May 27, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)


I wish to speak to the Minister of Agriculture as a farmer talking to a farmer. I presume the hon. gentleman is a practical farmer, and to that extent there is a bond of sympathy between us. I undersand from the hon. minister's statement that we have to deal with the Department of the British Board of Trade. If I recollect aright, that department has not stood in very great harmony with the people of Canada in the past. I think it was the president of that Board of Trade with whom we had all the difficulty in regard to the embargo on Canadian cattle ; and therefore I think the Minister of Agriculture should have approached this proposition with a good deal of suspicion on behalf of the farmers of Canada. We are face to face jvith this position, as defined by the Minister of Agriculture this afternoon, that there is in England a department known as the Depart. ment of the Board of Trade, which takes up everything that nobody else wants to have anything to do with. How that department should be characterized I do not know. The Minister of Agriculture tells us that it is similar to the Department of Agriculture in Canada.
A year ago I understood the Minister of Agriculture to state that this Imperial Institute was similar to the Department of Trade and Commerce, but the- same hon. gentleman used to contend that the Department of Trade and Commerce was perfectly useless. Ini my opinion, the Department of Agriculture would be of considerable value if properly administered. What we require is a re-organization all along the line. The minister has his attention distracted by too many things. The Census Department itself would distract almost any hon. gentleman by its iniquities, enormities and anomalies. What I do claim, speaking as a farmer to a farmer, is that we should have something distinctive for the farmers of Canada, both in the Department of Agriculture here and in whatever affects our farmers in England or elsewhere. I do not think that the farming community is being fairly represented in the Imperial Institute. As far as I can understand, this exhibit is not calculated to be beneficial to the farmers of Canada but is in such a condition that it is rather likely to be detrimental than otherwise, and some other system should be adopted. The hon. minister, I think, will agree with me that we should have a department for farming interests alone and not one in which everything that has no other domicile is dumped. The fact that such is the case in the Department of Agriculture probably explains why farming interests are not as satisfactorily dealt with in that department as they should be. It cannot be due to any defect in the head of that department. I have the sineerest regard, as a farmer myself, for the hon. gentleman who represents the Department of Agriculture. Any shortcomings he has; exhibited in the past I can only attribute to the fact he has brought out so clearly this afternoon, that the Agricultural Department is a dumping ground for everything not required elsewhere.

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