April 7, 1922

LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I was just in

need of an illustration at the time, and I could not think of anything else.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. gentleman

may have ambitions himself before long.

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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

I should like to say a word in connection with the establishment of an experimental farm at some point along the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific. I fully agreed with the ex-Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Tolmie) when he said it would greatly contribute to the welfare of the district if an experimental farm

Supply-Experimental Farms

should he established in that part of the country. There is a growing community; in fact, no other community that I know has a brighter prospect than the one along the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific if the people there are properly looked after in this matter of agricultural education. Many people are coming in from the prairie provinces and settling; and numbers of our returned men have settled there. It is a new district and the people do not know what they can grow to the best advantage and in greatest quantity, so that it is in the interest of everybody that an experimental farm should be established there. An hon. member stated that the growing of flax impoverishes the soil.

I worked in the old country on a farm where flax had been grown for a hundred years; it is being grown there still, and I believe it will be grown there for another hundred years. Flax is one of the best paying crops that they have in the old country, and I do not think the hon. member who made that statement was speaking from practical experience. I think the Minister of Agriculture is using very good judgment in proposing to establish an experimental farm at some point along the Grand Trunk Pacific. Such a farm would do a great deal of good, and I hope the hon. members on this side of the House will support the proposition.

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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. CAMPBELL:

Is an experimental farm going to be established at Can ora, Saskatchewan? A few years ago the department purchased a quarter section there for that purpose; but for some reason nothing was done. The people in that district are anxious to know whether an experimental farm is going to be established there.

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PRO

William John Ward

Progressive

Mr. WARD:

When the minister is

spreading these farms around, I hope he will not forget Dauphin.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I should like to hold out some hopes to all hon. gentlemen with regard to this matter, and I believe I can. My deputy informs me that the item of $30,000, of which I spoke before six o'clock, as being for the establishment of one farm, is for two farms. One of them is to be established along the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific near the coast. I do not know where the other one is to be established, and I want to keep all hon. members guessing with respect to that. If hon. members have any recommendations to make, I would ask them not to do so by correspondence, as I am overwhelmed

now. As they see me in the corridors and elsewhere, I shall be happy to receive representations. I may say that many places have been mentioned as second choice. It is thought that in these new districts, $30,000 would be sufficient to buy two new farms without very much building on it, and that is the first step towards the establishment of an experimental farm. Therefore, there is hope for all members yet, even though the tentative selection with regard to British Columbia becomes a permanent one.

I have now the information for which the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) asked. It is as follows:

Prince Edward Island-I experimental farm.

Nova Scotia-2 experimental farms with 12

illustration stations.

Quebec-4 experimental farms, with 33 illustration stations and 1 tobacco station.

Ontario-2 experimental farms, with one tobacco station at Kent.

Manitoba-2 experimental farms.

Saskatchewan-4 experimental farms, with eleven illustration stations.

Alberta-2 experimental farms with two substations and 13 illustration stations.

British Columbia-4 experimental farms, with 1 sub-station and 12 illustration stations.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I think the figures which have just been submitted by the minister substantiate practically every word that I said. I was a little surprised that the minister should make any reference to anyone making remarks with a view to obtaining some cheap popularity. As regards the Civil Service, I made a statement regarding the amount paid for farm labour on the Central Experimental Farm at Ottawa, the amount being $179,600, which I considered was altogether out of proportion to the necessities of the Central farm. Before six o'clock, the minister practically told us that there was $30,000 in the Estimates for an experimental farm in British Columbia. He says now that there is apparently a demand from practically every constituency for an experimental farm; that three of them are going to be established, and, consequently, he is going to keep us all guessing, so that we shall all be in good humour and hopeful as long as no more definite information than that is furnished. This is a serious matter, and it is one that it is not very pleasant to refer to. I have criticized sometimes when people thought that I should not criticize; but I believe I have been sincere in every word that I have ever uttered in regard to the injustice that has been done to Ontario. The minister very glibly refers to Ontario, and, according to him, it is a

