February 23, 1923

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

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-

Supply-hive Stock

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.

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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 attention of the hon. member to the fact that what he is discussing comes under Civil Government. If he seeks to criticize the actions of some of the officers who come under this vote, he will of course be quite in order.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Mr. Chairman, I

would not like to violate the rules of the House. This item being in regard to live stock, and we having been told that the party I have referred to was engaged to develop a live stock market in South America, if I can show that while engaged for that

Supply-Insects and Pests

purpose he was devoting his time to political propaganda, I do not feel that I have transgressed the rules. However, I shall have an opportunity to deal with this subject at a later date.

When the estimates for the experimental farms were going through the minister informed the committee that the system was being changed to meet the changed conditions in the country, and that efforts were being made to develop live stock depots at our various experimental farms for the breeding of animals to supply the adjacent districts. I assume that part of this money will be used to stock up the experimental farms with these animals. The minister shakes his head?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

No; that comes under the experimental farm vote.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I notice that the farmers of western Canada are in a position to avail themselves of the concession granted * to them in respect to what is known as the shipment of carload lots of feeding cattle, whereas the farmers in Ontario are not. Ontario has been the great market for the feeders from western Canada during this past fall, on account of their being practically excluded from the United States and Old Country markets. You can understand, therefore, the unfairness of the present regulation which does not enable the Ontario farmer to have these animals shipped back under as favourable conditions as those available to the western farmer. Another source of injustice to Ontario is that a very small proportion of the male animals distributed for breeding purposes are placed in that province. We have not found any particular fault in that regard, but I have endeavoured to show that so far as experimental farms, live stock and all these things are concerned, practically no encouragement is being given to agriculture in Ontario. The minister will realize that it is not fair or in the interest of those who are shipping their feeding cattle from western Canada to Ontario to find that when they arrive there, very high rates have to be paid on the shipments of the cattle back to the farms. There is another preference given in respect to the shipment of animals for breeding purposes from the live stock markets, but so far as I know that preference has not applied to Ontario. The chief complaint I have, however, with regard to rates is in connection with the carload lots. I hope the minister will look into this matter, if his attention has not already been directed to it, and see that some concession is granted along that line.

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Item agreed to.


CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Huron):

May I ask the minister what amount of money has been expended in the scrub campaign throughout Ontario ,and whether there is co-operation with the provincial government in that resepct?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I understand that $5,000 has been spent under that head. The provincial departments in the West, and also those in Ontario, are co-operating. The extent of that co-operation is pretty hard to define.

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PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

I would like to ask the minister a question in regard to the protection of pure bred stock.

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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 have to direct the attention of the hon. member to the fact that that item has been carried, after a great deal of discussion.

Agriculture-administration and enforcement of Destructive Insects and Pests Act, $310,000.

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

Will the minister explain the increase of $70,000? Perhaps he will tell the committee also what progress has been made in connection with the campaign against the corn borer in Ontario.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Nearly all these increases are due to the development of our ordinary activities. In the case of insect pests, there seems to have been increased difficulty during recent years in many parts of Canada. In the East the corn borer has been active, and we have had the grasshopper in the West. The activities under 'this item may be divided into two heads, one botanical and the other entomological. The botanical end of it deals with the following subjects: potato inspection; plant pathological investigation; cereal rust; potato diseases; white pine blister rust; fruit diseases Laboratories are maintained at the following points: Ottawa, Charlottetown, Kentville, Fredericton, Quebec, St. Catharines, Brandon, Saskatoon, Lethbridge and Summerland. Take the question of cereal rust; we have been looking for the best man we can get to carry on the investigational work in that connection, but the kind of men we need are not available at the prices we offer-prices which, as hon. members know, are not entirely controlled by the department. I suppose that after a while, when we have failed a sufficient number of times to get a proper man as expert on fungus diseases of this nature, we shall be able to get a reclassification that will enable us to offer a salary that will command the best man for the purpose. In the meantime we are doing what we can in this direction with the limited supply of men we have. In the Entomological

Sup-ply-Insects and Pests

branch, activities are carried on in respect to insect pests affecting field, garden and orchard crops, forest and shade trees, and so on. Methods of controlling these pests are studied at the following branch laboratories and field stations, which are maintained out of this appropriation: Annapolis Royal, N.S., Fredericton and Bathurst, N.B.; Hemmingford, Aylmer, and Lake Edward, Que.; Strathroy, Vineland and Port Stanley, Ont.; Treesbank, Man.; Saskatoon, Sask.; Lethbridge and Banff, Alta.; Vernon, Agassiz and Victoria, B.C. The second branch of activity is the inspection and fumigation of nursery stock. In this connection stations are maintained at Montreal, St. John's, Que., St. John, N.B., Montrose, Ont., Toronto, Niagara Falls, Windsor, Winnipeg, North Portal, Vancouver. Then, there is the matter of brown-tail moth control in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. There is the European com borer quarantine and control work in Ontario. The invasion of this insect pest gave rise to the possibility of a very serious interruption in the development of many of our fodder crops. However, quarantine methods have been employed; the habits of the insect are better understood, and the corn borer menace is not looked upon as being as serious as it was a year ago. We are taking all precautions for the purpose of circumscribing as far as may be the activities of this insect. Then there is the question of apple sucker quarantine in Nova Scotia, and alfalfa weevil quarantine in Alberta.

