May 8, 1934

LIB

Joseph-Achille Verville

Liberal

Mr. VERVILLE (Translation):

I shall

quote a typical case. Recently, a farmer called at my office, the father of eleven children-it appears that a certain U. S. judge finds it criminal to raise such a large family- a good Canadian, a devoted father and devout catholic and, moreover, one of my constituents. He has led a good life and will continue to do so. He purchased a settler's lot and had already cleared 15 acres and had intended to settle his son on it but had not sufficient money, because it would have taken $200 or $300 or even $500 to put the land into shape. He inquired of me whether he could be assisted, I was obliged to inform him that neither the dominion Minister of Agriculture nor the provincial Minister of Agriculture granted any assistance. He was therefore obliged to sacrifice his lot and keep his son at home.

The government have an opportunity to help the farmer by this bill. Let them do so, I beg of them!

I have just quoted an example such as exists not only in Quebec or Ontario but throughout the dominion. If the abject of the bill is to save agriculture and help the farming class, let the government begin by assisting heads of families who wish to settle their sons and own lots close to their farm but who have not the necessary funds to do so.

Those are my suggestions and I beg of the hon. Minister of Agriculture to include them in his bill. Before even regulating the marketing of products, the opportunity must be afforded to farmers and their sons to produce them.

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

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to discuss the principle of the bill on this section, which deals with the title, because I think that would only be prolonging the debate that has already taken place on the principle when the second reading of the bill was before the house. But I wish to ask the minister a question, possibly two, and I do not want to see them meet the fate of the question asked by the hon. member for Ontario which caused at least delay and a good deal of mysticism. I will hedge it around so far as possible to make it perfectly plain, and so that there can be the least opportunity of receiving other than a distinct reply.

Marketing Act

The minister in various speeches at different stages of this bill has stressed quite particularly his desire for cooperation from all sides of the house, and when I heard him express that wish my heart warmed to him. I thought that here was a man who was going to rise superior to party allegiance and' was willing at least to consider the views of others in the house than members of his own party, which certainly was a spirit well calculated in a bill of this kind to produce a serviceable bill and one that would go through expeditiously. But, sir, while the minister gave that lip service to the idea of cooperation I failed to find in his actions any evidence that he would be glad to receive or that he would even allow cooperation. Anyone taking the stand and expressing the desire for cooperation might have refrained from indulging in personalities, as the minister did in his last speech in closing the debate on second reading. That was a course entirely unprovoked unless we must regard it as a crime even to comment on the bill or criticize its very obvious deficiencies.

The minister got a large amount of support, solid support I think, from this corner of the house, supplemented by the two Independents and by two Liberals, and nearly every one of these men who spoke in support of the bill, including the ex-Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) and the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner), the leader of the farmer group in this house, and I am not sure if not some of the members behind the minister-who voted for the second reading-said they did so with the desire that the bill would go to the agriculture committee where its manifest weaknesses, discrepancies and contradictions might be threshed out at greater ease than could possibly be done here. When the minister was pressed to yield that point, the customary thing which has been done before, he would not give way. I do not think there was much spirit of cooperation there.

Then later on we find the minister saying that he had a number of amendments to make to the bill, and the Prime Minister went further than that and said there was a large number of amendments. I have Hansard here, if anyone doubts it. Then the right hon. leader of the opposition, commenting on that fact, suggested, also I think in a spirit of cooperation, that the minister should put these amendments upon Hansard, should read them at the time, so that they would appear in Hansard and be available to us all. But the minister bluntly refused to do so, and while he referred to two amendments that he proposed to introduce he did so vaguely, without

reference to any particular section merely saying that they were to clarify the bill, giving us no precise indication of the nature of the amendment or where it would come in, in which case we would have had an opportunity of seeing whether it was calculated to carry out the intent behind it.

