June 3, 1921

LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

The price of our cheese, as I have always understood, was fixed by the British Food Board on a basis which gave our producers two cents a pound more than that paid by the board for the total cheese output of New Zealand. At the same time, the definite and substantial price that was paid for our cheese had its effect, I

believe, in encouraging our farmers to put on their farms every cow they could carry. To what extent that influenced the export of cheese, I am not prepared to say. On looking at the figures I find that our exportable surplus of butter was greater last year than it was in any year of the war, but I believe our cheese exports have fallen.

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Of course, any system of properly grading dairy products would naturally be conducive to the improvement of their quality, and I for one do not object to the Bill, but I believe that there will be great difficulties in the application of the law. I should like to know from the minister if the grading would apply only to those products which are destined for export, or to all the products enumerated in this Bill, whether destined for export or for domestic consumption?

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

The present intention is that it shall apply only to products destined for export, and arrangements will be made to facilitate the application of this measure as much as possible by a thorough discussion of the whole situation by all the interests dealing in or producing the various dairy products.

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Is it intended to make provision for the application of the law during this summer?

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

Our Dairy Commissioner estimates that it will require about a year to carry on a campaign of education and to get the opinions of the men interested on which to formulate the necessary regulations.

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UNION

Thomas Henry Thompson

Unionist

Mr. THOMPSON (Hastings) :

The Ontario Dairymen's Co-operative Company at Montreal have a similar system in vogue to that proposed, and I understand that the inspector appointed by this Government inspects their cheese.

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

Inspection was carried on at Montreal for that association as long as they sold their cheese by auction. Just as soon as they began to sell privately, the inspection was withdrawn. It will not be resumed until they again sell by auction.

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UNION

Bernard Rickart Hepburn

Unionist

Mr. HEPBURN:

Will the minister notify the different cheese boards throughout Canada, so they may be represented, rather than rely entirely on the Dairymen's Association?

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

This information will be disseminated as broadly as possible and the co-operation of all invited.

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KEVISED EDITION. COMMONS

UNION

Thomas Henry Thompson

Unionist

Mr. THOMPSON (Hastings):

The district I represent is one of the largest dairy districts in the country, and we have there a system of inspection in the factories which has been practised for thirty or forty years and has given complete satisfaction. Although last year the Ontario Dairymen's Co-operative Company was furnished by the Government with an inspector, and the factories were given the privilege of sending their cheese to this company, I do not believe that five per cent of their output was so sent. New Zealand has had its system for eighteen years, but to-day our cheese is selling from one to two cents more per pound than the New Zealand cheese. When I was in Picton a few weeks ago, the local cheese board passed a resolution asking that they be consulted. Last year, one factory in that district sent its cheese to Montreal to the co-operative company, but discontinued sending its cheese there during the season, and this year is selling its output on the local cheese board, along with all other factories in the county. I believe the Bill permits the minister to make regulations, and before those regulations are finally adopted, I ask that the members of the cheese boards throughout the country, who are the representative men of the dairy interests, be consulted.

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UNION

John Albert Sexsmith

Unionist

Mr. SEXSMITH:

I am not very much in favour of this Bill. It does seem to me that we are making deliberate efforts, not to benefit but to destroy some of the very best industries of the country. I know the farmers are not in favour of this legislation. Cheese factories in Ontario have been closing up by the dozen during the last five or six years, and the dairying industry, one of the most important in the Dominion, is not going forward very fast. The other day we passed a Bill allowing the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine. While I have not anything to say against this commodity I believe that in the course of a few years it will be the greatest menace to our dairying industry. If there is any industry in this country that at least requires to be left alone to work out its own salvation, so to speak, so far as restrictions are concerned, it is the dairying industry. The conduct of a dairy business is the most slavish work under heaven, and hundreds and hundreds of farmers are going out of the business. Now, the minister fcnows that Canadian cheese under the present system stands at the very pinnacle on the British market. If our cheese producers have been so successful in that market,

which is the greatest cheese market in the world, why should we be asked at this late stage of the session to pass this Bill to provide regulations for grading export cheese? A good deal has been said about hurrying legislation through in the last days of the session. We are now having morning, afternoon and night sittings; we were here this morning until between three and four o'clock; and now when we come back here at 11 o'clock we find a Bill before the House which to my mind may be ruinous to certain branches of the dairy industry. I am speaking for the farmers in my district; the hon. member for Hastings (Mr. Thompson) and myself come from a district in which the largest cheese dairying industry in Canada is carried on-the largest cheese producing districts are in Central Ontario and in the Oxford district. The cheese men are opposed to this measure.

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L LIB
UNION

John Albert Sexsmith

Unionist

Mr. SEXSMITH:

Yes, they are opposed to the measure, there is no doubt, and I would seriously advise the Minister to let the Bill stand until another year.

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

On what ground do the

dairymen of my hon. friend's district oppose the measure?

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UNION

John Albert Sexsmith

Unionist

Mr. SEXSMITH:

Under our present

system the cheese is inspected in the factory. No cheese maker in my district will sell to any buyer without the product being inspected right there in the factory.

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L LIB
UNION

John Albert Sexsmith

Unionist

Mr. SEXSMITH:

By the buyer, of

course. A few years ago, the cheese buyers of Ontario brought their industry to the highest pinnacle it had ever reached, but now it is dropping down by millions of pounds every year-and it is not because there is any dissatisfaction with the mode of sale or inspection. The hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) has spoken about the increase in butter. In 1908, 1909, and 1910 we were producing hardly any more butter than we consumed, but now the butter industry has gone up and the cheese industry has gone away down.

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L LIB

Edmond Proulx

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

The last statement that

was issued by the Department of Agriculture showed an increase of over 6,000 pounds of cheese produced as compared with the corresponding period during the previous year.

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UNION

John Albert Sexsmith

Unionist

Mr. SEXSMITH:

I have seen a lot of

figures from some of the departments that I do not place very much reliance in.

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June 3, 1921