May 29, 1931

CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

The policy has been in effect, about twenty-five years.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

How soon can the minister supply me with the information I desire with regard to the price at which Australian butter was released on the markets of Canada after the 21st of April? Can he furnish that information next week, because I want to know the price at which Australian butter was dumped on the Canadian market when the agreement was released or relaxed.

Mr. !\ EIR (Melfort): I will get the information as quickly as I can.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN (Huron):

When was the grant of 85,000 first made to the National Dairy Council?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

In 1923. It was

S3,000 first and was later increased to 85,000.

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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

What is the approximate amount for printing included in the 85,000, and what is it for?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

That was under the heading "headquarters-817,800." It includes printing, stationery and supplies for offices outside Ottawa, contingencies of various kinds, and the 85,000 grant to the dairy council.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

When the Australian butter was released on the Canadian markets, did the department take steps to ensure that any special marks or brands were attached to the butter to differentiate it from Canadian butter?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

We did not take any action different from that taken with respect to any other Australian butter brought into the country.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

The consumer did not know what grade of butter he was buying?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

Not as far as I knorv.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

In connection with the

grant of $5,000 to the daily council, it was stated from this side of the house this afternoon more than once that some of the money was being used for propaganda purposes.

I think those statements are very important, and will command a great deal of interest throughout the country. It would seem to me that before we vote this $5,000 to the dairy council for the furtherance of its work during the ensuing year, it should be definitely understood that none of this money is to be used in any part of Canada in the distribution of political propaganda. There seems to be an impression abroad throughout Canada-I know this to be the case in Saskatchewan and western Canada-that the dairy council carried on a political campaign in 1930. I am not saying whether or not that was so, but my point is that now it is up to the dairy council, if it is to work for the good of the dairy industry; if it is to get the cooperation it should get; if it is to carry on the organization work it should carry on and help build up this very important industry, definitely to clear its skirts with regard to thp statements made from this side of the house this afternoon. Either the dairy council has used some of this money for political purposes or it has not. If it has not done so it will be good news to the farmers and the dairy interests of Canada, generally speaking, and that question should be cleared up.

I should like to impress upon the minister the importance of taking up this question personally with the dairy council. I am under the impression that this council has an executive, on which are representatives of all the provinces of Canada. Am I correct?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

There are thirtythree members, from whom the executive is selected.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Cameron Ross McIntosh

Liberal

Mr. McINTOSH:

Then it is a typical national organization, and I should like to see the minister take up personally with the executive this question which has been raised, placing before the executive the debate which has taken place in parliament. I think the minister should impress upon the executive the significance of these remarks, and ask them to make the necessary explanation, not only to parliament but to the country as a whole, as to their position in this regard. I am sure if that question is cleared up, in future this vote will not have to undergo the gruelling fire it has been subjected to

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Supply-Agriculture-Dairying

during the last two or three days. While the charge is hanging over the National Dairy Council that they have been implicated in political work and linked up with one political party as opposed to the other political party in Canada, I believe the first duty of the minister is forthwith to place before that council this whole debate and ask them to make the necessary explanation to parliament and to the country.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Thomas McMillan

Liberal

Mr. McMILLAN (Huron):

Mr. Chairman, this is a very important question, but before dealing with it I should like to say a word in regard to a question of very serious moment to the dairy industry of the province of Ontario and of the dominion as a whole. I refer to the question raised by the hon. member for South Perth as to the mergers being formed in connection with this industry. Let me read an associated press report, as follows:

Huge Milk Merger Involving Millions Finally Completed Tillsonburg, January 23, 1930.

The amalgamation of several of the world's largest milk products firms was officially announced here to-night by A. H. Terk, General Superintendent of the Canadian Milk Products Company. Limited. Included in the combine are the Borden Milk Company of Canada, and the United States; the Merrill-Soule Company of England, and the United States and the subsidiary companies of both firms in the United States and Canada.

Although full details in connection with the merger, the largest of its kind to be consummated, were not available to-night, the amalgamation is understood to involve millions of dollars.

The Canadian Milk Products Company, of which Mr. Terk is head, is one of the subsidiary units of the Merrill-Soule Company. In an interview the official said that the Canadian company will continue as a separate unit, and will be, as in the past, a subsidiary of the major company.

Confirmed in Toronto

Benjamin J. Gould of Toronto. President of the Canadian Milk Products Co., Vice-President of the Merrill-Soule Company, confirmed the report when questioned by The Globe last night.

He intimated that while the final official completion of the merger had not been brought about that the amalgamation of the various milk products companies was really settled some days ago.

Mr. Gould was unwilling to go into the details of the merger or divulge the amount of money involved. "It simply means," said he of the despatch, "that we have sold our business."

I should like to quote another extract from the Toronto Globe of March 29, 1930:

The Borden Company has completed negotiations for acquiring seven additional companies, according to the application for listing 44,955

additional shares of its common stock on the New York stock exchange, approved.

The companies include Walkerside Dairy, Limited; Windsor City Dairy Limited; Ballantyne Dairies, Limited, and the assets of W. T. Westgate, all of Canada; the Hilde-brecht Ice Cream Company of Trenton, N.J.; the Dairy Products Company of Dayton, Ohio, and Curran and Fox of Oak Park, 111.

