March 20, 1929

PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

The signature is "M.

Snow," grain commissioner.

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

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

What is the substance?

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

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

It is in reply, Mr. Speaker, to a telegram despatched to the Board of Grain Commissioners by the Saskatchewan Cooperative Wheat Producers Limited, and gives the board's decision on the point referred to.

1140 COMMONS

Grading oj Grain-Mr. Campbell

Now, this decision is very important, because it bears out our contention in full. In the first place, the board rule that the grain does not become the property of the pool until it has arrived at the terminal. , That is covered by the agreement between the pool signer and the pool organization. In effect the grain does not pass over to the pool. In fact I may read clause 5 of the contract between the grower and the company:

Wheat shall be deemed to be delivered to the association within the meaning of this contract so as to render the association accountable for only when the storage and bills of lading, warehouse receipts and. so forth shall have been transferred and delivered, properly endorsed by the growers to the association.

That is our contention, and in this decision the board bore us out. They state very definitely that the grower has a right to say where that grain shall be shipped. On November 11, 1927, there is another telegram to the Saskatchewan Cooperative Wheat Producers, Ltd., Regina, signed by F. J. Rath-bone, secretary of the board. It reads:

.... board directs me advise if pool member delivers grain to non-pool country elevator with instructions that grain is delivered on account of pool and accepts tickets issued accordingly, grain is then deliverable to person on whose account taken into store, and if tickets read "on account of pool" grain is then deliverable io pool in accordance with tickets.

New, sir, that alters completely the original [DOT]decision; it is an entirely different decision. This decision is that if the grower puts his grain in the pool and takes out what we call a hybrid ticket, the grain then becomes subject to this contract and the grower has lost control of it. On another point they state:

Under grain act any farmer, pool or non-pool member, delivering grain either to pool or line country elevator can demand tickets in form as provided by the grain act.

This is another important decision. In this case they do decide that the grower, if he is not satisfied with what we call the hybrid ticket, can demand the regular ticket. So even a pool farmer would not be under any great disability, he would simply have to refuse the other ticket. May I read another telegram, No. 62 in the file:

Fort William, Nov. 15, 1927. To the Manitoba Cooperative

Wheat Producers Limited,

Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Answering your wire, have advised Canadian Flevator Board of opinion that if when grain delivered agent was advised same was on account of pool, and if tickets so issued, under grain act grain is deliverable to pool on whose account taken into store.

F. J. Rathbone.

There you have an entirely different de-

cision. In fact these three decisions that I have quoted are at variance one with the other. In this case the board rule that if the farmer brings in grain and says it is pool grain, and the tickets are issued that way, he has no alternative. Let me read No. 65 in the file. This is another telegram: This is a question put to the board by the Manitoba pool. It reads:

Winnipeg, Nov. 17, 1927.

To Board of Grain Commissioners,

Fort William, Ont.

We stated your yesterday wire not clear. Consequently still don't know your opinion. Advise definitely board's opinion as to whether or not Canadian Elevator Company obliged to bill this grain to pool terminal if grower instructs.

Manitoba Cooperative Wheat Producers Ltd.

The reply of the board is No. 67 on the file. It reads:

Reply your wire, reference Canadian Elevator case, board will consider question fully just as soon as full board able to meet. Full board not in Fort William.

F. J. Rathbone.

There you have an evasion again instead of giving a decision on the point referred to them. About this time the board referred the matter to the Department of Justice, and may I quote from the opinion of the department which was given on January 11, 1928:

It is contended on behalf of the pool that the intention was that the company should have control of the shipment unless the grower should elect to exercise his right under section 150; that that is the effect of the proviso of clause 15 of the agreement mentioned above. . . .

Owing to the fact that the parties have failed to express their intention clearly, I entertain considerable doubt as to whether the grower may, if he chooses, elect to divert the grain to a terminal of his selection. I should think he probably can, if he has not stored the grain in the country elevator on account of the pool, but Mr. Boyd has not asked advice upon this point.

This opinion is not definitely expressed because the questions were stated in an indefinite way, but so far as the opinion goes it does rule that the grower would have the right to refuse a hybrid ticket; he may choose what he will accept. I wish to read again from letter No. 93 on the file. This is from Fort William and is dated January 16, 1928. In part the letter reads:

While the Canada Grain Act provides that the shipper may select the terminal point and the terminal elevator to which he desires his grain to be shipped, the board understands that the pools have entered into contracts with line elevator companies authorizing them to ship to their own terminals any pool grain received by them.

There is a remarkable thing. After the rulings they have given, they now invoke

Grading of Grain-Mr. Campbell

this particular agreement and in effect say to the farmer that because of this agreement he has lost his rights under the grain act. May I refer again to the telegram despatched by the minister to Mr. Boyd, No. 618 on the file, in which t'he minister points out clearly to that gentleman that the agreement should not be invoked. The telegram is dated Ottawa, January 28, 1929, and reads in part:

Parliament amended law to assure producer right to determine destination of his own grain. Board should take position that no contract between pool and grain trade should deprive producer of that right.

The telegram is signed James Malcolm and shows clearly that the Board of Grain Commissioners in this case were in conflict with the minister so far as the ticket was concerned. Let me refer again to the letter, No. 140 in the file. This is dated October 18, 1928. It is addressed to the Western Elevator Company Limited, Winnipeg, in relation to a letter from Mrs. F. J. Kernen, with regard to a car from Sutherland, Saskatchewan. The letter reads in part:

The board is informed that ordinary storage tickets were issued against this car, and if so, it appears to the board this party would have a perfect right under the grain act to give instructions as to what terminal this car should be shipped to.

