May 5, 1939

AMENDMENTS RESPECTING AIR FORCE, MEMBERSHIP IN TRADE UNIONS, ETC.-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT


Right Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice) moved the second reading of and concurrence in the amendment made by the senate to Bill No. 90, to amend the criminal code. He said: In order to bring back the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) to his usual happy mood, I am pleased to tell him that no amendment was made to section 11, which both he and I have at heart. The only amendment which has been made is to section 7, concerning publication of false advertisements to promote sales. The words of the section as printed were: . . . any advertisement for either directly or indirectly promoting the sale- The senate put the words "either directly or indirectly" after instead of before "promoting." I am not enough of an authority on grammar to know whether this is better than the first version, but I have no objection to it. Motion agreed to; amendment read the second time and concurred in.


AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT


The house resumed from Thursday, May 4, consideration in committee of Bill No. 89, to assist and encourage cooperative marketing of agricultural products-Mr. Gardiner-Mr. Sanderson in the chair. On section 2-Definition.


CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

I should like a little information with regard to this section. Take a case, we will say, in the lower mainland of British Columbia where a group of producers might wish to form a cooperative and to come under this bill. Would the regulations specify, or is the minister in a position to-day to say, what proportion of the growers or producers in that particular district or defined area would be required? Second, if they were successful in forming a cooperative, would provision be made for the setting up of what they call the scheme under which they are to operate? Third, would there be provision or powers given to levy assessments-which of course, as the minister knows, has been a source of trouble in the past-under the marketing act?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :

As far as the first two questions are concerned, a provision will be made under this bill. The percentages of producers which would be required to enter into an undertaking of that kind would depend entirely upon the question of the financial soundness of the organization which might be set up. If the government were going to guarantee up to 80 per cent of the payments, of course they would not enter into an agreement where the percentage of people in any particular

Agricultural Products-Marketing

area desiring to enter the scheme was very small: probably they would suggest that more organization work be done before the government would assume that responsibility.

As to the matter of forcing or authorizing a minority to become a part of the membership, there is nothing in this bill which provides for that. I understand that under legislation of British Columbia there is authority of that kind which could be exercised.

As to the matter of regulating the amount of the product which might be exported or sold into another province at any particular time, there is nothing in this bill which empowers the government to regulate that. Requests have been made for that kind of thing, but nothing has been placed in this bill which gives power to the government to enforce such a regulation. There was a third question, was there not?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

What percentage of producers, for instance growers in that particular area, would be required before they would be recognized as a cooperative under this act?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

What was the last

question?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

The last question was in

regard to making an assessment as to the carrying charges. It will be remembered that we had trouble in this respect before.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

There is no power for

making assessments. I understand that in six of the provinces there is legislative provision for assessments to be made by organizations which are operating provincially. As to the matter of percentages, I dealt with that in the answer I made at the beginning. There is no definite percentage set in the bill, but naturally the government would want to have a considerable percentage.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

I believe that under the

old legislation it was about 80 per cent.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

About that.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

There is one other question. As the department and probably the minister are already aware, the Fraser Valley Milk Producers Association and dairy producers generally in the lower mainland of British Columbia have been having difficulties. They are now being brought under the control legislation of the provincial government, and for twenty years or more voluntary cooperation was successful, but they have experienced the difficulties which all cooperatives encounter when they are faced with a large and accumulating surplus and the problem of disposing of it. There is also difficulty when

they expand and create a considerable overhead. I believe we have experienced both of these phases in the Fraser valley. Under this legislation will there be any opportunity for relieving and straightening out that situation? I notice that the control scheme was to come into force, selling through the central agency, on the first of this month, but an injunction has been filed and the whole matter is tied up. This has been going on for the last year or two and the farmers are suffering. The dairy industry has reached its lowest ebb in thirty years so far as the lower mainland of British Columbia is concerned. They are almost desperate. Does the minister think that there will come out of this legislation anything that will be beneficial to these producers?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The legislation would

assist them only to this extent, that if they could present to the government a proper statement which would justify us in concluding that we were not financing obligations that they had undertaken previously, which they could not otherwise finance, the government would then, on the basis of the submission which they might make respecting their financial position, consider whether it would be of any assistance to them to guarantee up to eighty per cent of the amounts they were giving as initial payments during a particular season. If that were of assistance to them they could obtain that help under this bill.

