June 7, 1929

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

With all due respect to my hon, friend I submit that the complaints in regard to the board were not with respect to their headquarters but because they had not been travelling enough and had not seen enough of the farmers, and I am rather afraid some of the complaints were due to the quality of the wheat.

Canada Grain Act

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB-PRO

John Millar

Liberal Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Is it not a fact that in

1912, when the board was established at Fort William, scarcely any grain was going through the port of Vancouver, whereas now it is a very important port? Is that not a strong reason for a change?

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not think it is a reason for a change; I quite agree that a large amount of grain is going through Vancouver, but a very much larger amount is going through the ports of Fort William and Port Arthur. My hon. friend knows that even with the port of Vancouver in operation, Port Arthur and Fort William handle 85 per cent of all the grain.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB-PRO

John Millar

Liberal Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Fort William is at the extreme end of the western inspection division, whereas a great deal of the grain is now moving in a westerly direction.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That is quite true. Perhaps if we were merely establishing the board now it might be decided to have their headquarters at Regina; that would be about the centre of the three prairie provinces, but that is not the question. I am pointing out that- there should be something like fair dealing with a city after an agreement has been made; there should be fair dealing by a succeeding government under an agreement arrived at by a preceding government. Governments are continuous although the personnel changes, as we learned last evening in another province.

I am not going to take up any more of the time of the committee; apparently hon. members have made up their iminds, but in closing again I wish to point out that while the headquarters of the board is not being absolutely changed it is being left to the discretion of the commissioners. According to the agreement between.the city of Fort William and the government in power at that time, provision was made in the act that the board should be at Fort William, and under that agreement the people of Fort William put up this building.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

William Frederic Kay

Liberal

Mr. KAY:

I just want to correct a statement made by the hon. member for Bow River with reference to the residence of Commissioner Boyd. My hon. friend said Commissioner Boyd lived in Montreal, but that is not correct ; his residence is in Fort William. I am sure my hon. friend does not wish to be unfair.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I intended to say that he spent most of his time in Montreal.

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CON
UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Because it was his business to watch the situation there with regard to grain.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Then if one commissioner must be situated in Montreal and others must be located as far west as Regina and Calgary, I submit again that Fort William is the most central point between the two and is the most logical place for the headquarters oi the board.

Mr. McQUARRlIE: I agree very largely with what has been said by the hon. member for Fort William, and I have noticed some remarks which were made about Vancouver. In my opinion I do not think any of the grain which goes over the Canadian National railway westerly should go as far as Vancouver at all; I think it should stop at New Westminster, and I would like to see this matter looked into by the board. There would be a saving of one cent per bushel on all grain shipped from the Fraser river instead of from Vancouver.

My reason for making that statement is that Fort Mann, on the south side of the Fraser river across from New Westminster, is the freight terminus of the Canadian National railway, which does not enter Vancouver on its own tracks at all; for the last fifteen miles all shipments must go over the tracks of the Great Northern railway which, by the way, i.s an American concern. That means that grain coming over the Canadian National railway to Vancouver from Port Mann must pay first a toll on the bridge; then the cars must be switched to the Great Northern tracks, which involves a switching charge; then there is a toll to the Great Northern railway and in addition, when these cars get to Vancouver they must be switched to the Canadian Pacific tracks in order to reach the elevators. All these operations cost money, which works out to about one cent per bushe; on all grain, so there is that amount of money to be saved by shipping from New Westminster instead of Vancouver. The big ships can come right to the docks at New Westminster, and there are miles and miles of desirable sites for the location of elevators along the Fraser river. As a matter of fact, with the assistance of the government one elevator has been built near New Westminster, and I hope this new grain board, when it starts to function, will look into this situation and see that something is done to recognize the advantages of the port of New Westminster.

Canada Grain Act

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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CON
LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That being so, would not it be the proper thing to leave it as it is, without change-I submit that to the minister and to the house-and then the gentlemen and interests affected will have an opportunity to study the situation and be able to deal with it when this house is in committee on the act which will be introduced next year. I think this is a matter which transcends any political view, and when we approach it we should keep in mind that old maxim of the infallible justice of the crown. In view of these circumstances, I think the minister might leave that section just as it stands, having given to the house and to those interested a clear intimation of what may happen when the matter is further considered.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I did not know that my

leader was going to make the suggestions he has, in fact, I did not know that he was going to take part in the discussion at all. I appreciate what he has said, and I appreciate *particularly his final suggestions. I think it is an eminently fair suggestion to allow the matter to remain in abeyance for this year, try out the new system of commissioners and the operation of the act as amended, and then if it be found to be absolutely necessary for the good of the grain trade of Canada to do this thing the city of Fort William will have been given notice that it will have an opportunity to appear and state its ease.

