March 9, 1925

QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED

CORRESPONDENCE ON OCEAN SHIPPING RATES

LIB

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

Liberal

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

My right bon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) inquired concerning certain correspondence in the Department of External Affairs between the government of Canada and the British government relating to ocean transport especially in relation to the Imperial Shipping Committee. I beg to lay on the table such correspondence as I have been able to secure.

Copies of reports of the Board of Railway Commissioners-Hon. Mr. Graham.

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE ON OCEAN SHIPPING RATES
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HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver Centre):

I desire to bring to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) a certain matter of importance in regard to which I shall ask him two questions. For the safeguarding of the health of animals in Canada, certain regulations were passed prohibiting the importation of goods packed in hay or straw-I think fodder is the term generally used-coming from areas in Great Britain or elsewhere infected with the foot and mouth disease. I understand that notice to this effect was given the transportation companies in November, but recently there arrived in Vancouver on one of the Canadian merchant marine ships a cargo, a large portion of which consisted of goods packed in this prohibited material. I am informed that a very substantial part of this cargo has been ordered returned, other portions having been permitted to land. I want to ask two questions: Is it

not possible to permit the unpacking of these goods under careful supervision, the packing material to be immediately destroyed, and thus avert a loss to the importer who undoubtedly is innocent in the matter? In the second place, why Should local importers be subjected to such loss and inconvenience when the fault rests very largely with the transportation company, in this case with the government merchant marine?

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. W. R. MOTHERWELL (Minister of Agriculture):

The situation complained of

is practically as my hon. friend has stated it, 57

except that additional steps were taken as long ago as August last. The United States government had passed a similar law prohibiting the importation of goods into that country when packed in hay and straw, and as we had a working arrangement with that government whereby we should have regulations of a similar nature with regard to imports from foreign countries, we found it all the more imperative, not only in the interests of Canadian stock but also for the purpose of carrying out our end of the arrangement, to impose this restriction with regard to goods packed in this material coming from countries infected with the foot and mouth disease. However, we allowed goods to come in packed in this way wherever a certificate accompanied them indicating that there was no foot and mouth disease in the exporting country. A number of such shipments came in and we drew the attention of the importers to the fact that this certificate could be obtained from the exporting country. We also extended the time of grace to January 1, hoping that the offenders, who as my hon. friend points out are really the shipping companies and not the innocent importers, might have time to accustom themselves to the regulations. We recognized that we were in the difficult position of being obliged to protect the live stock of the country on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to give as far as possible some consideration to the shipper. So that, as I say, we extended the time to January 1, after which the rule was to be hard-and-fast; and in the meantime we did our best to fumigate and burn all straw coming with such shipments. There was a difficulty, however; we found that shipments of these goods were accumulating at such a rate that it would take an army of officers to fumigate and bum the straw. Finally, therefore, we decided to extend the time to January 15, taking the ground that, after that, under no consideration should the practice be allowed to continue. And we took this ground for several reasons. In the first place, so long as we allowed the goods to land in this kind of packing, the shipping companies apparently would continue to accept such shipments, and the evil would go on in perpetuity. In the second place, we had not a sufficient number of men to take care of all the parcels that were coming in; we could not properly fumigate and dispose of them. And there was a third reason. There is always an element of danger in unpacking these goods, because the moment you begin to fuss with them you increase the opportunities that already exist, for the germs to scatter. At the beginning, we usually destroyed the straw in some of the

Health of Animals

incinerators, but it was inevitable, in the transportation of such goods, that the infection should spread; and for that reason we decided that we should have to stop receiving the goods at this end. If we did not do something of the kind the shipping companies would continue to accept delivery at the other end, and so the danger would persist. Apparently there is a hardship and I do not know how we shall overcome it, but at the same time we must protect our live stock interests. This matter was brought to my attention by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. King, Kootenay), and if it can be shown, even yet, that a preference should be given to supplies entering into a government contract, such as the dry dock at Vancouver, I am willing to consider the matter further. The trouble, however, is that if we give a preference to one, even though the goods in that case may be delivered by the Canadian merchant marine, it is difficult indeed to see how we can refuse others. Certainly, so long as we receive goods as we have been receiving them, the shipping companies will continue to accept delivery at the other end.

