April 4, 1918

UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

The Minister of Trade and Commerce asks me how I liked it. Used on bread, I may say that oleomargarine was not as satisfactory to me as the commodity I got in England with him, at one of the hospitals, but for shortening purposes I am informed by those of my household,

that it most satisfactorily takes the place of the higher priced article.

Now, in regard to the war-What are the conditions in Europe to-day? The herds of Europe are being depleted, and it is going to take time to restore the conditions which existed prior to the war, and it seems to me that high prices foT a long time are 'bound to prevail in regard to butter. At the present time I understand that Canada is supplying less than 2 per cent of the requirements of Great Britain in the [DOT]matter of butter, and supplying, on the other hand, somewhere about 67 per cent of the cheese requirements. If these figures are correct in regard to Canada's position as an exporting and importing country, and if the suggested conditions exist after the war, it does not seem to me unreasonable that we who live in the city should ask of those who live in the country that, for the present, at least, the importation of oleomargarine into Canada should ibe allowed, but under 6uch conditions as will ensure that the imported or manufactured article shall be sanitary and safe as a food product.

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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenae):

The reason I desire to say a word on this subject is that I represent a constituency which, in the matter of cheese production, stands fifth or sixth in the counties of the province of Ontapio. In eastern Ontario we are not so much concerned in regard to the manufacture of butter as they are in western Canada. Eastern Ontario and western Quebec are vitally concerned in that part of the dairying industry which has relation to the production of cheese, and anything which has a tendency to prejudicially affect the dairy industry in regard to the production of cheese in those portions of the two provinces is entitled to the very earnest and careful consideration of the Government. For a great many years the farmers of the eastern part of Ontario and the western part of Quebec have worked long, earnestly and intelligently to build up an industry which has made a name for this country, and an industry on which the farmers of those parts to which I refer depend, I might say almost entirely, for their revenue and their sustenance. I. wish to commend the hon. member for East Lamb-ton (Mr. Armstrong), and the hon. member for South Perth (Mr. Steele) for the information they have given the House this afternoon. They have given us figures with regard to the amount of capital in-[DOT]vested in the dairy industry and the amount of the product of that

diize the future of a great industry, built up with very great labour and care, and the exercise of great intelligence.

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L LIB

Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH READ (Prince):

I am a voice from the East. I desire to say a few words on this question.. In my province, (particularly imy constituency, we have one of (the great dairying centres of Canada. I might isay that our people have not only to depend upon the dairy industry as such, but the very basic necessity for successful agriculture with ns is the maintenance of the dairy industry, because of the value tied up in the herds uised in that industry. The same conditions do not apply so much to the West, because the western farmer, as yet, is simply skimming the virgin soil of that great icoiuinhry. But, in the eastern provinces, it is absolutely necessary to maintain the dairy industry because of its manureal value. Therefore, I quite agree with the hon. gentleman who moved the resolution (Mr. J. E. Armstrong), that the Government should be very careful about how it handle? this matter. By all means, it should not create such 'a vested interest in the manufacture of oleomargarine and that class ot goods that there would be the necessity to maintain it after the war. Let us import oleomargarine if we have to, but let us not create manufacturing industries in Canada in such a way that we cannot get clear of them after the war is over.

I want to draw attention to some fallacies in connection with this matter. For instance, one hon. gentleman stated that we were importing more butter than we were exporting. That would appear as if Canada could not make enough butter for its-owu needs. Butter and cheese are both made from milk, and if we produce a very large quantity of cheese we produce that much less butter; and the reason why we do not produce enough butter for ourselves is on account of the high price of cheese, due entirely to war conditions. Cheese, as we all know, is particularly the Englishman's food. It is one of the most concentrated foods that we have, and because of the difficulties of transportation it is one of the most desirable products that Canada can produce for the purpose of winning the war. In so far as the importation of oleomargarine will enable us to produce more cheese, we are helping to win the war by allowing it to enter, because cheese is what is wanted at the front. Tt is one of the easiest things to transport, is highly nutritious, and one of the most highly con-

centrated foods that they could get at the front. Therefore, while we are producing cheese for the armies of our allies, we should by all means produce as much of it as we can.

