May 15, 1922

LIB

Mr. SEGUIN:

Liberal

1. What are the names of the officers of the Excise Department for the counties of L'As-somiption and Montcalm, and where do they reside?

2. What are the names of the persons who were dismissed from this service since the twenty-first of September, 1911, to January, 1921, and what are the names of those who replaced them?

3. Who recommended said dismissals and appointments?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   L'ASSOMPTI'ON AND MONTCALM EXCISE OFFICERS
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LIB

Hon. Mr. BUREAU: (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

1. Oliva Gariepy,-L'Epiphanie. Jos.

Adolphe Pariseau,-St. Jacques de L'Achi-gan. Joseph J. Gareau,-St. Roch de Achigan. Chas. E. Pauze,-St. Lin des Laurentides.

Questions

2. J. A. Bouin, replaced by Paul Ethier, L'Assomption. Paul Ethier, no successor,- L'Assomption. M. Granger, replaced by J. A. Pariseau,-St. Jacque-s de L'Achigan.

J. H. Lafortune, replaced by J. J. Gar-eau,-St. Roch de 'Achigan. H. Locas, replaced by 0. Brien,-St. Lin des Lauren-tides.

3. The hon. Minister of Inland Revenue.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   L'ASSOMPTI'ON AND MONTCALM EXCISE OFFICERS
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QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS

RULING BY MR SPEAKER

CON

Mr. McQUARRIE:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. How many civil servants in Canada are receiving salaries of eight hundred dollars and less per annum?

2. How many are receiving nine hundred and sixty dollars or less?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RULING BY MR SPEAKER
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

When this question came up the other day the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) asked that it stand as an order for return. Rule 37, subsection 4, reads as follows:

If a question is of such a nature that in the opinion of the minister who is to furnish a reply, such reply should be in the form of a return, and the minister states that he has no objection to laying such return upon the table of the House, his statement shall, unless otherwise ordered by the House, be deemed an order of the House to that effect and the same shall be entered in the Votes and Proceedings as such.

My opinion was that this subsection applied and that the minister was at liberty to ask that the question stand as an order for return. I have since consulted the law officers and clerks of the House on the subject and have gone into it deeply, the more so because it seems that the wording of the subsection is very clear. Subsection 3 leaves it to the discretion of the Speaker to have declared as a notice of motion any question which may entail a lengthy answer, and subsection 4 leaves it to the minister himself to say whether the question covers such a wide range that it might properly, in order to avoid its remaining unanswered and appearing on the Order Paper from day to day, stand as an order for return. As I have stated, I have consulted the law officers of the House and they concur in my opinion. My ruling is, therefore, that the question in the present instance should stand as an order for return.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RULING BY MR SPEAKER
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UNOPPOSED MOTIONS FOR PAPERS


Mr. Ouimet: For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams, letters, tenders and other documents, exchanged Oriental Immigration



between the Government and Hector Chevrier, regarding the contract for carying the mails between Rigaud and St. Redempteur, Quebec? Mr. Seguin: For a copy of all correspondence, letters, telegrams, memoranda and other documents, regarding the establishment of a Tobacco Experimental Station at l'Assomiption, Quebec, and the purchasing of the college farm for this purpose.


ORIENTAL IMMIGRATION

CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. H. STEVENS (Centre Vancouver) moved:

For a copy of all correspondence, letters and documents, since January 1st, 1922, that have passed between the Government of Canada or any Minister, or any of its officials and the Government of China, or the Consul General of China, or any other person representing the Government of China, relating to the further effective restriction of Chinese Immigration to Canada.

Topic:   ORIENTAL IMMIGRATION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) :

If my hon. friend has in mind the reference I made, in the course of the debate the other evening on oriental immigration, to interviews that had taken place between the Government and a representative of the government of China on this matter, I would say that the negotiations to which I referred were in the nature of personal interviews which I have had with the Chinese Consul General, Dr. Tsur, during the last two or three months on two or three different occasions. They have all been in the nature of personal interviews, and there is no correspondence to be brought down.