Later on in the debate before the committee rose I brought the matter up again, and suggested that the minister might well, indeed I begged him to put his amendments in- the votes and proceedings, which would not destroy the continuity of the record in Hansard, but would make the amendments available to us all. But the minister was not willing, or at any rate did not take that action. There is ample precedent for such conduct. In the British House of Commons there is a very distinct rule, a rule hedged around with penalties, that no one, no matter what his position may be in parliament, shall introduce an amendment to a bill without giving notice. That means that the amendment appears on their votes and proceedings, or whatever corresponds to our votes and proceedings. Take the position here. When the Senate sends back a bill with amendments they are not considered in this house until notice has been given of the details of each and every amendment. Those amendments appear in our votes and proceedings and we are therefore able to form an opinion on the actual amendments. We go further than that. There is standing order 113 to be found at page 279 of Beauchesne's rules which provides that in the case of private bills, no important amendment can be moved in committee unless notice has been given. That means, unless it appears in votes and proceedings. The Prime Minister of Canada could not introduce an amendment of any consequence to any private bill, even though it be some tuppeny-ha-penny bill dealing with a bridge or the incorporation of a company to make hair nets or grindstones, unless notice has been given in the ordinary way. I admit that this is not compulsory in connection with government bills but this practice has the sanction of custom. Why does not the minister ask his colleagues what has been the custom in this house in years gone by? Let him ask the Minister of Finance what is the custom in connection with the budget. I recall very clearly, if he does not, that when the Prime Minister was Minister of Finance he introduced a budget containing a great many amendments to the tariff. Partly because of a suggestion of the leader of the opposition and partly through his own initiative he caused to be prepared elaborate

Marketing Act

documents showing the relation and consequence of the amendments proposed to the tariff. He did not need to do that as it was not legally necessary in the presentation of his budget. He could have let us struggle through trying to find out this information the best way we could by asking questions as each item came up but he had the courtesy and good sense to do it in that way. He facilitated the passage of the bill because we had the whole thing in front of us and did not need to ask any questions. I think we all appreciated his courtesy. The cost of printing a few lines in the votes and proceedings would be nothing while the benefit might be the saving of two or three days of debate.

I am quite certain that what I have said meets with the agreement of every hon. member of the house, with the possible exception of the minister himself. He proposes to read out each amendment as we go along. He will stand up and say, "Strike out all the third line after the word 1 and ' and insert these words." There may be considerable noise in the chamber and we may not be able to catch the amendment or not sufficiently appreciate its meaning. Questions will have to be asked and there will be more delay. We will either let it pass in ignorance-I hope that is not his idea-or we will insist on further explanations. Can any hon. member imagine a lawyer pleading a case in court and a judge telling him that the section of the act with which he is dealing has been amended and then reading out the amendment rapidly and expecting the lawyer to base his defence or line of argument upon that? I am certain that if the minister will agree with my suggestion he will greatly facilitate the passage of this bill. I ask him as plainly as I possibly can: Will you not give way to the suggestion I have made and, if not, why not?

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):

I agree with the hon. member who has just spoken that there is a good deal of force in what he has said. When this question was raised before I stated that consideration would be given but I regret that I have not brought the matter before my colleagues. I shall be glad to do so at the meeting to-morrow of the council and I will then give the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) a reply to his question.

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, I find it

necessary to make some reply to the remarks made this afternoon by the minister. When the committee rose at the last sitting the hon. member for Ontario had asked if this bill implied compulsion in the matter of marketing. A very simple answer could have

been given to that question but the minister has done nothing but skate around it. The minister knows that if this bill goes into effect it will be possible to have, let us say, a compulsory wheat pool. This is a question of outstanding importance in Saskatchewan. It is important also in Alberta; I do not think to the same extent in Manitoba. Should this bill pass it would be possible to establish a compulsory wheat pool under certain conditions. The minister knows just as well as the rest of us that that is what is intended and that that is what is sought by many of those who seek the passing of this legislation. Instead of stating that there was no such implication in the bill he proceeded to define compulsion and asked: Have we compulsion provided for in Canada? Those may not be his exact words but that is their meaning. I answered, "No," thinking, as any other hon. member in the house would have thought, that the compulsion referred to applied to the marketing of our products. The minister then proceeded to give what he considered to be a parallel case and he outlined the way in which our schools are carried on and our roads built. We all know that these matters of public interest are carried on by community effort. I hesitate to say what I think of that kind of argument. I do not think it would be worthy of a debate carried on in one of our country schools.

