April 4, 1924

LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Who determines these

qualifications? I quite agree with the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) that sometimes qualifications are prescribed which are absolutely non-essential. We are getting too far into this academic business. The minister suggested this afternoon that when men found they could not get very much pay in certain lines of activity they took up other professions or occupations. There are members of other professions-engineers, lawyers and doctors-who are not half as well paid as some of the so-called agricultural experts with which the minister and previous ministers, backed up by the Civil Service Commission, have been filling the country. We have too many people who are faddists and we have too many fads. I have no reason whatever to set myself up as an expert in agricultural matters, because I am not; I know very little about it. But I can get any number of practical farmers in the county of Hants who will teach him and a whole lot of his experts a good many things, in spite of their academic qualifications.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I would not like to agree

that it is not necessary to have a plant pathologist in New Brunswick, especially in

view of the magnitude of the potato business and the number of enemies that the potato plant has. All I am asking the minister is to look into one particular case, and I believe that if he gives it his personal attention and also if the deputy minister will be good enough to look into it, they will feel like doing justice to the young man to whom I refer. *

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The qualifications

called for in appointments of this nature are agreed upon between the Civil Service Commission and the head of the branch concerned. They have thought-wise or otherwise-that the qualification of post-graduate work should be possessed by applicants for this position, and I am free to admit that a man who has had five or ten years' practical experience might be an infinitely better man, but you cannot change these qualifications every time you advertise.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

They are not like the

laws of the Medes and Persians, or like an act of parliament; they can be changed as occasion requires, by order in council.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

So far as this

gentleman's political complexion is concerned, we have enough trouble finding out his qualifications and looking after other matters without going into that. I do not know his politics from Adam's.

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON:

I only mentioned that

because I did not like to have it thought that I advocated justice to this young man simply because he was a supporter of mine. I have not any idea what his political professions are.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

How is it that these officials are appointed by the Civil Service Commission? Are they temporary appointees? How is it that they do not appear under the head of Civil Government?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The civil government note takes in only the staff in the city of Ottawa.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Would the minister inform the committee how many are engaged in the work provided for in this item? I notice that in 1920-21 the item was $140,000 less than the vote the minister is now asking the committee to pass. That is quite a considerable increase, considering the work that is being carried on. In so far as my observation goes, I have seen little evidence of the activities of those engaged in this work. When the minister was speaking of

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what was being done to control the com borer he said that once you get it in a silo it is all right. But people can put their com in a silo without paying government officials. Would the minister tell us how many officials will be paid out of this item?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I understand there are about forty.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

If there are forty

officials engaged on the administration of the act, what uses up the balance of the item? I think this information might be given in detail. It would facilitate the passing of the item and eliminate a good deal of the discussion.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Outside of the vote for live stock, the great bulk of the estimates for agriculture is for educational purposes, disseminating information throughout the country; for instance, under this item, information with respect to insect and fungus pests. There is only one medium through which we can do that work, apart from bulletins, and that is through men and women, and therefore a large amount is set aside for salaries. It is through this medium that the information is disseminated throughout the country. We have altogether something like forty or fifty inspectional services. You cannot disseminate this information by radio or long distance telephone; it has to be done through appointments, and, of course, through bulletins. If there is any other way of doing it, I do not know what it is.

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PRO

Oliver Robert Gould

Progressive

Mr. GOULD:

Reverting again to the

question of rust, I was very much interested in the information the minister gave to the committee, and in his remarks as to the manner in which the spores may be carried against a current of wind. As the minister was speaking, I recollected reading a pamphlet issued by the state of South Dakota dealing with rust in wheat. In that pamphlet is described an experiment that was carried on by the state, in one township which was suggested. The barberry bush I believe is held to be the main source if not the genesis of the rust spore. The first step in this experiment was to destroy all the barberry bushes in the segregated area. Then it was sown with wheat. One particular township where the barberry bush was known to exist was also sown with wheat without destroying the barberry bush. The result showed a return of $12,000 more in that segregated area where the barberry bush had been destroyed. I do not know whether the barberry bush is, scientifically speaking, indigenous to our western country, and I wondered if the

department has found out whether our rust comes from this bush, or whether it is carried through the air by wind from the southern states where the bush is found.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The barberry bush is not thought to be the real source of rust, although there is no doubt whatever that you would have more rust in the immediate vicinity of barberry bushes. It acts as host between the two periods of the rust, and as a result you may have more rust in an area where there are barberry bushes than elsewhere. This discovery about the barberry bush was made over a hundred years ago in Europe; they have been aware of it in France and other parts of Europe for a very long time. They just knew it happened that way, but they had not worked out the real philosophy of the thing. Consequently, they started to destroy the barberry bushes believing that somehow or other they had something to do with rust. While that theory has been confirmed in later years, the barberry bush is now thought to be a source of contagion only to a very limited extent. I know that in the western provinces, in Manitoba, as well as in Ontario, they have issued instructions from the agricultural college to have these bushes exterminated because conditions have got so bad. While they did not think it was the chief source of contagion, they thought they would take no chances, and so they ordered the destruction of the barberry bush. Most authorities do not now consider it to be the chief source of contagion. I can recall as a youth that we had rust in Ontario, when winter wheat used to be a more general crop than it is now. All we knew then was that we had a sort of weather called rusty weather, with intermittent sunshine and showers, murky, calm weather, which seemed to develop rust. We know now that there are forty different varieties of rust, and when you have beaten out thirty-nine varieties, you have still one left to conquer. That is what makes this problem so difficult. It requires a good deal of patient attention because it may take several years to evolve a solution.

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PRO

Daniel Webster Warner

Progressive

Mr. WARNER:

Has the department any

definite information, or any opinion even, as to whether rust would be carried over from one year to another in the seed, or whether it can live over in the land? Would it help any to put some other crop in the land after rust had been on the ground?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Rust is not carried by the seed nor in the land. It may be carried over by some grasses. If a disease

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like that has not the natural host plant available, it will fasten on something else. Some western grasses are thought to act as intermediary hosts-rye grass, for instance, although that has not been proved. Rust will not carry over in the seed or in the land; if it were you could treat it.

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PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

In view of the fact

that the hon. member for York-Sunbury seems to doubt that shippers have been putting tags on potatoes that were not justified by the act, I would ask the minister if his department ever had any complaint of this kind. Has the minister ever seen any of the tags? *

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I understand that

we had sufficient evidence of it last year that we inserted a proviso in the regulations making it an offence.

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PRO
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

No, but I understand my deputy has.

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April 4, 1924