March 26, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)


We have now in British Columbia 75,000 acres under orchard. A fair valuation of these lands would be $15,000,000. I predict confidently that in ten years' time that great industry at the very least will be valued at $100,000,000, and it is growing with a rapidity not witnessed in any other portion of Canada. We are asking and obtaining the best class of settlers from eastern Canada, and from Great Britain, and a large number of our good friends from the_ prairies are going in there .to take up their residence and practise horticulture. When we get these men into the province they have to realize as all others who have been in this business for years and years have realized, that it takes not only intelligence and perseverance but long years of waiting before you begin to reap the results of all your work and investment of capital, and therefore an industry of this kind is deserving of the greatest consideration on the part of the government. We have to surmount many difficulties and we are trying to do so, but I do not think we should have to surmount difficulties which could be wiped out of existence by acceding to the legitimate request we have made. Any difficulty in the market end would simply have the effect of discouraging the building up of this industry and the settlement, along the very best lines, of our British Columbia lands. We all deprecate as disastrous to the industry any competition of this kind, if we can prove as I think I have proved, that that competition is absolutely unfair to those of us who are building up the fruit industry of British Columbia. I sincerely trust that the minister will accede to these very moderate requests. They are made not in any political or party spirit but with the sole desire to build up what I believe can now be truly designated a national industry and I trust the minister will see that in meeting our wishes he will be carrying out the suggestions and aims set forth at the Dominion Fruit Conference of four years ago.

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