May 17, 1939

CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

I cannot think that the truckers are sufficiently controlled. The trucker acts as the farmer's agent when he takes cattle to the stockyards or to the packer's yard. In certain cases he buys them outright, but that is not the general rule. He simply acts as the agent, he takes the cattle to the market and carries back the return which is handed to him by the packer. There should be some regulation, but I have said all that I care to say about it.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink

Section agreed to. Sections 21 to 32 inclusive agreed to. On section 33-definitions.


CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

Would this section cover milk products?

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Milk products are taken care of by the Dairy Industry Act.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

The definition of poultry in this section is:

(g) "poultry" means domestic fowl, guinea fowl and pigeons.

Under section 44, the definition of poultry is:

(d) "poultry" means domestic or wild fowl or birds.

Why should there be two definitions of poultry in the same act?

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The hon. member will find that a commission merchant is defined differently in another part of the bill as well. This particular section applies only to poultry

419S

Live Stock and Poultry

as it is defined here, but the section referring to hatcheries applies to poultry according to the definition given there.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

I suppose part III would apply to canaries or humming birds.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Once again I want to draw attention to the inconsistency of this legislation. Under this section we define a broker, and apparently there is no question of jurisdiction. A broker is just as much under provincial control as is a trucker, and the business he does is similar to that of the trucker. The trucker acts as trustee of the farmer, taking his stock probably a hundred miles. Yesterday evening the minister mentioned that they trucked over two hundred miles from his farm into Winnipeg. The trucker handles the whole transaction. He gets a ticket from the packer or from the yard, and he goes back to the farmer and makes his settlement. He transfers the ticket, it is true, but it has come to my attention that in some cases these tickets have not been scrupulously dealt with. I shall not go further than that.

The trucking trade is enormous and yet no attempt is made to protect the farmer. If hon. members who represent agricultural constituencies consider the stock and marketing reports they will see the amount of live stock marketed by the trucking system. The volume is growing year by year, and I venture to say that more than half of the marketing is done in that way. The extent to which it has grown is appalling, and yet there is nothing in this bill to protect the farmer in his dealings with the trucker. It does not follow that because I criticize a system under which the packer or the broker has undue control I am saying that all truckers and all brokers are crooks. That is not the point. The point is that this legislation is supposed to be for the protection of the producer, and heaven knows he is the one who needs protection.

Surely the minister and his officials must know that literally thousands of farmers can market their stock only by loading it on a truck at their farms and trusting it to others. They trust it to the trucker, to the commission agent, to the broker. This is done without any check. Apparently it is all right to define a broker and to provide penalties if he violates the act, but the trucker, who handles half the live stock, is considered sacrosanct. Frankly I cannot understand the live stock branch of the Department of Agriculture.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

This section of the bill leals with grading.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I know that.

'Mr. Gardiner.]

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

We do presume to have control over grading. A broker is defined here because the term "broker" is used in connection with grading as covered by this part. The trucker is engaged in an entirely different business and we regulate him only in so far as we can under the powers which we have. Section 13 makes provision for some regulation of the trucker. Paragraph (d) reads:

(d) the manner in which receipts, classifications, weights and purchase prices of all live stock shall be recorded at stockyards and packers' yards and made available to the minister.

There are different paragraphs in section 13 which make it possible for us to regulate the activities having to do with the delivery of farmers' stock. But there is a further difference between a trucker and a broker. It is only in exceptional cases that the broker would come in contact with the farmer personally, whereas the trucker drives right into the farmer's yard and makes a deal there. The farmer sees the trucker every time he makes a trip and he can require him to bring back the return and report what took place. The farmer is not in position to do that with the broker, who is generally located at the central point where the yard is. He is not able to deal directly with him. It is necessary to do certain things with regard to the broker that we do not require to be done in connection with the trucker. I am still satisfied that the hon. member for Kootenay East is correct when he says that we should regulate these men who are trucking stock more and more. We think we are going just about as far as we can under our constitutional rights.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

We are substituting a new act; in effect we are repealing the old act and we are saying to the farmers of Canada: "We are enacting new legislation governing live stock; it is right up to date; it contains the maximum that our officials can offer to you." Yet there is no protection for the farmer in that respect. That is the point I am trying to make.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB-PRO

George William McDonald

Liberal Progressive

Mr. McDONALD (Souris):

I can easily see that there is a lot of difficulty in the marketing of live stock. I think we have made it altogether too easy for the packers to get their supplies. The broker has contributed to this condition, but the farmer must take some blame as well. I do not think everything should be blamed on the government. It is the easiest thing in the world for a farmer to telephone some truckman and ask him to come and get his stock for delivery on the market. I think this advisory committee should advise the farmers to hold back

Live Stock and Poultry

their stock. When they ship stock on commission, they are placing themselves at the mercy of the commission men.

