Follin Horace PICKEL

PICKEL, Follin Horace, M.D., C.M.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Brome--Missisquoi (Quebec)
Birth Date
March 2, 1866
Deceased Date
December 21, 1949
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Follin_Horace_Pickel
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=7ee05af9-6443-4ba1-8021-b7ee4cf6cd21&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer, physician

Parliamentary Career

July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
CON
  Brome--Missisquoi (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 21)


July 3, 1935

Mr. PICKEL:

Mr. Chairman, I should

like to direct the attention of the committee to cartain facts in connection with this cheese bonus which have not yet been mentioned. The production of dairy products in Canada is far in excess of what we can consume and we are faced with the problem of getting rid of our surplus. When we compete in the British market with New Zealand, Denmark and the rest of the butter exporting nations we receive the lowest grading and1 lowest price for ouir product. But when we sell a pound of cheese the situation is different, we top the market. There is not a country on the face of the earth which can compete with Canada in the manufacture of cheese.

M>r. YOUNG: Then why bonus it?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP AGRICULTURE
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July 3, 1935

Mr. PICKEL:

It is a question of getting

rid of our surplus. Since I have been in this house I have done everything I could

to get ;the government to encourage the manufacture of cheese and1 I think this is the best piece of legislation which has been brought forward in the past five years. We should try to -interest the farmer in the manufacture of cheese so that he will be making an article which he can get rid of at the best price in the world.

Another reason why the farmer should divert his milk from butter production is the procedure followed by city distributors. During the summer producing season these men will pay the farmer 18, 19 and 20 cents a pound far his butter and they then use the cold storage warehouses which are subsidized by the government to store that 'butter until next winter when they will get 30 or 36 cents per pound for it. In the west they have been buying eggs all spring at 5, 8 and 10 cents a dozen, and next December we shall be paying 45 and 50 cents per dozen for the same eggs. The cold storages were built, presumably, for the benefit of the farmer, but they have worked' -out to the advantage of the distributor. They have not done the farmer any good; they have done him damage. Let me tell the -committee something of the efforts that were made in the eastern townships a number of years ago to encourage the making of cheese. It was in the day of the late Sidney Fisher, Minister af Agriculture, and through the efforts of one man in that section, Mr. Foster, we had a cheese board established, one of the largest in the dominion. Everything was working nicely and we had legislation passed by which the distributors in the city had to come to the factory and examine the cheese and grade it at the factory, leaving an accepted cheque for it before it was m'oved. The minute that was done the distributors began to fight it. Fifteen or twenty of them would come to Cowansville every Saturday and meet the salesmen at the board, and they would feast them, wine them and dine them and then take them round the comer and say, "If you will sell off the board we will give you so much more." The farmers fell for that and inside of two years there was no longer a cheese board.

The farmers individually are the brightest people we have in the country, but collectively they are the greatest lot of nincompoops who ever wore shoe leather.

Mr. BROWN1: That is why they fell for

New Zealand butter.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP AGRICULTURE
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April 2, 1935

Mr. F. H. PICKEL (Brome-Miasisquoi):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to offer my congratulations to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) upon the manner in which he presented his budget speech. Seldom has this house been treated to such a full and clear picture of our assets and liabilities. Upon his creditable performance of this huge task the minister deserves congratulation.

During the present session I have remained quiet in my seat; in fact at no time have I been noted for' kicking up a disturbance. I have been pleased with the legislation brought down in the last five years. It is to my liking; and the reform measures which the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) forecast in his radio speeches furnish another reason wthy I am perfectly content. I am very sympathetic towards them, and I trust that as a result of the findings of the price spreads commission much useful and necessary legislation will follow.