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I should like to ask one

other question. Could not some alternative scheme, say at a moderate cost of unpacking and destroying the material, be substituted for the arbitrary order for absolute return, which in many cases will entail very serious losses? Let me illustrate the point without labouring it. I have in mind a company that ordered goods-I am not referring to the dry dock at the moment-upon which they depended to complete a contract within a specified time. As it happens, these goods were not accompanied by the necessary certificate and consequently an order has been issued for their return, so that it may be two or three months before the contractors receive the necessary supplies. The result may be a penalty under the contract. If the minister could provide the alternative of segregating these goods and destroying the fodder, at the cost of the shipper, then at least in an extreme case such as I have mentioned the difficulty might to some extent be overcome. I ask the minister and his colleagues to earnestly consider this in the interests of trade.

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

We have been considering it very carefully, Mr. Speaker, but the element of danger is present. I am in receipt quite recently of a number of telegrams from the western provinces urging me to continue these restrictions and to take no chances of the disease being introduced. The telegrams include one from Premier Bracken

and another from the live stock interests of Alberta. I know it is a hardship to innocent shippers. In my opinion the right course is to prosecute those shipping companies that are landing embargoed goods on our shores.

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Including the Canadian

Government Merchant Marine?

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I do not see why

action should not be taken against them if they are landing goods on our shores that have been embargoed and prohibited. However, at the urgent request of my hon. friend (Mr. Stevens) I will look into the matter further, and if there is any way of doing anything without risk to our live stock industry, and without opening the door to everybody else wanting the same treatment, I shall be delighted to act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   HEALTH OF ANIMALS REGULATIONS
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NATURALIZATION LAWS AMENDMENT


On the Orders of the Day:


PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

Ten days ago, Mr. Speaker, I drew the attention of the government to the debate in the British House of Commons on February 18 with reference to proposed changes in the naturalization laws to prevent a woman of British nationality married to an alien from losing her British citizenship. It was stated that the British government were communicating with the dominions in regard to the matter. I asked then whether this government had received any such communication. I repeat the question to-day to the Prime Minister.

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   NATURALIZATION LAWS AMENDMENT
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LIB

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

Liberal

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

I have some information, but I will have to give it to my hon. friend tomorrow, not having it with me at the moment.

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   NATURALIZATION LAWS AMENDMENT
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CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

William Anderson Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. A. BLACK (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, I noticed in the press recently a report to the effect that an offer had been made for the purchase of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine as a whole. Would the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) inform the House what reply has been made to t'he offer, and what the intention of the government is in regard thereto?

Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals): The attitude of the government, Mr. Speaker, has always been that it was prepared to sell any portion of the merchant marine that was not, in its opinion, necessary for the development of

Privilege

Mr. Fournier

our trade. Several offers have been made at different times for portions of the fleet. Up to date the government has not considered any of them.

TARIFF RETALIATION On the Orders of the Day:

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to read a news item from Saturday's Montreal Gazette, and base a question to the government upon it. It refers to a statement alleged to have been made by the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) to the Canadian Council of Agriculture. I notice the minister is not present, but I am pretty sure the Prime Minister can answer my question; or if he cannot I know the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) would try. This is the despatch:

Ottawa, March 6.-"If the Americans put up a prohibitive tariff against our agricultural products why shouldn't we put up a tariff against some of their products?" Hon. J. A. Robb, Acting Minister of Finance, asked a delegation from the Canadian Council of Agriculture, which waited on the government this morning.

" The government needs to have some club to handle these fellows," he continued.

May I ask if the Acting Minister of Finance used this language, or language to the same effect?-and is it to be taken as an indication of what we are to expect in the budget? Or is it only indicative of a lucid interval?

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE
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LIB

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

Liberal

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

I should like to answer my right hon. friend, but I think he will have to wait until the minister returns.

THE RECENT EARTHQUAKE On the Orders of the Day:

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON ORDERS OF THE DAY UNANSWERED
Subtopic:   CANADIAN GOVERNMENT MERCHANT MARINE
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March 9, 1925