November 19, 1909

LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

No.

Topic:   THE IMPERIAL DEFENCE CONGRESS.
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?

Air. R.@

I,. BORDEN. The only things before us are some written documents put in on one side and on the other?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Air. BRODEUR.

I may explain more fully the situation. There were, of course, in the conference some discussions, which, as may be seen from the papers, were private; and at the close of the conference it was decided that they should not be published, but should be kept secret. As a result of that decision, the papers laid before the conference and also the proceedings of the conference have not been brought down. It was understood that a statement should be made by the Prime Alinister of England and a synopsis or precis of the documents would be prepared by Air. FOSTER

the Colonial Office, and this has been brought down.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

If I may be allowed, I would like to get this matter clear. It seems to me that in these papers w'e get the general conclusions of the conference, and then we get the results of the modification of the general plan laid down as between Canada and the admiralty. It seems to me that New Zealand and Australia will look for, and will undoubtedly get, the same laid upon the tables of their houses of parliament. They are not secret documents. It is only supposed that we do not want to know anything about them, and therefore they were not included in what was sent to Canada. But it does seem to me that, as we are all colonies together, it is very important for us to know what position New Zealand and Australia have taken, and there would be not the slightest objection, I am sure, to our getting that information.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Let me explain again that the conference was between the imperial government and the governments of the self-governing dominions. It was decided that the oral discussions should not be brought down. Then, there was a separate conference between the admiralty and Canada and offers between the admiralty and the other colonies. We brought 'down the papers relating to the conference with Canada. I understand that what my hon. friend wants is the papers relating to the conferences with Australia and New Zealand. We have no objection, and we will at once wire for them.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Then, the recommendations of the Canadian government or the expression of their wishes, are entirely in the hands of the government here. Have they any objection to bringing these down?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

I suppose it was in the discussion which took place at the conference.

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CON
LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Air. BRODEUR.

No, there was no memorandum prepared by the Canadian representatives. The only thing was some wishes which were expressed in the discussions before the conference.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID.

From the return brought down, it is quite evident that the government have their scheme already prepared. Is it the intention to bring the Bill down at an early date or to hold it over until after the holidays?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

We intend to bring it down at an early date.

Air. R, L. BORDEN. There is a good deal of inquiry for the report. I do not know

how many copies have been prepared, but I would suggest that a sufficient number of copies should be prepared to have it generally available.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I think two thousand copies have been prepared, but I shall speak to the Secretary of State about that.

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REPORT PRESENTED.


Supplementary report' of the International Waterways Commission, 1909.-Sir Wilfrid Laurier.


PROTECTION OF VEGETATION FROM PESTS.


House in Committee on the following proposed resolution : Resolved, that it is expedient to pass an Act to prevent the introduction or spreading of insects, pests and diseases destructive to vegetation; providing for the granting of compensation for matter destroyed for this purpose, the appointment of inspectors for the enforcement of the Act, and penalties for its contravention.-Mr. Fisher.


LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. SYDNEY FISHER (Minister of Agriculture).

The object of the Bill to be founded on this resolution is to provide against the introduction into Canada of various insect pests which are prevalent in other countries but from which, so far, we in Canada have been fortunately free. It is also intended to provide that where insect pests or infectious diseases exist in Canada precautions may be taken to prevent their spread. The House will remember that we have in Canada an Act known as the San Jose Scale Act, which was adopted by this parliament some seven or eight years ago for the purpose of protecting this country against the introduction of that well known pest. That Act was aimed simply at the introduction of the pest from abroad and provision was made at first for the absolute prohibition of the importation of vegetable matter, trees or shrubs, from countries infested with the San Jose scale. Afterwards provision was made for the importation of such things from those countries under conditions which would still protect this country. That Act has worked very well and from its inception until to-day we have been able to trace no instance of the existence of San Jose scale in Canada to an importation from abroad. Unfortunately before the Act was passed there was a little San Jose scale in Canada.

Last spring we were informed of the existence of an insect pest in France commonly called the brown tailed moth. We were informed that shipments of nursery stock were coming to this country which were infested with the eggs of that very injurious insect. We had no power to deal

with the matter. We, however, took what precautions we could and owing to the information obtained from the Customs and from shippers we were able to find out where the importations of nursery stock from France were coming in, and with the co-operation of importers we were able to examine something like 1,500,000 stock obtained from France and on that we found a very considerable number of the eggs of that insect, probably, in the aggregate, millions .of eggs, and these, with the concurrence and the forbearance of the owners, we were .able to destroy. There was, however, at first, a very decided objection on the part of the importers to having their stock examined, delayed or destroyed. I must say that they acted with great consideration and public spirit after they were impressed with the dangers existing and the importance of the work. Still, at any time any one of those importers would have been quite within his rights in refusing to permit the action of our entomologists.

Under these circumstances it seemed necessary to provide a further. safeguard to the orchardists and fruit growers of Canada and to the people generally who have, property that might be injured in this way. I therefore examined the cognate legislation in other countries and in the provinces of Canada. I found that in British Columbia they have an Act in very good form which has been in operation for some time, I think, very successfully. In Ontario they have two Acts, one aimed directly at the San Jose scale and anotheT more general Act which provides for certain precautions or regulations but comparatively little advantage has been taken of these Acts. In Nova Scotia there is an Act on a very small scale. In many of the American states there are Acts of this character, but I do not think there is any Federal law in the United States. They have experienced difficulties there owing to the Acts being State and not Federal Acts. In Great Britain a good many years ago, I think in 1887, an Act was passed to protect Great Britain against the ravages of the potato beetle, and quite recently, I think in 1907, a general Act very much of the same character as I am now proposing was passed in Great Britain to protect that country against the dangers from which I am now proposing to try to protect Canada. The present Act follows largely the lines of the British Act, giving power to the department to make investigations and to the Governor in Council to pass regulations dealing with the niceties of the case. Hon. gentlemen who are familiar with entomology or the insect diseases and pests which attack our agricultural products well know that the character of the pests varies greatly and therefore the treatment that would be required to guard against one pest would be quite different from that required

in the case of another, and consequently the regulations dealing with |any particular danger or menace would have to vary according to the character of the danger. Under these circumstances I find it impossible to embody in the Act the details of regulations. I have therefore found it necessary, as it has been found necessary in Great Britain and other countries where Acts of this kind are on the statute-book, to ask for authority to deal with each individual outbreak or menace by regulation made by order in council at the time, without waiting for special legislation in regard to it. This is the substance of the Act and the reason for it; I can give more detailed explanations when the Bill itself is under consideration.

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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MARTIN BURRELL.

I understand that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) is aiming at two things-first the prevention of the import of these pests and the other power to deal with these pests within the limits of the Dominion. Do I understand that he will specify the pests under order in council?

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LIB
CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

Of course, the hon. minister is thoroughly familiar with the various legislative and administrative efforts in this same direction which have been made by the provinces. I take it that he agrees that the provincial and Dominion powers in these matters are concurrent. And I suppose he has tried to avoid any clash with the legislation already existing and the administrative steps already taken by the provinces to safeguard the interests of their own people in this matter. May I suggest that those interested in the various provinces be given an opportunity to examine the details of the Bill before it becomes law.

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November 19, 1909