May 25, 1921

UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Before submitting the question, Mr. Speaker, I should like to point out that the exception by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. Hay) is well taken. The manufacturers of oleomargarine are permitted to import all the ingredients under a duty of only one per cent. It has been stated by the advocates of the manufacturers of oleomargarine that about 70 to 75 per cent of it consisted of ingredients produced in this country. Well, by having a protective tariff on those ingredients you could ensure that condition of affairs. But it would not suit the manufacturers as well as the present arrangement, because of the fact that they are now enabled to buy in a foreign country all those ingredients with the exception of butter. When butter was 66 cents a pound, as it was a little while ago, there was a tariff of only six per cent. At 33 cents a pound that tariff would be at the rate of

12 per cent. In other words, when the price doubled the tariff was reduced by ond-half. In connection with the tariff on other articles manufactured in this country there is an ad valorem duty, and therefore -when the price doubles the tariff also doubles. That is the difference in the treatment of the two articles under our tariff, and it is absolutely unfair. We ought to have an ad valorem duty on butter.

>

As a matter of fact about $250,000,000 worth of dairy products were produced in this country last year, and only about one-fifth was exported. So there is no closing our eyes to the fact that our home market is by long odds the most valuable one our farmer has. At the same time I realize the importance of the consumer getting his food as cheaply as possible. These large exports of butter during the past few years have been entirely due to the enormous expansion of the dairy industry. In the county from which I come, where the first cheese factory in Canada was established, I have witnessed successive transformations. First it was largely a butter manufacturing county; after that the farmers went almost entirely into the manufacture of cheese, and as Ingersoll cheese it was well known all over Great Britain; those cheese factories one after another gave place to the condenseries and powder factories as a result of the British Government controlling the price of cheese during the war. Now, there is a tendency to again open up many of the cheese factories, for the reason that the farmers after experiencing both conditions realize the importance of having a well balanced system of farming.

The butter-making industry to my mind is the most important branch of agriculture that we have to-day, although we are not carrying it on at all in our county. I suppose nine-tenths of the farmers of my constituency purchase butter, and I am not too sure but what lots of them purchase oleomargarine. Therefore, when I take exception to this measure it is not by reason of the fact that there is any great demand from my constituency-I want thvt distinctly understood-but it is the principle involved, and it is also because rf the fact that every drop of the milk we are selling to the condenseries goes off the farm. As a result of that system of farming there is an enormous drain on the fertility of the land; but with the system of dairying whereby butter is manufactured you have the essentials to sue-

cessful agriculture. The raising of cattle, hogs and other live stock is the only way in which the fertility of the soil can be maintained and farming carried on successfully. To-day our people are very largely purchasing commercial fertilizers, and I am not too sure, even with the high price they have been obtaining for condensed milk and powder and ice cream

because there are factories where the milk is converted into ice cream-that they have any advantage As I pointed out, many of our farmers are going back to the manufacture of cheese again, and I believe that many more would welcome butter-making factories if they were established in thit district. The places where you will find the best system of agriculture carried on are where cattle and hogs are being raised. There is no closing our eyes to the fact that we have a difficult period ahead of us, and I am satisfied that live stock s the only salvation for our farmers in the future, and that therefore we must encourage by every means in our power successful development along these lines. I believe this measure is a retrograde movement, and I am absolutely opposed to the principle involved in encouraging adulteration, because, as I pointed out before, the present system is really enabling these people to adulterate oleomargarine.

What about the original manufacturers and importers of oleomargarine? Two years ago I received a letter, but I did not quote it When this matter was last before the House. It is dated October 8, 1919, and is from Mr. H. D. Marshall, Canadian sales agent of "Kingnut" butter. It reads:

I read with considerable interest the item in this morning's Citizen, giving an account of the discussion in the House yesterday regarding the extension of the permit for the sale and importation of oleomargarine in Canada.

I was particularly interested in the stand which you took regarding the use of June butter in the manufacture of oleomargarine.

Permit me to say from the standpoint of one who is largely interested in the sale of oleomargarine, that I heartily approve of the stand which you take.

The admixture of butter with oleomargarine does not improve the quality of the oleomargarine, and certainly does not add anything to the value of butter. This practice is one which I would like. to see stopped, and the oleomargarine industry placed on its own legs to stand or fall on its merits. The admixture of butter into oleomargarine is the result of a popular demand from dealers to give them an article which they can place 'before the consumers as nearly representing butter as possible.

