May 13, 1932

LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Mr. Chairman, when this estimate was considered previously there was such a demand for the floor that I found myself lacking an opportunity to say a few words. This afternoon I find myself in much the same position, so I hasten to take some of the remaining time that I may show which

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side I am on with regard to the marketing board proposal. In my view the minister is to be commended for introducing the subject at this time, and for creating so much interest in a problem which has been probably more than any other before the country during the last twelve months. I am afraid however that with such a multitude of advisers too many cooks may help to spoil the broth. As I listened to the number who wanted to get into the minister's band wagon I thought that he would have to have a very commodious vehicle to hold them all. However that is a good omen, and it would seem that he is moving in the right direction.

Whatever may come out of the project I want him to understand that I am sympathetic and friendly towards the step he is advocating, the promotion of an export marketing board. When taking that stand I hope I will not shoo away any hon. members now supporting the suggestion. I know that sometimes there is that danger. The other day as I listened to my friend the minister explain the various pros and cons, and as I heard his statement that the government had not yet decided whether or not they would bring a bill down this year or defer it until later and have the matter placed before the Imperial economic conference, I thought of the difficulties he must have had in bringing the project even to its present stage of development.

It seems to me that at this stage the minister is going through his parliamentary labour pains prior to giving birth to his first export marketing baby. This is always an interesting occasion, and a time when there are usually plenty of medical advisers and nurses around. My fear at this time is that I may add one too many. In spite of that fear however I have no intention of posing as the foster parent, or of showing a desire to adopt the baby. If anything should happen, however,

I should like to be at hand to promote its cause and success in any way within my power.

I believe the project will give a certain amount of encouragement to agriculture and that it is capable of development, but at the same time it is bristling with difficulties of which few people are aware. I will have no complaint if the minister takes lots of time to look before he leaps, so that he may not run into any unnecessary snags. I believe I would be well advised however to leave to him the decision as to whether or not he will bring in a bill this or next session, or go first to the Imperial economic conference and bring in his bill at a later time.

I can see without very much trouble that there is a difference of opinion on his own side of the house as to the better course to follow.

Possibly I would be causing difficulty rather than helping if I were to take a stand on that point. The minister knows my views, and I do not think it is advisable further to proclaim them. After all, whether a bill is brought down this session or after the Imperial economic conference is only a matter of important detail. I would suggest however, no matter what course he pursues, that he lose no time in getting the very best man he can find to send overseas to get in touch with delegates who are likely to come here, a man who will get in touch with the various farm organizations in Scotland, England and Ulster so that they may know what, we in Canada are proposing, and so that they may not come here and find themselves confronted with a proposal of which they do not approve. Let us not forget how we looked upon a similar board when Australia took action. That was under the "Patterson" plan. The dairymen of Canada immediately rose up on their hind legs and asked the government of the day to impose the dumping clause against butter from Australia, and their request was granted. I advise the minister to be very careful, and without any desire to give him too much advice may I say I think the best course to pursue would be to send his best man to sell the idea of a marketing board to our kinsmen across the sea. I would advise that that man return on the same vessel as the delegates coming to Canada. In that way he would have an excellent opportunity to contact with the delegates, and to iron out difficulties before landing on Canadian shores.

I should like to direct a few remarks to a matter with which the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) dealt. There is a very important prerequsite to the marketing board, namely, a commercial channel extending across Canada through which marketing may be carried on. I do not think it is contemplated that the board itself will engage in general merchandizing, though occasionally it may have to do so. If we do not have it now, we should establish a general commercial channel through which our exportable products can be disposed of. We have only one organization of that kind now; that is the cooperative live stock pool which extends from one end of Canada to the other.

May I, without offence, suggest to the minister that he do everything in his power to get the Beef Producers Association of Calgary and the cooperative live stock pool together. Try to get them pulling on the one rope. I do not think the pool could be an entire success without the ranch cattle, which give a peculiar quality to the whole product. I mentioned

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this last year in a different spirit probably, as the minister will remember, but I hope it did no harm. I hope the minister himself has become aware of the danger of having two farm bodies competing for the same cattle, the same ocean space and in the same market. I know some of the men connected with the beef producers and others connected with the pool; they are good men, but we w'ant them all to concentrate on one organization without which, in my opinion, the export board cannot operate successfully, but with which there is no reason why the board should not be a magnificent success.

I think I will just leave it at that. I believe the minister knows what I mean when I say it is very important to get started off on the right foot. Have a good cause; start right and, as the old saying goes, well begun is half done. Whether the minister proposes to bring in the bill now or later, my support will be equally hearty for the good of the cause. I think the minister himself, and his colleagues will have to be the judges.

I have great hopes for the minister's improvement, notwithstanding his inexperience; he is developing every day. Of all the ministers of agriculture I think no man started with less experience than the late Sir John Carling, but no man did more for agriculture than was done by that same gentleman. He was responsible for establishing the agricultural college at Guelph when he was provincial minister of agriculture, and he was also responsible for the chain of experimental farms across Canada that has no equal, I believe, in any other part of the world. So I say there is hope for the minister, who started with very little experience and who has been given very little assistance by his colleagues, who know very little about agriculture. The minister has a great responsibility; he is the only one of the sixteen or seventeen ministers who knows anything about agriculture, and I compliment him for having sought assistance elsewhere. Last year he called to his aid three excellent gentlemen, Professor Barton, Doctor Archibald and Mr. Robertson, president of the National Dairy Council, to advise him in connection with dairying matters. If he had searched all over Canada he could not have found three belter men for that purpose, but there was a hitch somewhere. He got the advice, but as I know and as the minister knows there are other things necessary as well. He must be able to put across his proposals in council and to so excite the interest of his colleagues that they will support his recommendations. I do not know what happened, but I do know that

the minister received good advice from the National Dairy Council, and I regret very much that he found it necessary in return to cut off their grant. But we will not open up that somewhat controversial question.

The minister was given certain recommendations last year by the dairy council, and I hope he will not turn them down even yet. I do not think he did turn them down; probably he could not convince his colleagues of the advisability of adopting them. The other ministers did not know whether or not it was good advice, and no one man in a cabinet can put over a big enterprise of this nature without the support of his colleagues. That is some job with this government; I have no doubt about that. That is why the hon. gentleman sought support elsewhere, and that is why he is getting it. I think we have reached a time in our history when agriculture is simply staggering to its fall, and we can afford to ease up a little in our extreme political alignments and work on behalf of agriculture even if we have to work through a Tory government, which is the only avenue available at this time. That is pretty straight talk, but that is the way I feel. I am in opposition now; there are not enough of us here to perform the functions of government. The electors, in their wisdom, elected another government and we have a new minister of agriculture. I have not very long to assist agriculture now, perhaps ten or fifteen years more, and I am prepared to work through this government until the electors provide us with a better avenue. Things arc so bad in connection with agriculture that I believe I would work through Beelzebub himself if necessary, and therefore much more through the minister. Conditions are so distressing on many farms that we cannot afford to quibble as to where the good things may come from at this time.

I would like the minister to consider the advisability of looking on this proposed marketing board as merely an emergency provision. If this alleyway between us were a stream and I wanted to cross to the other side-I do not want to, of course-I would use any old plank at all so long as it permitted me to reach my objective. The same principle applies now. This is the plank by means of which we can reach something better by using our present commercial live stock pool facilities to place our exportable surplus on the markets of the world. That involves a great many things about which few, I fear, have thought much as yet, and I think it well that we should consider some of the difficulties. For instance, let us suppose we want to place bacon

The Royal Assent

on the export market through a marketing board, and we adopt the usual practice of making a levy on the farmers for the purpose of creating a fund. Imagine going to a farmer who gets 2J or 3 cents for his hogs and asking him for say ^ of a cent per pound on the hog he sells. Naturally he will ask what is to be done with the money, and when you tell him it is to go to the packers, because we must work through them if the live stock pool is not available and functioning he will see red at once. Therefore I say it is absolutely necessary to develop the cooperative live stock body that already has a fairly good start, but if it is to be competed with by the beef producers of Calgary-and further friction is developing there -the commercial channel is in danger. So I would invoke my hon. friend to use his good offices to avert this possible danger. I think the minister now has come to the point where he believes it is necessary to try to get these two bodies together at the earliest possible moment, because it depends largely upon them whether we have a marketing board that will function in the way I have mentioned so far as cattle are concerned.

I was going to refer to some of the recommendations of the National Dairy Council. They state that at present large numbers of small, often poorly equipped and unsanitary butter factories cannot help but bring about less effective butter manufacture. Last year I tried to impress that point upon my hon. friend. We have in Canada the most obsolete dairy equipment of any country pretending to be in dairying. Every country with which we compete, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, the Antipodes and so on, is supplied with manufacturing facilities superior to ours as a whole. They serve sometimes the dual purpose of both butter and cheese, and sometimes practically all the purposes of processing milk into various commercial commodities that may be put on the market. It is over sixty years since the foundation of the cheese industry in Canada was laid.

Progress reported.

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?

The CLERK:

I have the honour to inform the house that Mr. Speaker is unavoidably absent.

