April 26, 1934

LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

I could also quote statements made by members opposite, friends of yours who made certain promises in the course of last election, who, however, have not kept them.

The people will judge the Government as they did at the last by-elections.

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

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

Do not bother about the elections!

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:

Gazette editorial: The bill would open the door to more government interference in business. It provides for a maximum of meddling in lines of commercial activity. It is an unprecedented departure. It is questionable if any British government anywhere has ever had or attempted to have such absolute control over private business. The bill overshadows in importance anything previously submitted to this parliament.

(Translation). A few days ago, sir, our distinguished Prime Minister of Quebec, the Hon. Mr. Taschereau, referring to this bill, said:

Ottawa wishes to assume the control of our forests, mines, fisheries and natural products. We shall reply: No. However, we are aware of the attempt which is being made and the spirit with which the dominion government is inspired. Mr. Duplessis, leader of the provincial opposition in the course of the session which has just closed expressed the same fears. I wish to congratulate him.

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LIB

Joseph-Alexandre Mercier

Liberal

Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri) (Translation):

There is a righteous man in the Conservative party!

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

The member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) turning towards us, yesterday, to dispel our fears, reminded us that we had delegated our powers to the Board of directors of the Canadian National Railway to whom we had granted full authority. That is a fact, however, the individual's liberty was not affected or limited. We did not prevent or force the people to use

Marketing Act-Mr. Casgrain

this railway, we did not expropriate them, we withdrew none of their rights. The sums required by the Canadian National Railway are voted each year, are controlled and verified by a committee of the house composed of representatives of the people, and they are the ones who vote these definite amounts. There is nothing in this bill which limits the amounts which the Central Board or the governor in council may expend. There is no clause in this bill which compels that the minister must submit to the house a report of its activities in connection with the expenditure and administration of this act. No amount is fixed. It is another blank cheque that the government requests from us so as to endeavour to redeem its pledges.

Mention was also made of the act known as Workmen's Compensation Act. It was the hon. member for North Winnipeg, I think, who referred to it yesterday to prove again that the citizen's liberty and rights had been undermined and taken away. By such acts, the citizen has lost nothing, his rights and privileges have not been decreased. Quite the opposite, they have more guarantee, less outlay and justice is rendered more speedily. At all events, all the workmen's unions of this country have requested such laws, they benefit the workmen.

How do you wish us, sir, to grant the government the powers which it .requests by this bill, to manage the business of our farmers and fishermen, when we witness such a shameful failure in the administration of the country's affairs for the last four years?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Translation):

Hear,

hear!

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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN (Translation):

I was

amazed, last evening, to hear the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Perley) request our cooperation. You will recall, sir, each time the bill for direct assistance was submitted to the house for consideration, our distinguished leader and other speakers on this side requested the government to move certain amendments and accept some of our suggestions. We also requested the government to adopt certain amendments in connection with the tariff, we begged of them to lower the customs duty, to find markets more easy of access for our farm products. The government paid no attention to our requests. Moreover, how do you wish us, sir, to cooperate with a government which, for the last

four years, ever since it has held power, has not redeemed its pledges. Were we to help the government we would be equally guilty of treachery and of its misdeeds. I, for one, think we should not approve this measure neither any measure brought down by the government from now on until prorogation, because the government has lost the people's confidence. I have but to point out the results of the byelections which have been held within the last year: Restigouche-Madawaska, Yamaska, Mackenzie, South Oxford, which have written across the skies of this country the sure defeat of the government at the next election.

It is often stated that we have no practical suggestions to make to the government. My colleague and neighbour, the hon. member for Quebec Montmorency (Mr. Dorion) spoke the other day of Mr. Albert Rioux. The latter- and I agree with his views- on this subject- states:

At present, farmers must meet their liabilities with a 40 per cent deflated dollar. There should he a readjustment of the debts and mortgages.

We believe that a good farm loan would he an excellent tool to carry out this adjustment.

However, I think that the government, if it wanted to show its desire to help the farming class, could amend the Farm Loan Act, which was simply an experiment when it was introduced; it could also make provision in order that the people of Quebec and the eastern sections could enjoy the same advantages as the farmers of the west. In the province of Quebec as well as in the eastern provinces, the homestead is generally more valuable than those of farmers in the west, yet the loan is limited to 20 per cent on buildings. I think it is unfair for those who borrow that the loan should not be proportioned to the total value of his property. The farm loan is not well distributed between the two sections of this country. The 6 per cent rate is not very encouraging for farmers of long standing because it does not afford them an opportunity to replenish their stock or improve their farm; it neither encourages younger people who show some desire to farm and wish to become farmers. The Quebec government endeavours to neutralize the disastrous effects of this act by contributing to part of the interest which the farmers must pay. That is quite a help; however, the Dominion government should amend this act

Marketing Act-Mr. Bowman

in the interest of the farming class. What is more, instead of the bill No. 51 which is submitted to us the government should endeavour to find means to decrease the price of all things necessary to develop the land, forests, mines and fisheries. It should also endeavour to find new markets which are more easy of access in order to dispose of the products of these industries. That would be, I think, the best solution to the problem.

I am not alone in advocating such reforms. In fact, the other day, at the Bank committee Mr. Jackson Dodds, a gentleman of high standing in the financial world, stated that what was required to remedy our ills were markets and also more trade. That is what is required, yet the government does not bestir itself.

Another thing which the government might do would be to lower the price on gasoline. According to last year's statistics, we consumed in this country 503,800,000 gallons of gasoline. Two years ago the consumption was 100,000,000 gallons more. Why permit this gasoline to be sold at 7 to 10 cents dearer than it should sell? Who profits by it? Who are those who benefit by this spread of 7 to 10 cents between the cost and sale price? They are the Rockefellers, the Standard Oil of New Jersey, the Imperial Oil of Canada and other oil companies which are branches of the Imperial Oil of Canada.

These are as many problems which deserve the consideration of the government and which they could solve if they desired to help the farmers, the fishermen and all who are engaged in production or in the development of our natural resources. To help the Quebec farmers, the government should grant them, as well as to their sons, the same advantages as were offered in the past to immigrants who settled in Quebec or in the west: reduce the transportation rates of railways; increase the farm loans, instead of decreasing them as it has done for the last four years; cease incurring liabilities to erect a building for the legation at Tokyo; giving work to Japanese, when our people are in want and are starving, it would be better to give the money to our farmers; discontinue purchasing expensive paintings for the National Gallery by which the friends of the government benefit; cease granting subsidies to insolvent companies in order that they may improve or build ships to transport cattle

to the European markets and thus prevent them from robbing the farmers. There are as many measures the government could take to help the farming class, if it were in earnest. The farmers, deserve to be helped and we should do our utmost to assist them with a scheme to meet their circumstances. Briefly, to quote the poet's words, as I have already done elsewhere:

Remettre en honneur le socle et la charrue,

Repeupler la campagne aux depens de la rue,

Grever de taxes les riches et degrever les champs,

Avoir moins de bourgeois et plus de paysans.

