I have not here the names of the different contractors. But these are merely the amounts to close out the contracts. The contracts are under way, and we do not intend to complete the buildings this year because of the cut in expenses.
It is with hesitation that 1 take a minute or two to-night, but I cannot let this opportunity pass without saying something regarding this item.
I do not want to criticize the Minister of Agriculture; rather I would compliment him on doing more than I think has ever before been done for the dairy industry in eastern Canada in the matter of the cheese act and the bonus on cheese, whereby he has given us one cent on 93, and two cents on 94. This proceeding has raised considerably the grade of our cheese, and I am sure that it will help us to hold the market for cheese after this war is over.
As regards the factory improvement act, I believe it is one of the best things which has ever been done. We are getting rid in this country of many of our smaller and poorer cheese factories and are having one factory where we had about four before.
I would ask the minister to go just a little further and do something to educate the fanner regarding the grade of his milk. I do not ask the minister to expend any more money. I think the work can be done through the agricultural representatives of the department.
If that were attended to, I think we should have a nearly perfect set-up in the cheese industry in eastern Canada.
There are several other matters I should like to mention, but I know the minister is anxious to get along with his estimates. I would merely remind him that the dairy farmers are the hardest worked farmers in Canada. They work 365 days in the year. If some other of our farmers worked that hard, they would not always be asking for help.
I merely want to endorse what the hon. member for Lanark has said. I happen to have the honour of representing
one of the premier dairy counties of Canada. When the new cheese bonus went into effect last year it was stated that it would not mean more than $2,500 to my county, but if I remember correctly, as a result of this splendid legislation over $32,000 was left with the farmers of the county of Leeds.
_ I wish to commend the minister for increasing the grant by $250,000. I know it is money well spent, and surely it is little enough in the way of a bonus to these farmers who are the most honest, most industrious and least complaining citizens of Canada-I refer to the farmers of eastern Canada and especially to those of eastern Ontario.
May I conclude with the suggestion that, in giving out the bonus, a small part of it should be left with the cheese-maker who has succeeded through hard work in producing cheese of premium quality. To-day the cheese of eastern Canada is second to none in the world.
This is a special arrangement with the province of Quebec onfy. It is a three-way arrangement. There was some difficulty experienced-no doubt the same was experienced in New Brunswick-in connection with equipment. The United States are importing a considerable amount of maple sugar and maple syrup from the province of Quebec, and they objected to the lead content of the sugar and syrup. Finally it was found out that this lead content was due to the fact that the sugar and syrup were made in equipment which had some sort of lead covering to prevent the rusting of the buckets, vats and other equipment. In order to have that equipment changed, an arrangement was entered into under which the Quebec government pay one-third of the cost and the federal government and the farmer each absorb
another one-third. It is estimated that at this rate it will take about ten years to replace all the equipment they have in the province of Quebec and this is our share of the expenditure for one year.
I should like to take a few minutes in connection with this item. I do not wish to worry hon. members at this late hour on this very hot night, but the item is being reduced from $400,000 to $200,000. My desk-mate has taken me to task for having painted such a gloomy picture of Saskatchewan, since he has seen this beautiful illustrated booklet, "Saskatchewan, Holiday Land". I am proud of my province. It is beautiful, and we are grateful to the people of all parts of Canada for the generous assistance they have given us during these difficult times. While we have been talking a good deal, I do not think we have concluded for a moment that the agricultural problem prevails only in western Canada.
I was talking to a real estate agent in Ontario a short time ago. He had a list of 299 farms that were being offered for sale, and he said that in some instances the prices asked for the farms would not replace the buildings on those farms. I know that members from all parts of Canada have real problems, and I appreciate the sympathetic consideration which has been given to those of us who have brought forward problems from Saskatchewan.
. The discussion this evening has brought to our attention the stark reality in connection with the drought in that province. According to the information contained in Professor Britnell's "Wheat Economy", there has been a migration of 45,000 people to northern Saskatchewan in consequence of the drought and they are being resettled on the northern lands as a part of the national resettlement scheme. Economies are being made this year, but I submit that a reduction from $400,000 to $200,000 should not result in a reduction in the food allowances given these people. With a possibility of a large surplus of most farm products, I can understand the wisdom of cutting down on capital expenditures which would result in increasing the production of commodities of which we already have a surplus. But I wish the minister would assure us that this reduction of $200,000 in the estimate will not result in a corresponding reduction in the allowances given the northern settlers. Can we have an assurance in that regard?
None of the food allowance is paid out of this vote. If it is paid in that section of Saskatchewan it is paid under the labour vote, which provides a certain percentage of the payment on food allowances for work done to establish these people by helping them in breaking some of their land, giving them work in those particular areas. That part of the assistance is given through this vote. Fifty per cent of the amount is paid out of this vote and 50 per cent by the provinces, the two making up the total expended for the purpose of assisting these people to establish themselves. They may use what they earn to purchase some of the food, and they may use some of the live stock they are provided with to help to obtain food for themselves, but direct grants for food are not obtained under this vote.
As I recollect, when we were discussing the northern settlers in connection with the labour estimates the Minister of Agriculture reminded me that I was out of order at that time on the ground that northern settlers reestablishment did not come under the Labour department.
All of the activities in connection with resettlement of the people come under this department. Constant reference was made at that time to the resettlement plan. That is provided for under this vote, but any assistance given by way of what is generally called relief-food relief and clothing relief-is given under the other vote.