April 2, 1935

LIB

George Washington McPhee

Liberal

Mr. G. W. McPHEE (Yorkton):

If I am not forestalled by the answer given by the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan) to the hon. junior member- for Ottawa (Mr. Aheam) I desire to ask the Secretary of State when I may receive a return to the question asked by myself on March 6 last:

1. How many civil servants have been removed from their positions since the present government came into office by: (a) dismissal; (b) superannuation; (c) death; (d) other causes?

2. What are the names of the deputy ministers removed from their positions since the present government came into office by: (a) dismissal; (b) superannuation; (c) death; (d) other causes, showing the department of which each was deputy?

May I ask when I may expect an answer to the question?

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENTS
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):

Every effort is being made to secure from the various departments of government a complete answer to the hon. gentleman's question but I cannot now state on what date it will be ready for submission to the house. It is a very voluminous return.

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENTS
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THE BUDGET

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed from Tuesday, April 2, consideration of the motion of Hon. E. N. Rhodes, (Minister of Finance), that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to go into committee of ways and means, and the proposed amendment of Mr. Ralston, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Coote.


CON

Frank Boyes

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FRANK BOYES (East Middlesex):

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Question.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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CON

Frank Boyes

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYES:

In continuing the debate on the budget may I say that in the riding which I have the honour to represent we have a considerable number of market gardeners, many of whom produce vegetables in greenhouses. During the campaign many Conservatives, including myself, promised that protection would be given not only to industry but also to farmers and market gardeners, which would include those engaged in the production of vegetables. I am glad to be able to say that this legislation has been provided, and under it our imports of certain vegetables have decreased more than fifty per cent. These include potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes, and I am sure those who are engaged in this business have received considerable benefit through this legislation.

I wish to thank the government also for having introduced legislation providing seasonal protection for market gardeners and fruit growers. There is, of course, a certain season during which vegetables should be allowed to come into the country, but there is another season when our producers are able to supply the demand, and during that season I say these foreign vegetables should be shut out. May I say, however, to the minister who has charge of this seasonal protection that I believe there have been times when the protection has not been applied sufficiently early to protect those engaged in the

The Budget-Mr. Boyes

growing of vegetables, and I should like -to ask him to see to it that this protection is made effective in sufficient time to enable our producers to secure that business. If there is any doubt as to the .time at which these tariffs should be put into operation, I submit that the producers of vegetables should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Then there is another act which I am sure is receiving a great deal of attention at the present time; I refer to the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. In the county of Middlesex I believe more than 120 applications have been received for information in regard to this measure. A great many applications for adjustment have been made; meetings have been held and adjustments have been arrived at which have been satisfactory not only to the farmers but also to their creditors, sometimes involving thousands of dollars. I am convinced, Mr. Speaker, that this is one of the most important pieces of legislation enacted by this government.

Another matter to which I have devoted some attention is the agitation which has been carried on by some of the members in the far corner, the independents and those belonging to the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, in regard to the capitalistic system. I am convinced that the capitalistic system is the right system for the Dominion of Canada. I do not believe that it is one hundred per cent perfect, but why destroy the system because it is not perfect? This government have gone ahead and brought about changes in that system; some of the acts passed for that purpose are already in force, and further enactments will be made which I am sure will be very beneficial. I am strongly in favour of the capitalistic system, with certain reforms which can be brought about.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, may I say that I am convinced that this budget will be received with great favour by the people of Canada. When the government appeal to the country for reelection I am convinced that the electors will show their approval of this budget and of the legislation which has been enacted by this government, and will return to power the Conservative party, with Right Hon. R. B. Bennett as Prime Minister of Canada for another term of five years.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE SPOTTON (North Huron):

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

I see I have the consent of His Majesty's loyal opposition to address a few words to you, sir, in connection with

the budget, and I wish to thank hon. gentlemen opposite for the courtesy they have extended to me. While I was in the house for a few moments last night I noticed that hon. gentlemen opposite were much more anxious to conclude this debate than they are to-day, and, I am vain enough to believe that that is out of courtesy to me, so I will not impose upon them at any great length.

