June 5, 1905

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

Yes, but you made an expenditure over the amount voted by parliament.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No. The claims for compensation are in but I have not spent the money. I have not used more money than was voted, but I am waiting to get this money to pay claims which have been made.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I would ask my hon. friend (Mr. Foster) to recollect that we have not violated the law either in the letter or in the spirit. We have authority from parliament to slaughter animals suffering from these diseases, but

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we have to take a vote of parliament every year for the money to pay compensation. Under this Act we have been slaughtering hogs for twenty years in different parts of the country, we have also slaughtered cattle and latterly we have had to slaughter horses suffering from glanders. We thought we could slaughter in a few isolated cases which were very serious without paying compensation, but the disease spread more than we^xpected. A man has just as much righr to be compensated for the loss of his horse as for the loss of his cow or his hog. t agree that if the expenditure should reach $200,000 or $300,000 a year, parliament should be notified in advance. This year we have a supplementary vote on account of the outbreak of a certain disease, but next year as we may have to expend on that item alone a couple of hundred thousand dollars, the appropriation will be contained in the next supplementary estimates.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

Parliament should have also the right to consider whether the compensation should be in full or in part.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The Contagious Diseases Animals Act fixes the mode of compensation, and all payments in regard to compensation are made under the provisions of that Act.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

What I have not had made clear yet is that there was any extraordinary development of that disease which made it necessary for the minister to act at this particular time. There may have been ; but glanders has always been with us, and is here or there through the country more or less all the time. What has not been shown is that there was some sudden outburst of the disease, which operated as a menace to public property, something which, unless it was immediately dealt with would have entailed a tremendous loss on the country. I do not understand glanders to be that kind of a disease, or that there was a special outburst of it at this particular time, which rushed the minister and the government into an expenditure of $29,000 over and above their vote. I think it would have been fair for the government to have said : We will take up these claims and consider them, but we have no vote from parliament for this, and you will have to wait until we advise with parliament about it. I quite understand that if you slaughter a man's hog or his cow and pay him something for it, it is pretty difficult to say that if you slaugther his horse, you ought not to pay something for -it; but, after all, the resources of the country are limited, and you cannot do everything which, by parity of reasoning, you might be asked to do. A very important point made by my hon. friend here is that parliament ought to have a chance to discuss this whole matter and to fix the Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

amount and the mode of proceeding ; because there are dangers lying in this slaughter of horses and paying two-thirds of the value of the horse in every case. There is no reason at all for doing this unless there is the strictest effort on the part of the department to stamp out the disease and to prevent it coming into the country from outside. If you are going just to start an industry of paying for glandered horses, and allow the disease to come in and spread without dealing effectively with it, that is not defensible. You have to put the three things together, and very closely together if yoti expect to avoid tremendous expenditures. If the disease can be stamped out in a few years, so that it will be confined to a very small extent, that will be a great gain to the country and a legitimate effort for parliament to undertake in the way of co-operation. I think there ought to be co-operation, because it is helping the citizen to keep his stock in such a condition as to avoid loss.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The whole principle of compensation under the Animals Contagious Diseases Act rests on what my hon. friend has just alluded to, that is, co-operation between the owner and the country at large. The payment is only two-thirds of the value, and under our regulations the value is fixed by the officer of the department who orders the slaughter. We have found that the valuation should not be fixed by local veterinarians, neighbours of the people whose animals were being slaughtered ; and therefore we have made it a fixed rule for several years back to have the compensation fixed by a permanent officer of the department, and to have the slaughter carried out only on his order or report. I think this is necessary in the interest of the taxpayer at large, and I have been pressing on my officers the importance of seeing that while this work is done properly and effectively, still great care should be exercised to avoid any unnecessary compensation. In regard to my hon. friend's contention that no case has been made out of urgency, I thought I had explained the condition which antedated the Order in Council. We have for some time been killing horses for glanders wherever found. We found a great many more rather suddenly during the last year. We continued to kill without paying the compensation. My hon. friend can quite understand that when one or two horses a month are killed, there is no great outcry or difficulty ; but when a hundred a month are killed there is an outcry which accumulates in force and makes the procedure very difficult ; and our officers were being resisted and obstructed in carrying out their instructions and. the regulations. Under these conditions we had either to suspend the regulations and let the disease spread, which I do not think would have been in the country's interest, or to make arrange-

