only as a member but also as a lawyer. Although it is easy to reach the board, the recruit does not usually know how to approach it in the proper way. Of course the board would tell him to make a sworn declaration stating the facts which would plead on his behalf to obtain postponement. Generally speaking, however, those recruits prefer to see their members or their lawyers in order to have a draft declaration prepared, and to study the law as it stands to-day, so that in the declaration all the facts relating to the postponement may be set out. My experience has shown me that if the farmer's son makes his own declaration, he may forget the main point which would bring about his postponement.
For instance, it is pointed out that if the father is sick and has only one son. it is necessary that the recruit bring a doctor's certificate. In practice, however, that does not suffice; he has to bring a sworn declaration from the doctor. All these facts lead me to the belief that it is much wiser for a recruit to consult not necessarily a lawyer but certainly some educated* person such as a minister of the church, a notary or a member of parliament, who may draft his declaration. Under those circumstances he would certainly have a greater chance of obtaining some consideration-although he has not much chance.
I have had many experiences, because I have helped all those who have come to my office to draft declarations. I have told them what to do. I can say, however, that not many of them received postponements. I have in mind all those sons who before the
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war were permitted and even encouraged by their parents to work in industry in neighbouring towns and cities. Since the begin* ning; of the war those young people have worked in some war industries in the fall and winter months, so that they might earn a few dollars to help the father meet his mortgage payment, taxes and other pecessary expenditures. Farmers' sons have always done that. But the interpretation of the law as it stands to-day is that if a farmer's son were working in a war industry on March 23, or working in any place other than a farm, he has lost his right to ask for postponement.
I have many individual names where, due to the fact that those farmers' sons were not on the farm on March 23, although they were primarily or mainly engaged in agriculture, they were refused postponements.
There is another point I should- like to clear up. When the government announced its four-months programme for trainees it was stated that those men would train for only four months. As far as I am concerned-and I am sure many representatives of farming constituencies were in the same position I thought sincerely that it was for a period of only four months. Not only did I encourage the young boys to go, but I tried to offer every possible argument to induce them to become acquainted with military exercises and orders.
I told them that their training was very important; that we were in a war; that it was our duty to do whatever we could do, and to be ready whenever
God forbid-we were invaded or had to defend our own homes.
But as soon as they were enlisted another declaration was made whereby these four-months trainees were informed that they would have to remain for the duration of the war. I know of many farmers' sons who were the only help on their fathers' farms in Quebec. Those were farms of 120, 200 or 300 acres, or arpents, as we call them. The father would be left alone in the fall and winter, when the young men chose to take their training. But at the end of four months the young men were kept at the camps, and the fathers were left alone-and they are still alone-to cultivate their farms.
I am one who believes that this war will not be won by soldiers with empty hands and empty stomachs. We have to produce food. We have to produce armaments and munitions not only for our own army but for the allied armies. I recall some observations in an address by Mr. Eric Knight, an Englishman
who stated, among other things, "Well, gentlemen, in the morning you get your toast, with a square of butter which you very easily use at breakfast time. In England that square of butter is our ration for a whole week."
If it is true-and I believe it is-that the English and many other people are rationed to that point to-day, then I submit strongly that farmers should be permitted to produce not only the quantity necessary to permit the English people to have a proper ration, but that they should produce more and more, as do those men working in the dry docks who build more and more ships to carry the food necessary for those glorious and heroic people who are now the defenders of civilization, and who are now preventing the invaders from coming to our shores.
That is my conviction. I say that if there were those who did not make any request for postponements when the four-months system was announced, or when they were called to pass their medical examinations, those requests were not made because they believed that after four months they would be through with their training, and that they would have learned something which would help them m the defence of their country, if the need arose.
The minister has just announced a new policy whereby the men are to be chosen by lot. If a farmer's son is chosen, will he be bound to report to the training centre pending the decision of the board, or will he be permitted to remain on the farm with his parents?
