June 7, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. S. F. TOLMIE (Victoria City) :

I have listened with a great deal of interest to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lapointe) who has just taken his seat. I have heard all of the criticisms which he has directed towards the right hon. member who leads the Opposition (Mr. Meighen), but I do not purpose replying to those criticisms because I believe, and I think the House will agree with me, that the leader of the official Opposition is quite capable of taking care of himself. I was rather surprised to hear the statement that the election of 1917 was simply to return a Parliament for the duration of the war. I do not know what had occurred previous to that time, because that was my first election experience. I do not know, however, that so far as my constituency was concerned-and I think I am safe in speaking for the whole of British Columbia-we did not believe that the Parliament that was being elected at that time was to function only during the war. We understood that it. would run the usual course, and I think that was the general understanding throughout the whole country.
Before taking up a few matters in relation to the budget I desire to join with other hon. members who have preceded me in congratulating the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) on his achievement and on the years of excellent service which he has rendered this country. He has served in both provincial and federal governments and has a long record that is absolutely free from any besmirchment of any kind. At this late day it must therefore be a matter of deep gratification to him to feel that no one can point an accusing finger at him for anything that has not been proper during the whole of his public career. After all, that is the greatest possible reward a man could hope for after as many years
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in the public service as my hon. friend has put in. I wish to extend to him my best wishes for many years of good health and of usefulness in the future. I quite realize the difficulties with which he is faced in the present situation. His position is similar to that which has been experienced by ministers of finance from the commencement of the war up to the present time, a position fraught with difficulties that were never contemplated in the past history of Canada and that require the greatest degree of ability and intelligence if they are to be solved.
Now, among the items dealt with in the budget I notice my old friend the tariff on agricultural implements appearing again. The farmers have had conceded to them on this occasion a reduction of 2J per cent in that tariff, aggregating, I understand, something less than $250,000 a year; while, on the other hand, the sales tax represents a total increase of some $30,000,000. I have been looking with some interest to the farmers in some sections of the country where they had been demanding the entire removal of the tariff on agricultural implements, and I have been wondering how they will receive this concession of 2i per cent. It must, I am sure, be a great disappointment to those people who expected,when the results of the election were made known on December 6th last, that the present Government would usher in the new era. Some of these enthusiasts, no doubt, anticipated a wonderful change throughout the country; they believed that the tariff would be absolutely wiped out and that with the exit of that much abused government that had carried on the affairs of the country during the war and for the period immediately ensuing, all the ills of the country would be cured-they would have no more tariffs to bother with; would not be troubled with rust or hail; and that even the grasshopper in the western plains would lose his hop. Expecting all these things, they must have experienced a considerable jar when they were given this reduction of 2i per cent in the tariff. I wonder whether, after a careful survey of the situation, they will decide to laugh or to get angry. In my opinion the benefit of the tariff on agricultural implements, as it has been discussed in relation to the success of farming in this country, has been exaggerated to a very great extent. It has been used by politicians and stressed by them until it has almost developed into a humbug. There are many other matters of greater importance relating to agriculture that would

have brought much better results, such as better cultivation, the improvement of our live stock, the improvement of crops by the use of good seed, and so forth. The actual experiments on the government farms have shown an increase of from ten to 100 per cent in production by the use of first class seed, and I am sure that if half the energy and time that have been devoted to a fruitless discussion of the tariff on implements had been directed towards the improvement of farming in Canada, we should have had results amounting to millions as compared with a few hundred thousand dollars which the farmers will gain by the tariff concessions. However, we must not be too hard on this tariff on agricultural implements, because, in addition to having been an excellent instrument in the hands of opponents of the late government, it has no doubt helped to while away many a dreary winter's evening in the country districts.