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THE ROYAL ASSENT


A message was delivered by Major A. R. Thompson, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, His Honour, the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General, desires the immediate attendance of this honourable house in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly, the house went up to the Senate, And having returned, Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER informed the house that the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General had been pleased to give in His Majesty's name the royal assent to the following bills: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Trustee defined.) An Act to amend the Act of Incorporation of The Frontier College. An Act to amend the Excise Act. An Act respecting the Canadian National Railways and to authorize the provision of moneys to meet expenditures made and indebtedness incurred during the calendar year 1932. An Act respecting the Export of Gold. An Act respecting the Eastern Bank of Canada. An Act to authorize the Refund of Moneys received in connection with the administration of the Natural Resources. An Act to amend the Fish Inspection Act. An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act. An Act respecting the Canadian National Railways and to authorize the guarantee by His Majesty of securities to be issued under the Canadian National Railways Financing Act, 1932. An Act respecting Unfair Competition in Trade and Commerce. An Act to amend the Companies Act. An Act respecting the Canadian National Railways and to provide for an extension of the time for the construction or completion of certain lines of railway. An Act respecting Relief Measures. An Act respecting a certain Trade Agreement between Canada and New Zealand. An Act for granting to His Majesty certain sums of money for the public service of the financial year ending the 31st March, 1933. At six o'clock the house took recess. After Recess The house resumed at eight o'clock. PRIVATE BILL


OTTAWA AND NEW YORK RAILWAY COMPANY- SENATE AMENDMENT


Mr. F. T. SHAVER (Stormont) moved the second reading of and concurrence in amendment made by the Senate to Bill No. 32, respecting the Ottawa and New York Railway Company. Motion agreed to; amendment read the second time and concurred in. Supply-Agriculture


DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


The house in committee of supply, Mr. Bury in the chair. Dairying, $231,300.


LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Before recess and before the little interlude of going to the Senate, I was at the point of drawing attention to some of the evidences that the Minister of Agriculture was prepared to work with others as well as those on his own side to develop agriculture. As soon as that evidence was forthcoming, a number of us-I am speaking not for anybody but myself-felt impelled to meet his advances. I am now proceeding to show how difficult it is for the minister, without the necessary appropriation to carry out his proposals. Nobody expects him to perform miracles and, indeed, this is not the day of miracles. I was reading from the summarized report of the proceedings of the twelfth annual meeting of the National Dairy Council of Canada, held at the Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg, some of the counsel that was given to the minister by that body, and also by the committee of experts to whom he had access for a considerable length of time, amongst whom were included Professor Barton, Doctor Archibald and Mr. Robertson, all first class, capable men. The minister is putting himself in touch with good advice, but there is something lacking. Advice is good, but you must have the wherewithal to give visibility to it.

These are some of the policies recommended by the National Dairy Council, and I hope the minister's colleagues will give him the necessary encouragement in the way of money to carry out those policies. I believe he is ready to do so, but he cannot unless the money is forthcoming. The report states:

At present large numbers of small, often antiquated and unsanitary butter factories cannot but be responsible for less effective and economic butter manufacturing.

I could quote at greater length, but it is not necessary. Much the same condition was reported in regard to cheese. Yet in spite of antiquated facilities the quality of these goods is increasing. How much more would it increase if our dairymen were supplied with as good equipment and facilities as those possessed by their competitors in other countries?

Then, as to production, the report reads:

It is probable that the average dairy farm in Canada is not operating at more than twenty to fifty per cent optimum capacity.

That is to say, you can increase the volume and by that means decrease the cost of pro*-duction. As regards pure-bred cattle, the report states:

We recommend that the plan of the dairy cattle committee in 1927 for the extension of advanced registry be adopted in full force within three years.

That was introduced by the previous government, and the National Dairy Council recommends that this government go forward along the same line in order to have it accomplished within three years. What is the reply? The reply given by the Minister of Finance is that the live stock appropriation is cut down very substantially, $150,000. Go forward on a policy of live stock reform; go backward on a policy of finance. That is what the Hon. Jim Thomas would call "humbug." We want the government to be careful; we do not want them to be talking with two tongues on this question. The Minister of Finance is present, but he was not minister at the time these estimates were prepared, and I do not hold him in any way responsible. The Prime Minister was responsible. At that time he occupied the positions of President of the Council, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Treasury Board, and you could not get by with very much without consulting him. That was the situation prior to the time the present Minister of Finance assumed office. Therefore I shall urge the rest of the ministry not to send their Minister of Agriculture forth on a constructive program of marketing and at the same time withhold from him the wherewithal to carry it out. You might as well send a woodsman into a forest with a jack-knife or a bill-hook to fell the forest with. The money must be forthcoming. The Minister of Finance of course wall say that he does not have it; that if he has to supply it, he will have to take another shave off the civil service. The money can be secured. They do all sorts of things with the farm relief money; why cannot they do something for the marketing program of the Minister of Agriculture? So much for that.

The next recommendation by the National Dairy Council was this: "Push on the good work in creating tuberculosis free areas rather than herd testing, for this disease is a great scourge," and so forth. What is the answer of the government in cash to that push-on policy of the National Dairy Council?-an organization which the minister has said he would like to work with. The reply of the government in these estimates to this policy of pushing on the good work in creating T.B.

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free areas, is to cut the vote for that work down by $896,000. What would Hon. Jim Thomas call that? The quintessence of humbug. I am talking quite candidly, but I hope not offensively. The minister cannot go two ways at once at the same time-progressive in regard to policy and retrogressive in regard to expenditures. The two must go hand in hand or you get nowhere. I would suggest to the Minister of Finance, now that I see him looking pleasant, why can't he do something in the supplementary estimates to restore these votes to their former amounts?

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

I might suggest to my hon. friend that he wait until he sees the supple-mentaries.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

It is delightful to know that there is some hope, and now I am encouraged to say a little more.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

My hon. friend does not need any encouragement.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

constituency in Manitoba; I do not think however that he knows any better: He does not know, and he does not know that he does not know. I do not accuse any -hon. members opposite of falsifying; they simply get into the habit of repeating silly nonsense until they begin to believe it themselves. Then the less offensive hon. members opposite take up the cry, and go on repeating it. God only knows what they say when they are on the hustings.

If we are to work with the Minister of Agriculture in an effort to get out of the hole, I ask him and his supporters -and I shall adopt the most pleasant manner possible-to try to be reasonable towards us. If they do not know the facts I have a number of copies, signed by myself, compiled by my former staff from year to year and available on application. I have a full record of the Department of Agriculture during the term of office of the Mackenzie King government, and I think if hon. members opposite would read the information I have before me they would not be guilty of making the extraordinary statements of which they are guilty.

I think I have almost completed my remarks-I have no desire to take advantage of the tranquillity which usually prevails in the house on Friday evenings. Before taking my seat, however, I should like to point out that there are two or three key positions with regard to this export marketing board proposal. To attain the greatest measure of success the house should be fairly well behind the government and the minister. Anybody can get up and harpoon anything new. Many a time I have sat on the government benches and sweated, sometimes four hours at a time; sometimes we have sat into the morning while hon. members opposite were throwing every kind of missile at me. Well, as you see, Mr. Chairman, I survived it. To-day, however, conditions are different, and we cannot afford to take that attitude. Speaking agriculturally, many are on the point of bankruptcy, and as agriculture is our paramount industry, no matter where the good comes from, for the next few months or years we must give it a show. Please, Mr. Chairman, do not look at me as though you thought I was going to become a Tory, because I have not the least idea of doing so. A year ago when the Australian treaty came down, for decency's sake and to set a good example to hon. members opposite as to how a treaty should be received. I took the ground that we should give it a -chance to live, and said that for a year I would say nothing against it. We took the same stand in -regard to -the N-ew Zealand treaty. At this time I receive the Minister of

Agriculture's proposal in the same way. Undoubtedly this marketing board proposal is a controversial question, but after giving it considerable thought I have come -to the conclusion that there is an element, an embryo, a nucleus of good in it, and we cannot afford to pass it by. Surely the Finance Minister will now come across with some money, when I have gone that far, in the direction of our working together.

I would invoke the minister not to be too much moved by the appeals from the hon. member for North Huron. He is very impressive and ponderous and there is always a possibility that he may convince one against his will. When you have a large proportioned man like the hon. member for North Huron with a free vocabulary and a punch behind it, there is a -possibility of making black look white. I say to the minister that he should not be in too big a hurry. Know your ground; start right; stay right. If that is followed I think the minister's marketing proposition before very long will bear fruit, provided sound business methods prevail throughout.

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LIB-PRO

William Gilbert Weir

Liberal Progressive

Mr. WEIR (Macdonald):

Mr. Chairman, I desire to say a few words of a more or less general character concerning the estimates of the Department of Agriculture. I do not in any sense wish to be considered critical of that department or the minister in charge, but wish merely to point out what seem to me to be discrepancies -between the estimates of the other departments and those of the Department of Agriculture.

Reviewing the general estimates brought down for the various governmental departments, it might be of interest to hon. members to know that this year the interest on the public debt of Canada, including sinking fund, is increased by ten per cent. The estimates for the Department of Agriculture are decreased 'by thirty-three per cent; for the Department of National Defence by only 19.2 per cent; for the Department of Fisheries by thirteen per cent; for the Department of Mines and Geological Survey by twenty-seven per cent; for the Department of Public Printing and Stationery by twenty per cent. The estimates for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are increased by over twelve per cent; the estimates for the Dominion Lands and Parks branch are decreased by twenty-three per cent, and miscellaneous items are decreased -by twelve per cent. The combined estimates show a decrease of twelve per cent. In other words the combined estimates for all governmental activities as shown by the statement I have before me

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show a decrease of ten per cent, yet we find agriculture obliged to accept a reduction of thirty-three per cent. On the surface that looks like too great a discrepancy. I think all hon. members appreciate the efforts made by the minister to effect economies provided he does not sacrifice efficiency. It seems to me that the other ministers have taken advantage of the Department of Agriculture, when it appears that that department has had to take the reduction I have mentioned. If the Minister of Agriculture is able to effect a reduction of thirty-three per cent in his estimates I think he should use his influence in the most effective manner possible to see that the other departments accept a similar reduction. I am afraid that under the circumstances it will be pretty hard for the government and its supporters to justify the statement made by the Prime Minister during the election campaign, when he said that the collective weight and power of the Dominion of Canada would be used in the interests of agriculture. A review of the estimates of the Department of Agriculture certainly does not indicate that that promise has been carried out.

