April 4, 1918

UNION

Mr. MIDDLEBRO: (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Unionist

1. How many Victoria Crosses have been awarded to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to date?

2. What is the name, address, battalion, and rank of each recipient?

3. What is the official respective record in respect of which each decoration was given in each case?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
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UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR PAPERS.

L LIB

Arthur Trahan

Laurier Liberal

Mr. TRAHAN:

For a copy of all judgments rendered up to date under the operation of the Military Service Act, 1917, by the Central Appeal Judge.

Topic:   UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR PAPERS.
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OLEOMARGARINE.

MOTION BY MR. J. E. ARMSTRONG.

UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG (E. Lambton) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the Order in Council governing the manufacture, importation and sale of Oleomargarine should be amended and more strictly enforced, in order that the great dairy industry of Canada should be adequately protected.

He said: I feel I should preface my remarks by stating my position on this question. I do not intend to oppose the manufacture, importation or sale of oleomargarine in Canada at the present time, but I shall endeavour to show hon. gentlemen that the regulations are of such a nature as to allow fraud and deception to to be perpetrated. I do not belidve that the ex-Minister of Agriculture , was responsible for these regulations. I am sure we all appreciate the efforts he put forth on behalf of agriculture, and I am satisfied that no man ever filled the portfolio of agriculture in the Dominion with greater satisfaction to the farmers and all interested in the farming industry than did the ex-minister. As to the present Minister of Agriculture, I am sure the people of Canada must feel deeply indebted to him for joining the Cabinet, and offering his services .in the development of our greatest industry. He, too, had nothing to do with the framing of these regulations, because they were already framed and placed before him a day or two after he took office. Tihe men who, in my opinion, were responsible for these regulations were the oleomargarine manufacturers in Canada .and the United States, and I think' I shall be able to show that the regulations are framed entirely in their interests. The' first Order was dated Tuesday, 23rd October, 1917, and the second clause of it reads:

For the purpose of these regulations, "oleomargarine" shall mean and include oleomargarine, margarine, butterine, or any other substitute for butter which is manufactured wholly

or in part from any fat other than that from jnilk and cream.

This opens the door, not only to oleomargarine but to margarine, butterine or any other substitute for butter. I do not believe that the dairymen of Canada understood that the Government intended to allow all kinds of butter substitutes to come into this country free. I respect-iully urge that the words to which I have called attention other than the word "oleomargarine," be struck out of these regulations, namely, the words, " margarine, butterine, or any other substitutes for butter which is manufactured wholly or in part from any fat other than milk or cream ". If you are going to allow margarine products to come into Canada, you open the door to a condition of affairs such as exists in the United States to-day. I.ast year there were over two thousand prosecutions in the United States having reference to the manufacture of oleomargarine, and over 4,000 men were summoned before the courts. This has been going on in the United States for years and years, and we have been very fortunate in Canada to be in a position not to permit this condition of affairs to exist. I will take the case of nut margarine. In the United States there are eleven different kinds of nut margarine manufactured. Not one of those products can be manufactured, as I understand, without introducing into it benzoate of soda, a most injurious constituent of food, in order that it may be preserved. Clause 5 of the regulations reads: .

Oleomargarine shall not be manufactured in any premises used as or connected with a butter factory, and no butter manufacturer or any person who handles butter for the purpose of re-working or mixing it, shall be given a license to import or to manufacture oleomargarine.

It simply means that the butter manufacturers of the [DOT]country are forbidden in any way to take oleomargarine into their plants, or to take any of the oils to manufacture the products that are toeing used in the manufacture of oleomargarine. I am confident-and I speak for the dairymen of Canada-that they do not want privileges extended to them of using, in their process of manufacture, the oils that are mixed' in the oleomargarine,, tout, on the other hand, they ask that their industry toe surrounded with sufficient safeguards, so that th-eir products may toe reasonably protected. Clause 7 of the regulations reads:

No person other than a manufacturer of oleomargarine shall mix oleomargarine and butter.