As regards surpluses, I understand they are subject to the control of provincial legislation. The provincial legislation is much the same in principle as the old Natural Products Marketing Act passed in 1934. Under that legislation an attempt was made to control both production and acreage and to establish some control over price, as well as to make levies. So far as the set-up in the Fraser river valley is concerned, in connection with the distribution of milk, I found that under the old Natural Products Marketing Act during the time it was still on the statute book, and for the first two months that I was in charge of the department here, more of my time was given to the milk producers in the Fraser river valley than to all the rest of the agriculturists in Canada. I had telegrams and letters of from one to two pages of foolscap coming in periodically. I had three delegations in the first few weeks I was in charge of the department-delegations all the way from Vancouver to Ottawa to discuss ways and means of improving the distribution of milk in the city of Vancouver. It will be readily agreed that that kind of local problem can be much more easily and properly dealt with by the local authority

Agricultural Products-Marketing

situated on the spot than by the authority at Ottawa. We are not attempting under this legislation to deal with these local matters.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

The federal government, through the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Trade and Commerce, might however be of great help, because when we talk about a surplus, that includes a large number of by-products which are for export only, a very small quantity being used in the province. I refer to such commodities as condensed milk, milk powder, casein and a good many other by-products which are there to-day and cannot be disposed of. That is a problem which in my opinion is up to the federal government. It is for the departments here to assist these people in marketing their products.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The Department of Trade and Commerce do assist in the marketing.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

If under this act no control is given over interprovincial trade and none over export trade, and if it does not give power to boards of farmers and does not do anything to cope with the greatest problem in cooperative marketing, namely, the minority who so often ruin the hard and self-sacrificing work of the majority, just what good is the bill and what does it propose to do? I have read it over about five times and I am still at a loss to know what we shall do, when we have in the provinces marketing legislation that does not take care of interprovincial or export trade and does not control the minority or give powers to the boards.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

When the proposed legislation was first placed before the house, British Columbia also had legislation which empowered the government there to take such steps as were deemed necessary in the light of the federal proposal. Ontario had similar legislation but none of the other provinces had that type. Alberta was giving consideration to the question and since then they have passed legislation, as a matter of fact in the last two or three weeks. Manitoba has since passed legislation similar to that of British Columbia, and the province of Quebec last week, within the last few days of the session, passed legislation which, though it does not go quite so far as the legislation in some of the other provinces, places the province in a position eventually to deal with the matter. New Brunswick has done something of the same sort. Action was finally taken in four provinces since this legislation was first introduced in the house by way of resolution, and since it has advanced a stage further, representations have been made to us, first by a committee appointed by the conference that

met in Montreal a short time ago and, a few days later, by representatives from both the western and the eastern provinces, asking that we place on the statute book this session such legislation as would enable us to empower the boards to control the export of farm products, to make levies upon producers and in certain areas to enforce upon the minority the wishes of the majority. I suggested to them that we have had no cooperative legislation of any kind since the Natural Products Marketing Act was declared ultra vires, and having had no such legislation I thought it wise at this session to lay down the fundamental basis for the setting up of cooperative organizations that might have the endorsement of parliament.

With all due respect to those who think that the most important thing at the present time is to compel people to enter cooperative organizations, I would point out that before that step was taken in Denmark, to which country we look for many of our illustrations of what cooperatives can do, eighty-five per cent of the people had voluntarily joined these cooperatives. After eighty-five per cent had voluntarily joined them and they had been carrying on for some time successfully the government passed legislation making it possible to force the others who were interfering with the operations of the organization to become part of it. I think that has been pretty much the practice everywhere. Certain provinces in Canada have for a long time been promoting cooperative organizations; Quebec is one, British Columbia another, Alberta another, and Saskatchewan another. Other provinces have in recent years been enlarging upon their activities in that direction. We think it wise to allow this legislation, which has been placed upon the statute books of some provinces only within the last month or two, to operate for at least a year before we give further consideration to the question whether we should embody in our legislation provisions for enforcement of obligation upon a minority.

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Has this bill to do entirely with the production of articles for export, or would it cover operations for the marketing of products locally?

Topic:   AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
Subtopic:   OTHER THAN WHEAT-ENCOURAGEMENT OF COOPERATIVE MARKETING BY GUARANTEEING INITIAL PAYMENT
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May 5, 1939