My contention is that oleomargarine is a commodity which can be used as a spread for bread, but does not and should not and should not be made to interfere with the business of manufacturing and selling butter.

It is evidently too late for any aotion to be taken on this during the present session, but if at the next session of the House you feel disposed to bring this topic up again, you can rest assured that you will have the hearty cooperation and support of at least one who is largely interested in the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine.

This Kingnut butter, or margarine, is manufactured very largely in the United States, and also, I believe, in Canada, and, as I have said, this letter was sent to me by the Canadian sales agent here. I cannot support any measure that will discriminate against the freedom of the individual, and, as has been pointed out by several hon. members who have spoken, that is what this measure does. The dairy industry is one of the most laborious in this country. While an eight-hour day is being agitated for in connection with other activities, those who are engaged in the dairy industry find it necessary to put in twelve or fourteen hours a day. It is not intimated in the measure now before us that any change in the regulations is contemplated, and in view of all these considerations there is only one course for me to pursue. I am not in favour of preventing the manufacture or importation of this product, and if I had any assurance that anything better would be adopted I would be inclined to vote accordingly. But there is no assurance from the Government that these most iniquitous regulations will be removed and the monopoly cease which is now enjoyed by two of the large packing houses in this country-companies which have received a rebate of nearly a quarter of a million dollars during the last year and a half in connection with this matter. I contend that these regulations in their present form are not in the interests of the public and since they are to remain I am compelled to vote for the amendment.

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REVISED EDITION. COMMONS


Stein, Tobin, Sutherland, Trahan, Thompson (Hastings), Truax-33. NAYS Messrs. Allan, Lapointe, Anderson, Leduc, Andrews, Lemieux, Argue, Lesage, Arthurs, Long, Ballantyne, MacKelvie. Ball, Mackie (Edmonton), Best, Mackie (Renfrew), Blair, Maclean (Halifax), Blake, Maclean (York), Bolton, MacNutt, Bonnell, MoCoig, Boyce, McCrea, Boys, McCurdy, Brien, McDermand, Bristol, , McGibbon (Muskoka), Buchanan, McGregor, Bureau, Mclsaac, Cahill, McMaster, Calder, McQuarrie, Caldwell, Manion, Campbell, Martin, Casselman, Meighen, Chaplin, Mewburn, Charlton, Michaud, Charters, Middlebro, Clark (Bruce), Molloy, Clark (Red Deer), Morphy, Clements, Mowat, Cockshutt, Munson, Cooper, Myers, Cowan, Nesbitt, Crerar, Nicholson Cronyn, (Queens, P.E.I.), CrowTe, Nicholson (Algoma), Currie, Papineau, Davidson, Pardee, Davis, Peck, Doherty, Pedlow, Douglas (Strathcona), Prevost, Douglas (Cape Breton Redman, S. and Richmond), Reid (Grenville), Drayton (Sir Henry), Reid (Mackenzie), DuTremblay, Rinfret, Edwards, Ross, Fielding, Savard, Finley, Scott, Foster (Sir George), Shaw, Foster (York), Simpson, pulton, Smith, Gervais, Spinney, Glass, Steele, Green, Stevens, Guthrie, Stewart (Hamilton), * Halladay, Stewart (Lanark), Harold, Thompson (Weyburn), Harrison, Thompson (Yukon), Hay, Thomson Henders, (Qu'Appelle), Jacobs, Tolmie, Johnston, ^remain, Kennedy (Glengarry Tweedie, and Stormont), White, King, Wigmore, Knox, Wilson (Wentworth), Lalor, Wilson (Saskatoon), Dang, Wright-130.



(The list of pairs is furnished by the Chief Whips). Messrs. Tudhope, Proulx, Griesbach, Euler.


L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I was paired with the

hon. member for Edmonton West (Mr. Griesbach). Had I voted, I would have voted against the amendment.

Main motion agreed to, Bill read the second time, and the House thereupon went into committee on the Bill, Mr. Boivin ir the Chair.

On clause 1

manufacture, importation and sale permitted.

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UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. MANION:

I beg to move to amend

clause 1 by substituting for the new section three therein proposed, the following section:

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Dairy Industry Act, 1914, chapter 7 of the Statutes of 1914, or in any other statute or law, the manufacture in and importation of oleomargarine into Canada shall be permitted until the 31st day of August, 1922, and the offering for sale, the sale, and the having in possession for sale of oleomargarine, shall be permitted until the 1st day of March 1923.

