February 23, 1926

CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

Apparently. After the hon.

member for Queens made that statement I prepared a memorandum of the agricultural situation of my county. Essex county is the southern limit of Canada and together with parts of Lambton and Kent constitutes the northern limit of a prehistoric sea which once covered what is now known as the Mississippi valley, extending northwestward through Indiana and central and northwestern Ohio, and submerging the extremity of southern Ontario known now to Canadians as the "Garden of Canada." All the soils in this extensive region are roughly similar in physical properties. They are all composed of an alluvial deposit, ranging from light sand to heavy clay, but generally of a black silty loamy character and very highly productive. In Essex county there is a wide range of soil. Along the lake Erie shore it is generally of a sharp nature, ranging from sand to gravel. This formation extends northwestward to Ruthven as a narrow gravel ridge to Essex. In Mersea and Gosfield North, the light soil extends in irregular areas northward as far as Albuna and Blytheswood. The soil in this area of south Essex consists generally of yellow sand with only a small percentage of dark coloured sand. From the Canard river to Ojibway, along the Detroit river and extending backward a relatively short distance from the river, there is a very productive black sand area. Similarly in North Essex,

The Address-Mr. Gott

along lake St. Clair and extending from Tecumseh to the Kent boundary, there is a general area of sand deposits, irregular in outline and blending with clay, loam and muck in a confusing manner, which consists mainly of dark sand with yellow sand showing in some restricted areas. This is the one outstanding radish belt of the world, and Petite Cote radishes are known all over the continent of North America.

The remainder of the soil, apart from the marsh land reclaimed and otherwise in the Leamington, Canard and lake St. Clair regions, is mainly of a dark loam nature, blending in but few cases into a hard clay foundation. Thus every constituency in Essex county has one of these three types of soil-sand, clay and muck-and every successful project to increase values and improve conditions will benefit everyone. Because of the level land of Essex county, its southern location and the influence of surrounding bodies of water, a climatic condition, and hence, a range of crops, exists which is unparalleled in any other district in Canada. The presence of good roads, of numerous steam and electric railroads and of large consuming centres within a reasonable carrying distance makes this theoretical crop range a practical business opportunity.

With the single exception of Virginia type tobacco, the dark coloured sands of the county will produce exactly the same crops and as profitably, as the lighter coloured sands. The Virginia tobacco industry will therefore remain centred in the lake Erie sand areas, although to some degree there may be possibilities of some development in the lake St. Clair region, particularly in Tilbury North. Burley tobacco may be grown with excellent success on the black sands, gravels and lighter loams, where these soil formations exist, in every part of the county. All our sand soils, properly drained, can grow early tomatoes ten days earlier than the Niagara district and from two to three weeks earlier than the state of Michigan lying directly opposite. Hence Essex country, has this climatic monopoly which will always remain.

Cabbages, spinach, beets, outdoor lettuce, onions, carrots, early potatoes, sweet potatoes, in fact, all early outdoor vegetable crops, can be grown because of this climatic factor to greatest advantage in Essex county. Orchard and small fruits are not so important as they were. Tobacco and early vegetables have proven more profitable and have been gradually supplanting them. However, the sand and gravel soils in the county are excellently adapted for their production and we still have over 5,000 acres of orchards-apples, peaches,

plums, pears, cherries and apricots-and over

1,000 acres of small fruits. These are distributed throughout the country, but are concentrated mostly in the riding that I have the honour to represent, the most southerly section of our great Dominion, the progressive constituency of Essex South.

Much of the lighter soils in South Essex are already being intensively farmed, particularly adjacent to Leamington, Kingsville and Harrow. Virginia type tobacco and early tomatoes are the chief crops at present, but smaller areas of all early vegetables are produced. In West Essex, the most intensive cultivation anywhere in the county takes place, bordering the river from the Canard to La Salle. Several crops a year are taken from the soil. Both early and late vegetables are grown, and radishes are shipped in carload lots to the consuming centres. In North Essex very little of the sand land has been used for specialized production of high-producing, profitable vegetable crops for human consumption. No tobacco at all is being grown. All signs point to a development reasonably rapid in this district.