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

James Langstaff Bowman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. L. BOWMAN (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, in addressing the house with respect to one or two aspects of this bill, may I first congratulate the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) upon having introduced such a forward measure. For some time, in fact practically from the time this government came into power, a bill of this nature has been under consideration and I think the minister and the government are to be congratulated upon bringing forward the provisions contained in this bill. '

Before dealing with certain of the provisions of the bill I should like to refer briefly to some of the arguments and statements made by the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) in the address which he delivered on April 19. I listened to his remarks with considerable interest but at times I thought I had either misunderstood some of his statements or had not clearly understood the nature of the legislation. However, upon reading over his address I found that I had understood correctly what he had said. I then became even more surprised at some of the statements he made on that occasion. I do not suppose there is an hon. member of the house who is more capable of clearly understanding legislation and the difference between fine phrases or wording of clauses and paragraphs than the leader of the opposition. I am all the more surprised at the interpretation he has put upon this bill. Throughout his whole speech he referred again and again to the fact that the bill restricted production. At the very first of his speech, as reported on page 2334 of Hansard, we find him stating that the principle and essence of the whole measure is restriction of production. This phrase is used again and again. Probably not less than eight or ten times we find him making the statement

Marketing Act-Mr. Bowman

that this bill has for its object the restriction of production. I contend that there is not a single clause or paragraph in the bill to warrant that statement being made. The right hon. gentleman stated also that this bill would create monopolies but I have failed to find any section of the bill which would warrant a conclusion of that kind. The hon. member for Ontario (Mr. Moore) has stated that if this bill is passed it will lead to trade reprisals by foreign countries but I cannot follow his argument in that respect. We find a rather remarkable conclusion drawn by the leader of the opposition and appearing on page 2336 of Hansard as follows:

This law declares that once these different boards to be created in the manner I have described have made certain regulations they may go to the extent of prohibiting a man from working on his own property-

Surely that is a far-fetched interpretation to place upon this bill and I contend that there is absolutely nothing within the four corners of the measure to justify any such conclusion. Later on at page 2341 the right hon. gentleman in referring to the products and commodities covered by this legislation states that it includes boots, shoes, clothing and furniture. I say again that there is absolutely nothing in the bill to justify a statement of that kind by any hon. member of this house. He makes another reference a little further down the same page. The right hon. gentleman states that if this bill were put into effect Canada could not trade with any country, for instance, which wanted to ship oranges or coffee into the dominion. Well, this is the first time I have heard that we have ever grown oranges or coffee in Canada, because the very paragraph to which the leader of the opposition referred relates to "natural product" as defined in the bill, which is a product of Canada. Once more therefore he has drawn an improper conclusion. But I was more amazed at two other statements he made in the speech to which I am referring. He says in effect that this measure is not to help the producer but is intended to trick the C.C.F. group in this house. Perhaps it might be well for me to read exactly what he said in this connection, At page 2334 we find the following:

The members of the C.C.F. to-day are congratulating the government on this legislation which it has introduced. Is it not a nice spectacle to see an hon. member, the leader of the C.C.F., which party regards itself as the antithesis of Toryism, congratulating Tories on their legislation, as my hon. friend has done in his speech this afternoon and that because it

goes the length of further extending state functions in a manner which will inevitably serve to create a bureaucracy.

I can quite understand why the leader of the opposition should be surprised at someone in some other corner of the house than this side supporting the government, because during the past four years he has found no occasion in any legislation of importance to support the administration or even to offer constructive suggestions. I say, he has found no occasion to take this stand during these very perilous times through which we are passing. Further on he says:

We have our Tory friends opposite introducing legislation which, like the spider and the fly, is aimed at catching a few flies which happen to be at the far end of the chamber -

I do not know whether those in the corner of the house are to be congratulated on that reference or not.

-they are prepared to walk into the spider's parlour for the time being to help it get through this particular legislation. But I am afraid the inevitable fate of the fly awaits them.

Just why this party should want to capture the hon, member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) I do not know. I am quite certain he would not prove to be a fly if we did catch him; he might turn out to be a bumble bee or a hornet. In any event it has been made clear that the policies of the C.C.F. and the policies of those who sit on this side of the house are diametrically opposed, and at no time that I am aware of has the leader of the C.C.F. group failed to express clearly and distinctly precisely what his views were on the policies of the government of the day. At page 2341 the leader of the opposition had this to say. He said that this is really not a measure to help the farmer or the producer but is an ordinary election dodge. He quotes the provision that the governor in council may:

(b) prescribe the forms of such licences, the terms and' conditions thereof and the persons who shall have authority to issue the same;

On the strength of that the leader of the opposition arrives at this conclusion:

That is a fine power to give to a government on the eve of a general election, to send around the country 'a lot of agents of the government of the day with power to issue licences to the producers in the different localities.

It seems to me hardly conceivable that in 1934, during these times, we should find the leader of a great party coming to a conclusion such as that in respect of the bill before the house. If that were one of the objects of

Marketing Act-Mr. Bowman

the bill, if it were mere trickery to entrap the third group in this house, it is conceivable that this bill would receive the support which it is receiving in this house? Is it conceivable that it should receive the support of six or seven provinces of the dominion? Is it conceivable that it should receive the support of the former Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell)? Is it any wonder that when the leader of a great party makes statements of this kind with regard to a measure of so much importance to the primary producers of Canada, the leading Liberal newspaper in Ottawa, the Citizen, in an editorial of April 25, 1934, should have the following to say with regard to this negative opposition, which has been directed against the government and its policies during the last three or four years under the leadership of the right hon. gentleman? The editorial in question states: .

It is simply a negative factor in parliament, offering neither light nor leadership in Canada's most critical period of economic readjustment.

Further down, referring particularly to the speech delivered by the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston) this editorial makes the following comment:

This session there is no such excuse, but Colonel J. L. Ralston's speech on the budget last Monday afternoon made it clear that the opposition sterility is due to something more than tactics: it is a state of political barrenness. The light of Liberalism is flickering so feebly on the opposition side, it is quite liable to go out altogether when the Liberals come back into office.

I think these statements sum up the situation pretty well when conclusions such as I have referred to are drawn by the leader of the party opposite with respect to the measure which is receiving the attention of the house. And be it noted that throughout the whole of this discussion, as in discussions which have taken place during the last four years on measures of major importance in this house, no alternative propositions have been put forward. We have simply had destructive criticism; that has been the tenor of the debate from the opposition benches from the time this measure was introduced until this moment.

