order, Mr. Chairman, I would ask the minister if he has the information for me in
regard to the 4,165 men who last year were put on the land in Ontario. I would remind him that this information was promised to me on April 22 last, then again on May .3, then again on May 11, but so far I have not received it. What progress if any, is he making in getting this information?
made by the hon. member, some time ago I asked the officers of the department to prepare a list of those placed upon farms segregated by counties. As I have explained already, the placing of people upon the land was not kept track of by counties, but by districts. This morning I received a partial list which I think will cover the majority of oases distributed by counties throughout Ontario. I do not think it would be desirable to lay upon the table a list of the names of those who were so placed. I think the reason for not doing this is obvious. Many of these men were working for small salaries, some for larger; there are men who had occupied different positions in life before going on farms with a desire to look after themselves. During the course of the day I shall give to the hon. member the list by counties, as it has been prepared, but I do not think the names of the individuals should be disclosed. With respect to those placed by the railway companies, I communicated with the companies and I shall be glad either to lay upon the table or show to the hon. member the reply I received. The companies do not keep track of the names by counties and they did not think it desirable to put their staffs to work to prepare this information.
On May 11 the minister stated that it would not be possible for him to give me a list by counties, and I said I would not press that point if he would give me as much information as he had on the matter. The minister has stated that he has a back to the land policy and on April 22 he stated that during the last calendar or fiscal year he had placed 4,165 persons back on the land in the province of Ontario. Since that time I think I have been very patient in regard to the information promised to me by the minister on April 22. He now tells me this morning that he has not the names and he does not think it would be fair to give them. I cannot see why he should not give the names of those placed back on the land in the province of Ontario during the past year. I should prefer if the minister would be frank and candid with me and tell me that he does not want to supply the information
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which he has volunteered to give not once, not twice but three times. Since April 22 he has been stating that he is getting this information for me. I do not like this process of stalling-I hope that is not unparliamentary-because I think any hon. member of this house is entitled to the information. Will the minister give me what information he has obtained after having his officials work on this matter since April 22? It is a simple request and the minister should tell me frankly either that he does not want to give me the information or that he has not the information. I am inclined to think that he has not got the information he said he had on April 22.
the last statement made by the hon. member. I do not want to get into any acrimonious discussion with the hon. member on this matter, but I think, it is obvious that it would not be in the public interest to give the names of peoiple who heretofore have occupied probably prominent positions in urban life and who of their own volition-perhaps prompted by the efforts of our department- have gone on to the land in inferior and obscure positions. I do not propose to lay these names on the table of the house but I would be glad to show them to the sceptical hon. member. The information was not kept by counties but I have a list showing the distribution by counties and I shall be very glad to give it to the hon. member during the course of the day.
If the minister expects me to do what he suggested, to go down to his office and make out a list, I am afraid I must disappoint him. He promised to give me the information I asked for and I do not think he has any intention of giving it to me.