I appreciate what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Monk) has said, but I must tell him and tell the committee that the idea which he has promulgated here is directly contrary to what has been the growing and strong opinion of the trade. The trade, not only the apple growers but the men who pack the apples, have found it necessary to define as clearly as may be the dimensions of the pacltages'which they use. The Act that we propose to amend already contains a provision which defines the smallest barrel of apples which will be allowed in the trade. That Act w^is passed by this House deliberately after discussion, and on the demand of the apple trade, so that no smaller barrel than that particularly defined could be used. The same demand has occurred in regard to the boxes, because to-day and for some years past the box has been growing in favour as a measure or receptacle for the export trade of apples. The same requirement is needed in regard to boxes as has been adopted in regard to barrels. My hon. friend says that he wishes the usage to control the size of the box. Usage has in days gone by controlled it in regard to the barrel. Canadian apples were shipped in barrels of all sizes, and the result was that the trade in England when they ordered a thousand or
2,000 barrels of Canadian apples did not at all know how many pounds or bushels of apples they were going to get. That was one of the difficulties they had to contend with in handling Canadian apples. They expressed their dissatisfaction with that condition of affairs, and the people engaged in the trade here recognized that it was to the advantage of the Canadian trade to have a defined package so that the purchaser would know as nearly as possible what he was getting, or at any rate would know
that he was not getting less than a defined amount, and they asked that the size of the barrels should be defined. I wish to point out here that this is not an exact size but a minimum size. That is the case in regard to barrels in the Act of 1901, sec. 4, which we are about to amend. The trade has been labouring under great disadvantages by reason of the varied sizes of packages, and the trade has the minimum size defined with regard to the barrel. In the last few years the trade has found that the box is a more profitable package to use than the barrel, but the box has varying sizes. The people of Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia who have been sending apples in boxes have been using different sizes of boxes. They found that the particular box here defined was the one that was closest to the general use and that it was the best average of all those that were in use. It was also the box that was already in use in British Columbia and largely in use in Ontario. It was the box that was already in use by our chief rivals in the English apple trade, the Tasmanian shippers. The trade therefore decided, after careful consideration and discussion, and recommended by formal resolution, that this particular size of box should be adopted, and that resolution has been embodied in the proposed legislation.
I am only proposing this at the formal request of the people concerned and I think it is well that parliament should try to carry out that request. My hon. friend (Mr. Monk) says that this may interfere with some people in the Island of Montreal. I may say that the fruit growers of the Island of Montreal are largely members of the Fruit Growers' Association of the province of Quebec. I could name a number of men there who are members of that association, and I have no reason to suppose that they were not quite in sympathy with the resolution passed by the Fruit Growers' Association of Quebec, asking that this should be done. Certainly if they were not in sympathy they did not go far enough to challenge the resolution because it was passed, as I understand, unanimously. Under these circumstances I feel that I am not only justified but called upon in the interests of the trade to propose a definition of the size of the box, the definition herein contained as the result of a long and full discussion. It has been adopted in the nature of a compromise, as being the box that comes nearest to all the different varieties of boxes that have been used in the past. My reason for postponing the coming into force of this amendment is simply because I am told that certain box manufacturers have already made a considerable number of the boxes for next year and a considerable number of packers have on hand boxes which they ordered for last year's crop, but which in consequence of the 24^
crop not being so large as was expected they now have on hand, and they would like to use these boxes for their next year's crop, whereas if this amendment came into force, they would not be able to use those boxes. I think that is a concession to the condition of the trade which we ought to make. But my hon. friend evidently does not understand the situation when he expresses the view that we should not to-day legislate for a box for a year hence. One of the most important things in the trade is that the packers, box-makers and fruit growers should know some little time before hand the kind of boxes they are going to use.