April 4, 1918

UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

I must direct hon. member's attention to the .fact that, if the mover of the resolution speaks now, other hon. 'members will be precluded from speaking to the resolution.

Topic:   EXPORTS OP DAIRY PRODUCTS.
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UNION

Samuel Francis Glass

Unionist

Mr. S. F. GLASS (East Middlesex):

Before the hon. gentleman replies, I would like to ask the minister in reference to the' price of feeds fixed for the farmer or consumer. He has pointed out to us very well how the interest of the consumer has 'been guarded 'in fixing the prices, the conditions on which the consumer may go to the miller and obtain feed. The one difficulty I-see, and the difficulty that has been presented to me by those who are interested, is that the conditions imposed upon those milleTS are not honestly carried out, and the consumer does not get the advantage that it is the intention of the Government he should receive. It is said that the Order in Council leaves it open (for the individual to prosecute the miller. My hon. friend no doubt knows that a small consumer, going to a mill for half a ton or a ton of bran, even if he be imposed upon to some extent in the price, is not going to prosecute the miller or to institute legal proceedings which might, in the end involve him in more expense than the little difference in price. Why cannot it be arrangedUbat the price shall foe fixed from time to time, monthly or foi-monthly as the case may foe, and that it 'be understood and established and published so that- the consumer may know exactly what he has to pay? In

reference to that (point, a large number of fanners who were encouraged, and who were almost persuaded to go .more extensively into the hog industry, were dissuaded from following that up by reason of the very fact that I have presented-that, while they were promised cheap feed on terms that seemed reasonable if the Order in Council were properly carried out, they were deprived of that benefit simply by reason of the fact that millers evaded the law or practically paid no attention to it. Some means might be devised toy which the consumer, the individual purchasing his feed from the local mill, might he protected by a monthly or bi-monthly bulletin, or by publication in the agricultural papers, of the prices to be paid.

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UNI L

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CRERAR:

It is rather a difficult matter to get out a schedule of prices week by week governing the sale price of these articles. I still believe that the regulations which have been promulgated, if enforced, will bring the relief that iis desired. Of course, they will not make up the deficiency in the quantity of the feeds we have been discussing, for there has undoubtedly -been a great shortage. But, so far as- controlling the price is- concerned, I believe the regulations will be effective. Not very long ago, in one of the counties of western Ontario- I believe the case was mentioned in a return brought -down the other day-a prosecution was entered against a local miller by the president of a co-operative farmers' society, and a conviction secured, and on the word of the president of that society the prosecution succeeded in remedying the conditions in the county in which he lived.

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L LIB

James Alexander Robb

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. A. ROBB (Chateauguay-Hunting-don):

I desire very briefly to make a few observations, but not by way of criticism of the introduction of oleomargarine into this country, for the Government are in the favoured position of having all the criticism come from their followers. My hon. friend from 'East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) in introducing this resolution took very great care to clear the previous Minister of Agriculture and -also the present minister from all responsibility for the Order in Council admitting oleomargarine free into this country, and he seemed to make out a case that was satisfactory to those who supported him. He put all the blame on the food controller, and the thought occurred to us on this side of the House, as it must have occurred to hon. gentlemen opposite. Who is looking after the rights of the agricultural

interests of this country? If neither the previous Minister of Agriculture nor the present Minister of Agriculture is responsible, which one of the twenty-three Cabinet ministers to whom we are paying salaries is safeguarding the country's dairying interest? I leave that thought with the minister in the hope that upon some future occasion he may be able to explain it satisfactorily to the electors. My hon. friend from East Lambton then proceeded to find all manner of fault with the administration of the regulations, and he was followed during the afternoon by other supporters of the Government all condemning the administration of the regulations; so I will leave that to hon. gentlemen opposite.

My hon. friend from Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) made the statement that throughout this country cheeise and butter factories were being put out of business, but he did not go to the root of the trouble and say why they were being put out of business. That story goes back as far as 1911, when, by virtue of a trade arrangement with the United States, we could have had free entry for our butter, milk and cream, and milk -and cream products, to the markets of the United States. The people of Canada refused to accept that proposal, so in 1913 the United States revised their tariff along lines to suit their own people. They said, "If you don't want to trade with us on the basis of the proposed arrangement of 1911, we are going to fix the tariff to suit ourselves and ourselves only." And they proceeded to put milk -and cream on the free list. The result of that legislation was that milk and cream from border towns and counties in Canada immediately began going to the United States.

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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

For how long? Not more than six months anyway.

Mr.ROBB: It is going there still. Farmers in the county of Huntingdon are shipping milk to the United States to-day because they can get $3 a hundred there as compared with $2.70 in Canada. The result has been that the butter and cheese factories of the western part of the province of Quebec, at all events, have been shut down, and there is consequently a smaller production of butter and cheese in that section.

There was one feature which, so far as I could observe, the minister dodged very cleverly this evening. He did not attempt to explain to the House why we allow oleomargarine to come into this country free of duty when we place a tax upon butter, and

I think the people of this country are entitled to an explanation of that point. Furthermore, I am told that by virtue of some arrangement oleomargarine does not come into this country as freely as people are led to believe, and that its manufacture in Canada is limited to two big companies which have a considerable pull with this Government. I am not going to name them, for I think all hon. gentlemen know who they are. That is also something about which the people of this country will require an explanation from the Minister of Agriculture.

