Sir THOMAS WHITE:
when we gave the promise respecting this legislation, the only zinc being refined in Canada was by a small experimental plant at Trail which turned out about a thousand pounds or half a ton a day. They employed the electrolytic process. The war created such a demand for this zinc that the exports of zinc products from the United States increased sixty fold and the price rose as high as forty cents a pound. It was brought to our attention by the Shell Committee that the Canadian manufacturers of brass cartridge cases could not obtain pure zinc for their work, and there was great delay in consequence in their output. We called a conference of zinc producers, two companies being represented, as well as the Shell Committee and representatives of the Mines Department at Ottawa, and the whole situation was considered pretty carefully. The producers were unwilling, owing to uncertainty as to the duration of the war, to make a large investment. They were apprehensive that, if
the war should come to a sudden end, the price of zinc would drop to 5 or 6 cents a pound, and that they would lose their investment in their plant. It was to guard, them against that contingency that we promised this legislation. My hon. friend will see from the resolution that the operation of the measure is confined to the period between the conclusion of the waT and July 31, 1917. They felt that if the war lasted as long as that they would make sufficient profit in the meantime to justify them in the establishment of their refineries. As a1 result of the action taken by the Government, /the Shell Committee was enabled, on behalf of the Imperial Government, to enter into a contract with the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company at Trail for 8,000 tons' of zinc, at 15 cents a pound, to be produced at the rate of 25 tons per day. This was a reduction of 25 cents on the then prevailing price, with an option of a further 8,000 tons at ]2j cents a pound. The object, therefore, was to ensure the zinc producer of the continuation of price for such period as would justify him in establishing his plant.
Subtopic: BOUNTIES ON ZINC.