On the one hand, while the butter manufacturers are not allowed in any way to mix the oils-, the oleomargarine men are allowed to import butter into their plants and mix it in any way they choose, [DOT]bring it in, as they have been doing, in a coloured state, and turn it out as a substitute for butter, -and make it as palatable as they possibly can. The dairymen do. not toelieve that it is reasonable or fair that the butter should toe taken into the margarine plants for the purpose of manufacturing an article which is supposed to be a substitute for butter, and which is [DOT]made palatable by the very Ibutter itself which is the product of the dairy farms of this country. Another clause to which I [DOT]wish to call the attention of the minister reads-:

In" all hotels restaurants and public eating houses where oleomargarine is used there shall be prominently displayed in some conspicuous place a placard containing the words "Oleomargarine served- here'' in capital black letters not less than one and one-half inches long.

I understand this clause is not toeing enforced in any way whatsoever, and that there are mighty few places that are carrying out the instructions laid down toy the minister in this regard. We are either going to enforce the regulations, or else we are going to do an untold amount of injury to the public and to the dairymen of Canada. Further, I wish to call the attention of the minister to the fact that the customs regulations allow oleomargarine to he imported into this country in a coloured form. I [DOT]hope the Minister of "Customs will undertake to instruct his officers in regard to the meaning of the word " tinted." The outcome is that this oleomargarine is coming in, and if they are allowed to use a -considerable amount of butter to make it palatable, then the butter is put into the oleomargarine in -the United [DOT] States to be shipped into Canada. The . dairymen of -Canada thought they had a protection of four -cents a pound on< butter coming into Canada from the United States, but in that regard this protection is largely wiped out, especially if - you allow them to mix the butter fat with the oleomargarine in the United States, colour it, and send it into Canada in that condition. I feel that these clauses of the regulations should receive the most careful attention of the minister, and I am sure they will.

Has the -minister taken into consideration the enormous number of inspectors that- would he required * to investigate the conditions in regard to the manu-

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE.
Subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. J. E. ARMSTRONG.
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ESTIMATED DAIRY PRODUCTION IN CANADA 1917.


Pounds. Value. Cheese 192,000,00-0 $ 41,760,000Creamery Butter . . 74,000,000 31,080,000Dairy Butter . . . . 150,000,000 60,000,000Condensed Milk & Milk Powder. 8,000,000 Value of market milk and cream, including ice cream 50,000,000 Total Value


$190,840,000 EXPORTS.