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great compliment to the people of Ontario that they do not require experimental farms. They do require experimental farms; they are establishing them, and they are paying for them. Because the Dominion government will not do that they have to do it themselves. The minister made reference to the farm at Kapuskasing. I referred to the fact that a farm had been established at Kapuskasing down in the bush where an illustration farm would do just as good work as a farm involving a large expenditure of money. But before that farm was established, the province of Ontario established, near the Grand Trunk Pacific, at Monteith, an experimental farm which had been conducted for a number of years before the Dominion government established the one at Kapuskasing. Even with the experimental farm at Kapuskasing, what do we find? We find another one in Quebec a short distance from it. Consequently, these two farms are very close together; but for over BOO miles west from the Central Experimental Farm, you will not find another experimental farm in the chief agricultural district of Ontario. We are not clamouring for the establishment of experimental farms; we have not been urging their establishment upon the Government, because, during the last few years, everyone knows the need for economy. The time has surely come when we must practise economy everywhere, in this House and outside of it, if we are going to overcome the difficulties with which we are confronted. There is no need of. imagining that, by making appeals for assistance in a certain locality or constituency, we are going to get something for that constituency and that we are going to overcome our difficulties in that way. We must assist the Government to the utmost of our power in endeavouring to meet conditions which are very difficult. That is the reason why I am pointing out these things and stating that this extravagance which is being practised on the Central Experimental Farm, must cease, or we cannot expect to see practised in other branches of the Government that economy which should be practised.

It is really worth while studying the Auditor General's Report. We have been paying a bonus to the civil servants, and that bonus has been going to men engaged as labourers on the Central Experimental Farm at Ottawa. That method applied throughout. Many of these people were hired for a few months, but a great many were employed by the year, and in addition

to the salary they drew they were given a bonus. I do not know whether that was the case last year, but certainly it was the year before. The experimental farm system in this country has become so lopsided that I think the remarks made by the member for Saltcoats (Mr. Sales) might very well be considered. If some provinces have to do all this work, I think the time has arrived when each province should conduct its own experiments. Certainly one province should not be discriminated against and another province shown favour. There should be a more equitable system than the one now in vogue.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

While Ontario

really has only two experimental farms, nevertheless in this Central Farm there is more work being done and more money spent than in any other province in the Dominion.

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LIB

Auguste Théophile Léger

Liberal

Mr. LEGER:

The minister says that there are in New Brunswick one experimental farm and twelve illustration stations. What are the locations of these stations, and where is the experimental farm?

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PRO

John Pritchard

Progressive

Mr. PRITCHARD:

Are there any demonstration farms in any of the provinces?

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

They are really all demonstration farms. They are usually classified into experimental farms, demonstration farms, and illustration stations. These are all really interchangeable terms, but by usage they have been applied to designate particular kinds of farms.

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PRO

John Pritchard

Progressive

Mr. PRITCHARD:

I have listened with interest to the discussion for several minutes, and I think profitable contributions have been made by the member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) and some other members. I sympathise with a good deal of what the minister has said. The experimental farms have done good work in the various provinfces throughout the Dominion, and I agree with the minister to this extent, that there is perhaps more need cf experimental stations in new sections, because settlers going into these places do not know what the land is adapted to grow, and the Government should bear the expense of experimenting on crops in those sections for a time. In Ontario we need a demonstration farm. My idea of such a farm is one conducted under the supervision of government officials on a purely self-paying basis, so that the actual expense to the Government would be very little if any. I have thought for some

Supply-Experimental Farms

time that the ideal experimental farm could be conducted in such a way that all that would be required to prove whether or not it was successfully managed would be the expense of a book-keeper. Such a farm should have the services of a graduate of one of the Ontario agricultural colleges. Let him turn his college education to practical account in the locality in which he is stationed, and demonstrate to the people that farming can be carried on successfully. He could eliminate a good deal of the cost which we have in connection with the experimental farms to-day. We should encourage, through our agricultural colleges and experimental farms, the proper use of a system of book-keeping. Every successful farmer should keep a system of books and from time to time, or annually, examine them to see whether there has been a profit or a loss for the twelve months. In other words, the farm should be managed, so far as its accounts are concerned, just as an ordinary business is conducted.

I do not see why this cannot be done in the older parts of the provinces, at any rate, in connection with the government experimental farms. The expense entailed by this system would be trifling to the Government, while the educational value to the people would be very considerable indeed. I submit that this is something we need very much, and this is what I mean by a demonstration farm.

