July 21, 1904

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Fraud might occur in the substitution of ordinary seed for selected seed by one or other of the persons through whose hands it passes, but there is in the Act a clause providing penalties for a fraud of this kind just in the same way as the law operates in regard to animals. A man may buy a registered animal, the animal may die and he may substitute another 'animal and pass it on, but if he does so-ha (will be committing a fraud in which case he will be liable to penalties. I do not think there would be any more danger in regard to this than there is in regard to live stock. Any safeguard that it is possible to invent will be invented to prevent such fraud. That will have to be a detail of the regulations of the association.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Francis Carmichael Bruce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRUCE.

How is such a certificate obtained in the first place ? Is there any government supervision over the grower or do you take his word for it ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The association would have to send an inspector before issuing the registration certificate. The association by-laws would provide machinery by which under certain conditions the association could issue the registration certificate.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Francis Carmichael Bruce

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRUCE.

Is it the intention that the seed of 140 growers shall be accumulated in one place and distributed from there, or is it intended to allow the grower to sell it as he pleases ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

It will not be accumulated in one place. The grower distributes his own seed under the rules of the association. _

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

I understand the hon. minister to say that the plan upon which this Bill is based has been in operation for some years. What has been the result in connection with this seed that has been hand-picked ? Has the result been such as would warrant any outlay in regard to this subject ? Have the crops been more productive ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The observation of the Macdonald Seed Growers' Association is that the increase has been 19 per cent. The result of selection of seed for three years has been 19 per cent in regal'd to the number of seeds per head, and 27 per cent in the actual increase of production per year.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

Has that been ascertained by actual measurement or weight ; or is it imagination ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Actual test.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

It appears to me that you are incorporating a hotly of men who might perpetrate a good deal of fraud on the unsuspecting public.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I suppose there is possibility of fraud in almost anything.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

Is there not a probability there would be ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I do not think so. For six years there has been a corn growers' association in the United States, and the result is an increase of 50 per cent in the production from those seeds which were selected and registered.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

I hope the Bill may result in good, but there is a good deal of nonsense in this paternalism as if you were dealing with a class of men who did not know how to conduct their business. From my earliest recollection I knew that you could increase productiveness by changing your seed and by selecting it so as to get larger kernels. The farmers know all that without any paternalism from an association that is given power to defraud the public and that very likely will, unless human nature changes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

That may be true, but the organization will enable them to do their work successfully.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Edward Cochrane

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE.

Farmers know their business as well as most people and they do not want any organization to tell them. This society cannot give them any better seed than they themselves could get If they took care.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Seymour Eugene Gourley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOURLEY.

I have had a letter since I came here asking me what kind of punishment could be inflicted on a merchant who sold seed oats which was mixed with seed of every imaginable kind of trash. In Nova Scotia we have to depend on the people of Ontario for our seed, and I am very anxious that this Bill shall go through, if it will bring about the result hoped for. Most people are not good judges of seed and they have to trust to the seed dealer, and we know that bad seed is sold all over the country. The hon. member (Mr. Cochrane) is quite correct that there may be fraud but if the Bill will help in any way to give us good seed, I shall be glad to see it passed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

The committee is liable to be misled by what is read from these proposed rules as distinguished from what the Bill actually says. The minister told us that any person who was engaged in the (growing of seed would be eligible for membership in this association, but the Bill says: 'Any person ' and does not restrict it to seed-growers. Five dishonest men or five exceptionally honest men, as, for instauce, five lawyers, could form themselves into a seedgrowers association so far as the Bill goes. Any men who want to get control of this matter and exact for themselves undue profits from the farmers, can associate themselves together under this Bill. We may not always have the happiness and blessing of having the present Minister of Agriculture ; we may have some other Minister of Agriculture, and he has power to give these associations what they ask. Again, although the Bill is said to be mainly for seed-growers' associations, and although that is in the title of the Bill, there is not one word in the Bill itself to show that it has any connection with seed-growing. The men who associate themselves together need not grow one pound of seed. They are simply an association for the purpose of keeping records- not a seed-growers' association or an association of farmers, but simply a speculative monopoly of persons not necessarily connected with production of any kind. The minister said I had overlooked the 5th section. I did not overlook it ; but there is not one word in that section about the growing of seeds. The association may be controlled solely by a monopoly, and the only safeguard we have against that is the control of the minister. I say again that I am distinctly and positively opposed to this skeleton legislation and to giving the minister the power, not simply of framing one set of rules, but of framing a new set of rules for every association that may want to be incorporated. I am casting no reflection on the present Minister of Agriculture;

I am speaking of the matter in the abstract. It is too much power to give to any one man. It is the equivalent of delegating to a minister of the Crown power to say what shall be the laws of the country. As representing a rural constituency, I particularly object, on behalf of the farmers, to allowing any Minister of Agriculture to say what shall be the rules in regard to the main basis of the success of the farmer, namely, the seed which he shall put into his ground from year to year, and the price which he shall pay for that seed. I am not in harmony with this everlasting evidence of paternalism. I have faith in the intelligence of the farmers. I believe they have got along very well in the past. They are one of the main elements which have gone to make this country what it is, and there is no need of our everlastingly legislating for them and keeping them in leading strings, as the minister seems to want to do from time to time. A perusal of the Bill is sufficient to convince me that it does not express the ideas that are set forth in the by-laws which have been submitted to the committee or the ideas that have been enunciated by the minister himself. It is loose, careless and indefinite. I do not say this for the purpose of being offensive, I say it because I am bound to say what I believe to be the truth in

regard to this Bill. In a new matter of this kind some excuse may reasonably be urged; but the main objection to the Bill is that it places too much power in the hands of the minister, and takes away entirely from parliament that control which parliament should have and is bound to exercise on all occasions in regard to the rights of the people.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Far be it from me to wish to arrogate to myself or to any minister or to the department any powers which are not proper or for which there is not a sufficient precedent. The form of this Bill is the form which has been adopted in regard to agricultural associations of all kinds. If the hon. gentleman will take the trouble to look at the various Acts dealing with agriculture and live stock societies, he will find that the principles embodied in this Bill are practically the same as those which have already been crystallized in legislation, not only of this but of local parliaments dealing with similar work. There is no new proposal in arrogating authority to the minister of the department in this Bill. Various suggestions have been made which are of considerable value. The hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Haggart) and the hon. member for Toronto West (Mr. Osier) have made suggestions which can he incorporated in the Bill, and I would ask that the committee rise and report progress and ask leave to sit again in order that I may prepare one or two amendments suggested and which it will be desirable to insert in the Bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
Permalink
CON

James Gilmour

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GILMOUR.

Is this Bill merely for the purpose of registration, or does it go further ? Will it give powder for the sale of seeds ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   SEED-GROWERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
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July 21, 1904