With regard to the various budget proposals, I find that it is suggested that we shall have better trade relations with Australia. I would call the attention of the Minister of Finance to the fact that when this question is being discussed there are some items that should not be lost sight of. Among hese I might mention beef, mutton and lamb, which can be produced in Australia and New Zealand, by reason of the peculiar climatic conditions and the cheapness of land there, at a lower cost than in Canada. Besides that, there is a most excellent refrigerator service from those countries to Pacific coast points, so that their products can be landed in this country at a very low cost. And especially in the years when those countries are affected by drought, their animals are sold for almost a song, and they can be dumped into Canada on an enormous scale, thus seriously interfering with and handicapping the development of our live stock industry. When I spoke on the address I referred to the importance of mixed farming as being the only system that would insure the success of Canadian agriculture I was laughed at by some of my Progressive friends. Therefore it is very pleasing to me to note that at a representative meeting held in Saskatoon the other day, attended by delegates from all the provinces west of the Great Lakes, a resolution was passed to the effect that only mixed farming would give lasting success to agriculture in the western country. When I referred to the importance of developing our sheep industry, some of my friends, speaking on this subject later, said that

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there was no money in sheep, and that they had had a great deal of difficulty not only in selling the stock but also in getting rid of their wool, and some very clever speeches were made along these lines. I am delighted to be able to tell them that already at this early period the situation is improving very rapidly throughout the world. We find that the wool market is picking up and that large quantities of surplus wool held by the British government are being disposed of without difficulty; that wool is getting scarce in South America; that Bradford, England, the great wool centre of Europe, is buying again very freely; that wool is moving very actively in the United States, and that only the other day as high as 40 cents a pound was paid in Utah for wool in the grease. The business of sheep raising is very promising for the future, and for the benefit of those of my friends who may be interested in the business I am going to quote them a few figures. It has been demonstrated that a flock of fifty sheep, costing not more than $500, will, under ordinary farm conditions, yield a return of not less than 15 per cent net, and in addition to that the wool is usually figured as a net gain. Besides their ordinary value for commercial purposes, sheep have a great value in the destruction of weeds and the cleaning up of rubbish on the farm, and they afford a convenient supply of fresh meat to the farmer in the busy seasons of the year when there is not always time to go to town for supplies. Under these conditions I would draw the attention of the Government to the necessity of guarding carefully against the entry of cheap mutton and lamb from those countries the competition of which would be unfair to Canadian farmers. And in that regard I am sure the hon. Minister of Fin-, ance when concluding arrangements with Australia will give particular attention to these few points which I have brought to his notice.
I am very much concerned in the proposed removal from the Customs Act of what is known as the anti-dumping clause. I have watched with a great deal of in terest the development of the fruit industry in British Columbia. We have there a large area known as the Okanagan valley, which only a few years ago was devoted to cattle raising, but in the meantime it has been irrigated and now supports a large number of people who have something like $40,000,000 invested in the fruit-growing industry, and their product
last year sold for $8,000,000. On several occasions previous to June 4, 1921, our American friends were able to come into the Canadian market with large quantities of their No. 3 apples and sell them at such ruinous prices as made it impossible for the Canadian producer to compete with them. This was repeated from time to time until, on June 4, 1921, what is known as the anti-dumping clause was introduced into the Customs Act. This clause made it necessary for the shipper to take into consideration the cost of production with a fair profit added in arriving at the amount on which the duty was based. This clause has rendered a very valuable service to the fruit growers of British Columbia. It may be asked, why are the Americans able to compete with our fruit producers in that way? In the first place, during a boom in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana, very large areas were planted in fruit; in fact they planted more land to fruit than they had market for the product, with the result that they were able, in those years when there was a large crop, to put a certain amount of their product on the Canadian side at a very low price. In addition to that they were able to dispose of their No. 1 fruit in their large cities at fancy prices, and consequently they were glad to sell their culls, or No. 3 apples, at a sacrifice. These apples have been placed on the Canadian market as low as 30 cents and 40 cents a box. It is estimated that a box of apples costs $1.35 to produce in Washington today. In quoting those apples to our Canadian buyers the Americans have even gone so far as to intimate that no reasonable offer would be refused, indicating that they were simply dumping their surplus on our side. They were, however, careful not to dump their apples on the American side of the line, simply because they did not wish to injure their own market. In the production of small fruits and vegetables we find that growers in the United States have a distinct advantage owing to their geographical position. In the southern States their early produce comes on the market in February and March and soon finds its way on to the Canadian market. Then, as the season works northward, we continue to receive their fruit and vegetables until such time as our own products are ready but by that time the sharp desire of the consumer for fresh fruit has been satisfied by the early American fruit, and the result is that the Canadian producer does not obtain the
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fancy prices which have been paid to his American competitors. This year we expect a very large fruit crop, particularly in the eastern section of the continent, and it is to ibe hoped that this anti-dumping clause will be retained for the purpose of giving the protection which I have referred to. These are matters of actual experience, not guess work. Our fruit men have sent delegations to Ottawa on many occasions to place these matters clearly before the government, and they have stated that this anti-dumping clause has proved to be an effective instrument in keeping out this unfair competition. The Minister of Finance in the course of his budget speech pointed out that there would be considerable difficulty in finding out the actual cost of production. I think no such difficulty need be feared, for the simple reason that if we send an expert down to the few fruit points from which we expect this competition he can look into the whole situation carefully, and will have no difficulty in arriving at the cost of production to such an extent as will enable the clause to be put into operation.
