May 15, 1922

?

Some Hon. MEMBERS:

Yes, it is.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

It is not added to butter in the dairying district that I represent. More than that, I find in Hansard a statement that colouring is not added to butter. That would appear to be borne out, because we find the manager of this factory saying: "We made it a special object to buy June butter because that was more highly coloured." If I am wrong in that respect, I am wrong; but that does not affect the question of the colouring of oleomargarine. I am not aware that any agricultural industry ever offered to pay the Government 10 cents a pound for the privilege of colouring.

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

Does the hon, member suggest that oleomargarine is coloured in Canada? Does he not know that the regulations prohibit that?

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

Yes. I was not talking about oleomargarine in Canada; I was talking about oleomargarine in the United States, and I was endeavouring to show that they were so anxious to be allowed to make it look more like butter that they offered this inducement. In Canada, they are not allowed to introduce any colouring into oleomargarine, I quite admit, and I am well aware of that; but let this resolution be defeated to-day, and it will be only a few years before they will be making to the government of Canada the same proposition as they have made successfully to the government of the United States as regards paying an additional tax if they are allowed to colour oleomargarine. Oleomargarine in Canada is not at present coloured except by butter being added to it.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

The hon. member has stated that this offer which has been made by

Oleomargarine

United States manufacturers has been made successfully. Has he ascertained it to be a fact that the United States Government has added an excise duty of ten cents a pound for the privilege of putting in colouring?

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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

I take all my information on this point from Hansard of last year, and if it is not correct, it ought to be. As a matter of fact, it is correct; the United States Government accepted that offer and imposed that tax. But the manufacturers endeavour to evade it in this way: When a man buys, say a thousand pounds of oleomargarine, they send it out uncoloured, but they send a package of colouring along with it, so that the man can add the colouring. As regards Hansard, it was stated definitely last year that that was the law in force in the United States.

In regard to the matter of standards, in the United States-and again I am quoting Hansard, I hope correctly-they have a strict standard which must be lived up to in the manufacture of this product. In Canada, I think it is an absolute fact that there is no standard whatever. I have in my hand literature which I will deal with later on, which talks vaguely and beautifully about the contents, but which does not tell us what the percentages of the ingredients are. Again I quote from Hansard. Somebody gave evidence before this commission as to how the analysis of different samples of oleomargarine varied, and this is the answer:

It was found that the content of tallow in oleomargarine varied as widely as from 22 per cent to 47 per cent and lard varied from 6 per cent to 28 per cent, vegetable oil varied from 15 to 49 per cent.

Does that not open a very wide field for every kind of fraud? How does the poor man, about whom we hear so much, know, when he is buying oleomargarine, whether he is getting a brand with 49 per cent of vegetable oil, or only 15 per cent? When we compare that with the strict governmental rules under which butter is made, handled, stored and sold, we wonder why so much favour is accorded the manufacturer of oleomargarine.

Oleomargarine contains butter and milk to a certain extent. That fact is very widely advertised in their propaganda, but we are not told how much butter or how much milk it contains. Great stress is laid on the fact that it contains butter and milk -and the only decent thing about it is that it contains butter and milk. Some months ago I went into a store in the lower part

of the town-not this town-where poor people would naturally stay, and I asked for a pound of oleomargarine. As it was being put up, I apparently hesitated, and I asked whether it would not be more profitable for me to pay the extra spread on butter; but the man assured me with emphasis that there was no need for that; that this was practically 75 per cent butter. He may not have known that he was lying; he may have been told that; but if I was an uninformed man and was told that I could get this stuff at twenty cents cheaper and that it was 75 per cent butter, I would be likely to say: "That is good enough for me." That shows how easy it is to deceive the public in an article like this. In other articles the deception would be apparent. No doubt that man had a reason for trying to sell me oleomargarine, because he was making a bigger profit out of it. That may account for the circular distributed amongst us from the Retail Merchants' Association advocating that they might be allowed to continue to sell oleomargarine. Oleomargarine is manufactured in Canada by a very small and close monopoly; and naturally, under those conditions, while butter is made by hundreds of thousands of people and sold by thousands of stores, and the price is well known, the competition keen and the profit small, when you get an article on which there is a monopoly and it is sold by itself,, the profit is great, and it is more profitable to sell oleomargarine than butter. The hon. member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges (Mr. Boyer) last year in the debate, stated that the spread between the cost price and the selling price of oleomargarine at that time was twenty-five cents. I understand the spread in this town to-day between oleomargarine and butter is as high as twenty cents. That may be only a piece of rather astute propaganda, because they know that this matter is coming up. I have it on the authority of no less than the ex-Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) that last year the spread in Ottawa between oleomargarine and butter was only seven cents a pound. I find that also in Hansard.