Despite the intensive development of land of this type, there is in Essex county a great deal of land adapted to these highly specialized crops not at present being put to so profitable a use. This is due partly to the fact that the occupiers of the land in certain localities have not developed this type of farming, and it is partly due to the fact that the very high American tariff tends to shut out these commodities from Detroit, the greatest natural market, while a low Canadian tariff on American produce invites unfair competition of southern grown products in our Canadian markets, and this fine industry is blighted materially by unfair and unreasonable competition from American producers. The very existence of the farmers of my constituency depends on a protective policy placing them on a basis of equality.

The organization of the unspecialized districts, to the end that they become specialized producing centres of the most profitable crops for which they are naturally adapted, is quite clearly called for, but in order to provide a continually expanding and profitable market, it is just as clear that tariff revisions must be made concurrently with, if not before, this development. Such a programme would greatly increase production, revenue and land values, and would permit of smaller farms and more inhabitants, thus reducing individual taxation and increasing business generally in all our county urban centres. It would also provide splendid business opportunities for those who held the at present cheap undevel-

The Address-Mr. Gott

oped land. The winter vegetable industry is entirely a matter of greenhouse production, but is carried on in practically every case in the sand and gravel areas already described. It is concentrated in the Leamington area and extends along the lake Erie front through Kingsville to Harrow. It has been established on a much smaller scale both in the La Salle and the Belle river districts. No section of Canada offers such natural advantages for this industry, and no district in Canada has so developed it on an extensive scale. Our mild and open winters, relatively short period of cold weather, and our ratio of sunshine, are unequalled. Already there are over 300.000 square feet of glass in Essex county, employing some 400 workers, and with a total capitalization of over $300,000. The chief crops grown are tomatoes, both for the Christmas and the Easter markets, cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, and flowers, both cut and potted. This business is decidedly one for the specialist, and in any ease should develop slowly enough to ensure stability. But the greatest hindrance to progress is the tariff situation, as referred to in connection with early summer vegetable crops. As the greenhouses must be heated with coal, upon which a tariff is paid, and as greenhouse operation is too expensive at best to compete against southern crops grown outside and by cheap negro and Mexican labour, the situation in regard to tariff regulations is more unfortunate than in the ease of early crops; and in both cases, the benefits arising from the importation of American produce are shared neither by the Southern grower nor by the Canadian consumer, but are secured by brokers, jobbers and distributors, many of them foreigners, while the situation at the same time, constitutes the great disability of the Canadian growers of these crops.

The principal crop now being grown on reclaimed marsh lands is late onions, both in the Leamington and Tilbury North districts. This crop also suffers seriously because of the tariff discrimination. Celery, which might be grown to perfection on this soil, is grown hardly at all, largely because of celery importations from Michigan. While there is an embargo on Ontario celery, together with cut flowers and several vegetables, entering United States ports because of the European corn borer, there is no such embargo on American celery entering Canada, despite the fact that ten American states, including Michigan, were excluded from showing corn at the Chicago International Grain and Hay Show in December, 1925, because of their infestation by the European com borer, exactly as was Ontario. Late potatoes have not been grown largely on our marsh land, but could be produced very

profitably if the American tariff had not been made prohibitory for this crop. The eventual development of these crops, together with the reclamation of thousands of acres still lying waste, depends to a considerable extent upon tariff readjustment. The application of laboursaving machinery and the establishment of suitable storage facilities are also important practical factors affecting the matter.

Loam and clay soils constitute at least three-quarters of the soils of the county, and consequently represent rather more than 300,009 acres. The county has the same climatic, geographic and topographic advantages over the remainder of Ontario that it has in the matter of sand and gravel soils. All cereal and grass crops that can be grown anywhere else in the temperate zone, such as wheat, oats, barley, alfalfa, and all the clovers, are produced very successfully. In addition, four great kinds of cash crops are produced which make Essex county distinct from the rest of the province, with the exception of Kent.

Corn has been the chief cereal crop, some

100.000 acres having been normally produced both for feed and as a cash crop. This crop has been recognized as the most valuable cereal produced in America. The yield per acre of concentrated feed is roughly about one ton more than in the case of any other cereal, while a secondary fodder crop is secured almost equal in feeding value to the corn grain yield. As a result, corn land is the highest in price, of any cereal producing land. The Mississippi valley is the great area of corn production, in the United States because of its water-land soil and its peculiar climate, and Essex County and four townships of Kent County constitute the only portion of the great North American corn belt located in Canada. The whole basis of agriculture, both as to field crop husbandry and animal husbandry in this vast area, has rested on the corn crop, and in consequence the whole scheme of farming is very different in many particulars from that developed in other crop regions.