Let me turn for a moment or two to the principle of the bill, to which discussion is limited at this stage of the proceedings. I think the principle of the bill is very clearly and concisely set forth in the description of the act in these words:

An act to improve the methods and practices involved in the marketing of natural products in Canada and in export trade, and to make further provision in connection therewith.

All hon. members, even those of the opposition. will agree that there is at the present time some necessity for marketing legislation in Canada. Surely when there is keen competition among all countries to obtain foreign markets it is well that our products should enter those markets in the best possible condition; that they should be properly graded; and that the time of marketing should be carefully studied. If we consider just what has happened in the past, in the marketing of hog products, bacon and ham, in the old country, the present situation with respect to cheese, the matter of apples which was so well dealt with by the hon. member for Yale (Mr. Stirling) and so on with respect to all our natural products, it surely is conceivable that to market them in the best possible manner, under regulated conditions under the direction of experts, should be of advantage to the producers and to the country. Therefore, under the provisions of this bill we have a marketing board set up. It is given the powers enumerated in clause 4, subclause 1 (a) of the bill, as follows:

The board shall, subject to the provisions of this act, have power 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.

Those are the board's main general powers which are further amplified by subsequent provisions of the clause. Under subclause 5 of the same clause the marketing board is empowered to set up a local board which may act as the agent of the main board or may exercise the powers of the marketing board itself. The method of procedure to get some action from the board is clearly set out in the bill. I do not wish to go into details with regard to that; those clauses have been read so frequently it is with some hesitation I read them again, but subclause 1 of clause 5 states:

A representative number of persons engaged in the production and marketing or the production or marketing of a natural product may petition the governor in council to approve a scheme for the regulation of the marketing of such natural product by a local board under the supervision of the board.

Two points are to be noted; first, that the clause is permissive; second, that the scheme may be got under way by a representative number of those interested. It is quite true that under another clause a scheme may be initiated or got under way by the minister,

Marketing Act-Mr. Bowman

but the regular, ordinary manner in which action would be obtainable under the bill would be under the provisions of the clause which I have just read.

I have set forth very briefly and in a general way the principle of the bill. In order that orderly marketing may be carried out, certain further powers are given to the board. Under clause 12, subclause 1 and 2, power to restrict imports and exports is given, not to the board itself but to the governor in council. I am quite prepared to admit that the provisions of the bill with regard to exports are pretty wide and may be due for amendment. The provision with respect to imports is not as wide as that with regard to exports. It is to be noted in reading that clause that power to limit imports extends only to those natural products which enter Canada in competition with regulated products, while in respect to exports the provision is much wider, referring to all natural products. On first thought I am inclined to believe perhaps "natural product" should be changed to "regulated product," so that the power of the governor in council may be restricted to exports coming in in competition with regulated products as defined in the bill.

The other important provisions of the bill, those coming under part II, give the right to investigate the spread in prices as these products find their way to market. Clause 16, subclause 1 states:

The minister may, at the request of the board or upon his own initiative authorize an investigation into the cost of production, prices, spread, trade practices, methods of financing, management, policies, grading, transportation and other matters in relation to the production and marketing, adaptation for sale, processing or conversion of any natural product.

In other words, under the provisions of this legislation power is given to the minister from the time the product is ready for the market at each step, in transportation, in sale, right up to the time it comes into the hands of the consumer, to investigate thoroughly all those stages in order to ascertain whether the charges made during that process are fair and reasonable. Surely it is not too much to ask that the primary producer be given the right to inquire just how his goods are handled and what each step costs from the time they leave his hands until they reach those of the consumer. I know that in the province of Manitoba, from which I come, there is a feeling that the producer is not receiving as much of the consumer's dollar as he should, that the spread is much too wide. I know the farmers

feel that if they had the right to investigate the commissions paid, the charges for processing, for packing and handling and so forth, they would be much more satisfied. More than that, an investigation or two such as we have had by the Stevens committee certainly would help clear the air and would bring good results even if nothing further should be done.

Some objection has been taken to this bill because it is said that if it is put into operation business will leave the ordinary channels. Personally I do not take that view. I believe if both the producer and consumer feel they are getting a square deal, they will carry on their business with much greater confidence through the ordinary channels.

I have dealt very briefly, I must admit, with the act. I congratulated the Minister of Agriculture upon having introduced the bill; I am inclined to think, with the hon. member for Melville, that perhaps the bill has been overdue for some time, but it is here now and we have an opportunity to examine its provisions and make it a workable measure. If during consideration of the bill in committee changes are deemed necessary, let us amend the bill in order that it may be practical and of real benefit to those whom it is intended to help. Surely we need not go back to the reign of King William or Queen Mary to find out what we should do; surely we need not read the Magna Charta, as has been suggested by the leader of the opposition. The producer only wants a fair deal. A chance to realize at least the cost of production and perhaps even to make a little profit.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. E. J. GARLAND (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mr. Bowman) made reference to the charge of the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) that the government had changed itself into a spider, temporarily, and had woven a web with which to entrap hon. members in this comer of the house. Well, my memory is still fresh enough to recall many webs cast by the leader of the opposition when he held office; I still remember some of the spells and webs which they threw out to entrap at least the votes if not the continuing support of some of us in this corner. But all have failed and will continue to fail.

I may say to you, sir, as doubtless you have observed in your tenure of office as Speaker of this house, that we never vote for either political party. Hon. gentlemen continue to make the grievous mistake, when we support

Marketing Act-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

the principle of a measure, of charging that we voted for their party or against it. We have not done so, nor are we doing so in this case. When I state to the house that I propose to support the principle of this bill and to vote for its second reading, certainly I am not voting for the Tory party, nor would I be voting for the Liberal party if they were the body to bring forward such a bill. I am not voting against the Liberal party when I vote for this bill; I am voting for the principle of a measure in which I believe, and which I think should have been introduced some years ago. If I congratulate the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) and the government upon bringing in the measure let me say that I congratulate them on having had the excellent good sense to adopt almost the exact proposals of the C.C.F. movement, the very proposals which have been put forward by my own organization, the United Farmers of Alberta, for some years, and that have been advocated from this corner of the house for the last three years at least.

The necessity for economic planning has become more and more apparent to every student of economic conditions and of changing social affairs throughout the world in recent years. The complete breakdown of the competitive system has demonstrated the necessity for something in the way of ordered direction. The complete failure of private initiative adequately to deal with anything except its own private interests and greed has demonstrated again the necessity for some greater measure of direct control by the state of the activities of industry. One of the greatest apologists for the present system has diverged so far as to recommend a transformation as well as a reformation of most of our institutions. His name is familiar to most hon. members. Sir Arthur Salter has said:

We need to reform and in large measure to transform this system.

