May 17, 1946

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

It was around 35 cents, but I understand it has been put up 13 cents, which increases it to around 48 cents.

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Mr. M. J. COLD WELL@Rosetown-Biggar

That is better.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I think that will tend to draw labour to the farm. At the present time,

I imagine, wages just about as high are being paid on farms round about for certain types of work.

On the other question, relating to scientists, a number of considerations enter into the matter of the pay. One, of course, is the ability of the individual, which in a service such as the civil service cannot be given the same consideration as an industrialist would give to it. We are governed by the rulings of the civil service commission, which must be more or less standardized. Industry is not affected by that kind of thing. I have not looked into the subject sufficiently to know whether the United States system of hiring persons is governed as closely by civil service regulations as ours is, but they do not seem to have more leeway in bidding for the services of highly qualified scientists.

This year, as I have said, on one or two occasions we have insisted that, under regulations last year which came into effect on April 1st of last year, these payments should be reviewed throughout the departments. As I said the other night, we are getting along with the job more rapidly than most departments, but we are not satisfied that all the increases which ought to be made have yet been made. We agree that we should pay these men just as much as we can pay them in relation to the costs which are being put against the people generally in order to meet their obligations. Having said that, I think I should add that there are many people who would rather work for the government than for anybody else.

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An hon. MEMBER:

No, no.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Somebody says, "no, no". I do not happen to be one of these myself.

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Mr. M. J. COLD WELL@Rosetown-Biggar

You have been doing it a long time.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

But I find that every time we ask that a position be filled a great many people want the opportunity to fill it. I can understand that. They come under the civil service; they are guaranteed employment, provided they apply themselves to their work, until they are sixty-five, and then they have superannuation. In industry one is very fortunate, in certain lines, if one can stay beyond forty or forty-five. Superannuation allowances or similar compensation may be provided, but after all, people like to work as well as to get money for working. A scientist does. He likes to work, and he would like to be sure that he will work until sixty-five.

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He does not want to stop at forty-five and hang around the rest of his life. I can understand that type of individual wanting to work for the government and being prepared to work, having these guarantees, for a little lower return. Whether we should ask them to accept these salaries or not, there are so many of them ready to do this work and trying to do it that there is more difficulty than one might imagine in raising the salary level when dealing with public funds.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

Regarding this matter of agricultural scientists, when the minister's estimates were up last year I put on the record a chart showing what scientists in similar employments in industry and other services received in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. X am sorry to say that what our men received was considerably less than the pay for analogous positions in the United States and Groat Britain. It may have some relation to what has also been stated here, namely that agricultural producers in Canada receive censiderably less than the producers in either the United States or Great Britain. However, as I said then, and has been said by the Iron, member for Rosetown-Biggar, our farmers can scarcely estimate in dollars and cents what some scientists have done for them in the production of rust-resistant wheats and other things of the kind; and I just want to put in a plug for the minister in getting better remuneration for these agricultural scientists whenever the opportunity presents itself, because occasionally, I am sorry to say, we lose good scientists to these other countries. While they like the work, they are human enough to want to be paid for it, and sometimes they cannot resist the offers of high remuneration which come from other countries. Now and then we lose an outstanding man because we do not pay him sufficient money. I believe anyone who studies this situation at all will be quite satisfied, to see ,this class of civil servants paid the worth of their hire.

Will the minister state what has been done recently in the matter of developing newer types of rust-resistant wheat, both the hard variety and the durum varieties? What are the newest types of wheat and their possibilities, so for as the department can say now?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

There are only two new varieties of wheat which have been developed recently and are ready for release. One is hard spring Renown, which is a rust-resistant wheat, and the other is the Rescue wheat, which is sawfly resistant. Experiments are being carried on in the developing of Durum,

and of other hard wheats which are rust-resistant, but they are not ready for release -and on the soft wheats, too.

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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mir. ROSS (Souris):

What about the

Carlton? Is it sufficiently recognized as rust-resistant?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

No, it is not ready for

release. It is being experimented with.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

I know I shall be

forgiven if I bring to the attention of the committee a question which has been agitating our section of the country for quite a while. I do not feel very diffident about it, because the minister will realize that ever since I have been in the house this, is the first time I have asked a question on his estimates.

