April 25, 1918

UNION

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Unionist

Sir GEOEGE FOSTEE:

I will tell my hon. friend. We hope and I think everybody wishes, that more and more we should get into the habit of appraising our hay by standards and selling it by standards, and on inspection. It is better for the farmer, the dealer, and the consumer as well. It gives the latter a protection. At the present time, inspection is only carried on at three places in Canada, namely, Toronto, Montreal, and', I think, Kingston. It is only at 'these large centres that we have had any experience as a basis to work on. You fix the fee which may be proper for these large centres. Then a small district applies to have inspection put in force. It finds the fee fixed in the law but you cannot get a competent man to do the work in the small section, with a small quantity to be inspected, for that-fixed fee. Then if it is necessary and considered advisable to arrange an inspection district in that other district, you would have to grade the fee according to the probable amount to be inspected, with a view to giving the man something worth his trouble for inspection. That is the reason.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I quite understand that, and am not going to press the matter,

I am still of the opinion that what I suggest would carry out the idea, and enable a seller to get an inspector. In the larger

districts, 20 cents a ton has been found to be a satisfactory and workable fee under the Act. But, I suppose, the minister does not wish to be bothered creating new districts every day. He is prepared to create a new district, and to arrange from time to time a rate of fees for inspection in that new district. But, if he had a maximum and minimum charge for any district in the Bill, all he would have to do would be to create his district, and the fees would come into effect. In North Sydney, where there is not very much inspection of hay, if the inspector has twenty or thirty tons, or even less, to inspect, the farmer knows that quantity will take perhaps half a day, and he knows he will have to pay at the rate of 20 cents a ton, but at the most not more than two or three dollars to the inspector. Where the rate per ton would not be sufficient remuneration, there is the minimum charge for a day's work provided for. My particular desire is that this Bill should be complete in itself and have all the machinery in it. So far as I am personally concerned in my county it does not concern me very much, but I do know as a lawyer that a law should be as complete as possible.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNION

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Unionist

Sir GEOEGE FOSTEE:

If it is possible.

Mr. LAN'CTOT: Inspection is carried on at Montreal for the hay purchased by the Department of Agriculture at the present time, I understand. In the local market my experience is that, in very few cases, have we been obliged to go to an inspector. The difficulty is always settled without an inspector, if the seller knows hay and the buyer knows it too. During the discussion of this Bill yesterday, many opinions were expressed, one especially by an hon. member from British Columbia. I think I may be permitted to refer to the whole discussion in a few minutes, if possible. We were discussing one clause regarding stained hay and rotten hay. Some hon. members from this side of the House claimed that that sort of hay should be allowed on the market. I object to that, Mr. Chairman, because I stand for the reputation of Canadian hay. It does the farmer no good to put poor or rotten hay on the market. Now, the minister seems to be struck with the inspection phase :>f the matter and nothing else. The dealers and the farmers do not care much about the classification of hay, because, as I said yesterday, that is made by the dealer. We sell by the grade. But what we want left in the Bill is the clause which has been

struck out, No. 340f, to hold the farmer responsible for the hay that he has pressed from his barn. You know very well, Mr. Chairman, that the dealer buys the hay from the farmer, and in my section of the country 95 per cent of the farmers have presses of their own. When there is a large crop of hay in our section or in the whole country, we have stacked hay all over the country. We buy the barn hay and the stacked hay on condition that the farmer will pay attention to the pressing, and do it when the weather is fine. Supposing a presser comes to a farm today, and the weather is fine. The farmer tells him to put his hay press near some stacks of hay which he has in the field. The presser does so, and he starts the machine. The next day it .rains perhaps only a very little. The presser, who may have three or four men working for him, says: It is true it is raining a little, but we are going to finish pressing this stack to-day. They do so. That hay is then put into the barn, and perhaps owing to the scarcity of cars, which we have had in this country for the last year or two, that hay may remain in the bam all winter. What will happen? That hay, if it has been pressed in bad condition, will freeze in the barn when the cold weather comes. When it is finally taken to the car, a man who knows his business can immeddatly tell if the hay is in bad shape or not, and he will say: the bales are like pieces of ice or iron. But if a man who does not know *anything about hay, is handling it, he will simply take the tally of the hay and throw it into the car, and it will be taken to (Chicago, or New York, or elsewhere. Three or four weeks later, the man to whom the hay has been delivered will make a complaint that the hay is in such bad shape that he cannot sell it for sufficient to cover the freight and duty. The farmers throughout the country should be made aware of this Bill for their own benefit in the future, so that they will not press hay when the weather is unsuitable, and so that they will press hay only when it is in good condition. The Minister of Public *Works (Mr. Carvell) is a farmer himself and he knows I am speaking for the benefit of the farmers of this country.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