In this connection I would like to say a word with regard to the fixing of a price on cheese this season. The price of cheese this season ought to be raised considerably above that of last year, and so far as our Government has control of the matter in negotiating with the Imperial authorities, who, I presume, will be taking our cheese, they should draw the attention of those authorities to the fact that the high prices they pay are pure fallacies. The man who gets 22 cents a pound for his cheese to-day is not getting any more than if he were getting 11 cents in ante-bellum days, because it is the value of the dollar that has gone down and not the price of cheese that has gone up. I was out in British Columbia a couple of weeks ago visiting some of my friends, and I was astonished to find that nearly all the gold mining had been suspended, *and I enquired why the people were not mining gold. They said: "Oh, it does not pay us to mine gold; it is far better for us to mine copper and lead, because the price of gold remains where it was before, and these other metals have gone up.'' Gold has gone down, as a matter of fact, for it has a fixed value or price, and as everything else has advanced, it has left the gold relatively low.

One hon. member spoke about the high prices the farmers are getting for their products. He must remember that these high prices are purely fictitious; they are based upon a gold standard that is fixed, while, as a matter of fact, the value of gold has gone down, and a dollar is worth only fifty cents intrinsically.

Now, I want to say a few words with regard to estimating distances. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Edwards) spoke about measuring distances not in miles but in time. We do not measure distances with regard to transportation either in miles or in time, but in freight rates, and one of the things hon. gentlemen should always remember when they are discussing questions in connection with transportation problems is to measure all distances by the rate of freight per ton, per bushel, or per pound .as the case may be, because it makes a great deal of difference if you talk about transportation in miles or in time, when it is the freight rate which really represents distance. I am in favour of

this resolution in so far as it draws the Government's attention to the fact that this matter is of very serious importance to the farming population of the Maritime Provinces, as well as of Quebec and Ontario.

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UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. R. J. MANION (Fort William and Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, I do not differ from the statements made by the member for East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) and the member for South Perth (Mr. Steele), because their grounds are well taken in so far as they desire to protect the great dairying industry of Canada. At the same time, I agree with the member for Kingston (Mr. Nickle) that many people cannot afford to pay from fifty to sixty cents per pound for butter and the vast majority of the people desire that oleomargarine, under proper regulations, be admitted into Canada.

During my two years' service at the front I used oleomargarine in place of butter. In England to-day they use oleomargarine indiscriminately, except in the high-class hotels or aristocratic homes. Almost any one in England who uses oleomargarine of a good brand could not tell the difference between it and butter. Many times I have sat at table in good hotels and in good messes when arguments arose whether we were eating oleomargarine or butter, and nobody could tell the difference. I do not believe that the soldiers from Canada, from the other dominions or from the British Isles get anything else in the front lines but oleomargarine, because it is cheaper, and the men cannot tell the difference. There may be a slight difference in the food value of the two products; in that respect I would not dispute the word of the member for East Lambton or of the member for South Perth. But after all, the amount of butter that one eats is not so very important as to its food value. As to its taste, palatabdlity, and appearance-because they use colouring over there-there is no difference between good oleomargarine and butter. I believe that the use of colouring matter in the manufacturing of oleomargarine is not permitted in this country; probably that is a good regulation, because it prevents the sale of oleomargarine as butter. That point is- very strongly insisted upon in England, with a view to protecting the dairying interests and preventing dealers from selling oleomargarine as butter. As you walk down the streets of a city in England you see in the dairy stores oleomargarine advertised for sale as such, at so much per pound.

