We might keep at this for an hour and not make very much progress. My suggestion is that we let this go through and then have the discussion on the same item in the supplementary estimates. Then we can make some progress in the smaller items following the main vote.
Under this item I might repeat the question I asked the minister some time ago. Recently there was an announcement that property had been obtained in the city of Belleville for the Department of Agriculture, and I presume that it has reference to this vote. I would be very glad if the minister- would make a short statement as to the work he intends to carry on at that point.
I am reminded by my deputy that the building in Belleville to which my hon. friend refers is for the purpose of housing all our staff in that vicinity, including our seed inspection and entomological staffs. The purchase has not been completed as yet, but it is in the course of
completion and we secured the building at a very good price, very much less than it could be built for at present.
The insect invasions of Canada are becoming more numerous and more serious all the time, and we have to spend more money to circumscribe their activities. I have in mind the campaign carried on by the provincial government of Ontario and ourselves against the com borer, as a result of which the com acreage has come back to 75 per cent of what it was before the invasion of that insect, showing that- our activities have been successful in restricting its ravages. Then there is the oriental peach moth; by keeping after that pest continually I think we can save at least a remnant of the peach crop.
What part of this vote is intended for buildings? There is a miscellaneous item which we are told includes the construction of a very costly building, perhaps costing $150,000. I think estimates which deal with the extermination of pests and at the same time include buildings are not very good unless it is indicated just what the buildings are, how much of the estimate is to be expended for that purpose and to what extent there is a co-relation of the activities of this branch of this department with the research bureau, because I take it that you are studying methods by which to destroy these insects and pests which are so injurious to agriculture.
I think the point is well taken. When I took charge of the department I found that there were a certain number of small buildings being erected, costing up to $4,000, without such provisions being made. I consulted the Auditor General about it and he thought if we were going to put up further buildings in connection with these votes it should be so indicated. This reference to buildings was first included in the entomological vote when we erected the rust laboratory at Winnipeg; that was included in the vote after consultation with the Auditor General and it has been continued since. However, there are no buildings anticipated under this year's vote.