March 7, 1930

CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

He is without doubt a parliamentarian of long experience, a man eloquent in debate and somewhat skilled in dialectics, a man who possesses the high cultural qualities which have ever been the dominant characteristic of the noble race from whose loins he is sprung. But, sir, he was a signatory of this trade treaty with France, the results of which to this country have been deplorable. In 1923 when he signed that treaty we imported from France $14,649,543 worth of goods; in 1929 those imports had nearly doubled, having reached a total value of $25,310,762. In 1923 when he signed that treaty with great acclaim from his supporters, we exported to France $17,349,151 worth of goods; in 1929 our exports had dropped to $16,942,678 in value. What I said of the personal qualities of the Minister of Justice still stands, but it cannot apply to his capacity as a negotiator of trade treaties. Much as I admire him, I must confess, after studying the trade returns published by the Department of Trade and Commerce of this government, that when we send the Minister of Justice to negotiate a trade treaty with another country it were as well for us to send a sparrow to a convention of eagles.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I wish most heartily to congratulate my hon. friend from Haldimand not only upon his masterful presentation of the case in support of 'his amendment, but also for the fact that he has brought this very urgent question to the attention of parliament and of the people of Canada. There can be no doubt whatever that the interests of our farmers have been seriously prejudiced by the undemocratic action of this government in giving to New Zealand trade terms which New Zealand never asked for, terms given under an order in council, a one-sided arrangement by which the position of the dairy farmers of this country has been jeopardized; and I feel that every man who realizes the importance of the dairy industry to Canada should emphatically register his protest against this autocratic act of a reactionary and undemocratic government.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRMJLAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OF SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OF TREATY.
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Before the hon. gentleman sits down, will he allow me a question? I understood him to say that our imports of butter from New Zealand amounted to $40,000,000 last year. Is that correct?

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRMJLAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OF SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OF TREATY.
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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

I did not mention butter at all. I just gave the house the value of our imports from New Zealand.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRMJLAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OF SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OF TREATY.
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Those imports amounted to $40,000,000 worth?

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRMJLAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OF SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OF TREATY.
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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

No, I said nothing about any $40,000,000 worth. My hon. friend to-morrow can see in Hansard what I did say. I gave the house the returns which I received from the Department of Trade and Commerce, and if he questions their correctness it is his duty to take the matter up with that department.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRMJLAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OF SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OF TREATY.
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I understood him to say that our importations from New Zealand amounted to $40,000,000 worth.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRMJLAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OF SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OF TREATY.
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CON

Isaac Duncan MacDougall

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDOUGALL:

Mr. Speaker, I have been accused of many things in my day, but surely it is not fair to accuse me of the understanding of my hon. friend.

Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temiscouata): Mr. Speaker, my friends on the other side of the house overlook the fact that our people butter their bread more now than they did in previous years. Indeed, no butter was exported from Canada to Europe last year because our domestic demand was greater than the domestic supply. The position taken by my friends opposite is tantamount to telling the people of this country that they shall not use New Zealand or Australian butter when our domestic production is insufficient to meet the needs of the home market.

I wish to draw a very important fact to the attention of the house. Some years ago mostly all our farmers were selling their milk direct to the butter factories or the cheese factories, but now some of them sell their milk to the creameries. It is contended by the farmers that the owners of creameries are not fair in their dealings with their patrons, and in fact deceive them, making lower tests for the butter fat and giving correspondingly lower prices, although they apparently are higher. I cannot give more details at the moment, and must leave it to the technicians to settle. But what I wish to demonstrate is this, and I think that no farmer member will dispute my statement, if conditions are the same in the big cities of the other provinces as they are in the cities of Quebec and Montreal, for instance, I do not speak of

Australian Treaty-Mr. Pouliot

those who operate butter factories or cheese factories in rural centres; I speak rather of those who are to a large extent intermediaries between the farmers and the consumers, for instance, those who make ice cream and butter. Take John the farmer. He sells his milk to the butter factory. The test is made there, controlled by departmental officials who go there to see that the farmer is getting the full amount that is due him for the quality of milk that he sells. He is paid according to the quantity of fat, on a test that is fair to him. That is the price that is paid in butter and cheese factories. On the other hand, if he sends his milk to Quebec or Montreal creameries-I do not know what the practice is in other provinces but I know that that is the case in Quebec-it goes to creameries that are not controlled or supervised by government inspectors or officials. The farmer has not the proper apparatus for testing his milk as to the fat content, and he has to rely on the report that comes from the creameries; those creamery people do not seem to be honest, and instead of paying the farmer on the basis of the fat content they reduce the quantity of fat and increase the price. The farmer in fact gets no more and sometimes less from the creameries than from the butter factories. If he sent it to the butter factory he would get $10; he gets no more than $10 from the Quebec or Montreal creamery and, as I have said, often less. I do not know whether it is a federal or a provincial matter, but I have been told by people who are interested, people who have good cattle and who wish to improve their herds, that at least in our part of the country the matter is a very serious one so far as the future of small butter and cheese factories is concerned.

