Joseph-Hermas LECLERC

LECLERC, Joseph-Hermas

Personal Data

Shefford (Quebec)
Birth Date
July 12, 1877
Deceased Date
October 4, 1945

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Shefford (Quebec)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Shefford (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 13)

July 8, 1943


Mr. Chairman, I know something about the milk business, and I think I can answer the hon. member from British Columbia. There are regulations in

his province, the same as in all provinces of Canada. I am not sure whether they have a milk commission in British Columbia, but I know we have in Quebec. These commissions were formed to protect the farmers against themselves. Formerly, when farmers retailed their milk they tried to cut each other's throats. Finally the provincial government appointed a commission to set the price. That price was set after interviewing the different farmer organizations in my province. They are not allowed to pay less than the commission price, and they are obliged to sell at the price stipulated.

I believe the farmers are fairly well satisfied at the present time. I am in direct touch with them every day when I am at home, and I know conditions are far better than they were before the war. Unfortunately for the farmers, prices of butter and cheese are not set according to the cost of production. That is too bad for the farmers, but it has always been that way-and especially so before the war. Now the government is giving a bonus of 8 cents on butter, and about the same thing in proportion for cheese. Only the other day a farmer came to me and said that while he had only a small herd he had received $75 from his creamery, that he had never got that much before and that he was well satisfied. Before the war farmers were obliged to take 18 to 20 cents a pound for butterfat. Now we are paying them 46 or 47 cents, and they are fairly happy about it. Perhaps that is not very high, but certainly it is much better than they got before. There was some difficulty last winter in connection with securing grain, and now they are having some trouble in getting hired help. But had it not been for those two things I think everything would be very satisfactory for the farmers. If my hon. friend wishes to have some other information, I should be glad to give it to him.

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June 11, 1943

Mr. J. H. LECLERC (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Prime Minister. I hold in my hand an application form for renewal of a passport. This came to me by chance. I tried to get a few copies of these application forms from the passport office because everybody knows it is absolutely necessary for members of parliament to have some of them on hand for the use of constituents who desire to renew their passports; but I was informed by the passport office that I could have none, and that they should be asked for direct by the applicant. Surely if this is done as a matter of economy, it is, as we say in French, une economie de bout de chandelle. If the government wants to economize, it could save much more by economizing on stationery, dispensing with the large envelopes that come to members of parliament with just a short letter inside.

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June 3, 1943

Mr. J. H. LECLERC (Shefford) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, my speech will be a short one, as usual. I am not in the habit of taking up the time of the house where I consider that, speaking generally, a considerable amount of time is wasted. I do not hesitate to state that the session should be over by now. I simply wish to support the motion of the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot), because certain statements are deserving of utterance. Various views have been expounded to-day. I approve of some speeches and disapprove of others. If, for example, the farmers are behind in their seeding, it cannot be attributed to the scarcity of manpower. The rainy season is to be blamed. Contrary to what the last speaker has said, the farmers make more money in periods of -war. However, their income is still not large enough to allow them to compete on the labour market and pay two or three dollars a day for help. Butter would have to sell at from 75 cents to SI a pound to permit them to do so. The farmers are unable to pay such high wages.

I specially wish to draw the attention of the house to the trouble we are faced with regarding the men called up for training. The government have amended their man-power policy. Since March, 1942. this policy is more liberal than heretofore. Before that time it was deemed advisable to call up every farmer because it was considered that they might help to protect their own homes. Our views have altered since that time. To-day there is no trouble in getting postponements for bona fide farmers' sons, but difficulties are met with when we are dealing with those who have been called up in 1940 and 1941.

In my riding, I have come across many very deserving cases. I shall call two or three of them to your attention. Last winter, a seventy-year-old widow, who has only two sons, requested that I try to get leave for one of her sons who had been called up before 1941. After months of work, I finally was successful in securing leave for that young

Man-Power-Mr. Leclerc

man who, however, did not reach the farm, where only one son remained, until late in the spring. On this farm, there were 25 milch cows and anyone who knows something about agriculture, realizes the amount of work the care of these animals represents. I may state in passing that, in Shefford, we have the largest herds in the province of Quebec. The mother exhausted her strength in attempting to help her son. Finally, in June or July, I believe, the other son, who had been called up for training, was granted leave for a few months. He went back to the army in the fall. This year, after some delay, I was again successful in securing further leave for him. He is now on the farm, having obtained leave of absence for three months. Mr. Speaker, that is not enough. He should have been granted at least six months, for, in my opinion, a farm on which there are 25 cows, as well as sheep and other animals requires at least two good men. The truth of this is evidenced by the fact that, at the time when there was only one son on the farm, although the latter includes a woodlot, they had to buy fuel wood.

I may mention another nearly similar case, where 25 cows were kept. The father and mother are at least seventy years old. Both became ill, and a nurse had to take care of them. They had only one son at home. This spring, I obtained a postponement for him but as every one will admit, two men are scarcely enough on a farm of that size, and at least three would be required. Those two men can scarcely do all the work and they should remain on the farm the whole year round. In the cases I have just mentioned, the men are not French-Canadians, but English-speaking people.

I could mention many other cases. A dairy farmer told me on Monday morning: "I keep 30 milch cows, but I have only one son at home". Moreover, this farmer sells his milk in town. All those cases deserve our consideration and I ask the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) and the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) to consider them most carefully. Farmers' sons whose services are essential on the farm, whether they were mobilized in 1940, in 1941 or even in 1942, are entitled to the same consideration shown to those who are liable to be called up this year and who are practically exempted.

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June 3, 1943


Mr. Speaker, I rise to a

point of order. A while ago, I made a remark to the hon. member when he said that the present government was more nefarious than the union government of 1917. Such is not my opinion, but if it be the opinion of the hon. member, why does he not take his seat on the other side of the house?

Mr. d'ANJOU: In that case, I am not of

the same opinion and it does not concern the hon. member whether I stay on this side of the house or go over to the other. Mr. Speaker, I shall be delighted to support the motion of the hon. member for Temiscouata.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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June 3, 1943


In that case, why don't

you go over to the other side of the house.

Man-Power-Mr. Jaques

Mr. d'ANJOU: Following the example of

the hon. member for Temiscouata, I will tell the hon. member for Shefford (Mr. Leelerc) that the constituents of Rimouski elected me to this seat in the house, and here I stay; I will also speak as I see fit even at the risk of displeasing the hon. member.

Mr. Speaker, I really believe that the motion introduced by the hon. member for Temiscouata came at the right time, and I hope that the government will seriously consider all the reasons which he gave as well as those which were suggested by the hon. members who spoke before me in support of his views. We want to win the war, and yet, we will not allow the farmers to produce what is needed to feed not only the civilian population, but our soldiers as well. When justice is sought for a farmer, the same answer is always given, and that is the crowning argument; we are at war! The end of the war will not mean the end of the world; Canada will still be in existence. But unfortunately, as the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Lizotte) said a while ago, a Canadian author may write "La terre qui meurt." Farms will be deserted in the other provinces just as in the province of Quebec. My province is primarily agricultural, and it will be greatly affected. Therefore, I shall be pleased to vote in favour of the motion introduced by the hon. member for Temiscouata who has, in all circumstances, and I say it once again, defended the rights of his fellow-countrymen and of his fellow-citizens; I hope that the number of members who are conscious of their responsibilities and who fully understand the position of the agricultural class will be broad enough to support the motion.

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