There is a clear and unequivocal decision as to what would happen when the ordinary tickets were delivered; yet in this particular case, and in many others following, where the regular tickets were delivered, the board took no action whatever to enforce it. On November 20 the board drafted a circular letter, numerous copies of which exist. They seeim to have sent out this circular to any farmer who made complaint, and in it they say:

Many informal investigations and numerous conferences were held by the board with interested country elevator' companies with the hope that the elevator companies would honour the tickets issued by them in the name of the individual by shipping the grain to the terminal elevator designated by the holder of the tickets in accordance with the provisions of section 150 of the Canada Grain Act. However on discussing these particular complaints with the elevator companies it is pointed out by them that although tickets were issued to the farmer in his own name it was subsequently discovered that the farmer is a pool member and in view of certain contracts which had been entered into between the grower and the pool, and the elevator companies and the pool, they are justified in treating the grain delivered by you as pool grain, and under the terms of their contract with the pool they have the right to ship such pool grain to their own terminal elevator.

There again we have an entirely different decision, the board acting as parrots for the

grain trade and simply repeating the opinion of the trade and passing it on. We have entirely contrary decisions on the part of the board, who apparently were taking their legal advice from the grain companies. As each different case is submitted to them they shift their ground and fall back upon some other decision altogether. And that the companies themselves were not entirely sure of their ground is proved by the fact that in many cases when complaints were made to them they did agree to concede to the farmer the right to which he was entitled under the grain act. Let us take the case of the North Star elevator of Louis Heinz, Saskatchewan. This car was loaded contrary to the shipper's instructions, and in a letter dated January 25, 1928, the company admit the farmer's right in the matter and agree to send another car in its place. In case after case, company after company I find agreed, when the circumstances were submitted to them, to send the grain to the terminal of the farmers choice, showing clearly that they were not sure of their own ground. In these particular cases the farmer had received the straight ticket and not the hybrid ticket. Let me now refer to leltter No. 278 on the file This is from Messrs. Hudson, Ordimond, Spice & Symington and is addressed to the secretary of the board. It has reference to the case of H. L. Stutsman and Pioneer Grain Company, and reads in part:

This grain was originally shipped to a terminal of the company's selection because it had come to the knowledge of the agent that it was in reality pool wheat and was in his judgment, therefore, under the pool contract.

Here the regular ticket was given to the. farmer. He gave instructions according to his right and later they found it was pool grain inasmuch as he had asked to have it shipped to the pool; yet without any right whatever -and it is lawyers who are writing-they take it upon themselves to handle the grain through their own terminal. In such cases the board deliberately ignores the act, taking no means to have the law enforced.

With regard to this so-called hybrid ticket, may I refer to a memorandum drawn up by the pool's solicitor at Winnipeg. The memorandum gives some data of an interview between the board and some of the pool's officers at Winnipeg in December, 1927. I quote:

The board said it had not included the words "on account of Manitoba Cooperative Wheat Producers Limited" when drafting new ticket for use under Campbell amendment. Those words had been subsequently added by the grain trade but the board had approved of their so doing because they considered it necessary to indicate on the ticket the person-on whose account the grain was received.

1142 COMMONS

Grading of Grain-Mr. Campbell

Further on in the brief they point out that Mr. Snow, speaking for the board and in the presence of other members of the board, stated that the board had not included the objectionable words. Let me read what is said:

He said that the new wording had been added by the grain trade, but that the board had approved of the trade so doing, because the board considered it necessary to indicate on the ticket the person on whose account the grain was taken into store.

Previous speakers have reminded the house that no ticket is legal unless it is prescribed in the act or by order in council, and this particular form was never covered by any order in council, so that it comes directly into conflict with the act. May I quote from a letter written by the secretary of the board to the attorney for the Saskatchewan pool. This is dated December 14, 1928, and appears as No. 162 in the file. In part, it reads:

With regard to your observations while travelling with the Saskatchewan grain inquiry commission as to the form of tickets which are used by a number of elevator companies contrary to the wording of the Campbell amendment, I am directed to say that this is the first intimation the board has received that country elevator companies are not issuing tickets strictly in accordance with the above amendment.

It seems rather remarkable that a year after the complaints were made and a year after, according to this memorandum, they admitted having approved of the ticket, they claim to have no knowledge at all of it. The letter goes on:

The board further directs me to say that if any elevator company has issued tickets which are not in accordance with this amendment, it will do everything in its power, under the provisions of the act, to have the elevator company concerned honour the tickets in the manner in which they have been issued.

However, sir, there is nothing in the file, no copy of a circular letter or anything to prove that they ever took any action of that kind.

Now may I again read a letter which is number 211 in the file, dated January 6, 1928, from Mr. Snow to R. Cameron, Aberdeen, Saskatchewan:

A great many complaints are reaching the board in connection with the use of the ticket you complain of, but the elevator companies claim that under an agreement they have with the Saskatchewan pool a party delivering pool grain must state it pool grain-

This is about the sixth time the opinion of the board has been shifted.

-and that they have the right to select the terminal elevator that this grain can be consigned to.

Further on it says:

At the present time the board is unable to compel the country elevators to consign pool grain to any other terminal than the one they select.

That is a remarkable thing, because under the act they are given the power to discharge elevator operators, or to take away the license of any country elevator, but now they state they have no power whatever.

Again may I refer to two cars of grain shipped by John Hill of Lake Valley, Saskatchewan; this is a case of grading. Mr. Hill took samples from these two cars, which cars graded No. 4 at Winnipeg; the samples, both at Moose Jaw and at Winnipeg, graded No. 3, and when he called for a re-inspection only ten days later he was told that the samples had been destroyed. However, there is a letter from the chief inspector to the board stating that these samples were kept for thirty-one days. I quote this to show that they have not been checking up in these matters as they should.

I beg to move the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.

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

At six o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Thursday, March 21, 1929


March 20, 1929