May 15, 1923

LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Thank you. I am very glad to be corrected, but I am afraid that even with the correction my hon. friend's statement is a long way from the facts. However, we will let that go.

There are only one or two of the statements of the hon. member for Brandon that I should like to refer to, because they have already been taken up by the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Raymond). 1 always like to have my department criticized; I think it is good for any public man to be subject to constructive criticism. I have often complained in the smaller provincial sphere in the WTest that I got very littie criticism, so that I am glad to get it here. My hon. friend referred to the increase in the number of officials in the various departments, including my own. Well, that is so; I hope never to be identified with a department of agriculture, in a young country like Ganada, the staff of which remains stationary or goes back. I do not know of any provincial department of agriculture, or, indeed, any federal department dealing with similar matters, that has not continued to go forward and give a larger service to the country each year. The same applies to many other departments.

My hon. friend has suggested that economies might be effected by various brunches within the departments themselves by paring down the estimates before they come here. If my hon. friend ever has the duty devolving upon him, which he may, of bringing down estimates, he will find that they are pared several times before they come into this House.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

With my hou. friend's permission, I would like just to state that I made estimates for twenty years for muncipal purposes.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

That may be so, but what I want to point out is that the paring down is carried out in spite of ourselves. The items go before the heads of the various branches and before the deputy, and they are frequently cut before they get to council, and after they get to council they have to run the most terrific gauntlet of all-every minister knows that, so that when the item gets here it is pretty well shaved down. That method of practising economy is actually indulged in, I can assure my hon. friend, to the limit.

My hon. friend very properly described the stream of wealth flowing down here from the West. Last fall I took advantage of an oppor-

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

tunity to run down to Montreal and get for the first time a bird's-eye view of that great harbour. Ninety vessels were either loading or unloading there, in some cases two spouting at the same berth; in one case a vessel was spouting across another vessel which lay between it and the berth.

I could not help feeling a sense of pride in the fact that the prairies, notwithstanding the disabilities they have had to labour under, are able practically to choke the avenues of commerce with their products right from Montreal back to Fort William. But my hon. friend's suggestion is that this stream of wealth may be dried up unless certain reforms are instituted in this House. Well now, I have heard statements like that made thirty years ago, at a time when I was more disposed to indulge in bluffs of that nature than I am now. I do not know whether my hon. friend meant that seriously or not. It reminds me of the statement made last year before the Agricultural committee by both Mr. Maharg and Mr. Wood in which they graphically described what was going to happen to the country if they did not immediately get a wheat board. Well, they got the necessary legislation for a wheat board, but it did not come- -and the next harvest was the largest we ever reaped. That shows that it is not safe to prophesy until after the event. I am sure my hon. friend does not mean that as a threat or even as a warning. But if it means anything it must mean that the people out there will cease to cultivate their farms, or will strike out into some other branch of agriculture, as indeed, they are actually doing in some cases. But the development of the country never stops. It may slow up during one year, but in no case has it ever ceased. The people are surely not going to abandon their farms; they will not, out of vexation of spirit, cease to produce crops; that would be positive madness. What are they going to do with their product if they do not send it out to the market? I think that is an idle statement; it is unworthy of my hon. friend, and I as a western man wish to dissociate myself from any such thought. The fact is that this stream of wealth is bound to become larger as the years go by, because not one-half the acreage of the West has yet been brought under subjection by the hand of man. So much for that matter. Perhaps it was hardly -worth referring to, but there has been so much of that kind of talk indulged in that I could not let the statement go by without some reference to it. I have had correspondence from various parts of the United States asking if the western prairies are likely to go back to the Indian and the roving Buffalo, if there are any. I have had to correct that impression on more than one occasion, and I want to voice the correction through this parliament. So far as we can make an estimate, there is no going back; there is to be a constant going forward, in spite of the difficulties that have beset us in recent years-and to these I shall refer later.

I was the subject of another remark, apparently, with respect to an incidental reference I made to not carrying around cattle space in my vest pocket. When my hon. friend gets better acquainted with my eccentricities of speech he will not feel so much offended when I make a remark of that nature. Here were the circumstances, Mr. Speaker.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I would like to ask the hon.

member if he saw the description of his vest pocket in the Manitoba Free Press?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I certainly did, and it was very cleverly gotten up. I am going to refer to that

not to the description, but to certain other articles in the Free Press. The circumstances were these: Here was a business which after suspension for a period of thirty years had been suddenly restored. A good many of the applicants for space did not apply as soon as they might have. Anyway, after the space was all gone the tail-enders began to send in their applications. They evidently thought that space would be awaiting their pleasure, not at Portland, because we did not ship from there, but, say, at St. John, and they would be calling me up from here and there wanting to know where that space was. That is what provoked the remark that no matter where I went I would be found by long distance telephone or telegram or some other means of communication by some applicant for space who was too late in making known his requirements for shipping stockers overseas. I take this opportunity of suggesting that all who want, space in the next, rush in August and September put in their applications early and avoid the rush that is bound to occur when the ship owners themselves do not know what the requirements will be. They must know within a reasonable time in advance if we are going to have space to take care of the requirements of the shipping public.

