March 17, 1921

UNION

Thomas Mitchell March Tweedie

Unionist

Mr. TWEEDIE:

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.

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

I have been giving a good deal of attention to this question of the slaughter of those cattle. I presume the hon. member is referring to cattle at Calgary.

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UNION
UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

Those cattle are being slaughtered under our arrangements with municipalities in cleaning up milk supplies to the cities. If cities will make it necessary for milk supplies to come from herds free of tuberculosis we will undertake to test herds supplying milk to those cities. We have now in Canada about a dozen cities, one of which is Ottawa, that have taken advantage of this offer to clean up their herds and ensure a healthy supply of milk. As regards valuation, our valuation for grade cows is $80 and for purebred cows $250, of which we pay two-thirds, or $53.33 for grade animals and $166.66 for pure-bred animals. In the United States only $50 is paid for grades as a maximum, and $100 for pure-bred cattle, so that we are more generous than they are to the south of the line. We also leave the carcass in the possession of the owner. The animal is slaughtered in an inspected abbatoir under the inspection of our meat inspection man, and it is treated there just the same as it would be in the case of any ordinary animal shipped to an abattoir for food purposes. In some cases the tubercule might be no larger than a pea or a walnut, perhaps isolated and in a calcareous condition, and in that case the carcass would be fit for food, so that in addition to the compensation of $53.33, the owner would receive the beef value. In addition to that the owner can dispose of the offal of any one of those animals to the abattoir. There is the hide and the head, and there are also various organs which, in a diseased animal are useful for fertilizing purposes. They are cooked up at a high temperature so that they are only fit for fertilizing purposes. The compensation we give is very favourable in comparison with that of other countries. At one time we allowed on grade animals compensation on a valuation of only $60, but this was increased to $80.

The great tendency in the cattle market is not towards an increase in price, but rather towards a reduction; from 1914 to the present date, there has been a decided falling off, and at present the department does not see its way clear to recommend that the amount of compensation be increased. What is a diseased cow worth once you know that she is diseased? You cannot sell her in the market according to law, and we do not purpose paying a full valuation for any animal of that kind. As regards prompt payment of compensation, the point taken by the hon. member is very good, and while recently there has been a little delay in issuing cheques for compensation, I have made arrangements only to-day whereby those cheques will be sent out as promptly as possible after animals are destroyed.

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Have these animals to be pure-bred or grade in order that compensation be given? Can a man receive compensation for the ordinary common animal, which is neither a grade nor a purebred?

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

The common garden

variety of animal is also eligible for compensation under those conditions.

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UNION

Thomas Mitchell March Tweedie

Unionist

Mr. TWEEDIE:

Has the department considered making arrangements whereby animals that are slaughtered can be replaced promptly from Government herds within the province?

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

No arrangements are

made along those lines. That is a matter that could very nicely be taken up by the provincial Department of Agriculture.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Before leaving

this item, which is a very considerable one, and which shows a big increase, I should like to have a moment or two to refer to some of the arguments advanced by the minister why no compensation should be paid in the case to which I have referred. He says that these men have placed themselves outside of the class of those who ought to be compensated because the garbage was not properly cooked, and also because they had not reported the disease. I think he gave us the names of two inspectors who are very competent men. In looking over some of these papers, I came across an affidavit made by the son of this man, and it reads in part as follows:

I, Alfred E. Alderson, of the township of Etobicoke in the county of York, do solemnly declare that I am the manager of the piggery owned by George B. Alderson in the township

ol Etobicoke aforesaid and have held the same position since the first day of May, 1919.

That during the whole period of my employment as aforesaid all garbage fed to the hogs ir. the said piggery has been properly and efficiently cooked.

That from the said first day of May, 1919, until the destruction of the above-mentioned hogs by the Government inspector, all of the hcgs in the said piggery were always in a healthy state and we never had in the piggery during that time a case of cholera.

That is a very clear statement to be made by the son, and yet that is not to be considered at all. The minister has referred to two inspectors whose word he is prepared to accept. I have here a statement signed by inspector T. H. Richards, who inspected the hogs and valued them, and it is not Mr. Hall, or the other inspector mentioned by the minister, who was there and examined those hogs and permitted the man to dress as many animals as he could in that day. Mr. Alderson states himself that he could very well have handled many more, but he had only the one day to do the work in, and with the help he had, 33 hogs were as many as they could attend to. I see by the Public Accounts that Mr. T. H. Richards is a Toronto inspector. I do not know whether he is a veterinary or lay inspector. It is possible he may be a veterinary inspector. In view, however, of the clear and definite statement made by the owner and toy his son that to their knowledge no disease existed amongst their herd, I do not think they should have been considered as having waived all rights for compensation. Knowing this young man as I have known him for many years when he was in business in the town of Ingersoll be-going to work at this place, I am satisfied that when he made an affidavit of that character, he believed absolutely every word he was saying.