I would direct the attention of the new Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Crerar) who is, I think, acting at the same time as Minister of Agriculture-and I take this opportunity of congratulating him on his appointment-to the necessity of seeing if something cannot be done. We have very capable officials here in the Department of Agriculture, especially in the dairy branch. I know Doctor Rudd'ick, who is an authority on the subject, and Mr. Singleton also. I sometimes have the opportunity of meeting them to discuss matters that interest my people, and I would ask the Acting Minister of Agriculture if he would be good enough to see that our country people who send their milk to those creameries are not fooled by the owners of those creameries, and that they are paid the amount of money that is due to them without false representations regarding milk test. I

desire to bring that to the attention of every hon. member who is interested in the welfare of the farmers of this country. The principal income of the farmer is usually derived from the dairying industry, and in the province of Quebec, and especially in my district, I am glad to say that the farmers have improved their herds. Even at the last Toronto fair our people were successful in securing several prizes for their cattle, which goes to show that they are ambitious, that they wish to do well; and the best way to encourage them is to give them a chance to sell their products near their own homes instead of having to ship them to some distant point. Where there is a butter or cheese factory in a parish it gives the farmers a chance to get quick money, and when they get the money, especially when it pays well, it is an encouragement for them to go on improving their stock.

I am not a technician in agriculture; I am simply repeating to the house what is said to me very often in my office when people come to me with their grievances or their troubles. There should be no deceit practised on those farmers, Mr. Speaker, so far as the price to be paid for their milk is concerned. The price is governed by the market, and those creameries should be made to pay the prevailing price. That is why I ask the Acting Minister of Agriculture to be kind enough to see to it, if it comes under his jurisdiction, or, if it is a provincial matter, to discuss it with the provincial authorities, that the *creameries be inspected just the same as butter factories or cheese factories are regularly and carefully inspected, in order that the farmers may not be fooled by the owners of those concerns as to the .price of the milk.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRMJLAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OF SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OF TREATY.
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CON

John Anderson Fraser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. FRASER (Cariboo):

Mr. Speaker, I should like in the first instance to call the attention of the house to a remark made by the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Adshead) in regard to the export of butter in bond from different parts of the Dominion. I believe he referred principally to the maritime provinces. It seems to me he must be labouring under some misapprehension in regard to the amount of butter that is exported in bond from any part of the Dominion of Canada, because I find on referring to returns of the trade of Canada for the nine months ended September last that while the total imports of butter amounted to 6,268,549 pounds, the total exports amounted to only 461,387 pounds. That means that over the whole Dominion of Canada only 7 per cent of the imports were exported so that if the total quantity had been exported in

Australian Treaty-Mr. Fraser

bond it would have left 5,800,000 pounds of imported butter on the Canadian market to be distributed among the trade in competition with our own product.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to read the motion of the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn):

In the opinion of this house order in council No. 1757, passed on the 26th day of September, 1925, respecting certain trade arrangements with the Dominion of New Zealand should be rescinded forthwith, and immediate steps taken to negotiate a treaty with that dominion on fair and equitable terms.

One would conclude from the wording of that agreement that the present trade arrangement with New Zealand is not fair and equitable, and that a basis exists for a statement of that kind. Let us take a look for a moment at the arrangements under which we are working in regard to the trade treaty, with New Zealand. In my opinion, without a doubt, those terms are unfair to the dairymen of the Dominion of Canada. The Canadian general tariff imposes on the importation of butter a rate of duty of 4 cents per pound; the order in council rate of duty is one cent per pound. For the arrangement to be fair the import duty levied on butter in New Zealand should be about the same as we impose on butter imported into this country. But the records show that the general tariff on butter imported into New Zealand is 40 per cent ad valorem, which would amount to 16 cents per pound on butter valued at 40 cents. Our rate of duty is only 4 cents. That would- seem to be a one-sided arrangement, so far as the import and export of butter are concerned between these two dominions. I find also they have a preferential rate under which exports from Canada would enter New Zealand, and that rate is 20 per cent ad valorem. Very well, let us examine that situation. Twenty per cent on a 40 cent pound of butter would mean a rate of duty amounting to 8 cents, so far as Canada is concerned. The result is that if we wish to ship butter into New Zealand we have to pay 8 cents per pound, while New Zealand is continually shipping butter into Canada at one cent per pound. Such a state of affairs is not fair, and the dairymen of Canada would seem to have good reason to complain of an administration that allows a condition of that kind.

