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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 8, 1908, Lethbridge, Alberta REPORT OF BEEF COMMISSION The following are furthor paragraphs from the Beef Report. A great ileal of complaint, has been lodged against the C.P.R. for negli- men are familiar with the conditions existing and are thereby able to stop the leak which means tho difference _ | between profit and loss in thc export business. These men have facilities ments but they were not fully cogni- of their mvn n, along the ,n0i be. skies having agents in the old coun- zant of conditions as they actually exist. Just here we may say that in order to inform, these gentlemen of genec in supplying of cars within.rca conditions as they have been present- sonnble time after application made. In several instances men havo had to wait t"wb"*.weoks to have their order tilled and on certain occasions ^fiere was u lapse of one month or ;wore between the time of application was made and the filling of the order "This causes serious inconvenience for a shipper who removes his bunch � from the ranch to the railway company's slock yards. Besides the trou Ule in feeding "and watering,' the animals fail a ;grcnt deal, on account oi being removed- from their natural quarters and as the western animal is of wild and nervous disposition it should Jjc! the object to place him on 'Xtiei market' as quickly as possible after removed from the range. AVe find a few instances of engineers i being rough in the handling.of stock trains, a busing the cattle and causing the meat to be in a bruised and deteriorated condition after being slaughtered. Jinny men objected that they had  to ship their stock to Winnipeg in box cars. We are not in a position "to say whether at the samo time there vero stock cars available or not aod that it was simply a case of negli cence on the part of the company's officials that stock curs were not supplied or whether the supply of stock cars was inadequate. Wo are convinced that at certain times of the year when stock is being shipped extensively the supply of ears is not adeiuatn. This fact has been acknowledged by aome of the C.P.R. officials who are responsible fur this line of work. j We find that the C.P.R. have very 'tew stock cars which arc furnished with mangers for feeding. This, we believe woukl bo a valuable addition to the present stock car and when on runs where it is not deemed advisable to unload it would prevent animals from suffering, as they undoubtedly must suffer, from hunger and would at toe same time, lessen the heavy shrinkage. I In i ccyirwction with favoritism1 shown, .bj the V. P. R. to larger and mora extensive shippers. Mr. McHugh in biftevidence states that Mr. Gordon's Mnen. have keys to all the different pens and corrals in the Winnipeg stock yards which is a liberty this commission cannot endorso and a privilege-.which no well managed company will countenance. | One of the- most glaring pieces cd before this Commission and nt their request, wo have taw taken from the evIJlonce excerpts which in themselves explain most clearly the careless nnd unreasonable methods which have bovn practiced and have forwarded those to the C.P.R. offices in Winnipeg. try who are thoroughly familiar with the conditions there and assist mater iuliy in the proper working of the scheme. It is difficult to determine exactly wherein the difficulty lies when shipping through commission men. We have nothing in the evidence to show that -.there is dishonesty practiced but, nevertheless, the fact remains aitioh of Che 'k advisability ol further investigation. ***-��-. Wc commend it as a subject,worthy of investigation in every detail.'**^ ALLEGED COMBINE AGAINST BUYERS One of the duties imposed upon the Commissioners was the ascertainment of whether there exists ov has exist-jed or is likely to exist any combination in restraint of or a� in cn-t'tle,~>sheep, hogs' or meat or any or all of thein '" in the Province or elsewhere such as vjpuld infringe upon the provisions of the Criminnl Code of Canada, 1892, and amendments thereto. AVe wish to sny that wo have probed this matter in every (k'tnil and although', tho producers, furnished a ***********f ***************************** t I j that many of those who have shipp-We would respectfully recommend cd .through commission men have that nil the complaints against the found it most unsatisfactory and it C.P.I?, betaken up with the Kail-way, appears to us not. only a. careless but. . .... Commission; further that copies of a dangerous method of doing business'Kreat deal oi circumstantial" ividence tho excerpts from the evidence which J The condition of affairs was very we have sent to tho C.P.R. offices in aptly Summed up in private conver-. Winnipeg be forwarded to the Kail- (sution with one of the large oxport-vv>y Commission and that H be ask- ers of Winnipeg"when he said: "The ed to remedy the several grievances fact of tho matter is gentlemen, that Ithc Alberta, rancher raises "his steer till four or five years old and then says, 'Stranger;, take my bullock,' in vhich are therein set forth. that there was an agreement among buyers of .cattle"-in the nlloting of. 