April 26, 1901

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Whether there will be any material error in the matter will depend entirely on the amount of the output of such establishments ; but I do not think it could be very great. While the number of such small establishments in the country might be large, I do not think their output could be very large. The hon. gentleman spoke of carriage factories. I venture to say, without knowledge of the particular case, that three-fourths of all the labour of those factories is not put on the production of any new work ; and therefore, though each might employ three or four hands, there probably would not be more than one or two hands employed on new productions. I do not think it would be right to include such establishments in the list of industrial establishments of the country.

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Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

How do you justify putting down a cheese factory, the output of which amounts to $25,000 or $30,000 in the year, and omitting a sash and door factory in the same place which has an output of $50,000 or $75,000 ? The output in the lines which are omitted is very much larger than the output in many lines which are included. If there is any justification in taking the census of the one, you would be equally justified, if you want a correct census, in taking the others.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Sash and door factories with that amount of output would certainly employ more than five people, so that that is not a fair comparison. The reason for including butter and cheese factories is a very simple, and I think, very conclusive one. While the making of butter and cheese is a manufacturing industry in the sense of turning

a raw product into a manufactured article of high value, the work is altogether done in these small factories. The hon. gentleman refers to wagon factories,1 flour mills, and sash and door factories. In these cases there are small factories, and there are others of sufficient size to employ five men whose output will contribute to the industrial development of the country. But, with very few exceptions, there are no butter and cheese factories which employ five men, and if we did not take them, we would wipe out that whole industry.

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Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

It seems to me that the object ought to be to get accurate information with regard to the pursuits of the people and the productions of the people in these various lines. In my locality, for instance, you will take one sash and door factory which employs five or six hands, while four others which I know of do not employ so many, but their aggregate output is very much greater than the output of the one which you take. Yet the output of that one is given as representing the whole output of that line of industry in that part of the country.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

I think it will be rather an astonishment to people to look over the figures of this census when they are completed and to compare them with the figures of the previous census. I find that in the riding of East Simcoe, according to the last census, there were seventeen grist mills and flouring mills, having an invested capital of $160,000, employing thirty-seven men and one woman, the woman, I presume, being a bookkeeper, and having an output of $233,310. There were two cheese factories, employing five men and having an output of $2,833. If this principle is to be carried out with regard to many other manufacturing concerns, it will produce this startling results, that you will Mot out a production which some years ago amounted to $233,000, while you will give prominence to an industry whose production was only $2,833. If the minister is conversant with grist mills, he knows that many large grist mills do not employ five men, especially those which are run with water power; and yet we shall find that the census returns from East Simcoe next year will not enumerate a single grist mill, although ten years ago there were seventeen, with an output of $233,000. Surely the minister must regret that he gave these instructions, in view of the fact that the returns will be very misleading, and, to persons making comparisons with previous censuses, most disappointing.

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James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

The hon. minister does not feel disposed to discuss this matter, which is of very great importance. The hon. mem-1 her for East Simcoe has just pointed out that an industrial establishment, while it | may not employ a great many hands, is not

inconsequential by reason of that, because a great deal of the work may be done by machinery. There are no four cheese factories which have so much capital invested in them as a flouring mill. There is no pretense at establishing a flour mill nowadays which costs less than $10,000 or $15,000. and there should be some recognition of that fact. I do not think the hon. gentleman will contend it is usual to leave out one and put in the other. I fully agree that the butter and cheese factories, which do not employ more than two persons, should be enumerated as industrial establishments. But if so, how unfair is it not to rule out other industries in which five persons are not employed. The hon. gentleman should make some effort to remedy what is a serious defect in getting anything like the proper census.

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Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

When we come to make a comparison between the different lines of life, and compare agriculture with other industries, we will have no means of doing so.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

Everything is taken down except the production. Every individual is entered as [DOT]being employed in such and such labour.

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Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Supposing you want to compare agriculture with other industries. You can take the farmers and find out what their labour produces, but take the same number of men engaged in other lines, and there is no possibility of making a comparison.

