February 14, 1905

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The hon. minister has already stated that the department have a correct list of the industrial establishments in Canada. If a new' establishment is put in operation or an old one ceases, what facilities has the hon. gentleman for keeping the list in the office up to date ?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

One of the first duties, I think, of a department of this kind would be to make what I might almost call a catalogue or index of the industries of the country. I think that can be done in the first place by taking the names of the industries already entered in the last census. We have all the details of them. Of course, a few of them may have disappeared and a number of others may have been created. We have easy facilities for getting them. The Boards of Trade in the different cities and towns and the commercial directories which are available to anybody would assist us in that respect. We would have all these available to our hand and we would, as one of the very first works of an office of this kind, prepare a list of industrial establishments. I think that should be one of the first works in connection with any industrial investigation. As a matter of fact, in the census of the industries of the United States which is going on to-day under the permanent census office that is just the way that they are proceeding. That is the way I have proceeded in connection with the agricultural industry in this country. I

have to-day in my own department elaborate and very carefully prepared lists of those engaged in what I may call the agricultural industries which have been prepared in the way that I indicated, and by a careful consultation with those who know about these things all over the country. To illustrate the matter I may say that we consulted the dairy association in regard to the butter and cheese factories. We have inspectors all over the country who know all about these. We have an almost absolutely complete list of all the butter and cheese factories in Canada, and wTe also have a very correct list of the bacon establishments, the fruit evaporating works and various industries of that kind that are connected more or less with agricultural work. The same kind of thing could be easily done : it will take a little time and money, but there is no insurmountable difficulty and I am satisfied that under the operation of this Act as complete records of the other industries of the country can be obtained.

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CON

John Barr

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARR.

Mr. Speaker, we are undertaking a work which will in all probability cost a very large sum of money and it may be proper at this stage to consider what we are going to get in return. We do know that in Ontario and Manitoba, at least, they have already facilities for gathering all the statistics and information that are likely to be received through this new office. The hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) has told us that he proposes to have this census taken every two or three years. It will be important for us to know how many months or years will be permitted to elapse between the collection of this information and the time at which it is given to the public. We do know that a most important part of the census which was taken three years ago. a part that we desire to have as dealing with a question of the greatest importance to the members of this House, is not yet out, and we have no guarantee that it will be out within the next year or two. It seems to me that unless some better proof can be shown of the necessity for the information proposed to be gathered it is not desirable that such a iarge sum of money should be expended. We should have some guarantee from the hon. minister as to the time at which the census will be taken and we should also have some guarantee as to whether we are going to have this information within a few months after it is collected instead of being furnished with some old, out of date material. because, if this information is to be of any value to this House and to the country we must have it within a few months of the time at which it is gathered. If it is the intention of the hon. minister to collect that information and to give it to us within a reasonable time there may be some excuse for the inauguration of this new department. but when we find that the publication of the results of the last decennial census

has not been characterized by such expedition as is necessary if the information is to be of value to the country we are not encouraged to hope for better results in this ease. If the hon. minister can assure us that the information will be collected and issued within a reasonable time and in a form in which it will be readily available, especially to manufacturers, then I say there may be some excuse for it. but I do hope that we may get this information more promptly than we have been able to obtain that which has been collected in the past.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Jlr. FISHER.

I would say to my hon. friend (Mr. Barr) who has just taken liis seat that certain parts of the information, such as I have been talking about now, can be got and after it is got it can be compiled in about a month and issued. When we have the whole census to deal with that is another matter. I am only speaking about certain interim or partial information obtained from time to time. That information can be issued very rapidly by bulletin. A complete eonsus of industries for the whole country might take longer, but to obtain what I might call this industrial intercensus information for, interim reports, I believe would take a very short time : I believe that we could get the information and compile it within a couple of months of the date on which the heads of the firms furnished their information. Supposing that next week I was to send out schedules to firms all over the country and to ask them to return them to us on the 1st of April, filled up with information to that date, I venture to say that all the compilations in regard to that information would be ready and issued to the public before the first of .Tune.

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L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANOXG.

Will the schedules under this Act be the same as those in the regular census?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Oh, no, the schedules will be specially prepared for this purpose.

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L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANOXG.

I think if there are special schedules we should know what they will be because I do not think'the manufacturers should be subjected to the whim of any minister, no matter how honest he may be, as to the information they are forced to give.

Mr. FISHER, In regard to that the census requires manufacturers to give us this information, but the individual manufacturer's information is never divulged to the public; it is only compiled and the compilation is given to the public, but the individual manufacturer's information is given to our officials under the seal of secrecy and that information is not accessible to anybody. We cannot get general information for the whole country unless the details of that Information are supplied to some officer who will compile them. That is an 1 essential principle of the Census Act rind

it must be an essential principle of any arrangement for collecting statistics. I may say to my bon. friend that in tbe last census there were only a few individual and scattered instances where any manufacturers objected to giving the information. When such a case arose, instead of taking the manufacturer by the throat and forcing him by law I sent a special officer to meet the manufacturer and to explain the situation to him, and in almost every case the manufacturer recognized the true situation and saw that the information in regard to their own particular business was not going to be divulged to the public but would simply be a portion of a statement in regard to the general business of the country. I think that in two or three cases I actually had to threaten them with proceedings to get the information, but in the whole Dominion of Canada there were only one or two such cases.

