December 13, 1910

LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

I can't help that. I am giving the hon. gentleman my own opinion. I do think, though, that if we could get the duty taken off pork going into the United States by taking the duty off pork coming into Canada it would benefit the farmers of Ontario to such an extent that you could hardly calculate it. I base this statement on the prices of pork in the United States during the last five years.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOK.

Do I understand the hon. gentleman to say that he would advocate the free admission of Canadian pork into the United States on condition of the free admission of American pork into Canada?

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LIB
CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOB.

The price of our pork is a good deal higher than theirs.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

Is it? Sir, the hon. gentleman cannot show me in any chief market in the United States where their pork is not higher to-day than it is in anyf chief market in Canada.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOB.

Is it not a fact that Canadian pork brings a better price in the British markets than American pork?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

No, it is not a fact. It is not a fact that Canadian beef brings a better price than American beef. But it is a fact that American beef brings from 4 to a cent a pound more in England than Canadian beef. That is a fact, as the hon. gentleman will see by the quotations.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOB.

Let me inform the hon. gentleman that the Minister of Agriculture's own commission stated that Canadian beef brought a better price in the British market than American beef.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

I cannot help that. I am giving the market quotations. Now, Mr. OWEN. '

Sir, I have only to say, in conclusion, that I hope the Minister of Agriculture will do everything he can to assist the farmers of Canada, not alone the farmers of Ontario, but of all Canada, in reducing the transportation price of their goods to market. That is the main thing we want to-day. We also want as much information as we can get concerning experiments that have been carried on successfully, either in stock raising or producing grain at the experimental farms throughout Canada.

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Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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L-C

John Herron

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. JOHN HEBEON (Macleod).

My excuse for addressing the House on this subject is the fact that a portion of my constituency is vitally interested in it. Perhaps if I were in the fortunate position of my hon. friend from North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt), who has just taken his seat, I might not be here to complain about conditions in the northwest. He has certainly-painted a very rosy picture of the conditions of the farmers in his own locality. I am sorry to say, however, that the farmers in the part of the country where I reside do not consider themselves as occupying so favourable a position. Now, the great expansion of the grain growing industry in the west is something of which we are all proud. Its growth in recent years has been so phenomenal and so extensively advertised that it has in some measure overshadowed every other branch of agriculture. More especially has it overshadowed the cattle raising industry, which, though, perhaps, not so remunerative to individuals, is of just as great economic value to the nation. I may say that it is only within the last seven or eight years that farmers have come into our country and taken possession of the soil for the purpose of agriculture, but the advance has certainly been phenomenal during that short period. Places which were oncp noted for growing a splendid quality of beef, perhaps the best in Canada, if not the best on the continent, axe now noted for growing a very special quality of wheat. That is partially because of people abandoning cattle raising and going into wheat growing. Grain growing is a great industry, and if we consider its relative importance in the world's trade with dairying and cattle raising, we must come to the conclusion that the latter is the basic industry, upon the success of which our whole fabric of agriculture rests. I think we all agree that without cattle to consume a large portion of the products of the farm, the raising of grain would eventually become a failure. Although our fields are fertile at the present time, we will have to face that condition the same as other countries are facing it to-day. Let us examine the trade figures. Last year we exported, of animals and their produce, $53,926,515. In 1903 the figures were $69,817,542. This is a falling off in 6 years of

$16,000,000 in our exports of animals and their products.

Our exports of agricultural products last year were $90,000,000 in round numbers of which $88,000,000 in round numbers was the value of bread-stuffs. These figures in 1903 amounted to only $44,624,000. It will thus be seen that while the value of our exports of agricultural products is increasing, the value of our exports of animal products is declining. This line of products has doubled practically in six years. We find also that in the chief market of the world, Great Britain, the imports, in 1875 and in 1908 were as follow :

Imports of Imports

Year. Cereals. of Meats.1875 $284,000,000 $ 83,500,0001908

368,000,000 247,000,000

From these figures we deduct that Great Britain is every year increasing her imports of meat while we are increasing our export of cereals at the expense of our cattle trade. These figures speak for themselves and go to show that we are working along in the opposite direction to what would be the natural course of events if we were working for the best advantage of the people of this country, taking advantage of the best market of the world in two lines of products for the production of which the country is equally adapted.