The difficulty to distinguish between the two leads to the greatest difficulty in the detection of fraud in connection with oleomargarine. In the United States, thousands of cases are brought up every year, and they are not able to convict more than a very small percentage of those who are guilty, on account of the difficulty of being able to detect the fraud. It was only last

Oleomargarine

year or possibly two years ago, small as the trade in oleomargarine is, that 2,000 pounds of it were seized as near to the city as Montreal. It was being sold as butter. That also, I get from the politician's Bible-Hansard. It would take, not an army of inspectors, who come in contact only with the operations in the factories, but an army of detectives to ferret out every instance of this fraud, because they would need to go into all the stores, the cheap restaurants and the boarding houses; for the Government statistics show that these are the people who most frequently buy oleomargarine. That is the sort of trade the manufacturers of oleomargarine cater to. Those who suffer are the poorer people who are less well informed, less able to investigate the respective merits of this spurious article and genuine butter, and whose physical condition makes them less able to afford to buy an inferior food. They are the ones who are most likely to be imposed upon. Amongst the many regulations which have been vainly framed in an attempt to cope with this situation is the one that requires a card to be posted in every eating house where oleomargarine is sold. That has been the law since December, 1917. We in this House are a body representative of nil the people throughout Canada. Now, I wonder how many hon. members can rise in their places and declare that they have seen such a card, printed in inch-and-a-half letters, in any public eating place. I have never seen any such placard myself, although I have been given oleomargarine to eat in some of these places. Earlier in the session a friend said to me: "If you are down on Chinese cooking I would advise you to go to such-and-such a restaurant; they advertise all 'white' cooking". I thought it would be a change, for once at any rate, to eat something that no Chinaman had cooked, and so I went to this place to which I had been directed. But when the girl who took the order passed through the swinging door on her way to the kitchen I saw my old friend Wong Fung Choo,-the same fellow I have seen at every restaurant between here and the Pacific. He was back on the job again. The only attempt which this restaurant made at serving white cooking was to put a white suit and a white cap on Wong's head. But I was sufficiently familiar with my old friend to recognize him under this disguise. The restaurant has since been burned, my friend Wong, I trust, along

with it. It is about as easy to stop the fraudulent sale of oleomargarine as butter, as it is to prevent the importation of Asiatics under a "gentleman's agreement". The parallel is exact, and we in British Columbia know how easy the latter problem is.

There is another aspect of the butter situation,-this is a dry subject, even if it is greasy. There is a substance in butter which is known technically as the vitamines. There are three classes of vitamines, but the principal one is that which is soluble in fait; I think it is called " soluble A ". That vitamine is composed of a substance which is derived from leaves. If one could eat about four pounds of leaves he would be able in that way to obtain the proportion of vitamines essential to health. But one could not conveniently do that, and so nature has provided the dairy cow as a means of furnishing this indispensable element. The dairy cow eats the leaves and through the milk and butter which we get from her we obtain the vitamines that are absolutely needed for the proper growth of children, especially young children, as well as for young people of fifteen and sixteen years of age, and invalids. I desire to be perfectly accurate, because I know that there are able men coming after me who will try to tear my argument to pieces. I will admit frankly, therefore, that vitamines are found to a very limited extent in beef suet. The proportion, however, is so small as to be negligible; and when the contention is made that oleomargarine contains vitamines it is nothing but a mere pretence. It would be equally true for one to say that the ocean contains gold, because nearly all salt water contains some gold; but the gold content is so infinitesimal that no sane man would contemplate the ocean as a gold mining possibility. And so with regard to the presence of vitamines in oleomargarine. In dairy products, on the other hand, vitamines are found in abundance, particularly in butter and cheese. Now, I have a great deal of evidence which I shall not undertake to read. It was given before that special committee and was also submitted by members of the House last year, and it all goes to show that dairy products are absolutely necessary if you want to develop strong vigorous children. The lack of genuine butter and other dairy products is responsible for the nervous and neurotic condition of so many children. It is this lack of proper nourishment that causes the dis-

Oleomargarine

ease known as rickets. Good butter is also much more easily digested by invalids and children. You can imagine what oleomargarine is like when a manufacturer of this substance said that if it were not for the little butter in it it would be like eating lard. And that, certainly, would not be acceptable to a weak stomach, as I happen to know,-I have a weak stomach myself; and when I am eating oleomargarine I need no card with letters of any size to tell me of the fact. By the way, when I say that I have a weak stomach I am speaking physically; I am not referring to my mental or political stomach which has long since got enured to any diet; so that politically I can swallow anything.

