April 3, 1922

PRO

Robert Milne

Progressive

Mr. MILNE:

I do not believe the minister quite understood my question. Do these investigators under the federal department co-operate with investigators under the provincial departments, or, when they are investigating, do they simply walk indiscriminately all over the field?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

There is co-operation and there should be a good deal more, but it is not an easy task to undertake. The hon. member for Victoria city (Mr. Tol-mie) and the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) were not long at their Work until they realised the necessity of more co-operation between provincial and federal departments. I thank my hon. friend, because that is one of the works of my special messenger in the person of Mr. Duncan Marshall, namely, to see if we cannot cut out some of the overlapping, particularly in the live stock branch. It is not easy to do so, but I think it can be done. A resolution was passed last session in the Saskatchewan legislature recommending just such a policy, and it was proposed to extend it to the administration of experimental farms in that province. That opens up a big field of research, and I think a great deal can be done especially in the live stock branch where the provincial government has a live stock policy and the federal government has almost a corresponding one, with the necessary paraphernalia connected with both. Some co-operation has been effected and I hope more will be.

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PRO

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

Progressive

Mr. KENNEDY (Glengarry) :

What is the last item in this appropriation, $4,000, for new positions and promotions?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I explained that the other night, and that is the saving feature of all these items. New positions may be found necessary between now and next year, and if it is found that some of these salaries are not sufficiently attractive to secure applicants, we shall have to ask the Civil Service Commission to regrade these positions at higher-salaries. If that is done, some source will have to be provided from which to get the additional money, and that is what this sum of $4,000 is for. It is quite necessary, and a safeguard in the whole business.

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PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

Did I understand1 the minister to say that his policy is to cut off grants for agricultural exhibitions?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

No, my first proposal was to reduce them, on the ground that I understood the associations had all been notified a year ago that these grants had been so generous during the war that they ran up in the aggregate to $180,000, and they would be cut down. I am not criticising the grants adversely. During the war, when there were so many calls on individuals for various purposes, it was found advisable by the then government to give substantial additional grants for these shows. I understood from my officials that the associations have been notified that the grants would be cut down, and the proposition was to cut them in two with due notice. I find they all claim now that they were not notified, and it is quite possible that we may be able to modify our proposal when we come to the Supplementary Estimates. If subsequent reports indicate that there is going to be a severe strain on these fairs as a result of cutting the grants in two, at the beginning we may start with a cut of 20 per cent, and gradually make further reductions, but we can consider the matter further when we come to the Supplementary Estimates. I cannot, give any assurance that this will be done; I shall have to wait and ascertain what the reports are. If my hon. friend ever tried to reduce the grants to agricultural societies he would find it a difficuut job. Someone has to stand up and advocate it. At the same time I do not want to be harsh or unjust to the institutions that have their programmes prepared for the coming summer.

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CON

Thomas Henry Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

Will the regulations with regard to the grading of dairy products be considered by this House before they are finally adopted? If not, I want

Supply-A griculture

to express the views of my constituency, which is the second largest cheese producing county in the Dominion. The people I represent are absolutely opposed to the grading of cheese being done in Montreal, as proposed by the minister. For years we have had a system whereby the cheese is inspected at cheese factories, which are large and commodious; and the work of inspection has been carried on satisfactorily and with the best results. I was present at meetings held at Peterborough, Camp-bellford, Stirling, Picton, Belleville and Madoc, and while I am not speaking for any place outside of my own constituency, I can say that resolutions have been passed at all of these cheese boards absolutely opposing the grading in Montreal. Copies of these resolutions have been sent to the minister asking that the grading be done in the cheese factories. The people believe that this system which has worked satisfactorily in the past, is very much better than the one now proposed. The man buys his cheese and inspects it at the factory, and there is a proviso in the regulations that if there is any dispute between buyer and seller, the instructor of the district, who is a disinterested party, shall act as sole arbitrator, his decision being final. This system has given every satisfaction and the people are therefore unanimously opposed to the proposal to send the cheese to Montreal for inspection and grading. If the Government wishes to carry on grading they do not offer any objection, although they do not see the need for it; but they do certainly oppose strenuously the attempt to change the system and send fhe cheese to Montreal. Besides the convenience there is in inspecting the cheese at the factory, there is this fact, which is of considerable importance, that when the inspection is done under the eyes of the cheese maker, defects can be pointed out to him and he can readily remedy them.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

