May 6, 1938

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It would be impossible to grade every package that goes over or anything of that kind. That is the very reason why we have placed the commissioner in England, the very reason why we want this work supervised. We expect to check the product that goes to England much more carefully than we have done up to date, in connection with the grading and packaging and everything that has to do with it. If the mark is applied to bacon-and I would hope it will be-it will be done for the purpose of ensuring that as large a percentage as possible of the shipment of bacon to Great Britain will be of the very highest quality. That will be the objective of the department in everything that is done in connection with it, and I can assure the hon. member that it will be the objective in connection with all our farm products, including bacon, going to Great Britain.

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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

The minister has stated that he has not finally decided what products will come under this mounted policeman's head. I hope that he will give the matter a great deal of consideration before he includes boxed fruit under it. I wonder if he would see fit to consult the industry, or at least to seek their opinion, before he makes his decision. I make that suggestion for this reason: For a considerable number of years now, boxed fruit of that description has been graded efficiently, I think. The shippers largely have their own brands which are established in the British and northern European markets, and it appears to me that it would be of assistance to the minister in arriving at his decision if he would first seek the opinion of these established shippers of boxed fruit.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

There is no doubt that the shippers of all products which are being shipped will be consulted very fully before any decision is reached.

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SC

William Hayhurst

Social Credit

Mr. HAYHURST:

In reference to the

remarks made by the hon. member for Haldimand, the quality of the hogs raised in western Canada must naturally vary, and if we had a market for only our very best quality in Great Britain we should have to find a market for our other products. I know that in London the best hams are the Cumberland hams. That is a different type of pig from the Yorkshire, and I do not know whether there are any Cumberland hogs raised in this country. However, we know that changing economic conditions have made it very difficult for importing nations to import only the highest quality of goods, and I believe it is

important not only to grade the goods but to have an efficient sales force over there with a proper sentiment towards the English purchaser, and in sympathy with the British market. The commissioner would do more good by meeting these people who sell these products in the Smithfield market. I am speaking now as a person brought up in the old country, and I am looking at the matter from the point of view of marketing goods through personal services, because I believe that if the sales force is of the right type a good many of our difficulties would be ironed out. As a western farmer I realize what a tremendous quantity of hogs are sold at times that are probably slightly under the highest grade, and therefore we must develop a market for all types besides the very highest type of Wiltshire bacon.

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CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY:

Would the minister inform the committee what is the total cost of the report?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I have not the exact amount here. The cost was not very high; indeed it was low. The other day a question in regard to the matter was placed on the order paper, but I am not sure that it has been answered yet.

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SC
LIB
CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

There is a matter which I wish to call to the attention of the committee, and I think it may well be done in connection with this marketing act. It has to do with our dairy business. I wish to call the attention of the committee to an extract from a speech made by the minister.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I wonder if the hon. member would allow that to come up under dairying, if it has to do with dairying.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

It has something to do with marketing as well as with dairying.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

There is a dairy vote. But it is all right.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

The minister made this statement as reported on page 162 of Hansard:

The cheese producers of Ontario, with the assistance of the Minister of Agriculture of the Ontario government of that time, cooperating with the dominion government, sent their secretary over to England to advance the sale of cheese in that market.

I wish to point out just what have been the results of the cooperation between the department of agriculture of Ontario and the Department of Agriculture of the dominion.

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The minister said further in that same address that in 1900 Canada produced 220,000,000 pounds of cheese and that in 1935 the production had fallen to 100,000,000 pounds; that in 1907 Canada sold to Great Britain 190,000,000 pounds but that in 1935 the amount sold had fallen to 52,000,000 pounds; and that in 1907 New Zealand had sold 27,000,000 pounds to Great Brtiain but in 1935 they had increased that amount to

197.000. 000 pounds. These figures are correct. But the minister said that when he saw those conditions he went over to England to examine into the marketing of Canadian cheese in the old country. When he arrived there, he said, Canadian cheese was not being advertised; he saw New Zealand cheese and Australian mutton and butter advertised, but no advertising of Canadian cheese. I might call his attention to the fact that in 1934 the Ontario government robbed Canada of the greatest advertising agency we had by closing Ontario House in London, where our goods were being advertised.

The impression that was left on the house by the remarks of the minister was that New Zealand had crowded Canada out of the British market. That is not so. New Zealand never crowded Canada out of the British market; Canada herself receded from that market. Great Britain bought our cheese and paid us a premium for all that we could supply her. The amount of cheese we sold in Great Britain was the amount of high quality cheese that we could produce. There was a sale for it there if we could produce it. We must take into consideration the different conditions. One thing the minister did not tell us was that, while our cheese sales to Great Britain had diminished to that extent, the production of dairy products in Canada had increased very rapidly; that our milk production was rapidly increasing and was being consumed in other lines.

New Zealand has a population of about

1.600.000, almost entirely rural. One of her principal exports is cheese. Canada has a population of 11,200,000 with over fifty per cent of them residing in the urban centres, non-producers of agricultural products. While New Zealand's principal export is cheese, Canada makes cheese only out of her surplus milk. No cheese factories will be found around our large centres as cream, whole milk, butter and ice cream are required to supply the demand. One has to go into backward places removed from the great industrial centres before one finds a cheese factory. In fact, as I heard one prominent dairyman say the other

day, in Canada cheese was always looked upon as a poor relation of the dairy business; it got what was left over. That is a fact. We are large consumers of whole milk. We are one of the largest consumers of butter in the world. We consume large quantities of cream, and people are using more cream than they ever did before; one might instance the ice cream trade. When all those demands are supplied we make our surplus into cheese, and Great Britain has been paying us a premium on it. We have had no trouble in selling it; there was a ready market for it there. Fifty per cent of all the milk produced in Canada is going into butter; we are making into cheese only eight per cent of the milk we produce. To indicate the extent of the increase in the consumption of butter, we are making to-day in Canada 69,000,000 pounds more butter annually than we were making ten years ago and consuming practically all of it ourselves; in fact, this year we have imported large quantities of butter to supply our own local demands. Of all the dairy products produced in Canada, 93i per cent are consumed by the Canadian people; we export only 64 per cent.

