April 29, 1918

L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I do not think it will benefit them all. What does the Customs Department do now? Supposing a bag of cement goes across the border, does the Customs Department charge for 87J pounds, or 94 pounds, to the bag, or is there any standard by the bag, or is the duty charged according to the actual weight?

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The Customs Department, I suppose, imposes a tax upon the cement which is imported according to its weight.

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

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

It will not make any

difference whether our bag is 87J or 94 pounds. If we are going to imitate the United States, we shall just continue a process that has been started. When our cement goes to the United States I suppose, it is weighed. I understand from hon. members who have spoken to-night that $2,000,000 has been invested in bags that are marked "87J pounds."

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Not marked.

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

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Well, which contain 87J pounds. They certainly will not hold 94 pounds, or if they are made to hold 94 pounds, they will be packed so tightly that there will be a danger of explosion.

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

There is a difference of opinion on that.

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

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

That is the fate which I would like this Bill to have to-night. Let it explode and let us be done with it. If this Bill was to serve any purpose of the consumer, or even if it were to aid the manufacturer himself, we could feel that at least it was going to be of service to somebody. The minister is asked: why make the weight 94 pounds? He replies: To make a standard. Why not make the standard 87i pounds?

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

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

ilf you jump at a cnasm you do not have to go a mile beyond. Let

us leave the United States alone for a while, and let us save money to our people by allowing them to use these sacks. Let us either drop this section or take a vote in regard to it. I move that- the clause as amended be dropped.

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

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

I hope that the hon. member will not press his motion. He has given a long argument endeavouring to prove that no good purpose is served in having this standard weight. The Bureau of Standards have certainly given this matter great consideration. One reason for this standard is that in the United States there are a great many text-books used by engineers-

, 'Mr. BUREAU: Are we legislating here under the President of the United States and to please the United States, or are we legislating for our people?

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

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. OURRIE:

We are not legislating

under the president of any cement company, as my hon. friend wants us to do; we are legislating for the people of Canada. The text-books that are published in England and the United States are used by cement companies and they are used by engineers in estimating the cement work they do. There are some engineers here .who know that very well. There are certain specifications laid down for certain work. There are buildings erected of cement; even ships are being made of cement. The American text-book says that you must make a cement of a certain standard, and that when you use so many barrels of cement to so much weight of sand and so much weight of gravel, you get a certain specified product. When you put that in a wall or an arch, you put a certain strength there that will stand up to a certain weight; but if you have only *87i pounds instead of 94 pounds to the bag, your work will not stand up. The inspector will come along and pick out a piece of concrete to see how much cement is in it, and he will say; You have not the correct quantity. The result is that your work is condemned and you lose a great deal of money.

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

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

I am told on very good authority that, notwithstanding anything in the text-books about standards, the common practice throughout the whole of the United States is to use a standard bag of 87J pounds, not 94 pounds. Will the hon. member dispute that statement? The minister will not.

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

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

Nothing of the kind occurs. The standard text-book in the United States is Trautwine & Kent's text book, and Trautwine & Kent are the authorities used by every young engineer or old engineer, and the standard there is 94 pounds to the bag of cement.

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

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

I am not speaking about what is written in a text-book. I am asking the hon- gentleman if he will deny that the practice throughout the United States is to work to the standard of an 87i-pound bag, and not a 94-pound bag?

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

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

That may be the practice on sidewalks and other work in which it is not necessary to have standard cement, but throughout the whole of the United States the standard laid down in the text-books is the standard laid down by the Bureau of Standards, and that is the weight laid down in this Bill. The two parties who are going to suffer on account of short weight in cement are not the hon. gentlemen who want to have this section thrown out, they are the public and the dealer. If I ask a dealer to sell me five barrels of cement, I shall certainly insist on getting that weight, but the cement companies will short-weight the dealer five pounds to the sack. Is that fair to the dealer? I say, it is not. A man who does not know enough to weigh his cement will suffer, and not the dealer. The reason for standardization is apparent. We have standardized in almost everything now, and there is no reason why cement should not be standardized. Why should one company which plays the game honestly, which manufactures cement and puts it into bags to the proper weight, have to compete with a concern which is shortweighting everybody? Short-weighting in cement should be stopped so far as the farmers and the rest of the people are concerned. It means a great loss. The people do not get full value for ten per cent of the cement that is sold.

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

Simon Fraser Tolmie

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

The question was asked

some time ago why it was necessary to have a standard of 871 pounds. I have a letter here from the managing director of the Portland Cement Company of Victoria in which he states that the present weight of a sack of cement is pounds, and that 87* pounds is as near a cubic foot as any weight that couild be specified. As cement is all used by measurement, this writer says that there is a lot to be said in favour of retaining the 87*-pound sack.

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

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

There is some other business that we want to do to-night.

I have listened carefully to everything that has been said and have made notes of the various suggestions. I still am of the opinion that we ought to have a standard weight; I think that would be in the interest of the consuming public. I do not' see any force at all in the argument of my hon. friend from Three Rivers and St. Maurice (Mr. Bureau), whom I respect very highly, when he takes as his two premises that there would be a loss of $2,000,000 if this legislation went through, and, secondly, that there would be no gain to the consuming public, who have made no request for this legislation. Two premises like those do not heighten my respect for the conclusion he has" drawn, because neither premise is correct. There will be no loss on the bags, and there has been a widespread demand for this change. The idea of having a standard for our products in this country is an absolutely .sound one. That was the reason why this clause was inserted in the Bill. I now beg to move that the committee rise and report progress. I shall take into consideration the suggestions that have been made, and in a day or two shall come to the committee with my conclusions.

Progress reported.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INSPECTION AND SALE ACT AMENDMENT.
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SUPPLY-THE FLAX INDUSTRY.


On motion of Sir George Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce) for Committee of Supply:


April 29, 1918