Mr. WEIR (Melfort):
Cheese was selected, as I stated last night, for this reason. The value of our dairy industry is estimated at from 8175,000,000 to 8200,000,000 per annum; it is one of the greatest of the agricultural industries. The difficulty with the dairy industry I can perhaps demonstrate better by putting on record certain figures that will give a picture of it from 1920 to the present time, so that members of the committee will see what the trend has been. This statement shows the production of creamery butter in Canada by years:
There has been an almost proportional decrease in the production of cheese in Canada, and I will give this for the comparative years:
Factory Cheese Produced in Canada
It will be seen that one of the largest jumps in creamery butter production took place in
1931. The effect of the United States government raising their tariff against our milk, cream and other dairy products in the 1929-30 session of congress was such as to shut out from that country the equivalent of 52,000,000 pounds of cheese. Those products were turned back into this country and had to be marketed here because the market it had prior to 1929 and 1930 had been shut to it. The result is that the greater part of these products has gone into the production of butter.
Last night the question of consumption was raised. The following shows the changes in the consumption of butter, not only per capita but also for the whole dominion:
Per capita Total
Year' pounds pounds1925
28.54 280,657,0761929." "
30.18 322,319,6721934 ... 30.92 335,029,401
The year 1934 shows the highest per capita consumption we have on record.
On top of the difficulty that has arisen because of the market of the United States being closed to our dairy products, there has also been a tendency throughout the world, especially for countries marketing their products in the United Kingdom to produce more butter than cheese. For example, imports of butter into the United Kingdom during the calendar year 1934 were 9-9 per oent greater than during 1933 and 83-3 per cent greater than during 1924. That is, from 1924 to 1934 imports of butter into the United Kingdom had almost doubled1. At the same time imports of cheese into the United Kingdom during the calendar year 1934 were only 3-4 per cent greater than during the calendar year 1924. It is evident that the effect of the ever-increasing imports of butter into the United Kingdom is best illustrated by the effect this had on the world price of butter. The average price of Australian butter in London during 1933 was only T35 times the average value of Canadian cheese, tout with a 9-9 per cent greater import of butter into the United: Kingdom in 1934 than in 1933, the average price of Australian butter had further fallen and was only 1-28 times the price of Canadian cheese. Anyone familiar with the cheese and butter industries will realize this spread between prices for cheese and butter is out of line. On account of the disparity in the prices of
butter and cheese at London, it is desirable as far as possible for this country to export surplus dairy products in the form of cheese rather than in butter. In so doing it will not enl'y avoid breaking the entire domestic price structure 'by exporting a small surplus of butter, but will avoid' a break in the price of cheese.
Milk fat in cheese delivered to Montreal for export is worth about twenty-seven cents per pound as compared with twenty-one and a third cents peir pound for fat in butter delivered to Montreal for export, on the basis of the present export values. That simply means that we get a greater value for every pound of butter fat in cheese we export to the United Kingdom at present United Kingdom prices than we would for fat exported in butter. As was stated yesterday, and agreed to by the hon. member for Northumberland, through tariffs we have been able to increase the price of butter to the dairy farmers of Canada.. During the last year alone, talking the months of July, August, September and October, when there was the greatest production, it is conservatively estimated that the increased value to the dairy farmer due to this protection, in connection with creamery and dairy butter, amounted to $8,146,000.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OP AGRICULTURE