March 6, 1928 (16th Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Ewen Sinclair


Mr. SINCLAIR (Wellington):

I have never interrupted an hon. member and I have never interjected a question during an hon. member's speech. I will give the Minister of Agriculture a hint,-he is indulging in sleep, perfect sleep, from which it is time for him to wake. What was the excuse that the Minister of Agriculture made to the National Dairy Council? This is what he said:
Now we got a preference in the Australian market for certain exports like paper and pulp and motor cars, what are we to give in exchange that would be of some value to them? Supposing the present items were eliminated, what would you suggest to take the place of butter ?
I should think the Minister of Agriculture of any government is and should be the farmer's friend. Just imagine the Minister of Agriculture of this government sacrificing the interests of the farmer for motor cars, pulp and paper! I suppose the Minister of Agri-

The Budget-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)
culture has a copy of every letter I hold in my hand, but just to show the house how the people in my constituency view the Australian treaty, I wish to read a few extracts from letters which I have received. The first one reads:
We just wish to draw your attention to the serious condition of the creamery butter industry in Canada. Up to 1926 we had a growing butter industry, which was developing into one of the leading industries of the country. Then the duty was reduced on the importation of butter, and the farmers to-day cannot afford to meet the competition of New Zealand and are cutting down on butter production, as fast as they reasonably can.
This is from one of the leading creamery men in my riding, and the saddest part of it is this paragraph in his letter:
To-day large numbers of female calves are being vealed because there is more money in producing veal than there is in producing butter, with the result that not only our present production is being lowered, but our future for years to come is being scarificed, in the shortage created by vealing the female calves. To add to this shortage a great many of our best milch cows are being bought up for the American market.
I would suggest that the government should give us the same protection as we had before so as to put us on even footing with other countries. The second letter is from another creamery man in my riding who says:
Beg leave to say that we feel that this treaty is not in the best interests of Canada, and especially not the producer of cream, who has to produce cream under entirely different conditions than that of Australia or New Zealand, whose climate permits the production of cream at much less expense, than the Canadian farmer can produce it, who has to stable feed at least six months of the year. There is no doubt about it that the effect of this butter being dumped on our market certainly has a bad effect on the price of the butter to the producer. In 1926 when this treaty became effective the butter market broke twenty cents per pound. This meant severe loss to the farming industry, and we believe that in the best interest of Canada as a whole that the same duty on butter coming into Canada from any country should be equal to the duty that we pay if we have to export any to Australia, New Zealand, or the United States. We trust that you will in the interests of your constituents and the Canadian farmer as a whole vote to have the tariff on butter from New Zealand and Australia placed at six cents per pound, the same as we have to pay on our butter going there.
This is a letter from another creamery man in my riding:
I might say in regard to New Zealand and Australian butter coming into Canada, we should have at least eight cents a pound protection, on account of the bonus that they receive. They allow them to sell their butter cheaper in Canada than in New Zealand or
Australia. I think that if we had eight cents duty on butter coming in it would be a great help to the farmers of this country, as well as the creamery men. I think we would be able to pay the farmers about four cents a pound more for butter fat at present, if it was not for this butter being dumped in here, as I can buy New Zealand butter cheaper in Toronto to-day than I can buy Canadian made butter.
This is another one from a man who holds office in the Canadian Creamery Association of Ontario. He says:
At our executive and annual meetings this question has been brought up and I feel safe in saying that at the present time eighty per cent of the creamery men of Ontario are against the Australian treaty tariff as it now stands.
This morning I received the following resolution from the Ontario Milk and Cream Producers Association:
The Ontario Milk and Cream Producers Association desires to place itself on record as being decidedly opposed to the clause or clauses in the Australian treaty which permit butter to be imported into Canada at the low tariff rate of one cent per pound, thus creating a situation that places the Canadian producer under very unfair competition and making it extremely difficult for him to carry on his business at a profit. Experience with the treaty so far has shown that Canadian dairying is working under a severe handicap, because of it and unless some remedial measures are undertaken, the butter producing industry of the Dominion cannot make the progress it should.
It does not seem reasonable that an agricultural country like Canada should import large quantities of butter while an industrial country like the United States is able to produce nearly all the butter it requires. I would therefore in all sincerity ask the Minister of Agriculture to lose no time in seeing that the Canadian farmer at least has the home market for his own product.
Let me say just a word about my own riding of North Wellington, which I think is the finest riding in the Dominion of Canada. We have a rural constituency comprising great big Irish, German, Scotch and English farmers and business men, aijd they saw fit to send your humble servant to this house to represent them. We do not ask the government for very much, but I would just remind the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott), who I am sorry is not in his seat, that I see no mention of North Wellington in his estimates. We need post office buildings at Arthur, Drayton, Moorefield and Clifford, and I hope to see some provision made for these, or at least some of them, in his supplementary estimates. I am sure it was entirely an oversight on his part and not at all intentional that they were not included in the main estimates. I might tell him right now that I would just as soon he
The Budget-Mr. Ilsley

built a post office in the village of Arthur this year. It might help the government and it will not hurt me, because I am very anxious that the village of Arthur should have a post office.
In conclusion I hope and trust that we shall all work together, Liberals and Conservatives, United Farmers of Ontario and Progressives, Labour and Independent members, to make and keep Canada as it always has been, the brightest gem in Britain's crown.

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