It is strange, Mr. Speaker, the change that has taken place in the mentality of this house in the last five years from the point of view of agriculture, and that is the topic in which I am particularly interested. Many measures have been enacted for the benefit of the farmer, and I trust .that many more will be brought forward as a result of the findings of the price spreads commission. I am convinced, sir, that this parliament has enacted more useful agricultural legislation than has been passed in any previous quarter century. As the Prime Minister told us in his radio addresses, times have changed and we must change with them. That is very true. The policy of the Prime Minister is to uplift the little fellow. The capitalist and the industrialist 'has had his own way for a long time uncurbed, and as in the case of the individual, it has proved Ids undoing. He has gone too far, and reform must take place in a quiet and evolutionary manner or we shall have something serious on our hands. The standard of living has been raised so high in this country, and in fact all over the world, that it is only the capitalist and the industrialist and their executives who are permitted to enjoy that standard of living. As I said, the Prime Minister's policy is to uplift the little fellow so that he too may ' enjoy a better standard of living and take in the show. Years ago the best and most solid citizen in Canada was the agriculturist, but to-day he is the puniest, the tiniest, the lowest graded class in the whole dominion; yet

he constitutes fifty per cent of our population. That is a strange thing, Mr. Speaker. We have gone on in this country building up industries. We have had an industrial mania not only here but all over the world, and the little fellow has been left too much to float along alone. Like the products of no other class in the community, the products of the farmer- his butter, his cheese and everything else that he produces-are shipped to the cities, there to be distributed by middlemen who fix the price and reap millions out of the farmer's labour.

I have heard some hon. members speak about the importance of our coal mines and other minerals. But compare them with agriculture and they do not make a very good showing. The minute you take an ounce of gold out of the ground the mine has depreciated by that much, but agricultural wealth is a perpetual asset and should be continuously increasing in value and making new wealth. But at the present time the farmer is beaten out.

I want to refer for a moment to the standards of living and the high cost of living, and I do not think I can do it in any better way than simply to mention the golf links and golf courses that abound around our cities and towns. Millions of dollars are invested in these courses, and who enjoys them? Only the capitalist. The farmer never plays golf. The nearest the farmer ever gets to playing golf is when he knocks the dried-up tufts of fertilizer around his fields with a mallet. That is all the golf he gets. Take a train leaving any of our cities at noon in the summer and you will find it filled with men going out to the golf courses, all togged out in their knee-high pyjamas and other accoutrements. Why, Mr. Speaker, the cost of a pair of golf hose would buy two suits for a farmer. The farmer is wondering where he is going to get his next pair of overalls. That is the position in which he finds himself.

The farmer in normal times is by long odds the heaviest consumer, the heaviest buyer in the Dominion of Canada. Let him get his jjust share of what he produces and he will be able to absorb one-half or three-quarters of the present day unemployment. But to-day the farmer is unable to buy, and what work is done on the farm he has to do himself.

As_ I said a few minutes ago, we have gone industrially crazy, and we have done so at the expense of the primary producer. The capitalist has been misled. He has suffered from a sort of greed for gain. That is his hobby, and that has been the trouble-how much he can make. He has been given all power; he has been unbridled, unchecked, and

The Budget-Mr. Picket

it has simply been the means for self-destruction. We cannot go on in the way we are going. The capitalist will have to be curbed. The Prime Minister states distinctly that he does not intend to do away with capitalism, but he intends to reform it, to eliminate its bad features and retain the good ones. It seems to me that that would be a perfect solution. Along in 1927, 1928 and 1929 we saw an example of what a standard of living could be. We saw men with money and men without money but with facilities to borrow falling over each other in brokers' offices to buy stocks. Many of these stocks were all right but they were paying only two and two and a half per cent in dividends. I can give another example. In the small town in which I live we are paying more to-day to light our streets than we paid twenty-five or thirty years ago for all our taxes. Under these circumstances I submit that we must do one of two things. We must either reduce the standard of living or lift up the little fellow so that he can bear his share of the load. I am for lifting up the little fellow, because the country in which the standard of living is the highest is the better place in which to live.

As a general rule I do not indulge in political discussions in the house; we have far too much of this. But I cannot allow the remarks made by the genial and popular member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Howard), on January 31 to go unchallenged. The hon. gentleman gets so enthusiastic about his political views that he is often led astray and makes many misstatements of fact. His speeches are not usually full of moderation but I think in this instance he outdid himself. He was outlining certain things which this government had done, and on page 367 of Hansard he is reported as saying:

The duty on butter, under the King administration, was four cents per pound.