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L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANONG.

I am not objecting to a general census schedule, but I think it is putting a good deal of power into the hands of the minister. If the minister went far enough he would find a good many kickers in this country.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I think in a matter of this kind the schedules must necessarily vary, in the United States the information is not divulged except with consent of the parties interested.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

They must necessarily vary ; it is not like the case of a general census. I listened to the information given by my hon. friend (Mr. Fisher) and of course he has convinced me that it was necessary that a permanent census office should be established. In the United States it is true that the permanent census office was only created in 1002 and it is still in the probationary stage. That appears by the annual report published by the new census commissioner of the United States, the chief of the permanent census bureau, and it is a question that has been discussed in the United States ever since 1879. I believe also that if we had a permanent bureau organized with as little expenditure as that intimated by

tend to increase in expense from year to year if it is to be really effective. Although my hon. friend (Mr. Fisher) has given a general explanation I do not find that he has gone into enough detail as regards the method of carrying out the work of the permanent office and the details of expenditure. I think that if we are going to limit it to some $20,000 per annum for four or five years it would be a certain consequence that there would only be work performed here at the permanent office; no field work could be done but my hon. friend lias not given us that assurance. Indeed from some of his later remarks I would rather gather that outside work would have to be done on a rather extensive scale and I really cannot think it is possible to confine the expense of that new machinery within the figure mentioned by my hon. friend. We are furthermore to create a permanent office, and I question if it would not be worthy the consideration of the hon. gentleman and the government whether it would not be better to place the permanent census office as soon as we create one under the control of the Department of Trade and Commerce. Of course if the census had been confined to a decennial event it is not so important and we can ignore the question of why it was placed in the Department of Agriculture. I do not say this because I have any want of confidence in my hon. friend (Mr. Fisher) but because I tlinil- the work of the Department of Agriculture must necessarily tend to increase greatly, and that this work of the collection of statistics in regard to industry, agriculture, and the trade of the country would be much better placed in the Department of Trade and Commerce just as I think that the Department of Labour would be better if entrusted to the Department of Trade and Commerce because these subjects are corollary ones and are better treated in the same department. That is the way the United States have constituted that work, and I see from the reports that the placing of these three branches of work under the same department has been productive of very good results. My hon. friend has spoken of a sum of $20,000. I would like to call my hon. friend's attention to the figures of the cost of the permanent census office in the United States since this department was established two years ago. Of course, I am prepared to admit there is a great difference in the work to be done, but having due regard to the work to be done I find that our census work and work connected with statistics in Canada calls for a much larger expenditure proportionately than the same work in the United States.

The census of the Philippine Islands, taken quite recently, and the tabulating and compiling of that census, with a population considerably greater than we have in Canada. namely, 8,000,000 souls, has cost the United States $214,117.58. The twelfth c-eni

sus of the United States itself cost only about $11,000,000 ; and when one considers the population of that country, what that census has produced, the large number of volumes and what a marvel of research and information it is, one cannot help coming to the conclusion that the one and a quarter million dollars which we spent for our census is proportionately a very much larger sum. The cost of the census bureau of the United States, similar to the one which my hon. friend seeks to create here by the present measure, was, in 1903, $1,350,271.08, and in 1904, $1,102,693.04 ; and it will appear to members of the committee who will take the trouble to peruse the first report of the Director of the Census Bureau to the Secretary of Commerce and Labour concerning its operations for the year 1903-4, that a much more clearly defined scheme, carefully prepared and studied, was submitted to Congress, before Congress, by a law passed in March, 1902, decided at last to establish that bureau. There is another point to which I desire to call the attention of my hon. friend and the committee. We have not a very large amount of money at our disposal for the mere taking of statistics.

I mean that we have much more immediate and practical uses for our available money, although I do not for an instant deny the usefulness of a permanent census bureau, if the expenses of it can be kept within proper limits ; and t do not think that can be unless a more detailed and carefully thought-out scheme is first submitted to the House by the department interested. We are exposed, 1 think, to the danger of a double taking of the census, unless, before seeking the authority of parliament for the establishment of this bureau, my hon. friend finds out what can be done with the provinces in regard to the statistics which they take at present. I see by section 16 of my hon. friend's Bill that he takes authority to arrange with the authorities of the provinces or territories for the supply of their statistics. That is what has been done in the United States with a large number of the states. Arrangements have been made by which the federal office gets the benefit of the statistics gathered in the different states, and even, as in the case of Michigan, contributes equitably to the cost of obtaining those statistics. I have heard it mentioned here that industrial statistics are gathered in the province of Ontario. I do not believe that we have in the province of Quebec machinery for getting industrial statistics. My hon. friend from Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron) reminds me that we have agricultural statistics, and a very complete system established under our municipal law, by which we obtain a very valuable amount of information which is absolutely necessary for a census office such as the one in contemplation, and which is obtained without any expense to the province. Of course, the information gathered from time to time

