March 29, 1901


Bill (No. 32) to provide for the marking and inspection of packages containing fruit for sale (Hon. Mr. Fisher) read the second time, and the House went into committee thereon. On section 2,


CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

It seems to me that it would be a great mistake to bring a Bill of this character into operation on the first of July next. Not only the men who pack the apples, but the men who make the barrels, should have sufficient time to make themselves acquainted with the provisions of this Bill before it comes into operation. I would suggest that 1901 be changed to 1902.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I do not think I could accept that amendment. This Bill does not deal at all with the making of the barrels, but applies only to the packing and the making of the packages. Even supposing it did somewhat interfere with the character of the packages, it would be necessary to make the Bill law this session. Practically the same kind of Bill was introduced in this House last year and pretty thoroughly discussed, and the people were warned that legislation of this kind was required. The people interested in the trade have asked that some Bill of this kind to protect the trade and the reputation of our fruit should be introduced.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would suggest that this clause be allowed to stand until we have gone through the other clauses, and then decide whether or not the Bill should go into operation the first of July next.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I am quite willing, but in my judgment the proposition to suspend action for another year would be hurtful to the trade, and prevent the advantages resulting which we expect to flow from this Bill.

On section 3,

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMITH (Wentworth).

I think it was intended that the term ' closed package ' should only refer to fruit in barrels and boxes, and this definition might include fruit in baskets. I would suggest that it be made clear that the term ' close package ' means a barrel, keg or box, the contents of which cannot be seen when the package is closed.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The suggestion is one I would have to consider a little before I accept it. This question of the definition of a closed package has been found one very difficult to solve. The intention of the Bill is that this should apply to packages In which the public purchasing the goods cannot fairly see and judge of the contents without opening the package. The difficulty which

my hon. friend from Wentworth (Mr. Smith) refers to arises from the fact that grapes are sometimes packed in baskets, which, if not opened, hardly show the quality of their contents. That is a point on which I am not able, on the spur of the moment, to give an opinion. But I thought that the whole intent and purpose of the Bill is covered by the definition here given of a closed package. The object of the Bill is to regulate the contents of a closed package, being a package in which the purchaser cannot examine for himself as he purchases, without turning it out or opening it, the character of the contents. I think the words here used fairly cover the definition.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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CON

Ernest D'Israeli Smith

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SMITH (Wentworth).

1 might point out that in case of a basket with a wooden cover the contents would not be visible, but the cover can easily be removed, so that the purchaser need not be in doubt as to the quality of the grapes.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

I think, perhaps, the hon. member for AVentworth has given an accurate description in the form of words he has suggested. Baskets with wooden covers, or mere temporary packages, should not be included under the Bill, because they cannot be stamped and otherwise treated as is provided by the Bill, and it would not be desirable in any case.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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LIB

Byron Moffatt Britton

Liberal

Mr. BRITTON.

I am inclined to think the objection is well taken, to some extent at all events, because it will be seen that according to the definition under clause 3, a closed package ' means a package of which the contents cannot be seen or inspected when such package is closed.' The whole question is as to the definition of the word

[DOT] package,' and some form of words such as that suggested by the hon. member for Wentworth seems to me to cover all that is required. Unless something of that kind is put in, it. seems to me difficulties will arise in the attempt to enforce the law.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (South Ontario).

I would support the contention of the hon. member for AA'entworth (Mr. Smith). I am accustomed to handling such packages as he speaks of- baskets of grapes and other fruit covered with a wooden cover and so arranged as to be easily detached. It would be a great hardship in the fall of the year when we are getting hundreds-and still more in large centres where they get thousands and tens of thousands of baskets-to have them called closed packages under this law, and to be made responsible for their contents.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The suggestion of the hon. member for AA'entworth (Air. Smith) is on record in

* Hansard ' and we can look at it a little more carefully. In the meantime, I would suggest that this clause be allowed to stand. We can return to it a little later on.

On section 4,

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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IND

Arthur W. Puttee

Independent Labour

Air. PUTTEE.

AA'hen this Bill was introduced, as I understood the hon. minister's explanation, it was the intention to have it apply to the domestic or North-west tra'de, and I would like to know how far this is being provided for under this clause. It seems to me that clause 4 provided only for the marking of packages with the initials, the variety and the grade, the same as is done now in our domestic trade, while clause 6, which calls for the grading, is limited to the export trade.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
Permalink
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

No.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
Permalink
IND

Arthur W. Puttee

Independent Labour

Air. PUTTEE.