I congratulate the Conservative government on having decided to take at least one step in the direction of the transformation and reformation of this system. Sir Arthur continues :

We need so to improve the framework of law, of institutions, of custom and of public direction and control, that the otherwise free activities and competitive enterprises of man, instead of destroying each other, will inure to general good. In the organization of industry, of credit and of money we need to supplement the automatic process of adjustment by deliberate planning.

Then he throws out this warning, in which I concur:

If we fail the alternative is an intervening period of collapse and anarchy, followed by chaos and a different system inconsistent with political and personal liberty.

I had thought of dealing with this abstract question of liberty, which has been argued so earnestly by hon. gentlemen to my right, but the question has been handled so excellently by the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Luchkovich) that I do not propose to cover the ground further, except to suggest to hon. members that they sit down some evening and consider what element of liberty is possible to them in a complex order of society such as we have to-day. There is no liberty left to-day, nor can there be in a society of this kind, that would enable a man to step beyond the border of his own personality and affect the relations of another individual. For individuals liberty must end when it impinges upon or overlaps the liberty of another individual. In the condition of society to-day it is inevitable that there must be an increasing amount of direction and ordered planning, if we are not to have what Salter describes as inevitable chaos and anarchy. As a matter of fact, to this stage the entire development of our state of society has been on the basis of a modified form of anarchy; it has been on the basis of a form of individualistic ruthlessness, which has now succeeded in destroying reliance in itself and compelled the bridling of the beast. A nationally controlled economy is essential for these, among other reasons: There has been throughout the world, and particularly in recent years, a complete abandonment of the old philosophy of laissez faire, the philosophy of free competition, the philosophy of the right of the individual to extort and extract from society all he can get, irrespective of its effect upon society. That is the procedure which has been so eloquently condemned in so many excellent encyclicals from Rome, and pronouncements from other places. I could refer hon. members to my right to the Rerum No varum and again to the encyclical Quad-ragesimo Anno in which limitless free competition is held largely responsible for the misery and degradation of to-day. I ask those hon. members if they do not think it is time we should recognize the soundness of this contention, and to govern ourselves accordingly. It is utterly essential that for the good of society the state must step in and assist in directing the evolution and the economic growth of the state.

2558 COMMONS

Marketing Act-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

Does the Pope ask for

governmental socialization?

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Yes, certainly he does.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

Oh, no.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I would

refer the hon. member to page 38 of the encyclical in which His Holiness states that wherever industry possesses the power to dominate the community such industry should be state owned.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

But it is not business

socialization.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Yes, whenever it dominates the community or to the disadvantage of the community. Yes. he

even goes that far. He goes as far as this bill goes when it recommends state direction of the activity of industry in the interests of the state, rather than of the individual. He recommends control in the interests of the state. Again and again that is pointed out particularly in the last encyclical Quadra-gesimo Anno. The utter failure of every attempt made in recent years to restore the slightest shadow of economic internationalism makes this planning now definitely necessary. My dream is of a brotherhood of men throughout the world, operated on the basis of the cooperative principle. But I say that to-day that is impossible of immediate attainment because of the nature of man. himself -his greed, his selfishness, and because of the building up of these wretched barriers against trade.

Let us be realists in this matter and, facing the facts as they confront us and the failures that we have had in these years past, undertake now to do what we can to organize, and in an orderly way direct internal economy of the.country so that we may be ready, when the time comes, once more intelligently to step into the international field and extend the marketing of our products, as well as our international relations, in the broadest and kindliest way possible. Furthermore, there is a growing realization on the part of individuals within our state these days -that there is an increasing obligation upon the state itself, under conditions such as confront us now, to undertake greater responsibilities in respect of the conditions of certain classes whose standards of life have become so reduced as to he a stigma on the system under their administration. These are some of the reasons why I find a planned economy essential-and not only essential but in-

evitable. Apart from these reasons, the altered technique of production in modern years has made it essential. You cannot any longer leave to the increasingly fewer and fewer groups of individuals the complete domination of your industrial life. And yet that confronts us at the moment as an absolute fact. You must deal with that problem. You will have to face the problem of cartels and combines, just as this government is today, in a sort of way, attempting to investigate the tremendous effects of the growth of centralized industry in this country, such as is found in chain stores, department stores and so on. These are problems which must be dealt with, and no longer can society be left completely subject to the domination of these growing economic and social powers which are vested in the hands of a few individuals operating under the old system.

But Mr. Speaker, T cast this warning out: The object of the bill before the house is, to my mind, the important feature. First we must deal with its object, and secondly the administration to follow. But the object of the bill should not. under any circumstances, be the destruction of wealth. We should not place ourselves in the sacrilegious position of destroying those things which the Almighty, in cooperation with our efforts and those of science, has succeeded in placing at the disposal of the human race. The object of the measure should be, rather, to develop the means by which we can increase and expand the consumption of the great wealth to the extent to which our people are to-day capable. I am now going to say that this bill, alone, will be quite insufficient, in the long run, to achieve that end. However it is a step in the right direction. It is one phase of national planning. But if hon. members are going to delude themselves and the public into imagining that merely the arranging of marketing technique will solve their present problems, they are gravely mistaken. They have to go at least one step farther, namely into the field of distribution, by steadily increasing the consumptive power of our people. If they do that, then they will have taken in my opinion, the two most essential steps towards the building of a new state and a new social order in which, through the encouragement of the growth of cooperatives, on the one side, collectively owning the essential basic industries, and direction by the state of the other essential secondary industries, we will have brought into being what we are proposing in our Cooperative Commonwealth Federation manifesto.

Marketing Act-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

What an amusing thing it is, Mr. Speaker, to find the leader of the opposition going around the country last summer and at one point saying he could agree with half of our program, at another that he could agree with two-thirds of it and at another with three-quarters of it, and now we find him preparing to throw out the first essential feature of the program, and the Conservative party stepping over and saying, "We will take it up, so it is all right." That is really most amusing. I think that, after all, history will have a little laugh or two at the strange shift of activity in the political field of Canada.

At any rate we, the C.C.F., have a plan. I congratulate the government for, at least in part, accepting that plan. Of course we are not the only nation on earth doing it, but I am glad this government has at least begun. But let them not ignore the fact that until we have solved the general problem of increasing the purchasing power of the masses, we will not have taken the proper steps in the direction of the permanent solution of the problem of distribution and no marketing act alone will be sufficient.

