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.
Subtopic: REVISED EDITION. COMMONS