September 18, 1917

LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

I am not responsible for the fact that my hon. friend doubts the .accuracy of my statement. I am prepared to hear him make such a remark, but I will give him the name of the official, and then, perhaps, he will not be such a doubting Thomas.

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS:

That is the best way to get at it.

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

If my hon. friend had asked me for the name without expressing a, doubt as to the accuracy of my statement, it would have been more gentlemanly. The name of that official is Dr. Gussow.

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

A gentleman who will not have a vote at the next election.

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

I was making a few remarks about those gentlemen who came to our province to tell us that we had diseased potatoes. During the last year or two, and particularly during last year, we have not seen one of those professors in that province, and at the same time we have not seen, or heard of powdery scab. The professors took their departure and the powdery scab went at the same time. To illustrate what those gentlemen knew about the business, I think it was in the fall of 1912, fairly late in the season, that two of them visited a farm in Brudenell in which potatoes are largely grown, and they inspected the cellar of Robert Stewart. I am just mentioning the names so that there will be no mistake about the matter. They told him his potatoes were badly diseased with powdery scab; that under no circumstances should he use them for seed, and that if he did so, he would not only ruin his own farm but greatly injure all the farms in the neighbourhood; The next year two

other potato professors came along and this time they came in the month of September. When they visited us in the previous year the potatoes were all dug and in the root houses*or in the cellars. On this occasion, they inspected the fields. Mr. Stewart had paid no attention to the two professors who visited him in 1912. He knew there was no disease in his potatoes more than there had been for forty years. He planted the same seed. The next year when these other two gentlemen, came there, they gave him a clean Bill of health. They said that his was the only farm in the neighbourhood that had no disease.

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Were those two professors the same men that visited the place the year before?

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. HUGHES:

No-two other professors. I think it was in the fall of 1913 two gentlemen came to the province and I remember their names. They were Prof. Adams and Prof. Holmes or Holmden. Professor Adams came from Ireland, and knew all about powdery scab and diseased potatoes generally. He led off by telling the farmers what caused the disease, and among other things mentioned that a moist climate and lime in the soil were both favourable to the disease. He said that the disease would likely be prevalent in Prince Edward Island owing to our damp climate, but the fact of there being no lime in our soil was in our favour. The next professor who came to the platform told the assembled farmers how to eradicate the .disease if they were unfortunate enough to have it. It was a difficult thing to eradicate, he said. If a farmer crossed a field of potatoes that were infected with powdery scab, and did not scrape the soil off his boots when he left the field, he would likely carry the disease to another field. He must not use in any other field a plough or a harrow or any other implement that had been used in a field where there was powdery scab. He must stop growing potatoes on that land for five, or six, or seven years. One way of preventing the disease was to spray the root houses, or the places where the potatoes were stored, with a solution of formaldehyde. If that could not be obtained, the next best thing was to sprinkle the cellars and the outhouses with a lime whitewash, washing the ceilings with lime and water. I was present at the meeting and asked him how lime in the soil could produce the disease, and lime in the cellar kill it. He said he would answer that question the next evening, but the next evening he was

thirty miles away. I was there, however, and asked him the same question, and he said- that the chairman should not allow questions of that kind to be put, but only nice, easy questions. These and many other incidents that I could mention so disgusted the farmers with the professors who came to enlighten them that they absolutely refused to listen to them. Fortunately, hone of those gentlemen have visited us for the last year or two. I do not know whether these professors are still in the department or what they are doing, but if the minister has no use for them, I would suggest that he send them to the war. He has not sent them to our province for the last year or two, and the people are very much pleased in consequence.

The point I wish to bring to the minister's attention is this: it is of the very greatest importance that under present conditions every obstacle to the free entry of our surplus potatoes this year to the United States should be removed. The Government can remove all obstacles by an Order in Council taking the duty off American potatoes coming into Canada, and if it is found desirable to revoke that Order in Council next year it could be done, but I do not believe it would be done. It is a most important thing for the people of the Maritime Provinces, and particularly for the farmers of Prince Edward Island, to have free access to the United States market for their surplus potatoes. Prince Edward Island is admirably adapted for growing potatoes. We have a friable, loamy soil, easily drained, no extremes of heat or cold, and an abundance o.f sea manure in the bays and rivers obtainable without money cost by fifty per cent of our farmers. It is the most profitable crop our farmers have, and the farmer himself is the best judge of that. There is no industry to which he will so readily give his labour as the growing of potatoes, provided he is reasonably certain of a fair price every year, and that, I maintain, can only be assured by having free access, or as nearly as possible, to the American market. I sincerely trust the Government will carefully consider this matter in the light of present conditions. If they will only treat the farmers of the Maritime Province in the same 11 p.m. way that they have treated the farmers in the prairie provinces, if they will only give us the same chance, we shall be satisfied.

