September 7, 1917

LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

The minister apparently

has made up his mind to the establishment of these exchanges. In my judgment, sections 3 and 4, if they have any meaning at all, mean the establishment of a close corporation of commission buyers at each of these stock yards. That is wrong in principle and detrimental in practice, just as in the case of the Grain Exchange at Winnipeg. It will be accentuated in the case of live stock exchanges, and the smaller the exchange the greater the evil of this creation of close corporations. The minister says that it will relieve the Government of some measure of detail in looking after the business of the stock yard. That is true, but it will do so to the very great advantage of the men who are doing the relieving. They are not/ philanthropists, and if they are going to exert themselves along those lines, they are going to do it for their own benefit, and that benefit must come out of the pockets of the producers. If sections 3 and 4 were struck out, the rest of the Bill would stand perfectly complete with the operations of the stock yards and the transactions of the commission

men directly under the control of the Government, and that is exactly where they ought to be. That being the case, I consider that sections 3 and 4 are not only superfluous, hut detrimental. While the minister, I suppose, has made up his mind on this subject, I wish to make my most emphatic protest against those sections establishing live stock exchanges at those stock yards, as they will be close corporations, the purpose of which, in the nature of things, will be to work in the interest of those who comprise them and against the interest of the producers.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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CON

William Wright

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WRIGHT:

The other evening when the Minister Agriculture introduced this Bill, I suggested that it should be turned over to the Agricultural Committee for consideration. I believe to-day the suggestion was a wise one, and I understand the Bill was fully threshed out before that committee-unfortunately I was unable to be present. The live stock interests in this country are to-day so great that they deserve and should receive every attention from the Government. The Bill as introduced by the minister is in the right direction. The hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) asks that sections 3 and 4 should be struck out. I would draw his attention to one fact;-had this Bill been in force, I believe it would have been unnecessary to -say what I am about to say. That exchange is to-day financially bankrupt and is appealing for funds. Had this Bill been in force, had the department been able to exercise their rights, this would not have happened. Whilst hon. gentlemen opposite have every right to criticise and it is their province to criticise, I think they should withdraw all opposition to this Bill and allow it to go through as printed, with the addition of the amendments suggested by the minister.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I have stated my objections and do not intend to press them further. There was just one other thing I wished to point out, namely, that as the Bill stands there is no security provided to the producer of cattle, the man who sells cattle to the commission merchant. All the security that any body has is the provision that the .stock association shall be satisfied that the commission merchant is reliable. That is to some extent a safeguard, but it is not security. There would be no less security if only such buyers operated on the stock yards as the minister saw fit to license, as provided under section 5, and we would be just as well satisfied that the commission merchants licensed by the minister directly would meet

their obligations as we would in regard to those who are admitted to membership in a live stock exchange as being men of character and repute. There is no guarantee to the seller in the provisions of this Bill as there is in the provisions of the Grain Act under similar circumstances.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

My hon. friend has

pointed out a weakness in the Bill. I do not like section 5, because really the exchanges ought to be held responsible in some way. Nobody should be specially licensed by the minister as a commission .merchant on an exchange without the consent of the exchange, and the exchange should be held responsible for such commission merchant.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

While I quite appreciate what the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) says, I am sorry I cannot agree with him, for this reason: I think we have absolute control, and there is entire safety provided under these sections for the producers and sellers of live stock, because of the evidence of integrity and the security which has to be offered to the exchanges who will run this business under our supervision. Before a live stock exchange can do any of these things, we have to be absolutely satisfied with their constitution and by-laws, to .ensure that they will carry on their business properly.

Our regulations cover all these points, and if there is any trouble or any difficulty, or if there is any complaint made of abuses such as my hon. friend anticipates we would have the right to close up that exchange and issue special licenses to commission men to do business notwithstanding the fact that the live stock exchange was closed'. I do not think that sections 4 and 5 can be withdrawn. I may say this Bill was gone over very carefully with men who are very keenly appreciative of difficulties such as my hon. friend suggests. One of the men who most strongly urged .this feature of the Bill was Dr. Rutherford, whom my hon. friend knows well. Dr. Rutherford is President of the Western Live Stock Union and was formerly Veterinary Director General. I feel certain he is as familiar as any man living with stock conditions in the West. The Sasloatchewn Government appointed a live sock commission to examine these conditions, and they laid very great stress on the same points. These clauses were drafted after consultation with various people who know the conditions thoroughly, and after consultation with our own officers. I therefore think I should hardly

be justified in amending them or altering them at this time. I do not really .anticipate the difficulties my hon. friend fears, arid I can assure him that every precaution will be taken by the department to see that the public is protected1 to the very limit.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I think this Bill is a great step in the right direction. Subsection 2 of section 4 will have a tendency not only to regulate the exchanges, but to make them more reliable. At the same time, it does not provide for the complete financial responsibility of a commission man who has a right to operate on the exchange. For instance, if I ship a carload of steers to a commission man to sell, there is nothing in this subsection making the exchange responsible for that commission man in regard to the price of the stock. That is what I meant by not allowing anybody to operate except such commission men as were permitted to do so by the exchange, and then making the exchange financially responsible for them. I dh not mean as to the charges, the weighing, the feed, etc-I mean responsibility for the price of the stock.

