March 26, 1909

CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. SYDNEY FISHER (Minister of Agriculture).

I appreciate the spirit which has inspired the remarks of the two hon. gentlemen who have addressed the House. I recognize their criticisms as a perfectly fair and friendly effort to secure an advantage to the very important fruit trade of this country. I do not wish at all to take exception to the slight criticisms that have been levelled against the administration of the Fruit Marks Act. That Act and its administration are not probably perfect, and I court criticism and advice in respect to its administration. I must, however, point out-and I hope the House will pardon me for dwelling upon the subject, inasmuch as many of the members now in this House were not present when that Act was under discussion-I must point out that the Fruit Marks Act does not contemplate a complete inspection of our fruit. That Act defines certain grades and marks which must be put upon the fruit in closed packages, and certain requirements in regard to which the whole package must be equal to the showing face. It defines the law under which everybody who packs fruit must act, and everybody who packs fruit must live up to that law and carry out the exact definitions in the Act, or else they are committing an infraction of the law. Under the Fruit Marks Act anybody can take exception to the dealing of the packers, and it is especially open to anybody who buys fruit to see to it that he secures what he purchases, in accordance with the marks defined under this Act. At the time the discussion occurred in regard to that Act when it was put through parliament, it was clearly announced that there could be no effort on the part of the department to secure complete inspection of all fruit in our trade. The reason given was that we would have to have an army of inspectors, all competent men, and men who could only be employed for a small portion of the year. This, it was pointed out, involved an impossibility -I use the word advisedly-it would be an impossibility to secure a large number of inspectors during the rush of the fruit trade to inspect all our fruit, and then drop them off at the end of that trade, and let them seek employment elsewhere for the rest of the year. It would be impossible to obtain a sufficient number of thoroughly competent men under those conditions.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I would ask the minister whether it would not be possible to obtain men like those who are in charge of packers for the different companies? They obtain competent men for a period of two or three months, for about $75 a month. Might it not be possible for the minister to obtain a similar class of men, who thoroughly understand the packing of fruit, to

take charge of a certain district, for say, $100 a month, for a couple of months?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I do not believe they could properly inspect all the fruit. There is another reason, why it is impossible to inspect all the fruit. Such an inspection would so interfere with the trade, with the transport of the fruit, that the trade could not stand it. I do not say that the trade would not submit to it, but it could not stand it. I would point out that during about two months of the year, in an average season, there are anywhere from half a million to two million barrels of apples passing through the port of Montreal, and it would be impossible to inspect even specimens of the different lots, while they are loading, or to hold them until they have been inspected, without seriously interfering with the progress of that fruit to market. There are some other points where it would be almost equally difficult to make such an inspection, but Montreal is the chief port. These are practically impediments to adopting the idea of a complete inspection of all our fruit. The other objection is the difficulty of obtaining competent inspectors for that purpose. I would point out in answer to the suggestion of the hon. member for Lambton (Mr. Armstrong), that all the men who pack fruit, the dealers, who buy orchards and get men to go into those orchards and pack fruit, tell me that it is with the utmost difficulty they can get men at all competent for that work. The only excuse .they give us for packing some of their fruit improperly is the difficulty of getting just such men as my hon. friend alludes to. If I were to try to engage from 200 to 300 such men for two or three months of the year, I would not be able to secure qualified men. When it comes to deciding upon the quality and character of the fruit packed we require first-class men, because lawsuits might arise in consequence of their proceeding against packers, and unless our inspectors were absolutely reliable, some of the packers might suffer unjustly. Therefore. 1 say it was distinctly understood when the Act was passed that we did not intend to make a complete inspection of all fruit. That being the case, whv do we inspect at all? First of all, because the Act was intended for the purpose, chiefly of the export trade.