'districts for operation and that one would, not trespass upon; th* there has riover boon a com In selling direct to the exporter the,bino in tne existence of this country ns far as I know." First, the hay and feed; second, tho ro|>e for tics and men t6 cross with the cattle vhich we found at Boston at $1.00 por head; third, the space agreed upon here v�;.th Messrs. Sparrow & Johnston at 30 shillings per head, crossing from Boston to Liverpool, and when settling I had to pay 37J shillings. So far as I can learn the ship's agent and Mr. Hugh Gilchrist, the Montreal man who secured the space for me had 7-4 shillings to hack up; this will give you some idea how tho small ranchers are being robbed; fourth, then again the agent, Mr. Pritchard gets 5 shillings per head as his commission, and one half of that again goes to Mr. Gilchrist of Montreal. I have this information from Mr. Pritchard himself; fifth, the agents in Liverpool have all in their power if not honest to do you in weights when the cattle are slaughtered; sixth, again you have to pay $6 per ltead for having them slaughtered so you can see it is a skin game from the start to finish." In tho purchasing of ship space in Montreal and at other Atlantic ports we are led to believe that there is j "gambling in space" or in other of words, that ship space is bought up injustice which has come to our no- and relet at a higher figure. It is tice' ire connection villi favoritism easily seen that the small shipper is shown- Gordon & Co. by the C.P.lft. at a great disadvantage here. Those comes out in the evidence of Mr. Mc- who are exporting regularly have ug- Hugh.. Hey states-'as follows: cuts ut these different, ports to look "After leaving Winnipeg 1 was look after sueffbusiness as the securing of ing over the shipping bills with the conductor and I discovered three cars , of additional freight and asked the conductor what they were and he said tnat they were three cars off. offal, tho property of Gordon & Ironsides, shipped to Liverpool. I then asked how many cars he had on and only then discovered -that there were three cars of I*. IJ. McDonald's cattle left standing ��n the side track and those three ears of jllal taken in U.eir place. You will note that these threes cars of offal were to go on the same ship, the Sacliun, from Boston with our cattle to Liverpool." Wc might just explain that these space. Mr. Gordon states in his evidence that when he was paying 30 shillings per head on a certain boat there were those who were paying 3o on the S'ame boat. Mr. Gordon also stated that "a man who makes one shipment cannot hope to get insurance as cheaply as we who ship such a number." On landing in Liverpool or old country ports the regular exporter has his agent look after, the shipment while privute shippers have informed us that they were not allowed to follow their cattle to the slaughter house. These cattle may be kept for ten days in the old country stock yards before would respectfully recommend that the Alberta Government appoint a live stock commissioner vtfiosc chief business it would be to atrtond to the marketing of Alberta export cattle. This commissioner should be a man thoroughly conversant with the live stock industry and a man sufficiently acquainted with business transaction* to enable him to carry such an extensive scheme to a successful issue. We wish to emphasize here that tho success of this undertaking on the part of the government will depend largely on the choice of the commissioner. We would furthor recommend that this commissioner, be entirely under the direction of the Department of Agriculture and that he be paid a regular salary from a fund collected by imposing a uniform tax on all shippers according the number ot animals shipped, these funds to bo handled entirely by the government. Excerpt from evidence of J. T. Gor don, Winnipeg: "Your name is connected with Pat Burns. What are your business relations? A. We have been accused of this, that wc sent, Pat Burns out. Ho is a bigger man than any of us. For us doing that, that we were send ing him out to get tho oxport cattle is absolutely untrue. There i� no more connection in the business of Pat Burns with -any one of the, members of the firm of Gordon, Ironsides ft Fares than there is between the Chairman of this Commission and never has been." Many of the small buyers stated that P. Burns set the price for the animals that were used locally. Men who bought in greater quantities and shipped to Canadian and American' points stated that they sot their prices by the Winnipeg, Chicago, and Montreal markets. Those who shipped to the old country stated that they were advised as to prices in the We believe that this gentleman could,oW countrv and bought accordingly. Mr. Burns, who can perhaps not be occupy his tinio very profitably during the whole year acquainting himself with conditions on the different markets on the continent, with shipping conditions