April 1, 1903

CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. J. ROOHE (Marquette).

This is a question that affects a very large portion of the community of the North-west who are engaged in threshing, and have a very great deal of money invested in this line of business. And when I refer to threshers. I do not wish to leave the impression that I refer to only a class of people who follow the avocation of threshing. There is a very large class of farmers who are interested in threshing and own threshing machines, and to whom the settlement of this question is as important as to those who own threshing machines and are not farmers. I believe you cannot purchase a modern machine for less than $2,500 or $3,000. This suggests the greatness of the amount invested in all the machines necessary to do the threshing in that great western country, which grew over one hundred millions of bushels of grain last year. Now many of the farmers have to mortgage their farms in order to purchase these machines, those of them who are owners of land. They have interest to pay on this money which they borrow, they have many risks to run, such as the drawbacks incident to bad weather ; they have to pay their hands oftentimes during this bad weather. They meet with accidents sometimes and have to pay out a good deal of money for repairs. Therefore the interest of the threshers is a very material interest, and is well worthy of consideration

at the hands of the head of the department under whose care such matters as this may come. They have to wait for months, and sometimes a year or more for ,the money which is coming to them for the grain which they thresh. When we take into consideration the drawbacks incident to their vocation, I say it is an impossibility for the Minister of Inland revenue to do too much towards meeting their wishes, insofar as no dissatisfaction is created in the other party to the contract.

Now, when we look at this Act as it reads at the present time, we find it says :

Every person who uses or who has in his possession for use in trade any weight, measure, scale, balance, steel-yard or weighing machine which is false or unjust

That is which has not the government stamp on it.

-shall incur a penalty not exceeding $25 and not less than $10 ; and in the case of a subsequent offence, of $50. And any contract, bargain, sale or dealing made by the same shall be void, and the weight, measure, scale, balance, steel-yard or weighing machine shall be forfeited and shall be forthwith seized as being so forfeited.

Now, here we have a machine insisted on by the department which at the present time the threshers cannot use, they could not get through with their threshing and comply with the Act if they had such a machine. It would be impossible to do it in the one season of the year. Therefore the threshers who are engaged in that occupation at the present time, are doing so illegally, so far as the standard measure is concerned. As a matter of fact they use a weighing machine or a bagger, which, in the majority of cases is agreed upon by both parties. But there are a class of people who may object to it, and take advantage of that Act and beat the thresher out of his just dues, and it is to meet this class that legislation is desired from the Minister of Inland Revenue.

Last year I referred to the fact that decisions had been given by the courts wherein the farmers have been allowed to go scot free in refusing to pay their threshers. That is tiie class I have just referred to, and it is to protect them from that class that the threshers desire this legislation. This machine that has been referred to by my hon. friend from Macdonald would be, I think, mutually agreeable both to the farmer and to the thresher. The Minister of Inland Revenue said last year that some one had invented a machine and would bring it to the department, and he thought it would be acceptable and would be adopted universally. I am not aware that that machine has been universally adopted, I do not think it has been. But the machine that has been brought to the department, the machine which the hon. member has referred to, is one that I think would satisfy Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

the farmer as well as the thresher. It has been accepted by an officer of the department, and then refused by the head of the department. I attended a meeting of the Thresher's Union in my town last fall, at which this matter was discussed, and where their grievances were laid before the farmers. Every person there, farmer as well as thresher, was convinced that there was just cause of complaint on the part of the threshers, and a grievance existed which ought to be remedied by the Department of Inland Revenue. I do not know that it is necessary for me to go into the discussion at any length just now, before these papers are brought down. But I would urge upon the Minister of Inland Revenue the necessity for adopting some machine that would be mutually agreeable to the farmer and the thresher, in compliance with the promise he made last session.

Topic:   AUTOMATIC GRAIN WEIGHERS IN NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Six o'clock.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   AUTOMATIC GRAIN WEIGHERS IN NORTH-WEST TERRITORIES.
Permalink

PRIVATE BILLS.

ATLANTIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR RAILWAY COMPANY.


On the Order for : Second reading ol Bill (No. 36) respecting the Atlantic and Lake Superior Railway Company. -Mr. Bali.