1916. Pounds. Cheese 180,733,426 Butter 7,990,435 Condensed Milk . . 15,858,622 * Estimated. 1917. * Pounds. 174,000,000 3,709,392 30,000,000 This merely goes to show the enormous development and possibilities of this industry. The people have not a proper conception of the large capital involved in this industry. The dairymen have increased Canada's production of cheese by 45,000,000 pounds per year isince the war broke out. In 1917 the cheese commission handled for export 1,860,237 boxes of cheese, or 155,662,463 pounds. The cheese crop exported through the regular channels before the cheese commission began operations amounted to 123,909 boxes weighing 10,656,174 pounds. There are 15,000 boxes yet to be delivered, making a total exportable surplus for the year 1917 of about 2,000,000 boxes, or 172,620,000 pounds of cheese valued at $37,544,850, an increase of over $4,000,000 as compared with 1916. These figures cover only the cheese shipped to the United Kingdom; shipments to other countries amount to over 1,000,000 pounds. In addition to this the amount of consumption has greatly increased. In 1914 our exports amounted to 135,000,000 pounds, while to-day the export is 180,000,000 pounds, or an increase of 45,000,000 pounds over 1914. I am giving these figures to show that the farmers have increased their production of these commodities, and that they have improved the standard of our dairy products very materially. The present price of cheese in Canada is surely very low when you take into consideration the fact that the products the farmer feeds to his cattle have doubled in price, that the price of cattle has more than doubled, and that labour cost has very materially increased. In addition to that, all the other expenses connected with the development of the industry have materially advanced. Cheese at the price at which it sells to-day is perhaps one of the cheapest food products you can find on the market. The dairymen of Canada have practically control of the cheese market of the United Kingdom. They have had control of this market for many years. They have been assisted year after year to develop their industry and to bring it up to the greatest possible perfection in order that they might be able to create a profitable market abroad. Are we justified in doing anything to retard its development? I do not think we are. Then, let us consider the butter industry. The total production of creamery butter in 1916 was 82,534,130 pounds, valued 'alt $26,966,355, and the production of home made butter was 137,110,200 pounds, or 68 per cent of the total butter production of 201,808,365 pounds. At fifty cents a pound this production has a value of $100,904,182.50. The price of fifty cents a pound has been criticised to some extent, it is true, but if the people of Canada will take into consideration the increased expenses in connection with the manufacture of butter, I am sure they will not consider the price very greatly in excess of what it ought to be. In 1900 we only produced 36,667,739 pounds of creamery butter, while in 1916 we produced 82.564,130 pounds. We exported to the United Kingdom in 1916, 7,121,468 pounds of butter. Previous to the war we imported enormous quantities of butter from Australia and New Zealand to supply our demand. Now, within the last few years we are not only able to supply the amount required in Canada, but we have been able to expofit over 7,000,000 pounds of butter. The Minister of Agriculture remembers, no doubt, that not many years ago we were exporting butter to the north' west provinces from the eastern provinces. Now, things have changed, and butter is coming to the eastern provinces from the West, and is sent out to the markets of the world in enormous quantities, increasing in volume year after year. The statistics of the Trade and Commerce Department for February 1S16, page 34, give the value of milch cows at $274,081,(XX); and of other cattle at $270,595,000, making a total value of over $544,000,000. The increase in value of milch cows in three years is estimated at $76,000,000; the increase in the value of " other cattle " is given at $66,000,000; or a total increase of $142,000,000. The estimated number of milch cows in Canada is 2,666,846. We have 993 creameries in Canada, and 1,813 cheese factories, also 624 combined factories, making a total of 3,430. The patrons of these factories total 221,190. That means 221,000 families, or over one million people, engaged in the dairy business in Canada, with their cattle, bams, implements, cheese and 'butter factories, and all the appliances used in the operation of this industry. The Canadian exports of butter in February of this year, as compared with February, 1917, had increased from 50,000 pounds to 400,000 pounds; of cheese from 3,600,000 pounds to about 5,000,000 pounds; of eggs from 95,000 dozens to 134,000 dozens; of beef, from 1,500,000 pounds to 10,500,000 pounds; of bacon and ham. from 15,600,000 pounds to 16,150,000 pounds. I quote these figures to show 4 p.m. the enormous development of the agricultural industry along