I have been trying to make my remarks as brief as possible commensurate with the importance of the subject under consideration; but I shall read an extract or two before I conclude. In the Hansard to which I have referred allusion is made to a number of experiments-as a matter of fact they were demonstrations-carried out in hospitals, orphan homes and gaols, to show the respective merits of oleomargarine and butter; and in every case it was proved that the most economical, from the poor man's point of view as well as from that of the authorities, was the dairy product. There is only one other matter to which I shall refer now, as I shall have an opportunity later to answer any counter arguments that may be advanced. There has been an intense and expensive propaganda-lobby work-in connection with this matter during the last few weks. I know I should hate to pay the printing bill. It has even gone beyond the circulation of printed matter; the subject has been treated in editorials in the newspapers. I have in my possession an appeal, apparently sent me by mistake, asking me to deal with the question editorially if I thought fit to do so; and I see that some people have thought fit to take it up editorially. Reading some of these editorials, I have recognized in them so striking a resemblance to the printed propaganda of the manufacturers that it is almost too much to believe that they were written by the editors themselves. They follow almost word for word the printed matter circulated by the manufacturers. I would ask hon. members where they think the money is coming from to pay for this propaganda. The rules and regulations surrounding the manufacture of oleomargarine are of such a restrictive character that they practically

preclude all but two firms from manufacturing this commodity. It is impossible, to all intents and purposes, for any one else to manufacture it. There are just these two corporations manufacturing oleomargarine here and importing it, into Canada, although possibly more than the two import it. One of these firms is a big American concern, while the other is supposed to be Canadian. They had four factories operating when they first started, and last year they turned out together, by the government returns, 1,900,000 pounds odd, or about 230 tons each per factory. Any one who knows anything about running a factory will realize what a substantial loss must have been incurred in connection with such a small output as 230 tons a year, unless one of two conditions obtained: either a very big profit, or the expectation of an enormous profit in the future. The consumption of oleomargarine in Canada dropped, from the year 1918-only four years ago-from

13,000,000 pounds annually to 3,000,000 pounds odd. So that you can see that, with the equipment originally installed, a heavy loss must have been incurred unless they made an enormous profit or expect to make that profit in the future. The object of this propaganda therefore must surely be to recoup the manufacturers for these losses by seeking to create a larger demand for this product once they can get it thoroughly established in Canada.

Now, it is a well-known doctrine, both political and legal, that when you have a bad case you should abuse your opponent, and when you have a weak case you should misrepresent facts, seeing that you cannot be worse off anyway. I want to read some of this propaganda and explain briefly how very misrepresenting it is. Any propaganda that has to misrepresent plain facts must surely be fundamentally weak. We- find, in an article that has been in the hands of all hon. members, and of which I have received copies, a statement as to what oleomargarine is composed of.

It is made of-

A, pure, highly refined beef and pork fats;

B, creamery butter and fresh milk;

C, other vegetable fats.

I will show you what they say about the creamery butter and fresh milk later on.

Oleomargarine is 75 per cent the product of Canadian farms.

Oleomargarine

I have read that statement in a great many newspapers lately, and no doubt this is the source of its origin. Oleomargarine is not made of 75 per cent of the product of Canadian farms. The product imported last year from the United States was 1,300,000 pounds of oleomargarine; the amount manufactured in Canada was 1,900,000 pounds. Of the total product only 68 per cent was manufactured in Canada. And yet we are told that 75 per cent of the oleomargarine manufactured in Canada ;s 75 per cent the product of Canadian farms. But it is not true to say that 75 per cent of what is manufactured in Canada-which is only 68 per cent of the total-is made out of the product of Canadian farms. Still less is it true that 75 per cent of all used in Canada was the product of Canadian farms. That is utterly ignoring the large and ever-decreasing amount imported; hut while decreasing, it is not decreasing so rapidly as the manufactured stuff. We find another statement:

Growth accessories are found in oleo oil from which oleomargarine is prepared.

That is one of those subtle half-truths which are partly true and utterly false. There is so small, so fractional a quantity of growth accessories in oleo oil as to be negligible. A small amount is found, yes, but it is not comparable with the amount found in butter.

There is an undoubted demand for oleomargarine by a large body of Canadian consumers.

Very well, we will take their own figures, not the government returns, which differ, I may say, from this statement. Their own figures will tell you what the demand was. In the year 1918 the total consumption, supposing that all that was brought into Canada and all that was manufactured here was eaten, was 13,997,000 pounds, practically 14,000,000 pounds. That was the year of war when butter was scarce and high. In the year 1921 it was

3,200,000 pounds odd. It has dropped down from 14,000,000 to 3,000,000 pounds, and yet we are told that there is "an undoubted demand for oleomargarine by a large body of Canadian consumers." Divide 3,200,000 pounds by the population of Canada, and I do not think it can be shown that there is a very heavy demand for oleomargarine at the present time.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

During that period of reduction has there been any further restriction against the use of oleomargarine?

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

No; that is the first suggestion I have heard of any further restriction. Reason No. 13:

Over 1,000,000 pounds a month are now consumed in Canada-proof of its acceptability.