The same remarks would also apply to the next motion:

For a copy of all correspondence, letters, telegrams and documents, since January 1st, 1922, that have -passed between the Government of Canada, or any minister, or any of its officials, and the Imperial Japanese Government, or the Consul General of Japan, or any other person representing the Imperial Japanese Government, relating to the further effective restriction of Japanese Immigration to Canada.

These matters in the opinion of the Government are more effectively dealt with by personal negotiation wherever possible. We happen to have in the Dominion at the present time as representatives of China and Japan respectively, two gentlemen who are very capable of conducting negotiations, and the Government is taking advantage of their presence to discuss these matters with them. I presume my hon. friend will not wish to press these two motions, seeing there is no correspondence.

Topic:   ORIENTAL IMMIGRATION
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

If I understand my

hon. friend correctly, there is no correspondence.

Topic:   ORIENTAL IMMIGRATION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No correspondence.

Motions withdrawn.

Topic:   ORIENTAL IMMIGRATION
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OLEOMARGARINE

PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that in the best interests of the Dairy Industry and of the public generally, the manufacture and importation of Oleomargarine should be discontinued in Canada after September first next.

He said: Mr. Speaker, this question

divides itself into two branches: one, the relation of oleomargarine to the dairying interests of Canada, and the other, its relation to the general public. Agriculture as we all know, is the basic industry of Canada, and dairying is the second most important branch of that industry, so I need make no apology for dealing with this question.

To begin at the very genesis of the subject we are asking for protection for the dairying interests of Canada-and I use the word protection not, in its fiscal sense, because we are not asking for fiscal protection, but merely for that form of protection that the ordinary citizen is entitled to in his everyday relations, the kind of protection that a man says he is entitled to when he finds that his house has been broken into and he claims the protection of the law. This is the kind of protection we are asking for in this instance. You may call it preservation, if you like, or protection in the dictionary sense. *

If it is proved, or can be proved, that oleomargarine is a correct substitute for butter, and can be made more cheaply in Canada than butter, then by all means let us change this resolution and prohibit the sale or manufacture of butter in Canada. That is logical and in thorough accord with economic laws, but it cannot be so argued, and it cannot be so proved. Oleomargarine is not a substitute for butter. It is a deceptive counterfeit, and intended to be sold as an imitation of butter, and not as a substitute. Whilst we are on the subject of the tariff, I might mention that the vegetable oils which form a large portion of oleomargarine pay a duty of 17i per cent ordinary; that is, if they are brought into Canada and used in the manufacture

Oleomargarine

of a paint, say, they pay 171 per cent duty; but when entering into the manufacture of oleomargarine the duty is rebated, and the vegetable oils come in free. Not only that, but oleomargarine itself comes in free when imported from the United States. Although we have a duty on butter we have no duty on oleomargarine. There is a very small duty on butter, something equivalent to 5 per cent ad valorem, as compared with 33 per cent on textile products. In addition to allowing oleomargarine to come in and compete with butter, we allow the small quantity of butter that is embodied in oleomargarine to come in free. So the dairying interests are hit in both respects: the competition of oleomargarine coming in free and of vegetable oils coming in free, and of the butter in oleomargarine, which is a very small amount, also coming in free. The government returns since the importation and sale of oleomargarine were authorized some years ago, show that there is a marked tendency to encourage the importation of oleomargarine rather than its home manufacture. While the amount manufactured has decreased very greatly, and so has the amount imported, the amount imported has decreased to a lesser degree than the amount manufactured. In other words, the trend of trade is not to manufacture this article in Canada, but to import it entirely from the United States. So we are asked by those who are opposing this resolution to build up for the benefit of a United States industry the sale and manufacture of oleomargarine to compete with our own product of butter. Hon. members will bear in mind, I hope, the attitude of that same United States as regards our products. They have just put a prohibitory duty on butter going into the United States.

