April 7, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Fletcher Bath Wade



Mr. Speaker, it would not be necessary for me to have made any remarks, certainly not any extended remarks, in regard to the fruit industry, but for certain somewhat extraordinary statements which were made here a few days ago by the hon. member for South Wentworth (Mr. Smith). Last session there was considerable discussion in regard to the fruit business in the Annapolis valley in the province of Nova Scotia. I wish to say here that in any discussion I propose to engage in concerning that industry I would like to lift it beyond the pale of party politics. This is a great industry, one of the most important in my native province and in the constituency I have the honour to represent, and I do think, Sir, that we can best serve the interests of the fruit growers of Nova Scotia as well as the fruit growers of the whole of the Dominion of Canada if we approach the discussion of the matters that are of interest to them, from a non-political standpoint. I, therefore, wish to say that I regret that the remarks of the hon.' member for Wentworth were not free from political considerations, and that he endeavoured to cast upon the government the burden of all the misfortunes that are attendant upon the present conditions in regard to the fruit industry. He made some remarks that I believe will be regarded as somewhat startling. In the first place he informed the House that Nova Scotia this year had the only good crop of apples grown in the country. This is rather a remarkable statement coming from the hon. gentleman who lives in a part of this Dominion, which at the time when the Annapolis valley was first producing apples in abundance his county was traversed only by the aborigines. The crop of the Annapolis valley was barely an average one. It was good. It was strikingly good, but to have this hon. gentleman publish to the world that this great industry which was established by the French away back in 1600 and odd that its first good crop was last year is rather discouraging. Then, he blames the government for all the difficulties in connection with the transhipment of apples. He says the people there are dissatisfied, and that they are censuring the government. He attempts to, and does read resolutions from fruit growers associations and boards of trade to support-but which entirely failed to support-his charge, and then he tells us about the sad condition

of affairs in Annapolis valley. That was rather startling, it was amusing to hear the hon. gentleman talk about the sad condition of affairs in the Annapolis valley where the people this year have put into their pockets over a million dollars as the outcome of their orchards. Then he cites as his authority for all this dissatisfaction, Mr. Peter Innes. Mr. Peter Innes is a very estimable Scotch gentleman. It would be well for me to say who Peter Innes is, because he is the authority that is taken by the hon. member for South Wentworth to represent the true state of feeling in the Annapolis valley. I wish to preface my remarks by saying that it is absolutely incorrect to say that there is the slightest dissatisfaction with the government in the Annapolis valley, and by the Annapolis valley I mean the counties of Annapolis, King's and Hants, in regard to either the apple business or the transportation question concerning it. Now, Mr. Peter Innes was for a number of years the manager of the Windsor and Annapolis Railway, now the Dominion Atlantic Railway. That railway to-day is the only outlet for the valley to the sea coast where the apples are transhipped to the steamers. During this regime the farmers and fruit growers of the Annapolis valley claimed -that his heart was as adamant towards them. The rates that he demanded were extortionate and they continued in that way until he ceased to be manager and another man took the rein of affairs. Then he became a grand reformer. These rates were ridiculously high. He demanded that they should be cut down at once. And what is the explanation he gave? He says :-In the days when I managed the Windsor and Annapolis Railway, apples were a luxury ; now they are a necessity. In the same way the hon. member for South Wentworth stood by the late government when they did nothing for the farmers, virtually, when they did nothing for the fruit growers, and supported them, having no fault to find with them whatever. But when his party was defeated, when his government was turned from power and when the present administration took upon itself the reins of government, the hon. member for South Wentworth became a great reformer. He demands everything from the government now and he is not willing to give them that credit which they deserve. To read his speech and to listen to his remarks one would suppose that it was the bounden duty of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) to go down through the province of Nova Scotia, to go to the ports of Halifax, St. John and Montreal and there, himself, see to it that the apples were stored on board the steamers that were properly ventilated, to see that they were properly stowed on the steamers and to accompany the ships on their voyage across the Atlantic ocean. I say that the government cannot undertake Mr. WADE.
such a duty or responsibility as that. We might with equal justice demand that the hon. member for South Wentworth should assume responsibility for that Mr. Onder-donk, from Ontario, who went down to the valley last year, purchased on credit some $80,000 worth of fruit, stored it in a warehouse and then gave a bill of sale of that fruit to his creditors by which the farmers were robbed of $80,000 of their money. I say that all the farjners and fruit growers ask is that the government of the Dominion of Canada shall aid them as far as they can in securing proper transportation of their fruit from this side to the other side. Then the hon. gentleman made another statement here. I am sorry he made it because it is not correct. He says :
Within the last twenty-four hours there has been a deputation of Nova Scotia fruit growers in this House to protest against the condition of things and complain that the government have neglected their duty.
