The minister says that 50 per cent of the success in the raising of good bacon hogs is due to heredity and 50 per cent to feeding. The grading of hogs is a new thing in this country. Prices have kept up fairly well considering the deflation that has occurred in other branches of agriculture, and grading has not been practised long enough to determine whether or not it will be the success it is expected to be. The prices of beef animals have always been fixed according to quality; and the packers have been buying hogs and doing the grading themselves. Now, however, the government intends to fix regulations under which this grading must be done. A minimum weight and a maximum weight are established, and if the animal weighs 3 pounds over 220, it does not receive the premium. If it is underweight, on the other hand, I suppose it is not entitled to the premium either. But you do not follow that up. A packer may take in an overweight animal and if it is of good bacon type he will probably be able to dispose of it at a select price, so that your system is really of no effect. At the Winter Show at Guelph last fall the grading of hogs was a surprise to people who were interested in the business. In many instances animals that did not grade very highly on foot graded 38
well when dressed, and vice versa. And they were examined by men who were experts in the business. I am not finding fault, but it shows how difficult it is to grade animals.
The only true test is that which is made after the animal is dressed and is in the hands of the packer. The packers have graded carcasses for many years, and the government is now stepping in to do something which in any other business is done by one of the two parties to the transaction. I' take it that the government is undertaking this duty on the assumption that the farmer is not in a position to take care of himself. The hon. member for Strathcona (Mr. Warner) said the farmers were somewhat surprised that some animals were not grading. It is quite evident, I think, to anyone who has been engaged in the live stock business for any length of time, that the proper type of bacon hog is one that cannot be economically fed. It is what one might call a long-geared animal, and that type is not regarded highly by the live stock breeders of the country. I venture to say that you will find in the corngrowing districts of western Ontario, when this matter is put to the test, that the farmers will not raise the kind of hog which it is claimed will produce select bacon in the Old Country. This is one of the things that should be demonstrated at the experimental farms, to ascertain the cost of producing bacon under these conditions from the different types of hogs. Many of the breeds that the people are now being advised to try out may cause disappointment and our breeders may quit the business. And of course you cannot grade hogs if none are raised.
Another factor which enters very largely into the successful raising of bacon hogs is pure feed stuffs. In fact in this connection it is of more importance than anything else that may engage our attention this session. The minister admits that 50 per cent of hog disease is due to bad feeding. We have for years permitted the adulteration of feed stuffs, and the disastrous results following their use have driven many hog raisers out of business. In my part of the province it is impossible to purchase hog feed without finding on the bottom of the sack "Screenings not exceeding mill run." It may be said that the law specifies the quality of feed stuffs and prohibits adulteration. But what is the use of such legislation if the millers do not supply feed stuffs of this standard, but, on the contrary, offer us substitutes adulterated with poisonous weed seeds on which we are expected to raise bacon hogs. Hogs of the type described by the hon. mem-
ber for Strathcon'a (Mr. Warner) might have the capacity to overcome the bad effects of these poisonous weed seeds, but the bacon hog's constitution is too delicate to resist, and thousands of such hogs have died before reaching maturity. I have pointed out the serious damage which is being done to our hogs by the marketing of these adulterated feed stuffs, and on several occasions I have introduced a bill to prohibit adulteration, but without success. However, that matter will come up very shortly when I shall have an opportunity of discussing it at greater length.
I understood the minister to state that this increase of about $50,000 is for propaganda to stimulate the raising of cattle and hogs. We cannot pick up an agricultural paper today without coming to the conclusion that there is propaganda on foot to try to convince our farmers to follow a certain line of production. For months past every agricultural paper in my province has been loaded up with propaganda to persuade farmers to put their money into a business that is not co-operative at all, but is absolutely a joint stock company. After a great deal of effort in this direction we are now informed that nothing further is going to be done along cooperative lines during the present year. I recall another line of propaganda to which the minister has also referred, namely, the grading of cheese. I notice that right here in eastern Ontario our cheese producers have met together and protested most emphatically against this proposal, yet in spite of their protests steps are being taken to compel them to submit to it. It is all very well to pass laws and frame regulations under them to compel people to do certain things, but unless they find it is profitable to do these things all our efforts at compulsion will be fruitless. I very much fear that this propaganda is not good business. The farmer is a fairly intelligent man as a rule, notwithstanding what some people may think about him. He knows when he is engaged in some branch of his business on which he is making a little money or losing, and if he is not making a profit in any particular line we may be certain that he will quickly discontinue it.
This department has now men over in' the Old Country to purchase a certain class of animals which the department desires our farmers to handle. If they are of the type which I have seen very recently, I am afraid that in many instances they will appeal only to those breeders who are anxious to make money out of the introduction of such animals by the department,-in fact in many instances
these men are simply promoters. We heard a year ago about efforts being made to develop markets for our live stock, and a couple of prominent men were sent to South America for that purpose We have not heard very much so far this session about what they accomplished. I asked a question as to whether one of these parties had been appointed Commissioner of Agriculture. In reply, the minister stated that this gentleman was only temporarily engaged, and I believe he referred to him as his "special messenger" in connection with this live stock business, and that he hoped he would be able to go to South America, but sickness had prevented him accompanying the other gentleman. I hope that a lot of this propaganda is not designed for political purposes, but I rather suspect it is. At the close of last session when I arrived home I was surprised to find that this supposed Commissioner of Agriculture was up in my riding addressing a gathering of Liberals. The chairman of the meeting, a member of the executive of the Liberal party for Ontario, was down here in Ottawa at the close of the session; I knew that. Well this "special messenger" of the minister, addressed a meeting of Grits in my constituency. At the commencement of this session I placed a question on the order paper respecting his standing in the service, and to my surprise I find he is still in the employ of the government at a salary of $6,000 a year with several more thousands for expenses. But my inquiries with reference to his activities in my constituency and in other ridings were not answered by the minister. This is the kind of propaganda that is being carried on, and I am afraid that about 50 per cent of it will be found to be political. I am sorry to think that, I am indeed, but my conviction is that in the province of Ontario there is more camouflage along that line at the present time than ever before. Even the president of our Agricultural College at Guelph came into my constituency and addressed a political gathering there.