July 21, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Rt. Hon. Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT (Minister of Trade and Commerce) :

1. Yes.
2. The commission was dated the 7th December, 1901. Mr. W. G. Parmelee, Deputy

Minister of Trade and Commerce, was the person appointed.
3. Sittings were held at Montreal, St. Hya-cinthe, Victoriaville, Brockville, and Cowans-ville.
4. Evidence was .taken. Reporters and newspaper representatives were present during the sittings at Montreal. None appeared at any of the other sittings.
5. Yes.
6. The commission was appointed in consequence of numerous complaints having reached the government re the weighing of butter and cheese.
You will notice, Mr. Speaker, that the Tight hon. Minister Of Trade and Commerce {Sir Richard Cartwright) stated that reporters and newspaper representatives were present at the sittings in Montreal. I had heard that that was not the case, that they were not permitted to be present. And so when I received this answer from the Minister of Trade and Commerce I took the opportunity of communicating with twc newspaper men in Montreal, the first was the reporter of the ' Gazette ' on that occasion. I received his answer as follows :
Reporters were not admitted, but were handed a prepared statement by Parmelee after the examination was over each day.
I also applied to Mr. Paul, of the ' Star,' and received the same answer in the shape of an affidavit. So it is evident that the answer given me by the Minister of Trade and Commerce is not in accordance with the facts. As the right hon. gentleman told me that the report had been made by Mr. Parmelee, I wrote to the right hon. gentleman (Sir Richard Cartwright) and asked him if he would be good enough to send me a copy. The right hon. gentleman replied That he would be very pleased to do so, but that the report was not in his hands ; it was in the hands of the Minister of Agriculture, and I would have to apply to that hon. gentleman. At that time it was rather surprising. But since then we have been afforded an opportunity to learn how the departments are being run in couples, so we are not at all surprised when we are sent from one department to another for information. So I wrote to the Minister of Agriculture. And, on the 27th May, eleven days after my letter to him, I received the following answer :
Department of Agriculture, Minister's Office, Ottawa, May 27th, 1904.
Dear Sir,-Yours of the 16th Instant would have been replied to earlier but that the report for which you asked was one in the Trade and Commerce Department. I have obtained it and have had a copy made so as to afford you the courtesy of receiving it before the order of the House Is passed as by your motion. I may add that I shall be very glad to facilitate the passage of the motion when it is reached.
Yours truly,

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