Last night when one of the members on this side rose to address the chamber I heard one of the younger members opposite, who perhaps was christened by his mother "colon" instead of "period," call out, "Bring on the election." There is one reason, Mr. Speaker, why I am glad the election is not going to be brought on with undue haste. In the Dominion of Canada there are about 650 persons born every day, and, in a year that amounts to something like 225,000 or 230,000 persons. If 200,000 of those attain their majority it means that almost that number of boys and girls, who are impatiently waiting for the day when they will be twenty-one years of age, would have been disfranchised if the leader of the opposition and his followers had been given their way in this matter. I believe I can trust the young people of Canada. About 750 or 800 of these young people, who would have been disfranchised if this government had been stampeded into going to the country, will be able to vote in my riding, and I am going to trust those young people. They are the people who will have to carry on when you old fellows, who are going down the western slope facing the setting sun, pass out; then it will be up to us younger people to carry on.

There is one other reason. I have listened to Liberal orators and spellbinders stating that the Liberal party was the party of the masses and the Conservative party the party of the classes.

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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

You should be over

here then.

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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

I hear the professor again, but don't blame him, Mr. Speaker; it is his profession. We have always been told by these Liberal spellbinders that the Conservative party was owned body and soul by the big interests. Yet we have it from the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, speaking in Kingston, that he thanked God and took courage that the Right Hon. R. B. Bennett was the first leader of either of the major parties that had ever attacked capitalism. And I am glad too, as a humble member who was elected by a farming constituency, and by the way at a by-election. We have heard so much about by-elections

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

[DOT]this session that I suppose it will not be out of order for me to refer back to the last administration. They lost a by-election once when they had eleven cabinet ministers in the riding, also Hon. Duncan Marshall, Hon. Nelson Parliament and every Liberal member, I think, of the Ontario house and of the legislature in Quebec. They brought in the whole circus, the calliope and the whole troupe. They brought in the Minister of Finance to hold up the treasury of Canada in the one hand and the credit of Canada in the other, and told them just to ask for what they wanted. But they lost that by-election. I am not twitting them over it or boasting about it, because I have often lost myself; and I think I have been a good loser just as I have striven to be a modest winner. But when the Liberals lost that by-election they did not say that the Liberal government was discredited and should immediately go before the people. I was twitted by the then Prime Minister that I was a minority candidate. I wish to say to him to-day that he has never been other than a minority prime minister in this country. I listened to him in the 1925 election when he made great promises, and in my opinion, Mr. Speaker, he is the record promise-breaker in Canadian history. He promised that if after that election he did not have a clear majority in the House of Commons he would refuse to carry on because he had in the back of his head, and in a book, beneficent legislation which the Progressive group had not permitted him to put upon the statute books. Well, he went to the country 116 strong and came back 101 strong, and yet his lust of office was so great that he broke that pledged word, and by the way gave me several votes from Liberals who had heard him make that promise.

He also said that he was going to reform or abolish the senate, and I remember that he brought with him to my county a concrete example, as it were, the late Senator MoCoig, who stood up after the right hon. gentleman had made that declaration of reforming or abolishing the senate and said, "Yes, it was upon that understanding I was made a senator." He was to do the bidding of Bunty when Bunty pulled the strings. But we heard nothing more about the reform or abolition of the senate.

