I do not deny that. But with the exposure made by the Solicitor General, and the challenges made to hon. gentlemen opposite to call for a committee and examine witnesses under oath, I do not think we will have as much trouble in the future in relation to this question. For myself, I think the government should never have entered into the business. We have paid twice as much for the machinery as it ought to cost. I do not believe it is the business of the government to enter into the manufacture of binder twine at Kingston, any more than it would he to enter into any other manufacturing business. There is plenty of other work the 19}
convicts could do. I think, now that the duty is off binder twine, that the case is quite clear. What would any business man do to-day ? Let the government, now that the duty has been taken off, put up at competition the manufactured product, and every bit of raw material that they have on hand, together with this machinery that has cost twice as much as it should cost, and let them sell it all and go out of the business. At least, by that means we would avoid all the trouble of these discussions. Then, if binder twine is an absolute necessity to the existence of the farmers, they could get it without duty from the outside, in case it could not be manufactured within this country. Here is a way in which the whole problem could be clearly solved. The hon. member for East York (Mf< Maclean) has a panacea for everything that comes up, namely, to take the railways over, and then all difficulties would be solved. But I think he will admit that this Kingston penitentiary difficulty would not be solved except by the government going out of the business altogether. I may say that this is a question that does not affect us so much in Nova Scotia as it appears to affect the people of Ontario. But if, as has been clearly shown, the government have sold an article at the lowest price, if these people who are in the same business are to be believed, and I would trust them to tell the facts more than I would that single individual farmer that the hon. member for Hastings has told us about, if the evidence of the Solicitor General is to be taken, the government have sold the twine at a less price than it was sold elsewhere; and having taken the duty off binder twine, I think they have done all that they should do. Now, I would suggest to them that they should clear the decks of this question altogether, sell out everything ; and that would prevent a number of hon. gentlemen from talking for ever about this question of binder twine. It would give an opportunity to the manufacturers of the country to compete with each other in manufacturing a good article for the farmers, that they could get at the lowest price. I offer the suggestion in all modesty, and I trust it will be accepted ; and I have no doubt hon. gentlemen opposite will join with me in endeavouring to relieve this wicked government, as they consider it to be, from the necessity of dealing in binder twine to the disadvantage of the farmers.