That is 12,000,000 pounds a year, is it not? And yet last year the government returns shows that the total amount imported and manufactured-not consumed-was

only 3,200,000 pounds odd. Yet the manufacturers make the bare, bald statement in order to pervert the minds of the readers of this pamphlet that over 1,000,000 pounds a month is being consumed. An argument based on grounds so far removed from the facts is calculated to discredit many more of the arguments contained in this pamphlet, for it is always safe to judge the unknown by the known. Further on there is this statement:

Provision should be made to protect the public from fraud in connection with oleomargarine and all other products.

It is too costly, and they know it cannot be done.

No legislation should limit the legitimate manufacture and sale of oleomargarine.

I may say that no legislation should limit the manufacture of jemmies and other house-'breaking tools; but their manufacture is forbidden by law. But what are you going to do with them if their manufacture is legitimate? What are you going to do with oleomargarine when it is manufactured? You are going to use it for an illegal purpose-to palm it off as butter.

It is in common use in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

This is in deep, bold, black letters. That is only one-third true and two-thirds false. It is not in common use in Australia, it is in use to only a limited extent; and it is not in use in New Zealand at all. It is not forbidden, but it is not in use. I suppose it can be said that it is in common use in some parts of the United States. They tell you what oleomargarine is made of:

1. Oleo Oil-

They tell you how nice oleo oil is, but they do not tell you whether 22 per cent or 44 per cent comprises the ingredient.

2. Neutral-lard,-

They do not say whether it is 6 per cent or 48 per cent which contains lard. The third ingredient is milk. They say:

Milk-the fats are churned with milk un^er the most rigid sanitary inspection.

Oleomargarine

But they do not tell you how much milk is used. You can guess at it.

4. Butter-finest creamery butter containing no artificial colour is used.

Dairy butter is not good enough for them, only the "finest creamery butter containing no artificial colour is used." "It contains no artificial colouring." That is where I got my information about Canadian butter containing no artificial colour-" ing. If my statement is incorrect, it is only one more misstatement contained in this pamphlet. Let me tell you what they say in another part of this propaganda. They are talking about oleomargarine, and they say:

The whole is churned in milk and a small percentage of butter is used by some makers.

This is not my propaganda, it is not even Hansard, it is by the same people, the Canadian manufacturers of oleomargarine. They say, "a small percentage of butter is used by some makers." But here they get busy and say, "the finest creamery butter containing no artificial colour is used." "Some" butter is used by "some" people.

We find that these products are mixed together and churned. No Sir, they are not churned, because I take again the word of the manufacturers here. The products are mulsified, they are made into an emulsion, the same as in the manufacture of soap- the process is identical, and the result is very little different. Churning is a process by which you draw out of something, such as milk, butter fat. You could churn this stuff until doomsday and you would not produce any more satisfactory stuff than you put into it. They say that the whole mixture is made

-into a palatable form from those fats, which, although quite wholesome, could not otherwise be used as a spread-for-bread.

It must be palatable if, as stated, it is "like eating lard." Then we find this statement in regard to food value:

The British government a few years ago made tests of the calorie value of oleomargarine, and, as a result, they adopted it for use in government institutions.

But, Mr. Speaker, we know that British margarine is very superior to the Canadian or American product. It is made under strict regulations and has to conform to a high standard. If they found it of so high a standard why did not they quote the tests imposed by the British Government? The manufacturers of oleomargarine are

not modest. They would have quoted the blue, book, but they do not. They say:

The British government found it highly satisfactory.

Further on we find the following:

Tests of the energy-value of oleomargarine made recently by a competent authority resulted interestingly. Calorific value in separate fats showed many brands averaged 3,710 calories per pound.

But they do not tell you who the "competent authority" is. Would it not have been a good thing to tell you who made those tests? We also find the following:

Oleomargarine should sell under its own name and on its own merits. It should not be allowed to trade on the name of any other product.

Absolutely correct. I say, "amen" with all my heart. Neither let it trade upon the appearance, taste or colour of butter. Let it sell on its own basis as a cooking article. We are told further on:

Oleomargarine came into existence because of a shortage of palatable, edible fats and oleomargarine has thrived because the production of these has never kept pace with the growth of population.

The production of butter fats in Canada has more than kept pace with the growth of population, and oleomargarine cannot be said to be "thriving" when its consumption dropped from 14,000,000 pounds to

3,000,000 pounds in four years. I think that is an exaggeration, to say the best of it. Later on we find quotations from various gentlemen, from worthy and admirable members of parliament who made certain remarks in the House last year on this subject, and extracts are given from Hansard. But, curiously enough, all these gentlemen quoted are speaking in favour of oleomargarine-Mr. Michael Clark of Red Deer and four other hon. gentlemen. But why did the manufacturers not say that thirty-five pages of Hansard are full of the remarks of people who are not in favour of oleomargarine? Why did he not tell you, if he wanted to put it fairly and honestly, that the government of the day, strongly entrenched as they were with a good majority behind them, could have put through any bill they liked? It was brought down in the form of a bill in the name of the Minister of Agriculture, and when that hon. gentleman introduced it he said: We are going to pass this bill. But the pressure was so great, exerted as it was by members on both sides who were united in objection to the measure, that the minister rose in his place and

Oleomargarine

said: Boys, we will pull it out, if you will only be good, and we will put it in for one year only. So he withdrew his hill in deference to the measure of opposition that developed in the House, though he could have put it through if he had liked. That is a fair statement of the facts in that connection.

