March 29, 1901

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I do not know very much about the apple trade, and I do not profess to know anything about the relative merits of Nova Scotia apples and Ontario apples. But I happened to notice in the report of Prof. Robertson of last year or the year before, the statement that apples from Nova Scotia are sold by the name of Nova Scotia apples in London, although they are, of course, just as much Canadian apples as apples from Ontario or Quebec, which are sold as Canadian apples. If the apples from my own province have a reputation by that name, I think it is well that the advantage of that fact, whether it is little or great, should be preserved. Would the Minister of Agriculture

permit me to bring to bis attention a matter which does not seem to be very definitely dealt with in his Bill, though I am perhaps mentioning it a little out of its order ? By sections 6 and 7 it is provided that the apples of grade A No. 1 Canadian shall have certain characteristics; and then by section 8 it is provided that ' no person shall sell or offer, expose, or have in his possession for sale, any fruit packed in any package upon which is marked any designation of size, grade or variety which falsely represents such fruit.' The difficulty I see about the Bill is this. The hon. gentleman has defined what No. 1 Canadian shall be, but he does not make It necessary that the brand No. 1 Canadian shall be used by any person. Suppose the apple-growers of Ontario see fit to mark their apples No. 1 Ontario, and the Nova Scotia growers No. 1 Nova Scotia, you have not any provision stating what apples so marked' shall be. Would it not be desirable to have in this Bill, a general definition of No. 1 apples, such as is given of No. 1 Canadian in clause 6 ? Unless you have such a clause, it will be easy for any one to avoid the provisions of the Act without exposing himself to any penalty.

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

In the Bill introduced last session, it was intended to have a definition of a grade, which should be made compulsory for the export trade. When, however, the scope of the Bill was enlarged, and made to embrace the internal as well as the export trade, it was found difficult to give a definition on account of the number of brands used in the internal trade. Some fruit-growers have brands which they wish to continue using, and which it would be impossible to define. Were the trade and the public to consent to the wiping out of all the present brands, and the adoption of a new standard, which, would apply to fruit in the same way as the standard brands apply to grain, that might be a good thing, but the trade at large is determinedly opposed to it. It would be too great an interference with the established usages of the trade to be practicable.

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

Seymour Eugene Gourley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOURLEY.

Could you not pass a law and make it applicable in two years from now ?

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 that such a law would be acceptable to the trade. There are certain men in the trade who have to-day established brands worth thousands of dollars to them, because they have been honest in their trading and packing, and the people have confidence in those brands. And it would be absolute robbery to prevent these people from using those brands. It might take years for the traders, who were compelled to give up their established brands, to re-establish their reputation and charac-Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

ter under a general brand. Sections 6 and 7 are not compulsory. They are simply suggestions, in the hope that in time-and the sooner the better-our export trade will, as much as possible, be covered by some such brand. I am not particular as to the character of the brand, but I should be glad to see our export trade carried on under brands of which the name ' Canadian ' formed an integral and important part. It was in this view that I suggested the word ' Canadian ' in preference to ' N.S.,' ' Ont.' or ' Que.' I do not want to enter into any controversy as to the quality of the apples in Ontario and Nova Scotia. My own opinion is, that the province of Quebec, coming between the two, furnishes the best fruit.

I do not think it would be practicable to define what should be first quality grade and second quality grade, but I do think that section 8 covers the point, as far as any general provision possibly can. If there is a designation put upon a closed package, which would indicate superior excellence, and the fruit was found inferior, I believe the packer would be liable to the penalties under section 9 for having violated the provisions of section 8. It is just as necessary that section 8 shall be complied with as section 4. If any of the provisions of these two sections are evaded, the parties guilty would be liable to the penalties in section 9.

This Bill has been in the hands of the Justice Department and been carefully examined, and the impression which 1 certainly had is, that the penalties under section 9 applied to the provisions of sections 4 and 8.

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).

The difficulty is, that it would be almost impossible to convict any one of an offence against section 8. You would require expert evidence, and would have half a dozen saying a particular barrel was No. 1 and others saying it was not.

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

The hon. gentleman may notice that in the eleventh line of section 8 there is this provision :

-and it shall he considered a false representation when more than 15 per cent of such fruit is substantially smaller in size than, or inferior in grade to, or different in variety from, the marks on such package or the faced or shown surface of such package.

That does not quite cover the point, but it would be very difficult indeed for a packer to act as my hon. friend thinks he might, and not come under this particular section.

