May 25, 1921

UFOL

John Wilfred Kennedy

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Mr. J. W. KENNEDY (Glengarry and Stormont) :

The question now under discussion is of considerable importance to the people of this country, both consumers and producers, and I am inclined to think it affects the consumers to a much greater extent than it affects the producers. It has been argued that to allow the importation, manufacture and sale of oleo in Canada is a menace to the dairy interests of this country. With that view I cannot agree. I do not think that the permission to sell oleo in Canada, or to manufacture it, is a very serious menace, or in fact a menace at all, to the dairy business. The matter works out in this way: Ever since 1917

Canada has been exporting large quantities of butter, principally to the British market. The price of that exportable surplus has been determined on the British market where it has to go into competition with the butter of all other countries, and also with oleomargarine. The price of butter in Canada is, to a very large extent, determined by the price received for our exportable surplus. If the price in Canada falls below the price received for the exportable surplus, then the supplies of butter will be drawn away from our Canadian markets to go into our export trade occasioning a shortage which will enhance the home price to meet the price of the export trade. In the same manner, if the price on the Canadian markets rises above the export price, then the butter will be drawn away from our export trade until we will have no exportable surplus whatever. But as long as Canada has an exportable surplus of butter the price on our home markets will be largely determined by the price received on the British market, and the butter which is sold there is sold, and has always been sold, in competition with oleo. Therefore it is quite inconceivable that the admission of oleo into this country is going to affect the price received on the British market for our butter, and that price largely determines the price of Canadian butter on our Canadian markets. There may be slight variations, due to local causes which are of a more or less temporary character, but in the main that argument holds good. So that while we are now selling our butter in competition with oleo, it would not be any benefit to the dairymen of this country to have oleo excluded from our markets. In brief, my argument

is, that to admit oleo into Canada for sale on the Canadian markets is not going to depress the price we receive for our Canadian butter; and to exclude it from our markets is not going to enhance the price in the Canadian markets, because the price paid for butter is in no way determined by the cost of production plus a reasonable profit. As I say, the price is determined by market conditions the world over, and the cost of production in Canada is not taken into account. I therefore think that much of the argument advanced against the measure which the Minister of Agriculture proposes is wide of the mark.

It has been said that oleo during the last two years has been displacing a large quantity of Canadian butter in the Canadian home. That is quite true, but it is unfortunate more from the standpoint of the Canadian consumer than from the standpoint of the Canadian producer, because the consumer is made to believe he is buying and using a substitute for butter, something which will give him an equivalent food value for butter, which contention I, of course, dispute. Very extensive investigations have been carried on by nutrition experts throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in Europe, and, although opinions differ, I am inclined to think the result of their conclusions would be that there are certain elements of nutrition- very essential to the growth of the human body and the maintenance of human vigour -present in butter and dairy products which is entirely absent from oleomargarine. So that the continued use of oleo instead of butter might, over a long course of years, be considered more or less of a detriment to the public health. That is a question which I commended to the consideration of the minister last year, and, I think he might well investigate that question more fully in the next twelve months during which he proposes to permit the importation of oleomargarine into Canada.

The statement has been spread broadcast throughout this country, and it has I think been repeated in this House on several occasions, that the sale of oleo is going to be a great boon to the Canadian people. Now I think that argument has been altogether over-estimated. Oleomargarine may be an advantage in certain times when the price of butter is very high, but when you figure out the amount of butter used by the average family, and figure out the difference in price between butter and oleo, and the actual financial advantage, I think

the real advantage is very small indeed and has been very much over-estimated. Now while the dairymen of this country are quite ready to accept the competition of the manufacturers of oleo at any time, they do expect that that competition will be fair and above board, and that such manufacturers will pot be permitted to impose something on the Canadian people as a substitute for butter which is not butter and which is not as good as butter. In view of this fact I would like to draw the attention of the minister to some of the restrictions the dairymen of this country would like to have imposed on this article, and in doing so I would suggest that those restrictions be embodied in this Bill. They should be covered by statute and not left to be a matter of regulation by the department. I think we should recognize the responsibility of Parliament in this matter, and insist that these restrictions be incorporated in the statute and not left altogether to the department. In the first place everybody knows that butter has a well recognized standard colour, although certain markets, of course, demand certain variations in that colour. Oleo is placed in the market largely with the view of taking the place of butter, and the manufacturers of the product have done all they can to imitate butter as to colour. It is true that they are prohibited by regulation from placing any colouring matter in the materials they put into oleo, but they get around that by including in their oleomargarine articles which in themselves are coloured and which give the product practically the same colour as butter.

The dairymen and consumers of this country have every right to expect that the minister will provide in his Bill that the manufacturers of oleomargarine shall not imitate the colour of butter in their product so that at a glance oleomargarine may be distinguished from butter. They might also rightly expect the minister to provide that on every package of oleomargarine its ingredients shall be printed or stencilled. This is not an unreasonable request, because it is already required in regard to commercial feeding stuffs. It will be remembered that in the Act passed last session providing for the regulation of the sale of certain commercial feeding stuffs, manufacturers were required to stencil their packages not only with an analysis of the chemical contents but with the proportions of the various ingredients. If the department is so solicitous for the welfare of our

animals, surely they should be equally solicitous for the welfare of our people.

Then another thing which we have always considered more or less unfair is that although the Dairy Standards Act requires that nothing but butter fat shall be allowed to enter into the manufacture of butter, yet in the manufacture of oleomargarine it is permissible to use large quantities of butter and milk, these products of the dairy being mixed with other fats or oil's. This practice, I think, is rather unfair to our dairymen, and they are quite justified in asking that no dairy product whatever be allowed to be used in the manufacture of oleomargarine. If the people of Canada want to use oleomargarine on their table, we are prepared to meet the competition of the manufacturers of oleomargarine, but we do object to meeting unfair competition by reason of their being able to use some of our products in the manufacture of oleomargarine, whereas we are prohibited-and quite rightly so- from using anything hut butter-fat in the manufacture of butter.

These few suggestions I commend to the consideration of the minister during the next twelve months, so that before he decides to make this measure permanent he may consider the advisability of prohibiting by statute the practices that I have alluded to.

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UNION

Samuel Francis Glass

Unionist

Mr. S. P. GLASS (East Middlesex) :

Mr. Speaker, I do not very often claim the indulgence of the House, but I desire to say a few words on the subject now under consideration. I agree with a good deal of what the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Kennedy) has said. In my opinion our trouble at the present time is not so much the fact that oleomargarine is being manufactured and distributed, but the indefinite position in which it stands. In 1918 when the then Minister of Agriculture, the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), introduced a similar Bill he said:

Now, I want to draw attention to the fact that the Order in Council with regard to oleomargarine sets out that it is to be regarded as a war measure. In the preamble we And these words:

"Such regulations to be in force and to have effect for the period during which the present abnormal conditions continue, the conclusion of such period to be determined by His Excellency the Governor General in Council, as provided in the said regulations, and as a war measure only."

The Bill which he introduced permitted the importation and manufacture of oleo-

margarine under certain regulations, and I find the complaint in the country generally has not been so much against the manufacture of this article under the rigid restrictions imposed by the department, but that the sore touch all through has been that although a duty is imposed on the farmer's butter, yet this substitute, which is admittedly an inferior article, has been admitted free.

Prior to the expiration of that Act notice was given that it would be extended for another year, and the hon. gentleman who now occupies the position of Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) when introducing the Bill in 1920 for that purpose said:

Now, so far as the extension of time is concerned, it appears that the condition that prevailed when the Act was first passed to offset the high price of butter still obtains. Oleo is used to a very great extent by large numbers of poor people in the large cities and also in the country, and I consider that at the present time it is advisable to at least extend the Act for one year, and during that period to watch very carefully what measure might be adopted to put down the fraudulent use of oleo as butter. It is the intention of the department during that period to accumulate from other countries as much information as possible as to what is being done along this line, and to do their very best to apply this Act rigidly.