Since the importation of oleomargarine into this country was commenced one disappointment to me has been that the price

almost equal to that of 'butter. Here the price is about three-quarters the price of butter, /while in England it is about one-half. The member for Port Arthur (Mr. Keefer), who is on the Food Board, informs me that oleomargarine offered1 for sale in Canada must be distinctly marked as- such, and certainly this regulation should 'be strictly enforced. The ordinary person who can afford butter may not wish to substitute oleomargarine for it, but the workman who is getting a low wage will use oleomargarine if he feels that he can use it economically in the place of butter. I believe that something which is good enough for the daily rations of the soldiers in the battle line should not be too bad to be imported into this Dominion. I agree that the regulations should be very strict, but I do not agree that the people do not want oleomargarine. It is my view that the importation of oleomargarine into this country should be permitted in proper quantities and under proper regulations.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (Oxford South):

I have been much impressed, in listening to the addresses that have been delivered on this subject, by the words of a good judge of human nature, who once said:

When self the wavering balance shakes It's rarely right adjusted.

It is quite natural that the members of the House should represent the views of their constituents as nearly as it is possible for them to do so. The Government, I suppose, has to look at matters from a different standpoint and endeavour to legislate for the benefit of the whole people. I have always been prepared to give the Government full credit for using their best judgment in all matters of legislation, and if I say some things this afternoon that are in conflict with what the Government has done, I assure the House that I do so from a feeling that proper safeguards have not been provided in this particular instance.

I was somewhat impressed by the statement of the member for Fort William (Mr. Manion), that what is good enough for the soldier ought to be good enough for the people who are at home here in Canada. His desk-mate, the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Keefer) said that one of the reasons why butter has become so expensive was that so much milk had been evaporated for the use of the soldiers. We have listened to a soldier-a man who has served a couple of years in the trenches, and knows what he is talking about-who states that oleomargarine is used by the soldiers in place of butter. I believe that instead of evaporm

ated milk or condensed milk the soldier receives skimmed milk or klim.

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UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. M AN ION:

He receives evaporated

milk or condensed cream most of the time.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I think you will

find that very little cream reaches the soldiers; the product is made almost entirely from skimmed milk.

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UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. MANION:

The finest evaporated

cream I have ever taken was in the lines.

Mr. .SUTHERLAND : That is not the case on this side of the water. I believe that what the soldiers receive is not the whole milk, but skimmed milk. I know factories where it is being manufactured for that purpose. I do not say that is good enough for the soldiers, for I think they are entitled to the best we can give them. Condensed milk is becoming more extensively used in this country; but I think you will find that very little, if any, of the whole milk reaches the soldier. It is doctored up in a manner that may possibly deceive, and that is the strong objection that I have to oleomargarine. It is a deceptive; it is a counterfeit; it is not sold on its merits; and that is why I voice my objection. Oleomargarine is coming into competition with and endeavouring to replace an old established article of food in this country. The injustice creeps in in the endeavour to place oleomargarine before the consumer under the guise of butteT under butter trademark? That is the , trouble in the United States where they have permitted the manufacture of oleomargarine for a great many years. As the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) pointed out, in the United States in 1911, when upwards of 500,000,000 pounds of oleomargarine were manufactured, only 92,000,000 pounds of it were sold as that commodity. Why? Because of the fact that in that country coloured oleomargarine has to pay a tax of ten cents per pound whereas the uncoloured oleomargarine pays a tax of one quarter of a cent per pound. In order to evade the payment of that tax, the manufacturers resort to the colouring of this food article with a view to deceiving the people, and you may say what you like about the matter, if they were honest, they would not endeavour to evade the United States regulations in that way. "

With regard to the regulations which have been passed by this 'Government, this is number 1:

>No substance intended for the colouring of oleomargarine shall be imported into Canada in packages containing oleomargarine, and no

manufacturer, wholesale dealer, or retail dealer in oleomargarine shall deal in, sell, or give away any substances intended for colouring oleomargarine.

That covers what? It cowers the importation into Canada of colouring ito be used for that purpose, but it does not prevent the importation into Canada of coloured oleomargarine. That is quite permissible.

