May 8, 1934

CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

They are in so far as they can be set out in detail.

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:

Will the minister tell me what clause in the bill takes care of that? I cannot find it.

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 thought I gave a clear answer this afternoon as to the relationship between compulsion and this bill. If hon. members wish, I will repeat it, but I am quite certain that if the hon. member for Provencher will read Hansard to-morrow he will have the answer to his question.

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:

May I ask the minister one other question in order to get the exact information? On the second of May I said to him that I thought many persons believed this bill was not a marketing bill as they understood the use of the word "marketing." That is to say, they agreed that the bill provided for regulation of production and sale, but that it had in it no provision enabling a board to market the product of producers. They could not find any such provisions within the four corners of the bill. My words to the minister were these:

You have not within the four corners of this bill any provision for a board that is going to assist in marketing the natural products of this pountry as producers have been led to believe is the ease. If the minister will just tell us

[Mr. Beaubien.l

where are the provisions that make this a marketing bill as marketing is understood by those who are interested in having their natural products sold abroad through the assistance of the state we may perhaps determine whether or not even this short title is justified.

That is what I said as it appears in Hansard of May 2, 1934, at page 2753. The minister replied as follows:

Mr. Weir (Melfort): The fundamental principle of the bill is the regulation of marketing, and that has to do with marketing; there is no doubt of that. .

Mr. Mackenzie King: The regulation of production and sale. .

Mr. Weir (Melfort): Not the regulation of production but the regulation of marketing. There is also in the bill a clause that states that the dominion marketing board has power to buy and sell and to name an agent to buy and sell, which is marketing.

I have looked through the bill since the minister made that statement and I cannot find the clause giving the dominion marketing board power to buy and sell. Would the minister kindly read that clause to us, and indicate wherein it is sufficiently broad to enable the bill to be described as a marketing bill in the sense in which I have referred to the word "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):

In the first place, as I stated before when the right hon. gentleman asked the question, regulation of marketing or the direction as to through what channels products will be bought and sold, in itself directly bears on marketing, but clause 9 on page 6 states:

Notwithstanding that no petition in relation to any natural product has been filed, the minister may, if he is satisfied that the trade and commerce in the said product is injuriously affected by the lack of a local board to regulate such product, at any time propose a scheme for the marketing of such product.

And the word "marketing" is defined to include buying and selling.

At six o'clock the Speaker resumed the chair and the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock. PRIVATE BILL

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Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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SECOND READING


Bill No. 73, for the relief of Aziz Koudsy, otherwise known as Eddie Coudsy.-Mr. Gray.


VACANCY

CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received a com-

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munication from two members notifying me that the following vacancy has occurred in the representation, viz:

Of Thomas Herbert Lennox, Esquire, member for the electoral district of North York.

I have accordingly issued my warrant to the chief electoral officer to make out a new writ of election for the said electoral district.

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MARKETING ACT

ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS


The house resumed consideration in committee of Bill No. 51, to improve the methods and practices of marketing of natural products in Canada and in export trade, and to make further provisions in connection therewith.-Mr. Weir (Melfort)-Mr. Gobeil in the chair.


LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

On the twenty-fifth of January last this bill No. 51 was forecast in the speech from the throne. Since then winter has gone, spring is upon us, and summer is not far away, yet we have not passed even the first clause of the bill. I wonder whose fault it is.

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

Bernard Munroe Stitt

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STITT (Nelson):

Ask those boys

behind you.

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

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I am beginning to

have a hunch that the government would not mind dropping this bill at the feet of the opposition.

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

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

We don't want it.

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

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Well, I do not

want that to happen. If the government want to get the bill through in reasonable time they should expedite it by sending it to the right committee, the committee that every bill went to except one during the administration that preceded this, and the same with this present government so far as I can find from the records in the library. Every bill introduced by the Minister of Agriculture in this administration has gone to the agriculture committee except the first one, the root vegetables bill. And my good friend had a little trouble with it. Every one who has had to do with a bill amended two or three times knows it is very difficult to get it through. My good friend did not experiment with any more in that way; he afterwards sent them all to the agriculture committee, as far as I can find out. No member of the government has yet given a satisfying alibi for not sending this bill to the same

committee and affording it the same facilities for improvement or amendment as were given to all these other agricultural bills. Just for curiosity, what was the one exception mentioned? The Prime Minister gave the only alibi, and it was a mighty poor one. I am sorry he is not here; I hope he will read what I have to say about it, because I think he spoke without knowledge on the matter. That was a bill to amend the Fruit Act, chapter 3 of 1924. There was a mistake of one word in the French version, it said eighty where it should have been eighty-five. It was very important to have that corrected, sufficiently important to introduce a bill. That was the only bill that came to this committee of the whole, and it is about the size for this committee to deal with, if we are to judge it by what is going on now. All the others, that were important, went to the agriculture committee. The Minister of Trade and Commerce introduced certain grain bills, and they were sent to the agriculture committee also. The Grain Act was sent there, both by the present Minister of Trade and Commerce and by his predecessor. Why did they send it there? Because they thought it was the committee that the house had set up for that purpose. Why should they send it to the banking and commerce committee? That is a committee specially picked for the purpose indicated by its name. Then there was another bill, concerning immigration and colonization, I think it was in 1929, under the late Hon. Mr. Forke, but that is not material. The investigation was wide and the matter was important. I have a book here containing the record of it, at least two and a half inches thick. The hearing lasted for weeks and certain conclusions were arrived at. It was dealt with by the committee on agriculture and colonization because questions of immigration come under its auspices. And that name, agriculture and colonization, has continued since before the beginning of this century, with the result that anything concerning colonization and immigration that required investigation was brought before that committee. So I do not think there is another standing committee of the House of Commons that is so comprehensive in its scope. Yet after bally-hooing this marketing act all over creation as the most important that has ever been brought down-and it is important-the government will not submit it to this important committee on agriculture. They have no precedent for not doing so except this little one-word bill already referred to, brought down in regard to grading apples with just