Now, Sir, the dairy industry of this country contributes a very large part of our agricultural production. The record I have here for 1919 shows that the value of the produce of the dairy for that year amounted to no less a sum than $251,526,201; and looking over the lists provided by the department, I find that the dairy interests of Western Canada have been increasing their production very rapidly, and that during the past five years the production has almost doubled. Therefore, our concern in this matter is not confined to the provinces of the East, it is a matter >

of very great concern to the provinces of the West.

I take it, Sir, that the people who represent this industry are entitled to some consideration. The hon. member who last spoke made several suggestions, almost all of which are embodied in the circular from the National Dairy Council of Canada, which was read this afternoon by the hon. member for Ar.tigonish and Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) Now, Sir, who compose this National Dairy Council? Do they represent the interests of the great dairying industry? I find that from the Atlantic to the Pacific the dairy interests are linked up in this one great organization. In it are included the Ontario Milk

and Cream Producers' Association, the Dairymens' Association of Western Ontario, the Dairymens' Association of Eastern Ontario, the Dairymens' Association of the Province of Quebec, the Montreal Milk Producers' Co-Operative Agricultural Association, Canadian Milk Distributers' Association, Canadian Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association, and so on. In the West we have the provincial dairymen's associations of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, and the Fraser Valley Milk Producers' Association. Coming back to the East, we have the New Brunswick Dairymen's Association, the Nova Scotia Dairymen's Association and the Prince Edward Island Dairymen's Association. It will be seen, therefore, that almost all the large dairy interests from the Atlantic to the Pacific are represented.

Now let me point out-and I say this by way of commenting on the suggestion that the minister has made to-night-that it may be all very well to let this matter stand for another year, to let it remain in its present unsettled condition, but personally I do not believe that is the best policy. There is a way of dealing with this matter, and dealing with it once and for all. I think the people are tired of the pussyfooting on this Bill; they want some definite policy on the part of the Government, something that will let them know definitely where they stand. This circular, a copy of which, no doubt, the Government has received, sets forth the views of the dairymens' associations-and I think they arc reasonable views. I gather from a reading of the letter that they have become reconciled to the continuance of the manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada, but they ask that certain further restrictions be imposed, and I want to point out what they are. If they are reasonable, it seems to me that this matter should be disposed of once and for all, in such a way as to create satisfaction among these men-because there is an alternative which will suit them-and at the same time to be fair to the farmers who produce the butter; let oleomargarine, which comes into Canada free, pay a duty just as butter does I wish to read again the resolution adopted by the National Dairy Council at its annual meeting in Toronto last month and to make some comments as I go along. The resolution says:

That this Council strongly disapproves of the efforts of manufacturers and vendors of oleomargarine to present that article in such shape,

appearance and colour as to attempt to deceive purchasers into the belief that they are actually getting butter or an article with the same food values as butter. This Council is of the opinion that to remove the unfairness of the competition of oleo with butter, and to prevent deception and dishonesty, strict regulations in addition to those now in effect should be passed by the Government of Canada providing for a standard colour of oleo other than the colour of butter, the printing on the container of each package of oleo a statement of the ingredients used to make up the oleo and the^ proportions of each ingredient. Also that no dairy products be allowed to be used in the manufacture of oleo sold in Canada.

The hon. gentleman who preceded me has pointed out that the dairymen have said: We do not allow butter to be adulterated. We have thrown around that other staple agricultural product, maple sugar, all the necessary protection, and the people of this country endorse the action of the Government in that record. But we say, on the other hand You may adulterate your oleomargarine with butter. The member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) I think, po'-^ed out that you cannot adulterate an inferior thing . with a better thing. I have not the strict definition of adulteration, but I think that adulteration might very well come under the head of blending these two entirely different articles of food to bring about a cheaper average. Be that as it may, that is the thing to which objection is taken; that is the thing which the Dairymen's Council of Canada would like this Government to correct. Is it or is it not reasonable? I cannot see any earthly objection to it. It is bad enough for these people to use milk in churning up their greases without their taking our standard creamery butter and using it in the manufacture of their product. The Canadian manufacturers of oleomargarine issued a circular a couple of years ago in which they asked the question: "What is margarine?" Then they went on to describe what it was. When you examine the ingredients of margarine you find that it certainly does contain a very large amount of pure dairy products. I quote from the circular of the Canadian manufacturers of margarine:

Oleomargarine Is a distinct product made of the following ingredients:

Products of Canadian farms:-70 to 75 per cent.

They desire to point out that in the manufacture of this product they are using materials which are the product of the farm to the extent of 75 per cent. The circular goes on:

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REVISED EDITION. COMMONS


1. Oleo oil-separated from the crude edible beef fats of the abattoir so as to produce a soft fat. This has resulted in increasing the value of all beef fats. Its manufacture is safeguarded under rigid Government inspection so that it is a perfectly wholesome product. It is to the interest of every farmer to have oleo oil produced in Canada. 2. Neutral lard separated from the crude, edible lard of hogs in such a manner as to eliminate the objectionable taste of ordinary lard. This also increases the general value of 'ard. It is produced under rigid sanitary inspection. 3. Milk-the fats are churned with milk under the most rigid sanitary inspection. Note-only the finest creamery butter containing no artificial colour is permitted to be used. Other products:-25 to 30 per cent. 1. Vegetable oils such as peanut, cocoanut and cottonseed oils. These must be of a quality to pass rigid Government inspection. 2. Salt is the only other product added. These products are mixed together and churned in factories under the direct inspection of officers of the Department of Agriculture. Thus a distinct product is obtained which, by the excellence of the process of extraction and manufacture, has turned into a palatable form those fats, etc. The people of this country have used oleomargarine during the last few years, including the last years of the war, and no one denies that it does contain 9 p.m. good food substances. But that is not what is the trouble. The trouble has been that we did not take the proper stand in the first place. It may have been all right to regard it as a good article of food in wartime, under proper safeguards, so that it could be sold on its merits, but, as I say, objection has arisen owing to the indefinite policy which has been pursued in reference to the matter. The importation and manufacture has been extended for a year and then for another year; no definite and permanent policy is adopted, and a state of uncertainty exists. It would have been far better if we could have faced the music and settled the thing once for all. I think it is possible for the minister to deal with this matter so that it will not be a recurring nightmare in this House and a continual source of irritation throughout the country. The National Dairy Council, as I have pointed out, prefer that oleomargarine should not be manufactured to compete with their butter. But they say, in concluding the letter to which I have referred: It is submitted there is now no necessity or justification for the continuance of the manufacture or sale of oleo in Canada- That is the opinion they express, for what it may be worth. The letter goes on: -but if it is the intention of Parliament to legalize the manufacture and sale of oleo in Canada after September 1st next, then I beg to ask in the name of this Council that the conditions set out in the above quoted resolution be made applicable. The minister, no doubt, has a copy of this letter, and I hope, when he is speaking further on this legislation, he will be able to tell us whether there is any reasonable, consistent objection to the request or demand, as it may be, contained in this letter of the National Dairymen's Council. If that suits this representative body of dairymen in this country, surely it should be satisfactory to members of this House, because no matter what may be the wishes of individual farmers, that is the opinion of a great national body representing the dairy industry from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They s<-t forth in their letter what they want, andjt will be far better for the minister to frame legislation to meet the conditions set forth by them and to settle this thing kmce for ail. Moreover, the Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton), before he brings down his Revenue Bill for * the third reading, should have it definitely settled that butter which is produced in this country is not going to have a duty imposed against it when exported to the United States while oleomargarine is allowed to come into Canada free. There is nothing right, consistent, logical or reasonable in such a situation as that, and the Government cannot justify it. They will get over the difficulty, if the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Finance will come together on this subject and definitely decide that they are going to remedy this injustice. As the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's said earlier in the evening, there is no objection to that being done, and the request cannot reasonably be refused. The whole trouble can be avoided and definitely settled by dealing with the matter along the lines that I have suggested.


L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. W. D. EULER (North Waterloo):

Mr. Speaker, I rise chiefly to say that I regret very much that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) has decided to modify his Bill. I think he should go on with it just as he has it framed now.

