February 25, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Oliver Robert Gould

United Farmers


I am producing evidence
to prove that I was consistent; that I told those people, a good many of whom were Conservatives, in my electoral district, who did not believe the participation certificates would be any good, that they would be worth something-I was unable to say what. As I got more information, I kept every one of my own. That shows the faith which I had in them. I always advised those Conservatives who wanted to get rid of their certificates that they would be worth something if they kept them long enough. The point I want to bring out is this: We
wanted the Wheat Board last year, and we appealed to the Government to give us the Wheat Board. Enabling legislation had been passed, but no attention was paid to our cry. .
Then in connection with freight rates, particularly as they effect the West, and this is the question that was raised the other day by tbe hon. member for Centre Vancouver (Mr. Stevens), the three men comprising the Railway Commission seemed to have the power to bring an indictment
against the country that was more important at that time than our whole tariff inquiry. Inside of a week they imposed upon this country a heavy burden, and it rested more heavily on Western Canada than on any other part, because at that time thousands and thousands of tons of freight, representing our export of wheat were moving along the railways. We said that it was inequitable and unfair to us.
The question was raised in our associations and we passed resolutions, and pleaded with the powers that be to suspend the order, but no attention was paid to our appeals. The result was that the West paid approximately a million dollars a day extra in freight rates because of that order.
The people of the West were fined that amount, and our Government stood by and let the Railway Commission take this money from us. No excuse can be offered by the Government for allowing the commission to issue that order. It is no use for the Government to say that the commission has vested powers and rights, because I remember when the Board of Commerce proposed to place an embargo on sugar they were quickly advised by the Government that the embargo must not go into effect and sugar was allowed to come down in price.
I repeat, these are particularly western questions, and the West will call this Government to account because of these things.
The hon. member for Centre Vancouver stated the absolute truth very distinctly the other day when he said that an injustice was done to the West in that respect, and I say, Sir, that the West, not in any spirit of revenge, but in the belief that justice should prevail in this country, will record its dissatisfaction with the apathy shown by the Government on these two questions so vitally affecting that part of the country.
I believe, Sir, that the Advisory Council of Scientific Research can do a greater work possibly than it is doing at the present time. It is a well-known fact that on our western plains we have been afflicted ' with rust for a very long time, and it occurred to me that perhaps the Scientific Research Council, if money were voted for the purpose, could bend their energies towards finding a remedy for this rust evil, because all who come from the West know that in areas where rust prevails, inside of a week crop can be cut down from a twenty-bushel to a ten-bushel crop by this disease. That is a national loss, and I would be most willing to support a vote of money to the council for the purpose of

investigating this disease and trying to find a remedy for it.
I should like to say a few words with regard to the address which was made in the House the other day by the hon. member for St. Hyancinthe-Rouville (Mr. Gauthier). He said he could not join the Progressive group, because he feared there was communism in our platform. There might be some excuse for the hon. gentleman arriving at that conclusion if he had not studied our platform, but if he had studied it he could not possibly have arrived at that conclusion. He speaks of there being 63 per cent of alien population in the West. Why should he charge the West with that? Did he not support a Government that for fifteen years was largely responsible for the influx of immigration to the West? Why did he wait till this hour to proclaim this fact? I believe, Sir, that the people of Canada are big enough to assimilate the immigrants that have come in there, and I think hon. gentlemen on the Government side of the House will bear me out in saying that Western Canada does not feel that there is any evil in having these alien immigrants within her borders. On the contrary, we feel we are making good citizens out of them. Even if it were true that we had 63 per cent of alien population, we of the West did formulate and build the platform of the Canadian Council of Agriculture, which constituted, the guiding principle of the great Liberal party at their convention here in August, 1919.

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