In other words the amendment is to the effect that this legislation holds good for one year.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

It is much to be regretted that the Government has spoiled a good Bill by encouraging this amendment. There is no reason in the world why we should shilly-shally with this thing from year to year. If oleomargarine is a bad thing, let us put the ban on and stop it; but this bringing in a Bill, as the minister has done this year, to provide that oleomargarine shall be treated like any other article of commerce, and now because the Bill has met with a little criticism to postpone, as he is doing, a final decision for another year, is not wise politics; it is not good statesmanship; it is not common-sense. Let us settle the thing and be done with it, and not go on in this way for another year.

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PRO

Michael Clark

Progressive

Mr. CLARK (Red Deer) :

I find myself in absolute agreement with what has fallen from the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding). There is no defence in logic for the course which the Government are taking. What is the reason? Was this Bill not thought out before it was brought down to the House? Do the Government confess that they have so ill-considered the principle of the Bill that it

is changed on account of a slight waft of opinion on their side?

No reason is offered for the change. As my hon. friend has just said, it is good or it is bad to introduce oleomargarine into this country. If it be good, why do it for a year? Many things were done temporarily during the war, but the war is over, and there is no argument that I know of for any action along temporary lines. If there is, I am subject to correction, and I shall be glad to hear the correction. It is not done out of principle; it is done out of party expediency to meet the views of certain kickers on the other side of the House. Having made that protest, I do not know that there is any need to talk any further, the Government's action is strong confirmation of the view of those that think this Government has outlived its mandate and ought to go to the country-strong confirmation indeed. Is there any subject upon which they take a definite stand? I dare say they would answer: On the principle of protection. Well, even that stand is taken outside of the House, and not in it. My right hon. friend spoke on that subject the other day, and never put up an economic argument. He keeps those for outside of this House. On a dozen other things, as I have indicated before, this Government has committed acts of infanticide, and this is an addition to the number. Here is perhaps the strongest personality in the Government, whom we all respect, or did, as a really strong man, coming down with a Bill which presumably he has thought out with the care which he bestows on every detail of his departmental work. At the end of the session, after he has had four months of a session to think about it and a year since the question was last before the House, he brings before us the considered proposition of a government that professes to have a mandate to rule this country, and in one afternoon he changes his opinion and says: We will try it for just another year. Well, an Englishman naturally sympathizes with the bottom dog, and when peoples are so weak in their support, why, my sympathy naturally goes out to them. But there is a duty for hon. gentlemen on this side of the House, and my duty is to protest that we have in this the last evidence of weakness on the part of the Government and a strong argument why they should cut the painter, take their courage in both hands, and go to the country with their principle of protection or any other policy they have, and give the country a chance. Then we

246$

shall get a Government that really governs in this country. This Government does not govern. If I wanted to prove to any visitor to Ottawa for the first time that this Goveernment does not govern, I would take him to the Plaza and show him the method of recording time here. He would look on one side and see a clock arranged by the railway company, showing two o'clock in the day. He would look at another clock, arranged by the municipality of Ottawa, and see that it was three o'clock. He would naturally say: What is the Government of the country doing? I should have to reply: Oh, they take the time from the municipality when they are looking that way, and from the railway company when they are looking the other way. I do not want to go over all these acts of infanticide again, but they are getting too numerous for this country to have the slightest further patience with the Government, and they call on the Government to take at least one resolute action, and that is to go and get a breath of fresh popular air in their sails and see how it suits their constitution.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I hold in my hand the Canada Gazette, under date of October 25, 1917. Dealing with this matter, the Order in Council provides:

Whereas attention is drawn to the abnormal demand for butter due to war conditions and to the very great probability that such abnormal demand and consequent high prices will prevail for this product for some time to come.

Then, after referring to the regulations, it provides:

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.

Mr. Chairman, I contend that the period of deflation in the price of butter has arrived, and that the regulations contained in this Order in Council are no longer justified. I have pointed out that I do not take exception to the importation or manufacture of this article of food. What I did object to was the regulations contained in this Order in Council. I therefore beg to move in amendment to the amendment, seconded by the hon. member for South Ontario (Mr. Smith), to add at the end of the section the following words:

provided that no oleomargarine shall be imported into Canada or manufactured in or sold, offered for sale or had in possession for sale in Canada which contains any milk or cream or any product of milk or cream.

This will do an injustice to no one, and will be a protection to those engaged in the industry.

