I fully approve of the remarks of my hon. friend from Halton (Mr. Henderson). I have taken advantage of the delay which has been allowed by the minister since he first brought this measure up for consideration, to consult the apple exporters of the city of Toronto. The minister points out that he has had consultations with the Fruit Growers' Associations, and also with the manufacturers of boxes. I submit with due deference to the minister that the persons who are most concerned in this measure, who are indeed vitally affected by it, are the apple shippers, the apple exporters, not only those who ship their goods from the Niagara peninsula to the city of Toronto where they find a mai'ket for them, and where the apples are boxed up for the foreign market, but those who export those apples to the foreign market. I find among that class of people only one opinion, and that is that while endorsing the principle of the Bill, that while there should be a standard size for the boxes, they should also be allowed a smaller size and a larger one. I will read an extract from a letter I have received from Mr. James, of Toronto. Mr. James is one of the most extensive shippers of apples from the Canadian market. This season he has shipped as many as 4,000 cases on one steamer. Mr. James says :
The different markets require different packages. If we are ever going to get into the French markets, which we can do when European crops are short, we require a small package less than a foot square, and fancy wrapped fruit, only the very choicest'.
The South African market wants a larger package, I have been shipping one containing two cubic feet.
The British markets, Liverpool in particular, prefer barrels, and while it has been experimented on time and again it has been clearly proved that the hulk of our apples will net' back more money when shipped in barrels than in any other way. There is a limited market in Britain for boxed apples if fruit is fancy, hut the traders over there prefer the larger package.
On the 15th of February, Mr. James sent a letter to the hon. the Minister of Agriculture from which I will read this extract :
I would respectfully submit that the matter be left in abeyance in the meantime, until we can have a Dominion convention and ascertain the exact feeling of those interested in the matter. Of course I am not averse to the proposed Act providing there is a clause permitting the use of other boxes while calling the box you suggest the standard apple box, but where certain markets require a larger or a smaller box I think it would be detrimental to the trade to prohibit their use.
I submit these considerations to the minister, and suggest that while the principle of the Bill is being endorsed, it will meet with wider acceptance if he allows the matter to be worked out according to the best judgment of those who are in the trade, and all the good the measure contemplates will have been accomplished. But I do submit that having regard to the experience of apple exporters, both to the European markets, especially the French market, and to the South African and the English markets, that while the boxes named in the resolution may be called standard boxes, it would be right and proper to permit a smaller box to be used, and that where the trade requires a larger box, that also should be allowed. I think the Fruit Growers' Association are not the only ones who should be primarily considered in this matter, but it is the exporters, those whose business it is to buy the apples from the fruit-growers, 1hey are the people more vitally interested in the question as to the size of the boxes. As to the manufacturers of boxes, their interest is very trifling in comparison, and should not be allowed to weigh in the mind of the minister against the interest of the exporters.