There are two or three items in these estimates I should like to review in the light of present circumstances. I refer particularly to the estimate for the entomological branch, which shows a reduction of twenty-eight per cent, to the amount devoted to the Destructive Insect and Pest Act, which shows a reduction of fifty-three per cent, and the estimate for agricultural fairs, where there is a reduction of forty-six per cent. In connection with the agricultural fairs I notice that a very substantial reduction has been made. I do not know what the minister has in mind with regard to these fairs, but I hope if the grants are to be reduced that the fairs were notified well in advance, so that they would make provision accordingly. The other item in which I am particularly interested is the farm economics and cooperative marketing branch, which shows a reduction of twenty-eight per cent.

I should like to pause for a moment to deal with the entomological branch and the Destructive Insect and Pest Act. I hold in my hand a statement prepared by one of the officers of the department in regard to a very serious condition in the province of Manitoba, namely the possibility during the coming year of heavy damage by grasshoppers. I have in my hand a map of Manitoba, on which is indicated an area starting at the United States boundary line east of Emerson, running up the east side of the Red river to the west side of lake Winnipeg, across west from there almost over to Neepawa, then back down south through Austin and passing through Somerset

to the American boundary again. There is another area at Dauphin, another at McCreary, another at Souris and another at Clearwater, where there are indications that heavy damage will be caused by grasshoppers this year. I should like to read part of the statement prepared by this officer:

An idea of the probable severity may be realized when it is known that in one instance a square foot of sod contained more than 15,000 eggs.

It is intended, as soon as the roads are passable, to make collections of eggs from the infested areas and to test these in the laboratory for fertility. In this way the condition of the eggs will be known in advance of the time when they are expected to hatch in the field, and those in charge of control campaigns will then be in a position to advise as to what to expect in various localities and how to combat the threatened menace. In the meantime the situation is exceedingly threatening, and there seems little doubt that the whole-hearted cooperation of the community may be necessary in order to successfully cope with the impending grasshopper situation.

It will be readily realized that the grasshopper menace in Manitoba may be almost a calamity in the areas I have mentioned. With all due respect to the minister and the efforts he may be making to economize I fail to comprehend what reasoning can be advanced for the reduction in this estimate. If ever there was a time when the entomological branch and the Destructive Insect and Pest Act should be maintained at full strength, it is this year. This situation presents an opportunity for observation and study, and in addition efforts will have to be made with respect to control. Last fall, in the area where I happen to be located, along with other people I seeded fall rye, but we hardly saw a single spear of it come up; the grasshoppers kept it cut down to the ground, and the whole crop was ruined. Many people, as is customary in the spring, have been bringing in soil from the fields in which to plant garden seeds. After that soil has been in the window for a day or so these people have invariably found their windows practically covered with young grasshoppers.

As I have said, I do not want to be looked upon as being critical of the minister in regard to the estimates of his department, but here is a situation which must be faced, and every possible assistance should be given to control this menace. To-night I merely bring these matters to the attention of the minister in the hope that his mind will not be closed to this situation when his supplementary estimates are introduced. I was very glad to hear the Minister of Finance say he was willing to do something for the Department of Agriculture when the supplementary estimates are brought down, and I certainly

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We have heard a good deal regarding marketing. To-day we find ourselves in a' very difficult position. Tariffs, exchange rates, and low commodity prices have upset our marketing business to such an extent that we hardly know where we stand. We talk of establishing marketing boards and bonuses, and we are immediately faced with something of our own making. If we develop some form of export bonus, I imagine we shall be immediately confronted with the same thing that importers run up against in this country, namely, some kind of dumping duty placed against our produce by the foreigner. May I, however, urge upon the minister that if he continues to promote the idea of a marketing board, he should give our producer cooperatives an opportunity to play a large part in any scheme that he may develop. If our cooperatives were linked more closely into a scheme of processing it would be much easier to carry out the program which I think the minister has in mind. Without that closer cooperation I think he is going to have a great deal of difficulty in carrying out any marketing board scheme.

There is, however, something which in my judgment the Department of Agriculture can do. Agriculture to-day has not got a continuous service of marketing information such as is supplied by the Department of Trade and Commerce to our manufacturing exporters. I think we should have an army of agricultural experts in foreign countries to develop trade for our agricultural products. This might be brought about by an extension of our present bureau of agricultural economics, and instead of a decrease of twenty-eight per cent there should be an increase. We should endeavour to secure the best men possible to guide the affairs of agriculture, to give advice, and generally to work out an agricultural program best suited to this country as a whole, both marketing and production.

There is only one further observation I wish to make. From what the minister said the other night I inferred that he had in mind suggesting a change from butter production to cheese production. I do not know whether I understood him correctly in that connection or not. I would urge that he go very slowly before recommending a change of that kind. We have, particularly in Manitoba-and I presume throughout western Canada'-a large number of small creameries and it would be a hardship for them to be subjected to cheese factory competition.

May I again entreat the minister to use his influence to have his departmental estimates

brought up to a fair comparison with those of the other departments in the supplementary estimates. I particularly urge that upon him with respect to the entomological branch, the Dominion rust research laboratory, and the bureau of agricultural economics. There is a very wide discrepancy between the estimates of the Department of Agriculture and those of the other departments. I am making these observations at this time so that the minister will have them in mind before he brings down his supplementaries, and I hope he will do his level best for the particular branches I have mentioned. I repeat that in my judgment it is going to be pretty difficult for the minister and his colleagues to explain a reduction of thirty-three per cent in the agricultural estimates as compared with a general reduction of only ten per cent in the grand total of all the estimates, and with a reduction of only nineteen per cent in the Department of National Defence estimates. If some equality of reduction in these estimates is not made when the supplementaries are brought down. I am afraid the agriculturists of this country will not feel that the right hon. Prime Minister was very sincere when during the election campaign he said, speaking of the Conservative party:

We shall see to it that the strength and power of the nation stands behind the effort of the people of these plains, and every part of Canada, to market their products to the best possible advantage. That is my duty. That is my business. How' otherwise can we succeed?

I hope the minister will remind his leader of those remarks when he comes to consider his supplementary estimates.

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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

May I be permitted, Mr. Chairman, to congratulate the ex-Minister of Agriculture on his cooperation this evening when dealing with these estimates? I think his support means

a great deal at the present time. We all recognize that besides being a practical farmer he has had a great deal of executive experience, and therefore his support of the minister in his efforts to develop a marketing board is of great significance. I think hon. members will agree that if we want to get anything through this house we must have pretty general support from all sides to ensure success. I feel certain that every member to-day recognizes the critical condition of agriculture, and that if we are to get back prosperity we must start with that basic industry. I know the present minister is sympathetic and is doing everything in his power to assist our farmers But one can do very little without the cooperative assistance of all.

S u pply-A gricult lire

Now, a great deal has already been said with regard to the condition of agriculture, and I do not propose to go into further details. However, I desire to give the committee this quotation from the Economic Annalist. Dealing with the declining prices, this review of agricultural business gives the following paragraph from the January commercial letter published by the Canadian Bank of Commerce:

We are thus faced with an economic situation in which probably about one-third of our population find that for every dollar of income which they received in 1929 from produce sold they are now getting only 58 cents, and that when they in turn enter the market as purchasers. the goods for which they paid $1 in 1929, far from being offered them at a price commensurate with their 58 per cent ability to pay, are selling at 90 cents. The result is that the farmer purchaser either declines to buy at all or buys less than two-thirds of his requirements. The retarding effect of this lowered purchasing power on general business is already too familiar to require further amplification.

When we realize that our farm population represents practically fifty per cent of our people, and that their purchasing power has been depleted to the extent stated, we can readily account for business being at such a low ebb at the present time. I find another table in the March copy of the same paper, comparing prices of various commodities from

1913 down to the present time, and taking the

year 1926 as the index figures are as follows: basis of 100. TheWholesale Prices January1913 1932All commodities.. .. .. 64 69Farm products.. .. .. 62-6 52Field products.. .. .. 56-4 42Animal products.. .. .. 77 68-8Retail prices . . 65-4 85-6

Hon. members will see that while prices of practically all farm commodities are much lower to-day than they were in 1913, the retail prices of the commodities which the farmer has to buy are twenty per cent higher than thej' were then.

One of the great difficulties we find to-day in this organized world in which we live is the fact that the farmer is unorganized and he finds himself as an individual trying to compete against organized forces. We know how easy it is for big business to organize and the success it has made. We are all aware of the progress from the little shop in the local community to the large factory in the town and then to the big corporation which we have to-day, while the farmer is attempting to carry on practically as he has done from the beginning. It is my belief

that the farmer cannot organize in the same way as industry has, and the only answer to big business is through the cooperative organization of the farmer. The very fact that for, I might say, thousands of years, the farmer has lived in an environment as an individualist carrying on his own particular business, separated from his neighbour, makes it very difficult for him to organize. if we are to have prosperity for our industries, it. is necessary to bring back prosperity to agriculture; therefore, it is in the interest, not only of the farmer himself but of every business in the country, to assist in trying to reestablish agriculture and put it on a proper basis. This is where the government can help a great deal by encouraging our cooperative organizations and aiding them to get on their feet.