Referring now to subsection (e) of section 4:

(e) to assist by grant or loan the construction or operation of facilities for preserving, storing or conditioning the regulated product, and to assist research work relating to the marketing of such product;

I am convinced, and shall so propose when we reach committee, that that provision should refer solely to cooperative societies; that the government should not undertake to assist by grant or loan institutions operated for private profit. But if they will modify that provision so that it will apply only to cooperative bodies, and expand it so that it will enable the extension of necessary aid for the creation of processing plants, then they will have gone a long way towards the complete acceptance of what in this regard we have been proposing for some years. This government, if it is to make effective the provisions of this bill, must extend to the organized producers in say the live stock industry, the poultry industry, or the dairying industry, facilities for going into the processing stages of such industries. If they do that they will have done a great thing for the primary producers and less than that will not justify the optimistic speeches made by some hon. members opposite with regard to the probable effects of this measure.

I further support the bill because of subsection (j). which provides that the board shall have power:-

to cooperate with any marketing board or agency established under the law of any province to regulate the marketing of any natural product of such province and to act conjointly with any such provincial board or agency;

With that clause I read section 5:

5. (1) A representative number of persons engaged in the production and marketing or the production or marketing of a natural product may petition the governor in council to approve a scheme for the regulation of the marketing of such natural product by a local board under the supervision of the board.

These two clauses, taken together, show me definitely that this bill has for its purpose the stimulation of interest in the organized cooperative movement in relation to the agrarian industry of this country. Any bill that has that object within its ambit must receive my support and will continue to do so. I am not a socialist; I have never been a socialist; I have never read any work of Karl Marx except what paragraphs appear in current digests or magazine articles. But I am associated with a movement that for more than a quarter of a century has struggled to find an intelligent solution of the problems of the primary producers, to whom I belong. As a result of this twenty-five years of earnest effort they have come to certain crystallized opinions. These opinions were not suddenly arrived at but are the result of the study of these questions from the distant past until to-day. Resolutions come forward from the locals, are discussed in the district associations, in the constituency associations and then go on to the annual convention, passing through a series of sieves in order to ascertain whether they have merit and are sufficiently intelligent to go forward to the parent body. If they reach the parent body and are adopted they become the policies of the movement itself. I doubt if there is any body in this dominion, outside of the agrarian and to a similar degree -the labour movement, that has applied so much constructive, democratic thought to the problems and the solution of the problems that are facing our people to-day. As a result of the efforts, the struggles, the studies of these two bodies, working quite apart from each other all these years, it was suddenly found that we had arrived at almost exactly the same conclusions on the major national questions with which the country is concerned. So we met and formed a federation, known, as hon. gentlemen all know now, as the Co-

2560 COMMONS

Marketing Act-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

operative Commonwealth Federation. The organization to which I belong, the United Farmers of Alberta, constitutes the largest and most powerful part of that body. Our whole philosophy is based upon the development of cooperation.

Cooperation has flourished in many nations; some fifty-three countries to-day have an enourmously extended growth and development of that movement, both in the producer and the consumer fields. I shall probably, if I have time, give hon. members some figures concerning it, for they are amazing. But in Canada the development of the producer end is of comparatively recent growth. We have had substantial consumer cooperatives for many years. Now hon. members, particularly some to my right, rise and criticize the cooperative movement as having failed and broken down, and brought loss to those concerned. I wish to meet that challenge to-day. I want to tell this house, what many hon. members, including the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) well know, that the cooperative movement has not failed in Canada, that the cooperative movement, particularly on the producers' side, continued to flourish until the coming of the collapse of the capitalist system-an the ambit of which it tried to work-in the years 1928 and 1929. When we received a severe check at that time it was not because of any inherent weakness in the cooperative principle itself, but because the dead weight of the evils of capitalism had carried the whole system down and ourselves with it. The cooperative movement in the live stock industry continued even after the year 1929; it continued to flourish until England went off the gold standard. It could have still continued to make progress had not this government adopted the insane policy of attempting artificially to sustain the gold value of the Canadian dollar, thereby bringing about a condition in exchange rates that meant to us the loss of at least ten dollars on every head of cattle we shipped that year to England, with the resultant collapse of the live stock cooperative pool. The Fordney-McCumber tariff has had an extremely serious effect on the cattle industry, but that tariff was but one of the acts that tended to destroy us; the second act was that of this government in maintaining artificially the gold level of Canadian currency after the abandonment by England of the gold standard.

Now I come to the wheat pool. It has been subject to challenge by hon. members here and by newspapers outside. I made it my

business in that year of great controversy when the price of wheat went to $1.70 to go straight to the heads of the pool in Winnipeg and find out the true condition of affairs. Remember, it was charged that the pools had deliberately held wheat off the market in order to hold up the European buyer. I found that that statement was completely false. It can be ascertained by any hon. member on application to the pool for their day sheets that they offered for sale real wheat on almost every day that year. Further, they offered wheat frequently at prices below the Winnipeg level. The reason for the collapse at that time was, of course in part the wild speculation on the Winnipeg exchange, and a condition in the grain market in Canada and Chicago completely out of relation to the Liverpool market. We had an artificial stimulation of

. m

price here, and most of the trading if not all in these days was being done on option. We might have stepped in as a pool and sold our wheat on option; we might have sold it at $1.70 on option, but, as was proven by subsequent events, had we done so we would have found that the option buyers would not take up the options when the time came for call. That is what was feared at that time, and justly feared.

Now let us come to the question of loss. Hon. members who will take the trouble to study the figures will find that the wheat pools of this country lost less per bushel handled than the private grain trade. Have hon. members forgotten that the great Alberta Pacific Grain Company nearly went under, with a loss of three and a half million dollars in that year? Have they forgotten that James Richardson & Sons nearly went to the wall in that year? Have they forgotten that the great " man of destiny " of the wheat market in Canada, the man who was held out to us as the real authority of wheat marketing in Canada, James Stewart, was fired from his position because of the losses his company sustained under his presidency during that year? Do you find that the wheat pool justifies its position? Not only do we find that but we find that our people have continued to have faith in it and we propose to continue to support the principle. We believe in it firmly and we believe that eventually it will succeed in at least checking and probably expelling the profit system and in bringing a fairer share of the consumer's dollar to the producer. For

Marketing Act-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

these reasons, as well as for those others I have mentioned already, I propose to continue to support this measure.

I have often heard discussions in this house b>

expert agriculturists to the effect that quality of product is the keynote to market security. In what country is quality the highest? It is the highest in that country with the most intelligently and highly organized cooperative movement-Denmark. Sweden also is particularly good in quality, and is also a strongly cooperative country. To me those two states stand out as a fair example of what a successfully ordered society can do in the midst of a general world calamity such as we are facing at the present time. People tell me that continuity of market demand will depend upon quality.

I answer by saying that quality will depend not only on continuity of market demand but on stability of prices. There must be some certainty on the part of the producer, not only that he is going to be able to find a market but that he is going to be able to market his products at prices which will justify the effort and investment entailed in producing high grade products. If this bill proposes to go in that direction, I am for it.

