June 7, 1929

CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The hon. member for Qu'-Appelle has asked: Since the money was

unwisely invested anyway, what harm is there if you wipe it out altogether; in other words, if money is paying 5 per cent, why not wipe out the 5 per cent; it does not make much difference to the people. Perhaps it does not, but it makes the difference of 5 per cent. When I spoke of fifty cents on the dollar, the building had been paying nothing. Later it paid 2i per cent and recently it has been

Canada Grain Act

paying 5 per cent. It is not 'being used entirely for the Board of Grain Commissioners. It is a very large building and there are stores downstairs.

As regards the wisdom of doing this, the legislation was passed. As pointed out in this letter of Sir George Foster, it was intended to put it into shape as a sample market, and many people in the west still think there should have been sample markets. The farmers at that time asked for this. Is there any small city in the west that, if approached 'by even this Dominion government and asked to erect a building which they say they will use for offices, would refuse the same opportunity if they could raise the money? I doubt if any would, so that there was no lack of wisdom on the part of the people, except perhaps in believing that this government would carry out an agreement made by previous ones.

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LIB-PRO

John Millar

Liberal Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

Was the mistake not in

believing that a real sample market could be established by legislation?

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

If there was any mistake

it was not that of the people of Fort William.

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

I feel it my duty to protest on behalf of the people of Vancouver against the provision in the act depriving that city of the benefit of an assistant commissioner. The act specifically locates the commissioners so far as the head of the lakes, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are concerned. It is interesting to observe the argument of the minister with respect to not fixing the location of the commissioners themselves. Vancouver is becoming year after year a greater shipping point for grain. Last year about 100,000,000 bushels passed through the port and we have or will have shortly, a storage capacity for approximately 14,000,000 bushels. With the development of the Peace River district and the increasing flow of grain from Alberta, it seems most extraordinary that by statutory provision it should be made impossible to have an assistant commissioner at Vancouver, if circumstances warrant it later on. I rise vigorously to oppose that restriction on our great seaport being definitely fixed in the statute and to urge upon the committee as well as upon the minister the advisability of applying the same principle with respect to assistant commissioners as exists with respect to commissioners or definitely establish an assistant commissioner in Vancouver.

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CON

Donald James Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN:

With regard to this subject I find myself in complete accord with the stand taken by the hon. member for Fort

William. I do not intend to go over the arguments which he advanced this morning, except to say that the statement he has made in regard to the construction of the building and the representations made to the people of Fort William by the government of the day, is quite correct. The people of Fort William subscribed generously towards the construction of this building upon the distinct understanding that for all time the offices of the Board of Grain Commissioners would be established at that point. My suggestion is in line with that of the leader of the opposition, namely, that the matter should be allowed to stand until the board has had an opportunity of functioning for another year; then when the Canada Grain Act is fully and completely revised, the question can be considered whether it is advantageous to move the 'head office or not. There have been no complaints of a serious nature against the location of the board at Fort William. There have been complaints against the administration of the Canada Grain Act, but those complaints would have occurred whether the head office were at Fort William, Port Arthur, Regina or any other city in the' west.

New commissioners are about to be appointed and I suggest that that part of the act be administered as proposed for another year and that this section be allowed to stand. Personally I would prefer that the location of the offices be left, as the present legislation provides, in the discretion of the governor in council, rather than in the discretion of the board. That is the last vestige of control which parliament has over the location of the offices. If you leave it to the discretion of the board, they may place the offices anywhere they please. It would be far better to leave the question of location to parliament rather than to the board and for another year at least the act should be administered with the amendments now proposed and the question of location held pending the final revision.

Amendment negatived: Yeas, 21; Nays, 57.

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Section agreed to. Sections 7 and 8 agreed to. On section 9-Powers and duties of assistant commissioners, and appeals.


LIB-PRO

William John Ward

Liberal Progressive

Mr. WARD:

Subsection 3 provides that

there shall be an appeal to the board within fifteen days by any person dissatisfied with the decision of an assistant commissioner. Suppose there is a ruling by one of the commissioners against which I as a farmer wish to

Canada Grain Act

appeal. Is there any provision made in this bill for an appeal against the ruling or decision of one of the commissioners?

