I do not think that, as a matter of fact, these boxes are marked as to their capacity. It is simply a Canadian box of apples, and the box used will be a standard box. At present they use any size they choose.
The hon. member said that a box would contain a bushel of apples. If the statement of my hon. friend from Halton iMr. Henderson) be correct, three of these boxes of apples will not fill a barrel, but it will take a pailful or more in addition to the contents of three of these boxes to fill a barrel. If that is the case, tve shall get the name of playing sharp with our English cousins by adopting this size of box. I think the minister should accept the proposition of the hon. member for Halton and put this Bill off until to-morrow, and, in the meantime let the test be made. If the statement submitted to the House by the hon. member for Halton is correct-and it is made on the authority of an apple packer and shipper- the condition of affairs is a serious one, and this House should hesitate before passing this legislation. But if the minister is right, and if the apples that fill three of these boxes will, with the addition of two or three apples, fill a standard barrel, that fact can be shown by the practical test and no harm will come from delaying this Bill for twenty-four hours.
I do not think it makes any difference whether the statement made to the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) and by him submitted to the House is correct or not. Whether the box of apples holds one-third of a barrel or not, so long as the size is fixed, it can be bought and sold as a standard Canadian box of apples. In Canada we know that, throughout the season, strawberries are sold in boxes said to contain a quart. We know they do not contain a quart, but we can see what they do contain, and any difference does not affect the strawberry trade.
In the same way, the standard will be fixed for the Canadian box of apples, and when the customer buys a box of apples he will not consider whether that box is one-third of a bushel or not.
According to the printed Bill this Act is to come into force on January 1, 1906. I have stated that we do not wish the standard to apply to the present season's trade. The 1st of January next will be too early, and so I wish to change the date to 1st June, 1906. That will enable the trade of the coming season to be worked off.
Could not the minister extend it to 1st of January, 1907, and so give an opportunity to men who have provided themselves with a large quantity of box-material to use that material and not be compelled to lose it? For, of course, this material must be given time to season, and so a stock of it must be laid in in advance. Why not postpone the coming into force of the" Bill and not put these people to too great loss ?
January 1st is not a good date for the trade, and it is in the interest of the trade I am speaking. The apples are packed, of course, in the late summer and fall and are sold all through the winter. If the Bill were brought into force on 1st January, part of the crop might be sold in the way they have been sold hitherto, while the other part would come under the provisions of this Bill.
I think that if they work off this season's crop, they will have all the opportunity necessary, and by fixing the time for the Bill to come into force at 1st June, 1906, they will have an opportunity to work off the whole crop.