I have already answered the question put by the hon. member for Chambly-Rouville (Mr. Dupuis). The position of a person wholly or mainly employed in agriculture will be the same as it is now, notwithstanding the fact that the method of calling men will be by lot instead of by age groups. If his lot should come up and he should happen to be a person wholly or mainly employed in agriculture, he may under the regulations apply for a postponement on these grounds.
There has not been any call upon him up to this time. I hope I have made that clear to my hon. friend.
The hon. member raised two other questions. He referred to the man who was ordinarily a farmer but who on March 23 was working in a munitions plant. Sometimes I despair of trying to write press releases with precision that will cover all points that occur to me, because hon. members do not read
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them. The point to which my hon. friend refers is covered by the press release. These persons are in. exactly the same position as they were before the regulations were amended. If any one of such persons could make out a sound case for the postponement of his military training when he receives notice to report for medical examination, he can still do so. His position is no worse and no better than it was before. He is not deprived of his right to apply for postponement. If his case merits ordinary postponement, ordinary postponement will be granted, but it will be a postponement for a fixed period of time, subject to extension if the circumstances warrant.
The other point raised by my hon. friend had to do with those persons who were called up for four months but who expected that when they served their four months they would be permitted to return home to pursue their ordinary activities. Soon after the four months' period was put into effect the Minister of National Defence announced that when these men had finished their four months' training they would be held for service with the active army in Canada for the duration of the war. The minister made that statement on April 26, 1941. Prior to that time there had been two calls to report for four months, the first to report on March 20 and the second to report on April 17. Then came the announcement of the Minister of National Defence that these men would be held for the duration of the war.
The boards were instructed to visit the training centres. The boards dealt with the applications of all men who had been called up for four months' training without knowing that they would be held for the duration of the war and who wanted to place their cases before the boards. These cases were dealt with on the same basis by the boards as they would have dealt with applications for postponement if they had been made in the first instance before the men were ordered to report to the training centres. My understanding is that the various divisional boards made a thorough review of the cases of men who were called up on the understanding that they would be required for only four months' training, in advance of the announcement made by the Minister' of National Defence that they would be held for the duration.
We have had considerable discussion to-night about postponements and the method to be adopted by young men who have been engaged in agriculture to get postponement and exemption. It seems to me that in all instances these young men have been endeavouring to do what they considered was m the best interests of the country and of their own particular occupation. This whole discussion has raised an important question. There are three main considerations which we must observe if we are to be successful in, winning the war. The first one, of course, is the obtaining of young men for the active service forces and the other forces that are being created throughout the country. The second is the manufacture of munitions. The third, wnich I think is of equal importance, is the production of foodstuffs, not only for the people of Canada but for overseas as well.
. A serious situation has arisen in the dominion in the form of a shortage of man-power for agriculture. Everyone realizes that we must have men to man our armed forces, but I am sure that everyone realizes equally that we must have foodstuffs in abundance. ' So serious has this shortage of man-power been throughout Canada that a great many farmers heard with considerable disappointment and some consternation the statement the other day by the Minister of National Defence that men could obtain leave from the units only on compassionate grounds and only in very exceptional circumstances.
That there is an acute shortage of manpower in agriculture throughout Canada, I think no one will seriously deny. In February and March a survey of agricultural conditions m Ontario was undertaken by the federation of agriculture assisted by the Ontario department of agriculture. Part of that survey was carried on in my own county and I understand it is now complete. I have under my hand a paper entitled "Preliminary report of Haldi-mand county farm survey." It gives some figures covering the first 108 farms that were surveyed in that county which I think are indicative of conditions that prevail throughout the sections of Ontario where mixed farming is carried on. There were 108 farms in the preliminary survey, and those 108 farms average 120 acres in extent. They have a population of 391 persons, but of those 391, only 143 were male adults, or an average of about 1-3 male adults per farm. Anyone who has very much knowledge of farming operations knows that is not sufficient man-power to enable such farms to produce as they should produce.