I think in 1884 regulations were passed regarding the purity of butter and tlhe manufacture and sale of butter. In 1914, the Dairy Act was consolidated and those safeguards were still retained, but from time ito time pressure was eo|ntiinu)a!lly being brought to bear toy those interested in the manufacture of oleomargarine to permit its manufacture in this country. It is pointed out that this is a measure under the Wax Measures Act, owing to the abnormal demand for and consequent high, prices of butter. If the importation of oleomargarine into this country was permitted in order to relieve a stiningemcy or a condition that had become unbearable, I do not think any very serious objection would Ibe raised to it, bult the price of butter has not gone up in proportion to the advance in price of many other food products. Statistics have already been given in that regard, but when you stop to realize that the manufacture of butter is part of an industry in which upwards of $500,000,000 are invested by the people of Canada, .it is a very serious matter to interfere with .an industry which is so extensive and which means so much to successful agriculture in this country. You may make comparisons with some of the congested countries of Europe; you may say that oleomargarine is admitted into those countries; but we have here a vast extent of country, a country whicih has enormous possibilities, 'particularly iwiiitlh regard to agriculture, and 'alt this time when food is of such vital importance to the world at large, we ought ito be very careful with regard to any legislation that will affect an industry so extensive and important as this one. Whlat does dairying mean to this country? Dairying as I have said, is the very foundation of successful agriculture in this country. Our friends from western Canada, with that ifich and fertile soil which they (have in the West, may exploit that soil for a number of years; .they may reap enormous crops; they may mine the fertility of that soil, but the day will come as it has come in. ithe older provinces, when they will have to resort to scientific agriculture in order to maintain aq.d increase the production of .the land. That is unquestionable. Look at the investments

that have been made iin the industry of *agriculture, the buildings that .have been erected, tlhie factories that have been established by little bands of men who have cooperated for that purpose, and yet here, without .any regard for that inindustry, or for the tights of those -people, you drive a dagger into the industry in which they have invested their all, regardless of the effect such action will have on successful agriculture in this country. Take, for instance, the county from which I come. Reference has been made to other great dairying districts. I believe the first cheese that was manufactured in Canada was manufactured at South Oxford at a little place called Salford. I know the place very well. My hon. friend from Prince (Mr. Read) referred to the fact that by decreasing the amount of milk used for butter, you were going to increase the output of cheese. It is rather significant that at the present time, under the regulations passed by the British Government, fixing the price of cheese here last year, cheese factory after cheese factory in South Oxford is being closed up and put out of business. The butter factories, or creameries,- are also being put out of business. This is an opportune time for the large manufacturers of condensed milk to step in and put up a price with which the butter or cheese maker cannot compete, and they consequently capture that trade, and those factories, after remaining closed for a number of years, will depreciate. to such an extent that it is questionable whether they will be able to go on again or not when conditions again become normal. Many have already been closed or shut down as a result of fixing prices and other regulations. At the present time some of them are going on in the hope that the price of cheese will be so fixed as to enable them to manufacture profitably.

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UNION

John Hampden Burnham

Unionist

Mr. BURNHAM:

If some good wholesome commodity were put upon the market for the benefit of the consumer, which commodity was considerably cheaper than butter, would my hon. friend still insist that that commodity, which was cheaper than butter, should be prohibited?

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

If it was a substitute that was going to be sold on its merits, I do not think any serious objections would be raised to it. As I pointed out at the outset, my strongest objection was to a deceptive counterfeit being foisted on the people of this country and not being sold on its merits. It is an article that is put up, according to the regulations under the

Dairy Act, in one pound prints, wrapped in wrappers identical with those in which creamery butter is being put up, and it is being coloured also with a view to deceiving the public, and the public are not protected by the regulations which have been enacted here with regard to the matter. My hon. friend asks if I would object to a substitute being brought in to take the place of butter. No, I would not. Butter is something that can take care of itself ij. competition with anything else; but when you bring something of that kind in, and you add to it from fifteen to twenty-five or thirty per cent of butter, when you churn it with milk in order to take the flavour from the milk and add it to that commodity, then I say: You are not in a legitimate business, and you are not engaged in a business that this or any other government should countenance where agriculture is regarded as being of importance.

