May 4, 1914

CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER:

My hon. friend will recollect that, in Committee of Supply, we passed the Estimates referring to elevators, and I

said that when we were on the Estimates referring to steamship subsidies, any questions that had not been asked with reference to the elevators or their operation could be asked and would be answered when we took up those,Estimates. There is still an item remaining in the Estimates on which that could be brought up.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.


On the motion of Hon. Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture), the House went into Committee on Bill No. 112, to regulate the Manufacture and iSale of Dairy Pro-' ducts, and to prohibit the Manufacture or Sale of Butter Substitutes, Mr. Blondin in the Chair. On section 4-quality of milk to be delivered to manufacturers or shippers:


CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

This is the same as the section in the existing Act, except that the words milk powder or casein manufactory, or to a milk or cream shipping station, or to a milk bottling establishment or other premises where milk or cream is collected for sale or shipment, axe added, in order to cover new processes introduced since the old Act was brought into force.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I do not wish to delay

the progress of the Bill, but the dairy industry is a very important industry in the part of the country I represent. While it may be that no trouble has arisen in the past, it strikes me that there is a great deal of room for trouble under .sub-section (b) which reads:

(b) Milk from which any portion of that part of the milk known as strippings has been retained;

I do not know how far the lion. Minister of Agriculture is familiar with the practical operation of dairying, but I think this is a provision that is not practical, and that under it a dairyman might be made the

subject of proceedings when such proceedings were not at all warranted. I quite agree that there should be punishment for putting in impure or diluted milk, but to say that a farmer must put all the milk he gets from each cow into the product he sends to the factory is, in my opinion, and with all due respect to former legislators, absurd.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

I do not know that

there has been any trouble under the old Act which included these words. And, of course, this is one of the causes that call for only minor penalties. But as the hon. gentleman knows, because he probably, like the rest of us, has milked a good many cow, the richest part of the milk is in what is known as the strippings, and there may be a temptation to a fraudulent keeping back of that part of the milk. I do not think there would be any harm in leaving the subsection in.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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LIB
CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

I think it better to leave it in.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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Section agreed to. On section 5-butter substitutes and remanufacture of butter prohibited:


CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

What are people to do who wish to purchase an absolutely healthy substance, labelled as what it is, and not purporting to be butter?

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

This matter has been discussed very thoroughly not only by the dairy associations but also in the Agricultural Committee of this House, where this clause was carefully considered. I am not disputing that oleomargarine might be made of perfectly healthy substances and be wholesome as food; but, on the other hand, this is the oldest piece of dairy legislation on our statute book, passed in 1886; and though there have been occasional criticisms, I do not think that any Government has thought it wise to change it, nor, I confess, do I. Although oleomargarine may be wholesome, yet, unfortunately, in practise, where the byproduct of carcases of animals can be made up into a product resembling butter, although it may be sold by the merchant on its merits as oleomargarine, yet, by the time it gets to the table of the second-rate hotel or restaurant, it is sold to the customer who pays for butter. In the United

States, where they have had some such provision as the hon. member would indicate, they found it almost impossible to work it out in practise, and it has given endless trouble.

I must say that in the interests of the dairymen as well as of the general public it would be very unwise to alter this section.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

I cannot agree that

this legislation is in the interests of the general public. Public inspectors may well Ihe appointed, but the assertion that poor people should not have the privilege of buying a perfectly wholesome product is, on its face, untenable. I do not say for one moment that in the dairy interests this legislation is inadvisable, but it cannot be in the interests of all the public.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

Of the majority of the

public.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

Surely the object of

legislation is to legislate for the people.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

My' hon. friend knows

that you cannot get absolute unanimity of opinion.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

I maintain that that

portion of the public which is the least able to buy food and the least able to maintain its own rights should have every facility for the obtaining of food and should be allowed to purchase cheap food so long as it is good and wnoiesome. There is no denying that oleomargarine, if properly made, is good food, and to take any action to prohibit its use is to do something in the interests of the dairy people, but not in the interests of the public who would like to buy it.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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CON

Andrew Broder

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRODER:

The real object of this

legislation is to do away with imitations of real butter. People may eat lard and tallow if they wish to do so, but it should not be coloured and sold to the public as butter. The genuine article ought to be protected.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

The hon. member for

Dundas says that if the people want to eat lard they can, but lard is not oleomargarine; it is a different thing altogether. Oleomargarine is a perfectly wholesome product, probably just as wholesome as butter. Of course, the Bill has been passed by the Agricultural Committee and, as the minister thinks that this legislation is in the interests of the country at large, I do not intend to say

anything against it, but I share in a measure the views of the hon. member for West Peterborough.

Topic:   BUTTER SUBSTITUTES.
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May 4, 1914