for that period was in favour of the American market by about ten cents a bushel.
The difference is not so great at present; but if the price goes lower on the American side, that is a good time not to sell. At all events this would mean a wider market and that is a very important consideration in itself, regardless of the difference in price. At the present time the English market is the only one that Canada has outside of her own, and our home market could only take care of about 40,000,000 bushels last year. That means that our farmers have to send their wheat to England, often causing a glut on that market. The English market was flooded last fall as the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Oliver) read to us the other day. At the time the wheat was going on the market there was no competition from other countries, but the price was far lower than the quality of the grain demanded. I have a table here showing that the prices on the Liverpool market have been going down continually since 1907. In December, 1907, No. 1 wheat was worth $1.23; in December, 1911, $1,184; in December, 1912, $1.07 and in December, 1913, 98 cents, notwithstanding the wheat was of the highest quality. That means that the Liverpool market is not sufficient to take care of the wheat that is being grown even now in the West. It seems to me that the farmers are realizing the necessity for a larger market because they are not producing relatively what they should produce. I have some figures here-and I think they are authoritative-showing that the West produced 209,262,000 bushels of wheat this year and in 1912, 204,280,000 bushels, an increase of only 4,982,000 bushels, and that can be accounted for to a large extent by a better yield per acre, and the better quality of the crop. The land does not appear to have been occupied by other crops to make un for this, because there was practically no increase in the oats grown in 1913. In that year, 242,413,000 bushels were raised, and in 1912, 242,321,000 bushels, only an increase of 92,,000 bushels. This increase can only be accounted for by the better yield per acre, as I remember well that in 1912 a large portion of the crop of oats in Saskatchewan and part of Manitoba was shed by a hurricane and the yield that year was consequently not so good as usual. As to barley, there were 31,060,000 bushels grown in 1913, and in 1912, 31,600,000 bushels. That is a decrease in 1913 of 540,000 bushels. I have not the figures for flax but there was much
less flax grown in 1913 than in 1912. For some reason or other, then there does not seem to be a proportionate increase in the growth of all grains. Why is this? To some extent, I believe it is because the farmers are not anxious to increase their acreage. When you take into consideration the freight rates, the cost of labour and of implements, there is very little margin left for the farmer at the present price of wheat, and the people of the West are unanimous almost, in demanding another market. It is their right and they should get it. It has already been mentioned in this House that for some little time last summer the Minneapolis figures were lower than those on the Canadian side. That is easily accounted for because at that time there was very little wheat on the market. As soon as the threshing -was over, however, and the wheat came pouring in there was a decided difference in price. Let us look at these figures, taken from the Grain Growers' Guide. On January 3, No. 1 Northern was 4i cents higher in Minneapolis than in Winnipeg; No. 2, 4| cents higher and No. 3, 5| cents higher. But you have to add about two cents a bushel on account of the difference in the quality of
grades. A week afterwards, No. 1 Northern was 31 cents higher in Minneapolis; No. 2, 2J cents higher, and No. 3, 3J cents higher. What effect
would this have upon the West? About 150,000,000 bushels of the 209,000,000 bushels that Canada raises, would be exported. Apply, say three cents a bushel to that and it would make a difference of $4,500,000. If we apply 5 cents, there would be a difference of $7,500,000. Outside of the great benefit this would be to the farmers, it would make a great difference to the eastern part of Canada. Factories are closed to-day in Ontarir for lack oi orders; people have not got the money to buy; and there are many unemployed throughout the east. I do not mean to say that this larger market would lower the cost of living to any great extent, but it would give some men who are now unemployed money to buy the necessaries of life. I have an article here clipped from a Toronto paper showing that during the past two weeks ten thousand men have been fed by charity. The article reads as follows:
Ten Thousand Fed within Two Weeks-Salvation Army Headquarters has Welcomed Many of the Destitute-Soup, Coffee, Bread -Simple Food and Space on the Floor to Sleep not Despised.
During the past two weeks nearly 10,000
meals, consisting of soup, coffee and bread, have been served to unemployed men at the Salvation Army headquarters. Officers responsible for assisting the unemployed men without homes and food have thrown open one of their halls where 250 men sleep on the floor every night. The class of men who avail themselves of the temporary provision made by the Army are generally those out of employment, [DOT] and, having spent their last cent, are compelled to accept the bowl of soup, the cup of coffee, and enough floor space to give them warmth and shelter for the night. The Army winter relief fund is also being used to assist this huge family of the unemployed.
Several hon. gentlemen have given figures showing that something like 100,000 men are out of employment in Canada today. I do not say for a moment that the opening of the American market is going to give employment to all these men, but it would help very materially along that line, and it would also help the farmers very much. To-day if you go into any little town in the West you will find notices posted up of sheriff's sales. That is a very serious matter, and it is not because the farmers are lazy or idle; they are doing the best they can, but it goes to show that the farmers, not altogether on account of the price of wheat and the high cost of implements- although that has a considerable bearing upon it-are not able to pay their way. Relief is going to be given, I understand, not of a charitable nature, but in a businesslike way by the province of Saskatchewan in various ways. It is not that the country is going to degenerate, or is not capable of giving a good living to industrious men, hut it is that the conditions are such that tney should be improved in order that many of our people in the West may get a better return for tneir labour. This would assist very materially, it would be an easy matter for this Government to open up that market. It would help not only the farmers of the West, but it would help, I think, the unemployed and factories Oif the East.
Who are opposed to this? There must be a mandate issued by the milling and railway interests to the Government. They are the only ones that are interested the other way -certainly not the farmer, certainly not the manufacturer nor the consumer. It must be the railway companies and the millers. This is a strong indication that the price must be better to the south and the market more inviting or they need not fear this proposal. It means that in order to retain trie carrying trade the railway freight rates would have to be reduced, and in order that
the millers should be able to maintain their control over the wheat and get a supply at their own figures they would have to raise the price to the farmer, very frequently, at all events, and they do not like to do this. In the last two years the millers have been making enormous dividends and the railway companies have been doing very well indeed. But I think that the Railway Commission will probably discover that they are well able to get along with smaller freight charges. I remember very well that in 1911 there was a reason given by the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Borden) why this request of the western farmers should be refused. It was that if the wheat went to the south the Americans would get the benefit of the bran and shorts for feeding purposes which should be retained in this country. When a man. raises wheat he raises it to sell, gluten, bran, shorts and all, wherever he can sell it and get the best price for it. He could easily take care of the feed question; he could grow other feed as far as that goes. I have often known good wheat to sell at sixty cents a bushel-that is a cent a pound-although sometimes it sells at less. It is very seldom that you can buy bran and shorts for less than $20 a ton or a cent a pound. It is not considered good business to sell wheat for a cent a pound and buy back wheat offal for a cent a pound. The millers do not give it for nothing; you have to buy it back. That cannot be a good reason for refusing a better price for the wheat.
But after all is said and done, I think there is only one interest to be considered in this matter. When the farmer raises a bushel of wheat it is his, it could not be in existence if he did not raise it, and, therefore, I repeat, it is his. He should not have any obstacle thrown in his way in marketing his product, and the country is bound to benefit if the farmer benefits. I do not think that I need take up very much more time because there have been so many reasons given in favour of this proposition and after all it is a simple affair. It seems to me that if, in any kindergarten school, you put the whole thing on the blackboard any child would give the answer, and that is that there is no reason or excuse for the Government to put this off.
It has been said that this amendment is brought in at an inopportune time, that it is practically a motion of want of confidence in the Government. Well, if the Government will not accept it, I do not see why we should have any confidence in them. I would be per-