CON

Georges Ball

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. BALL (Nicolet).

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the House to allow this Bill to stand, for the reason which I will give. The parties interested in this Bill are absent. They were not aware that the rule of the House has been changed, and that the Bill would be discussed upon the second reading instead of in the Railway Committee. My hon. friend from Bonaventure (Mr. March) took the opportunity the other day of proposing an amendment to the second reading of the Bill. He has just told me that he has a speech prepared.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
LIB

Peter Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.

The hon. member (Mr. Ball) is not quite in order. There is nothing before the House.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink
CON

Georges Ball

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BALL.

I would ask the House to allow the Bill to stand on account of the interested parties not being present. They were preparing to be at the committee, and they just got the news that the Bill would be discussed in this House instead of before the Railway Commitee.

Order allowed to stand.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS.
Subtopic:   ATLANTIC AND LAKE SUPERIOR RAILWAY COMPANY.
Permalink

SECOND READINGS.


Bill (No. 43) to incorporate the Regina and Hudson's Bay Railway Company.-Mr. Scott. Bill (No. 50) respecting tlie British Columbia Southern Railway.-Mr. Morrison. Bill (No. 51) to incorporate the North-west Bank of Canada.-Mr. McCreary.


INQUIRY FOR RETURNS.

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier).

Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are proceeded with, I would like to remind the bon. Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) that there are certain papers which were asked for some time ago and which have not been brought down yet. There are the papers relating to the colonial conference which have been promised to be laid on the Table and which have not been laid on the Table yet. There are the papers relating to the Bond-Hay treaty which have been promised. I believe the order was issued for these papers and they have not been brought down yet. There are the papers relating to the Alaskan boundary. I will send a memorandum over to the hon. Minister of Finance if he will allow me. I think it would be desirable that we should have these papers as soon as possible.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURNS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

Some of the papers are ;n course of preparation, but whether all are covered by the arrangements I am not quite sure. I will see that the attention of the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is called to it.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURNS.
Permalink

TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND TARIFF INQUIRY.

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier).

Mr. Speaker, before you proceed with the Orders of the Day. I would like to ask the government if we may take as authoritative the statements which have been reproduced in the Montreal papers of the announcements in the city of Montreal by my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Mr. Prefontaine). At a meeting held in the city of Montreal a day or two ago my hon. friend announced as follows. I am quoting from the Montreal ' Herald ' :-

Minister of Marine speaks of the government's plans.

Hon. Raymond Prefontaine announces the make-up of the Railway Commission and outlines work of the cabinet.

Railway Commision to be composed of Sir Wm. Van Horne, president ; Messrs Geo. Bertram. Toronto, H. Kennedy of Quebec, Trans-poration Commissioners ; and Messrs. J. X. Perrault and Bell, secretaries.

Possibility of a committee on tariff revision.

The Atlantic port of the Grand Trunk Pacific to be on Canadian soil.

St. James election to be held in May.

End of session in July.

These are the announcements summarized, as the government organ has them summarized in its issue of yesterday. The announcement in regard to the composition of

tlie railway commission is of some importance, Mr. Speaker, and I feel justified in asking the government if the announcement is really the pronunciamento of the government upon the composition of the commission ? Speaking of a matter, perhaps of more importance, that is the revision of the tariff, the hon. Minister said thus :-

Passing for a few moments to the tariff the minister said that the government was determined to do justice to all, and to give due consideration to all interests, industrial, commercial and agricultural. If it found that a revision of the tariff was necessary or that legitimate industries required protection, the right thing would be done.

If it appeared that full justice could not be done during the session, the government might name a committee from the cabinet to secure the opinion of the country, as was done by the present ministry in 1897. . . It was

proposed to have a second transcontinental line from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and entirely on Canadian soil. To this enterprise the government would no doubt grant a measure of assistance, in keeping with prudence and wisdom.

