Mr. LAPOINTE (Kamouraska).
That in the opinion of this House it would be m the interests of agriculture that new experimental stations should be located at certain places removed from those now in existence, where the conditions of climate and soil are different. That especially an experimental station should be established and put in operation in the eastern part of the province of Quebec.
He said: Mr. Speaker, the resoluton I
have the honour to submit to the consideration of this House calls for the discussion of a question that is of vital interest to the most numerous and important class of this country.
Agriculture is the main source of wealth of Canada. I need no statistics to establish that Canada is above all an agricultural country and that the farming population exceeds considerably the combined population of those engaged in industrial, commercial and professional pursuits. The annual value of our farm products largely exceeds the collective value of the products of all our other industries.
Things being so, agriculture must take the first place in the minds of the economist and the politician of this country.
The future of Canada rests largely upon the_ place that we shall occupy as far as agriculture is concerned.
. In other countries, the farming industry is far from being inactive. Several countries are actually competing on the markets of the world*- they are perfecting their methods; they are developing and enlarging their cultivated areas; they are growing -products of a better quality and they are making every effort to remove all competitors.
Canada cannot afford to look passively at that struggle. But if we want to see our country take active part in the struggle, if we want our farmers to compete successfully with those of rival countries, they must be aided in their efforts by all the advantages that are to be derived from scientific knowledge, observation and new methods, without which no real progress can be obtained.
If the majority of our farmers whose daily toils give to the soil its productive value were to be shut out of the achievements of modern science, Canadian agriculture would be doomed.
The population as a whole must be in such a position as to take advantage of scientific discoveries, and to attain that end in a practical way, the special conditions of each section of the country and the distinct fitness of the people inhabiting these sections must be taken into consideration.
By the establishment of experimental
stations in different parts of Canada, the federal government has taken a step in the right direction. [DOT]
These experimental stations are designed to bring under the observation of our farmers the results obtained by the most perfected methods of farming in each region, to show them how the yield in wheat, vegetables, &c., can be increased by a judicious choice of manures, of seed grains, by the use of a new agricultural implement.
When a farmer living in a district where the yield in wheat is scarcely five bushels to the acre, can see a nearby field yielding 15 or 20 bushels to the acre, if he can be convinced that extra charges for seed and manure, in obtaining that result, are considerably less than the value of the increased yield, he cannot but return from his visit to the experimental station with the conviction that it is possible for him to do better than what he has been doing in the past.
It has been said that agriculture is a school for common sense, observation and practical notions. If it is so, no better means can be devised to supplement our agricultural wealth, than to materialize the scientific formulas and give the actual proof of possible achievements by the comparison of two fields, one yielding fifteen bushels of wheat, and the other, in the neighbourhood, yielding one-half or two-thirds more, and that without the aid of any theory.
Every country the world over has realized the vital importance of establishing experimental stations in different parts of the farming districts, and of increasing the number of these stations from year to year.
The United States are unquestionably in the lead. Under the terms of the Act of Congress of the 2nd day of March, 1887, the American government pays annually $15,000 for an experimental farm in each state and territory in the union. Special Acts also provide for the establishment of such farms in Alaska, Hawaai and Porto Rico.
In 1904, they had in the United States, 60 experimental stations, of which 55 were receiving $15,000 annually from the federal treasury. There are also, in the United States, several branch stations.
The total amount these farms could dispose of in 1904 was $1,508,820.25; of that amount the federal treasury contributed $719,999.67. The balance of $788,820.58 consisted in allocations from the different Rtates, in the sale of farm products, in fees for analysing samples, and in different other sources. In the year 1904, 795 people were employed for the administration of these farms and the carrying on of the experiments.
Besides the scientific reasearches of general interest, or special to the district in which they are carried on, these institutions are specially interested in the distribution of seeds imported from Europe, in
the study of diseases in vegetables, of objectionable insects, and of the best means to prevent damages of all kind to plants, &c.
They have also a large number of experimental stations in Germany-80. The allocations to German stations are far behind the allocations received by the American stations; those allocations are drawn from the same sources, the greater part being paid by the national government.
In France there are 71 experimental stations with a budget still less than the one
alloted to the German stations.
If the total allocations given to experimental stations in these three countries are divided by the number of stations in each country, we have, in round figures, the following result:
United States $23,000
The same policy prevails in all agricultural countries. Here is a statement that I have compiled concerning several agricultural countries:
Country. Area Sq. m. Number of Farms.Germany .. 208,830 80France. .. 203,687 7.1Austria-Hungary .. .. 261,030 61U nited States .. .. .. 2,970.000 GOSweden , .. 172,876 26Italy .. 110,659 22Belgium .. 11,373 15Japan .. 174,000 15Norway . .. 124,100 12
The purpose of those stations is the same everywhere:
1. The cultivation of agricultural plants, not only those already grown in the district, but also those that could be grown, having regard to the nature of the soil and the
2. Experiments to bring into cultivation plants fit for fodder, selected from the local vegetation or imported from countries where climate conditions are smilar;
3. Experiments to test the effect of manures in different soils; _
4. Experiments in irrigation of plants;
5. Experiments and investigations in stock raising, in view of obtaining the best results for local agriculture;
6. Geological and biological studies of the region as regard the climate, the soil, &c., in order to fulfil the purpose of the station.
Mr. Speaker, the data I have just quoted shows that a great deal is yet to be done in Canada if we want to be in a position to compete successfully with other countries in the field of agricultural progress.
With a territory of 3,600,000 square miles, yet the number of our experimental stations is limited to seven (7).
The province of Quebec, with a land territory of 341,750 square miles, an area
Subtopic: EXPERIMENTAL FARMS ASKED FOE EASTERN QUEBEC.