Messrs. Douglas & Son had their case In the hands of a lawyer, Mr. Dunbar, of Mitchell. He gets in touch with the sitting member of the county who <Lius writes to the minister on behalf of these gentlemen. And, after some little correspondence-and an alteration in the Act, I may say-compensation at these enormous prices is paid by the minister. I have statements before me from other veterinaries who examined these hogs, and in view of these it seems surprising that compensation should be awarded. On November 3, 1904, a letter was written to Mr. M. B. Perdue, V.S., by Dr. Rutherford in the course of which he says, 'It is very important that the diagnosis should bo placed beyond question as the animals are valuable and under the regulations it will be impossible to pay compensation. The director general telegraphed to Arthur Brown, V.S., Sarnia, as follows :
Ottawa, November 3, 1901. Arthur Brown, Y.S.
Keep Douglas hogs strictly isolated. Will send consulting veterinary before ordering slaughter as compensation impossible.
3. G. RUTHERFORD.
I shall not go at length into this case, but I would like to point out what the rega lations say as to payment of compensation :
1. Hogs affected with hog cholera or swine plague, or which have been in contact with or close proximity to hogs affected with either of the said diseases should on an order signed by a duly appointed inspector of the Department of Agriculture be forthwith slaughtered and the carcasses disposed of as in such order prescribed.
5. The Minister of Agriculture is hereby authorized to order compensation to he paid Mr. BLAIN.
to the owners of such hogs at the rate set forth in subsection 2 of section 12 of the Animal Contagious Diseases Act, 1903, as amended by chapter 6 of the Statutes of 1904.
The amended statute provides as follows :
4. In all cases, the value of the animal should be determined by the minister or by seme person appointed by him, but should not exceed, in the case of grade animals, one hundred and fifty dollars for each horse, sixty dollars for each head of cattle, and fifteen dollars for each pig or sheep; and in the case of pure-bred animals, three hundred dollars for each horse, one hundred and fifty dollars for each head of cattle, and fifty dollars for each pig or sheep.
So you will see that if compensation was allowed at all under the Act, $50 is the highest price that could be paid by the minister for any bog. In this case the bon. gentleman has paid Messrs Douglas & Son $175 and Mr. Brethour as high as $180.
At this stage of the session, time is so piecious that I will not dwell upon the case. I have mentioned the fact to show how some of the money is going. In view of such payments the people will not be surprised that the public expenditure is increasing every year. The Minister of Agriculture Is something of a czar in his department; whatever he says must go; if he says the price to be paid is $180 it is paid, even though the regulations and the law say that $50 is the highest price that may be paid. I suppose the minister will answer that these gentlemen were contributing to the public good and adding to the reputation of Canada in respect of swine breeding. Well, these gentlemen are private dealers in western Ontario. The department did not ask them to exhibit their hogs at the St. Louis exhibition as a government exhibit; they sent them of their own free will. The correspondence here points out that hog cholera was to be found at the St. Louis exhibition and one of these lots of hogs was close to swine affected with that disease. Judging from the correspondence I am led to believe that the bogs contracted the disease not at Point Edward in quarantine, but in the St. Louis exhibition. The minister, when the matter was first brought to [DOT]his attention, said that 'at first blush' compensation could not be given. I do not know how many blushes it took before he felt free to pay these enormous prices. Then, if these gentlemen had a right to compensation, they did not require a lawyer to present their case to the department, nor did they have to ask the influence of the gentleman who represents the county. Why should that hon. gentleman be requested to interfere ? Taking it altogether, it seems to me there was party politics in this matter and pay, because of this these gentlemen must he paid their price. I do not know what their politics are-nor do I care; that is not tlv; question before us. But I think the farmers of this country will think that such prices
as $175 are to be regarded as pretty excessive to be paid by the government for com pensation for bogs that were sent for exhibition as a private business enterprise. I await an explanation from the Minister of Agriculture of the excessive prices that he has ordered to be paid these gentlemen contrary to his own Act.