February 8, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


Pierre Auguste Martial Rhéaume


Mr. RHEAUME (Translation):

I have no details in this matter; however, if the hon. member will do as I did, I shall indicate to him the pages where this evidence is to be found and he can judge for himself.
The following is another excerpt taken from the evidence given at this inquiry:
Q. Mr. Chairman, I fail to see why the committee should be obliged to go over this evidence again. We do not seem to be making progress, and the statement and answers of the witness are not satisfactory. There is not one page of the evidence we have heard within the last two hours that is free from contradiction. We shall reach no result if we do not hear the evidence of someone who has some knowledge of the financial organization of this company.
When a poor devil dares to steal a bottle of milk, in Montreal or else-where, he is condemned to pass eight days in jail; however, according to the evidence given by a former dairy manager, we find managers who, in one month alone, robbed farmers for more than $1,300 worth of milk. Yet the government which disbursed thousands of dollars to hold this investigation does not bestir itself. In the findings of the committee, at page 10 we find: "Depreciation, bad debts, overheads,
profits and dividends, merger, purchase or absorption of other companies or enterprises, the profit of the producer on the consumer's dollar," everything is mentioned. This reminds me of a sick person who would call for a doctor, then the latter, after examining the patient would thus address him: Sir, you are very sick, you have numerous ailments, and claiming a $25 fee, would put on his hat and walk out.
If it is thought necessary to bold an investigation, to disburse thousands of dollars of public money, let them have at least the courage to remedy the evil. We have written evidence that some witnesses perjured themselves; let the government act against them. Former dairy managers have given evidence that farmers were robbed of milk. From every quarter comes the cry: "We must help the farming class." If the government are in earnest, let them begin by having those who rob the farmers arrested.

The Address-Mr. Rheaume
Referring to that witness that was thought too old to give evidence; it did not prevent him from drawing a salary of $10,000 as president of the company; his two sons were drawing 85,000, while the upkeep of their motor ears was charged to the company. Notwithstanding all this, the companies contend that their profits are too small to pay a reasonable price to the farmer's for their milk. If I follow the evidence-and it is written in excellent French-this company is so incorporated that it is the members of one family alone who control the funds supplied by outsiders.
It was proved that the president of another company draws a salary of $13,500 per year, the vice-president $13,500 and the secretary $8,000.

Subtopic:   S, 1934
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