May 25, 1921

UNION

Samuel Francis Glass

Unionist

Mr. GLASS:

The minister was good enough to say that the department were giving some consideration to changing the form of the package in which oleomargarine may be sold. May we reasonably hope that this consideration will develop into definite action in the matter? That is a point that the Dairymen's Council felt strongly on, namely, of having a differently shaped package entirely, so that you would get it away from the butter form. That has been the complaint since oleomargarine was first placed on the market, and if the Government carry out that idea, a serious grievance will be removed.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

We have heard a great deal about the splendid qualities of the ingredients that go to make up oleomargarine. The general manager of the Harris Abattoir gave evidence before a committee of this House with reference to the matter. This question was put to him by my colleague to my left (Mr. Nes-bit:

Q. You do not churn it with the first milk?- A. Yes, it is churned with skimmed milk, fresh skimmed milk.

Q. I understood it was fresh milk?-A No.

It is skimmed milk that is used, and it is well known that there is not much substance left in skimmed milk, whether it comes from tested cows or not. As far as tested cows are concerned, if there were any defects in the milk, they would come off with the cream. Now just a word or two with regard to colouring. This witness also admitted that they purchased highly coloured June butter to make their product more palatable. This was the evidence:

Q. The law expressly forbids colouring to be put in margarine, and you endeavour to get round this by purchasing June butter which Is highly coloured, to deceive the public?-A. You are entitled to your interpretation of the facts.

Q. Is that not a fact? You realize that if it was sold without any colouring?-A. It would not be so palatable; it would be like eating lard.

So you see that the object is to deceive the people, and that is the reason I have moved the sub-amendment which is now before the committee, so that people will know exactly what they are purchasing. We should have information before this committee to-night as to the ingredients of the oleormargarine that is on the market to-day, and that has been for some time past. That information has not been supplied to the House. Consequently I feel that we are justified in seeing that dairy produce is not placed in the position that was referred to by the hon. member for North Perth (Mr. Morphy) and by the hon. member for Huntingdon (Mr. Robb), where these people would be able to purchase butter when it was cheap and possibly incorporate eighty per cent of it in their product, thus making it a greater competitor with butter than it is to-day.

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UNION

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Unionist

Mr. MACLEAN (Halifax) :

I rise to a point of order. The vote on the second reading of the Bill very clearly expressed the view of the House upon the principle of the Bill. The Minister of Agriculture has stated that the amendment to the amendment if adopted would mean that oleomargarine could not be made in this country. Therefore, the amendment to the amendment is a complete reversal of the principle enunciated by the House to-night, and I submit that it should be ruled out of order. I have very grave doubts whether the amendment itself is in order, but I do not raise that point.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The sub-amendment

reads as follows:

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.

When the sub-amendment was moved, it was certainly in order. The statement has since been made by the Minister of Agriculture that according to some scientific information which he has received it would be impossible to make oleomargarine that would be saleable under the conditions mentioned in the sub-amendment. It would, I think, create a very bad precedent if information of this nature was relied upon by the chairman in deciding a matter of parliamentary procedure. The information given to the House by the hon. minister was

evidently for the purpose of informing and directing hon. members in the matter of their votes, and not for the purpose of directing the chairman in his decision upon a point of order. I have no hestiation in ruling that the sub-amendment is in order.

Amendment to the amendment negatived; yeas, 17, nays, 78.

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Amendment agreed to. Section as amended agreed to.


L LIB

James Alexander Robb

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I beg to move as section 2 of the Bill the following:

2. Section seven of the said Act is amended by adding thereto the following words ''and are also marked or labelled with a statement of the ingredients and the proportion of each ingredient used in making the oleomargarine contained therein."

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

That would not be practicable at the present time, as far as our present information goes. We have been considering this matter, and have it under consideration now, and are gathering as much information as we can possibly get on it. These ingredients may vary in proportion to one another at different times. For instance, in hot weather probably less of the lard oils are used than at other times. The cheapness of a certain quality of butter might mean the inclusion of a larger percentage of butter than was usual when prices were higher. The ingredients vary according to the market price and the supply available. I do not think there are any two factories that make their product on exactly the same formula. The formula varies in all packing houses to a certain extent, but at the present time we are giving very careful attention to that particular point, and if we decide that it is practicable to apply such regulations, the Act will permit us to do so.

