March 26, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


Thomas F. Donnelly



We have heard from many sources, Mr. Speaker, of the terrible problem that exists in this country with regard to our wheat. We have a great carry-over of wheat that we do not know what to do with. We want to get rid o'f it; why not put some of it to a useful purpose? Some have suggested that this wheat be sent to China to feed Chinamen. Charity begins at home. Why not use a little of it to help our own people? If I may suggest it to the government, why not take this wheat, mix it up with oats and barley and other grains, have it ground up into feed and give it to these farmers so that they may feed their stock? Finance them, if
you will. Do not give it to them, for they do not get relief to-day in any form whatever for nothing. The farmers have to sign notes for whatever they get from the relief commission; let them sign a note for the feed. Then they will have something to do; it will enable them to work for a living. They can start to feed poultry and pigs and sheep and other stock, and raise and sell this stock and make a living in that way. If this suggestion were acted upon, not only in the west but all over Canada, the government financing it, if you will, in a year's time or eighteen months, or at most two years, we would be able to supply our full quota of bacon and ham in the English market; there is no doubt about that, and our people would be doing something and earning a living. Besides we would be getting rid of this surplus glut of wheat of twenty or thirty or fifty million bushels. France has a scheme whereby she puts an analine dye in her wheat to make it unfit for use as flour. Why not in somewhat the same way grind our surplus wheat up with oats, barley and other grains so that it cannot be used for flour, and then hand it out to these people to be used as feed for their stock.
The whole morale of our people has gone. When you put people on the dole, on charity, and tell them to live on a handout from day to day, their whole morale goes. I have heard people say, "Oh, the morale of the west is as good as ever," but I do not find it so, I am sorry to say, and I believe it is due to the dole more than anything else.
I just want to leave that suggestion with the government. I believe it would be a good scheme to take some of our surplus grain and grind it up into feed and supply it to our farmers, financing the thing so that the farmers could earn a living for themselves and not have to be kept on the dole.

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