We listened the other day to the Labour member from East Hamilton (Mr. Mitchell) putting on Hansard planks from the Liberal platform of 1919, sixteen years ago, and it has remained for this government to put most of those planks into operation. That platform declared for limiting the hours of work 92582-152

to eight per day and forty-eight per week, along with a weekly day of rest of at least twenty-four hours. That promise was not fulfilled, but that legislation has been placed upon the statute books of Canada by this government. The Liberal platform of 1919 also called for:

Abolition of child labour and the imposition of limitation ^ of the labour of young persons to assure their proper education and physical development;

Abolition of sweatshops by setting legal standards for conditions of labour which should have due regard for the equitable economic treatment of all workers;

Industrial control to safeguard workers' interests and shape industrial policies;

An adequate insurance against unemployment, sickness, dependence in old age and other disabilities:

Steps to overcome questions of jurisdiction between the dominion, and the provinces on these matters;

And the right hon. leader of the opposition is still harping on that subject to-day, and saying that we should not pass the unemployment insurance measure until that question of jurisdiction has been determined. The Liberal platform also declared for government action to deal with the high cost of living, and so on, and so on. I just wish to point out, Mr. Speaker, that mo prime minister ever attained office by so many promises and fulfilled so few as the right hon. gentleman opposite. I am glad that this government has the stability and the gumption and the courage to place on the statute books in an orderly manner this legislation for which the people have been asking.

In a small measure I pledged myself when I was first elected that I would go out and do battle against the combines which had been formed under the King administration, 120 in number, and embracing 550 firms. My own town was ruined through them. It was during the Liberal administration, when the Liberals were saying that they were the friends of the masses, that trusts and combines flourished as they never had done before. In my first speech in this house I attacked the packing houses and the stock yards, the department stores and chain stores. In season and out of season I have done my little part to create an atmosphere so that some day this whole matter should be fully investigated. As we talked over the line fence or the garden gate we thought we knew what was going on, but as it says in the good book, we know now in part, and some day we shall know in -full. And now, Mr. Speaker, we do know in full from the accountants and the auditors and the bookkeepers, from the presidents and general managers of these firms testifying under oath,

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

Railway contractor to run an election, and the sons of those old pioneers now lick their lips and smile to think how smart their party was, when by a secret order in council, when this house was in session, they enabled the Liberal party to get $720,000 for campaign purposes. Yet they go about the land as Simon Pure apostles.

But let us take the evidence that we get from the independent comer. The hon. member for Wetaskiwin (Mr. Irvine), speaking in Toronto, made certain statements which I am going to quote. There they were carrying slogans on the trucks: "Beat Bennett; vote against Tommy Church"-because Bennett was a millionaire. But they did not use that language in North York where there was a millionaire behind every bush. However, this is what the hon. member for Wetaskiwin1 said:

"Beat Bennett" not C.C.F. plan.

William Irvine, M.P., warned that the C.C.F. was not interested in any plan to "beat Bennett."

"Mr. Bennett has been a far better Prime Minister than Mr. King. Voting only to 'beat Bennett' would make fools of us."

"Bennett has been turned out by St. James street because last year he gave us the best legislation in fifty years," asserted the speaker. "I'm not supporting him; don't mistake me. The only thing we have in common is that we both eat. But the new measures he introduced challenge the power of St. James street. That's why they're through with Bennett. And that's why you should vote to 'beat King,' as he's on the job for them now."

These are not my words but the words of an independent member of this house. Then I would quote the opinion of the talented lady member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail), who said that Mr. King could do nothing in grander style than any person she had ever known.

I am not going to attempt to preserve any continuity in this speech but I am going to discuss a few things which we notice in the press. None of the members here would say some of these things, and I know that no United Farmer in Ontario would say them, but there are Liberal candidates and some Liberal speakers, mostly from the west, who do not know the temperament of the people of Ontario, and they have said that the Prime Minister refused to see the farmers who came to Ottawa. Well, there are many members here who accompanied that delegation. I was asked to introduce a deputation to the Prime Minister, and as we went into that meeting we were handed pamphlets, one of which I have in my possession, that set out the different orders of business. This deputation, at a particular hour, was to wait on the Prime Minister. We were an hour

late, but the Prime Minister-and some Liberal gentlemen were with us-gave us a hearing. It is true he refused to go down and address the meeting; that was not a part of the arrangement. The arrangement was that he should meet a deputation, a committee from that meeting. I know whereof I speak because I introduced the deputation, and I shall be glad to have my statement backed up by the United Farmers of Ontario. He refused to go to the coliseum, but he did not refuse, as arranged, to meet the deputation, and he did see the committee that was appointed. The United Farmers of Ontario are not kicking about this, but there are Liberals who are striving to make political capital by falsifying the premier.