I want to mention a position which is now open, the superintendency of the experimental farm at Kapuskasing. Before proceeding any further I want to pay a tribute, and in doing so I believe I am voicing the opinions of every section of our population, to the retiring superintendent, Mr. Smith Ballantyne, that fine, big, Nova Scotian' who, after living for forty years in our section, has become a real northern Ontarian. He has done real work in his position and he will be greatly missed. Everyone concerned must compliment the Ontario government upon having caught Smith Ballantine on the rebound and giyen him a fine position in northern Ontario in connection with agricultural and colonization operations, for which he is well qualified.

I think that the deputy-minister knows our position well; in fact, that he realizes the situation as well as I do, because he has done us the honour of visiting our section of the country and that particular farm on many occasions. When the La Ferme experimental farm in Quebec, which is adjacent to our own section in nprthem Ontario was closed around 1934, more work was put on the shoulders of the experimental farm in Kapuskasing. That is why in replacing the man who had carried on that work there for many years in a satisfactory manner, certain regional and racial considerations had to be taken into account.

The experimental farm at Kapuskasing is serving an agricultural population of almost three quarters of a million people. In my own section, the Cochrane district, we have had the greatest development in colonization and agriculture in Canada in the last two decades. If you visited northern Quebec in the Abitibi, Pontiac and Chapleau districts you would also see one of the greatest agricultural movements, second only to the one that was experienced in the three western provinces. On its

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own initiative, and without any help from the outside, Quebec is building a great agricultural district that will one day reach as far as the Hudson and James bays. We have also the same thing, but on a smaller scale, in northern Ontario.

For many years the experimental farm at Kapuskasing has rendered excellent service to our colonization and farming populations. If I remember correctly it was in 1916 that the ground began to be cleared, mostly by German prisoners of world war I. It is a marvellous site; it has good soil, but because of climatic conditions they are carrying on a type of work which cannot be carried on even at the experimental farm at Ottawa.

This is a regional question. I am giving a personal viewpoint. The person who replaces Mr. Smith Ballantyne must be bilingual, as I said a few moments ago. I made that statement deliberately because I stand foursquare for fair play to every section of our population. My record as a parliamentarian and in my own district will bear out that statement. May I repeat that at least three-fifths of our farming population covered by the activities of this experimental farm are French speaking only. Because of that the superintendent of the farm must be bilingual if his work would be really effective. We have found the man who is fully qualified, a man who has worked under the leadership and guidance of Smith Ballantyne for a number of years. He graduated to a higher position in Quebec under the federal Department of Agriculture. At some personal sacrifices he is now ready and willing to return to Ontario, which he always loved. He loves our section of the country and its population. I believe he has been in the service in a high official capacity for nearly thirty years. All he wants from the department is to bo raised to a higher grade. I believe he now occupies the position of grade 3 or 4. He wants to have one higher grade, which will mean an increase of $500 a year in his salary. I agree with what the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar and the hon. member for Souris so well said a few moments ago, in the matter of increased salaries for our expert men. I am not acquainted with the inner workings of the department; I have never tried to interfere-I never will; and I know they will bear me out in this. I do not know what their decision should be, but as an outside man of the service who knows something of ability, intelligence, integrity and the necessity of maintaining high standards in the work of experimental farms I believe that the increase should be given to this well-qualified man and men of his qualifications whose

appointment will give satisfaction to the English and French-speaking sections of our population.

I want the committee fully to realize our situation. It is true that the experimental farm at Kapuskasing is located in Ontario and serves a large section of the population there; but it is also true that a larger section of the agriculturists wffio receive benefit from the activities of that farm live in Quebec. Because of that I know the committee will realize the logic of my request. That is all I want to say on this subject. I must say here that I leave it entirely in the hands of the department, which has been fair to the agricultural population of my district so far as departmental activities are concerned. However, I do make a serious request, namely, that the man to whom I have just referred and who is well known to the deputy minister and the minister himself, a man who is well qualified, a man who will be a loss to Quebec if he leaves that position to come to our province, should be given consideration. He would be an acquisition to us. His request is a logical one. I am not giving his name, because I do not think it would be fair to him or to the department. I hope that our population will receive that appointment which they are eagerly looking for in the very near future, as there is much work that should be continued in an accelerated way on that farm.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Just to avoid any misunderstanding with regard to one remark made by the hon. member, may I say that I wondered whether this man who is spoken of had left us and gone over to Quebec. I know that was not what the hon. member wished to say. To be perfectly plain, he is still with us, and as has been suggested, he is one of the best men who could be secured for that position, but he is the best man who could be secured for the position he is in at the present time. There is the question whether he could serve the department any better in one place than another. I am sure it is recognized by the people where he is that he is serving them particularly well, as he would serve the Kapuskasing area. The question that comes up in the department is whether changing a man from one place to another to do a similar job at increased pay is going to have any effect on the staff itself, as those moves can do at times; in other words, the question whether it would help to move a man from one place where he is doing good work to another place where he would do equally good work-and he has always done good work. He is one of the best

