Médéric MARTIN

MARTIN, Médéric

Personal Data

St. Mary (Quebec)
Birth Date
January 22, 1869
Deceased Date
June 12, 1946

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1906 - September 17, 1908
  St. Mary (Quebec)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  St. Mary (Quebec)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  St. Mary (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 20 of 20)

April 13, 1908

Mr. MEDRIC MARTIN (St. Mary, Montreal).

My hon. friend states that last year there was an anarchists parade ; I may say that three-fourths of those people were from New York, and were visiting in Montreal for the occasion. One or two women were among the paraders. The demonstration was stopped by the civic authorities and it will be stopped again this year.

Subtopic:   IMPORTANT.
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April 9, 1908

Mr. M. MARTIN (Montreal, St. Mary's).

(Translation.) Mr. Chairman, I did not intend to speak on the Bill now before the House, but my hon. friend from Montcalm (Mr. Dugas) has made the statement a while ago that the Montreal cigar manufacturers, most of them at least, were using Canadian tobacco in their factories. I may say that the hon. member is misinformed. I do not believe there are more than one or two cigar manufacturers licensed for the manufacture of imported tobacco who make any use of Canadian leaf. A moment ago Mr. Cus-son's name was mentioned. At all events, if two or three manufacturers are using Canadian grown tobacco for making cigars, it is without the knowledge of the cigar-makers' union which would surely not allow them to use its label. The deputy minister being present, I would ask him to let me know how many licensed imported tobacco manufacturers do substitute Canadian tobacco to the imported leaf. The deputy minister beckons he does not know if there is any. For the information of this House, I may say there are not more than one or two of them.

My opinion has always been that Canadian tobacco is the best in the world for smoking and chewing, but without having any intention of basing my judgment on my twenty-three years' experience, I may ven-Mr. DUGAS.

ture the statement with the two hundred other cigar manufacturers in Canada that Canadian tobacco is unfit for the manufacture of cigars. In 1897, when the government placed a ten cents duty upon foreign tobacco, the effect of that measure was to cause the establishment of new factories such as the American Tobacco Company and the Dominion Tobacco Company, but not of cigar factories.

From our own experience of it, we know that we. have never been and will never be able to produce anything like Havaua, Sumatra, Brazilian and Hyara tobaccos for cigar making, and these are the leaves that are mostly used in that branch of manufacture. Let us see what happened in the United States. In spite of the McKinley Bill raising to $1.85 per pound the duty on the Sumatra leaf, there were imported into that country last year 40,000 bales of Sumatra tobacco representing 7,000,000 pounds, although the price of tobacco had been raised to about $5 a pound. All-this was intended to encourage the production and consumption of American tobacco ; however, Wisconsin and Connecticut leaves are still sold a great deal cheaper than before the adoption of that $1.85 duty, which goes to prove that in the United States they cannot do so without certain varieties of foreign tobacco in the manufacture of cigars. And what happened there will happen just the same in this country.

True that in the United States large quantities of cigars are made with domestic tobaccos, but it is equally true that those cigars have no value whatever and are sold at between eight and twelve dollars a thousand.

I do not see why I should be against this measure if I thought it was a good one. If Canadian grown tobacco was suitable to cigar making, as a manufacturer I would save twenty-three cents on every pound manufactured. This goes to show that like all the other cigar manufacturers in Canada I am satisfied that we will never be able to substitute Canadian tobacco to the Havana or other imported leaves used in the manufacture of high priced cigars.

All this agitation is due to two or three Montreal manufacturers having in stock between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 pounds of tobacco, and who are already boasting that, thanks to this very change, they will realize enormous profits as soon as the new law is adopted. By the imposition of this 28 cents duty, a good many manufacturers having in stock one or two millions of cigars will see themselves obliged to suspend their operations because they will have to pay a double rate of duty on account of their being 'obliged to pay 28 cents before the manufacturing process and $6 per thousand on their stock in excise bond, according to the old law. Therefore, I say the manufacturers will be compelled to suspend their operations while they get rid of the stock they

usually keep on hand. That is what I shall have to do myself.

Canadian tobacco is good for pipe smoking and chewing, but as regards the manufacture, it will never be able, as I said before, to replace the Havana and Sumatra leaves. The appearance of a cigar is not the only thing to be cared for; there are also the taste and the flavour of it. One day, as I was passing in Montreal, I met an hon. member who offered me a cigar. I told him that was one of our good ten cent cigars. He then replied to me that X was smoking a cigar exclusively made with Canadian leaf. Being unable to ascertain myself what kind of tobacco that cigar was made of, whereas I had smoked about the whole of it, I decided to come back to Ottawa the following day in order to appear before the Committee on Agriculture. There and then I asked Mr. Charlan, the government expert in this matter, if he would kindly give me four or live cigars like the ones that had been distributed to the members of the House the previous day. That gentleman answered me that he had none in the committee room, but that if I was willing to go to his room he would let me have four or five; and this he did effectively when he handed me a box of ' Capitol ' cigars. Moreover, I asked him to give me one half of the same tobacco contained in the cigar tendered to me; this he did also. Then I said to him: [DOT] You are sure the tobacco you are giving to me is the same as the one contained in these cigars.' He immediately answered no, because the leaf in the cigar was not as long. I should say so, for the leaf in the cigar in those cigars was not more than five or six inches long, it was the ' Havana ' leaf, while the tobacco he was handing to me was the ' Columbia ' leaf, the length of which is usually between twelve and fifteen inches.

I have unpacked those cigars in the smoking room in the presence of five or six hon. members, and I then stated before them that I was prepared to give my affidavit that those cigars were made with ' Havana ' leaf. I am still ready to swear the same thing. True there was before the Committee of Agriculture a box of cigars exclusively made with Canadian tobacco, with the exception of the coating that was made with Sumatra leaf, but it was not at all the same cigars as had been distributed to hon. members of the House the day before. I have myself manufactured some thirty cigars with the tobacco Mr. Charlan had handed to me, but the cigars so manufactured are far from having the taste, flavour and strength of those made with imported leaf like the ones he had given to hon. members the day before.

As a conclusion, Mr. Chairman, let me venture the hope that I am mistaken in the few remarks I have just offered, but time will tell.

Topic:   '6487 COMMONS
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