April 4, 1924 (14th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)



I presume the
hon member refers as well to the progress that has been made in combating this menace. We know that Kota wheat resists about ninety per cent of the forty different varieties of rust; in other words, we have a wheat that will resist thirty-six different varieties of this disease. Now, if we can develop the characteristics that are essential to good wheat, such as early maturity, quality, and prolific growth, together with a sufficiently sturdy straw, we shall have a splendid variety of Wheat in this particular species. But this has not been demonstrated; it may take ten or fifteen years, and no man can venture to predict anything in this connection because there are so many sides to the question. For example, it is only within recent years that the discovery has been made that there are different species of rust, and since then to some extent experimenters have had to double back and start over again with that knowledge in view. Once you know your enemy and are familiar with his characteristics and his peculiarities you have made one great step in the direction of getting the better of him. And as I say, it is only within recent times that we have known of the existence of rust in different forms; formerly it was thought that there was only one variety of rust.

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