Mr. RICHARD BLAIN (Peel) moved :
That in the opinion of this House it is expedient that all binder twine now held by the government, together with all twine that may hereafter be manufactured by them, shall be sold direct to the farmer at a price to cover the actual cost of raw material and manufacture only, with 1 cent per pound added, and that no twine manufactured or paid for out of the Dominion treasury shall be sold or disposed of in any other way.
He said : In rising to make this motion 1 want to ask the kind indulgence of the House, which is usually extended to new members. I am aware that this is not a new question. It is a question that has been up for consideration in this House for a number of years ; but as there are a good many new members in the House, I will give a very brief review of the sale and manufacture of binder twine as carried on by the government in the Kingston penitentiary. In 1894 the late government for the first time introduced the manufacture of binder twine in the Kingston penitentiary, and installed a plant for that purpose. In 1894-5 they adopted the policy of placing a traveller upon the road and selling the twine directly to the retail merchant, and the retail merchant sold it to the farmer. The then government entered into a contract with a Mr. Kelly, of Montreal, which contract ran for five years, and expired on September 1, 1900. But in June, 1896, that government was defeated, and a new government came into power. One of the first acts of the new government was to cancel altogether the agreement made by the former government with Mr. Kelly, and to adopt a new plan for the sale of binder twine. On coming into power they found on hand at the Kingston penitentiary all the twine that had been manufactured by the government the year before, amounting to about one million pounds. They sold that twine to Coll Bros. & Co. for the average price of $4.25 per hundred pounds. That twine had cost the country an average price of $4.66 per hundred pounds, but they sold it to this firm of political friends for 41 cents per hundred pounds less than it cost this country to manufacture it. In the year 1897 they sold the twine that had cost this country an average price of $4.43 per hundred pounds to manufacture, to another firm of their friends, the Ilobbs Hardware Manufacturing Co., of the city of London, for the average price of $4.64, or 21 cents per hundred pounds over the cost of the twine during that year. In 1898, continuing the same policy, they sold the twine to H. N. Bate & Sons, another firm composed of their friends; the twine cost an average price of $4.72 per hundred pounds, and they sold it to this firm at a gain of 12 cents per hundred pounds over the cost. In the following year, 1899, the twine cost an average price of $6.25 per hundred pounds to manufacture.
and tliey sold It to Hobbs & Co. for an average price of $6.51, or 26 cents per hundred pounds over the cost. The government then decided to make a change in the manner of disposing of the twine made in the Kingston penitentiary. In looking over the 'Hansard' I find that on May 9, 1900, a question was put to the Rt. Hon. the Prime Minister by Mr. Clancy, in these words :
What was the quality and price ot each class of hemp or other fibre purchased at the Kingston penitentiary between June 30, 1899, and January 1, 1900?
Topic: MANUFACTURE OF BINDER TWINE.