June 4, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)

CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

I do not think I put it in the form of a question. But I do say that for years the hon. gentleman insisted that the Government should arrange matters so that wheat and wheat products would come in free from the United States, and that our wheat and wheat products should go free to that country. Now, he suggests that we were all wrong in doing anything of that kind, that what we should have done is to prohibit the exportation of wheat and wheat flour to the United States. We did not do that. Perhaps , we were all wrong in not doing it, but we did not. I want to show the nature of the questions we sent out in reference to sugar:
5. What amount of sugar have you on hand for sale? If necessary to answer by way of schedule annex your answer to Schedule "B," adding such explanations as you may see fit.
6. How does the quantity on hand for sale compare with what you had on hand for sale at an equivalent date of the years 1914, 1915 and 1916?
7. What was the amount of your gross business (a) in tonnage, (b) in price, for the year ending December 31, 1916? Answer with accuracy if possible. If not, give your best approximation.
8. Compare your gross business as to tonnage and value for the years 1913, 1914, 1915 and 1916. If necessary to answer by way of schedule annex your answer as Schedule "C."
9. What contracts, agreements or arrangements, orally or in writing, exist or have, since the 10th day of November, 1916, existed between you and any person, firm or corporation doing business within the Dominion of Canada, (a) as your competitors, and (b) as buyers from or sellers for you, touching or concerning the sale or resale prices of sugar, or fixing or providing for periodical fixing by you of prices at which sugar may be sold or resold, or touching or concerning the limitation of territory within which you or any other person, firm or corporation shall exclusively

or to a limited extent sell sugar or sell such sugar as you or such other person, firm or corporation may produce or have for sale? Annex your answer as Schedule "D," and annex true copies of all such agreements or arrangements as shall be in writing, marking such last mentioned annexed documents as Schedule "E." Give the names and addresses of all such persons, firms or corporations with whom you may have such agreements or arrangements as may be oral, and in case the address of any person, firm or corporation with whom you may have written agreements which have been annexed as aforesaid do not disclose the address of such persons, firms or corporations, give the addresses of such persons, firms or corporations, repeating, along with each address, the name.
10. Give a list of the names and addresses of all persons, firms and corporations to whom you have, since the 4th day of August, 1914, sent out for signature and return any printed or written forms addressed to you or to any agent for you-
That question had for its design the ascertaining whether there was any -agreement between the wholesalers and retail men as to price.
-whereby, in consideration of your offer to such persons, firms or corporations of a discount from monthly or other purchases and certification by such persons, firms or corporations that, from and after any certain date to any other time, such persons, firms or corporations have not sold or permitted to be sold at a lower price than prices fixed and communicated by you from d'ay to day, nor on more liberal terms than certain fixed terms, you will pay or allow to such persons, firms or corporations a discount of value in money. Or, if you arrange for fixing or resale prices in any other manner than indicated or engage to pay premiums or to give discounts for maintenance of set or periodically communicated prices. Explain your system of operation and give a list of names and addresses of all persons, firms and corporations who have since August 4, 1914, received such premiums or discounts, or have engaged to maintain such set or communicated resale prices. Annex your answer as Schedule "F."
11. Give a list, with addresses, of such persons, firms or corporations as, having signed and returned such written or printed forms, or otherwise agreed to maintain prices, the agreement or arrangement thus constituted <a) remained in force on the 10th day of November, 1916, and (b) now in force. Annex your answer as .Schedule "G," including within it true copies of all such signed forms as remained operative on the 10th day of November, 1916.
12. Explain fully your sale system, showing the class of vendees with whom you deal, whether entirely with jobbers and manufacturers, or otherwise, your ordinary terms of credit, what discounts or bonuses you allow, and the purposes thereof. Annex your answer as Schedule "H."
13. Are you aware of any combination within Canada of persons, firms or corporations from whom you purchase your products whereby such combination agrees upon fixed prices or among the members thereof, which fixed prices you must pay. If so give such particulars concerning sudh combination as are known to you or concerning any other combi-

nation affecting known to you. "I."
the sugar business as may be Annex your answer as Schedule
14. Add as Schedule "J" any observations of a general or other character as you may see fit.
That questionnaire was sent out to three hundred wholesale men and refiners. and a form of affidavit to accompany their re-* plies was attached. We got replies and many of them were satisfactory as soon as we received them. But, a great many were defective. We pointed out by correspondence that they did not answer the questions fully, we required further information and we got it. After correspondence of that kind we got satisfactory answers from all of these men to whom we sent out the questionnaire. This is the form of affidavit that they had to make:
I , of the of
in the Province of
make oath and say as follows:
1. I am t0 whom
the questions to which answers are, in whole or in part, returned herewith, are addressed.
2. I have knowledge enabling me to say, and I do hereby say, that the answers given to the said questions are candid and true, that such answers are as complete as I can provide, and that I have made all enquiries and consulted all records reasonably necessary to enable me to answer the said questions truthfully andl candidly as aforesaid.
Sworn before me at the ... ;____ of
in the County of , this .... day
of 1917.
Notary, Commissioner for taking affidavits, or Justice of the Peace.
As a result of these questionnaires and answers, we got a great deal of information which is contained in the report. I do not propose to read the report but I am going [DOT]to put it on the Table and I am going to give a few facts from it which may be interesting to the committee. Section 5 of the Order in Council is in these words:
Whenever the council of any municipalicty shall declare by way of resolution that in its opinion excessive prices are being demanded within the limits of such municipality for any necessary of life, such council may, by notice in writing under the hand of its clerk or other authorized officer, require any person dealing within the municipality in such necessary of life, and locally situate therein, to make and render unto such council within a time set in such notice, and such person shall make and render unto such council, precisely as required by it, a written return under oath or affirmation, showing in detail

Topic:   IN COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY.
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