It may be a matter of interest to know that the customs have this difficulty confronting them to-day. The manufacturers of kitchen compounds, such as crisco, manufactured of lard and vegetable oils and brought in openly as such have to pay a duty. They have been applying to the customs to be allowed to bring this stuff in free because they say: "This is the same as oleomargarine, and oleomargarine is the same as this." But because they are honest and call the thing a kitchen cooking compound, they have to pay a considerable duty on it, while the so-called oleomargarine comes in absolutely free. Oleomargarine was prohibited from entering this country thirty-six years ago,

and I have no doubt it would still be under prohibition if it had not been for the circumstances arising out of the late war. In December, 1917, I think it was, the war was on, and there was urgent necessity to conserve butter as it was needed by the men at the front. Accordingly, it was found necessary to ration the people of Canada. Butter was very scarce, exceedingly scarce, and it was also, naturally, dear. An Order in Council was passed in that month, in that year, allowing the introduction and sale of oleomargarine. That it was entirely and exclusively for that reason I shall show by a quotation from Hansard. The then Minister of Agriculture, now the member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), in speaking to the subject quoted the Order in Council under which oleomargarine was allowed to be first used in Canada and these are the words of the Order in Council:

Such regulations to be en|forced and to have effect for the period during which the present abnormal conditions continue, the conclusion of such period to be determined by His Excellency the Governor General in Council, as provided in the regulations, and as a war measure only.

I would emphasize that oleomargarine was introduced and allowed in Canada in 1917 as a war measure only. Those are not the remarks of the hon. member for Marquette, but the exact words of the Order in Council. At that time very strong opposition to the proposition developed from the agricultural interests of Canada. The former member for, I think it was, Vau-dreuil-Soulanges, now a senator, was one of those who headed the opposition; he presented a petition signed tby twenty-seven thousand of his and other constituents against it. Resolutions were also brought in from eight hundred agricultural societies in eastern Canada and

very naturally -they strongly opposed the introduction of oleomargarine. However, the government of the day, and the then Minister of Agriculture, represented what the necessities of the day and of the hour were. There was the war situation, the scarcity of butter and its extremely high price; and an appeal was made to the patriotism of the dairying interests of Canada to stand back and allow this article to be introduced. The opponents of the proposition-without bringing the matter to a vote-withdrew their opposition, and the thing passed on the distinct understanding that the admission of oleomargarine was a war measure only and would be withdrawn as soon as the conditions referred to ceased to exist. Now the

Oleomargarine

importation of oleomargarine was a matter of good faith on the part of the government. I submit, the war is over now, and those war conditions no longer exist-some war conditions exist, but not those in question-and as a matter of good faith to those men who sacrificed their interests on the occasion referred to, it is up to this House and this Government to implement the bargain entered into in good faith at that time, and restore the situation to where it was before.

Now as regards the other two aspects of the situation at that time-the scarcity and the high price of butter-what do we find to-day? Instead of the scarcity that then existed there is an enormous surplus. No section of the trading community responded to the plea, the demand, the request, of the government to produce more and more like the dairying interests did; they have produced to such an extent that to-day there is a large surplus that has to find a market in some foreign country. That surplus cannot find a market in the United States for a prohibition has been put upon its adtnission by the very country we are now being asked to benefit by allowing the admission of oleomargarine. Our surplus of butter must seek a market in Europe or elsewhere; but there is no question whatever that there is to-day-and there is a prospect of it being for a long time to come -a large surplus of butter in Canada that must be disposed of; and when there is a large surplus of any article in a country it is idle to say that that article is scarce; so that aspect of the subject can be considered disposed of.

Then we come to the question of prices. That I know is one that can be argued from every point of view. I simply make the statement and will leave it to other members, more personally fami-

4 p.m. liar with the subject, to deal with the question of dairy products and the prices at which they are now being produced. I am credibly informed that dairy produce to-day is generally selling throughout Canada at a lower price than the actual cost of producing it. Therefore, we find that the war conditions -the fact of the butter being needed at the front, the scarcity, and the high price -have all passed away; and it is now left to us to observe good faith with the farmers of this country, and in view of the present abundance of butter and the existing low prices to put the trade back to where it was in the year 1917. So much for that branch of the subject, and as re-

gards its relation to the dairying interest I think I have made out at least a plausible case.