It is also proposed to place a tax of ten cents a gallon on temperance beverages. This tax is very strongly opposed by the manufacturers, who claim that it will so upset their present selling prices as to make it impossible to place their goods on the market at a popular figure. However, circular letters have been sent to all the members, and no doubt to the Minister of Finance, and I do not propose to take up the time of the House any further in this connection, save to ask the Minister of Finance to give the matter his very careful attention and endeavour to make an adjustment which will be satisfactory to all concerned. But there is another phase of this question of considerable importance-that is the application of the tax to beverages made from fruit juices on the same basis as those that do not contain any fruit juices. It may not be generally known that some of these beverages which are on the market and are described by large, bright labels as being made from fruit juice, contain only chemical flavours. Therefore I think if the Minister of Finance finds it impossible to remove this tax, he should at least give preference to the genuine article made from fruit juices, and refrain from taxing them. This fruit juice business is a very important one to the fruit growers of this country, because it makes a market for the smaller portions of the crop which can-TMr. Tolmie.]
not be disposed of to advantage in packages-the smaller apples and pears, for instance. It also enables us to dispose of many of the smaller fruits, such as loganberries, which are grown extensively on the Pacific coast-to the extent of thousands of acres in Washington and Oregon and hundreds of acres in British Columbia. This berry produces a juice which is used in the manufacture of summer drinks; it is of a very high colour; the beverage produced is a very wholesome one; and with the industry growing as it is, it should not be seriously interfered with.
With regard to the hog situation and the British market, I pointed out when speaking a few weeks ago in this House that as far as I could judge from what I saw on the other side, if we are to meet the needs of the British market we must supply the Britisher with an even grade of product; it must be uniform and of high quality, and furnished in sufficient quantities to attract the attention of the buyers over there. While the late government was still in office a plan for the grading of hogs was inaugurated. I do not know what progress has been made in the matter, but I urge upon the Government the necessity of pushing it as rapidly as possible so as to ensure the placing on the British market of an even grade of product. We must do this if we are to retain that market in competition with such countries as Denmark and Holland, where careful grading is carried out.
I wish to direct the attention of the Government also to the opportunity that is offered at the present time to rid Canada entirely of what is known as hog cholera. This disease has caused severe losses in this country, as well as in Great Britain and the United States. In 1912 we had about 4,249 hogs slaughtered on account of hog cholera, in respect of which compensation was paid to the extent of $23,446.51. I have the figures here for ten years, but I will not quote them all. In 1915 the disease had increased to such an extent that it was necessary to slaughter 34,779 animals, and to pay in compensation $196,981.28. In that year we introduced what is known as the garbage feeding regulation, with the result that in 1916 only 5,700 hogs were slaughtered on which compensation to the extent of $33,699.95 was paid. What made the difference? Under the garbage feeding regulations it is necessary for all feeders of swine to cook thoroughly all garbage obtained from hotels or board-

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ing houses-that is, waste material, bacon rinds, ham bones, etc., which are fed to hogs and which may give them hog cholera if fed in a raw state. The boiling, however, sterilizes them and makes them a safe article of food. A great deal of bacon is imported from the United States, where hog cholera is so prevalent that it is found necessary to vaccinate the hogs-to inject a serum and virus into them to prevent them from dying of the disease. While many of their hogs are immunized to a certain extent as a result of this operation and do not develop the disease, in many cases they are carriers of the disease, and when the meat is fed to hogs in a raw state, the disease is communicated. In the year ending 1921-22, the regulations having been applied very carefully from year to year, the figures indicate that the mortality from this disease had been reduced to such an extent that only 429 hogs were slaughtered in Canada, compared with 34,779 in 1915. I suggest to the hon. Minister of Agriculture that here is an opportunity, by thorough organization, to wipe out the disease altogether. It will require a little money, but money will be saved in the long run. I speak from experience in this matter. When I entered politics in 1917 I resigned the position of Chief Inspector of the Health of Animals Branch for British Columbia. Hog cholera was very prevalent in that country; in many cases the animals were owned by foreigners who did not understand the English language and could not read our regulations. But even at that we were successful in cleaning out the disease, and for nearly two years previous to the time I resigned, British Columbia was entirely free from hog cholera. This shows what can be done by proper organization in the way of eliminating this disease.
What would be the advantages of bringing about this result? We would save a great deal of money through having no compensation claims to pay; we would save the present heavy cost of enforcing the act; we would save tremendous losses in swine; we would greatly encourage the development of the swine business by the extra confidence which would be given to the raisers of those animals; and in addition to that we would add substantially to the agricultural wealth of this country. And, referring again to the British market, if we could point to our goods as coming from herds entirely free from contagious
disease, you can readily understand what a tremendous advantage our product would have over the vaccinated pork coming from the United States.
