December 13, 1910 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Mr. J@

Parker, who lived at La Salle for 25 years, in speaking of the prices obtained for cattle, said:
They are offering 2} cents and 3 cents per pound for beef cattle, and there is no man that will raise animals for that. To raise beef at that price is suicidal. To-day there are large farmers who used to keep a large stock in that country, now they have not even a cow. There is ten times the population and not one-tenth the stuff here that there was twenty-five years ago.
Q. You state that as a fact that the farmers are going out of the business?-A. Yes.
Q. Give the names of some of these farmers in your municipality of Macdonald.-A. I do not think that there is a single stock farmer in the whole of that district now. I am in it still, unfortunately.
The evidence of Kenneth Mclvor, taken at Brandon on the 1st and 2nd of August, 1907, is as follows:
Q. Commissioners will want to report as far as they can on the propriety of the government considering certain proposals they may make; can you be of any assistance to them?-A. The question is a very wide one. If we got fair values for fat stock, we would be able to put the stock question on a different footing. We would be almost able to export as much beef as we export wheat; because a farmer in this country is not farming unless a man keeps enough stock on his farm to consume coarse grains and straw. If every half-section was fattening ten or fifteen steers each year, see the enormous amount we would have for export. So that if we had a rate to the old country cheap enough, we should get a fair value for our stock in a very short time.
That is all I propose to quote with regard to the cattle question. I take up now that portion of the report which deals with the hog industry, and I find the following:
In dealing with the unsatisfactory state of the pork industry, and the unwillingness of the farmers to go in for hog raising owing to the lack of confidence in a market, the commissioners say:-'We believe that this is a matter which should engage the immediate attention of the government.'
At sitting of the Pork Commission held at Edmonton in July, 1908, the following appeared:
W. J. Jackman, secretary of the East Clover Bar of the Alberta Farmer's Association, was the first witness. His evidence was

to the effect that the farmers of Alberta would hare to go out of the hog business if the present conditions were not remedied. Chairman Wallace asked:
Q. Do you think the government should undertake a pork packing plant?-A. Yes. Farmers are without capital as a rule, and -could not be expected to enter on an expensive co-operative scheme.
Q. Do you think such a plant would increase the number of hogs?-A. Certainly; 3,000 hogs would be raised in Clover Bar where there are only 300 now.
Q. What effect would the raising of more liogs have on the general farming conditions? -A. More grain would be raised, especially barley, and this would be conducive to cleaner farms. j
Then Thomas Daly's evidence:
Q. What do you think to be the cost price of producing pork?-A. From 4| cents to 5 cents per pound.
Q. Is this enough to warrant you staying in the business?-A. No.
Q. Is there any method whereby conditions could be remedied ?-A. Erect an establishment to produce bacon for foreign markets. Farmers will not stay in the business unless a steady market is guaranteed.
Q. Is the hog business profitable with fair prices?-A. Yes, the business can be undertaken with very small capital. It _ would be conducive to cleaner farms, by causing larger crops of barley and roots.

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