I particularly disagree with him in the contention that one of the reasons why we should modify the Bill is in order that Parliament may prorogue at a fixed date. That principle has controlled this House entirely too much in past years. If it is in the interest of this country that the oleomargarine question, as well as many

other questions, should be settled definitely once for all, I do not think that the Government, with or without consent of the Opposition, should fix in advance a definite date when Parliament should prorogue. The House should rise only when its business has been properly completed, without regard to the personal desires of any one.

Regarding the question of oleomargarine, I should like to say a few words from the point of view of the consumer. There can be only two legitimate reasons why this Bill should not be accepted. One is that oleo in itself is unhealthful and unfit for use, and the second is that it is sold in such a manner as to deceive the public. I do not believe either of these conditions applies in this case. It has been pretty well esr tablished-it is admitted, I think, on all hands-that oelo is quite healthful and fit for consumption, and in the second place, it is the Jaw, that all oleomargarine must be sold with the imprint of the commodity upon the wrapper.

I have no fault to find with the suggestion that has been made by the hon. member for Glengarry and Stormont (Mr. Kennedy) and others that the package itself should bear the name and, perhaps, the proportion of the ingredients that enter into the manufacture of oleomargarine. That is not an unfair provision. But if the article in itself is unobjectionable; if as the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) has said, it is a proper article of commerce, I do not see that this House has any right whatever to interfere with the choice of the individual with regard to its purchase. If a man wants to eat a tallow candle, he has a perfect right to do so, provided it will not do him an injury. I remember, in my youthful days when butter was occasionally so scarce and expensive that people spread lard upon their bread, and it is quite within their private right to do that if they so desire. There is entirely too much interference with personal liberty at present, and I have no particular commodity in mind when I say that. If the housewife desires to use oleomargarine, that is her right. We are told that butter is so cheap now that it makes little difference whether we permit the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine; people will buy butter in any event. In that case, then no harm is done to the producer of butter. But we have no guarantee whatever that in six months from now butter may not be at a very high price, and this question may become an important one again. We

have to-day in our cities a great deal of unemployment. It is much more serious than it was during the war, and men have much less money with which to buy the necessaries of life than they had a year or two years or even three years ago. You can imagine a man in one of the larger or smaller cities who works, perhaps, three days a week. He has to make the little bit of money he earns reach just as far as he possibly can. He goes into a store and asks for oleomargarine. He knows what he is doing; he knows what he wants; he is satisfied to get oleomargarine because he can buy it a little cheaper than butter, and he tells the storekeeper that he wants oleomargarine. Who has the right to say to him that he shall not be allowed to buy oleomargarine because somebody wants to force him to buy butter? That position is absolutely unreasonable and untenable. It is just as unjustifiable as, for example, a case of this kind. We will say a woman with her little children goes into a store. The only kind of stockings that she can afford to buy for the little ones is cotton stockings. She would prefer to have them in wool or silk, but she has not enough money to pay for them. But the merchant says to her: "I am not going to sell you cotton stockings because to do so would hurt the wool or silk stocking business."

During the war the price of meat ir Ontario was extremely high and it is so still, as a matter of fact. At that time the Government of Ontario stepped in and brought fish from James bay and sold it to the people at from 10 to 15 cents a pound. That was a great relief to the people in the cities and towns of Ontario. It would have been just as reasonable in that case for the stock-raisers to have made a complaint and demand that the people should not be allowed to consume fish because that hurt the business of the sale of meat and the raising of cattle. Or, we will say, some genius invents a practical method of heating our houses very cheaply with electrical current and the men who own coal mines interfere and say: "You must not be allowed to do that because it will injure our business of producing and selling coal." These instances may appear far-fetched, but I contend that they are absolutely on all fours with the contention to prohibit the importation or manufacture of oleomargarine. I would raise no objection if it were thought well to place some restrictions upon the importation of oleomar-

garine. I can see some reason in that; but I do not see what possible excuse there can be for prohibiting the manufacture of it in this country and the sale of it to our people if they want to buy it, provided always that the article is fit for use, is perfectly healthful and' is not put up in such a way as to deceive the public. I am going to support the Bill, but I would again suggest to the minister that he do not limit its operation, hut go right ahead and remove once and for all the restrictions on the manufacture, at least, of oleomargarine in this country.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (South Oxford):

I have listened with a good deal of interest to the arguments advanced in connection with the Bill now before the House. I look at it possibly from a different angle from most of the speakers who have taken part in this debate. The last speaker (Mr. Euler) rather scouted the idea of the manufacture of oleomargarine being any interference with legitimate business, and pleaded for greater freedom in its manufacture. It is a remarkable thing that after over three years of experience with this commodity, the manufacture and importation of which has been provided for by legislation extended from year to year, with the assurance that the license would terminate when butter had reached a reasonable price, we have not yet had any explanation from those who ought to be in a position to know as to what really constitutes what is sold as oleomargarine in this country. We have in the Government service a large staff of officials who are supposed to be watching the manufacture of this article. Yet we have never had, to my knowledge, at least, any statement from the department as to just what constitutes oleomargarine. I quite agree with the statement that has been made that the consumer is entitled to know what he is paying for. He does not know that at the present time when he is buying oleomargarine. I must take exception to the statement that has been made !by the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding), who said there could be no question of adulteration in connection with this commodity. My understanding of adulteration is that it is to falsify, by the admixture of baser ingredients of a lower value, and that is the very thing that is taking place in connection with the manufacture of oleomargarine, because to the butter which it contains are added these other in-

gredients. We had before the (Committee on Agriculture a few weeks ago a Bil to permit the adulteration of maple products. That Bill was entertained bj hardly one member of the committee, if 1 remember rightly. I think the Bill now before us might very well have been referred to that committee, but it has come upon us so suddenly, I suppose-it has only adorned the Order Paper since March 4-that we have not had time to think out the proper course to pursue.

Milk fat which enters into the manufacture of oleomargarine differs from other fats in that it contains certain life-giving substances that are essential to promote the growth of the young. Science so far has not yet been able to discover any other source from which the equivalent milk fat can be derived. Every one recognizes its value, and there are certain people who by reason of the fact that oleomargarine contains milk fat want to enter upon its manufacture, and mix with it baser ingredients purely with a view to commercial gain. That is exactly what is being done with oleomargarine, and I do not think it is fair. I do not think the Government are justified in again coming before the House with this measure without giving us some idea of what enters into the manufacture of oleomargarine in this country.

I have not opposed the importation or manufacture of oleomargarine. I have been consistent in that respect, and I hope I shall continue to be so. I have a very distinct recollection of a general election that was held in 1878. The arguments which were then advanced made a profound impression on my mind, and I remember many of them to this day. I thought when I read the speech from the Throne at this present session those who were engaged in the manufacture of dairy products were going to be protected as other people were to be protected. I think they are entitled to protection. In 1911, when the reciprocity question was before the people of this country, I bad in my mind the arguments that were advanced thirty years ago, and the position the Canadian people were placed in when the reciprocity pact with the United States was abrogated by that country in 1866. We then had to develop other channels of trade. I believe that if we had entered into an arrangement with the people of the United States in 1911, it would not have had one particle of influence upon their putting into effect the tariff arrangement they have recently

adopted, whereby a duty of six cents a pound is placed on our butter going into that country.

It is stated that oleomargarine is being manufactured in other countries, and that we are the only country in the world that has restrictions on its manufacture. That statement has not been substantiated. It is merely a bald statement, and I take exception to any such statement as that. There are safeguards provided in nearly every other country where oleomargarine is manufactured. I do not know of any other country in which the same pains were taken as in Canada to see that the manufacturers of this article were given the great privileges they were given under the Order in Council of 1917. Under that Order in Council the manufacturers have the right to get a license from the Government to mix whatever they see fit with butter, and they are given the exclusive right to do these things, because it is specifically mentioned that no factory where butter is being manufactured will be permitted to do anything of the kind. My hon. friend from North Waterloo (Mr. Euler) would surely not consider that the freedom for which he was contending. Our dairymen, who are engaged in the manufacture of a legitimate article of food, which has a standing and reputation all over the world, are debarred from mixing anything with butter, and particularly anything that goes into the manufacture of oleomargarine. But the Government say to the manufacturers of oleomargarine: We will give you a license to manufacture this stuff, and you can put in practically anything you see fit.

