April 5, 1910

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEE.

My hon. friend says that the local market has all the diseased meat thrown upon it. If it has, that is due to the laxity of provincial or municipal inspection. The municipal authorities have JuM as much power to inspect as the Dominion Agricultural Department, and if taey do not do it, it is their own fault, and I must protest against responsibility being thrown on the Dominion parliament or the Dominion government for a duty which is the duty of the provincial authorities. If that is to be thrown upon us we ought to assume the whole range of provincial legislation and administration. I must protest against the idea that because the provincial government do not do their duty therefore this government should do that duty. If it is their duty, and they neglect it then it becomes the duty of the provincial electors, and supporters of whatever government it may be, Liberal or Conservative, to force that provincial government to do its duty, and not to appeal to the administration of this government to perform a duty which is essentially provincial or municipal. It is our duty to deal with the export trade, and we are trying to do it, and do it effectually, and I believe to-day that the complaints which are being made are largely due to the fact that the local inspection is not as severe as our inspection. Severity of inspection is quite in line with what my hon. friend has said, and I take it he is supporting me in making a severe, and properly efficient inspection. If the local authorities are not doing the same thing, that is no reason why I should be asked to do their duty, and their work.

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CON

Thomas Chisholm

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOS. CHISHOLM.

I certainly am supporting the minister in having a very rigid inspection, but I am not supporting him in the idea of destroying property for Mr. T. CHISHOLM

the general benefit of the people of Canada and not making compensation, because the result is that the effect of the loss goes back through the different purchasers until finally it reaches the farmers, and there as a consequence the diseased meat i3 allowed to stagnate, as it were. I have no doubt the provincial authorities may possibly be responsible, but the result is that the effort that is being made by the minister in these lines is increasing the trouble that we have from the inefficiency of the local authorities if there is such inefficiency. The present system is undoubtedly increasing that trouble. There is no doubt that by throwing the responsibility on the producer, on the farmer finally, the local market is congested with the diseased meat, and a medical man who understands what he is talking about, must understand that it is a very serious thing to the people of Canada. We can better afford to pay a percentage of the cost of this diseased meat when it is found at its final resting place where the animals are slaughtered much better than to have our people living on it and being injured. Those who are benefited should pay. The general public are benefited, and, therefore, the general public should pay the cost. I will not say that they should pay the whole cost, because that might lead to irregularities, Jnit we should certainly pay a percentage of the cost, and it should be paid to those who slaughter the animals. We know it is almost impossible when a steer or fat beast is leaving the farm to know what diseases it may have. When the animal comes io be slaughtered, the defects will be disclosed, and I quite approve of what the minister is doing. His course, however, is having results that he evidently did not intend. I think the chief source of difficulty lies in not paying a percentage on the discarded meat.

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CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEODEE.

I think we are dealing with matters under Dominion Acts that have a local effect. For instance, we have our inspection of canned fruits and canned goods of all kinds. That is an article that enters into local consumption, and yet it is inspected under this government.

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LIB
CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEODEE.

You go into a man's grocery and test his goods as to purity, &c., you deal with them as inspectors

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LIB
CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEODEE.

No, not under your department. It seems to me you will never rid the country of diseased cattle until there is some more definite understanding as to what remuneration will be given by the government for animals destroyed. I can quite understand the necessity of guarding against the possibility of extrava-

gant values, &c., that would be imposed on the government if they opened the gate to any considerable extent. The value of animals would increase very rapidly if they were being paid for by the government. A case came to my notice a few days ago on which I would like to have some information. A farmer having a large herd of cattle called a sale and sold to bidders in different parts of the country. It turned out that the cattle were badly diseased with tuberculosis, they went into different neighbourhoods miles apart, into different herds. I know one man who found that the animals were diseased shortly after he purchased them. He called in an inspector, the animals were condemned and killed for tuberculosis. What recourse has that man against the man who sold the animals?

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LIB
CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRODER.

I will have to pay for my law. There is more of this disease in some localities than we are aware of, and I do not think we will get rid of it until we give the people more of an incentive to make it known that their animals have the disease. A farmer battling hard to make a living realizes that if it is known that he has tuberculosis among his cattle, his herd will be destroyed and he will be put out of business. As long as that condition exists, he will not be inclined to make known the fact that his animals are diseased, but if it was possible to arrange it so that the country would not be imposed on, it would be a good thing to grant compensation. If it cost the country two or three millions to get rid of the disease, it would be a wise expenditure.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I do not think that compensation for dead animals would help to get rid of the disease.

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CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRODER.

It would have some effect. I am aware that ventilation of stables, &e., all enter into this matter, but it seems to me that the other would be a more effective way.

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CON
CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRODER.

You cannot make him do that any more than you can make him have good children. It is all very well for men to talk about things as they ought to be, but public men have to deal with things as they are.

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Inspectors and assistants iu Toronto, about 22 or 23.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Has the Minister in his department any information as to how the abattoir people pay the cattle dealer for his cattle?

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LIB
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Does not my hon. friend think that it would be a fair subject for investigation? There might be a tendency toward a monopoly. I have a letter from a constituent in which he states that the abattoir people in the city of Toronto always give a cheque in payment of cattle to the cattle dealer, with the reservation that these cattle must pass inspection, but that the cattle dealer does not give any such cheque to the farmer.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I do not think a case of that kind is a matter for interference on the part of the department. I do not see how we could dictate to people making a bargain or trade arrangement as to what they should do. If there is a combine, then that would be a subject for investigation under the Combines Act. But I do not think it is the function of the Department of Agriculture to investigate a bargain which exists between a cattle drover and the abattoir company.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I agree with the minister that it would not be the duty of the government, if they found such a state of things, to take any steps to correct it. But I do say that the government could afford valuable information in discussing a question of this kind. If there is such an understanding with the abattoir people, then it removes the loss and responsibility from the abattoir people and places it either upon the farmer or upon the cattle dealer.

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April 5, 1910