Tobacco has been the second most important field crop of Essex County and is rapidly becoming of first importance. There are three types of tobacco-not varieties, for several varieties are included in each general type-which can be grown in Essex to perfection. Since each one thrives best on a different type of soil, tobacco can, therefore, be grown successfully on every kind of Essex soil with the single exception of our relatively small acreages of marsh and hard white clay. Even by soil treatment, the marsh land might produce a fair quality of tobacco. Hen^e our production of this highly valuable crop de-

The Address-Mr. Gott

pends on our markets and the skill of our growers, and not on soil limitations. Virginia type tobacco must above all, be of high quality. The proper colour and character of leaf can be secured only on a sand light both in color and in physical properties. Only in South Essex, and perhaps on a small scale in North Essex, can this crop be grown. While there is a good deal of undeveloped Virginia leaf land in South Essex, there is much land too heavy in character upon which this type is now being grown. Thus our total county production will not probably greatly increase, because as new land is developed, some of the heavier soils will be discarded for the production of this type. Burley type tobacco gives the best ratio of quality to quantity on heavy lands, gravel, black sands and very light loams. Much of it is also grown on soils too heavy to yield the best results. If the present acreage were distributed throughout South, North and West Essex on the soils most adapted to it, better results would be *obtained. Dark, or Green river type tobacco gives the best results on loam soils, ideal corn land being also ideal dark tobacco land. Hence, it can be grown with splendid success in all parts of the county.

Practically all the Virginia and Burley types are consumed by the Canadian markets. We produce in Ontario about all the Burley required, but not nearly enough Virginia, particularly of the higher grades. There is a tremendous market in Britain for the Virginia type, and a relatively small one for Burley. Our total production of Virginia type probably cannot be greatly increased in Essex, although by soil changes, the quantity of high grade tobacco can be greatly increased. Elgin and Norfolk can produce this type on their light sands, however, sufficient to .meet eventual market demands. Burley can be increased largely, both as to quantity and quality, in Essex and Kent, and perhaps in Lambton, as fast as an export market is developed. The British preferential tariff is at present causing this development.

The dark type tobaoco is in a class by itself. Three years ago, none of this was grown, while in 1924 over 3,000,000 pounds were produced. This type is produced entirely for the British market, the development of which was caused by the British preferential tariff, and this year was the most in demand of any type in the county. The British market absorbs 40,000,000 pounds annually. As it can be grown in all parts of the county on good corn land, it offers the greatest chance of development of all types. The great advantages in producing tobacco in Essex

county are our superior soil and climate for this crop, the fact that both home and foreign markets are already established, and the fact that the industry is already concentrated in this county. The chief disabilities are two. The first one is practical, and involves the great skill and considerable investment required to make a start in growing tobacco. The second one is again a matter of tariff discrimination. The American tariff is so high as to absolutely bar our tobacco from the States. Canada has no tariff on American tobacco, but the excise is 60 cents a pound on American tobaccos, whereas it is 20 cents on Canadian, thus in effect giving a 40 cent tariff on the American product. This is of course ridiculous, compared to the American schedule. Moreover, it is impossible to discover just what we do import from the United States. There are some varieties which must be imported, because we cannot grow them, and a low tariff on these kinds is perhaps justifiable. But with proper encouragement we can grow all the Burley and Virginia leaf in Ontario and all the cigar tobaccos in Quebec that our home markets can absorb. And we must take adequate precautions that no dark type or other kinds are shipped in from the States to be reshipped to Europe, thus weakening our growers' export market.

Hence, the total quantity of tobacco imported into Canada is really of less importance than the kind imported. But our Customs department has never tabulated varieties. To-day, no one knows or can find out, except the inspectors involved, what kinds of tobacco or in what quantities Canada imports. Not even the Federal Tobacco division has been able to get this information. It is absolutely essential that the Customs department be instructed to do this. The only way to prevent abuse is to have a direct tariff on tobacco graded according to whether we grow that kind of tobacco, to be paid when the imports are cleared. And there must also be compiled with this an analysis of our imports. The schedule of tariffs must depend to quite an extent upon such an analysis.

