July 24, 1903

CON

Thomas Inkerman Thomson

Conservative (1867-1942)

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.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I suspect that the government sold binder twine at the trade price. Had the prices gone down they would have had to face the loss, and as it went up, they did not find reason for departing from the trade price.

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CON

Thomas Inkerman Thomson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMSON (North Grey).

It would appear that there is a combination and that the government are a party to it. They do not sell to the farmer at a fair advance on the cost of production, but they sell at the same price as the others.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I hope so.

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CON

Thomas Inkerman Thomson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMSON (North Grey).

This is an injustice to the farmer. The factory at Kingston was not established for this purpose. When the manufacture of binder twine in Kingston penitentiary was determined on, it was in order that twine might be sold to the farmers at reasonable prices. Yet, if the hon. minister's statement is correct, the object now is to sell at the same prices as are charged by other manufacturers. To charge the farmer 41 cents profit on binder twine made in the penitentiary, an unreasonable profit, and one that goes to show that the government are a party to the combination.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I would suggest that the words 'imported since March, 1902' be inserted after the words 'paid as export duty in the Philippine Islands on manilla fibre produced in such islands.'

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I do not like to make changes in this way. But I will give consideration to the suggestion of the hon. gentleman and will consult the Minister of Justice about it. If the section is not clear as it stands, I will make it clear either with the form of words the hon. gentleman (Mr. Clancy) suggests or with some other.

Bill reported.

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SUPPLY.


On the Order being called, House again in Committee of Supply.


CON
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

We do not expect to sit late. But we would like to make a reasonable degree of progress. The railway estimates are very much in arrears, and as those of last year are the only ones I am trying to deal with, my hon. friend (Hon. Mr. Haggart) as ex-Minister of Railways will understand the embarrass-2324

ment that will be involved by delay in getting them through.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I do not think the hon. gentleman will have much trouble with his railway estimates.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Surely we can sit for half an hour. I have had the deputy minister waiting here all day. Give us half an hour.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

He must give consideration to other gentlemen who are tired.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

He is not complaining. Give us half an hour.

. Mr. CLANCY. The hon. gentleman has made good progress with his Bill, it has taken all the stages, with the consent of the House. I hardly think it is fair to ask us to sit any later.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

1 quite realize that at this hour of the night, if hon. gentlemen opposite press the matter, we cannot make any progress. At the same time, I wish to point out that the estimates which I desire to obtain are those for the past year which has already expired, for moneys that are due, and in some cases delay would be embarrassing. I hoped for that reason we might sit for half an hour and make some progress. But if, as the ex-Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Haggart) says, he would prefer not to go on to-night, I will not press the matter.

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ADJOURNMENT-BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) moved the adjournment of the House.


CON
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Afterprivate Bills, we will take either resolutions or government Bills, and if we go into supply the railway estimates will be taken up.

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July 24, 1903