Therefore, I say that the farmers have a perfect right to look for loans, hunt for loans that bear low interest rate. They have a perfect right to look for those loans and to choose and I do not think that it is up to us to say that you cannot have this interest, you must have this higher interest. They have perfect right. And I think it is our solemn duty to assist the farmers in this respect. See that they do, do get these loans at a lower rate of interest.
Mr. Speaker, last night I think you cautioned us about talking on interest rates and I don't intend to bore the honourable members too long with this but I think that we should be allowed to say a few words on these interest rates, especially in view of the fact that last night the Honourable Member from Pembina after we had disposed of the amendment on the rates, the Honourable Member brought it back into the House and he was allowed to discuss and then again, the Honourable the Minister of Utilities in his speech last night, he devoted almost his entire time to that of interest rate. Therefore, I do not think that I should be called...out of order. I will try to be brief and not take up too much time.
I think, that honourable minister last night, I'm not trying to accuse--I do not say that I know more about it than the honourable minister but I think that the honourable minister was not just quite fair when he made a comparison on the two interest rates. On one hand we have the long term, on the other hand these interest rates on instalment buying, short term interest rates have a heavier risk. ...and naturally did have to bear higher interest rate. But, we cannot even think that since a farmer can afford, or it doesn't even have to be a farmer, thousands and thousands of people in Manitoba and all over the country, if they can afford to pay 20% interest rate or higher that then we, in this House, must say: "If you can afford to pay 20%, you can also pay 6%." I don't think it would be right. We all know that 20% interest is higher than 6%. Yes, we do, but this doesn't justify us to say you have to pay another sixty percent. I think we should look for ways and means to reduce that. It may be...I'm no authority on that...but it may be that these parties referred to who are charging these interests, 20% and higher, from eight, five, ten, fifteen, twenty and higher, maybe they're not justified. I cannot say, I'm not an authority. But if they are not I would suggest that the Honourable Minister take this matter up with Ottawa because these interest rates are permissable by the Small Loans Act through Ottawa, and I would suggest that's where the matter should be brought up.
Now, Mr. Speaker, here, the way I understand it, and it's just my impressions, we have a Minister of the Crown who gave us the impression that he has discovered after checking into this situation in Manitoba, and I say, that if that is the case, why does not, why did not or does not the Minister bring this resolution up in this House? This is a Special Session and it is specials like these, like this one, such things like that of such
vital interest should be brought up. I will leave it at this. Thanks for your patience, Mr. Speaker, I tried to be short. As I said before I will support this Bill in the second reading and I notice that the Honourable the Premier has gratiously promised that if amendments are in order these amendments will be permissable in committee and I'm sure that some of the amendments...pardon?
MR. ROBLIN: Your right. Not on my promise, but your right!
MR. TANCHAK: I'm right. I'm sorry I thought I heard the Minister mention that before...maybe not on this particular Bill... [Interjection] ...Oh yes...
MR. ROBLIN: What I mean to say is my honourable friend has the undoubted right to introduce any amendment he sees fit in committee and there is no argument about that. You don't have to rely on my promise.
MR. TANCHAK: I wish to thank the Minister for that and I do hope that when we are through with this Farm Credit Bill that the Bill will really and truly be a good one, but I still say that when we are finished with it, it will not be a perfect one. I thank you.
MR. W. LUCKO (Springfield): Mr. Speaker, I'm sure it's not your intention to close this Bill yet. We're just starting with it!
Mr. Speaker, it makes me wonder, we've got that piece of legislation but I actually got it on a piece of paper here before us. I am very much amazed that the Honourable Minister of Agriculture by drafting this Bill as it stands now, I want to make this point quite clear, I want to assure him that it's the most useless piece of legislation that was brought up to help any...the the Honourable the First Minister has been advocating. I want this to be on the records. [Interjection. ] That's fine, we'll go further along with that. And now I'm going to deal particularly with what I'll call east of the Red River. What a fact, what advantages, what disadvantages this Bill will have to the farmers. I am only amazed that the Honouorable Minister of Agriculture when he said in his caucus, we haven't had enough experts, farm experts...sitting of him...not to bring this Bill in this shape. What we actually mean that they should do what they mean to do by it.
MR. M. E. RIDLEY (Pembina): Vote against the Bill.
MR. LUCKO: That's fine, we'll come along to that.
HON. E. F. WILLIS, Q.C. (Minister of Agriculture and Immigration): Hurry boy, hurry!
MR. LUCKO: Now the intention of this legislation is to help, to help those that need help. That's the main basis of the whole
procedure. Now that was the political propaganda by the Honourable the First Minister at the election campaign. Now, if that is their intention, then let us see that it will do just exactly what we want it to do.
Now I want to deal with a few sections. I'm not going to be too long. If you wish me to care, if you give me an extension beyond forty minutes I will carry on it. But, I'm going to be shorter than that.
MR. WILLIS: 'Atta boy, Bill!
MR. LUCKO: Mr. Speaker, I'll deal with the section here. That definition includes the market gardener. Now, let us take a look at it. Under II, section 2, II: "including a person who is engaged for his full time working, for full time working in occupation of market gardening and has no other occupation and has no more than 25 acres." Now, it's so plain! He must be a full time market gardener and no other occupation. Then what does it mean? I want to assure my honourable member, my honourable friend, that we have market gardeners east here of Winnipeg. Wherever they are, you will not find 5% of them that they are strictly confined to the market gardener only. All this fellow needs do is go to work for four or five days. Under definition of this Act, he is disqualified and what's the sense of bringing such a legislation here? What's the good of it?
I'll go along...section 8, H, I. This defines the farmer: "That he is actually farming or intends to farm on a full time basis, on the land in respect of which the loan is to be made." Now, what does this mean? All this fellow needs to go to work or has a truck to go on a gravelling job or something, he is completely disqualified under this Act. He cannot by no sense no matter what, he cannot qualify for this legislation. Now, isn't it the intention to help these people? Why do they go to do that? Why do they go to work? Why do they go with their trucks? Just because they want to bring some more revenue to help pay probably the debts or some equipment on their farm. That's the main reason of it. And here, we of the legislature, strictly legislate against them on this purpose. Until, I'll be satisfied until the Honourable Minister of Agriculture brings his amendment as he has mentioned to see what this whole thing means.
Now, I'll give you another one.
MR. WILLIS: 'Atta boy, Bill.
MR. LUCKO: All right here is section 8, sub-section A and... Now, what does it say here? All right the directors having a power here: "that no loan shall be made to the borrower who is under 21 years of age or who is over 50 years of age." Then it goes along to say that it could be 65, but it goes a little bit further. It has this to say, and I have never seen such a legislation yet, to be a director, now mind you, that applies to the director, to be reasonably in good health and able to perform a reasonable share of work management on the farm. Now who is tell that I'm in reasonable health? The directors, you are giving him
the powers here? I'd go along with the Honourable Minister of Health, but I surely wouldn't go with the directors. Surely, by no means.
Now supposing I did a whole day's work and it was a chilly day and I got a sore back, the director comes along and says, you're no good. That's what he'll tell you! And such legislation on the books, my goodness! Now there's a better one yet. I'm not through.
MR. WILLIS: You slay me.
MR. LUCKO: And there's a better one yet, oh no, I'm not through yet. All right we'll go to section 9. That's a fine one too. And here, it defines...here section 9, and it has this to say: "If at any time, in the sole judgment of the directors any money loaned under this Act, has not been, or is not being applied for the purpose which it was advanced, or is not being carefully economically expended" (that's fine, I'll go along with that, that's sensible) but a little bit further, "or if the security," (now it gets clear) "depreciates in value": my, security depreciates in value on account of market fluctuating, and the borrower is penalized for the value of depreciating in value; but it doesn't stop there, it goes a little bit further: "in value, the corporation may refuse to make any further advances and may call in the whole amount then advanced and all the interest there declared, and the amount of interest immediately due and repayable." Now, my, where were these experts drafting that section of the act? Who is giving that advice across the board, there eh? What have we got there? Where did this thing come about, eh! My, I'm sure that the Honourable Minister must of went to Ontario and got that piece of legislation and he thinks he'll come along to the...and say, now look at this, we got the Farm Bill, we're helping you. You're helping--who are you helping here?
Mr. Speaker, I only feel sorry, I don't want to take any more time; we've been accused of taking too much time in here. I sincerely believe and I want to give all my assistance. I want to come quite clear on the record here, and I want to assure the Honourable Minister right here and now, that this, in the present form as this legislation is drafted, you will not sell five percent of the farmers on my constituency. I want to assure you right now, you will not find fulltime engaged farmers there, the depreciation values and all these. I hope that you'll take these into consideration and change them and we'll help you to put this legislation through.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. S. ROBERTS (La Verendrye): Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention, of course, to speak on this Bill again because I thought I explained my case quite clearly the first, but there has been a few things said that I thought should be remarked on. I certainly first of all like to express my gratitude, Mr. Speaker, to the Honourable Member for Morris for his very kind words about my family, about the very, very fine hogs that we raise in La Verendrye.
We are proud of them too, and I'm glad that you see it that way.
I regret that the Honourable Member for Morris feels I will not be long in this House. Of course, that's not for him to decide. It's not anyone in this House to decide, but rather it's for the people of La Verendrye to decide, and perhaps I might suggest to the Honourable Member for Morris that when the time comes when my position as M.L.A. for La Verendrye is challenged, then I shall face it with determination, with pride in what I believe in, and I shall not, I shall not take the easy way out.
Now, the member for Morris has already said some other amazing things with his great voice of independence in agriculture. And perhaps the most amusing statement which can be read in Hansard is that, we must not give the taxpayers--give away the taxpayers' money to the farmers of Manitoba. I think that will make very interesting reading, out in the constituency or Morris as in many other parts of the Province of Manitoba.