Now, I wish to quote one more passage from this pamphlet, and it is the gem of the whole collection. They wind up with the production of opinions by experts. You all know that you can get an expert's opinion on almost anything; you can get one medical man to swear that a man is insane and you can get another to swear that he is not in'sane. This pamphlet, this propaganda, quotes four experts-all, no doulbt, very estimable men. Here is one of them:

Dr. H. W. Wiley, the noted pure food authority of the United States government, in 1900-

That was eleven years ago, wasn't it?

-testified before the Agricultural Committee.

I do not know what committee is referred to. He testifies as follows:

In all my extensive analysis of butterine or oleomargarine, nothing objectionable or deleterious to health has ever been found, and oleomargarine, as made to-day, is pure, palatable and more nutritious than butter.

The most extravagant assertion otf the maker of this dope is out-Heroded by this one-that oleomargarine is "more nutritious than butter." Now, I will give you Mr. Wiley's comments on this same subject as quoted in the House and found on Hansard at page 934. The name is given in this case as "Dr. Harvey Wiley"; in the pamphlet from which T have just quoted it is given as "H. W. Wiley"; I assume that the same man is referred to. I quote from page 934 of Hansard as follows:

Dr. Harvey Wiley stated in a recent issue of Good House-kee.ping: "As far as I am concerned, I should never give my children nut margarine, oleomargarine, or any other margarine, as a substitute for butter. Butter contains a vital principle necessary to the growth of children which none of its substitutes possess. I should never give children nor grown persons in my family food products containing a, preservative such as benzoate of soda.

I wonder which remark was made first; has the mountain come to Mahomet, or Mahomet to the mountain? That, I think, Will cast some doubt upon the evidence of experts, when you find them saying a certain thing at one time and quite another thing-as is alleged-at another. Now, when witnesses in a court of law are proved to be incredible on several important

points, their evidence is thrown out on all points. You often hear a judge say: I do not believe that witness; I have found him so incorrect on so many points; he may be trying to tell the truth but he is evidently unable to do it. We will give our friends the benefit of the doubt; we will say this propaganda was formulated in ignorance- perhaps it was; at any rate, I submit that it is not worthy of credence. I submit that I have produced evidence that will commend itself to the judgment of hon. members, and, with the facts which will be brought out by other hon. gentlemen more conversant with the technical branches of the 'subject than I am, will convince the House that we ought to keep faith with the farmers and go back to the conditions as they existed in the year 1917.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. S. F. TOLMIE (Victoria city) :

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with a great deal of interest to the remarks of the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) and to the compliments which he has paid to the manufacturers of oleomargarine. I think, however, that in one or two respects his statements are subject to correction.

The hon. gentleman said that the spread between the price of butter and the price of oleo at the present time-in this city to-day the price of creamery butter is 48 cents; of animal oleo, 28 cents, and of vegetable oleo, 24 cents-was due to propaganda. Now, I know the gentlemen interested in the manufacture of oleomargarine; they are reputable citizens, and I think the hon. member ought to have proof before he makes statements of that kind. This spread, as in the case of nearly all manufactured articles, is due largely to the cost of ingredients used in the manufacture, and to other business conditions which vary, as all know, from time to time.

With regard to the cooking compounds, I may say that practically all these compounds are now made in Canada; the oils used therein are imported in their crude state, duty free. I might point out, too, that oleomargarine is not the only thing that is used to " humbug the public "-if that is done. There are many other things that can be twisted about in the ordinary channels of trade to deceive the public. I do not think anything has been done in connection with oleo in that respect which is not done in other lines, as I hope to prove a little later.

The hon. gentleman has suggested that the English margarine is very much super-

Oleomargarine

ior to that which is produced in Canada, due, as he says, to close inspection. I do not think that the English inspection can he any closer than that which is applied in Canada. The work is carried on only in certain licensed establishments under the close supervision of our Meat Inspection Branch, a branch of the Department of Agriculture which has established for itself a very high reputation. Every movement connected with the handling of all the materials used in the manufacture of oleomargarine is subject to the most careful inspection.

