I think lean illustrate the point I have in mind in this way: a firm in the United States accepts a book from a Canadian author and allows him 15 per cent royalty on the first 1,500 copies, 20 per cent on all copies between 1,500 and 2,500, and then 30 per cent on additional copies sold. The firm makes that contract in the expectation of having a large market. As it is a book by a Canadian author, they take into account the possibility of its sale in Canada. Once the point of 1,500 is reached the author commences to get his royalty on a 20 per cent basis; when 2,500 is reached he gets his 30 per cent, and he gets it in virtue of sales in Canada as well as of sales in the United States. But if this law as it stands goes into effect what will happen? He may conceivably be kept at the 15 per cent royalty.
The minister when considering how much he will allow the author when a Canadian firm undertakes the publication, will say: The company in the United States is giving a 15 per cent royalty; we will allow the Canadian publisher his contract with the author on the same basis and the author will thereby be kept on the 15 per cent basis. Whereas if the author were free to have his contract carried out by the American publishing house as to sales generally, instead of getting 15 per cent on his hooks he might be getting 30 per cent on the greater proportion of the sales. I can see that that may be the effect in practice. It may not amount to much in the case of some persons, but in the case of most authors a difference of a few hundred dollars here and there is a quite important matter.
My understanding of the Bill differs from that of the hon. leader of the Opposition. An author may write a book and sell it to an American publisher. The American publisher can print it in the United States or he can print it in Canada as well, and the gross sale is just as large as if the printing were all done in the United States. Therefore the proportionate increase in royalty that there would be under the old condition should prevail under the new condition. He gets the Canadian market; if the author wants the book published here, it is published here. This licensing clause is only to provide that when the author will not publish in Canada, somebody else may do so, paying him reasonable compensation. I cannot see that the author's rights are injuriously affected; on the contrary, I think they are adequately protected. If we had the same law that they have in the United States, the Canadian author could not get a copyright until his book was' set in type and printed and the copy laid before the Secretary of State in Ottawa, but under this law the type can be set in the United States, and plates can be made and sent to Canada if the author wants to publish the work in this country. If the author will not publish it in Canada and if his American publisher will not do so, then some one in Canada may say: I will publish the book and_ pay the royalty determined by the minister. Surely there is nothing unfair
in that. The author is entirely protected, if I understand the Bill correctly.
I have had urgent requests from gentlemen in the Senate that the Bill should reach them at the earliest possible moment, as they would like to have time to go into it. It would be well, therefore, if the Bill could be read the third time now.
suit-and I do not think there would be any difficulty in the way-the effort will not be wanting. Of course, I cannot assure my hon. friend of what will happen, but I have every reason to believe that when we adhere to the Convention we shall be recognized when the meeting is held as we are recognized everywhere else when we meet the other nations of the world.
Before this Bill is read the second time I should like to repeat what I pointed out to the minister When the resolution was under consideration a few days ago. While consenting to the admission of oleomargarine during the war, at a time when dairy products were very high, I can see no good reason why we should continue
the admission of oleomargarine into this country. The minister will recollect that it was the policy of Canada for many years, under both Liberal and Conservative administrations, to prevent the admission of oleomargarine into Canada on the ground that it was a detriment to the dairying interests of this country. During that period the dairying interests of Canada made wonderful progress, so much so that we were able to put our products, not only butter and cheese, but bacon and beef, into the markets of the world. To the dairying industry we owe directly the production of such important foodstuffs as butter and cheese, but that industry is also the basis for the production of meats: bacon, beef, veal and poultry products. It also helps to fertilize the soil. The greater the dairy industry; the more cattle there are, the better will be the crops. While grain growing may be profitable temporarily, it takes away the fertility of the soil, while on the contrary, the production of dairy products and the raising of cattle and swine contribute not only to the na-. tional wealth but to the fertility of the soil, so that we produce more grain.
War conditions have passed and the price of dairy products is down to about normal. The price of butter is not high; the price of cheese is not high; indeed, if the price keeps on going down, the cost of production will be greater than the selling price. Under such conditions it might be well for the minister to make haste slowly in the way of granting concessions for admission of oleomargarine into this country. Under present regulations manufacture is permitted up to the month of August of this year and sale up to the month of March of next year, so that those who have been importing oleomargarine and those who have been manufacturing oleomargarine in this country will have ample time to dispose of their stocks. I am told -and I am making this statement so that the minister may correct me if I am wrong -that there are only two firms manufacturing oleomargarine in Canada, and although oleomargarine comes in free of duty, its importation is surrounded by so many restrictions that the manufacture of oleomargarine in this country is practically a monopoly. The minister admits certain ingredients used in oleomargarine free of duty; that is refunds of duty are allowed. The statement was made the other day by the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) that an immense sum of
money had been refunded by the customs to importers of oleomargarine.
I have no desire to delay the House at this time when we are trying to dispose of business and to close up, but I should like the minister to take into serious consideration the question of extending the fights to import oleomargarine or to manufacture oleomargarine in Canada. The time has now arrived when we should revert to the old conditions under which the dairy industry of this country was so well built up. During the Budget debate we heard much from my hon. friends opposite as regards protection to the farmer. So far as I know, the farmer is not asking for any special protection on his products, but this is a case where we can give him a fair protection by prohibiting the importation and manufacture of a product that enters into serious competition with his product.