Now, as regards the relation of this question to the general public. The outstanding feature of oleomargarine is that it lends itself to pretence and fraud. It does more than that; it demands pretence and fraud because these are the very bases of the conditions of the trade. The successful manufacture and sale of oleomargarine depends entirely on how nearly it can approximate and pretend that it is something else than what it really is. The object is to make it look like butter; the object is to make it taste like butter; the object is to give it the same colour as butter; to put lit up in a package similar to a package of butter and, as far as possible, by every available device, make it appear to be butter. It may be asked: If it really does look like butter, tastes like butter, smells like butter, and is coloured like butter, is it not as good as butter? But that is not the point. Chemists are so expert to-day that they can make anything taste like something else. We have only to go to a hospital here and find nurses administering the well-known medicine called castor oil, beloved of our youth. The nurses, to-day, before you take that dose will slip a little capsule into it and the taste of castor oil is gone. I remember the Canadian Pacific hotel in Vancouver being prosecuted some years ago for serving duck out of season. The game warden was alert, and had dinner at the hotel, and kept a portion of the bird served to him which he said was duck, las did also a number of friends. The hotel management was prosecuted and when the chef-of course being in British Columbia he was a Chinese -was asked what had been served he said: " I catchem veal I heap savey make him taste all the same, duck In this instance the chef made the veal served to taste exactly like duck. So it is with oleomargarine. When you are told that it tastes like butter, that it looks like butter and has the smell of butter, it by no means follows that it has the same food value as butter.

As regards the matter of the colouring I would like to quote again from Hansard -the question was very thoi'oughly debated last year and the year before. During the debate one hon. member whose constituency I forget

stated that a special committee investigated the question some

Oleomargarine

years ago. Apparently this hon. member had taken part in it, and he asked one of the witnesses, the manager of one of these large manufacturing companies, a question. They were talking about oleomargarine and the witness had said that he bought June butter as much as possible because June butter is of a higher colour. He explained that the reason they bought June butter to mix with this oleo mess was because it was of a higher colour and made the product look a little more like butter. Now the hon. member in question asked of that witness this question:

Is it not a fact that you realize that if it was sold without any coloring it would be .unsaleable?

The manufacturer in reply to this question said:

It would not be so palatable, it would be like using lard.

So that is the situation: If it were not for the little admixture of butter and the colouring that is put into it to make it look like the same thing, to use oleomargarine would be like using lard. That is not my opinion; that is the sworn evidence of a manufacturer of oleomargarine himself.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
Permalink
CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HARRIS:

Was that a manufacturer in Canada or a manufacturer in the United States ?

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
Permalink
PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

That particular man was a manufacturer in Canada. The trouble with oleomargarine is that it is a sickly white looking mess, it has not even approximately the appearance of butter, and the great effort therefore is to make it look like butter. In the United States, where the trade has got a regrettable hold on the public the manufacturers went to the government and said: If you will allow us to colour our oleomargarine-not to put in any other valuable ingredient whatever but just to colour it-we will voluntarily pay you ten cents a pound of an excise duty. This is an industry going to the government and offering, for this simple little concession, to agree to pay an excise tax of ten cents a pound, or nearly 50 per cent of the cost of production, provided that they are allowed to do-what? Only to put a little, simple, harmless colouring into this stuff. Why? Was it to make it more palatable, wholesome, or valuable? Not a bit of it-it was to make it more fraudulent, to make it look more like butter than it did before, if presented

to ignorant or uninformed people. But this colouring did not add anything to the value or to the food content; it simply made it look more like butter. And for that privilege they were able to pay a high excise tax.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
Permalink
LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Colouring is often added to butter itself. Does that make butter any more palatable?

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
Permalink
PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

I do not quite see the bearing on the question; but as a matter of fact I will leave it to the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) to deal with that. I am of opinion that colouring is not allowed to be added to butter.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
Permalink

May 15, 1922