I have here two publications authorized by this government, one an Atlas in Canada, dated 1910 and the other the Report of Dr. Rutherford, chief of the veterinary service, and live stock commissioner for Canada. At page 50 of the Atlas I find a picture of a herd of steers and a beautiful ranch and I read beneath it :

More than 71,000 head of cattle, over $3,000,000, are the handsome figures representing in 1906 the sales of surplus stock by farmers in this newly-settled Alberta country. These figures will look small, however, a few years hence, when the fine grazing and even climate of the districts west of Edmonton and Calgary become as well known and highly appreciated as they will be soon.

This beautiful picture of the ranch was drawn in 1906. At page 53 of the same work I find :

From the ranches of the province 75,000 head of cattle were sold last year, the total value being over three million dollars and over one million dollars was received in the sale of horses marketed during the year.

The number of cattle exported from Alberta in 1903 was 18,500, valued at $825,000; in 1905 this number was increased to 74,300, valued at three and a half million dollars.

That was an increase from 1903 to 1905, in two years, from 18,000 to 74,000 head. These are fine figures and this a very rosy picture. But let me turn to the special report of Dr. J. G. Rutherford, issued in

1909, under authority of the Minister of Agriculture whose name appears in large letters on the front page. On page 2, under the head ' History of Canadian "Ranches ', the first sentence reads :

The ranching industry in Canada is rapidly passing. In Saskatchewan and Alberta the handwriting is already on the wall, and in these provinces it is only a matter of time until even the districts still regarded as unfit for general agriculture will, through modern methods of dry farming or by means of irrigation, be brought under cultivation.

There is no question regarding the truth of the statements of this paragraph of the report of Dr. Rutherford, because this ranch country which at one time extended over perhaps half a million square miles of our province has dwindled down until it is contained in an area of perhaps 10,000 square miles with Medicine Hat in Alberta about the centre of the ranching business. So you may see from the ranching point of view that the handwriting is certainly on the wall and that the industry will very soon be a thing of the past.

This is not a new question, it has been placed before the government on various occasions in the last four or five years, it has been brought to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture and the government again and again. We are about tired of calling for aid and are almost reconciled to our fate. Our only hope is that a change of government and a new policy may come before the cattle trade in the west-is killed altogether. What we want is a government that will take an interest in the agricultural interests of this country and a Minister of Agriculture who will be ready to see that the farmers of Canada get what they are entitled to. The farming interests constitute a large percentage of our population, it is the producing element of our population and at present the farmers are certainly getting very little recognition from this government, they are not getting what they should get, and I see no hope for the people of our country except a change of government which I think will certainly come on the first opportunity the people have to express their will. It is not only in the west that complaints are being made. Only the other day at a meeting of live-stock men in Guelph it was pointed out that government neglect was killing this great industry in every part of Canada. I take it that the chief aim of a government is not to collect taxation, not to help grafters or friends, but to place the national industries of the country on a sound and stable basis. The stock-raising business is one of the most important industries that a country can possess. Every one knows that unless we soon undertake mixed farming in the west, it will not be many years until we will

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cease to grow the grain of which we are now so proud. The grain-growers are crowding out the ranch-men and cattle-rangers but the grain men will soon need the cattle to restore to the soil the fertility which grain-growing takes away from it. That is a maxim known to every man interested in agriculture. This government has been warned again and again 'by its own officials against neglecting this industry but nothing has 'been done. Why is the cattle

A strong agitation sprang up in the old country against this system. The farmers there wanted protection. Even in free trade England they got their protection under an assumed name. It was claimed that this system endangered the health of British herds, and an embargo was placed on foreign cattle. This was done and all foreign cattle sent to England have to be slaughtered on arrival. This has virtually killed the cattle trade in western cattle.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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?

Mr. R. G.@

Matthews, secretary of the Western Stock Grower's Association, in an address before the great meeting of the National Live Stock Association in Ottawa, 1908, said:

We are within reasonable distance of the end, and it is only a question of a short time under present conditions when the western provinces will he importing beef instead of exporting it.

At present it costs from $3 to $32 to land a head of cattle from the west to Liverpool. When they get there they do not bring as much as other cattle because of the long journey and the shrinkage. Mr. Greig, of Winnipeg, who is well posted on this subject, some time ago gave the price in Liverpool as follows:

American cattle 13 00 cents per lb.

