April 26, 1934

CON

Mr. STEWART (Leeds): (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. $01,363.39.

2. $60,709.16.

3. There are at present in the Department of Labour accounts amounting to $654.23, payment of which has been recommended to the governor in council.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   THREE RIVERS, QUE., UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
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UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF INSPECTORS

LIB
CON

Mr. STEWART (Leeds): (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Yes.

2 and 3. The commissioner's reply is included in the same sessional paper as the telegram referred to; however, a copy is attached hereto, together with translation thereof which was sent to Dr. Duguay.

Ottawa, July 19, 1932.

Dr. L. Duguay, M.P.,

St. Joseph d'Alma,

Quebec.

Dear Dr. Duguay:

I am in receipt of your collect telegram of July 18th as follows:

"Am informed that federal inspectors will be accompanied by provincial inspectors. In what group will be found the honest people?"

In reply I beg to inform you that the inspectors of this branch act independently of any provincial inspectors. There are occasions when, as result of requests from this department. the provincial representative may visit a location at the same time for the purpose of producing documents which are in the possession of the province.

Your information that federal inspectors are accompanied by provincial inspectors, as you will see, in essence is not correct although it is quite conceivable that these men may even arrive at the same time. You may rest assured that the federal interests are being taken care of in the proper manner.

Yours truly,

Harry Hereford,

Commissioner.

High Commissioner jor Canada

(Traduction)

L'Assistance Federale Contre Le Ch6mage Ottawa, le 19 juillet 1932. Dr. L. Duguay, M.P.,

St-Joseph d'Alma,

Comte Lac St-Jean,

Cher docteur Duguay,

J'accuse reception de votre depeche du 18 juillet. expediee port du, telle que suit:

"Apprends qu'inspecteurs federaux seront accompagnes d'inspecteurs provinciaux dans quel groupe se trouveront les honnfetes gens?"

En reponse, je dois vous informer que les inspecteurs de ce ministere agissent indepen-damment de tout inspecteur provincial. II arrive quelques fois que, comme resultant de demandes faites par ee departement, le repre-sentant provincial peut visiter une locality en meme temps, aux fins d'obtenir des documents qui sont en la possession de la province.

Votre information que les inspecteurs fededraux sont accompagnes d'inspecteurs provinciaux, comme vous le constaterez, n'est jusqu'a un certain point pas exacte, bien qu'il soit tres coneevable que ces hommes puissent meme arriver en meme temps. Vous pouvez etre certain que les interets federaux sont eflicacement proteges.

Veuillez agreer, monsieur, l'expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

Bien a vous,

Harry Hereford,

Commissaire.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF INSPECTORS
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DISRAELI, QUE., BRIDGE

CON

Mr. LAFLECHE:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Was the dominion government prepared to contribute $1,750 towards repairs to the Disraeli bridge on lake Aylmer, in 1933-34?

2. Did the provincial government of Quebec make such a request?

3. If so, on ivhat date?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DISRAELI, QUE., BRIDGE
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CON

Mr. STEWART (Leeds): (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Yes.

2 and 3. On September 19, 1933, the province submitted to the dominion for approval a program of bridge construction proposed to be carried out by the province as a relief measure included in which was an item reading as follows:

County of Wolfe,

Municipality of Disraeli, Aylmer lake

Reinforced concrete slab on steel beams. Concrete abutments. One span.

Number of unemployed, 35.

Working days, 3,500.

Date of completion, 31/3/34.

Estimated total cost, $8,800 including approaches, $500.

Estimated manual labour, $4,000.

Proportion to be paid by the dominion, $1,750.

However, as the agreement entered into between the dominion and the province respecting relief measures did not provide for dominion contributions towards the construction of bridges of the nature contemplated in the province's proposal, dated September 19, it was deemed necessary that a separate agreement be entered into in this respect. A supplementary agreement was consequently prepared, approved by the governor in council, signed on behalf of the dominion by the Hon. W. A. Gordon, Minister of Labour, and transmitted to the province for completion. This agreement, however, was never signed by the province.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DISRAELI, QUE., BRIDGE
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HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR CANADA


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. F. G. SANDERSON (South Perth):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Prime Minister. There is a persistent rumour throughout the province of Ontario, in the city of Toronto and even in the corridors of this building, that the High Commissioner for Canada in London, the Hon. G. Howard Ferguson, has asked for leave of absence to come to Ontario somewhat earlier this summer. The assumption is of course that the request has been made so that he might be in a position to participate in the provincial election, if and when it is called.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRT AS TO RUMOURED APPLICATION FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. If the hon. member has a question he must proceed to ask it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRT AS TO RUMOURED APPLICATION FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Permalink
LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