I am utterly impatient with those critics who assume that this bill will cause a destruction of opportunity and will impose bureaucratic boards upon a system of free society. I cannot stomach that sort of thing nor can I understand a man who will put forward such an argument in the face of the conditions now existing in this country. We farmers have no freedom to-day; we have no market; we have no power; we have no money; the only right we have is to go to work. We can work in the fields from daylight to dark and then starve or worry over our debts during the winter.

An hon. member to my right during the course of one of his speeches stated quite cleverly that he believed this bill was a step forward, that it might win a battle but the eventual result would be that we would lose a war. I suppose he meant the war with the system but he did not clear up that point. The fact is the farmer-I am one-has lost both the battle and the war. Action is imperative and must be taken. The system under which we have lived or have tried to live has destroyed us. Hon. members know that I am telling the truth when I say that western agriculture has been reduced to a [DOT] state of peasantry. Unless steps are taken

the southern parts of the western provinces will eventually be depopulated. Something must be done to get us out of the appalling misery in which we find ourselves. In my opinion the farmers will remain in this state until they are prepared to organize efficiently for the purpose of furthering co-operative aims. This can be done by taking advantage of the provisions contained in this bill and in time the farmers may reach the state where they can challenge the power of the competitive system to destroy them. You and I cannot go down to a farmer and lift him up by his neck. We cannot pick them out one by one and solve their problems. We cannot superimpose upon unorganized farmers a system which will save them. The farmers must organize and I hope it will be made clear subsequently in committee that this bill proposes to give the utmost encouragement to the organization of primary producers, agriculture and others, so that they themselves may be able to take advantage in a democratic way of the provisions of this bill. I do not like the idea of this or any other government superimposing upon any branch of agriculture a board which will completely control the industry without the consent of the majority, but I do approve of the setting up of a central board which will have as one of its objectives the encouragement of the creation of pools and other cooperative movements among the producers of every branch of farm production and primary producers generally. We must aid in developing the sense of the responsibilities of citizenship, and I believe this bill may be an excellent move in that direction. That is another reason why I support the measure.

With the exception of the hon. member for Melville (Mr. Motherwell) my hon. friends to my right have treated this measure with scant courtesy. I ask them if they have taken the trouble to study the report issued by the University of Saskatchewan which deals with the outlook for agriculture in that province. The forecast given there for that province is true also of Manitoba and Alberta. I should like to give one or two quotations from this report. In dealing with cattle, the report states:

With regard to cattle, it is mentioned that the Canadian beef cattle industry experienced in 1933 the most distressing year since 1896.

In connection with hogs it states:

There is a probability that if feed prices remain low by the end of the year there will be an over-expansion of hog production.

2562 COMMONS

Marketing Act-Mr. Garland (Bow River)

No doubt there will be a further fall in prices. With respect to the prospects for the future, it states:

Prospects for 1934 are mentioned as unattractive. Shortages of food, feed, and seed, losses of horses, poor machinery, and prospects of the most serious outbreak of grasshoppers ever experienced have to be reckoned with. On top of all this the bill for assistance during the period of adversity also awaits settlement.

I draw the attention of the house to these facts: The interest alone on the present farm debt of Saskatchewan is so great that it would take four-fifths of all the money received for the entire wheat crop of 1934. Let me repeat that statement. The interest charges on the tremendous farm debt in Saskatchewan is so great to-day that it would take four-fifths of the total cash receipts of the wheat growers of that province to meet that charge alone. The farm taxes of the province would take two-fifths of the total cash receipts. If the farmers of that province are to meet the interest and taxes for 1934 they will have to receive one-fifth more than they do receive. Is not the position perfectly clear to hon. members? Is it not clear that we should undertake some action to bring about first, a restoration of morale; second, an increased encouragement to cooperative development and, third, with the assistance of the state a more orderly and intelligent marketing of our production. As I have said already, our own program calls for these very things, as for example:

The new social order at which we aim is not one in which individuality will be crushed out by a system of regimentation. Nor shall we interfere with cultural rights of racial or religious minorities. What we seek is a proper collective organization of our economic resources such as will make possible a much greater degree of leisure and a much richer individual life for every citizen.

To attain that we recommend the adoption of a system of planned economy, the planning of the production and distribution of the things that are essential to the national life of our people. Our program is:

The first step in this direction will be the setting up of a national planning commission consisting of a small body of economists, engineers and statisticians assisted by an appropriate technical staff.

It is interesting to note in connection with the general problem that one of the most eminent authorities in England, addressing a meeting of the British Association in 1933. recommended that there should be constituted in England a third house apart from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. This third house was to consist of the intellectuals

fMr. E. J. Garland.]

of the country-not of intellectuals alone, of course, but of scientists-and the duty of that house would be something apart altogether from those of the legislative bodies. After all, the average politician has no time, in fact not one of us has time, to undertake more than the thought and labour entailed in meeting the day to day problems of the state which, heaven knows, are considerable enough in any event. We have little opportunity to sit down and attempt to work out or even to anticipate the distant results of our policies or to consider what other policies should be brought in to cope with events that are discernible in the future. It is suggested that this third body should sit in an advisory and consulting capacity, anticipating the problems that may arise and advising upon them, so that we might get ready to deal with them. Now, that is not original. The hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman) and others in this corner have time and again recommended the setting-up of just such a body. We call it an economic council, but genial gentlemen over there, obsessed with the institutional traditions of the country, insist upon calling it a third house. We do not insist upon that designation. As the hon. member for Red Deer has pointed out, the house has in effect accepted the policy but it has not yet been put into operation. Surely the government must realize the tremendous use they could have made of such a permanent national economic council during this crisis in coping with problems such as confront us. And so our program continues:

The task of the commission will be to plan for the production, distribution and exchange of all goods and services necessary to the efficient functioning of the economy; to coordinate the activities of the socialized industries; to provide for a satisfactory balance between the producing and consuming power; and to carry on continuous research into all branches of the national economy in order to acquire the detailed information necessary to efficient planning.

It is now certain-

And this has already been referred to in the quotation from Sir Arthur Salter and in my own reference to world conditions.

It is now certain that in every industrial country some form of planning will replace the disintegrating capitalist system.

This is obvious to all who have eyes to see or to read.

The C.C.F. will provide that in Canada the planning shall be done, not by a small group of capitalist magnates in their own interests,

Marketing Act-Mr. Ernst

but by public servants acting in the public interest and' responsible to the people as a whole.

We do not, particularly those of the U.F.A., which is the most powerful body in the Canadian Cooperative Federation, regard it as at all essential to undertake any vast dislocating series of socializations or nationalizations of industry. We do not believe it is necessary. We have come to the firm conclusion that the extension of the cooperative principle with nationalization of key industries and monopolies will carry with it all that we desire to secure at this stage in the attainment of our program.