Canadian cattle 12 30 "

Canadian ranch cattle.. .. 10-28 "

As soon as the embargo was placed upon cattle other countries began to equip themselves to meet the changed conditions in trade. First to adjust themselves to the changes, came the consuming countries, England, France and Germany. They in-Mr. HERRON.

augurated large systems of cold storage warehouses. The exigencies of the law would not permit of the cattle being held alive in England to meet market conditions, so it was arranged that the beef that was slaughtered would be held for the market, and thus steady prices. It is now estimated that Great Britain passes annually through its cold storage warehouses over a billion dollars worth of meat products. No sooner were these warehouses established in England than foreign shippers of live stock began to realize that it would be much to their own advantage to go into the cold storage business also and kill the cattle at home. Now the bulk of meats shipped from the Argentine Republic and from the United States, that used formerly to be shipped on the hoof, are shipped in cold storage. In both the Argentine Republic and the United States the trade in live stock had been well organized and it was not very hard to get the money to build cold storage and embark in the new business. Private enterprises worked out the problem, but at the same time the business resolved itself into trusts. The ' Big Six ' packing houses now handle all the meat products of the United States, which is said to amount to $1,300,000,000 annually that passes through cold storage for home and foreign shipments. The value of these cold storage warehouses and freezers is placed at $30,000,000. In 1899 the trade had required 9,164 cars. Now there are over 100,000 refrigerator cars in use.

In the Argentine Republic the ' Big Eight ' companies do the chilled meat trade, both domestic and foreign. This foreign chilled meat trade in 1907 amounted to" $40,000,000, an increase in seven years of $32,000,000. The live stock export trade in 1900 amounted only to $8,444,410. It will thus be seen that cold storage in the Argentine in less than ten years has increased exports 500 per cent.

In the days when cattle were shipped into Great Britain on the hoof - from Canada, the Argentine and United States, the Australian and New Zealand trade did not amount to much. The distance was too great to ship cattle alive, and the only trade that could be carried on was frozen mutton. The geographical position of Canada, and her nearness to the British market gives her a vast advantage. The manner in which this trade in frozen mutton was conducted by New Zealand, however, showed the way to the Argentine and the United States, when they inaugurated their chilled meat trade. Owing to the distance New Zealand and Australia are from the British market their meat products have to be sent in a frozen state which take from their value about 50 per cent, whereas Canadian meat products are

practically the same value on the British market as fresh slaughtered meat. The embargo placed on cattle by the British government, gave Australia and New Zealand an opportunity to participate in the chilled meat trade, and both these countries have become extensive shippers. New Zealand with her small population now ships about $21,000,000 worth of chilled meat per year; Australia about $10,000,000 worth per year. In 1878, 32 years ago, New Zealand did not ship one dollar's worth.

In these countries, the cattle trade was much in the same position as it is at present in western Canada. The government however, in the face of tremendous depression in trade, and hard times, faced the situation, and these countries, Australia and New Zealand, began establishing cold storage depots throughout the country, where mutton, beef and farm produce could be gathered, chilled and shipped to the British markets. The result has more than justified this paternal action. Business has expended, and to-day we are purchasing New Zealand butter and Australia's chilled and frozen mutton in British Columbia and Alberta.

Now, what lessons are we to learn from the experience of other countries? We know that our trade is adversely affected. We know that that trade is iso affected by the lack of proper transportation facilities. We know now that there is not -sufficient private capital available to take a hold of the business in a proper manner in the west; and we know that, if it should, the farmers and ranchers would soon be in the clutches of trusts, that we would have another Big Six or Big Eight doing the cold meat business for us, and that we would have to take whatever price the dealers chose to pay to us for our live stock.

The conditions which prevail in our western country, with its enormous influx of new settlers, and the great opportunities for speculation, which are open to people with money, are such that it will be impossible to raise money there to establish the necessary facilities for the shipping of meat in proper condition. It is because of the lack of these facilities that the meat industry of that country has sunk to such a deplorable position as it is in to-day, and unless the government sees its way to do something to revive that industry, it i;s going to be in a very bad condition in the near future.

With the examples of these other countries before us, we must come to the conclusion that this government should follow the example of New Zealand or Australia. Cold storage warehouses should be established by the government and the railways should be compelled to supply us with refrigerator cars. This is the only solution of this question. It will take a'

long time for private enterprises to build this trade up as it should be. In the meantime, we may be left hopelessly behind in the markets of the world, as far as chilled meat trade is concerned.