these lines, and to indicate the care that the Government should use to see that no legislation is put in force that would interfere in any way with the wonderful development of this branch of commerce in our country. We are calling for increased production. The farmers, I feel, have answered the call. The national cry is : "More beef and more 'bacon." The dairy industry of -Canada has been fostered for years Iby our farmers' institutes, our travelling dairies, our experimental farms, and toy the Dominion and -Provincial Governments, and it would toe nothing short of a calamity if, toy introducing legislation such as I have read, we were to discourage or to undermine to -any extent the development of this great industry. What would a few million pounds of oleomargarine amount to, if by bringing it into this country we permanently injure the great industry to which I have called attention. We are teaching agriculture in the schools. Our agricultural colleges are rendering great assistance. Both are doing everything possible to develop the livestock industry. We have 'Ibetter farming trains," demonstration trains, district representatives, co-operative societies, printing and- publishing facilities, women's institutes, demonstration farms, experimental farms, and livestock associations-, all assisting in the development of the dairy industry. Therefore, I respectfully urge upon the Minister of Agriculture the need of investigating the suggestions I have placed before him, and of immediate action toeing taken to safeguard the public of Canada. When you give the dairy industry of Canada proper protective legislation, in regard to the importation, manufacture and sale of oleomargarine, you protect the public against being defrauded -and deceived. I do not'feel that I should resume my seat without again asking the Minister of Agriculture to see to it that he put forth his best efforts to have the regulations changed in such a way that they will protect the great dairy industry of Canada. Mr. GITSTAVE BOYER (Vaudreuil) (translation) Mr. Speaker, last year I had the honour of laying before this House a petition signed by nearly 29,000 farmers of the province of Quebec protesting against the admission, of oleomargarine into this country. I was very pleased to hear the bon. member for Lambton, (Mr. Armstrong) speak so interestingly of that question here today. When we made our protest last year 800 agricultural societies of the province of Quebec adopted a resolution which they forwarded to the Minister of Agriculture. I myself went to see the hon. Minister and asked him to kindly consent to receive a delegation composed of all the higher personages, that is of the chairmen and secretaries of different societies, agricultural and otherwise, of the province of Quebec; at that time the lion. Minister of Agriculture made me this answer: "There is no need of coming in a delegation to Ottawa as the Government will not adopt any Order in Council before submitting the question to Parliament itself." Well, this was not done ; and, when the Government recently adopted [DOT]this Order in Council, I came back to Ottawa in company with certain agricultural authorities of the province of Ontario; but so far our efforts have been fruitless. I realize that as things are at present the farmer cannot suffer a great deal through tire introduction of oleomargarine into the country, because we cannot make enough butter for export overseas. The danger is not immediate; but- the danger will bebome really -serious if this measure is persisted in after the war, and the strongest proof of this was demonstrated by the hon. member for Lambton. We have at present in' this country a material organisation worth millions of dollars represented in factories and herds; and if you remember well it is not so very long ago that we bad to import from New Zealand the surplus of butter that we required for our own consumption. We have directed all the efforts of the farmers towards a greater production of butter and we have succeeded in. bringing this production. to the. point where it is today. This Order in Council, as the hon. member for Lambton explained so well, is too broad, it is too pregnant with danger, it opens the door far too wide to wrongful uses. We have first the product called oleomargarine; next we have margarine; and finally, butterine. There is a little difference between these three products. Margarine is manufactured exclusively from beef suet; butterine is derived in part from beef suet and in part from a mixture of half milk and half butter, while oleomargarine is made from beef suet and cottonseed oil. This last has the most nutritive value and is the best, substitute for butter. Now, if these products are allowed into the country free of duty; if, still further, their manufacture is permitted here; if this measure remains in force after the* war, the results will be disastrous for the farmer. The departments of agriculture in the different provinces have done a great deal towards persuading the farmer to give more attention to butter manufacture; and if today their efforts are opposed and favour shown these butter substitutes, we will dis-. courage our population and that will be the end of dairy industry. As nay hon, friend from Easit Lambton iso well established a moment ago, the nature of butterine, of oleomargarine and of margarine is not the same; there, is a decided difference between each one of these products; and if we continue to allow the manufacture of certain substitutes which in reality are products o.f very inferior quality, and which will be thrown on our markets in great quantities, what will happen? We will discourage our farmers and they will almost entirely abandon this industry; all that we have accomplished to create and develop the dairy industry will be wasted effort and, moreover, our markets will be glutted with inferior products which, no matter what may be said, can never replace real butter made from pure cow's milk. Let us come now, Mr. Speaker, to the principal reason put forth to justify the permission granted for the manufacture of these substitutes. We were told that it was in the. interest of the working-classes on account of the high price of butter. That is not so; I believe that it was rather to insure greater profits to a few canning factories; and the enormous profits derived from this manufacture will be limited to. these few canners, while in the case of butter the profits go to an entire class of the population, the agricultural class. Now, Mr. Speaker it is said that the farmers have no reason to complain of this measure since it was endorsed with a view to their, protection. That is false; the measure is entirely to their detriment. I remember that before this measure was adopted the women's societies in certain cities asked the Government to pass this law on the pretense that it would reduce the cost of living. Let's get at the truth in this matter. Oleomargarine sells for ,37 cents a pound and butter is selling just now for 50 cents. The manufacture of the first of these products costs in the neighbourhood of 12 cents a pound; and still it is sold for [DOT]37 cents. Now I wish to ask any man of common sense if there is such an enormous margin between the cost price and the selling price of a pound of butter as in the case of oleomargarine. No. Mr. Speaker, the people of this country are tile victims of robbery, pure and simple, when the market price of a substitute composed of grease fat, cottonseed oil and other animal products is ,37 cents per pound, while the cost of manufacture is merely 12 cents, .and I declare further that the Government which legalises this robbery is as guilty as are the manufacturers themselves. Now, Mr. Speaker, if this product is sold for 37 cents a pound, is it because it really has this value? No, if it brings that price it is only so as to swell the profits of the manufacturers. What danger theatens the country, if the manufacture of this product continue to be allowed? Precisely the same which threatened and which injured certain States of the Union. The sale of these substitutes on tile markets of the States had for effect the discouragement of the dairy industry; and this is so true that immediately following the adoption of this measure by the States the stock in the milch herds fell away, on account of the strong competition that these substitutes brought to bear against dairy products. Not very long ago merchants from these same States travelled through the province of Quebec and through Ontario and the different eastern provinces buying what milch cattle they could procure in order to fill up the gaps in their own dairy stables at home in the States. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, these same States today form a group which vigourously opposes and always ha® opposed the authorization by the United -States Government of the manufacture of oleomargarine and of Ibutterine. They met with some success; but the united interests of the American manufacturers were so powerful that they succeeded in having the authorisation of the manufacture of these products continued. Now as to taste, there is not an enormous difference, since it is always possible to impart to this product the flavour of real butter. You can't give it the aroma of butter but you can come very near to giving it the butter flavour. Well, things remained at that stage with the American Government for several years; and then the manufacturers of these, substitutes got busy again and asked the legislature to permit them to colour their oleomargarine. They said to the legislature: "Put on a tax of 10 cents a pound if you wish, but let us colour this product." They want to make it easier to fool the public, for no one but an expert could tell the difference between real butter and this product.