Moreover, it was shown that during 1941 at least one-third of the hired help on those farms left, either to enlist or to go to the cities and work in manufacturing industries of one kind or another. It was further shown that to-day. there are at least forty-five men urgently required on those 108 farms. It was also stated by a number of farmers with insufficient help that production on those farms could be increased anywhere from 50 to 75 per cent if they had sufficient labour.
The average age of the male adults on those 10S farms was fifty-three years, which means that quite a percentage were anywhere from sixty-five to seventy years of age and over, and therefore not in a position to carry on farming operations as actively as younger men could do.
The survey also showed that wages since the beginning of the war had increased by 80 per cent, which makes jt almost impossible for farmers to engage hired help of any kind, because farm prices have not increased nearly to the extent of price increases of other commodities.
I might give the committee one instance that came under my observation. It is my very next-door neighbour; I live on the farm myself. He is a young man, thirty-five years of age, with a wife and two children. He owns 150 acres of land and has a dairy herd, some twenty-five milch cows and a number of young cattle, besides other stock. He has been endeavouring since last fall to carry on operations on that farm alone, except for the assistance of his wife. The other day I found both him and his wife out in the field trying to get their seeding done, while the grandmother was looking after the children in the house. That is the condition which prevails in large areas of Ontario. I think it may safely be said that those conditions are somewhat general, particularly in those areas in Ontario in which mixed farming of one kind and another is being carried on, dairy production, the production of live stock, fruits, vegetables and so forth.
Ontario particularly. There are three causes for the present situation in regard to the lack of man-power on Canadian farms. The first cause I have already indicated, namely the exodus to the city of so much farm help and of so many farmers in areas mostly surrounding the large manufacturing cities, lured there
by high wages and the shorter hours of labour than those which obtain on the farm at the present time. I may refer to that a little later.
The second great cause of the conditions that have arisen has been the voluntary system of enlisting. I hesitate to say that it has been an entire failure; I do not think it has. I would be reluctant to make such a statement because I honour more than words can tell the loyal young men and women who from a high sense of duty to their country and the empire have enlisted to fight its battles. I believe, however, that a cause of general disappointment has been the administration of the mobilization act as it exists to-day. The disappointment is that a system of selective service was not inaugurated immediately after registration was completed. I believe it would have been much better. The great majority of the Canadian people think it would have been much better, if our men and women had been placed in their proper categories, having regard to their qualifications for labour, and if the man-power of this country had been regimented and placed in the particular occupations for which they were best fitted. The voluntary system has been objectionable because it has taken from the farm many young men who were more usefully engaged in the production of foodstuffs than they could ever possibly be in either the active or the reserve army.
The third cause I would assign is the fact that a large number of young men have been taken from the farms to man the reserve army and the trainee camps.
The government undoubtedly have been aware of this increasing shortage of manpower on the farm. They have been warned about it on a great many occasions. About a year ago or a little earlier I had the honour to move in this house a motion, on going into supply, asking for a parity between farm prices and prices of other commodities. At that time I instanced clearly that there was a decided shortage of labour on the farm. I poinfed out that farmers were unable to compete in the labour market with other industries. In making this presentation I was ably seconded by other hon. gentlemen such as the hon. member for Qu'Appelle, the hon. member for Lake Centre, and many others. But the government took no action whatever. As a matter of fact, the motion was voted down.
Again early this year the Canadian federation of agriculture met the government and laid certain facts before them. As reported in
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the Ottawa Journal of January 28, 1942, Mr. Hannam, president of the Canadian federation of agriculture, had this to say:
The challenge of increased production to agriculture could only be met:
1. If farmers are assured the fullest possible quota of skilled man-power "consistent with a balanced allotment of Canada's available manpower between the active forces, agriculture and industry"; .
2. If farmers are assured an income adequate to pay skilled help, maintain and increase farm equipment and increase herds and flocks;
3. If farmers are given guidance on production goals, looking ahead more than a year with the assurance that returns will enable them to meet the cost involved.
