April 21, 1922

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Last night I

asked for information with regard to the, amount paid by the Department of Agriculture in the way of freight and expenses on carloads of cattle during the year 1921. I think the minister promised to give that information to-day.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The following is

a memorandum with regard to the cost of free freight policy for 1921:

Memorandum re Car Lot and Free Freight Policy

Cost of free freight policy for 1921-*

Eastern Canada $ 47 29

Western Canada 22,414 75

Supply-Live Stock

Cost of car lot policy for 1921-

Eastern Canada $ 11 25

Western Canada 9,936 65

The records of the Live Stock Branch show only the movement out from each stock yard and not by provinces. It would take considerable time to compile a definite statement of costs from each yard, but approximately the cost may be divided as follows:

Per cent

Calgary 65

Edmonton 15

Winnipeg 15

Moose Jaw 5

On Page 21-23 of the Live Stock Branch Estimates will be found a detailed statement of the movement of live stock under these policies since their inception.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

What percentage

has been paid during these years in eastern Canada? The minister has given the figures for western Canada. It is necessary that we should have some more light on some of these items in this vote for $1,000,000, which is the most important vote that goes through in connection with the Department of Agriculture. There are many branches of agriculture which receive assistance through it, and it is well that the committee should know where the bulk of the money goes and what results are obtained. In regard to this particular item to which I have referred, it is quite apparent that practically the whole sum is distributed in western Canada. I have also asked what amount was paid in grants for the payment of feed for live stock during the year 1921; and I want some information with regard to the control of the stockyards. The department exercises control over the licensing of commission men or firms who dispose of live stock on the live stock markets. Have any complaints been received from any of the stockyards in regard to these licensed commission men, and have any investigations been held into their operations?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I do not know

which of these many questions I shall answer first. I have a memorandum with regard to some features of the question regarding the amounts expended during the last four years in connection with the shortage of feed in western Canada. I shall read it:

With regard to the amounts expended during the last four years in connection with the shortage of feed in Western Canada, particularly in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the amounts paid out by the Federal Department of Agriculture for the transportation of haymaking machinery from the dry area to points where hay was plentiful and return, of hay and other feed to the dry area from points outside and of live stock from the dry area to feeding grounds outside and return, were as follows:

1918- 19 $ 49,994 78

1919- 20

620,135 541920- 21

309,942 541921- 22

5,704 45

With regard to the complaints about live stock yards, I had a number of resolutions from the Alberta Grain Growers' convention, through its secretary, Mr. Higginbotham, and I also had an interview with a number of members from Alberta. I think we satisfied them that any serious difficulties were just such as might be expected in comparatively newly organized stockyards. In the older stockyards conditions are, I think, satisfactory. In the newer ones, such as those at Moose Jaw and Prince Albert, you cannot expect everything to be in apple-pie order, but they are gradually improving. With respect to the investigations to which my hon. friend has referred, I must ask him to excuse me for the moment. I do not know exactly what particulars he desires. There is a live stock exchange at Winnipeg, and I understand that certain investigations were held there. I presume the hon. member refers to the buyers on those exchanges who are bonded. I believe the bond is for $10,000. The hon. members of the Progressive party will understand the situation in regard to the marketing of wheat, which is similar to this. A man ships a carload of wheat to a commission merchant who defaults, and he loses his money; and the same thing happens in the case of a carload of stock. The commission man's bond runs out, or something happens, and he defaults. A number of cases have happened where men have lost a carload of stock. This is occurring all along the line. Several remedies have been suggested. Before coming here I was in correspondence with gentlemen in various parts of western Canada on the subject. But the remedies so far proposed would create difficulties that probably would be as great as the evils they were intended to correct; in other words, the remedies were worse than the disease. In the shipment of wheat this difficulty can be met by getting as large an advance on your car as possible, and having the bond take care of the balance only; but in the shipment of live stock I understand that that is not so easy to do. I have not been a big shipper of live stock myself, but I do not think it is the practice to get advances on such shipments. It takes so large a bond to cover the business of a live stock com-

Supply-Dive Stock

mission man that it is a considerable burden to him, and it has not been imposed for fear lest it should increase the cost of buying. The hon. member for Victoria City (Mr. Tolmie), I have no doubt, could contribute more information in regard to this matter than I can. I know there is the same difficulty in connection with grain, but not to so large an extent. But the difficulty is there, and I have had my attention brought to it in one or two instances where the farmer had lost money as a result. Nothing has been done yet that I know of to correct the trouble.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I am afraid the minister misunderstood my question. I was asking if any complaints had been received by the department with regard to those who were licensed to dispose of stock on the live stock markets. Carload lots are consigned to the commissioned men, in many instances the owner does not attend the market at all, and consequently a good deal of confidence must be reposed in those men.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Does the hon.

member mean complaints from the commission men themselves?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

