April 19, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


William Rees Brock

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. R. BROCK (Centre Toronto).

Mr. leaker, as being directly interested m this atter that is now before the House P 1 '
ips I may be permitted to say a ww_ explanation. The Canadian Woollen ills Company have four mills, lvo or iese mills were closed six months ago and ve remained closed ever since because 1Cv had no orders. We endeavoured to get line of the operatives of those nulls to .me to our western mills. We ^ leceed in getting one of them. We couia it under the present tariff, pay sufficient [DOT]'i'o-oc, and the great bulk of them are now vint in the United States. We have one

large mill at Waterloo and one at Hespeler. These mills are still running but we are preparing to close them. We issued the circular that is spoken of, but we did not say in this circular that these mills were closed. We did not say they were going to continue open. We stated that we were prepared to fill such orders as the authorities at the mill would receive. We took care not to accept any orders that would bind us beyond the 12th of May when these mills are to be sold, but in the meantime we thought we would do what the government declines to do-we would endeavour to protect our operatives even at a loss to ourselves until the change was made believing that the change would be made more to our advantage by having these mills maintained as going concerns. If we chose to accept orders these orders would be transferred to any company buying out our mills and they would certainly be more valuable with orders than without orders.
The idea I got from the remarks of the Finance Minister was, that he endeavoured to make some little capital for his side, by stating that these mills were going ; that they were not depressed ; that they were not without orders. Now, Sir, I can say positively, and I think it is well that it should be known, that we have run that concern for .four years at a loss of $50,000 per year ; that that loss commenced when the preference commenced and gradually increased as the preference increased; that as the preference increased our orders from this country became smaller, and those of us who are engaged as merchants in this country sent larger orders to Yorkshire, because we found that the mills in this country were not able to compete under existing circumstances and under the existing) tariff with the great mills of Yorkshire and Germany. That is all I require to say at present. As the Minister of Finance has said, I hope that he will have another opportunity of discussing this matter.

Full View