July 21, 1904


Consequently he still feels on the 20tli of April, 1901, that there is reason for immediate action. We find again in April of the same year : I am now in a position, after correspondence with the various authorities to state that Mr. John McLeod has no official status. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, notwithstanding that this man has no official standing and has no right from a legal standpoint to do so, he is allowed to continue to weigh butter and cheese from that time to this; and when this parliament is just closing, and without action on the part of this government, that man who has no status, that gentleman who is paid-so I understand it, by the men who are actually buying butter and cheese, the man who has no reason to favour the farmer and has every reason to favour the gentlemen who are handling that product at the expense of the farmer- that gentleman still keeps on weighing. The correspondence w-il-1 show, as I proceed, the unfairness of the system under which this product is handled, and I shall convince every lion, gentleman in this House that it is a shame that this parliament closes without giving some relief, and some better assurance that the farmers will be treated honestly. I find this report is dated the 22nd of October, and it gives a list of the names of all those men who are entitled to be weighers, and it does not include Mr. McLeod. Then on May 11, the minister writes to Mr. Bull : I have yours of the 10th In regard to the meeting at Brockville. I have really nothing to add to what I have already stated. My statements are categorical and I defy anybody to challenge their accuracy. I have *written to Mr. Hodgson on exactly the same lines as I wrote yourself and Benham, with the exception that in my letter to him I replied to his letter to me and consequently may have used some words slightly different, but the sense is the same as I wrote you. I have already said that the only legal and official weighers are Mr. Cameron and his assistants and that nobody else has any official or legal standing. The law authorizes nobody but the Board of Trade to make these appointments. I therefore cannot make an appointment without a change of the law. He recognized on May 11, 1901, that we should have a change in the law. Of course this correspondence is very unsatisfactory, as you can understand, because I have not the letters that Mr. Bull wrote, I have not the arguments he advanced, I am not in possession of the information that warranted Mr. Bull in writing as he did to the Minister of Agriculture. But as I proceed you will see an estrangement taking place between him and the Minister of Agriculture. This is very near the beginning of it, when he writes him this peremptory letter. But he admits' here that there should be a change in the law. Then on October 5, the minister writes to Mr. Bull : I have yours of the 1st October. I have not been able as yet to see my colleagues about this matter, consequently cannot give you any information. And that was previous to his taking charge of the Department of Militia. You can imagine how busy he has been, when he has the care not only of his own department, but the management and superintendence of the Department of Militia. Then his private secretary writes under date of October 19 : Referring to your letter of the 18th, I write to inform you that Mr. Fisher left yesterday for Knowlton to return here only on Wednesday next. If the matter of short weights is of immediate importance to you, you had better address him there, although I doubt whether he could attend to it before he returns. Perhaps he is too busy selecting officers down at Knowlton. The minister writes on October 30 to Mr. Bull : I beg to acknowledge receipt of yours of the 18th October. I expect to see Sir Richard Cartwright in connection with subject-matter of your communication in a few days



' This was on October 30, 1901, and it has taken him a year to go across and see Sir Richard Cartwright, although he recognized in the very beginning that this was a matter of importance, a matter of urgency that should be attended to immediately.



when I will write you the result of our interview. Then his secretary writes on November 22, to Mr. Bull : Mr. Fisher left here this morning for his home to return probably on Tuesday, when your letter of the 21st will be laid before him. I fear you are acting too hastily, if you are espousing the best interests of the farmers concerned. Mr. Fisher is at the present time actively engaged upon the very matter which you wish to give prematurely to the public. Communications of the greatest importance are actually passing between him and the Department of Trade and Commerce



Think of that.



with a view to finding some substantial: solution. Two ministers putting their heads together, working determinedly on November 22, 1901, and we are talking now in July, 1904, and nothing done yet. This is the friend of the farmer, the practical farmer advertised by his leader throughout the country, working industriously as a farmer knows how to work, coupled with the ability of the Minister of Trade and Commerce-two great departments working yoke in yoke ; and still at the end of four years we are precisely where we were when we began, excepting that Mr. Parmelee has made a report. He reports on the number of pounds of cheese that this system is cheating them out of, and has been for several years : Mr. Fisher expects to have before him upon his return to Ottawa a reply from Sir Richard Cartwright