Apparently the minister does not realize the full implication of the proposals contained in this bill. They are much more far-reaching than he realizes. I should like to quote a few statements which appear already in Hansard and to which reference has already been made. I think these are important enough to be again brought to notice. Speaking on the second reading of this bill I expressed the fear that friction might arise between the provinces in the administration of the legislation. I said:

I see there the possibility of great friction, the possibility of difference arising between the provinces that may strain the bonds of confederation. Let us suppose for a moment that the apple growers of British Columbia view a certain course of action as being in their interest, the apple growers of Ontario take another view, and the apple growers of Nova Scotia still another. Let us suppose that they all want to get into the prairie market. As a consumer of fruit on the prairies I want to see that we can get the kind of apples we want. Yet this board which is to be brought into existence is to have the power to say that British Columbia apples can go to such and such a place, Ontario apples to another place and Nova Scotia apples to another place. *t may be just a prejudice but it is an idea that is strongly held on the prairies, especially

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among those who came from old Ontario, that Ontario apples are just a little better than British Columbia apples.

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

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Order, order I

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 (reading):

Mr. Bennett: What about Nova Scotia

apples?

Mr. Brown: I have not had the privilege of eating many Nova Scotia apples. There was one year in which they came west, and we would be very glad to have the privilege of buying Nova Scotia apples if we find them better than other apples.

I expressed the fear that friction might arise. The Minister of Trade and Commerce sees, as the minister does not see, the far-reaching implications of this bill; for the Minister of Trade and Commerce, as quoted 'by the hon. member for Ontario, made this statement:

For instance our friends in Nova Scotia, who are only five or six days distant from the British market can pour their apples in while British Columbia and Ontario might be handicapped in that regard. Or British Columbia might have say 10,000 cases going through by way of the Panama canal in cold storage; the market is in danger of being flooded, and someone from eastern Canada pours his apples in and destroys it. No one, I am sure, desires that.

The hon. member for Ontario, having quoted that statement, made this comment:

Well, may I tell the Minister of Trade and Commerce if I were a Nova Scotia apple grower I would desire it. I would like to take advantage of my geographical situation, and I believe the apple growers of Nova Scotia, generally, will take the same position.

Evidently the Minister of Trade and Commerce appreciates the far-reaching effects of this bill, as the Minister of Agriculture does not; for in advancing reasons for the bill he pointed out that the countries of Europe were setting up quotas applicable to us and that we should need to have this central board in existence to meet the terms of those quotas. Then he proceeds to give what to my mind ought to be the death blow to the bill, so far as Nova Scotia is concerned, when he thinks that the people of Nova Scotia will forego the advantages of their geographical situation. I can imagine that a similar situation might occur again and again. We might wish, as we certainly do wish, that human nature were so unselfish and self-sacrificing that the people of Nova Scotia would be willing to forego that advantage, but it is rather unsafe for us to frame legislation on that supposition. I think we have pointed out a case where friction may very well arise. The Minister of Trade and Commerce has admitted that it is proposed to do certain things. The hon. member for Ontario, speak-

ing I believe what everyone in this house would endorse, said that there would be an objection if any particular community were to be deprived of its geographical advantage. These are some of the things in regard to which there is provision in the bill and we hope that when the minister brings forward his amendments these very grave defects will be corrected.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

I was rather surprised

at an answer which the minister gave the leader of the opposition. When the leader of the opposition suggested to him that it was possible for this board to control production, the minister said that such power was not given the board. I have read the bill many times and I want to give the minister an opportunity of interpreting for us subsection (f) of section 4, which provides that the board shall, subject to the provisions of the act, have power:

To require any or all persons engaged in the production or marketing of the regulated product to register their names, addresses and occupations with the board, or to obtain a licence from the board, and such licence shall be subject to cancellation by the board for violation of any provision of this act or regulation made thereunder.

If this board is to have the power indicated in that subsection, either to grant or to withhold a licence from a producer or anyone marketing products, how can the minister argue that it cannot control production? The producer must make application for a licence. I am a producer, let us say: automatically in the first instance, I presume, I get a licence. For some reason, after the first year, the board decides that I shall not have the licence renewed. Can it not by this power control production in regard to all commodities which this bill proposes to market? Will the minister give us his opinion on that point?

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):

It does not state in section 4 that the producers are registered or licensed for production but for the regulating of the marketing of their product; and the reason the producer is registered or licensed is that the board shall have information as to the quantity of product that is to come forward to be sold. If the scheme required, for example, that in the event of 75 per cent of the producers of any product desiring to do so, they could force the other 25 per cent in, and the provincial government agreed to such a scheme, and if one of the producers in that area insisted on breaking the regulations, his licence could be cancelled, but it would be restored as soon as he conformed to the regulations; otherwise there would be no control.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Does it say so in the bill

-that the licence will be restored?