I am proceeding to

ask it. I should like to ask the Prime Minister if the High Commissioner has asked for leave of absence somewhat earlier this year than last year?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRT AS TO RUMOURED APPLICATION FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister):

The first intimation I had about

the rumours to which the hon. gentleman refers was in the statement which he made. No application for leave has been received from the High Commissioner.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   INQUIRT AS TO RUMOURED APPLICATION FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE
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MARKETING ACT

ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS


The house resumed from Wednesday, April 25, consideration of the motion of Mr. Weir Marketing Act-Mr. Casgrain



(Melfort) for the second reading of Bill No. 51, to improve the methods and practices of marketing of natural products in Canada and in export trade, and to make further provisions in connection therewith. Mr. PIERRE F. CASGRAIN (Charlevoix-Saguenay) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, apparently, we are passing through a period of schemes and systems generally known as plans or planning. We have but to read the newspapers and reviews to find all kinds of economic reforms advocated by so called learned men, economists and governments. We find an example in the Republic to the south of us with its NRA and various systems. Every one has a new scheme to end the crisis or depression. Perhaps, some day, the right system will be found. It is to be desired. I do not think, however, that the government by its bill No. 51 submitted to us, has discovered the real remedy. The people at the next election, will be given an opportunity to choose between facism, socialism and democracy. Among all the systems proposed, I still prefer democracy. We cannot further try out all kinds of expedients and systems or be satisfied with a policy of evasion or hesitation as the one adopted since four years. Democracy will have to be founded in the future on an economic regime so as to insure the material needs of humanity. Man has always been an individualist. Society has taught him to organize. Thus we have been given definite working hours, scales of fixed wages, the regulation of work for women and children, etc. In all cases society has always kept in mind the protection of the individual's liberty. That is what has been left out in the bill under consideration. What is lacking to-day, is a fair distribution of wealth. Wealth is in the hands of a few only. The great evil is that its distribution is not proportionate to our requirements. In the United States an effort is being made to remedy this state of things; a greater demand is sought from the consumer by enhancing his purchasing power. I do not think that to attain such an end, production must be curtailed or limited. It should be increased so as to satisfy the requirements of all. We are suffering from too great an abundance, the result of an unwise distribution. [Mr. Bennett.1 Does the bill introduced, at present, by the government solve these problems, while safe-guai'ding the individual's liberty? I do not think so. The title is a long one: "An Act to improve the methods and practices of marketing of national products in Canada and in export trade, and to make further provision in connection, therewith." I wonder whether the results will be as slow in coming as the government was in introducing this bill. I prefer the title given to it somewhere: Natural Products Marketing Board. I, moreover, prefer the title to the bill itself. The bill is very elaborate and so is the title. As I stated the government was slow in submitting this bill. Were I to criticize the government I would state that it is four years late. I fear that it is a still-born infant, that the government will never put into force, and even if it is explained to the people, especially in our province, they will not put any faith in it. I do not think that the results expected will even be realized, because the provisions of the bill are of a nature to harm the farming class rather than benefit it. In four years the government has amended, changed and increased the tariff, signed agreements with almost all parts of the Empire, helped industrialists, manufacturers, bankers, insurance and railway companies, and it is only to-day that they give a thought to the farming class. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. Elections must certainly not be very remote.


CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

You have never given it a thought yourself.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

You may reply in your turn, if you wish, but please do not interrupt.

As the title indicates, the bill aims at helping the farmers. It is strange that the government has delayed so long to think of them. The establishing of a Bureau for Translations and the revival of titles were far more important! We all believe that the farming class should be assisted, it is the most important class in this country; however, where we differ is on the means to be taken, on the economy itself of the bill, if I may thus express myself.

The title is not the only thing to consider, sanction or swallow, so to speak, it is the provisions of the bill which must be examined. We must consider how this bill will work and what results will be derived.

Marketing Act-Mr. Casgrain

The government gives us a new pledge. It is again the peddler of 1930, with a bag full of fine promises who appears in the person of the hon. Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir). Apparently, the devil is not dead; to-day, he stall endeavours to deceive the people. The government and the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) are well aware that promises can no further deceive the people; they, therefore, offer a bill. As always, the leader of the government wishes to do things on a large scale. He therefore submits to us schemes. He is an expert in the matter. We find in this bill, if we take section by section, nothing else but propects and schemes. There is nothing definite, it is an act to administer project's and schemes. Projects and schemes which will be carried out by whom? By a representative number of persons. Administered by whom? By individuals, persons who are unknown to us and are not named in the bill.