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PRO

Thomas Sales

Progressive

Mr. SALES:

I agree with my hon. friend (Mr. Pritchard) and I have been thinking about the same thing for half an hour. As a matter of fact, I had, written on a sheet of paper, a suggestion which I will now offer to the minister, that in addition to the $30,000 for the new provinces that need experimental farms, he could save $30,730 on Rosthern and $26,256 on Scott, by placing these farms on a commercial basis. They are well located, their lands are good, and they have good buildings; and I would charge them a moderate interest, say 5 per cent, and let them pay their way and prove that farming can be made a commercial success. Since coming to Ottawa and attending the meetings of the Committee on Agriculture and Colonization, I have found that a good many of our friends think that we are pulling a sort of poor mouth and stretching our tale of woe a little too much. They cannot believe that conditions are as we say. Well, here is a chance for the Government themselves actually to prove where the fault lies and whether the farmer is really a poor business man who does not work long enough hours. I find in the Public Accounts that the

farm at Rosthern pays $14,443 for labourers' wages, in addition to a superintendent and assistant superintendent at a total of nearly $6,000 more, while Scott pays $17,500 for labour and overseeing. I know men who work farms of the same size from which they do not receive a total income in any way approaching these amounts spent in wages. I am sure the minister and his department would perform a really useful service if they would put two or three of these farms on a real commercial basis for a few years.

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CON

William Foster Garland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GARLAND (Carleton) :

The other night I asked the minister a question with regard to the record of performance in the poultry industry and he informed me that the matter would be taken up to-night. Previous ministers in the late government put into effect a record of performance of a practical nature along the lines suggested by the member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland). In the year 1919-20 there were entered 4,437 birds, of which 823, or a percentage of 16.7, received certificates for 150 eggs and over per year, while there was a small percentage, 1.8, that got the advanced certificate for 225 eggs. All these birds had to lay eggs of at least two ounces in weight. The next year the number of birds entered was increased to 7,158, or an increase of 69 per cent. This year the number is 11,489, or 80 per cent of an ' increase, with 122 breeders. Does the minister intend to keep pace with the increase in these birds and follow up the work started by the late government, which is of a practical character and from which much benefit can be derived. If he does that, and it is increased to the extent that seems probable with the work started on the first of November next year, I should like to know if he has made any provision in his estimates for, say, doubling that line of work.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Yes. The work is well begun, and I think I cannot do better than continue it.

These are the names of the stations in New Brunswick with the counties and operators:

Name

of station County OperatorApohaqui Kent J. H. Manchester.Adamsville...Kings J. A. Arsenault.

WestmoreBoundary Creek, land . . . . M. Steeves.

Westmore-

Bittle Shemogue. land .. .. A. Oulton.

Northum-

Lower Derby. . . berland . . W. R. Taylor. Middle Coverdale. Albert . . . . H. E. Mitton.Millville....York P. Graham.Perth Victoria.. .. R. J. McCrea.Rexton Kent J. G. Dickinson.Woodstock .. .. Carleton. .. E. W. Turner.

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Replying to the hon. members for Dundas (Mr. Elliott) and Saltcoats (Mr. Sales) with respect to operating these farms on a commercial basis, that used to be discussed many years ago when these farms were first established. It was often contended, that even the experimental farm at Ottawa should show a profit, and the gentleman in charge of it at the time was occasioned a good deal of worry because he could not show a credit balance. Well, if it is a real experimental and demonstration farm, I do not think it ever will show a profit in dollars and cents; in fact, I do not see how it could be done. I need not point out to the committee that there are limitations which make it impossible to operate any of these farms on a commercial basis. No plan of farming will show a profit equal to the plan followed by the peasant proprietor. How is government operation of a farm to compare with private operation? How can you make a comparison from which it is possible to draw any intelligent conclusion? There will always be a certain amount of "frills" connected with government operation, no matter how carefully the farm may be managed. The average man looking on realizes that the manager of one of these experimental farms has the whole resources of the Dominion behind him, and if his crops are ruined by hail he is not "up against it". Therefore Mr. Average Man knows that the socalled commercial possibilities of such a farm would be of no avail to him. But we are entering upon a very practical age, and I shall be delighted if anyone will show me how our administration of any farm, whether at Rosthern, Scott or anywhere else, can be such as to combine benefit to the surrounding country and commercial profit.