I go further: I find that between New Zealand and Australia there is a reciprocal arrangement in regard to the imporation of butter. I am told that the rate of duty imposed by New Zealand on butter coming from Australia is only 4 cents per pound. [Mr. Fraser.3

That is another reason the dairymen of Canada should not submit to the treatment they are receiving from their own government. While we are allowing New Zealand to ship butter into this country at the rate of one cent per pound, New Zealand charges us eight cents on butter shipped to her, and offers Australia, her sister dominion, a rate one-hialf that offered to Canada. I do not think that is a fair arrangement; it is a condition with respect to which the dairymen of Canada may be justly aggrieved. I submit that New Zealand has no cause for complaint if the dairymen of Canada ask to have the treaty revised and a better basis of trading instituted, because she cannot complain about Canadian treatment so long as she is treating Canada in the way I have outlined. I do not blame the Canadian dairymen for complaining about the unequal treatment they have received from the government of our own country, which could remedy this condition if they saw fit. In addition to the fair trading privileges which New Zealand offers to other dominions but withholds from Canada, she also has the immense advantage of her own climatic conditions. We were told this afternoon that while the dairyman in Canada has to erect expensive barns to house his cattle properly because of our climatic conditions, in New Zealand the dairyman has to provide only a five-dollar rubber blanket, and he lets his cattle run in pasture during the whole year. That is another reason why the present arrangements should be modified and the treaty revised. It is quite apparent that the dairymen of New Zealand are prospering while our own dairymen are losing money. I say that because it has been placed on the record already that land used for the purpose of dairy farming in Neiw Zealand readily changes hands at the rate of $350 pier acre, while in Canada you are lucky if you get from $40 to $50 per acre for similar land.

I should like to look at the result of the present arrangement between New Zealand and this country, and in that connection I desire to put a few figures on Hansard, in each case from the official records, with regard to Canada's exportable surplus of dairy products, cheese and butter. The net exportable surplus of dairy products in Canada in 1921 amounted to $50,737,323. In other words, in 1921 the dairymen throughout Canada provided that amount of good hard cash with which to pay for goods we might desire to import. That is a favourable trade balance as far as the dairying industry is concerned.

Let me now refer to the two items chiefly affected by the treaty with New Zealand,.

Australian Treaty-Mr. Fraser

namely, butter and cheese. These two items make up the greater part of that favourable trade balance. I find that in 1921 the favourable trade balance with regard to butter was something over $5,000,000, while the balance with regard to cheese was over $37,000,000, making a total favourable trade balance of over $42,000,000 with regard to these two items alone. This, less the imports of butter and cheese amounting to about $2,000,000 leaves a net favourable balance of something over $40,000,000 in 1921 to the credit of the dairy industry of Canada, giving us part of our favourable trade balance throughout the world. That is quite a respectable sum of money, a balance of trade in the right direction, and one would think that that increase would be encouraged when making treaties or trade arrangements with any country, no matter what country it might be.

Let us apply the same test to conditions which prevailed after the application of the order in council. Taking the summary of trade in Canada dated December, 1929, I find that the exports in butter during 1928 had been reduced to $S05,055, and the exports of cheese had been reduced to $25,467,642, making the total exports $26,272,697. The imports of butter amounted to $5,937,170, and the imports of cheese to $554,373, totalling $6,491,543, leaving a net exportable surplus of butter and cheese amounting to $19,781,164. It will be noticed that between 1921 and 1928 the net exportable surplus contributed by these two items of dairy products had been cut in two as a result of the working of this order in council.

