February 13, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Thomas Chisholm

Conservative (1867-1942)


I have listened carefully and with great interest to this debate. I am interested in the subject as an eastern member because there is a great elevator being erected in our county town, Goderich, and we are very much interested in having the wheat trade of the west continue to flow eastward through its present channel. Consequently, I look upon this debate as of great importance to me as a representative of the county of Huron. I congratulate the hon. member for Souris (Mr.Schaffner) on having brought forward this resolution. And it is hard for me to understand how hon. gentlemen on the other side who represent western constituencies can reconcile their attitude on this subject with the best interests of their constituents. They say that this resolution is exactly in accord with some Bill which is to be brought in shortly but which we have not yet seen. If this resolution and the Bill are in accord, then certainly the resolution is simply an endorsement of the Bill. Are we being deceived or are our friends opposite prepared to vote down the very principle of the Bill that the government is to bring before us? I would like to know how our western friends on the other side will maintain their positron when they meet their constituents. The grain growers of the west came to this Chamber and asked of the government sternly and firmly, that the government should own and operate terminal railways at Fort William and Port Arthur. The hon. member for Souris has had this resolution on the order paper for a long time ; it was on the paper before we heard anything of this Bill that is coming from the Senate, and for weeks before the western farmers came here to ask for government ownership and operation of terminal elevators. Why, then, should we vote the resolution down. I fear that hon. members from the west who vote against this resolution will have some very awkward questions to answer when they come before their constituents.
Now, there is no doubt there is a grievance. The grain growers when they were here stated distinctly that wheat was bringing from 8 cents to 10 cents a bushel more

[DOT]on the United States side of the line than [DOT]on the Canadian side-exactly the same [DOT]grade of wheat. Hon. members will recollect that when the grain growers were here I got up at that very point in their argument and said I would consider their argument was irrefutable if they would give us some positive proof of their statement. And they said they would leave that proof with the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). If they left that proof with the Prime Minister, then it is established that wheat is bringing 10 cents more a bushel on the United States than on the Canadian side. As I happened to ask the question, some of these gentlemen came to me after the meeting was over and showed me affidavits made by three man who had sent samples of wheat to be graded and priced in Minneapolis and in Winnipeg. That sent to Winnipeg graded No. 2 Northern, and that sent to Minneapolis graded No. 1 Northern. These affidavits satisfied me, and no doubt the Prime Minister was satisfied if they submitted to him the proofs which they offered to submit. Now', if the Canadian farmers are losing 10 cents a bushel on their wheat, there is a grievance, and that grievance should be remedied this year. A loss of 10 cents a bushel means an aggre-gae loss of $10,000,000 to the farmers of the west this year. Is it right that there should be any delay or any humbugging about this thing? I think that, of course, a part of this is dus to grading. The term ' Red Fyfe ' is not in the Minnesota Act ; they use the term ' hard varieties.' We have other hard varieties of wheat besides Red Fyfe, th? Marquis and others that are almost as good as Red Fyfe. But they cannot be graded as ' hard ' because ' Red Fyfe ' is named in our Act. It would appear that those who grade the wheat in the west, and those who manage the terminal elevators are in combination; and they have been taking $10,000,000 a year out of the pockets of the western farmers toy manipulations carried on. We may talk of socialism or anything else, but what we want is justice. That is what our western farmers want ; that is what they came down here eight hundred strong to ask for ; and that is what we are going to vote for tonight, for this resolution of the hon. member for Souris is in favour of granting them the justice that they ask. And it is against that that hon. members on the other side will vote. I would like to see the names of these hon. gentlemen lined up and see the excuses they will make to their constituents. The hon. member for Humboldt (Mr. Neely) spoke of what happened in 1909, as if that year had been the last one in which the farmers were robbed. He seemed to think there was no evidence in regard to 1910. I have here the report of the Elevator Commission of the province of Saskatchewan, issued by the Lib-Mr. CHISHOLM (Huron).
eral government from the very province from which the hon. gentleman comes, and I propose to read a few items out of this report. I would like to put them on ' Hansard ' to show how things were in 1910 in the province whose representatives are going to vote against this resolution. Hon. members on this side will not vote against the Bill if it is in accord with the resolution, and if it is not in accord with the resolution they will b? perfectly right in voting against it. I wish to trace the wheat from the time it leaves the farmer until it leaves the terminal elevator :

Subtopic:   CROP YEAR 1910.
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