Would you, Mr. Speaker, think of shipping butter and cheese from the interior to Montreal when you know there is no fair arbitrator between the producer and the shipper ? The lack of such a fair arbitrator is sufficient in itself to breed discontent, dissatisfaction and mischief, even were the weighing correct, and we have very good reason to know it was not. In fact the very system adopted of making calculations is hound to make the result unfair to the men who are producing butter and cheese.
The present officials of the association deny any knowledge of such appointment. The president of the association, when under examination, styles Mr. McLeod a ' licensed public weigher, licensed by the city ' (vide pages 55 and 56 of evidence).
Which of course we have not got.
In a letter of date the 27th February, 1901, from the secretary of the association he points out that the public weighers are not appointed by the association. The president of the Montreal Board of Trade, nnder date April 15th, 1901, states that Mr. Duncan Cameron is the official weigher appointed by the council of the board and gives a list of his sworn assistants, among which does not appear the name of Mr. McLeod.
Pie is not even an assistant to the man recognized there as the weigher for the trade. He is not, I believe, as he should be an official of this country above suspicion, an impartial arbitrator between the farmers and the purchasers. He is not even an assistant to the man who holds the position there of weighmaster. Still he goes on from year to year :
Under date of the 23rd April, 1901, Mr. McLeod states that he was appointed deputy weigher for Montreal in May, 1878, and in a letter from the then president of the association of date the 1st April, 1901, it is stated that Mr. McLeod was sworn as assistant to Mr. Muirhead, Mr. Cameron's predecessor, in 1878, and has acted as an independent weigher since Mr. Muirhead's death in 1882 ; and that on the. formation of the association in 1893, it was deemed expedient to formally recognize both Mr. Cameron and Mr. McLeod as competent weighers, but their public position was not conferred on them by the association and it had not control over them.
It appears to the undersigned that notwithstanding the formal appointment of Mr. McLeod by the association in 1894, and the denials of such appointment subsequently made, the association has and does recognize Mr. McLeod as an official weigher
Think of that ! Between two and three million packages. Imagine.what a variation of a pound or two or even of a fraction of a pound means when you come to the handling of two or three million packages. No one can calculate the amount of money that has been lost to the farmers during the summer which is now in progress, though the government had this report dated 22nd of last October, showing the urgent need for a change. The recommendations of this report are not sufficiently strong. Still* they 231
Subtopic: SYDNEY FISHER.