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CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I do not quite agree with my hon. friend from North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt). The hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) wished section 4 to be struck out. To my mind that section contains the very thing he desires. The section reads as follows:

(2) Such by-laws shall provide for the admission as members of such live stock exchange of such persons as desire to carry on the business of commission merchants, and who furnish evidence of integrity and financial standing satisfactory to the executive of the exchange, and such by-laws shall require every commission merchant becoming a member of the exchange to furnish sufficient and satisfactory security for the proper accounting by such commission merchant of the proceeds of any sales received by him, and of any money paid to him to effect any purchase.

What language could be stronger? Of course, it all depends upon the nature of the security they take, but the presumption is they will insist upon security that will be sufficient, to cover the operations of any members of the exchange, and I would assume that if they could not get personal security which is absolutely gilt-edged they would get other security which would guarantee the purchasers. That section is about as strong as language can make it.

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CON

Samuel Francis Glass

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GLASS:

The criticism offered by the hon. member for North Oxford was duly considered by the committee. Subsection 2

of section 4 was explained by the minister, and seemed to offer sufficient security to the drover who might have cattle to sell on the exchange. The details as to what that security shall be, or what the character of the responsibility shall be are not embodied in the Bill, but the primary object is to give the .security the hon. member seeks, and this clause supplemented, by the regulations of the minister and the department and the by-laws of the exchange, which must be approved by the minister, seems to me to furnish that, security. Of course, it all depends on the stringency of the regulations which the minister imposes. I am sure the committee had confidence that the minister would impose conditions that would give absolute security, knowing the necessity for it.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

After considering-the matter with practical men, and hearing what my hon. friend from Edmonton had-to say, I would suggest to the minister that after the word "merchants," in the third line of subsection 2 of section 4, we add the words "on such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the by-laws." This change would meet the difficulty referred to by my hon. friend from Edmonton, and instead of leaving it open to the executive to do as they pleased would provide that any man who complies with the by-laws would be a member. Does not my hon. friend from Edmonton think that would get over the difficulty?

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

But the minister has to approve of them. Then the responsibility is on the Government.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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LIB
CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

I have no objection at all to that amendment. I really thought we were achieving the purpose with the subsection as it was, but on further consideration, I agree, it might sound as if these men were judging of the integrity of their own members. I therefore move:

That subsection 2 of section 4 be amended by striking out all the words in line 4 and the words in line 5, to and including the word "exchange," and inserting in lieu thereof "on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the by-laws."

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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Amendment agreed to, and section a* amended agreed to.



On section 7-Tariff of fees and by-laws must be approved before stock yard is used: Mr. BURRELL moved that the words "and charges" toe inserted after the word "fees" in the third line of the clause and the words "and charges" after the word "fees" in the eighth line. Amendment agreed to. On section 7, subsection 2-Stock yard may be closed when not operated in accordance with regulations: ^ .


CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I think the wording of this subsection is rather restrictive. There might be a stock yard in charge of some one who was not the "owner" or "operator." I could imagine a case where a stock yard might have gone into disuse for a little while and there would be no' person on whom notice could be served who might be called the owner or operator. I would suggest that the word "owner," "lessee, occupier or operator" should be used.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

There would be no objection ito putting that in. I therefore move that the section be amended by inserting after the word "owner" in the first line the words "lessee, occupier or operator;" that the words "lessee, occupier" be inserted after the word "owner" in the 34th line and that the words "lessee, occupier or operator" be inserted after the word "owner" in, the 38th line.

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Amendment agreed to, and section as amended agreed to. On section 8-How Act may be made applicable to stock yards now in existence:


CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

To meet the point raised by the horn, member for St. John (Mr. Pugs-ley) and the hon. member for North Perth (Mr. Morphy), I beg to move that the following subsection be added:

The minister shall have power to decide whether any public market where live stock is purchased and sold, hereafter established, as a .stock yard is to be operated under this Act.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I understood an amendment was inserted after section 3 to provide that any owner of stock could sell his own stock at any stock yard. Is there any restriction on any person coming to the stock yard to buy?

Topic:   LIVE STOCK EXCHANGE.
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September 7, 1917