A former minister of trade and commerce used to say that the Liberal government kept the dollar at par. I wonder what he would say now that this government, during this period of stress and strain, has brought the dollar above par. Is not this government to get some credit for the fact that, whereas in 1930 the superstatesmen left uE the sixth trading nation in the world, we are now fifth? Is it not to the credit of the government and of the country that we had such a financial genius to steady the financial structure of Canada? What does it matter if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul? What does it matter if you own the city of Ottawa and the Dominion of Canada is bankrupt, as we are told many western provinces are? The credit of Canada has been preserved, and it is sounder to-day than it has ever been since confederation. If it were not so the Prime Minister would be blamed for it; and when it is so should he not get some little credit for it?

There is another matter I must refer to. Campaigners have been going through Ontario saying that this government has clogged the channels of trade. Let me quote what Mr. Dunning wrote in a Liberal campaign paper. He said:

All major European markets are now closed to us as a result of prohibitive tariffs following the war.

There is Charlie's picture and there is Charlie's signature.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

When was that?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

That was July 14, 1930.

I do not think I will take up the time of the house discussing the Fordney-McCumber tariff, the Hawley-Smoot tariff, or other tariffs. I am just going to leave it to the country that

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

the greatest finance minister Canada ever had, according to the Liberals, made this statement in the midst of the last election:

All major European markets are now closed to us as a result of prohibitive tariffs following the -war. Only one market remains-the British market. If we lose it, there is no other market. Losing it, Saskatchewan farmers would be ruined. Are we in danger of losing it? Yes, 1929 proved unless we act now. How can we secure and hold the British market? There is only one answer.

And I will not read any further. But he states clearly and definitely from period to period that one observation which I wish to read to the house. I am going to make my own speech, such as it is, but for the benefit of the member for all Vancouver I shall read that first paragraph again:

All major European markets are now Closed to us as a result of prohibitive tariffs following the war.

And then the next:

Only one market remains-the British market.

I shall be glad to show my hon. friend the paper. In fact I am going to have it photographed so that all may be able to see it.

I can well remember some years ago in the house when, the leader of the opposition used always to speak about "us like-minded people." That is the time he was courting the Progressives. I can well remember that he twitted me as being a minority member in the house because "us like-minded people" had divided.

To come back to my leader, I would like to leave this one thought with the younger people of Canada. In 1911, the present Prime Minister, in seconding the address, placed before the house practically every piece of forward and upward looking legislation that we have had during the last two sessions. I do not know that I shall take the time to read his remarks in full.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

Did he support reciprocity with the United States?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

Well "reciprocity" is only a word. We might as well say "man," but there are different types of men. We might say "Do you like apples?" "Well, some kinds of apples." The word "reciprocity" does not mean anything unless there is some equitable trading arrangement behind it.

Speaking of the Liberal party-and when I say "the Liberal party" I want it to be understood that I am speaking not of the Liberal party at large in the country or of all hon. members on the other side

of the house, but of the men who are temporarily in control-I wish to say this to the country: The same old crowd that

was cast aside in 1930 are in control of the Liberal party to-day. If this government is defeated the people know just exactly whom they are getting back.

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

We will come back at the next election.

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Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

George Spotton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPOTTON:

At school I always noticed that the fellow who walked around with a chip on his shoulder wouldn't fight. I never saw the fellow around the barroom who took off his coat and rolled up his sleeves, fighting. I never boasted that I would be back; I do not know whether I will or not. That rests with my people, but I do know this, that from headquarters here they have sent up their chief-well one of the fellows in my riding calls him the chief statis-ishun; he got the word "statistician" mixed up-in the last ten days saying that Barkis was willing if they would give him the nomination. But I have nothing to say as to who will have it; that is not my job.