There he laid down three principles. First, we must have increased production, and we have from time to time been asked for increased production by the Minister of Agriculture and others representing the government. But if we are to have increased production, we must have skilled man-power on the farm in greater numbers than we now have it.
Second, we must have parity of prices because the disparity between prices of farm products and prices of other commodities lures men living on the farm into other industries in which they can find more lucrative employment. Third, Mr. Hannam mentioned that we must have leadership, direction as to the classes of commodities we should produce on the farm. I made that abundantly clear last year. The government have failed in their duty in this regard, that the farmers are not put in a position to know what it is necessary- to produce either for export or for consumption within our country. We have a Department of Agriculture, and we have a board set up for the veiy purpose of studying problems of this kind and to give leadership because the farmers must know a considerable length of time ahead what is required of them, for they have to make their plans at least a year or more before the finished product comes on the market. Unless they are given leadership, which they have not had from the beginning of this war, it is impossible for them to cany on as they should be allowed to carry on and as they are willing to carry on if the opportunity presents itself.
A third occasion on which the government were warned of the situation was just the other day when the Ontario agricultural council came to Ottawa and interviewed members of the cabinet. The gentlemen on the Ontario agricultural council are representatives of the county councils-most of them rural councils-throughout the province, and they know very well the position in which
agriculture is placed in Ontario. I listened to a part of their presentation; I have read their brief,' and it seems to me that they presented a very strong case to the government and showed clearly that conditions were not as they should be and that the supply of labour on the farm at the present time is not adequate.
I want for a moment or two to refer to order in council P.C. 2252 and what is known as the freezing of farm labour on the farms as of March 23. I was very much interested indeed when the minister mentioned his press release of April 17. There is one sentence which I should like to read to the committee and comment upon:
The essential purpose of these regulations is to prevent the agricultural situation in Canada from deteriorating beyond its present position and to enable the country to carry out the important food production aspect of its war effort.
From that it is clear that the minister realizes that the production of food is essential, but I do not agree with the idea that there is sufficient labour on the farms at the present time "to carry out the important food production aspect" of our war effort. In fact it seems to me that the laying down of the principle of stabilizing employment of men engaged in farm labour on March 23, while to a certain extent it helps the situation, is something like locking the stable after the horse has been stolen. Any action which the government took should have been taken much earlier. The minister has given enough figures to show that, under the situation as it exists, and with the shortage of farm labour, there are altogether too few people in Canada to increase production as they have been asked from time to. time by the Minister of Agriculture to increase it. I fully realize that it is necessary that it should be increased, because the quotas of different classes of farm products have been enlarged owing to the agreements that were made with Great Britain this year, and I am sorry' to say I fear greatly that Canada is going to fall short of its quotas unless some extra provision is made for farm labour at the present time or before the year is over.
I fully agree with what the president of the federation of agriculture stated, that the farmers should have a greater income if they are to be able to procure labour at all. The fact remains-I think it is generally true all over the dominion; at least it is in Ontario- that farm wages have risen very much more than the income from the products of the farm. One has only to travel through Ontario to see that there are farms lying idle at the present time. Many other farms have been
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gradually going back to grass, and the fanners are living there and producing only enough to maintain themselves, because of that shortage of labour.
The farmers of Canada are just as loyal as any other class. They realize as keenly as any other class the danger in which this country stands and in which our liberties are at the present time. They are being asked, as I said before, to increase production. We do not need to have any fear that they will not produce to the limit of their capacity, but that capacity is definitely limited. It is limited by lack of man-power, a condition which in some measure is due to lack of policy on the part of the government at a time when it should have taken action.
Following the registration of 1940, immediate steps should have been taken to allocate man-power to the different branches of industry, including agriculture. Only by such a scheme could maximum production be secured and maintained and the ranks of our military forces filled as they should have been. I suggest to the minister that men are in the active service force and in the reserve army to-day who should never have left the farms; they would be of infinitely greater service to the cause of freedom and to the war effort were they producing necessary foodstuffs. I therefore urge the administration to act promptly and to act before it is too late and before our capacity to maintain our quota of foodstuffs becomes hopelessly demoralized and wholly unattainable.
I have nothing further to say. More consideration should be given to this topic and further efforts should be made on the part of the administration to supply a greater source of labour to the farmers of this province and of the dominion.
The hon. member for Haldimand has in his usual able manner indicated the needs of agriculture in this country and the desirability of seeing that we can fulfil the agricultural commitments which are part of our war effort. Undoubtedly it is one of our war objectives to produce in Canada as much in the way of essential foodstuffs as can be transported to Britain and our other allies.
We feel that the fulfilment of that part of our war objective must be safeguarded. Each purpose of our war effort has its man-power requirements, and it is essential to safeguard the man-power requirements of the agricultural portion of our war effort programme. When we were studying the situation we were able to form an estimate that between August, 1940, and January, 1941, approximately
130,000 men had left agricultural production
in order to go into some other field of activity. Others were of opinion that that estimate was too low and that the figure should be 160,000 men. Those men had left agriculture for other activities, as indicated by the hon. member for Haldimand. There had been a great rush from the farms into the cities to engage in war activity of one kind and another. There was also a very large drain on agriculture as the result of extensive voluntary enlistments.
There was also the lesser drain as the result of the calling up of men for military training It was felt that this drain should cease, if we were to fulfil our agricultural commitments. It was also felt that we would be able to fulfil our agricultural commitments by and large across the country if we prevented further undue drain of agricultural labour. That does not mean to say that the situation is wholly cured in every part of the country, but by and large we believe that this large scale allocation of labour to the essential purpose of the production of food will serve that purpose of our war effort and will safeguard its fulfilment. It may be that the production of a certain commodity will fall in one part of the country, but it will probably increase in another part. The areas that were hardest hit were areas like western Ontario and the territory contiguous to Montreal; indeed, all the milkshed areas contiguous to large cities or cities where there were large concentrations of war industries. In some of those areas the depletion of agriculture has been so great as to be quite serious. In other parts of Canada it is not so serious. All the facts that the hon. member for Haldimand referred to were, I believe, taken into account by the government in framing this policy. We decided that if we took the men who on March 23 were wholly or mainly employed in agriculture and in a sense "froze" them in agriculture, we would be allocating to the essential purpose of agricultural production practically adequate man-power, taking it by and large across the country. That was the case which was presented to us; that is some of the background of this policy, and those are some of the reasons for making this allocation of manpower to the essential purpose of agricultural production as part of our war effort.
Does the minister not think there is an element of unfairness in compelling men to stay on the farms at this time, where they are getting a comparatively low wage for long hours of labour, while men who left the farm prior to March 23 are in the cities enjoying much higher wages and shorter hours of labour? It seems to me that the government should make some provision to remunerate
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men of that class for staying on the farm, whether it be by way of bonus or some other way. It seems to me only fair that something should be done to put those men on an equal basis with their brothers and cousins who have gone to the cities and are enjoying much higher wages.
There is definitely that element of unfairness, I am free to admit. We did give some consideration to the question of a bonus, but it was felt that it would be almost impossible to work out any kind of bonus scheme that would be at all adequate. If you fixed a certain amount, in one part of the country it would be a pure gift; it would be much too high. On the other hand, in some areas that I have particularly mentioned, if a bonus were paid to farm labour to keep men on the land or attract them, to the land, it would not be enough to counterbalance the superior attractions of high wages that would pull men from the farms into war industries.
But there were some other factors involved in the consideration of the whole question, one being that to a certain extent the drain from the farms into war industries was coming to an end. Then there is the exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, conception of equality of sacrifice in time of war. I do not think there can be equality of sacrifice and maximum effectiveness at the same time. What equality of sacrifice is possible between the airman whose days may be numbered from the day he enlists and the man who works in a munition plant or on the farm? What equality of sacrifice is there between the soldier, sailor or airman who offers his life, and the person who does absolutely essential war service? You can perhaps have equality of contribution to the effectiveness of the war effort; I do not think you can have equality of sacrifice.
