I should like to say a
word on this question of the competency or incompetency of inspectors generally. I think it was in the fall of 1905 that I happened to be appointed to that position myself in the province of Manitoba under the former government. Hon. Mr. Fisher was Minister of Agriculture at that time, and Dr. Rutherford was Veterinary Director General. The disease we had to deal with at that time was glanders entirely. The province of Manitoba and the whole of Western Canada was over-run with glanders, as can readily be proven by the records. That the chief inspector, myself and one or two others who were employed on this work at that time encountered great opposition is true. I remember very well in 1906 going to the town of Rathwell, to the barn of a livery man of the town, who was also a large farmer in the immediate district. It would be about the 1st of August; I am speaking from memory, but that was the date approximately. The number of horses I tested would be about 15, and if my memory serves me right, all
but one reacted. The owner of these horses and his'neighbours in the town appealed to me to let him have the use of the horses until he cut his crop. I went out and viewed the crop, and it was a splendid one.
I was not the chief inspector, but was working under Dr. C. D. MeGilvray, who is now principal of the Ontario Veterinary College. I wish to say for Dr. MeGilvray, that there is no abler man in the veterinary profession in this country to-day; there are others just as able, but none abler. I tried to communicate with him, but I could not get in touch with him either by telephone or telegraph. The only thing left for me to do was to wire to Ottawa. My telegram was answered by Dr. Hilton, and by the way, in answer to a question the other night I was informed that the Chief Veterinary Inspector was Dr. Hilton. I am well satisfied that he is. The office was new to me, and that is the reason I made the inquiry. He told me to use my own judgment. The day following the test of these fourteen or fifteen horses I went to Indian Ford, about six miles away, and there I condemned at least six or seven horses out of ten or twelve that I tested. The owner happened to be a widow, and she appealed to me because the news had been carried from Rathwell to Indian Ford as to what I might do there. In the meantime I had not received the telegram I have mentioned. The next night I went back, and I received the telegram telling me to use my own best judgment.
Foolishly for myself, I consented to leave these horses in the possession of the owners. They cut their crop, a matter of about a month or five weeks, and got it out of the way. The Veterinary Director General of that day demanded that the horses be destroyed on my report. I was busy in other parts of the province, and Dr. MeGilvray was sent out to destroy these animals. The stage was all set. The owner of the horses in Rathwell had three veterinarians on hand from the district immediately adjacent to the town, and they were prepared to put up a fight. They said: "There are no symptoms of these horses being glandered." In the meantime let me add that I first demanded that the livery horses and those that were clinical be taken out to be destroyed, and I did destroy three or four of them. These other horses had no outward symptoms of glanders. The only thing that was against them was my report, made after a very careful examination-I never make any other kind-and I had condemned them as being glandered.
Well, Dr. MeGilvray, who was chief in Manitoba, went out to handle this case. They had these three veterinarians on hand prepared to fight. There were no symptoms that a layman could see that these horses were glandered, but the symptoms in a clinical case are very simple and easily understood by the owner or by a passerby. Being somewhat of a diplomat, Dr. MeGilvray said to the owner "I will do this. Pick out your best horse"-if I remember, there were eleven-"put on as a valuation, whatever you and your confreres here may think fit, and if that horse is not glandered I pledge myself, and my position, that the Government will pay you the price of that horse, and no other horse will be destroyed unless this one is proven to be glandered. Those that are destroyed will be paid for." The owner said "Very well." The horse was destroyed by Dr. MeGilvray and he and the other three veterinarians made a post-mortem examination. They took a section of the lung of that horse, sent it to Dr. Bell, the city bacteriologist of Winnipeg, and awaited his report. In the meantime the people in the neighbourhood were saying that the Government would pay for this man's horse. I am sorry I have not the owner's name, but I did not know this matter was coming up to-night. What happened? Dr. Bell of Winnipeg made a thorough examination, microscopic and otherwise, and his report was this-"The best specimen of a glandered lung that I have ever examined."
The result was that the owner willingly consented to the destruction of the other ten and received his compensation, and I allowed him fair compensation. When I gave him that compensation sanctioned by the Parliament of this country, I gave him more than the government of any other country in the world was paying for a diseased animal, particularly a glandered animal. Canada at that time was paying more for diseased stock than any other country in the world, and since that time the compensation has been increased. We can well afford to increase the compensation, because the disease has largely disappeared from Canada.
I stand by the Health of Animals Branch of this Government, and of the previous Government, until some stronger evidence is laid before the House than was given by my hon. friend from South Oxford tonight. I say that these men are qualified, and I stand by the Minister of Agriculture, I stand by the Veterinary Director General and by his assistants until my hon.
friend or anyone else can satisfy me or prove to the majority in this House that the people's money is being paid to inspectors who do not know their duty.
In the Indian Ford case, which I dealt with myself, Dr. Rutherford said: "I have your report. Go out and re-test these animals, and if they re-act destroy them." What did I find when I arrived? I found there the local veterinarian from the town of Holland ready to find fault with anybody and everybody because he did not happen to do the work. I re-tested those animals in this man's presence. He came there to work his game of bluff, but everybody does not succeed in working that on me; at least he did not. I took out these animals and destroyed them, and in doing that, I did that family a great favour. I want to warn the Minister of Agriculture, if warning is needed, and theVeterinary Director General, to advise their inspectors to be careful in exercising any leniency in a caseof glanders or any other disease. Within six miles of my home in the year 1906-this was in November and the
others were in August-I also granted the use of three horses to a man to do his fall ploughing, and that man gave me more trouble than the Tory party ever did. I went out of my way and risked my reputation as a veterinary inspector to give him a chance to do his fall ploughing, and what did he do? He promised faithfully that when he finished his work he would consent to the destruction of the animals. Did he do it? Well, I guess he did not. He called for a veterinarian from the town of Emerson, and in the meantime he defied me to go to his place. It was a waste of his time to tell me that. When I arrived there, however, I found that the other man was already on the scene. The test was made and the animals reacted. I destroyed them and through the laws passed by a former Government I paid him more for diseased animals than the law in any other country would allow. I paid him the compensation allowed for animals not worth 5 cents. In 1906, in Manitoba, two human beings, two young men, died as a result of contagion from contact with glandered animals. I am not acquainted with my hon. friend's case. Perhaps he is right; I am not prepared to contradict him. He is not a young man, and he is not a fool. He is a member of this House and has made what I consider to be a serious statement. If I made such a statement as that made by the hon. member for
South Oxford, I would do one of two things-I would either press the charge to the hilt, or I would do the other thing.
Topic: SUPPLY-RULE 17C
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF COMPARATIVE PRICES