When we look back to the various efforts of our Department of Agriculture, the first was chiefly in regard to production. For a period of years the effort of the department was along the line of showing the farmer how to produce two blades of grass where one formerly grew. Wonderful progress has been made in that direction, and I am not going to suggest that we should put a stop to that effort. But I do not believe it is the main point to which our effort should be directed at this time. Another stage of development was grading, and we know that for a number of years new grading regulations have been introduced until some of the farmers are complaining that we are going too far. But in this highly competitive world in which we are living at the present time, if we are to compete, we must have our produce graded in such a way that it will be able to compete with that of other countries whose production is similar to ours.

Everyone agrees now that we are able to-produce, and I am of opinion that if you can show the farmer where he can get a fair price for his output, he will make a determined effort to have the production. Therefore, the effort to-day should be to find a better system of marketing and in that regard, I think the present Minister of Agriculture, since he has taken office has put his finger on the mainspring, as it were. I wish him every success and I consider it very important, now that we realize what effort we should make, that a marketing board of some description be appointed to guide and direct this highly necessary movement.

It is not going to be enough only to appoint a marketing board. We have all across Canada, in every province, the farmers themselves struggling to develop cooperative

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marketing agencies. These have been successful to a point, but they have almost reached the stage of discouragement, because, after getting together and meeting with a certain degree of success, when they came to get rid of their commodities, they were faced with difficulty. This is where the marketing board can render wonderful assistance, not by starting to create new organizations, but by encouraging the cooperative ones already established and finding an outlet for the goods which they have to offer.

A few years ago there was established in the Department of Agriculture a new branch known as the bureau of economics, -and for the development of cooperative marketing. I believe the appropriation for this branch to be one of the most important in the whole of the agriculture estimates. Just as in the past perhaps, we looked upon production as the most important phase, now I am of opinion that the appropriation for this branch should take a leading place among those estimates, and the amount to be voted should be materially increased. This bureau is very much like a research department for -agriculture. As the hon. member for Macdonald pointed out a short time ago in his very interesting remarks in regard to having trade agents, this is the branch which, I think, should properly look after that matter. We have at the head of that department at the present time a very capable and efficient officer, but I know that lie and his officials are handicapped by the lack of money at their disposal. Any hon. member who receives this monthly pamphlet, the Economic Annalist, and reads the articles by Doctor Booth, I think will agree that he has a fairly good grasp of the whole situation. He has expressed my views so well that I should like to quote what he says in the bulletin for July, 1931. At page 2 he says:

The farmer who would succeed under present conditions must adopt businesslike methods, and one of these which promises worthwhile results is the preparation annually of a carefully considered budget of anticipated receipts and expenses.

He goes on:

A few years_ ago it was estimated that farmers of the United States received about 35 cents on the average out of the dollar paid by the consumer for farm products. In the case of certain products this ran as low as 15 to 20 per cent; in a few as high as 75 or 80 per cent. If this estimate applies to Canadian conditions, _ and there is reason to believe it might, the desirability of an examination of the reasons for this spread is at once apparent. Research in the costs of marketing is a comparatively undeveloped field anil one which invites increased attention.

I think that everyone will agree that one of the great difficulties the farmer is up against to-day is the tremendous spread between the price he receives for his products and the price the consumer pays, and it is in this department, as Doctor Booth points out, that there is a tremendous field for research. Further on he says:

A program of research in marketing should also include the study of cooperation. We have in this country more than 1,000 farmer-owned and controlled organizations conducting a business running into several hundred million dollars in normal years. For more than half of our farmers these associations play the role of marketing or purchasing agents. Producers have been encouraged to form such associations but relatively little has been done to study the real possibilities and limitations of the movement. We have had plenty of propaganda but little research -which would give to producers the answer to such questions as- what volume of business is necessary to success under given conditions? What amount of

capital is required to successfully operate a cooperative association? What form of capitalization and structure of organization is best suited to local conditions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of contracts? What does it cost per unit to handle a business of the type contemplated? What membership

problems will be met? What legal questions? What management problems, and so forth?

All these are questions which the farmer has neither the time nor the money to answer for himself. But here is a branch of the department set up in which research work along this line could be done that would be of great benefit to the farmer. Further on Doctor Booth says:

It is in the field of research and education that governmental departments, educational institutions and research agencies can be of most service to farmers and the cooperative movement generally.

The cooperative movement in this country is already one of immense proportions and of immense possibilities, but like other democratic institutions its progress is dependent upon an informed membership and upon leadership equipped with the necessary information to reach intelligent conclusions. There is much for economists and sociologists to do in this connection but our own lack of information on many of the problems involved suggests the need of practical research.

There is another question, that of credit. On that Doctor Booth says:

Farmers as a class are debtors, and this is particularly true in all newly settled areas. If the development of agriculture had had to wait upon the net receipts from farms the progress we have made would have been much slower. Whether this would have been more desirable is not open to discussion now. Our farmers operate on credit-we are heirs to both the policy and the practice and it is our task to make the load as light as possible. Can we assist? Certainly there are opportunities for

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while we have a national and certain provincial farm loan policies we still have credit problems. What, for example, are farmers paying for credit because of the generally adopted practice of making credit institutions out of retail merchants, implement dealers and others. We need first a series of detailed studies followed by constructive suggestions and much education. Perhaps it may be found that in the interest of both farmers and credit institutions that some supplementary form of credit is needed. The possibilities for research and education in this field are abundant in spite of the very splendid work that has already been done.

I think hon. members who understand the farmers' problems in western Canada know that credit and interest rates are one of the biggest loads which the farmer has to carry, and here is where this department might lend very valuable assistance. Finally Doctor Booth says:

In conclusion it is respectfully suggested that the economic problems of agriculture which are of direct interest to about forty-five per cent of our people and indirectly of interest to all of us should receive much greater consideration from universities, colleges, governmental departments and private institutions engaged in research and education.

I would commend that to the minister and ask him to see if it is not possible to find some way of increasing this vote so as to make this branch of much greater service to the department, and through the department to the farmer.

There is another question that I wish to bring to the attention of the minister and of the house. I am not going to say that I am advocating this plan myself because I have not given sufficient study to the question. Out in my constituency, in the town of Viking, there are a couple of gentlemen of high standing in the community who have been there since 1915, and who have spent a great deal of their own money in trying to develop that district. At the present time they are very much interested in trying to promote what they call something along the line of collectivized farming. I want to lay the scheme before the minister, and what I am going to ask him is this: These gentlemen have asked me if they could get a little assistance from the Department of Agriculture by having the agronomical engineers not take responsibility, but assist them in an advisory capacity. I am bound to say, Mr. Chairman, that in view of the developments that are taking place throughout the world to-day no one at the present time can say whether or not this scheme may not have a germ that may develop in the future. We all know that a few years ago it was the generally conceded opinion that we would never see dollar wheat again; in fact, we were of the opinion that we could

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not produce wheat at a profit except at a price of around one dollar. We have all been disillusioned during the last year or two so far as dollar lvheat is concerned and in view of the changes that are taking place throughout the world we may find ourselves confronted with a new situation that may necessitate changing many of our preconceived ideas and facing the future accordingly. This gentleman has written in detail, and I am going to quote part of his own description, because he has given the matter a great deal of thought and study, and his own words describe it much better than I could. He says:

Of all the farmers in the three prairie provinces w'ho are actually living on and working farms a large majority of them have very little equity left in their farms. Since the war the ownership of the land has been gradually passing from the farmers to absentee owners, in many cases back to the Canadian Pacific Railway or Hudson's Bay Company or over to banks or mortgage companies. The drop in W'heat prices last year accelerated this passing of ownership and it will surely continue under our present system of small farms until very little of the land is owned by dirt farmers.

I speak from first hand knowledge and experience. My brother and I came to the Viking district in 1915 from Ontario. We owned some 6,000 acres of raw land here and we brought considerable cash capital with us to develop it. From 1915 to 1923 we developed many semi-ready farms which we sold to farmers who we secured by advertising as the enclosed booklet and map show'. We brought many farmers from the northern states, from the old country and from the dry belt of southern Alberta to this district. We sold our own farms and others for which we acted as agents mostly on half-crop terms.

At one time we had fifteen farmers on our own farms each with an agreement to purchase. They were all good farmers with a full line of equipment each and most of them had families. Not one of the fifteen has been able to pay for his farm. I shall cite a typical case. In 1920, we sold Mr. X the south half of sec.

at $18 per acre on half-crop terms, 7 per cent interest. We had this farm fenced and forty acres broken on it when he purchased it. He has since then brushed and broken 200 acres more, put up good buildings and made many other improvements until he has now what is considered a splendid half-section farm. This man is considered by all his neighbours as a good farmer and a hard worker. Yet he owes us some $6,000 on his farm W'hich is a little more than the original purchase price. He has told us that he has given up all hopes of paying for the farm, but will remain on and work it as long as we let him and we are only too glad to have him do so.

I can cite many similar cases; farmers v'ho purchased land ten to twenty years ago from the Canadian Pacific Railway or the Hudson's Bay Company or from other owners on terms and each has spent years of labour and thousands of dollars in improvements yet has very little equity now' in his farm.

