December 13, 1910

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

It is just what I have said-the consuming capacity of the country has been increasing more rapidly than the producing capacity.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

It is because-

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

If not that, what is the cause?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

The cause simply is that the beef combine and the hog combine in western Canada have driven the producers out of the business.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

If they have done it by

offering prices of $7.50 to $9.25 per hundred weight for hogs, I can only say that I wish some combine would proceed to drive the farmers of the east out of the business in that way.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

In years past the combine has been so severe on the producer that the farmers are not producing pork at the present time.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes, but the price has been up-

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

For the last two years.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

And we know perfectly well that hogs can be produced in less than a year. Having had these prices this year and last year, there is no reason why they should not produce thousands of these animals. They would have done it had they been interested in the business, the demand on the market being so great.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

But the moment the farmers went to producing pork, the price would go down, two, three, four cents a pound.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

It is a question for the farmers to decide whether they wish to produce poTk at these prices or not. I am not going to tell them what they ought to do. But farmers receiving these prices are doing well and are in a position to make a great deal of money.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

Yes, when they have anything to sell.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes. And, of course, if they do not produce they have nothing to sell. On the other hand, they have not the expense of production. But producing for a market with such prices they would make a profit of a hundred per cent, and I think the farmers there are ready to produce for a less percentage of profit than that. Now, take other prices. Steers sold in May for $5 to $5.25 per hundredweight. The price did not go below $5 until August, and from August on to November the prices ran from $3.50 to $4. These are very fair prices^ for the time of the year, one which. I think, would be quite profitable to the farmers of Alberta. Sheep fit to kill ran from $6 to $6.50 per hundred pounds in May. The price remained above $5 until July, and in August, and up to the end of September, the price was from $5 to $5.50. Lambs fit to kill ran from $6.50 to $7 per hundred pounds. The price did not go down as low as $6 until September. Are these prices profitable to the farmers? I do not profess to give an opinion as to what the farmers ought to make on these prices in the west, though I know something about the conditions in the east. With such knowledge as I have, I should think that, at these prices, the farmers of the west should be able to make a profit of a hundred per cent on the cost of what they sell. Now, these figures show that the export trade concerning which my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) talks so much cannot possibly increase under the

conditions. The markets in England will not justify such nrices. You cannot expect an export trade to increase when the prices at home are so large, and the home consumption is so large. I repeat that the producing power of this country in the last eight or ten years has not been increasing with the same rapidity as the consuming population, and the result is that a very much larger proportion of our agricultural products are consumed at home, and there is a less proportion available for export.

I want to mention another thing which perhaps, may not affect the west so much, but it certainly affects the east. By reason of various economic facts, it has been well understood for the last few years that the reward of a man's toil and investment in other industries, has been much greater than it has been in agriculture, notwithstanding the high prices which farmers have received for a great deal of their products. The consequence is, that a great number of men and women who used to be engaged in agriculture, and who were glad to live on the farm, have drifted into he cities, and have taken up other occupations, dealing with the country's commerce, railroads, mining, transportation, and so forth. The consequence is, that there is to-day, on the farms of eastern Canada, at any rate, less labour and less efficient labour available for agricultural products than there used to be six or eight years ago. This is a fact, which we cannot but recognize, and which we must all deplore. I know that personally, being engaged in farming myself, I deplore it very much, and I find it detrimental to the progress and prosperity of the country. The result is, combined with other things, that our exports of agricultural products, with the exception of raw grades produced in the northwest, have been decreasing, and perhaps in some particular instances, there may be some slight failure in the progress of production.

What I said with regard to dairy products, I believe is true, with regard to meat products. I believe that more meat is produced in Canada to-day ithan there was ten years ago. But Canadians also eat a great deal more meat. I am not sure that there are more sheep, but there is all the sheep that the home market needs, because we export a large quantity of sheep. But in dairy and meat products, I am satisfied that to-day there is a much larger production than there was ten years ago. One thing my hon. friend did not allude to, was the poultry production. There is no question whatever that today there is a far greater production of eggs and poultry meat than there was ten years ago, and yet the prices of those things are much higher. Why ? Because home consumption has increased more rapidly than home production, and the Mr. FISHER.

result is, that the home market for eggs and poultry meat is better than the export market; consequently, we have practically no export of eggs or poultry to Great Britain, and very little to the United States.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Is the minister arguing that these advantages of the home market w?re built up by the National Policy ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Mr. Speaker, my dear friend cannot imagine for a moment that the National Policy has created a home market. The National Policy tried to create a home market for nearly twenty years, and utterly failed. The Liberal policy has created a home market, which has been abundantly successful.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

What is the name of the Liberal policy ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

It is a policy to remove restrictions on trade, and to promote native industries.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

