May 8, 1934

CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

We have not the

consumption figures at hand. I shall be glad to look up the hon. member's statement that he put on Hansard and endeavour to have an answer for him.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I thank the hon. gentleman, and I shall send him a copy right away. Those figures are prepared and compiled on the basis of official information, as I said before.

Now there is another aspect of the matter. I shall send that other tabulation to the hon. gentleman with a third one, in order that he may have opportunity to peruse those figures. Let us come to the net losses suffered by the Canadian farmers in the sale of those twelve farm products. The exports must be taken also. This summary includes the amount of decrease in home consumption according to the prices of 1933; also the 1933 exports compared with the exports for 1930, and in the third column the total loss to the producer or farmer:

Losses suffered by the Canadian farmers in the sale of twelve commodities

or farm products

Value of decrease 1933 exports

in home consumption compared with

1933 prices 1930 Total lossApples

$ 2,601,358 + $ 2,050,494 $ 550,864Honey

953,568 + 111,363 842,305Eggs

5,974,769 + 352,507 5,622,262Dressed beef

5,198,138 - 672,534 5,870,672Concentrated milk .. .. 3,674,310 - 851.093 4,525,403Cheese .. .. 822.009 - 5,130.401 5,952,410Potatoes .. .. 964,172 - 5,504,758 6,468,930Peas .. .. 473,177 - 3,819 476,996Oats .. .. 1,543,658 + 635.552 908,106Barley

11,604,185 + 225,488 11,378,697Wheat

15,165,258 63,373,340 78,538,598Wheat flour .. .. 5,759,490 - 18,523,737 24,283,227$34,333,884 $145,418,470

Then, to sum up the whole matter we find that in 1933 the loss sustained in external and internal trade on twelve farm products amounted to $145,418,470. The difference between the 1933 prices on these twelve farm products as compared with the prices in 1930 amounted to $51,863,714. Giving the same comparison in regard to butter we have the figure of $2,924,393 and in regard to pork meat $20,792,046. The loss to the farmer in the year 1933 on the fourteen commodities, namely apples sold by the barrel, honey by the pound, eggs by the dozen, dressed beef, concentrated milk, cheese, potatoes, peas, oats, barley, wheat, wheat flour, butter and pork

meat, amounted to $220,998,623. This loss is one which has been sustained by the farmers, and when we are considering a decrease in home consumption we are not dealing with tariffs, but are dealing with trade within Canada.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

By how much was

our external trade in apples increased? The hon. member did not mention that.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I shall read it again to

the hon. member. Of course, 'he will see it to-morrow in Hansard. The value of the 1932-33 decrease in home consumption of apples sold by the barrel at the prices pre-

Marketing Act

vailing in 1933 amounted to $2,601,358. From that we have deducted the surplus of the exports of 1933 over those of 1930, amounting to $2,050,494, leaving a total loss to the apple producer of $550,864.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

The hon. member's figures are absolutely incorrect.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I would ask the hon. member to give the minister a chance to answer. When he is minister he will have an opportunity to give information to the house. Meantime I should be delighted to have my answers from the minister. I shall send him those statistics. I am sure he realizes fully that it is a great anomaly in a country such as ours to have a decrease in the home consumption of, for instance, eggs, of 45,959,763 dozen. That is incredible. The decrease in the consumption of wheat has been over 55,000,000 bushels. The decrease in the consumption of wheat flour is 1,689,000 barrels. These figures are almost incredible. Presumably there are some people who cannot even eat bread. Despite the fact that our population is now greater, the people must be eating less, because they cannot buy food-farm products. The condition, is all the more incredible because prices of farm products are today much lower; in fact they are one-half and, in some instances, one-third what they were in 1930. Prices have fallen; yet the Canadian people are suffering such hardships that despite the decreases in prices they cannot buy food. What is the reason? What remedy would be applied by the minister? May I say to him that these changes in home consumption developed gradually; the decrease did not come upon us like an earthquake. It developed from year to year, and if the minister would peruse the statistics he would learn that in all . those fourteen products, with the exception of two, namely, butter and pork meat, in each year there was a decline in home consumption. The trend was downward. At this time I shall ask the minister what the government has done in the past four years to stop that decline and to see that the home consumption in farm products shall not decrease any more. I believe I am acting fairly with the minister, because I am not asking him for information about fish, which is mentioned in the bill; neither do I ask him for information with regard to timber. I have not questioned him about the leather industry, or about those industries mentioned by the Prime Minister in his speech of October 12, 1932. Although I have the figures before me in regard to 'fish products and the lumber industry, I shall not ask the minister questions about it. He 74726-183J

is in charge of the department which serves agriculture. As an able farmer he must know more about his department than any other hon. member, because not only has he all the information sent in from all parts of the country, but as boss of his department his officers must work in accordance with his instructions. He receives weekly or monthly reports about the situation of agriculture in all parts of the country. If his information is not complete he has that great privilege which other hon. members envy at times, namely that of ordering his officers to get him the information he desires. Then, he has the valuable services of his deputy, and those of another gentleman who at the present time is sitting in front of him.

To-day I am asking the minister to answer my questions which, I believe, are fair and reasonable. I do not wish to cause trouble, but I want information so that when I go home and my people ask me the same very reasonable and sensible questions I may be in the position to tell them, " I asked this question of the Minister of Agriculture in the House of Commons when I was speaking in your name, and he gave me the illuminating answer which I shall now give to you." I am sure the minister will give me the information at once.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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CON

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROWN:

Mr. Chairman-

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Just a moment; I am

just concluding my remarks. I am sure the minister will answer.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

My understanding

was that with these statistics on record in Hansard an answer would be submitted to the hon. member for Temiscouata.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I thank you.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, Bill No. 51, under consideration seems to me-pardon the expression-a deceitful bill. I shall not dwell on the title:

An act to improve the methods and practices involved in the marketing of natural products in Canada and in export trade, and to make further provision in connection therewith.

