January 28, 1910

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I sympathize with my hon. friend on that point. I believe the tailings of screenings that come from the elevators at Fort William and Port Arthur are the principal media for the distribution of these foul weeds. These tailings or screenings are bought by the millers of Ontario, mixed with other grains, ground, and sold as feed, but they are not ground sufficiently fine to destroy all the weed seeds. It is a problem worthy of consideration whether something ought not to be done to restrain the distribution of these screenings. It is a matter which is under my consideration and which will have to be discussed in dealing with the terminal elevator question.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
CON

John Albert Sexsmith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SEXSMITH.

I do not see that there could be any objection to amending the Act to prevent the milling companies disposing of these screenings unless they are ground so fine that the seeds will not germinate, and to prevent them mixing them with other grains and selling the mixture as pure feed.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The farmers frequently prefer feed that is not ground too fine; and to grind these western tailings so fine as to kill some of the smallest seeds would be a pretty difficult process. I have had some investigation made into that question,- but perhaps not sufficient to make me very positive.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
CON

John Albert Sexsmith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SEXSMITH.

Perhaps it would be wise for the minister to make further investigation, and to compel the people grinding these screenings to sell them separately and not to mix them with other grains.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

My experience is that the farmers are discarding the mills run with wind-power or horse-power because they do not grind fine enough, and are sending their grain to the large mills to get it ground finer. They believe that the finer the grain is ground, up to a certain standard, the better feed it is. My information in regard to this Seed Act is that while it provides for a certain standard of purity, and while the seedsmen generally comply with it and label their seeds No. 1, the Gomplaint is that you find, some months or a year after you have bought the seed, that you have introduced a lot of noxious weeds into your farm. For instance, you cannot buy turnip seed without getting with it a great deal of wild mustard, and the same thing is true of much of the clover seed that is sold. It is difficult to say what remedy could be applied to prevent this, but I know that there are a large number of complaints of that character.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEE.

If the farmers would purchase their seeds a little early and send a sample to be tested at the laboratory here they would get a reply in two or three weeks or perhaps less, and would know whether the seeds were what they had bought or not. It is hardly possible to tell the difference between mustard and turnip seed by the eye, but by testing them here they can easily be distinguished.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

The trouble is the seed is usually brought in just before seeding time.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEE.

The farmer has the other remedy of buying only seed marked No. 1, which, from our experience with a large number of samples, almost invariably fulfils the condition of No. I.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEE.

We have found verv few samples of No. 1 that did not fulfil the conditions. I think the trouble is the farmers will not insist on buying No. 1.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

From my experience and knowledge I am satisfied that in many cases they do not fulfil the conditions. On my own farm I have sowed seeds marked No. 1 that contained a great number of weeds.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEE.

I am sorry my hon. friend did not report that to the department. We have occasionally had reports sent, and we have traced them up. Even after the seeds are sown the purchaser is liable to a penalty.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

You have difficulty in the enforcement of the Act when you have to go into court.

Topic:   1B10
Permalink

M. SEXSMITH.

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEE.

Keep a sample of the seed and send it to be tested.

Topic:   M. SEXSMITH.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

Most farmers do not do that. When they sow No. 1 they do not retain a sample. I think that the common law should give damages in such a case, but owing to the difficulty of proving that the weeds came from the seed no farmer would go to the trouble of undertaking a prosecution. The Act is not as valuable in its working out to the farmers as they anticipated, because of these difficulties.

Topic:   M. SEXSMITH.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEE.

If a farmer will not take the trouble to protect himself, we cannot protect him. The farmer can test the seed before he sows it.

Topic:   M. SEXSMITH.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

He cannot get it from the seedsman until a day or two before he wishes to use it.

Topic:   M. SEXSMITH.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEOULE.

My office is right at a seed store, and I have seen the seed brought in hundreds of times after seeding was partly or principally over, even telegraph orders being sent to supply the demand.

Topic:   M. SEXSMITH.
Permalink

January 28, 1910