April 7, 1922

PRO

Henry Elvins Spencer

Progressive

Mr. SPENCER:

A statement made by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) a few minutes ago brought to my mind a subject to which I have given a great deal of thought. He said that in order to make farming pay it was necessary to have a peasant proprietorship. Too many people have been thinking along these lines and making statements of this kind. At present, high as wages are, those paid on the farm do not equal those paid in other industries. That is one of the reasons why it is difficult to get the very best class of labour on the farm-and it is only the very best class of labour that you want on the farm. Just as much skill is required on the farm as is necessary in any other industry; in many respects a great deal more skill is required. This matter of a man working a farm on a family basis, that is, using his family to work that farm without wages, does not tend to the ultimate good of the country. When the people are ignorant you can do that sort of thing and keep the boys at home. But when they begin to know anything at all; when the boys and the girls go to school, they soon learn where the highest wages are paid. Just as soon as they are old enough to

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Supply-Experimental Farms

work they will leave the farm for higher wages. You will never have a successful immigration until you put the farming industry on a business footing where it can be made to pay. I saw in the paper the other day that the farmer and labour elements would never agree, because while labour wanted an eight-hour day, the farmer wanted a fifteen-hour day. I want to assure the hon. members of this House that the farmers do not want a fifteen-hour day, and the sooner they get down to an eight or a ten-hour day the better they will be pleased, and the better it will be for the country. You can never build up a country by asking a certain part of it to work for fourteen or sixteen hours a day, while the rest of the country is working a much shorter day. We hear a great deal nowadays of the baek-to-the-land movement, but the people who are advocating that are the ones who do not intend to go back to the land themselves. Just as soon as the Government can demonstrate that farming conducted on rational lines can be made to pay like any other business, even if a few extra hours have to be put in, then you will have immigrants coming to this country and they will stay here. But as long as you are content with saying that farming can only pay when it is conducted on the family basis, where the family work themselves without wages, you will never populate the country.

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PRO

John Pritchard

Progressive

Mr. PRITCHARD:

I do not think the

minister quite understood my suggestion. I quite appreciate that the experimental farms can do a good deal for every province in the breeding of live stock, poultry and that kind of thing, and experiments along that line carried on at the Central Farm here will be just as beneficial as experiments carried on in British Columbia. My suggestion was not to carry on a demonstration farm at all like an experimental farm, with expensive buildings and lands, but to take a graduate of the Agricultural College and put him on an ordinary farm, let him run it in a businesslike way, and simply go over his books at the end of the year, to see if it is possible for a capable man to make farming pay. All the expense the Government will be put to will be that of auditing his books. If you cannot show that a capable man can make farming pay, you will not get many immigrants coming to this country to farm. This Government, so far as I know, has never done anything to show that farming can be made to pay if carried on in a businesslike way.

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PRO

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

Progressive

Mr. KENNEDY (West Edmonton) :

I was encouraged to get on my feet when I heard the minister say that demonstration farms are of greatest benefit in the new territories. In my constituency, up in the Peace river district, we have a great new territory. I am not now asking for a demonstration farm, though some people up there have been asking for another one. The great difficulty there at the present time is freight rates. The Peace river country lies three to four hundred miles northwest of Edmonton. There is an experimental station at Beaver Lodge, and I believe that the gentleman who is in charge of that station is within measurable distance of proving that clover seed can be grown as a commercial proposition there. I believe he is badly handicapped for money this year, and I would ask the minister to take in consideration the needs of that part of the country. If the farmers can grow clover seed there on a commercial basis, the freight rates would not be nearly so oppressive as at the present time.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

In reply to my

hon. friend who spoke of the large number of experimental farms in the province of Quebec, some thirty-eight in number, he made the mistake of bunching them all together. Thirty-three of these are just small illustration farms of twenty to twenty-five acres, and the farmer is paid about four dollars an acre for operating the farm. There is no overhead expenditure, no capital outlay, and few signs to indicate that it is a Dominion Government illustration farm. There are only four experimental farms in the province of Quebec, the other thirty-three being illustration stations that have been located where they were asked for. These farms in the province of Quebec have nearly all been organized during the last two or three years, and whatever credit may be coming to any one in connection therewith may be credited to the gentleman who preceded me in this office. I think some credit is coming to him, because these farms are doing a useful work. So let us get rid of the idea that there are thirty-eight experimental farms in the province of Quebec as against two in Ontario. The reason there are thirty-three illustration farms in the province of Quebec is that the people of that province have applied for them, while there have been very few applications, until quite recently, from the province of Ontario. Applications are beginning to come in now, however, and we anticipate locating a number of these farms in Ontario this summer.