I wish to refer to a statement that has been sent out, and which doubtless every hon. gentleman has received. It is of the same character as other statements that have been issued for years by the manufacturers of this article, and it is absolutely false and misleading. Within the covers of the four sheets in which it is contained there is very little truth to be found. It says, in words that have been quoted here to-night, that oleomargarine is a product that is used to-day in practically every civilized country of the world, the gross per capita consumption being actually in the most important dairy countries. It states that Denmark in 1916 used fourty-four pounds per head of the population, and so forth, and goes on to say that 70 to 75 per cent of the ingredients of this article are obtained from the livestock products of the Canadian farms. It also refers to

what has been said with regard to the value of the products which go into oleomargarine. It informs us that oleomargarine is made of pure, highly refined beef and pork fats, creamery butter and fresh milk. As a matter of fact, this fresh milk is fresh skimmed milk, and that was made quite clear by the general manager of the largest company manufacturing this article in Canada. They are permitted to incorporate about 14 per cent of skimmed milk, and to add a culture and other ingredients, all of which are mixed together and worked up in the churns in the factories, in order that the article may appear to be really a dairy product. This statement says that the justice of the manufacturers' request for permanent legislation permitting the production of oleomargarine lies in the simple fact that there are large quantities of animal fats produced in Canada which, in justice to the producers of beef cattle, and the manufacturers of livestock products, should be made up into the most palatable and valuable form possible. A few days ago, when we were putting through the Budget resolutions, which exempted oleomargarine and these ingredients from the sales tax, I pointed out that enormous quantities of this stuff were being brought into the country. I have a statement from the Customs Department, for eleven months of the past year, which shows that there were imported from the United States during that period, the following products: lard compound, 27,647 pounds; oleo oil,-this is the Canadian beef fat which they claim is to enter into this product-1,714,562 pounds; cottonseed oil, 889,208 pounds; cocoanut oil, 701,995 pounds; besides peanut oil, corn oil, nucoline, stearine, salt, and beef fats, or a total of 3,680,350 pounds. We put through legislation two years ago by which we refunded to these manufacturers 99 per cent of the duty collected on these ingredients that go into the manufacture of this article of food, and for the eleven months I have mentioned that total duty amounted to $138,367, which was turned back to those manufacturers who bought so largely in the United States.

Now, I do not intend to take up any more time of the House; I can make my position clear in a very few minutes. I want to point out, however, that, according to a statement which was submitted in the United States Congress, France does not even permit the retailer to dispose of butter and oleomargarine, and today, I will venture to say, a very large

proportion of this article of food is being sold to and consumed by people in Canada who are under the impression that they are using butter. When you find it difficult to keep butter on the knife, particularly in cold weather, you can readily understand that it has not the consistency of real butter, but is really oleomargarine. When a manufacturer is supposed to turn out a good article, and is surrounded with regulations to ensure the purity of that article, being prohibited from mixing that article with something else, I do not see why some one else should be given a license to purchase this superior article, mix it with an inferior product and place it on the market without anything to show what it really is. It is contended that the wrapper must indicate the nature of the article, and it is also said the word "oleo" has to be put on the covering. As a matter of fact, however, immense quantities of this stuff are bought up and placed in many boarding houses in the country, and there is good reason for the belief that it is coloured and worked over and placed on the tables of the country as butter. / object to the unfairnes that is practised in connection with this article.

There is no article of food, or, for that matter, anything else, in connection with which there has been so much deception and fraud as has been practised in the United States, or in any other country where the manufacture of oleomargarine is permitted. I believe that in the United States, apart from the export business, the manufacturers are not permitted to put up oleomargarine in containers of less than ten pounds; and in Germany, I understand, no dairy produce is permitted to be incorporated in it. Many manufacturers of margarine in this country are also opposed to the mixture of butter with this article, and I think that if it is to be sold at all it should sell on its own merits, and on its merits alone. If that is done you will get a better article of food than you are getting to-day, because there are many articles used now in the manufacture of oleomargarine that are made palatable simply by being churned in milk, to which culture has been added, giving it a wholly artificial flavour. Now, we have a Health Department in this country, and analysts without number in connection with our departments of Government. Why have they not analyzed this article and given us a statement which might guide us to-day in dealing with this measure, which seeks to make permanent

the manufacture of this oleomargarine? Would not that be reasonable? Is it not something which the people are entitled to know? If this is such a splendid article of food, why is it that there is no one today who is in a position to tell us what really goes into the manufacture of this article. Why should it be left to me to bring here a statement from the Customs Department showing what actually transpired in this country during the past year? The Minister of Finance will advise the people of this country to buy home-made articles, and to see that money is not sent to the United States; and yet we refund to manufacturers, who buy these ingredients in the United States, the duty that was collected on this article of food.

I have been a consistent protectionist for many years, and I am a consistent protectionist to-day, but I may say here and now that if the business in which I am engaged, and others also, is going to be singled out and not protected, if it is going to be subjected to the most unfair and contemptible process of competition, it is possible for the mind of man to conceive of, I am not going to follow any such policy as that. In view particularly of conditions at the present time, and of the strenuous years that are confronting us, I say it is absolutely necessary that we should have a protective policy in this country. The hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark) may quote Asquith, and other men in the United Kingdom as to what we should have under freedom of trade. But we have not freedom of trade, nor are we in a position to demand freedom of trade no matter how much we would like to have it. We must face conditions as they are, and with the great country to the south raising a tariff barrier against us such as they are doing, it is absolutely essential that the farmers of Canada should have the same degree of protection that the manufacturers have had for years and which they are entitled to have now

I do not believe that we can have a well-balanced community unless we adopt the policy of give and take. I believe that our prosperity in this country depends more on a prosperous farming community than it does on anything else. We have induced

25,000 of our returned men to go upon the land, and they have obtained loans from the Government in order to carry on. I have pointed out in the past that I was afraid many of these men would curse the day they ever accepted a loan from the Government and went on the land, and when I said that I believed I knew what I was

talking about. Are you going to put those men in the position to-day that many engaged in the dairy business are in? Are you going to put them in the position of producing an article at less than cost? The hon. member for Glengarry (Mr. Kennedy) pointed out that the price of butter, or of dairy products, in this country cannot be fixed by the Canadian people at the cost of production plus a reasonable profit-it has to be fixed on the markets of the world. The argument of the manufacturers ef implements, of clothing, of boots and shoes, or anything else in this country is that they cannot go on manufacturing unless they do so at a profit, and that it is important and essential that they should be able to do so. They point to the fact that they have men engaged in these industries, that they provide a home market for our produce, and that in that way great benefit results to the community. I quite agree with that argument. At the same time, however, I want to point out that the farmer cannot go on manufacturing butter or cheese, or anything of that kind, unless he does so at a profit. Hon. gentlemen understand the movement that has been going on for a number of years past from the farm into the town and the city. To such a degree has this been going on that you will find, even this year, that almost all the men who are walking the streets of our towns and cities are out of employment. Never, during all the years I have been engaged in farming, have I found it so difficult to get farm help as during the present year. Never, during all my experience, have I found farm help as scarce as it is at the present time, and I want to say this: You will find if the present prices continue, if the deflation-which has come in advance as far as the products of the farmer are concerned; deflation has reached the farmer before any one else-if deflation continues you are going to have conditions in regard to which I can only say, "God help this country."