I had the privilege of coming from the province of Nova Scotia in company with and conversing with them from the time we left Halifax until we arrived here. I secured a vast amount of useful information from them. I had the pleasure of going with that delegation to a conference with the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher), the deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Minister of Railways and Canals (Hon. Mr. Blair) and not only is the statement that they complained of the action of the government untrue, but Mr. Ralph Eaton, the foremost orchardist in the lower provinces, after making a very exhaustive'speech in connection with this matter, took occasion to say that he was grateful to the government for what they have done in connection with the agricultural interests, that he was grateful to the hon. Minister of Agriculture, and that he knew that they had his entire sympathy and that he was prepared to do anything and everything he could for them. ' That is the true situation with regard to the great fruit industry in the Annapolis valley.
Now, Sir, who is he who will be bold enough to say, that the government can come in and remedy all these evils that are existing ? Any man who knows aught about this matter knows, that all the government can do is to grant a subsidy in order to ensure the rapid and proper transit of fruit from the province of Nova Scotia, or from the Dominion of Canada to the other side of the Atlantic. This they have done. Last year and for a number of years they have been giving this subsidy to the Furness-Whithy Company. There was some discussion about the matter last year, and more stringent provisions were incorporated in the contract that was entered into between the government and that steamship company. Last year the company agreed to give the following service-
I am reading from the contract:

The contractors will on the 1st of July next, after the date of these presents, place on the route between the Port of St. John, In the province of New Brunswick and the port of London in England, the following steamers :-The ' Evangeline,' the ' Loyalist ' and the ' Dahomey ' ; and with these or with other good steamers sanctioned by the minister, maintained for the period of one year a regular service between these ports at fixed dates at regular intervals of not over fifteen days.
The 'balance of this contract was carefully drawn. It was supposed by the fruit owners that if these ships, or ships of a like character, could be employed in that trade, the business woud be properly served. I believe that if those ships had been employed and if the stowage of the fruit had been properly attended to there would have been no complaint and no dissatisfaction. In fact, I have here on my brief statements from the leading orchardists in that province supporting that contention, but I am sorry to say that the Furness-Whithy Company did not carry out their contract. In the first place, they were careless about the handling of the fruit from the cars to the steamer. In the next place, they piled the fruit sometimes eleven tiers deep in their steamers with the result, as any body would know-there being no intervening dunnage between the barrels-that the whole pressure of eight or nine barrels coming on the lower ones would spring the bilges of the barrels and bruised nearly every apple in them. Any lawyer knows that the persons who held bills of lading from these steamers would be in a position to maintain an action for damages against the company, but what could the government do V There is only one tiling the government could do and that was, to withhold from that steamship company the subsidy, and we are told that the subsidy has been withheld. But this is not all that this Furness-Whithy Company did. They ran these three splendid steamers for a part of the year; they sold two of them, withdrew the third from the service, and filled their places with inferior steamers without first getting the sanction of the Minister of Trade and Commerce as provided for by this contract. That is the cause of complaint throughout the Annapolis valley-not against the government, but against this Furness-Whithy Company which has violated its contract.
What can the government do ? All that they can do is to withhold from the company the 'balance of the subsidy that has not been paid. I have not approached this matter, Sir, in any controversial spirit, aud neither has the hon. Dr. Borden, the representative of King's county, nor Dr. Russell, the representative of Hants. But, after listening to what has been stated by these representatives of the fruit growers, we have bad conferences with the minister and we have asked him, in order to secure the proper carrying out of such provisions as we deem necessary, that in the next contract which is entered into between the government and any company that is to carry this fruit from Canada to the other side, certain stipulations shall be incorporated in that contract. The conditions that we have asked for and which meet with the approval of the representatives of the fruit growers are these :
That if the fruit trade, in the opinion of the minister requires it, the minister would insist upon the company increasing the service to intervals of every ten days instead of fifteen, days. Such steamships when carrying fruit shall he run at an average of twelve knots an hour.
