March 11, 1930 (16th Parliament, 4th Session)


Duncan Sinclair

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DUNCAN SINCLAIR (North Wellington) :

Mr. Speaker, I desire to say a few
words as to the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn), especially as it refers to the dairy industry. The hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) tells us that the farmers of Canada are obtaining good prices for their cows, and because of that it is good business for the farmers. I claim that it is not good business for the dairy farmers of Canada because those cows could not be replaced at the prices for which they were sold. They are not raising heifers in my own district, they are selling them because the dairy business has got into such a state that there is no money in it for the farmer. An answer which can be made to his remarks is that contained in a questionnaire sent out by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the government of which he is a member. This letter, 'which was sent out to the farmers of this country, Teads as follows:
You are, I understand, interested in live stock of some kind, and are therefore, I have no doubt, interested in Canada's holding her place and even doing a little better than that on the world's markets for various live stock products. Now as a matter of fact Canada seems unfortunately to be losing ground in this connection. For instance, we no longer export any eggs
or butter. We send abroad very little dressed poultry or lambs; our exports of beef cattle are dwindling, our shipments of beef are decreasing, our exports of bacon which a few years ago were very large have almost disappeared and our shipments of cheese are rapidly falling off.
That is the reply to the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the present government. Hon. members on this side of the house have consistently brought to the attention of the country and of the government, the condition of affairs and what would happen if importations of butter from New Zealand continued as has been the case for the last few years. The government paid no attention to our pleadings. In 1927, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell), in addressing the National Dairy Council, said in reply to the chairman:
Now we got a preference for certain exports such as paper, pulp and motor cars, what would you suggest, Mr. Chairman, to take the place of butter?
What would we give New Zealand if we did not give thean a preference for butter? Just imagine the Minister of Agriculture, the watch-dog of the farmers of this country, sacrificing the interests of our farmers for those of any other industry, whatever it might be!
What has been the result? According to the Bureau of Statistics report, we have a shortage of 100,000 milch cows. We have a shortage of hogs. We have lost our export trade to Britain in. those commodities and, sad to say, we are losing our home market. Our Canadian-made butter is just as good as any butter made in the world; there is none better. Mr. A. J. Mills, a dealer from London, England, bad this to say of Canadian butter and cheese before the National Dairy Council in 1927-and by the way, the Minister of Agriculture was present at the meeting-that there was no better butter or cheese shipped to the old country market than the Canadian product and there was ^something radically wrong with Canada when her exports had fallen off nearly to nothing.
The dairy farmers of Canada are not asking for any favours. All they want is a square deal. They expect the government at least to save the home market for them. They do not think it fair to have to compete with a country like New Zealand. Doctor Ruddick, dairy and cold storage commissioner, in addressing the agriculture committee last session, informed us that the cows of the New Zealand farmers ran at large practically twelve months of the year; that ithe farms
Australian Treaty-Mr. Sinclair (Wellington)
in New Zealand were worth from S300 to $700 an acre, and that they could feed from 50 to 80 cows on 100 acres. On the other hand, in Ontario and Quebec, the farmers can keeip only from 15 to 20 cows on 100 acres; their cows are housed for six or seven months of the year, and they are fed on expensive food. It takes a lot of money and hard work to feed these cows during the winter months and the dairy farmers of Canada object to this unfair competition. New Zealand butter is allowed into this country under a duty of one cent per pound while they charge us six cents a pound to export our butter into New Zealand. I would ask the hon. member for Lisgar whether he thinks that is fair treatment.

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