I intend to move when we go into committee on this Bill that no dairy produce shall be used in the manufacture of oleomargarine. I am in favour of allowing the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada, but I would only permit it to enter this country subject to a duty as other articles are subject, and I think that is the proper course to take. As to extending this privilege for the year, we were told in 1917 after it had been adopted by Order in Council and then submitted to Parliament, that it was a temporary

measure introduced by the Government in order to overcomme the difficulty the poor people had in getting butter or a "spread" for their bread, and that when the period of deflation had arrived we would go back to the old condition of affairs. Now the proposition is to continue the privilege for a further period. When the price of butter on the wholesale markets of this country has reached within a fraction of 25 cents a pound we are asked to continue it for another year. Just one year more! Yes and when that year has expired it will be a case of granting another year or "You have had it so long now you might just as well make it permanent". Those are the arguments that have been put up to us and which we have had to meet in the past. Who is getting all this rebate in connection with this commodity? I notice that one company who had a license from the Government to manufacture this article has received during the past two years $171,906 of rebate in connection with the articles which they were importing and putting into the manufacture of this stuff. What a howl would be raised by some hon. gentlemen sitting in this House if some article they were manufacturing was taken and the label removed from it and some parts of it were used in the manufacture of another article? They would not be so submissive as they are to-day. I do not like it, and it is not a pleasure for me to speak as I am doing in connection with this matter, but I am going to be consistent even though the Government are not consistent upon this subject. I believe in protection. I believe in protecting particularly the interest of the farmers of Canada, as well as those who are engaged in other industries. I belive it is essential for the prosperity of this country that that should be done; and I am of opinion that if we do that, if we pull together as we should and adopt a policy of give and take-a little here and a little there-we will soon overcome our difficulties. But if we are going to send our money out of the country and buy something cheap where we can get it-just as there was laid on the markets of the ci|y of Toronto during the Spring butter from Argentina, badly mottled butter, which was churned in a factory in that city and placed on the markets of Canada-why, it is an altogether different matter. A process such as that is contrary to the Dairy Standards Act. There is a clause in that Act which prevents anything of the kind being done but our inspectors did not carry out the law. The fact that this was done was published in

all the newspapers at the time. Where was the staff of inspectors that are paid to superintend the manufacture of oleomargarine? It is one thing to appoint inspectors and apparently another thing to enforce the regulation. There is no reason why we cannot have an analysis made by the Health Department that is supposed to be regulating the food products of this country. Where have they been that they have not submitted a statement to us in connection with this matter? We should prohibit the incorporation of dairy produce in this stuff. Then I assure you you will get a better article of food than you are getting to-day. Because oleomargarine can be manufactured and placed on the market much cheaper than is the case to-day in this country, and it will be a more wholesome food, if not so palatable, than the article which they are now producing. It is by reason of the palatability of the ingredients that this article is made attractive.

Do you imagine for a moment it is from philanthropic motives that large manufacturers such as the Harris Abattoir people and the Swift Canadian Company, who are the only two manufacturers in this country so far, want the privilege of manufacturing this product? Why beef tallow is worth about three cents a pound at the present time, and skim-milk is worth possibly twenty-five cents a hundred pounds or a quarter of a cent a pound. They are permitted to incorporate as high as 14 per cent of skim-milk in this product and place it on the market. With tallow fixed up by the stearine being extracted from it they are enabled to place this cheap commodity on the market. You may say, "Oh, it does not cost us within ten, fifteen or twenty cents of the price of butter, and consequently we will purchase it." But you have not the faintest idea as to the value of the article you are purchasing. Its composition ought to be stamped on the label, as is the case when we are purchasing fertilizers or foodstuffs, for there is infinitely greater reason why the nature and proportion of the ingredients of oleomargarine should be disclosed on the package. I would go further and put a stop to the deception which is practiced in the colouring of this article. Mr. McLean, general manager of the Harris Abattoir Company, made the statement on oath before a committee of this House a short time ago that the manufacturers overcome the difficulty of the colour by buying up large quantities of June butter-which, as is.well known, has a very high colour- [Mr. Sutherland.! j

and by adding it to the other ingredients a colour is imparted to the article which makes it resemble butter and so deceive the people. The manufacturers of oleomargarine are very clever in that particular as they are in many other respects.

I might refer to certain other practices in the manufacture of this article, but I will not do so for the present. I think the Government would be well advised to deal with the matter now and embody the conditions to which I have alluded instead of staving it off for a few months longer.

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L LIB

Hyacinthe-Adélard Fortier

Laurier Liberal

Mr. H. A. FORTIER (Labelle):

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to this measure to extend for another year the sale of oleomargarine, and I wish, before the House, to support my attitude by word and vote. Such a legislation is prejudicial to the agricultural interests of the country. It is also, Mr. Speaker, an insult to the good taste of the citizens of this country. We were told, when this legislation was introduced some years ago, that it would be of a temporary character only, that it was intended for war times and no longer, and that as soon as normal conditions would return, the Government would deem it their duty to recall it.

In fact, when this legislation was introduced, the price of butter was very high and it was feared that it would be impossible, at a later time, to take advantage of this commodity which was greatly needed. That is why the Government of the time, following the example set by the governments of other countries, thought it advisable to bring up this legislation which was decidedly of a temporary nature. Now that normal conditions have returned, that the war is over, we would do well to abolish it. Canada is known amongst other countries as an essentially agricultural country and it would certainly be prejudicial to her good reputation, and her agricultural interests, to maintain such legislation. What will other countries think if Canada is not able to produce enough butter for home consumption, if she is obliged to resort to such a substitute, such a subterfuge? Should we have recourse to such an expedient, were we to maintain such a substitute, instead of the pure food, we would certainly be giving Canada a poor certificate in the eyes of other nations.

Those who have spoken before me and have supported this Bill, have been the mainstays of this Bill, have thought proper to support their request for such legislation by so-called petitions

which have been signed in certain parts of the country and also by women's associations. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that these petitions were prepared some time ago; when the price of butter was still very high, almost as high as those we had to pay of late years. One need not go back very far, indeed, to find that prices were comparatively high. A month ago, two months ago, at the very time when such petitions might possibly have been signed, the price of butter was very high. But now that this price has been greatly reduced-the price is really very low- legislation to replace butter by a substitute owing to the high cost of the former cannot be justified.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I must say that I am in favour of pure food when there is a question of such a commodity as butter, and I object to all substitutes. We may be rather inclined to-day to replace the pure food by the substitute that is unfortunately too often introduced on the market. Substitutes to-day have been manufactured even for olive oil, and if we continue to allow substitutes to replace necessary food, first-class commodity, like butter, we are opening the door to absolutely harmful legislation.

I do not intend to speak at length and to repeat the excellent reasons which have already been advanced in opposition to this Bill by those who have preceded me. I have always declared myself in favour of agricultural interests; I have always done so in this House and will so continue when occasion arises to stand in defence of these interests. If there exists an industry which has progressed with great difficulty in this country, it is the dairy industry. I remember, years ago, the campaign which was undertaken throughout the provinces so as to establish this dairy industry which has become the principal agricultural industry and has been the main cause of the prosperity of our farmers. Many an expenditure has been made in the province of Quebec to promote this industry; many a grant has been given by the different governments, federal as well as provincial; many an endeavour has been made by our statesmen, so as to impress on the minds of the people the desire to improve the dairy industry. Now that we have obtained this result, that this industry has been largely developed, I think we would give it its death blow were we to say: The butter which you produce, which is so fresh and white, resembling somewhat our clover blossoms and which has the

fragrance of our fields, this butter, we do away with. Why? Because we prefer a substitute which is nameless, this kind of oleomargarine which should never be seen on our tables.

Mr. Speaker, I stand in defence of our agricultural interest and in so doing I am protecting all classes of society. I do not think any one would rise in this House on behalf of the working class to defend oleomargarine. On the table of the poor, as well as on the table of the rich, good butter is demanded to-day, such butter as can be produced in the country, at a reasonable price. It is said: The price [DOT] is

very low, at present, but it might be raised later. That is possible. I do not know what the fluctuations of the market are, but the price of butter is now the same as in prewar times, and future fluctuations will not be such that the poor labourer cannot get good butter. Therefore I am in favour of good butter and shall certainly vote against the hon. minister's Bill.

