August 31, 1903

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

(Translation.) I have no reason of suspecting the good faith of the member for Bothwell or his good feelings towards the French Canadians.

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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Liberal

Mr. BELAND.

(Translation.) Well, if the hon. gentleman has not, I have. Before taking my seat, I wish to add that, as regards, at least, the province of Quebec, the government scheme is bound to give to an important part of its territory a degree of prosperity unknown to it at present. I understand that this scheme will open up a large area of its tillable lands and turn to utility its water powers and its forest wealth. I realize on the other hand that the plan of the leader of the opposition will not open up any new territory, as he is content with buying existing roads, in fact almost all the roads In existence from Montreal to the Pacific ocean. I wonder if, having reached that western ocean whose waters expanded before him, he did not exclaim : Is there not something more here I could buy ?

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LIB

Duncan Alexander Stewart

Liberal

Mr. D. A. STEWART (Lisgar).

At this early hour of the morning I will not detain the House very long. During this discussion many speakers have referred to the Mr. BELAND.

conditions in Manitoba and the western territories, more particularly to the congestion that has taken place from year to year in moving the wheat crop to the head of navigation on the lakes. Now if you take a look over the last fifteen or twenty years you will see how the wheat crop has been expanding. In 1883 Manitoba raised only a little more than five million bushels of wheat. From 1883 to 1893 the settlers iu that province were going through the experimental stage. Most of the early settlers who went in there were poor men, very few of them started with more than a team of horses or a yoke of oxen. But they gradually forged ahead. Finding out what the country could do, what their lands could do, they began to improve their farms and raise their own horses and cattle. About 1893 they found their strength much increased, and broke up a great deal more land. In 1891 we find they had a crop of over twenty-five million bushels of wheat. Owing to weather condition, this figure kept moving up and down until 1895, when another enormous crop was raised, which taxed the powers of the railways to move it. In that year threshing from the stook became general, but many had to stack as they have yet for lack of threshing machines ; and the work of threshing went on during the winter months. The farmers, learned that to avoid loss, threshing must be done before winter sets in, and went to work. Many farmers were unthreshed when winter set in, and when the snow melted, it formed ice, and some wheat was spoiled. Now, if the Canadian Pacific Railway had done what they should have done, they would have supplied themselves with rolling stock to move this crop. The farmers went to work and organized themselves into groups of two, three, of four, and spent some 10 or 12 million dollars in procuring threshing machinery ; so that last year, as soon as the hinders ceased running the threshing machines began work, and in seven weeks a crop of 100,000,000 bushels was ready for the elevators. Now we have been criticised for not building more granaries. The fact is we have more granaries in southern Manitoba in proportion to our population than in any other part of Canada. There are men in my neighbourhood who can store from 5,000 to 20,000 bushels of grain. If the grade suits the farmer, why put his grain in the granary and then take it out again when the elevator is empty ? The elevator is ready to receive the grain and the empty car is there ready to move it away. It is better for us and it is better for the business men to move it away at once, because as soon as the grain begins to move the money begins to circulate among the farmers, and through the business channel of the country.

Now it is thought something wonderful that 41,000 farmers in Manitoba should pro-

Once 100,000,000 bushels of grain, wheat, oats and barley. Divide that crop among

41.000 farmers, and you have a little less than 2,500 bushels for each farmer. Divide the area among eacli of these farmers, and you have about 80 acres each under crop. That shows that the farmers of Manitoba have not by any means reached their limit in the number of acres they can put under crop. Before this Grand Trunk Pacific Railway is built, I believe that Manitoba will have three-sevenths of her 25,000,000 acres under wheat. For throwing out fifteen or twenty million acres for lakes and timber lands, there will be left about 25,000,000 acres for crop, and three-sevenths of this area will be growing grain. That will mean

300.000. 000 bushels of grain of all kinds. It Is very likely that the 31,000 new settlers that went in last year, if they only break up 100 acres each, will add as much to the area under crop as is under crop to-day in Manitoba. We may very likely have another

150.000. 000 bushels of wheat in the Territories by the time this new road is built, in five-years from now.