I'm not going to be long because I know the Honourable the First Minister is very, very anxious to get these things whipped through, and so I'll appreciate his position that he doesn't make any criticism and so we'll whip these through as quickly as we can. So I'll just move along to the next little thing I have jotted down here. It's said that the Minister of Agriculture, by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture that the interest is variable. In fact, he says that we can change it in five minutes to four, to three, to two percent. And then we get remarks, amazing remarks from the Honourable the Minister of Public Utilities, why it can be twenty percent, twenty-three percent, that's what other agencies are charging. And so I suggest to the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture that if the...
HON. JOHN CARROLL (Minister of Public Utilities): I don't believe that I said that the interest rate could be twenty, twenty-three percent. I don't believe I did say it.
MR. ROBERTS: I think I qualify that as I said the statement, Sir, I said that other agencies were charging and that's what I meant. I wasn't insinuating that you were insinuating that this bill could go to twenty-three percent, but I am insinuating that if it can do down to four, to three, to two percent, it can also move in the other direction. And to the people who if it is the intention, perhaps, of this Government or the board as it has been set-up, to lower the interest rate of this bill from time to time, then I feel sorry for the people who have taken out the money at six percent, the first borrowers, who are going to be stuck carrying that rate of six percent, because there is nothing retroactive.
Now the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture has, perhaps, has suggested another thing in his talk that I thought was quite remarkable in that he said that he had confirmed with the best farm loan people in Canada on this topic. And I congratulate him for it because I think that's the way the thing should be handled. But I suggest that if he had imported one or two farmers who had had to make a living off the farm in the last six or seven years, and conferred with them on what was required in the Farm Loan Bill,
he wouldn't be in the trouble he is in today.
There is another particular [Interjection] ...while I notice some mighty red faces over there - anyway, I can see that much [Interjection] ...May I just say another point, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to point out, and that is the remarks again of the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture on his interpretation of the bill, and it was to do with the manner in which the land will be evaluated--this is just a suggestion and it's meant in all sincerity--that while we feel that evaluating the land on its commercial value, as is suggested in this bill in comparison, in contrast to the manner in which the Canadian Farm Loan Board evaluates its land on the productive value, has at certain times great advantages in the amount that will be evaluated and has at other times certain disadvantages in the amount that it will be evaluated.
Now I know that this is rather a complicated thing to explain, but I do think that if you stop and think about it, that land which will be evaluated on the amount that can be produced on it over a long term basis, is a very good way to evaluate land. But evaluating land on its market value, which can be affected by seasonal things such as short term things as two or three year flooded areas, or hailed out area for a couple of years in a row, affects the market value of that land just as a flood will affect the market value of homes for two or three years--as you noticed in the City of Winnipeg after the flood--things like this, and other catastrophes, can affect the market value of land greatly and is not a true picture of the productive value of that land. And so this is not, this clause which states that the agricultural credit plan will read that "the land will be evaluated on its commercial value" is a two-faced blessing.
MR. D. L. CAMPBELL (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, there has been a very full discussion of this bill up-to-date, and perhaps there will be still some more in addition to the Minister's closing statement but I do wish to make a few remarks on it. I'm afraid I can't guarantee to be quite as brief as some of the others have been, because I think that this bill really needs a good bit of examination still; received a lot, and that I'd like to, once again, go to some extent into, what I think, are the reasons behind the introduction of this bill.
I do not intend to re-debate the question of the interest rate, but I would like to comment on the fact that, it has been mentioned before, the Minister having said that the reason for this being one, the interest rate in this bill being one percent higher than that under the Canadian Farm Loans' Board, was because the Government doesn't want to take over the Canadian Farm Loans' Board accounts or loans. Surely, Mr. Speaker, surely that same result would be achieved even if they had exactly the same rate of interest. Because I'm sure that the farmers of this Province wouldn't even think of switching from one account to the other, even if they were at the same rate of interest. So I think there is no point to be made there.
I hold, and I think the debate up-to-date from the Government side of the House has been that the reason that this bill is intro-
duced is because the Government felt that this was an area that was not properly taken care of by the federal legislation and if that's the case, it's a good reason for it. Of course if they feel that way, then that's the best reason that I can think of to try and make this bill in all ways a better bill than the Canadian Farm Loan. And surely, if we are going to introduce it because the Farm Loans' Board is not taking care of the situation, then we should try and make this one, in some major way, more attractive than the other one, and I recognize that there is a higher loan available under this one. That--I feel that the question of interest is fundamental, and that there is no good reason for having a higher rate in this one than the other one.
Well now, there's been discussion about the fact that there has been some delay about this bill, and the fact that we moved an amendment was taken as indicating our wish to delay it, to postpone it and to kill it, which is much more ridiculous than the first suggestion. But if we had wanted to delay it, we would have introduced several amendments. Not at the same time, of course, but we could have continued to offer these various suggestions that we are making now as amendments. One after the other, not on top of one another, of course. And if we had wanted to kill it--if we had wanted to kill it, certainly a method of moving the customary motion in this House to accomplish that purpose, [Interjection] - not clear to anybody but my honourable friends who really wanted to convince themselves that that would be the effect. Well, it was very clear to my honourable friends just as soon as the Government announced that it would be a Want of Confidence motion, then it became very clear to my honourable friends.
MR. L. C. STINSON (Leader of the C.C.F.): Very clear...any school boy can understand it.
MR. CAMPBELL: My point is that we could have continued to move - even if our idea had been to kill it, we could still have continued to move a motion of that kind. Although the First Minister says - and I'm not attempting to quote his words exactly--but the import of the suggestion was that they'd be quite willing to not have the Board trusted with the authority to change the rate of interest if we could be sure of what the public financing in Canada would cost. Well, we can't be sure of that, of course. And the money market has been unsettled in the last few months and it's been going up at times and going down some. And I suggest to my honourable friends that it's been up more than it's been down in the recent period since the Federal Government is carrying on with its huge deficit financing. And if my honourable friends are determined to carry on with the kind of a program that they are soliciting here, they probably will find that there is going to be an increase in the interest rate. But the worst that could happen under that situation would be that the change of interest rate would have to wait until the Legislature met. And, Mr. Speaker, we are required by the Constitution to meet here yearly, and so I'm convinced that it would be better to have a stated rate in the Act itself, and not give that authority to the board. And I'm quite sure, so far as I can interpret the feelings
of the farmers, I'm quite sure that the borrowers themselves would prefer to have an actual rate fixed, of course as low a one as feasible, and to have that rate stated in the Act rather than leaving it to a Board to determine that they can either increase it or decrease it.
I think when the Government puts the rate in here as high as 6%, it would certainly be an indication to the board that they would be expected to carry along with the same philosophy in mind that actuated the Government in putting in the 6% rate. But even if it meant some delay until the Legislature met, I still say, on behalf of the borrowers, and perhaps we will get an opportunity to ask some of them, if they come before the Committee, if they would rather have the rate written into the Act. So far as I am concerned, I'd be prepared to move that amendment in the Committee and we'll get an opportunity to have a discussion on it there.
Then, of course,the Honourable the First Minister said that our amendment was, according to my philosophy, postponing action on this bill, and he remarked that "postpone--that's what we had done through the many years." Well, of course we postpone action of this kind. We not only postponed action, we determined in our own best judgment not to introduce this kind of legislation. It was not a postponement; it was a decision that we were not going to enter into this field. While there was, what we thought, a good likelihood of the Federal Government amending its Farm Loans' Act and modernizing it to take care of the changed situation, and they have done some of that modernizing, but we felt there was a good reason to hope, particularly after we made some of the more recent offers that the older members of the House are well aware of. But we specify we didn't proceed with this kind of legislation because we honestly thought it to be better that the Federal Government, which has a long experience, a successful experience in this field, should modernize their Act and bring it into keeping with the present situation rather than us entering into competition with them. But, my honourable friends thought differently. I suggest to them that they first thought differently because, when over here in opposition, they hit upon this as being a popular scheme. I'm not trying to take any credit for them for believing. I think they did believe. They also thought it would be popular and so they started advocating. They advocated it emphatically and with very good results as far as they were concerned. And having advocated it, then it's proper for them to bring their legislation forward. I'm certainly not complaining about that part. I think when you've promised things before an election, you should put them in. I've said that over and over again and I mean it. And so I give the government credit for bringing it in and that's the reason that we are quite willing to support it, because we admit that they were advocates of this program. Quite honest advocates of it.
Apparently, and our honourable friends I assume here were too, and apparently it has met with the wishes of a majority of the electorates if they were passing judgment on that particular phase of the many questions that were before them at that time, and to that extent it is right for us to have it here. But that does not prevent us from trying to, as my honourable friends have suggested,
making it as good a bill as possible.
However, if the real reason for its being here is the promise made before and during the election, then that's a good reason but I still maintain that if my honourable friends had shown anything like the ingenuity and effort in trying to get the Federal Government, who now are good friends of theirs...that's the proper situation, nothing...no criticism in that regard...to try and get the Federal government to modernize its plan, I think they could have been successful.
We haven't been told yet just what efforts were made and I understood the Minister of Agriculture to say that definitely there had been some made, and not being aware of what they were, we look forward to hearing what efforts were made. But the reason that I'm so convinced in my own mind that they could have persuaded the Federal Government to have made this modernization was because of reports that reached me through the press and elsewhere of what the Federal Minister of Agriculture himself was thinking about this important subject. And I want, in that connection, to read at some length and to comment on an article that appeared in the April issue of the Country Guide, April 1958, and this article is written by Ralph Hedlin. Ralph Hedlin is well known to a good many members of the House and he is particularly qualified, I think, to give an informed view on a subject of this kind, and it includes, this interview that I'm speaking of, includes crop insurance to which I'm generally...because I think it's directly connected with the question of credit to the farmers. He's particularly well qualified to give good information and to secure good information on these subjects because he's so very close to them. And, with regard to crop insurance, he was, as a good many of the honourable members will know, one of the members of the commission that made a study of crop insurance in Manitoba and made a report thereon. And he's an able reporter and I think I'd be quite fair in saying that he's certainly not unfriendly to either the present Federal Government or the present Provincial Government of Manitoba, and even if he were, I still think he is a good enough reporter that he would try and report accurately what he found out from the Minister.