In the United States they allowed this change, but they put on a tax of 10 cents per pound. Do you know what happened? To elude the law the manufacturers continued to sell their product without colouring; but they took the precaution of putting in the same wrapper which enclosed the brick of margarine capsules containing a solution which, mixed with a certain quantity of water, gave to the margarine the appearance of butter. That is how the public and the Government were fooled for several years. According to an official bulletin the American Government was mulcted of several million dollars in this wtay. We have allowed the importation of oleomargarine into this country and we have authorized its manufacture here. I say now, after the study that I have, made of the matter, that this industry will remain in the hands of a few people. Before long these people will control the oleomargarine market just as was done in the United States. Some will answer: but in 'England, in Denmark and in other European countries aren't these substitutes manufactured and imported? I admit that; but England's population is so dense that she cannot manufacture all the butter she needs for her own consumption. The Danes manufacture an enormous amount of butter and also oleomargarine, and they prefer to eat margarine so as to export a greater quantity of their products; but here where we have a tremendous expanse of territory, the best of grazing lands and a climate which is favourable to the dairy industry, to authorize the importation and the manufacture of these butter .substitutes is to put a stop to the progress of the dairy industry, in order to meet the demands of the manufacturers of these products. As the hon. member for Lambton said a moment ago, we have equipped the entire country for the dairy industry. This represents a considerable outlay of capital. What will become of this capital if tomorrow this organisation is opposed by the oleomargarine factories? Now, the strongest argument in favour of oleomargarine is that the sale or the manufacture of this product will reduce the cost of living. I am willing to admit that, even at 37 cents a pound oleomargarine still costs less than butter at 50 cents; only for 50 cents you do get a pound of butter, whereas for 37 cents you do not get the value of a pound of butter, you do not even receive the cash value of your 37 cents, since it does not cost that much to manufacture oleomargarine. As the hon. member for .Lambton said a moment ago, the Order in Council is too wide, because it allows the importation of all the products which resemble butter. I will be glad to vote for the resolution of the hon. member from Lambton because I believe it to be wise and I feel sure that all those members who represent agricultural communities believe as I do. We are here to protect the farmers' interests, and to shield the dairy industry which we have established in this country after a great deal of ceaseless striving. This is not the time to offer the public a product which is not butter and which cannot replace butter; before long, oleomargarine will be sold not for 37 cents but for 50 cents; in the Ions run it is still the poor down-trodden consumer who will bear the burden.


UNION

Michael Steele

Unionist

Mr. MICHAEL STEELE (Perth South):

Mr. Speaker, representing, as I do, an agricultural constituency, one of the leading dairy districts of Canada, I need offer no apology for giving expression to a few thoughts on the subject. which has been brought to the attention of the House so well this afternoon Iby the member for East Lanubton (Mr. Armstrong).

The history of the county of Perth relates that some eighty or ninety years ago there were transplanted from good old Scotland to a certain township of the county of Perth representatives of the clan Crerar. Those representatives took root and grew in our county, developing into some of the leading representatives of the live stock industry in western Canada. I have confidence that any member of that clan, later transplanted to the prairies of the West, would not be a true representative of the clan should he not retain a very great interest in the live stock and dairy interests of Canada. Believing that, I am sure that the .Minister of Agriculture (Hon. T. A. Crerar) has a deep interest in the dairy industry, and it is no evidence of lack of interest on his part that steps have been taken iby the Government to permit the importation into and the manufacture of oleomargarine hi this country.

