by making them work a little harder, cover a little bit more ground, maybe go on duty a week or two earlier and maybe stay on a week longer, a smaller number of the best men would be able to cover the work. As these activities increase in volume and number, the number of our staff is necessarily increased, and in our desire to keep that down to the minimum consistent with service, we cut some of them out. The taking on of this additional service will, of course, necessitate additional inspectors, but this expense will be paid out of the revenue that we derive from the charge of five dollars a car.
and inspected and a certificate is given, has that certificate any binding effect so far as the purchaser is concerned in the event of the consignment proving on delivery to be not in accordance with the specification?
The system is merely a means of facilitating business between buyer and seller. The same question came up the other day in connection with the grading of dairy products and it has also arisen in the case of the grading of grain. I do not know of any system of inspection under which the government holds itself responsible for the consequences of its grading certificates.
Mr. BOY'S: The minister misunderstands
me; I do not suggest that the government would be responsible. If the certificate had a binding effect as between the two parties to the contract I could appreciate the fact that it would be far-reaching and useful. But so far as I know, it has no legal effect; it does not preclude the purchaser from rejecting the stock, whatever it may be. If, however, there is such a provision I should like to know where to find it.
there is a system of grading provided by law, the certificate is accepted by buyer and seller, but I am not sufficiently versed in the law to know whether such a certificate would hold in court. That, however, is the practice. If, for instance, a car of potatoes is graded at point of shipment in the Maritime provinces, the purchaser being in Montreal, let us say, the consignment might be refused on the ground that the grading was too high. An inspector of the department would then be called in and would re-inspect the shipment, and the decision is usually accepted by the
buyer in such transactions. I do not know, however, what force the certificate would have in law, although in my experience the arrangement has always been satisfactory to both buyer and seller. Indeed, both .parties have always seemed to be so satisfied that new services of this kind are constantly being asked for. That is the reason for the present service. Last year, I might mention in illustration, several carloads of turkeys arrived from western Canada for Toronto and Montreal, the draft being attached to the bill of lading in the usual way. The buyers refused to take delivery on the ground that the shipment was not properly graded; the poultry, it appeared, was not dressed. There was no system of grading for dressed poultry; it was merely a matter of sending representatives to the siding to superintend the transportation of the consignment. It was cold weather, the birds got frozen, and their value was reduced. Finally by negotiation and adjustment an agreement was arrived at, but owing to the fact that there was no federal grading system some difficulty was experienced. The public are always running up against such difficulties and that is why they are asking for grading in order to facilitate business and reduce friction to the minimum.
binding by statute it would prevent a great deal of litigation which now goes on. If inspection were asked for by vendor and purchaser at point of shipment, the goods being sold f.o.b., and if the certificate being once given were in law binding on the parties, it would be of great service to the people. Without some such provision, however, it seems to me that very little good results; at the very most I suppose you provide a witness who may be called at the trial of the dispute and who, of course, by virtue of his office, would be an independent witness whose word would have weight with the judge. Beyond that I do not see what good results will accrue from the system without the element of binding force.
the purchaser of a carload of vegetables or of apples refused to accept the inspector's certificate, he would find that the case would go against him if he attempted to defend his action in a court of law.
Supposing that in the transportation of a carload of potatoes-the consignment got frozen: surely you do not suggest that the purchaser would be bound to accept that consignment, notwithstanding that a certificate might have been given?
that. If the consignment was found to be unsatisfactory at point of delivery that information would be forwarded to the proper department and a re-inspection would ensue; and if the potatoes were frozen a report would be made accordingly and non-acceptance would be justified.
Then your first certificate would not be of any effect. The question has been asked as to who pays for the inspection. Well, I think that is easily answered. The producer will pay for it eventually, because if there are two or three charges for inspection added to a cargo of goods, from the time it leaves the producer to the time it reaches the consumer, it is clear that a man will purchase cheaply enough to meet those charges. As a matter of fact, the purchaser does so, and that is right. My fear is that if you have two inspections on every carload, each of the parties will have to pay a five-dollar fee for the inspection and this will cut down the proceeds to the producer, which are already below cost of production, at any rate in the case of potatoes.
The price to the consumer is controlled by competition from other sources. If our potatoes are made to cost, through inspection, more than we can buy potatoes for from the United States, the minister can see what a disadvantage the local producer would be under. And I presume that the imports from the United States would' not be subject to the inspection. On that point it would be interesting to have some information.
I am aware that the number of inspectors in the Maritime provinces has been reduced during the past year. Was the same proportion of reduction made in Ontario and British Columbia last year as in the Maritime provinces?