February 2, 1905

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The fact remains that the sale of binder twine direct to the farmer has been a decided success. My hon. friend (Mr. Fitzpatrick) shakes his head at that, but the facts bear out my statement. We find by the record that a few years ago twine was sold to supporters of the government without any tender at a very low price, and the complaint that was made in the House was that the farmers did not have an opportunity of purchasing the twine. Taking up the Auditor General's Report for this year, I find that since the new resolution was adopted by the House almost 500 farmers in Canada ordered direct from the penitentiary and secured then- twine. I pointed out last year and the year before that in my humble opinion the penitentiary was manufacturing too many kinds of twine, that what the farmers want is pure manilla twine. That is about the only kind that is sold generally, in Ontario, at leask.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

We manufacture manilla and mixed manilla.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Mixed is not a pure manilla twine. It is sisal and manilla mixed. The farmers do not wish to use that kind of twine. The demand is for a pure manilla twine, and if the Kingston penitentiary were to manufacture a pure manilla twine and put it on the market at cost, or a little over cost, it is useless for any man to stand up in this House and say that the farmers would not purchase it. My hon. friend has already stated that the amount of twine manufactured at the Kingston penitentiary is very small in comparison with the consumption. I would like to ask the hon. minister what [DOT] amount of twine remains unsold at the penitentiary at this moment ?

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

On June 30, 1904, we had on hand:-

Pure manilla, 600 feet to the pound, 320,085 lbs.

Mixed manilla, 550 feet to the pound, 120,900 lbs.

Of that we have sold since that date:- Mr. FITZPATRICK.

Of pure manilla, 189,400 lbs.

Of mixed manilla, 17,745 lbs.

My information from the inspector is that we have manufactured about 20 per cent of mixed manilla, but that the greater part, 80 per cent of it, is pure manilla, the intention being to satisfy a demand for that sort of twine which the inspector says exists. It seems to me that my hon. friend will be able to judge, when I gave the figures at which we sold, whether we ought at these figures to have been able to dispose of this twine. He has had more experience with this matter than I have. My impression is that these figures were lower than the market prices ruling at the time.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Referring to the matter brought up by the hon. member from Prince Edward Island (Mr. Lefurgey) as to the quality of the twine, I may say that in going among the farmers-and I think that other members here have met with the same experience-I find there is throughout the country a prejudice against the twine that is manufactured at Kingston. There is only a limited amount made there and consumed in the country, and when I ask farmers why they do not buy Kingston twine they tell me that the American twine is far better. It is unfortunate that we have not in this country a sufficiently strong Canadian sentiment to enable us successfully to put upon the market an article such as the twine to which we are now referring. I have heard the Finance Minister (Hon. Mr. Fielding) within the last two years express, similar views, and regret the fact that Canadian sentiment did not uphold Canadian products. Our people buy things because they are foreign. I will venture to say that 75 per cent of the farmers of this country will buy American twine because it is American. They have an impression that because it comes from the .other side it is better, and the government of the day is largely responsible for this lack of Canadian sentiment. The whole policy of the present government is to cultivate a sentiment amongst the people of this country in favour of purchasing goods that are produced in other countries, and to lessen the' purchase of Canadian goods. I attribute very largely the feeling that the penitentiary binder twine is inferior just to this lack of Canadian sentiment. People are -willing to buy American twine because it comes from the other side on the principle that far away fields are green, and it is felt that if it is only brought from some other country it must of necessity be better. In the section of country in which I live a large amount of American twine is used. They use chiefly what is known as Plymouth. I asked one man : Why do you buy this Plymouth, and he said : It is so

much better. Farmers will not use the penitentiary twine. For anything I know it is equal in all respects to the imported

twine and quite possible this very twine that is bought by our farmers as American twine ig Canadian twine. I do not doubt that in many instances that it is a fact, because our Canadian factories are making twine, shipping- it across to the United States and selling it to the very men who supply twine to dealers in this country, and I have no doubt that it goes there, comes back here as American twine and takes the market much better, selling as American twine in competition with the Kingston article, although it is of purely Canadian manufacture. It is as I said the lack of a good Canadian sentiment that interferes very materially with the reputation and sale of the Kingston twine.