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men we have. That is the only question that is now being considered, whether he can be moved and given what he desires. He probably would prefer to stay where he is without an increase in pay, and of course we would not insist on his moving and remaining in his present classification. These are matters of internal administration that I do not interfere with. The question has to be left more or less to the persons who are responsible for making the greatest possible success of the administration of the experimental farms.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

May I make one

reference to what the minister has said? I do not know whether I should say this, but I believe I have the right to say it. By doing so I am not hurting the man himself, and this will not be held against him. He is willing and will be ready to come to our section of the country. That is all I want to say at the moment.

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LIB
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Would the minister tell us what proportion of the total allotment for experimental work the Lethbridge farm is receiving? What is the nature of the work being carried on?

The hon. member for Acadia raised the question of weed control. The idea I have in mind is a little different from his. I should like to know what the experimental farm at Lethbridge is doing in connection with weed control. A serious situation is developing in my constituency. Within the last few years four exceedingly serious weeds have come into that area

They are: the leafy spurge, the field bindweed, the hoary cress and the Russian knapweed. They could be a menace to the whole of western Canada if they ever got completely out of control. If work on the control of these weeds is being carried on, would the minister tell us about it? Would he tell us whether in the judgment of the men responsible there is adequate machinery available to the Lethbridge experimental farm for the carrying on of a study of the control of these weeds? Have they sufficient staff? Is there enough money to give the staff the hired help which they need in order to accomplish the desired results? What is being done in this connection at the Dalroy substation of the Lethbridge experimental farm?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Weed control work is done at the substation in question. The amount spent at Lethbridge, out of the votes which are being discussed, is 878.790. There is, I understand, about another 880,000 which comes under item 16, which' has some relationship

["Mr. Gardiner.]

to the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Aot, but the total amount here is 878,790. Weed control also comes under item 16, and I do not know that there is any reason why I should not say, under administration, ini connection with all these votes, that weed control by the methods indicated a few moments ago is being carried out on the different experimental farms. As I have said, work is being done at the substation just mentioned, under the control of' Lethbridge, and there is also work at Indian Head and other experimental stations. The treatment is a very successful one. I said yesterday that I had had the privilege of noting the work which is being done at Indian Head. The road from my farm to Regina leads past that station and I drive by it continuously. I did so last summer and was more than surprised to find how successfully you could spray a field. They sprayed one strip and- left another strip unsprAyed. A field that was infested with mustard was sprayed and the mustard was entirely killed, while in the field which was not sprayed the mustard was there as before. The peculiar thing about it was that the ground seemed to be better after it had been sprayed than the ground which had not been sprayed.

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LIB
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

About $2.50 an acre. It is apparently a successful mothod of dealing with mustard at least and, I assume, with other weeds such as the stinkweed, what we call the French weed.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

The point of greatest importance to us is that these four weeds are deep-rooted perennials Which have peculiar habits of growth that make it next to impossible to kill them with the devices that kill ordinary weeds such as stinkweed and mustard. The men in my constituency used to think that they had real trouble when they were faced with the Canada thistle and with the perennial sow thistle. They thought they had reached the climax when they had to cope with those weeds, but they decided that, in comparison with their experience with these four new weeds, they did not know what weeds were. I am wondering if any kind of chemical control has been discovered which is effective against these four weeds. If a chemical remedy has not been found, has some method of culture or of crop rotation, been discovered, which has a chance of being successfully applied against these weeds?

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May 17, 1946