In this regard I would quote the following from No. 4, the section on agriculture:

The intense depression in agriculture to-day is a consequence of the general world crisis caused by the normal workings of the capitalistic system resulting in: (1) Economic

nationalism expressing itself in tariff barriers and other restrictions of world trade.

We are definitely opposed to the continuance of that state of affairs, and when the time comes for its removal we propose to remove it as quickly as possible in order to establish harmonious trade relations with other countries. .

(2) The decreased purchasing power of unemployed and underemployed workers and of the Canadian people in general.

This is another reason for agricultural depression.

(3) The exploitation of both primary producers and consumers by monopolistic corporations who absorb a great proportion of the selling price of farm products.

If this bill is directed-and I believe that this is the purpose-towards the control of those middlemen or intervening private processing companies or corporations, then I am for it. I want to extend its powers so that we shall be able to deal adequately with the tremendous problem that is facing us to-day.

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

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. gentleman has spoken for forty minutes.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

And so, Mr. Speaker, I propose to support the second reading of the measure.

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CON

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. G. ERNST (Queens-Lunenburg):

I would hesitate to transgress upon the time of the house or to take part in the debate were there not certain misconceptions of this bill abroad in my own province, misconceptions which have been to some extent stimulated and fostered by the speeches of the hon. member for Hants-Kings (Mr. Ilsley) and the

hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff). I intend to devote a good portion of my time to dealing with one product in which my constituency is particularly interested, namely, fish, and I make no apology to the house for doing so, because if there is one industry which has been the orphan of politics it is the fishing industry. Not only has it been the orphan of politics, but the pulse of policy has been so feeble on many occasions that it was scarcely perceptible.

When the hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough was speaking on this measure, he made certain observations with regard to the industry which were so fantastic that I do not believe any onp would pay attention to them had they not hppn uttered by a man who has spent his life in the fishing industry. Before T d;sruss the hon. gentleman's views however may I paint a picture of the industry itself. It is necessary to understand the problem with which we have to deal in order to see whether the measure which is before us will be efficacious as a solution. We have in the industry two principal forms of fish, fresh fish and salt or pickled fish. I include in the category of fresh fish processed fish such as smoked and frozen fish. I call it fresh fish because it is processed and marketed from the seaboard by corporations which have large plants and capital investment. We have also the salt fish industry which is an individualistic industry; individuals along the coast produce the fish and sell it to the exporter, who in turn ships it to the foreign markets. I have described it as individualistic, but it is not entirely so, because the largest centre happens to be the town of Lunenburg, where the industry is carried on by vessels manned by twenty to twenty-five men.

The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough said that so far as Lunenburg was concerned the industry was cooperative. I regret that I cannot agree with that. If you call the following process cooperative, then it is cooperative. The men work on vessels in which they may or may not own a share and they work, not for wages but for a proportion of the proceeds of the catch when it is sold. That in my opinion is not a cooperative system; it is simply an alternative to the payment of wages. Sometimes they make more and sometimes less, but when their fish are dried and are ready they are sold to the exporter, who is certainly not in the cooperative business. He ships them to the foreign market. In years gone

Marketing Act-Mr, Ernst

by we had markets in Europe, in South America, notably Brazil, in the West Indies, in Porto Rico and in Cuba. One by one these markets have been falling away and as we lose each market we have so many more fishermen out of employment. We reached our peak probably during the years of the war, certainly the peak in price. But from 1920 there has been a steady and continuous decline in the salt fish industry. We might just as well face the facts. Some of the things I shall say this afternoon will not, perhaps, be appreciated in my constituency, but the first vital blow which was struck at the industry was when prohibition was introduced into the United States. When the Volstead Act came into force, some of our fishing vessel owners discovered that they could make a great deal more money by putting their vessels into a different trade and they took them out of fishing. They did make more money for a time but they struck a vital blow at the fishing industry because there were no vessels immediately available to replace those taken off. The markets which those vessels were able to supply were lost and perhaps will remain forever lost, and those owners were the first real enemies of the fishing industry, at least in Lunenburg county.

From 1920 to 1929 there was a continuous decline, slow but perceptible, and after 1929 when the crash came which we call the depression, the fleet which had once numbered 150 vessels dropped to twenty-five and an industry which had once given employment to thousands of people in my native county now gives employment to only a few hundred. That is the situation. Coupled with that there is another fact which I think we have to face and which may not be palatable to the fish exporters: we have at no time made any exhaustive study of our market requirements; we have shipped the product prepared in the same way as was done by our fathers and grandfathers and said to the market: That is what we have, instead of trying to meet what the market might particularly want. Furthermore, we have had no system of compulsory grading or inspection. It has been possible to go to Labrador, buy what we call "slop fish," bring them to Lunenburg, put them in casks, as is done, and ship them to the markets of the world on consignment as Lunenburg number one. I say that that has been done. It has been done in my county, and it has been done in Newfoundland as the report of the royal commission there shows. What must happen to markets under those conditions?

They must decline, so that the industry itself is in some measure to blame for the decline. What is true of Lunenburg is true of the whole coastline because the individual fisherman is in the main a producer of salt or pickled fish. What has been the result? I know the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) has visited the maritimes, but if some other hon. members could see the pitiable conditions under which those fishermen have been living during not only the last three years but the years of so-called prosperity, they would be staggered and astounded. Conditions among those fishermen have been terrible; they have been living on a yearly pittance which we could spend in much less than a month. I am sorry that the hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) is not in his seat. He has criticized and condemned this measure, and pictured to those men who are living in that misery and are in exactly the situation I have stated: If you have this measure, you will have a board in Canso, in Pictou, in every little village along the coast; you will have dictatorial officials coming along and saying that you cannot land your fish to-day or at all. What is the true situation? Does not the house agree with me that an industry in that condition needs control, coordination? I do not know of any other in Canada which needs it more. I believe a local board is required to coordinate that industry; I believe further that when they have done something to coordinate it and have made a study of the requirements of not only the markets which we have but those which we have lost because we want to regain them; if they inaugurate a system of grading and inspection which guarantees to the ultimate consumer that he is getting what he is paying for, we shall be able not only to retain the markets we now have but to expand the industry and to regain some of our lost prestige. Moreover, I believe if we carry on under the direction of the board a vigorous campaign of education among the fishermen in an endeavour to produce a better article-and no one can tell me that the article which was produced a hundred years ago cannot be improved upon; there must be methods of improving it-we can better the economic lot of the fisherman and help him to get more money for his product.