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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LIB

Louis Audet Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. L. A. LAPOINTE (St. James, Montreal) (Translation):

Topic:   STATEMENT SHOWING THE IMPORTS AND EXPORTS OF POTATOES, BY COUNTRIES, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH, 1917, AND ALSO DURING THE FIVE MONTHS ENDED 31 AUGUST, 1917.
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A COMEDY WHICH IS BECOMING DIGUSTING.


The general clamour against the food dictator is still increasing; that outcry rises from the suffering masses who have not, unconsciously or unwillingly, been protected against the odious speculations of which they are the victims, as much if not more than ever before. And the Government who has appointed Mr. Hanna is, naturally held responsible for the inertness of its own creature. It is no longer a feeling of ordinary discontent, it is one of wrath, of that popular wrath provoked by badly kept or discarded promises, by deluded expectations, by indefinitely tolerated extortions, by an unbridled debauchery of forestalling, by , the impudent arrogance of the trusts directly ' or indirectly encouraged, by the deplorable manner of proceeding on the part of the food dictatorship, that seems solely, engrossed in preserving for speculation the most needed alimentary articles, without any concern whether, tomorrow, the working man, at home, will not starve, or whether the small-salaried people will not die of starvation, on account of not being able to get the food they need. Threatens to resign. Mr. Hanna is being censured even by members of his advisory staff. Thus it is that Alderman Weldon, who represents the city of Montreal upon the consultative board of the food dictator, is not afraid to publicly declare that his office is more honorary than honourable, and that he will promptly offer his resignation, if he is not very soon given an opportunity to help along his fellow-citizens and his country. He does not consider that the food control, such as it is now operating, is actually helpful nor efficient. It acts far too slowly, without any appreciable result for the consumer. The workingmen are deceived. On his part, Commissioner Ainey declares that Mr. Hanna's inertness is to be regretted. When the Montreal Trades and Labour Council asked for the appointment of a dictator, it was in order that the latter, not only regulate the export conditions and the food distribution, but also that he should fix prices in such a way as to put a check on the unbridled speculation of



