Mr. GLEN CAMPBELL (Dauphin).
It is with great pleasure that I rise to say a few words in favour of the resolution introduced by my hon. friend from Macdonald (Mr. Staples). I do so, not only from a sense of loyalty to him, but from a sense of the duty I owe to the farmers whom I am here to represent. I do it moreover because I am also a farmer, and I have the honour to represent in this House over 9,000 farmers in the Northwest. I say, therefore, it is a pleasure for me to speak on this question, because it affords me an opportunity of advocating their interests. But while I rise with pleasure to support this motion, my pleasure is tinged with a very sincere regret when I remember that the cause of this debate is the demise of a gentleman who stood high in the records of Mr. M. CLARK.
Canadian history. It is the demise of the Hon. Thomas Greenway which has furnished the occasion for this discussion. For twenty-five years Mr. Greenway took an active part in the politics of Manitoba. Although he made some political mistakes, from my point of view, still he was a man who did much to build up the great Northwest. He was a man of many parts, a lovable man in many ways, a man who was a strong personal friend of mine, though a political adversary. Many of the laws which he was instrumental in placing upon the statute book of Manitoba were, I believe, in the best interests of the people of that province. He was the leader of the great Liberal party in Manitoba, and might yet have been the leader, had he not been misled by the same influences that I told the First Minister had misled him with regard to the late elections in Manitoba.
I regret that this discussion has drifted into party politics, whereas we are, or should be, discussing the advisability of placing a representative of the farmers on the Railway Board in succession to the late Mr. Greenway, who was himself one of the most trusted and representative farmers in all Canada. Sir, we who advocate this resolution are not here representing only a fraction of the people of Manitoba, we are here representing over 140,000 farmers. It is their dictum we are asking this House to follow and it is their interest we are asking this government to consider. This House, through the Minister of Railways, has been asked by the farmers of the west to appoint a man whom they can trust, a man who sympathizes with their interests, to a position on the Board of Railway Commissioners. This is not a matter to be laughed at, as was done by my hon. friend who has just spoken, and by the Minister of Agriculture, it is a matter for the serious consideration of the members of this House, a matter to be discussed on common sense lines. Now let me point out the importance of these 140,000 farmers to Canada as wealth producers. Take my own province of Manitoba. The farmers of Manitoba last year raised farm produce to the value of sixty-six and a half million dollars, the result of the toil of their hands and the sweat of their brows. In Saskatchewan they produced thirty-seven and a half million dollars worth. They did not find this wealth by chance, they had to toil for it, and have they not a right to be listened to? In Alberta they produced fourteen and a half million dollars worth, a total for the three provinces of $118,500,000. Surely these people ought to be recognized as a factor in governing the appointment of members of the Board of Railway Commissioners. Looking east, we find that from the eastern boundary of Manitoba to the Atlantic ocean, agricultural products last year amounted to no less a sum than $236,000,000. And yet the Minister of Agricul-
ture dares to get up here and say that he is not here to listen to them. I say he is here to listen to them, he must listen to them, and this House must listen to them.
In speaking of the value of the farm products of the west, I have not said anything about the stock holdings there which roughly are as follows :
Horses. Cattle. hogs.Manitoba .. $24,000,000 $10,000,000 $11,500,000Saska tchewan
35,000,000 10,000,000 1,500,000