This afternoon several hon. gentlemen opposite in turn, claimed that their part of the country was the best dairying county in Canada. I thought that a little strange, especially on the part of my hon. friends from Ontario, because I had under my hand the prize list of the Toronto Exhibition, which shows that nearly all the prizes for butter went to the province of Quebec, and a few to the province of Manitoba. I might as well put the list on Hansard, so that my hon. friends from Ontario, when they want to buy good butter, will know where to go. The Journal of Agriculture states that in the class for creamery butter, in salted solids, Joseph Dansereau, of Verclieres, carried off the first prize with a score of 97; the second, third and fourth prizes in the salted class also went to Quebec. In the unsalted class, Quebec wfas again first, Achille Fournier, of Gentilly, scoring 97 points. In this class a Manitoba exhibitor took the third prize. The Challenge Trophy for the highest score for creamery butter on exhibition was also won by Achille Fournier, of Gentilly.

We w.ill leave that feature of it and refer to the closing remarks of the hon. Minister of Agriculture in reply to the hon. gentleman from East Middlesex (Mr. Glass) about the price of bran and shorts. The history of the fixing of the price of bran and shorts is perhaps not now known to all hon. gentlemen in this House. I got it first hand from a gentleman who was present at the fixing of the prices, and that gentleman is a supporter of the Conservative party, and, I believe, contributes largely to the campaign funds.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

There is no such

party.

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L LIB

James Alexander Robb

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

We'll not now, but there

was onoe. Whan they came together to fix the price it was proposed they should fix it at 824 a ton in bulk, but some said:

Why fix this price in bulk; the trade is accustomed to buying in bags and why not fix the price, bags included, so that people will know the cost? They said: We are

getting near a general election and it would look better to fix it in bulk because it would be $24 instead of 830. And they fixed it at $24, to look better. That is the history of it, and the price was not long fixed when the friends of the Minister of Agriculture on the Food Control Board who fixed the price down low, and took good care that they should keep all the bran and shorts in western Canada, and 'a member of the Food Control Board absolutely prohibited the mills of western Canada shipping to eastern Canada. That is the simple story, which explains why we have a shortage of (bran and shorts in eastern Canada. They fixed the price low and kept it all to themselves. I have the evidence here, and will be glad to show it to the Minister of Agriculture. I think I can satisfy him that it is correct. I submit, however, to the hon. minister that that is not a fair way of treating the dairy interests. The hon. member for East Lamlbton (Mr. Armstrong) complains of the lax administration of the oleomargarine regulations. As a member of a dairy constituency, 1 submit that the hon. minister is not dealing quite fairly with the dairymen and the stock raisers of eastern Canada in attempting to fix the price of these foodstuffs away down low, and keep them all for western Canada. We are all one country, and we know that the people of western Canada are desirous of promoting the stock industry. I know that the province of Manitoba has made progress in recent years along the line of the dairy industry, but I ask the Minister of Agriculture if it is fair to expect the people of eastern Canada to eat the flour, that tney in western Canada may have cheap bran and shorts. Let me remind him that, according to regulations fixed by himself, you only get 26 bags of bran for every 74 bags of flour. That is important. You cannot run a flour mill unless you sell your flour, and it is eastern Canada that eats that flour. Is it fair that we should be asked to pay the high price for flour and get none of the 'bran and shorts? I leave these thoughts for the consideration of the Minister of Agriculture, in the hope that as Minister of Agriculture for all Canada he will take a broader view of it, and not attempt to narrow things down. If western Canada expects eastern Canada to help them along in the legislation they require from time to time they must be prepared to deal fairly with eastern Canada.

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UNION
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Sure, they are.

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UNION
UNION

PRIVILEGE.

MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.

L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. W. DUFF (Lunenburg):

I rise to speak to a question of privilege. I regret that it is necessary for -me to do so, hut the matter to which I desire to refer is a very important one and affects imy honour as a gentleman, my standing with my fellow members of the House of Commons, and my loyalty as a subject of His Majesty (the King. If I were not a new member, it might not be necessary to take this step, but I wish to retain the good opinion of hon. gentlemen in this House with whom I am acquainted, -and- also to attain the respect of a great many hon. gentlemen with whom I am not acquainted.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member is not taking the proper course. I assume that he purposes submitting his case by a document which he has in his hand. If he desires to make an explanation, he may do so, but he cannot make an extended speech.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.
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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

The procedure of the House is new to me. I do not intend- to make any extended remarks. I shall make my statement as brief as -possible, and endeavour to keep within the rules of the House.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Upon what ground does the hon. member rise to a question of privilege?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.
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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

On the ground that false statements are being made against me in the press of the country.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

If the hon. member will read the statements and make his denial, he may proceed.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.
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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I wish to finish the sentence I had commenced. I feel it incumbent upon me to make explanation of certain statements published in a newspaper in the city of'Ottawa. These statements are contained in issues of the Journal-Press of March 21st, March 26th and Apri-l 3rd. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, in order to make this matter as short as possible, I will not read the articles, unless you, Sir, or the House wishes me to do so. I have made a short summary of the contents of the articles, and with your permission I ask to have the statements contained in the newspaper placed on Hansard, and then I shall deal with these statements.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   MR. DUFF CONTRADICTS STATEMENTS MADE IN CERTAIN NEWSPAPERS.
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April 4, 1918