Sir Richard is going to write him. Is'nt it funny ? -in answer to his own letter of the 18th. ! Is'nt that splendid ? It would indeed be a pity to have his well directed efforts marred even ever so little-by such an ill-timed communication as you seem prepared to give to the press. ' This gentleman, after working two or three years, is getting uneasy when he realizes the farmers' loss through the delay. He knew of the complaints against the system by which the farmers were being cheated out of their money. He was aware of it, no man in a better position to know, no man, according to the certificate of character and integrity given by the Minister of Agriculture, had any better right. Then on December 4: I have yours of December 3rd.' You will have to learn patience. Royal commissions are not issued in a day, in a week or in a month, very often. Think of the little minister writing that. The government has a good deal else to do. This is a matter I have been trying to bring, before the government and have it arranged for. As it happens, I think it is now completed, but until it is completed I am not going to tell you or anybody else what is being-done



Secret. -nor can I, as that is a matter which is confidential and cannot be talked about.



Cannot be talked about. Silence. The farmer can be beaten all this time, no trouble about that, and it was not a secret. a mess and make a very bad appearance before the commissioner. I hope that you will take care about this. As soon as anything can be told I will tell . you. Yours very truly,


SYDNEY FISHER.


This is lovely. Now December 16, 1901 : C. A- Bull, Esq., Gould Cold Storage Building, Montreal. He has got frozen by waiting, December is a cold month. In order to prepare for the work of the commission when it sits, Mr. Fisher would like you to be good enough to supply him with a list of those who have made complaints in regard to the weighing of butter and cheese, together with their addresses. When Mr. Fisher returns from a trip which he is just undertaking to the maritime provinces he will probably address a circular letter to those complainants and probably to others. That is if he has time, if he is not too .severely pressed, if he does not have to attend to military matters, if he does not have to conduct correspondence with the Minister of Trade and Commerce, if he has not anything else to do lie may address a circular in the interests of the farmers of this country, to somebody. Perhaps you can have this ready before the return of the minister to Ottawa, say next Thursday or Friday. In making out the list of complainants you might give separately the names of corporate bodies, as a different circular letter will probably have to be written to them. Then on December 16, the minister writes to Mr. C. A. Bull, Esq., Gould Cold Storage building, Montreal. My dear Bull,-An Order in Council of December 7 appoints Mr. Parmelee. Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce, a commissioner for the purpose of investigating the matter of weighing butter and cheese in Montreal and elsewhere. Mr. Parmelee will not be able to take the matter up until the month of January some time. In the meantime you and those interested must prepare yourselves to come before him where the advertisement of his sitting as commissioner is made. I need not insist upon it to you that you must be prepared with a good case or else things will go against you. All right. You will have to move your people to prepare themselves to give their evidence concisely and clearly. As a matter of friendly advice you yourself ought to write out every word you wish to say. You cannot speak clearly when you come to speak to other people. You get excited and are liable to be misunderstood. I therefore would strongly urge you to prepare what you want to say, "write it over and work It over, correct it and condense it, and then read it when you come before Mr. Parmelee. If you do not do this, knowing you as I do, I know you will get into Mr. POPE.


?

An hon. MEMBER.

Who says that 7

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Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

This is signed by ' Sydney Fisher ' writing to his friend. Well, he did not make any mess of it because I have a letter from Mr. Parmelee the member for Shefford in which he says :

Your evidence is splendid and I am going to publish it. I got Cleary to go in. Others have promised to go into Cowansville. I fancy we will be able to make out a case strong enough to justify remedial legislation.

Evidently this poor man, thanks to the kindly advice of the hon. Minister of Agriculture, got through with the ordeal with credit to himself. Then, on January 4, we find the following :

Ottawa, January 4, 1902.

My dear Bull,-I have yours of the 3rd instant and thank you for the information contained therein.

The chief reason our eastern township's beef is worth so much less on the market is that it is from dairy stock and only half fed. The western beef is nearly all from the beef breeds and consequently is more suited for that object. This we can hardly help, as our live stock work is chiefly dairy work, but dairymen might feed their animals better and get them into better shape.

As to Mr. Parmelee's investigations-I hope to see him within a few days and let you know just what he is going to do. Be sure and be ready for him when the time comes. I got your letters all right.

Yours very truly,

(Sgd.) SYDNEY FISHER.

