May 2, 1911

CON

George Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR (Leeds).

Certainly.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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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.

The passage I heard a moment ago appears to be a por-

tion of a letter written by Sir Charles Tup-per and addressed to the hon. the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). He says:

I regret-

No, I think that in justice to all concerned I should not read it for the very reason for which I am stopping the hon. member (Mr Taylor, Leeds). I find in it a reference and a charge that would not be allowed in this House by one member to another, and it cannot be in order when quoted from some one outside the House.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

George Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR (Leeds).

I bow to your ruling. We will have it printed as an addendum to my speech, so that the whole letter will go to the constituents of the hon. minister. I have a number of other letters; but I have already occupied about two hours, including interruptions, and my hon. friend from Souris (Mr. Schaffner) has to deliver himsalf to-night, and I will make way for him.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. L. SCHAFFNER (Souris).

What was the monstrosity of legislation? It was the British North America Act, that was a monstrosity of legislation in the eyes of the hon. the Minister of Finance:

the British North America Act, and

let it be said to-day that you have championed the cause of political freedom, that you have thrown off the Canadian monster and emancipated yourselves and your beloved province from the thraldom, the servitude and the bondage of the Canadian union.

Mr. Fielding also headed a secesssionist movement, and in 1886 championed a resolution which had for its object the disruption of confederation. In speaking of that resolution he declared that the maritime provinces had everything to gain by separation from the

remainder of Canada that his honest conviction was that confederation had not been satisfactory and that it was the duty of the eastern provinces to place themselves on record and then let the people decide and stand or fall on that issue, i.e., disunion.

Now, Sir, is it strange that I am ,unable to support an agreement introduced by that bon. gentleman? I may be wrong. Hon. gentlemen on the other side possibly may be right, or they may be wrong, and I may be wrong. But I believe that since confederation no proposition has been introduced into this parliament that will do more to disrupt confederation than the very pact we are called upon to support to-day. I represent a constituency of which I am proud, which extends some 110 miles along the American border, and if there is any constituency in Canada that might benefit to some extent from this .agreement, perhaps it is mine. I want to say right here that this government has been derelict in its duty in neglecting to give the people proper information. Had our government taken the pains to obtain proper statistics, had they devoted the energy and the capital that the people of the United States have in procuring information, there would not have been so many long speeches as we have found it necessary to make. On visiting my home the other day I found the people exceedingly eager for information upon this question. They asked what I could refer them to, and 1 told them that the only information I could give them was obtained from American sources, that our government had absolutely no information that would enable the people of Canada to come to an intelligent conclusion on this question.

I wish now to refer briefly to the great National Policy introduced by Sir John A. Macdonald in 1879. I do not care to take up your time in stating what was said on that great question by hon. gentlemen opposite, by the present Prime Minister of this country, by the Minister of Finance, and many others. You know very well, Mr. Chairman, that Sir Wilfrid Laurier and all his followers at that time did their utmost to discredit the great policy of that great man. They were not successful. Sir John A. Macdonald carried the country, and introduced this great National Policy, a policy that has gone on to this day. Though the present hon. gentlemen when they were in opposition condemned the policy of protection, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, speaking in Winnipeg, condemned it as a policy of robbery; nevertheless, after these gentlemen came into power in 1896, they adopted that policy of robbery. The question has been asked many times how it was, if they were so opposed to the policy of protection, and so enamoured of the policy of free trade when in opposition, that

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

they still retained the friendship and support of the manufacturing interests. Well, it has been said, and I think very few people will deny it, that the present Prime Minister had a secret compact with the manufacturers of this country. We find him sending a telegram to Toronto saying:

' Who ever else may be hurt, the manufacturers of this country will not be.' We found our friends opposite everywhere opposing this great National Policy.