The hon. Minister of Agriculture may say that the number of cattle in the west is not sufficient to justify any expenditure upon cold storage warehouses by the government. If the government showed any disposition to provide these facilities, it would not be very long until there would be plenty of cattle in the west. The growth of the trade of New Zealand and Australia proves this. This is an illustration of the old proverb, where there is a will there is_ a way. If the minister took a proper interest in that country, he would find a way to help the ranchers; and there is no doubt that if he encouraged that business as he might and should, tire supply would, in a short time, be ample to fulfil all the requirements.. There would be no difficulty about the supply if there were only a steady market and a better mode of transportation.

The Prime Minister says that he is opposed to government ownership, but is in favour of government control. I suppose he means by that, that he is not in favour of the government owning utilities, but prefers the trusts to control the government, which is not exactly what he says, but is how it works out.

For my part, I believe in the government establishing these warehouses, and operating them as part of our transportation system. This plan has worked successfully in New Zealand and Australia and there is no reason why it should not work out successfully here. But under present conditions anything is better than nothing.

The western farms, if they are going to be the graneries of the world, must have fertile fields. To accomplish this, we must have cattle raising as well as gra'in growing. In order to succeed in cattle raising we must adopt modern methods, and it is not too much for us to expect or to ask from this government to do what has been done in other colonies successfully, and establish cold storage warehouses in the west, in order to encourage the export of chilled meats to the markets of the world. The farmer then will be pocketing the difference in the freight and the shrinkage which in itself is a very large profit, and Canada will very soon take its former position in the foreign markets as a meat and produce exporting country.

I have here a private letter from which I wish to read a short extract to show the experience of a very large shipper of cattle from our country to the old country. He says:- ,

1248'

I will now endeavour to give you whatever little information I have along these lines. I have myself seen cattle loaded here in Alberta, and thirty days afterwards I saw the same cattle being slaughtered at Liverpool, England, and while I have no figures to designate the exact shrinkage in this particular shipment, it was almost impossible to recognize them as being the same cattle. They had lost very materially in weight, and showed that they had suffered from the hardships of the trip. We have no positive figures of the shrinkage of the cattle from here to Liverpool, but my judgment would be that they would lose fully 20 per cent.

I have also a clipping from the Edmon^ ton * News ' of February 19, 1910, which gives a very good description of the situation as it was in Alberta at that time:-

One of the most important matters before the people of Alberta is that of chilled meat. It is absolutely essential to the prosperity of the province, both in town and country, that the value of our flocks and herds should not only be maintained but increased, and there never was a more opportune time than now to strengthen the hands of the farmer and stock-raiser in the production of beef and mutton.

It is roughly computed that the average price of first-class beef for the last three years has been from 3 to 3} cents on foot, hardly a paying proposition to the stock-raiser. The figure average would not be at all likely to go over 3J cents per pound. This is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs when we consider our many and great natural advantages-

What seems to be mostly required is a stable and steady market for live stock the year round. This can only be obtained by cold storage and chilled meat exportation. By this latter method not only would the grower obtain a far better price for his beef cattle, but the markets would be steady and such as he could depend upon. It would be a fairly safe estimate to make, that good, well-fed cattle could be sustained in price at 5 cents per pound, and would seldom if ever go below that mark. The difference between selling a good 3-year-old steer of, say 1,200 pounds weight, between 3 cents and 5 cents per pound is $36 in one case, $60 in the other, a differ ence of $24. _

Counting the cost of rearing, attention and feed, three-year-old steers, sold at 3 cents per pound, represent in most cases a deficit, while if the same animals are sold at 4 j, even or 5 cents per pound and over, they represent a healthy state of trade and are a source of profit to their owner who is encouraged to go on and bring others into the business.

This extra money earned would not only benefit the producer, but would also be found circulating in all branches of trade and would be a benefit to the whole community.

