Washington Takes Retaliatory Action. Bill to Prohibit Export of Coal Introduced in Congress. New Paper Controller On Way Here.
R. A. Pringle, K. C., Paper Controller for Canada during the war has resigned. His successor is Mr. Breadner of the finance department. It is said that Mr. Pringle’s resignation is due to the fact that the government has placed an embargo prohibiting the export of paper from the Fort Frances mills. That Mr. Pringle had ordered and embargo only on a percentage of the company’s output in order to supply western publishers. This limited embargo we understand has been placed on eastern mills, but the minister of finance, Sir H. Drayton made the embargo a complete stop on all export. Mr. Pringle has taken the stand that the Fort Frances mill has during the war and since its conclusion carried out his orders even supplying double its quota, and for which the company has received no recompense either in money or paper from the eastern mills. The Fort Frances company therefore claim that it was unfair to take away the United States market from the Fort Frances mill without which it can not be successfully operated.
The American publishers have contracted 85 percent of the paper output here and want their paper.
The Dominion government up to this date have not yielded to their demands, and the Washington authorities have interested themselves in their behalf. The paper is sold f.o.b. here to American publishers and the government of the United States claim that it’s citizens should not be discriminated against. That when they buy paper in Canada and pay for it, they should be allowed to ship it.
Report was received here yesterday that a bill had been introduced into congress to stop the export of coal until this embargo on paper was lifted. This will make the whole question and International one. It is to be hoped that it will be speedily settled, as it affects vitally the interests of Fort Frances and district as well as that of Western Canada.
The American government claims that at the Fort Frances mill all coal and sulphite used comes from their country, also 90 percent of the pulpwood. This latter estimate is about correct. No pulpwood for this mill is cut off crown lands in Ontario, as the provincial government has never granted a pulp concession to this company, although it has been applied for. The only pulpwood from Canada comes from the settlers along the railway line which of course could not keep the mill running one day per week.
It is claimed on the other hand that the orders of the government as to shipment should be obeyed and the matter adjusted afterwards.
Mr. Breadner is on his way to Fort Frances and will arrive here on Friday afternoon. The seizure of paper which Sheriff Baker made has been released, and the company is continuing to ship its quota of paper to western publishers. They shipped five carloads on Tuesday to Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon, but they cannot continue to ship if the embargo is kept on indefinitely as the mill will be compelled to close.