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

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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Mr. BOSS@South Ontario

If we are to accept the suggestion of the hon. member for Bothwell (Mr. Clancy), I think the suggestion of the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Gourley) should be adopted with it, that all the packers should be allowed two or three years for the adoption of this ' A No. 1 Canadian ' brand. I was speaking recently with a member of the firm of J. O. Henry & Sons, of Oshawa, who are among the largest shippers of apples, who said-and this view is confirmed by the statement of other shippers with whom I have had correspondence-that they have a registered brand of apples with which they have been doing business in the old country for about a quarter of a century. The brand is well established, the goods are exactly as represented, and they sell on their merits. Hon. members can easily see that this firm have built up a business, and that this brand is a valuable asset which they cannot afford to part with at short notice. I plead for that class of people. If the suggestion of the hon. member for Bothwell is taken, time should be allowed to the shippers to accommodate themselves to the new order of things. To take any other course would be to subject individuals to great hardship.

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.

There is a good deal of force in what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Boss, Ontario) says. I do not think that anybody wishes to subject any of the shippers to hardship. In fact, the minister gives that as his reason for not making the suggested change. I cannot agree with the hon. member for Colchester as to not bring-7oi

| ing this Bill into force at once but deferring it for three years

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

Seymour Eugene Gourley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOURLEY.

I did not refer to the whole Bill, I referred to this part of it.

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.

Yes, this part of the Bill. But there has been great clamour for some legislation in this direction; and, while I am opposing this feature of it, I wish to state that the producers and shippers feel themselves under a debt of gratitude to the hon. minister for the interest he has taken in this matter.

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

Seymour Eugene Gourley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOURLEY.

I think the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wade) did not understand what I said. What I desired was that if there are people who are ready to co-operate in this matter they should be given three years to put themselves under the general rule.

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.

I understood the hon. gentleman (Mr. Gourley). I am informed that in Ontario they are using such grades as ' selected,' ' choice selected ' and so on. In the province of Nova Scotia, these are not the designations used. We used the terms ' No. 1,' ' A No. 1 ' and so on. This national grade that we are trying to establish by this Act is really taking our grading and tacking to it the word ' Canadian.' That is the thing we object to, because we have-as I said before for good reasons- kept the name of our apples distinct from the Canadian, because we claim they are better, and the reports of the department shows they are better. It would be a hardship to the producers of Nova Scotia to lose a portion of their distinctive mark, just as it would be in the case of the private shippers of Ontario. These honest packers have used the name honestly and have made it valuable, and I desire to retain for them the distinctive mark which they have thus made valuable. There may be only 1 per cent or half of 1 per cent of the packers dishonest, but their dishonesty will affect the whole trade. To bear out my argument, I might refer to the evidence given before the Agricultural Committee in 1899. I find it there stated that apples were shipped from Ontario by the ss. Castilian, which was wrecked on the shore of Nova Scotia. These apples were purchased in Yarmouth. The packages were marked 'selected' and 'choice selected,' but the purchasers were disgusted at the gross deception practised for the apples were, for the most part, mere windfalls. Three or four layers on top were fair, but the rest were windfalls and nubbins. The man who used this brand ' choice selected ' did not make it of much value to himself. The report shows that Nova Scotia apples are better than those from Ontario. I do not care whether they are or not. The people think they are better, and the purchasing public on the other side think so. Therefore, our mark has a distinct value, and if we wish to put the highest

grade on our barrels, we ought not to be compelled to change the distinct mark.

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

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I do not understand that it is the purpose of the Bill to deprive the Nova Scotians of the use of the word ' Nova Scotia.' There is only one Nova Scotia, and these packers retain the full benefit of the name.

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.

I cannot agree with the hon. gentleman (Mr. Clancy). If he will look at clause 6, he will see that if we wish to use the highest mark, what Is called the national mark, we must put upon the barrel ' A No. 1 Canadian.'

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

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Then, add ' Nova Scotia.'

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.

But that would not be to retain our distinctive grade marking. This is something new and something different. We should be dropping out the prominent feature of our mark which is ' Nova Scotia,' and putting in the place of it ' Canadian.' I would like to see this BUI acceptable to the parties interested so that it might be generally adopted, but, if we change our grade mark to ' Canadian ' it would not be generally adopted.

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).

If the grade called ' Nova Scotia ' is so much superior to the grade called ' Canadian,' all you have to do is to brand your barrel with the word ' Nova Scotia ' and leave out the other.

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.

No, because the mark is ' A No. 1 Canadian.' The purchaser seeing that says : I won't buy that, because it is

from Ontario, but I will look for something marked 'Nova Scotia.' If there is any virtue in the fact of apples being grown in Nova Scotia, we have a right to retain that distinctive mark.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION OF FRUIT PACKAGES.
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Mr. BOSS@South Ontario

I think the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Wade) will see when we come to section 6 that, If these apples are marked ' A No. 1 Canadian ' they can be marked also ' Nova Scotia ' or 'Quebec' or by any other name underneath.

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

March 29, 1901