Now, we come to the building of the first great transcontinental railway. Where did we find our friends opposite on that great question? Did we find them trying to assist in carrying forward that great undertaking? Why, Sir, people -talk about the Grand Trunk Pacific being a great undertaking, and so it is, but it does not compare in importance with the Canadian Pacific railway. When that great railway was undertaken there were only 12,000 people west of Winnipeg, and our friends opposite said. Why spend so much money, why tax this country to such an extent to build a railway to British Columbia with only 12,000 people? It is not worth the money. What was the road built for? It was built to cement together the widely extended portions of this great Dominion, it was the child of the Conservative party principally, helped I am glad to say by some of the better Liberals in this country.

I omitted to explain to the House how the disruption of this confederation was prevented. When Mr. Fielding had carried Nova Scotia in the local election, what occurred then? Sir Charles Tupper, a bigger man than Mr. Fielding, and a more patriotic man, carried the Dominion elections in the province of Nova Scotia he gained 16 members out of 21, and that is what preserved this confederation from disruption. I believe that this present reciprocity arrangement with the United States will also tend to the disruption of the Dominion. The building of the first great transcontinental railway, and the events of 1891, when our friends. opposite expended all their energy to switch the Canadian people from the great ideal of building up a country of our own, independent of our goods friends to the south of us. Sir. great as these people to the south may be. they are not of our household. They are a foreign nation, and Sir, it is as true of nations as of men that they grow strong, vigorous, and influential by dependence upon themselves, rather than by reliance upon others.

I ask you what would have been the result, if in 1891, the policy of commercial union had been sustained by this country.

I do not need to refer you, Sir, and the members of this House, to what Canada was in 1891, or to what progress has been made since 1891, but I will ask you if we would have been as great a country to-day

if we had linked ourselves up with that great nation rather than depend upon ourselves to build ourselves up through our industries and energies. I certainly believe we would not have been. Because information has not been given to this House it becomes necessary for me to spend some time placing statistics before the House, and before my constituents. I cannot understand two intelligent men, ministers of the Crown, not young men, but men of experience going over to Washington with the meagre amount of information that they seemed to have had. True, when they got there, a hurried message was sent for the Commissioner of Customs, but these hon. gentlemen had devoted no time or expense to collecting facts in order to place themselves in the same position as the foreign nation with which they were negotiating as to information. No hon. gentleman can deny that the information we have to-day in order that we may discuss this important subject comes from Washington and not from our own government. I say it is humiliating; I go further, and I say it is a shame, and a disgrace that our government should have pursued such a course, and Sir, I say, however bold faced the ministers may be, down in their hearts they feel humiliated. Time and again have been asked for information, and they have had, by their acts at least, to confess that they have no information. But, I would remind you we have been able to secure data which condemns from first to last the pact made by these gentlemen so far at least as this country is concerned. I want the people whom I have the honour to represent to know that their government, not having any information, endeavoured to oppose and obstruct the putting of that information upon the records by members on this side of the House unless they went through the formal process of reading statements to the House and reading them for hours after eleven o'clock at night.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES.

I understand the hon. gentleman is making his speech for the benefit of his constituents. I wish to ask: Does he want the House to understand that he is representing his constituents as being opposed, generally speaking, to this reciprocity agreement? .

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

I look after my constituency, and I will be back here, as the member for the constituency, to oppose this compact, and everything in connection with it. The government has given, no comparative information, and whatever information has gone out to the people has gone out as a result of the energy of the hon. members on this side of the House. Then, I ask you: Is it not a logical conclusion that, the government having no information, and having supplied no information to the people, it becomes necessary, in the shortest form possible, to read the comparative prices that have been given by other members in the House that our constituents may have at least some opportunity of acquainting themselves with what they are to gain or lose by this agreement. We do not find other countries attempting these great revisions of their tariffs with so little preparation. I have already stated what the Americans have done. We find that Germany, in the last revision of the tariff, employed 20,000 experts to obtain all the information that it was possible to get. We find that the Americans have the comparative prices as regards products, and the increase of values, and that they have almost every minute detail in connection with this question not only on their own side of the line, but on this side of the line from Nova Scotia to Victoria.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR.