In 1911 twenty four years ago the present Prime Minister said in this house:

Too often it has been found that child labour and the work which has been undertaken, especially by married women, in the older countries has involved a loss of vital force in the succeeding generation, and' we Canadians- we in this young country-must, it seems to me, if we are true to our best traditions, realize that at best we hold this great land with its brilliant opportunities and its splendid resources as trustees for that posterity which will one day weigh us up in judgment 'for the manner in which we have discharged the trust reposed in us.

I do not think there has been a time in the history of the Canadian people when it was more apparent that we should have a band of trained experts capable of gathering at first hand full and accurate information for the benefit of the Canadian farmer, manufacturer and' workman than in the election that has just passed.

In my judgment, in this complex civilization of ours, the great struggle of the future will be between human rights and the property interests; and it is the duty and the function ot government to provide that there shall be no undue regard for the latter that limits or lessens the other.

It is of transcendent importance that this house and this parliament should be seized of the fact that the people demand that some tribunal shall be created that will have control over the extent of the issue of securities by public utility companies, and that the capitalization of industrial concerns should bear some just proportion to the outlay, and to the physical value of the enterprise which it represents.

It is essential that we in Canada, as the greatest partner, should extend our trade so far as possible among the British dominions and with the motherland.

The Budget-Mr. Spotton

If any hon. member has any doubt, I will give him a report of that speech. I would also refer him to a speech for which I thank the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa). We in Ontario thought him a very fiery politician in days of old, but I am glad to know he was fair enough from his place in the house to pay a tribute to the sincerity of o'ur leader, the Prime Minister of Canada.

I would like to have said a word or two about the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, but I will give just one incident that happened in a neighbouring county the other day. A young farmer was bowed down with a first mortgage of 85,000 with 8800 accumulated interest, and was paying six and a half per cent to some money Shylock. He had a second mortgage of $1,000 with $400 accumulated interest and was paying six per cent on it. Each year his back was bowed down by a burden of $461 of interest. The $5,800 mortgage was reduced to S5,000 and he gets that for five years at three per cent. The $1,400 mortgage was reduced to $1,200 and he gets that for ten years at two per cent, so that instead of having an interest burden of $461, which no farmer could bear, he went home happy making a new start in life with an interest charge of $174. I wish to thank the Minister of Finance on behalf of the farmers of Ontario, who have been turned down coldly on the word of the deputy minister of agriculture for Ontario, for increasing the amount to $90,000,000.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. ROBERT GARDINER (Acadia):

Mr. Speaker, the question now before the house is a subamendment moved by the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Coote). At the beginning of my remarks it is not my intention to deal with that question, but I will deal with it later on. It is my purpose in rising this afternoon to discuss the very serious situation that we find in certain parts of western Canada, more particularly in the district where I live, in regard to drought conditions. I wish to take some of the time at my disposal to discuss that matter. Some little time ago the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir) stated in the house that it was the intention of the federal government-at least that was as far as they had gone-to deal with that important question. But the statement of the minister was so indefinite that I feel it my duty as representing one of those dried-out areas to discuss the matter a little more fully and more particularly with the intention of laying before the government and the home some proposals that may be of value in that regard. tMr. Spotton ]

One of the first things that I wish to discuss with regard to that matter is the question of responsibility. Last session I suggested to one of the ministers of the crown certain things that might be done in order to alleviate the distress, but I was very soon informed that this matter came under the jurisdiction of the provincial government and consequently the federal government, having no jurisdiction, did not think it advisable even to consider the suggestions I made.

Now I want to take the house back to the time when this area was thrown open for settlement. At that time the government of Canada controlled all the unalienated crown lands. In 1909 it was decided by the then Minister of the Interior that this particular area should be thrown open to settlement, because many new settlers were then coming into the country and it was thought advisable to direct them to this area rather than send them farther north where frost conditions were bad at that time. The then Minister of the Interior was from Alberta, no doubt he believed that it was advisable to increase the population of that province as quickly as possible. He finally decided that this area should be opened up for settlement. Before it was opened up, according to information which I have received from officers of the department, not only did the officers of the department advise him against opening this territory for settlement, but people who had been resident in the area for many years also sent in protests advising against opening it for settlement because severe drought conditions prevailed periodically over a large part of it. Notwithstanding all these protests the Minister of the Interior proceeded to invite not only the people of Canada but of the United States or indeed any person who cared to go into that area to follow agricultural pursuits. In so doing he practically intimated to those people that this was a fair agricultural district.

