June 19, 1924

LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

We have followed the procedure adopted by Switzerland, a country that largely manufactures gold, silver and platinum goods. I pointed out when this amendment was introduced that platinum was selling at $115 per ounce as against $275 per ounce for iridium. That alone should answer the objection urged by some hon. members that iridium was an inferior metal mixed with platinum. The intention of the amendment is to give platinum the same protection that is given to gold and silver goods.

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Subtopic:   GOLD AND SILVER MARKING ACT 1913, AMENDMENT
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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I do not remember anybody objecting to iridium on the ground that it was a base metal. All we want to do is to find out what the amendment involves. As it now stands you can have the pure metal-that would be pure platinum, I suppose; you can have "element platinum," and then again you can have iridium. What is element platinum?

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

The deputy minister informs me that that is a term used metallurgically. It is the platinum, pure, allowing of no further decomposition. It is found in the Swiss act.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

The bill provides that you can stamp anything as platinum if 950/1000ths of the component parts of the metal appearing or purporting to be platinum are either the pure metal and element platinum alone or in conjunction with iridium.

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

Iridium is part of the platinum itself. It is a metal that is very hard to extract and is consequently very valuable.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Nickel ore is the substance from which we get platinum, iridium and these other valuable metals. A large amount of ore goes out of the country which is not refined so far as these rare metals are concerned. The information I want is how we are getting on with the production of platinum, iridium, and so on, from our nickel ores. My hon. friend took the bill out of committee in order to be able to get that information, but we have not got it yet.

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Subtopic:   GOLD AND SILVER MARKING ACT 1913, AMENDMENT
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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

If my hon. friend will put the question on the order paper I am sure the Minister of Mines will be glad to answer it any time. It is true I said I would have the information, but I have not been able to secure it. My hon. friend knows I was busy last night until one o'clock-

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Yes, the hon.

gentleman kept us here until half past twelve last night, but it was not our fault.

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

-and this morning I was in committee from ten o'clock.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

If at any time we have to define in court the elements of platinum, would it not mean its chemical constituents?

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

I do not think it would. Platinum is itself an element-and cannot be reduced further.

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CON

John Babington Macaulay Baxter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BAXTER:

Then what are the elements of an element? I also suggest that in dealing with platinum and iridium we should deal with all precious' metals. There is an extremely precious substance not mentioned in this bill, known as "bunkium". It is a most precious political substance, and it goes about the country to-day with no legislation, with nothing but the government stamp on it to indicate its quality or its source. Why not deal with "bunkium" when you are dealing with the rest of your precious metals?

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York):

Although we have an absolute monopoly of these precious metals, parliament has never yet been put in possession of the facts as to what they are and what their value is. The metallurgists speak of these metals as the "P" metals, P being the sign for platinum. They include iridium, palladium, polonium, chromium and two or three more-at least five in all. Nickel is one of them, and it is a metal of which we have a monopoly. We have all these metals, and they are going out of the country and are being

Gold and Silver Marking

refined elsewhere. Every nation wants these metals, and we could get a great revenue from them if we had them all analyzed and knew the quantities we had in our country, and adopted legislation that would at least compel the refining of these metals in Canada into the finished article. Nickel is only one of them, but nickel is the basis of nickel steel, and all the world wants nickel steel to-day. We have a monopoly of this metal, but it is being refined over in the United States and in England. The great industries of the world to-day need nickel steel, and they are absolutely dependent upon the nickel ores coming from Canada, and these ores are practically all contained in six square miles up around Sudbury. If that is the case, parliament and the people of this country ought to know it, and we ought to insist on the refining of these ores and the production of the finished article in this country. I have advocated that for years. I brought up the question-

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order. We are discussing a bill for the purpose of determining how a certain precious metal called platinum shall be marked, and I do not think it is in order on this bill to raise a discussion as to how the natural resources of this country should be developed or dealt with.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York):

I do not agree with the hon. gentleman.

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Subtopic:   GOLD AND SILVER MARKING ACT 1913, AMENDMENT
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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I appeal to the Chair.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York):

That is all very well, but if there is any place where there is free discussion it is in committee, and I am surprised to hear such a reformer as my hon. friend (Mr. McMaster) try to limit the discussion in this manner. We have these metals in our country, and no other country has them.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Mr. Chairman, I raised a point of order.

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Subtopic:   GOLD AND SILVER MARKING ACT 1913, AMENDMENT
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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Is there any other hon. member who desires to discuss the point of order? I think the point of order is well taken, and that the hon. member is not in order in his discussion.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Does the minister know whether' this wording is employed with reference to other metals used? The reason I ask is because it appears to be about as clumsy as could be conceived. If it is the

same wording as the other, there would be an excuse for it, but if it is new, it certainly could be improved on.

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June 19, 1924