June 23, 1925

LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I am quite aware of

that fact, but my protest now is that the result has not been sufficiently clear or unanimous to give some guide to this committee. We are having to-day a discussion which would be proper before a standing committee of the House but which certainly is out of place in this chamber. Is it right and reasonable that men who have no technical knowledge of these matters shoull be asked to spend their time at this stage of the session listening to a lengthy technical debate? If is not right, and it seems to me that the more paternalistic legislation we put on the statute books the more we shall be impelled or asked to enact.

Canada Grain Act

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lucien Cannon

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Does the hon. member contend that when a report of a committee is not unanimous the House should return it to the committee for further consideration?

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Not at all; but I think the hon. member will agree that this is not the proper forum for the discussion of a technical matter of this kind.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It is not technical.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The matter is of very great consequence, but it is not really technical although some of the terms used may be slightly so. I could get to the heart of it if I could question the hon. member for Saltcoats (Mr. Sales). There is one point I am not clear on in his argument. When the country elevator gives a man a certificate, a sample of the grain is taken out and preserved and the owner has control of it. It is not on that sample that the ultimate determination of the grade depends?

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

If they do not give as

good grain as the sample, has not the farmer the protection of that sample?

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO
PRO

Thomas Sales

Progressive

Mr. SALES:

If the man says he wants the grain to go to the terminal elevator at Fort William the country elevator is relieved of further liability for the grades and weights. That is the point.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is not my point.

We hear a lot of talk about the farmer having no control over the turning of the chute, and so on. Does it matter one whit whether he has or not, so long as he has the sample? He can compare the sample with anything that is taken out and if that shipment is not as good as the sample the sample governs, because that is his protection. If that is the case, how can he be beaten on nis grades by any connivance or dishonesty on the part of the elevator man? And if that is correct, you can say to the elevator man, "We hold you to this grade and this weight." As I understand the argument, it is this, that if the man has no control of the destiny of the grain he cannot be heard by the inspector at all; the inspector can tell him to get out the door. The argument of the hon. member for Saltcoats would be sound if the elevator man, once he gave the weight and the grade, were relieved of all responsibility. In that case the owner would have no right to in-

terfere any more. But if the elevator man is held to the weight and grade then the owner must have the right, just the same as any litigant, to pursue the matter further and press his guarantee. If that is not done you are only putting on the man an injustice which you cannot defend, with the practical result that you make all country elevators mere feeders for the pool.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

A farmer delivers a load of

grain to the elevator. A sample is drawn from that load and placed under lock and key. When the farmer concludes delivery of his grain the elevator states that it is of a certain grade. If the farmer is not satisfied with that ruling then the sample that has been drawn from each load may be sent to the chief inspector at Winnipeg who finally determines the grade.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I know that; I have

shipped thousands of bushels.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

The leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) calls attention to what is really the weak point in the bill. I felt when this matter was going through the committee that the amendment introduced in the committee to the original bill was a clumsy attempt to meet a situation which was very unsatisfactory to those operating elevators. It was a clumsy attempt that failed of its purpose. Why, for instance, should we relieve the country elevator from liability for grades and weights "except in so far as the 'subject to grade and dockage' certificate otherwise provides"? In that provision we simply declare that they shall be relieved and that they shall not be relieved, and we cannot under the law relieve them. I think it is a mistake to waste the time of the committee discussing the question of relieving the elevator operator from grades, because throughout the whole act the grade is distinctly guaranteed to the owner of the grain. It is guaranteed him in the special bins because he is permitted to take a sample. That sample is set aside for the farmer if he wishes to avail himself of his privilege; and we cannot protect the farmers who do not want to be protected. The farmers are absolutely protected in regard to special bin grain, so far as grade is concerned. We must consider grade and weight separately; they cannot be taken together. And, as I say, the farmer is absolutely protected as regards the grade in the special bins. So far as grain in storage subject to inspector's grading is concerned, he is also protected when he puts grain into the elevator; and if he avails himself of his privilege he has the same

Canada Grain Act

protection when he stores his grain in the elevator as the man who special bins his grain. As it is at present, and as the law has been operating, he has that guarantee; and that will hold under this clause "except in so far as the subject to grade and dockage ticket otherwise provides". That proviso simply wipes out anything that has been achieved in the few preceding sentences which provide that the elevator operator shall be relieved of grades, because you cannot give him that relief under any curcumstances in view of this additional clause. I say therefore that the introduction of this provision into the section was a clumsy attempt to meet a situation that was not acceptable to the elevator operators, and it has only tended to confuse the whole issue.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

Neil Haman McTaggart

Progressive

Mr. McTAGGART:

When the farmer accepts the storage ticket does not that close the transaction so far as the grading is concerned?

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO
PRO

Neil Haman McTaggart

Progressive

Mr. McTAGGART:

When the farmer

takes out the graded storage ticket that closes the transaction in regard to dockage on that grade.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

It would in that case, but I fancy that under these circumstances he would avail himself of the right he has to appeal to the inspector, and in that case he would have just as much protection as if he were special binning. The question of weight is an entirely different matter. When a man special bins grain the operator guarantees his weight on the ticket. The law does not require that the farmer shall get everything that has been put into the bin, neither more nor less. That would be fair on the face of it, but it would not be practicable; and so the law guarantees that the holder of the ticket shall receive exactly the weight described thereon. Therefore, in regard to the grain that is stored he is given certain tickets with certain weights and the elevator is bound to give him the quantity of grain so indicated.

Now the point comes up, and after all this is what is objected to, shall the owner of the grain be permitted to send it to any elevator that he designates. On the face of it that is an absolutely fair proposition, and one that I think the owner has a right to make. But along with that he must accept certain responsibilities. I do not see how it is possible to relieve the elevator operator from the obligation of furnishing the grade and the weight of the grain that he takes in. It is an 302

obligation that seems to me to be fundamental but at the same time I can see that the exercise of that right is going to create many complications that I am quite satisfied a great many who are urging it now do not foresee. The situation is simply this, that those running country elevators want to send their grain to the terminal that they are directly connected with. That is only natural. If that were urged openly we would get a clearer view of the situation, for after all the fact of the matter is that the objection to this clause is because those operating country elevators do not want the grain turned away from the terminals with which they are connected. That is the crux of the whole matter, and I think if it were definitely stated it would clarify the situation. We can readily understand them taking that position. They have decided on a certain line of doing business, and on the face of it it is fair. We are up against that situation. 'Shall we grant that right or not? I am prepared to accept the position taken by those advocating the pool interests, that the individual farmer should have the right to designate the point, if he chooses to exercise that right. But if farmers generally avail themselves of it I see what it is going to mean: the country elevator will not be able to operate on the profit of a cent and three-quarters, for that wii not run an elevator, and it will possibly mean that the men running country elevators will have to increase their charges to the maximum of two and a half cents thac is now permitted. If the exercise of this right is general, it is going to mean for a time very great confusion in the handling of grain, and I think that perhaps this particular point is not foreseen by many advocating the change.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

May it not also mean that the country elevator man will shut down his elevator and the community will have no elevator service?

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

It may possibly mean that. I admit it, Mr. Chairman, because I have had the privilege of being able to look at this matter from both sides. I am a farmer and have raised and shipped grain, and I know the farmer's side of the question. But, unfortunately for myself, I was charged as a director with the responsibility of running a farmers' elevator, and to my cost I know something about that particular side of the question; I do know that grain cannot be handled in a country elevator for a cent and three quarters a bushel, unless you have about two hundred thousand bushels of a turnover.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink

June 23, 1925