Taking all those things into consideration, I think this is a most informative article and I propose to look at it rather closely. This, as I mentioned, appeared in the April issue, April 1958 of the Country Guide, and it's under that column of theirs, "Under the Peace Tower" and the First heading is "Conservative Government Farm Legislative Program - The Minister of Agriculture, Harkness, elaborates on his party's plan for the first session of the new parliament." This is Mr. Hedlin's article, and apart from the fact that Mr. Hedlin is a particularly well informed journalist on these subjects, apart from the fact that I regard him as being sympathetic to the present administrations, both Federal and Provincial, it still is a fact that quite frequently here, and I'll try and mention them all, he puts his words in quotes indicating that he is quoting directly from what the Honourable Mr. Harkness, said: "With the election now over, Canadian farmers are in a position to assess what their ballots have accomplished in terms of farm policy. Prior to
March 31st, there was a possibility of alternative policy; a majority marked their ballots in favour of the Progressive-Conservative alternative."
Certainly we can agree with that statement. Now this is in quotes which would indicate that Mr. Hedlin is quoting directly what Mr. Harkness says, "At the first session of parliament, we will be introducing legislation to put into effect improved credit facilities for farmers" says Mr. Harkness. Then continuing in quotes, "If we do not have a crop insurance plan worked out by the time of the next harvest, we will try to design changes in the Prairie Farm Assistance Act to remove some of the more glaring inequities, and of course, as you know, I regard a national land use and soil and water conservation program as being of the first order of importance."
That is the end of the quoted part at this stage, and I pause there to say that the honourable members who have been watching closely the Federal legislation on farm subjects will know that some amendments were introduced to the Prairie Farm Assistance Act, and it's not my purpose to discuss them at this time. Then continuing the part that is not in quotes, "Mr. Harkness frequently did not elaborate the details of his credit plan during the hurly burly of the campaign, but as this reporter's interview reveals, the plan is...none the less. A proposed legislation was set-up of four-pronged credit agencies, dealing with four distinct and separate credit needs in the farming communities." Now I'm not attempting to criticize the fact that the Honourable Minister of Agriculture in Ottawa did not find it possible to do this job last year. I know something in a small way of how plans of that kind can be delayed. And I know that if he was intending as he says later in this article he was, to consolidate the various activities of this kind within his department and transfer some of them from the Finance Department into the Department of Agriculture, I am aware that that takes a long time. I am not attempting at this time to be critical of the fact that what this article suggests was intended last session was not done. I quite understand that that kind of thing takes a lot of time. I am simply reading what this article says.
Now here and this part is not in quotes, this is the reporter's opinion: "Long term credit will be extended to young people who wish to begin farming but who lack the necessary coppers. This aspect of the program will be modelled on the Veterans' Land Act experience, and the young farmers who take advantage of it will receive the type of supervision that veterans have received. It will be available but it will not be mandatory.
Long term credit will also be available for established farms, primarily to help them to finance the enlargement of their farms to economic sized units; to construct modern homes; to build drainage or irragation works; or for any one of a number of productive purposes for which long term credit is required.
Intermediate credit will also be brought under this agency, credit for buying machinery and for other investments in farm improvements that do not require long term loans. In effect, this aspect of the new legislation will take over the credit function now performed by the Farm Improvement Loans' Act.
Short term credit will be the fourth prong in the credit program. It will be designed to help farmers who wish, for example, to buy feed or cattle. And carry them over a feeding period of some months and who find themselves unable to get the needed credit. As might be expected, this new credit agency will absorb both the Canadian Farm Loan Board and the Farm Improvement Loan Act." [Interjection] ...I say--that I can quite understand that that will take some time.
"Further, where these two Acts have previously been administered by the Department of Finance, the new Legislation will set up the credit agency within the Department of Agriculture." I'm in favour of that. I think all farmer members would be, and would try to relate the program as much to the real needs of the agricultural industry as to the presenting of all possible cash allotments. I comment on the fact that there is a difference in the point of view between the department of Finance at Ottawa, or here for that matter, than what there is in the Department of Agriculture. Obviously farmers will expect to have to repay their loans, but the judgment as to whether a farmer deserves a loan and can handle the repayment will be made by men who understand farming rather than by men who only understand finance.
The details of the crop insurance proposal - I know that crop insurance is not directly under discussion now but it has received a great deal of discussion here--it's intimately tied up with the question of agricultural credit and, as I pointed out before, the young man who writes this article was a member of the Crop Insurance Commission and has made a study in Manitoba and he should be particularly well informed on this subject.
The details of the crop insurance proposals have not yet been made public and indeed there is some doubt if a detailed plan is yet devised but this much is clear, the new federal government does not propose to spread a comprehensive federal crop insurance program over the nation. They will design a number or alternative plans and these will be offered individually to the Province. If the Province in question likes the look of a plan, it can accept it, set it up, administer it and be assured of federal support and, Mr. Speaker, I think that's just exactly the kind of a program that the former Government was asking for in co-operation with the federal authorities. I've said before, I say it again - so far as I can interpret from what I have read, publications of this kind, very well informed articles, of people who have talked directly to the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture in Ottawa and what I have seen in Hansard and what I have heard directly from other people, members of farm organizations that have talked or--on many occasions with Mr. Harkness, I really believe that's exactly the kind of a program that he intended to set up and I hope he still intends to set it up. Then, here we're back to a quoted part again, "It is possible that a different scheme will be offered to every Province," commented Mr. Harkness. "A good plan for Saskatchewan might be quite worthless for Nova Scotia indeed, agriculture in each Province has its own special needs and the proposals will have to consider the conditions in each Province." I couldn't agree more than I do with that statement and I think that's the sensible way to do and I'm sure that the Federal Minister of Agriculture
still intends to do that.
The Minister went on to say that he favoured the integration of the Prairie Farm Assistance Act into his crop insurance plan. I would agree with that. "P.F.A.A. was designed as a system of drought relief and not designed for general crop losses" still in quote, I agree with that. Then a part that isn't quoted the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act like the Maritime Marshall and Reclamation Authority will lose its separate identity. Both will become part of a nation-wide soil and water and land use authority.
Then, in quote "Perhaps this is the most important of all matters requiring attention by the Department of Agriculture," suggested Mr. Harkness. "It's importance to our farmers is obvious, but further, this country is to be as populous as we have every right to expect. The conservation of our soil resources may be vital if over the very long run, we are to continue to feed ourselves. The loss of soil fertility in Canada has already been serious and severe." Then there is a portion that I shall not read unless someone asks me to but skipping a couple of paragraphs, one of which deals with the South Saskatchewan dam but getting down two paragraphs. "The much discussed and much debated agricultural stabilization Act will, under the new Government be continued and thoroughly tested. We expect to be making much more use of deficiency payments as a means of underpinning the farm industry. If necessary, we will use the entire 250 million dollars authorized under the act to protect farm income." And then again skipping a couple of paragraphs "The proposal of the recently elected Government include a number of new concepts and philosophies of farm policy. The price support legislation and the credit conservation and crop insurance proposals are more or less new departures," and the editor ends or the correspondent ends up with the statement "the conversion of the paper plan into operating policies will be watched with critical interest by the farmers of Canada." I think that's a most significant article and my purpose in reading it so fully was, first to give it as information and second, to place it on the record so that it will be available to other members of the House who want to make use of it and also to say that having heard that same story from several people who are in a position to judge and having read what the honourable Mr. Harkness has said in the House of Commons in interviews, I believe that the Federal Government was definitely intending to move into this field. I believe that they were intending to do these very things that we had been asking for. It's all very well to say that we had been asking for them for years and years and years and the other folks didn't give it to them--it's all very well to say that that was just an attempt to postpone or to pass the buck--say anything you like, I still believe that the Federal Minister of Agriculture definitely intended to implement this kind of legislation and that we would have had farm legislation, modernized and liberalized, to meet the situation in this Province--the same as I still believe that he will make available a crop insurance plan to do the same thing. And I think that my honourable friends by their advocacy of a 'go it along' program, I think that they have greatly prejudiced the likelihood of that plan being in effect in the way that it would have been. And I am not going to
say, I am not going to say, although I might call it into a question, did my honourable friend ask the federal people to step out of the way because they had made such a hullabaloo about this question that they had to go ahead with it? But I do say this...
MR. ROBLIN: ...answer the question?
MR. CAMPBELL: The Honourable Minister will get a chance to answer when he speaks. I do say this, that I think that the federal people were intending to bring in greatly improved amendments to their Act and that it would have been a much better act than this one is and would have served the people of Manitoba better than this one will, and that my honourable friends across the way having committed themselves so far, did not press the federal government as hard as they could have pressed them to bring this matter to a head. I think that if they had used just a little bit of energy in trying to get the federal government to modernize this plan of theirs, that it could have been done. Well I'll never be able to prove that. Maybe it isn't even the correct assumption, and my honourable friends have a perfect right to tell us what they did and I believe it is already in order of the House for the production of the correspondence, but having said that they were going to put in a program of this kind, we have the legislation before us and still believe as I do that the program that Mr. Harkness had outlined was the superior one to this one. Believing that it is not hard to see what the job that he was trying to do was consolidating all these acts and moving at least some of them from one department to the other, that it would take some time to do it, I'm not trying to blame him that it wasn't done at the last session as he appeared to be suggesting in this interview. But I am saying that the real reason that our honourable friends were compelled to bring it in was because they had promised that, for not only at election time but for sometime before. Well that is a good reason. Having promised that, it is right to bring it in, they've got it here. We've been pointing out what we think are some deficiencies in it. We'll continue to try and make it a better Act and we'll have some amendments to offer when it gets to Committee stage.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable the Minister of Agriculture will close the Debate.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, we have had a long and productive Debate in regard to this important Bill. We understand that some 35 persons have spoken in regard to it. I think, as a result, probably we will get a better Bill than even those opposite imagined, but it will be, in my opinion at least, the best bill of its kind in Canada. I was rather surprised to listen particularly to the member for La Verendrye, and for a young man he uses sandpaper with great effect. The honourable member said that I made the Bill as unattractive as possible, and I was under the strange illusion that I was trying to make it attractive because if it wasn't passed I would likely lose my job, and it was just as important to me as that.
