September 18, 1945 (20th Parliament, 1st Session)

PC

Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. O. WHITE (Middlesex East):

In rising to address the house for the first time I wish to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on the high office to which you have been elected. I wish also to thank you for the kindness you have extended to new members in overlooking some of their shortcomings. I know I shall be needing some of that consideration myself.
I represent the constituency of Middlesex East, the area surrounding the city of London, and while surrounding the city of London I have not yet been able to surround the member for that constituency.
I am in a rather peculiar industry, possibly. While I am a farmer, I am surprised at the lack, shall I say, of words in appreciation and support of the farmers' position in the country. Not only am I a farmer, but I am engaged, as I say, in a peculiar industry in that I am able to steal a living from my neighbours. I am in the business of producing honey and those who want to get my product must line up and produce coupons.
A good deal has been said about housing and sanitary facilities, but no one seems to think about the men and women on our Canadian farms who have done without things for years, while at the same time producing the food to feed starving Europe. According to a survey, there are 125,000 sub-standard farm homes and it is also well known that there are hundreds of vacant homes throughout the farming areas of Canada. One only needs to drive through western Ontario to realize that conditions must change. We see weeds on every hand, fences and buildings in need of repairs. There is no shortage of things to be done. There are jobs for all. The very fact that this government subsidized farm products is an acknowledgment that the farmer is not receiving adequate prices and at a time when consumers generally are more able to pay for food than ever before. Farmers fear, above all else, that agriculture may be allowed to descend to the level of European peasantry.
It is my wish to direct the attention of the house to the noticeable absence in the speech from the throne to any specific plans for agriculture. This lack of plans for agriculture is noticeable in many instances, but more particularly in the present situation with regard to cattle marketing and failure to maintain hog production in face of the professed need for meat products. It is in the best interests of this house that the representatives of the people get back to earth occasionally. Anyone who was among the farmers and the people last week could not but understand that the farmers are up in arms over the cattle marketing situation.
The statement of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) on Friday, that the weighing facilities were responsible for the congestion at Toronto yards, is not the opinion which I received from A. M. Stewart, the oat king, one of the directors of the stockyards, residing in Middlesex county-

Topic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
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