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Mr. C. A.@

Gould Cold Storage Building,

Montreal, P Q.

That was in 1902. Time moves on. From one year to another we go and this cor-lespondenee is the only means of relief. I think I shall have to send this bundle to the farmers of Canada to show them the measure of relief which they have obtained within the last few years.

Ottawa, January 8th, 1902.

'My dear Bull,-I have your letter December 26th Inclosing list of complainants, for which accept my thanks. I will see Mr. Parmelee as soon as possible and find out when he will be able to hold the meeting.

I am sorry to hear of your illness, but trust you are all right again.

Yours sincerely,

(Sgd.) SYDNEY FISHER. Charles A. Bull, Esq.,

Gould Cold Storage Building,

Montreal, Quo.

Then, this is the circular that is spoken of in these letters.

Ottawa, January 16th, 1902.

Dear Sir,-Borne time ago a number of complaints were laid before me in which statements were made as to the weighing of butter and cheese in the city of Montreal. These complaints

appeared to be of such a serious nature that I, as Minister of Agriculture, felt it my duty to look into the subject.

I found that the question at issue seemed to be more nearly in the domain of the Minister of Trade and Commerce, who in a general way has charge of the inspection of goods in Canada.

He never thought of that in the beginning.

I therefore consulted with Sir Richard Cartwright and with others of my colleagues. Various things contributed to delay action, but a short time ago an Order in Council was passed appointing a Royal Commission co investigate the whole subject, with a view to ascertaining the exact facts, and if necessary making a recommendation based on these facts which would guide the government and parliament in future action.

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Mr. W. G.@

Parmelee, Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce, has been named Royal Commissioner. He has arranged to sit for the purpose of investigation in the city of Montreal in the officfe of Mr. Craig, chief grain inspector, Room 42, Canadian Pacific Railway Telegraph Building, corner of St. Francois-Xavier and Hospital streets, opening his investigation at ten o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, January 28th, continuing, if necessary, on Wednesday the 29th. He will also sit at St. Hyacinthe on Thursday the 30th and at Vietcfriaville on Friday the 31st, at Brockville on Tuesday, 4th February, and at Cowansville on Tuesday the 11th February ; commencing at nine o'clock in the forenoon in all these smaller places.

As you have submitted some views on this matter I must request you to take pains to appear before the commissioner and give expression to your views and any facts which bear upon the subject, and if amongst your acquaintances and friends or neighbours there are any who can give information of value bearing upon this subject, I must ask you to urge their attendance, so that the fullest possible information may be obtained in an accurate and trustworthy form.

The subject is one of great consequence to the producers of dairy products and all those engaged in these goods. It is, therefore, of the utmost national importance that the whole truth in regard to this matter should be obtained, as otherwise some mistake might be made in future legislation or departmental action. Relying on your interest in the matter and public spirit to induce you to appear and give what information is at your command.

Mr. Speaker, that Information was given away back in 1902 and we are now going on towards the close of 1904. The question that was of national importance as the hon. Minister of Agriculture said in his circular to these people has been neglected to this hour. We are fit the closing of this session. Yet no legislation has been proposed and these wrongs that have been perpetrated upon the farming community for all these years are to continue for another year and indefinitely so far as the farmers of this country are aware. Then, the next letter is as follows :

Ottawa, Jan. 18, 1902.

My dear Bull,-In reply to yours of yesterday, if Mr. Parmelee requires more days to appear in Montreal he will take them later on, but he will judge of that himself when he

goes there. Do not go into too many details in the evidence, although of course you must take steps to show anything that is wrong for which there is fair complaint.

Yours very truly,

(Sgd.) SYDNEY FISHER. Chas. A. Bull, Esq.,

Room 8, 17 St. John St.,

Montreal, P.Q.

He says to Mr. Bull that if you know anything wrong which is a subject of fair complaint why tell it, but be careful and not tell too much. To show you the character of this investigation I will now read a statement signed by Mr. A. C. Cross as follows : WHITEWASHING.

To the editor of the ' Witness.'

Sir,-In to-day's issue of a morning paper it is announced that the Deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce is to proceed this morning with an inquiry into that long-standing controversy about the system of weighing cheese.