The third class of important cash crops grown in this county is canning crops. They are grown largely on typical loam corn land. Essex county is, perhaps, superior to any part of Ontario in producing tomatoes. The Dominion Canners have six factories canning this crop alone. The Heinz and Clark people each have their Canadian branches in Essex county. The Quality Oanners have four factories in Essex. In addition, tomatoes, sweet corn, peas, pumpkins, string beans, cauliflowers and some minor crops are canned. There are

The Address-Mr. Gott

at least 5,000 acres of canning crops in this county. Some of these products are exported but the bulk are used in the home trade. This industry is profitable for the farmer- more so than corn growing-and it is established in each of the three Essex constituencies. Discriminatory freight rates are the chief obstacles at present to a very great development of this industry. This whole matter is now being dealt with by the Board of Railway Commissioners.

I wish to deal now with the development of animal husbandry. The most important department of animal husbandry in Essex has been the production of hogs. This is true of all corn belts and hog feeding in Essex was directly connected with corn growing. The feeding of beef animals was an important secondary interest. Hog feeding is now likely to decline, while beef feeding has been steadily declining since 1920. Dairy farming has made a steady advance during the last few years. Skilful dairy farming is not so dependent upon the corn crop, is economically more advantageous than any other kind of live stock farming on high priced land, and will probably increase as the other branches of live stock husbandry wane. Poultry raising has especial advantages in Essex county and is steadily advancing in importance.

No county in Ontario has made more rapid development than Essex, thus proving that these natural advantages are being practically developed, as the following figures will show:

Relative Standing in Ontario re other

Essex county counties

Acres of assessed land 419,271, rank 28th

Per cent land cleared 88.39. rank 3rd

Assessed total value of land.. .. $38,934,857, rank 3rd Assessed value of bare land per acre 92.86, rank 1st

Now, Mr. Speaker, under date of February 15, 1926, I received a letter from Granby, Quebec which reads:

Mr. E. J. Gott,

Room 581, House of Parliament.

Dear Sir,-The delegation of cigar manufacturers who waited upon Messrs Robb and Boivin, February 3, 1926, asked for the following changes.

Present rates Proposed rates

Raw Leaf unstemmed .. 40c. per lb. 30c. per lb.Raw Leaf stemmed .. 60c. per lb. 45c. per lb.Cigars under $40 per M. $ 3 50 $ 1 75Cigars under $110 per M. 6 00 3 00Cigars under $150 per M. 10 00 6 00Cigars under $200 per M. 13 00 10 00Cigars over $200 .. .. 16 00 12 00Surcharges on packages less than 10 1 00 Nil.

Their pretensions are that this will reduce the cost of the cigars to the retailer, will improve the quality to the consumer, thus induce greater consumption, consequently more revenue. Back of all this means a

greater importation of foreign leaf. In my opinion it would be more to their credit if they devoted their talents to the improvement of the native leaf. My proposition is that the customs duty on foreign leaf be raised to 50 cents for unstemmed and 70 cents for stemmed.

That the excise duty on all cigars be $1 flat, no surtax.

That the excise on manufactured tobaccos be reduced to 10 cents now 20 cents.

That an excise duty of 10 cents be imposed on all domestic leaf consumed in a raw state, or, the duty be at least equal to the excise duty on manufactured, because leaf now consumed in a raw state brings no bread to labor or revenue to the government.

That domestic leaf be admitted free into all licensed factories. For twenty years I have been working for Canadian tobaccos. I was the only individual in the British Empire who exhibited at Wembley native tobaccos and cigars made therefrom, all other exhibits being by governments. I have predicted, that within ten years Canada will be exporting fifty million pounds, to the United Kingdom, because of the increased preference. To attain this we must produce more Flue cured in Elgin, Norfolk, Essex and Kent Counties, where the soil is right- and the climate and season propitious.

We must hurry the coming five years. I am sending similar letters to M.P.s for Norfolk. Kent, Prince Edward. Northumberland, Wellington, North and South and Mr. G. Stirling of Okanagan, urging upon all of them to study this matter in the interests of their constituents and of Canada.

Please get them together and talk it over.

Yours truly,

J. Bruce Payne.

Under date of February 17, I wrote Mr. Payne as follows:

Ottawa, February 17, 1926.

