Mr. M. S. SCHELL. (South Oxford).
Mr. .Speaker, we all agree as to the importance of the -subject that has been introduced by the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule), and we are all ready to join with him in urging upon the government at all times any efforts that may be necessary for the promotion of the agricultural interests of the Dominion of Canada. The Minister of Agriculture and the government have accomplished a great deal. I do not think they pretend that they have accomplished all that they can do, or that they propose to do. The hon. member for East Grey has proposed in the resolution that the agricultural, horticultural and animal industries of Canada will be -greatly benefited by the establishment of abattoirs. He enlarged somewhat on the position of the province of Alberta, especially as a stock-raising province, and deplored the condition of the sheep and cattle industries of that province, contending that it was not producing any considerable quantity in proportion to its facilities to its possibilities aind its population. He went on to make comparisons with Australia and with Montana-very unfair comparisons, I think; because any one who understands the conditions of agriculture in either Montana or Australia would not for a moment, make a comparison between those countries and Alberta. After con-
vlncing 'himself that there were very few sheep or cattle raised in Alberta, he concluded that thiis government should at once establish abattoirs in that province to take care of the cattle -and sheep which it is not raising, a very illogical and unsound position. I, for one, am not prepared to support any proposition for the expenditure of $8,000,000 or $10,000,000 or $15,000,000, as he intimated he would be willing to spend for the establishment of abattoirs under government supervision. In the first place, I am -sure that the eastern part of the Dominion of Canada is not suffering for abattoirs, and I am -equally sure that there -is no ground for supposing that the province of Alberta is needing abattoirs, because it has not the cattle nor the sheep to slaughter continuously if it had them. An abattoir will only pay when you have a supply of cattle or sheep or hogs, a-s the case may be, that will enable -the operators to run them continuously. He knows perfectly well that cattle are not being fed during tire winter months in Alberta, and consequently, even if the cattle industry were fostered to a considerable extent, and the people were raising enough -cattl-e to warrant the establishment of an abattoir, their present system of feeding these cattle would not justify the establishment of such an institution. The government of Alberta made very careful inquiry into this question, and concluded that it would not pay them as a government to tak-e this matter in hand, and I believe they were wise and sound in their conclusion." If there is a chance to make money in the -establishment of any business, I believe there is enough capital in the Domlnii-on -of Canada seeking investment to undertake the establishment of -such a business. We have men of large capital who are engaged in the handling of stock, in the killing and curing of meat, wh-o would be quite" willing to undertake thi-s tou-sin-e-ss if they saw that it would pay them to do so.
Coming to the eastern section of the province of Ontario, my hon. friend from Dundas (Mr. Broder) deplored the lessening in the number of cows kept in that province. It is true he admitted that a very severe drought which we had in the eastern part of the province accounted in a measure for the depletion of its herds, and I am not prepared to say that in this he was not right. I have no quarrel whatever with him on that point, and I do not think it bears upon the resolution, but I want to take exception to the conclusion he drew that we are not producing as much cheese, butter and milk in the province of Ontario to-day as we did formerly. Whatever the west may be doing, whether the farmers there are raising as many cattle or sheep as formerly or not, I do not think bears directly on the question before the House, but I assert with all assurance that Mr. M. S. SCHELL.
there is more cheese, butter and milk produced in Ontario to-day than at any period in its history. I have before me a statement made by the secretary of the Western Dairymen's Association recently, in which he gave the figures of the production of cheese and butter this year. He says that this year's cheese output will exceed that of 1909, which w-as 661 tons greater than in 1908. Out of 189 factories, 105 reported an increase. The total output of creamery butter in western Ontario in 1910 was 9,552,000 lbs., an increase of 1,602,000 over 1909, a very large increase for the western half of the province. Now, the eastern part of the province may not have made a like increase, but I believe that if you had the figures you would find that the product which has gone through our factories is larger this year than ever. In addition, we find that our farmers have been exporting cream to the United States' to an extent equivalent to nearly 2,000 boxes of cheese in a year. In addition we have very large milk condensing factories lately established in Ontario. We have one in the town of Ingersoll, which will take in from 90,000 to 100,000 lbs. of milk on an average, but which, in the midsummer, takes in a great deal more than that. We have another large one in Tillsonburg, in the county of Oxford, and there is -also one at Aylmer, in the -county of Elgin, which adjoins Oxford county, which also utilizes a large quantity of milk for condensing purposes. If all these items were taken into consideration it would be found beyond doubt that our dairy production is considerably larger than it has been in former years.
You h-ave been given statements, Sir, showing that the increased home consumption accounts for the lessening of the amount exported, and n-o one will take exception to the figures presented to this House. They may take exception to a certain extent, but every one must admit that, as compared with 1903, which was the banner year in our cheese exports, we have one and a half million more people to feed, so that even if they only consumed $8 or $10 of dairy products per -capita in a year that of itself would mean sufficient, if it were taken into account, to make up a larger amount of exports.
Subtopic: EXPORTS OF CATTLE.