Those who do the weighing will see the notice, and, by taking a few steps, can appear before the commissioner. The farmers whose cheese is to be weighed, will probably know nothing about the inquiry until it is over. Under such circumstances, what else can be expected but the time honoured whitewash of the Butter and Cheese Association, followed by lots of cheap denunciation in parliament of those who assail the honour of reputable Montreal citizens.

Perhaps we shall hear some support of these reputable Montreal citizens to-day.

I now learn that the commissioner has just announced that newspaper reporters are not to be admitted to the sittings because the apartment in Mr. E. F. Craig's office is not large enough.

When I asked the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce if such was the case he said that they were there but when X asked the gentleman who represented the papers, they said that they were not allowed in, that they were only furnished with a prepared report. Well, there is evidence in that of a want of veracity in this country.

This is not the way to satisfy farmers that when they sell a hundred pounds of cheese they will be paid for a handred pounds instead of for the number of pounds which the purchaser chooses to say that there are according to a rule of his own making.

Mr. Parmelee says to Mr. Bull :

Ottawa, Feb. 26, 1902.

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Mr. C. A.@

Bull, Esq.,

17 St. John St., Montreal.

Sir,-I have yours of yesterday's date asking to send you the report of the Butter and Cheese Association.

I do not find it in my possession-I presume it is among Mr. Broderick's papers which I cannot get at present. When it turns up I will send it to you.

Yes, I am going back to Montreal but I cannot state at what date.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) W. G. PARMELEE,

Deputy Minister-

Mr. Broderick seems to have disappeared with his papers. I do not know whether Mr. Parmelee ever got them back or not. There was some difficulty, I believe, in connection with the secretary of that commission. He took occasion to disappear.

Ottawa, March 7th, 1902.

Dear Mr. Bull,-Mr. Fisher has handed me your letter of March 5th, requesting me to send you the pamphlets on the food products of Canada, as you request. This I have done.

In regard to the transmitting of the notes of the Royal Commission, not much progress has yet been made, but the matter is receiving Mr. Fisher's daily attention.

Tours sincerely,

(Sgd.) KEVILLE DOHERTY, Private secretary.

C. A. Bull, Esq.,

Room 8, 17 St. John St.,

Montreal, P.Q.

This letter was written on March 7th, 1902. We are now in July, 1904. The hon. Minister of Agriculture was, as far back as 1902, giving his daily attention to the transcribing of these notes and still the report of that commission Is not yet printed or published for the benefit of the farmers of Canada. He must be working over time. Then there is another letter :

Ottawa, 27th March, 1903. Chas. A. Bull, Esq.,

117 King St., * Montreal.

Sir,-In answer to yours of yesterday's date, I beg to state that I am in hopes to be able to make up a report on the investigation in question at an early date.

It is true Mr. Fisher, before leaving, requested me to have a report ready as soon as possible after the meeting of the House ; but so far it has been an utter impossibility for me to devote the time to it necessary. Every moment has been taken up. The parties so anxious for a report will have to abide with patience

Patience began away back in 1900, it is continuing on the 27th March, 1903, it still continues and the farmers of this country must abide in patience while these people dock their cheese and butter to an extent that no other country would tolerate.

The parties so anxious for a report will have to abide with patience until an opportunity presents itself when I can get a day or two to spare which will be used in going through the papers again and making up the report, which really should have been made up some time ago.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) W. G. PARMELEE, Deputy Minister.

I should think it ought.

Ottawa, July 8th, 1903.

My dear Bull :-I have just received your letter of the 7th July, and I must say that I am very much surprised at the tone of it.

I would just like to see that letter ; I suppose it is one of those patient letters Mr, POPE.

that the minister had been asking him to write.

I have done all I possibly could, both for you and for the cause which you have worked in.

Think of that, and he did not do anything.

I count upon you to do everything you can to prevent any party capital being made from it.

Eh ? Cute ; see him smiling.

The matter of the report is such that I cannot force it on, although I am trying my best to get Mr. Parmelee to bring it to a close. You can do a good deal no doubt to allay any difficulties which may arise and it would be very unfortunate if you were to try to raise any.

Yes ; he kept these farmers waiting while they were beaten on every box of cheese and butter, and he advised them to be patient, resting calmly in the serene satisfaction that they had him for their representative and it would be all right.

What you say in regard to Mr. Parmelee I am sure is quite unjustified, as he is a true friend to farmers and the dairymen, I am sure that you have misjudged him in what you say in regard to him.

This is not a personal matter as between you and anybody else, but is a matter of consequence to all farmers, and must be dealt with in a broad and proper way.

Yours very truly,

(Sgd.) SYDNEY FISHER.

What a shame for the Minister of Agriculture to sit there, who has no right to be there except as a farmer, and yet dabbling In many tilings he has no business to stick his nose into. I am now reading a letter dated July 8th, 1903, two years after the investigation and three years after the Minister of Agriculture himself acknowledged that it was an urgent matter of national importance. You can see by the letters I have been reading, that if we had the whole of this correspondence it would be more interesting. Mr. Bull, who lives down there, and can appreciate things that we do not know of, knows that it is rumored in our section of the country that the great exporters of this produce brought a strong influence to bear, to suppress the report, and Mr. Bull goes so far as to say that it was an improper influence. I am not in a position to say that it was an improper influence, but I know that some extraordinary influence was brought to bear of a political character in order to prevent this report coming out as it ought to in the interests of the farmers of this country.

Ottawa, July 23rd, 1903.

My dear Bull,-I just have yours of the 22nd instant in regard to your business matters.

The fact is I am very ignorant in regard to banking and the necessary commercial security to give for accommodation at banks. I do not know any bank manager in a business way

He was awfully lucky.

-and I cannot make a suggestion to you in regard to the matter.

Answering the last paragraph of your paper. Certainly do not try to trap people in the way you suggest. It would only make trouble for yourself in the future, and I do not think it would do any good to anybody, besides being a business I would not advise you to have anything to do with.

I will try to give you the names of some fruit men with whom you can communicate.

I am still trying to get Mr. Parmelee to make his report, but he is an old man, and it seems difficult to get him to move. He has a good deal to do during the session in his departmental wrork, and I suppose is putting that off.

Yours very truly,

(Sgd.) SYDNEY FISHER.

Wliat next ?

Dear Mr. Bull,-I have yours of July 28th.

I do not understand your reference to what you lost, as it is not at all clearly stated. I do not see from your statement that it has anything to do with the report of the government. I do not think it is possible for that report to be out in a week. You undertake in this letter to practically hold me up, as we commonly say, on such a matter. If this is the case I have nothing further to add.

Yours very truly,

(Sgd.) SYDNEY FISHER.

Here we have evidence of that warlike disposition that has induced the Minister of Agriculture to dabble in militia matters. He is brave behind his own pen in his own office, and he cannot understand that this gentleman, not a farmer, but representing the interests of the farmers, should say that a loss has been caused to the farmers by the action of the government. Talk about Mr. Bull holding him up ; it was the Minister of Agriculture who was holding the farmers up.

Ottawa, Aug. 7th, 1903.

Dear Mr. Bull,-I have just received your letter of the 5th August, and am making inquiry in regard to what you say in regard to Mr. Woodard.

In regard to the second paragraph of your letter, in which you seem to imply that the Ottawa authorities have been holding back the report on the weighing because of money having been paid to them-this is unworthy of you or anybody else. You ought to know that there is nothing of the kind in it. As to what you did in the matter, you know perfectly well that you did it of your own free will and of yourself. I tried to advise you as to what to do, but in many instances you did not follow my advice, and I cannot hold myself in any way responsible for what you did. Certainly at the time you did it I thought a great many of the things you did were ill-advised and not likely to accomplish any good.

Mr. Bull was only reporting what was current in Montreal.; How much direct evidence he had it is not for me to say, but he is a trustworthy man, as can be shown by the pedigree given him years ago by the Minister of Agriculture. Mr. Bull comes of

a trustworthy family ; he can be trusted beyond all question of doubt, and he writes thus to the Minister of Agriculture, and the minister is indignant :

Ottawa, Sept. 23rd, 1903.

Dear Sir,-I have yours of the 31st of August. I note that you did not speak to me the other day because you understood that I had hard feelings against you, and have expressed such in confidential letters to people.

No hard feelings ; I don't believe the Minister of Agriculture ever had Hard feelings against anybody.

I must say that this is not in any way true. I do not know what your authority is, but on the contrary I am very glad to do anything I possibly can within reason to help you. Many requests you have made to me are unreasonable and I cannot undertake to meet them.