I want to say just a word in connection with the Free Press, a journal which is very capably conducted, though not particularly accurately conducted. If it were as accurate in its statements as it is clever in some of its news editorials *:hat are displayed on its front page we would have nothing but nice things to say about it, but some of its statements, as I notice from my correspondence have caused some anxiety in the West regarding

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

an alleged dereliction of duty, not so much on the part of myself-I let that go; I look upon references to myself as first-class advertising-but on the part of my department. If we are negligent we certainly deserve the reprimands that the Free Press has been giving to us in its front page news editorials for the last two or three weeks. But what are the facts? In this connection I wish to give due credit to my predecessor, the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Tolmie). Before this government came into power at all steps were taken by the Department of Agriculture in anticipation of the embargo being removed. As a matter of fact everybody knew since the pledge was given by the British government in 1917, that there were nine chances out of ten that sooner or later the embargo was bound to come off, and come off in our time. Consequently in the year 1921, the last year of the life of the old government, steps were taken by the Dominion Department of Agriculture to get in touch with the National Railway Board with a view to seeing if any of the Canadian Merchant Marine boats, which were then under the administration of that board, could be converted into cattle boats, and here is a summary of the reply. The letter itself is too long for me to read, but it can be made available to any membei of the House on request. This is a summary of the reply given by the Canadian National Railway Board to the Department of Agriculture in 1921:

Not practical to use vessels at present in service for carrying cattle. Two vessels under construction at Halifax that could be equipped for carrying cattle. This would be a start.

These two vessels were converted into cattle boats, and I shall refer to them later. The reason I take this matter up now is because on several occasions there have been intimations of a more or less insinuating character made with respect to this matter. As a matter of fact, the hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Leader) came out frankly and intimated gross negligence on the part of the Department of Agriculture with respect to this matter. I bring it up now to correct the mis-statements that are constantly being made by the Winnipeg Free Press, and I take this opportunity to put all and sundry right in this matter. I cannot guarantee that they will stay right, but I have nothing to do with that.

Here is another letter from the Canadian National Railway management, addressed to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture by Mr. R. B. Teakle under date of April 7, 1921:

tMr. Motherwell.]

Smaller ships not at all suitable for carrying cattle. Could carry about 138 head on main deck of big ships, but it is not worth while when the expense connected therewith are considered.

The full contents of this letter can be made available on request. Later on I wrote to Sir Henry Thornton and I have here his reply under date of March 15, 1923. That was before any shipments of cattle were available from Canada to the Old Country. I will give the sum and substance of Sir Henry Thornton's letter: .

Steamers not suitable cattle carriers. Necessary to conform to British regulations. Extensive repairs would be necessary. Approximate cost $32,000 per ship. From October to May deck of ship liable to be flooded, during storms.

These were the boats of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, which then and prior to our coming into power were under the administration of the railway board. The decks of these mercantile boats of ours are very close to the water's edge, probably six feet above it, and during the storms that are bound to come in the months mentioned the decks would be so swept by the billows that frequently animals and the fixtures on the deck would be swept overboard.

Here is a memorandum prepared by my deputy in connection with this same matter:

It has been contended that smaller boats were not suitable for the cattle t

There is no encouragement to shipping cattle under those circumstances. Imagine the insurance you would have to pay when it became known that these boats were liable to lose that proportion of cattle, 57 out of 288 head. I have not figured out the percentage, but it is a very serious loss.

We were not satisfied with that and efforts were made later on to see if some sheltered deck system could not be devised to prevent this untoward loss of cattle being swept overboard during a storm, but the result has been as I have intimated. When you consider the loss and the risk, it was not a practical proposition to convert these boats into cattle boats.

That is the result of the correspondence that was had by the department before I was minister. Efforts were made subsequently with the results that I have intimated. Not only that, but we have sought other sources of relief in this respect. I have got in touch with a New York firm who had under their control a fleet of three tramp steamers that could carry two thousand cattle each. We

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

also got in touch with other firms, with seven other steamers, all of which laid down this condition, that if they were to come and take part in the cattle trade of Canada at the fixed freight rate they were prepared to adopt, it would have to be on the condition that the Canadian government in return would guarantee them a full load every time they went across the Atlantic during the entire year. You know, Mr. Speaker, what that would result in. During the slack seasons of the year half the space would be empty, and consequently such a guarantee was impossible. What I wish to emphasize, however, is that these avenues of relief were canvassed and found to be impracticable. Well now, in view of the fact that there was never at any time over two or three hundred cattle for which space was demanded and could not be supplied, were we justified in going any further in anticipating a shortage than taking the measures I have referred to?