Will the hon. gentleman say that it will be necessary to employ experts on agricultural implements from 17i per cent to 15 per cent?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

I will answer the hon. gentleman's question in this way. Does he consider one item of reduction in our tariff which we should control ourselves in our own country is of as much importance as going to a foreign country dealing with that foreign country, and allowing that foreign country to make and unmake our tariff?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR.

I understand this is a reduction of our own tariff and not of the tariff of a foreign country.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

As long as you understand, it is all right.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

But, Sir, in face of all this we find these two gentlemen going to Washington without an exact knowledge, and that they were wined and dined until they sat down to make the bargain with men primed with all the necessary facts. Had our representatives the comparative information that thev should have had if they had done their duty, because, Sir, this whole question relates to markets and prices, they would have hesitated before entering into such a pact as they did. I referred a moment ago to the events of 1891 when we went through an election in connection with commercial union. Fortunately, commercial union did not survive any more than free trade as they have it in England, or unrestricted reciprocity. These have all been illegitimate children of our hon. friends opposite, but every one was strangled in its infancy, just as this will be. They will all meet the same fate, thank Providence, and this country will go on and be just as prosperous in the future as it has been in the past. I think

that we on this side of the House are just as pleased as hon. members on the other side to know that we live in a country that is prosperous. The fact that commercial union failed to be placed on the statute-books of Canada in 1891 I claim as one of the reasons why Canada has been so prosperous, and why Canada to-day occupies a position in the minds of all the nations of the world of which we are so proud. I believe it is largely because we refused to accept commercial union, depended upon ourselves, and therefore became strong and vigorous. ,

The Prime Minister tried to make light of the expression: Let well enough alone, and he had his joke about China, but after all if we are getting along well it is not a very bad idea to be content with our lot rather than take dangerous chances, and on the whole it is often not unwise to let well enough alone. Sir, I do not say, in the sense in which it was intended, Let well enough alone,' but I do say, in our advancement, in our progressiveness, let us be Conservative enough to cling to Canadian methods and [British institutions. Let us, Sir, keep ourselves free from all entanglements with our friends to the south, so far as the making of tariffs is concerned. Do not let us ever have again to say to a delegation like the fruit growers ' You are too late.'

Now, Mr. Chairman, we had three very interesting delegations here during the present session, and first of all came the farmers from the three prairie provinces. That delegation asked for many things which I am proud to say that since I have been a member of this House I have advocated to the best of my ability. Amongst these things which they asked for and which I have advocated, were terminal elevators, the reduction of the tariff on agricultural implements, the chilled meat industry, and government ownership and operation of the Hudson Day Railway. Let me say that when I was home last I attended quite a large meeting of farmers and others and I was surprised to find that while there were three grain growers associations represented at tnat meeting, not one of these associations had ever said a word about reciprocity with the United States to the delegates they sent down to Ottawa. I understand, that after these gentlemen arrived in Ottawa one of the leading members connected with the 'Grain Grower Guide ' had a consultation with the Prime Minister and it was then that it was decided to add reciprocity to their demands. I assure you Mr. Chairman, that reciprocity has never been talked in that western country.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