In regard to your threat of the ' hotter time ' that I will have in the next election, I can tell you frankly it has no effect on me. I am not accustomed to submitting to such threats. I can assure you they have no weight with me in any way whatever. .

Yours truly,

(Sgd.) SYDNEY FISHER.

No matter how much the farmers would suffer ; no matter how long they are kept waiting, the Minister of Agriculture is above everything of that sort. He is above attending to his official duties as Minister of Agriculture, but he is not above sticking his nose in the departments of other ministers. Now, Sir we will come to the report itself, and fhere is a letter to the Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright, G.C.M.G.-I don't see anything of the farmer in that title.

Sir, the undersigned having been, under authority of the Royal Commission, hearing date the 7th of December, 1901

And we are now speaking in 1904.

-appointed a commissioner ' to investigate, inquire into and report upon complaints and difficulties in connection with the weighing of butter and cheese,' has the honour to hand you for *the information of His Excellency the Governor General, this his report upon the result of such investigation ; the conclusions arrived at and his recommendations in connection therewith ; together with a copy of the evidence taken under oath or affirmation in the course of such investigation ; all as required under the terms of the said commission.

Of course we have not a copy of the evidence, as the documents were not brought down which I asked for. However, we are accustomed to that sort of treatment, and just as long as the people will put up with this treatment of their representatives, will that practice continue of debarring members from getting the information to which they are entitled and which they require in order to make their arguments conclusive.

Regular sittings were held at Montreal on the 28th and 29th days of January, at St. Hyacinths on the 30th, at Victoriaville on the 31st of the said month, at Brockville on the 4th, and at

Cowansville on the 11th days of February, 1902, at which places some forty-eight witnesses were duly sworn and examined touching the complaints referred to, and of their knowledge of the practices in vogue in connection with the weighing of butter and cheese at time of marketing the same.

Other written, as well as oral, information was sought and obtained, which, not being under oath, was not therefore transcribed or embodied in the evidence herewith submitted.

It does not say where that evidence conies from or on which side of the question it was.

It was at the time the intention of the undersigned to hold other sittings and investigations with a view to obtaining further evidence corroborative or otherwise of the sworn statements made and correspondence upon the subject, but circumstances prevented until too late in the season and such action was eventually abandoned as not being strictly necessary.

If it was necessary, there is no reason why it should have been abandoned because he had over a year in which to obtain evidence before making this report.

The complaints as set forth in the copy of the Report of the Committee of the Honourable the Privy Council alluded to as accompanying the Royal Commission are to effect that difficulties have frequently arisen and continue to arise in connection with the weighing of butter and cheese ; that the Butter and Cheese Association at Montreal has in its employ as a weigher a man not duly authorized under the statutes to act as such, and insist that his weights must be taken as correct and payments accepted on the basis thereof ; that his.weights are not always correct and that therefore the vendors being forced to accept such weights are at the mercy of the association and are compelled to accept less than their proper due were the weighing correctly done.

It is a well known fact that an old weighing beam was in use there for years. Whether it is in use now or not I cannot say, but it was in use for years, and it is well known that it was incorrect. The weigher had a new one made, but they thought it cost too much and they would riot take the trouble of putting in a new beam, so that they may still be continuing the old imperfect system.

The man referred to is Mr. John McLeod, who, it appears from the evidence submitted, styles and advertises himself a ' public weigher '-

But he Is not legally a public weigher, as shown by the letters of the Minister of Agriculture produced in his inquiry two of three years ago.

-and states that he was appointed as such by the Montreal Butter and Cheese Association in January, 1894, and who produced a notice of such appointment signed by the president, vicepresident and the secretary of the association.

These men who are handling that butter and cheese , because forsooth they chose to select this man to do the work for their personal benefit, styled him a public weigher.

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Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

Would you, Mr. Speaker, think of shipping butter and cheese from the interior to Montreal when you know there is no fair arbitrator between the producer and the shipper ? The lack of such a fair arbitrator is sufficient in itself to breed discontent, dissatisfaction and mischief, even were the weighing correct, and we have very good reason to know it was not. In fact the very system adopted of making calculations is hound to make the result unfair to the men who are producing butter and cheese.

