March 20, 1929

LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

It seems to me that is

rather a serious charge to make against the board.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I make no charge.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Pardon me; I will repeat

your words and if I am wrong you may correct me. .

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I wish to correct the hon.

gentleman now; I was making no charge.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE :

My hon. friend said a package was on the floor of the room of a member of parliament, and with it was a card saying this was sent in recognition of services rendered in a particular way. Were not those the words my hon. friend used, and was not that an attempt to bribe that member of parliament?

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I am leaving the hon. gentleman to put his own construction on it; I introduced the incident for another purpose.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

The hon. gentleman is casting a very serious reflection on the personal integrity of the grain commissioners.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I am not concerned about the seriousness of the reflection.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I desire to be just, that is all.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

Does my hon. friend say I am not being just? Am I not taking the responsibility for that statement? I do not say these things without deliberation. Now let me put a question to my hon. friend: What

objection has he to my making that statement? Does he believe I am making it without responsibility? That is a fair question.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

All I have to say is that the hon. member said either too much or too little.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

That is a very free and easy

kind of a phrase to bring into a dispute; my hon. friend copied it from the Minister of Finance who never has anything else to say in a difficult situation. I have said neither too much nor too little; I have said the exact truth, which I can substantiate by at least two other members of the house. I introduced the incident quite legitimately, in order to prove that the members of the commission are human and to indicate what the members on this side of the house expected a few years ago when they were 100 per cent behind the grain commission. They sup-

Grading of Grain-Mr. Millar

ported the grain, commissioners at that time because they thought that an increase in salary would incite those men to give the farmers of the west a square deal.

I do not think there is anything in this debate which the government or the Minister of Trade and Commerce, or even the Saskatchewan Liberals, can regard in a political light. So far as the last speaker from that side of the house is concerned there can be no possible doubt but that he with others has been just as eager as we on this side of the house that this matter should be considered.

I am sorry that the last speaker (Mr. Val-lance) has thrown out the suggestion that some independent member had given an interview to a member of the press gallery, without indicating who he was.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY:

It is not a case of too

much or too little.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I happened to be one of the

four members who interviewed the Minister of Trade and Commerce at that particular time, but I am not going to say that I was not the member referred to, because if I said that it would be a reflection upon my colleagues. If the hon. member has any idea just who it was he should tell the house and not leave a general suspicion hanging over the rest of us. He has had sufficient experience in the house to know that the members of the press gallery are experienced men. They have means and methods of gathering news which are not always obvious to the individuals from whom they obtain the news.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Weyburn):

All the member for South Battleford (Mr. Vallanoe) said was that the statement appeared in the press announcing that members on this side had said a certain thing; that that was denied, and the next day the press correspondent came back with the statement that he would not retract what he had said because he had obtained his information from a member in that comer of the house.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I did not understand it in

that way; I thought he had said that himself.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

I have the article here if the hon. member wishes to see it.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

I am perfectly willing to take

back what I said in so far as it reflected upon the hon. member. I understood that he himself had made that surmise, but if the statement was made by the press I am perfectly satisfied. However, I will say I am just as much surprised at the press as I was surprised

at the hon. member when I thought he had made the statement. It is not fair to the members of parliament that such a statement should be issued which causes innocent members to come under the suspicion of their friends in the house.

Mr. JOHN MILLAR (Qu'AppeMe)): Mr. Speaker, I have listened with considerable interest to the discussion which has taken place on this matter. I agree with wthat has been said as to the magnitude of the grain trade and the fact that the system has fallen down, but I think it is most unfortunate that this matter should come up in this house before it is dealt with in committee. When the chairman of the agriculture committee made a motion in the house which asked for the broadening of the reference, I was rather surprised to see the objections to that motion coming from the southeast corner of the house. We tried to arrange this matter in

the committee so that the reference would be broad enough to enable the matter to be discussed in committee; the merhber for Bow River (Mr. Garland) asked the chairman very pointedly if it would be interpreted in that way, and he received an answer in the affirmative. I was therefore rather surprised to see objections offered to this motion from that corner of the house. We have the situation of the three men composing the Board of Grain Commissioners being charged with the most serious blunders and not having the opportunity to defend themselves or offer an explanation.

One of the matters was discussed with the board in a committee of which I formed a part, but only one. It may be that other members of the house met the members of the board at a different time to discuss other matters, but they would be very, very few. In a general way the members of the Board of Grain Commissioners are being charged in the House of Commons with most serious offences; in fact insinuations of bribery are made. The newspapers of Canada will be full of this sort of thing and it will be two or three weeks before the members of the board will have an opportunity to offer a defence. I think that is very unfortunate and very unfair; it would have been better to have had this matter taken up in the agriculture committee where the members of the board could have appeared and given their explanations. The members of the committee could arrive at a decision and then report 'back to the house where the matter could be discussed. In that way, there would have been no undue publicity in the public press.

Grading of Grain[DOT]-Mr. Millar

I should like to say a word here with regard to 'the commissioners. It has been stated toy those who have already spoken that there is no desire to accuse the commissioners of, I think the expression was, "dishonesty." I submit that the commissioners are being treated in a way which is equal to being charged with dishonesty; a serious stigma has been placed upon them 'before they have a chance to defend themselves. I believe I have known one of the commissioners longer than any other member of this house, except the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell)-for some thirty-five years. I would like to speak first of Mr. Snow. He was a farmer near the town of Wolsely, and I believe he was present at the very first meeting of the grain growers' association. A little group of about twenty-five met and organized a small association. That association was jeered at and laughed at for years; it had all sorts of difficulties to meet and contend with; and it had to fight its way up. Those men spent their own money and sacrificed their time in driving around the country through storms and all kinds of weather. That little group depended more upon the advice of Mr. Snow than of any other individual, with the exception of the Minister of Agriculture. What would have happened if the infant organization had not been well and truly nurtured during those early days? We probably would not have 'had any permanent farmers' organizations to-day. It was very important that the foundations of the organization should toe well laid, and I believe 'they were. I know of no one, outside of the Minister of Agriculture, who played a greater part in that work than did Mr. Snow. He was later appointed, on the recommendation of the farmers themselves, to the position of deputy to the Warehouse Commissioner, Mr. C. C. Castle. He travelled through the western country for years, investigating every complaint which was received in writing. He adjusted many differences, and I know of no period in the history of western Canada when the grain trade ran as smoothly or as satisfactorily. Are these things all to be forgotten? Is there no such thing as gratitude?

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It is a lively hope for favours yet to come.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink
LIB-PRO

John Millar

Liberal Progressive

Mr. MILLAR:

That may be my hon.

friend's conception, but it is not mine. I have known these three men for many years, and I know of no time in their history when they could be accused of an act that was dishonourable or ungentlemanly. I admit they made a mistake. They made a mistake in regard to the hybrid ticket, and I have no

hesitation in saying to them that in that they were wrong; they blundered. But if the men who are attacking the commission, as they are, wish to be consistent, they will, as contract signers of the pool, be almost compelled to ask for the resignation of the directors of the pool, because this was caused by two things, first, the action of the Board of Grain Commissioners, and second, the action of the directors of the pool.

Topic:   GRADING OF GRAIN
Subtopic:   WHEAT-INSPECTION, SHIPMENT, AND PROTEIN CONTENT-REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
Permalink

March 20, 1929