Marketing Act

one word to change in the French version. That is about the size of the ministry over there, outside of the Minister of Agriculture- a one act government. I except the Minister of Agriculture from that stricture, although I must say he has not done much credit to himself in his very meagre explanation of this bill. Why? Because he is held back by his colleagues; that is the only reason I know of. The minister has two officers sitting in front of him who could tell us more about this bill in five minutes than we have been told up to date, yet we cannot get access to them. Did you ever hear of such a strange, distorted view of things?-and yet people will tell us there is no difference between the Tory and Liberal parties. Here is an instance of all the difference in the world. I see the Minister of Justice sitting over there, and I suppose a finer hon. gentleman does not stand in shoe leather. If he had his way I know this bill would go through the regular route, namely the committee on agriculture. Although the Prime Minister is not in the house, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is in his seat, will do for my purposes. In this house I have spoken more than once about the hydra-headed character of the Department of Agriculture. I do not know of any other department of agriculture in the world which has two heads, but we know that in this country the Minister of Trade and Commerce heads the cereal end and the Minister of Agriculture heads the rest of the department. So we have a double-headed, or hydra-headed proposition, and because of that we have been running up against difficulties all the time. In this particular connection I am not discussing the respective merits of these two gentlemen. I am trying to bring to the attention of the committee the folly of having two heads to any concern while some of the other departments have no head at all, not even a nominal one.

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

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

That was when you were there.

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

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

This is not a

laughing matter. I do not wish to be sitting here all summer simply to get a little bill through the House of Commons, but I want to get it through in some sort of decent shape, or at least in better shape than it is now. We cannot do that by vainly endeavouring to pass it through this large committee.

There may have been some excuse for adding fisheries to the bill, because in the old country a precedent has been established there by combining agriculture and fisheries. When we include 'fisheries we find that we

[Mr. Motherwell.!

have a triple-headed proposition. I wonder how many fishermen asked to be included in this bill. But when you add forestry and thereby include the Department of the Interior you have a quadra-headed monstrosity the like of which we have not seen in the world. Yet the government seem to think that they have a little NRA puppy of their own off the big Rooseveltian mastiff. They all want to climb into this life-boat so that they may be pulled ashore in political safety. It is a wonder that the whole of the cabinet are not in it, because they will all need a place of refuge before the electoral storm subsides.

Let us read what was said in the speech from the throne so far as the forecast of this bill is concerned, and let us consider whether or not the present bill resembles that which was forecast. At the instance of the Prime Minister His Excellency said:

You will he invited to consider legislation designed to facilitate the efficient and profitable marketing of live stock and agricultural products.

That is the forecast-"live stock and agricultural products." So much for the forecast; let us see what the hindcast is. Here it is: "This act may be cited as the Natural Products Marketing Act, 1934." That includes pretty nearly everything outside. It means tha/t under this bill one could make and sell whisky. The hon. member for Comox-Alberni was quite right when he said that one could set up a still and sell all the booze he wanted. I believe water power could be interpreted as coming under it. And what is water power or hydro power but turbined water-processed water, if you like? I do not think my right hon. leader was a bit too extravagant in his interpretation of the interpretation clause of the bill. He may have included too much, but he left out far more than he included. Consequently it is quite as wide as he suggested and, I believe, a little bit wider. I say to my hon. friends opposite that if they have any idea of dropping this bill in our lap over here they had better amend it first or they will be flayed alive for it in the country. No man on two legs could defend it in its present shape. What is more, it is so interlocked, interwoven and everything else of an "inter" nature that you could not get it started. That has occurred with many similar bills in other countries. Much of it is entirely new legislation. I suppose the men in other countries are no more supermen than the men in this country. Even in Great Britain

Marketing Act

the bill would not start itself. In its first year, namely 1929, it would not operate under its own steam. That is the reason such an extraordinary and unfair showing can be made against this type of legislation.

I should like to see the minister bring to the committee all those decrepit, derelict bills, European and other marketing bills, which have fallen by the wayside, and make an effort to avoid the difficulties which confronted them. But he has accentuated his difficulties in the present bill by trying to gobble up everything else, to bring it under the present legislation thereby making his position more difficult and creating more opposition all along the line. So, you see, the government seems to have got off on the wrong foot, from the very beginning. I think everybody knows the history of this legislation. Out in British Columbia the growers have been like harts panting for the water brooks in their anxiety for this legislation when amended. They have been wanting this legislation for years. We are told by the representative grower from Chilliwack that if this bill is passed the seven years legal war will be over. Nearly everybody out there is behind it, because they feel they cannot get along without their previous marketing activities being made constitutional by the present legislation. That, in itself, would be a great advance over conditions which prevailed before, because in the past every commodity had to be dealt with by separate authorization.

I have quoted from the speech from the throne delivered on January 25 words showing chat this should be an agricultural marketing act. On March 26, a little more than two months afterwards, members of the government change their minds and say, "It will be a conglomerate bill taking in nearly every natural product under the sun." Of course, the government have a right to change their minds; as a matter of fact if they like they have a right to bring down no bill at all. Quite frequently legislation which is forecast in the speech from the throne never comes before the house. All hon. members know that. If the government can do that, certainly they can change a 'bill. However, before I go further I should like to ask the minister if the bill forecast in the speech from the throne, an extract from which I have just read, is the same bill as the one now before the committee.

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):

Yes.

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