The people of Fort William did not know, nor did I know until very recently that there was any likelihood of a change being made; it was understood that there was no likelihood of a suggestion being made in that regard at all. I think the leader of the opposition has made a fair suggestion. This is not a political matter; if it were a political matter it might be better for my purposes to have the office moved and then I could blame the government for doing that. I am not anxious for any political advantage, I only desire that the city of Fort William shall be properly treated. The people of that city have lost considerable money through this deal and they feel that they should not be mulcted of any more.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Malcolm (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MALCOLM:

I appreciate the remarks of the leader of the opposition as to there being at least a moral obligation upon the government towards certain capital interests

Canada Grain Act

which are involved, but I would say that the rent paid by the Board of Grain Commissioners to the owners of this office building in Fort William is not a large rental, being only $7,480 per year.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That does not include the rental for the other grain offices.

Mr. MAiLCOLM: No, that is the office

of the Board of Grain Commissioners. I submit that this is a question which the department or the government might recognize when it is faced with it. I realize that what the hon. leader of the opposition has said is true, that the government should not enter into a contract with private interests to erect a building for a certain purpose and then when the building has been completed and the capital invested to vacate the premises. It does seem to me, Mr. Chairman, that the Board of Grain Commissioners would be the best body to determine where their head office should be. I doubt very much if the Board of Grain Commissioners will see fit to move out of their existing offices for some time. It is not an easy matter to arrive at a decision as to what the best place will be and it is quite within the realm of possibility that the Board of Grain Commissioners will think that their records could be more conveniently kept at Fort William, although they might be spending a good portion of their time in the Calgary office, the Vancouver office or the Montreal office. The question of whether or not the records should be kept at Fort William will have to be decided by the board under this legislation.

I would submit to the hon. member for Fort William that until such time as the Board of Grain Commissioners recommend to the government that they do not require any of the space wdiich Sir George Foster contracted for, we should not be expected to give consideration to hypothetical hardships. When it does come to that point I can assure my hon. friend that I do not believe it will be possible to give up any of the space. The work is increasing all the time and 1 hardly think it is fair to assume that less space is going to be required for the work of the inspection staffs and supervision staffs in Fort William. While I recognize the argument of the hon. leader of the opposition I do not think it can be used until the tune actually comes when the Board of Grain Commissioners state that they do not require the space, and I hardly think that that will ever be the case.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB-PRO

John Millar

Liberal Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Mr. Chairman, I would like . to ask the hon. member for Fort William a

question in connection with this building at Fort William. The investment to which he referred was made in a building for the purpose of carrying on a sample market and although the headquarters of the board has been at Fort William for some time I understand that the stock has decreased in value to fifty cents on the dollar.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

It is paying five per cent

at the present time, and has been for the last three or four years.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB-PRO

John Millar

Liberal Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

I submit that poor business foresight has been shown on the part of the government as well as the citizens of Fort William. When this legislation was put into effect it was quite evident that the sample market would never amount to anything and without being offensive I would say that very poor business foresight was shown in making this investment. The result has been that money was lost in that way al-tfiough the head office has been located in Fort William. The money has been lost while the board's head office has been right there. How is the removal of the head office of the board going to bring this back or affect the matter in any way?

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

James Malcolm (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MALCOLM:

My secretary has just

sent me a memorandum covering the complete payments by the department for office rental in Fort William. The rentals are as follows:

Office Rentals at Fort William

Per month

Commissioners and secretaries' rooms $

The statisticians' rooms

The licensing and bonding rooms.. .. The weighing branch -. . * The inspection and registration

branches

General manager of elevators

275 75 161 59 83 00 249 34

823 55 141 67

Total $1,735 90

A total of $20,830.80 for the year.

Therefore I submit that with a supervision branch going into Fort William, it is very likely that the full amount of space will still be required and probably more.

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June 7, 1929