It is true that a number of gentlemen who are buying cattle in the West, when they got out in that broad and breezy western land and came in touch with enterprising newspaper men-well it is amazing what stories they were able to spread abroad on the western breezes. The result was that there grew up a fictitious demand for space, which had two effects. One was to run up the rates, because the moment ship owners or anybody else find a demand for their commodity the natural result is for them to raise the price of that commodity, and that is what happened in this case. Our good friends of the Winnipeg Free Press made the most of these circumstances. They made the case twice as bad as it was, but of course, that is not very bad from that source; but to read stories of that kind without hearing a proper explanation of the facts is certainly discouraging to the man who raises cattle. When the embargo was taken off we are told that the rate per head was $15. That is not correct. It was $25, but that is neither here nor there. There was a time when it was $15. That was in last December or January, but shipments had to be made from Portland and the law does not permit us to ship through that port so that it was of no effect as far as we are concerned-as a matter of benefit to us it might as well not have existed at all. It was intimated in the case of a number of steamers that had not very much to do that they were going to try and operate from Portland, for instance, at $15. They might have been prepared to do that rather than remain idle, but

they knew perfectly well that they could not get Canadian cattle for stockers because the British law distinctly stipulated that they must go from Canadian ports. Consequently we can count that offer out. It never was available for Canadian cattle during last year or since shortly after the outbreak of the war. In the second or third year of the war what was the first price that was advertised for Canadian stockers? It was $20. Afterwards there was a rate of $22.50 largely as a result of the optimistic talk that was indulged in by some of the buyers back on the prairies with respect to the likely requirements of space. Unfortunately those requirements did not develop to the extent that a great many people thought. I have in mind one gentleman whose name I will not mention. I had an interview with him and from his conversation I should judge he would make a first class westerner. He was feeling optimistic and said he thought he should want 2,000 spaces. We were naturally very desirous that these buyers from the Old Country should have their requirements filled in toto if possible at this end. So we got in touch with some of the brokers in Montreal and we managed to rustle, by various means, over 1,400 spaces. That fact was communicated to the gentleman in question and then we found that he only wanted 400, so that the balance of the spaces available was going begging. These are the facts in connection with this matter. I do not want to read too many documents for it is not very interesting. All I want to do is to lay facts before the House showing that we were not derelict in our duty in this respect. I am proud to know that there were a sufficient number of high quality export cattle in Canada at that time to fill two or three hundred spaces. I would rather have conditions that way than that accommodation should go begging. It will mean a lot for the development of this trade when the requirements of the country are known and appreciated by the shipping fraternity, and when the farmers of the West, in fact the farmers throughout Canada, know what the removal of the British embargo is going to mean to them with respect to their stockers.

Now, what further did we do? We do not want to be boastful at all but since this matter has been referred to so frequently it is well that the facts should be known. You know in politics you have to be sufficiently suspicious to keep your eye on the ball and be on your guard against those who are trying to put their hooks into you. A great many people in this country resented the delay

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

which took place in the removal of the embargo and clamoured for the application of the shillelah, or a black thorn in the absence of a shillelah, because the British authorities did not make haste and have this embargo removed. That is not the way to get the British or anybody else to come across. This was essentially a matter for the British themselves to take action. Now, I would like to give credit, in connection with this matter, to all to whom credit is due. I remember saying, when we were discussing this matter last year that if we had the good fortune to get the embargo removed I was prepared to divide the credit for it. I have done that elsewhere in any public statements I have made and I do it here now. Every public man, every public body-whether on this side of the Atlantic or on the other-that co-operated in getting this embargo removed is entitled to a full share of credit. But when I say that I do not want anybody to swipe the credit that is properly coming to this government. One of my experiences on coming down here to take office in the government was to find that if you adopt any goo< i measure somebody steals the credit for :t before you get up next morning. The Crowsnest pass matter is an example of that.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And the Mo.-se Jaw election.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Yes, the Moose Ja.v election if you like. If my hon. friend is satisfied with the result in Moose Jaw I am equally satisfied. If my hon. friend is satisfied with the circumstances which created the vacancy resulting in that election I am not going to express any dissent. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to congratulate the new member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Hopkins). I was a colleague of his for many years in the early days of the Grain Growers' Association before the evil spirit of politics came upon that noble band of heroes and workers.