If we were to follow out the desire of the mover of this resolution we would simply take away from the people of Canada the privilege of purchasing a wholesome food which is manufactured and sold in practically all other countries. It is a food that was used by our soldiers throughout the war, and whether it contains a high percentage of vitamines or a low percentage, certainly the Canadian troops did not lack " pep " when they met the Germans. Moreover, the hon. gentleman would place entirely in the hands of the dairymen the manufacture of a material which is used as a spread for our bread and for many other purposes. Now, the dairymen are a very reputable lot of people; the dairy industry is one of the most important in the country; I am a dairyman myself. But I do not feel that the dairymen have the right to demand as much protection as is asked for by this resolution; I do not think the Canadian dairymen really need it. If the butter makers of the United States can make butter at a profit notwithstanding the sale of oleo in that country, surely the Canadian dairymen can do likewise.

There is no question at all about the wholesomeness of this article, which has long since been accepted all over the world as a useful food product. The dairyman prepares his butter from milk products, and he has the right to colour that product and make it look like June grass butter all the year round. The beef men should have the same privilege in the matter of marketing to the best possible advantage the oil obtained from the beef. I may isay that the by-products of the ox play a most important part in the price paid to the farmer for the living animal. All farmers who are producing beef cattle will agree that the price of beef cattle has gone down very largely in late years, due to the fact that

the by-products have fallen in value. If this resolution should pass and no legislation be brought down to extend the period during which the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in this country shall be permitted, then the oils obtained from some

600,000 head of cattle passing through our inspected abattoirs every year would have to find a market somewhere else. That is one reason why the manufacture of oleomargarine should be permitted in this country, under careful inspection.

Again, I submit that it is preposterous that we should take away from the poor men of this country the privilege of buying oleomargarine if they wish to do so. By " poor men " I mean those who are working for the smaller wage-for salaries which, perhaps, permit them to make a living only by the careful exercise of economy-men with large families; men who have heavy expenditures to meet throughout the year. I say it is preposterous that we should take from these men the privilege of buying a wholesome food article like oleomargarine if they wish to buy it. The force of this statement is accentuated by the present scarcity of work throughout the country; there is hardly a city in Canada which has not had a long bread line of unemployed during the last few months.

Oleomargarine does not interfere with the production of first-class butter, but it does check to a certain extent production of the lower grades of butter, those grades that our Department of Agriculture is making a strong effort to have the farmers leave alone altogether in favour of a better quality. It has been well proven, too, that no one will buy oleomargarine if it is possible to buy butter at a reasonable price. This is clearly shown, I think, by comparing the figures for the last few years. In 1918, oleomargarine was manufactured in Canada, to the amount of 10,483,179 pounds, with 3,494,622 pounds imported, making a total of 13,977,801 pounds. In 1921 we manufactured 3,780,392 pounds, and imported 2,057,035 pounds, making a total of 5,837,427 pounds, showing a falling off between 1918 and 1921 of no less than 8,140,374 pounds, or something over 60 per cent. That shows that as the price of butter went down from the highest peak, the consumption of oleomargarine decreased to a very great extent indeed.

In 1918 we manufactured 93,298,348 pounds of creamery butter, and in 1921 that had increased, in round figures, tc

111,000,000 pounds, an increase of 17,701,652 pounds, in spite of this awful com-

Oleomargarine

petition from oleomargarine. The total consumption of butter in 1921 is estimated by our dairy branch of the Department of Agriculture at roughly 240,000,000 pounds, as against a consumption of oleomargarine of 5,837,427 pounds, or slightly over 2 per cent, and certainly not any competition to be alarmed at. This shows that during this period the manufacture of creamery butter has made very substantial gains over the manufacture of oleomargarine, and it is another indication that the people will not willingly buy oleomargarine if good butter is to be had at a reasonable orice.

Some of the most important dairy countries are the largest consumers of oleomargarine. In many of these countries in Europe, the high priced butter is shipped to other countries, and oleomargarine is consumed at home There is no country with a greater reputation for butter perhaps than Denmark, where in one year the population consumed 44 pounds of oleomargarine per head.

One of the best gauges of the prosperity of the dairy industry is the price of dairy cows. That gives you a good line on the prosperity of the business and the sale of dairy products. During the years when the largest quantity of oleomargarine was imported and manufactured in this country, we found the prices of dairy cows perhaps the highest on record for very many years.

What is oleomargarine? It consists of oleo oils and of edible beef fats. Let me say that these fats are secured from the carcasses of animals slaughtered in inspected establishments. No other fats are permissible except those imported accompanied by a certificate to that effect. There is a division between the edible beef fats and the non-edible beef fats. Oleomargarine also contains neutral lard, which is also secured under inspection; fresh milk from cows that have been tested with tuberculin, or milk that has been pasteurized ; butter that is free from rancidity and is of first-class quality; vegetable oils, imported into this country from the United States principally, accompanied by a certificate from the Bureau of Chemistry at Washington-in fact, our Minister of Agriculture can ask for any certificate he wishes that will appear to cover the situation. In addition to these other ingredients, oleomargarine contains a small quantity of salt. Nut margarine is made entirely from vegetable products, and is churned with fresh milk. As I have

113i

already pointed out, all these articles are manufactured under the very strictest inspection and must be accompanied with proper certificates when imported into this country.