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):

The only reason the licence would be cancelled would be for a violation of the regulations, and if the producer conformed to the regulations the reason for cancelling the licence would disappear.

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

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

I suggest, in view of what is taking place now, that if the minister would take the advice that has again been given this afternoon and would place on Hansard the proposed amendments which he is going to bring in it would save a great deal of unnecessary discussion. There may be some amendments to the very clause I am objecting to, and probably the minister has them at the back of his head when he says that the board has not the power to control production. Possibly there is an amendment that makes it clear that the board has not that power, but I argue that subsection (f) of section 4 does provide for control of production by the withholding of the licence, because it says that the licence shall be subject to cancellation. But it does not say anywhere that after certain things have been done the board will renew the licence. I suggest to the minister that as soon as it is possible he should place the amendments at the disposal of the committee so that we could intelligently discuss the subject. If he did that I think the bill would go through much more quickly.

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The hon. member for Ontario does not happen to be in the house this afternoon, and therefore I wish to revert to what he said to the minister the other day. I would ask the minister if he would not give us a brief, concise and clear answer to the question put to him. The question put by the hon. member for Ontario will be found at page 2813 of Hansard.

Does not this bill imply compulsory cooperation? I am opposed to its compulsory features. If you say that there is no compulsion, that it is purely voluntary, then naturally I withdraw my objections. I am for cooperation.

That brings out the significance of a direct reply. The hon. member for Ontario said- and I think all on this side agree with him- that if this measure, as respects cooperation in marketing, is a purely voluntary one, and does not contain elements of compulsion, then we shall have little or no difference with hon. gentlemen opposite with respect to its main features and we can make rapid headway in the discussion of its provisions. On the other hand, if it is a measure that implies compulsory cooperation, it is of importance

that that fact should be definitely and clearly stated. On the following page the minister himself began to reply to the hon. member for Ontario in these words:

He has asked this question: Does not this bill imply compulsory cooperative marketing?

Mr. Moore (Ontario): Enable compulsory cooperative marketing.

Mr. Weir (Melfort): I understood my hon. friend to use the word imply.

Mr. Moore (Ontario): Enable. If I used the word imply I will substitute the word enable, if I may-enable compulsory cooperative marketing.

That is the question just in four words. Does the bill enable compulsory marketing or compulsory cooperative 'marketing? The answer which I think the house is entitled to receive from the minister is that it either does or does not. The minister is in a somewhat different position from that of most hon. members; he is the minister of the government in charge of the bill and the house has a right to expect from him very specific, definite and clear answers. In what he has said this afternoon-and I hope he will tell me if I am wrong-he has defended compulsion. He is quite within his rights in so doing; that I would expect he would wish to do if the bill embodies features of compulsion. It may be that compulsion is justified; that is for him to say. We are not taking objection to the minister defending any clause in the bill; all we want to know is whether it contains features which enable compulsory marketing. Would the minister advise the house as to that in a direct manner, and without circumlocution?

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):

I am sure the right hon. gentleman speaks with authority on the question of circumlocution. This afternoon I answered as clearly as it is possible to do, to what extent this bill would involve compulsion. I think hon. members will agree that no controlled marketing can be effected without control or without compulsion in a degree.

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Then I am right in assuming that the bill does enable compulsory marketing?-

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):

As I stated before in some detail somewhat earlier this afternoon, under those conditions it enables compulsory marketing with qualification; it does not say that compulsory marketing is always resorted to but the bill enables it in certain directions.

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

Charles-Philippe Beaubien

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

Suppose sixty or seventy-five per cent of the growers of any natural

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product desire to form themselves into a cooperative marketing organization and through their local or provincial boards come to the minister here with a scheme for the marketing of that product: can the marketing board under this bill compel the other forty or twenty-five per cent that are growing the same commodity to go into this marketing scheme, or can it not? I would like to have a direct answer to that question.

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):

That is a possibility under certain conditions.

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

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

The conditions, I understand, must be the consent of the provincial governments, so this bill is subject to provincial approval or else it becomes a dead letter in that respect.

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):

I stated this afternoon that in so far as certain schemes are concerned, they would be submitted to the provincial government because it has jurisdiction to deal with questions of property and civil rights.

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

Charles-Philippe Beaubien

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

The minister said: "that is a possibility under certain conditions." Are the conditions under which it might happen mentioned anywhere in the bill? What are the conditions?

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