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LIB

James Malcolm (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MALCOLM:

Yes, an appeal to the

board is provided for.

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LIB-PRO
LIB

Section agreed to. Sections 10 to 26 inclusive agreed to. On section 27-Warehouse receipt.


PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I feel that the change

in subsection 1 is not really necessary. The complaints with respect to section 150 were that the old act was not enforced, and I can hardly agree that failure to enforce the act will be overcome by an amendment to the act. Suppose that this amended act is not enforced any better than the old one; surely we are not going to relieve the situation by a still further amendment. My submission is that the whole trouble was the failure to enforce the old section 150. I realize that some of the difficulties and some of the anomalies have been cleared up, but the fact still remains that no effort was made to enforce the old section, and that was the cause of the trouble we had last year.

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Section agreed to. Sections 28 to 30 inclusive agreed to. On section 31-Moose Jaw and Saskatoon made order points.


PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

I wish that we had had an

opportunity to read this bill beforehand. I notice that Moose Jaw and Saskatoon are to be made inspection and car order points. I opposed this two years ago in the house, and I have seen no reason for changing my mind. There has been no demand to include Saskatoon and Moose Jaw as order points. It will certainty mean extra expense and greater delay in the handling of the crop, and it will serve no useful purpose as far as the grower of the grain is concerned. I therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Kindersley:

That the words "Moose Jaw and Saskatoon" in lines 7 and 8, and the words "Moose Jaw or Saskatoon" in lines 11 and 12 of Section 31 be deleted.

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PRO

Archibald M. Carmichael

Progressive

Mr. CARMICHAEL:

This section was

dealt with in the committee and a vote was taken of the members of the committee then present, and there was an almost equally divided opinion in regard to this particular amendment. In the first place, it was not

dealt with by the sub-committee but was referred to the main committee for consideration. In the first vote taken, the figures were 12-12. Our chairman had the right I presume to give a casting vote, but being a very modest man he did not feel like doing so, and he called for a recorded vote, which resulted 11-13. That will show to the members of the house that there was an almost equally divided opinion in the committee in regard to this particular amendment.

At the present time the inspection of oars of grain at Saskatoon or Moose Jaw is optional. Any farmer may have his grain inspected at either of these points if he so desires. I would also point out to the committee that our Saskatchewan wheat pool, who handle more than 50 per cent of the wheat of our farmers, inspect all their grain going through these two points, so that making these two points compulsory inspection points will not affect the members of the Saskatchewan wheat pool to any extent whatever. On the other hand, making these two paints compulsory inspection points is going to add to the expense of handling the grain. The effect it will have will be to compel the grain companies to inspect all their grain that goes through these two points, and of course the farmers who grow the grain bear that expense. It will also add to the expense of our government inspection staff. I am not sure what that extra expenditure will be, but I got the impression in the committee that it will require an increase of approximately one-third of the present staff to handle the business if these two points are made compulsory inspection points. For these reasons I feel like supporting the amendment as proposed. Under this section the chief advantage will accrue to Saskatoon and Moose Jaw. Now, if by amending the act in this way advantage is to be gained by individual cities we are establishing a precedent, and if next session Regina, Brandon, Dauphin, or any other city sees fit to ask for a similar concession we will not be able to withstand the request. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I feel the amendment should commend itself to the committee and that the section should be rejected.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I wish to associate myself with the hon. members for Rosetown and Kindersley in opposition to this section. I believe it is unnecessary in the interests of the farmers. The principle on which it is based is in my opinion a vicious principle. It makes no difference to the farmers whether this section goes through or not, because at the present time any farmer can have his

Canada Grain Act

grain inspected at Moose Jaw or Saskatoon if he so desires. This section would result in the railway companies being forced to provide additional trackage and engage extra employees, and the department would have to enlarge its staff. This would increase the overhead expenses of both the department and the railway companies, without giving any corresponding benefit to the farmers so far as I can see. It is simply a concession to Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, and certainly, as the hon. member for Kindersley has said, if you establish a precedent in this case then undoubtedly many other cities will ask for a similar concession-a concession that means nothing to the handling of the grain trade as a whole, but will impose a penalty on the railway companies and on the department. It may perhaps be said that we are not concerned about the extra exipense entailed on the railway companies, but I submit that that is not so. At some future time we may be applying for reduced rates, or fighting a demand by the railway companies for higher rates, and on such an occasion you will find the railway companies advancing this extra expense as a reason why they should be allowed to increase their rates. For these reasons I intend to support the amendment.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

