July 10, 1908

LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

This subsection that has been specially amended is not proposed to be amended. It is as it comes from the Mr. CONMEE

Senate, and as far as I am aware there has been no suggestion on the part of the hon. gentlemen whom my hon. friend (Mr. Staples) has mentioned that there should be any change.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

Is there any objection to the argument that the hon. member for Rainy River has set up?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I cannot say that, but there is no objection to the wording of the subsection as it appears in the Bill other than the objection that my hon. friend from Rainy River makes. There is no doubt that with respect to grain that does not pass through Winnipeg there has to be provision made for the inspection of that grain at Fort William, and there is such a provision, but, unfortunately, my hon. friend til inks the provision for the inspection of that grain at Fort William does not permit of the mixing process being carried on at Fort William, while, as he says, there is a possibility of the mixing process being carried on at Winnipeg, or at any other point farther west. That is true, and, if it is a grievance, that is his grievance. I am not stating any personal opinion on this subject. I am merely stating the facts. Every one knows that every farmer in the west is fully imbued with the idea that he loses, in some way or another, by the improper mixing of grain. He has that idea, whether it is correct or not, and the very purpose of the appointment of this royal commission was to go into the question of the handling of the grain after it left the farmer's wagon, so that some means might be provided that would ensure that the grain went forward in as nearly its identical condition to the ultimate market as possible. That being the case, I am satisfied that the farming interests of the west would look not only doubtfully, but with the very strongest objection, at the proposal that mixing should be recognized at any elevator beyond the point of first inspection, that is at Winnipeg. My hon. friend lias said that he would make provision that there might be mixing at Fort William, at Winnipeg and at eastern elevators. I can only say that he is in the same position as the celebrated juryman who remarked, after the verdict had been rendered, that he never sat with eleven such obstinate men. My hon. friend is very definite in his opinion. But the only difficulty is that he holds it, as far as I am aware, absolutely alone, as far as the grain producing element is concerned. He may be right and the rest may be wrong. But I am bound to represent the view of the majority in this case, and the view of the majority is distinctly against any liberty of mixing grain at any point farther east than Winnipeg.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

Has the minister any evidence as to whether or not mixing takes place in these Winnipeg elevators?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I think it is admitted. I do not think there is any question about it.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

If I may toe permitted to mention what another gentleman who is not here said, one of the delegates from the west stated his view to be that mixing should be prevented in Winnipeg just as much as it is attempted to be prevented at Port Arthur and Port William.

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CON
LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

That is another question that I am not prepared to answer at the moment. Let us deal with one thing at a time. I merely point that out to show how far in the minority my hon. friend (Mr. Conmee) is in declaring that mixing ought to be permitted not only at Winnipeg but at Port Arthur and points east.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

If the farmers object to mixing in any case why should they be allowed to mix at Winnipeg, or if they are permitted to mix at Winnipeg, I do not see why they should not be allowed to mix anywhere. There should be the same objection to mixing at Winnipeg as at the terminal and transfer elevators.

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

I am not in as hopeless a minority as the minister seems to think. Who were the jury? The jury were the grain buyers at Winnipeg and some of the railway men who are not interested in this matter. There were a couple of farmer delegates here, and I submit that these delegates were of my opinion. I submitted this resolution to one of them and he approved of it-I forget the gentleman's name ; he thought it was perfectly correct.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

Was that one of the delegates from Manitoba or Saskatchewan?

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

He was from Saskatchewan. I submitted it to another this afternoon and he said : That would mean mixing at the terminal elevators? I said : Yes, that would mean mixing of the regular grades, but it would not mean the mixing of scoured wheat or bleached wheat. He said : I am not in favour of mixing at all. I said : Do you not know that mixing goes on in Winnipeg He said : No.

I said : Are you in favour of it at

Winnipeg ? He said : No. So I claim that the farmers' representatives are with me in this matter. If it is proper to do it at Winnipeg, then it is proper to do it at other places ; just do what they do at Winnipeg. That is all I am asking. I am not asking more, and I am not going to be satisfied with less.

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LIB

John Crawford

Liberal

Mr. CRAWFORD.

