Errick French WILLIS

WILLIS, The Hon. Errick French, Q.C., B.A., M.A., LL.D.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Souris (Manitoba)
Birth Date
March 21, 1896
Deceased Date
January 9, 1967
barrister, farmer

Parliamentary Career

July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Souris (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 20 of 20)

March 23, 1931


Yes, I have some statistics which I will give my hon. friend. I am just coming to that subject. The animal husbandry department of the Manitoba Agricultural college states that corn is less than 5 per cent more valuable than barley, and with the difference in prices it is much more economical. Then in regard to poultry I may tell my hon. friend that the results obtained at the Manitoba Agricultural college are these: As a growing ration it is just as good as corn; as a laying ration it is just as satisfactory as corn, but in other respects it is slightly inferior. These are the conclusions at which they have arrived after actual tests: The cost of producing one hundred pounds of chicken with a barley ration is $9.54 as against $9.90 with a corn ration, or a difference of almost a half cent per pound. Those figures are given as of May 1, 1930. On the basis of this year's prices, however, the cost of producing one hundred pounds of chicken would be $7.38 per 100 pounds with the barley ration and $8.02 with the corn ration.

The Address-Mr. Willis

In case there may be those hon. members present who do not think much of the Manitoba Agricultural oollege, I have a letter here from the professor of animal husbandry at the Ontario Agricultural college in which he says:

It has been our experience that corn and barley are, in nearly every ease, interchangeable when fed in a mixture for cattle, sheep or hog feeding.

Now I may say that there are three considerations in connection with this problem. The first consideration which I bring to your attention is the fact that barley is interchangeable with corn. The second fact is that we are permitting to come into this country free of duty ten million bushels of corn, which is being used as feed and which should be replaced with barley. The third consideration is that we have freight rates in this country which are too high. As an example, it costs 13 cents a bushel more to ship barley to the maritime provinces than to ship barley to Denmark, and it costs 3 cents a bushel more to ship barley to Vancouver than to ship it to Shanghai. Those are the conditions which exist at the present time. There has been a great deal of talk to-night concerning agriculture, and I must say that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir), ever since he came into office, has been striving to have these freight rates reduced.

In this connection may I say that I am not one of those who believe the east is always trying to choke the west. I have heard that opinion expressed here, but I do not agree with it. Neither am I one of those who believe the west is just a group of whiners. I was born in that great western country, and the longer I live the more firmly I become convinced of the fact that the east and the west are interdependent and that the sooner they find that out the better it will be for both of them. I say this is an opportunity for us to put that principle into operation. Every man who is feeding corn to live stock in this eastern country has the opportunity to say to himself, "If I were feeding barley I would be helping someone in western Canada make a living." That is the attitude which should be adopted, and it would not be detrimental to the live stock, the swine or the poultry of eastern Canada if that change were made.

It has been said that the last election was a butter and egg election, and we have heard a good deal lately with regard to butter and eggs. So far as I may, I should like to still some of the discussion and get down to the facts. I have secured from the Bureau of Statistics the actual imports of butter into Canada by months, commencing March 1

1930, and continuing to February 28, 1931. We find that in March, 1930, we imported 8,029,435 pounds of butter, whereas in February of 1931 we imported only 468,851 pounds. I wish to place this statement on record, and I want to show exactly what those imports were. I do not want to pick out a month here and a month there, although of course it is true that at the present time we have in store ovrr

11,000,000 pounds of butter.

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March 23, 1931

Mr. E. F. WILLIS (Souris):

Mr. Speaker, as a very junior member of this house. I rise with great diffidence to pay the customary compliments to the hon. gentlemen who moved and seconded the address. I think I should also pay a compliment to the hon. member for West Elgin (Mr. Hepburn) in that since the special session he has been appointed leader of the Liberal party in the province of Ontario.

I trust he may long continue to be leader of ' the opposition there. May I also express the wish that when he retires his successor will take his seat in this corner of the house bringing with him his binoculars and ear trumpet.

I well remember the bright speech of the member for West Elgin when he spoke of certain members of the Conservative party who visited his constituency. I may say that I also had certain visitations from men on the other side of the house during the last election.

I had a visit from Thomas Alexander Crerar, then Minister of Railways and Canals, who came to the town of Killarney in my constituency. Then the former Minister of Finance, Charles Avery Dunning, who has been referred to this evening, came to the town of Boisse-vain. My third visitor was Joseph Thorarinn Thorson, who I understand, used to delight hon. members in this corner of the house; he spoke at the town of Deloraine. I bring these matters to the attention of the house, not because in the town of Killarney, where Mr. Crerar spoke we had the first Conservative majority since 1904; not because where Mr. Dunning spoke we had the largest Conservative majority in the constituency, not because where Mr. Thorson spoke-he used to be my teacher

we had the first Conservative victory since Manitoba was carved out of the Northwest Territories; no, I do not mention their visits because of those facts, but rather for the reason that there came into my constituency three wise men from the west, brilliant boys bearing bulging briefs of meaningless matter, and where are they to-day?