Our credit and reputation in the English market, to which nearly all our apples go, had become very bad. We were there denounced as sending forward apples with a good face in some instances but with wretched fruit in the middle of the barrel. We were also accused of sending forth apples which were marked with some designs indicating that they were of the best quality when, as a matter of fact, they were very inferior. We were also accused ol sending forward fruit which was called by one name, but which really was of a different variety. All these things had brought Canadian fruit in the English market to such a low class that something had to be done. It was therefore specially for the purpose of guarding our export trade, and as being a matter of trade and commerce, that this parliament undertook to pass the Act. The Act was framed with that special design, and, incidentally, in the process of watching the fruit trade for that purpose, it was quite possible for the inspectors to also, to a certain extent, although in a lesser degree, help and watch the local fruit trade. It was understood that whenever the inspectors were able to do this I would be only too glad to allow them to do it and thus help to protect the home consumers as well as the export traffic. But there is this difference between the export market and the home consumer. The purchaser of our goods in a foreign country finds it very difficult to come back on the exporter here in Canada. The home consumer can do that easily. In Ontario, in Toronto, or in any of the smaller towns there, a man who buys a barrel of apples and does not find it up to the proper standard is generally within a few miles, or, at most, within a hundred miles, of the man who packed the barrel and he can easily protect himself, whereas, the purchaser in the foreign market could not, and as a matter of fact, would not try to protect himself against the individual packer in Canada. But the whole of the Canadian export trade would suffer by reason of the reputation which would come to it from the defects which he had found in the purchase that he had made. Therefore, for the sake of protecting our reputation and credit in the foreign market it is necessary for us to have this inspection as regards our foreign trade.

Since the inception of the Act some matters have come to my notice which have induced me to go a little further. There was a large trade between the prairie provinces and Ontario on the one hand and British Columbia on the other. This was a trade which it was almost difficult for the purchaser to deal with as the export trade and we therefore felt that it was our duty to assist in guarding that a little. We put an inspector first of all in Winnipeg and afterwards one in Calgary for the purpose of protecting the people in these markets against the sale of inferior fruit. We were urged ,to do this especially, because, having begun with the export trade, we were told that dealers in Ontario and British Columbia would deliver into these markets, which were very good markets indeed in view of the prices, fruit which they did not dare to send forward for export because it would be subject to our inspection. We, therefore, took it upon ourselves to appoint an inspector in Winnipeg and one in Calgary for that purpose. We have an inspector in British Columbia for dealing

with the export fruit trade of that province and officers in the maritime provinces, in Quebec and Ontario for dealing with the export trade there, these being the great fruit exporting provinces of the Dominion. I think it only right that this explanation should be given particularly as the general tone of the complaints of my hon. friends who have spoken would leave in the mind of those who do not understand the question the impression that it was the intention of the Act to inspect all of the trade, when, as a matter of fact, it was avowedly not the intention of the Act and it was a duty which the department has never undertaken and was never expected to undertake.

Having given this explanation I might say a word or two with regard to what we are doing. My hon. friend has spoken of the vast number of packages of fruit shipped. I have no doubt the figures he has given are correct. As a matter of fact the figures I have show that the number of individual packages inspected during last year is a little over 41,000 by all the inspectors. That is about 2,000 to each inspector in round figures. This inspection goes on for about three months in the year and then we employ the inspectors, except the temporary ones, for another three months. During that time they do not do nearly as much as they do in the three months in which the active packing of fruit takes place. But although that was the number of actual packages inspected, the shipments included nearly 700,000 packages; so that practically we had to inspect, with our staff of inspectors, what was equivalent to about 700,000 packages of fruit. The result was that we were obliged to take out a large number of prosecutions, and this year I have insisted upon those presecutions being put through to the utmost limit except where there was a first offence or where there seemed to be mitigating circumstances. All through in the administration of this Act I have been desirous of taking it for granted that the packers wished to live up to the Act and that if they did not do so it was usually due to ignorance or carelessness. Therefore, in the case of a first offence, we generally allowed the thing to go, giving the packer a warning, pointing out to him what the requirements of the law were and insisting upon his fulfilling those requirements. For a second offence, however, during the last season I do not think we have dropped any. My hon. friend asks for more inspectors. That, I think, is the burden of the request laid before us now. I would be quite willing to do this, and I think that perhaps the time has been reached when the necessities of the case are such that I will have to do it. Last year I did it to a certain extent. I added three inspectors to the province of Ontario in con-Mr. FISHER.