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UNION

John Best

Unionist

Mr. BEST:

I think it ill becomes any hon. member to get up in the House and read a lecture to the Government and to hon. members as to how they should vote, as my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark) has just done. I can tell him that if the members sitting around him vote as he wants them to at the snap of his finger, the members on this side of the House have minds of their own and they vote as they see fit. Judging by the way the hon. member for Red Deer talks in this House, one can imagine that if he had the powers the Czar of Russia had some years ago, he would be much more intolerant than the Czar himself. This is not the first time that the hon. member for Red Deer has read the riot act to the Government and to hon. members on this side of the House; yet I do not think there is a member of this House who talks as much one way and votes the opposite way as the hon. member for Red Deer. I voted the way I did because I understood the measure was to be extended for one year, and I trust that when I vote as I see fit the hon. member for Red Deer will not find fault with me.

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PRO

Michael Clark

Progressive

Mr. CLARK (Red Deer) :

The hon. member has totally misrepresented what I said. My remonstrances were naturally directed to the Government, and I hope in parliamentary language, for not standing by their Bill. I said nothing about how my hon. friend or any one else in the House voted. There is a total misunderstanding or a total misrepresentation of what I said, and I must ask my hon. friend to accept my disavowal. I never made a single remark about the way he voted; my remonstrance was addressed entirely to the Government, to whose ranks my hon. friend does not yet belong.

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UNION

John Best

Unionist

Mr. BEST:

I do not know any hon.

member who talks as much one way and votes another as the hon. member.

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?

Mr. D@

I am opposed to

the amendment because it is unfair to the people of the country, and to the freedom of trade. If this legislation is to be made applicable only for one year, you will discourage the manufacture of this food in Canada, and as I said before, if this food is wholesome there is no reason why its sale should not be permanently permitted, subject to proper inspection by the officials

of the Government. No doubt the Government will accept this amendment to please the farmers. They are trying to please everybody in the country, but they will succeed in pleasing none. The Bill, as first introduced, would allow the permanent manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in Canada. Why change that principle now? It is said that this article is mostly bought from the United States now. Well, that will continue to be the case if permanent legislation is not passed here, because no business man will invest in the manufacture of this oleomargarine in Canada without some assurance of permanence and stability. The Minister of Agriculture should stand by his Bill to-night and not be intimidated by any suggestions as to what the consequences may be. He cannot deceive the farmers of the country; if he changes his attitude they will know very well it is for political purposes, and he will not attain the end he has in view. The amendment should not be sustained.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

When this matter was first introduced into the House in 1918, it was brought forward by the then Minister of Agriculture, the member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar). At that time it received the endorsation and approval of practically every member in the House, and certainly of the member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark). The war ended on November 11, 1918, and in 1919 it was thought necessary to pass legislation to authorize the continuance of the manufacture and importation of oleomargarine. At that time the member for Red Deer did not raise his voice in protest, and say that the matter should be settled at once. He found no fault, as he does now; he approved of an extension for the year. Another year went by and we came to 1920, and again, in his estimation, it was perfectly all right to extend the period for another year, and there were no charges against the Government of vacillation. It was quite right, in his estimation, to extend the period for one year. Now, however, all of a sudden, a change has come over the spirit of his dreams, and it is an undoubted evidence of weakness on the part of the Government that they should ask the House to do exactly what he approved of doing on two different occasions in two former years. What is responsible for this sudden change on the part of the member for Red Deer? On a former occasion he had not a word of disapproval for the extension of time, and, of course, that settled it. When the matter had the ap-

proval of the member for Red Deer it was perfectly proper, irrespective of what any other member might think. Now it has his disapproval; it is bound to be wrong; he undertakes to read the House a lecture, and gets off some of his talk about protection and free trade, and mandate, etc.

In speaking on this Bill this afternoon I said that I had opposed from the start, on principle, the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine, but I found myself in the first instance in a hopeless minority. That was certainly true in 1919; and again in 1920 practically the whole House was in favour of extending the time for another year. I said this afternoon that while I should like to see the importation and manufacture of this article prohibited, I thought that it was well that, if in the judgment of the House-and I was influenced by the fact that on two former occasions the vast majority of the members were in favour of it-an extension for one year should be permitted, legislation should be passed to that end; and I said that I would rather see an extension granted for another year than see a permanent measure put through.

