I would like to bring to the attention of the minister the need of some regulation and control over the sale of binder twine in this country, and I bring it up under this item-seed, feed and fertilizer control- because the inspection of binder twine is administered by the seed branch of the Department of Agriculture.
I wish to take a few moments, Mr. Chairman, to discuss this matter of binder twine, Which is sold in Canada in bales which weigh 50 pounds gross or 48 pounds net. The farmer pays for fifty pounds of twine or the gross weight of the bale. The twine is labelled 500 feet, 550 feet, 600 feet or 650 feet per pound. The 600-foot per pound twine is the twine which is most commonly used in western Canada. A farmer can easily detect short weight in his twine because he can check that quite easily, but he cannot detect short length. To check the twine for length it would be necessary -to unwind the whole bale. A bale weighing 48 pounds of 600-foot twine should measure 28,800 feet, or about 5i miles of twine. Once t.he twine is unwound it cannot be used for harvesting purposes, therefore the farmer should be safeguarded -against short-length twine by the provisions of the act under which the sale of binder twine is regulated. The present Inspection and Sale Act of 1906-*
there has been nothing done since 1906, Mr. Chairman, and since then there has been a great increase in the consumption-does not provide the proper safeguards in this matter 1 would like to read a few sections of this act which regulates the sale and inspection. Section 347 reads as follows:
Upon or attached to every ball of binder twine sold or offered for sale in Canada there shall be a label with the name of the dealer and the number of feet of twine per pound in the ball marked or stamped thereon.
Section 352 reads as follows:
Every dealer who sells, offers for sale or has in his possession for sale in Canada any ball of binder twine not properly and correctly labelled with the number of feet per pound in the ball, as required by this part, shall be liable to a penalty of not less than one dollar and not more than five dollars for each ball of such binder twine
This is the important part of this section: -provided, that no deficiency in the number of feet of twine contained in any ball shall be deemed to be a contravention of this section unless the deficiency exceeds five peir centum of the length indicated by the label.
Section 347 provides for the tag to be attached to each ball, which tag shall state the number of feet in each pound of twine. Section 352 provides that no twine shall be deemed to be short unless the shortage exceeds five per cent of the length indicated on the label. These are the only provisions in the act to safeguard against short-length twine. There is no provision in the act regarding the tensile strength of twine and no provision for the Checking of salvaged or reconditioned twine. It is true that the inspectors in the seed branch of the Department of Agriculture have done splendid work in checking the binder twine offered for sale in Canada, yet their effectiveness is limited by the inadequate act under which they operate. The act states that binder twine can be five per cent short of the length indicated on the tag and still be legal, and that provision makes possible a systematic shortage. Take a bale of binder twine labelled 600 feet -per pound, containing forty-eight pounds net of twine; it should measure
28,800 feet per bale, but the five per cent leeway allowed under section 347 amounts to 1,440 feet, so the manufacturer could sell a bale labelled 28,800 feet, which might contain only 27,360 feet, and which would still be legal under the present act. A farmer purchasing five hundred pounds of 600-foot twine which measured just up to the minimum required by the act would be paying for 288,000 feet and would be receiving only 273,600 feet; he would be 14,400 feet or nearly three miles short.
I went to a few hon. members of this house to inquire as to their purchases of binder twine.
I went to the Minister of Immigration and I learned that his annual purchase of binder twine amounts to 1,500 pounds of 600-foot twine. The hon. minister believes that he is purchasing 28,800 feet of twine in every bale, but if the manufacturer takes advantage of the five per cent leeway allowed under the present act, the purchase would be 43,200 feet or more than eight miles short in the 1,500 pounds. I went to the hon. member for South Battleford (Mr. Vallance)
who has moved back to this side of the house-and found that his annual purchase amounts to 1,300 pounds of 600-foot twine; hi3 shortage would amount to over seven miles if the manufacturer took advantage of the leeway allowed under the present act. The hon. member for Souris (Mr. Steeds-man) has an annual purchase of 1,000 pounds, and his shortage would amount to
28,800 feet, or nearly 5| miles. The hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Beaubien) has an annual purchase of 1,000 pounds, and his shortage would be the same. The hon. member for Neepawa (Mr. Milne) has an annual purchase of 600 pounds of 600-foot twine, and his shortage would amount to 17,280 feet, or nearly 3^ miles.
The various brands of binder twine offered for sale in Canada each year are checked by the government inspectors and by some branches of the organized farmers. Those inspections show that some firms put out twine which measures well up to the standard, while others seem to be trying to keep just to the five per cent shortage allowed by the act. I have a few figures which I would like to give, taken from some of the inspections.
Ten bales of binder twine labelled 550 feet per pound, or 522i feet of minimum length allowed under the present act, measured as follows: 507, 528, 554, 559, 594, 518, 550, 555, 560, 597. This was a good lot of twine; there were three short, one correct and six overlength ; the average was well above the lengths Stated on the tags.
Here is another lot of 24 bales of another brand, labelled 550 feet per pound, and which measured as follows: 505, 517, 524, 528, 510, 522, 525, 531, 534, 538, 541, 548, 550, 556, 531, 533, 538, 541, 543, 550, 551, 560, 558, 578.
An lion. MEMBER: Take it as read.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE