Dame is noted for integrity and substantial standing in the community in which he lives. Mr. Charles A. Bull is his son, and he is a young man who, as I say, went to Montreal some years ago to enter business, and who, as far as I know, has conducted himself in a proper and trustworthy way.
So I take it for granted that Mr. Bull, being a trustworthy person, according to the Minister of Agriculture, I may have confidence in statements he may have made to me. It is not necessary for me to put on record all the letters and copies of letters from the various parts of the dairying sections of Quebec and eastern Ontario in order to show the absolute need of this investigation and of some change in the law. That would take a long time and would serve no good purpose. Sufficient to say that they ' are here in any number. The existence of them is known, no doubt, to the Minister of Agriculture and those who take an interest in this question. I find that the Minister of Agriculture, in 1900, in replying to the letter of Mr. Bull, said :
About the city weighers. I am not sure 1 could appoint a man to weigh the butter. I could, however, perhaps authorize somebody like Ruddick to be a referee in cases of dispute. If you or anybody else will work up a case such as you describe in general terms there is no doubt we could make such a row about it that either the local government or I would have to appoint a weigher. Instances such as you give me, if in detail as to dates, &c., and accompanied by such certificates carefully prepared and tabulated, would present such a case before the dairy associations or before the Butter and Cheese Board that they could not help acting.
That was the opinion of the Minister of Agriculture in 1900. He felt that he was corresponding with a man of some consequence and worthy of his confidence. This is further shown by the fact that it was since then that the minister gave Mr. Bull the certificate of character to which I have referred. Now, we find that, on 27th March, 1901, he says :
I have yours of 25th March. It is of the utmost importance that you should send me at once all the papers on the short weight matter.
So, back in 1901, three years ago, this was a matter of urgency in the best interest ot the farmers of this country, and deserved immediate attention. And when I read this report, although the evidence upon which it was based was taken behind closed doors, without any of the frankness about the investigation that ought to have been manifested, it becomes clear that enough was known to warrant the commissioner in making this report, and to warrant the government in seeking to make a change in the system of weighing. However, after three years there does not seem to be the same urgency about the matter. The minister says in another letter to Mr. Bull :