A question was raised by one speaker in reference to the prices of meat in the various large markets of the world. On the date on which this article appeared, beef was selling in Winnipeg at $3.76 per 100 pounds, while the same class of 'beef Mr. HERRON.

was selling at Chicago at $6,27 per 100 pounds. This shows that for some reason or other the market in our country is in a very unhealthy state. If this government will not do something for the farming interest, that interest is certainly bound to suffer. If our grain fields are to be maintained, if we are to continue a wheat producing country, our farmers must have stock with which to replenish the land; now under present conditions I know from experience in the province in which I live that there are farmers in that province who are growing as high as 20,000 bushels of wheat and yet who do not own 10 head of cattle. I know of dozens more who grow 10,000 bushels of wheat each and have not more than five or ten head of cattle. If the government were willing to do something for the farmers, if the Minister of Agriculture were in earnest, I can see no reason wny we would not have in Alberta one of the greatest cattle producing countries in the west. Such a system would benefit local consumers as well as add to the profits of the producers. Just to show the climatic conditions we enjoy, I might point out that in the early days we had thousands of cattle ranging at large over the hills with no provision for feed and shelter except what nature provided. That state of things continued during a number of years which shows that by handling this business in a proper way we would become one of the greatest cattle producing countries in the world. We have the area and the climatic conditions, we have everything at our hands for the purpose. The hon. minister has said that the reason the government are not establishing these cold storage plants is because there is not sufficient supply for them. Well, the supply will come if we had only a steady market. It has been shown by other gentlemen who have addressed the House that at certain seasons of the year when cattle and hogs are slaughtered, as soon as the first consignments are put on the market down go the prices ; and I have shown that prices have gone as low for cattle as 14 cents a pound on the hoof and for hogs as low as 34 cents. Under such conditions it is impossible for farmers to raise cattle, so that if the government will not do somettnng to encourage this industry it will soon become a thing of the past and the whole country will suffer even from a wheat producing standpoint.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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LIB

Alexander Wilson Smith

Liberal

Mr. A. W. SMITH (North Middlesex).

To a considerable extent, Mr. Speaker, I am in sympathy with the resolution offered by my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule). I am always in sympathy with anything w-hich has a tendency to benefit the farmer. I agree with the hon. gentleman that not enough has been done in the

farming interest, but I am convinced that more has been done than my hon. friend is [DOT]willing to admit. I regret exceedingly the doleful tone in which he introduced his resolution and the despairing view he took with regard to the live-stock of Canada. With his statement of the case I am not at all prepared to agree, and am convinced that the deductions he made from the figures he was able to produce were not warranted. The fact that our export of live-stock has decreased, he considers an indication of the decay and the unprofitableness of the live-stock industry. This is not a correct diagnosis of the case. The fact that less cattle are exported from Canada does not mean at all that our production of cattle has decreased, but what it does mean is that they are being consumed in Canada instead of exported. In proof of this let me point to the facts as I find them in the United States report. The advanced report of their census, taken this year regarding live-stock, would indicate that the number of cattle in the United States has increased by several millions as compared with several years ago ; and yet reading down the Trade -and Commerce report I notice that in 1900 the United States exported to Great Britain and other foreign countries nearly 6,000,000 hundred weight of pork, bacon and other animal products, whereas, in 1909 they exported only some 3,326,000 hundred weight. From Canada I find that in 1900 we exported 748,000 hundred weight and in 1909 only 497,000 hundred weight, which is not nearly the ratio of decrease that occurred in the United States, where notwithstanding the large decrease in exports, the number of cattle had increased as shown by their census so largely in those ten years. It cannot, therefore, be inferred that Canada's production is decreasing in pork, bacon, hams, cattle and sheep and their meat equivalents.

Take the exports of beef from the United States, in 1900 there were 5,693,000 hundred weight exported to Great Britain, and in 1909, 2,404,000 hundred weight, while from the Dominion of Canada the exports were 708,000 hundred weight in 1900 and 715,000 hundred weight in 1909, which would indicate that the increase in cattle and beef and other products had been greater in Canada than in the United States, instead of decreasing as the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) has tried to make out, taking our exports as a basis.

Taking the exports to Great Britain of mutton, I find that from the United States, in 1900, 82,000 cwt. were exported, -and in 1909 that had been reduced to 6,000 cwt., whilst in the Dominion of Canada 26,000 cwt. in 1900 had been reduced to 2,000 cwt. in 1909, a decrease quite in correspondence with the decrease in the United States, yet it is claimed that the increase in the United 40

