February 25, 1926. p.9
By W.M. Thrasher
At the special convention of the Farmers' Union of Canada held in Saskatoon on January 28th, 29th, and 30th, 1926, the following resolution was passed unanimously:
"Resolved, that this convention of the Farmers' Union of Canada go on record as being in complete accord with the Pool elevator policy as laid down by the Pool delegates in their annual convention of October, 1925."
So much discussion has taken place on the Pool elevator policy since the annual convention of the Pool delegates, that we feel in justice to all concerned an analysis of the whole situation is now in order. In dealing with the Elevator situation, the Wheat Pool delegates in convention, assembled decided with particular reference to the elevator system owned and controlled by the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Co., as follows:
"That we authorize the Board of Directors to make an offer at an early date to purchase the whole country elevator system and equipment, of the Saskatchewan Elevator Co., operated in the Province of Saskatchewan, at a price to be fixed by arbitration:
"And further, that our Directors offer to lease the terminal elevator system of the Saskatchewan Elevator Co. with an option to purchase the same at a price to be fixed by arbitration."
"And further, that our Directors offer to lease the terminal elevator system of the Saskatchewan Elevator Co. with an option to purchase the same at a price to be fixed by arbitration.
An alternative policy was also laid down in the following resolution:
"That if the Directors find it impossible to come to an agreement to purchase the elevators referred to in the previous resolution, that they acquire either by purchase or construction, country elevators and the necessary terminal space for handling Pool grain within the limits of the estimated elevator deductions covering the life of the contract.
"Further, that country elevators be acquired at those points at which the acreage under contract to the Pool is greatest:
"Provided, that it shall be in the discretion of the Board to construct elevators along new lines of railways when in their opinion it is in the best interests of the Pool so to do."
Copies of these resolutions were forwarded to the Elevator Co. on October 28th, and on November 6th the Company intimated to the Wheat Pool that these resolutions covered matters which they could not discuss. On November 7th the Wheat Pool made the following offer to the Elevator Company.
"In accordance with the terms of resolution we now beg to advise that we are prepared to purchase your country elevators system and equipment, at a price which can be determined by arbitration:
"We are further prepared to enter into negotiations for the lease of your terminal elevator for a period of years with option to purchase the same at the end of the lease at a price which can be agreed upon by arbitration."
The question remained in abeyance until the annual meeting of the Shareholders of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company in December. At this meeting the following resolutions were passed and copies forwarded to the Wheat Pool Board:
(a) "Whereas, an offer has been made by the Saskatchewan Co-operative Wheat Producers Ltd. to purchase the Company's country elevator system and equipment, at a price to be determined by arbitration, and to lease or purchase the Company's terminal elevators:
"Be it resolved, that it is deemed advisable by the Shareholders in Annual Meeting assembled, that full consideration be given to the said offer, and that full details of the matter involved be furnished to the Shareholders:
"And further, that a special meeting of the Company be called in accordance with the Bylaws of the Company, within a period of two months from this date, for the purpose of considering and definitely dealing with the said offer."
(b) "Whereas, a resolution has been passed requesting that a special meeting of the Company be called to consider and deal with the offer of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Wheat Producers Ltd., to purchase the Company's country elevator system and equipment and to lease or purchase the company's terminal elevators:
"Be it resolved, that the Directors of the Company be requested to immediately enter into negotiations with the Directors of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Wheat Producers Ltd., for the purpose of obtaining the best possible terms which the Sasktachewan Co-operative Wheat Producers Ltd., are prepared to give in the event of their said offer being accepted, keeping in view, however, the necessity of fully protecting the interests of non-Pool shareholders of the Company."
With the submission of above resolutions, the Board of Directors of the Elevator Company requested the Wheat Pool Board to supply them with details as far as possible of the matters involved in this offer of November 7th based upon the resolution passed at the annual meeting of the Pool delegates. After various conferences had been held between the Boards of Directors of the two Companies a tentative offer for purchase was drawn up and made to the Elevator Company by the Wheat Pool Board. Having regard to the importance of the step which was contemplated, the Wheat Pool Board felt that a meeting of the delegates should be called for the purpose of considering the whole matter, and that the final offer to purchase should not be completed until this offer had been considered and ratified by a meeting of the delegates.
This meeting was held in Regina last week and the assembled delegates unanimously endorsed the offer for purchases presented to them by the Wheat Pool Board, thus sanctioning the implementing of the resolution for purchase passed by the annual meeting of Wheat Pool delegates held in October.
The situation is clean cut and is now before us. Let us now consider our duty as contract signers to the Pool and Shareholders of the Elevator System. As Contract signers to the Wheat Pool we have signed ourselves as believers in true co-operation. True co-operation is to eliminate the false and insane practice of competition. Therefore as contract signers to the Wheat Pool our plain duty is to back our Wheat Pool Board to the limit in its offer to purchase the Elevator System.
Our duty as a shareholder in the Elevator Company is to courageously recognize in a businesslike manner the new system of grain marketing as established in our Pools, and with due regard to the money we have invested, protect that investment by making every effort to see that a successful sale of the elevator facilities is made to the Pool.
Remember the only logical course for our Wheat Pool to pursue is purchase of the elevator facilities, or to carry out the alternative policy as laid down by the Wheat Pool delegates in annual convention.
Either policy is fundamentally sound from the Wheat Pool standpoint. But purchase on a fair valuation also completely protects the elevator company shareholders, while the alternative will mean a steady weakening and depreciation of our present holdings in the elevator system. Farmers of Saskatchewan let us rise to the occasion. The results of our co-operative effort is plainly before us. Do not let that glorious vision of future life and happiness to the man on the land be dimmed. Let your slogan be, "Give us our elevator facilities, we are going to complete the Pool!"