April 29, 1918

UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

What line of business does the hon. gentleman refer to, when he speaks of that great saving?

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

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I agree entirely with the hon. member for Dundas (Mr. Cassel-man), as he understands this business, and if he says we are going to throw away $2,000,000 worth of bags-

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Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

That is not so.

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Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I would not undertake to say that is not so, but if the hon. minister makes the statement I suppose the hon. member for Dundas will accept it. I do not wish to join issue on the question of fact. The hon. gentleman has made a statement-and he appears to know something about it-that we are going to forfeit bags to the .value of $2,000,000, and if the statement be true, it is a matter for the

very serious consideration of the minister in war time. I received a little courage from what the minister did in regard to section 360B, which he is dropping out altogether. He says, in effect, that the millionaire who is selling carload upon carload of cement can do so with impunity and have short weight, but he is not to be punished. This is another case where the big influence has found its way to the power house somewhere. I would not suggest for a moment that the minister would be influenced in that way, but some parties who have the power of switching and turning and twisting this Act have been influenced, so that where the big interests are concerned they are not punished, but the poor man who comes along with an ox load and half a cord of wood has no protection and no back road to the power house; nobody cares whether he loses his ox or not. I can isee the greatest possible chance of this poor man, who has half a cord of wood and an ox team, walking home.

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Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

You are behind the times.

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

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

And if it is a second offence, he will have to go home and get the other ox to pay the balance of the fine; the wood, sled and oxen will have disappeared, and the man will be left with nothing, simply because he happened to be half a stick short in a cord of wood. I am sure that in a moment the minister will see that he has let the millionaire out. He can come with half or three-quarters of a bag of cement and call it a bag, and there is no punishment. I feel confident that when the minister sees he is letting the millionaire out he will be only too happy to apply the same principle to the poor man with the ox team and half a cord of wood.

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

Richard Coe Henders

Unionist

Mr. HENDERS:

I am quite prepared to accept legislation that will give sixteen ounces to the pound to the millionaire and the poor man. As I understand the amendment to this Bill, provision is made that the law as to marking the number of pounds on a sack does not apply. I venture to say that about twenty-five per cent of the cement made use of through the country passes into the hands of men who have no opportunity of weighing it. They have to take the weight as it comes to them. It is a generally understood thing that the sack will contain iso many pounds. They accept that as being a law and are governed by it. If there is no marking on the sack,

['Mr. McKenzie.]

they are simply at the mercy of the man at the other end. The fact that a certain quantity of sacks are now in use does not seem to me a justification for not marking. If they have decided only to put 87 pounds *in these sacks, it is not a difficult matter for them to mark 87 pounds on the isack, and then no matter where they go each bag carries its character on its face, and everybody will get fair play. I therefore think it would be well to reconsider that amendment with regard to the weight. The same thing would obtain in regard to the cordwood. I am not in favour of doctoring up the law so that one man will be subject to one law and another subject to another law governing the handling of the same article. If 128 cubic feet is the right measurement fOT a cord of wood, then let it be so provided, and let it apply to mill woods and every other kind of wood. If I buy a half cord of mill wood I expect to get half of 128 cubic feet, and if I buy a quarter cord I expect to get a quarter cord. The same rule should obtain With regard to cement. Let it be enacted that 100 pounds, OT that 94 pounds, shall constitute a sack, and let it be shown on the sack how much it contains.

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

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

The hon. minister has dropped the words " net weight."

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The difficulty in putting in the net weight is that it is all done by mechanical packing, and it is impossible to have absolute uniformity in the weights. If. you are packing the cement by hand in a bag and fill the bag to 94 pounds capacity, put the bag on a scale, and find that there is 94 pounds there, you can .mark that weight

on it, and you are sure of it.

When cement is machine-bagged and bag after bag passes under the machine, sometimes a little less goes in and sometimes a little more; it is impossible to get a uniform weight. You might say: Go over every one of these bags, weigh each one, fill in the deficit of one, and take out the surplus of another so that each will contain 94 pounds, and then mark your net weight. That is mechanically and physically impossible; it cannot be done. But you have the name of the manufacturer on the bag, you have the standard of 94 pounds to a bag and, if it is not a 94-pound bag, you pay the fraction of the price, whatever it may be.

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

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

The Minister will realize the position in which he is going to put the public. Cement is sold by the bag.

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

It is sold by the weight.

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

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

A farmer comes in to get a bag of cement, and there are two kinds of bags. He does not know about the law making a bag of cement 94 pounds. Such a bag is sold at a certain price. A merchant, with a little quirk, or trick,-and there are some of that kind-sells a bag of cement and the farmer thinks he is getting a 94-pound when he is only getting an 87J pound bag. Is it not a fact that the weight has been stamped on cement bags in the United States at 87J pounds, and have they not been found in this country? If that be so, where does the difficulty come in? If they have done it once, they can do it again. I think it greatly in the interest of the public that the weight should be put upon a bag of cement, the same as it is put upon a bag of flour. The sacks are stamped with the number of pounds they contain. It is quite true that it may put a little more work on the manufacturer, but supposing it does, the public are assured of proper weights. Will not the minister look into this and ascertain if the weight is not stamped on the bags in the United States?

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

I do not think they are marked, but I am not certain about that. I will make enquiry, and let my hon. friend know before we pass the Bill.

Mr. PBDiLOW: I would like to call attention to one, feature of the discussion that has been referred to by the minister, and that is measuring and weighing. I happen to have had considerable experience in both. When done mechanically, measuring or weighing is much more accurate than when done by hand. When the human element enters, the result depends largely on the temperament of the individual at the time the operation is performed.

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

To a certain extent I think my hon. friend (Mr. Pedlow) is right, but against that is the actual fact, borne out by the testimony of manufacturers and dealers in cement, and architects, that under the mechanical system of bagging cement you cannot get a uniform weight in each bag. Whether it is mechanical temperament or human temperament, it varies.

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

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. OLEMIEUX:

Has the minister consulted the manufacturers of cement on this question? .

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Yes.

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

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Do they approve of this change?

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Some of them do. The whole of the opposition offered by the manufacturers of cement has been based on the idea that they would be subjected to loss and particularly to loss in bags. I beg to assure my hon. friend that under this legislation the bags are not a loss in any way. The bags may hold 94 pounds, or they may not hold quite 94 pounds; or they may hbld 100 pounds, yet the bags can be used until they are used up. I am told that a very large proportion of the bags in use will hold sufficient to reach the 94-pound standard.

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

James Alexander Robb

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

The minister has argued at

considerable length in support of the view that cement, being bagged mechanically, the manufacturers were unable to insure a uniform weight, and that therefore it would not be fair to impose a fine, and I understand that the provision for a fine has been eliminated. Before six o'clock, in the very same Bill, the minister passed certain clauses providing that food products be stamped with the name of the packer and the net weight, and he provided for a fine if the weight was not as>

indicated on the package. I am sure the minister knows that most of these food products are packed in identically the same way as cement, by machinery, and if it is wrong to impose a fine on the manufacturers of cement, what justification has he for imposing a fine on those who put up foodstuffs, putting them up in the same way and with identically the same machinery? This automatic machinery is probably made in the same factory as that in which they make scales for weighing cement. The minister could not have been right this afternoon and also right now. He was either right then, and wrong now, or he is right now and he was wrong this afternoon.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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April 29, 1918