I must admit that when I first heard about the manufacture of oleomargarine, I pictured this material being gathered in the ordinary country slaughter-house and I was rather in favour of not permitting its competition with the dairy products of this country. However, after having an opportunity to investigate the matter thoroughly by visiting the establishments where oleomargarine is made, and after making a very careful inspection, in which I was aided by the experience I have gained in my profession, I entirely changed my opinion. I find that generally, in fact, altogether, the conditions under which oleomargarine is prepared and these fats are secured, under careful and constant inspection, are decidedly better than the conditions that prevail in the average dairy barn in this country.

In connection with our regulations governing the manufacture of oleomargarine, the dairyman has been very carefully protected, as well as the consumer. In the first place, this article is not permitted to be manufactured except in licensed establishments where inspection is carried on. No colouring matter is allowed to be added in the manufacture of oleomargarine. No colouring matter is permitted to be sold or given away with packages of oleomargarine. No mixing of butter with oleomargarine is permitted by anybody without a license, which means that the business is confined to these establishments. They are not permitted to use the words " butter," " creamery," " dairy," or the name of any breed of cattle on the package or in any advertising. The labels and brands must be approved by the Minister of Agriculture. Here is one of the packages with the word " oleomargarine" plainly showing. Here is another one in which the material is put up, and on the material itself the word "oleo" is stamped in very large letters. Careful record is kept of all oleomargarine sales by ill our wholesale dealers in this material. They are compelled to sell only in the original packages. The importation and manufacture of oleomargarine is entirely under the supervision of our Veterinary Director General and his efficient aggregation of inspectors. The Dairy Commissioner takes care of sales within the country and the use of oleomargarine.

Oleomargarine

Let us see what have been the results from the enforcement of the law. We find that in 1919, there were eight convictions for infractions of the oleomargarine law, as against 111 for the sale of bad butter. In 1920 there were twelve convictions under the oleo law and 126 convictions for the sale of bad butter. In 1921 there were fourteen convictions for selling oleo against the law, and 126 for selling bad butter; showing that the producers of good butter have no reason to fear the manufacturer and dealer in oleo so much as the man who produces bad butter in competition with it. This indicates-

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PRO

Daniel Webster Warner

Progressive

Mr. WARNER:

Could the hon. member give the number of firms that were selling oleomargarine alone compared with the number that were selling butter alone?

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

I could not give my hon. friend figures in that form. I presume that in a great many of the grocery stores it is the usual thing-it is pretty usual in our country-to sell both oleomargarine and butter. The figures I have given indicate that it is much easier to control the sale of oleomargarine under the present law than it is to control the sale of butter produced in many establishments where constant inspection is not carried out.

I quite agree with the previous speaker in one or two points. I think we should certainly impose a duty on oleomargarine coming into this country; and I think we might even go further and fix a standard for oleomargarine. I understand that some of the European manufacturers now deodorize the oil obtained from the British Columbia whale and use it in the manufacture of oleomargarine. I am told the work is done so completely that no fishy flavour of any kind attaches to the resultant product. In this country the manufacturers confine themselves exclusively to the use of the vegetable and animal oils obtained from our killing establishments throughout the country.

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?

John William Bell

Mr. STAN SELL:

Are all these oils obtained from the killing establishments in our own country?

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Some of them are imported from the United States. When so imported, they are accompanied by a certificate from the Bureau of Animal Industry at Washington. As perhaps my hon. friend knows, these certificates are exchanged between our Health of Animals branch in Canada and the Bureau of Ani-

mal Industry in the United States; each country accepts the certificates of the other.

I do not propose, Mr. Speaker, to take up the time of the House any longer than to say that I feel that this material being healthy in its nature, should be permitted to be sold in Canada. Those who desire to buy it should have that privilege if they wish. But we should carefully protect by inspection the manufacture and sale of such commodities so that there will be no interference with dairy produce, and I think my figures prove that the trade in oleomargarine has not at present any such effect. The by-products, as I have pointed out, play a very important part in the sale of beef animals within the country, and on this account I think we should permit the sale of oleomargarine in Canada, as its sale is permitted in other countries. I may say that I am a dairyman, engaged in the dairy business at the present time on the Pacific coast. I am also a breeder of pure bred cattle, and perhaps if I were to oppose the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in this country I might make a good many friends among the dairymen. At the same time, however, I think that in this House we should take a broader view of the subject. Personally I feel that oleomargarine is a good thing to have in Canada, that it is for the benefit of the great mass of the people. Under the circumstances I propose to forget my attachment to the dairy industry for the present and oppose the resolution.

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PRO

Arthur John Lewis

Progressive

Mr. LEWIS:

Can my hon. friend give us any explanation as to why the Danish farmer sells his butter to Great Britain and is in such poor circumstances that he has to eat a substitute for that butter? Also does my hon. friend suggest that the Canadian dairy farmer should do the same thing in the case of his family?