The honourable member said, too, that the 6% rate of interest was unchanging and I would point out to him again the portion whereby it is variable - it can be changed by the Board of Directors, and to tell him, in my opinion, and you can watch for this, in my opinion the rate will be much lower than 6% interest. The honourable member, too, also broke into a bad Liberal habit. He shouldn't do it at such an early age - he should consult his father a bit with regard to this, he said, "What's a million, " because you remember, C. D. Howe made that famous down in his part of the country, having spoken there and made it famous throughout the land. The honourable member said, too, that I was apologizing to the Bill - may I say to him that I have the opinion that this is a fine Bill, I like it because I wrote it, and consequently I am not apologizing because of that, because at least I have pride in my production and will defend it to the hilt. The honourable member did say that we did require a proper farm credit and again we come back to the fact I wonder if he said that when the other government was in power. Why that government had the opportunity of having proper farm credit for many years and partly because they didn't give it to the people, we are here today as the government which succeeded them.
The honourable member said as well, there was nothing in this for livestock. If he will check it carefully he will find out that on a $25,000.00 loan it is possible that there is $10,000.00 for livestock along in this bill.
MR. ROBERTS: Mr. Speaker, I didn't of course say there was nothing in it for livestock, I said it did not encourage livestock production.
MR. WILLIS: Here are the words - "It does nothing to promote the livestock industry." That is clear enough? But I say that anyone, that under a proper case, could get a $10,000.00 loan with regard to livestock. Of course you must have a loan on your farm as well, but you could have $15,000.00 on your land, you could have $10,000.00 on your livestock, which is the greatest thing that has happened to livestock in the credit way in the history of this Province, and I am in the business.
There was criticism, too, that the treatment of market gardeners was not adequate, and I think probably, there are many who believe that, but may I say, one, that this is the first time by any Act - Federal or Provincial - that market gardeners have been given a loan. May I say also, that it is just a little difficult to know where to draw the line as far as market gardeners are concerned, and I will say truthfully that I discussed this matter with the man who made a success of The Veterans' Land Act, and also the supervisor of the Canadian Farm Loan Board, both of whom have spent their lives in the business, and they too, expressed doubts as to where the line should be drawn. Having received a list of the market gardeners in Manitoba, we thought that possibly anyone who had less than 25 acres, was probably doing his market gardening in the evening whereas it was not his main source of revenue.
The honourable member said that I was stretching my imagina-
tion in comparing it at all with the V.L.A. Act. May I say that the chief person with whom we consulted in regard to this Act was the head of the V.L.A. Act - a man who was responsible in regard to it - a man who advised us in regard to this Act, a man with whom I spent six hours on different occasions seeking his advice - having drafted this Bill - seeking too, his amendments to it which are included in the Bill, so that to say that we were stretching my imagination to have any comparison with the V.L.A. Act, I say that the writer of the V.L.A. Act was the person in chief with whom I consulted. It has been said, and it is arguable, that the question of 65% of the value, there are those who would like to see it 70 and 80, and I don't blame them for that. But may I point out to those who advocate these policies, that if it was 80% it would be 133% of the value of the land. That if it was 75% it would be 125% of the value of the land. That if it was 70% it would be 116% of the value of the land. And that at 65% alone it is 108% of the value of the land that is 65 over 60 of a hundred. I notice that the honourable member is confused and we are giving 65%, we only ask that it be 60% of the value of the land, that gives you a resultant figure of 180% we are loaning on the value of the land. And we get 8% more than the actual 100% value of the land on which it is loaned. So I think that consideration is important.
The honourable member said too, that there is no further credit than at present. And how one could wander so far from the facts I wouldn't know. Then the honourable member said referring to me, "his great scream, scream was what's 1%" and he won't find in the Hansard one reference to the fact that I said 1%. There is not one reference there because I didn't say 1%. And I think 1% is tremendously important. 1% in farming, in many cases, makes the difference between success and failure. I have never had any other opinion. The honourable member said too finally that farm credit was urgent. I wondered if he thought that it was urgent a year ago when he was canvassing his people to seek their election. Finally the honourable member said he was sorry that I was in trouble. If I look troubled, brother, take a look at yourself.
The member for Birtle-Russell, I thought, made a very good addition to the debate and I do hope he will discuss it with his neighbor next to him because they had completely contrary opinions. The Member for Birtle-Russell made the interesting announcement that any farmer could borrow $5,000.00 from his bank at 5% and I know 10,000 farmers would like to know which bank. So I think that he should give and let us know where we can get that $5,000.00 at 5% because I am interested. Well, not politically, I am always in financial trouble, but not politically.
The honourable Member for Minnedosa made a small contribution to the debate, he having been my predecessor in office and having built the department to its present efficiency which everybody knows about. He said credit was not basic and I suggest to him that what agriculture needs is credit among other things, but many other things besides credit that this in itself is basic and that no one can start in farming these days without this basic item of credit. And he said I don't know whether it was
because of his political background, he said "we should liberalize credit". That's exactly what we did. We increased it from $15,000.00 available under the Canadian Farm Loan Bill to $25,000.00 available under the present. And the honourable Member from Minnedosa went back to the question and said it should have been at Federal level. No one in the House would disagree that we would like to see it at a Federal level but we on this side of the House, having known the facts of life and having watched it for years, applications going to the Federal Government, and I having gone to Ottawa three times to speak to the Federal Minister in regard to it which I shall mention in a moment, I decided that the only thing we could do, was to do it now.
To start a credit system in agriculture, and you will notice, and probably I will read it to you at a moment's notice, that we inserted section 20 in the present bill so that if, as and when the Federal Government came forward with a credit system we would be able to make use of it fully and Section 20 is in the present Bill because the Honourable Douglas Harkness, Minister of Agriculture suggested to me that it would be advisable to insert it in the Bill, so that whatever the Federal Government does we shall be able to co-operate with, and take full advantage of, in the present bill. The Honourable Member for Gladstone said that 5% is the proper rate. I suggest to him that that is fairly close but in some cases under our present Act will, you could probably get a lower rate, and 5% is on a variable basis. They say too, that this should be done by the Canadian Farm Loan Board. Who is in dispute in regard to that? No one! But at the same time, members including the Member for Gladstone, say that our Bill is no good and they also say that the Canadian Farm Loan Bill is no good and that their appraisal isn't satisfactory, that their valuations are not correct and that therefore, something should be done. So we believe something should be done and we have done it.
The Honourable Member for Brokenhead, whom I heartily congratulate on his attitude in this House, whom I should like to refer to the Member of La Verendrye that he should take him as a model of modesty and sincerity and speaking facts, and not just using sandpaper. He said it was a big step in the right direction. He had criticisms of the bill which I think were logical criticisms, he said that as far as the 30 year limit was concerned it didn't seem reasonable to him. The reason for it and the 50 year limit is to get a man 50 years of age and give him a loan which lasts for 30 years that brings him up to the ripe old age of 80 and perhaps at that age his is not fully able to do as much work on the farm as he ought to do. The honourable member said, wisely too, that we should co-operate with the Federal Government and that's why we've got section 20 in the Bill to co-operate with the Federal Government, having first consulted them with regard to what should be done.
I was glad while all this debate of interest rates was on, that the former Provincial Treasurer, now...for Portage la Prairie, was able to inform the House somewhat reluctantly rather, that his Government charged 5 3/4% to the various people
who wanted to put water-works in, in the Province of Manitoba. The Honourable Member for Emerson spoke in regard to this as well when he said that we had protested against amendments and I think that is quite contrary to the facts. I myself, early on in this discussion announced that I myself would introduce amendments to this Bill and I think the discussion has been so fruitful that I anticipate introducing more than half a dozen amendments to this Bill when the Committee meets for the purpose of improving it following the discussions which we have had.
I was greatly disappointed in the Member for Springfield. I have always said that he was the fastest speaker in this House and today at times he slowed down almost to a walk.
MR. W. LUCKO (Springfield): But I wasn't able to...everything.
MR. WILLIS: Now I hope that he will improve because he is a good friend of mine and I want him to still keep that record of still speaking at least 200 words a minute and if he slows down I'll be thinking that he is getting old and he is unable to cut the mustard anymore. The honourable member quoted and he was the first one to quote, the difficulties which he would be in with regard to part of the Act itself, but I would refer him to section 9 there and referring to the V.L.A. and I will point out to him that under Section 93 which he quoted, that this is from the V.L.A. and all it says is that if a man gets an advance and refuses to do anything and goes to sleep on his farm and allows the weeds to grow, they won't make any further advance. In other words they have discovered then that he is not a good risk so that section says that they will not make any further advances and neither would he in his store. He wouldn't even hand him out groceries if he got to be that type too, so I think that on second thought he will probably agree with the provision which is there which comes from those who have had vast experience in loaning as far as farms are concerned. And I suspect, in fact I would bet, that having read that that he will vote for this Bill in spite of all the protests he makes, because we usually agree on most subjects and I think he will vote for the Bill. ...No, but that is quite a part of it and a pretty important part. ...Well, it is there to be read and the honourable member read it as well. ...Oh sure! I don't want to have to...The honourable member always says 'it's in the book'. Read it, he's been saying that for years, and all that did was to get him into trouble so I'm going to stay away from him. The Leader of the Opposition...I wrote it.