That ought to be clear to the mind of every one. Although you make regulations that oleomargarine shall not be manufactured or mixed in factories where butter is being manufactured, yet you permit milk and butter to Ibe taken in for the flavour to be extracted from- it in order to make this grease palatable with which to deceive the people and capture .the -market. Then I am asked if I object to a legitimate business! I say that this- is not a legitimate business; it is an entirely illegitimate business, and it is a significant thing that the promulgation o'f these regulations was almost the very first act of the present Union Government. In that Government we have quite a number of men who have not been in this House before, and who possibly did not realize the insidious appeal that had -been constantly made by those interested in the oleomargarine business. The big packing house manufacturers think this is the opportune time to get this industry established in this country, knowing full well that once it is established it will- be almost impossible to uproot it after the war, because those who are engaged in legitimate dairying have individually only a small amount of capital invested in it compared with the capital of those engaged in the manufacture of oleomargarine. The farmers had absolute confidence that the Government would not do anything that would imperil the industry in which they were engaged. They expected that if the importation of oleomargarine was to be permitted under the War Measures Act, safeguards would be thrown- a-round1 its importation, which I am sorry to say I -cannot see in

the regulations. We talk about how we are going to take care of- the soldiers who return from the war, and what the Government ie going to do to re-establish, them in civil life. Was there a business or branch of agriculture that offers a more inviting opportunity to these men than the dairying business? Yet we have permitted an injustice to be done which may poseifoly imperil that industry for all time to come. The cheese industry has been crippled 'so seriously that it will only ibe a short time before something will have to be done if the British Government aie going to get cheese from Canada for the soldiers during this war. I am pointing out these things for several reasons. One is the danger of interfering with and fixing prices, and I quite agree with the remarks of my hon. friend from Port Arthur (Mr. Keefer) with regard to price-fixing. Fixing a price for cheese has jeopardized the in dustry to such an extent that the outlook is a very serious one indeed for those engaged in the business. This fixing of prices has a bearing on other industries. Someone may say: "Why, look at the precautions that have been taken by the Food Board, with regard to feed for dairy stock. They have fixed a price for bran, shorts and mill feed and prohibited the exportation of screenings to the United. States, in order to provide feed for our stock." True, all this has been done and' provision has also been made for inspection of all the articles that go into the manufacture of oleomargarine in the United States and Canada. But in spite of what has been done, bran is selling between $40 and $45 per ton in Ontario, and shorts between $45 and $50, and the farmers cannot get it at those prices; they are prepared to pay almost any price. Weed seeds are -being ground up and mixed with the mill feed to such an extent that stock is being poisoned and have died in many instances as a result, and protests have been lodged with the Government against this crime that has been committed against those engaged in the dairy business. There -is no reason in the world why ground weed seeds should appear in mill feeds, such as bran and shorts except by fraud, yet there it is, and that is on-ly o.ne of the things that the man engaged in the dairying business has to contend with to-day. The intention of the Food Control Board may have been good, and they may think they have accomplished their purpose, but the fact is the farmers are being charged an exorbitant price, and the regulations are not being observed or enforced. The Government should

also see that those who are willing to pay the highest price for -mill feed do not get it in the face of those regulations.