Then I would like to have the matter explained.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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The AIINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

The intention certainly is that this Bill should apply to the internal trade, but the grades which are defined in clauses 6 and 7 were intended to apply to the export trade and not to the internal trade. We have found by experience that the marking of grades or definition of the class of fruit contained in packages is very difficult. Different packers use words to designate or grade their, fruit. For instance, one gentleman who was present when this Bill was discussed by the fruit growers and shippers, said he always marked his fruit ' Imperial ' and ' selected,' ' Imperial ' being the best and ' selected ' being the next best. Other gentlemen use other names. It was understood that it would be impracticable, without serious injury to the present trade, to require that certain definite marks or brands should be put upon all packages. But, for export, the two definite brands contained in clauses 6 and 7 are suggested. Even these are not compulsory for export, and if one chooses to export under another brand than these, he can do so. Clause 8 will cover this and all other packages, as it provides that the interior of the package shall be of the same quality as the ends or faces shown. It was thought to be unnecessary to define the grades otherwise than in that way. But, for the purpose of encouraging our exporters and to establish definite Canadian grades which shall be known in the foreign markets in the future, we have introduced into this Bill clauses 6 and 7 to give a definite grade with the name ' Canadian.' This explanation, I trust, will show my hon. friend from Winnipeg (Mr. Puttee) that the internal trade is dealt with by this Bill practically in the same way as the export trade -that is, the package must contain a uniform and even quality of fruit similar to that in the exposed portion of the package.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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LIB

Fletcher Bath Wade

Liberal

Air. WADE.

I would like to point out that subsection b of this section 4 provides that the name of the ' variety or varieties ' shall be stamped on the package. Under section 7 it is provided that there shall be

only one variety of apples in a package. 1 think, therefore, we should strike out the words ' or varieties ' in subsection b. I may say that I would object to making it compulsory to put the word ' Canadian ' upou the packages. I think that it would be objectionable to the growers and the shippers of Nova Scotia, because they have, so far- and they think for good reason-retained the name ' Nova Scotia Apples,' and their fruit is so known in the English market. They seem to think-and it appears with good cause-that the Nova Scotia fruit is superior. Certainly it reaches the market in superior condition to the Ontario fruit. That can be understood because the Ontario fruit has a long railway carriage, and as fruit is apt to sweat, by the time of its arrival at Montreal. the port of shipment, it is in bad condition. On the other hand the Nova Scotia fruit has only a short railway haul, and is put on board steamers in better condition than the Ontario fruit. Be that as it may,

I cannot see any reason why Nova Scotia shippers should be compelled to change the name of their fruit and call it Canadian.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.

I do not think my hon. friend caught what I said in regard to sections 6 and 7. These sections are not compulsory, they are simply a definition of the grades which we would like to encourage exporters to put on their fruit. If they do not wish to use them, they can put any other brand they choose upon their packages. But, even supposing this grade is put on, there is no reason that the word * N.S.' should not be put along with it, and have it shown that the fruit comes from Nova Scotia, just in the same way as a Quebec or an Ontario man might put the words ' Ont.' or ' Que.' along with their definition of ' A No. 1 Cndn.' Then, in regard to the other point which the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Wade) brought forward, pointing out that the word ' varieties ' was used in subsection b of section 4, and in sections 6 and 7, where they are required to have only one variety, here again clauses 6 and 7 are not compulsory. But, we wish to encourage people who are exporting fruit in large quantities not to mix up varieties of fruit in the same package for the export trade. If a man is sending a considerable number of packages for shipment abroad, it is hardly likely that he would want to put more than one variety in the same package. Therefore, in the definition of what I hope to call national brands or grades, it is required that only one variety shall be put in a package. T may say in this connection, that amongst ' many arguments which have been urged, i both from the old country and in our home ; markets, the desirability of putting only . one variety of fruit in a package has been i strongly impressed upon us. I would not, < therefore, like to see that qualification in' i sections 6 and 7 struck out. While in other ( markets and for other purposes it is neces- I

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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LIB

Fletcher Bath Wade

Liberal

Mr. WADE.

sary that if there are two or three varieties ' in the barrel, the names of those varieties should be put on the packages.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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LIB

Fletcher Bath Wade

Liberal

Mr. WADE.

Would the minister consider it necessary that words should be added to these two sections 6 and 7 so that in addition to the mark ' A No. 1 Canadian,' parties can add the province in which the fruit is shipped ?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
Permalink

March 29, 1901