Well, the right hon. gentleman did not make very many checks on how they were employed. Apparently he was not so concerned about checks then as he is now. We have forty-five men going about seeing that these things do not happen.
When we came into power in Saskatchewan, what did we do? I mention this because the right hon gentleman, speaking in the city of Regina, had called to his attention by a previous speaker that there had been no criticism in Saskatchewan while that commission was in office, and I think he repeated the statement at the Regina meeting, that he understood these were prominent citizens and that there had been no criticism. I believe I spoke in pretty nearly every town in Saskatchewan during the time the former provincial government was in office, and I did not miss any opportunity in any town of criticizing them, just as I am criticizing them now, pointing out to the people exactly what
I am pointing out to the house, namely that a commission cannot properly check such an administration. As a result, when the election was over every man who had stood for that kind of commission administration in Saskatchewan was defeated, and all but five of those who opposed it were elected. When we came in, of course we dismissed the commission and set up the organization that is there to-day.
There was one other criticism that was made, not by the leader of the opposition but by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), to which I wish to call attention. He said, as reported on page 106 of Hansard of February 2:
Much more was I depressed last year to see that the government were not taking effective steps early enough-and may I emphasize those words "early enough"-to meet the situation that was upon us last summer. At the end of June in the town of Rosetown, in my own constituency, I attended a meeting of farmers and business people at which resolutions were passed urging the government to take immediate and effective steps to retain in its present position the grain that was then in the elevators in that constituency, in order to protect the people of that area.
And then he says he was invited to another meeting:
There again resolutions were passed pointing out the situation and emphasizing the need for the conservation of the seed and feed then in that area. Those resolutions, I am told, were forwarded to Ottawa, yet my observation was that in the weeks that followed, the elevators were virtually emptied of the grain that was there.
I have been in both of these towns, Mr. Speaker, and indeed in most of the towns in Saskatchewan. I want to point out that there are a thousand and more pool elevators in that province. There is one at every important loading point in the province, and those elevators have the grain in them. If there is any grain there the pool elevators, by themselves, will have more than fifty per cent of it, because they take in approximately fifty per cent. Located as they are in both the north and the south-and they are about the only elevator company that is so located-a large percentage, I would say at least sixty per cent and probably seventy-five per cent, of the grain that is moved from the northern areas of the province to the southern areas or that is retained in its possession in order to take care of the farmers' needs, is held in the pool elevators. For that reason I suggest to my hon. friend that the elevator companies that owned the grain belonged to the farmers who wanted the grain.
The Addrets-Mr. Gardiner
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY