February 9, 1909

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I shall certainly look into the matter.

Mr.NANTEL. (Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I notice, that under the law, the animal must be valuated by the minister or by a person appointed by him; and moreover, that the price to be paid must not exceed such figure, that is to say $150 for a grade horse and $300 for a thoroughbred.

It seems to me that the law could be made more simple, and thus prevent all the annoyances to which the minister is exposed. The way should be to pay an average and uniform price; two classes being made a certain price would be paid for a common

horse, and so much for a thoroughbred, the price being fixed by the statute itself. There would then be no necessity of sending valuators on the ground and by that a saving of many costs, and the minister would not be exposed to the annoyance nor to the accusations of undue favour given to political friends, as has been insinuated a moment ago.

Nevertheless supposing that we would not be very particular as to the price to be fixed, it seems to me that there would not be much inconvenience, because a horse affected with the glanders or other contagious disease has no value, and the owner must expect to lose. The above remarks apply with greater force to other animals.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. FISHER.

It would be really more simple and easy for the minister to accept the suggestion of the honourable member ; but, unfortunately, I think this would give a sort of encouragement to owners of horses of no value; we would be paying too much for horses of no service and not enough for the good ones. We must encourage the betterment of the breed, and, I would rather pay a little more to obtain that end, even if it costs me more annoyance than to accept the way suggested by the. hon. member, which would undoubtedly be more simple, but also far worse.

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LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE.

ly he was given a clearance and allowed to sell his cattle or export them. His net loss on that transaction was between $1,800 and $2,000. True there was suspicion but there was no disease. Had the animals been slaughtered he could have received compensation; but I believe that under the circumstances he is not entitled by law to any. There should be some provision to meet cases of that kind. I can understand that very great 'care has to be exercised in inspecting cattle for export to Great Britain, but in cases where no disease actually exists the owner should be given compensation.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The case cited by my hon. friend appears to be one of hardship, and it is unfortunate that the owner had to suffer this loss. The details will be looked into and I shall be glad to know exactly the facts.

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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

In the crusade against glanders some two or three years ago, can the minister tell us whether that crusade ceased because the disease of glanders was wiped out or whether it was because of the indignation excited among the ranchers of British Columbia partly through the inefficiency of the test and partly because of the inadequate compensation? I quite agree with my hon. friend from New Westminister (Mr. Taylor) that the compensation is entirely inadequate in the case of horses slaughtered in British Columbia, owing to the greater value of these animals in that province as compared with other provinces. It is quite possible to suppose a case in which a horse could be five times the value of the compensation paid. And for that reason, the difference of value should be put on it. I imagine the intention is to place a fair value on the man's animals. In our portion of British Columbia, far removed from New Westminster, an ordinary team is worth about $600-certainly, you could not purchase them for less than $500. And to put a price of the sort outlined by the government and pay_ two-thirds of it would cause a rather indignant feeling on the part of the farmers, especially if he thinks the test is not infallible and that sometimes his animals are slaughtered on suspicion only. I know that the feeling through the Okanagan and down the Similkameen was very strong, and I think that it was the cause of the action of the department being changed in the way it was.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I know that there was a good deal of excitement, but the department did not deliberately change what_ the hon. gentleman calls 'the crusade' in consequence of the protests made. We tried, as far as possible, to deal with the public in a conciliatory way, and to educate the public to an appreciation of an understanding of our motives and methods.

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LIB

Hugh Guthrie

Liberal

Mr. GUTHRIE.

Speaking from memory entirely, I urged upon my officers to proceed with greater caution, and to, use-if I may say so-more conciliatory methods than they seemed to be exercising. As to change of policy, there is nothing of the kind; and that policy, I am glad to say, has practically brought about a cessation of the disease in British Columbia. I have no doubt that the condition to-day in regard to horses in British Columbia is enormously improved in consequence of what was done at that time. The difficulties in the way of making discrimination as to the value of animals in different parts of the country are very great, and I doubt very much if any such arrangement could be come to that would not work greatly to the detriment of the treasury, as well as bring about cases of injustice. I am willing to think about it, and see if anything of the kind can be worked out, but I confess that I cannot see any prospect of it.

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LIB

John Patrick Molloy

Liberal

Mr. MOLLOY.

I, for one, would object to an increase in the compensation for gland-ered horses. The reason is that a glandered horse is not worth a single dollar. I have had some experience as an inspector and I would certainly object to any increase in compensation for a horse proven by the post-mortem to have been diseased. A glandered horse is not only valueless, but he is a source of danger and may cost the country an immense sum of money. I remember one band of bronchos brought into the county in which I live, and the result of their coming was that disease was spread over the whole county. Therefore,

I object to pay over $100 for that which is not worth a ten cent piece, and is a source of danger to the country. Is it not a fact that the Canadian government is paying larger compensation for animals that are slaughtered in this way than any other country in the world ? And why should horses be worth more in British Columbia than in Manitoba? The city of Winnineg boasts, and justly, that it has the finest horses of any city in Canada. Why people in British Columbia should expect more for their glandered horses than people in other provinces, I cannot understand. Besides, such a thing would cause a great deal of dissatisfaction. This is the first time I have learned that the department is paying/ for horses that are destroyed on suspicion. Horses are not destroyed on suspicion. The very fact that the government allows the owner of the horse to reserve the animal to be subjected to the mallein test for the third time, I think, is a wise provision. I have tested horses for the third time and have found that they reacted, but the second and third time the reaction is not so marked as the first time. Besides, a horse whose entire system is permeated with disease might not react at all. That is one case where you have

to go by the clinical symptoms. So far as increase in the compensation is concerned, 1 certainly object to any.

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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

I would point out that section 3 of this Act says:

-Section 82 of the said Act is amended by adding after the word 'disease' in the seventh line, the following words,-'or of the suspicion of such disease.'

If the hon. member for Proveneher (Mr Molloy) is going to be logical, he should move an amendment providing that no compensation be paid, for he is evidently under the impression that the government are wasting the people's money by giving compensation. But I feel sure he is astray on the facts, for, so far as British Columbia is concerned, there is at least a very strong feeling that animals have been slaughtered on suspicion, without knowledge.

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LIB

John Patrick Molloy

Liberal

Mr. MOLLOY.

I do not feel at all bound to move that compensation be done away with. I am proud that the Canadian people pay so large compensation as they do. But I honestly think that $100 for a horse that is not worth a dollar is enough. True, the owner suffers the misfortune of the loss of the horse, or even the loss of a part of his herd. A man not having enough horses to do his work may purchase a horse not knowing that he is introducing disease into his herd. I do not think the innocent buyer should suffer. But when the country helps to bear the loss to the extent it does, I do not think there is any reason for increasing the compensation.

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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK (Red Deer).

It is astonishing how, in this world, circumstances alter cases and change the view we take of questions. I happen to be, not a veterinary surgeon, but a representative of western farmers. And I happen to have had a couple of horses destroyed by glanders. I found the compensation extremely useful as assisting me in contending with the conditions of a new country and the difficulties of the pioneer work in which I am engaged. From this point of view, I should be prepared to differ slightly from my hon. friend from Proveneher (Mr. Molloy). The western farmer must face circumstances of very great difficulty. He tackles a life which is entirely new to him; and when he has the misfortune to get a pair of glandered horses, I can assure you from personal experience the compensation comes in very handy. From the point of view of the country, it is not always a loss to pay that compensation, for there are homesteaders in the west who if thev had not that compensation in such a difficulty would be left for a considerable time without horses altogether, and the wealth that they would otherwise earn, not only for themselves, but for Canada, would be unearned. I think that, from that point of 25

view, even a broad and sympathetic view of the case of the settler would commend itself to my friend from Proveneher if he tried for a moment to forget that he is a veterinary surgeon and place himself in the position of the farmer. But from the public point of view, there is another argument to be urged. The man who knows that he is going to have the only horse which he has destroyed, with all the difficulties of his life to face, having to provide for his wife and family and needing something to tide him over the struggles that lie before him in the early years of his life as a settler, will be apt to hide for a long time the fact that his horses have the glanders. I think it is a wise policy to give every encouragement to the settler-up to a reasonable point, which, I think, is two-thirds of the value of the animal-to divulge at the earliest moment the fact that he has a glandered horse, and thus afford protection to the owners of animals with which the others might come in contact. On these grounds, both of sympathetic regard for the earlier settler in his struggles and of the public good, so far as that is concerned, I offer my hearty support to the attitude of the department and a modest demurrer to the view taken by the hon. member for Proveneher (Mr. Molloy).

Bill reported.

Mr. FISHER moved the third reading of said Bill.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Before the Bill is read a third time, for the benefit of those who have asked the question, can the minister state briefly what are the quarantine regulations against stock going from Canada to the United States at the present time-as briefly as he likes.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I would hardly like to give an answer off-hand to so important a question, for it involves, not only the regulations against one kind of stock, but against all kinds of stock, and those regulations vary in regard to different kinds of stock. If I were to attempt to give a brief explanation, I might leave something out.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Could not the minister instruct some one in his department to get the information and make it public-because the question is often asked us, and we cannot tell.

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LIB

Motion agreed to, and Bill read the third time, and passed.


GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS ACT-AMENDMENT.

?

Hon. GEO P.@

GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved the second reading of the Bill (No. 20) to amend the Government Railways Act.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What is it?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Last year, it will be remembered, the Government Railways Act was amended to change the conditions under which those suffering loss by having animals killed, could recover compensation. An error was made in not putting in the exceptions that are in the general Railway Act. I am advised by the Justice Department that the way to obviate the difficulty is practically to repeal what we did last year and introduce the exact terms of the ordinary Railway Act, and make it apply to government railways. It repeals what we did last year, and introduces a clause found in subsection 4, chap. 37, of the Railway Act, section 294.

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February 9, 1909