Two years ago the hon. gentleman stated that the transfer had been made to the Board of Trade ; and yet the hon. gentleman makes the statement this afternoon that the condition of the Canadian exhibit to-day is the same or even worse than it was two years ago. I think the minister should give this matter better attention. He was in the old country in 1901 and inspected the exhibit himself; and, according to his own statement, he came to the conclusion then Mr. FISHER.
that it was not at all creditable to Canada. He makes the same statement now'. I am not sure how this exhibit should be made ; but it seems to me that it should not be connected with the impei'ial government, but with the Canadian government. It is a Canadian exhibit, and I think the hon. minister should see that the government of Canada looks after it. My own opinion is that a certain amount of money should be expended by the Canadian government in making our exhibit of Canadian products in the old country. I rather think a large room should be obtained, where parties interested in Canadian products could send their goods for exhibition for a short time, after which they might be taken aw7ay and another class of products exhibited. Instead of our contributing money to the imperial government to be expended, we should expend it ourselves. If the minister would take hold of this matter w'ith some energy, he might place the exhibit in a [DOT] creditable condition, instead of coming before us year after year with the same old story and without any proposition to do anything. The hon. gentleman said the Board of Trade Department of the British government, which controls the Imperial Institute was something like an omnibus department, and last year he said it was something like the Department of the Minister of Trade and Commerce of Canada.
I should think he should be more careful of the feelings of that hon. gentleman ; who, I thought, occupied a more creditable position than that of the head of an omnibus department.
If it were not a well-known fact that the hon. the Minister of Trade and Commerce is an exceedingly amiable gentleman, we w'ould have had his protest long ago ; but he has borne the imputation with Christian forbearance. I w'ould like to ask the hon. the Minister of Agriculture whether before he becomes irrevocably committed to any scheme, that money might not be better applied in arranging an exhibit that would be purely Canadian. I think we should all look forward with some hope that, as the interests of Canada grow and expand, some definite plan for a creditable exhibit shall be decided upon. We have not heard from the minister anything holding out hopes of success even under the new organization. He tells us that it is under the Board of Trade, which is an omnibus department, a sort of receptacle for worthless articles- things which are not good enough to keep, but which it is hard to throw away. While not objecting to the vote, I think that Canada should be committed to no plan of con-
tribution in the future unless we have some definite statement of what that plan is.
I wish to speak to the Minister of Agriculture as a farmer talking to a farmer. I presume the hon. gentleman is a practical farmer, and to that extent there is a bond of sympathy between us. I undersand from the hon. minister's statement that we have to deal with the Department of the British Board of Trade. If I recollect aright, that department has not stood in very great harmony with the people of Canada in the past. I think it was the president of that Board of Trade with whom we had all the difficulty in regard to the embargo on Canadian cattle ; and therefore I think the Minister of Agriculture should have approached this proposition with a good deal of suspicion on behalf of the farmers of Canada. We are face to face jvith this position, as defined by the Minister of Agriculture this afternoon, that there is in England a department known as the Depart. ment of the Board of Trade, which takes up everything that nobody else wants to have anything to do with. How that department should be characterized I do not know. The Minister of Agriculture tells us that it is similar to the Department of Agriculture in Canada.
A year ago I understood the Minister of Agriculture to state that this Imperial Institute was similar to the Department of Trade and Commerce, but the- same hon. gentleman used to contend that the Department of Trade and Commerce was perfectly useless. Ini my opinion, the Department of Agriculture would be of considerable value if properly administered. What we require is a re-organization all along the line. The minister has his attention distracted by too many things. The Census Department itself would distract almost any hon. gentleman by its iniquities, enormities and anomalies. What I do claim, speaking as a farmer to a farmer, is that we should have something distinctive for the farmers of Canada, both in the Department of Agriculture here and in whatever affects our farmers in England or elsewhere. I do not think that the farming community is being fairly represented in the Imperial Institute. As far as I can understand, this exhibit is not calculated to be beneficial to the farmers of Canada but is in such a condition that it is rather likely to be detrimental than otherwise, and some other system should be adopted. The hon. minister, I think, will agree with me that we should have a department for farming interests alone and not one in which everything that has no other domicile is dumped. The fact that such is the case in the Department of Agriculture probably explains why farming interests are not as satisfactorily dealt with in that department as they should be. It cannot be due to any defect in the head of that department. I have the sineerest regard, as a farmer myself, for the hon. gentleman who represents the Department of Agriculture. Any shortcomings he has; exhibited in the past I can only attribute to the fact he has brought out so clearly this afternoon, that the Agricultural Department is a dumping ground for everything not required elsewhere.
My hon. friends from Bothwell, Peel and Marquette, have put a number of questions to the hon. gentleman which he will have to answer, and I presume he will answer them as well as one I am about to put to him now. On page D-18 of the Auditor General's report, I find that he spent up to the 1st of June, 1903, in connection with the Canadian exhibit in the Imperial Institute in London $1,042, less paid by the Wolverhampton and Cork Exhibition $360.01, leaving a balance of $681.99. Turning to page D-21, I find the following items in connection with AVolverhamp-ton and Cork exhibition ; ' Detailed under Imperial Institute (Page D-18) $360.01.' I do not understand this reference, but I do notice in connection with the Wolverhampton and Cork exhibitions a great many articles purchased, and that at the close of those exhibitions some of these were disposed of. On D-19, I find the following purchased : from Phillips & Jones, 18J yards carpet. $13.14 ; 9 feather dusters, $16.88 ; 14 yards table baize. $8.65 ; 3 cocoa mats, $33.70 ; 16 yards linoleum. $5.35 ;
sundries,. $2.81. Total $80.53. Looking up the details of the goods sold, I find none of these articles mentioned. What became of them ? I also find at page D-19 a purchase from Hiram Walker & Sons of 2 cases Canadian Club whisky, $20.93. I find that these goods have not been sold. Would the hon. minister explain why he purchased to take over with him to the exhibition at Wolverhampton two cases of whisky and whether he consumed it all himself or treated his friends? The farmers and the temperance people will want to know why they should pay for two cases of whisky for the hon. minister.
Then he is responsible for the purchase of that whisky. I could understand why the hon. gentleman should smile so benignly if he had a hooker himself, but I do object to his spending the
people's money in this way and then going around the country parading himself as the head of the prohibitionists. But that is just like the party to which he belongs- deceitful in all things and desperately wicked. The idea of his taking the people's money and spending it in this way and then coming here and smiling so blandly and saying he is not responsible. Who drank the whisky ? It is very easy to shake your head when there is not anything in it.
The vote of $8,000 in the tirst column is to spend between the 1st of July and the 30tli of June next. Practically none of that has been spent. If this vote passes, I can devote a part of the money of this year, which I may be able to spend before the 1st of July, but I have no right to spend one cent of it one minute after midnight on the 30th of June next.