Now, I have a newspaper editorial which I desire to quote. I do not accept it as being necessarily authoritative, but the Gazette is a very responsible and a very well edited paper. The editorial refers to the report of the proceedings of a certain number of shipping authorities who convened in Great Britain some two or three years ago on the question of the Atlantic freight rates. This question of the freight rates on the Atlantic is not a new question, it is a very old and very typical one, and I am sure the House will agree it is not a very easy matter to deal with. This year I had the opportunity of

discussing the difference between railway rates and water rates, and my attention was diawn to the fact that while it was comparatively easy to control railway 5 p.m. rates it was quite another question to control rates on the Atlantic ocean. The moment you begin to put restrictions on water rates the vessels concerned can fly away to the seven seas and leave you without any cargo carriers. That remark aLo applies to rates on inland waters, although not to the same extent. Well, there was a body of men in the Old Country representing the various interests concerned. The British representatives were appointed by the Lloyd George government and the conference was fairly well participated in by many countries including Canada. The representative of Canada was Sir George Perley who at that time was our High Commissioner. I am not going to O.K. this document because I do not know enough about the conditions of Atlantic shipping to give my approval to it but it set me thinking a great deal and I will submit to the House the findings arrived at. I was not able to obtain a complete copy of this report in any of the departments and therefore I must give credit to the Montreal Gazette for semiring a copy of it somewhere and giving its readers the benefit. This is the part I desire to quote:

It appears now to be a universal condition of the larger industries in all progressive countries that there should be a high degree of organization among the chief companies, firms, or other units, and this condition is especially marked in industries which have to dea'l with transport. The necessity for such organization obtains clearly in the case of liner services. They have to provide for the distribution all over the world of heterogeneous classes of goods, the circulation of which to an ever-increasing extent constitutes an essential part of the-world's economy. The requirements for this part of commerce are in marked contrast to those of bulk cargo in general, where large quantities of the same kind of goods have to be carried at irregular intervals. The ships which cater for this trade are in the main separate units, but the liner service requires fleets of ships operating in unison and consequently large caipital resources and a carefully perfected central organization.

It is clear that competition between individual liners or lines in the same trade would be quite incompatible with stability of rates-

Speaking for myself I do not like that expression very well. However, I did not use it; that is the expression contained in the report. Let me continue:

and that the trade would in fact tend to return to the disturbed conditions which prevailed before the introduction of the conference system, or to those characteristic of the tramp market. The shippers might for a time secure the benefit of low-cut rates, but there would inevitably be a strong tendency to abandon regularity in sailings, and there would be no guarantee, such as obtains at present, of any general progress in

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

the type of vessel plying and the nature of the facili- ence in the cost of exporting Canadian flour ties afforded. We consider, therefore, that the con- [DOT] u, National Railways, and Merchant

ference system must be accepted as a necessary concomitant of modern commerce.

What is the conference system? It is a conference amongst all those who have fleets upon the Atlantic as respects, not only time of sailing, but the charges in connection with their service. I wonder, would the First Minister consider that a combination inimical to the interests of the people that they are endeavouring to serve, or would it be one of those combinations to which the leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Forke) referred the other day, that might be one of benefit to all? I do not know enough about the matter to say which is the case. I only say that that is the condition of affairs that exists. These are the bodies that made this report. The Canadian government that preceded . us and, I presume, this government also, as long as we make no protest, are parties to this arrangement. I do not know of any better arrangement that I could formulate offhand. What other plan would the Canadian National Railways adopt in the administration of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine? Either they have to work with this conference, or those vessels have to become tramp steamers. What kind of service would they give to their system of railways as tramp steamers? Tramp steamers do not run regularly like a regular line of ships; they are here to-day and somewhere else to-morrow, wherever they can get a cargo. The Merchant Marine have to join the North Atlantic Conference, to work in unison with it or to establish a line of steamers of then-own. I do not know which they should do. I know I was not in Ottawa for two months until I began to dig into this question.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Might I inquire of the minister if it gives him any particular pleasure to see Canadian boats carrying American flour four cents a pound cheaper than Canadian flour?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

That does not give me any pleasure at all.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Must that continue?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

That has been

partially corrected lately. I think it was the second month after I came to Ottawa that the Millers' Association drew my attention to the very question to which my hon. friend refers, that is, not so much the difference between the rates for hauling flour, but rather the differ-