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Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

The hon. minister is entirely overlooking an important industry, the cooper industry. I know of no cooper shop which employs five men, and yet there are twenty or thirty shops in my county. Each of these employs two or three men nearly all the year round. The hon. gentleman's enumeration will ignore this industry of barrel-making, although a very large quantity of barrels are made for the shipment of fruits. There is a large number of small shops, situated in close proximity to the large orchards, so as to furnish every convenience to the fruit-growers in the packing and shipping of their fruit, but these shops, being very numerous, do not employ more than two or three hands each. These will not be down in the census, so that if we are to judge by the census enumeration, all our fruit barrels must have been made in a foreign country or have been acquired, in some way contrary to law, by the fruitgrowers. Our export returns will show how many barrels of fruit were shipped, but there will be nothing in the census to show that these barrels were made in the country, or the capital invested.

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The hon. gentleman has overlooked the fact that the men employed in making barrels will be put down as coopers.

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Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

Each of these men has, on an average, a capital of $1,500 to $2,500 invested in his business, and where there are thirty or forty cooper shops in a county, each employing two or three men, that amounts to the same thing as if there were only one establishment employing eighty to a hundred men, and yet there will be no account of that capital in the returns.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

The hon. minister does not seem to appreciate the gravity of the position in which he is placed. No one will deny that the business of flour milling is an important industry. According to the last census, in the province of Ontario there were 1,078 grist mills, employing 3,355 men, which shows that there was not an average of three men to each mill. The instructions given the enumerators will have this result, that there will not be one mill in every fifty or seventy-five in Ontario enumerated at all. Yet in that industry there is invested about $14,000,000 and the output of the industry is $36,558,320. The raw material consumed amounts to $29,687,851. There are very few mills which employ over five men, so that this immense industry will scarcely figure in the census returns at all, while small factories, producing cheese and butter, and employing only one or two men each, will be given due prominence. If the returns were properly made, they would show that the flour industries of the country produces considerably beyond $50,000,000 worth of flour this year, but when anybody interested in that line of commerce looks up the next census returns, he will find that there are only a few flour mills in Ontario.

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James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

The hon. minister has no right, if he wants to be fair, to ignore any class of production in this country. If the hon. gentleman had drawn an arbitrary line, namely, that no industry, no matter what kind, in which five persons were not employed would be enumerated, there would be some consistency in his proceeding. But he steps aside, without the shadow of reason and omits from the enumeration very important industries. I have in mind a district in which within eight or ten miles, there are three flour mills, understood to be of a capacity of seventy-five barrels a day. If they run only fifty barrels a day, that means that they manufacture 15,000 barrels of flour a year each. Surely the hon. gentleman will not ignore an industry so important and leave these establishments out of consideration in taking the census. Surely the hon. minister must give the committee some reason for the course he has taken. He enumerates cheese and butter factories where only one or two persons are employed, yet he ignores these other establishments that are very much more important.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

The hon. minister has not replied. Surely he is not going to let

this most important matter drop in this way. Surely he is not going to allow census figures to go to Great Britain showing that while in 1890, in Ontario we had an output from the mills running up into hundreds of thousands of dollars, we had many mills at work and giving employment to a large number of men, at this time we have practically no output of flour in the province. If it is not too late to rectify the error, why not communicate with the enumerators and instruct them to include these mills ?

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I think hon. gentlemen opposite are more alarmed than there is any need for. In the first place, the statement as to the average number of employees is hardly a fair one. I do not mean that it is not fair to the department or anything like that, but that it is misleading. Though there may be a large number of flour mills with an average of less than five employees, it is probable that a large proportion of them employ five or more. All such mills, of course, will be counted. The others are small establishments, not worthy of the name of industrial establishments, which is what we seek to enumerate. The hon. gentleman is aware, as everybody is, that the tendency in manufactures is to concentrate, and, to leave out the small establishments will have but inconsiderable effect upon the figures of aggregate production. I feel confident that the pictures drawn by hon. gentlemen opposite are much more alarming than will be justified when the returns come in. Hon. gentlemen, so far, have not indicated the standard which they would set up in these matters. They have criticised the standard made, as they would have criticised any other, because it was different from their own. According to their standard, a squaw making mocassins in a wig-wam was an industrial establishment ; every blacksmith was an industrial establishment ; every old woman, who, in the intervals of house work, sat at her door making stockings, was an industrial establishment. I confess that I wished to remove that stain from the credit of our census-taking. I believe the standard I have adopted is a reasonable and fair one, and that it will not have the result hon. gentlemen opposite have suggested.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