I need not emphasize the importance of the dairy industry, which has been brought to the attention of the House by the member for East Lamibton. We in this country all recognize the great importance of that industry, and believe that it should not be interfered with in any respect without good cause. We know, too, that the cost of producing dairy products in the last few years has increased about seventy-five per cent. The increase in the price of dairy products

has scarcely kept pace with the increase in the cost. As the statistics given by the member for East Lamlhton go to show, there is no scarcity of butter in Canada. The argument put forward in support of permitting the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine-that it is required because of the shortage of butter-is not based on fact. I repeat that there is no soarcriity of butter in Oanadia; more than that, dairy foods are among the cheapest, even ia)t the present high. prices, which the people of Canada can use. Let me give you the cost of various dairy products, at present prices, per one thousand energy units or calories: butter, at 43 cents a

pound, 14 cents; cheese, at 30 cents a pound, 13 cents; 'milk, at 10 cents a quart, 15 cents. Compare these price's with the prices of some of our meats. .Sirloin steak at 32 'cents will cost 23 cents per one thousand energy units. Pork chops at 36 cents a pound wdlll cost 25 cents per one thousand energy units. We see, therefore, that dairy products are very much cheaper than the meats which we love so well. If we except cereals, there are among the leading foods which we consume no cheaper foods than dairy products.

With these facts before us, it is only reasonable that we (should inquire why oleomargarine 'was demanded ini this country. The demand came mot from the consumers to any great extent-although a limited number of the consumers of butter did ask for if-but largely from the firms and interests who were anxious to enter upon the 'manufacture of oleomargarine. For months a continuous stream of articles and advertisements appeared in the newspapers 'Calling the attention of the people of Canada to the necessity for oleomargairime and to ctetrtiain arguments why this product should be used. I say that the demand came from these parties, who are not interested in the dairy industry, but who are rather competitors with ouir farmers in the 'production of dairy foods.

It is most important that Canada maintain the standard of purity and the reputation of her dairy products. We have built up a reputation in this respect which is possibly unisunpasised by that of any other country in the world, and i

A condition exists in Canada which does not exist in other countries where the demand for oleomargarine has been great. In the European countries, and possibly in the United States, the production of dairy products and butter does not supply the demand, but in Canada our production is greater than our requirements-and we have not yet nearly reached the limit of that production.

One of the arguments put forward by advocates of oleomargarine was the price of butter. I have pointed out that butter, even at present prices, is one of the cheapest foods that our people can use. Another argument was the scarcity of butter. I have shown that butter is not scarce in Canada; the fact that w7e have been able to export from eight to ten million pounds during recent years goes to show that there is no scarcity of that product.

The third argument is a rather peculiar one: that there is necessity for additional fats for our people. If the manufacturers of oleomargarine can show us that they are producing for the people any additional or increased quantity of fats, then we may say that there is something in the argument; but as a matter of fact they are not. There are no more fats now than there were before the manufacture of oleomargarine wTas commenced; tlie only change' is one of form.

Oleomargarine is put forth as a substitute for butter. It is not and never can be a substitute for butter. Butter has many advantages over it; I will not take time at present to set them out in detail. It is, however, recognized by every one that butter is more easily digested than oleomargarine, and that for children it is incomparably better than oleomargarine. Oleomargarine is not a substitute for butter, and was never intended as such; it is intended only as an imitation, and the manner in which it is manufactured and put up is evidence of that. For instance, it is coloured to look like butter; it is flavoured to taste like butter, and it is priced so as to come as near to butter in tli at respect as the market will permit.