Let us consider the difference in the manner in which New Zealand cheese and Canadian cheese are handled on the British market. New Zealand sends her cheese in consignments, in large shiploads. It is put into cold storage in London, Liverpool, Glasgow and other large cities; she has her agents there selling that cheese on commission, and they are advertising it.

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SC
CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

Yes. Cheese is being handled there cooperatively by the New Zealand government and they are selling that cheese on commission; they are out advertising it. But Canadian cheese is sold by cable in Canada before it leaves this country. Our cheese is not sold in Great Britain except by retail; it is sold in this country before it leaves our shores, and it goes into the hands of the trade in that way. Great Britain as I have said, pays us a premium on that cheese.

What I wish to call to the attention of the committee is that the cooperation which has been taking place between the Ontario department of agriculture and the dominion Department of Agriculture has not been in the best interests of the dairy business, because they have been directing their efforts to the selling end of the business, the cheese being sold on its merits, and have neglected the producing end of it. Those of us who

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are connected with the dairy business know full well that we have individual cows which are producing from twenty to twenty-five thousand pounds of milk a year. We have many dairy herds which are producing individually between ten and fifteen thousand pounds of milk. But the average dairy cow in the Dominion of Canada produces less than five thousand pounds. While we cannot all have these high producing cows, there is. far too much difference between the possible and the actual. That is where the quantity comes in. Then there is the quality to be considered.

Let me now refer to the report that has already been discussed to-night. I want to show what these men have to say with regard to cheese. On page 42 I find the following:

Canada's success in marketing cheese in the United Kingdom depends upon the quality of the product, and every possible effort should he made to improve the quality still further. . . . Continued effort should be put into the endeavour to improve the quality of cheese. . .

This report is correct. Our goods were sold on their quality and a premium was paid for them. Our problem was to produce goods of that high quality and there was a ready market for them. In 1934, when the present Ontario government came into office, they found an organization known as the Eastern Ontario Dairymen's Association which had been in operation for sixty years and had built up that great dairy business of eastern Ontario, where the largest percentage of high grade cheese has always been manufactured. They were getting a provincial grant of $1,500 at that time:, but the then provincial minister of agriculture, Mr. Duncan Marshall, saw fit to withdraw it. A deputation from the dairymen's association, comprising some of the outstanding dairymen in the province, waited on him, and he assured them that in future the farmers would have to pay their own shot; that there was no more government money to be put into the industry. That was that. What he did was this: We had at that time a few small organizations known as cheese producers' associations, and they got behind an effort to organize one in every county. There had been some of them before that. They organized a cheese producers' association for the province of Ontario, so that they had a central organization for Ontario and smaller county organizations. These are organizations of producers which can do splendid work in the dairy business. I have no fault to find with them in any way; but they were badly led; their activities have not been directed along the proper channels.

They have been directing their efforts towards selling a product that was sold on its merits, and have neglected the producing and quality.

After the grant was withdrawn and the association which had built up a great industry was put out of business, the Ontario department passed an act permitting the Cheese Producers' Association of Ontario to assess five cents per 100 pounds against all cheese sold in the province. In 1936 this association collected directly from the farmers $22,000. Last year they collected $38,671, and the Department of Agriculture of the dominion made them a further grant of $5,000. They employed a secretary at Belleville to whom they paid $3,000 and expenses, and they sent a man to England, giving him $5,000 and expenses. This man at Belleville bought a few thousand boxes of cheese and shipped them to England, and the man there peddled them around London. That was one of their activities. The other one was this-they held a convention.

Before I go into that, I would call attention to a statement made by the minister, and I think it was a very timely one. He drew the attention of the committee to the small quantity of cheese being consumed by the Canadian people. Let me put on record the per capita consumption of cheese in a number of countries: Switzerland, 23 pounds; Holland, 14f pounds; France, 13i pounds; Denmark, 13i pounds; Italy, 12 pounds; Germany 11| pounds; Britain, 9J pounds Scandinavia, 7 pounds; New Zealand, 4i pounds; United States, 4f pounds; Canada, 3f pounds. We have Canada and New Zealand, two of the largest producers of cheese, with the smallest per capita consumption. I know nothing of New Zealand; but so far as Canada is concerned, I think this small consumption is our own fault. With a slight increase in the home consumption of cheese and we would have little to export. What is the trouble? We are great consumers of butter. Go into any hotel or restaurant and the waiter will put a piece of butter on your plate, and if you use it, give you another piece. They replenish your supply. Did you ever see them put a piece of cheese on your plate? If you asked them for a piece they would give you a small, little sample which you could put into your mouth all at once. If we used cheese on the table as we use butter, we would double the consumption. The people are not eating cheese, because they cannot eat what they do not get. Quite a large sum of public money has been expended in a way

The Late Mr. Betts

which in my humble opinion has not been in the best interests of the dairy business. I have before me the auditor's report for the cheese producers' association of Ontario. As I have already told the committee, they were engaged in two activities. One was buying cheese in Canada and sending a man over there to sell it, trying to break up a cheese buying and selling organization of which this country is justly proud and which New Zealand would like to have.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

It is eleven o'clock.

Progress reported.

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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Monday, May 9, 1938


May 6, 1938