No. But there is a difference between equality of contribution to the effectiveness of the war effort and equality of sacrifice. I cannot think of any scheme that can bring about equality of sacrifice in time of war and at the same time make for maximum effectiveness. There is not equality of remuneration or reward either. There is no equality of remuneration between the soldier, sailor or airman, and the young man who works in a war industry at a high rate of pay; or between the man in the war industry and the man on the farm who has his difficult task to perform. They are all essential to the effectivenes of the war effort, but there is not equality of remuneration and
there is not equality of reward. The man who enlists voluntarily has his own remuneration and his own reward. It is inside him. He knows that he answered the call of his country when the call came. When this conflict is all over he will remember, even if everyone else has forgotten, that he answered when the call came. That is his reward, andi that reward cannot go to anyone except the volunteer. So these conceptions of equality of sacrifice and equality of remuneration are easy to talk about, but the thing with which I am sure every hon. member is concerned is maximum effectiveness, even though that has to be achieved: at the expense of such things as equality of sacrifice.
I have seen the operation of this act and these regulations in Toronto and district, the main recruiting city of this dominion, and in my opinion the act and the regulations have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. I would point out that conditions have changed a great deal since the last war. With this act and all the rules and regulations with regard to delinquents, postponements and so on, I do not know how you are going to get an army, at least in Ontario. The farmers did not object when their sons voluntarily went into the air force or the navy. Both those services have long waiting lists, and it is only the army that has had trouble in getting recruits under this cumbersome system. That is not the fault of the minister; it is the result of the system. I took the same ground previously, before the minister was in charge of the department, and objected strongly to this act. These boards are headed mostly by judges; but if courts took as long to choose twelve jurors as these boards require to get twelve soldiers, the jury system would have been abolished long ago.
To those who represent farming constituencies I say that Ontario is taking action. I think almost 30 per cent of those attending the secondary schools of Toronto have gone on the farms already. The other night I handed the minister a thirty-six page extract from a Hansard debate in the British House of Commons concerning women in the old country, where they are doing a great deal of farm work, and in which regard they are far ahead of us in this country. These boards meet; they receive applications, and business is conducted as in a court of law. With the way they meet, and all the postponements that are granted, I do not know how you are going to get very many men into the army. How are we going to fight Hitler, in his third spring offensive, when we have
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all this trouble in getting an army in Ontario and the other provinces, with all the clamour and agitation going on for postponements and exemptions? Everyone wants somebody else to go into the army and fight for them.
Large numbers of boys from the farms of Ontario have gone to the cities and towns, where they are working in munitions plants. They will not work on the farms. I was talking to one of the judges who preside over these exemption boards, and he said that something should be done. In some cases two or three sons have gone to the city from one farm. Even high school boys in huge numbers have gladly gone from the city to the farm, although they can make five times more in munitions work than they can on the farms, and as a result we have not the number of men on the farms that we need, although the city help has gone to assist them. The whole system under this mobilization act is wrong; it is too cumbersome and too circuitous, costly and inefficient. We never should have introduced it. The old method of recruiting was better. No wonder the military authorities are complaining. We could have had a million men under the voluntary system, but recruiting was not given a chance with it, on again, off again, on again, just according to the season. The sources of recruits for the army, which is the only service to which this act applies, were dried right up from the start with all the postponements, evasions and antiquated methods, and the way the recruiting under the voluntary system was handled. Canada is lagging away behind, as far as the army goes. The lack of one division of infantry to oppose Japanese infiltration brought about the loss of Singapore. It was the old simple system that took that island; the rifle, the bayonet, the machine gun, the tommy gun, and especially the infiltration of the infantry led to that great disaster. In Australia they are handling the farm and army situation better than we are, though they had a hundred thousand men overseas, and though they lost many men in Crete, Greece and Libya. If Hitler should appear off our coast or in the St. Lawrence, or if we should be invaded by the Japanese, we would hear less talk about these exemptions.