What can be said in favour of an extension for a year? There is this that might be said. While you can point to prices which have obtained for butter during the last two or three months as being so low as to give the producer of butter no profit, at the same time, others who favour the manufacture and importation of oleomargarine might say that this is only a temporary condition, and might plead for an extension for a year until we found out for certain whether these low prices would continue, or whether they would get back to their former basis. That is something the Government might urge in justification of their attitude in extending the time. On that ground, and because I understood from the remarks of the minister this afternoon that, instead of putting a permanent measure through, he was disposed to extend the time for another year, I voted with the Government on the Bill. I am in entire accord with the amendment to the amendment. I agree with my hon. friend from Oxford (Mr. Sutherland), that the manufacturers of oleomargarine should not be permitted to make use of butter or cream in order to give some degree of respectability to the article they are trying to sell in competition with the makers of butter. For that reason, I shall vote for the amendment to the amendment, because I think that it is

an improvement on the Bill and will allow the manufacture of oleomargarine for another year, when conditions and prices . may adjust themseves. The acceptance of the amendment of the member of Oxford is something which the Government could do without injury to the Bill; in fact it would add strength to it.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

I am no advocate of rash legislation If this were a new matter which the House was considering for tne first time I could see some reason for temporizing with it, such as my hon. friend who has just spoken has advanced. But, as I pointed out we have had this question before us now for three years. Therefore the Government know all about it. It is not a case where they need further information. They have had all the opportunity possible for learning what are the ingredients that enter into oleomargarine. They have had every opportunity to learn whether it is a wholesome or unwholesome product; there is absolutely no more to learn. We know as much about it to-day as can be learned in the course of another year. It is for that reason I prote,t against the Government temporizing wi.h the question. If there was something more to be -learned, if some reason was indicated for postponing this question again, it would be a different matter. But twelve months hence, especially if there be an election pending, we shall have this same story again and somebody will be trying to postpone the question for another year. It is a most unreasonable thing. If oleomargarine is a bad product, if its importation, manufacture and use is objectionable, .r against the interests of the farmer, let us say so and settle the question once and for all. If oleomargarine is open to all the objections that hon. gentlemen have urg"d so strenuously the Government are doing a great wrong in continuing it for another year. Let the question be dealt wi :h to-day without any further shilly-shallying; let the Government deal with it as they would deal with anything else.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I did not have the advantage of being in the House during the discussion this afternoon, but I think I shall say something in reply to the statements of my hon. friend for Shelburne and Queen's. This Bill has been, in virtually the same form, before this House on, I think, two previous occasions. In the Bill as introduced by the Government in the first place, a stipulated time was fixed for the law to remain in effect, for the rea-

son that there were at that time very special circumstances affecting the production and consumption of butter in Canada, necessitating, as it was deemed, some cheaper substitute because the poor and the labouring classes in this country, particularly those two, could not afford butter at the higher price being paid for it. Those were the special circumstances that had to do with the limited time that was fixed in the Bill. That measure was followed by the Bill providing for an extension. When the Bill was introduced this time the Government felt that there was no further reason for a limited time, and that in accordance with the best public policy oleomargarine should be admitted without limitation of time, of course under the restrictions that are provided for by the regulations and such further regulations as might be called for. In that form the Government would prefer the measure to pass. I unde, stand that the Minister of Agriculture this evening-in view of very considerable opposition in the House to the Bill passing in that form; the ground being taken that the special circumstances that surrounded the production and sale of butter have in great degree passed away and that consequently there should be no permanent prohibition of the importation of oleomargarine-under those circumstances the Minister of Agriculture stated that rather than see a prolonged discus* sion of a subject of this kind when we hope to end the session shortly and rather than imperil the Bill in any way, he would accept it in the form in which it passed before. Of course, I am prepared that lectures shall be read by the hon. member for Red Deer, but I am not very seriously alarmed by the accusation that because the Government under such circumstances accepts an amendment to a Bill, it consequently commits infanticide and abandons its principles. The Government does not do that at all. We are now, as we hope, very dost to the end of the session. We would prefer the Bill as it is, but if it meets the wishes of the House better in the amended form we would rather have that than delay the session too long or imperil the legislation,-that is all For those who are fearful as to the authority of a Government that admits an amendment, I would commend them to look around to a cap'tal not very far from here, where they will find very close friends of their own who seem not at all concerned when they introduce legislation, and, if hostility appears, even on the part of the j

