June 1, 1951

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

There is a subsidy on the distribution of lime. The vote is: Agricultural lime assistance, $435,000 this year; that is the same as last year-freight and production assistance to the provinces on agricultural lime for soil amendment purposes. That is the only assistance we are giving in connection with what is generally considered as fertilizer.

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PC

Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Black (Cumberland):

Can the minister make some statement with respect to cartels putting up the price of fertilizer?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

If it is a cartel or a combine, which is the more common term, I am afraid there is a piece of legislation which makes it necessary for anyone who believes that to put it into operation and have them prosecuted. But apart from that, I do not know-

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PC

Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Black (Cumberland):

The minister

should protect the farmers.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

I do not know that there is any way that I can declare, unless the courts do so, that anyone is operating a combine or a cartel. I may have that opinion and others may have it. But before saying that they are or before saying that we are going to take any action in connection with them because they are, I think the ordinary procedure would have to be taken against them.

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

A few days ago I brought a matter to the attention of the department and of the minister, and asked why the department was opposed to liquid fertilizers. I think the intention of the minister was to give some further information with regard to the matter. Judging by the sale of liquid fertilizers to the farmers, they are becoming more popular, owing to the price being somewhat lower and also probably because it is more easily handled. Last winter, in a farm broadcast from Ottawa, opposition was expressed which materially affected the distribution of liquid fertilizers. I really think

it was a mistake on the part of the department to broadcast against liquid fertilizers; or rather, that is the opinion that has been expressed to me by a great many farmers. The broadcast I refer to was on March 5, 1951.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

We do not take a definite

position in connection with the fertilizer. To anyone who applies here for information we give whatever information is available from the experiments which we carry on. Our experiments indicate that the treatment of the grain itself does not bring the benefits which are claimed. The utilization of fertilizer of that kind is I suppose found in the experience of some to be beneficial, and we would not of course say that they should not use it or advise them not to use it. We simply give whatever information we have, based upon the experiments we carry on with it.

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

The reason I brought the

question up is that I thought it was not in the best interest of all to have this broadcast go out from the Department of Agriculture, condemning liquid fertilizer. The broadcast I referred to was on March 5 last. .

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

So far as my officials know, we did not put out any statement on it.

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

The broadcast was from the

farm forum.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

We can hardly be responsible for what the farm forum broadcasts. They may have gone and asked for some information on it, and then made a broadcast accordingly. The first broadcast that I heard of, or the first that I knew about it, was the announcement we made in the house here by giving publicity to the answer to the question which was asked. I do not know whether there is any reason to complain about it or not, but it was brought up in that way.

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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Argue:

I should like to say a word

about this question. I do not know whether it was on the farm broadcast or not, but in my opinion if the statement was made on a farm broadcast that liquid fertilizers are uneconomical and the use of them was not in the best interests of farmers, that statement was absolutely correct. Certainly any data on experiments that I have seen show that liquid fertilizers are uneconomical. No doubt there is a great deal of profit in promoting the sale of these fertilizers, and consequently one would expect a good deal of high-pressure advertising. I might say that on farm broadcasts by the Saskatchewan 80709-233i

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department of agriculture they do not hesitate to say and to repeat that a farmer is ill advised to spend his money on liquid fertilizers when he could spend it to far greater advantage on the solid and well-known fertilizer.

I believe that part of the job of the Department of Agriculture in Ottawa and part of the job of the experimental farm is to find out whether or not different materials when used are to the advantage of the farmer. I can say that if such a report appeared on a farm radio forum or farm broadcast it should be commended. I will ask the minister whether he thinks I am right when I say that the use of liquid fertilizer, as far as any experimental data are concerned, has shown that they are uneconomical.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Wright:

Must the various companies

in Canada selling chemicals for weed sprays and insecticides and for various other uses that are made of those sprays register their product with the Department of Agriculture before selling it? If so, are inspections carried on to see that the product is maintained and the standard under which it is registered kept up? Has any experimental work been done by the dominion experimental farms to test the product to see whether it has reached the standard that would be necessary or the standards that are claimed for it?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

We do have the sprays

registered, and we have an inspection staff which checks in order to see that the qualities are maintained. These inspection staffs work out of district offices which are established, and they make thorough inspections.

In answer to the other question which was asked in regard to liquid fertilizers, I would say that our departmental officials do advise that the utilization of liquid fertilizers by applying them to the grain does not give any particular benefit. That is the opinion of the officials, and I assume it is a correct opinion. But there are some other ways in which it may be used that may give some benefits. In so far as that particular use is concerned, they do say that their experiments show there is no great advantage to it.

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PC

A. Earl Catherwood

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Catherwood:

Does the minister think

that owing to the necessity for an increase in agricultural production it might be advisable to consider the possibility of the same sort of assistance as is being given under the lime assistance plan at the present time so far as fertilizer is concerned.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

During the war we did give some assistance, mostly on transportation of fertilizer from one place to another. One of

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the reasons for it at that time was the difficulty of distribution. We discontinued doing that because we did not think we were getting the results for the expenditure of the money that warranted our continuing it. We have continued the subsidy on lime, but we have not gone any further than that. Our reason for it was that we did not think we were getting sufficient return from the expenditure of the amount of money that was required to warrant our continuing with it.

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Item agreed to. 30. Grants to fairs and exhibitions, under such 'terms and conditions as may be approved by the governor in council and subject to allocation by the treasury board, $614,400.


PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

How many class A fairs and how many class B fairs has the minister? Have any been added to the group?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

There is one class A fair in Prince Edward Island at Charlottetown. Is it just the numbers in each province that are desired or the places of them? Class of fair: A's, Prince Edward Island, one; Quebec, four; Ontario, seven; Manitoba, one; Saskatchewan, two; Alberta, two; British Columbia, one; making a total of eighteen. Class B fairs: Nova Scotia, four; Quebec, twelve; Ontario, twenty-one; Manitoba, three; Saskatchewan, eight; Alberta, five; British Columbia, two; total fifty-five.

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Brooks:

Are there* any class A or class B fairs in New Brunswick?

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June 1, 1951