The Leader of the Opposition said that there will be no transfer from the Canadian Farm Loans Board should we have established a rate of 5%. I think even now there will be a substantial transfer from the Canadian Farm Loan Board because under our Act it is more generous as to the amount and it is more generous too as to the security, and as a consequence, I'm of the opinion that many of them will want to change to our Act. I disagree (some member said "I thought you said you didn't want that). That's quite true, we don't want all their loans because
that's too large an amount of money, they have many loans from people who are quite capable of paying the 5% and are reasonably content with the loan they have. And I would further say that the Federal Government have more money than we have, consequently we want them to do their business and we will do ours also.
The Honourable Member, the Leader of the Opposition has said that changing the rate was unwise. I disagree heartily in regard to that matter because I think that is the whole basis. At times you can borrow money of 3%, other times at 4%, other times at 5% and I believe in the old slogan you know which is on the Pool Elevators -- know what that is? -- 'Service at Cost'. And that is the basis of this, because the rates at which you can get money vary, therefore you should go along with that and having taken out the cost of administration, you should base your rate on that. That is exactly what we are trying to do at the best of our ability. The Leader of the Opposition said too, we decided not to introduce this type of legislation but to leave it to the Federal Government. That is the big protest that we made in regard to the whole matter. They always leave everything to the Federal Government that they don't leave to the municipal government and that leaves the Provincial Government with nothing to do and the people last summer decided too that they were doing nothing and beat them. Now it has said that we should have had consultation in Ottawa which we did and I saw the Minister of Agriculture on three different occasions and discussed with him the question of PFAA, I discussed with him the question of crop insurance, Canadian Farm Loan Board Act as well, and I took his advice when he said "You go ahead with your Bill but put a clause in it whereby if we come along you will be able to make full use of everything that we are going to give you." That's why you've got the Bill at this time and we're not going to make the farmers suffer in the meantime, and we'll be ready when the Federal Government comes into the field, give them full sway and to use all the money that we can get from them to make our Bill a success. Why is this needed? We need this Act because the farmer's investment is up 35%, so far as his farm is concerned and equipment since 1941. It's up 35%. It cost him that much more to operate. From 1941 to 1956, in Manitoba, 8,823 farms disappeared, because they were merged into a larger farm. In that short period, 8,800 farms and farmers disappeared. During the same period too, the farms in Manitoba, on the average, increased in size from 291 acres to 364 acres, during that relatively short period and that is why that this becomes more and more necessary.
Now, most of the Members opposite have said, you should have left it to the Federal Government. Some have said that this is no improvement under the Canadian Farm Loans Board. Others have said leave good enough alone -- they're going to do it sometime soon. What improvements are there in this, over the Canadian Farm Loan Board? They do not include market gardeners. Their loans are made only on a minimum base of 80 acres. We make ours, of course, to market gardeners on 26 -- to a farmer on 50. It is a pretty important matter if a man happens to have 60 or 75 acres, -- all the difference between whether he gets the loan or doesn't get it. Secondly, we increased the amount which will be loaned to one
person on one loan from $15,000.00, which is the Federal, to $25,000.00. If you will drive along the fields of the ordinary farm, you will look in and probably see in one field, as I've seen hundreds of times, 15 to 20 thousand dollars worth of equipment in one field. Nowadays, some branches of equipment costs more than $5,000.00 a unit, and consequently, it doesn't take many before you're up to that figure. And then again, of course, the advantage over the Federal system, is that under our Act, you can get 40% of your security in livestock, which you can't do in there. You can also get 20% in machinery too, -- another distinct advantage of our little Bill over their big one. Then again, for the first three years, contrary to what they have said, you could get your loan with no principal payable during those three years, but interest only, which again gives the young farmer a chance to be started. Then again, the farmer may have a good crop and he can pay more without notice or without bonus. Finally, there's the variable rate, insofar as mortgage is concerned, and he will, as a result, get service at cost, from this Government. He will get his loan on a basis of where we can borrow the money, administration costs being added or partly added, and that will be the cost to him, which is service at cost again.
To those who have said that no one will want these loans. They are no improvement over the others, and may I say that I've received many long distance calls already, from persons who find no satisfactory place to get money at the present time, and want to know how soon can I make application for a Manitoba Farm Loan under your new Bill. With regard to the drawing of the Bill, it was drawn from models of the V.L.A.; the Canadian Farm Loan Board Act; and the Junior Farmers of Ontario, -- we think, the three best Acts that there are. It was drawn by men, chiefly, with the help of the council, who have spent their lives in agriculture and know the answers and they drew the Bill, following which we had long consultations with the chief men of the Canadian Farm Loan Board, who were here. We had long discussions with those who run the Veterans' Land Act in Canada, and they, in writing, criticized the Bill -- in writing made suggestions in regard to its improvement. So that, I am merely saying to you, even though you may not like the Bill, that we have consulted, to the best of my knowledge, those men in Canada who know more about this business than anyone in Manitoba, including those who may happen to sit in this Chamber, including myself. So that, to the best of our ability, we have consulted people whom we thought knew more about it than we did, and we have reserved an open mind in regard to this Bill. We have said that we would welcome your suggestions and we have received some good ones. Come the Committee, I myself will present amendments which will be not unpleasant to some of you, who sit opposite, in regard to this Bill, and I would expect that when the time comes, there will not be anyone in this Chamber who will vote against this Bill.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, may I ask the honourable member a couple of questions? I'm not trying to embarrass him, I just would like a couple of questions for clarification. Firstly, would it be convenient for the Minister to furnish us, in advance, with copies of the amendments? I think we have pretty well given notice here of amendments that we will be expecting to move and it would be advisable, I think, if we were furnished with copies of--I mean all the members, were furnished with copies of the amendments that he proposes to move. And secondly, may I ask him if among the list of those whom the Government consulted with respect to the bill--did they consult with the officials of the two farm organizations in Manitoba?
MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, I want to put the records straight, and to put the honourable, the Member of Agriculture straight, on what I said two days ago. He is a very distinguished gentleman, a respected politician,but in these Chambers, as in the curling rink, he sometimes misses the broom a little, and gets a little wide. He said that I made the statement that any farmer could get $5,000.00 from the bank at 5% interest. Mr. Speaker, I did not say this, and for his information, I want to tell him, and repeat in his famous Hansard what I did say. On page 13 of October the 29th, Hansard, Volume 1, #5, speaking in this legislature, I said "as a Canadian Farm Loan Act is now in existence, a larger farmer or one who at least owns his own land, or who can supply the suitable security, can quite easily borrow up to $15,000.00, as the Act now stands." That same farmer, and that is a point that I think he overlooked, not intentionally, I don't suggest, --that same farmer can go to the bank and borrow up to $5,000.00 with interest at 5% as well.
MR. MOLGAT: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to ask a question first of the Minister of Agriculture to keep the records straight. Did I understand him to mention, amongst the advantages of the Manitoba Agricultural Credit Act, the fact the there was prepayment privileges? That was not the statement that he made?
MR. WILLIS: No.
MR. MOLGAT: Oh, I'm sorry. I misunderstood because I thought that he had mentioned that amongst the advantages.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, if I might just answer the two questions. I accept, of course, the statement of the member for Birtle-Russell, and that's exactly what I thought he said. He read it. The only thing I resent about his statement at all is how can he say that I ever missed the broom? That, of course, in itself is the height of insult for him to say that, because I have curled for 50 years that I admit. And how he could say that such a good curler as that would miss the broom is quite beyond me. What I said as far as the member for Ste. Rose is concerned, I was discussing the advantages of the, particularly four, just four advantages which the Canadian Farm Loan Board had over the
other. But just at that time, I was saying, too, that there was the privilege of the other. But I knew there was a privilege of prepayment in the Canadian Farm Loan Board. As to the suggestion of the Leader of the Opposition, I haven't got those amendments prepared in form. If I can, I will, in regard to it. And suppose too, that he might give me his amendments so that we won't be arguing too much in Committee.
MR. CAMPBELL: We have given notice of them in the House.
MR. WILLIS: Yes, yes, well, I have given notice of mine but I must confess, truthfully, that they have been drafted but they're not yet mimeographed for distribution. But I was hoping that I would have them ready for the Committee, at least, to distribute them at that time. All I can say to him is I will do my best.
MR. CAMPBELL: The question of the farm organization officials.
MR. WILLIS: Yes, unofficially, we consulted them. We didn't call them in in a group or anything like that, but unofficially we did consult them in regard to it. They didn't agree with some of the things that we put in the bill, but largely, they were in agreement as the statement which I don't need to read again, of the President of the Farmers' Union said in effect--he said the interest rate was too high, of course, but he did compliment it for the first four or five items and then he said there were three or four he'd like to get changed.
MR. SPEAKER: The question before the House is that Bill No. 8 be now read a second time. Are you ready for the question? Those in favour, please rise.
[A standing vote was then taken; the result being:
YEAS: Messrs. Roblin, Thompson, Lyon, Evans, Willis, McLean, Johnston, Boulic, Campbell, Swailes, Stinson, Gray, Miller, Greenlay, Prefontaine, Shuttleworth, Ridley, Carroll, Shewman, Scarth, Alexander, Martin, Cowan, Wright, Wagner, Paulley, Hawryluk, Hillhouse, Lucko, McDonald, Bend, Jobin, Groves, Jeannotte, Stanes, Corbett, Strickland, McKellar, Cobb, Seaborn, Williams, Peters, Schreyer, Reid, Orlikow, Trapp, Shoemaker, Tanchak, Roberts, Guttormson, Clement, Molgat, Teillet.
NAYS: Nil. ]
MR. CLERK: The Yeas: 53. Nays: nil.
MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion carried.
MR. LISSAMAN: Mr. Speaker, I did not vote, because I was paired with the honourable member for Ethelbert. Had I voted I would have voted for the second reading.