Marine and, not necessarily a particular line of boats, but any line belonging to the Atlantic Conference. I took the matter up with Mr. Graham Bell, Deputy Minister of Railways, with the idea of inquiring why this Merchant Marine of ours could not run its own show'. The impression that the public has is that it could do so, and my information was that it would be very nice, first, if we had boats that were capable of running our own show. These boats were constructed primarily for war purposes. I have no criticism to make as regards that; I do not want anybody to think I am blaming the government under which those boats were built. They were, I think, properly constructed primarily for war purposes, and secondly for commercial purposes. When they were put in service for commercial purposes, we found that they were, .n the first place, not fit at all for cattle boats and, in the second place, not fitted very well for what'is called parcel cargo. Moreover, they have not the speed to compete successfully with the average liner on the Atlantic. That is my information. We on the prairies are brought up far from the sea, and I do not claim to be an authority on these matters. I wanted, however, to know why the Canadian Government Merchant Marine could not run their own show. That was the explanation I received, and it seems rational. What are we going to do about the matter? Could we not take a crack at running our own show and see how it would work out? I was told that the way this had worked out in the past, was that they were eight or nine or ten million dollars in the hole, a deficit which the people of Canada had to contribute to. I was also informed that if they had gone on to the ocean, run their own show and accepted rates that some people in Canada thought should be in force, the deficits would have been only that much greater.

I do not know how much this was being put over on me, an innocent man from the interior of this country; but it was pointed out to me that a line of -boats of that description could not successfully compete on the Atlantic with properly constructed boats. You were sure to get cargoes going east, because the Canadian National Railways would supply them; but the moment you began to hunt in Great Britain for a cargo to come back with, you would have the entire North Atlantic Conference to compete with, and you would have no cargo. I do not know whether

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

that sort of thing is done down by the sea in this country. I hope it is not, but I feel that is exactly what vvould happen. I made further inquiries to find out if there would be any danger to the actual safety of the boats themselves. I was told, no; but there would be such competition and combinations put up against that independent line of steamers, that they would come back empty, and that the deficits would be greater than ever. What are you going to do against competition of that kind? Those boats are very important as regards carrying freight for our Canadian National Railways, and if you put them on an independent basis where they would be carrying cargo only one way they would invariably come back empty.

1 hat is my information and I can see why it should be so. We think we have competition m this country; we think we have cutthroat methods, but this is not all confined to Canada. It you go abroad, you will get it in all its purity, in all its genuineness, and that is what you have to do with these liners. There is no speed to them. You might as well put an old plug of a plough horse on a race track as regards speed. But these boats are essential factors in connection with the administration of the Canadian National railway system, notwithstanding these disabilities, notwithstanding the fact that they cannot be converted into proper cargo boats.

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

No, they are not

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I am giving the House my authority. I do not want to be reflecting on the official opposition which is up against it badly enough these days without my poking any more at it.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

The opposition seems to be from the other side.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The opposition was pretty well taken care of this afternoon by the hon. member for Brantford (Mr Rav-mond).

Mr. E1ANS: Will the hon. gentleman say what our Merchant Marine is good for?

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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

Good for nothing.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Presbyterian.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Yes; they fear God and keep out of debt as much as they can, and there may be some connection between the two. There is a lesson to be learned in western Canada from the attitude of the farmers of the East towards debt. I can recall my own youthful days, which is some time ago, when we looked upon debt as something to be utterly abhorred and avoided to the last. We thought that only in dire extremity, when one was in the last ditch, was it at at all excusable to get into debt, and then only as moderately as possible. Instead of amortizing debt from now to eternity we always tried to keep out of it. And that is

the reason why debt is not crucifying the people in the Maritime provinces. It is true that they are having tight times in some respects, but at least half of the people there are free from debt, and very few of the other half are overwhelmed with obligations, the simple reason being that they have never got into debt; they have played safe. Instead of running to the bank every now and then or hunting up the mortgage company and quarrelling with them because they would not give more, these people went to mother earth, dug the soil, improved the quality of their live stock and dairy products and thus obtained greater revenue from that source. And, withal, they kept their heads. Sometimes we in the West look down on the people of the East and call them stick-in-the-muds, slow and effete. I think, however, that we might to advantage acquire some degree of their caution, at least so far as the matter of debt is concerned. I have often wondered, if we struck the balance between the advantages and the disadvantages of mortgages as a means of developing agriculture, where the the difference would lie. I do not know. However, let us proceed with a consideration of agricultural conditions throughout the country, first in the Maritime provinces.