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LIB
CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

The government today by their whole policy of preferential tariff and free trade in twine, &c., are cultivating that lack of sentiment, and until some change is made in the policy of the government I am afraid these difficulties will crop up from time to time.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

I would like the hon. member to tell me how to cultivate that sentiment which will induce farmers to purchase our twine. I think my hon. friend ought to cultivate the sentiment in his own constituency, and instead of making that fine speech, which is addressed exclusively to me, if he would go to his own constituency and tell his electors what they ought to do in the premises,' he would be rendering a great service, and I am quite sure we will all appreciate his efforts.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Yes, I have been (endeavouring to do that all along the line, but I confess that when I have the whole force and policy of the government against me I find great difficulty and what I complain of is that the government will not change their policy. If the government would join me in the principles I advocate, we could very soon change that sentiment for the better interest of the country and of the Kingston binder twine manufactory. I would like the Minister of Justice to join me in advocating a better Canadian sentiment and to shape the policy of the government along lines that will invite people to use Canadian goods, Canadian cottons, Canadian woollens, binder twine, binders and everything that you can think of, Canadian. Let us cultivate a purely Canadian sentiment. If you go to the United States and enter a shop you will see that if a piece of cotton is laid on the counter, probably ninety-nine out of one hundred ladies will buy that piece of American cotton because it is American. Will the Minister of Justice undertake to say that there ts the same sentiment among our Canadian people? It is a matter of extreme regret to me and we must adopt some policy in this

country that will produce a better Canadian sentiment.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

* I am not in woollens or cottons or ladies furnishings ; I 'am in binder twine and if my hon. friend will undertake to tell me how I can sell my binder twine I shall be very glad. I cannot deal with vague generalities about Canadian sentiment; I have to get back to binder twine. If he will help me to sell my binder twine I will be satisfied.

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CON
LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

And the taste for ladies furnishings.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Give the Canadian market a taste for twine made in Canada, impose such protection as will preserve our market for Canadian twine, and inside of five years you will have such a strong sentiment in favour of Canadian twine that I undertake to say there will be no question about the quality of the twine you produce.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

On the question of Kingston twine I wish to express my opinion. I think that the twine manufactured there is good and the farmers of this country have no ground of complaint whatever. The twine coming into my own county is generally appreciated by people of both political parties, if you -wish to discuss the-matter from a political standpoint. But what I say is that there must be something wrong in the department somewhere if the twine is not sold. I do not wish to complain- jjerhaps 1 would not be in a position to point out where the changes should be- but I think that if the Kingston penitentiary is manufacturing good twine, as in my' opinion it is, the situation would be improved by manufacturing only pure manilla twine, abandoning the manufacture of the other kind altogether. Then I think that parliament would endorse the minister in spending some money to ensure the sale of the twine direct to the farmer. There must be something at fault in the department somewhere or this quantity of twine which is very small in proportion to the quantity used, would be sold every year. In view of the fact 1hat an enormous quantity of twine is used in Canada, there is something wrong somewhere, or else the twine would be sold every year. I may say that in my own county a great many orders have been sent in during the last three years, and they have not been supplied, for the reason that the department stated that they were sold out of pure manilla twine.

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

That is quite right -the G50 feet twine.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

A few counties would consume every pound of twine almost, manufactured in the Kingston penitentiary, but my hon. friend is not manufacturing the kind the farmers want.

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LIB
CON

Alfred Alexander Lefurgey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEFURGEY.

Might I ask what has been done in reference to the claims that were made against the government on account of poor twine ?

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LIB

Charles Fitzpatrick (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. FITZPATRICK.

The inspector tells me that every claim that has been put in has been satisfactorily adjusted, and that there is not a single claim now pending.

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CON

Alfred Alexander Lefurgey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEFURGEY.

I understood from the parties who spoke to me a few months ago that the claim that they had put in had not at that time been paid.

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February 2, 1905