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CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE :

There was nothing to indicate whether the farms in the list the minister read out were three acres or three hundred in extent, and that is how I got my impression that there were many more experimental farms in Quebec than in Ontario.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Quite right. Replying to my hon. friend who stated that a farm cannot be made to pay except as a self-contained unit operated by the members of the family, I think the past year has demonstrated that. As a matter of fact it was demonstrated in this province forty years ago when I was here. There were very few farms here then, more particularly in eastern Ontario, that were not operated as self-contained units, each supplying within itself a great deal of the raw material that went into the clothing of the family, as well as its food. Very few wages were paid out in this province forty years ago. In the western provinces as a result of the deflation of prices, on the one hand, and the high cost of farm implements and equipment, on the other, we have not been able to make it go under a system of hired labour. And if you had happened to go through the constituencies as I have-for example I passed through the constituency of the hon. member for Saltcoats (Mr. Sales) just as harvest was beginning this year; the rust struck that country pretty severely and everybody was rushed on the farm-you would find families there with the boss-as we call him- on the binder, or a boy, maybe only thirteen or fourteen years of age, on the binder, and the parents and a number of children doing the stooking-a self contained unit. That may not be the ideal way to farm but that was the way in which the province of Ontario was largely pioneered-by self contained units.

When I said that the best way to get men on the farm to-day was to operate the farm on the principle of peasant proprietorship, I did not mean to imply the introduction of the peasant system as it exists in the older countries of Europe. The term "peasant proprietorship" is one that is used by economists or at least it was formerly used by writers on political economy in contradistinction to the system of owning and operating large farms. The principle of peasant proprietorship is that under which you own and operate your own farm and receive all the profits. The term I used is one employed by economists in describing the difference between small

farms-a self contained unit operated by the owner-and a large farm owned by a landlord and operated by a tenant.

Then the hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Kennedy) spoke of the eight hour a day system, meaning by that, I presume, working eight hours 'before dinner and eight hours after dinner. The eight hour day was introduced in the Old Country during the war and there was a great deal of money paid for overtime. I cannot hold out any hope, unless the Cost of operating in other respects is very substantially reduced that our hours will be very much lessened. After all, our rules are largely what we make them ourselves.

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PRO

William John Ward

Progressive

Mr. WARD:

Would the minister advise that one of his little farms be conducted on an eight-hour basis just to demonstrate what beef, butter, eggs, and other foodstuffs would cost to produce on a farm run in that way, with time and one-half for over time?

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CON

William Foster Garland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GARLAND (Carleton) :

I do not want to occupy too much of the time of the committee but several allusions have been made to the experimental farm in this city. I rise in order to pay my respects to that institution. Situated as it is with the acreage available and with the number of buildings it has occupying the land it can not very well be (conducted any differently from what it is at present. The branches conducted at the farm include health of animals, poultry, astronomical observatory, geodetic survey, and chemical laboratory. These all occupy space that really should be devoted to agricultural purposes. If I had my wish the minister should be placed in possession of sufficient funds to buy four hundred acres that immediately adjoin the farm. Then he would have an area of land that would not be cluttered up with buildings and would really be conducted as a farm should. At present the farm reseirtbles nothing so much as a small hamlet surrounded toy a nice lawn.

So much for the matter of the farm. There is a question I would like to ask the minister. Under Order in Council dealing with the Canadian standard for eggs, all Canadian eggs that are exported from this country must bear the Government inspection stamp on both ends of the case. I would like to know from the minister if it is the intention of the department to make the same regulation apply to eggs imported into this country. For instance, a large quantity of eggs enters Canada from the

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United States and a very great quantity of highly flavoured1 eggs comes here from China. I would like to know from the minister if the same regulation should not apply to these importations that exists in the case of our Canadian exported eggs?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I will reply to my hon. friend's question when we1 come to take up the live stock vote.

