July 26, 1911

CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

The Railway Committee is composed of practically nearly all the members of the House, and this motion would compel them to neglect their duty in the committee or to be absent when a public measure of vital importance is being considered in the House. The Minister of the Interior told us last night that many measures of great public importance would not pass this session because of insufficient time. He told us that the Grain Bill which was introduced in the interests of the farmers would have to stand aside, that the Bank Act, and important amendments to the Railway Act would not be allowed to go through this session for the same reason.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

If the hon. member says that I stated that these measures would not be allowed to go through this session because of press of business he misunderstood me entirely. I said that these measures weTe claiming the pressing atten-tion_ of the House, but had been compelled to give way to the discussion of the matter now before the House. I did not convey the impression that they would not be dealt with later on.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

The Minister of the Interior said that these w^re more important than the matter brought up by the hon. member for Portage la Prairie, and we all understand him to say they would not b-e able fo get through this session. The minister said that the Bank Act would not go through because of want of time, and so we had to pass an interim Act.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I stated the fact with regard to the Bank Act, but Hansard will

bear me out that I did not convey any impression such as the hon. member (Mr. Middlebro) has referred to.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

Does the Minister of the Interior think that the Grain Act, the Bank Act, and the amendments to the Railway Act, are less important than this private Bill?

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I have not considered ihat question at all.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

Will the minister say that we should give'precedence to this private Bill before these important measures?

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I have not thought of that.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

Such a proposition as this is entirely unreasonable under existing conditions, and it should not be forced on us.

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I do not know even the title of this Bill, nor what its merits are, nor the matter to which it refers, but hon. gentlemen will realize that there is a more important measure before the House, and that is the reciprocity agreement with the United States. This discussion is not only so much time consumed from the discussion of that important matter, and therefore I would ask my hon. friend (Mr. Nesbitt) not to press the motion but to "withdraw it.

Motion withdrawn

Topic:   THE RAILWAY COMMITTEE.
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QUESTIONS.


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


RECIPROCITY WITH CANADA.

CON

Mr. SHARPE (Ontario):

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Referring to the While Book known as Document No. 849, entitled ' Reciprocity with Canada,' being the message from the President of the United States transmitting to the Senate a report from the Tariff Board, and on March 1, 1911, ordered to be printed and laid on the Table of the United States Senate, in which occurs the following passages, viz.:-

(a) On page 107, ' It is to be noted that the farm prices of more than half of the oat crop of the United States range from $0.27 to $0.35 a bushel, and that the farm prices of about the same proportion of the Canadian crop range from $0.28 to $0.36/

(b) On page 109, speaking of the prices of

horses, ' In all the Canadian Provinces except Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and Nova Scotia the prices are higher than in any of our states/ _ . * v

(c) On page 109, speaking of the prices of dairy cows, ' The highest Canadian price quoted is $48 in Ontario as against $46.50 in Montana, the highest American price/

(d) On page 110, appears the following table of comparative prices, average value per head in 1910:-

Dy. Other

Horses, cows, cattle. Sheep. Swine.

United States 108.19 35.79 19.41 4.03 9.14Canada 133. 43.00 31.00 6.00 11.00And comparing the State of N.Y. 125.00 39.50 18.20 5.00 11.50

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RECIPROCITY WITH CANADA.
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?

With Ont. ..@

133.00 48.00 34.00 7.00 10 00

(e) On page 110 appears also the following statements:-

' Prices of other cattle vary in the United States from $14.30 a head in Minnesota to $27.40 in Montana, while in Canada the range of prices is from $31 in Saskatchewan to $34 in Ontario.'

' Prices of sheep are m uch lower in the United States than in Canada.'

' Prices of swine are slightly higher in Canada than in the United States.'

(f) On page 113 appears the following:-

' As to horses Canada has no surplus of importance outside of Ontario.

' During the spring of 1910 it is stated on good authority that not less than 20,000 horses were sold out of Ontario alone for shipment to the market just mentioned, and prospective loss of this trade is giving Ontario some concern at this time. The five provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, combined have but 1,863,744 head as compared with 1,600,000 head now in the state of Iowa alone.'

2. When was the reciprocity agreement executed by representatives of Canada and the United States?

3. Were the above statements and figures present to the minds of the Canadian ministers when they executed the agreement on behalf of Canada?

4. Since the date of the execution of the agreement has the government made any effort to verify the above statements and figures as set out in the United States official document No. 849?

5. Is the government aware that both the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States referred the agreement to committees composed of both political parties, before whom evidence was taken for months as to the possible effect of the agreement on United States interests?

6. Is it the intention of the government to take any evidence before any committees touching on the relatives prices of farm products in the United States and Canada, or on the effect the agreement may have on Canadian interests ?

7. Has the government any information now in their possession dealing with the relative prices of farm products in Canada and the United States?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RECIPROCITY WITH CANADA.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

1, 2 and 3. The document referred to shows on its face that it was sent to the Senate of the United States by the President on the 28th of February, 1911, and on March 1 ordered to be printed. Consequently it could not have been in the possession of the Canadian ministers on the 21st of January, the date of the correspondence which constitutes the reciprocity agreement.

4. Consideration of the statements was not deemed by the government essential to

the consideration of the reciprocity agreement. The desire of all Canadian governments for reciprocity in natural products was clear beyond question and did not require any statistical support.

The quotations from the document contained in the question are incomplete and, in some respects misleading. For example, a quotation in the question reads:-

' Price of sheep are much lower in the United States than in Canada.'

What the document in question says concerning the price of sheep is as follows:-

' Prices of sheep are much lower in the United States than in Canada, due to the fact that Ontario specializes on pedigreed flocks, as appears later on.'

And, later on, on the same subject, the document says:-

' Unfortunately Ontario conditions are such that no fairly comparable figures can be made up. No flocks approaching in size those shown by the Ohio tables are to be found. There is apparently no such thing as exclusive sheep farming known there, except in those instances where farmers are maintaining pure bred stock to be sold at special values for breeding purposes, and costs of production in such cases would range too high to be fairly compared with sheep raising as carried on in the great sheep-rearing counties of the United States.

in another case prices of oats are quoted in the hon. member's inquiry in such a manner as to apparently show that the United States prices range from 27 to 35 cents per bushel, while the Canadian prices range from 28 to 36 cents per bushel. In making this quotation no account is taken of the fact that the American bushel_ is thirty-two pounds, while the Canadian bushel is thirty-four pounds. A fair comparison, even according to the figures quoted, would show that the American prices are a shade higher.

5. Yes.

6. No.

7. The government have now, as they have always had, access to the various agricultural and other journals containing quotations of farm products in Canada and the United States. Some compilations made from these have already been submitted to the House, and there are others which will be brought down immediately.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RECIPROCITY WITH CANADA.
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MARRIAGE LAWS.

CON

Mr. TAYLOR (Leeds):

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Has the parliament of Canada the power to legalize or validate any or every marriage solemnized in Canada?

2. Does the government consider it desirable that steps should be taken to prevent cruelty and injustice by reason of marriages contracted in good faith before a duly ordained clergyman but afterwards declared invalid?

Mr. FIELDING

3. Does the government propose to take any steps for this purpose or in this connection?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MARRIAGE LAWS.
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LIB

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH: (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

1. The question calls for an opinion upon a matter of law in regard to which the government would desire to be advised if necessity arose. *

2 and 3. The government is of opinion that it has no power or jurisdiction in the premises.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MARRIAGE LAWS.
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PRODUCTION OF CEMENT.

July 26, 1911