I think it is right and proper, Mr. Speaker, that we should ask the government, if these announcements which are of very great importance are really a declaration of the government's policy. If they be, then this House would be entitled to have known it at an earlier date. We should like to know if it is determined upon that the composition of this commission is as was stated by the hon. minister (Hon. Sir. Prfifontaine). We should be informed also as to whether it is certain that the Grand Trunk Pacific will have its Atlantic port on Canadian soil; if the St. James election is to be held in Slay next, and if the prophetic vision of the minister as to the end of the session in July has any real foundation. We should know whether or not all these things form part of the government programme.

Topic:   TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND TARIFF INQUIRY.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

I am afraid I shall have to repeat the observation I made on a previous occasion; That announcements not made in that valuable publication known as the 'Canada Gazette ' are not to be taken as entirely authorized. I am unable to accept responsibility for statements appearing in a newspaper however worthy and reputable that newspaper may be. I agree with my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) that when announcements of an official character are to be made on these important subjects it will be proper that they should be made in the House of Commons, and I am quite satisfied that they will be so made.

Topic:   TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND TARIFF INQUIRY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

At the same time, I think that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries who is at present in the House, ought be in a position to state to the House whether or not these remarks as reported in a reputable journal supporting * the government have really been made by

the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. I do not think it is asking too much from this side of the House to request some statement as to whether or not these views have been expressed by a minister of the Crown, and whether tiiq report is correct. It is quite true that various announcements of a certain character are made in the ' Canada Gazette,' but still announcements are sometimes made by ministers of the Crown at public gatherings and it would be very interesting indeed to know whether this announcement has been made or whether it is a complete forgery and misstatement which is contained in this journal. If these announcements have been made by a minister *of the Crown, then it is right for us to know whether or not the government undertakes the responsibility for them-I do not see how it could avoid taking responsibility for them. If it does take responsibility for them, how does it happen that announcements of this character during a session of parliament are made by a minister of the Crown, not from his place in the House of Commons but are made by him at a gathering of this sort. I do not think that my hon. friend the Minister of Finance has quite discharged his duty towards the House and the country in stating what he has stated in regard to this matter.

Topic:   TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND TARIFF INQUIRY.
Permalink
CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir. BENNETT.

Slay I ask the Sfinister of Finance: Whether the statements which were credited by the premier to the ex-Slinister of Public Works (Hon. Sir. Tarte) appeared in the 'Canada Gazette' or in the newspapers ?

Topic:   TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND TARIFF INQUIRY.
Permalink
?

The SIINISTER OF FINANCE.

1 really do not remember, I was absent from the country at the time.

Topic:   TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND TARIFF INQUIRY.
Permalink
?

The SIINISTER OF SIARINE AND FISHERIES (Hon. Raymond PrSfontaine).

1 have no hesitation whatever in giving the explanations that are required. I must state first, that the newspaper which has been cited has drawn conclusions from ordinary expressions that any public man would make under the circumstances. 1 was present at that meeting of the Dander club in Maisonueuve division last Monday night and as a public man I said there, that from reviewing the political situation, I said that the program of the government ns laid down in the speech from the Throne was a programme which attracted the* attention of the people not only of Maisonneuve blit all over the Dominion. Commenting on the different items mentioned in the speech from the Throne, I made allusion of course to the question of transportation and I said, this question having been referred to, that it having been decided that the question would be referred to a commission this proposition seemed to have received the approbation not only of the friends of the government, but of the opposition; that the question deserved to be studied and that in face of the names that had been suggested there was every guarantee that this ques-Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

tion would be studied with due care and due consideration. I mentioned the names that had been published in the papers as having been suggested to be members of that commission. I never went any further than that. I added that it might be found necessary to have the commission composed of five instead of three. I never mentioned and it could not be inferred, that the commission had been appointed; that the names of the commissioners had been considered by the cabinet., I never said anything of the sort, and people who listened to me understood what I said perfectly well.

Now ns regards the tariff, what did I say? I repeated exactly what I said during my election : That the government was disposed to do justice to every class of the community-I never said anything else-that if there were remedies to be applied, or if certain things had to be done towards certain industries I had no doubt that the government of the country would do what was right towards these industries. I never went any further than that.

Topic:   TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND TARIFF INQUIRY.
Permalink

April 1, 1903