March 18, 1926

IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Possibly.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

Then it

would be up to the dealer in British Columbia to mark those eggs before selling them?

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Or else he would have to

stipulate with the man from whom he was buying the eggs to mark them. But that phase need not worry the hon. gentleman, because that is an inexpensive operation.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Suppose the eggs come in unmarked, and they are exposed for sale, who is to tell that they are not local eggs?

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

If the person offering them for sale fails to mark them he becomes subject to a fine.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

How do you find it out?

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The eggs are checked at the port of entry. There is no trouble about that. Perhaps my hon. friend thought it was going to increase the cost to the consumer, but this cost would be negligible.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

No. I appreciated the difficulty which I think occurred to the mind of the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Forke).

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I will deal with that again later. Discussing for the moment the cost of marking these eggs, this association says that to mark eggs arriving in this country in accordance with the act would not cost more than one cent a dozen. So the cost to the

Marking oj Eggs

consumer would be negligible. The association adds:

Since the act went into force in British Columbia, eggs imported from Washington are seldom sold in British Columbia, being generally bought for re-shipment elsewhere.

They do not appear to have found any trouble in British Columbia. There is a penalty provided in the act for anyone who exposes eggs for sale that are not so marked:

Anyone who violates any of the provisions of this act is liable to a fine not exceeding $100.

This is something practical; it, has been in existence in British Columbia for three years and has been a pronounced success. There are no complaints from the consumer. The legislation has not raised the cost of eggs to him, but it has raised their quality, and he likes it. He buys more eggs now, the consumption in British Columbia having gone up considerably. It does not hurt the dealer, for he passes on the cost-and it is trifling. But it helps the producer because it tends to keep out foreign eggs. My hon. friends opposite, who are such enthusiastic exponents of protection, will kindly take notice that this is a form of protection without increasing the cost to the consumer of the commodity protected. and yet it is claimed that such legislation will materially benefit the producer for it gives his eggs a preference over the American. Their surplus is largely shipped over here, and our producers have to meet that competition.

If any further explanation is desired I shall be happy to furnish it when I close the debate. This is fundamental: The policy has been a success in British Columbia; it is not going to cost anybody anything; and it will help the struggling poultry interest not only in that province but here as well.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

Have there been any convictions in British Columbia for infractions of the law?

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I do not know, but they say it has been successfully enforced.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, so far as the Eggs Marks Act of British Columbia may come under federal jurisdiction, I think there is no objection to the resolution. For the last eight or ten years every egg-exporting country has been making commendable efforts to improve the quality of its product. In Canada the first effort I recall was during the war-I think part of the time under the old Canada Food Board-with good results; but that applied only I think to export eggs. This resolution is restricted to imported eggs, and the main purpose is that of identifying the country of

origin, so that the source of all imported eggs will be known, this information appearing on the egg itself, on the container, and on a placard to be displayed where the eggs are retailed. Having regard, however, to the fact that some of the regulations we introduced three years ago are not yet sufficiently known to warrant any change-it is generally accepted that any regulation should be in force for two or three years at least to give it a fair trial- it is not the intention of the government to make any changes in those regulations until another year has elapsed.

With that understanding, and with the further understanding that we would not incorporate any provincial law inconsistent with federal jurisdiction, there can be no objection to this resolution going through.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear the minister say there is no objection to the resolution passing, but I should like to call the attention of the House to the resolution itself :

That, in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that the Eggs Marks Act of British Columbia should be made applicable to the Dominion of Canada as a whole.

Now, I have a copy of the British Columbia act respecting the marking of eggs, passed by the legislature of that province on December 21, 1923, and I find it applies practically solely to eggs imported from China. I do not think it applies to eggs imported from the United States, Australia or New Zealand.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Will the hon. member allow me to direct his attention to section 3 of the act? It is quite plain that this meets his objection. I have already read it.

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

Section 5 of the act pays particular attention to eggs imported from China.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I am talking about section 3.

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

Section 5, subsection 1, providles:

Every person (being the proprietor of any manufactory, bakery, confectionery, hotel, restaurant, cafe, tea room, or any place or shop where any Chinese eggs are exposed or offered for sale, or used in the preparation of any goods, wares or merchandise, or used in the preparation of any food exposed or offered for sale or served for meals, shall place a legible sign in some conspicuous place where all persons entering his place of business can readily see the same, upon which is marked in letters not less ,than four niches high the words, "Chinese eggs used here" or, "Chinese eggs sold here", as the case may be.