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourn debate, the proposed motion of Mr. Alexander, the honourable member for Roblin, an address to His Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor in answer to his speech at the opening of the Session, and the amendment thereto. The Honourable Member for Dufferin.
MR. McDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I rise to continue the debate on the amendment to the Throne Speech. But before I commence, Mr. Speaker, might I be permitted to draw the attention of the House to a fine group of young people who have just come in from the Winkler Collegiate, numbering some 110 in number, with certain members of their staff. These fine young people are contributing much to the culture of Manitoba through their musical abilities and in many other ways. The record of the graduating class of the Winkler Collegiate is such that they contribute more for their numbers to the teaching staff of Manitoba than any other collegiate or any other area in Manitoba. They are providing leadership in the field of agriculture and in the manner in which they proceed to university and in agriculture, in home economics, and in many other ways. And the record of those people in agriculture is that they go back to the farm and put what they have learned into practice. We are delighted, I am sure, that these young people have taken the day off in their studies at Winkler, and I am sure the House and every Member wishes them well.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with the other members at this time in congratulating you on your appointment to the position of Speaker. It is a time-honoured position in this House and I am sure that you will fulfil the expectations and will be a credit to this House and also that you will join that illustrious group of men, who in the past, have served as Speakers in this House.
I also want to congratulate the Member from Roblin who moved the address to His Honour. He made a very fine contribution in this House at this time. I went over and congratulated him when he had spoken and I do feel that his contributions in the House, in the days to come, will be a very worthwhile effort, not only for Manitoba, but on behalf of his constituency.
The honourable member who seconded the address--we all know him quite well--I feel that I am a personal friend of the Honourable Member for St. Matthews. He has a very fine record in Manitoba and in this City and we do compliment him on his election and hope that he may be spared many long years of further service to the Province.
Mr. Speaker, the position that I take in this debate this afternoon is in connection with the amendment that has been moved to the Throne Speech, and I shall read it: "That we regret that with regard to agriculture, Manitoba's basic industry, the Speech from the Throne refers to one matter only; but ignores many other immediate and serious problems facing the farmers of our Province." Those of you who are acquainted with the Throne Speech, we have all heard it. We have read it. We note that there are five lines in the Throne Speech that are devoted to that very important segment of our welfare in Manitoba, namely, agriculture. There were, a few years back, when agriculture in Manitoba, contributed the largest single contribution to the economic benefit of this
province, even over and above all other efforts of the Province combined. It lost that position, Mr. Speaker, some four or five years ago. But agriculture, today, still is the fact known of our economic prosperity in Manitoba. It has taken a second place to the combined contribution that all others, including industry, and mining and forests, provides for Manitoba. And for this reason--for this reason, I and those groups, there are many in the House, although I am sure that our C.C.F. friends do not agree that there should have been any more mentioned in the Speech to the Throne to this one important article--I am sure they do if they would like to stand up and be numbered--but we are all essentially interested in agriculture.
Someone has said--someone has said that if it wasn't for agriculture and the rural community of Manitoba, that the urban centres in Manitoba would have very tough going indeed. And I believe it. In Winnipeg here we have a population approximating half of that of Manitoba. And yet, there are some people, there are some people who cannot see that there is a connection between the rural life in Manitoba and the urban life in Winnipeg and the other two or three large centres in Manitoba. Someone has aptly said that if agriculture in Manitoba should fail that you couldn't pasture the cows on Portage Avenue. Now, that is a saying that has more sense than it would appear to have at the beginning.
Manitoba, agriculturally, has been blessed with a great many blessings. We have a very fine soil in Manitoba for agriculture. We have an excellent climate. And the forebearers, who have come to Manitoba many, many years ago, were of the type that through industry and ingenuity, fighting the battle of the elements, have brought agriculture today with a certain amount of technical help, to a very, very fine place indeed in all of Western Canada. Manitoba, while we may think it raises a lot of grain is not considered to be a grain province. We will leave that distinction for our neighboring provinces to the west of us; Saskatchewan and Alberta, where each of these provinces raises much more grain than we do. Manitoba is rightly a mixed farming community, which, with its dairying, its livestock raising and its many other variations of agriculture, does produce, in value, as much, or more, than straight grain farming alone.
Agriculture, basically, faces a good many elements, which, from the time Spring comes and seeding commences and the activity in rural Manitoba commences, until approximately at this time of the year, when we are looking forward to winter and the first snowfall, there are elements which the farmer in rural Manitoba is constantly battling. There is drought. There is too much rain. There is hail. There are insects. There is heat. There are those many diseases which our crops are subject to. Now, fortunately, because of technical advances, science has been able to overcome certain of these. We are now producing certain types of crops which not only produce greater, but produce a surer type of crop, a surer crop, year in and year out because the seed had built in it, certain inherent resistance to disease and certain types of rust and the many other hazards of that time that affect it.
There have been seeds that have been produced by our geneticists which will produce not only just as fine a type of grain,
but also is a much heavier producer. And with all that, we are still trying to maintain our position, in the markets of the world, that we can produce the finest hard wheat in the world, which we are still doing. And we are still increasing, increasing our productivity in that line. The farmer, has, however, and this I come to the point of the problem, the farmer has certain problems, which, while he can continue to produce, he can produce a fine product, there are still other problems that he finds it very, very difficult by himself, to overcome. I refer to marketing. Within the past 20 years, we have found that in Manitoba, our position in production has been able to increase, and I note that the Honourable Minister, who was explaining another bill, mentioned that our farms are getting less, and I might say, and it would be of interest to those in the galleries, that only in two municipalities in Manitoba, is the average size of the farm being reduced, and that is in the rural municipality of Rhineland and the rural municipality of Stanley. That is an indication of the manner in which the people of these areas are farming more intensely and concentrating their efforts on smaller parcels of land.
It has been rightly said in this House and it is recognized on this side of the House as well as on the other side of the House, even now as it was before the June 16th election, that many of these difficulties in the field of marketing cannot, cannot be handled, cannot be controlled by the Government of the Province of Manitoba. However, we do urge, we do urge and I'm sure the Government, all the members of the House have, are prepared to urge that the farmers where ever it can be made possible, that we urge the Federal Government to improve by good sound means the economic plight of the grain farmer whether it be in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta. There have been many suggestions that have been made how this could be done--what parity prices, by deficiency payments; by subsidies; by floor prices; by taking land out of production, the more sub-marginal land, take that out of production. All of these have merit and the persons who are best able to deal with it in Ottawa are endeavouring to deal with it in a measure that they think is in the best interests of our people. However, there are problems, there are other measures which this Government should be taking and which, I am sure, every individual member has an interest in. These may be called indirect benefits because at the present time we have heard from many sources that the farmer is in the cost price squeeze. What he has to buy, to produce and to live by is gradually, over the years, going up. What he is producing at this higher cost he finds it difficult to market and, indeed, the price is--has a tendency to go down.
Now the indirect measures which can be taken and, I sincerely hope will be taken by not only this Government but by the--which I feel certain, and which I am convinced, which I am sure all of the members know have been undertaken in the past; that is in connection with the rise in freight costs, that every opportunity be taken to make our feelings--by "our" I mean those farmers whom we represent--those people of all of Manitoba whom we represent, at the proper sources to keep the freight rates down as
low as possible. We have, as Canadians, within the past five years, contributed to the St. Lawrence Seaway--this is only as it should be--but in contributing these fantastic sums of money we hope that it will, there will be a benefit in it for us as well as for the other provinces lying to the west of us. The Government must be watchful, must be on guard to make sure that the benefits that were intended in that Seaway are not lost to some other group. I say this by pointing up that in the Throne Speech there was not very much said; one item, five lines in the Throne Speech in connection with this great industry.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I come to a point and, obviously, I cannot cover the whole waterfront in this--I come to one point which is of consideration, serious consideration, not only to the people of my constituency but to a large section of that area, of that crop-reporting area which you read in the papers during the summer time, of that crop-reporting area number four which comprises a large section of that reporting area. It involves the municipalities of Gray, McDonald, Dufferin, Roland, Morris, Stanley, Rhineland and right down to the Town of Emerson lining it up against the Red River. It involves that area which is commonly known as the Pembina Triangle. The members who have been in this House in other Sessions are well aware of the shortage of water that has developed there and I do not intend to recite--because, I am sure it would be duplication, all of the facts in connection with this problem, but I do wish to draw the attention of the House to the problem briefly, which is confronting the, that area.
It was nine years ago practically to the month that I was first elected to this Legislature. The problem of a water shortage in and around the municipality of Dufferin was noted for as long and far back at 1938 and 1939 -- some twenty years ago. The Federal Government at that time was working on a suggestion that there were certain river beds that might be dammed up which might provide water to that area which could be stored up in times of wet periods, Spring time, and be released in the drier periods during the summertime. However, the war intervened; there was that period after the war of great material scarcities, there was the time when there was a great, the great dam of built-up buying, buying power was released and until the year 1948 or '49 there was very little more said about it. However, at that time, just about the time I was elected, the pressure started again. At that time it was pretty well, as I saw it, a local trouble. The Town of Carman was in difficulties in that no industry could be induced to come into the town because of the water shortage. However, there was another feature which was introduced by the Province which gave an impetus to those people who were seeking industry in rural Manitoba--and that was the introduction of rural power in rural Manitoba.
This, of course, this project that was envisaged by the P.F.R.A. by the Government of Canada, envisaged, putting a dam across the Boyne River west of Carman which for the sake of simplicity I will name as the Stephenfield dam. This received a lot of attention by the engineers and, I must say, Mr. Speaker, engendered and created quite a hope among the people of that area. This proposal was to build a dam which would hold back a head of
water 40 feet high. That it would store the water in the Springtime and so stop the flooding that was taking place in the lower reaches east of Carman to the Red River Valley, and let it out in the period of dry weather in the summertime, and so give a service to those people. However, there was a soil condition found in the area and the estimated cost of the dam which originally was set at around $350,000.00. The design had to be changed and the cost of that dam which was proposed that might be built under the circumstances went up to $1,000,000.00.