Consequently, I say that it ought to be beneath the Government of this country to pass such an act as the Animal Contagious Diseases Act-no, it is not the Act, but the regulations that have been drafted, and which he was compelled to sign, and waive all rights unless he could establish that disease had come into his herd from some outside source. It is absolutely impossible for him to establish that for he says there was not any disease. The inspectors say there was. There is a conflict of opinion, and it would be a very difficult thing to prove now that the hogs have been destroyed. The hogs were ordered to be destroyed and their carcasses to be deeply buried with lime. Mr. Alderson has waited for a considerable time in view of the statement made by Richards that he was

valuing these hogs. Mr. Richards did value them, and sent in to the department his valuation, showing that he was under the impression that Alderson was entitled to compensation. I think this is a matter that ought to receive a little more consideration from the minister than it has, and I think that if he realized the character of these men, and the positive statements they have made in this case, he would see that further consideration be given to it. It is a pretty serious matter to have that many head of hogs destroyed, with prices as high as they have been, and for the man to have his premises closed up. He was not permitted to continue business there, nor has he done so since that time. I trust the minister will see the seriousness of the position in which the man is placed.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

I would like to add a word in support of the case made by the hon. member for South Oxford. I have read the letter of Mr. F. Torrance, Veterinary Director General, and it is quite clear to me that some subterfuge has been employed to deprive this man Alderson of compensation for his hogs. On the face of it, it is quite clear to me that the Veterinary Director General has strained a point to try and deprive the man of his right, and I think the minister would be well advised to look at the language the director general uses. In the first place, the director general's report takes two or three pages to deal with what the minister knew very well was the law. When you get down to the real facts, you can see the subterfuge that has been employed. He is attempting to beqloud the issue and deprive the man of compensation by specious language. That shows on the face of the report itself. I direct the minister's attention to the following :

Mr. Alderson's premises were visited from time to time and were found in a satisfactory condition until April 19, 1920, when Inspector Baker visited the premises and found several of his hogs showing signs of sickness.

No hog cholera, no suggestion of cholera.

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

That man was a lay inspector.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

It does not make any difference. Nobody in this report says the sickness is hog cholera. It goes on:

This officer who is a lay inspector in charge or the garbage feeding, took a temperature of one hog and found it was 105g. As Dr. O. Hall of this office was in the Toronto district at the time he proceeded to the premises with Inspector Baker and two or three other officers who were conducting accredited herd tests in

the district also accompanied Dr. Hall to the premises.

Then on page 4 of the report I find this:

Dr. Hall slaughtered the hog which Inspector Baker suspected was affected with hog Cholera.

It does not say the inspector suggested it was hog cholera. Inspector Baker does not say that himself. Neither does the director general. Inspector Baker reported that a number of hogs on the premises were showing symptoms of illness and the director general turns that into hog cholera without any authority, without any mandate, if one may use the term, without any foundation in any report that anybody had made up to that time. No report had been made that it was hog cholera, according to this very report of the director general. It goes on:

As Dr. Hall had to attend to other work Inspector Richards took charge of the case.

He is the third man.

He corroborated Inspector Baker's report that a number of hogs on the premises were showing symptons of illness.

Nothing about hog cholera yet.

Out of 245 hogs, which were slaughtered, there were only 33 of these hogs fit for pork, and a license was issued permitting the owner to dispose of the carcasses of these animals.

Who ascertained that? There is no report of that on record. The director general says so, but he has not the word of Hall, Richards or Baker for it, that any inspection was made. It-was just the statement of the director general.

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

This information is

reported to the office on regular forms. It will be on file in the office.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

But the director general does not say so on his report. So far as this report shows, it may be only hearsay evidence of the three inspectors. The report goes on:

Mr. Alderson at the time of Inspector Hall's visit took the attitude that he did not know there were any hogs sick. As, however, Dr. Hall found so many of them exhibiting symptons-

Of what? Exhibiting symptoms of illness.

-he questioned the owner, and finally was informed that a few hogs had died a short time previous.

