It is generally known in the maritime provinces. The manager of the Nappan farm always visits the fat stock show at Amherst and we send representatives to the several exhibitions in the maritime provinces.
In New Brunswick, where the attention of the farmers is divided between lumbering and farming, I have always thought that there should be a means of educating the farmers in the most successful methods of agriculture. If this government could in any way spread abroad a knowledge of the soils and of the crops best suited to them, it would be of great advantage to the people. In Ontario and Quebec there are agricultural colleges, but 1 do not think there are any such institutions in the maritime provinces. When the government does begin to establish agricultural colleges I trust they will at the very earliest opportunity direct their attention to New Brunswick.
The experimental farms are not educational institutions in the sense of having students. That class of agricultural education, as all education, is in the hands of the provincial authorities. Nova Scotia has a very good agricultural college at Truro, and although New Brunswick has no regular agricultural college it has a very good dairy school at Sussex, at which every winter one of the departmental officers helps in the course of instruction. We have experimental plots at the farm at Nappan and visitors see the results of the different methods of cultivating the different varieties of crops. We have been making experiments in the growing of forage crons which were formerly not much known in the maritime provinces. Our manager.
invariably goes to the great meeting of the farmers and dairymen's associations of New Brunswick which annually holds a three days' session, and discusses the agricultural problems of the province. Frequently officers of the experimental farm go to that meeting and they inform the institute workers in the province of the results obtained on the experimental farm. In that way educational work is constantly going on.
I know that there have been negotiations between the Dominion government and the government of Prince Edward Island for some time past in reference to the establishment of an experimental farm at Prince Edward Island, this season. Would the minister tell me in what position that matter stands at present?
I am very glad to be able to tell my hon. friend that the premier of Prince Edward Island has been here in the last few days and that we have come to a definite arrangement for the establishment of a branch station in a very suitable position within about one quarter of a mile of the boundary of Charlottetown. We will hardly get possession in time for the crops of this season, but we will have everything ready for next season.
I hope this season to be able to investigate several sites which have been represented to me as favourable so that before the end of the year we may be able to have one and perhaps two additional branch stations on the mainland of British Columbia. It is very advisable that in the interior of British Columbia, especially where the climate is quite different from that of Agassiz that there should be an experimental establishment. I have already said to the hon. gentleman that it is an embarra-s des richesses in British Columbia because there are so many different districts and the conditions so different in each district that it is very hard to find any one place where the experimental work will be of use to the whole province. It mav involve additional expense but I am inclined to think that more than one place will be required to really meet the demand of the fruit growers of the province, and I want to meet this demand as quickly as possible.
It is all fertile, but I had reference more especially to the districts where irrigation is practiced. There is great necessity for establishments of this kind in British Columbia, because I should think that 90 per cent of the people who are going into fruit growing and investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the industry in that province are not particularly familiar with that branch of agriculture. I hope the minister will be able to push that work vigorously and have something done this summer.
Yes, I will bring down an iiem in the supplementary estimates for a special experiment in regard to cold storage for fruit. I am asking, in a Bill now before the House, for a very slight change in the wording of the Cold Storage Act, for the operation of which this item is intended. Under the law at present, the warehouses to get the subsidy must provide accommodation for all kinds of food products. It has been represented to me that there are districts where there are special needs for cold storage for fruit alone. Under the wording of the Act at present, I could not give the bonus for this, and I am asking parliament to give me the authority to do so by changing one word in the Act. When that change is made, as I hope it will be this session, I expect to be able to give assistance to some apple cold storages, and I hope, if I get the item in the supplementary estimates voted, to conduct some experimental work in the way of handling fruit in that cold storage.