If the remarks of the hon. minister are set side by side with the comments that will doubtless be made by the journal representing the flour-milling industries in this country-for I suppose there is such a journal-the hon. gentleman and his friends, I fancy, will not find the reading pleasant. I can tell the hon. gentleman that there are upwards of a dozen gristmills in East Simcoe, and I do not believe that in the whole riding there is one that employs five men or over. I say it in no ill spirit, the hon. minister must be ignorant

of the method of conducting a grist mill, if he thinks that only the small mills employ less than five men. I know of grist mills with a capacity of 100 or 150 barrels a day employing less than five. In such a mill there will be the first miller, the second miller, and, where there is a water power, an additional man, and probably a lad to deliver throughout the town. Surely, there must be gentlemen on the other side who are familiar with the organization of a grist mill and who would wish to see these establishments represented in the census returns. The fact is, the minister has got into a box, and he sees it and his supporters must see it. He asks us why we do not recommend a remedy. It is unnecessary to recommend a remedy to a gentleman so resourceful as he is. He saw the necessity of not applying the rule with regard to five employees in the case of butter and cheese factories. When he brought here a gentleman with the reputation enjoyed by his chief commissioner, it is a wonder that the point did not strike that gentleman, even if it did not strike the minister or some of his supporters inside or outside of the House. It may be immaterial to the minister that men who compare the figures of this census with those of the last census will find that, apparently, the flour-milling industry has decreased, but it is important to the country that such a misrepresentation should be made. If it is not too late- and I believe it is not even yet too late- surely the minister could ask his commissioners to see to it that the grist mills of the country are enumerated, as cheese and butter factories are enumerated. It will not do for the hon. minister to treat this subject in the flippant way in which he has treated it. Those in the business, at least, will not appreciate the kind of humour which he has brought to bear upon this question.

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John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

The hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Fisher) gives us to understand that the alternative to his method would be the instructions given to the enumerators in 1891. That is the remedy. And in doing that he would be following the instructions given by the United States census commissioners to their enumerators last year. The minister makes great sport about the Indian woman making mocassins being counted as a manufacturing establishment. But the system under which that was done was precisely the system which was followed in the United States. And if the hon. gentleman had followed that rule he would not have got into the hole he now is in. The hon. gentleman is in a most ridiculous position. For comparison with the United States with regard to manufacturing industries, our census will be entirely useless. The hon. gentleman says that we have a different system of taking the census from that of England-that in England they have the de facto system, and that

manufactures are not taken at all. But, in the United Kingdom, and also in India, the system followed is tlie de facto system, the information in reference to manufactures and everything else is given in what is called a correlated sheet, and the information is gathered afterwards. That might be done under the de facto system, and the instructions with reference to manufacturing industries may be the same as under the de jure system. You can get the same information, the same facts, under the de facto system as under the de jure system. After all, the main difference between the two systems is as to the time. Under the de facto system the individual must be a resident, at a particular hour, in a particular locality ; under the de jure system; as you will see by the information sent by Mr. C6te to the different priests in Lower Canada, it is not necessary that the individual should be a resident in a locality at that particular time, but he may have been absent for years from the province, and still have a right to be enumerated.

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William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT.

I desire to call the minister's attention to the case of tanneries. In the last census there were 233 tanneries enumerated, employing 1,580 men ; that would give an average of about six and a half men to each tannery. Now, everybody who is conversant with tanneries in the province of Ontario knows that some of them are very large, and they employ not only six men, but ten times six men. The result is that you will have a lot of tanneries in the province of Ontario not enumerated at all. The same remark applies to printing offices, because there are numerous printing offices which do not employ ten men. The same remark will apply to planing mills. So, if you take the whole return it will prove that if you eliminate every place of business or factory that does not employ five men, the census returns, when they are brought down, by way of comparison with the last census, or as giving an accurate showing of the business of the country, will only be worth so much waste paper.

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April 26, 1901