We don't want it.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

We don't want it and we are not going to have it. I say, Mr. Chairman, that when the third of these delegations came here, fifteen hundred fruit growers pleading on the floor of this House for justice, it was humiliating to hear the Prime Minister say that because of this reciprocity agreement he was powerless to help them. They represented that it was unfair that protection should be taken off what they produced while everything they utilized in the culture of fruit had to pay a high duty and yet the Prime Minister had to tell them they were too late. I say, Sir, that if we have grievances, and we have grievances, if our transportation rates are too high, if one class of the community is overburdened because of special privileges to another class let us not shrink the responsibility of applying a remedy, and finding a solution, within ourselves without looking to a foreign nation for help. I say, Sir, that the time for this reciprocity pact was very inopportune, and what in brief is the story that leads up to it? Everybody knows that a few years ago when the presidential election was on in the United States, promises were made that if Mr. Taft were elected there would be a. revision of the tariff downwards. President Taft was elected, but there was no revision of the tariff downwards. Then, in the United States elections of last year a majority of Democrats were returned to Congress, and President Taft seeing trouble ahead, he began to shape his course towards satisfying those who clamoured for a reduced tariff. The Prime Minister of Canada took a trip west last year accompanied by the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) and, following the usual custom it was expected that when the Prime Minister visited portions of the community, addresses would be presented, and flattering tributes paid to the head of the government, and everything pass off lovely, but on this occasion things were not quite so smooth. In fact, there had been so much disturbance that the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) had to chastise some of the audience because of the manner in which they were criticising the record of the Prime Minister. They, found there was something doing in the west. He had been for fifteen years prime minister, he had promised the western farmers time and again that the tariff would be reduced and he had broken every promise that he had made in this respect, probably because of the secret contract that had been made with the manufacturers in 1896. He looked around to find some way in which to satisfy the farmers of the west, and he was quick to accept the invitation of President Taft, and they consulted together and brought forth this reciprocity agreement.

I want to say a word or two, because the question is very much debated now, as to whether reciprocity has been the policy of the two parties for many years past, as the Liberals allege. The right hon. the Prime Minister claims that it has always been the policy of his party but it is very well known that some time ago he declared we had bid good-bye to reciprocity. It is also well known that in the general elections of 1900, 1904 and 1908 we heard nothing whatever about reciprocity, unless it were from my hon. friend (Mr. Turriff) who last night told us that he had discussed the question during his campaign. I think my hon. friend must have been very lonely for I do^ not know of any one else who had anything to say about reciprocity.

I would like to refer to this question as it applies to my own constituency, which is perhaps a fair sample of the agricultural constituencies of the west. We do not grow in that country many of the natural products produced in Ontario or British Columbia, but rely principally upon wheat, barley, horses, hogs and cattle. Let me for a few moments take up the question of wheat, which is perhaps what we depend on in my constituency more largely than any otheT of the natural products. If my people were to be largely benefited by this proposed pact, I think it would be my duty to support it, although I take this stand, that while a member of this -House represents but one constituency in particular, he also represents the whole of Canada, and should endeavour to educate his constituency to the point of being willing to do that which is in the best interests of the whole country. That is the aim I set up for myself, but whether I am able to reach that standard, it is not for me to judge. As wheat is concerned, the United States grows a great deal more today than they can eat. They can only consume a certain quantity, and if they grow 127,000,000 bushels more than that, they must export it. Therefore, I do not see what advantage it is going to toe to our farmers to be given free entry for their wheat to the United States. The price of wheat all admit is fixed by the Liverpool market. In fact that has been admitted by two Liberal members, the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Molloy), and the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie). The hon. member for South Wellington said:

I do say this, however, that so far as I have been able to examine the matter-and I have looked into it with some care-I cannot see any reason why we should expect any very great increase in the price of wheat for exportation to the United States. There may b.e a reason, and there may be an increased price, but I am not able exactly to find out how it will come about.

My hon. friend from Provencher (Mr. Molloy), said:

I do not pretend it will increase the price of wheat to the Canadian producer but I say it will maintain the present price.