Inasmuch as the federal government then controlled the land in this area, and opened it up and invited the people to go in and follow agricultural pursuits there, I hold that the responsibility for what has occurred rests wholly and solely with the federal government and not the provincial government. That being so it is very important as far as the people in that area are concerned to know as quickly as possible just what the federal government intend to do. I understand that a committee of government officials has been appointed and is studying this matter. I suggest that as soon as passible information as

The Budget-Mr. Gardiner

to what is likely to be done should be made public. Last year certain works were constructed in that area which may be of some advantage, namely, the building of dams to impound the spring water. But that is not sufficient. Furthermore it will be remembered by hon. members that there was some discussion in government circles last year as to the possibility of the federal government declaring this area a federal district, and that they would take full responsibility for that district for some time until their plans were completely carried out. Recently we have had no intimation from the government as to whether they are going to follow that proposal or not. In fact the proposals coming from the government are so indefinite as to leave us quite in the air.

One thing to which I wish to call the attention of the house is the tremendous loss occasioned to the people who went into that area. Those of us who have had the experience of homesteading, recognize that some of the new settlers did not fit in with that way of life. But in this particular area, after a few years, the people of that class had been practically eliminated, had left the district, and there remained a very fine type of settler, people who knew how to farm, who followed the most intensive farming practices according to the recommendations of our agricultural department and more particularly of the officers of the experimental farms. But notwithstanding that the people in there have suffered severe loss, so much so that many of them have left the district. The district is now becoming depopulated. To the credit of those who went in there early, they left with practically nothing, notwithstanding that many of them went in with considerable sums of money. In most cases the farmers of th? area of which I speak followed the recommendations of those who knew something about intensive agriculture in western Canada, but notwithstanding that, we learned from experience that some of those practices were very detrimental in the final analysis. Take for instance the recommendation of the officials of the Department of Agriculture that in an area subject to drought the land should be summer fallowed every other year. That practice we have found to be very detrimental, but we did not know it at first, and so we have to meet its consequences. The result has been that through intensive summer fallowing and intensive cultivation the fibre in that part of the country has been lost, most of it has been blown away by the high winds. The settlers cannot be blamed

for having followed practices recommended to them by men supposed to know. I do not blame the officials of the department for making those recommendations, I know that as far as western Canada generally is concerned those recommendations proved very satisfactory.

The situation then is that one of the first things that we must try to accomplish in that dry area is to restore the fibre to the soil, and the only way that can be done efficiently is to seed it down to grass. But as far as the settlers now there are concerned they have no funds to provide grass seed nor are they in a position to secure any. I submit to the government, having in mind particularly the fact that some study has been given by the officers of the Department of Agriculture to the most suitable types of grass seed that should be sown in that area, that the government must make provision whereby most of the settlers at any rate can gei a small supply of grass seed for the purpose of seeding without cost to themselves. Unless some such policy is followed and until such time as we have restored the fibre to the land in that area, I submit that any of the other proposals, no matter how important they may be, will prove of much less value than they otherwise might be. We have to keep that land from blowing, and there is no doubt in my mind that we cannot do so unless we get fibre back into it. That being so I submit that one of the first things the government must do is try to secure a supply of grass seed. I do not ask that large quantities be given each farmer, but I do suggest that a reasonable quantity be given the farmer so that he can have a plot and develop his own seed until he has sufficient for the future.