It is futile to discuss the title of this bill, it is but necessary to examine the provisions to have an immediate and comprehensive idea of the powers which the government was unable to obtain by the signature in blank act, it insists that such powers be granted to it by this bill. The government stated: Pursuant to the unemployment act, grant us full power to relief those in want.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

Hear, hear.

Marketing Act

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

Through this bill, introduced by the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) who is an excellent man, the government intends to help agriculture. How? I ask the minister. How can he help agriculture, at present, by this bill? Price levels will be raised. How? I shall briefly express my views: It is simply intended by this bill to favour the large interests to the detriment of the small wage earner-

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

Hear, hear.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

-although giving the impression that the bill is favouring the latter.

After examining this bill, sir, I wonder what it embodies that might be helpful to the farming class. Will it be by preventing too great a spread between the prices paid to producers and those exacted from the consumers by the distributors? How? It is the old saw: We shall endeavour to help you; however our friends are wealthy, they will make money at your expense and nothing will be left for you. It is the same old saw we have been listening to for the last four years and it will continue so after the bill is enacted.

The reason always given is that the opposition has no suggestion to make. This bill affords me, as a humble rural member, an opportunity to offer one. If the hon. minister would include my suggestion in this bill, I readily would support the measure, because the bill then would be helpful to the farmer. Previous to selling his products, the government should see that he grows them. To grow them he must be given the necessary means. I therefore would offer the committee the following suggestion: In each of our parishes, throughout every county there are, at present, at least ten abandoned farms. This is perhaps underestimating the truth, however, I am not exaggerating when I state that, in each parish of Quebec, Ontario and other provinces, at least ten farms, at present, have been abandoned. By whom? By farmers. This bill aims at improving the land where our farmers live. Ten farms by parish and as there are 1,500 municipalities in Quebec, it makes a very large number of farms abandoned. These figures are equally true for other provinces proportionately to their popplation. The endeavours made by the government-and there are some that are very landable which I approve-to help the settlers and unemployed should also be extended to our farmers. It so happens that,

in our rural districts, there are excellent farmers and workers, who, having a large family, wish to purchase adjacent farms which have been abandoned, they cannot do so, however, owing to lack of money. Instead of endeavouring to market the farmers' products, the government should provide them with the means to purchase land. A provision should be embodied in this bill by which the farmer could be granted an amount sufficient to purchase a land that has been cleared, where there is a house and out buildings and where he could settle one of his sons, who the following autumn could, by the sale of his crops, have sufficient to live upon and even get married, make a home for himself and thus be in a position to make use of the services of the blacksmith, the merchant, the doctor and other professional men. That would really be doing good work, and would help the back to the farm movement and would be an inducement to keep on the farm those who like farm life.

In our parishes, at present-I have had some experience-farms can be purchased for $1,500 and even $1,200, by paying $200 cash and $50 per year. These farmers would live on the land and would no further depend on the state. The government would have thus provided them with a home and the whole of Canada would reap the benefit. Such a provision would foe far more beneficial than numerous provisions in this bill, which is veiy obscure. Include such a section and thus afford me an opportunity to vote for this bill. After all, it is preferable to keep in our midst 3,000 sons of our province and 4,000 of Ontario as well as many others from other provinces, instead of their being forced to seek another country. It is better to settle these young men on the land than to endeavour to force upon them profits on products that do not exist and even when they were grown by their fathers, the latter could not dispose of them because the markets had been lost by this government.

That is my suggestion.

Hon. members opposite contend that no suggestion comes from this side; well, this is one. Accept it and include it in the bill. I am expressing my own views; however, a number of members on this side would support such a measure because it would be an efficient remedy. Instead of pretending to help the farming class, the government would really be accomplishing something; even if such a provision has been put forth by a

Marketing Act

member on this side, the government could take all the credit-while the public would be grateful to us.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

Hear, hear.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

The government cannot expect the farmers to benefit from the fact it takes up farming. This bill like others introduced by this government aims at enriching a small group. On behalf of the people, on behalf of my fellow-citizens, I request hon. members opposite to cease making laws to favour the wealthy. Be honest and endeavour to help the farmers, those who produce butter, eggs, pork and beef. Do not attempt after four years to introduce a bill to create markets. Such is not the case. It is simply an attempt to deceive the people who, however, can no longer be fooled.

Be honest! The government have promised that butter would sell at 70 cents per pound, and it sold, on an average, 19 cents for the last four years; they promised that eggs would sell 60 cents a dozen and they sold at 15 cents for the last four years.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

Election promises.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

The government promised to raise the price of hay. It is true that in Quebec and Ontario it has increased somewhat, but only when farmers had none. The government and members opposite are responsible for such a state of things. That was not to be laid at the door of Providence, for Providence seemed somewhat surprised. Bet the government, but especially the hon. Minister of Agriculture, show their good will by including in this bill the practical suggestion which I have just made. Let them find some remedy to relieve the ills from which our farmers suffer, they who have been left penniless; thus the bill introduced in the house will prove to be of some practical benefit.

I shall support this measure inasmuch as the government agrees to accept my suggestion, otherwise, I shall oppose it for the simple reason that the government is powerless to dispose of the products which have been accumulating on the markets for the last four years. Those that should be helped, at present, are the farmers, especially, those who wish to settle their sons on farms adjacent to theirs and on very reasonable terms.

Some loaners are willing to sacrifice a mortgage of $1,200 for $500. There are people who willingly would make sacrifices, but the

government, themselves, will not do any. Let the government bestir themselves to help the people.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

Let them

do something!

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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May 8, 1934