Therefore, it seems to be generally admitted in this House that we are only to maintain the present price, and I do not see any great reason why I should be found supporting this pact, because of any benefit it will give us in the marketing of our wheat. If it is only to maintain the present price. But I want something better than maintaining the price. I want, as the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Sharpe), said last night, a better price,1 and a better price we will never obtain if we tie ourselves to our friends in the south and allow them to handle our wheat instead of handling it ourselves along British channels and through our own channels in this country. Take the delegation which was here last December, one half and more of its time was spent in presenting to the government the needs and desires of the west, regarding terminal elevators. Why do the people out west want terminal elevators? They want them in order to maintain the identity of their wheat and have it reach the market of Liverpool in the same condition as that in which it leaves the farmers. We grow the best wheat in the world. I think the Minister of Agriculture took a little exception to that last night, and thought that perhaps Quebec did, but he had not seen enough of our wheat in the west. Well, we want to protect the identity of that wheat. The miller in Liverpool will pay for his grain what it is worth to him for milling purposes, and if our wheat does not reach the European market in the same condition as that in which it leaves the farmers here, that will have a bad effect upon the price, and our farmers will receive less profit. But how are you going to maintain the identity of our wheat if it goes south? It will then be absolutely impossible for us to do so. I would like to read some of the things that were said in that connection, at the meeting of that delegation :

The value of our wheat depends on its milling qualities, but it depends on its qualities not as it is inspected at Winnipeg, but on its qualities as it is placed on the British, or the ultimate market wherever they may be. And, if, as has been proved, each grade of our wheat is brought down to the lowest point by the mixing of wheat from lower grades, (and we believe it is often brought below it, that is, it is allowed to pass out of the terminal elevators with the minimum point of each grade lower than it would be allowed to pass the inspector at Winnipeg), if this is so, it will be readily understood that the value and the reputation of our wheat on the Brit-

ish market is regraded also, and as the British miller can only afford to pay for wheat according to its milling value, the price is reduced, and being reported back to us, becomes the basis of our market here, and we have to accept a price based on the lowest point of each grade, instead of on the average as it should be, which means a difference of about two cents per bushel.

It has been said that the United States will soon furnish a market for our wheat. Mr. J. J. Hill has been leading us to believe for several years that the wheat production of the United States was growing less and its population increasing, and that consequently we would have in that country a market for our wheat. But this set of statistics, which I am about to read, does not corroborate that. Their production for the last ten years was as follows:

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   BEEF, SALTED, IN BARRELS.
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UNITED STATES WHEAT PRODUCTION.


Year. Bushels. 1901 522,229,505 1902 749,460,218 1903 670,063,008 1904 637,821,835 1905 552,399,517 1906 692,979,489 1907 735,260,970 1908 634,087,000 1909 664,602,000 1910 737,199,000 They are producing more wheat every year. They export about 127,000,000 bushels of wheat. But what could they do? I find that only about 50 per cent of the tillable land of the United States is cultivated and under wheat. I find further that the United States is only producing about 13 bushels of wheat to the acre, while Great Britain is producing 33 bushels. If you work that out you will find that the United States with a proper system of farming by tilling their land, by intensive farming will be able to export not 127,000,000 bush-eis but over 700,000,000 bushels. That does not look very much as if the United States would soon have to be an importer of wheat for their own consumption. The increase in production in the United States in the 10 years has been 214,000,000 bushels of wheat. The supporters of this pact make use of the cry that they are opening up a market of 90,000,000 people to our producers. What is the use of a market of 90,000,000 if that 90.000. 000 produce everything you produce in very much larger quantities? If these 90.000. 000 did not produce sufficient quantities of wheat, butter, hogs, oats, cheese, for their own consumption then certainly you would be opening a market, but when, as is absolutely undeniable, the 90.000. 000 have a surplus for export of every one of these products, it is at once seen that the market is of comparatively little value. Many people have been led away by this


CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   UNITED STATES WHEAT PRODUCTION.
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AATKS OF DUTY ON CANADIAN


4USTEALIA °N IMP0RTATI0N ™TO n ^ anA tafiff rates of duty. Cattle, $2.43 per head. Swine, $1.22 per head. 2624 v Sheep, 48-6 cents per head. Wheat, 36-6 cents per 100 pounds. Barley, 48-6 cents per 100 pounds. Beans, 36 -5 cents per 100 pounds Potatoes, 21-7 cents per 100 pounds. Butter, 6 cents per pound. Cheese, 6 cents per pound. Eggs, 12 cents per dozen. Hay, $4.34 per ton.


May 2, 1911