en route, with stock interests at home, etc. CHILLED MEAT SYSTEM Dr. McEachera's Views-AOefed Combine Against Buyers Throughout our sittings in the sou- j THE NEW COAL TOWN Situated midway between Medicine Hat and Lethbridge on Crows Nest Pass Line, CPR. Townsite on the Market 2 Months Lots to the value of $10,000 sold GREAT INDUCEMENTS For all kinds of business openings. I LOTS SOLD $50 to $150 A SNAP FOR SHORT TIME three- ears of Mr. McDonald's made* being slaughtered and the private up part of the trainload in which Mr "HcHuglti, was interested and it was necessary that the shipment should all reach : Montreal together. This evidence would lead us to believe that.Gordon. Sc. Co. receive great favors from (the C. P. It. even at the expense of those entirely unable to bear it.. shipper has no means of knowing whether his cattle are being attended to or not, but he pays for tha service just the same. Again the regular exporter keeps a close watch on his cattle when they are being weighed. Mr. McHugh states that "the agents at Liverpool have all in their, power I if not honest to do you in the weight included in any of these classes, stated: "Well, when the market in the old country is high I fix my price, by that. I}. But how when tho old country market is low? A. Well then I fix my prices according to my best judgement." * When the producer was asked how he set the price on his animal the invariable answer was that ho had to take what was offered and that he mostly took the first offer for fear he should never get another. Itit this connection we would like to thern part, of the province there were j mention that although Bums & Co. many witnesses who advanced tbcjure very extensive buyers of all class ^^^mmm^^^m^^,m^mm,^^-m^ argument that the establishment ofi^s of cattle in this Province, of late a chilled meat trade with the old 1 they have douo. no exporting, their turn for this he is supposed to at-country was tho proper method to , export cattle being turned over prin- tend to the stock yards. In some solve the export problem. We are ! say thait we are of the opinion that such business is quite legitimate in fact we are of the opinion that it is a" method which j has proved oi direct benefit to the tttoek raisers of the Province in that Mr. Burns when purchasing does not cull the bunch as most of the buyers do.. i For Further Particulars, apply to WM. SALVAGE Again the evidence convinces us when the cattle are slaughtered." that Gordon & Co. are not the only Just here we would mention that exporters to receive favours from the evidence leads us to believe that the C. P. It. We quote from the ev- the small shipper suffers on account idence of one, Mr. Urch of Lethbridgc of the embargo. If at the time of who received very doubtful treatment landing in the old country the mar-" �in shipping, i ket is low it would be a great advun "I shipped with the Little How J?�ol and went to the old country myself. I went with the shipment that Joseph Marion vent i'i:th. Q. What about the cattle that left Winnipeg after your trainload and arrived in Montreal ahead of you? A. Well, when we left Winnipeg there were some "T. O. T." cattle in the yards there and when wc arrived in Montreal these same "T. O. T." eat-lle were there ahead of us. They must have passed us on the road. Q. Iki you know why they should have got thut preference? A, No, I do �ot. Q. Do you know who owns the "T. O. T." cattle? A. Badcr of Bailer tit McLean." We might mention that Bader * Wcliean are engaged rnthcr extensively! in the shipping business. Wo are satisfied that it' is the intention of the higher officials of tho-C.p.H. to furnish the best possible service in tho shipping of stock. We. are convinced that the fault lies ab-Jtitfjly with their subordinates, men who consider their own comfort ab-�vw t*e reputation of the company by which they are omployed. On examining such men as F. W. Peters, 'Assistant General Traffic Manager, and It. R. Jamleson, superintendent ef the western division, and others tage to keep the cattle for three weeks or a month. As it is ait present all imported stock must be slaughtered within ten days after arriving, and not infrequently the buyers take advantage of this knowing that "the stock must be sold, thus forcing the owner to take a smaller price than he would if it were possible to keep his slock longer. We vrll confess that on account of not. having ink'estigatod this matter in the old country we arc; scarcely In a position to recommend but it appears to us that it would be wise to endeavor to have this time increased from ten days to a month. There are three methods which the rancher has of disposing of his export cattle; first, through the export or or the man who buys outright on the range and ships for himself to tho old country; second, by private shipments; third, exporting through tho commission men. An to shipping privately we have to say that thoso who have attempted it havo met with utter failure, almost without exception. 