What is the composition of this substance known as oleomargarine? The manufacturers use very nice terms to describe its composition, but, using ordinary every-day language, I would say it consists chiefly of tallow, lard and cotton-seed oil. Nor is the composition always uniform. We have from tw'enty-two to forty-seven per cent of tallow in different samples. Of lard,

Topic:   $190,840,000 EXPORTS.
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UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. E. W. NESBITT (North Oxford):

I am very sorry that while I have had an opportunity for some years in listening to my hon. friends on the other side of the House, I still could not this afternoon follow my hon. friend opposite who spoke on this question. I rise merely for the purpose of endorsing what has been said by my hon. friend from East Lamfoton (Mr. J. E. Armstrong) with reference to oleomargarine. If the regulations are in any way loose they should 'be made absolutely tight. If oleomargarine is imported into this country it should' be imported in such a manner that it can be guaranteed to be pure and manufactured in. a first class manner. There was undoubtedly a demand from the people for oleomargarine on account of the high price of butter. My hon. friend from Perth (Air. Steele) says he comes from one of the best dairying districts of Canada; that is quite true, but I come .from the very best district,

Topic:   $190,840,000 EXPORTS.
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L LIB
UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. NESBITT:

There is no question

about it. I confess that the farmers of my constituency were very much opposed to oleomargarine being imported, but the

townspeople wanted it, and so long as. this *Government is here to represent the interests of all classes of the people, they will have to act. according to their best judgment. We may as well face the truth that workingmen in the cities and towns cannot afford to 'buy butter at its present price; but it is also true that if oleomargarine is *well made it cannot be soldi very much cheaper than butter, though it can be made more extensively, if 1 may use the word, (because it is manufactured in a slightly different *fray. Personally, 1 do not believe that oleomargarine, if well made and sold [DOT]under proper regulations, will decrease the price of good butter to any considerable degree; and if the butter is. not good, it is no better than oleomargarine, if as good.

I am happy to say, however, that in Ontario, at all events, and I hope in all the other provinces,, the (butter that is made nowadays is very good. Before the war it could compete in Europe with the very best Danish and Irish butter, and that is saying a good deal. I sihall not take up longer the time of the House. I only rose to say that I absolutely endorse the suggestion of my hon.. friend from Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) that the regulations, if too ' loose, should be tightened, and the greatest possible care taken to see that the oleomargarine is well made and to prevent fraud of any kind) in its sale. If we are to import oleomargarine, the conditions surrounding it up to the time of its importation should he absolutely first-class in every way. The farmers who are opposed to the importation of oleomargarine fear that it may reduce the price of butter to- some extent, but, so far, I have not heard of its having had that effect in the section of the country where I live. I believe as firmly as I believe I am, standing here, that if the Government are cautious and. surround its importation, manufacture and sale with proper regulations, good will accrue rather than harm to the people generally.

Topic:   $190,840,000 EXPORTS.
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UNION

Francis Henry Keefer

Unionist

Mr. F. H. KEEFER (Port Arthur):

I

wish to concur in what has been said by my hon. friend from Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) with regard to the good results that may be expected from the importation of oleomargarine i/ruto this country. The reason why .it was introduced was 'to supply the poor man's table with the fate that are essential to the human constitution.. The price of butter, not through any corner in the dairying industry, not that the dairymen were getting too much-An fact, they were not getting enough-had gone up very considerably, because of the immense de-

imand by th-e Allies, -chiefly far evaporated milk far -the 'soldiers. The milk -that was used for that purpose came into competition with the -milk used i-n the manufacture of butter, and forced the price of butter u-p. The price of butter wais not too high; it ro-se to fifty-two, whilst formerly it was down to thirty or thirty-five cents. Complaints were coming in from various directions that working people were compelled to dlo without the animal fats which they absolutely -needed. It was therefore deemed advisable in the interests of Itbe -working man of this country to allow -the importation of -oleomargarine as a war measure. The Objections which have been raised o,n -account of -any (possibilities of fraud were met by the Order in -Council. The frauds in connection- with the revenue of the United States wer-e incurred because of the excise -duty on the manufacture of oleomargarine. In drawing u;p the regulations it w-as thought advisable not to have this duty, -and thereby -avoided the difficulties they have hlad i-n the United States, -and we are also getting the oleomargarine at the cheapest possible -price. That -also answers the -argument that i-t was the interests who urged the Government to -allow the entry of oleomargarine. If that were s-o, why let it come in free of duty? Any -householder t-o-day in C-ana-d-a-h-e does not have to be -a dealer-can apply for a license to import oleomargarine -and obtain it without having to pay any fee. The sole reason for allowing the importation and sale of oleomargarine is-to supply the necessary fats for the poor man's table. With regard to manufacture and fixing a price, it it not advisable to put a maximum price on anything if i-t is possible to avoid it. That is the very reason why oleomargarine has been brought in; two courses were open: one was to fix -a maximum price for butter, which would have been most detrimental to the farming interests o-f the country, or secondly, to help out the situation by importing oleomargarine. If we fixed a maximum price for oleomargarine, we should he defeating the very object o-f the regulations -allowing it to come in. With regard to the manufacture of oleomargarine in this country, the regulations are not unchangeable like the laws of the Medes and Persians, but -are in the hands of the Department of Agriculture, who have the dairying industry of the country most- at heart. I-f the regulations are found to be too loose they can easily be amended, but in my opinion they are most stringent, far more stringent than in the United Stat'es,

