May 7, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Robert Holmes



When that leather question came up before the hon. Finance Minister, it came up on representations by a dealer in my own constituency. The statement he made, and which I believe to be in the main true, is that the leather dealers believed there was a combine to crush out the small manufacturers. The agreement produced is one that existed among some of the leather dealers, and when the matter was brought to the attention of the government, the complainants assumed that the machinery of government would be forthwith put into operation to break up the combine. They did not advance any proofs further than the agreement, and wanted the government to go ahead and act. Well, I was given to understand by the law officers of the Crown that the agreement was looked into, and that in their opinion an action at law based on it would not stand.
But the difference between the paper and the leather combine is this, that the gentlemen who made the representations to the Finance Minister the other day certainly gave him to understand that if a commission were appointed, they were prepared to bring up evidence to prove their charge.

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