In 1905 the capital invested in manufactures in the United States was over $13,000,000,000. The capital invested in railroads was $13,000,000,000. The capital invested in agriculture was not $13,000,000,000 but more than twice that amount, it was over $30,000,000,000. The net return from products, manufactures, was $2,093,893,976; from railroads, $616,341,657, and from agriculture, net return, $2,945,461,200. If that is so it is high time that the representatives of this country, even although they may not be as practical farmers as my hon. friend (Mr. Staples), should realize from a business point of view the great importance of the farming industry. I want to warn the Minister of Agriculture that the farmers are beginning to wake up. I shall not take up that issue to-night. I intend to take it up later and to show not only the government supporters but the leader of the opposition and every one on this side that they will waken up one morning and find that the farmers are going to do what they ought to do, that is run this country.
As to the Board of Railway Commissioners, no body of men in this country are charged with graver duties or burdened with severer responsibilities. I say without fear of contradiction that no question approaches in magnitude, in difficulty or in importance, this great question of transportation. Let us meet it fairly and squarely. I do not ask parliament that a farmer from the west should be chosen, although I would be justified in doing so. The four great provinces of the west, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are the great agricultural provinces, they are the great sources of profit to the railways. Why are the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway so anxious to get into that country? Not for fun, they are business propositions, they are anxious to get there because thev know the farmers of that country will produce the stuff that will give business to these railways. Let us not consider creed or nationality, but in the appointment of men to this important institution let us recognize the claim of the farmer. I hope that the appointment has not gone so far that the minister cannot adopt the suggestions so eloquently made by my hon. friend from Macdonald and place upon the Board of Railway Commissioners a practical farmer.