I have spoken longer than I intended. I would not have said what I have were it not for the fact that the district from which I come is largely agricultural and industrial, about evenly divided in that respect, and consequently I am inclined to look at this matter from iboth sides. I say again that if we are going to permit oleomargarine to come into Canada let us see that it comes in in its pure state, uncoloured, and is not mixed with butter, or churned with milk, and that it 'be not put up in pound prints of identically the same size and shape, and in wrappers identically the same, with the exception of the name, as the creamery butter, because there is no occasion for it. I am not going to dispute with those who say that oleomargarine is as palatable as butter, because I do not think I ever tasted the stuff in -my life, and I am not in a position to express- an opinion as- to that. . But it is a significant thing that the wealthy people of this country and of the Old Country do not want to eat oleomargarine. It is good enough for the poor people, they think, and they would let them have as much as they want. " Give the poorer people all the oleomargarine," they say, " and leave the cream for us; we shall get it all the cheaper." And that is about the -case with skim milk to which I have already referred, which is put up for consumption- iby the poor and the soldiers. There are many large factories engaged in condensing milk and manufacturing milk powder in the county from which I come. I believe the cost of the production of butter has increased more since the war began than the cost of production of any other article of food, Oats are selling to-day from $1 to $1.10 a bushel; mill feed is also at a higher price, and labour is not to be had; and at a time like this, when greater production is -being urged, one of the old established industries of this country -an industry that has done more to enrich the fertility and productivity of the soil of Canada, and to establish agriculture on a sound and lasting basis than any other branch of agriculture-is being jeopardized by passing legislation of this kind without adequate safeguards. I feel that I would toe recreant in my duty to my constituents if I did not record my protest on behalf of those I represent.

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UNION

Frank Stewart Scott

Unionist

Mr. F. S. SCOTT (South Waterloo):

I

should like to add one further argument to those advanced in opposition; to th-is Order -in Council permitting the Smpor-

tatiom of oleomamgarine. I approach the subject from a somewhat different standpoint from that assumed by other horn, gentlemen,, and I will (not go over the arguments already so well advanced (this afternoon. It seems to me a very short time isinoe the Order in Council was passed. Tihe effect of (that Order in Council was to allow the importation of Ian article from the United States into Canada. And yet, while this action /was taken, only (comparatively speajking, a short time ago, we are told alt the present time one of the most important problems that confronts the people of Canada from a trade standpoint is the rectifying of the balance of trade between Canada and the United States. It seems to me this action is a mistake, because it disturbs a well-established and a great industry, when, to-day, we are told that the War Trade Board has under consideration a recommendation to the Canadian Government regarding the prohibition of the importation of certain articles into this country. I do not want to enter into a discussion of 'the merits or demerits of oleomargarine as against butter, but it does seem to me that the Government should consider whether it is not a mistake, to encourage the importation of an article, when the result will be the disruption of a great industry, and then to attempt to rectify the conditions, which they have deliberately brought about, by regulations prohibiting the importation of certain articles, which will mean the disruption of other industries. I do not refer to the importation of luxuries, which may be all very well, but it is proposed also to prohibit the importation of certain articles that cannot be considered as luxuries, and I believe, in addition to that, to make up for the revenue that will be lost in that way, to .put a special tax upon certain articles. It seems to me that the Government anight very well give that aspect of 'the case serious consideration.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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UNI L

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist (Liberal)

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Agriculture) :

Mr. Speaker, in the whole range oi the business of agriculture, in all the countries where it is carried on, there is perhaps no question which has given rise to more controversy than the question of oleomargarine. Therefore, it is not surprising that we should have had a discussion such as the House has listened to this afternoon in

20*

connection with this subject. It is perfectly proper, I think, that the House should be given the considerations which led the Government, to change the policy which had been adhered to in this country for so many years with respect to this product, and to permit not only its importation into Canada but its manufacture in Canada as well.

We have had given to us this afternoon a considerable amount of statistics relative to the dairy industry of Canada and the great importance it holds in our agricultural activities. I have taken the trouble to gather some information with respect to the production of dairy products in Canada, particularly in relation to our exports and imports during the past few years. I am not going to detain the House by giving figures running back over a series of years, but I do desire to- place before hon. gentlemen a few facts. I have a statement here showing the following results:

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EXPORTS OP DAIRY PRODUCTS.