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PRO

Thomas Sales

Progressive

Mr. SALES:

I notice that further down the list there is a vote for cold storage warehouses.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

We will come to that later; we are now dealing with the vote for experimental farms.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The minister has practically ignored my request for some explanation as to why there is an increase cf over $44,000 for experimental farms; he does not deem the request to be worthy of consideration. It appears, however, that he is dangling the greater part of this increase before somebody as likely to be expended for a new experimental farm; but he does not know and cannot inform the committee where it is going to be. It is a new experience, I think, for Parliament to be asked to vote such a sum as $44,000 without any information being vouchsafed as to what the money is intended for, and where it is to be expended. It is true the minister announced that he had in the back of his mind an idea that $30,000 was to go to the establishment of a farm somewhere in the northern part of British Columbia, but in saying this he ridicules the idea that there should be in an old province like Ontario any necessity for experimental farms. Under the circumstances I move seconded by Mr. Senn:

That item No. 41, being the estimate for experimental farms be reduced by J44.360.50, or the same amount that was voted in 1921.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Before the amendment is put let me say that there was no intention on my part to overlook my hon. friend's question. I have been trying to keep track of various questions that have been put and to give the desired information with respect to all of them. If I can be charged with anything it is

10 p.m. with being too detailed in my explanations. But I did inadvertently overlook that particular question of my hon. friend. However, I have the information here and there was no intention on my part to ignore it. There is no desire to conceal anything, because there is nothing to conceal. If there is an in-

crease in the vote it is because the experimental farm system is growing and when that is the case we require more money. The increase is intended to cover new work in plant pathology. That has reference to plant diseases, (including such diseases as rust; and if we spent $400,000 in that direction and secured a cure for rust it would be money well expended. I wish I could find the best available man in this continent for that work. If I could obtain the necessary salary to get that man and keep him, then we would be able to show a little better results than we are now able to produce. But, on account of being hobbled, handcuffed and hamstrung in connection with securing men and paying salaries, we have to take what we can get. This often means that we do not get results at all. There is an increase in wages. Wages have not gone down yet; they may go down; but when you have a good man on an experimental farm, you cannot reduce his wages. During all the time that I have been farming, I have not been able to say to an old, experienced hand: "I am going to reduce your salary." To say that would be an intimation to him to go, and he would take it in that way. It is not good policy to reduce the wages of good men. As a matter of fact, if I carried out one-half of the representations made to me and, sometimes, by hon. members, I would have four times as many men on the Central Experimental Farm; but the number is being kept down. A farmer has to have sufficient help for spring requirements, and in order to have men, he has to get them a little in advance. If he is sufficiently advanced in his work as he should be, these men will be waiting anxiously to jump to the land. I would imagine, if we sent a committee out to the Central Experimental Farm, they would find, at this particular time of the year, when the advent of spring is awaited, apparently too many men there; but in ten days or two weeks from now these men will be all busy at their respective duties.

There are, on that farm, some thirteen different divisions, and everyone of them is growing. If they were not growing and developing their usefulness, they should not be there; and if they are going to grow and develop and serve the country properly, the country must be prepared to pay for them. Instead of reducing this estimate, I should be apologizing for its being so small, because that is the way I feel about the matter. Since I had my civil government estimates under discus-

Supply-Entomology

sion, one of the best men in those thirteen divisions has left us simply because we are not paying him a sufficient salary to retain his services. I cannot give the committee his name, because his resignation is not public yet; but he is one of my best men in one of the most important branches. He is leaving us because he has an offer of $2,100 more than he was getting from us, with a prospect of an increase running up to-well, I will not say, but so much larger an amount than we are giving that we cannot hold him. If you put second and third class men on experimental farms and then equip those farms with what you like, you can spend a great deal of money and get very little result. But if you increase the value and quality of your r"key" men by twenty-five per cent, you will have results worth while, and whatever, within reason, it takes to get those "key" men, should be paid. A $6,000 or $8,000 man will do infinitely more and better work and give better service along the line of plant pathology than three, four or five men of a cheaper class whose salaries may aggregate no more than that of the one man. This is one of the reasons why, in my estimation, we are not getting along faster in the matter of plant pathology. We have not got the best men and these salaries will not secure the best men.

My information is that owing to the high cost, chemical supplies and apparatus in the division of chemistry have been allowed tq run down. As a matter of fact, nearly all these appropriations are smaller than were required in past years, and the result is that many of the farms have been handicapped in their work. It is true that the amount is larger than in the preceding year, but it is not enough to take care of the requirements of the farm. I have about half a page of reasons why this estimate is required, and the fact is that every one of these thirteen divisions is increasing its usefulness.