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After investigating the financial condition of many farmers of this district I am fully convinced that taking all who reside on and are working farms within the sixteen townships surrounding Viking together they have not remaining a fifteen per cent equity in the lands therein. And the Viking district is one of the best in Alberta both as to the quality of the land and the class of farmers in it. To continue our present system of individual ownership of small farms is economic suicide both for the farmers and for the country.

Permit me to outline this plan or scheme. The first step would be to have plans and specifications drawn up by the best agronomical engineers of the Agriculture department in cooperation with a local committee of this district for the formation of a joint stock company under the federal companies Act with a broad charter giving us all the privileges of a producing, manufacturing and transportation company; the plans to cover how the company is to be organized, administered, managed and operated. Besides the usual by-laws of a company I would suggest special by-laws providing that a majority of the board of directors should be persons living within the district and employed by the company in some branch of its operation.

It must be understood from the start that the government agronomical engineers are acting only as experts and in an advisory capacity and that the board of directors must assume all responsibilities for acts of the company.

The object of the company would be to own and operate unit farms each from 5,000 to 8.000 acres lying within these sixteen townships. The plans would cover the organization of the unit farms on a uniform basis as to administration and management but would allow for differences in operation as that would depend on the nature of the land in each farm. Some parts of the district are naturally good wheat lands while other parts are more suitable for grazing. Some of the unit farms would be used mostly for growing cereals while other farms would specialize in stock raising. Each farm, however, would have its dairy herd of pure-bred cattle.

Let us say that the company has been formed and is called Viking Farmers Limited and has a board of directors of twelve capable men-farmers, business men and financiers-the same class of men as is found guiding our large industrial establishments. It has started its first unit farm of about 6,000 acres. The land in this unit farm has been carefully surveyed and the quality and adaptability of each piece determined. Detail plans are prepared for the location of buildings and for the necessary equipment. The required farmers to operate it are assigned to it and a foreman put in charge and given definite instructions what he is to do and accomplish and how he is to do it. In buying a farm or piece of land the company would pay for it either in cash or stock of the company. The registered owner, the mortgagee and the lien-holders would receive their respective equities. There would be no mortgages left on any lands owned by the company.

At this stage may I state a point which is worthy of consideration. I am of opinion that debts against many farms have become so great that to-day we are not only faced

with the matter of wiping out war reparations and war debts, but the time is not far distant when there may have to be some adjustment in regard to our private debts, and especially those against our farmers. This might provide a means of making some adjustment along that line. The letter continues:

Viking Farmers Limited would encourage every farmer to own his own home although he may be working with the company. Where a farmer sells his land to the company let him keep his home and a few acres surrounding it for a garden. This puts a farmer in the same position with the company as the city dweller with the industry with which he works.

The capital of Viking Farmers Limited would be secured by the sale of its capital stock. With a strong board of directors and with a prospectus fully telling what the company plans to do in the way of owning and operating large unit farms and how this latter is to be done under expert agronomical advice and in cooperation with the government research laboratories and experimental work and estimating the profits that may be reasonably expected there is no doubt but the company can secure the necessary capital to carry through the enterprise. Now is the time to do it when land is cheap.

I firmly believe and wish to emphasize that the above is the only way we can secure sufficient capital to prevent complete bankruptcy of most of the farmers of this district within the next three years and to place farming on a sound business basis. The banks will not loan money to the farmers and neither will the mortgage companies. Beatty's five million dollars revolving fund is but a flea-bite to the needs of the west and will not do any one district any appreciable benefit. Members of credit societies are heavily in debt for loans of the past so they can expect no help from that source.

Where, therefore, can the six hundred or more farmers of this district get capital to go into mixed farming each by himself? Where can even five per cent of them do so? What they cannot do individually they can do by cooperation as a company.

Let us consider the direct advantages to this district by most of the farmers in it cooperating, pooling their farmlands, as it were, and working together as Viking Farmers Limited. Take one unit farm of around 6,400 acres, or ten full sections. At present there are about twelve farmers to ten sections of land, each with separate buildings, implements and equipment. About four of them have tractors and two have threshing outfits. They have on an average five grade cows and a few other animals and poultry. They have an average of $5,000 invested in buildings, implements and live stock or a total of about $60,000 for the twelve.

Let these twelve put their lands in Viking Farmers Limited and work with the company under expert advice and direction:

1. They would have but one set of good buildings on their unit farm thoroughly equipped for dairying.

2. They would have a herd of forty to fifty pure-bred dairy cows.

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3. They would have several times the number of other animals and poultry and but one-half the implements that they now have.

4. The company would use only the best of seed thoroughly cleaned.

5. Crops would be rotated according to the needs of the land.

6. The land would be kept free from weeds and prepared well in advance for the crop that would follow.

7. The company's buildings, pure-bred herd and farm implements would cost much less than the $60,000 that the twelve farmers have now invested.

8. The company would have a plan or policy of production extending over years so as to get the average prices for all products and not rush into one line at the same time that farmers all over the country are doing the same thing.

9. The company would take into account the average risks of drought, frost and hail and be prepared to cope with such conditions.

10. The company would keep in close touch with the best practices and methods developed by experimental farms and laboratories.

11. It would have a head office at Viking from where all activities would be directed and where all records would be kept.

12. The company would finish its products to the highest state possible so as to make the greatest profits.

13. The company would have its own seed cleaning plant, poultry dressing station, abattoir and creamery, all profitable enterprises closely connected with farming.

14. It would be able to ship some of the animal products in car lots when prices would warrant.

15. Each branch of farming would be in charge of a farmer who would make that branch his specialty.

As the dairy herd is the centre of mixed farming I would like to point especially to the advantages of a company over the single farmer building up and maintaining a pure-bred dairy herd. The great majority of farmers do not care enough for live stock to build up a good dairy herd. It takes years for a good farmer who loves cattle to do so. He must like to be with them and care for them. If he has not special education and training to start with before he can build up a good herd he is old. At his death the herd is dispersed. That is the history of many a herd in Ontario.

With a company it is different. The best mgn available with special education and training is selected to look after the herd, to see that every animal is properly cared for, kept in good health and doing its share of production. By careful breeding, feeding and culling he can in a few years build up a herd that will be a source of great pride to himself and a big dividend payer to the company. If anything happens to him another good man is put in his place and the same careful work goes on.

The production of sheep, hogs, beef cattle and poultry and their products would be as systematically organized as the dairy herd. Each unit farm would become a manufacturing plant and with thirty-two of them in this district under one company farming would be industrialized.

Is there any question that such a company would be of great benefit to this district and to the country? Would it not be immensely 41761-184J

easier and cheaper to put our policy across to one such company in this district than to six hundred individual farmers?

If this scheme can be worked out in detail and successfully applied to the Viking district, what is to prevent its being applied to five hundred similar districts throughout the western provinces?

That is the scheme, in brief, that these men have in view, and all they are asking from the government is advice. They are not asking the department to put up any money; they have spent a great deal of time and effort in working out this plan, and they are of the opinion that they can make a success of it. The minister need not assume any responsibility for the success of this undertaking, but I would ask that he place the economics branch at the disposal of these men to see if they cannot be given some encouragement in carrying out this proposal.

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CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

Representing a portion of the province of Saskatchewan that is particularly adapted to agriculture, I think it well that I should make a few observations in a general way. In looking over the estimates of the Department of Agriculture I notice that material reductions are made in connection with almost every item, but I hope that the items which assist in the marketing of agricultural products will not suffer to the same extent. Already there has been a good deal of discussion with regard to these estimates, and I think it quite plain from what has been said by hon. gentlemen apposite that the late government had no constructive agricultural policy. Now hon. gentlemen opposite expect the present ministry in one year to do more to put agriculture on a firm basis than they did during the nine years they were in power. In my opinion the experiences through which the farmers have passed during the last three years will be the means of encouraging them to go into diversified farming. For a number of years we have been endeavouring to encourage them to do so, and if they do go in for mixed farming I believe that as far as quantity and quality go there are unlimited possibilities.

This evening the hon. member for Macdonald made a very interesting statement with regard to the quality and quantity of the products of western farmers. I had intended to give some figures, but I think the figures given by the hon. member will serve the purpose. If the farmers of the southern half of Saskatchewan-and I speak particularly with respect to that province-would go into mixed farming there is practically no limit to the quantity they could produce. With regard to quality, I think we have

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sufficient evidence to prove that when the farmers of western Canada pay particular attention to any product, certainly they can produce a good quality. I need only refer to the fact that when those who have stock farms in western Canada exhibit their products at the royal winter fair in Toronto, they generally take a number of prizes.

The hon. member for Bow River gave a number of figures showing a comparison of the prices and values of farm products. He put on record the receipts from field crops in Canada during the years 1928 to 1931. To compare the amount received for the crop of 1928, when we had the largest cereal crop we have ever had in Canada, and when the average price for the whole year was almost the highest we have known, with the amount received for the crop of 1930, when there was a crop failure in a large part of the western provinces and the price was considerably reduced, does not assist in arriving at any real conclusion. The hon. member also spoke of the cost of production. Without going into details I only wish to say that from practical experience I know the cost of production will be a great deal less this year. If we have a fair crop in western Canada, with the present cost of labour and of many articles which the farmer has to buy, I believe the farmer will make more with wheat at 70 cents a bushel than he made in 1929, when the cost of labour and of everything else was considerably higher.