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

I have no suggestion to offer as to how the Canadian dairy farmer should best act in the interest of his family; I have one family and I feel that is about all that I can take care of. I think it is generally understood that the Danish farmer sells his butter to Great Britain and eats oleomargarine because he wishes to pocket the difference in the price of these commodities, which is very substantial.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. W. D. EULER (North Waterloo) :

Th*>

question of prohibiting the manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada has been debated

Oleomargarine

in this House for several sessions. I am of opinion that a good deal of time thas been wasted because of the fact that each succeeding session witnesses a repe-5 p.m. tition of the arguments of the session before; and for that reason 1 rise to-da , more than perhaps from any other motive, to suggest that on this occasion we settle once and for alii the question of whether oleomargarine shall be made and sold in this country. To my mind there are only two real factors governing the case, and they are these: Is oleomargarine a wholesome product, is it a fit food for the people of Canada? That is one consideration. The other: Is oleomargarine sold for what it is, and not represented as being something else? If we can establish that oleomargarine is a wholesome product, and that it is not sold under misrepresentation, then I contend that It is a legitimate article of commerce, and that this Parliament should not interfere with its manufacture and sale under proper safeguards. So far as I have heard, the mover of the resolution has not made out a case showing that oleomargarine is detrimental to the health of the consumer; in fact, I think it is pretty generally admitted that such a claim cannot successfully be made. We have had the testimony of the Dominion Analyst that oleomargarine is a wholesome commodity. Last year, and again to-day, the ex-Minister of Agriculture testified as to that, and I have a very high regard for his opinion. Oleomargarine is made under license, it is manufactured in government inspected institutions, its sale is surrounded by all sorts of safeguards. At the same time I would say this: If the sale of oleomargarine, in so far as misrepresentation is concerned, is not yet sufficiently safeguarded, as my hon. friend from Ccwnox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) would indicate, I would Ibe quite in favour of passing such further restrictions as will ensure that the interests of the people shall be adequately protected. It is not even suggested seriously that oleomargarine is ever sold in Canada for anything other than what it actually is. The1 ex-Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) has just exhibited cartons or packages in which the product is sold, and I do not think any one could possibly mistake oleomargarine for anything else. It may be true that in restaurants, and other eating places, oleomargarine is sometimes passed off as butter; but as was stated by a previous speaker, it is doubtful whether misrepresentation and deception obtains to a greater extent in the

sale of this commodity than it does in the sale of many another article which might be named. The only argument against the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine is that its prohibition would be for the protection of the dairy interest. In other words those who favour this resolution want the sale of oleomargarine stopped in order that more butter may be sold, and sold at a higher price. Now, I say, with all deference to the opinion of those who differ from me, that if that is not a Special plea for a particular interest, a plea that should not be countenanced by this parliament, then I would like to be shown a more glaring example. I am very sure that all of us, especially now that the farmers have so many difficulties to contend with, are very anxious that they be permitted to carry on their activities under the most favourable conditions. Personally I sympathize with that view; but surely Parliament is not going to accept the principle that it !is justified in destroying any industry, any legitimate Canadian industry, which permits the great mass of the people of Canada to buy a wholesome article at a lower price than the price of butter, in order to benefit and add to the profit of any other industry. I think that is an absolutely unassailable position to take. This Parliament is not justified in destroying one legitimate industry for the purpose of assisting another legitimate industry, important as the latter may be. If we accepted such a principle, where would it lead us?

I am going to draw a few comparisons. Some may say that they are far-fetched; but I do not think so; I believe they are on all fours with the proposal made to prohibit the manufacture of oleomargarine. For example, if we can wholly prohibit the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in order to benefit the makers of butter, why should not the man who produces lard, the raiser of hogs, the owner of a packing house, object to the sale of vegetable compounds, oils and products that now enter into cooking and baking in the home? The argument is just as good for the one as for the other. Why should the manufacturer of silk stockings not object to another man being allowed to make cotton stockings, because it hurts his business? If people can afford to buy only cotton stockings why should they not be permitted to do so?

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?

Alexander Dew Chaplin

Mr. CHAPMAN:

Or paper ones.

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LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

If anyone in Canada can

make serviceable stockings of paper, I

Oleomargarine

would be quite willing to allow him to do so, so long as people who are buying those stockings would know what they were buying.

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PRO
LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

As regards paper boots,

the people of Canada did not know what they were buying at the time.

Why should not the manufacturer,of the fifty-seven varieties that we hear and read so much about in advertisements, come to this Parliament and ask for a law prohibiting the housewife from canning her own fruit, pickles and preserves? The prohibition would be just as logical in the one case as in the other.

Then we are told that oleomargarine is an imitation, and merely because it is an imitation it is a reprehensible thing to allow that to continue.

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May 15, 1922