States of live sheep is almost one-eighth in the same period of time, from which I think I can easily conclude that the number of sheep has not decreased in Canada. As a matter of fact, the farmers engaged in livestock and who combine that with other branches of their farming are undoubtedly our most prosperous farmers. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) indicated that in other branches of agriculture there was prosperity among the farmers because of their export of products being larger than that of livestock. That is not the case. Any person conversant with the farming community will know that when he wants to see the most decided indications of prosperity among the farmers he must look almost invariably to those engaged in livestock in some way. Further than that, the financial condition of the livestock men, or those who make livestock a considerable part of their business, is better than that of those engaged in other lines of farming. Notwithstanding the assumption that the livestock industry of our Dominion is going to the dogs, as a matter of fact, there is a decided increase in the interest taken in all branches of livestock, and particularly in the one referred to by the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) as being in a very distressed condition-the sheep industry. We find that there is a marked revival in this industry. And there is good reason for it. For a few years past the profits of sheep raising have been much greater than they were before, and this has been an incentive to a large number of farmers to introduce small flocks. Those in the west engaged largely in grain growing are adopting this method. In proof of this I may state that during the present year in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan a number of carloads of sheep have been introduced by the assistance of the livestock associations, which have been assisted in turn by the government. These sheep were sold by auction. Though the promoters of the scheme anticipated that there would be a deficit on the transaction the grain growing farmers were so anxious to secure the foundations of flocks of sheep that there was a profit from the transaction. In every country where grain farming has been carried to -an extreme the impoverishment of the soil has followed. The people, after they have taken the cream from the soil by grain growing, fall back on live stock to revive the soil and bring it into a state of fertility. One of the chief reasons why the livestock interests are prospering is the increase in the price. All kinds of livestock are higher than they were fourteen years ago. Take, for instance, horses. At that time, if we were able to sell them at all, they were bought very largely jor export, and at a very small price. And the number of horses exported and the prices that we obtained at that

time made horses a very considerable item in the exports of farm products. To-day we export scarcely any horses, and yet our production is a great deal larger and the prices we obtain are higher. Now, these horses, instead of being exported, are bought and taken out to western Canada. There they are purchased very largely by the farmers and still more largely, probably, for construction on the great Transcontinental and other railways. The number of cattle exported from the Dominion is undoubtedly considerably less than it was some years ago. There is good reason for this. The price is higher than it was at that time, so that the farmer is actually making more money from the produce of the farm in the shape of cattle than he was at that time. The home consumption is so much greater now than it was then that it absorbs all classes of cattle. The butcher cattle of our Toronto and Montreal markets are selling at almost as high prices as the cattle for export. The reason is that there is not sufficient supply of butcher cattle on the market, and the buyers are obliged to take some of those 'which otherwise would be exported. Then, with regard to the western cattle, as the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) pointed out, so great has been the demand for home consumption that not only have large numbers of cattle been kept here of the class that were formerly exported, but they have taken the feeder class of cattle, which formerly were taken to the country and returned prime export animals and' have used them for consumption in Canada. This has necessitated the importation from the west of a large number of cattle. Hundreds and hundreds of carloads have been brought into Ontario and sold to the Ontario farmers .as feeders. The result has been higher prices for western cattle than have * prevailed in the western provinces for many years.

Now, with regard to the sheep industry, while the Minister of Agriculture said there were certain reasons, some of them climatic, why that industry has not increased as rapidly as it might, I think that on the whole, we have not much reason to complain. It is to be remembered that our sheep breeders have been highly successful in all the large exhibitions held in the United States, where our Canadian animals have succeeded in winning the highest trophies. Year after year ^Canadian breeders bring their sheep into competition with the best that can be produced in any country, and have been able to carry away the highest honours. Particularly is this the case with regard to sheep for mutton. During the last seven years five times has the grand championship of America for the best mutton sheep been won by Canadians. (The same remark may be made with regard to horses, and to a cer-Mr. SMITH (Middlesex).

tain extent, with regard to cattle. While we have not come into competition with the United States to a great extent with respect to swine, yet when our product has been brought face to face with the American product we have been able to secure very satisfactory results. This would indicate that we are not behind the Americans in the production of the best class of sheep, horses, cattle or swine. I think one of the reasons why our farmers do not engage more largely in sheep-raising, is that they find many other lines of the live stock industry more profitable than sheep-raising, and naturally they choose those lines which give the best returns. On the whole we are able to show that the raising of sheep, mutton sheep particularly, is being profitably carried on ,in Canada.

