Mr. HARRIS (Danforth):
I should like to make some observations which, to my mind, will help not only the farmer in this country in his production but will be of general benefit to the whole industry, particularly in connection with the export of bacon to the United Kingdom. As the minister well knows, during the last, two or three decades there has been a movement, probably led by Denmark, to reduce the weights of Wiltshire sides that are finding a market in the United Kingdom. The observation which I wish to make, speaking from experience-I think this will be borne out by hon. members-is this. The last ten pounds put on the hog before it is slaughtered are the easiest and cheapest ten pounds to put on. In view of that well-known fact the farmer makes his profit there. On the last ten pounds he makes a substantial profit. Has our policy been to encourage the British market to take a product a little heavier in weight, or are we still being led into a market which demands an even lighter weight or more lean and not so much fat? That has been the trend during the last thirty years. Has it started to turn the other way? If it has it should be encouraged to keep on in that way. If that were done the Canadian producer would find himself in a much more profitable position. It would increase our poundage for export with the same number of head of livestock; and as far as dietetics are concerned, in the judgment of many people who have studied this, it would be better for the people who are consuming the product if we reverse the trend a little. Has the minister's department made any study of that, and is he in a position to say that we are now down to the lightest possible weight, or are we able to increase the rate by four, five or six pounds? Even four, five or six pounds would be greatly to the benefit of the farmers of Canada; it would also benefit the consumers. What is the policy of the department in that regard?
Agricultural Products Act
Subtopic: AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR CONTINUANCE IN FORCE UNTIL MARCH 31, 1949