We have had, for the last four years, more than enough of this kind of legislation. We have had projects and schemes to end unemployment, yet unemployment still prevails. We have had projects and schemes to settle the sale of wheat, yet wheat remained unsold. We also have had some to save the C.P. Ry. Perhaps, the C.P. Ry is saved, but the government had to put up a guarantee, and there is nothing to assure us that they may not have to forfeit this guarantee.

All classes of society are taxed more than ever. The national debt has increased and again the people, especially the farmers will be called upon to contribute. This scheme will entail a large outlay which will not be controlled by Parliament, but under the exclusive authority of the governor in council, the Minister and the boards which the government will appoint to carry out this act.

Has the government ever thought of making inquiries in the United States in connection with the cost of investigations made by the United States government on certain items of the tariff? I am informed that certain investigations, ordered by the new administration in the United States, especially on two items, had cost more than $25,000 each.

This bill is full of complications and legal obscurities. How many persons will he appointed to the Central Board? What will be their salaries? The bill makes no mention . of it. The commissioners will certainly be easy going business men as to money matters, especially on the eve of an election. Their remuneration is not fixed; no doubt it will be

in the thousands of dollars. Moreover, a large staff will be set up, secretaries, stenographers, clerks, accountants, experts, inspectors, investigators and informers, as many persons who will act as election agents appointed by the government to satisfy our friends opposite who will require positions to hand out. It is stated that the government intends to amend the Election Act, so as to decrease the cost of its administration. I think that the 6aviag which will result from amending the Election Act will amount to nothing owing to the further expenditures incurred by the enforcement of this act.

These officials will be appointed by the Civil Service Commission, and what will be their salary? No mention is made in the bill.

There is also a proposal to indemnify industries, those which bow to the Act for the losses incurred through the decisions of the Board. In what ratio and how will this indemnity be granted? No mention is made and apparently there seems to be no appeal from decisions which will be fatal to some of the people interested.

The Board will be empowered to purchase with our money such natural products which may be thought too abundant, so as to destroy them if the market is congested. It will be authorized to purchase buildings and warehouses. These are some of the exorbitant powers that the government grants to persons who will be chosen by it and over whom we shall have no control. What will be the assets of this new Board? No mention is made in the bill. Those in industries will be called upon to pay charges to the Board for services rendered, what amounts will they be? The bill makes no mention. Licences will be issued or sold. On what terms or conditions? We do not know. The government will foot the bill of this extraordinary organization. The deficit will be a large one, in proportion to the business carried on by the Board. Have we not already incurred enough liabilities: through the deficits of our railways; through the guarantee of $60,000,000 to the C.P.R., the guarantee to the wheat pool which amounts to almost $15,000,000?

Local boards may also be established under the authority of the province which will cooperate with the Central Board at Ottawa.

These boards will also have their own budget and, again, the people will be called upon to meet the deficits.

The consumers for whom no provision is made in the bill will receive no protection

2550 COMMONS

Marketing Act-Mr. Casgrain '

yet they will be called upon to reimburse those in industries the charges made by the central and local boards.

This bill, sir, will no doubt have the same fate as that of the Board of Commerce and the one known as the Fair Price Act which was introduced in the house some years ago, in the last days of the Union government and which was found to be ultra vires by the Supreme Court. According to this bill, the board will be empowered:

(a) to regulate the time and place of marketing the regulated product, and to determine the manner of distribution and the quantity and quality or grade of the regulated product that shall be marketed by any person at any time, and to prohibit the marketing of any of the regulated product of any grade or quality;

It is like saying to the farmers when, where, how and at what price they will market their products and this without consulting them or any petition on their part.

Representing in the house a farming constituency I cannot do otherwise than protest against this bill because I see a threat against personal liberty. I do not think that any farmer in my constituency approves of it.

The right hon. Prime Minister himself stated about a year ago:

It is the effort of each of us which will save the country. [DOT]

He has perhaps changed his mind since then, because, to-day, he seems to desire that one man alone should control the destinies of farmers and dealers.

No one is opposed to cooperation for the marketing of natural products, as it was practised under the supervision of cooperative societies, here and there throughout the country. What we are opposed to is compulsory cooperation which places the farmers at the mercy and under the exclusive and absolute authority of a certain group and even of the minister who, under certain circumstances, will have the administration of this act.