sequence of the representations which were made to me.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

Who were they, may I ask?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Mr. Furminger, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Smith and Mr. Moore. One of these, however, replaced an inspector who died. I did this partly because it was represented to me, which was true, that there was a considerable export of fruit from western Ontario across the United States boundary line, especially at Niagara. We have tried to keep the inspection for the export trade scattered through the country, partly on the railways converging at Montreal, but chiefly in the port of Montreal, which is the great export port for all the fruit of Ontario and Quebec. We also have had a good deal

of this work to do at Halifax, St. John and some other places in the maritime provinces, where there is an export trade. In addition to the inspection of the ports, which is the most convenient for the administration of the department, we have had several men travelling about in Ontario dropping on to shipments of fruit .anywhere and everywhere, and the reason we have been doing this is that, 'the law being what it is, any man who ships apples is open to attack and we wish to attack him in any way without warning and without letting him know that he was going to be caught. For that purpose I have had travelling inspectors going about in Ontario especially and the maritime provinces and ,an inspector in British Columbia doing the pame kind of thing, for the purpose of catching people. That is a deterrent. It shows the shippers and packers that they are never safe, that they may at any time be caught, and if they are caught they will be prosecuted and fined. It was never intended or expected that we could inspect all the fruit; but the law -being what it is, it fixes a standard, not only for our inspectors, but for purchasers from abroad. Therefore, it gives an opportunity for the purchaser to protect himself and an intimation to the packer what he must do, not only to comply with the law, but to do justice to the trade and the purchaser and himself. That is the object of the Act. I [DOT]would be very sorry indeed to think for a moment of dropping the administration ot this Act. Possibly more vigorous administration may be required, but that means more expenditure of money, more numerous appointments of inspectors, and I would remind some hon. gentlemen that when the Act was first introduced I was met with the taunt that the object was simply to provide places for government supporters. I explained that I was only appointing inspectors when absolutely necessary and was going to appoint none except efficient men. Since the Act has been in force, I have never had a complaint as to the efficiency and good character of

any man appointed under the Act. The .only complaint I have had is that I have not made sufficient appointments. I may say that we have tributes to the efficiency of this Act from outside the country.

I shall not go back to the old reports from England on the first Inspection Act, or quote again what has been often stated by our American competitors, but I will say this, that at present, in a number of states in the Union, the fruit growers have asked for legislation similar to our Act, and the American Federal authorities have been petitioned by a large number of the state fruit growers and the Pomological Union of all the American states, to pass an Act modelled on the lines of the Canadian Fruit Marks Act. This, it seems to me, is a fair tribute to the good lines of this Act and its successful working. In a general way, that administration has accomplished much for the object intended.

1 know that its administration has been carried on with) a single eye to the improvement of the fruit trade, and that the officers of the department, the chief inspectors and all the officers under them, have been working to the best of their ability for the proper enforcement of the Act and the benefit of the trade. I believe myself that it would be in the public interest if more inspections were made and I propose to stimulate more frequent inspections by one means or another. If we cannot overcome the insufficient number of inspections without additional inspectors,