There is specialized farming in Prince Edward Island, at least to some extent; there is the raising of foxes in addition to specialization in certified seed potatoes, both of them very profitable industries. In New Brunswick there is a considerable area represented I understand by my hon. friend from Carleton (Mr. Caldwell), that specializes in commercial potatoes. They have special equipment; their land is in shape; and their efforts during the war years were well rewarded. Now, however, the war is over and they are faced with a tremendous tariff in the United States, so that the potato growers in that part of the Dominion are in hard circumstances. Well, Mr. Speaker, that is always the way; the man who engages in specialized farming of any kind, even dairying, will sooner or later find the same thing befalls his industry. Possibly dairying and. hog-growing which go together, constitute the safest line; there is the least amount of disease associated with them and the least liability to collapse. But specialized farming, whether it be potato growing in New Brunswick, fruit growing in the beautiful Niagara peninsula, or in the Annapolis valley, or specialized fruit growing in British Columbia, all run infinitely more risks than are encountered in diversified farming. That doctrine is as old as the hills, and yet a great

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

many of us are so slow to appreciate it. I suppose we can be excused for reluctantly admitting it. Anyone who ever got the imperial feeling that comes to a man on a threshing machine, who sees the stream of golden grain running into the waggon box, and afterwards takes it to the elevator and gets his cheque, will agree that it is no wonder that people specialize. There is a sufficient modicum of the gambling instinct in most of us to succumb to such a temptation. I have never been a gold miner myself but I can imagine a man digging and prospecting for twenty years in the hope of turning up something, until he is finally bankrupt. But we must play a safe game in agriculture. If we do, we shall be able to obtain a living and build ourselves comfortable homes and provide something for old age. Let

every man do this, so that he may be his own household king, beholden to no man. And that is what is really worth while. So much for the Maritime provinces. I regret that I cannot spend more time dealing with their conditions. They form an interesting part of the country and this summer I hope to make another itinerary and have it carried out. Then I shall be able to speak at first hand.

I had an opportunity of visiting the experimental farms in Quebec last year, and some of my friends described my references thereto as a travelogue. I suppose I know in a vague way what that is, but I had an interesting time, whether you call it a travelogue or any kind of "logue". Agriculture in Quebec presents an interesting study. I do not think any province has made the same development in agriculture during the last twenty years. It may be said that Quebec has had further to go, that its agriculture was primitive twenty years ago, and therefore those responsible for the affairs of state had the opportunity of their lives. I am not ^oing to discuss that feature. All I know is that in co-operative dairying I am safe in saying that no other province has made the same progress during the last ten years, in fact in co-operative marketing generally. Our estimates were scarcely through the House where some doubting Thomases were wondering whether anyone would take advantage of the cold storage subsidies, when we had two applications from co-operative societies in the neighbourhood of Montreal and Quebec cities-not the Harbour Cold Storage concern that I referred to the other day, but real co-operative societies run by farmers. They have been asked if they will be able to comply with our conditions and so earn these subsidies. Co-operation is

the spirit of the age. I am not one of those who think that middlemen are a bunch of grafters or parasites; not at all. I think a certain class of middlemen are necessary, otherwise we must give the same service ourselves. During the present hard times we have been compelled in many places to adopt co-operation and dispense with some of the services of the middlemen in order that business may be conducted at a profit. But, remember, we are merely doing the service that in former years had been relegated by custom to middlemen.

A good part of eastern Quebec has a climate not exactly like that of the Canadian West, but sufficiently similar to make it difficult to grow fodder corn. The result is that few silos have been constructed. A considerable portion of that interesting province has been denuded of its trees, and farmers are endeavouring to till a reluctant soil that will scarcely grow a crop. It is in such sections of Quebec that you find hard times. We had a man before the Agricultural committee from Ste. Anne's. There are some beautiful spots around there, and also some very hard-looking sections which should never have been brought under cultivation. That witness told us a rueful story, as if the conditions in his locality were representative of those obtaining throughout his province. The substance of his lamentations was this: I am on poor land and I cannot

borrow any money. He wanted what are known as additional credit facilities. I asked him if he had not sufficient credit facilities from mortgage companies and the like. He replied that these companies would not lend him any money or only very little. Upon further inquiry I found he was actually, trying to eke out an existence on land that should have been left as forest. But there is a certain amount of intermediate quality land between these splendid valleys and the absolutely poor land where the farmers get along pretty well. But if they knew they could grow first-class ensilage by cultivating sunflowers-something which will flourish in a much colder climate than Quebec-their profits would be increased to a very great extent. Such ensilage can be kept over from year to year for provision against drouth. It is not necessary to build an upright silo. If a farmer is too poor to undertake such an outlay he can build a silo in the ground. A hundred years ago or more we find that in the north of Ireland and other parts of Europe the farmers put ensilage in a hole in the ground-sometimes brewers' grain, anything in fact that they wanted to keep in a semi-acid condition. So a man does not need to have much capital to construct a silo for his dairy stock. The use of a silo will encourage him to go into a much

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

more profitable form of dairying. In other words, to be profitable to the maximum dairying should be all the year around, not merely during the summer. I can recall my own boyhood days, when we stopped milking the cows and the milk factories closed we used to think it a day of rejoicing, for to lads of fourteen years of age the work was laborious and the hours very long. Well, the moment that the cows went on winter rations so many farmers put them through on such low maintenance rations that in the spring they were skin poor. That is not right. Those are the conditions under which dairying largely failed in Ontario years ago. Naturally there is a tendency if you are not getting anything from the cow to feed her very sparingly. Of course, this is a great mistake.