There has been a good deal of discussion with regard to the proposed marketing board. This afternoon I was delighted to hear the ex-Minister of Agriculture commend the creation of this board, and I think the hon. gentleman paid a very great compliment to the present Minister of Agriculture. The hon. member for Melville, seems to have changed in the last few days. When a member of parliament comes to a mature age I have noticed that he either becomes a very ardent partisan or takes the broader view and listens more readily to the. opinions of others, and I was very pleased to note that the ex-Minister of Agriculture is following the latter course. I think a marketing board should be formed. We need it at the present time. There is no use going into details, quoting figures to show the position of agriculture today, I think it is recognized by everyone that something must be done and done in the near future. WTe are faced with a grave crisis, with realities that must be met at once. A marketing board could do very much by way of making investigation and making a real survey, studying the whole question of market-

[Mr. E. E, Perky.j

ing agricultural products. I do not think if, would be wise to form a board unless we gave them teeth, so to speak, to some extent; that is to say, after they have made a certain investigation, and think that they could facilitate the marketing of our products and assist in bringing about an increase in the prices of those products, they might be able to act in some way or other. How they could obtain funds is another question. It might be through a levy or a bonus, although I think the farmers throughout Canada realize that the bonusing of products is not the real solution of our problem in agriculture. I believe, however, that this board, after care' ful investigation, should report back to the department and that action should then be taken.

I am sure that the present minister is quite anxious that something should be done. We in Saskatchewan are extremely proud of the Hon. Mr. Weir; we feel that Saskatchewan is well represented by him in the government. He is a man of energy and ability and a man of great capacity for study, and I believe he has realized since he has held this office for nearly two years that there is a real problem facing him. I know he intends to do the right thing. I can assure hon. members that my association with him has proven that he is absolutely anxious to carry on in a nonpartisan spirit. So far as Saskatchewan is concerned, I know for a fact many of the appointments he has made have been without any regard whatever to partisanship; he has endeavoured to get the right man for the job. I am sure, therefore, that when he comes, if he does in the near future, to establish an export board, he will get the proper men, irrespective of their political leanings.

I do not think it is necessary to prolong the discussion just now. We are going to take the estimates up item by item, and it does not serve any real purpose putting a lot of useless figures on record. Certain comparisons have been made which in my opinion are ridiculous; they serve no purpose. The hon. member for Macdonald to-night compared the price of a pound of puffed wheat to the price of a bushel of wheat. Well, that serves no useful purpose, and it would have been equally ridiculous had he made the comparison with wheat at any price from S2 up to $4 a bushel with puffed wheat at 67 cents a pound. Such comparisons, I repeat, are useless. We have had a good deal of discussion in general and I would advise that we get down to detail and pass the estimates.

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LIB

Frederick William Gershaw

Liberal

Mr. GERSHAW:

The minister is aware of the condition of the ranchers in the district I represent; he knows the difficulties with which the sheep and cattle men have been faced in recent years. First, we had an embargo and then a duty which prevented their getting their products into the United States, and when the British market became available the departure of Great Britain from the gold standard seemed to bring fresh difficulties. Farm products are all being sold at prices much less than cost of production and never has the farming industry been at such a low ebb. I know that the minister will meet with many difficulties, but still I cannot help thinking he has a great opportunity, in view of these very difficulties, of working out a policy which would do something to bring happiness and contentment to the homes on the farms throughout this country. He knows that some of these large ranchers had cattle on the ocean when the British people went off the gold standard, and he knows that they received a price of something like $26 per head for their steers when they could have obtained as much as $54 in Canada. It seems unfortunate that we cannot take Professor Sandwell's advice to join the sterling group of nations, because it would bring the price for Canadians up to the price their competitors receive.

Someone spoke recently of putting a girdle round the whole British Empire. If they do, let us hope that this wall will not be too high, because we must realize that only thirty-eight. per cent of our exports are taken by British countries, so that we must extend our markets beyond British countries to the markets of the world if we are to meet with success.

It seems to me that this is no ordinary depression; rather a multitude of adversities has struck us at once and we find that there is a crisis in almost every system of our modern civilization. In the political system we have fears of war and revolution. The agriculturist has met with a great crisis which perhaps was coming anyway owing to the fact that so much new ground has been brought under cultivation while less agricultural products are being used. In addition to that, we have high tariffs against us, shutting out our products from their natural markets and particularly from the European markets. In the financial and economic realm we find that the delicate mechanism which has worked so well has ceased to function smoothly. We find that the automatic regulation of this system has broken down, and we hope that there will be some deliberate management which

in the future will help to maintain a more equal price level so that people may count at least on getting their costs of production. We find that this system which allowed a free flow of trade from country to country has been seriously interfered with by some long term agreements and cartels, and particularly by high tariffs the world over, and as a result we find gold hoarded in the vaults of the United States and France and great quantities of sugar and rubber and coffee and wheat are in storage containers. It would seem that, the different systems of the world have been carried on by men of keen but limited vision, each working in his own particular sphere, no Olympians, as it were, in the mountains keeping general control over the whole system. I believe that something along the lines of general control must be worked out, because if we correctly size up the cause of the situation, some such control must inevitably be brought into operation in order to solve the problem. We know that the prosperity of Canada depends on the prosperity of agriculture. We know that at the approaching Imperial economic conference an opportunity will be afforded for planning trade within the empire. As trade looks to world markets, may we not hope that in addition to planning inter-imperial trade our statesmen will reach out and do some planning for trade in the larger markets of the world, and thus do something to bring about a better condition of affairs.

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CON

George Brecken Nicholson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Before dealing with

the question of a marketing board, Mr. Chairman, I desire to correct some figures given by the hon. member for Macdonald (Mr. Weir), I think unintentionally, but nevertheless of a character to create uneasiness, particularly in farming communities, with regard to the percentage reductions in estimates of the various departments, particularly the Department of Agriculture, in relation to the whole estimates. If I understood my hon. friend aright, he stated that the general average reduction had been about ten per cent, as against thirty-three per cent in the agricultural estimates. May I remind him that in the total estimates there is an amount fixed by statute of two hundred and seventeen million dollars odd, from which the government can make no reduction whatsoever, comprised principally in three items-interest on public debt, pensions, subsidies to the provinces. In addition, this year there is an increase of thirteen million dollars odd in the interest on public debt. So the controllable expenditure is approximately $139,000,000. The reduction made in

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that expenditure, instead of being ten per cent is actually 40 per cent, as against a reduction of thirty-three per cent in the estimates of the Department of Agriculture.

With regard to the marketing board, I certainly am convinced that some scheme of organized marketing must be brought into being if we are successfully to compete with the world in exports not only of agricultural commodities-although at the moment I think those are the most important-but of many other commodities. I would commend to the Minister of Agriculture this idea, that without attempting a specific plan at this moment, he bring into being a body that can be used as a marketing board, or developed into an organization that will plan out the methods by which marketing can be controlled, because that is virtually what it means. I may say in passing that I have been working for the past four months with a fairly large committee in connection with the marketing of a product but second in importance to any agricultural product. We have been working in association with the purchaser of that product in England. I have become convinced that notwithstanding the fact, that the number of persons engaged in the production of this commodity is very much less than the number engaged in agricultural production, we must find some channel or clearing house through which that commodity can be marketed if it is ever to be put on the British market in a large way. We must be in a position to' control the class or grade of the product and the different types of that product for exportation, we must be in a position to say where it can be procured and in what volume, and further, we "must be in a position to say that there will be a continuous supply.

I think the first thing the British importer will say to you will be this: If we divert our importations of this particular commodity to Canada or some other overseas dominion, can we depend on getting our supplies three, four or five years hence? He will point to many cases in which we have exported goods to Great Britain and then suddenly diverted our business to some other country or closed down altogether. We shall never establish a sound business connection with the United Kingdom or any other part of the British Empire unless those who require our goods can depend on getting reasonably regular supplies to meet their demands-and supplies suited to their requirements, not what we happen to have to sell at the moment. We spent a couple of hours with that gentleman on the question of exporting a certain line of commodities now required in England, but because of the fact '

that we have not been looking ahead and consequently have not any plans, we cannot furnish the business.

I commend the whole scheme of a marketing board-a body that will control markets and take the surplus products off the home market. After all, the surplus product in agriculture is not very great with the exception of wheat in the west and potatoes in the maritimes. We are consuming the greater portion of our agricultural products. It does not require very much exportation from time to time to relieve the home market of a surplus of perishable commodities, such as meat, butter, cheese, and so on-I need not go into that; every member interested in agriculture knows the facts. But lumber, for example, is in a vastly different position. We have various lumber commodities in very large quantities for export, and that will always be the case if the industry is to be on a stable basis. Let me say again, we must make up our minds to provide channels through which the British importer will know when he may get what he requires. Personally, I do not see how this can be accomplished except through some agency in the shape of a marketing board in the case of agricultural products, and in the case of other commodities perhaps a clearing house or corporation. Something of the kind must be set up. I do not suggest that all the details can be worked out in a day or even a month, but I do feel that the minister should take authority to enable him to bring into being such an organization just as quickly as it can be made to function.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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LIB

Thomas Merritt Cayley

Liberal

Mr. CAYLEY:

Mr. Chairman, I come from the county of Oxford, which you might say is the home of the dairy business of Canada. The dairy breeding and selecting has been perfected to such a degree there that Oxford stock has been sought after in all parts of the world as foundation stock for dairy herds. Oxford county is also the home of the first cooperative cheese factory. Further, it is the birthplace of our first dairy commissioner, Doctor J. A. Ruddick. I see he is about to retire from his position after a long and valuable life given to that department of our national work. In the opening paragraph of his recent report he says:

As this will in all probability be the last time I shall have the privilege of addressing the Dairymen's Associations of western Canada as Dominion dairy commissioner, it would seem to be an appropriate occasion on which to review the development of the dairy branch and to put on record some of its more important activities. The further fact that I am the only person who has been connected with the branch

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from its inception, 42 years ago, to the present day, may possibly be considered as an additional reason for giving some publicity to the matter at this time.