I shall not hesitate to appoint additional inspectors where they seem to be required, and ask parliament for the necessary money to enable me to do so. But I do not think that I could appoint any more with the money at my disposal, and I want to keep within the vote if I can. I appreciate the statements made to-day and the reports that have come to me from other sources, and I appreciate the fact that the matter is of sufficient importance to the fruit trade to warrant my taking the responsibility of spending a little more money than parliament has voted, if that be absolutely necessary for the proper accomplishment of the work. There are, however, one or two other demands for inspectors to which I shall allude. A considerable number are from people who want to be appointed inspectors themselves, no doubt a laudable, object, but I do not propose to regard very seriously such applications because the desire to be inspectors probably influences their applications. There is another demand which also I do not feel called upon to grant. I have had representations from a large number of dealers asking me to appoint inspectors to go into their orchards and see that their packers comply with the law. To those people I say that it is just as much a part of their business arrangements and management to see that their'

packers comply with the law as to see that their book-keepers keep their books properly, and it is no part of the duty of the government to pay for that part of these people's business. I have therefore disregarded the applications of a good many men who have urged on me insistently that the government should appoint inspectors whose business it would be to go about in the orchards and see that the packers pack their fruit according, to the Act. The law is there and the packers and their employers know it, and it is their business and not that of the department, to see that they fulfil the law.

There are one or two points brought up by my hon. friend from British Columbia, which I shall deal with for a few minutes. Regarding what he said about the Act itself, he gave an interpretation of the clauses 320 and 321 in which I do not quite agree with him. The Department of Justice has informed me that the Act does apply to_ imported fruit and we have always administered it in that view. I have the instructions here which we give to our inspectors, and this is what these instructions say:

To Fruit Importers and Commission Merchants.

Importers of fruit are warned that the Fruit Marks Act, referring to the grading and packing of fruit, and sections 4 and 5 of the Act ' Respecting the Packing and Sale of certain Staple Commodities,' referring to the size of fruit packages, will be strictly enforced. Importers of foreign fruit will be held responsible for the packing and marking of the fruit which they sell as well as for the size of the paokages.

Copies of the Fruit Marks Act and the Act ' Respecting the Packing and Sale of certain Staple Commodities ' may be had, free, on application to the Fruit Division, Ontario.

That was a circular sent to my inspectors on the 5th of April, 1906. It has never been rescinded or modified. The inspectors thoroughly understand it, and it is their duty, to follow it. Last May, a year ago, there was a correspondence from Calgary, and in that correspondence one of the inspectors there wrote asking some questions and describing something that was going on there. This was the answer sent by Mr. Alexander McNeil, Chief of the fruit division:

I have your letter of May 21 with reference to the foreign fruit coming in. In such cases as this, the dealer is held responsible for the fruit. In the case of closed packages, he must put his name and address on the outside of the packages and will be held responsible for the grading and packing. In the case of berries and baskets, he will be held responsible for the proper marking of the packages. _

As the cubic contents of this basket as you give the measurements will be 48 cubic inches, and as the legal standard requires 55J cubic inches it will be necessary for the

McPherson Fruit Company to stamp all such hoses with the word ' short ' as required by law. No doubt, they will recoup themselves for the extra labour from the shippers._

I presume you are supplied with copies of the Inspection and Sale Act, part IX.

The House will see theretore that the instructions of the department to their inspectors, and the action of the department generally has always contemplated that the Act applied to imported fruit just the same as the home packed fruit. We have asked our inspectors to always carry out that idea. My hon. friend (Mr. Burrell) spoke about a possible amendment to section 321. There is no doubt in our minds whatever that under section 321 the package has to be marked as required by the provisions of this part of the Act, and the imported package has to be marked exactly the same as the Canadian package. Section 320 is a direction for the packers in this country before they send out their fruit, and section 321 says:

No person shall sell, or ofier, expose or have in his possession for sale, any fruit packed in a closed package and intended for sale unless such package is marked as required by the provisions of this part of the Act.