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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. J. DENIS (Joliette):

Mr. Speaker, I must offer my congratulations to my hon. friend who has just preceded me (Mr. Fortier), and also to my hon. friend from South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) who has pleaded so eloquently the cause of good butter and the rights of the farmers. It does not appear to me, Sir, that the Government are very anxious to see this measure pass, but that they are rather acting upon the demands made by some interests-quite legitimate, doubtless-and in the meantime are willing to leave this question absolutely free to all members without giving any recommendation for or against. When the resolution which preceded this Bill was introduced last Saturday it was my intention to oppose it, but the Prime Minister said then that the adoption of the resolution would in no way be interpreted as general assent to the measure or to the principle embodied in it. I therefore take this opportunity to express as strongly as I can my opposition to this Bill.

I have tried to inform myself as to the facts and circumstances in connection with the sale of oleomargarine in Canada during the last few years. I may be mistaken in my understanding of the situation-if so, I wish to be corrected. But my information is that up to the year 1917 the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in Canada had been prohibited. I take this first fact as an argument in favour of the contention which I now make. There must have been good reasons for prohibiting the manufac-

ture and sale of oleomargarine prior to 1917, and I maintain that those reasons still exist. This product was allowed to be placed upon the market because of the exceptional circumstances which then prevailed. The Government, making use of the powers vested in them by the War Measures Act, passed an Order in Council in 1917 to allow the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in Canada. At that time and on several occasions since it has been argued by the Government and by members of the House that this Order in Council was passed as a war measure in order to place at the disposal of the people a certain article of food at a reduced price. We all know that at that time the consumption of butter, sugar and other articles of food had been limited, and it was therefore thought proper to permit the use of oleomargarine. For my part, I thought the course then taken was a wise one. But there came a time when Orders in Council were no longer of avail and in order to permit the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine the Government had to pass a Bill.

So far as I am aware, the first Bill ever passed in this country to allow the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine was the Bill which became chapter 24 of the statutes of 1919, second session. This enactment is entitled "An Act to Permit the Temporary Importation, Manufacture and Sale of Oleomargarine in Canada." Now, I submit that the title of the Bill in itself indicates the extent to which it was supposed to go. I insist on that word "temporary," because it was made clear to the House at the time that the measure was only a temporary one; that there was never any question of passing

10 p.m. a law of a permanent character to allow the importation, manufacture and sale of oleomargarine. But it was argued when that Bill was passed that a year or so after the war the price of foodstuffs had largely increased and that an enactment of this kind, temporary in its character, would be of benefit to the country. I am ready to say, Sir, that even at that time I would not have strenuously opposed the Bill, although I was in principle always against the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine in this country. So much for 1919. Then last year, 1920, this legislation was supplemented by another Bill extending until the month of October, 1921, the period during which the manufacture and sale of this product might be carried on in Canada. CMr. Deni*. 1

and we are now considering a Bill to make a further extension of another year.

The question is : Is it necessary or expedient that we should at this time allow the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine for a year from next October? In order to answer that question, one must consider the actual condition of the dairy industry at the present time. Last year, in the month of May, butter was selling at 55 cents wholesale; iji May of this year butter has been sold wholesale at as low as 26J cents-the price to-day wholesale is 28 cents. Therefore, Sir, the best quality of creamery butter is selling to-day at exactly 50 per cent less than the price which prevailed a year ago. I may say also that a year ago oleomargarine was selling at about 35 or 40 cents a pound. Now, if twelve months ago such an inferior and doubtful product as oleomargarine was selling at 35 or 40 cents a pound, I say that this year the public have the means to pay 28, 30 or 32 cents a pound, whatever the retail price may be, for good butter. The reasons which prompted the action of the Government in 1917, 1919 and 1920 to permit the manufacture and sale of this product do not exist to-day. The main reason was the high cost of living, but to-day the price of butter does not contribute to the high cost of living. We must, therefore, give to butter the same standing that it had before this war measure was passed in 1917; in fact, so far as that product is concerned we are in the same position to-day that we were in prior to the war.

The prohibition of oleomargarine is for the benefit of both the producer and the consumer. To permit the manufacture and importation of it is unjust alike to the farmer and to the consumer, or poor man. It is unjust to the farmer because this article of food, which is an inferior article, is sold in direct competition with butter, the product of the farmer. It is unjust to the consumer or poor man, because oleomargarine is a product of doubtful origin; it is a product of which we have no complete analysis; it is a product, the value of which as food, and particularly as a healthful food, is very doubtful. At the present time, would the farmers of the United States allow Canadian manufacturers to ship oleomargarine into that country to be sold in competition with butter? We know what the Americans are doing at the present time to encourage the farming community in that country. To-day the greater part of the oleomar-

garine consumed in Canada comes from the United States, so that what I have said is one more reason why that product should not be allowed to enter Canada. Therefore, the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine should be prohibited for the sake of the farmer and also for the sake of the consumer or poor man, because it is more advantageous for the consumer or poor man to buy butter at the price at which it can be bought to-day than to use the secondary or inferior product which is called oleomargarine.

This House has been detained long enough upon this subject, and it is not my intention to speak further upon this point. I might have other considerations to offer, but I do not think it is worth while to offer them, because hon. members already have their minds pretty well made up in regard to this matter. The only thing which we have to do is to endeavour to dispose of the Bill in such a way that it will be set aside and the manufacture and sale of this article will be forever prohibited in this country after the month of October next. Consequently, in order to bring the discussion on this subject to a definite and practical point, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Charle-voix-Montmorency (Mr. Casgrain), to strike out the word "now" in the main motion and to add at the end of the motion the words "this day six months."

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UNION

Robert James Manion

Unionist

Mr. R. J. MANION (Fort William and Rainy River) :

Mr. Speaker, I should like to take up two or three minutes of the time of the House in speaking to this question. When this subject originally came up, I think, in 1918, I had the pleasure of supporting the then minister in bringing in the resolution which is practically the same as the one now before the House. I should like to say at the outset that if I at all believed that permission to bring in or manufacture oleomargarine would do any real injury to the farming or dairy industry of this country, I should feel inclined to oppose this legislation on general principles, because I think every member in this House will admit that our farming industry is necessarily the backbone of the country. But I do not believe the importation or manufacture of oleomargarine will do that. I well remember, in my various visits to England, that oleomargarine was used to a great extent in that country. I also vividly remember that, during service in the line, the soldiers of all the Allies that I had anything to do with, were using oleomargarine, and so far as I know they found it as useful and as palatable to them in the form manufactured in England as butter.

The question of food value has been taken up by various speakers on this subject, and while I will not dispute for a moment the statements that oleomargarine has not so good a food value as butter, at the same time I submit, so little of either of those materials is used in the dietary of the ordinary man, woman or child, that a slight difference in the food value is not of much importance. I agree with those who state that this material should be distinctly marked as oleomargarine; that by no stretch of our laws should anybody be permitted to sell oleomargarine as butter, not because I think that this article might necessarily do any harm to the purchaser, but because it would be a form of deception which should not be permitted to be practised by any manufacturer or dealer in this country.

The main reason why I think, particularly at the present time, the manufacture or importation of oleomargarine will do no harm to the dairy industry is because of the prevailing price of butter. I do not believe any Canadian will buy oleomargarine when he can buy butter in the neighbourhood of 30 or 35 cents a pound. Therefore, I submit that no harm will be done to the dairy industry, and I believe other speakers have given to the House figures showing that since the importation and manufacture of oleomargarine has been allowed in this country, the manufacture of butter has increased. The main thing which I wish to point out is that oleomargarine is sold very widely in the dairy shops of England, and people in that country on many occasions cannot tell oleomargarine from butter. I had the experience of sitting many times in hotels and restaurants in which we disputed whether we were using oleomargarine or butter, and what was considered a good food over there-and no one disputed the fact that it was a good food-should not do any harm if used by the people of this country.