I submit that the hon. member must have known differently; he must have known that the duty was one cent per pound and that we brought in over 41,000,000 pounds of butter during the last years of the King administration. He then goes on to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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April 2, 1935

Mr. PICKEL:

During the past five months, as the result of artificial stimulation, the American people have boosted their prices to our level and a little higher in some instances; but a year ago we got three times as much for our pork, ten cents more for our butter and ten cents a dozen more for our eggs. Is the artificial stimulation going to continue there? I fear for that country. I hope they will come out all right, but if they do not the result will be reflected in this country. They are spending billions over there to stimulate prices and there is a good deal of grumbling all over the country.

In my opinion our cold storage plants, on which thousands upon thousands of dollars have been spent, do not help the farmers at all. Who gets the advantage of cold storage? The commission man. It does not help the farmer, because it enables the commission man to buy the farmer's produce in the summer at a low price and leave it in cold storage; and when the farmer stops producing in the fall of the year the cold storage

The Budget-Mr. Picket

operators boost prices, making millions. These plants were built presumably for the benefit of the farmer, but the farmer has been neglected and he gets no advantage from them. As they are operated to-day they are a curse to him.

Before I close there are one or two facts I want to present to the house. Perhaps I shall be told that my age accounts for what I am going to say-they tell me I am getting old and childish, and perhaps I am-but to me the two gravest menaces that we are facing in this country to-day, and'the same is true of the world at large, are, first, automobiles, and second, the lack of discipline among the youth. The automania is a perfect curse; and what is to become of the youth of the country? There is no discipline among the children. I was surprised and amused the other night when the estimates of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Stirling) were being considered and he was being questioned about the relief camps. It seems that there has been some trouble in regard to discipline. I should like to know how you can have an aggregation of young people without discipline; it is absolutely impossible. Discipline is the first requisite, but where is there any discipline among the young people? There is no more home life, absolutely none. There may be individual exceptions, but as a general rule there is no more home life. The children come and go as they please. If you tell them to gee they will haw, and if you tell them to go east they will go west. They think of nothing but sport, dancing and social gatherings. Take the schools, sir, the colleges and universities; they are just athletic recruiting grounds. The athletic instructors draw down salaries twice as large as those of the professors. Look at the newspapers; they are half filled with sporting news. You see young fellows rush for the latest editions of the papers, and all they look at is the sporting page; that is all that interests them. How are we going to get at these people, these future rulers of this country? I do not know how we are going to discipline them; to my mind that is certainly a serious question. This might be a big field for the churches. As I said a moment ago, when the Minister of National Defence was putting through his estimates two or three members were questioning him quite closely; evidently they did not think the inmates of the relief camps

were being treated very well, but I noticed that most of those who spoke on that subject were bachelors, who did not know much about it.

I am not going to keep the house in suspense any longer, Mr. Speaker; I am just going to stop. To my mind our most important problem is our young people, girls as well as boys; one is as bad as the other. Where are they going? You can do nothing with them. I hope someone will evolve some scheme by which they may be brought to their senses.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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April 2, 1935

Mr. PICKET:

He tries to make a mountain out of a molehill. He gave the importations

of butter, but they are nothing as far as our market is concerned. It must be remembered that a great deal of (this butter came in from England and paid a duty of eight cents per pound. Statements of this kind are the result of political bias and an attempt to make capital out of nothing. There is nothing in what the hon. member says.

He then goes on to talk about the Quebec milk commission and what they have done for the farmer. This commission was in existence before 1932, when an investigation was held by this government. The members of this commission had been riding over the province for two or three years doing nothing. They were drawing salaries for visiting the farmers and inflicting restrictions and regulations upon them but never increasing the price of their products. This state of affairs was allowed to continue until the session of 1933 when this government gave permission to the agriculture committee to hold an investigation into the whole matter. The investigation was held and a report was drawn up highly derogatory to the distributors. A copy of this report was sent to each of the provinces along with a copy of the evidence taken before the committee. The provinces were requested to take the necessary action. In 1934 the Quebec legislature empowered the Quebec milk commission to set prices. This action is greatly to the credit of the legislature but the fact remains that had it not been for the action of this government the members of the milk commission would still be joy riding around the province.

Tet us look into the manner in which this milk commission is working at the present time. In the autumn of 1934 the farmer in Quebec was getting SI.50 per 100 pounds for his milk. The time had come to set a winter price and the distributors and producers had agreed upon a price of $2.05 per 100 pounds. The milk commission entered the picture and reduced this price to SI .85.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Full View Permalink