the profiteers. The workingmen have teen deceived in their legitimate expectations. A deadly trick. Commissioner Cot6 qualifies the food dictator's appointment as a "deadly trick," whilst in public meetings, in Montreal, the Government is charged with becoming the accomplice of the speculators and of the profiteers, letting. Mr. Hanna starve the people, while prices are on the rise and foodstuffs are being hoarded in the cold storage warehouses. An odious accumulation. The public are justified in demanding that the foodstuff prices be regulated, especially so when they are imposing upon them restrictions from which they are already suffering enough on account of the excessive prices exacted from them for articles of prime necessity. What occult power is there to prevent Mr. Hanna from doing his duty, or what are the influences that cause him to hesitate between the protection the consumers are entitled to and the speculators' interests? The Order in Council which has appointed him dictator, gives him full power to investigate the prices of provisions and also to regulate them; what use is there for him to preach us the great principle of demand and supply, when he knows that this economic. equilibrium has ceased to exist, ever since the beginning of the war, that it has been destroyed by the very people who are making a greater show of it in order to impose upon us more odiously. Is it reasonable, for instance, to pay bacon fifty cents a pound, in cider that Mr. Flavelle may realize, in 1917, the enormous gain of $1,397,903, when such profits had seemed satisfactory, in 1913, when they were $16,326? Why does Mr. Hanna allow the hoarding of foodstuffs in the profiteers' cold storage plants, when the prices are always going up? On the 1st of September, indeed, 130 cold storage plants, throughout the country, contained 14,948,540 dozen of eggs; 20,480,809 lbs of butter; 19,693,704 lbs of cheese; 14,2i5,-677 lbs of beef; 29,989,515 lbs of pork; 14,019,243 lbs of lard; leaving out mutton, lamb, fish and poultry, of which large quantities will be lost through the fact of not marketing them in time. I have already stated, when I began these remarks, the quantities of pork hoarded in these establishments. During the same time, the food dictator puts on the salaried lists specialists in domestic economy to prepare bills of fare for our housewives, when the greater part of the foods set down on these menus are inaccessible to ordinary purses, and are no longer, on account of their exorbitant cost, to be seen on the table of a large number of workingmen and of petty employees. Wheat porridge, with milk and sugar, has become a luxury; milk is hardly sufficient for infants' food, when some can be had, and sugar is only used to sweeten the bitter taste of light tea. The ham and eggs which figures on the bill of fare of a "war breakfast" prepared by the domestic economy specialists of the food dictator, is a sort of heart-rending irony, with eggs at 60 cents a dozen and ham at about the same price a pound; it is a pasha's dish. And what about roast beef, roast veal, pork chops, poached eggs, butter for gravies, marmalades which have doubled in price in less than a year; green peas, the canning of which is forbidden ; onions which are only sold by the fMr. L. A. Lapointe.] pound; fruits which cost much dearer than their nutritive value; syrups, which we must give up because it takes sugar to make them, and molasses which has become a luxury. All these articles, however, are to be found on 'the economic menus of the food dictator, prepared for the benefit of our Canadian housewives, without even attempting to give them a chance to buy at a reasonable price what is needed to make up those bills of fare. Is such a comedy not becoming most outrageous? , I have taken much time, Mr. Speaker, but I was anxious to lay such a state of affairs before the eyes of the public, and I shall continue to do so until the end of the session. On that point, I have the support of all those who suffer and Who pay, not . only of the Montreal population, but of the whole of Canada. I contend that this Parliament has not gone far enough to relieve the people on that stand. I say Parliament, for we also, on the Opposition side, have had some faults, but the blame is especially upon the Government side. We have spoken too often, Mr. Speaker, but liave done very little. We have often heard, for instance, the hon. Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden), the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Burrell), the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) and the hon. Minister of Labour .(Mr. Crothers), making fine speeches of economic trend upon this question of high cost of living; all have made nice promises, the whole matter was to be settled. Everything has been settled, that is true, but in the manner described by Mr. Contant, that is to say, every thing has been settled to crosis the ocean. Whether it be the fault of the trusts or of these hoarding cold storage owners, in order to foresee a coming increase in prices, it matters little; for my part, I charge the Government with being the main cause of the evil. They are invested with full authority and they should have done their duty in the difficult circumstances we are going through. They should have done more than appoint a man who does nothing but go to and from Quebec to Toronto, from Toronto to Victoria and from Winnipeg to Vancouver, just to look over reports made by certain people whom he has called upon to check and control certain facts; he does not, however, take the trouble to fix the price of such or such article of foodstuff necessary to mere living. In a word, he is satisfied in doing nothing. As I have just stated I shall not lose a simple opportunity, from now until the end of the session, even to-morrow perhaps, to draw the Government's attention upon this subject and to communicate to the House newspaper extracts, in order to open the eyes of the Government upon this question. Motion agreed to.


SUPPLY.


House again in Committee of Supply, Mr. Rainville in the Chair. Excise-Salaries of officers and inspectors of excise, and to provide for increase depending on the result of excise examinations-further amount required, $25,000.


LIB
CON

Albert Sévigny (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SEVIGNY:

No, this is for increases only.

Progress reported.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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WAGES OF EMPLOYEES OF RAILWAY COMPANIES-RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.


House in Committee on Bill No. 103, an Act concerning the payment of salaries or wages of employees of railway companies. Mr. D. Stewart in the Chair. Mr. REID. I have a number of amendments to the Railway Act which I wish to insert in this Bill. The object is to have them in the Bill in case the Railway Bill should not pass the Senate. The first amendment is: Paragraph (e) of clause 34 of section 2 of the said Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following: "including any such compensation payable under the provisions of any Act of the Parliament of Canada or of any provincial legislature providing for compensation to workmen for injuries or in respect of an industrial disease."


LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

As I understand it, the sections the minister is asking us to put in this Bill have already passed both Houses.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   WAGES OF EMPLOYEES OF RAILWAY COMPANIES-RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Yes.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   WAGES OF EMPLOYEES OF RAILWAY COMPANIES-RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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September 18, 1917