Many people have demanded that the steamers shall be run at a higher rate of speed, but after a great deal of discussion it was shown, that a steamer running at twelve knots an hour will make the trip in something less than ten days, and that is considered to be all that is necessary.
Said steamships when carrying fruit shall be ventilated by forced draft in the most effective manner, to the satisfaction of the Minister, and so as to secure as uniform and cool a temperature as possible. And the Minister may require the company to instal in and upon such steamships theographs to record the temperature.
The handling, loading, stowage and unloading of fruit shall be under the supervision of an officer appointed or named by the Minister, if he deems it desirable.
Said steamships shall not carry between any decks more than five tiers of barrels of apples, that is, there shall not be resting on any one tier of barrels of apples more than four others, unless the same is arranged in such a manner as to relieve the barrels of the extra weight.
I may say in this connection, that the dangerous months in the transhipment of fruit are the months of September and October. During the month of September the temperature between the port of Halifax and the port of London averages something over 59 degrees-I think it is 59 7. During the month of October the temperature averages slightly over 58 degrees. Now, the fruit growers are of opinion that without any cool air chambers and without any refrigeration, but with simply forced draft taking the- cool air from outside and circulating it through the vessel, there can be a temperature maintained of about 60 degrees, which is all that is necessary in order to carry the fruit without any loss or damage. That is what they are asking. They are asking simply that these conditions shall be imposed upon the parties to whom ithe Dominiou subsidy is granted. If the subsidy which is now granted is too small, then we make bold to ask the government to make it somewhat larger; and if we are met by the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher) in the spirit in which he has met all applications on 'behalf of the agriculturists of this country, then we have every reason to believe that our request will be granted and that the fruit growers of the Annapolis valley will be satisfied with the

result. At any rate, our people are 'willing to give this forced draft air circulation a fair trial for a year or two, and then if it proves not to he efficient they will come back to parliament and say: We were mistaken, and we ask to have something else done. I submit that it is not fair, in view of what has been done by the Minister of Agriculture, in view of the interest that has been taken by himself personally and .by the government in this matter, to censure him or to censure the government, or to say that there is the slightest dissatisfaction with the minister or with the government so far as the people in the valley of the Annapolis are concerned.
There is one other question which is of somewhat vital importance to the people there, and that is the question of railway freight rates on apples. The statement was made by this same delegation to the Minister^ of Railways ; or rather it was at a hearing before him, and what they desired was placed before him by myself in a letter. They are asking that the classification so far as apples are concerned shall be changed. It is now ' three ' and ' five,' and they ask that it shall be made ' five ' and ' eight,' the same as flour. Of course, the request for a change in the classification of fruits on a railway is a matter of great importance, because that classification is made for the whole Dominion, and we could scarcely hope that the fruit growers of the Annapolis valley could of themselves come here and secure a classification for' the whole Dominion unless they were supported. I requested the Minister of Railways to forward this application of mine to the clifferent transportation companies interested ; and, after receiving their replies, I hope that other agricultural societies interested throughout the province of Ontario would take the matter up and press the government for this change. I believe that what they ask is fair and reasonable. I can see no reason why apples should not be carried at as low a rate as flour. That is the whole apple question, an$ a correct statement of the feelings of the people in tne county of Annapolis. Last winter there was an Act passed here in reference to apple inspection. That Act has given a great deal of satisfaction. I do not care to discuss it to-night. There is a good deal of divergence of opinion as to whether certain amendments should be made to that Act this year or not ; but the consensus of opinion is that we had better try it for another year to see how it works. It is a step in the right direction, and the people are grateful to the Minister of Agriculture, who introduced it. So much for the apple question.
There are one or two other matters which I wrould like to say a few words about. I wish to remark upon some of the statements made by the hon. leader of the opposition when he moved the resolution now Mr. WADE.