One paragraph of the motion of the hon. member for East Grey calls upon the government to pay greater attention to cold storage transportation. On this point I think the Minister of Agriculture was quite correct when he said that so far as cold storage transportation is concerned, it is quite equal to the' requirements of the country at the present time. I have no doubt that as the requirements of the country call for greater cold storage facilities, they will be provided by the government. As to the question of abattoirs, or slaughter houses, I think the position of the Minister of Agriculture is quite sound, I do not think the time has yet arrived when the farmers of Canada are able to guarantee a sufficient number of cattle, sheep or swine to warrant the government in expending for abattoirs so large a sum of money as has been mentioned. Some hon. members opposite have spoken of the $8,000,000 proposed to be expended for this purpose as a paltry sum. I consider it as a considerable sum, especially as it would be expended in the way of experiment. As in respect to cold storage facilities, so in respect to abattoirs, I have no_ doubt that just as soon as the necessity arises the government will furnish all the assistance that is required. It is from the province of Alberta that the most urgent requests have come to the government for the establishment of government owned abattoirs. Let me point out that the provincial government of Alberta have been urged very strongly to provide packing houses under government control, or built by the government, for the use of the people. After a considerable amount of discussion the provincial government in 1908 made this proposition, that just so soon as the farmers of Alberta were prepared to guarantee a sufficient number of hogs to warrant the government in providing the packing houses, that would be done, and up to this time no such guarantee has been provided. And yet during these last two years the farmers

of Alberta have been receiving for their hogs a larger price than in any previous year. This I think is an argument in support of the position that the time has not yet arrived when the farmers of the Dominion of Canada are able to guarantee a sufficient number of cattle, sheep or swine to warrant the government in undertaking an enterprise of that kind.

As I said in the beginning of my remarks, I am to a large extent in sympathy with the motion of my hon. friend from East Grey. While I would be willing to support him in any move having for its object the benefit of the farmers, yet, after all that the government of Canada and the Minister of Agriculture have succeeded in doing for the farmers, I would certainly be unwilling to support a motion practically censuring them for not doing anything at all. For this reason I shall be obliged to vote against the motion.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. SHARPE (Lisgar).

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Smith, iunmiie-sex, N.) will forgive me if I do not follow him in his argument, but I shall endeavour to meet some of the points advanced by him as I go along. I wish to congratulate the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) for bringing this matter before the government at this time, because the chilled meat trade in Western Canada is a very important question. The minister said this afternoon that he was pleased and satisfied with the conditions throughout Canada in connection with the dead meat business. If so the hon. gentleman is easily satisfied or else he does not understand the conditions. He practically admitted in his speech this afternoon that as far as his own department is concerned it was a failure, and that he had not been making good as Minister of Agriculture. I would ask him if he has ever had this question of the chilled meat trade investigated in connection with Australia, the Argentine Republic or the United States? This is something that he should do, he should go into it very fully. He said this afternoon that he had always followed out the suggestions made by his employees. I understand that Dr. Rutherford advised the government to establish a cold storage system for chilled meat throughout Canada. I may be wrong in this, but I understand that to be a fact.

The reason for the high price of beef in Canada to-day is that the meat combine of Western Canada and the hog combine of Western Canada have driven the producers out of the business. The minister has been asked time and time again to investigate the meat trade of Canada. Delegation after delegation has come to Ottawa and made this request and in each case the minister has refused to investigate. Then the farmers of Manitoba took the matter up in con-40^

nection with the provincial government ; they asked the Roblin government to investigate it, a provincial commission was appointed, that commission travelled from one end of the province to the other, thoroughly investigating the conditions. Did they find that the farmers were satisfied and making money out of the cattle trade? No, they did not, they found that on every beef that a farmer raised to 3 years old he lost $5.80. They also found that the dealer made $13.60 on each beef, and that the abattoir people or the beef combine of Western Canada made $23.10 on every head of cattle on which the producer was losing $5.80. These are the actual conditions in Western Canada to-day and these are the conditions with which the Minister of Agriculture says he is perfectly satisfied. I am told that in Montreal the public abattoir slaughters the beef and hands it out to the retailer for one dollar a head, but we in Western Canada have to pay $23.10 for the same service. I say it is a shame that such conditions should exist. I represent a rural constituency and I know of lots of farmers throughout my constituency who in the past have kept 50, 75 and 100 head of cattle, but who are now entirely going out of that business because there is absolutely no money in it for them. The scarcity of beef and pork in this country to-day and the high price of these products is due to the driving of these men from the business. The same conditions pertain to Alberta and Saskatchewan as you have been told here to-night. We have to compete not only with the beef combine and the pork combine in Western Canada; even the transportation companies are standing in with these large dealers and opposing everything in connection with a private man shipping cattle in any shape or form. How do they do it? A man will come into a station and ask for cars. The agent will say: Yes, we will have cars here for you on a certain day. The man then drives in his stock, perhaps 300 or 400 head, and he will have to hold these cattle there for days at a time. The transportation companies will not supply the cars as they agreed to do. If any person doubts this statement, let him look at the report of the second general convention of the National Live Stock Association. In it he will find that the conditions are just as I say. They hold the cars back and will not supply them. Then the dealer, the agent of the beef combine, will come along and will offer the man in the first place $27.50 a head for his stock. He refuses to take it and then after a few days the agent returns and offers him $40. There is no car in sight, but the producer refuses this price also. Then they hold him up a day or two longer and the agent offers him $42. He has to take this price because he is feeding this stock with hay at $6, $8