where many complaints have been received on account o-f the strictness of the Canadian regulations. I should like any member of this House who has any doubts to see some of the letters which have come in since oleomargarine has been allowed to be imported-letters of gratitude from workingmen who heretofore were unable to buy the necessary fats-thanking the Government for what has been done.

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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. W. F. NICKLE:

We have heard from the member from East Lam-bton (Mr. Armstrong!, and the member for -South Perth (Mr. Steele) this -afternoon that in the interests of the farmer the importation of oleomargarine into this country should be prohibited.

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UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

I did not say

that.

Mr. NI-CKLE: I will change the word to regulated. The reasons given in support of their argument are these : First, that if the product is improperly manufactured it is detrimental to health, and secondly, that there should be regulations because there is a possibility of the importation interfering with the dairying industry. In so far -as they assert that every -protection should -be thrown about the commodity to see that the people are not given food that is injurious to them, I am in hearty accord with them, but when they assert that there was in this country prior tp oleomargarine being permitted to be imported sufficient -fats to meet the ordinary requirements of the people, I must differ with them, and differ most radically.

In a constituency which has no rural electorate, I know' as a fact that butter has -cached such a price that it is impossible for the poorer-paid class of the community to purchase it at all, and this class is using dripping and other sorts of fat to take the place of butter and similar commodities, which have hitherto been used on their table. The hon. member for South Perth (Mr. Steele) argues that, because Canad-a prior to the war exported butter, there was more butter manufactured in Canada than we actually required. I am quite prepared to admit that, if Canada wais manufacturing more butter than she can consume and was exporting butter, there might be something in the hon. gentleman's argument, but the figures are there; for the year ending March 31st, 1914, Canada exported 1,228,753 pounds of butter, and during the same period she imported 7,000,000 pounds of butter, which would lead us to the conclusion that Canada was not making

[DOT]enough butter to supply her wants, and had to import a large quantity. For the fiscal year ending 31ist March, 1917, Canada exported 7,990,435 pounds of butter, and the reason she was exporting such a large amount of butter, as compared with what she exported in 1914, was that in England the price of butter had been fixed at somewhere over 53 cents, and in the United States I think the price was 50 cents a pound. In other words, the price of butter was determined by the export price, and you could obtain in Great Britain, owing to the necessities of the case, a sufficiently large price to justify exporting the article to that country. The result was that so much butter was exported from Canada that a sufficient quantity to normally supply the needs of the country was not retained in Canada. The price rose from 35 cents to 50 cents a pound, and the foreign market was practically unlimited. In 1914 Britain imported 446,000,000 pounds of butter, and in 1916 she imported 224,000,000 pounds. In the year 1913-1914 England imported from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands 250,000,000 pounds of butter, and in 1916 she imported from other countries 132,000,000 pounds of butter, and there is now an embargo on exportations from those [DOT]countries, which would lead to the conclusion that the demand for butter from Canada will increase. You might say, " Oh, you are only directing youf argument to [DOT]present day conditions." True, that is the position I have taken so far, that the conditions of the war have increased the.price of butter, and the conditions in the cities are bearing so heavily on the working classes, and the necessity of people obtaining an article to take the place of butter is so great that the people are entitled to have a cheaper product. I regret we are only importing at the present time 1,000,000 pounds of oleomargarine per month from the United States. From the constituency from which I come, we get oleomargarine at 32 cents a pound. I think butter sells from 45 to 48 cents. I have used oleomargarine.

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CON

April 4, 1918