I wish to direct the attention of the minister to another matter in connection with the slaughter of animals in Alberta, near the city of Calgary. A large number of dairymen have establishments in the vicinity of the city, and recently some of their cattle have been found to be infected and have reacted to the tuberculin test. The result is, of course, that the cattle have been ordered to be slaughtered. Compensation is afforded to the owner at the rate of two-thirds of the value of the cattle, the owner bearing one-third of the loss. But the difficulty is that the Government has fixed arbitrarily the maximum compensation to be paid per animal; I think it is $80. The dairymen feel that that amount is not coommensurate with the loss they sustain when their animals are destroyed and they have sent a petition to the Government asking that the maximum compensation be increased to $120. In discussing the question of the embargo last week the minister fixed the value of dairy cattle at anywhere from $125 to $175 or $200. It will be seen, therefore, that $80 is no compensation to the dairyman for the loss of his cattle. Besides, in the destruction of his cattle the dairyman is deprived of his means of livelihood. Another difficulty arises; when the cattle are slaughtered, there is no one who has authority to make immediate settlement with the owner in order that he may have the necessary funds to buy other cattle to replace those which have been destroyed, and it is a matter of weeks, sometimes of months, before he receives the compensation to which he is entitled. That being the case, it is almost impossible for him to replace his herds immediately after the cattle are destroyed. The dairymen desire, therefore, besides the increase of the maximum to $120, that when cattle are slaughtered someone shall have authority to make settlement at once, and, furthermore, that the Government inaugurate some system under which destroyed dairy cattle can be replaced immediately from the Government herds within the provinces, the dairymen to pay a reasonable
price for the animals thus obtained. This matter has been before the Minister of Agriculture for some time, and I should like to have him state to-night, if he possibly can, whether or not the Government have arrived at any decision as to the stand they purpose taking in connection with the matter.
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF COMPARATIVE PRICES