The minister has very clearly set out the position of the farmers with regard to mixing. They are under the impression that they are losing by the mixing of grain in the elevators. This provision is placed in the Bill for the purpose

of getting away from that condition as far as possible. The farmers expect to extend the same supervision all through the west, and they ask that the prohibition against mixing of grain at Fort William be extended to Winnipeg. The western farmers believe that they or the country are going to own all' the elevators in the country and they wish to provide conditions whereby the grain can be sent forward with its particular grade and identity maintained until it reaches the miller. That is the object of the farmer, and he expects to work that out in the future. The great bulk of the grain is inspected at Winnipeg, and once that grain is inspected there should be no interference with it, and the grain should carry its inspection certificate clear through until it reaches the miller. If this amendment be adopted the existing abuses will continue. There may be a little mixing done at Winnipeg, but the great bulk of the grain is sent through in carloads to Fort William. Not five per cent of the wheat of the west that passes through Winnipeg goes into the Winnipeg elevators.

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

The hon. gentleman stated that nearly all the grain was graded and inspected at Winnipeg and if that is true it is not graded until it comes out of the elevator.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

Why not inspect it in the elevators ; would not that relieve the situation ?

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LIB

James Conmee

Liberal

Mr. CONMEE.

That would relieve the situation. The grain at Winnipeg being inspected out of the elevator it means they have had an opportunity of treating it and mixing it if they want to. I do not believe that any intelligent farmer will believe that my proposal would be detremental to him. If the member for Lisgar (Mr. Greenway) were here I believe he would endorse my statement that the farmer can keep the identity of his grain and that by mixing the better grades with some of the other grades he can make a car of grain worth $100 more to him. In 90 per cent of the cases the farmer parts with his grain before it reaches Winnipeg. Who gets the benefit of the raising of the grade. By this process you improve the wheat by taking the dirt and small grain out of it and you enhance its value and it is the grain dealer who gets the benefit of that. Whether grain is inspected at Winnipeg or west of Winnipeg it is all reinspected at Port Arthur and Fort AVilliam. I agree that you should not change the grade that is given at Winnipeg but Mr. Horne is chief inspector and if there is a difference of opinion he decides. Every day at Port Arthur and Fort William it occurs that they will not grade wheat as it is graded at Winnipeg and the cars are held up until the matter is settled between the inspectors. Unless a certificate of the Winnipeg inspection is surrendered there appears to be no

adequate remedy in the law and it is difficult to determine just what becomes of the grain under those circumstances. There is an inspection at the terminal elevator in every case and that is the only reliable inspection. If your inspection at Winnipeg was reliable why do you inspect it over again at Port Arthur and Fort William. The fact is that the terminal elevator is the only proper place for inspection. My position is that if this mixing is permitted at Winnipeg you should not prevent us from doing the same thing at the terminal elevators. Just prevent it at Winnipeg and you will see how soon there will be a delegation down here wanting you to change the law.

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

It is my opinion that we should not have any mixing at all and with that end in view I move to amend the clause so as to make it read :

In no case, whether in a public or private elevator in the Manitoba inspection or in an eastern transfer elevator, shall grain of different grades be mixed together >while in store.

I desire by this amendment to prevent this mixing in Winnipeg.

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CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

If this amendment prevents the mixing of different grains at Winnipeg I would be in support of it. If a farmer wants to have his grain properly cleaned before inspection he has to sell it to the owner of one of these mixing elevators in Winnipeg which are in private hands. Of course lie has the alternative of sending it to an elevator at Fort William but in that case it has to be inspected before it is cleaned.

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LIB
CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

And there is no reinspection after it is cleaned. There are many cases in which the farmer would wish to have his grain properly cleaned and improved before it is inspected but this Bill would compel him to sell it before it is cleaned and therefore it discriminates against the farmer and in favour of the buyer. We have heard something about this all being in the farmer's interest, that the grain should be capable of being cleaned at Winnipeg. That is not so. The grain lias to have passed out of the farmer's hands before it goes into the cleaning elevator. For my part I concur in the view of the minister that tl,ie great concensus of public opinion in the west is that the wheat should be kept intact after it leaves the farmer's hands and should be inspected and. graded just as it is. I certainly do not approve of the mixing that takes place at Winnipeg, and in order to treat all alike and to have no discrimination against any one, I think that ail the grain should be inspected and graded before it gets to the mixing elevator either at Winnipeg or at Port Arthur Mr. CONMEE.

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July 10, 1908