May 28, 1931

LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

Hon. members opposite

have practically no respect for the rules of the house. Blocking is their theme and that is all they know. They have blocked everything this session; God knows they are wasting the money of the country.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

I suggest that the word "blocked" is unparliamentary.

Supply-Agriculture-Dairying

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LIB
LIB
LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

Why is it that to-day in western Canada two pounds of butter are required to buy one pound of axle grease?

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LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

Oh, my hon. friend has

been spending most of his time in the west sitting around the school house studying economics. I would ask him to figure it out for himself; he has as much time as I have.

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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

In connection with the imports of cheese to which the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) referred, I may say that the figures from 1925 to 1930 show the following:

Year Pounds exported

1925 4,544,485

1926 6,678,757

1927 1,340,000

1928 1,669,000

1929 1,936,196

1930 2,063,898

That is, it is up about 100,000 pounds, and we have no record to show whether it is at the beginning or the end of the year. I think it is only fair to say that the misunderstanding with respect to the respective figures for butter quoted by the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McMillan) and myself is accounted for in this way: I was quoting figures from the dairy and cold storage branch, giving the average price of Australian butter sold in London; the hon. member for South Huron was quoting the price of Danish butter in the London market, where we know it sells at a premium.

Another point has been brought up that I feel I should deal with briefly; it has reference to the officials of the Department of Agriculture. I think my best defence of them was that I did not think it worth while the other night to get up and say anything. I do feel this, however, that the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Motherwell), who has spoken so highly of the officials-and I feel they will very much appreciate his kind words- omitted to mention the strongest point in their favour, that they are highly trained technical men. I think they would appreciate his praise very much more had he used his influence when he was minister to see that these officials-who take second place to none in this or any other country with respect to their technical qualifications and efficiency- were paid at the same rate as the officials of other departments of a similar classification. He failed to do so. I think it would have been more acceptable to them if efforts

had been made by my hon. friend to see that their remuneration was commensurate with the work that they carry on, and especially that it should be on such a scale as to bear comparison with the salaries paid officials in other departments without the same training or the same experience.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

If my hon. friend does not know, his deputy will tell him that the Beatty commission awarded all the technical men a very substantial increase.

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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

Just in the last

two years that has been under consideration,

I believe.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Yes. Since my

hon. friend is quite in agreement with me as to the quality of the officials, I hope he will start where I left off in trying to get them the increased salaries that they were entitled to long ago. When doing so will he recall the fact that, during all the years I was here, in conjunction with the Minister of Public Works, I never ceased fighting for a home for the Department of Agriculture, and now for the first time since confederation they have a home. All my hon. friend had to do was to walk in and occupy it. I congratulate him now that as head of the department he will be in a position to get a very much' higher percentage of efficiency out of the staff than was possible when they were scattered all over the city in twenty buildings, as I found them when I became minister.

Will my hon. Mend be good enough to say whether the member for South Hastings (Mr. Tummon) is correct? He has repudiated Doctor Ruddick's figures in regard to the 14 billion pounds, but he has given us only his own statement in justification for his repudiation.

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CON
LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I want to ask the minister for the fourth time-twice last week and twice to-day-is he going to repudiate those figures as the member for Hastings has done, or is he going to confirm them? If he is going to repudiate them, what Is he going to substitute for them? Will he please tell us so the committee will know something of what is being done? If I have to ask the question twenty-four times I am going to do so, because that is the whole crux of the thing, that is the only yardstick-total milk production-by which you can measure the decline or improvement in the dairy industry

Supply-A griculture-Dairying

in any country. Now, will not the minister be good enough to meet my wishes in this respect? If he has something wonderful that he is going to spring, why not spring it now and smash us all to pieces? I wish he would do that.

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CON
LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Sit down.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Mr. Chairman, why cannot I get an answer to my question?

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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

I did not understand that the hon. member for Hastings was doubting the veracity of the information given by Dr. Ruddick. I understood the difference was due to the different methods by which the respective results were arrived at.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

In the aggregate what do they amount to? Is there any substantial difference?

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CON

William Ernest Tummon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TUMMON:

The hon. ex-Minister of Agriculture seems to think that I did not substantiate my figures. I hold in my hand the monthly bulletin of agricultural statistics for the Dominion of Canada as issued by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, and this is the source of my information. Let me say to the hon. gentleman, if he is not aware of it, that the dairy and cold storage branch depend on the bureau of statistics for figures of the total production of milk in Canada. I repeat, the figure based on the records of the total production of milk changed in 1929, and if he will go back over the reports he will find that to be the case. I am not blaming him or the department of which he was the head-not at all.

Now, the hon. member for Lisgar mentioned the production of cheese during the past few years. I may say to him that what has been happening recently happened ito a much greater extent under the previous government. I will quote again from this very bulletin. The total number of pounds of cheese produced exclusively in Canada in 1926, for example, was in round figures 172,000,000 pounds; in 1927, 138,000,000-or a reduction of 34,000,000. The production of cheese in Canada has been decreasing practically every year since. It is not, as he said, that the cheese factories are turning to the making of butter-

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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

Will the hon gentleman give the figures for 1928, 1929 and 1.930?

[Mr. Motherwell.!

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May 28, 1931