If the hon. member has recommendations to make in regard to the regulations I shall be glad to receive them, but I think that the inspection in the past was done principally by those interested in buying the cheese. In regard to grain, for instance, the grading is done by the buyer, where the grain is sold locally. What we want is to have a government grading of cheese. We have received some objections, but they were from the buyers of cheese. Sometimes we have had a few objections from farmers who have not understood the matter; but as a matter of

fact no change is ever introduced without some objections. The grading of butter has been practised in the West for years, with entire satisfaction, and I have no doubt that when we establish the system with regard to cheese it will be found to work satisfactorily. We have to do it whether we like it or not.

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CON

Thomas Henry Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

The delegates from Peterborough, Campbellford, Stirling, Picton, Belleville and Madoc cheese boards, who attended the meetings which the hon. minister refers to, opposed the grading in Montreal. They represent about $10,000,000 worth of cheese exported, and their views should be considered. Whatever may have been done with regard to butter in the West is no reason for enforcing on cheese makers regulations which they do not agree with.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

On page 22, item

45 we have cold storage warehouses and dairy, and we should discuss this matter under that item.

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CON

William Foster Garland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GARLAND (Carleton) :

Under what item does poultry inspection, in regard to record performance, appear?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

On page 87. This comes under "Chief, Poultry Division." In some cases we have two sets of what appear to be the same officials, one for the Experimental Farm here, and another for outside work at some 'other experimental farm.

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CON

William Foster Garland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GARLAND (Carleton):

The inspectors to which I have reference are not in connection with any experimental farm, either in Ottawa or anywhere else. They go to the individual farms that participate in the contest. Last year there were some 11,000 birds entered.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The inspectors

of poultry are paid out of the live stock vote on page 22. These are civil government estimates.

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CON

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TOLMIE:

While I heartily sympathise with the minister in his desire to increase salaries-because I know very well that some of the experts are not as well paid as they should be-still I note in the last item on page 89 the sum of $4,000 for new positions and promotions. Is this in accordance with the Civil Service Act, and did the minister consult the Department of Justice before including this item in the Estimates?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I hope to be able to prevail on the Civi4 Service Commission

National Defence

to increase salaries to get the right men. The Plant Pathologist whom we hope to get I do not believe will be attracted by the salary offered. We shall go to the commission and make out a case for better salaries.

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PRO

George Gibson Coote

Progressive

Mr. COOTE:

There is an increase in travelling expenses from $75,000 to $85,000. Does the minister really think that his department is justified in asking for an increase of $10,000, particularly when we expect railway rates to come down? If any part of this $10,000 is to be incurred on trips to the Argentine or Chili, I think he should ask the Department of Trade and Commerce to reimburse him to that extent. I believe that we have trade commissioners in South America, and if the Department of Agriculture sends specialists there, it is only fair for the minister of that department to ask the Department of Trade and Commerce to shoulder that expense.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I have explained

that; possibly the hon. member was not in the Chamber at the time. Almost every year representatives of the department have to attend meetings or conferences overseas. The Agricultural Institute meets at Rome this year; it has to do with the compilation of farm statistics from all over the world. That accounts for a considerable amount of the $10,000 for this year. In addition, the travelling expenses of a number of officers in the administrative branches have been transferred to this vote, augmenting the amount to that extent.

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

In respect to the item of $4,000 for new positions and promotions, I notice on page 88 that increases of salary are provided for thirty-six positions, while five or six remain at the same amount. Why, then, should there he provision for this $4,000 also?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

If my hon. friend refers to some getting increases and others not, I may point out that it depends upon what stage of the salary range they have reached. If at the top, they stay there until put into a higher grade by the Civil Service Commission; if at the bottom or somewhere between the bottom and the top, they go up according to the classification.

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April 3, 1922