The document I hold in my hand is a short review of the advancement that has been made in the dairy industry since his appointment as dairy commissioner forty-two years ago, showing how this great industry has prospered and developed through its different stages under his skilful management. We who represent the dairy farmers of the Dominion of Canada cannot pay too much tribute to the splendid work done by Doctor Ruddick in this regard. He says this in regard to conditions back in 1831 and 1892:

During the winter of 1891-92, the dairy branch demonstrated the practicability of operating creameries during that period of the year. Two cheese factories in Oxford county, one near Woodstock (East and West Oxford) and the other at Mount Elgin, were fitted up and equipped for winter butter making, and were operated by the branch for three winters along with others started the following year. As this was the first attempt to operate creameries during the winter months in Canada, it was an important step in the development of the modern creamery business.

Further on he refers to this historical and interesting fact of 1892, one which some hon. members will recall:

In September. 1892. we made the mammoth cheese for the World's Fair that was held the following year in Chicago. It was made at the Perth, Ontario, dairy station.

That was one of the things that was not made in Oxford.

The weight was eleven tons, and it was by far the largest cheese that had ever been made. It was sold and cut up in London. England, in May, 1894, and was first-class quality.

Without going through all the details of this interesting record, I would refer just to this long and useful life of Doctor Ruddick and the contribution he has made to this valuable industry. He says in this connection:

I cannot contemplate my dissociation with a work in which I have been actively engaged for fifty-two years, forty-two of which have been spent in public service, without some emotion.

Further on he says, giving one some idea of his splendid character:

On the whole, I do not regret that I have spent the best part of my working life in connection with this service. I probably could have made more money in the commercial side of the business-

We who know him all agree with him in that regard.

-but, after all, money is not everything. There has been a good deal of satisfaction in knowing that one has had some share in the development of the dairying industry of this country during the past forty-one years.

I take very much pleasure in paying this tribute to Doctor Ruddick.

The dairy business, along with others of the country, is in a very sad plight. When I think of the last election-and I do not want to refer to this in a political way, but I cannot help doing so-I think of how the Conservative party rode into power on the back of the dairy cow. Now that they have got into power, it looks from the decrease they have made in the estimates that they have deserted the cow; they have got off her back; they have set the dogs on her and she can shift for herself. While I say that, yet I have faith and confidence, perhaps more than has been suggested by some others on this side of the house, in the Minister of Agriculture; for in days gone by I played football with him and he played a good game. I believe the same energy which he put into the game of football in days gone by, he is putting into the game of administering his department in the government of Canada in these trying days.

I notice a report that in the Senate they are thinking of erecting monuments to some of the great leaders of the day. It would be a good thing, in view of what the dairy cow did for the Conservatives at the last election, if they erected, either in the Hall of Fame or somewhere on parliament hill, a monument to her, because, as many of us know to our regret, she won that great election for them. It seems to me that some tribute to the dairy cow should come from the Conservative party.

Let me say this regarding the dairyman's plight: It is rather sad that in a time when

so much benefit was to have been conferred upon the Canadian dairy industry by the shutting off of New Zealand butter, prices of dairy products in Canada should have fallen to a new level, the lowest in a generation. Apparently the high tariff medicine on butter succeeded only in making the patient sick. The fact is that the banning of New Zealand butter from Canada led the producers in this country to expect a much better return than formerly. And they had reason to expect that. I can imagine the campaigners of the last election, who visited the cow-stables of the farmers in my community, while they were looking at the cows and talking over the serious situation as they made it out to the farmers, saying: Let us see your last milk cheque; have you it with you? Do you want that milk cheque to be greater? If so, vote Tory. The farmers believed this. I canvassed man after man who said to me: "No. I would like to vote for you, but we are promised more money." There was no "if"

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about the matter; they were surely promised that they would get more money. Now they are wondering where it is; they are looking at their milk cheques and at their egg cheques too. The last time I was home, one poor fellow said to me: "I came in with my

eggs to-day, expecting with the proceeds to buy the little one a pair of shoes, but I did not get enough money, so the poor kid had to do without." I am not blaming the Conservative party for the condition of affairs, but I am blaming them for holding out those false hopes. I really believe they misrepresented things; they represented future conditions in too rosy a fashion, llie result of the banning of New Zealand butter was that the production of Canadian butter increased until presently we found ourselves on an export market-and that was to be the saviour of the butter industry-facing New Zealand competition in Europe, and the Canadian price of butter was governed by the export price. Besides all of this-and this is the sad part of it-New Zealand retaliated against Canada, resulting in untold damages to the domestic market which had proven so valuable.

The February issue of the Ontario Milk Producer has a few interesting things to say on this subject. It says that dairy farming must be safeguarded. I quote:

Help the dairy industry and more individual farmers in Ontario will benefit than in any other way. In saying this we have no desire to belittle the claims of other branches of agriculture. We are merely trying to emphasize the importance of dairying in Ontario's agriculture.

There has been talk about the back to the farm movement. There is a decided back to the farm movement. In some communities every family is getting someone back to the farm. Sons and daughters, with their families are coming back as never was the case before. The farmers are bearing a very heavy burden, not only of taxation, but because of those who are returning home. One young man told me just the other day that in his community there was only one family which had not already added to its burden someone, a relative, son or daughter, who had come home to live with the family because they could not get work in the cities and towns. Furthermore they are coming back from the United States. Just before the last election the great cry was, "Our sons and daughters are going to the United States." Well, I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that they are coming back now, and as they said about little Peter, "they are coming back as they never came before."

.

George H. Barr, speaking at the London convention, said:

In 1900 the dairy business occupied a very minor position, the total annual value of its products being approximately $34,760,330 as compared with a value of $104,858,000 in 1930. As a matter of fact, dairying to-day constitutes the major item in agricultural revenue. The value for 1931 will be somewhat lower than that of 1930, but the production of milk has established a new record.

And further:

I wonder if we always remember that the foundation of this great industry which has helped pay off more mortgages on Ontario farms than any other branch of agriculture is that quiet, inoffensive animal, the mother cow which you see strolling around the pasture fields or lying contentedly in the shade of our Ontario maple trees as you drive along your splendid country roads and our wonderful highways, and do we not often forget that these old mother cows are probably doing more to help pay for these splendid roads and highways than any other living thing in the whole province.

If the hon. member for Marquette or the poet member for Selkirk were here I would like to read for their benefit this little poem that I picked up, entitled The Cow. If I were the author of it I would dedicate it to these hon. gentlemen, but I cannot do that. This poem is very significant; probably the Minister of Agriculture will enoy it:

The Cow

By E. Merrill Root

That four-legged fountain called a cow Is stranger than the Sphinx;

What Oedipus has told us how Green grass within a copper cow Turns the white milk he drinks?

The Roc from the Arabian tale Was not so strange as she;

Jonah's apartment in the whale Beside her alchemy's a pale And gentle verity.

God's jolly cafeteria With four legs and a tail,

As mystic as the Cabala,

An elf in rufous taffeta,

She pours us ivory ale.

The Tavern of the Crumpled Horn.

She pours a cosmic flood That antedates John Barleycorn;

'Twill feed the Superman unborn;

It nourished Adam's blood.

That might help the hon. member to win his next election. We have heard so much about garnet wheat during the present session that one might think that we produced nothing else in Canada-and by the way I think another session we should have some other line of agriculture stressed a little more in the committee work. Mr. Barr says:

In Ontario there are about a million and a half corvs going quietly about the business of producing the material that kept in operation in 1931, 290 creameries, 719 cheese factories, 29

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milk condenseries and milk powder plants, 525 milk and cream distributing plants, and dozens of ice cream plants. The old mother cow is also doing her share in providing the milk and cream used in scores of bakeries, confectionery and chocolate factories.

May I pause here to interject that in view of the hardships the dairymen are up against these days, and the heavy taxation the farmer finds imposed upon him municipally, pro-vineially and otherwise, I would urge that he be exempted from any further burden by way of the sales tax. Mr. Barr goes on to say:

Ontario produces about one-third of all the creamery butter, and about two-thirds of all the cheese manufactured in Canada. Three-quarters of the milk condenseries and milk powder plants in Canada are located in the province of Ontario. Slightly over ninety-five per cent of the cheese made in Ontario in 1931 was first-grade quality.

You may talk about Manitoba, Quebec and the other provinces, but surely it cannot be denied that Ontario is leading in respect of dairy production. Mr. Barr says further:

We estimate that about seventy per cent of Ontario creamery butter is first-grade also, and it is practically all made from pasteurized cream, which gives it that nice, mild flavour which we all like so much on our toast and breads.