meats for carrying out the regulations satisfactorily and effectively, and the only way we could do that was to pay the compensation. We therefore passed the Order in Council for that purpose. The emergency arose*under the conditions which I have described, and I think it is a legitimate reason. If we had waited until parliament met and provided the compensation, we would probably have had a continuous conflict between the officers of the department and the owners of the horses ; and if we had suspended the slaugther of'the horses during those months, we would have had a very material spread of the disease, which would have been injurious to the public interest, and which I do not think parliament would have supported me in allowing.

Mr. BARlt. Has any consideration been given to the subject of lump-jaw in cattle, which I suppose the minister is aware has broken out violently of late in some places in western Ontario ?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

If that is so, it must be from some local cause, because we have not had any report of it. The law requires every veterinarian, and even every owner of animals, to report the existence of contagious disease within his knowledge ; but we have not had any report of the disease to which my hon. friend alludes. Lump-jaw is a disease which is not as a rule, carried from animal to animal. The matter from the affected animal is conveyed to the grass while the animal is grazing, and another animal eats part of that grass and thus becomes affected. But it is a disease that is quite curable in its early stages. I have known several cases to be cured in my own herd.

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CON

John Barr

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARR.

I may say that the department was telephoned to in connection with the matter, and I understood that the answer which came back was that they did not pay compensation for lump-jaw if any animals had to be slaughtered.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, there is no list of diseases. The diseases I have mentioned are the only ones in which we have been in the habit of paying compensation. I may say that the Act authorizes the minister to pay compensation by Order in Council at any time. I am authorized by the Contagious Diseases Aui-mals Act to pay compensation for an animal which was slaughtered for lump-jaw, slaughtered by my officers, but I never have given an order for the slaughter of an animal for that disease, because, as I have stated, it is not a very widespread disease.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The officers of the department, as I understand, have power to destroy a stable in which an infected animal is found. I would ask if, in the Order in Council in March last, compensation is allowed for a stable.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I do not think so, because I do not think we have ever contemplated the destruction of the stable. There have been a very few cases where we have destroyed the stables where hogs had been slaughtered, and where the stables were of such a character that it was cheaper to destroy and pay for them than to cleanse, disinfect and rebuild them. But we always give the owner the alternative, saying that if he will satisfactorily disinfect the buildings, they need not be destroyed.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The minister will remember a letter that I read to the committee the other evening from Mr. Brumell, of Mono Road, Peel county, stating that an officer of the hon. gentleman's department had ordered an animal to be killed and the stable to be taken down. The writer of the letter pointed out that the stable cost $25, and he lost not only the horse but the stable as well. I want to know whether, in a case of that kind, the officer of the department having fixed the value of the horse, he would have any power under the Act to fix the price of the stable, and if so, would the stable be paid for ?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I have forgotten the case the hon. gentleman mentions. But I will look it up before the supplementary estimates for next year come up.

Archives, $20,000.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I notice that concurrence has been given to item 30 of the main estimates for next year, that was passed on the 2Sth of February, and to which I call the attention of the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). I intended on concurrence to ask that words be added to the item allowing that expenditure to be made contrary to the Civil Service Act. ,1 explained to the House the other night when passing the supplementaries for the current year, that until quite recently the Auditor General had considered that the archives vote was not governed by the Civil Service Act, but he has recently changed his mind, and consequently a number of employees engaged in this work, but who have not passed the Civil Service examinations, cannot receive their salaries. I think it would be unfair to turn these people out, and unless these words are added to the vote, I will not be able next year to pay some of these officers their salaries. Now, however, that the Auditor General has changed his mind, and considers that that vote ought to be paid subject to the Civil Service Act, I am going to ask the House to allow those words to be added. I was not aware that we were going to take up any of the items in the main estimates,

otherwise 1 would have been prepared to make this explanation sooner.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Does the minister want the whole of that vote to be outside the civil service ?

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I think the minister will have to mention specially the sums that he wants to be excepted, otherwise he will have to except the whole $20,000.

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June 5, 1905