To show that there is a progressive decline in the exportable surplus, and that dairy production, so far as butter and cheese is concerned, is not contributing to the favourable trade balance as it was before the order in council was put into effect, I will quote the results in 1929. The exports of butter had dropped to $583,065 and the export of cheese to $18,503,575, or a total of $19,086,640. But in that year, 1929, the imparts of butter amounted to $12,714,253, and the imports of cheese to $624,137, a total of $13,338,390, leaving a net favourable trade balance attributable to those two items of only $5,748,250. Since 1921 the favourable trade balance in these two items has been reduced to $5,748,250, or about one-eighth of what it was in 1921. I think everyone will agree that that is bad business not only for the dairymen of the Dominion of Canada but for the Dominion as a whole.

This inequality and unfairness in tariff matters produces many complaints from the

dairymen. The claim is made that dairying is not as profitable as it was before, and we have heard speaker after speaker repeat that. The men engaged in this industry would be pleased to get out of it if at all possible. In addition to that, the dairymen have just cause for complaint in that the tariff arrangement between this country and New Zealand is not reciprocal. If it were we would have no complaint, but I have shown that the duty imposed by New Zealand is very much larger than the duty we impose upon New Zealand butter.

The number of cows milked in New Zealand has increased, as has been pointed out this afternoon. The number of cows milked in Canada has decreased. The exports of hog products have been diminishing, and production of butter is declining, as is the production of cheese. The favourable trade balance which in years gone by had been produced by butter and cheese is disappearing, but in spite of all these handicaps the Canadian dairyman has very materially increased the quality of his butter. We have heard a good deal about the amount of butter which is consumed per capita in the Dominion of Canada. Part of that increase unquestionably is due to our climatic conditions, but considerable credit must be given to the improved quality of the butter produced by our creameries. Is there anyone here who will say that the variable standard of dairy butter produced some twenty or twenty-five years ago was as palatable as the standardized article produced by our creameries at the present time? The dairyman has contributed to that standardization by progressive methods, and to him must be given some of the credit for the increase in home consumption, as well as the increased demand for our butter in foreign countries.

Why should a remedy for these conditions be denied to the dairyman of the Dominion of Canada? The only reason I can think of is that probably the government is afraid of what the consumer might say. It was said this afternoon that the consumer would object to any increase in the price of the commodities which we are discussing. I am fairly well acquainted with consumers, as I have been catering to them nearly all my life, and I want to say with as much emphasis as possible that the Canadian consumer is not a cheap skate who puts price before quality. He will pay a fair price for any article provided the quality is standard, and he will pay an extra price for a superior article. The

Dominion Elections Act

whole argument regarding the consumer should have no force, because after all he is a fair-minded and reasonable person and if he gets a standard article he will pay the price without any complaint.

That brings to my mind the attitude of this government towards the producer and consumer in general. It has been said by this government and its supporters that in order to make conditions easier for the producer they would lessen the cost of the implements of production. So far as the dairying industry is concerned they have apparently done that, for I understand that cream separators come into Canada free of any duty. How does that apply to the industry under consideration? By cheapening the implements of production, what do you do with the production? It seems to me that the rnorq you cheapen the implements of production, the more you lessen that production, and that statement will pretty well apply to many other articles than those connected with the cheese and butter industry.

I have only to say in closing that as regards the dairy industry I am heartily in accord with the resolution moved by the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Senn) and shall be pleased indeed to give it my support.

On motion of Mr. Maybee the debate was adjourned.

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DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT

APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Eight Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I have a motion I should like to have passed in regard to the appointment of a committee. I desire to move:

That a special committee consisting of Messrs. Anderson (Toronto-High Park), Bancroft, Bird, Black (Yukon), Bothwell, Boys, Cahan, Cannon, Cantley, Dussault, Elliott, Girouard, Guthrie, Hanson, Jacobs, Kellner, Kennedy, Ladner, Laflamme, Lapierre, MacDonald, (Cape Breton South), McPherson, Power, Ralston, Ryckman, St-Pere, Sanderson, Sinclair (Queens) and Totzke, be appointed to consider amendments to the Dominion Elections Act, 1920, and to the Corrupt Practices Inquiries Act recommended by a committee appointed at the last session for consideration of parliament at the present session which amendments were appended to the committee's report presented to the house on the 5th of June, 1929;

That the said special committee have power to send for persons, papers and records, to examine witnesses under oath and report from time to time; and that section 1 of standing

order 65 respecting the number of members of select special committees be suspended in relation thereto.

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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

Is that practically the same committee that dealt with the matter last year?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The same names.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS
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Motion agreed to. On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King the house adjourned at 10.40 p.m. Monday, March 10, 1930


March 7, 1930