Opposition, ignc miniously abandon it on very short nctice, where such hostility is not merely an accident arising toward the end of a session but seems to be the regular practice. However that is not the case here. The Government's position is this: We prefer the Bill as it is. We believe, though, in view of the opposition, that we should accede to that amendment rather than imperil the (measure and we propose to accept the amendment if it is the will of the House. We prefer the Bill in the shape in which it is. We think ourselves that the time has come when oleomargarine should (be admitted. I am sorry that opposition to the Bill developed on this side of the House, or on either side; but under the circumstances, as we are nearing the end of the session, we felt it was better, rather than that there should be prolonged discussion, that the Bill should pass in a form which leaves the matter just as it is for another year, When, under the circumstances of that time, the House can again decide what it wishes.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

The Prime Minister tells us that he and the Government prefer the Bill as it is. He did not give us a chance to vote for the Bill as it is. Before we reached a division on the question, when the matter was still pending, the Minister of Agriculture volunteered the statement that the Government were going to abandon the Bill as it is, and under this amendment we had no chance to vote for the Bill as it stands to-day.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

The amendment of the hon. member for South Oxford appeals to me for a reason which I think has not yet been suggested to the House. Canada at times exports large quantities of butter to outside markets and has done so for years. It is quite well known that difficulties have been created in the past, both in regard to cheese and butter products by reason of the mixing of an inferior article with the genuine product. Now we propose in this Bill to probably permit the adulteration of butter (by the mingling with it of oleomargarine. I believe the farmers and producers, and the dairymen of this country, are proud of the products they have produced in the past, both as regards cheese and butter, and are endeavouring to excel in the superiority of these articles to-day and for the future. Now if it is going to be permitted in Canada to mix butter with

oleomargarine and sell it under the name of oleomargarine the result may probably be that some of it will be so near butter that it will be hard to distinguish from the genuine article, but nevertheless a taint may be produced in it and in some way it may be shipped out of the country and thus injure the market for Canadian butter. I think that is a very dangerous expedient to favour in the interest of the dairy producers of this country. There is no question to my mind that in the United States frauds in oleomargarine assumed enormous proportions and I fear that in the case of Canadian butter when shipped abroad there will from the possibility of its manipulation and the likelihood of oleomargarine being mixed with it, be a tendency to vitiate the high standard of Canadian butter, to lower that standard in the markets of the world, and thereby bring injury to the butter producers of Canada. Therefore I propose to vote for the amendment to the amendment of my hon. friend for South Oxford.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

It seems to me that

this amendment to the amendment is neither logical nor reasonable. If, as we are told, 25 per cent of oleomargarine is composed of butter, then to that extent its use makes a market for butter. If on account of the high price of butter

fortunately it is not so at the present time-it ever happens that some people are unable to buy it, they will buy oleomargarine and thus be able to indulge in butter to the extent of 25 per cent. The opponents of the Bill say that oleomargarine is not a wholesome article of food. If that be so, why should they make it worse by preventing the use of 25 per cent of dairy products in its manufacture? I think those two reasons are sufficient to justify my voting against the sub-amendment.

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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Guysborough) :

The

hon. member for Dufferin (Mr. Best) said that he voted for the Bill because of the fact that there was a certain amount of oleomargarine manufactured in the country which had not been sold, and he wished to give its owners an opportunity of selling it. My hon. friend evidently has not looked at the statute, because, as I understand it, under the present law the sale of oleomargarine is legal until March 1922. Therefore there was no need for my hon. friend to vote for the Bill on the ground he stated.

My hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture does not seem to be very certain about the Bill itself or he would not have

accepted the amendment. His attitude justified me and other gentlemen on both sides of the House who voted against the Bill, because if he was sure it was a good measure he would have stood by it and it would become law. The Prime Minister is in the same position. He prefers the Bill as it is. But although he has a sufficient majority at bis back to put the Bill through, he hesitates, for some reason or other which I am unable to understand.

I am opposed to the Bill for certain reasons, principally because the Government have given no assurance to our butter makers that they will frame regulations to prevent oleomargarine being confused with butter. That is one of the main reasons,

I am informed, for the opposition from our dairy people. They complain that the product which is put on the market is neither oleomargarine nor butter, but a kind of adulterated butter, and it is often sold to people who do not know the difference between the two articles. That is unfair to our butter makers, and if the department had made regulations to remove that uncertainty I would not have the same opposition to the Bill. The Dairy Association of Canada has made a proposal-which apparently the minister has not taken any notice of-that some steps be taken in regard to the colour of oleomargarine to make it impossible to palm it off as butter. In order that that may be brought about I intend to support the amendment of my hon. friend from South Oxford, as, if carried, we will have either pure margarine or pure butter.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS
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May 25, 1921