This is absolutely denied. The issue is clear between what Dr. Torrance says the inspector was told, and what the man himself says. There is direct evidence in the one case, and indirect evidence in the other. What was alleged is denied. Now it does seem to me that the position taken by the

hon. member for South Oxford in a case like this, which is not well made out by the director general's 'report, ought to be considered by the minister in the light of the subject as against the state. Here is a man who has lost $7,000 or $8,000, if I figure it correctly,-a man who has been in the business for many years, against whom there has been no previous complaint, and of whom this very report says that up to the 19th of April his premises had been from time to time inspected and everything was well ordered, kept in good condition. There was nothing slovenly; the man was not careless, but was one of the best men feeding hogs on the garbage system. Now a man of that class, who is careful, who is reputable, who has suffered a severe loss, surely has the right to appeal to the highest court open to him, the court of Parliament, against an extraordinary and drastic remedy that Parliament has, and I suppose the appeal which the hon. member for South Oxford has made on behalf of a citizen of this country. The minister should not be bound hard and fast to the members of his staff, should not take for granted that every inspector under his jurisdiction is telling the truth and that everybody else is telling falsehoods. The least that can be done in a case like this, where the subject through no fault of his own has been deprived of the compensation that the law allows, is that he should be given a chance of having denials made on a more sound and substantial basis than I' find in this report. The least the minister can do, I think, is to consider that the man has been a great sufferer, and where the state exercises drastic remedies, as in a case like this, the least it can do through its responsible ministers is to say: As the action of my

executive officers has been seriously challenged, and as the report of the director general has been made on hearsay, we will take this matter into consideration and have a thorough investigation made, take evidence on oath, and satisfy ourselves whether or not this young lad perjured himself, whether the man who suffered the loss perjured himself, or whether some of the officers of the department are trying to gain kudos from the minister in bolstering up a case that will not stand the light of investigation.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

There is a considerable increase in this item over previous years, and in view of the attitude of the minister in regard to the case I have brought before the department, and others that have been laid before him, to which

very little attention has been paid, I think we ought to know something more as to why we are voting an increase of $390,000, and where the money will be spent. I for one want to know whether men who are going to have such authority vested in them will go all over the country regardless of regulations passed by this House. Will those regulations be ovserved, or will there be substituted for them others framed by the officers in the various departments? I think we are somewhat too lax in this respect. I have in my pocket a letter I received in the mail last night in connection with a Bill put through last year, and there are no fewer than six pages of finely printed regulations passed by the department by virtue of a clause in the Act which gave the minister authority to make such regulations. These regulations have been passed by officers of the department, with the consent of the minister-not the present minister, but some of his predecessors-and I think that when a man suffers a loss of $7,000 or $8,000 he is entitled to a little more consideration than apparently this man is receiving. Now, before we increase the number of these inspectors-and it is quite apparent from the way in which they flocked around that part of the country that there was no dearth of inspection, at least judging from the report of the veterinary inspector general-in view . of the difficult conditions that face us just now, I think that $390,000 is a large additional sum to vote, and we are entitled to know just what it is to be used for. We should not be in any great hurry to declare it carried. I venture to say that nine out of ten of those hon. gentlemen who are shouting "carried" do not care a fig, and do not know a button, about what these inspectors are appointed for. My experience has been just as I have stated to-night, and I must say that I am anxious to have some more information as to what these inspectors will do since you are increasing the staff to such a great extent. I believe that we have at the present time in some of the packing houses in the country a number of men going around as inspectors who are doing absolutely nothing. I am sure that there are great temptations in the paths of some of these people, and that they are not doing their duty as they should. I say this, knowing something of the conditions that prevail in some of the stock yards of the country where inspectors are supposed to operate. Stock is going to these yards, and instead of being examined and slaughtered it is being taken out and sold for 68

food. My experience convinces me that your inspectors are not quite as infallible as we are led to believe, and instead of increasing their numbers and sending them all over the country into every place it is possible to send them, some of them now on the job ought to attend to their work a little better than they are doing, particularly in the big stock yards. It is well known to the provers that there is no difficulty in sending to those stock yards and there disposing of them, stock that ought to be condemned. I have not

11 p.m. so far heard an explanation from the minister for this increase of $390,000.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

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UNION

Thomas Hay

Unionist

Mr. HAY:

I desire to say just a word

in connection with the matter brought up by the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland). I agree with him that this man should receive justice at the hands of the department. I am glad the hon. member brought this matter up, because this is clearly a case in which justice is due, anc we, as representatives of the people, should see that it is meted out and full investigation held. I understand that before the hogs in question had been slaughtered a promise had been made that the owner would be compensated, and now the department is seeking to evade responsibility in the matter and refusing to pay for the animals. I think this is unfair. They have practically put the man out of business and I feel that an injustice has been done. I should like to see a thorough investigation made of the whole case. I agree with the view of the hon. member who introduced this subject that we should look for justice to all classes of people. I do not conceive it to be the duty of the inspectors in the different departments to harry a man out of business in which he is lawfully engaged. I do not think it is their duty to do anything that would deprive him of compensation to which he is entitled. That could hardly be the intention of the Government in appointing these inspectors, and I would strongly urge upon the department the necessity for a full investigation into this case.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

Mr. Chairman, may I say-

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UNION

March 17, 1921