11 uuist be expected that the man who undertakes shipping cattle to the old country comes in a year or possibly once in two years will moot with trouble which will result in loss of money on account of his we were convinced that they wore unfamiliarity with tho details of the sincere in their endeavor to furnish shipping business. On the other first class servico for live stock ship hand, the exporter and commission weight. Dr. McEachern has been manager of the Waldron Ranch since 1883, a veterinary surgeon by profession, and has occupied high posi. tions throughout the Dominion of Ca nada. He was at one time surgeon in Montreal Veterinary College, Dean of the faculty of Comparative Medi. cine", McGill University, Chief Inspector of Stock for the Dominion of Canada, having organized the quarantine system and conducted it for 23 years. Dr. McEachern states that for a number of years he has been greatly interested in the establishment oi a chilled meat trade" but he-believes that the difficulties in the vtay are insurmountable. The sum total of his lengthy argument is-, that the capital necessary would be enormous. Nevertheless, he states* if a dressed meat trade could be established successfully it would bo a groat benefit to the producer. It would increase the value of his cattle easily 25 to 30 per cent. He is of the opinion that if the Government would undertake the enterprise and see their way clear to bringing it to a successful issue it would mean the placing of the meat industry of West ern Canada on a new basis. Undoubtedly there is considerable in favor of the chilled meat system. In the first place there would be the advantage of shipping the carcass to England in a dressed form which would cost considerably less than shipping on foot, which would do away almost entirely with risk. Our meat would not be in a bruised condition iis a resul t of the abuse the animals are subjected to incident to the Ions? train haul. If the system were brought into operation it would do away entirely with the present grievances of tho shipper. We are told by some that the chilled meat sells for as high a price as that which Is olTered in the fresh form. Others toll us that it will sell for from 1 to 2 cents per pound less. Dr. McEachern states that the English people would prefer it infinitely if all the beef supply from this country would come in that chilled form. We regret, to stale that our investigation in this matter has not been sufficiently complete to warrant us making any recommendations. We would respectfully ask your consider- follows: ' N | "tj. Is there any limit as to the price he is aUowed to charge for hay? A. There is a schedule of prices post- For .some reason there is a lack of healthy competition in this province. Almost without exception the produc er made the complaint that there was an absolute lack of competition." One reason why there are not more buyers in the country is that the exporting business* us an extensive one and as we stated before can only be executed successfully by men of exceptional aoility and possessors of largo capital. Another reason why there is not greater competition in the buying of cattle is due to tlie fact that buyers cannot handle with profit the poor class of animals which is offered for sale. If the stock were bettor bred and better finished we arc satisfied that there would bo a greater demand for it and thus there would be increased comi>etition. VISIT TO STOCK YARDS What the Beef CoaattsiM M Sty Atari (Beef Commission lieport Cop*inued) Tho stock yards in tho following places wore visited: Calgary, Moose Jaw, and Winnipeg. We heard little or no complaint against the Calgary yards. The Moose Jaw yards received a groait deal of adverse criticism from both the largo and small shippers. Practically all Alberta cattle which are shipped east are ted at tho Moose Jav| yards'. The C.P.R. has leased them to a private individual who has the exclusivo right to sell hay to shippers. In re- ed up -at the yards. J. What is the highest price that can be charged? A. $20.00 a ton, at least that is my understanding." In this connection we quote from the evidence of P. Burns, of Calgary; "Q. Have you any complaints as to your treatment at Moose Jaw? A. Not particularly. I buy hay there at $10.00 a ton." Again we quote from the evidence of C. Knight, of Calgary: "Q. You have shipped through Moose Jaw. Wc have heard a great deal of complaint about that. Give the Commission?rs an idea of your experience there. A. My experience regarding my accommodation and water was very satisfactory. The hay was not satisfactory. Q. What was tho matter? A. The matter , is that the C.P.R. sell you hay in tho stock yards at Moose Jaw at so much a rackful. They do not weigh the hay. Q. You think you did not got just weight? A. Well, I want to-buy my hay on the scales, but they charged $5 a rack for hay at Moose Jaw and you tlon't know how much you are paying for. Q. Did they ever weigh your hay in Moose Jaw? A. Not for me. Q. You think they over charge you? A. Yes. Of course I always kick about having my hay weighed. Q. Do you know what they charge for hay in Moose