Taking this and the previous clause together, how would they affect the farmer who has a large grist ground and weighed out at the mill in his presence, and who subsequently offers it for sale to his neighbours?
The clause seems to be very inclusive. Whilst we are making provision to ease off the restrictions in the case of a farmer who wants to buy from the miller, it was not with the idea of putting him in a position to go into the selling business. It seems to me the clause is inclusive enough to catch any one violating it. (Reading):
Every person who sells, offers for sale, or has In his possession for sale, any bag, sack or similar packages of flour, meal, oats, rolled wheat or feed, which is not marked in accordance with the requirements of section 164a of this Act, shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a penalty-
Is there any reason why he should not be? For instance, he might get these small quantities weighed out to him at the mill, and then go out and sell them even though they were not up to brand and might be underweight. So long as we give the smaller buyer a chance to buy for himself, we have to include him in the penalty if he sets up as a seller afterwards. Otherwise, we should be opening a very wide door indeed.
I will try to explain. Let us look for a moment at the description of articles given in the section. Artichokes were not in the old law, but they are brought under this new'law and the weight is fixed at 56 pounds a bushel. No change has been made in the following articles: Beans, beets, bituminous coal, blue grass seed, castor beans, clover seed, hemp seed, lime, malt, onions, potatoes and timothy seed. Carrots were sixty pounds in the old Act, and are now made fifty pounds. Parsnips were sixty pounds in the old Act, and are now made forty-five pounds. Turnips were sixty pounds in the old Act and are now made fifty pounds. In regard to the weight of bag for certain articles, the rule observed is to make the bag the equivalent in pounds of a bushel and a half, so that there is agreement between the bag and the bushel in relation to the real weights included in each package. This has been a bone of contention for a good many years and it has been found very difficult to get a thorough accord. At the present time, I may say there is a general consensus of opinion in regard to the weight, and although everybody is not satisfied I think the great majority are. This Bill, passed by the Senate about four weeks ago, has been distributed, but I have had no protests from any sources with reference to the weights. I take it, therefore, that this is probably as good as we can do. It has the advantage of making a uniform weight for both bushels and bags all through the Dominion, and that is a great gain when interprovincial trade is increasing to such a large extent.
The last legislation in regard to potatoes, introduced iby the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell), in 1911. placed the weight of a barrel at 160 pounds. This section places it at 165 pounds. We have taken opinions in regard to this, and I am able to say that my hon. friend is in favour of the change.
Will the hon. minister explain under what rule of equity he fines a miller ten cents for putting up a bag of flour or feed of short weight, while if a farmer puts up his vegetables short weight he is fined twenty-five dollars?