The constituency which I have the honour to represent is situated in the southwestern corner of Manitoba. In that constituency, as in the constituency of Marquette, we have a beautiful forest reserve, 36 by 6 miles, containing a large number of lakes, meadow land, forest, hay land and pasture for cattle. At the southern extremity we have the international boundary, on the west the province of Saskatchewan, on the north the Souris river, and on the east that great dynasty that has been presided over by the member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) for ten years. I like the clerical stories that the hon. member incorporated in his speech last week, but I trust he will not repeat them from the pulpit. In my constituency, as the hon. member indicated, we are engaged in mixed farming; we grow wheat, oats, barley, and we raise cattle, pigs and poultry; but wheat is our major crop. Barley is our next crop in importance, and, after all, this is a great crop in Manitoba. Manitoba exceeds every other province in the production of barley. Ordinarily our farms average 320 acres, but sometimes their acreage is ten times that figure.

I want to speak in particular on the question of barley. This is the production for 1929 and 1930:

1929: Manitoba, 36,518,000 bushels; Saskatchewan, 30,755,000 bushels; Alberta, 12,514,000 bushels.

1930: Manitoba 49,974,000 bushels; Saskatchewan, 40,522,000 bushels; Alberta, 18,999,000 bushels.

Those are the figures given by the Bureau of Statistics. It will be seen that we in Manitoba are largely interested in the production of barley. This year to date we have marketed from western Canada only 14.000,000 bushels of barley. Last year up to the same period we had already marketed 23,500,000 bushels. Deducting the marketed barley from the production figures, we have on hand in western Canada over 95,000,000 bushels of barley. In addition we have a carry over from last year of 23,000,000 bushels. Deducting from that total the amount which has been fed to our cattle, I think the house will agree with me that we have at the present time over 100,000,000 bushels of barley in western Canada with no market. That is worth around 10 cents a bushel to-day.

But I want to point out that at the same time we are bringing in from the United States and from the Argentine corn in very large quantities. With the consent of the house I want to place on record the import figures of corn for the last twelve months. These are the imports for other than purposes of distillation. The figures cover the period

The Address-Mr. Willis

from March, 1930, to February, 1931, and they show we have imported for purposes other than distillation more than 10,000,000 bushels of corn. The Bureau of Statistics have estimated for me that of that amount over 8,000,000 bushels were used for feed purposes, mostly in eastern Canada. Corn is admitted free for purposes of feed; for distillation it is subject to a duty of 7J cents a bushel. That is the condition with which we in western Canada are confronted. We paid out to our great competitors, the Argentine and the United States, more than $6,000,000 last year for corn for feeding purposes. The Toronto price on March 2, as given me by the Bureau of Statistics was as follows: barley, 38 cents a bushel; corn, c.i.f. Port Colborne, 63 cents. This indicates that even in the east there is a spread between corn and barley of 25 cents a bushel.

Now, I would direct the attention of the house to the fact that in practically every case barley is as good as corn for purposes of feed. The federal government through its experimental farms for a considerable period has been carrying on experiments with a view to finding out whether barley cannot be substituted for corn, and with the indulgence of the house I wish to place on record certain results that they have arrived at. I have in my hand pamphlet No. 127, new series, issued by the Department of Agriculture, headed Greater Use of Barley in Live Stock Feeding. These are some of the conclusions contained in the pamphlet. After conducting experiments throughout Canada in regard to feed for beef cattle it says that 66 per cent, or even 75 per cent, of barley may be used, and it may be substituted at any time for corn in any way in which corn is used. For dairy cattle barley should not form more than 25 to 33 per cent of the grain ration. For horses it can be used up to 25 per cent or more. It is used largely now in Africa, the orient, Europe and the United States. For swine feeding it is the equal of corn. Corn is slightly more fattening, but otherwise barley is better. When one considers the difference in price there is no comparison at all. That is why I am urging that our people in eastern Canada particularly who are feeding corn should now feed barley instead, thereby serving their country, assisting western Canada and getting prices as good as they can get now for whatever they are feeding. Let me read to you the conclusions at which this pamphlet arrives: It is generally recognized as the most useful Canadian grain grown for swine feeding.

It is almost equally useful in the feeding and finishing of beef cattle. _

With oats, it forms a good base for dairy cattle grain mixtures where the additional 22110-15

protein required to balance the ration is otherwise supplied, for example, by alfalfa or high protein cereal-legume hay crops.

Barley may be safely and economically fed to work horses as a part of the grain ration. It is best rolled or bruised.

Barley, rolled, cracked or coarsely ground, combines well with oats in fattening of lambs.

I also wish to refer to another pamphlet which has been issued by the Department of Agriculture, and just here I might say that anyone may get these pamphlets by writing the department at Ottawa. I refer now to pamphlet No. 128, new series, which covers the feeding of poultry, and which arrives at the same results. For those who may be experts perhaps it might be well to refer to certain figures given me by the Manitoba Agricultural College covering actual tests in regard to the feeding of hogs. This schedule indicates the first weight of the hog, the last weight, the gain, the number of days on feed, the total feed consumed, the feed per hundred pounds gained and the daily gain, showing exactly the result of the hog feeding with barley instead of com. Of course in western Canada there is a marked difference between the price of corn and the price of barley. At present in Winnipeg corn sells for 66 cents per bushel, whereas barley may be bought for 15 cents a bushel. The difference in the east, where we wish to sell, may not be so great, but there is a spread of at least 25 cents per bushel.

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