These boards move in a mysterious way their wonders to perform. They meet; they postpone; they talk, and as I have said, I wonder that we got as many men in the army as we did. Recruits are needed; that is primary, not secondary. Men are needed in the army, and you are not going to get them by going about it in this way. In my opinion the entire act should be repealed and abolished.
We have three war departments, and we never should have divided them up. They should be reunited in one department, because this separation has led to untold waste, duplication, and the spending of a mint of money. Even in the Department of National War Services, think of the number of forms and stationery and the amount of waste-paper. I do not know how many vaults are needed to house it all, but in Toronto I have seen the billboards, the advertisements, the literature and all the rest of it. In spite of all that the act has been a complete failure -and, in my opinion, should be repealed. We should go back to the old system. If we had the three departments brought together again,
I am sure we would bring about greater efficiency and economy, because we need action and time is most important since we were an unmilitary dominion.
I do not know how we are going to get the men we need for our army this year. The enemy are at the front door, the back door, the side door and all the other doors, but our men are not going into the army. They shun it for the air force and navy. I think we should have a better, more simple and modern system. -I have some sympathy for the minister. I am not unfriendly toward him. Perhaps he has done the best he could, but I think the system is altogether wrong. The minister might evolve a better system which would get far better, surer and quicker results than have been obtained so far. I have seen the operation of this act in the city of Toronto, and I say we are not getting the recruits. One employer may say, "I need this key man." The answer is, "well, we will try to get you a postponement." Probably the man sees his member of parliament or some city official; they see the board, and action to aid a postponement is taken accordingly. How are we going to get the men? We are now more than half through the third year of the war, and the situation is not as it should be in regard to recruiting. No wonder voluntary enlistments have fallen down. They have none of this trouble in the navy and the air force, as I have said; we hear very little from the farmers in opposition to their sons going into those services, and there is no demand for postponement there.
In my opinion this farm situation is largely a provincial rather than a federal matter. Agriculture is something in regard to which there is concurrent jurisdiction between federal and provincial authority, but in war time a great deal of the farm work should be gone into and controlled by the provinces. I believe the first duty of a citizen is to defend his country and the defence of the
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realm, and, if necessary, to leave his farm, his business, or his job. I admire what the farmers of this country have done. During the last war many boys from the finest farms of Ontario went to the war without coaxing; they have done the same in this war, and many do not want to farm and stay at home.
As I understood the minister's explanation of the policy of the government with regard to farm labour, it is that there is no need to provide for more farm labour, but that what is required is to prevent any further decrease in the farm labour available. It is possible that this policy will not go far enough, that the government may have to make some provision for increasing the available supply of farm labour, and I should like to know whether any consideration has been given to plans having that object in view.
I have one or two suggestions which might be considered by the minister. First of all, there is order in council P.C. 2250, which prohibits the 'employment of men from seventeen to forty-five inclusive in non-war jobs. As I read that order in council, it is designed to force these men into the armed services, or into war jobs. There is apparently no intention of forcing these men into agriculture. It may be that the government has some order in council, or could take some step which would help channel those men who leave non-war jobs in industry into agriculture. At any rate, I would suggest that the minister give consideration to some move of that kind.
The other suggestion is with regard to women. As I read the announcement made by the government on March 24, it had in mind using more women in war industry. However, no mention at all was made of using women in agriculture. It may be that that would be another source from which quite a large body of agricultural help could be obtained.
in reference to the discussion which has been going on, if the government or his department is taking any notice of the fact that the farmers will have great difficulty in obtaining large tires and gasoline for their tractors. Unless they are able to obtain tires, tractor repairs and gasoline to operate the tractors, of which nearly every farm in the country has one or more, many more men will be required on the farms than are now there.