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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

I do not think the minister is taking the right interpretation. As to making an experimental farm a paying concern, I think there is no one so foolish as to even dream of such a thing. But it has been contended that some of this land that is being used for illustration and experimental purposes, but particularly for the former-we have not any illustration farms in Ontario, although I see there are thirty-three in Quebec and fifteen in the western provinces-could be utilized to demonstrate whether farming can be carried on at a profit. I do not think it is too much to ask that that should be done, in view of the fact that every dollar that has ever been asked for experimental purposes has been ungrudgingly voted. After all these years, and in view

of the present very trying conditions for those engaged in agriculture, it is only fair that some object lessons should be available that would help them very considerably.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Knowing the conditions of farming, does not the minister think it would be a valuable thing to this country if what we have often contended could be abundantly demonstrated, namely, that farming can only be carried on profitably where we have a large amount of unpaid labour in the shape of women and children? We have made that assertion very frequently in our conventions, and I do not think it can be contradicted. We have been contending for some time, and we are trying to contend here, that under present conditions, and applying purely commercial principles, farming cannot be made a success. We are sometimes told that we are not businesslike in managing our farm affairs, and then we have the admission- and I believe it is a true admission-that the only man who can get the most out of farming is he who, like the peasant, gives himself wholly to it and has the assistance of his wife and children.

In the Committee on Agriculture to-day it was suggested that we should adopt dairying to a larger extent. Now, the only man who can make money out of dairying to-day is the man with a growing family whom he can exploit for a little time during their growing years and get their unpaid labour, and then they are driven from the farm. It would be a very good thing if that could be so clearly demonstrated on one of these farms that every one in Canada would understand the condition that agriculture is in.

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LIB

Auguste Théophile Léger

Liberal

Mr. LEGER:

There are some sections of our part of the country in which experimental or demonstration farms should be established in order to encourage the farmers. We have an experimental farm in the extreme west of the province, but it is some hundred miles from the shore counties, where there is a large area of great agricultural value. Farming is certainly the backbone of the country and it should be encouraged in every possible way. I would invite the minister's attention, therefore, to the case of my province. We are certainly not doing as well as we should, due to the fact that in some sections we have no encouragement whatever in the way of experimental farms. The illustration stations may be very good, but they serve only the

Supply-Experimental Farms

district immediately surrounding them, which is a very small area indeed. I would invite the minister to visit our part of the country and see the conditions with respect to farming there; he might be encouraged to do something in this connection. As I have intimated, the western part of the province is well looked after, but the eastern part, along the north shore, has been neglected. I would ask the minister to give this matter his serious consideration.

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PRO

Daniel Webster Warner

Progressive

Mr. WARNER:

We are talking about experimental farms and demonstration farms, and I am rather afraid we are confusing the two. As I understand it, an experimental farm is a farm that will do many things that we are not expecting a profit from-I mean, directly, on that farm. The minister is justified, I think, in saying that he does not think it possible to put an experimental farm on a commercial basis. However, there is room for experimental farms, and, as some hon. members have said, there is room for demonstration. An experimental farm can demonstrate, more or less, but a demonstration farm would have to work along the line upon which the ordinary farmer carries on his actual work, and not very much experimenting could be done if it was hoped to make a profit. That is why the ordinary farmer expects the Dominion experimental farms to experiment; he does not want to have to do it himself. I support the idea of demonstration. We have had farms that we called demonstration farms in Alberta. I am not prepared to say just how much they have demonstrated, but I do not think they have made much profit. I do think they have made a mistake in going into the experimenting line; in my opinion, the purpose of a demonstration farm should be to demonstrate whether the methods we know of can be made to pay. The difference, then, between a demonstration farm and an experimental farm should be kept in mind. Some of the money spent in experimenting may be quite unproductive of results; in other cases, the results attained may be worth much more than the cost-that is the way we have to look at the work of an experimental farm. A demonstration farm which can make a success of the employment of scientific methods would be just as valuable to Canada to-day as an experimental farm. I would not expect it to make money, but if it can be done, I would like to see it done. But I would like

to see these two things, demonstration farms and experimental farms, looked at from a different standpoint, rather than one taking the place of the two.

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CON

John Lawrence Stansell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STANSELL:

The minister has

stated that the farm here at Ottawa, which is known as the Central Experimental Farm but which most of us call the Dominion Experimental Farm, is receiving more money than many of the others put together. I am quite willing to admit that I have a very high opinion of the work that is being done there. But it has occurred to most hon. members that owing to its geographical location this Central Experimental Farm is of equal value to Ontario and Quebec. I would not have mentioned this had it not been for the fact that in answer to a question put by the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland), the minister stated that outside of the Central Experimental Farm, which, as I have pointed out, serves equally the two old provinces, there are two smaller illustration or experimental farms in Ontario and thirty-eight in Quebec. I am sure that many of us have wondered what conditions gave rise to the necessity for a difference of thirty-six as between the two provinces.

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April 7, 1922