That means.that whether the package be imported or packed at home, as long as a person has it in his possession or offers or exposes it for sale, it must be packed in accordance with the provisions of this Act, so that the Act applies to all packages no matter whence they come. In the administration of the Act we have held the person who is the agent or the purchaser from the importer the responsible person against whom to have recourse if there is any infraction of the Act because of course we cannot go to a foreign country to prosecute. My hon. friend (Mr. Burrell) speaks of the grievances of British Columbia. I have no doubt whatever that he can appeal fairly to the people of the prairie provinces just as he can to me for sympathy in the difficulties-I would not like to call them grievances-which the fruit men of British Columbia have experienced in their laudable and legitimate efforts (with which I have the greatest sympathy) to capture the market in the prairie provinces. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Burrell) speaks about the tariff, and I shall not enter into that question further than to say that I propose to represent to the Minister of Customs what I think is a fair thing, namely, that four boxes of apples contain a larger quantity than a barrel, and that if the duty is to be levied on boxes it would be much fairer to count three boxes to the barrel than to count four.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I will make that representation to the Minister of Customs and Mr. FISHER.

ask that he shall issue an order that the duty should be levied in that way which I think is right and proper. If it is not done at the present time I have no doubt it is because of some misconception on the part of the officials. My hon. friend (Mr. Burrell) spoke about the provincial regulations, and here let me compliment the province of British Columbia on the regulations they have enacted for the purpose of shutting out and suppressing insect pests and disease in fruit. In that respect British Columbia has taken the lead of all parts of Canada. It is in the purview of the provincial legislatures to so enact and the province of British Columbia has gone very far in that direction and has I think administered its law wisely and well.

The Fruit Marks Act is not specially aimed at protecting us against fruit pests and it only incidentally does so by directing the condemnation of apples or other fruits which are rendered inferior in quality by reason of having in them these fruit pests. As to the enforcement of the Act, the local inspectors in British Columbia have a perfect right to prosecute under the Act if they so desire. If fruit is being sold anywhere in British Columbia which is not marked and packed in accordance with the provisions of the Fruit Marks Act, anybody and everybody whether he be an inspector or not can lay an information or take out a prosecution under the Act. We have received from our inspectors at Winnipeg and Calgary a good deal of information on the subject, and that information has led us to believe that as a rule the American fruit offered on these markets has been packed quite in accordance with the provisions of our Act. I do not mean to say that there is no bad American fruit put upon these markets, but at all events our inspectors have not reported any such. I do not suppose for a moment that they inspect all the fruit, but we certainly have had reports from them showing that in a general way the American fruit is well packed and fulfils all the conditions of our law. I took occasion a little while ago to send a circular to all the dealers in fruit in the three prairie provinces and with one exception they all reported that the American fruit arrives in good condition and is packed an strict accordance with the requirements of our law. It may be said that these dealers are prejudiced as they handle American fruit, but at all events that is the information they have sent us. One dealer did report that he had seen some American fruit which was not quite up to the standard.

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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

Were they wholesale or retail dealers?

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

They were mostly wholesale.

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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BUBBELL.

They are largely American firms.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHEB.

They may be prejudiced, but of course I cannot say as to that. Let me say to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Burrell) that as a general rule the British Columbia fruit, is, I believe, well packed and properly marked. I remember that some years ago I was in British Columbia and having seen a good deal of the fruit there I considered, and so stated it in the east, that the British Columbia fruit growers could give a lesson to the rest of Canada in the putting up of fruit. They had seen the example of California long before we in the east had; they profited by it and as a general rule they put up their fruit very well. The last time I was in the province of Alberta in the fall of the year I saw boxes of British Columbia fruit, and, when I saw it in competition with the American fruit I must say that personally I would have had no hesitation in buying the British Columbia fruit in preference to_ the other. My experience on that occasion led me to believe that British Columbia can successfully supply these markets with fruit just as soon as they are able to grow enough for the demand. I venture to think that the chief reason for such a large quantity of American fruit being sold in the prairie provinces,'

is, that British Columbia up to the present time could not supply the market. Although British Columbia has gone so far ahead, as my hon. friend (Mr. Burrell) has described, in planting trees and providing for a large production in the future, it is my belief that British Columbia does not now produce enough to supply the market of the prairie provinces.

