John MILLAR

MILLAR, John

Personal Data

Party
Liberal Progressive
Constituency
Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
March 19, 1866
Deceased Date
May 15, 1950
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Millar_(Canadian_politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a1744cb8-5f98-47d2-80e0-a977df75578a&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer, teacher

Parliamentary Career

December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
PRO
  Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
PRO
  Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB-PRO
  Qu'Appelle (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 6 of 174)


March 26, 1930

Mr. MILLAR:

Would the hon. member

kindly answer my question?

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRALIAN TREATY AMENDMENTS TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE FOR COMMITTEE
Full View Permalink

March 26, 1930

Mr. MILLAR:

May I ask the hon. member a question? In making the suggestion that the lumber of British Columbia be given an advantage of one dollar a thousand, on what Canadian products does he think the Australians should be given a preference to offset the account?

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRALIAN TREATY AMENDMENTS TO MOTION OF MINISTER OF FINANCE FOR COMMITTEE
Full View Permalink

March 11, 1930

Mr. MILLAR:

If the hon. member will

have patience I will come to that. The per capita consumption of dairy products has increased very materially, as is shown in the following comparison between the years 1921 and 1928:

Commodity Butter. . .Cheese. . .

Milk. . . . Ice cream. .

25.79 pounds 2.51 pounds 240 pounds 5.26 pints

29.31 pounds 3.54 pounds 470 pounds 7.04 pints

Australian Treaty-Mr. Millar

I listened to a very instructive and interesting address delivered the other night in Dominion church by the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Kennedy). He had some illustrated slides which he was showing to the audience, one of which was a picture of a dairy herd. Referring to the lack of a desire upon the part of farmers to milk cows, he said that the good crops of 1927-he mentioned other years, but I have forgotten just which ones-had done more to lower the production of butter in Canada than all the treaties which have been entered into. I think that statement is quite true because if the farmer can make a good living out of growing wheat and other grain, he does not care to milk cows.

Some objection has been raised to the practice of selling cows to the United States, and that is one reason why the herds have been somewhat lessened. I cannot understand the reasoning or the mentality of anyone who will Object, to a farmer raising cows for the purpose of selling them at good prices. That is much easier than milking cows. It is his own business and he is the person who ought to be allowed to decide what he will do. Cows have been sold at $150, $200 and occasionally at higher prices, and I consider that mighty good business. The fact that such prices can be obtained is to be attributed to the work done by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) and his department. There are about nine or ten disease-free areas where the practice of slaughtering diseased animals has been carried on since 1924, and it is the cows from those areas which bring the high prices. I think that practice might well be continued. I can easily imagine hon. members sitting to the left of Mr. Speaker complaining in the course of a few years because the sale of cows of this class to the United States had fallen off.

There is another reason why we are not exporting as much butter. Raw milk will flow into channels most profitable. That is the statement made by those who know the dairy industry, such as Doctor Ruddick, the dairy commissioner. The following figures, which refer to the western, eastern, northern and central districts of Ontario, are very interesting. The increase from 1920 to 1927 in the number of establishments dealing with dairying in western Ontario amounted to 6-1 per cent. During the same period northern Ontario shows an increase of 336-6 per cent in the number of patrons, while the central and eastern districts show a very slight falling off of 8-7 per cent and 5-3 per cent respectively. Western Ontario shows an increase in the production of creamery butter during that

same period amounting to 59-8 per cent. The central district shows an increase of 119 per cent; the eastern district an increase of 209 per cent; and the northern district the enormous increase of 630 per cent. How can hon. members say that the dairy industry is going to the dogs when faced with such figures?

The total production of milk has been very rapid and the increase was continuous up to the year 1928. I think it has been stated that there was a decrease in the total production for the year 1929, but I would point out that there was also a decrease in the production of wheat during that year. Due to that condition. I expect the revenue of our two railways will fall off in the year 1929, but will anyone argue that because there is a falling off in revenue for one year after a continuous period of expansion, therefore the two railways must be heading towards bankruptcy?

I would like to give some figures in connection with the production of raw milk in Ontario. Not only did the number of patrons in northern Ontario increase by 336-6 per cent but the number of cows increased 340-6 per cent; cheese 4-6 per cent and the sale of other products increased by 1058 per cent and all dairy products increased 302 per cent. Another cause of fluctuation is shortage of feed and climatic conditions. In western Canada last summer there were considerable areas where the pastures were entirely dried up. There was a large area where pasture fields were as bare as the carpet in this chamber. It is not surprising, therefore, if in certain districts such as that the production of milk falls off in a season of that kind.

The hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. Rowe) lamented Canada's great loss because of the importation of New Zealand butter. He pointed out that the whey and the skimmed milk would have fed so many pigs; the pigs would have started to grow into hogs; the hogs would have been turned by and by into bacon, and Canada, because she had not those thousands of hogs, had suffered a serious loss. That reminds me of a pioneer settler in the vicinity of Moose Jaw in the early days of the history of western Canada. One day he rode on his saddle for some forty miles into Moose Jaw, and while talking to some friends there he said "I have lost $100,000 this year." Some one asked him why, and he said "because I did not have $10,000 to buy cows to eat up the grass I have passed coming in here." The loss complained of by my hon. friend is very similar to that. The men that my hon. friend seemed to think ought to be milking cows and producing butter are raising grain. Look at

Australian Treaty-Mr. Millar

the enormous increase in the production of wheat during the past ten years. Not so very long ago we were growing only 100,000,000 bushels of wheat in a year, whereas in 1928 we produced 533,000,000 bushels. If some of those people who are growing wheat had each the power to turn themselves into twins, it would be quite possible for one half of them to continue to produce wheat, while the other half could have been milking cows and producing butter and cheese. As a matter of fact, however, no person can work more than ten or twelve hours a day at one job; he cannot carry on two jobs at the same time, and the fact is that our people have decided to grow wheat rather than to milk cows. When the hard years come and the price of grain goes down and stays down, as is the case now, the effect will be that many farmers will return to the milking of cows and the production of butter, cheese and milk.

New Zealand butter enters Canada, but I would ask the reason why. It is simply because the price of butter in Canada is above an export basis, otherwise they would ship their butter to England or other export markets. Those who advocate the abrogation of this treaty might well be just a little careful lest they find themselves in a more difficult position. It may be that instead of selling what they have in the way of butter during the winter months at a price above export, they will have to sell it at export price. They ask for an increase of three cents per pound in the tariff. Let us look at the effect of that. If the tariff is increased three cents per pound, some seem to argue that the price of butter may be increased by that amount. Supposing that that is the case, New Zealand butter can come into Canada just as it is doing now; the inducements will be exactly the same. They will simply receive three cents per pound more and pay three cents' duty, so that the raising of the duty by three cents, provided the price is also raised three cents, will make no difference so far as New Zealand butter is concerned. The inducements will be exactly the same and the profits to the New Zealand grower will be exactly the same as now. Well, some one will say, we will not raise the price three cents; we will raise the tariff three cents and the price two cents. Supposing they do that, I am willing to admit the price of butter in Canada may rise temporarily during a few months, but what will be the ultimate effect? An increase in the price of any commodity will lower consumption; it will also stimulate production. In the case of butter in Canada it will also have the effect of encouraging the storing of butter during

the summer months when we are on an export basis and holding it in storage for the winter months. Even though you keep out New Zealand butter, how long is it likely to be before the curtailment of consumption, the increase of production and the throwing on to the markets in the winter months of the butter that has been put into storage during the summer, will bring the price down to an export basis? It may not be very long and the dairyman may find himself in the position that, whereas now he is able to sell for a part of the year at higher than export basis, he is compelled during the whole year to sell at an export price and can get no more.

When this matter was being heard before the tariff board, the chairman of the National Dairy Council was asked the question: What is the price of butter now in the United States and what is the price in Canada? He admitted that the price in Canada was H to 2 cents per pound higher than in the United States at that very time. I do not argue that this is always so, because under a tariff such as this the fluctuation will be rapid and violent. Sometimes the price will be up; frequently it will be down; but at that time it was being sold in the United States for It to 2 cents per pound lower than it was being sold at in Canada and the United States has a tariff of 12 cents per pound on butter. If in a great country with a population of 115,000,000, a tariff cannot keep the price of butter up, what chance has it of doing that in Canada where we have only 9,000,000 people? Very little indeed.

I think in two or three speeches from the other side of the house it was said that Canada could not be expected to compete against New Zealand. They have milder weather and cows can pasture all the year round. Our dairy commissioner, Mr. Ruddick, spent some time in New Zealand; he knows conditions there very well and he has pointed out that because of the looseness of the soil during the rainy season, they have found it necessary, in order to protect their pasture, to stable their cows. One speaker recently pointed out that all that was necessary was to put rubber blankets over the cows and everything was lovely. Perhaps it will be necessary also to produce cows that have paws like dogs so that they will not sink into the mud.