No, they would not be likely to complain. I refer to complaints from the owners of live stock that the commission men may not have disposed of their stock to proper advantage. My reason for bringing this to the attention of the minister is that rumours to this effect have been in circulation, and I believe that as a result certain commission men have been very much injured. I also have information that the rumours are not correct. It is very easy to start such a rumour, and everyone knows how it will be passed, from one person to another, until it is given widespread circulation. If no such complaints have been made, I think the country should know it, and the commission men should not longer remain under the imputation of dishonesty.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

No complaints whatever have been made with the exception of one or two from correspondents in the country, as I have already recited.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

There are also

other votes in connection with stallion clubs, representing a considerable amount. It is a new departure on the part of the department, but it has been in practice in the Old Country for some time. What portion of this sum has been given for the purpose

to clubs around in eastern Canada and in western Canada.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Mr. Chairman, we are kept pretty busy answering questions both here and in our office, and I think we should try to avoid duplication. This question is on the Order Paper, and we have not even come to it yet. There will be a whole lot of work involved in giving the information, and it will come down in due course. It is now nearly five o'clock, and if we keep on at this rate we are not going to conclude the session until the middle of July. It seems to me that if I give this information once, that should be sufficient. However, I am in the hands of the committee.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Notwithstanding

the statement just made by the minister, I think the committees are entitled to know what this vote is for. Because a certain question appears on the Order Paper I do not think that is a very good reason why the information should not be furnished. This afternoon the minister was inclined to adopt a different attitude with regard to another matter that was under discussion, raised, I believe, by the hon. member for Swift Current (Mr. Lewis) relative to an insinuation that appeared in the press this morning. The minister now advocated applying the soft pedal, saying in effect: You cannot accomplish much by using a club. When he made that statement I could not help reflecting on what happened with regard to the British cattle embargo. I think the hon. member for Swift Current was amply justified in his objection; but I think some of our provincial ministers who took such an active part in the embargo agitation overseas had not very good grounds for doing so. I do not think any government in Canada has been negligent of its duty in trying to have that embargo removed.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Does the hon. gentleman know of any case in which I referred to the embargo question in any offensive way? I am not responsible for the .action of provincial ministers.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The minister stated that instead of the hon. member taking exception to the report which appeared in the Montreal Gazette, he might just as well or better have taken exception to the statements of some people nearer home, and later on, by way of justification, he went back to the elections of 1911.

Supply-Live Stock

Now what happened? Every administration we have had since the embargo was imposed by the British government has endeavoured to secure its removal. A year ago the matter came up in this House on a motion introduced by an hon. member, and everything indicated that efforts were being put forth by the then Minister of Agriculture to place the matter before the British government. A member of a provincial government in western Canada, and a member of another provincial government in eastern Canada, went ever to the Old Country and took an active part in this matter, and during a by-election in Great Britain certain influences were brought to bear, with the result, I am inclined to think, that great difficulties were placed in the way of having the embargo removed. Now, it seems somewhat remarkable that one of those ministers from Alberta on his return home almost immediately afterwards took part in a provincial election in his own province, and instead of receiving the endor-sation of his people he was repudiated and turned out of office. A little later another general election came on.

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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I would draw the hon. member's attention to the fact that his remarks are not relevant to the item under consideration.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I am referring to the Hon. Duncan Marshall, who is engaged by the Government in connection with a matter which is involved in the item now before the committee.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

What happened the hon. gentleman's own leader?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I am not referring to my own leader; I am referring to a matter which is pertinent to the item we are now considering. Not only was Mr. Marshall rebuked in the provincial election, but he was also rebuked when he was again a candidate for the federal parliament, and the hon. member for Swift Current (Mr. Lewis) does not need to feel that he has suffered very much as a result of the newspaper article which has appeared. The minister says we are going to use the soft pedal now; we are going to get away from tactics of that kind. Last night when this item was before the committee I made some inquiries regarding

5 p.m. the operations of this commissioner-I hardly know how to designate him; he is engaged temporarily and cannot be considered as in the permanent service. I have a distinct recollection

[Mr. Sutherland.!

of the minister stating that Mr. Marshall was to be sent to Terra del Fuego, or Patagonia, or somewhere in the extreme end of South America, in order to develop the live stock business of this country. But when I ask for information with regard to the clubs and associations that are receiving assistance from this grant, the minister says we are taking up too much time; that the information can be furnished later if the vote is allowed to pass. The minister states that Mr. Marshall has been engaged with a view to having a new allocation made of the grant for the instruction of agriculture in this province. Last night we were told that he was engaged in immigration work down in Florida, and that as the result of one speech he made there, the people are coming from that country and advancing into-he did not say where; into western Canada, I assume. I would like to know whether the services of Mr. Marshall, who has been engaged by the minister for agricultural purposes, are to be devoted to the Department of the Interior for immigration purposes which do not come under this vote.

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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Shall the resolution carry?

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I would like to

have some further information with regard to what the various 'provinces are receiving out of these grants for agricultural instruction. We have had a little information to-night, and you see that western Canada has been getting practically the whole of it.

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April 21, 1922