I have been rather alarmed to hear suggestions in this House that we should introduce the United States system of dealing with this disease. In this country we have adopted what is known as the eradication system. In any case where hog cholera is found to exist the animal is destroyed, the carcas burned and the whole premises disinfected. We use serums only in cases where the remainder of the herd is not infected at the time of the inspection; serum is injected and the animals thus immunized until such time as they can be slaughtered. It would be a great mistake -and I say this after many years of experience in this work-to adopt such measures as are adopted in the United States. The United States have adopted their present system simply because they cannot do otherwise, the disease having become so widespread in that country. This disease can be entirely wiped out in Canada, I am quite sure, by close inspection of our herds, by a campaign of education among the hog growers, and by an even closer application of our garbage feeding regulations. If this is done I am sure the results will be excellent indeed.
Another point that was brought up last evening by the hon. Minister of Agriculture was his proposal to extend his work in connection with the eradication of tuberculosis in this country. This is a very important work. Its extent is very great; millions of dollars will be required to carry it on, and it must be approached with the greatest possible care. I was also much interested in his suggestion that isolated areas like Vancouver Island and Prince Edward Island might first be cleaned up. If it is the intention to do that, I suggest that he include with Vancouver Island the islands of the Gulf of Georgia, which are isolated in the same way; he can clean that whole section up at one time. That can be done by simply applying the quarantine regulations of the Animal Contagious Diseases Act; the areas can be quarantined and it can be made illegal to take cattle on or off these islands without a certificate of a health of animals inspector. I advise the minister, however, to proceed very cautiously in this connection.
As an indication of how serious are the ravages of bovine tuberculosis in the human race, I will just quote a few figures.

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According to tables which I have here, 75 per cent of gland cases in children are of bovine origin; 66 per cent of generalized tuberculosis in children is of bovine origin; 18 to 26 per cent of deaths from tuberculosis in children are caused by the bovine bacillus. About 10 per cent of all tuberculosis in children from five to sixteen years is bovine. The British Royal Commission figures are much higher, namely, 37.5 per cent under five years of age; 29.5 per cent from five to ten years of age; 14.6 per cent from ten to sixteen years. This indicates that there is a great danger from these sources of the infection of the human being from the consumption of bovine products affected by tuberculosis.
Glancing at the livestock situation, of the
cattle inspected in our abattoirs in 1910- and these abattoirs I may say are very carefully inspected by highly qualified men ___2.70 per cent were affected by tuberculosis. In the same year the number of hogs showed an infection of 9 per cent. In 1921, of the 737,195 head of cattle slaughtered under inspection, the percentage affected amounted to 5.26 per cent, and of the 1,727,296 head of hogs slaughtered in the year ending 31st March, 1922, the percentage had increased to no less than 22 per cent, indicating the rate at which tuberculosis is increasing in this country.
We have also found, in hogs, and this is a very interesting point,that in dairy districts where the by-products, such as skimmed milk and other by-products are fed unsterilized the percentage of infection among animals coming to the abattoirs is not less than 10 per cent greater than from those districts where no dairy products are fed. In those districts the percentage of affected cattle is no greater, indicating that the sources of infection in the swine is from the by-products of the cow. This will indicate the need for prompt, persistent, and careful action for eradication of this disease. But I am quite sure that the moment the Minister of Agriculture applies to the Minister of Finance for funds in this connection, he will be met by a statement regarding the heavy expenditures that are necessary under prevailing conditions, and I know that the Minister of Finance will be quite justified because under present conditions every dollar has to be carefully considered before it is allocated for expenditure. I am going to make a suggestion that should meet with the approval, I think, of the Government and of all the members because I think there never was a time in the history of this country when it is so [Mr. Tolmie. 1
necessary for us to secure money in every legitimate way for the purpose of furthering such work as I have pointed out m connection with tuberculosis. I am going to suggest that we follow the system adopted in France. In France, horse racing is placed under federal control. The government of France secures a small percentage from all the moneys that pass through the books in connection with these horse races which are carefully supervised by government representatives. This percentage is aplied to helping out of poor people and orphan asylums, and also to improving the quality of the livestock.Splendid results have been obtained in that way. If the horse racing in this country could be placed entirely under federal control, we should be able to obtain from that source very substantial sums, and I would suggest that half of the proceeds be given to the Dominion Anti-Tuberculosis Society, and the balance be used for the eradication of tuberculosis among animals. This should not 'be done, under the Criminal Code. A s pecial act should be passed for this particular purpose. In this connection, I think, it is rather a slur on many respectable men who are interested in horse racing in- this country to have racing dealt with under the Criminal Code.

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