It was two years ago, Mr. Chairman, that I introduced into the House here, as all of the older members are aware, a resolution requesting this Province to appoint some time of an inquiry which might inquire into the feasibility of a project of this kind. In other words, that would give us something of a cost benefit report, which if the benefits were there, possibly what was involved in the cost would be determined and we could find out if it would be worthwhile. I do want to say to the House--those members who were in the House at that time--that I appreciate very much the support that was given at that time. Because, by this time, as late as 1957, the problem had changed from a local problem to one that had stretched clean eastward to Morris and south to the International Boundary. We had industries, we had an industry at Altona that was spending large sums of water, large sums of money to haul water by tank loads the year 'round to service their plant. I refer to the Altona Vegetable Oil Co-op. Throughout that whole area there was the need for water made apparent possibly because they realized that the Town of Morden had just had a water retention project completed and the Town of Morden was just bulging. They had received new industry, notably the Aylmer canning factory and throughout the years, throughout the last five years in this House the Honourable Minister of Mines and Natural Resources on this side of the House--He is right. Take your industry out into rural Manitoba. Do something that will encourage industry to come into Manitoba and have it settle not in a concentrated area in Winnipeg but wherever it finds it desirable and feasible to settle in rural Manitoba.
The acquisition of water at Morden made such an industry feasible. And, so with the House, with the House in 1957 approving the resolution that a cost benefit study may be made, there was made, there was appointed by the Government the Arthur D. Little Company which tabled a report at our 1958 legislature. And it's amazing how, it's amazing how this report came up with the suggestion that the cost would be nothing to the benefits that would accrue to the whole Province. They pointed out quite conclusively that the benefits are there if the water could be had. They did make a certain recommendation. I must say, I must say, when the original plan of the Stephenfield dam was turned down by the P.F.R.A. officials, they made certain other alternative possibilities. The most acceptable one or the one that seemed to have the most chance of success, was piping water from the Greater Winnipeg Water District out into that whole area. However, the report that was given to the Department of Industry and Commerce indicated that while this was feasible - it was hardly
practical. And they gave very good reasons why it would not be in the interests of the Province or of that area to get water from that source. However, they did come up with another suggestion, which to me and to a great many others, appears to have a great deal of practical common sense to it. They suggested that water be brought to that area in three phases; one from Morden, with the dam that is already there, but which, they point out, has a very limited amount of water, particularly in drought years. The second phase they proposed would be at the Stephenfield dam and that after this water retention project was completed that the water from the Morden dam be joined together to serve the area by a pipe line. However, they went on to the third project which to me makes a great deal of sense and that is; water from the Pembina River which runs along the, pretty well along the International Boundary and enters into United States at Niche and they said that there is water there which would, is sufficient, in sufficient quantities to serve this whole area for irrigation as well and it pointed out that any project that would supply water to this area needed irrigational water.
Last year this House, last year this House gave, gave it's consent, unanimous consent, to have the Government approach the Government of Canada to proceed with the construction of the Stephenfield dam on the same basis as was in the practice of the P.F.R.A. to build the dams and that they had already done at Morden, and were then doing at Rviers. The honourable member from Morris and the honourable member from Manitou, gave, added their bit to that and I certainly appreciate that, and I want to admit that to them publicly at this time.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I come to the main point of this debate this afternoon. I don't know whether it was because of the election or not but this Spring we had a lot of hot winds blowing around.
MR. STINSON: In all directions, too--
MR. McDONALD: In all directions. And, if a person got mixed up with it you got pretty dusty and dirty too. However, up until, up until the first of July everyone knows that we entered a period of dry weather and a period of drought. During the winter time there was very little snow fell in certain areas of the Province and certainly in most areas of the Province there was very little rain this Spring. I don't believe that there was anyone--where that period existed and where the crop, where their welfare depended on grain farming or cattle raising--that didn't cast an anxious eye at the sky every night to see if there was rain in those clouds.
The Honourable Member for--the Honourable Minister of Agriculture will realize that around July the 4th he began to receive reports of a serious water shortage in the Province. And, I must say that I will give him good marks for the manner in which he and the Premier and the members of the Cabinet, put their, focused their attention on trying to best serve the needs of those persons who had cattle and whose pastures were running short of fodder. They had the problem of trying to arrange fodder for the wintertime.
They took action in that and that was very commendable. But, Mr. Speaker, in a period over the last thirty years, and I say this about this area that I am speaking of now without any fear of contradiction, in the period over the last thirty years, we have never had a drought situation that is so apparent as it is now in that area. The P.F.R.A. during the period of the last thirty years has had a policy, and a very commendable one, of building water storage basins for farmers and in which these water basins were subsidized and there are many farms, by the hundreds, Mr. Speaker, in this area, and these people who come from areas where they have well water and lake water will not appreciate what that water means--there are many hundreds of farms in this area, Mr. Speaker, that are unable to get well water. So, they have to rely on these water retention dugouts. Due to the lack of run off in the Spring and the lack of rain this summer, those dugouts now are just about empty. I mentioned that until the first of July we had very little rain, the crop, the situation of our grain crop looked quite serious. We have come through that, Mr. Speaker, with one of the, I think, possibly a normal, and in certain cases it may be above normal, other places - a little below normal but we have come through with an excellent grain crop. But fodder is still short but, worst of all, Mr. Speaker, water is at a premium. There is a saying, and how true it is, that you never miss the water until the well runs dry. I have here, I have here before me and this is only a sampling of a few people who give their position as far as their livestock are concerned, and the position in which they find themselves as far as stock water is concerned. I have a man by the name of Johnny Dubois of Ste. Claude. He has already sold his cattle because he was hauling water. Another man from Ste. Claude, he had 20 head of cattle. He will need water - unless it rains, until freeze up. This report was given to me on September 28th.
Those of you who know what's involved in storing water in a dig out will know that unless you are in the drainage area and that it rains heavily enough for water to run into that draw or through that drainage area into the dig out, that rain by itself is not sufficient to improve the water situation very much in this type of a water storage. Here's a farmer, D. A. Savage from Elm Creek. He says he is all right so far but will be short of water later. D. J. Simpson from Fannystelle, he has forty head of cattle. He has hauled 50,000 gallons of water, he has only one dugout and he will have to haul water. And, by the way, he says he is going to have another dugout built if it is at all possible before another year.
Then we'll come further south. I believe some of the members will know the name of this man that I am about to give you. Mr. T. J. Stowe of Graysville. Mr. Stowe is a livestock breeder. He breeds high quality cattle and sheep. He has 125 head of cattle, 200 sheep. He has two dugouts. One dugout was built in '57 and it's completely empty. The other dugout is twelve feet deep and it's very low. He has decided to sell all of his sheep and move his cattle to another location where he hopes they can get water. By the way, the other location is on the Boyne River closer to Carman which at the time of this report was received, the Boyne
River was not flowing at all and hadn't flowed since the first of August. His son, J. A. Stowe, he depends on the Boyne River for water, said at present the river is nearly dry; he expects it will flow again and, I understand, honourable members, Mr. Speaker, that the river has started a very slow flow at this time. He was hoping to solve his water problem by digging a well in the bed of the river.
I have farmer after farmer here in these reports but I don't have to go on with them and take up the time of the House. The point I want to make, Mr. Speaker, is this; that in this area, in this area which the House has recognized at the last two regular Sessions, as being in need of water, this year is in need of water in a way which was never envisaged, and which it is felt plans should be made to carry out the wishes of this House and which every effort is put forth to try to have the Federal Government consider, consider a source of water for the area which as it is now, it can't possibly, can't possibly be remedied unless there is some type of action, Government action taken, that is taken on behalf of this area of agricultural Manitoba. This is one of the main points, Mr. Speaker, there are many others, and at the same time I would be less than fair if I left the impression that the Government is not carrying on the duties of the Department of Agriculture that have been carried on in the past. I do want to pay a compliment to those persons in that Department who are offering assistance to agriculture in that area and I speak now for all of Manitoba. Because to the agriculture representative, the home economists, and as we have down in that area around Winkler in my constituency where a crop specialist was appointed a year or so ago--these civil servants are giving great, a great help to agriculture in their respective areas, and in their respective fields, because they are working not only with the men and women on the farms but with the boys and girls - our future farmers. But, I do want to say that the Throne Speech does not indicate the seriousness of agriculture and I would ask Mr. Speaker, that the Government answer for the, answer and say what has been done, what has been done for this particular problem, not only in the constituency of Dufferin but that area which extends clear down to the United States boundary.
I want to thank the members again for listening to me. I hope that by repetition I have not made what I have said on other occasions seem less serious. I am quite sincere in this and I would say again, Mr. Speaker, I think as I said last year. This is the one problem, this is the one problem in that producing area which would add immeasurably to the wealth of Manitoba if it could be solved and would assist materially in the claim that the Honourable Minister for Mines and Natural Resources has been preaching for the past two or three years that, namely, bringing industry to rural Manitoba.
MR. RIDLEY: Mr. Speaker, I wish to make the move, seconded by the honourable member from Rupertsland, that the debate be adjourned.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the honourable member for Pembina and seconded by the honourable member for Rupertsland
that the debate be adjourned. Are you ready for the question?
[Following a voice vote, the Speaker declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Adjourned debate on the proposed resolution of the Honourable Member for Inkster. The Honourable Member for Radisson has the floor.
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Speaker, having had an opportunity over the past five years of supporting my honourable friend in this resolution which he has proposed on so many occasions in the past, I thought that I would take the opportunity of speaking to it, when it does appear, that it may be the last time that it has to be debated in this House. I want to say that in the arguments and discussions of this resolution in the past, that generally there was not much argument as to whether or not our old age pensioners in need of supplemental allowances, should receive some allowance or some assistance. The differences seem to have been how much and by whom the amount should be paid.