under discussion. I will not dwell as long as I intended to upon that matter, but there are some things I must refer to. There were two statements made by the hon. leader of the opposition which struck me most forcibly. He stated that it was necessary for us to have a declared policy-, notwithstanding the fact that we have a declared policy which we have been acting upon for five years, a policy which has stood the test of a vehement political contest and has come off with flying colours ; and why does he say so ? Because, he asks, * without it how can we expect men to put their money into the industries of the country with any confidence ' ? Surely the hon. gentleman must have forgotten himself for a moment when he made this remark. Afraid to put their money into the industries of the Dominion of Canada ! Why, Sir, to-day we have men tumbing over each other to secure the industrial and other stocks of the Dominion of Canada. In the province of Nova Scotia this year I have seen property after property sell at 4 or 5 or 6 or even 10 times what they would have sold for in 1897. We have the great industries in the province of Nova Scotia developed as no man had any idea a few years ago that they would be developed. Look at the great Dominion Cnal Company. I remember when the premier of Nova Scotia, our present Finance Minister, introduced the legislation of 1894 which brought into existence that great corporation ; and what was he met with ? The Conservative press of the province of Nova Scotia united in saying that he was handing over the coal mines of Nova Scotia to American speculators, who would close them up and destroy our whole coal industry. A short time previous to that the whole revenue derived by the province from minerals amounted to $120,000. To-day the revenue from the same source has reached over half a million dollars. We have seen the value of the
stock of the Dominion Coal Company rushing up 10, 15, sometimes 20 points in a day. And yet the hon. gentleman tells us that people will have no confidence in our industries. Look at the record of the Dominion Steel Company and the Nova Scotia Steel Company. Look at the fact that capitalists have been coming from the United States to buy our railroads. Some gentlemen say that they are coming over to buy everything we have. And yet the hon. leader of the opposition says that in consequence of this policy of ours no one has any confidence in the industries of the Dominion of Canada. Never since the Dominion has been a Dominion has there been even a percentage of the confidence that the financial world has in Canada to-day. It was only a few years ago, I remember it well, when, if you went into the financial markets of New York with a scheme, no matter how tempting it might be, the mo-

ment you mentioned tliat it was from Nova Scotia, that moment you were turned down and never considered. But to-day, ' Nova Scotia ' is the gilt-edged scheme that takes.
I am free to admit that the great iron and steel industry of Cape Breton has been fostered to a certain extent by this government. The government has given it a bonus, and properly so. Cape Breton island is the great storehouse of the mineral wealth of this Dominion. We are not in a position to estimate what the future holds for that island. The people of Cape Breton have for years contributed their part towards the building up of manufactures and it was but a measure of justice to grant the bounty on iron in order to give their industries a start.
Another thing- seemed to trouble the hon. leader of the opposition. He told us that unless we changed our policy and adopted a declared xiolicy, we should become a pastoral and agricultural people. When he said that, it did convey some horrors to my mind. I would not like to live in a purely pastoral community. I think the only animal I have that I could lead to pastures green has seen some thirty winters. I would not cut much of a figure with a shepherd's crook. I believe the hon. leader of the opposition is one ahead of me, because I understand that he has a cow. In this connection I was looking at Ely's Political Economy,' in which he tells us :
When, hunting tribes begin to domesticate animals they enter usually upon the pastoral stage. The earliest chapters of the Bible give us vivid pictures of peoples living in this period of economic development.
He goes on to cite from the Scriptures a passage which, if reports be true with regard to certain dissensions on the other side, would, with a slight change of the names of the principal parties, be appropriate to this occasion. He cites from the 13th chapter of Genesis these words :
Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver and
in gold And Lot also, which went
with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together : for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle And Abram said unto Lot, Let
there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee and between my herdmen and thy herd-men. Is not the whole land before thee ? Separate thyself, 1 pray thee, from me : If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
If my information Is correct, this has an application to-day ; though I am prepared to learn that I have been misinformed. But it is rather a startling proposition to us members down by the sea to he told that we have to become a pastoral people-we with our great fishing industry, our great mining industry, our great farming and
lumbering industries, our great steel industry-unless, forsooth, we have a ' declared ' policy. We have been living in hopes and have now the almost certain assurance that our old ship building industry-the wooden ship building industry-will, in the near future, be revived in the form of steel ship building, and to-day I am informed that there is in the province of Nova Scotia a representative of one of the largest and most influential ship building firms on the Clyde, who is there for the purpose of arranging for the building of steamships in that province. Why should we not build steel , ships ? We have there all that is necessary. We have inexhaustible mines of coal and iron and all the things necessary in order to produce steel cheaper than it can be produced anywhere else in the world. I am informed on the very best authority that before August of this year the Dominion Steel Company will be producing 1,000 tons of steel per day which will yield to that company a profit of $8,000 per day, or over $2,000,000 net profit per year. Yet we are told by hon. gentlemen opposite that if we do not resort to tariff tinkering, we are going to become a pastoral people.

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