The next suggestion I wish to make is that strip farming be encouraged. I must admit, of course, that this practice has been followed in some parts of the drought areas in the west for some years. In travelling over those dry areas, however, 'I have found that many farmers have not as yet realized the possible benefits that may be derived from strip farming. By means of strip farming, and having stubble a certain distance apart, to some extent you do break up the surface winds which move the soil, and that helps a little. In my judgment it is not as good a method as restoring the fibre 'but it will help until such time as that fibre can be restored.

The next proposal I wish to make is one which I made in 1922, when the drought area was comparatively small in relation to the drought area of to-day; that is. the

The Budget-Mr. Gardiner

planting of trees. I do not mean the planting of trees in large blocks; I mean the planting of shelter belts at least on the west side of every farm, and those shelter belts should be at least four rods wide. In 1922 I suggested that in order to encourage the farmers of the dry areas to plant trees the government should give those farmers some financial assistance. Soms may object to that, but I see greater possibilities in tlhe planting of trees than in almost any proposal other than the sowing of grass seed. 'If we had a policy under which it would 'be possible for the government to make a small contribution to the farmers to enable them properly to cultivate their land before planting the trees; to see ;o it that they get the proper kind of trees .'or that area, and that after planting the trees they cultivate them for a few years, until no further cultivation can be carried on because of the growth of the trees, I think a great deal of good would result. If we had the shelter belts on one side of the road allowance running north and south, which would mean every mile, I am sure that when the hot winds oome along from the southwest and blow through those trees, soon it would be cooled down and the atmosphere would be much cooler than it is at the present time. It is plain that when a hot wind passes through plants or trees, evaporation from the leaves takes place and tlhe wind is cooled; consequently this would 'be beneficial to agriculture. But there is no use in individual persons trying to accomplish this result; it must be of government policy. The farmers must be assisted to some extent by the government in order that they may be induced to see to it that their land is properly prepared in the first place and that they get the trees recommended by the officers of the department for planting in that particular area. In some areas the land is a little on the light side; that land might properly be planted with large tree plantations, which would be veTy 'beneficial also. I do submit, however, that we need tree belts or shelter belts at least every mile, running north and south, and when this is properly carried out I am sure we will not have the severity of drought in that area that we have experienced in the past.

I remember that last winter I had a conversation with a friend of mine living at Claresholm, during which we discussed by and large the whole question of this drought area and wthat was likely to happen in the future. This gentleman told me of an experience he had on his own farm. He said, "You know, we had some hot winds in our area this year,

fMr. Gardiner.]

such as we never had 'before. I have a shelter belt on the west side of my farm, and I sowed oats right alongside that belt. For the first forty or fifty rods in I had a crop of 60 or 70 bushels of the finest oats I ever grew, but as I got further away from the shelter belt the crop began to dwindle until at the far end there was no crop at all." That is a practical experience which substantiates what I stated1 in this house in 1922, that it is very essential that we extend assistance to the farmers in planting trees and in directing them as to the best manner in which to take care of those trees, which should be a part of the government policy in regard to this drought area. It may take a good deal of time to accomplish this end, but in view of the fact that that country is really worth while and that when we get reasonable moisture conditions there is no part of western Canada that can produce more efficiently or more heavily than that territory, I submit that it is certainly worth while. We have wonderful soil there, and I submit that it will be to the future advantage of Canada to give really serious consideration to this matter.

I have already referred to the construction of a few dams last year to impound the spring floods, but the amount of work done last year in comparison with the territory to be covered was so small that it appears to me that if this phase of our activity in trying to reclaim our drought area is worth while it will have to be taken up on a very much larger scale than it was last year. We made a beginning then, but the point that has been exercising my mind is this: Are the federal government making any contribution to that work, or is it being left wholly and solely on the shoulders of the provincial government? At this late date, after the federal government who controlled the natural resources of our province until very recently have disposed of the greater portion of those resources, it is hardly fair that the provincial government should be left with this burden, unaided by the federal government. I still take the stand, and I wish to reiterate what I have already stated, that in my judgment the responsibility rests very largely with the federal government inasmuch as the federal government was responsible for inviting people to settle in that area.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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April 2, 1935