March 4, 1968 (27th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Robert Elgin McKinley

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McKinley:

I am sure the farmers of Canada will be interested to hear the Minister of Agriculture telling them tonight they have never had things so good as they are now. Of
March 4, 1968

course this is what they were trying to tell the minister when they were up here last summer, out on the lawn. Maybe he would like to give us a report as to how good the security measures were on that day.
There is a theory going around that there are just too many farmers altogether, and that the only way to cure the problems of agriculture is to starve them off the farms. This is a theory which I cannot accept. We have seen the elimination of the quality subsidies on hogs, lambs and cheese. This is another indication of the belief in this theory that is going around.
There is another theory which is held by some people in the government, and it is that all farmers are well off. I have talked with some of the officials working in the public service and they come up with this idea. They figure that all farmers drive around in Cadillacs except when they are in Florida-they fly down there. This is not very true, and it is the wrong way in which to consider the problems of agriculture. The fact of the matter is that farmers who make a go of it are obliged to work very hard indeed. They have to be well up in the latest methods, they have to be extremely fortunate with regard to marketing conditions and they have to enjoy a lot of luck. I think luck comes into it as much as anything, and maybe it is the most important factor.
Farming is no bowl of cherries even for fruit farmers, and if anyone in the government thinks it is his ideas ought certainly to have been changed when the farmers came down here last summer to see the Minister of Agriculture and the other ministers, out here on the lawn. The Prime Minister was afraid to face them.

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