In this regard, I warn the hon. Minister of Agriculture to be on his guard because he has other colleagues who would like to administer this act-especially the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens)-and should he not be on his guard the enforcement of this act might well be transferred to another department.

The British Marketing Act seems to me fairer and affords more freedom to the producers by only accepting advocated schemes after they have been submitted and ratified by parliament. Why not adopt the same policy? Over there, the liberty of parlia-

mentary institutions and of the representatives of the people is still safeguarded. As the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. March) so well put it recently: " If such a policy is carried on any further, members will have nothing to do. We will simply be here to register our vote on bills which the government enacts owing to its large majority and we shall no longer be responsible for the enforcement of these acts."

The present bill also restricts, when it is thought proper, the importation or exportation of certain products. Is this not withdrawing from the members and parliament the exclusive right they have of legislating on the tariff and trade? By granting these powers to the governor in council and to the boards to be organized under his authority, do we not abdicate the most important powers and rights entrusted to parliament so as to regulate the revenues, expenditures and taxation?

In my opinion this bill is as bad as the one on doles that we have been forced to sanction for the last four years ever since the government is in office.

I am opposed to this bill, sir, because it grants too extensive powers to these councils and boards. These powers may be summarized as follows: to fix the sale, regulate the price, supervise the margin of profits and impose heavy penalties without parliament being consulted, for, if this bill is enacted and put into force, the state becomes, at the same time, controller of production and trade. We have had for the last four years a government of unemployment, and should this bill be enacted we shall have a government of traders.

I am not astonished to find our friends on the extreme left supporting this bill. It is in keeping with their ideas. If I am not mistaken, they were the ones who, in 1930, moved a resolution in connection with mass production and marketing. They had given it the title of " Cooperative production-Cooperative marketing."

We protested against such a measure at the time as we protest to-day against this bill, because it embodies the same principles and, in my opinion it is purely and simply socialism. We wish to assist the farmer; however to do so, it is not necessary, I think, to set aside the principles of our British democracy and borrow from Russia her soviet system which, to-day, is ruining her; it is unnecessary to "stalinize" our farmers so as to improve their lot and restore prosperity to this country.

Marketing Act-Mr. Casgrain

In the course of this debate certain members on the extreme left criticized our leader for having pointed out the dangers which this bill contains and the harm it does to our parliamentary institutions and liberty: Let me simply say to these hon. members that if we enjoy, to-day, privileges and freedom granted to us under the British Crown- and that a number of them have sought in this country because they were denied to them in their native country-it is because we have always had in this country, especially in the liberal party, active and disinterested men, like the present leader of the liberal party, who have unceasingly fought for the people's rights and opposed any encroachment.

The hon. member for Souris (Mr. Willis) quoted, yesterday, a list of those who requested this measure. He enumerated quite a number, however, I noted that they were mostly associations which purchase and market agricultural products. They are not associations of farmers or growers which request this legislation. I have not heard any one read in the House any petition or resolution of groups or associations of responsible farmers, requesting or approving this legislation. For my part, I have not received any.

We are not alone, sir, in protesting against this bill. Many hon. members opposite have spoken in favour of this scheme; however, with restrictions and reserves and suggestions to the government to reconsider certain sections. Last evening, one of them confessed to me that the greatest objection to this bill was the compulsory cooperation; that is what we are opposed to.

Commercial and business men neither seem to approve of this legislation. Mr. Major, who represents the Board of Trade, considers this measure too revolutionary. He states:

I am afraid business is being overburdened with all sorts of regulations and restrictions.

Mr. Wieland, President of the Board of

Commerce asserts:

There was danger in the tendency of governments to seek control over private enterprise and business more than was necessary.

Mr. Wieland, President of the Board of Trade:

The government was trying to do something that was beyond its power.

Mr. Hamel, of the Olive-Dorion, Limited of Montreal, states:

I thought the board was to be given enormous powers and they might stop a lot of speculation m business-which would be a good thing; but if the board uses its powers to order the

destruction of natural products, in a similar way to what had been done in the hog market across the border, then he was wholly against it, believing that nature should take its course -to interfere with it only invited disaster.

Mr. Ernest Cousins, who is at the head of an important company of distribution of cream and milk, thinks that this measure "would react against business generally."

Mr. Clarke, also at the head of a large company, stated:

The chamber is opposed to the government in business.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink
CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARRETTE (Translation):

Read also the statements of the former Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell).

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
Permalink

April 26, 1934