We have the gypsy moth scouting in Quebec, and the satin moth scouting in British Columbia ; then there is the introduction and distribution of parasites and other useful insects, and the study and control of insect pests by their natural enemies and the distribution of these native enemies. These may look like very strange activities, but when I was at the Agassiz farm I visited the entomological laboratory there and found the men engaged in gathering the cocoons of the natural enemy of the spruce bud worm of the Maritime provinces and eastern Canada. They were catching these little fellows and sending them down here to propagate their species and attack their natural enemies and their natural source of food. That is what keeps the animal world and the plant world properly balanced. When they get too many of one kind something else bobs up and feeds upon it, and thus preserves the equilibrium. We are trying to destroy harmful insects and pests by subjecting them to the attacks of their natural enemies, and we are attempting in this way to take care of these invasions.

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PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

What results are you getting in the extermination of the spruce bud worm?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWTELL:

It takes time. The parasitic insects multiply with amazing rapidity. Nature as a rule takes care of these matters. In reference to the invasion of grasshoppers, I believe nature has done as much to take care of the extraordinary invasion in the West, in the way of providing parasites of the grasshopper as all the other agencies supplied by man. But British Columbia is a long way from the Maritime provinces and nature has to be supplemented by the transfer of parasites from British Columbia to the Maritime provinces. I have had the opportunity of transplanting beaver to Saskatchewan and placing them in some of the forests reserves-taking them from their native haunts and putting them on the forest reserve. You would lose sight of them in the jungle and somebody years afterward would discover a dam across the road and then somebody would find the beaver. This practice will manifest itself, but it will take time. It depends on the condition. Then as to the spruce bud worm,-I have this memorandum.

Investigations in eastern Canada have shown that the Spruce bud worm problem is not a purely entomological one, but that it involves the entire administration and management of timber resources. Only by the adoption of the broadest practices in the administration and management of these forests will it be possible to establish conditions necessary to prevent a repetition of this recent catastrophe. Our investigations have awakened a very great interest in this problem among foresters and lumbermen and have resulted in cooperative studies and experiments by forest entomologists, foresters and forest pathologists, through which we can hope to obtain in the future a bud worm proof forest. The losses to balsam and spruce in eastern Canada have amounted to at least 150,000,000 cords which would have been worth in manufactured value billions of dollars. As an indication of the savings which have already resulted from our study in the province of New Brunswick alone, it has been estimated by the deputy minister of the Crown Lands Department of that province that following our studies the cutting of Balsam fir and the salvaging of bud worm-killed Spruce and Fir have been of benefit to the province in the past two years to the extent of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

Is the brown-tailed moth invasion of New Brunswick increasing or decreasing?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I understand it is decreasing.

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CON
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

It seems to be working westward into Alberta and western Saskatchewan. It is prety well circumscribed in Manitoba and if the hon. member for

Supply-Insects and Pests

Assiniboia (Mr. Gould) were here he would be able to give some particulars, but I have not heard of any serious invasion in Assiniboia where it first asserted itself some four or five years ago. It has been travelling up towards Swift Current, and I think appearing at intervals at various places in Alberta and British Columbia, but the various provincial governments have adopted restricted measures and, assisted by their municipalities, they are on the alert. Forewarned is forearmed. They are in a better position in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta than we were in the early days of the invasion. They are now more or less in a position to meet the situation, although it is not quite under control. I think the danger is almost past.

. Mr. MacKELVIE: Has the codling moth situation been improving or otherwise?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I have made inquiries and there is a certain amount of this insect pest prevalent and there are fears as to its expansion. Precautionary measures are being taken and fumigating is being done in the cars which have been affected. My hon. friend asked if we contemplated stopping the importation of fruit altogether, in the event of the pest becoming sufficiently serious to warrant it. So far as my investigation has gone, I do not think that point has been reached. I think it is better understood now than previously and the preventive steps have had results. I do not apprehend any serious increase in the danger from this pest. However, everybody seems to be aware of the trouble, and therefore preventive measures are adopted. Taken as a whole, the situation is not any worse.

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PRO

Charles Wallace Stewart

Progressive

Mr. STEWART (Humboldt):

To what extent is the aeroplane assisting in the war against insect pests particularly the insects attacking the forest, and in what part of the Dominion has the aeroplane been used for scouting?

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February 23, 1923