1917 Cheese l'b 155,216,000' 180,733,426 Butter lb. 828,232 7,9'9'0,0'00 Condensed Milk lb. 335,849 15,858,000 If we take the imports for these- two years we find that, while in 1913 the total imports of butter in Canada amounted to 7,989,000 pounds, in 1917 this importation into Canada had dropped to 997,000 pounds. The reason for this rapid increase in the exportation was alluded to by my hon. friend from Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) this afternoon. The war has made very heavy demands on. America for supplies of this kind as it has for almost all kinds of agricultural supplies. Great Britain normally imported from Holland, Denmark and other continental countries the greater part of the butter and cheese that she used prior to the outbreak of war. 'Since then this has been very largely shut off and consequently Canada has had to make up the deficiency. The higher prices that were paid there led to a rapid rise in the exportation from Canada during the- period to which I have referred. That had one effect in so far as Canada was concerned; it reduced, and reduced very considerably, the amount that was available for consumption by the people of Canada. It was also the fact that, due to the war, prices had increased very considerably and it was increasingly difficult for the poorer people in the towns and cities to get the nourishment in fats that they required. Throughout the year 1917, I find, various requests were made to the Government for the removal of the restrictions upon the importation of



oleomargarine. I find, for instance, that [DOT]the board of health of the city of Toronto placed a recommendation before their city council, and which was in turn placed before the Government, that the importation into Canada, and the manufacture in Canada, of oleomargarine should be permitted. We find, too, that the civic authorities in Montreal made a similar request of the Government. We have also a resolution that was presented to the Government by the Anti-tuberculosis Association of Ottawa, which is as follows:- Whereas the war is emphasizing more and more the need of increasing our efforts against the ravages of tuberculosis; and Whereas the statistics from France, Belgium, Germany and other European countries show an alarming increase in the number of civilians suffering from tuberculosis, due in a large measure, to the lack of nourishing food ; and Whereas animal fats are essential to the healthy growth of our Canadian boys and girls; and Whereas the present price of butter is practically prohibitive ; Resolved, the Ottawa Anti-tuberculosis Association hereby respectfully recommends that everything be done by our Government to make it possible for our people to psrchase nourishing food at reasonable rates, and as one step toward this much-to-be-desired end, that the Government should forthwith remove the ban upon the importation, manufacture and sale of Oleomargarine. It is further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent at once to the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture. I might say, Mr. Speaker, that the decision to modify the regulations governing the- importation and manufacture of oleomargarine had been reached before I became a member of the Government. Immediately after that the regulations were drafted, and the regulations that are to-day in effect were prepared practically by the Dairy Commissioner in the Department of Agriculture. Any person who knows the Dairy Commissioner is quite aware of this fact, that the dairy industry in Canada has a splendid champion in him. And he was very careful to draft these regulations so as to conserve and protect the dairy industry to the very greatest degree possible. Now, I want to draw attention to the fact that' the Order in Council with regard to oleomargarine sets out that it is to be regarded as a war measure. In the preamble we find these words: Such regulations to be in force and to have effect for the period during which the present abnormal conditions continue, the conclusion of such period to be determined by His Excellency the- Governor General in Council, as provided in the said regulations, and as a war measure only. The regulations were drafted with a great deal of care. I do not pretend for a moment that they are perfect, nevertheless, 1 do think that they afford a very fair measure of protection to the dairy industry in Canada. The statement was made, I believe, by the hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong), who introduced the resolution, that the demand for the removal of these restrictions had emanated largely from people in Canada who desired to manufacture this article and offer it for sale. Well, if such is the case, they have not, so far, taken very great advantage of the opportunity that was presented to them, for up to the present time only two licenses have been issued for the manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada, I believe there are two other concerns equipping their premises to conform to the requirements of the law relating to this manufacture. But I venture to say that there will not be any great number of manufacturers in Canada engage in this business, and, I believe, for the reason that they realize that it is a war measure, and that there is no assurance of permanency in it.


UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. NESBITT:

May I ask the minister if the Government refused to allow others who conformed to the regulations to engage in manufacture?