and $10 a ton. This is the way in which we are being held up not only by the beef trust but by the transportation companies as well, and this is the condition with which the minister is satisfied.

The minister has also been asked time and time again to open up new markets. There are resolutions in this report asking him to open new markets, and I would like to know if he has done it, if he has ever made any attempt to open a market for the thoroughbred stock of this country. The Live Stock Association of Canada have again and again asked him to go into the cold storage business and investigate it, and I think it is time the minister was doing something of this kind to assist the cold storage industry-or else he should go to the Senate and allow some other man to do it. The minister's reply is at page 95 of this report. The reason he there gives to the stock men for not going into the cold storage business in this country is not as he has told us here to-day. He says in this report that he will not go into this business because he might have to spend some money in Liverpool. I say it makes no difference where he spends the money of this country if it will relieve the situation and help out the settlers throughout Canada. Seemingly he will not help the producer either at home or abroad.

The Minister of Agriculture has changed a good deal since last year or the year before in stating his reasons why the export of farm products is decreasing year after year. To-day, he says the decrease is because of home consumption, but in 1909 he said it was because the farmers of Canada were slipshod, indifferent, lazy and careless. To-day he has changed his tune. Sir, when the Minister of Agriculture calls the farmers of this country slipshod, lazy and careless he is far beside the mark. I would account for the decrease in our exports because of the fact that the minister and the government have not gone into this question thor-1 oughly and worked ft out to a successful issue as they should have done. Last year or the year before the minister sent a commission to England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and Holland to look into the swine business, but he knows as well as I know, and I know as well as he knows, that we can grow as good pork in Canada as can be grown anywhere in the world, and that no pork products bring a higher price on the market than do ours. But, he wanted to give these friends of his a jaunt to the old country and so he sent them off on this commission, which cost' the people of Canada $8,242.11, and I have no hesitation in saying that the report they brought back is absolutely not worth one cent. Again, the minister put the cart before the horse. If he had sent his Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

commission to Australia, to the Argentine republic, or to the United States to inquire into how they handle their cold storage and chilled meat business, there might have been some benefit accruing to the country, but as usual, the minister went the wrong way about it. The hon. gentleman from North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) said the government should not do this, that, and the other thing, but in my opinion one of the functions of the govern-' ment is to stand between the consumer and the producer to see that there is no undue toll taken by the one from the other, and if they find that one class of our people is being robbed by the other it is their duty to come to the relief of the oppressed. The hon. member for Ottawa (Mr. McGiverin) gave us figures some time ago to show the great prosperity of Canada, but he forgot to tell us that the exportation of everything raised and grown on the farms of this country, except wheat,! is decreasing every year. Canada is a farming country, and surely such a condition should not exist. I shall give to the House figures in connection with some of the most important branches of the live stock industry on the farm to show how their exportation is decreasing year by

year.

EXPORT OE HAMS AND BACON. Year. Value.

1903 $15,906,000

1909 8,835,000

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   ALL OTHER HORNED CATTLE.
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EXPORTS OF CHEESE.


Year. - Value. 1903 $24,776,400 1909 20,000,000


EXPORTS OF SHEEP.


Year. Value. 1903 $1,655,000 1909 169,000


EXPORTS OF HORSES.


Year. Value. 1903 $1,447,170 1909 367,250


EXPORTS OF POTATOES.

December 13, 1910