There is a whole lot wrong with the marketing of live stock to-day. My hon. friends to my left talk a great deal about the home market. The home market is no good. We consume eighty-five per cent of the live stock products of this country; but go back to 1932, 1933 and 1934, and recall what happened. I remember when select bacon hogs sold on the Winnipeg market at $2.40 a hundredweight. IVhat can a farmer get out of the business at that price, after the truck men and commission men have got their share? But was there ever a time when the home market reflected those prices in the prices the consumer paid? Nobody here ever bought bacon for less than 30 or 35 or 40 cents a pound; yet the raw material was sold by the farmer at $2.40 a hundredweight. So what is the use of talking about the home market consuming the producers' products and giving a fair deal to the producers? It simply will not do it. We all know that there are times when the gardener, the farmer, the live stock man and the dairyman sell their products at away below the cost of production. But can the consumer remember any time when he got these products at bargain prices? That is our problem; we may as well take our share of the blame, and the farmers must take their share too. We are making it too easy for the packers to get their supplies.

I remember when the packers had to come to the farmers to get their supplies. The farmer cannot ship his products four hundred miles or more from home and let them be sold on commission and expect a fair deal. The railways have lost the business they had in carrying live stock, and it is largely their own fault, because they would pick up live stock only at the full car load rate. But they will do it differently to-day. That is our problem-to give a square deal to the consumer and to protect the producer.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Melville Warren

Liberal

Mr. WARREN:

Mr. Chairman, I have a great deal of sympathy with anyone who offers criticism respecting the marketing of live stock, but I should like to hear someone suggest a solution of the present difficulties; I have heard none yet. I remember when many people said that we ought to make it illegal to market live stock other than on the open market. There is no doubt that farmers suffer because of the fact that live stock can be shipped direct to the packing plants. That means you just throw yourself into the hands of the packing companies and are absolutely at their mercy. I have been inclined to think 71492-264

a solution might be found along that line, although I am not quite convinced because I know there are arguments on the other side. But it is undoubtedly true that when the packing companies know that thirty or forty or fifty per cent of their requirements on any Monday morning will be delivered direct to their plants, they come out on the market as indifferent buyers. We have competition on our markets; we have the small buyers; we have our butchers. On the Montreal market there are as many as twenty-five of these small buyers, but they have to buy in competition with the large buyers, and when those large buyers come to the markets with the assurance that half their requirements are coming direct to their plants by truck or rail, they are more or less indifferent buyers. That appears to me to be an evil which ought to be stopped. I am not prepared to suggest what ought to be done in regard to it, but it is a real evil in the marketing of live stock by the farmer.

Then we have the truckers, some of whom collect live stock and take it direct to the open market, to a reliable commission firm. I do not say that is any more dangerous to the farmer than to load his stock on a railway car for shipment to a reliable firm, who will grade it and sell it on a commission basis. Generally speaking I think we can have confidence in our commission men on the markets. There are firms that have been doing business for a considerable number of years and are regarded as honest and reliable.

I have always wondered why more farmers throughout Canada did not take advantage of cooperative marketing of live stock. Any association of farmers or any little group of farmers in any community can form a cooperative association. Then they can get together, load their stock and ship it to the market. On the Montreal market we have the Canadian Live Stock Cooperative. It has salesmen as capable I think as can be found anywhere in Canada, and an efficient office staff, and we have our government inspectors. The stock is graded and sold by competent salesmen; the returns go back to the individual farmers, and generally speaking the farmer can feel assured that he got what his stock was worth on that day. It is true that the farmer will sometimes be disappointed if he strikes a bad market; he might have received a better price if he had sold the previous week or had waited until a week later, but he must take that chance. We have that privilege of cooperative marketing in any community in Canada, and it has always surprised me that such a small percentage of

Live Stock and Poultry

our live stock is marketed in that way. The truckers certainly did a great deal to hurt that system of marketing.

But as I see it, the farmer who is most penalized is the man who sells his stock to a trucker at his farm. It is true that we have farmers intelligent enough and with business judgment enough to know the value of their stock. A trucker will come into a community and go to such a farmer, buy his stock, and pay him what they are worth, perhaps more. Then the trucker goes around the back concessions to the less intelligent farmers who do not know the value of their stock, and says, "I bought So-and-so's cattle and So-and-so's," and the farmer thinks the trucker must be a pretty good buyer if he can buy the stock of the most prominent farmers, because he knows that that farmer knows what his stock is worth. In many instances these buyers do absolutely steal live stock from the farmers, erhaps paying them only one-third of what they are worth. What are you going to do for that farmer? What can you do for him? Can you protect him by saying: You must not sell your stock in that way. Of course you cannot do it; that is the trouble. I do not know of any solution, but he is the very man who needs protection; the man who is robbed in that fashion needs the money most. It is happening all the time right under our eyes in every community. What can be done about it? A trucker will come into a certain community and carry on that sort of business for one season. Perhaps one season will be enough; he may have run himself out of that community and nobody will sell to him next season; however, another fellow drifts in. So that all over the country that class of farmer is being robbed; his stock is practically stolen from him. All sorts of glib arguments are made, such as "the market has gone bad to-day," and these arguments have their effect. The man on the back concession is the man I am sorry for.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
SC

Percy John Rowe

Social Credit

Mr. ROWE (Athabaska):

Does the hon. member not think that the development of consumer cooperatives would assist in a solution of the problem?