There is another feature of this matter that I should like to direct to the attention of the minister. After all, oleomargarine, according to a statement of what it contains, is an adulteration, manufacturers of oleomargarine contending that it contains about 70 to 75 per cent of farm product; there is some butter and milk used in its manufacture. We have laid down as a principle that there should be no adulteration in certain farm products. We have recently had that before us in the question of maple products, where an attempt was made to go back oo legislation introduced two or three years ago, and it was the unanimous opinion of the Committee on Agriculture that we should not admit of any reaction in this matter, but that we should keep these products pure. That should apply to butter as well as maple products. I submit these considerations to the minister, and I hope he will not press his Bill at this time.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to say just a few words in regard to this Bill before it is read the second time. My hon. friend (Mr. Robb) has expressed my views pretty clearly in regard to it. The importance of the dairy industry, of course, will be admitted by everybody; it is of vast importance to the country; it is a growing industry, and we should be very careful not to take any steps that would in any way check or interfere with it. I have been sent a circular letter by Mr. D'Arcy Scott, Secretary-Treasurer and General Counsel of the National Dairy Council of
Canada, dated the 21st of the present month, and containing the following resolution:
That this Council strongly disapproves of the efforts of manufacturers and vendors of oleomargarine to present that article in such shape, appearance and colour as to attempt to deceive purchasers into the belief that they are actually getting butter or an article with the same food values as butter. This Council is of the opinion that to remove the unfairness of the competition of oleo with butter, and to prevent deception and dishonesty, strict regulations in addition to those now in effect should be passed by the Government of Canada providing for a standard colour of oleo other than the colour of butter, the printing on the container of each package of oleo a statement of the ingredients used to make up the oleo and the proportions of each ingredient. Also that no dairy products be allowed to be used in the manufacture of oleo sold in Canada.
No action whatever has 'been taken to comply with this resolution.
Then it goes on to say:
The manufacture and sale of oleo in Canada was prohibited prior to December, 1917, when the prohibition was temporarily suspended by Order in Council under the War Measures Act. Since the armistice the suspension of the prohibition against oleo has been extended from year to year by legislation. The suspension will expire on September next unless Parliament -passes further legislation.
We are now proposing by this Bill to admit the manufacture and importation without restriction. This appears to be an unfortunate time to pass a law permitting importation and manufacture of oleomargarine in competition with the butter industry. Last year we sold as much as 6,000,000 pounds of butter in the United States; but owing to recent legislation in that country imposing a duty of six cents a pound on Canadian butter, it is very unlikely that we shall be able to make equally great sales to the United States when this legislation comes into force. That should be considered. The price of butter has dropped very low; the industry is not in a prosperous condition at present, and if there ever was a time when we should be careful as regards legislation, it is at present. The price of butter is back to almost its pre-war level, and the prospects are that it will go still lower in the future. I do not consider that it is at all necessary to continue the manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada when butter can be secured so cheaply, and I therefore wish to place myself on record as being in entire agreement with what my hon. friend from Huntingdon had just said in regard to this matter. I shall vote against the Bill.
importation and manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada from the very first, and in opposing it to-day I am simply in line with what I have done in the past. I am glad that the hon. member for Antigonish and Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair), who _s disposed occasionally to drop a few free trade sentiments and to give more or less vociferous applause to free trade sentiments dropped by someone else, is alive to the effect of what the imposition of the six cents duty on butter now being imposed by the United States Government will be so far as that market for our producers is concerned. The duty used to be two or two and a half cents, and now they have raised it to six cents. The effect will be to exclude Canadian butter from the American market. I think it was intended to have that effect, and it certainly will have that effect.
Let us look for a moment at the conditions prior to the adoption of the Order in Council which permitted the admission of oleomargarine into Canada and its manufacture here. I could understand action along that line having been taken previous to the time when it was taken. In 1914, for instance, we imported over 7,000,000 pounds of butter, and exported on.y
1,250,000 pounds; in 1915 our imports were pretty nearly 7,000,000 pounds, and our exports 2,700,000 pounds; in 1916 our imports were 4,300,000 pounds, and our exports 3,400,000 pounds. In all these years, according to the import and export figures I have just quoted, we were not producing a sufficient quantity of butter in Canada for our home requirements and in those years the argument could have been advanced that was advanced later, that we were not making enough butter to supply the home demand, that the price was inordinately high, and that therefore the poor man was being deprived of an essential article of food. In 1917, however, our imports of butter were 997,000 pounds, and our exports were pretty nearly 8,000,000 pounds: that is to say, according to our import and export figures, we not only produced enough butter in Canada to supply the home market, but we had a surplus and had to look for a market for that surplus in other parts of the world. It was at that time, on December 10, 1917, that the Order in Council was passed permitting the importation of oleomargarine into Canada and its manufacture in this country. At that time the argument that was advanced by the then Minister of
Agriculture, the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), was that the price of butter was so high that many poor people in this country were unable to buy it. He justified-and in this he was backed up by many other hon. gentlemen in the House*-the admission into Canada and manufacture here of oleomargarine on the ground that the fats necessary for sound physical health were not obtainable at a reasonable price in Canada in the form of butter. That argument was accepted by the Government and, I must say, by an overwhelming majority of members on both sides of the House. If that was the only argument advanced, and I am not aware at the moment of any other argument having been put forward, that argument does not hold good to-day.