One more word about the salt fish industry. May I say that a royal commission investigated the fishing industry in Newfoundland where conditions are very similar to ours and where they compete with us in foreign markets. That commission found there the

Marketing Act-Mr. Ernst

same conditions as I have pictured as existing in Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland to meet the need of her industry, has taken exactly the step which I am suggesting. If we are to maintain our markets and not be driven out of them entirely by our competitors, we shall have to do as they have done.

One word as to the fresh fish industry. This stands on an entirely different footing; it is carried on by corporations that buy from the primary producers, if you care to call them so, from the individual fishermen, and they also catch some fish with their own boats. These fish they ship fresh or processed. The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough said that their product was sold entirely in Canada. That is not quite accurate because a considerable quantity goes outside, although the larger percentage is sold within the dominion. The fishermen who sell to those companies get for their product only a pittance at present, hardly enought to sustain life. What is the trouble there? I venture to assert-and this statement is not going to be popular-that it is cut-throat competition among the companies conducting the business. One company cuts the other company's throat. A small man, a smaller dealer than another, unable to get into the market in any other way, ships a carload or more of fish on consignment. The result is a break in the market price which is not passed on to the consumer here or elsewhere but is passed back to the fisherman who gets only a pittance. I am not blaming the companies. So long as they have to exist under cutthroat competition, just so long must they buy as cheaply as they can. But if a board had control, this system could be eliminated and, if so, the fisherman of Nova Scotia might get at least a cent a pound more for his fish without increasing the cost to the consumer, especially if the price spread were investigated from the time the fish leaves the water until it gets into the fryingpan in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal or elsewhere. For these reasons, so far as the fishing industry is concerned, I am thoroughly convinced that this measure will be a real help, if applied. My fear, however, is that thanks to the bogeymen and ghosts that have been conjured up by people like the hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough, the fishermen will be afraid of the measure and of having any scheme applied to their industry. I interpret the legislation to mean that there will be no board unless the industry or at least unless a representative part of the industry asks for one. In the measure there is, it is true, a compulsory feature,

but I interpret it as meaning simply this, that if in the event of two areas, let us say Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, adopting a plan for their fishermen and Prince Edward Island not doing so, it became impossible to carry the plan through to fruition with Prince Edward Island staying out, then it would become the duty of the central board to compel Prince Edward Island to come in and not break the market for the other two provinces. This clause looks to me purely like an emergency one and I repeat my only fear is that the industry will be afraid of it because of statements that have been made in the house and outside respecting the evil aspects of the bill, evil aspects which really do not exist.

I do not intend to take up more time in dealing with the question of fish, nor to transgress upon the time of the house at any great length, but I want to make one or two general observations about the bill itself. It is of course in essence a marketing bill. I apprehend that its principle is the principle of marketing. I freely confess that I do not like some of the details contained in the bill, but I hope it will be amended in committee. I am in favour of control, so far as control is possible, in connection with marketing. I have spoken of fish; I understand [DOT] perfectly that the scope of the bill will include all natural products. If it can help the fishing industry, however, I feel quite certain that it can help the farmer, whether he be in the east or in the west.

Some of the observations that have been made in connection with the bill astound me. The right hon. gentleman who leads the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) spent some two hours in discussing the various features of the bill, but from the start the central theme of his argument was that the bill usurps the rights of parliament, is derogatory to the rights of parliament, infringes upon the rights of parliament and is unconstitutional. I concede that the parliamentary system of government is the best system that has been devised as yet; at the moment I know of no better system, but unlike the right hon. gentleman I cannot look upon our parliamentary system as being something divine. It is man made, and I do not know of anything man has made that cannot be improved upon. The functions and privileges which belong to parliament were not of divine creation; they were given to parliament by man over a period of years, and I do not see why man in his wisdom should not take away some of the functions from parliament if he so desires. There is one function, however, which he must not and

Marketing Act-Mr. Ernst

cannot take away without destroying the institution itself; that is, parliament must represent the sovereign and supreme will of the people. When parliament wishes to assert that will it must be permitted to assert it in whatever form that assertion may take, but when parliament wishes to delegate some of its power to a central board I cannot see in that delegation any usurpation of parliament's authority. That which is delegated surely cannot be usurped; that which is delegated can be taken back by the body which delegates it, and consequently I see nothing in this bill which infringes on the great and vital prin-cip'e of parliamentary government.

The right hon. gentleman seems to be doing something which has become characteristic of him. He looks to the past for his guidance, but after having looked to the past, instead of setting his face to the future he keeps looking backward while trying to go ahead. That is true of more than one hon. member opposite. I have listened to many of their speeches in connection with this bill, and many of those to which I did not listen I have read. I could find only one hon gentleman opposite who really objected to a marketing bill on principle, and that was the hon. member for Ontario (Mr. Moore). That hon. gentleman, who is an economist and a man of distinction, holds views on economics which are incompatible with control. I respect his views, though I cannot agree with them. I could agree that we might allow everything to move freely, as gravity might dictate, if we could all start over again as babes in the woods, as innocent and as unspoiled. But when we are dealing with a world such as we have to-day I cannot agree with the hon. member's theories.

Many other hon. gentlemen spoke, but I do not recall another who disagreed with the principle of the bill. They criticized it in detail. I am not going to class the hon. member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) with the Liberals, but his speech was a mirage of impossibilities. Difficulty after difficulty, nonexistent, was conjured up by the hon. gentleman in a complete misapprehension of the whole situation, and the same process was followed by nearly all who sit to the left of the Speaker, with the exception of the little group sitting almost directly across from me.

In listening to these speeches, Mr. Speaker, one thought struck me. It was not what has happened to the Liberal party but what has happened to Liberalism as interpreted by the Liberal party. I have no quarrel with Liberalism; I can respect any man's honest

convictions, but surely it is not Liberalism that is being preached by the Liberal party in Canada to-day. It is the dead shades of past Liberalism, with no future. Another thought has struck me during the past three years, which have been three of the most difficult years in the history of this or any other country; I refer to the utter lack of constructive suggestions to come from hon. gentlemen opposite. They may consider it the function of an opposition to bide their time and reserve their policies until they are in power, but it has occurred to me again and again that in a difficulty such as we are facing to-day they owe more than a party duty to their country. They owe a duty to the country which transcends party, and if they have anything constructive to offer at least they should present it and give the country the benefit of their suggestions.

I promised that T would not presume at any great length upon the time of the house, but one other thing that has astounded me has been the degree of apprehension which the Liberal members of the house have manifested towards those who sit to thpir left. They seem far more afraid of the so called left group than I am. though T do not say that I am representative of those who sit around me in that respect.

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

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

You are younger and more intelligent.

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

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ERNST:

I am not sure of that, though I admit the crime of youth. I should not like to see those who sit to the extreme left in power in this country, because I think they are radicals and their views, at least under present conditions and for many years to come, are incapable of application.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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April 26, 1934