Jaw a ton? A. I was told that it was sold at $20.00 a ton. Q. 1 understand that it was higher. A. I know for I had a shipment last week. Q. I understand it was $25.00. A. I guess they get $30.00 when they can. I gave the C.P.R. a cheque for $34.00 for 34 bales of hay. I figured that the bales would weigh about 60 pounds each. That would be $34.00 for about 2040 pounds. I figured that I was paying at about the rate of $34.00 a ton. I insisted on them weighing the hay but they said if I did not like it I could do without the hay." We could quota from tho evidence of others to show that, the small shippers suffer injustice in the buy- he really is. Let us consider what a 5 per cent", shrink means in any single trainload of cattle. On a 1,-200 pound animal it means 60 pounds off and on 20 animals in the carload it means 1200 pounds off or one animal per car. Thus, 'If we have 20 cars in a trainload, it means 24,000 pounds, which at 5c. per pound, means $1200 in one train-load, indeed a very fair profit in the shrinkage business alone. Tho shrinkage system in our opinion is> simple robbery and an imposition on the producer of cattle of this country. BRAND INSPECTION" The system of brand inspection l� on the poorest possible basis. Certain men designate it as a "dead letter," others as a "nuisance," and there was scarcely one instance where a man was satisfied with the system uow in vogue. In many cases the evidence goes to show that the brand inskector would sit in his office and ask tho shipper for a list, of brands1 without ever, seeing the cattle .that were shipped. In the majority of cases the brand inspectors at present engaged are not competent men, not being able to decipher the plajnest brand. The system is not only worthless from a protective standpoint but it is an injustice to shippers. The shipper is frequently subjected to the annoyance of having to search for the inspector whon something more important should be occupying his time. Ho also has to pay the sum of 5c.'- per houd for services which are of absolutely no value or protection to him. On examining some of the brand inspectors we found that on certain occasions have been starved 12 nnd 15 hours I ihey h'ld to W �"'t in the neighbor- ing of hay, but there is sufficient in the above excerpts to explain matters fully. This is indeed a great injustice. Besides this the hay is of poor quality; the yards are poorly kept aild things arc in an unsatisfactory condition generally. We were asked by the C.P.R. official in Winnipeg to inspect the yards and report to him, and if in the report we condemned them they would be token over again and managed by the CP. R. Co. We may sny that �e have advised the company of the condition of affairs and wc believe that matters will be remedied.. We would further advise that all the stock yards be taken over by the compnny. Reference to Winnipeg stock yards will be made in a treatment of Manitoba conditions. SHRINKAGE By the shrinkage system we mean the method the buyer has of safeguarding himself against loss in shipping. In the first place there is a very serious shrink in our grass fed cattle if long in transit. On account of the railway company causing long delays in certain shipments and the consequent heavy shrinkage, the buyer safeguards himself by making a 5 per cent, shrink on all cattle when buying, thus causing the producer to stand the loss, which in our opinion should be borne by the buyer. It has now become a sort of custom with the buyers to shrink whether it is reasonable to do so or not and there by the shrinkage system is badly abused. We have instances in the evidence where men have driven cattle a hundred miles and have then had them subjected to a 5 per cent shrink. In other crises where cattle men have been charged the same 5 per cent, shrink. When the producer is usked why he stands for such treat ment his answer is "We cannot dictate in making tho bargain. We must accept what we ni^c offered for our stock.'_' For this reason he asserts that, there is no competition amongst buyers and that there is an illegal combine existing. When the buyers wore asked to give reason why this unreasonable shrinkage was charged they maintained that it was a mere matter of business between themselves and the seller. Again there are occasions when the shrinkage system Is abused and is used by the buyer as a mere cloak to make the producer believe that he is re- hood of $2.00 for expenses in order to inspect a few cuttle when the am-(Continued on next page.) To check a cold quickly get, from your druggist some little Candy Cold Tablets called ProvetiMcs. Druggists everywhere ore now dispensing with I'revontics, for they are not only safe but decidedly effective"" and prompt. Preventics contain no quinine, ho lax ativc, nothing haruh or sickening. Taken at the "snooze stage" Proven-tics will prevent Pneumonia, Bronchitis, La Grippe, etc. Hence th* nam*, Preventics. Good for feverish children. 48 Preventics 25 cents. Trial boxes sold for 5 cts. Sold by ceiving a higher price per pound than all druggists. i 90 ;