would be absolutely useless unless it were furnished to the public, as it is under every proper system of this kind. My hon. friend will find that for educational, municipal and agricultural statistics he can obtain ia the province of Quebec almost all the information which he requires for his office, and which I am afraid will be duplicated if we rush hastily into this proposed scheme of a permanent bureau without beforehand making arrangements with the provincial authorities. I may say, with regard to municipal statistics, that under our provincial code the secretary-treasurer of every municipality governed by the code is bound to furnish to the Lieutenant Governor the name of the corporation, the estimated value of the taxable real estate, ihe estimated value of the real estate not subject to taxation, the estimated value of the property declared liable to taxation by article 710, the number of persons paying taxes, the number of arpents of valued land, the rate of assessment in the dollar imposed for all purposes, the value of the property of the corporation, the debentures of the corporation, the amount of taxes collected within the year, all other sums collected, the amount of arrears of taxes, the capital amount due to the municipal loan fund, the amount of interest due upon such loans, all other debts, the amount raised by loan within the year, the amount received from the government under the Seigneurial Act, the interest paid on debentures, the expenditure for salaries and other expenditure for municipal government, all other expenditure, the number of persons resident in the municipality, any other statement which the Lieutenant Governor in Council may require. That is what the secretary-treasurer of each municipality is bound to furnish to the Lientenant Governor in Council. In other words, he must give every possible municipal statistic of interest, and whatever other information may be required from him by the municipal authority. Town councils, under our General Town Clauses Act, are obliged to furnish by their secretary-treasurer similar information. The secretary-treasurers of county councils are also obliged to furnish special information. We have, of course, a complete set of educational statistics. It is only the province that can at present obtain that information. I am sure that a system could be easily devised under which, at very small expense, we could obtain agricultural statistics. With regard to industrial information, it would perhaps be better to wait until we see what is the result of the first industrial census which is being taken by the permanent census bureau in the United States, where there is under contemplation at present a general law called the License Law, which will apply to all corporations under the jurisdiction of Congress, requiring them to furnish automatically, so to speak, to the government all statistics

100V

and information of a general nature, saving always to the officers of the general census bureau the right to obtain special information for special and specific purposes.

Does my hon. friend intend doing any outside or field work ? As far as I can see. he has not tried to make any arrangement with any of the provincial authorities in order to prevent the duplicating of the same work and thus causing confusion and useless expense. I should think that the provincial authorities, who are best qualified to collect the information referred to by my hon. friend, would do that work for very much less than it would cost to have it done from Ottawa. My hon. friend does not seem to have attempted to follow the system adopted in the United States. There a very considerable proportion of the states act in concert with the federal census bureau for the purpose of securing and compiling statistics on many subjects. I believe that the scheme outlined by the minister will lead to the appointment of officials to do outside work and entail considerable expenditure. It seems to me that before deciding to establish this bureau, we should find out what arrangements can be made with the provinces so that we might work harmoniously with the provincial authorities. For these reasons I think that my hon. friend should wait until he has gone further into the subject and made sure oi what co-operation he can obtain from the provinces.

province of Quebec where there is no agency for the collection of those statistics ?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The same difficulty exists in Ontario. Even in Ontario there are no industrial statistics collected to-day.

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L-C
LIB
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

In the matter of labour employed in manufacturing institutions, I have here certain letters which the department of the province of Ontario sends out to tlie manufacturing establishments asking for certain information. Look at page 101 of the Bureau of (Statistics Report for 1903.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Is there any tabulation of the returns there ?

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L-C
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I have not examined that particular volume, but I have always understood that there was very little of what I have called industrial information collected by the Ontario Bureau of statistics. There may be a little about the number of hands employed, and, in Ontario and Quebec- and the other provinces, I suppose-information is collected by the factory inspectors as to the hygienic condition of factories. But I do not think there are statistics as to the manufacturing productions of the province, the capital employed and so on.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I am pleased to note that my hon. friend endorses at any rate my idea of having a census office established for the Dominion. If I am not mistaken, the leader of the opposition last year gave utterance to somewhat similar views as to the desirability of having a permanent census office established at Ottawa. Anybody who has interested himself in statistical work will appreciate the advantage of such an office. I quite agree with my hon. friend regarding the advisability of our utilizing where possible, provincial and raunicip'al labours. We certainly would not for a moment think of collecting ourselves statistics which can lie procured from provincial or municipal bodies. In the province of Ontario certain statistics are compiled by the Bureau of Statistics and published. but there is not much of that work done anywhere else. In the General Statistics Act, I am given the power, which is repeated in this Act, of making arrangements with local authorities to supply me with the information they gather. But if certain statistical information can be obtained from the provincial or municipal authorities, that would still have to be compiled for Dominion purposes and also separated into groups, and that work could only lie done at the central office in Ottawa.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

How will the hon. gentleman collect industrial information in the

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February 14, 1905