Walkerside Dairy, Limited, operates thirty-two milk routes in Windsor, Ont., and the Borden Company is paying 14,000 shares for its entire issued stock. The business of the other companies and the shares to be paid for them are: Windsor City Dairy, Limited, milk, butter and eggs, Windsor, Ont., 7,250 shares; Ballantyne Dairies, Limited, 20 routes for distributing milk, butter and eggs, in East Windsor, Ontario, 2,745 shares; W. T. West-gate, wholesale ice cream manufacturer and distributor in Windsor and East Windsor, 3,250 shares; Hildebrecht Ice Cream Company, wholesale ice cream manufacturer and distributor, 7,000 shares; the Dairy Products Company, general dairy business in and around Dayton, 8,000 shares, and Curran and Fox, retail milk business in Oak Park, 111., 2,350 shares.

The remaining 360 shares in the listing application are for brokerage commissions in connection with certain acquisitions.

From information I have received from one source and another during the last eighteen months I feel this to 'be a question of extreme importance to the dairy interests of this country. My hon. friend the ex-Minister of Agriculture said this afternoon th^t since we are on an export basis, many of these units may not be producing that quality of product which is necessary if we are to ship our goods to the British market, and he suggested that possibly it would be an advantage to the dairy industry if our units were larger than they are at the present time. However, with respect to 'these mergers I think the government, and particularly the Department of Agriculture, should gather all the information available before anything is done along the lines suggested by the ex-Minister of Agriculture.

With respect to the grant to the National Dairy Council, I would not think of saying anything at all against the officials of that organization. I have known the secretary of the council for at least thirty-five years. I believe it is at least that long since he and I went around the province of Ontario together attending meetings of farmers' institutes, and T have always found him to be a gentleman of honour and ability. I have discussed this matter with him time after time, and always I have taken the stand which I have taken also in my discussions with the ex-Minister of Agriculture. . When he said this afternoon that he would not be bottled up any longer, I thought the time had come

Supply-Agriculture-Dairying

for someone to remove the cork from his opinions. A year ago there was considerable divergence of opinion on the part of hon. members opposite when they occupied this side of the house during the debate on the grant. I had discussed the matter with the then Minister of Agriculture in his own office, and I even came forward and sat beside him and asked him for God's sake to withdraw the vote when he had an opportunity to do so. But he is like some of the rest of us: when he gets an opinion into his head it is pretty hard to move him.

With respect to this grant, it is my opinion that no money should be given from the treasury of this country to any institution of this kind. Besides the National Dairy Council of Canada, I believe there is only one other organization in this country which has shown its hand before the tariff board, and we might with the same degree of freedom suggest that similar grants be made from the treasury of Canada to the Canadian Manufacturers' Association or the consumers league. In my view, no institution which is receiving government money should be given the opportunity to spend it in that way. I discussed the matter with the officials and they told me that they woidd be unable to carry on their work if it were not for the grant. At that time, according to my information, they were working in the manner outlined by the ex-Minister of Agriculture, in an effort to abolish the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine. And they were not getting a grant from the government.

The statement has been made that no hon. member on this side of the house will dare to rise in his place and express himself as favourable to the late Australian agreement. That agreement, I may say, was in force when I came to this house as the member for South Huron, and I came here with a feeling of prejudice against the agreement in its effect upon the dairy industry of Canada. It was only after my coming here, and when the discussion became heated, that I decided to study the whole question for myself; and when it was known that I was engaged in that study no one was more interested than the Minister of Finance of that day, the late Hon. J. A. Robb. At the first opportunity he had of meeting me after that he asked my opinion about the treaty. It happened to be the day I had completed my study of the situation. Of course, his first question was, "What is your opinion?" I had been able to get all the information that was available from any source and I told him that up to that time the Australian agreement,

in my opinion, had not been injurious to the dairy industry of Canada. And I stand here to-night and say the same thing. Repeatedly I have placed on Hansard the figures for each year, showing the effects of that agreement. Those figures I believe to be authentic. After my study of the matter had been completed I received a letter from the dairy commissioner, congratulating me upon the result of my investigation. He said that no one needed to go behind the facts which were disclosed ini the speech I made as reported in Hansard on the 7th of June,

1928. And up to the opening of this house on March 12, neither the information contained in that address nor the information contained in the speech I delivered, as reported in Hansard of March 18, 1930, has ever been questioned on the floor of the house. No one can study the markets oi Great Britain and question the facts as 1 have outlined them. Great Britain is the world market; it has always been the great world market; and before the introduction of the Australian agreement it was the great price-regulating market of the world. Watch the British market from that day to this; watch it during the year 1931; consult the reports contained in the commercial intelligence pamphlets; take all these facts into consideration and you will find that during the year 1930 the dairy industry in Great Britain was in anything but a satisfactory condition. And the only reason why Australian and New Zealand butter has been coming into this country is that those dominions realized that it was the best market they could find. They could take their butter cheaper to Great Britain than they could bring it here, and it would certainly go there if the price were better than in Canada.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

When the committee resumed at eight o'clock we were in hopes that we should be able to get this vote through and possibly the next one. But the minister has made a statement" this evening which makes it impossible for the item to go through. He said that he did not wittingly withhold any information from the committee. The whole difficulty consisted in the different parties securing their figures from different sources. Well, for four days we have been endeavouring to get certain information, and the hon. gentleman is not conscious of having wittingly withheld it. Has he been in a trance all these four days, that he did not know what he wanted?

Tobacco Imports and Exports

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

It is nearly eleven o'clock. I move that the committee rise and report progress and ask leave to sit again.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Very good; that will suit me.

Progress reported.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPRESENTATION FOR ELECTORS RESIDENT IN THE DISTRICT OP PATRICIA
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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned without question put, pursuant to standing order. Monday, June 1, 1931


May 29, 1931