How is the hon. member going to stop the farmers from pressing *hay?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Roch Lanctôt

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LANOTOT:

If some one is there,

il am speaking, however, for the hay dealer who ibuys hay over a section of thirty, or forty, or fifty square miles.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I did not desire to. interrupt the hon. member, but the very interesting address which we have just heard has absolutely nothing to do with the clause 341 which is under consideration, and which refers only to the fees.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Roch Lanctôt

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LANCTOT:

I have spoken for the benefit of the farmers.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DENIS:

I accept at once the principle that it would hardly be fair to have an equal standard rate throughout the country, and I think every one admits that; but, as suggested by the hon. member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie), the law should be made clear. Before Orders in Council are passed determining the fees that are to be paid in different sections of this country, information will have to he gathered. This information may already he available to the minister. Consequently, for the sake of having a clear and good law, and a law in which the fees will be well determined, why not, if the information is available, fix the fees now, and have- a schedule at the end of the Bill, or dispose of the matter in any other way in which the minister may see fit, so as to determine what the fees are to be? Otherwise, we shall not know what the fees are. As a lawyer, I should he in an awkward position if a man

came to me and said: I have some hay on my farm in a certain locality, and I want to know what the fee is for inspecting it. I should not know what the fee is unless I wrote to the Government for the information.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The hon. member will only have t6 keep on file a copy of the Canada Gazette, and I imagine he does so.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DENIS:

Yes, but supposing I could answer the question, the average trader could not do it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The average

trader is not likely to have a copy of the statute. My hon. friend, of course, always keeps that by him.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DENIS:

When the fees are written in the statute, the matter will always be plain.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

That is absolutely impossible, because my hon. friend goes on the assumption that we have mapped out this country into districts, and that we have obtained the information with

4 p.m. reference to the different districts. We are not going to map out and form any district unless there is a local demand for it. This is an enabling Act. I have no idea, and there is no information in the department as to whether North Sydney, or any other district, or how many of them will ask for an inspection district to be created, so that it will be impossible to have the information ready so as to put in the schedules with the fees appropriate to each schedule. The information is not available, and if we were to schedule every district in the country, we would be doing a great deal of work which would be altogether superfluous.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH READ:

This clause,

as it stands, is correct. It will obviate a similar difficulty to that which I brought up yesterday in reference to canned foods. One of the difficulties in regard to small factories is that there is no inspection because the quantity turned out is so small. I understand such small factories have no regulations. If in the Bill that was passed yesterday with regard to canned foods there had been a regulation like this one, the difficulty of which I was then speaking would be obviated. Similarly, in the case of hay, there are numbers of districts that will produce fifty, one hundred, or two hundred tons of hay, and in order to have an inspection there, it would be necessary to fix a higher rate than that

at a place like Montreal in which ,a thousand or two thousand tons a day are inspected. A maximum and a minimum fee might be set, but it would destroy the effect of the Bill to make the amount too small, because, in that case, you would not be able to get an inspector at all.

On clause 342-penalty for putting foreign matter in bales:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Would the minister regard the introduction of No. 2 hay into a No. 1 bale as putting foreign matter into the bale? Would that bring a man within the penalty prescribed by law?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The case is not for decision, and I do not know what the opinion of the judge would be. Personally, I think foreign matter would mean straw, bundles of weeds, dirt, stones or anything of that kind. These things have been put into baled hay more than once; I do not know that it is a very common offence, but it is certainly a very nasty one and deserves a heavy penalty. I do not think foreign matter would include hay of a different grade. A case of that kind would be covered by the inspection.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

The clause says that any foreign matter which improperly increases the weight of the bale or prejudicially affects its quality, will render a man liable. The introduction of a lower grade would, in my judgment, certainly affect prejudicially the quality of a bale of No. I hay. 1

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

You would also have to consider whether that was foreign matter or not. I should think it would be an offence against the Act to introduce hay of inferior quality into a bale of good hay.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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April 25, 1918