I want to ask the minister in regard to a complaint I have received from those interested in the butter business in Nova Scotia as to the release of some 8,000 boxes of New Zealand butter on February 22. The complaint was that the dairymen's association and the men in the creamery business down there were not consulted, but word seemed to have gotten out in some way to the packing houses that this butter was to be released, with the result that on the twentieth the packing houses began to sell and consequently cut the price from one to two cents. I have here a copy of the newspaper of February 23 announcing it; I presume the order was made on February 22. The Nova Scotia creameries have lost one to two cents a pound on butter on account of the drop in price, due, they feel, to some leak whereby the release of this New Zealand butter got to the ears of the packers. Was the minister concerned in that himself?
Not primarily concerned, but I happen to know something about it. But in the period the hon, member speaks of, when it was known that this butter was in Halifax, the price did not drop; it advanced from 26i cents to 30 cents in Montreal.
-I need not say it, he knows it,-that I do not suggest for an instant that the release could have taken place with his knowledge. But I have received a letter to-night from a responsible creamery operator in Nova Scotia, expressing very keen feeling about the situation which developed there. I understand the Nova Scotia Dairymen's Association wired the minister protesting against the release of the butter for at least four or six weeks. Similar wires sent by farmers' organizations. Notwithstanding these protests I understand the butter was released on February 22, and there was a fall in the price of butter that week of two cents a pound. Those are the facts given to me.
will allow me to suggest it, I should like to go into thatt with him privately. I cannot see how any loss has taken place, for we have information that from the time this butter was landed in Halifax until to-day or yesterday there has been a continual advance in the price of butter both in Toronto and Montreal, and I presume in the maritimes.
As a result of this release and the apparent advance information Nova Scotia creameries have lost two cents per pound on butter sold v 1Si w,ee'c- The buyer is now using New Zealand butter as an argument to buy at still lower prices.
It is quite obvious that the dairy industry was not considered in this matter. No doubt this industry as a whole will protest the action at this time.
They did protest. I have no doubt the minister has had wires from them.
there must be some mistake, because this is a responsible gentleman and he says the creameries have lost two cents a pound on butter sold this week. I am quite willing to accept my hon. friend's invitation and discuss the matter with him privately, and I do not mind showing him the letter.