I hope my words cannot be construed to mean any reflection upon the gentleman to whom the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) referred. I had no such idea in mind. I was dealing generally with one of the reasons why the apple packers and shippers had found it necessary to fix a minimum box, that reason being that the market on the other side wished to know that they always got at least so much when they bought a Canadian box of apples. I did not allow myself for a moment to make any reflection upon such a firm or body of men as have been referred to. As to the labour question involved, I think that particular phase of it was brought forward in the Fruit Growers' Association, and they discussed it on various occasions, and thought that a box of the size indicated by the resolution was one that could be properly and easily handled by the people engaged in this work.
ill'. M. S. SCHELL. I had not intended to speak on this question as I spoke some weeks ago when the subject was before [DOT] the House. I then expressed my approval of the Bill except on one point, and, that I understand, has been a compromise. There really has been some difference of opinion among the shippers as to the size of the box to be used. But I wish to
correct some wrong impressions that seem to prevail in the House. In the first place some have the idea that it is intended that the boxes should be used supplanting barrels. That is not the idea. Barrels have been used more largely than boxes, and will continue to be used more largely than boxes so long as the material can be got to make the barrels at a reasonable price-at least that is our impression. Another opinion that seems to be held is that the., shippers themselves are against the use of the box. The hon. member for Leeds (Mr. Taylor) has intimated that the growers desire to have the box, but that this is not desired by the shippers.
I am speaking as a shipper of apples. I have been engaged in the business for a great many years, indeed I may say that I commenced as a boy in 1880, about twenty-five years ago, in the business of exporting apples, and I have continued in it ever since. Two years ago we shipped over 12,000 boxes, so we have had some Mr. HENDERSON.
experience in the matter of boxes. Besides, we also shipped apples _in barrels to a very large extent, some 25,000 barrels, the same season, and we only used boxes because we could not get a sufficient number of barrels that season. I think the shippers are desirous of using a uniform size of box, as proposed in this Bill. I have been in communication with some of the largest apple shippers in the province, since the Bill was introduced, and I may say that in every case, so far as I have been able to learn, there is a desire for a uniform box, of some form. There are different views as to the size, some would prefer a trifle larger, some would prefer the exact size mentioned in the Bill, and some would prefer possibly a trifle smaller. As the minister lias intimated, the size proposed seems to be a compromise, and a compromise so satisfactory that I do not think there will be much objection urged against it by the shippers. Then there is another point I might emphasize, and that is the desirability of having a standard for the minimum box. You know the tendency would be in shipping to European markets that if one shipper uses a large box for which the price is fixed, and the trade begins to accept that size, the man who ships in a smaller sized box would in a measure partake of the benefit that accrues to the trade from the price of the larger box. But when you fix the minimum size, they are not permitted to use a smaller box, and that is one of the strong points in support of tlie position taken by the minister in compelling the use of a minimum size, it is I think desirable to have a box at least as large as is suggested, for this reason, that when the goods are landed on the dock at Liverpool, Glasgow or Hamburg, the rates fixed for handling, that is the dockage charges, the landing charges, and incidental charges of that kind, are based upon the package. It is therefore desirable to have the Box of a uniform size, and then those in the trade can make their statement with more force to the authorities on the other side who tlx their charges in proportion to the size of the package. That is one of the difficulties we have to-day in shipping boxes to the European markets. The landing charges are exorbitant, they are out of all proportion to the charges that are made for barrels ; but if we have a uniform size then the trade can go to the authorities who fix the landing charges, with a stronger case, if we can show that the boxes used will all be of the standard size, and no smaller. We know however that the tendency will be on this side, not to make it any larger, but to come as near as possible'to the size that is fixed by the law. So I think these arguments all tend to confirm the desirability of having a standard box. one that we can all agree upon as nearly as possible. Possibly there may continue to be some difference of opin-
ion, both as to the size of the box *and as to the quantity the box should contain, but the differences will be slight. Xt>w, Sir, I want to say again, as I said when this question was up before, that 1 think the minister is deserving of commendation for the success with which "his Fruit Marks Act, put upon the statute-book a few years ago, has been working. I believe the Bill now before the House is likewise calculated to advance the interests of the grower, to advance the interests of the shipper, and to advance the interests of the country generally, because our interests are identical. I am both a grower and a shipper, and therefore can speak for both classes. I think it is just as much to the interest of the grower as it is to the interest of the shipper that these matters should be put upon a basis that will be followed by the trade generally. For my part I can see no reason why any member of the House should hesitate a moment to support this Bill.