Mr. THOMSON (North Grey).
It would appear that the Canadian government has been a party to some combine or conspiracy to charge the farmers more for their binder twine than they ought to pay. The hon. member for South Brant has stated that the Farmers' Binder Twine Company made enormous profits, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 240 per cent, besides using large amounts of their earnings to add to their plant. So they must have made a profit of over 300 per cent. Yet farmers are not able to buy from the Dominion government for less than they could buy from Canadian or American companies. I find that according to the Auditor General's Report for 1902, volume 1, page M-47, that farmers were charged 104 cents for mixed manilla, which was sold by the government for five and one-tenth to the jobbers. In answer to a question asked him this session of parliament, the hon. Minister of Justice said that this twine was made for about six cents per pound. If this twine can be made for six cents per pound, why does the government charge
the Canadian farmer ten and a half cents per pound ? A margin of four and a half cents is more than a reasonable margin, and would go to show that there was a combination to which the Canadian government was a party.