As a matter of fact, according to some returns I have seen, a considerable quantity of American fruit is imported into British Columbia, and sold in that province, not because it is better fruit, not because the British Columbia consumers would prefer

it, but because at certain times and seasons there is not enough British Columbia fruit of some kinds to supply the market of British Columbia, and certainly not enough to supply the prairie markets. A large quantity of fruit has been sent from Ontario into the prairie provinces especially of late years. To-day the Ontario fruit growers are making great strides in the prairie markets. During the last season I have had an Ontario man inspecting in Winnipeg. He has made reports upon the fruit trade in Winnipeg and the prairie markets generally. He found some fruit arriving from British Columbia in very bad condition, chiefly because the people there did not seem to understand how to pack it in the car and how to see to its transportation. I am of the opinion that when fruit is to be shipped by rail, even in refrigerator cars, it is essential that it should be cooled before it is placed in the car. I would also say that some carloads of small fruit arrived in Winnipeg last season from British Columbia in a state of mush. They had been seriously heated in the car, and had been packed in such a way that there was no circulation of air amongst the packages, while the American fruit coming into the Winnipeg market the same day was in perfect condition because there was provision to allow the circulation of air between every two layers of baskets, and because the fruit had been cooled down as low as it could be cooled with safety before being packed in the car. This hint may account for.a great deal of the bad fruit that has arrived in the prairie provinces from both Ontario and British Columbia. I propose that that inspector shall go about in Ontario and give the fruit shippers and packers of Ontario the benefit of what he saw in the Winnipeg market last season. Before the next shipping season begins I hope he will be able to lay the information he has acquired in this way before the Ontario people so that they may learn what conditions have arisen in their fruit trade with the west in the last season, and by some means I hope to lay the same information before the British Columbia shippers.

I am glad of what has been said here today. I appreciate the spirit in which the remarks of hon. gentlemen have been made and sympathize with the views expressed, and I shall try during this coming season, as I did in the past season, to bring about a larger measure of close inspection of the fruit trade. I hope that we will be able to remove any difficulties that may exist in this respect.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. LALOB (Haldimand).

I would compliment the minister on his fair descrio-tion of the administration of the Fruit Marks Act, and the manner in which he has approached the question before the House. Any remarks I shall make will be not in a spirit of fault-finding or hostile criticism, but with the object of remedying any grievances that may exist. I do not believe that the Fruit Marks Act is as rigidly enforced as it should be, because we have not enough inspectors to properly carry on the work. I am glad to hear the minister promise to try to increase the number and to give us more rigid inspection. I believe that an inspector should be appointed in each county during the packing season. This could be done as there are plenty of men in almost every county competent to inspect apples and these men may be selected and engaged only for the packing season. In that way a higher standard could be attained because I believe it to be of immense importance

that the buyers in the British market should feel sure that when buying Canadian apples he is getting inspected fruit packed according to the Canadian law. To create such a feeling in Britain will give us a great advantage in the British market over the American shipper. Therefore I am in sympathy with the Inspection Act and in favour of increasing the number of inspectors, if the minister can see hi3 way clear to do so. I was surprised yesterday to learn, from an answer given In this House, that some 37,000 barrels of American apples were imported last year into the Canadian Northwest. I was sorry to learn that because the Canadian west should in the future be one of the best markets for the apples of Ontario, and it is unfortunate that we are losing all that great Northwest trade. I suppose we are labouring under great difficulties in the way of freight rates to_ that country as compared with the American shippers and it would be a great advantage to the Ontario apple producer if the duties upon apples going into the Northwest from the United States were made a little higher in order that we might gain that market.

I was surprised to hear the hon. member for Yale-Cariboo (Mr. Burrell) complaining of lax inspection of apples in British Columbia, because Ontario shippers are afraid to send apples into British Columbia owing to the inspection there.