The hon. member for Carleton Mr. Garland) put a question with regard to poultry. At no time in the history of our country has poultry raising been so important as it is at the present. While we are importing Chinese eggs, we are exporting more high class eggs than we are importing of poor ones. We have a slight overage, and'the same thing is true with regard to butter. We are importing butter from New Zealand and Denmark, but we are exporting more than we are importing. There is plenty of room for

improvement, but you are not going to get improvement by putting cheap skates on experimental farms.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I was asking for an explanation with reference to the expenditure on farm labour, and the minister has not given it so far. He says: "There are a whole lot of boys there possibly standing around at this time of the year and you cannot get good farms by employing cheap skates." About $100,000 is being asked for under the head of civil government, for this experimental farm in addition to what I have been referring to. In 1920, the amount 'under the heading of Civil Government was $93,295, and it has been increased considerably since then. I do not know what the exact figure is at present; but there has been an increase of upwards of $40,000 for ordinary farm labourers on this farm, which is not a very extensive one. The hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Garland) says that it looks like a park. There is somewhere in the neighbourhood of four or five hundred acres in it. In the beginning of his remarks before six o'clock, the minister said that he thought that $30,000 of this amount would be expended1 for an experimental farm along the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific in British Columbia. Now he says that it is for this and other experimental farms. Until we have some well-defined, clear statement, I think we would be voting money very recklessly in increasing this estimate to the amount asked for. I know some people will say: "Oh, you are voting to reduce the amount that the Government is ready to vote for agricultural purposes." If this was for the benefit of agriculture, or if it was the intention of the Government to see that there was to be an equitable distribution of the services of 'experimental farms in this country, the matter would be entirely different. But if some province has to do all this work itself and to pay for it, and, at the same time, to help to maintain farms in other provinces, that is absolutely unfair, and I am not going to vote in favour of such a proposition.

Amendment negatived.

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Item agreed to. Entomology, $28,000.


CON

David Spence

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPENCE:

It seems to me that each departmental head is trying to see how much more he can spend than the other, and the harder it is to get money

Supply-Entomology

the more some of these gentlemen want to spend. This vote is for entomology and the next, administration and enforcement of the Destructive Insect and Pest Act, shows an increase of $45,000. I think there are altogether too many fads being introduced. First we have an increase of $2,000 on entomology and then $45,000 on this next item alone, for a fad.

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CON

John Armstrong MacKelvie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacKELVIE:

I am not thoroughly in sympathy with the remarks of the previous speaker inasmuch as there is ample room for the expenditure of a great part of this appropriation in a manner that would benefit a large section of the community. I do not know what explanation the minister may have for the increase in regard to the Destructive Insect and Pest Act vote, which the hon. member (Mr. Spence) has referred to, but I know where a large proportion of it might be applied with a possibility of great results. When we considered these estimates a few evenings ago some very interesting information was given to the House regarding this particular branch. We were told a good deal about what had been effected and what remained to be done in the way of combatting the enemies of field crops and standing timber. In my own constituency we are continually forced to conduct a warfare against fruit pests. We spray continuously during the spring and summer months to keep down the common pests of the orchard, such as green aphis, woolly aphis and oyster bark scale, which, if not brought under control, would put an end to all hope of profit from the orchard business in British Columbia. I must give the Department of Agriculture the credit which is due it for having co-operated efficiently and successfully, and along very well arranged lines, with the provincial government of British Columbia in the control of these pests. The minister has in his department a gentleman who has been almost of infinite service to us in British Columbia, although unfortunately he is no longer completely at the disposal of the province. I do not mind mentioning his name in the House; I refer to Mr. R. C. Treherne, than whom I doubt whether there is, in the whole range of the minister's officials, a more competent man. In fact, I think I should be safe in saying that there is not in the service of any other government a man better calculated to safeguard the interests of the public, in the particular line of activity he follows, than Mr. Treherne. There is an opportunity to greatly enlarge the activities

of the department in connection with the most dangerous menace that threatens the fruit growers of Ontario, British Columbia, or any other section of the country where apples are produced. I refer to the codling moth. In one section of Washington, in spite of the fact that last year the district of Wenatchee expended $24 per acre in spraying to cope with that moth, the fruit growers lost a trifle over a million dollars in affected fruit. Hon. members can understand, in the light of such a fact, with what apprehension we view the danger of having that pest introduced into British Columbia. From 1905, when the pest was first noted in Victoria, up to last year, we have had fourteen outbreaks of this particular nuisance. Two-thirds of them were successfully coped with and the pest eradicated, but only for a while, because with refrigerator cars coming in from infested districts it is next to impossible to keep the pest out. I shall not enlarge on this subject but I could prove that a very considerable amount of money could be profitably spent in combatting this menace in Canada. I have in my hand a resolution forwarded to me from one of the Farmers' Institutes of the district from which I come, and a copy of which, I believe, has also been sent to the Department of Agriculture. After reciting in a general way the dangers and difficulties with which they have to contend the resolution goes on to say:

