The Minister of Public Works, Acting Minister of Defence Production,
and Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Green), in the Chair,
The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
The Minister of Veterans Affairs
and Acting Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Brooks),
The Minister of Transport (Mr. Hees),
The Solicitor General
and Acting Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Balcer),
The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Pearkes),
The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Churchill),
The Minister of Justice, Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration,
and Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Fulton),
The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources
and Acting Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Harkness),
The Secretary of State (Mrs. Fairclough),
The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean), (for evening meeting only)
The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Macdonnell),
The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Browne).
The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Martin).
FOWL AND TURKEYS; PRICE SUPPORT AND IMPOSITION OF IMPORT CONTROL
(previous reference, july 16, a.m.)?
32. The Acting Minister of Agriculture reported that he, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of
National Revenue had met with representatives of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the turkey
growers, and the poultry producers. These groups had presented unanimous recommendations that a
floor price of 27 cents per pound for Grade A live weight turkeys be established immediately, that
import control be imposed forthwith, on the understanding that no further imports be permitted beyond
the 5 million pounds which had entered up to the present time and that a permanent policy for turkeys,
to apply beyond this year, be developed in consultation with them. On fowl, the group proposed that
price support be made effective immediately instead of August 1st as previously planned, and that
import control also be applied. These recommendations were in line with the conclusions reached
earlier by the Ministers concerned and officials. The growers were against fixing values under section
38 of the Customs Act. The Minister thought these recommendations should be followed, except that
the support price for turkeys should be 25 cents rather than 27 cents which, in his view, would be an
incentive for greater production.
35. During the discussion the following points emerged:
Presumably the support price for turkeys should only remain in effect for a limited period. Until a
more permanent turkey policy was developed, no terminal date should be fixed, in which case it would
be difficult to set a terminal date for import control. Price support for fowl was due to expire on
November 30th, but import control should continue for some months after that date. It would be
desirable to fix a date when import control on both these products would come to an end, say March
31st, 1958, so that producers would know where they stood, and so that it would be clear that these
were temporary measures. On the other hand, it would leave the government more room for
manoeuver if no terminal date were applied. When conditions changed control could be rescinded.
- Import control would be a departure from traditional Canadian trade policy and would likely lead
to trouble with the United States. Furthermore, a waiver would have to be negotiated in the G.A.T.T.
Fixing arbitrary values for duty would be preferable. If it were decided to proceed with controls, there
should be negotiations with the U.S. beforehand.
- It was argued, on the other hand, that turkey and fowl were relatively insignificant matters for the
U.S., that no quick action could be expected there in regard to broader trade and disposal problems,
and that, meanwhile, imports were flooding the Canadian market and the cost of price support
programmes without restrictions on imports would be enormous. At present, in the case of turkeys,
consumption needs would be more than met by stocks on hand and production in the balance of the
- The turkey producers would quite probably be satisfied with a 25 cent price, which would also
reduce the risk of further cost to the Treasury.
- It would have to be established what the term "fowl" meant. Some thought this applied to all types
of poultry. Others understood it to mean, broadly, hens that were producing eggs or had done so.
- The turkey and fowl producers had been warned that they could not expect to avoid further
difficulties in the future if they continued to increase production.
- The control should be effective on July 18th rather than July 17th to provide time to make the
necessary administrative arrangements. On the other hand, making it effective immediately would be
evidence of quick action, reduce the danger of forestalling, and the administrative inconvenience would
not be insurmountable.
34. The Cabinet noted the report of the Acting Minister of Agriculture and agreed,
that price support be established for turkeys, effective July 17th; the prescribed price to be 25
cents per pound for live no. 1 turkeys weighing from 10 to 20 pounds, with appropriate differentials for
other weights, grades and markets;
- that turkeys be added to the Import Control List effective July 17th;
- the effective date for price support for fowl be advanced from August 1st to July 17th; and,
- that fowl be added to the Import Control List effective July 17th.
(Orders in council were passed accordingly; P.C. 1957-954, -956, -955, -953, July 16)
SECRETARY TO THE CABINET