I believe that the principle is right that you cannot prevent the manufacture of a food unless that food can be shown to be injurious to the people who might use it. In these few words, I wish to put myself on record. My constituency is not a city one entirely; I have in it dairies which from their standpoint have opposed the manufacture and importation of oleomar-

garine and I have no quarrel with them. But at the same time, looking at the matter from the broader standpoint of the good of the people in general, I think the minister is quite correct in bringing in this Bill. I also wish to support him in, for the time being, limiting it to a year. The reason why he modified it to a certain extent and limited it to a year was in order to get, so far as he could, what was best suited to the largest group in this House, and my opinion is that our laws should be introduced in such a way as to meet the view of the great majority who believe that those laws are in the best interest of the country.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. S. W. JACOBS (George Etienne Cartier) :

Since I have had the honour of occupying a seat in this House, for the last three or four years we have had an annual oleomargarine day. Yesterday we had Empire Day. The difference between Empire Day'and oleomargarine day is that on Empire Day we have a holiday and the House is not sitting, but on oleomargarine day we have to sit and listen to such a discussion as has taken place this afternoon and evening. It seems to me it is somewhat beneath the dignity of Parliament for hon. members to be discussing this question annually. We have an annual discussion-we have not reached it yet this year, and I am beginning to hope we may not-on navigation freight rates by the hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong). For years we have had an annual flax day, and now we have our annual oleomargarine day. Seeing the House is shortly to prorogue we were hoping we might escape this, but perhaps for the sins we have committed during the year we are obliged to do this day's penance. I have looked up the definition of the word oleomargarine and I find this:

Consists of a mixture of oleo oil, with neutral lard, frequently with the addition of vegetable oil, usually cottonseed oil, the whole being churned with milk, salted, and worked like butter. Sometimes a small amount of butter is also added.

It seems to me that as lard forms one of the ingredients of oleomargarine I should be the only person in this House to object to it, but I am broad enough to be willing to discuss this thing from the purely Christian standpoint, if I may use the expression. If I want to use oleomargarine, and am willing to put my soul in danger by the use of it, what business is that of anybody else? I have in my division quite a large number of Christian

[Mr. Manion.J

voters, who perhaps prefer oleomargarine to butter. Some people have such a perverted taste and palate that they may like oleomargarine, but is there any person here who will tell me that if my palate is perverted to that extent, I must not use it? We have introduced in this country within recent years laws prohibiting the importation, sale and manufacture of liquor-which laws are in vogue-in every province except the good old province of Quebec. We protested against such a law, and we in Quebec have a law of our own, which is satisfactory not only to us, but to all the visitors from neighbouring provinces. Now this Parliament is beginning to encroach on the food of the people. Where is this going to lead us? The hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) made a long harangue this evening and declared that it was not good for anybody to eat oleomargarine. Other hon. gentlemen coming from districts where there is a large farming community also told us that oleomargarine is very deleterious, that it is dangerous, that it is poison, and that we ought to eat butter. I ask myself this question: Would the

hon. member for South Oxford or other hon. members who have spoken in this debate against the use of oleomargarine have the same views if they represented city divisions? I wonder if they would. Personally, I consider that these proposed restrictions are an encroachment on the liberty of the citizen. We have the right to eat whatever we want, and if it suits us to use oleomargarine, we will use it. I think it is absurd for hon. gentlemen Who talk here every day about freedom and liberty and freer trade and fairer trade to assert here to-night that that is all right in a thereotical way, but when it comes down

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Would my hon. friend favour the dairymen being permitted to mix these commodities with the butter, and to place the product on the market?

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Certainly, if the label

clearly indicated what the mixture was. If I want to use a mixture of that kind, why should I not be allowed to do so? One of the members for Toronto, speaking on this question a couple of years ago, told us that oleomargarine was quite as wholesome as butter, providing the ingredients which comprise the article were wholesome when they went into its manufacture. I understand that the hon. gen-

tleman was city Health Officer for Toronto, and that is the information we have on his unimpeachable authority. There is nobody who would suggest for a moment that the ingredients of oleomargarine are deleterious. It is simply a question whether we are going to bar the importation of this* article in order to send up the price of butter. Speaking for myself, I am against any such action. Butter is strong enough to stand on its own feet, and I refuse to have butter forced down my throat if I want to use oleomargarine.

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IND

George William Andrews

Independent

Mr. G. W. ANDREWS (Central Winnipeg) :

Had it been my privilege to speak

before you left the Chair at six o'clock, Mr. Speaker, I should then have been in a position to congratulate my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture on being better late than never, but in view of his remarks since six o'clock I can only hope that it will be my' privilege to congratulate the members of the House as a whole on passing the Bill as it was originally brought down.

I have listened with a great deal of sympathy to the remarks of hon. gentlemen who are opposed to the measure. For nearly seven years it was my job to milk cows week days and Sundays, and to sell the product in the form of butter, and I have no hesitation in saying that it was the toughest job that I have ever done in the way of trying to make an honest dollar. Butter, in proportion to the amount of labour put into it, is, I believe, and has been for years, the cheapest and the most valuable product that is sold in Canada, and I believe that if it were sold at double its present price it would still be the cheapest food product in Canada. When one compares a glass of milk at five or ten cents with a glass of this temperance stuff that is put up at the same money-why, there is no comparison. I have often thought that if milk was advertised in the same way these other products are, there would be a fortune in it for some one.

Having said that with regard to butter and milk, I want to say a word for oleomargarine, because it has been my privilege to eat quite a lot of it, and I have found it very palatable and wholesome. Like my hon. friend from Fort William and Rainy River (Mr. Manion) I have seen the time when Canadians sat around a table eating oleomargarine for a week, and there were no complaints that it was not butter they were eating. The point I really desire to make was made this afternoon by my hon. friend the member for Shelburne and

Queen's (Mr. Fielding). It is this- and I can only emphasize it: If I have not the price to buy good butter I am mighty glad to buy good oleomargarine, and if I have the price to buy good butter I will never buy oleomargarine. That, I believe, is the view of the great majority of the constituents I have the honour to represent.

I shall have great pleasure in supporting the Bill as it was originally brought down.

The hon. member for East Middlesex (Mr. Glass) asked the Government to take a definite stand on this matter and settle it once and for all. The hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) repeated that request. I also ask the minister to settle this matter once for all, but for different reasons. With the permission of the House I shall read a short extract from a letter I have received this month from one of my constituents:

I was lead to expect the new Margarine Act was in course of preparation and would he put in force shortly. The local papers have given us no information on the subject, and my people are anxious to commence operations as soon as the new Act becomes operative.

Will you be good enough to advise me when you expect the new Act will pass the House, so that I may advise my people?

That refers to the building of something like a $300,000 factory in Winnipeg. Today, when we are so anxious to start building operations to bring down the cost of the commodities of life and to give employment to those who are out of work, I would ask hon. members, is this any time to postpone either of these desirable objects for a year?

Mr. P. R. Du TREMBLAY (Laurier-Outremont) : The only objection I have to the legislation before the House is that it is not to be permanent. This food, which is the subject of discussion, is either good or bad; if it is bad, the consumption of it should be prohibited, and if it is good, then its sale should be permanent. I do not see why we should prevent the sale of this article which, I understand, is subjected to the inspection of an officer appointed by the Government. A large number of peop'e in the cities and towns, rich and poor alike, use oleomargarine. According to figures I have, margarine is sold to-day at between 18 and 20 cents, and butter at 35 cents; and when butter was sold at 60 cents, the price of margarine was 35 cents. This shows that there has always been a difference between the prices of these two articles of food a difference which is quite appreciable to the consumer. It is contended by some that people do not like

margarine. That is not so; on the contrary, it is becoming more and more popular, and it seems to me to be unjust that poor people who cannot afford butter should he denied the privilege of buying this commodity, which is certainly a desirable article. I do not think the Government has any right to limit its sa'le to a period of only one year. The very fact that they allow its sale at all is recognition that the food is good, and if oleomargarine has good food value-and I do not think there can be any doubt about this-it should not be kept out of the market. It was stated a few moments ago that most of the oleomargarine used in Canada is bought from the United States. That is probably due to the fact that in that country the saie of this article is permanent; but in Canada the business men dare not enter on any large scale into this enterprise, because the Government to protect a certain class, are now making it known that next year the importation and sale of margarine will be prohibited. T repeat that the only part of this legislation to which I object, and I object to it strongly, is that it is to be applicable for only one year. This food should be placed on the market in open competition with every other article.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

My hon. friend is under the impres! ion that this legislation is only for one year. The Bill, upon which we are voting, makes the importation and saie of oleomargarine permanent, but the minister has intimated that he may limit it to one year later on.

