February 28, 1911

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes, but they are an offshoot in a way of the American company.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

They have absolutely nothing to do with the American company, so far as their business in Canada is concerned.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

But so far as their patents and their machinery are concerned, they are all one. It is their operations in Canada, which are the exact counterfeit of their operations in the United States, of which the courts are taking cognizance, operations of which the American courts do not take cognizance and do not control.

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CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. AMES.

Does the minister imagine that the beef trust will come into Canada Mr. FISHER.

and be incorporated so that it can be reached by the Canadian courts?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

When they do come into Canada and operate, they will be subject to the laws of Canada.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

What about the Standard oil trust that has been carrying on operations here for years?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The Act I refer to was only passed last year. I said a moment ago that the packing houses would not disappear. I think my hon. friend had in mind particularly the packing houses in Winnipeg. I have heard it said that the packing houses in Winnipeg would disappear, because Chicago would swamp them when the whole west is thrown open and made subservient to the Chicago market. What is the condition of affairs to-day in the United States? Does the Chicago packing business swamp the packing houses in Kansas city, in Omaha or in South St. Paul? We know, if the hon. gentleman does not know, that these cities are doing a large packing-house business. I have here some figures to show what that business is in comparison with the packinghouses of Winnipeg. In Kansas city last year the local killings of cattle were 1,-

284,000 ; of sheep, 1,186,000 ; of hogs, 1,900,000. The local packing and abattoir establishments. of Kansas city showed, of cattle,

773.000 ; of sheep, 1,256,000 ; of hogs, 1,656,000. In South St. Paul, the local killings were 169,000 cattle, 207,000 sheep, and

823.000 hogs.

Compare Winnipeg:

Cattle-80,000; half of those in St. Paul; one-tenth about of those in Omaha; one-fifteenth of those in Kansas City.

Sheep-30,000; one-seventh of those in St. Paul; one-fortieth of those in Omaha; one-thirty-fifth of those in Kansas City.

Ho'ts-91,000; one-ninth of those, in St. Paul; one-twentieth of those in Omaha; one-twentieth of those in Kansas City.

Sir, I believe that with the same price and with the same opportunity of supply, the Winnipeg packers can do as well as the Kansas City, Omaha, or St. Paul packers. I believe they can compete with Chicago just as well as these others can, and I see no reason to suggest that our Winnipeg men are not quite the equals of the business men of these three great American western cities. Why are these cities able to do so well? Because they have a tremendous field to draw upon, because they have the cattle ranges of the whole western states. Our Winnipeg men to-day have only the ranges and farms of cur own northwest, and their supply is limited and small. With the opening of the American market, one of two things will happen. Either the price of the rvestern cattle to these killers in these cities will be higher

and the Winnipeg men will have to come up and pay a higher price, or if it is not higher, the Winnipeg men, with this arrangement, can go across the line, compete there, and draw cattle from there to Winnipeg just as well as they can be drawn to St. Paul or anywhere else. Our Winnipeg packers are flourishing in a local way. Practically the whole of the 80,000 head of cattle in Winnipeg are slaughtered for local consumption. There is no export of meat from the Winnipeg packing houses. The whole is for local consumption, and the reason why they are not able to do an export business, the reason why they are not able to increase their work, is because of the short supply of cattle in our own northwest. I will deal with that in a few minutes. But. with this arrangement there is no reason whatever why Winnipeg, instead of staying where she is, away down in the list of those cities west of Chicago, should not be able to keep up and range herself with them. Chicago is and will be probably forever the great centre of the trade of the middle of this continent. Her geographical position, her start and everything else have taken her far ahead of the other American western cities, and there is no doubt that she will stay there. But the fact that Chicago is at the head of this great business is not inimical to the chances of a great number of other cities doing well, flourishing and advancing. I believe that Winnipeg and the Canadians in Winnipeg and other cities in Canada are quite as well able to do that as those cities which I have named.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Would the minister be good enough to tell us the profits made by these American firms last year. They are given in their annual reports.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

You mean in those American cities?

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

No, I have not got that.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I notice that in some cases they made 25 per Cent.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

Mr. Chairman, may I ask the hon. gentleman a question?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Order.

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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

Order. As the hon. the minister has not permitted the question, I cannot allow it.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

My hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) talks about the profits they make. With a greater market and with more competition their profits might probably be a little less. I grant with regard to these different interests that are objecting to the farmers getting competition from buyers from the United States that they may have to raise their prices, and, therefore, the

farmers of Canada will get the benefit of it. I do not wish to set class against class, but I think the farmers have as much right to a free show and a good opportunity of selling in any market in which they can get more, as the people have who wish to buy from them, and who claim a monopoly of purchase.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

Mr. Chairman, do I understand you to object to me asking the minister a question?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I will allow you.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I merely want to ask the minister if it is not a fact that these large meat packing firms in Kansas City, Omaha and St. Paul are a part of the meat trust. I have visited these cities frequently and I know what I am talking about.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

If my hon. friend says that he knows they are I will not dispute it. I do not know that they are, and I, therefore, will not say whether they are or not. But that does not make any difference. They exist outside of Chicago, and it is the Chicago market that hon. gentlemen are holding up as our bogey. My hon. friend from Grey, earlier in the session, spoke about our live stock trade going down. We have the Canadian and the British market. We have had a great many conditions favourable to our development otherwise, and yet the hon. gentleman made a long speech to prove that the Canadian live stock trade was going down. If that is the case I think the Canadian live stock trade might very well answer hon. gentlemen opposite when they say: * Let well enough alone ' by saying: It is not well enough. My hon. friend, when he says that the Canadian live stock trade is going down, says that it is not well enough. We want to give them another market, we want to give them a better opportunity, we want to give them competition for the things they have to sell, and this arrangement does that. If my hon. friend is correct in saving that the live stock trade is going down then I say it is well that we should help those engaged in that trade in this way.

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February 28, 1911