Mr. M. BURRELL (Yale-Cariboo).
I desire to bring up a matter of sufficient importance to the government, and especially to the _ agricultural industry, to excuse me in taking up a little time of the House. I wish to deal with the question of the regulations in regard to the fruit industry. I have already, in this House, referred to the importance of this particular industry in my province of British Columbia, where we have now some 75,000 acres actually in orchard. We are practically only at the commencement of our orchard work, and of our output; and in connection with the building up of this industry, on account of the great expense in clearing land, in adopting the irrigation system, in providing fences and other things which are necessary to a successful horticultural development in our province, I need only say that the market question is for us particularly important, and that anything which tends to weaken the markets for the grower of fruit, must also weaken the whole industry. In 1905 the Minister of Agriculture took a step which I think was thoroughly commended by the industry throughout Canada, when he called together the Dominion fruit conference, a conference of gentlemen interested in this particular industry throughout Canada. That conference, I am glad to say, speaking I think for all western fruit growers, resulted in a great deal of good. It familiarized the various growers in the country with the methods and with the weaknesses of the industry which may have existed. It tended also to uniformity of method, and in one way and another, I think, strengthened the industry, and made it in a very real sense an industry recognized as national. Now, in connection with that conference the Fruit Marks Act was discussed and amended; and while we believe that the Act has operated for the development of the horticultural industry, it is perhaps natural that in the course of its operation for a series of years, some weak spots in it should have become manifest. To these I now desire to draw the minister's attention, to see whether it could. be amended or interpreted in a way that would better the conditions of the industry. Now, section 319 defines what a close package is, and subsection (a) says:
(a) ' closed package ' means a box or barrel of which the contents cannot be seen or 1 inspected when such package is closed.