Be it resolved that we, the members of this Institute, go on record as being in favour of the enactment of any such legislation as will prohibit the 'importation of apples and pears from infected districts into Canadian territory.

This is a large question and one on which perhaps the minister is not prepared to give a definite statement this evening. But if possible I want to convey to the institute some answer which would give them an inkling of the intentions of the department. The minister is perfectly aware that other countries have passed legislation of this kind. Japan has a law keeping out fruit from countries infected with the codling moth. Australia has legislation which prohibits the importation of fruit from any country infected with fire blight, which is a far less serious menace than the codling moth. It cannot be successfully proven that fire blight can be propagated by mature fruit brought into the country, but there is no doubt in the world that our infestation in British Columbia came originally from pears brought from California. In other

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sections of which I have knowledge the infection came from apples brought from Ontario; and in spite of the constant vigilance of the provincial and Dominion officials it is one hard, long fight to keep the pest under control. I should be glad if the minister could give information as to whether he has answered the request from this Farmers' Institute, or has given it any consideration.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I have much

pleasure in giving the hon. member the information sought for. The first increase of $2,000 under the Entomological branch vote is intended to cover the purchase of additional apparatus and library supplies and also to provide for the employment of additional temporary employment during the summer, when the demand from the farmers for assistance in combatting insect pests is greatest. The member for Assiniboia (Mr. Gould), and no doubt all other hon. gentlemen, will understand that. The insect pest, of course, is developed in the summer time, and during the last four or five years many parts of Canada have had a very much higher average temperature than in the previous five years, with the result that new varieties of insects have developed in the country that we never heard of formerly, or rarely if we did. The corn borer, for instance, has troubled us for some time; and although we have had the grasshopper in the West for some years, we never had it in Saskatchewan to any extent until within the last four or five years. The hot weather and dry season develop their own insects, and the further south you go towards the gulf the more insect pests you encounter, which shows that there is a relationship between heat and the number and variety of pests that are to be found in a place. In the Destructive Insect and Pest Act vote there is an increase of $45,000, an increase that is substantial and yet small when you appreciate the amount of work that is to be taken care of by the vote. The entomological vote is really divided into two sections, entomological and botanical. They are naturally more or less interwoven. They appear here in this form and have been so divided every year I suppose. They should be dovetailed into each other. The appropriation for this section last year was $108,000, the estimate for this year is $140,000, an increase of $32,000. Statutory increases in salaries account for $5,000, while the appointment of an increased number of seasonal officers, as well as additional permanent officers, takes $6,000 more. For providing for emergencies and for scouting for brown-tail moth, alfalfa weevil, corn-borer and grasshopper work an increase of $5,000 over last year will be required. It might be stated that an emergency arose during the current fiscal year in connection with the reappearance of the corn-borer in western Ontario. No emergency fund was provided last year, consequently a Governor General's Warrant had to be issued to cover the cost of this work. A further sum of $15,000 is estimated for the purchase of two vacuum sterilizers, one for the port of Montreal and one for Vancouver, these to be used for the sterilizing of plant material imported, to prevent the introduction of insect pests. That is the entomological section of this insect pest legislation.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

Was part of this vote

used for the searching out and destruction of the spruce bud worm?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Yes, partly.

That comes more particularly under the Department of the Interior. They solicit the services of our men at times, and we do a certain amount of aeroplane scouting over the timber limits where this worm is at its worst. Then, acting on our reports, the lumberman can exploit his limits before the timber is destroyed. After the coniferous trees are partly killed by the bud worm the destruction is completed by the bark beetle. A good deal of this work could be taken care of. by the provincial authorities, and no doubt it is, and if greater precautions were taken to burn the debris after the lumberman completes his operations it would possibly prevent some of this trouble.

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April 7, 1922