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Our History: October 31, 1974

Crow Rate to end?

This issue reported on a meeting of the Canada Grains Council, where Canadian Wheat Board Minister Otto Lang first proposed a review of the Crow Rate. Lang suggested that railways be allowed to charge commercial rates, but that farmers be directly compensated for the extra cost and that payments have to be enshrined in a statute.

Also at the meeting, wheat board commissioner R.M. Esdale called for another 10 million bushels of capacity at the West Coast, and a fleet of 15,000 hopper cars. Meanwhile, Vancouver exports were halted due to a strike of grain inspectors.

Tough harvest

The harvest of 1974 was particularly difficult, and the wheat board reported a wheat crop of only 433 million bushels (11.7 million tonnes) versus 530 million the year before. Only 36 per cent was estimated to be in the top two grades.

Beef spat

Spokesmen for the U.S. beef industry slammed Canada for imposing import quotas on U.S. beef, but the Canadian Cattlemen s Association defended the policy, saying it was necessary to prevent being swamped by imports. In 1973 the U.S. had imposed a domestic price freeze, prompting a surge of cattle into Canada.

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