Mr. DuTREMBLAY: I am glad the member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding), has corrected me. I was under the impression from a remark made by some hon. member, that it was only for one year.

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L LIB

Joseph Alfred Leduc

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. A. LEDUC (Westmount-St. Henry) :

I did not intend to speak on this

question, but as I know something about butter and oleomargarine, perhaps it is my duty to place my views before the House. I represent a city constituency, and I think it is only right that, especially after having received letters from housewives from everv part of the city of Montreal, I should ask the Government to pass some legislation permitting the sale of oleomargarine. For every hundred boxes of butter sold during the war, twenty-five boxes of oleomargarine were sold, and of that proportion I have not heard, so far, one complaint respecting the quality of margarine. This article is, and should be, subject to the same i7!spec *

tion as any other kind of food; the federal inspectors have a perfect right to inspect it. The fact that no complaint has so far been made in regard to the quantity that has been sold up to the present time, shows that it is in every respect a good article of food, and the Government should not prevent those who cannot afford butter from buying this cheaper food, which is perfectly wholesome. I know of many people who cannot pay 60 and 65 cents for butter, but who were only too anxious, when that article was selling at those prices, to buy margarine at 35 cents; and I myself have eaten margarine on the trains coming from Montreal to Ottawa, when we had to pay $1.50 for meals.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Is that the Canadian

National?

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L LIB

Joseph Alfred Leduc

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEDUC:

The Grand Trunk and the Canadian National. Now, oleomargarine, if it is properly put up and has passed a strict inspection, is a perfectly palatable food and should be placed on the market for those who cannot afford to buy butter. It has been pointed out that while some people could not afford butter at 60 cents a pound, they are able to buy it at 30; and this week, it is true, we have been able to buy butter at 28 cents a pound wholesale. But that does not say that six months hence butter will not be sixty cents a pound again, as soon as exportation starts. When that happens, what will those people do who cannot afford butter, if we prohibit the sale of margarine? The member for Joliette (Mr. Denis) says that every one can afford 30 cents a pound for butter. That may be so; but consider the question of wages in connection with this. When men were earning $6 and $8 a day, butter at 60 cents a pound did not mean as much to them as butter at 30 cents a pound does now, when wages are so much lower than they were at that time. I hope the Bill will pass, because we must protect not only one class; we must consider the welfare of those who cannot make butter for themselves, or who cannot afford to pay the high prices of butter. The question is asked, why do not people buy butter in quantities now that it is cheap? Well, every one knows that in the cities to-day poor people cannot afford to buy, because they cannot keep more than one pound of butter at a time. So they buy a pound of oleomargarine every day just as they require it, because it is freshly manufactured and sold in a fresh state. Those people who, in former

years, were able to buy a tub of butter in the fall and were able to keep that butter during the whole winter cannot do so to-day. The modern dwellings of the great mass of city residents are so constructed that they have no place in which to store food products; in fact they are so short of accommodation that they" frequently have to put articles under the bed. The dwellings and apartments of the toilers of to-day give no opportunity to buy food products ahead in any quantity, because they simply cannot be stored under conditions that will enable them to be kept without deteriorating. Butter and oleomargarine are articles which will quickly deteriorate unless they are kept at a proper temperature. So the mass of consumers find the better plan to buy these commodities by the pound as they need them each day. For the reasons I have given I am going to vote for this Bill.

Mr. FRANK S. CAHILL (Pontiac) : I

find myself in rather an awkward position in reference to this Bill. Being a Liberal, and in favour of freedom for commerce as well as freedom for the individual', I am compelled to vote for the measure. It is one of the first Bills brought in by this Government that I really feel like voting for. Now that an amendment has been moved to the measure I shall be placed in the position of having to vote for the Government. However, I have the satisfaction of voting for the first good Bill introduced by them and in opposition to some of my hon. friends on the other side. I wish to say that I represent a purely agricultural constituency and I do not believe that the people I represent would ask me to penalize those of the Canadian public who wish to use oleomargarine. If they do entertain such a view and it causes any of them to vote against me I shall have to take the consequence. With me it is not a matter of expediency, it is a case of doing what I believe to be a right thing for the country as a whole. I think the Minister of Agriculture showed bad judgment this evening when he announced that he would limit the operation of the Bill to one year. I think he should have had the courage to stand by the Bill in the form in which he presented it. True, there has been a certain amount of criticism from hon. gentlemen opposite, but from past experience the minister might have known that a Bill presented by the Government would carry. I think therefore the minister should have stood by it and seen that it passed the

House. I shall' have the compensating advantage in my course that I shall be voting against some of the worst Tories on the Government side.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX (Gaspe and Maisonneuve) :

I have the happy

privilege of representing an urban and a rural constituency, but it so happens that in both cases my electors consume perhaps as much oleomargarine as they do butter. As long as there is a good and really serious inspection of that commodity I do not see why the people should be prevented from using it. In these days of the high cost of living when there is even a few cents dilference in the value of food products it is a matter of some importance. Although there has been of late a marked decrease in that cost, we still suffer from the high prices, and I believe that when such products as oleomargarine are properly inspected the people should not be prevented from using them if they choose to do so. I quite sympathize with my friends from the province of Quebec who have spoken this evening against the use of oleomargarine. It must be remembered that to-day Quebec is the banner province in dairy production. A year or so ago we secured the first prize at the Toronto Annual Exhibition, and even although last year the first prize went to the West it was discovered by the Minister of Agriculture in Quebec that the gentleman who had won the prize was a former student of the St. Hyacinthe Dairy School. From that point of view I quite sympathize with my hon. friends who uphold the exclusion of a product other than butter. We must not forget, however, that we must have some consideration for the masses of the people. I have always supported free food in this House, and under the present circumstances I feel that I would not be doing my duty toward the vast mass of the consumers of Canada if I did not give them the liberty of selecting the food of their choice, provided that food is adequately inspected.

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UNION

Thomas Hay

Unionist

Mr. THOMAS HAY (Selkirk):

I wish to say that I am not opposed to the manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada, but I am opposed to the unfair competition to which it subjects dairymen of this country. The ingredients used in the manufacture of oleomargarine are allowed to enter the country free and, mixed with butter, to enter into competition with the [DOT] Canadian butter makers, which I think is unfair. If the Bill passes in its present form I think

it will work a great injury to the dairy interests of Canada. In a very short period, if prices remain as low as they now are, the Canadian butter makers will be put out of business and then the manufacturers of oleomargarine will have a monopoly of the Canadian market. I think that would be the final result if the Bill were to pass as it is now framed. I would respectfully suggest to the Minister of Agriculture that a fairly heavy duty be placed on ingredients entering into the manufacture of oleomargarine. We have a duty against imports of butter, and I see no reason why a duty should not be placed on the ingredients referred to. I think it is only fair to the dairy producers that this should be done. I noticed in an article in the Free Press of yesterday that Manitoba is becoming a large producer of dairy products, and that something like 6,000,000 pounds of butter were produced in that province in the year 1920. In my opinion the Bill in its present form would seriously affect the manufacture of butter in the province of Manitoba, in fact in the whole of Canada. I am not looking at this question from a purely local point of view; I am viewing it from a national standpoint, and I believe that as a nation we would suffer from this legislation unless some safeguards are thrown around the manufacture of dairy products in this country. I therefore feel that the minister should take these facts into consideration in dealing with this measure.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is the House ready for the question?

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May 25, 1921