The farmers who are within two and a half miles of the town find it best to team their wheat at .once from the threshing machine to the elevator. There are about

3.000 machines working in Manitoba during the threshing season. During the early part of the season they take most of the grain direct from the machine to the elevator. The result is that in three or four weeks the elevators are filled up to the top and they have men at the top of the bin shovelling the grain back to make room for more. The cars are all full and on their way to Fort William and the terminal elevators are filled to their capacity. The time for the close of navigation prices has always been getting earlier in the season owing to the larger crops that have been produced. The farmer living six, eight or ten miles away from the elevator is too far distant to team his grain direct from the thresher. After he has threshed and comes in with a load of grain he finds the elevators too full to receive his grain. The farmer's | Credit is good with the business man and he will give him a machine on time, the farmer giving a note for the indebtedness. This matures on the 1st November. The farmer comes in with his wheat but he finds that there is no room for it in the elevator. You tell a man to be a good loyal Canadien, but when the icy blasts come down upon the lakes and the St. Lawrence and close navigation how is he going to dispose of his wheat ? There may be a way open for him to the south. I live quite near to the international boundary and I know that a man in such a case will go across the line and ship his wheat by an American road. Sentiment is nothing to him. It is business with him. He wants to turn over his wheat, he wants to pay his note, he wants to start the year with a clean sheet. That is why.

on the transportation question, there is so much discontent in the west. If one million bushels of wheat a week or 160,000 bushels a day blockade these two roada wm

the condition be when they have to handle 300,000,000 bushels of wheat or a million bushels a day ? Will another road not be needed ? It is up to the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Northern Railway for the next few years to supply sufficient rolling stock and motive power to take out that constantly increasing crop, and my opinion is that owing to the great development that is going on the blockade will not he relieved until we get another road. The settlers who are coming in from the United States are bringing' with .them large quantities of ploughs, binders and mowers, and those who own threshing machines will bring them in also. Some of them have as many as sixteen or eighteen horses. In this respect they differ altogether from the settlers who went into the North-west in the seventies. A settler who located not far from where I live in 1902 and who bought a section of land had in the first year 400 acres of land ready for crop. He is a prairie farmer from the south and lie will not be satisfied until he gets every acre under the plough. He represents the class of settlers who are moving from the United States to the North-west with all the plant necessary to put a large area under the plough ; and in a few years will have a greater development than those who went into the North-west in the seventies have achieved in twenty years. One American settler was asked by a customs officer at Winnipeg what induced him to settle on the Canadian side of the line. TIis answer was this : I sold land for $40 an acre that

would raise ten bushels of wheat to the acre. I bought land in Manitoba for $10 an acre that would raise forty bushels to the acre. His reason was sixteen to one in favour of coming to this country. That man is not going to he satisfied with a few acres. He has come to raise wheat and he is not going to stop at thirty acres which the regulations require a homesteader to have under cultivation at the end of three years; hut will have every acre he possibly can under cultivation. I expect that the increase in the production of wheat for export during the next few years in the west will be something enormous.

Looking at the two schemes that are laid before us I think that I may say safely that the principle of affording relief to the west Is admitted. The government have brought down one proposition and the hon. leader of the apposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax) has proposed an alternative scheme. The scheme proposed by the hon. leader of the opposition involves a large outlay of money amounting to many millions of dollars and who will get the most of those millions ? Mr. J. R. Booth of the Canada Atlantic Railway will get a large slice of it and the rest will go to

the Canadian Pacific Railway, with no new country developed and no new land opened up. On the other hand the government's sciemo opens up an enormous new territory, it gives access to a new timber bolt, and it affords facilities to settlers on the prairies. It will give us a new line but I think that within a short time after we have that line built, the hopper of the west that we have been increasing from year to year will be so full and so large that we will be asking for another spout as the spout that we will have down the St. Lawrence to Montreal, Quebec and St. John will be handling all the business that it can handle. We will need another spout by way of Hudson bay and we will have to build another port at the magnificent harbour of Churchill.

On motion of Mr. Fowler, the debate was adjourned.

On motion of the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) the House adjourned at 12.50 a.m., Tuesday.

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HOUSE 0E COMMONS.


Tuesday, September 1, 1903.


August 31, 1903