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Melville Warren

Liberal

Mr. WARREN:

Certainly; that is what I say. It surprises me that so few of our communities ship the bulk of their live stock in that fashion. Therein lies the real protection for that class of men; some of them benefit by it, but more of them do not. A man brings in a calf weighing, let us say, 105 pounds, and worth very little money. If the live stock shipper knows his job he will tell that man that if he takes his calf home again and keeps it six or eight weeks and gets it up to 185

Hr, Warren.]

pounds it will be worth some money to him. The same applies to hogs. The farmer brings in a light or a heavy hog; a shipper can tell him, "You are going to lose so much money, because this hog is too heavy"-or "too light"-"if you finish it as it should be finished you will get the bacon price plus a dollar premium." That is one of the things which ought to be encouraged by someone, I suppose by local community effort. But if the Department of Agriculture can do anything to encourage cooperative shipping, it will be a good thing. I favour the railroads rather than the truckers. It is true that the railways were very slow in lending themselves to that line of business, but they are doing it now. There was a time when if you put a cow or a steer into a mixed car you paid freight on 20,000 pounds. Now you do not have to do that; you have a minimum of 10,000 pounds and you get good service from the railways. Their service has improved wonderfully, and they have made in these last few years quite a contribution to the farmer in the handling of mixed cars of live stock. Public-spirited men interested in the marketing of live stock should bend every effort to the promotion of the cooperative shipping of live stock to the open market and see that they are marketed through our cooperative institutions, such as the Canadian Live Stock Cooperative in Montreal, or the United Farmers of Ontario in Toronto. I assume there are similar organizations in the west.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
LIB

Wilbert Franklin (Frank) Rickard

Liberal

Mr. RICKARD:

I agree with the hon.

member for Souris. I think he has told us the real truth of this matter. As a farmer I would rather depend on a trucker than on a commission man. My little experience has been that the farmer who sells to the trucker outright at his own yard is far better off than the man who ships his cattle or hogs to the stockyards and sells them on commission there. I believe we are being "trimmed" every day when we send our live stock to the live stock yards. We have no legislation which can control the packers or the commission men; they have the whole thing in their own hands. When I sell my cattle or hogs at the farm I know exactly what I am getting for them, and nine times out of ten I make more than I would if I shipped them to the stockyard.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink
SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. FAIR:

I agree with the suggestions made by some of the speakers, but not with the hon. member for Renfrew North when he told us that if we had cooperative organizations our problems would be solved. While we have the system of marketing which is now in operation, and the packers, who

MA* Jff, 1939

Lwe Stock and Poultry

monopolize the industry, can buy most of their supplies at the back door and control the prices by so doing, we shall not completely solve our problem. I agree definitely that cooperative marketing is a step in the right direction, but I believe also that we shall require quite a change in the marketing end to control the "combine packer", if you want to use that term, before we shall have results beneficial to the producer of live stock.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink

Section agreed to. On section 34-Regulations by governor in council respecting production within or importation into Canada.


CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

There is only one part of this section which needs, I think, any discussion so far as I am concerned, and that is paragraph (e), which gives the department power to prescribe-

. . . from time to time the quantity, quality, grade or class that may be exported.

I dealt with this matter to some extent in the few remarks I made last night. The hon. member for Souris spoke about the home market having no value, and said something about low prices, particularly of select hogs, in the years 1931 and 1932. It seems to me that if the eighty-five per cent which were consumed in the home market had not been consumed there, hogs would have been worth nothing, instead of the small price the farmers did get. At that time there was put into effect what was known as the Ottawa agreements, which in my opinion have been of more benefit to the swine industry of Canada than anything else which has taken place within my time or knowledge. However, something further might be done to help the hog industry in this regard. We are sending overseas altogether too many grades of bacon. Our bacon commands the lowest price of almost any bacon-with the possible exception of that coming from the Baltic states-on the British market to-day. That should not be true of a country like Canada, which is supposed to be up to date, where we have fairly good methods of production, where we have a packing industry which I believe is the equal of any industry of its kind in the world. It seems too bad that we should have to accept prices which are the lowest for any grade of bacon which is sent to the mother country. The minister might inform the committee what it is intended by the department shall be done under this particular part of the section. If he will give us some assurance that regulations will be tightened up, better grades of bacon sent overseas, and more

71492-264J

careful supervision made in that particular branch of the industry, he will be doing the country a real service and will set at rest a good deal of the dissatisfaction which exists to-day.

Topic:   LIVE STOCK AND POULTRY
Subtopic:   SUPERVISION OVER STOCKYARD OPERATIONS- GRADING, INSPECTION AND MARKETING
Permalink

May 17, 1939