I would like under this item to have a word or two with the Minister of Agriculture regarding a certain live stock matter. I would appreciate it if the hon. gentleman would come a little nearer so that I could hear his answers because I have some things to say to him, of course in a kindly spirit. It is generally understood, commonly reported, and known around parliament hill as well as outside parliament hill that the purchase of a certain shipment of Percheron brood mares was facilitated by one minister of the government, and half of them were retained at Halifax by my good friend the Minister of Agriculture through his inspections! staff. First I would ask the minister whether he knows anything about this shipment of Percheron brood mares to Australia, and whether his officers detained half of them at Halifax because of their age and general unfitness to go forward. When my hon. friend answers that, I .shall proceed further. I am not under the illusion that my hon. friend is blameworthy in this matter, rather the opposite; I merely want to get the facts correctly from him.
Mr. "WEIR (Melfort): There was a shipment of pure -bred Percheron brood mares that went from this country to Australia. My understanding is that either the trade commissioner of Australia got into touch with the trade commissioner from Canada, or our trade commissioner in Australia got in touch with the head of his own department, with the information that there was a demand for Percheron pure bred mares in Australia. My understanding is that the Department of Trade and Commerce communicated with the Canadian Percheron Asociation, and between
them, although I do not know the details of the affair-it was not brought to my attention until the shipment was selected-a shipment was selected to -be sent to Australia. The department having been led to believe that this shipment in its entirety would not be a credit to the Percheron breed of Canada, two inspectors from the Department of Agriculture were sent to inspect the shipment at Halifax, and three of the animals were pronounced unfit in the estimation of those officials to be truly representative of the best type o-f Percheron brood mare in Canada to go to Australia.