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L LIB

William Frederic Kay

Laurier Liberal

Mr. KAY:

Is it not true that in the

United States they have to put the ingredients on the package?

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

I cannot give an exact

answer to that question, but I do not think that it is so; it has never been brought to my attention.

Amendment negatived on division.

Bill as amended reported.

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CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT


House again in committee on Bill No. 138, to amend the Criminal Code,-Right Hon. Mr. Doherty.-Mr. Boivin in the Chair. [The Chairman.! On section 1-definition of " feebleminded."


UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The purpose of this

section is to make it an offence to carnally know a feeble-minded female, and the first sub-division of the section gives the definition of feeble-minded persons. In the words of the section:

"Feeble-minded persons" means persons in whose case there exists from birth or from an early age, mental defectiveness not amounting to imbecility, yet so pronounced that they require care, supervision, and control for their own protection, or for the protection of others.

There is a provision which is added as clause 302 (a), that every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for five years who has illicit connection with any girl or woman who is feebleminded. We have it on the testimony of a large number of persons, who take an active interest in the protection of women and children, that there is a widespread habit, on the part of men, of taking advantage of the feeble-mindedness of females who may have reached the age of consent or got beyond that age, to have illicit intercourse with them; and it seems to be a proper protection of these unfortunates who, while not being absolutely imbecile, have not been favoured by nature with ordinary mental capacity.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I think the statistics show that at least four-fifths of fallen women are found to be feeble-minded. There is nothing here to show that the person who has connection with a feeble-minded girl or woman, and who is unaware of the fact that she is feeble-minded, is to be differentiated from the person who has that knowledge. Where is the protection for such a person?

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

Of course, there will

have to be evidence establishing the feeblemindedness of the woman concerned, and I think that if you can adduce facts that demonstrate the existence of feeble-mindedness on her part, those facts in themselves would make it palpable to any person coming in contact with such a woman that she was feeble-minded.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

But it is a scientific fact that practically all women of this character are feeble-minded, or they would not be in that state.

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The hon. member overlooks the definition of feeble-mindedness contained in the section. No doubt there may be degrees of feeble-mindedness, but

the definition calls for something that goes further than mere feebleness of mind. It will not be sufficient to prove that the person is feeble-minded in the ordinary sense of the word, and in the sense in which I think the hon. member uses it when he speaks of a large majority of a certain class of people being feeble-minded, and of persons coming in contact with them not being aware of the fact. The feeble-mindedness defined in the section I have just read is of such a degree that, I think it is not unfair to assume, it would be quite evident to any one dealing with a person of the mentality therein described.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

But there is a question

of knowledge on the part of the person having connection with the feeble-minded person. Take the case of a fallen woman who has become an ordinary street-walker, and who, in the course of her peregrinations, meets a man and takes him to a house of assignation. How is this man, on a mere cursory acquaintance with this woman, to know that she is feeble-minded?

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The acquaintance is

very apt to be cursory under the circumstances.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

How is he to know that

she is feeble-minded?

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UNION

Levi Thomson

Unionist

Mr. THOMSON (Qu'Appelle) :

We might assume that those people for whom my hon. friend has so much sympathy should have some responsibility placed upon them before they undertake to get into trouble. But there is another point in connection with this section that bothers me somewhat. A feeble-minded person is described as one who is not necessarily an imbecile, but whose mental defectiveness is so pronounced that she requires care, supervision, and control for her own protection, and for the protection of others. It seems to me that my hon. friend has not been very guarded in the terms he uses. Is there in the criminal law of any other country whatever a section of this description? It seems to me that the words my hon. friend uses there are capable of various interpretations by different judges; I doubt very much whether any two judges would give the same interpretation. I think you might almost assume that almost any of these women are persons who require care, supervision and control. I think it is probably because they have not had the amount of care, supervision and control that they should have had that they have gone astray. Perhaps there are

not so many of us that have had the care, supervision and control that we should have had.

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May 25, 1921