Mr. G. H. Castleden (Yorkton):
Mr. Speaker, the disaster which struck the province of Saskatchewan and western Manitoba earlier this month-perhaps the hon. member for Swift Current-Maple Creek will allow me to say a few words; he may speak afterwards if he wishes-was reported as being of major proportions, so far as its effect on the farmers of that area is concerned.
It has required about a week and a half or two weeks to make a survey of the situation. The recent survey shows that although the western part of the province is not badly hit, the eastern part is suffering seriously, so seriously in fact that the farmers' union in that area wired most members of the House of Commons as follows:
Many thousands Saskatchewan farmers unable to seed crop this spring. Conditions desperate In widespread areas due to adverse weather and flooding. Saskatchewan fanners union stresses urgent need for program to alleviate distress. Situation demands immediate action. Union pledges full co-operation to implement adequate assistance program.
The constituency I represent in the eastern part of the province is traversed by the Assiniboine river. The farmers, particularly those in the valley of the Assiniboine, and with special reference to the area of Kam-sack, for the last three years have suffered from flooding. The result is that about 10,000 acres in that area will produce
Floods in Western Canada absolutely nothing. But their disaster is small when compared with what is happening in the rest of the province.
I have before me the official report made by government officials, in which they say, in part:
That a most serious situation exists was confirmed by supplementary reports from agricultural representatives, received on Thursday and Friday of last week. Their preliminary reports estimated a total of 4,760,000 acres of cultivated land flooded, and 14,810 farmers seriously affected by flooding.