Since agriculture is the basic industry, the basic foundation upon which all other industry rests, I think we should treat it as a basic industry, and not treat the secondary industries as basic industries. Do not let us get them misplaced. If agriculture is made to flourish, if prices of agricultural products can be raised, all will enjoy the prosperity that will follow. So I say, treat agriculture as a basic industry. Feed it and nourish it and dig around it and see the roots are well kept, because it is our root industry. In speaking of it the Prime Minister said: We are ready to put all the resources of this dominion behind the dairy industry. Yet we see this government reducing the estimates of this department more than any other department of the government. Thirty-three and one-third per cent is chopped off, and that is the way the government is putting all the resources of this dominion behind the hard working farmers of this country. It seems to .me to be beginning at the wrong place, and I would throw out this suggestion: To this so-called invisible government which is behind the government and has been dictating its policies, and which with the dairy cow helped the government into power, I hope the Prime Minister will say: "I listened to you once before and raised the tariffs because we had an idea that your theory was right. But you were wrong. You have ruined us, you have brought our country to the verge of bankruptcy, and now we are going to begin with the basic industry and build it up, and on that firm basis our other industries, manufactures and everything else, will flourish."

I think all will agree with me that the National Dairy Council have studied this question exhaustively. Let us see what they have to say about the condition of affairs and what they have to offer by way of suggestions. This is from the president F. E. M. Robinson. He says:

I wish to make it very clear that the rvhole question of future prices in our industry is bound up in the question of sterling exchange and its relation to our currency and to that of the United States. We cannot meddle in these high matters-

I do not know why.

-but I must point out that an active inflationary policy in the United States resulting 1 n a depreciation of the value of their money might necessitate similar action in this country for vre could hardly maintain ourselves if our currency rvere to be at a premium over both London and New York.

He says further:

This is of course conjectural, but I wish to make it clear that existing debts cannot be validated at existing prices, and hence we may conclude that means either natural or artificial will be found to depress the value of money and raise the prices of commodities. This is the long term view, but in the meantime we can and must use this period of hard times for a drastic cutting of costs.

When the New Zealand treaty was under discussion before a committee of the house I asked the minister if the National Dairy Council had been called in to advise respecting some of the terms of the legislation, and he answered that it had not. I was sorry to receive that information, because I think they should not have been overlooked. I wonder if their wishes and suggestions will not foe considered during the coming Imperial economic conference. I should like to read the following to the minister from the National Dairy Council:

It is expected that the Imperial economic conference will be held in Ottawa probably in Julv. The date is now only a little over three months distant and very little has been done to prepare a case for agriculture comparable to the carefully prepared arguments which will be advanced by the industrial interests.

It looks as though the conference may be onesided and that the farmers will be left out, only to find that the industrial interests have had their way. I continue reading:

We may take it, I think, that the British delegation will have two thoughts in mind- namely, an outlet for British manufactured goods and reasonably cheap food for the British consumer. From this it is clear that the case for Canadian agriculture as a whole must be

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made so strong that it may be accepted as part of our national program. I am not satisfied that any adequate appreciation of this need exists as yet in this country, and in the short time at our disposal we must make every effort to work with the other agricultural interest to this end.

I do not think any useful purpose would be served by continuing the discussion longer. I have tried to point out to the minister the very great importance of this line of agricultural activity in the province of Ontario, and what it means to the people in my county. I must say they are beginning to lose faith in governments and politicians. I can best illustrate my point by relating the following incident. I do not know how it came about, but a young chap from the city of Ottawa drifted into the county of Oxford, and the other night he called at my home asking for something to eat. Having given him his meal and finding out that he had come from Ottawa, they asked him how conditions were in this city. His reply was, "Ottawa, is nothing but tourists and politicians; there is no plaice for a poor man like me." That seems to be the feeling growing prevalent throughout Canada, namely that Ottawa is no place for a poor labouring man out of work, but a place for only politicians and tourists.

I assure the minister I shall join with him; I hope other hon. members will take a similar attitude and that we may be successful, in these days of adversity, in broadcasting the feeling that Ottawa is doing something worth while and making an effort to help out. The matter of currency is something I cannot settle in my own mind, but no doubt presents a difficulty which should be met. When I read that great economists and other men of outstanding ability say our currency is weak or that it is at fault, then I say, let us try something. There is no doubt that the farmers of Canada, cannot long continue in their state of bankruptcy. I fear for them, and I do not think I could better illustrate their condition than by quoting from a speech made by the Hon. Louis Ludlow of Indiana. Speaking at. Washington not long ago he said:

Every time I receive a letter from home I utter a Methodist prayer before I open it, because I know it is going to bring some new tale of tough luck.

Further on he states:

Every dirt farmer in Indiana has got the shimmy shaking blues-

Whatever that is. I suppose it is a condition which would keep one awake at night. The fact is, however, that the farmers do not know what to do. Speaking about the price of hogs he says this:

IMr. Cayley.]

When I have completed a hog for the market and bid him farewell .as he leaves for the slaughter pen, I admire him for his architectural beauty, but I weep softly when I think that everything I put into him is a dead loss, except perhaps the squeal. I find no balm in Gilead.

Speaking about the price of eggs he has the same tale of woe:

Every time one of my hens cackles after conferring an egg on me, she seems to boast brazenly over adding one more link to my deficit.

Then he goes on further in this interesting speech, and tells about a little creek flowing back of the barn, and about the old swimming hole in which he used to go swimming. He tells of having listened to the song of the frogs, but states further that in these days there is no joy in their song. He says:

The bullfrogs broadcast the dolorous slogan, "tough luck, tough luck."

Let me assure hon. members of this: tough as it is, these farmers of Canada, of Ontario, of Oxford county, are of the very best calibre; they are the very best stuff. In a real sense they are the true pioneer stock. May I close my remarks by again referring to Mr. Ludlow's speech. In my view the piece of verse I am about to quote describes very well the present conditions of the farmer, and his hope and faith for the future:

Work all summer till winter's nigh,

Then figure up the book, and heave a big sigh.

Work all year; don't make a thing;

Got less cash than I had last spring.

Now, some people tell us there ain't no hell, But they never farmed, so they can't tell.

When spring rolls round I take another chance.

While the fringe grows longer on my old gray pants. _

Give my s'penders a hitch, my belt another jerk And, by beck, I'm ready for a full year's work.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Mr. Chairman, I rise to say a few words in regard to the export marketing board, and shall direct my remarks to one particular line of agricultural endeavour which up to the present time has not been mentioned in this discussion, namely the poultry industry. I shall speak not entirely with reguard to Canada as a whole but with particular reference to the province of British Columbia.

Due to the mild climate and the freedom from extremes of heat in summer or cold in winter the lower mainland of British Columbia, Vancouver island and adjacent islands are very suitable for egg and poultry production. As the soil in many parts is inclined to be gravelly and well drained, it is well adapted to poultry raising. The flocks of laying birds

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in British Columbia are among the finest in the world, and are specially bred and selected for heavy egg production. The average production per bird is 144 eggs per year.

Prior to 1920 the province of British Columbia did not produce enough eggs to supply its own requirements, and it was necessary to import eggs to meet the demand. Development of the industry was very rapid from 1920 until 1929, when production reached its highest point. In that year production was sufficient to supply domestic needs, and 177,754 cases or 389 carloads of eggs were shipped out of the province to eastern Canada. Carload shipments out of British Columbia, according to figures supplied by the Dominion live stock branch were: 1926, 55 cars; 1927, 155 cars; 1928, 362 cars; 1929, 389 cars; 1930, 310 cars. In addition to carload shipments at various times considerable quantities were exported by water to other countries.

The poultry population in 1929 was estimated at two and one-half million birds, and there were from 3,500 to 4,000 commercial poultrymen engaged in the business. The average price to producers that year was about 30 cents per dozen, or a gross earning of S3.60 per bird. In 1930 there was a decline in production of about 15 per cent due to lower prices, high feed costs, and consequent reduced profits.

During 1931 there was a further very serious decline in production estimated at about 25 per cent under last year, large numbers of producers having been forced to sell their entire flocks. I had a letter the other day from a neighbour of mine who, when I came to Ottawa at the opening of the session, had a flock of one thousand birds. He has been compelled to sell them at the rate of about 100 a month in order to pay his feed costs. For three pound birds which cost him 85 cents to bring to maturity he has been receiving only a total price of 25 cents. Unless better prices are obtained the industry will largely disappear in British Columbia. The production of eggs and poultry in that province is a highly specialized business. The poultry plants are operated on small acreages, the average being about five acres. That may sound strange to farmers who are accustomed to 100 or 160 acres, but many of those five acre plants represent investments from $20,000 to $75,000. I know one man who has an incubator capacity of 120,000 eggs, producing baby chicks for sale. Feeds consist of approximately ninety-five per cent low grade grain and grain products, most of wdiich is shipped from the prairie provinces and if this market is closed to the prairie farmers

it will mean a considerable loss in revenue to them. The farmer is no longer an individualist; in the old days he could barter by himself, but that has all been changed. In the past wholesalers were rather pleased when there was a surplus of products, because that meant lower prices to the producers with consequent larger profits to themselves. Today Canada is the largest consumer of eggs in the world, the average being 365 eggs per capita per annum. This has been brought about by our high grading and the high quality of our products.

It cannot be expected that the various provinces should go into the import countries of the world seeking markets for their products. I believe this is a field which the export marketing board could cover very well, and I should like to see that plan at least tried out. I do not know that it would solve all our difficulties, but at least it would be a step in the right direction and would assure to the importing countries uniformity and quality. They could also deal with the question of continuity of supply, which is one of the important things to be considered when you sell products in a foreign market.

I just desired to bring this matter to the attention of the minister, because I have not heard this branch of agriculture discussed, except in a cursory way. I hope if a board is appointed some real poultryman will be included among its members.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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May 13, 1932