I notice, Mr. Chairman, that hon. members sitting in the extreme southeast corner of the house, particularly my hon. friends from Kindersley, Rosetown and Mackenzie, point out that under the existing conditions at Moose Jaw and Saskatoon the farmer has the privilege of having his grain inspected. They say the effect of this section will be to increase the cost of handling the grain. Well, we will concede that the inspection is voluntary. What would happen if all the farmers whose grain goes through those two points were to exercise that right and decide that it shall be inspected there? There is only one thing that this department could do-put in a staff to take care of the work. As long as that condition remains we must keep a staff there sufficient to look after inspection. As to increasing the cost, you are only relieving the situation at Winnipeg. As one of the representatives of the farmers west and north of Moose Jaw, while I recognize that they have the right of inspection, I feel that it should .'be made compulsory. As has been pointed out, every carload of grain belonging to the pool that goes through Moose Jaw is inspected there. I feel that in any case while the inspection remains voluntary the government, in order

to enable the farmers to exercise that right, must retain a staff sufficient to take care of the possibility of all the farmers exercising it.

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PRO

William Russell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER (Last Mountain):

Mr. Chairman, there is one point that has not yet been covered in my opinion, and it is one of the chief reasons why we should make haste slowly in making Moose Jaw and Saskatoon compulsory inspection points. The Hudson Bay railway is nearing completion, and as soon as it is open for traffic a great deal of our grain will go out that way. That of necessity will create a rerouting of the freight that is now making its way towards Fort William. When that occurs it will be time enough to consider where we are going to make inspection points other than those we have already set up. For that reason I shall support the amendment.

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

I have listened to the arguments of those who favour this amendment. The principal argument seems to be that no advantage would be gained by making Moose Jaw and Saskatoon compulsory inspection points. I take exception to this argument. Practically all the grain coming from that part of the country in which I live passes through Moose Jaw. If Moose Jaw were made a compulsory inspection point the grain would be inspected there and this would give the farmer time to complain if he finds he is not getting the proper grade for his grain. At present many carloads of grain pass through Moose Jaw to Winnipeg, are inspected there, and then are unloaded at Fort William. When the farmer gets word of the grade of bis car of grain he has no time to make a complaint. I had that experience last year. A carload of grain was graded at Winnipeg and unloaded at Fort William, and when I got the return and asked for reinspection, I was told the car had been unloaded and that nothing could be done. Another objection taken is that the proposal would cause delay. As a matter

of fact all train loads coming into Moose Jaw are broken up. Inspection would not cause any delay, for the cars remain there for some time. As has already been stated, the pool companies at present keep inspectors at Moose Jaw and do all the inspection of their grain there. I for one am in favour of inspection at Moose Jaw and am not at all concerned as to the expense the line elevators may be put to. I am not concerned about the line elevators, I am concerned in giving every advantage to the farmer. We are told about

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Canada Grain Act

the expense that this would put on the line elevators. Well, if they have to keep inspectors on the job that is their lookout; but it is vital that the farmer should get the advantage that I believe he will get by having compulsory inspection points at both Moose Jaw and Saskatoon.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

I fail to see the logic of the argument advanced by the hon. member for Willow Bunch. He states that if grain is inspected at Moose Jaw it will give the farmer time to call for reinspection in case the grade is not satisfactory. The farmer has that right to-day. If the farmer wants the grain inspected there he can have it inspected there. That is the reason we opposed the change. Every argument the hon. member brings forward applies at the present time. There is inspection at Moose Jaw and Saskatoon but by this section we propose to make it compulsory. Now the farmer can exercise that right to-day if he wants to. But compulsory inspection of grain there would mean additional expense to both railway companies and additional expense to the department as well, without any added advantage to any of the parties, and it is simply a concession to the cities of Moose Jaw and Saskatoon.

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June 7, 1929