dockage. However, I will not quarrel over the point. In any case, we will put it this way: They are allowed to make a certain
dockage. Invariably that dockage exceeds what is necessary to allow for the impurities in that shipment. In other words, it would be impossible to fix it exactly, so a small margin of safety is allowed; but mark you, in every instance the elevator gets the protection rather than the shipper of the grain.
Grading oj Grain-Mr. Stevens
I have just had placed in my hands some observations made in 1925. I refer to the Grain Growers' Grain Company, and according to Price, Waterhouse and Company's report in 1916-1917, their earnings were $446,000, made up from elevator operations, $238,000; screenings, $51,000; and overages, $157,000. I do not cite this for the purpose of reflecting on this company, because the pressure of business forced the grain growers, the Saskatchewan cooperative and I believe the pool, to do exactly what other elevators had been doing. In 1919 I argued in parliament against allowing the principle of overages at all, but I remember that Mr. Crerar and others from the west opposed that idea, so it was fixed by statute that one-half of one per cent would be the maximum allowance for overage.
cent; that was fixed by statute. We must remember that one-half of one per cent of the western crop is an enormous amount; it is a heavy toll to levy on the crop. It is my opinion that overages should not be allowed, and I believe the agriculture committee should take this phase of the question into consideration, because after all it lies right at the very root of the whole trouble; I believe that an elevator should 'be given fees for the services rendered and that the shipper should get the full return on his shipments. In the case of grain containing impurities, instead of making an arbitrary dockage of two per cent or three per cent, which is a heavy toll, in my opinion the grain should be cleaned before it is weighed and graded for distribution. By following these processes I believe very much could be done to lessen these difficulties.
I will look up the resolution which was presented to this house in order to have it clearly before us. The resolution says:
.... if a surplus in any grade of grain is found in excess of one-half of one per cent of the gross amount of the grain received in
the elevator during the crop year, such excess surplus shall be sold annually by the Board of Grain Commissioners
I understand that was amended in 1925 to one-quarter of one per cent.
The first point I wish to make in these observations is that in all the questions we have been discussing in connection with the handling of the grain crop and in every decision which has been made, the handler of the grain has received the benefit rather than the Shipper. That is the basis of our complaint, and I think the time has come when our primary objective should be to give to the shipper of the grain a maximum return for his goods; I will leave it at that.
I have before me the annual report of the Board of Grain Commissioners for Canada for the crop year 1927. I ask the minister if there is any explanation why we have not had the report for the year 1928 in our hands long before this. Nine months have passed since the end of the crop year, which was on August 31. 1928, but as yet we have not received that report. As a matter of fact, the section of the act is as follows:
The board shall, within thirty days after the close of each calendar year, make to the minister a report respecting,
(a) all such matters as appear to the board to be of public interest in connection with the inspection, weighing, storage and transportation of grain; and
(b) such matters as the minister may direct.
In the first place, I want to direct the attention of the minister to the fact that the statute calls for a report to be made by January 30, and it should be printed and in the hands of members of parliament immediately after the opening of parliament. In the second place I want to draw attention to the fact that the reports now do not contain a statement of the annual weigh-up, so far as I have been able to see, and the annual weigh-up is of immense importance. For instance, there should be shown very clearly what additional overages there are in each elevator for each year, and out of what grades those overages come. That may be in the report, but I confess that in looking through this report I have failed to find it. I direct the attention of the minister to that because if we have not that information we cannot properly gauge the merits of the act or the outcome of the administration of the act.
I am not going to detain the house longer; I want the minister to feel that I am quite certain there is no desire to impugn his personal capacity or his personal honour, nevertheless the fact remains that on his shoulders rests the responsibility for the administration of this act, and if the act is not being
Canada-Newjoundland Trade Agreement
administered satisfactorily parliament must look to him for the explanation. That is really the point we all desire to make very clearly. I agree with my leader that the Board of Grain Commissioners should not be judged without being heard; if they have not properly administered the act then they should be censured, but in the meantime we in parliament must hold the minister in all cases responsible for the proper administration of these acts.
That the petition of 1'Alliance Nationale, presented. this day, praying for an act to amend the charter of that society, together with the report of the clerk of petitions thereon, be referred to the select standing committee on standing orders for the purpose of considering the suspension of standing order 92 in relation thereto.
Topic: COMMITTEE ON STANDING ORDERS
Subtopic: REFERENCES TO CONSIDER SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER 92
That the petition of George King, presented this day, praying for an act to dissolve the marriage between the petitioner and Jessie Georgina King, together with the report of the clerk of petitions thereon, be referred to the select standing committee on standing orders, for the purpose of considering the suspension of standing order 92 in relation thereto.