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UNI L

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CRERAR:

No; any person in Canada who will conform to the regulations laid down is open to manufacture this article. The hon. member for East Lambton also stated that there was a possibility of fraud in the importation of this article, inasmuch as the importation was not restricted alone to oleomargarine. I am told that oleomargarine and margarine are practically interchangeable terms. In Great Britain the article is known as margarine, in the United States it is known as oleomargarine, but it is practically one and the same article. As far as nut margarine is concerned, that is not permitted to be manufactured in the United States, I am told, or to secure the certificate that their laws require, and I understand that it is not, under this condition, imported into Canada.

There is one other point which the hon. member for East Lambton referred to that I desire to deal with. He stated, and I believe the hon. member for South Perth (Mr. Steele) also referred to this point, that the manufacturing establishments now permitted to manufacture oleomargarine had an advantage over the creamery industry in the country which was not permitted to manufacture and offer it for sale. To-day, oleomargarine is manufactured in

two of the large packing houses in Canada. They have to sell it as oleomargarine. They do not deal in butter, and, conse-* quently, the possibility of fraud or confusion is reduced. On the other hand, they art also subject to close inspection, absolutely close inspection, in the manufacture of this article. If we threw the manufacture wide open and permitted the creameries also to manufacture it, we would have tc provide an immense staff of inspectors to supervise the work in the 1,600 creameries now producing butter in Canada. In addition to that, I, for one, would be very sorry to see this, for the reason that it would be the most severe blow, in my judgment, that could come upon our butter industry. If it had gone abroad throughout Canada and the world that our creamery butter was being produced in establishments where oleomargarine was also being manufactured it would do more than anything else to destroy the reputation of our article.

There was also a suggestion that the regulations in regard to the display of piacards in restaurants and other public eating places were not lived up to. Well, the regulations are very definite and very explicit in that respect. They read:

In all hotels, restaurants and public eating houses where oleomargine is served' there shall be prominently displayed in some conspicuous place a placard containing the words: "Oleomargine Served Here," in capital block letters, not less than one and one-half inches long.

The regulations are very definite and explicit that wherever this article is consumed in a public eating house a placard shall be displayed showing that fact.

Now, in respect to the manufacture, what are the regulations that govern it? They read as follows:

No oleomargarine shall be manufactured in Canada unless it has been manufactured under the supervision of the Minister of Agriculture of Canada and no oleomargarine shall be imported into Canada unless it has been manufactured under the Government supervision in the country of production and is accompanied by satisfactory evidence of such supervision.

The supervision over the manufacture in Canada and oveT the importation lies with the officials under the Veterinary Director General. As hon. members are aware, the control of packing houses, the inspection of meats therein manufactured, the supervision of the slaughter of animals-all these matters are under the jurisdiction of officials of this department, and it was- simply an enlargement of their duties to charge them with the responsibility of seeing also that proper supervision and proper methods are employed in the manufacture of oleomargarine. The sale of the article in retail stores is under the direction of the Dairy Branch of the Department of Agriculture, and it is the duty of the inspectors of the Dairy Branch, who visit the various stores and places of business with a view of seeing that the standard's of butter are maintained, to see that the regulations in respect to the sale of oleomargarine are fully and thoroughly lived up to.

The member for Frontenae (Mr. Edwards) desired to know what' restrictions were placed upon the manufacture of oleomargarine to insure that only wholesome ingredients entered into the product. That is set out in the following regulation:

All material entering into the composition of oleomargarine shall be subject to inspection, and if not approved by an inspector shall not be used. The inspector shall have power at any [DOT]time to take samples of any such material for analysis. No oleo oil or neutral lard shall be used in the manufacture of oleomargarine unless it is the production of an abattoir under the inspection of the Minister of Agriculture of Canada and bears the Government inspection mark, or has been manufactured in the country of origin under inspection satisfactory to the minister, and is at the time of importation covered by the official markings and export inspection certificate of the country of origin.

That means that as far as the manufacture in Canada is concerned', no ingredient can enter into this article unless such ingredient is passed, upon by the inspector who is present.

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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

Is there any definite

standard as to the percentage of ingredients, such as they have in the United States?

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UNI L
UNION

April 4, 1918