Mr. MARK C. SENN (Haldimand) presented the fourth report of the select standing committee on agriculture and colonization as follows: '
At the first meeting of the committee held for this purpose, the Hon. Mr. Weir, Minister of Agriculture, made a brief statement outlining his reasons for making the reference, and the course which he thought the committee should follow:
Your committee has called and examined the following named witnesses:-
W. A. Brown, chief of poultry division, Department of Agriculture.
A. W. Ault, egg and poultry division. Department of Agriculture.
W. L. Brown, member of the firm of William Brown Company, cattle importers, Manchester, England.
A. A. MacMillan, chief of sheep and swine division, Department of Agriculture.
S. E. Todd, Secretary of the Industrial and Development Council of Canada Meat Packers.
W. A. Amos, President, United Farmers' Cooperative Ltd.
W. West, egg dealer, Almonte, Ontario.
Jas. C. Richardson, grain merchant, member of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange.
Sydney T. Smith, representative of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange. '
Andrew Cairns, representative of Canadian Wheat Pool.
The agricultural products more particularly studied included eggs, pork and pork products, beef and beef cattle, and exportable wheat.
With respect to the production, grading and marketing of eggs, your committee was fully informed by witnesses, W. A. Brown, chief of the poultry division and A. W. Ault, both of the Department of Agriculture, and also heard representations by witness W. West, an egg dealer of Almonte, Ontario.
Departmental regulations governing the grading and marketing of eggs -were carefully and fully examined and explained and the activities of the department officials charged with the enforcement thereof, fully gone into. The committee was informed that the federal government jurisdiction in this respect extended only to interprovincial and import and export trade, and that enabling legislation by the several provinces was necessary to the enforcement of such regulations. The position in this respect is that all of the provinces with the exception of Ontario and Quebec, have passed the necessary legislation to make enforceable the regulations promulgated in 1929. The regulations of 1924 are enforceable in the province of Ontario.
Notwithstanding the absence of authority to enforce the regulations of 1929 in Ontario and Quebec, the department officials find that voluntary cooperation by the trade is increasing from year to year.
Your committee is of the opinion that the principle of marketing poultry and eggs on a graded standard is in the interest of the producer, dealer and consumer, and recommends that every effort be made to insure the least possible difficulty in the handling, grading and
Agriculture Committee Report
marketing of poultry products, and to guarantee the greatest possible return to the producer.
The committee was fortunate in having appear before it, Mr. W. L. Brown, a member of the firm of William Brown & Company, Manchester, England, buyers and importers of beef cattle. _Mr. Brown gave a comprehensive statement of the conditions obtaining in the British market, the competition met and to be met by Canadian cattle, and the desirable class of beef cattle required by the British market. Mr. W. A. Amos, President of the United Farmers' Co-operative, Limited, also gave the committee valuable evidence.
The committee is of opinion that an export trade of increasing volume and value in beef cattle is open to this country dependent on the following conditions:-
(a) Careful breeding, feeding, selection and conditioning of Canadian cattle.
(b) Adequate shipping space.
(c) Reasonable transportation rates, both rail and ocean.
(d) A continuous and sufficient volume of available shipments the year round irrespective of the fluctuations in the market prices.
The committee therefore recommends that the foregoing conditions should be carefully and fully studied by the government with a view to bringing the same into effect.
Your committee went very thoroughly into the subject of hog production, breeding and marketing in relation to the requirements of the domestic market and the export trade.
Mr. A. A. MacMillan, chief of the swine division of the Department of Agriculture, Mr. Todd of the Canadian Packers and Mr. W. A. Amos, President of the United Farmers' Cooperative, Limited, gave valuable evidence in this respect. The committee held an informal meeting at the plant of Canada Packers, Limited, where, under the direction of Mr. Todd, a demonstration of the grading of live hogs was given, and an exhibit of dressed hogs of the several government grades was shown. Also cuts were made showing Wiltshire sides and the domestic cuts. This demonstration was exceedingly instructive.
The government hog regulations, their intent, effect, and application were fully considered and your committee is of the opinion that: Every effort should be made to improve the present system of grading so as to secure the least possible difficulty in the handling and marketing of same, and to insure the greatest possible return to the producer. In this regard we commend the Department of Agriculture in the experiments which are being conducted by way of comparison of grading on the hoof and grading on the rail.
Your committee has also given consideration to the wheat situation.
Representatives of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange and of the Canadian wheat pools, upon invitation, appeared before the committee and expressed their views of the situation. Suggestions for the marketing of the carry-over wheat and of the export crop of 1931 were advanced. Reference was made to the negotiations now proceeding between the pools, the banks, the western provinces and the federal government.
In view of the evidence given before the committee, it is recommended that the government take whatever steps it may deem necessary to prevent a drastic decline in the price
paid to producers of wheat, especially during the fall months when the bulk of the crop is being marketed.
Your committee commends the experimental work carried on by the Department of Agriculture and particularly urges the continuance of efforts to inquire into and to disseminate information to the farmers in respect to:
(a) The causes of and remedy for soil drifting. especially on the open prairies;
(b) Precautions to take in seeding down to grass or clover, or the planting of trees and hedges or other means;
(e) Any other matter pertaining to or allied with the live stock and live stock products industry in any part of Canada.
The important question of how to get the producer the maximum returns for his produce and the relation of the spread between producer and consumer was given careful study by your committee.
It is recommended that the Department of Agriculture should take whatever steps be deemed most efficient to obtain all available information on factors determining the spread between what the producer receives and what the_ consumer pays.
Your committee submits herewith its minutes of proceedings and evidence as an appendix to this report, and recommends that the said minutes and report be printed as an appendix to the Journals of the House.