Mr. J. Bruce Bayne,

Cigar Manufacturer,

Granby, Quebec.

Dear Sir :

I have your favour of 15th instant re delegation of cigar manufacturers who waited upon the Honourable Messrs. Robb and Boivin on February 3, asking for change in tariff on cigars and raw leaf, stemmed and unstemmed tobacco.

The position you have outlined to me contains views far from those held by myself personally and assuredly by my constituents.

Coming as I do from the leading tobacco producing constituency in Canada it is only natural to expect that I desire all possible encouragement for the industry.

We are endeavouring at the present time to encourage the growth of different grades of tobacco in Canada, the kind which these people in my estimation require most.

If the duties or excise is cut it will be in contravention to the desires and interests of my constituents in whose behalf I propose a change in tariff and excise on all grades.

I am grateful to you for your letter and in return solicit your determination and co-operation in the interests of the tobacco growers of the Dominion of Canada.

Yours very truly.

The tobacco situation directly affects a larger number of people than the vegetable business and is bound to grow increasingly important. There are two distinct phases of

Chicago Drainage Canal

the industry in a business sense, one, the domestic market, and two, the export market. For the domestic market, there are two types grown, principally the Burley type and the Virginia type. Canada now produces just about enough Burley for domestic purposes, but not nearly enough Virginia for domestic purposes. For the export market some Burley is required, much fine Virginia and some 40,000,000 pounds annually of the Green river black type.

Due to the increased British preference, Canadian tobacco or tobacco shipped from Canada as Canadian tobacco has a great advantage over American tobacco. By an adequate system of tariffs, Canada can supply all her tobacco for the domestic trade except a few grades, and can become a successful rival of the United States for the British export trade. But Canada is seriously handicapped because of a tariff not properly balanced with that of the United States. In the first place, the American tariff on stripped and stemmed leaf-the commercial grade-is $2.75 per pound, while the Canadian tariff on a similar grade is 60 cents per pound. To make matters worse, Canadian manufacturers can import this tobacco into their warehouses in bond without paying any duty at all until it is manufactured. Moreover, it can apparently lie in this warehouse as unmanufactured tobacco for a long time. In this way it is possible for Canadian manufacturers to lay in a stock of similar grades of American tobacco, which because of the British preference should be cheaper in the field than Canadian tobacco, and hold it as a club to depress the prices of the Canadian product both for the home and the foreign trade. In this way the great advantage of the British preference can be annulled so far as the grower is concerned, and in fact has been so annulled, as the growers' price has not shown the increase justified by the preferential tariff. And this is in face of the fact that already two companies which formerly operated in Kentucky have removed their buying activities from that state to the county of Essex. In short, the only way for the grower to reap the full benefit of the British preference is to have all tobacco imported from the United States subject to a tariff equal to that of the United States.

It is absolutely essential at the present time that every possible encouragement be given the Essex county growers. It is apparent that in order to control the European com borer, crop substitutes for some 60,000 acres of high-priced land hitherto devoted

to the production of corn, must be found. Unless these substitutes are as profitable as corn, farm revenues will be lowered and a very serious depreciation of land values will occur. Vegetables and tobacco are two of the most profitable and logical substitutes affected. The matter, therefore, is one of vital interest; it is, in fact, the most vital question facing agriculture in Essex to-day. Thus Essex county, while relatively a small county and coming but twenty-eighth in point of assessed acres of land, is first in value of land per acre, third in assessed value of total acreage, third in percentage of land cleared, ninth in value of both buildings and implements, fourteenth in value of live stock, and fifth in total assessed values of these various items. Essex county has another wonderful asset in density of population. There are nearly seven thousand occupiers of land and Essex is one of the few counties in which the agricultural population has increased in the last decennial period. Mr. Speaker, I beg to move the adjournment of the debate

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Has my hon. friend any

further extended remarks to make? I will not object to his moving the adjournment of the debate if he so wishes.

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

Does the hon. member desire that I proceed?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Not if he has further extended remarks to make.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.

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ADJOURNMENT- WEDNESDAY SITTING

LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

If the House agrees unanimously, I beg to move:

That when this House adjourns this day it stand adjourned until to-morrow at three o'clock in the afternoon.

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Motion agreed to. On motion of Mr. Lapointe the House adjourned at 10.55 p.m. Wednesday, February 24, 1926


February 23, 1926