Now, there is no reference there to the importation of egg's from the United States or from Hong Kong. A great many more

Marking oj Eggs

eggs arrive here from Hong Kong than from China, and I do not know that there is any great difference between the eggs coming from those two sources.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Will the hon. member allow me to explain? I do not think he caught my remarks. If he looks at section 3 of the act which he has in his hand he will find that the importation of eggs from any place outside Canada is fully covered. Section 5 deals only with Chinese eggs.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

I

was directing attention to something that my hon. friend neglected to point out to the House when he was dealing with the resolution, that is, the particular pains taken to make it appear that eggs from China are being used in the restaurants of this country, and that no such pains are taken with respect to eggs from Hong Kong. Now, a great many more eggs arrive from Hong Kong than from China. I fail to see why a distinction should be made between eggs from those two sources. I might refer to subsection of section 5 of the British Columbia act. Apparently in British Columbia there is a very strong feeling against anything imported from China. If my hon. friend is so anxious to nrevent unfair competition from other countries, I think he should be equally eager to see that the poultry raisers of British Columbia are protected from that great country to the south just as much as from Hong Kong, China, and any other country.

I have here figures of the importation of eggs from the United States, and they show that during the three weeks of February some 820,000 dozen eggs were imported into Canada from the United States. The British Columbia Act provides against the importation of eggs only from China; why single out China? Section 5 of the British Columbia Act mentions nothing except the importation of eggs from China. It is true, as my hon. friend has pointed out, that under section 3 of that act the eggs have to be marked. In restaurants where eggs are used in the making of pastries and other things of that kind a card has to be exhibited showing that the eggs used are from China, if that is where they are from. Why not exercise equal vigilance with regard to eggs from the United States or any other country? If our eggs in Canada are so superior-and in the view of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) they must be, because he has passed regulation after regulation until the people engaged in the raising of poultry in this country are completely paralysed; I venture to say there is not one man in fifty, no, not one

[Mr. D. Sutherland.!

in a hundred or nine hundred of those engaged in poultry raising who understands the regulations of the Department of Agriculture to-day-if, I say, our eggs are so superior, why not take the same precautions against the eggs from other countries that you take against the eggs imported from China?

And now to make the situation still more complicated the hon. member asks to have the act of British Columbia made applicable to the eggs which are imported into this country. If he would exercise the same precautions with regard to eggs from all countries as he does with regard to eggs from China, I would be heartily in accord with him. I think it is absolutely necessary that we should know where the eggs come from. The Minister of Agriculture this afternoon, when the hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) called his attention to the importations of dairy products into this country, could not answer at the moment, but wanted time to consider and find out whether the products of other countries were being sold in this country as Canadian products. I think the minister must be aware of the facts in view of the representations which have been made to his department. I think he must also be aware that grave complaints have been made with regard to the importation of eggs. I do not see why China should be singled out and the eggs from other countries, the United States, Australia and the rest of the world, be allowed to escape.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Section 3 of the ac: makes it quite plain.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

It is section 5 that I refer to. Section 3 is not applicable in this respect at all. Section 5 is the one that makes it necessary to put up cards in the restaurants if the eggs used there come from China.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Adding-ton):

Mr. Speaker, I have only a word to

say. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) said he thought the principal feature of this resolution was that it compelled those handling eggs from foreign countries to have them marked with the country of origin. I do not think that is the main feature of it at all. The main feature of this resolution, it strikes me, and as the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) very frankly admitted towards the close of his remarks, is its protective feature. It is an attempt on the part of a so-called free trader to practise protection and get around his free trade scruples. I assume, and I think I have a right to assume, that if the province of British

Marking o] Eggs

Columbia could have passed an act requiring China, the United States, Australia or any other country to mark the eggs they were sending into British Columbia with the country of origin, the province of British Columbia would have taken that means of protecting itself, but it was not within the jurisdiction of the province to pass such an act. It is within the jurisdiction of this House to pass such an act, and I can only conclude from the remarks of the Minister of Agriculture in accepting this resolution that it is the intention of the government, if the House approves this resolution, to pass a federal act which will compel the United States, New Zealand, Australia, China and all other countries sending eggs to Canada to stamp them before they will be allowed entry into this country.

Topic:   MARKING OF EGGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED APPLICATION TO DOMINION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT
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March 18, 1926