It was very interesting to me to hear the honourable, the Minister of Health, speak and indicate full support or support for this resolution. And I want to say to him, if I may, that we appreciate that very much. In that, I am not speaking of a member of any particular political party, but we, who have in this Chamber, endeavored in the past, to obtain a better livelihood--mode of living for our senior citizens. In his remarks, as recorded in the Hansard, he said that if it were not that my honourable colleagues have informed me that the Honourable Member had proposed this same resolution previously, I would think he had been reading our campaign literature. In opposition, he further goes on to say that our party supported this resolution in principle and still intends to do so and I sincerely trust that the Minister will do just that. But I think, Mr. Speaker, in order that the record should be made amply clear and amply straight, that we should go back over the few years. Because, Sir, it is only been in recent years, in which the Conservative Party of Manitoba has supported resolutions of this nature. We took the opportunity of going over the Journals, back to the time, in which this resolution was first introduced to the House. And we find, in nearly every year, that on the main motion itself, our friends who now occupy the position of Government, had opposed this resolution. And, Sir, in order that one does not get the impression that I am speaking of ancient history, I want to read from the Journals of 1955, just barely three years ago, the attitude which the Conservative Party took at that time in respect to the resolution which was proposed by the honourable member from Inkster, which at that time, was pretty well word for word to the resolution that we have before us today.
It is found on page 222 of the 1955 Journal. For my honourable colleague had moved a resolution that, in the opinion of this House, the government should give consideration to the advisability of supplementing the income of old age pensioners and persons in receipt of old age assistance, whose total income was
not in excess of $40.00 a month. And be it resolved that in the opinion of this House the Government should give consideration to the advisability of providing free hospital, medical, surgical, dental and optical care for all old age pensioners in need of such assistance. And, be it further resolved that the Government should give consideration to the advisability of building homes for the aged throughout the Province.
Sir, a subsequent amendment was proposed by the now the Honourable, the First Minister, which amended the previous motion that I have read out, by deleting the last further resolved, and substituting therefore, and be it further resolved that in order to apply provincial resources at the point of greatest need, the government should give consideration, in the first instance, to the advisability of assisting municipalities, charitable institutions, and other approved parties, in providing and maintaining housing for elderly persons by means of provincial grants to assist in meeting capital and operating costs. You'll note, Sir, that in that amendment to the main motion, the content remains the same, except that emphasis is placed, in the first instance, on the provision of homes. But the main body of the supplemental aid and of the free hosptial, medical, surgical, dental and optical care still remains in the resolution.
Following that, a member of the Government moved an amendment, which completely altered the main motion and the amendments, and in order that it is recorded in the records, Mr. Speaker, except by deleting words here and there, that I have the final amendment to the amendment, which I will now read to the House. I think it is that Mr. ...in order to establish and put the records straight. And here is how the amendment to the amendment left the situation: That in the opinion of this House, the Government should, in order to apply provincial resources to the point of greatest need, give consideration to the advisability of assisting municipalities, charitable institutions and other approved bodies, in providing housing for elderly persons, by means of provincial grants to assist in meeting captial costs. And that was the resolution that finally amended.
I draw to your attention, Sir, that in this the content of the main resolution, of providing supplemental aid, was eliminated; the provision of free hospitalization, medical and optical care would be eliminated; and the provision of any contribution to maintaining homes for our elderly citizens was wiped out. When the motion was--pardon? No, not at this point that I have reached so far in my discussion. Then, Sir, after due debate on this consideration, bearing in mind, mind you, that speakers in this House on the other side have told us that they've always been in favour of these things contained in the resolution we're discussing today, that after the original motion had been amended first by my honourable friend, the First Minister, and then by the Honourable Member for St. Boniface, at that time, Mr. Fennell, who watered it down to what it was as I last read it out. We had a vote on it. And was the position of the Conservative Party at that time in support of the main resolution as amended by the Honourable, the First Minister at present? No, Sir. Here was the vote. Yeas for the amendment to the amendment - 6 Con-
servatives, namely Messrs. Evans, Harrison, Lissaman, Morrison, Renouf, and Shewman. Three honourable gentlemen of the Conservative Party, occupying the back seats, voted along with us against the amendment to the amendment, namely, Messrs. Ross, Scott and Thompson.
I must say how deferent to the Honourable, the First Minister, that he and also his deputy First Minister, were not available at that time, for reasons, I am sure that would be perfectly justified in order to be recorded on the vote.
And it would be interesting to me, and I'm sure to this House, to know in view of the fact of the split between the Conservatives at that time on this very important resolution which they are supporting today, what the record would have shown. And, too, Sir, I wonder, I wonder, in view of the remarks that have been made by the Speakers opposite, in reference to this resolution, whether or not, eventually, it may follow the same lines. Because, in reading Hansard, I note that emphasis again is being placed on housing developments and housing. And I say, Sir, that it is essential that this thing be done in respect to housing. But I would suggest, that because of resolutions in the past have been watered down and I appreciate the fact that it seems that this is not going to be in this case, that the Government do not follow the indications, as the vote showed in this, and only meant their greater efforts in one direction; because there is a great need and I am sure that the members opposite know this.
Now, speaking also the other day in this resolution, I noted that the members opposite said to us that we have no corner on legislation to aid and improve in the social services that are required. I quite agree with that Mr. Speaker. We have no corner. But I do say this, and I say it in all sincerity, that history has proven that it has been either individuals who collectively form this group, or individuals of the same meaning, who have repeatedly and consistently over the years, drawn these to the attention of public bodies until such times as they are accepted by Government.
The Honourable Member from Wellington the other day, speaking on this resolution, suggests that we had only brought this resolution, if I gathered the honourable gentleman correctly, because it was laid down in Section eight of the Regina Manifesto back in 1933. Now, Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the honourable gentleman has really read Section eight thoroughly, of the Regina Manifesto. And if he hasn't and if no other member of the House, or we are not aware of it, I would like to have this opportunity of reading it. Yes, Heaven forbid, Mr. Speaker, and that has been the attitude of this party over the years mainly and often in co-operation with those opposite.
And here's what--here is what--here is what Section eight has to say: Socialized Health Service. Publicly organized health, optical and medical services. The explanatory notes - with the advance of medical science, the maintenance of a healthy population has become a function for which every civilized community should undertake responsibility. Health services should be made at--at least as freely available as our educational services today. But under a system, which still is mainly one of private
enterprise, the cost of proper medical care, such as the wealthier members of society can easily afford, are at present, prohibited to the great masses of the people. A properly organized system of public health services, including medical and dental care, would stress the prevention, rather than the cure of illness, should be extended to all our people in both rural and urban areas. This is an enterprise in which dominion, provincial and municipal authorities, as well as the medical and dental professions, can co-operate.
Now, I say to you, Sir, was there anything wrong with the adoption of that? Would there have been anything wrong in the adoption of that policy by either the Conservatives or the Liberals or the Social Creditors or whatever parties there were back in 1933? Would we have to have persistently and consistently fought for that for 25 years until at last the resolution is going to be accepted in this House? I say no. And, Sir, I think that the honourable member for Inkster has done a good job in this.
But before I would sit down, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say a word of somewhat of a comparative nature to the new Minister, to the past Minister of Health and Welfare. For, I recall, the time in which the honourable member for Rockwood-Iberville first made his maiden speech as a Minister of Health and Welfare. He was full of exuberance. He made an admirable presentation. And then, it seemed, that after that, things quietened down just a little bit. And speaking of the honourable member for Rockwood-Iberville, I would think that all of us would appreciate the job that he did do, within the department, during his term of office. I compliment him for it. He did a good job. I do know and feel, that because of the policy of the former administration, his hands were tied possibly further than they should be. I say to the new Minister 'Take this whole resolution as it is as you have indicated, Sir. The best of luck to you in implementing it. I'm sure that the people of Manitoba will be very, very grateful to the Honourable Member for Inkster, who has pioneered in this, and to you, no matter what your party label may be, if as a result, they are taken care of to a greater degree than they have been in the past.'
And, in closing, I would like to just reiterate once again, for the information of the members opposite, as the Honourable, the Minister of Health, I think, said the other day, something about the new look of the Conservative Party. I say, Sir, it is a new look. The best of luck to you in your advances.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question? The Honourable Member for Inkster.
MR. GRAY: May I advise the honourable member, Mr. Paulley, that it is 5:30 now.
MR. ROBLIN: The Honourable member for Rockwood-Iberville says he is about to adjourn.
MR. SPEAKER: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the honourable member for Flin Flon, that the debate be adjourned.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville, seconded by the Honourable Member for Flin Flon, that the debate be adjourned. Are you ready for the question?
[Following a voice vote, the Speaker declared the motion carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, before I move the motion for adjournment, I would just like to say that I appeared to be a little optimistic this morning about the possibilities of getting back into Committee this afternoon. Obviously that's not so. I would like, however, to notify the House that, if they're agreeable, I'd like to recommend that the Special Select Committee should meet on Monday morning at 10:00 o'clock, to start off with the education bill; and make the suggestion, too, that should be, perhaps, considered now, that if our work in the Chamber on Monday should come to an early conclusion, then we shall revert to the Special Select Committee in order to finish up the business there without undue delay and I hope those suggestions will meet with the approval of the House.
MR. PAULLEY: It is the understanding of the Minister that if we go into Committee that the same deadline of 5:30 would prevail, that we'd rise at 5:30.
MR. ROBLIN: Yes, we'll follow the same time unless it appears that the Committee is willing to complete...left. But there certainly will be no need to press on much past that unless it is the univeral wish. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Education that the House do now adjourn, and stand adjourned until 8:00 o'clock this evening.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable, The First Minister, seconded by the Honourable Minister of Education, that the House do now adjourn. Are you ready for the question?
[Following a voice vote, the House was adjourned until 8:00 o'clock that evening. ]
Page revised: 2 July 2009