May 28, 1931

CON

William Ernest Tummon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TUMMON:

I could if I had the bureau reports, but I am satisfied that what I have said is correot, because I have been in touch with these figures and watching the cheese production each year, it being an important industry in my constituency. The reduction in the production of cheese is not because the cheese factories have turned to the making of butter; it is because the dairy farmers will turn from cheese to butter if they can obtain a better price for their milk.

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CON

Charles-Philippe Beaubien

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

Is it not so that the farmers will turn from butter and cheese production to cereals when the price of cereals is higher, and that that accounts for the reduced production?

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CON

William Ernest Tummon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TUMMON:

Perhaps in my hon.

friend's district, but not in the district I come from.

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

They will also switch to ice cream and other dairy products.

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CON

William Ernest Tummon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TUMMON:

You would have a little difficulty in figuring that out. Then my hon. friend from Lisgar mentioned Mr. Elliott. I know Mr. Elliott very well; he is an exceedingly fine gentleman who has taken quite an interest in the cheese industry. But as one who has been connected with the dairy industry all his life, from the milking of cows to the making and marketing of cheese and butter, let me say that the best years we ever had in the cheese industry in Canada were the years when butter was on an export basis. I am speaking now only in regard to cheese. When butter is on an export basis in Canada, invariably the farmer will go to cheese because as a rule there is more money in it.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

I cannot understand the interest shown now by hon. gentlemen opposite in the dairy industry. I hold in my hand a pamphlet entitled From Gloom and Depression to Unparalleled Prosperity; Canada's Progress Under Liberal Administration. There is not one mention in that pamphlet of the dairy industry, although every other industry in this country is referred to. Why do hon. gentlemen opposite show so much interest now?

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CON

Charles-Philippe Beaubien

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

Is my hon. friend thinking of changing his politics?

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

I will answer my hon. friend in a moment. If, before July 28, hon. gentlemen opposite had devoted to the dairy industry as much energy as they are displaying this afternoon, they might have made a better impression.

Supply-Agriculture-Dairying

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CON

Charles-Philippe Beaubien

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

Perhaps in this book there was a leaf cut off, just like the Mafe-king cut-off.

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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

The Mafeking cut-off is not mentioned, either. Reference is made to everything else but the dairy industry, and on the bottom is the name of the right hon. leader of the opposition, then Prime Minister.

At six o'clock the committee took recess.

After Recess

The committee resumed at eight o'clock.

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Mr. Chairman, I desire to

correct a statement which I made this afternoon in regard to the cheese importations. Sometimes in examining figures of this kind one looks at them a little hastily-I think the Minister of Justice will remember a similar experience. The figures given by me were not correct, while those given by the Minister of Agriculture a little later were.

I desire also to refer to a remark made by the hon. member for South Hastings to the effect that when we are on an export basis for butter it means switching to cheese. I would remind the hon. gentleman that there are a lot of fish up that stream. An attempt to increase artificially the price of butter so as to bring it to an export basis means that we are brought to a position where we are dependent upon the export market and we then have to compete with New Zealand.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON (Lanark):

Mr. Chairman, before recess we were discussing an item including a grant of So .000 to the National Dairy Council. I think we have wandered far away from the item. The National Dairy Council is composed of representatives from the different provincial dairy associations. We have a dairy association in eastern Ontario, one in western Ontario, and there are similar associations in the other provinces. The National Dairy Council has rendered invaluable service to the dairying industry of Canada. For the last twenty-five years I have been the secretary of the dairymen's association of eastern Ontario, and for many years I represented eastern Ontario on the National Dairy Council. This council has appeared on many occasions before the railway board and has secured special rates for dairy products which have saved the farmers and dairymen of this country hundreds of thousands of dollars. They look after what we might call the dominion-wide interests of the dairy business, while the local provincial interests are looked after by the provincial associations. I submit that it is in the interests of the dairymen that this item be permitted to pass.

A remark was made this afternoon by the hon. member for Weyburn, to which I should like to draw attention. He asked why it took two pounds of butter to buy one pound of axle grease. The reason is the treaty with Australia and the agreement with New Zealand made by the government which he supported. They demoralized the daily industry of this Dominion and put it in the condition in which it now is. I was a member of a deputation which waited on the late Mr. Robb, the then Minister of Finance, to ask that this treaty be not put into effect and I stated on that occasion that if New Zealand were permitted to ship her dairy products to Canada, within ten years the dairy industry of this country would be demoralized. But I was but the voice of one crying in the wilderness. We received no sympathy, and we are suffering to-day from the effects of the treaties which were consummated by the late government. Not only did they demoralize the dairy industry of this country, but they have earned' for us the ill will of both New Zealand and Australia. Because of the splendid service rendered to the dairymen of Canada by the National Dairy Council, I submit that this item should pass.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman, I congratulate the hon. member for Lanark upon his very interesting speech, but he will pardon me if I do not share his views in that respect. We have heard a lot about the Australian treaty and the New Zealand convention, but those agreements were passed before the "shadow government" came into power. That government was in power for three months, but the agreements were not cancelled. The hon. member is on the right side of the house to make a complaint to the present Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is always ready to enter into trade relations with Australia and New Zealand. I should like to read an excerpt from the Montreal Gazette of to-day with reference to daily products. This is the latest report available. It reads as follows:

Dairy Markets Ruled Steady

No Changes In Montreal Prices Of Butter, Cheese Or Eggs

Storing Of Butter Now Starting as Receipts Exceed Requirements-April Imports Less

Wholesale prices of butter, cheese and eggs held steady at Montreal yesterday. Potatoes were a little easier. Poultry was unchanged.

Supply-Agriculture-Dairying

The butter market continued at 21 cents to 21f cents per pound for No. 1 pasteurized creamery butter, carlots or broken lots. To the retail trade, for small quantities, solids were 23 cents and prints 24 cents per pound. Receipts were on the heavy side, 5,420 boxes; week ago, 430; year ago 109.

Most of the butter now arriving on the Montreal market is full grass butter, and dealers are starting to store some of it. Arrivals are now greater than immediate requirements. Receipts last week just over

20,000 boxes, whereas the weekly requirements of the city run from 10,000 to 12,000 boxes. Montreal exported a little over 3,000 boxes last week, leaving a few thousand boxes available for storage, for use later in the year when production falls off.

This report confirms the statement made by the hon. member for Lisgar. It continues:

The cheese market was unchanged at 10| cents to 11 cents per pound for Ontario cheese, and 10 cents for Quebec cheese. Receipts, 2,395 boxes; week ago, 372; year ago, 843.

I want to put this on record in connection with the present discussion of the results in the dairy industry. Before I conclude, may I ask a question of the minister? He spoke about the rock bottom reached by butter last winter. What was the rock bottom reached by butter when the mutual agreement was released last December?

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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

Does the hon. gentleman mean what I considered the rock bottom last December when the agreement was made?

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I want to know When the minister considered the rock bottom reached, and if it was for that reason that the mutual agreement was released?

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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

The mutual agreement was not released. The butter was released.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

But the minister allowed the Australian butter to be released at less than 32 cents a pound.

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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

By mutual agreement we allowed the butter to be released.

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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

I think what the hon. member for Temiscouata wants to know is what the minister considered the rock bottom price -when the butter was released.

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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

I shall be glad to

get the exact information.

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May 28, 1931