The present officials of the association deny any knowledge of such appointment. The president of the association, when under examination, styles Mr. McLeod a ' licensed public weigher, licensed by the city ' (vide pages 55 and 56 of evidence).

Which of course we have not got.

In a letter of date the 27th February, 1901, from the secretary of the association he points out that the public weighers are not appointed by the association. The president of the Montreal Board of Trade, nnder date April 15th, 1901, states that Mr. Duncan Cameron is the official weigher appointed by the council of the board and gives a list of his sworn assistants, among which does not appear the name of Mr. McLeod.

Pie is not even an assistant to the man recognized there as the weigher for the trade. He is not, I believe, as he should be an official of this country above suspicion, an impartial arbitrator between the farmers and the purchasers. He is not even an assistant to the man who holds the position there of weighmaster. Still he goes on from year to year :

Under date of the 23rd April, 1901, Mr. McLeod states that he was appointed deputy weigher for Montreal in May, 1878, and in a letter from the then president of the association of date the 1st April, 1901, it is stated that Mr. McLeod was sworn as assistant to Mr. Muirhead, Mr. Cameron's predecessor, in 1878, and has acted as an independent weigher since Mr. Muirhead's death in 1882 ; and that on the. formation of the association in 1893, it was deemed expedient to formally recognize both Mr. Cameron and Mr. McLeod as competent weighers, but their public position was not conferred on them by the association and it had not control over them.

It appears to the undersigned that notwithstanding the formal appointment of Mr. McLeod by the association in 1894, and the denials of such appointment subsequently made, the association has and does recognize Mr. McLeod as an official weigher

Think of that ! Between two and three million packages. Imagine.what a variation of a pound or two or even of a fraction of a pound means when you come to the handling of two or three million packages. No one can calculate the amount of money that has been lost to the farmers during the summer which is now in progress, though the government had this report dated 22nd of last October, showing the urgent need for a change. The recommendations of this report are not sufficiently strong. Still* they 231

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REVISED


are in the right direction. And, although this report was before the government on the 22nd of last October, they allow these thousands upon thousands of packages of butter and cheese to go out of this country, weighed by a man who has no official standing, who is repudiated by the dairymen of the province of Quebec and eastern Ontario, a man whom we do not believe to be honest whether he is or not. Iu the handling of the immense quantity of butter and cheese that passes through the port of Montreal annually, say between two and three million packages, it Is only natural to expect that mistakes will occasionally occur, aside from which in numerous instances the weighers are accused of giving short weights, when upon investigation it is shown that the fault was not theirs but rather of the makers and shippers from country points who are prone to regard a cut in weights given by the weigher as a discrimination against them in favour of the Montreal buyer or consignee, as the case may be. . We do not need this official report to make us appreciate that, Mr. Speaker. We all know that when cheese is shipped too green it will lose in weight. We know that if it is shipped in dry boxes the boxes will absorb the moisture, For all that allowance can be made. But, when I come to read a clause or two further on, you will see under what system they arrive at the average weight. When you speak of butter, however you speak of a commodity which loses weight but very little in such handling as it is necessary to give it. It is packed fresh, handled fresh and shipped fresh. No matter who the man may be who makes the statement that butter loses materially in weight the statement is not correct. Butter is shipped from the creamery this morning and weighed in Montreal to-morrow, and it should move the balance in Montreal about the same as in the creamery. The most prevalent cause of loss in weight is unquestionably that of the practice throughout the' butter and cheese producing sections of the province of Quebec and the eastern portions of Ontario, of shipping their cheese too young or green. There is such competition between makers to show a ' record ' that cheese is largely shipped before it is ten days old and in some instances direct from the hoop, and shrinkage en route to Montreal is, under such circumstances inevitable. Everybody understands that. It appears in evidence that in so far as regards western Ontario the cheese is not shipped until from fifteen to thirty days old, that the shrinkage in weight is much less, and therefore has not been the subject of com-: plaint. The same reason holds good In a minor sense with regard to butter, where, in order to show a record of production, it is sometimes shipped, especially when in tubs, containing more moisture than the average, and consequently loses somewhat through evaporation and soakage.


EDITION


Very little, when it is hermetically sealed. There is a rule o£ the Montreal Butter and Cheese Association which the undersigned cannot but consider unfair to the factory men. and that is


July 21, 1904