April 21, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)



Before I answer the first question I may say that provision for paying these men is made in the vote under discussion. Everything has been provided for: Regulations have been
drafted, Orders in Council passed, and the matter is now either before the Civil Service Commission or on the point of being sent there-I do know it has got to go to the commission. As to my hon. friend's other question, I was not at the conference referred to, but I have had a discussion with a number of those who were, and the idea is this: As time goes on the tendency in all agricultural countries, owing to the keen competition-not only to secure markets but to retain them-is to put all farm products on the market in a graded condition, and to encourage the buying based upon quality. That is to say, in order to get quality you must encourage quality, in order to encourage quality you must pay on that basis; and-just as the hon. member's wheat, oats, barley or rye out in Last Mountain is paid for on the basis of quality-the hope is that by the grading of hogs, which is certainly difficult but not impossible to carry out, payment will be largely made on the basis of quality and that will encourage quality. Now, the idea of these hog graders is not to grade every consignment that comes in, but rather to grade those that the buyer and the seller disagree on. If my hon. friend were the purchaser of hogs and I the seller, as long as we could agree on the grade there would be no difficulty about the transaction; but if we disagreed then the matter would be referred to this grader or, as it would be more proper to call him, referee. That is the way we propose to start. I think that even the grade my hon. friend and I might agree on should be made the subject of record even though we do not refer to the referee at all, so that we would be able to keep track of how the amount in hogs corresponds with the
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amount in. first-class bacon the abattoir may turn out. The whole matter, I think, tends in the right direction. It is not desired to disturb the trade any more than is necessary. The grader may be said to be rather a referee. That referee will represent the abattoirs and also the producers and both will abide by his decision. In addition the understanding is that, based upon this quality, the abattoirs will bid in order to play their part and thus incidentally prevent their doors being closed for the want of business, a condition that some of them are in to-day. The abattoirs will bid a premium on all selects, of ten per cent, I think it is. That is the understanding, but it will not be easy to work out the proportion. It may gradually become absorbed into the general price. At any rate, I have explained the object we have in view, and that is the intent of the contract.

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