May I ask a question? In every community there are a number of drug stores; roughly I believe they are apportioned at the rate of about one for every thousand of population. There are the Rexall stores and the Nyal stores. Those stores each year have one cent sales. They sell the same articles at the rate of two for one. I object to that kind of price maintenance. Are they not conducting loss leaders among themselves in their own community?
I see another hon. member supports him. Well, I took the trouble during the week to look up the number of drug stores in Great Britain and in the United States. I do not know the exact number in Canada, but I could give a very close guess, because I guessed the correct number in Great Britain when I looked into it first. There are between 14,000 and 15,000 in Great Britain, with a population of 50 million.
I would say on the same basis there would be about 4,500. Of course I am only guessing at that, but that would be the rough figure I would give. In the United States with a population of 150 million there are about 55,000 drug stores, and the number has declined between 1938 and 1949 by about 3,000. So on that basis I would say there are between 4,000 and 5,000 drug stores in Canada. But that is a different proposition from what the hon. member has said.
I was referring to our country out west when I made the statement that in the average town there is about one drug store for every thousand of population. I find that in a town of 5,000 population there are about four drug stores. One will be a Rexall store and the other a Nyal store. Once a year there will be a one-cent sale in the town. We have had comments from the drug trade against this legislation. They have sent the loss leader right into the towns, with no opposition from the other drug stores.
I agree with the hon. member that these things happen in Ottawa. You need only to go down to the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe streets and you will see a two for one sale. But I think he is wrong about the number of drug stores. I estimated that the number of druggists would be between four or five thousand but I am now informed that there are 4,200 members of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association. I did not make too bad a guess.
The same proportion applies to the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The hon. gentleman referred to these two for one sales, but the fact is that those sales do not take place in connection with resale price maintained articles; they take place in connection with articles which are not governed by resale price maintenance. If anyone with discretion goes into those stores he will be wise not to buy articles that are marked two for one. When the hon. gentleman goes into those stores he will find that the articles which do not sell rapidly are the ones that are being put up like that to catch the gulls who go in. Now, here is the recommendation of the committee in regard to loss leaders. I am sorry the hon. member for Charlotte (Mr. Stuart) is not here to hear me read this recommendation.. If I did not read all of the 872 pages of evidence I am sure that the hon. gentleman did not read this report, or he would not have made the statement he did about loss leaders. They state that the loss leader device is a practice which does not promote the general welfare.
Hon. members applauded the hon. member for Charlotte when he read statements from the Woodward brief. What is their view now? Do they approve of the MacQuarrie report or do they approve of the opinion of the hon. member for Charlotte. I approve of certain things they say and I approve of that, but I do not approve of the opinion of the hon. member for Charlotte. I should like to know if the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson), with whom he was sitting cheek by jowl a few moments ago, approves of the opinion of the hon. member for Charlotte. We ought to have some logic in the debates in this chamber.
I submit that what I am saying is logical. I ask the Minister of Justice, when he makes his reply, especially to tell us what he thinks of the opinion of the hon. member for Charlotte, not only on that but on other practices he has recommended. The committee went on to
Combines Investigation Act state that it considered it was not compatible to the public interest. What do hon. members think of that opinion of the committee as compared with the opinion of the hon. member for Charlotte, that it was the best thing ever put into effect in Canada for the benefit of the consumer? When a member of the Liberal party gets up in this house he gets applause from the other side, but if a member of the Conservative party gets up he will not get any applause even though he is reading from the committee report.