Reference has been made to the fact that in New Zealand the price of land is from $300 to $500 and as high as $700 an acre, and that is used as an argument why Canada cannot compete against New Zealand. I would suggest it is a reason why we can. When, as the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe stated, they can keep 100 cows on 100 acres in New Zea-

Australian Treaty-Mr. Millar

land and we can keep only about 50 cows on 100 acres in Canada, the advantage is all with Canada. Another speaker has placed it at a much lower figure. Be it so. Land here is very much cheaper. Whenever we come into competition with the countries to the south, where they have a milder climate, the stock from Canada stands up very well. If I am not mistaken, the world record for the production of eggs belongs to Canada, and has belonged to it for years. When our poultry was taken to the second world's poultry congress held in Spain, it was a source of wonder to the people there that our birds from this northern climate could stand up so well while other stock was wilting and dying. Our poultry stood up week after week, and the people there were anxious to buy foundation poultry stock from Canada. The Americans are also very glad to get foundation stock in milch cows from Canada, not alone because of their milk production, but because they are a hardier animal. Take our stock that is sent to the Chicago fair, our horses, our cattle, our hogs, every kind of live stock; our record is something that Canada need never be ashamed of. We have reason to be proud of it from one end of the country to the other. Some members on the other side of the house, when they go back home, ought really be ashamed to look a good cow in the face after all they have said about our Canadian cow not being able to stand up against the New Zealand cow.

I agree with the statement that has been made more than once that the farmer in Canada is not in a very prosperous condition. I do not think he is as prosperous as those engaged in other lines of business, but I am quite convinced that protection will not help him in the least. While I was speaking of protection and its effects, I forgot to point out that while protection might temporarily raise the price of butter, only to come down afterwards probably to a lower point than it- has reached now, the advantage it would be to the Canadian farmer would be very small. There is also this consideration. If the farmer gets behind protection, it certainly will help to raise the price of the articles that he must purchase. His overhead will increase, and he will be in the position of having backed the policy of protection. While the government may possibly have this part of the treaty abrogated, I am convinced, after studying the matter very carefully, that the benefits to the Canadian dairyman, if there are any, would be very, very small indeed.

The hon. gentleman who preceded me asked if it was fair that we should have a duty of one cent a pound against New Zealand butter

when New Zealand has a duty of six cents a pound against Canadian butter. I cannot understand the mentality of anybody who advocates this brick-for-brick policy. To me it seems like building a dam to keep a stream from running uphill. Coals are always going out from Newcastle; they are not being shipped in there, and butter is not moving from Canada to New Zealand, and never wall in our day. So why interest ourselves in what their tariff on butter is? I care not if it is only half a cent a pound; it makes absolutely no difference. It would be no benefit to the Canadian dairyman or to Canada as a whole if the New Zealand duty on butter were cancelled at once. We have our export market, and we would not now turn around and ship our butter to New Zealand, a country which is already producing enormous quantities of butter.

I would like to add one word in regard to the general standing of Canada, because there has been so much pessimistic talk. Some little time ago a survey was made by a survey board in the United States of a number of the principal countries to see how many years of prosperity they had enjoyed as compared with years of depression and although this survey was conducted by the people of the United States, they placed Canada at the head of the list. There were ten or a dozen countries inquired into. The United States came second, Great Britain third, but Canada was placed at the top of the list.

I shall not detain the house any longer. I have no objections to this matter being taken up; in fact, I think it well for the government to arrange a new treaty with New Zealand. But I repeat that an increased duty on New Zealand butter is not likely to help the Canadian dairyman very much, if at all.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRALIAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OP SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OP TREATY
Full View Permalink

March 11, 1930

Mr. JOHN MILLAR (Qu'Appelle):

Mr

Speaker, after listening to the wails of woe from the other side of the house and the admonitions to rush to the assistance of the dairy industry, I began to wonder how some of our friends would fare if they tried the milking of cows and the carrying on of the dairying industry. If they have not had that experience, perhaps a little advice would be in order. When they sit down with their milk stool to milk a brindle cow, it might be well for them to be careful. When one is milking a cow about the only part he is safe in tickling is her fancy. Some of the hon. members opposite might find their milk pail upset during their first experience.

When our friends speak of the lack of exports of butter they very conveniently forget to mention anything about production and home consumption. I have some figures in that regard which I would like to place on Hansard. The exports to the United States of cream and milk have greatly increased. In January, 1930, Canada exported 48,591 gallons of cream and 132,041 gallons of milk. For the twelve months' period preceding, Canada exported to the United States, 2,341, 497 gallons of cream and 3,171,014 gallons of milk.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AUSTRALIAN TREATY PROPOSED CANCELLATION OP SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH NEW ZEALAND AND NEGOTIATION OP TREATY
Full View Permalink

March 4, 1930

Mr. JOHN MILLAR (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) when the report of the National Research Council dealing with its protein survey of Canada's overseas wheat market will be laid on the table?

Topic:   GRAIN AND GRAIN TRADE
Subtopic:   NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'S REPORT ON PROTEIN CONTENT OP WHEAT
Full View Permalink