June 25, 1903

QUESTIONS.

WEIGHING OF BUTTER AND CHEESE.

CON

Mr. MONK asked :

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. What was the report of the investigation held hy the Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce into the weighing of butter and cheese ?

2. Who made the complajnt, or charge, in respect to said weighing of butter and cheese ?

3. Did the investigation made by the royal commissioner show that the complaint, or charges, were well founded ?

4. What was the cost of said investigation ?

5. Will the report, if there is a written report. be communicated to the House, and when?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   WEIGHING OF BUTTER AND CHEESE.
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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (Hon. Sydney Fisher).

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce has not made out his report as commissioner to inquire into certain complaints as to the weights of butter and cheese. The complaints were made to the Department of Agriculture by a very large number of salesmen and others interested in the dairy trade. The investigation, not being reported on, it is premature to give an opinion as to the justice of the complaints. The cost so far is $428.95. The report will be laid on the Table of the House.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   WEIGHING OF BUTTER AND CHEESE.
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PURCHASES OF AMERICAN CATTLE BY BRITISH GOVERNMENT.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I would ask whether the attention of the govern-

ment lias been directed to the following information published in this morning's Montreal * Gazette ' :

The work of stocking Boer farms in South Africa with American dairy cattle is steadily proceeding, and a lucrative trade is being worked up. The steamer ' Atlantean,' which is now in port loading 2,000 tons of hay as export cargo for South Africa, will go from here to Galveston, Texas, to load dairy cattle for interior points in the Orange River Colony. The cattle are being sent to Africa by the British government to replace those which were either driven off or commandeered by the British during the war.

It is expected that the ' Atlantean ' will carry between 2,000 and 2,500 head of cattle on this trip. This will be her second voyage to South Africa with cattle.

Every animal accepted is subjected to a rigid examination, the utmost care being taken by the British government that all cattle sent to Africa shall be of high class and without a blemish.

For these cattle good prices are being paid, and southern cattle dealers are reaping a harvest in consequence. Great care is, however, exercised in the selection, and instances are known where out of forty or fifty cattle offered only a very small proportion were accepted.

The interests of the British government in the cattle shipping business are being looked after by Major Maude, of Ottawa, and he in turn is represented by Mr. Kirtaw, of New York, who is now at the Windsor, superintending the shipment of the hay cargo on the ' Atlantean.'

When seen last evening Mr. Kirtaw said he was not in a position to speak definitely as to the cattle business, as he was not the official who has charge of the purchasing. He knew, however, that the business had grown to large proportions.

The trade had its inception soon after the end of the war, and as soon as the British government assumed control of African affairs and began to replace the herds of Boer cattle which had been driven away during the war. He expected that the ' Atlantean ' would take about 2.500 head. They would be shipped to the interior of the country and' gradually distributed.

I bring this to the attention of the government because it has occurred to me, from reading this paragraph, that here would be a very good opportunity indeed for the shipping of cattle from Canada, and that this restocking of Boer farms should, to a very considerable extent, be done by Canadian cattle raisers. Has the attention of the government been directed to the subject matter of this paragraph, and have any representations been made to the imperial government, pointing out the desirability of their obtaining shipments of this kind as far as possible from Canada ? *

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The MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE (Hon. Sydney Fisher).

I may say that I was not aware of the statements contained in the paragraph cited, nor of the shipments in question. Immediately after it was announced that the imperial authorities were going to purchase cattle for the restocking of the Boer farms in South Africa most urgent representations were made by this gov-

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

eminent, through Lord Strathc'ona, to the imperial authorities that these purchases should be made in Canada, and explanations were given of what Canada could do in the way of supplying the demand. These representations were referred, by the Colonial Secretary of State, to the imperial officers in charge of the work, and we were informed that they would receive due consideration. A second time the attention of the imperial government was called to the fact that large purchases were being made in the United States on the lines indicated by this newspaper paragraph, but so far no attention has been paid by the imperial authorities to these representations.^

Topic:   PURCHASES OF AMERICAN CATTLE BY BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
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QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.

LIB

Jacob Thomas Schell

Liberal

Mr. J. T. SCHELL (Glengarry).

I rise, Mr. Speaker, to a question of privilege. On the 18th June instant the question was asked in this House, is J. T. Schell a member of the fil-m of McPherson & Schell ? I may answer in reply to that inquiry, Yes.

The matter to which this inquiry refers is one which arose from an order given by a Mr. Scott to the firm mentioned. The said order was given for one hundred shooks for cheese boxes to be sent to Glasgow, Scotland. The order was given on paper headed 1 Glasgow International Exhibition, 1901.' It was dated Ottawa, February 18th, 1901 ; signed W. D. Scott, Commissioner, per C. H. M. There was nothing to indicate that Mr. Scott was an officer of the Dominion government. In fact the terms of the order as received rather favoured the idea that Mr. Scott was a commissioner from the old country.

The order contained a request that a memorandum of the amount should be sent to Mr. Scott personally, not to any officer or department of the government. I may here state that the sum involved in this transaction is $4, with an additional $1.50 for package. At any rate, the order was received in my absence at Ottawa in the usual course of business, and was attended to by the manager of the business. The firm of which I am a member has before this refused orders which they knew to come from the Dominion government.

If any further evidence is required as to the understanding by our manager that the transaction was one with Mr. Scott personally, I may refer to the invoice, a press copy of which we have in our invoice book, and which is simply In this form :

W. D. Scott, Ottawa, to 100 sets cheese

hoops $4 00

Crating, &c 1 50

That same entry was carried through our books and posted in our ledger in exactly the same terms, as a transaction with Mr. Scott personally. The matter was carried

through all our books and, when the payment was made more than a year afterwards, I was again absent from Alexandria, being engaged in attendance on this House, and the receipt of the payment is a simple entry in the cash book credited to Mr. W. D. Scott. The manner in which this payment was made I was not aware of any more than I was of the transaction itself. The first intimation X had of there being any transaction whatever with the Dominion government was the question raised on the 18th of June, as appearing on the Order Paper.

This is a simple and straightforward statement of the whole transaction, and I should say ought to strike any man of common sense as evidence of my entire ignorance of the transaction, and, therefore, of the absence of any intention to infringe upon any law relating to the independence of the members of this House. I submit myself and the whole matter to the judgment of this honourable House.

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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE (Hon. Charles Fitzpatrick).

I move :

That the statement just read by Mr. Schell, the member for Glengarry, be referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections.

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Motion agreed to.


REPORT PRESENTED.


Report of the Canadian Archives for the year 1902.-Hon. Mr. Fisher.


ELEVATOR ACCIDENT.

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES (North Victoria).

Before the Orders of the Day are called, I *desire to draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that one of the elevators, or lifts, as they are termed, running in this building, slipped yesterday. I was not aboard, but a number of possibly more valuable members were. These lifts should be so built that there would be no possibility of slipping. I draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to this matter.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Sir. SPEAKER.

These elevators are not under the care of the Speaker of the House.

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HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS OF MONTREAL.


Bill (No. 201) to provide for further advances to the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, was -read the second time, and the House went into committee thereon.


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

This Bill is entirely a reproduction of the resolutions which the committee has already dealt with. The matter was very fully discussed at the former sitting', and I do not think there is anything [DOT]calling for notice, unless some hon. gentlemen desire further information.

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June 25, 1903