Mr. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :
I think this is the same question which was asked earlier in the session, and which I agreed to answer when my estimates 32283-54i
were before the committee. But as I understand they are not now to come up, I shall answer at this time.
I would point out that that part of the hon. member's observations which form the question is as follows: "What steps are being taken to restore hog production in Canada?" And then he goes on to add, "in the face of drastic reduction in hog production in Canada." It all depends upon what one is referring to, whether that last statement is or is not correct. Hog production in Canada has been doubled during the period of the war. That is, we are marketing twice as many hogs now as we were in the last year before the war. In so far as the present is concerned, it is scarcely correct to say that there has been a "drastic reduction" in hog production in Canada. Inspected slaughterings for the first three months in the last three years were as follows:
In other words, the slaughterings in the first three months of 1945 were 300,000 higher than the slaughterings in the first three months of 1943. However, if you compare the slaughterings in the first three months-of this year with the exceptionally high slaughterings in the first three months of 1944, it will probably be correct to say that there has been a considerable reduction. Apart from that there has been a great increase in hog production in Canada as compared with any other period at any time in its history.
Then comes the question: what is being: done? First, there is the ceiling on grain purchased to feed hogs. No matter in what part of Canada hogs are being fed, there is a ceiling price on the grain with which those hogs are fed. Second, freight is paid on grain to feed hogs in that part of Canada east of Fort William and in all that part of Canada located in the province of British Columbia. Third, there is a premium of $3 on grade A hogs produced anywhere in Canada and a premium of $2 on grade B 1 hogs produced anywhere in Canada. Fourth, there is a contract guaranteeing minimum prices until December 31, 1946 with Great Britain for all surplus hogs that can be produced and processed in Canada and sent to Great Britain. Fifth, there is the question of farm labour. An order has gone out from the Department of Labour to the man-power mobilization boards or the selective service boards throughout Canada to the effect that postponements should be granted, if asked for, to those who are engaged in the feeding of hogs on farms in Canada. In addition to
that, there are the special instructions, which were read to the house the other day by the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defence, which have gone out to the armed forces to provide for the release of certain persons to assist in the feeding of hogs.
In other words, there is the regulation of feed; there is the payment of freight on mill feeds and other feeds; there is the payment *of premiums from the treasury of Canada amounting to millions; there are the signed *contracts guaranteeing a minimum price down to the end of 1946, and then there are the provisions being made of labour for this purpose to the greatest possible numbers.