I hardly know what to say about agriculture in Ontario. You will travel over many seas and in many lands, Mr. Speaker, before you will find a better country than old Ontario. I do not think it necessary to spend very much time in describing farming conditions in Ontario. As to suggesting improved methods, I would hesitate long before venturing to do so. Possibly one reason why they have not very many experimental farms in Ontario is that they do not need them. But even in Ontario I venture to say the farmers are only waking up to two or three things that we should have been alive to twenty or thirty years ago. Of course, we all think of living when we should be thinking of dying. In the western Ontario peninsula there has been a tremendous hazard in the growing of fruit. The government that preceded us, in one of its moments of enterprise and progress, built a pre-cooling plant at Grimsby. That has proved to be a wonderful transforming institution in the fruit district of the Niagara peninsula. If they could get one or two more such institutions it would simply revolutionize fruit-growing by enabling them to pick their fruit from the tree and rush it into cold storage. Last year that institution was kept open day and night for weeks to the great advantage of the local fruit growers.

We are falling behind in our dairy exports. Reports from the Motherland indicate that our competitors in the Antipodes are getting away ahead of us. They have adopted modern methods in the manufacture of their butter and cheese; we have not; that is all there is to it. It does not follow that we are inferior or incompetent in these matters, because it was a Canadian in the person of Mr. Ruddick, our present dairy commissioner, who organized the New Zealand dairy industry. There is a

Canadian to-day in charge down there. Well, if a Canadian can do it in New Zealand, why cannot a Canadian do it here? They have many disadvantages, on the other hand they have many advantages too. Two of our representatives have just returned from a visit to New Zealand and Australia. I havp not yet received their reports, but I have had a preliminary report from Mr. Ruddick. He has also given certain statements to the press and certain evidence before the Agricultural committee with respect to our dairying requirements. In effect he says that if we are to keep pace with our brothers in the Antipodes we must modernize our methods. We have antiquated cheese factories in this country. They are too small to give a proper turnover, to give a profit either to the farmer or to the maker of cheese; too small to enable the turning out of a large volume of uniform quality. The cheese is graded too soon, taken out of the factory too soon, not cooled properly, not ripened properly; and the result is that it cannot compete with the first-class article that is put on the market of Great Britain by our competitors. We shall have to speed up if we are to avoid falling further back. For twenty-five years we were the topnotchers on the British market in the matter of cheese. We are second now, and unless we watch out we shall soon be third. We never were first in butter that I know of; we were, I think, third for a time. I do not know where we are now; I do not know where we shall be three years from now if we do not take warning and get our dairying on a better basis. That is all I will venture to say at this time until I get the report of the commissioners who journeyed to New Zealand and saw what was the last word in this connection. Well, I do not know that it is, in fact, the last word; it is like the tariff-there is no finality; even death is not final. And there is no finality about dairying. But the investigations being made have to do with the last word in dairying so far as its application to Canada is concerned. I hope, therefore, that I shall have the sympathy and support of the dairymen of eastern Canada, who have been exceedingly tolerant of a western man who is not supposed to know anything about dairying. I hope we shall have their co-operation in putting the dairying of Ontario and Quebec on a better basis so that we may be where we ought to be so far as the British market is concerned, at the top of the list-where we were before, where we should be again and may be again if we only will. But I want to warn you that you will have to submit to even more restrictions than

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

you do submit to now. There was a great howdy-do when Hon. Manning Doherty introduced last spring for the first time the policy of buying milk on the basis of quality and butter fat content. Just think of it: after fifty years only now waking up to the necessity of paying according to the quality of the goods you get. Why, you might as well make a flat rate for horses as have a flat rate for milk. The same may be said in regard to the cream, because in all these things we have fallen behind. Mr. Doherty is to be congratulated for taking the initiative in this matter, because as a rule the man who breaks the ice in this direction in an old province is going to get rapped oyer the knuckles for it. Mr. Doherty was sufficiently near this election to make it a little dangerous for him; I was sufficiently far from the election to make it comparatively safe for me to introduce this principle of grading. People would come into my office and tell me what was going to happen to me if they were not permitted to carry on their dairy boards as they had been carried on for the last forty years and to make cheese and grade it just as they pleased. Well, nothing happened; there has been no upheaval. .The new grading system came into effect on the first of April and on succeeding days we woke up and found things just about as they were, except that our butter and cheese were going over with the government grade stamped on each package.