That is a very big system.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Now I wish to say a word or two more in regard to abattoirs. I have here the annual report of the Department of Agriculture for the province of Alberta, and it contains a report of the commissioners on beef, mutton, &c. I have said that this proposal was an enormous one, it was a proposal to expend about eight million dollars. When that proposal was laid before me, I told the promoters frankly that I considered it far too big, that there was no prospect of its being successful. It was a very elaborate scheme, with two or three central plants, and a lot of outside plants. It was going to absorb the whole trade of the counrty. Now while I believe that it is important to promote the development of these different businesses, they ought to have some natural basis for success. They ought to begin in a small way, and grow up, instead of starting out at once as huge enterprises, with an enormous capital invested, which would never have a prospect of paying. The only way in which capital could be tempted into this investment was by the government backing it up, and agreeing to pay all the losses. In short language, that is what the proposal meant. Now, I believe, to a certain extent, in giving public assistance, but I believe that the government should only assist those who are ready to assist themselves. I believe in the government aiding enterprises, but at the same time, private individuals ought to be willing to show their good faith in the enterprise, by putting some of their own money into it, because it would then be more likely to succeed. I say it was too large a scheme for the government to undertake. I have here a report of the commissioners to the

provincial government of Alberta, from which I will read an extract:-

The best thinking farmer and the most substantial feel that there is a course that might be taken to remedy matters, and that an ordinary sized plant might be erected for the purpose of killing and curing hogs only on a basis that will be satisfactory to the farmer and not involve the government in too heavy an expense.

This was a report to- the provincial government and a recommendation to the provincial government of Alberta.

-and will in no way conflict with private enterprise, but would have a tendency to benefit the same, for the reason that the average farmer would go into hog raising, and increase the number and quality of the hogs raised.

In another report on the beef industry, this is the gist ' of the recommendation of that report:-

That the local government established three cattle feeding experiment stations, distributing them properly throughout the province and conduct such experiments as will demonstrate the feasibility of the cattle-feeding business.

For the last few years we have been feeding cattle on the home experimental farm with that exact object in view.

That we do not deem it wise that the government take any active steps in the matter of a canning plant until the two plants now in the course of erection are in operation and results therefrom determined. That we do not find any combine in restraint of trade in the retail butchers' trade.

That is in Alberta. It goes on to say that the Railway Commission be asked to work on the railways, and that it be made compulsory on them to unload cattle at least once every 42 hours, &e.

That the government appoint a Live Stock Commissioner, whose chief business it would be to attend to the marketing of Alberta export cattle, and that he be paid a regular salary by the government, and that the government impose a uniform tax on all shippers according to the number of animals shipped by the said commissioner.

That our investigation into the chilled meat trade has not been sufficient to warrant us making any recommendations and that we respectfully ask your consideration upon the advisability of further investigation into this matter.

Then there is a lot about the brand of the product. That shows that that commission was not prepared to recommend such a proposal as my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) has alluded to.

In the last part of my hon. friend's motion he says:-

In the opinion of this House the government ought to give immediate and effective consideration and attention to this very important subject.

I think we have been giving attention, most immediate and effective consideration, not only lately, but for the last 10 years, to- this very important subject. One would imagine, from what my hon. friend says, that we had no cold storage in the country, that nothing has been done to stimulate cold storage enterprise in Canada. My hon. friend knows that we passed an Act only a few years ago by which we agreed to give a bonus to any one who would establish cold storage warehouses in the country, a bonus of 30 per cent spread over a few years of payments. That has been availed of by a considerable number of people. It has been availed of effectively, because the cold storage plants established in accordance with it and now in operation are doing good service, not only to the meat industry, but to the trade in fruit, eggs and other products of the country. I have here a list of the cold storage plants established under that Act: New Brunswick Cold Storage Co., St. John; Scott & Hogg, Peterborough, Ont.; the Halifax Cold Storage Co., Port Hawkesbury, N.S.; Cold Storage, Ltd., Woodstock, N.B.; the J. D. Moore Co., St. Mary's, Ont.; Lemon Bros., Owen Sound, Ont.; the Chatham Fruit Growers' Association, Chatham, Ont.; the Palmerston Cold Storage Co., Palmerston, Ont.; Davis & Fraser, Charlottetown, P.E.I.; the B. Wilson Co., Victoria, B.C. These are all in operation.

These contracts have already been entered into: The Canadian Fish & Cold Storage Co-., Prince Rupert, B.C.; the Trenton Cooperage Mills, Trenton, Ont.; the Maritime Cold Storage Co., Loekport, N.S.; the Hamilton Cold Storage Co., Hamilton, Ont.; the Dominion Fish and Fruit Co., Quebec, Que.; the St. Lawrence Produce Co., Brockville, Ont. This shows that the Act has been availed of largely all over the country.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Is it working out quite satisfactorily?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE LIVE STOCK INDUSTRY.
Subtopic:   CATTLE, SHEEP AND SWINE.
Permalink

December 13, 1910