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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

That is provincial inspection.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

That may be. I wish to call attention to an industry which is of great importance to the farming community and which is growing more Tapidly than almost any other industry, the evaporating of apples. In almost every part of every county in Ontario you will find that within the last few years an evaporator has sprung up. It is not the better class of apples that waste on the trees, they are packed and shipped. The apples that are allowed to waste are those that do not come up to the proper standard for shipment. The safeguard against that is the evaporator. These evaporators are being located all over Canada; the industry has grown faster than any other that I know of; and I do not know of anything of greater benefit to the farmers than the establishment of an evaporator within his reach, because it takes this class of apples, which would [DOT]otherwise be wasted, at a fair price. These apples are evaporated, done up nicely and are sold partly in Canada and partly for export. This year, I am sorry to say, that industry is in a most unfortunate position. Unless some remedy can be found, I cannot see much hope for the extension of the [DOT]evaporated apple business in Canada. The principal difficulty we labour undetr iin -this business is the German surtax. I am not saying this in a spirit of fault finding Mr. LALOR.

with the position of the government in the matter. For, I wish to say at once to the government that their position is the position that I take; it is a position in which I am prepared to support them. I believe their stand was a proper one and that in the interest of the country, we should retaliate and let them have surtax for surtax. But the German market, unfortunately is our chief market for the export of evaporated apples. The Germans have placed this surtax of one-half cent a pound on evaporated apples going into that country, and the result is that more apples are offered for sale in Canada than the country can take. There is to-day a great surplus of last year's crop, and one dealer is competing with another to see who will sell evaporated apples the cheapest, in order to get rid of them before next season's pack comes on. So faT as I am concerned, I have ten carloads of evaporated apples today in New York that were shipped for export to Germany. They are held in bond. The surtax is almost prohibitory, and the result is that we cannot get rid of our surplus stock, and we do not know what to do with it. There is no way by which, at as little cost, the government could assist a Canadian industry as by helping the men in this business to pay this surtax on evaporated apples. The evaporated apple m-[DOT]dustry, I believe, is the one industry that is suffering on account of this surtax. Our manufacturers, I believe, are getting benefit from it, and it would be a pity on their account to remove it. Our farmers who export wheat and other products are not suffering as a result of it. But this growing evaporator industry, the immense importance of which to the farmers I have already pointed out, is placed in such a position by this surtax that it greatly needs assistance. I would like to see the government render that assistance by paying a certain portion of that surtax, in order that the surplus of evaporated apples may be got rid of. When you consider the enormous quantity of dried fruit brought into this country, you can see the effect it has upon the evaporated apple business. The growers of small fruits suffer to an enormous extent from the importation of American fruit. No less than 1,600,096 pounds of strawberries and blackberries were imported into this country last year. The duty is not heavy enough. This market should be secured to the Canadian fruit grower. We have ample facilities for growing fruit, especially small fruits, and I believe that the tariff should keep out the American fruit to as great an extent as possible, and give the market to our own people. It is a wonder to me that the growers of small fruits have not agitated before this for the increase of duty on this class of fruit. As to the evaporated apple trade, I speak from experience as one connected with it, when I say that it is suffering greatly from the German surtax. It would not cost the government much to assist this industry in the way I have suggested. 6

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE FRUIT MARKS ACT.
Subtopic:   W. CRAWLEY RICARDO.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

What quantity is imported?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE FRUIT MARKS ACT.
Subtopic:   W. CRAWLEY RICARDO.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

I have not the figures at hand. But I know that a certain quantity is imported, particularly from California into British Columbia and the west. To-day, probably about 400 cars of evaporated apples are packed in Canada every year. They represent an enormous quantity of green apples. Probably 200 cars are used in the country and the rest are exported, largely to Germany. At a cost of about $25,000 a year, the government could pay the surtax imposed upon the evaporated apple products and relieve the Canadian industry. This would do almost more than anything else, as I have already suggested, to assist the farmer in getting rid of the apples that otherwise would be lost. I cannot speak too highly of the advantage of the evaporator to the farmer.