Mr.. WARNER: May I ask the hon. gentleman which province took the most prizes in last year's butter market?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I think it was the province of Alberta. I am just coming to the breezy West now; I cannot afford to spend any more time on Ontario. Now we have to go through that great area of rocks and mountains and plains west of the lakes-[DOT] and I will deal with the three prairies as one country. They are to a large extent the same so far as this subject is concerned, though it is true that in some other respects they are quite different. In the matter of dairying Alberta takes the lead both as to quantity and as to quality and prizes. Of course it is an easy matter for a man who is an adept at it, and who specializes in assembling cream from the best patrons, to make a high quality of butter. The western provinces have come to the front, but not because the dairymen there are better than those in the East; they are not; they are far more primitive dairymen than the eastern dairymen are. They have more primitive surroundings; they have poorer live stock; they have not as good barns; they have not had as much experience

as the eastern man, having been at it a shorter time. Yet, because they have adopted proper methods, their butter commands five shillings a hundred more than any eastern butter that goes on the British market. I am sure my eastern friends will not object to our saying that; we have not much to boast of there, you know, outside of our wheat. I tell you that our country out there, notwithstanding the long winter, can be profitably turned to dairying. The adoption of new and improved methods, the paying for milk and cream on the basis of quality, enables the butter makers to turn out a first-class article. The chain of cold storages that has been established in that country enables us to take care of the butter until such time as we wish to ship it to the Old Land. Some hon. gentlemen have spoken disparagingly of co-operative activities, but it was the co-operative creameries of Regina that sold and shipped overseas more than sixty carloads of high-class butter last year-the record shipment from Canada to the markets of Great Britain.

There is not so much disparagement of diversified farming by our Progressive friends this year, and I will give them credit for it. There was last year; they are learning, like the rest of us. There was a good deal of tee-heeing and poking of fun at dairying and diversified farming. Some of our friends across the way are good at telling humourous stories. There was one very funny one that we all laughed at; it was the experience of the hon. member for South Battleford (Mr. McConica), whom we are glad to see in his seat again, in connection with sheep growing;

I am sure you will all recall it. Our western country has up to quite recently been a purely grain growing country except in some parts of Manitoba, where they have been diversifying for many years; we have been specializing in the growing of grain. There have been men who have grown wealthy in that business. The fact is that you either grow wealthy fairly quickly or you go broke even more quickly-one of the two. If you are a good manager; if you are young and healthy and vigorous and can get up betimes in the morning and will go to bed while you can; if you have the capacity of getting work out of men; if either you or some of your boys know how to run a gasoline engine or some other kind of power machine to supplement your farm labour at times, and if you are a regular nigger driver, why, you can hold the pace for ten or fifteen years and you may become independently wealthy. Some have done it in less than that. But that is a pretty hard life, Mr. Speaker; it is no wonder some of those

The Budget-Mr. Motherwell

who follow it have to go to California or British Columbia. I know of one gentleman whose case just comes to my mind now. I know his experience from the year one so far as the West is concerned. He was in my employ at a dollar a day for a week, and at the end of the week I got to my last dollar and had to dismiss him. But that is how he started out; and to-day he is worth I do not know how much. I know he has $30,000 worth of Canadian bonds; I know he has a good many Canadian Pacific Railway stocks; in fact, he is in the plutocratic class now. He also has shares in one of the local banks. And he did not make it all by working his family day and night, either, because he has not got any family. His name is Elmer Shaw, if anyone wants to look the gentleman up. _

We have had a series of varying experiences in agriculture in western Canada; it has been a case of make or break. When that country was settled first there was a great *rush of immigrants. That was the case in the early days of the construction of the Canadian Pacific, at the time I went there myself, .and it occurred also later on, in the early days of the present century, when people were coming from all quarters of the globe to take up land in this El Dorado. Naturally a great many people came in who proved to be misfits; the attraction of a homestead for $10 was very great indeed. The thirst for land is strong in the breast of the average individual, and we still have land to gratify that thirst, but in the coming of people from all quarters of the globe, from all climes and all directions, including the republic to the south and eastern Canada, you are bound to have men who have failed in other countries and are desirous of trying their luck once more on this new land and having a farm for ten dollars. Unfortunately the same methods they puisued which caused their failure elsewhere would be very apt to occasion their failure in the West also.

I am not one of those who disparage inexperienced settlers. I know men who went out there who did not know anything about agriculture except that they knew that they did not know anything about

it-and believe me that is the start; when you know that you do not know anything about agriculture, then you are ready to learn at the feet of anybody whom you think does know, but if you go there thinking you know it all the chances are that you will meet with disaster before you learn the peculiar requirements of prairie agriculture. A number of these people have hung on. I know a number of them who through all 176

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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May 15, 1923