I believe that advantage is as great as that afforded by the canneries. I believe the government would be wise in deciding to assist the people engaged in this bust ness.

, Mr. M. S. SCHELL (South Oxford). It is very pleasing to see the spirit in which this subject has been debated, for it is so seldom that we find both sides of the House agreeing so thoroughly on any matter as to-day. We know that the work of the fruit inspectors has been most helpful to the apple industry as well as to the industry of growing small fruit. I do not propose to quote, as I might quote at length from different sources, to show how the work that has been done by the inspectors since they were appointed in 1901 is regarded. The fact that our friends of the opposition are asking for an increase m the number of inspectors is the clearest proof that good work has been done. I have a very high appreciation of this trade, its growth and possibilities. I agree heartily with the hon. member for Yale-Oariboo concerning the possibilities of the apple industry-and I suppose the same applies to small fruits-in the province of British Columbia. We feel that there are as great possibilities in the province of Ontario. We know that the fruit of British Columbia is of very fine quality very handsome, perhaps even more so than the Ontario fruit or that of Nova Scotia But we know that it is not finer in quality Ontario, I think, produces the best ali round apples, perhaps not as fine in appearance, but for flavour, for texture, and for keeping quality, I do not think there is any part of the Dominion of Canada tnat produces finer apples, or possibly as 107

good. ^ The possibilities of development in Ontario are very great, yet I am sorry to say we have been making but very little progress of late years. The number of new orchards that are being set out is very small, comparatively speaking; the older orchards we have are not producing the quality of fruit that they should produce, and there is something lacking with this industry. Now, I do not blame the Dominion government, I do not blame the Ontario government, either one of them entirely;

kiplr perhaps the fault lies primarily at the door of the producer, at the door of the grower.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE FRUIT MARKS ACT.
Subtopic:   W. CRAWLEY RICARDO.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The packer?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE FRUIT MARKS ACT.
Subtopic:   W. CRAWLEY RICARDO.
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LIB

Malcolm Smith Schell

Liberal

Mr. SCHELL.

No, not the packer, you have to go far behind the packer to find the root of the trouble. If we are going to put this industry where it should be, and if we are going to have our inspectors do their work satisfactorily in the future, we have got to produce a better quality of fruit. The inspectors have done about all they can do, except as a deterrent in future. The educational work has demonstrated that our fruit has to be put up according to a certain standard, and packers buyers and dealers Understand that. But until we get a better quality of fruit a more uniform quality, there will always be a difficulty in the enforcement of the Fruit Marks Act, and our growers will not obtain the^ value that they should obtain from their orchards.

I think that in the first place more educational work should be done. The farmers already know something of it from reading in the newspapers, and from the example of their neighbours in spraying their orchards and taking proper care of them. But as a rule, our farmers have not gone systematically into the work of spraying and caring for their orchards as they should do. I believe the provincial government of Ontario, assisted by the Dominion government, should take up this work more energetically in the way of imparting education, instruction, and making demonstrations with a view of putting this in-"usj'ry on a better footing. I understand that the provincial government of British Columbia have taken a very strong stand in relation to their fruit industries, and I think they are far in advance of us in the province of Ontario-and I am now speaking particularly for that province. It is the provincial government of Ontario that have primarily the charge of the educational institutions, and it is their duty to do more in the way of sending out inspectors and instructors. If the apple industry, the fruit industry, of that province were properly handled, instead of exporting one million barrels of apples, out of the ten million or fifteen million we produce in that prov-

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE FRUIT MARKS ACT.
Subtopic:   W. CRAWLEY RICARDO.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

What do you think of the freight rates to the west?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE FRUIT MARKS ACT.
Subtopic:   W. CRAWLEY RICARDO.
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March 26, 1909