October 11, 1932 (17th Parliament, 4th Session)

LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I quoted from a paper which I have found to be quite reliable. The speech from the throne goes on to say:
-this season's bountiful harvest forecasts greatly improved conditions-
I do not think that statement is true of the west. I do admit that there is a 'little more money passing, that certain benefits have accrued because of freight charges and so on, that a certain amount of money is paid for materials purchased from the east and to that extent the eastern financial interests are benefiting, but the western farmer's interest is not so much in the size of the crop as in the question of markets, prices and debts. Without a larger market, without increased

prices and without a decrease in debts the position of the western farmer is absolutely hopeless and unless the western farmers succeed the whole west goes down.
I should like to repeat an incident related to me last year by a gentleman who first definitely verified the facts. A woman came into town to purchase some garden seeds- I do not know whether or not She had been told that she ought to go into mixed farming as a solution of her troubles-and brought with her four dozen eggs. She was able to sell the eggs at only five cents per dozen, receiving in all twenty cents. She bought two packets of garden peas for which She paid ten cents each and upon her return home she counted the peas and found there were only thirty-three. This incident is almost an epitome of the conditions which exist throughout the west with regard to most commodities and illustrates the situation facing even mixed farmers. Without arguing the case, I say that there must be either a scaling down of debts, a lowering of interest rates or a measure of inflation, or reflation, if you like. Only this will accomplish the desired results. It is the only way by which the west can exist and let me warn that if the west is permanently out of business it will be hard on eastern Canada. Even for selfish reasons the west cannot be ignored.
The Prime Minister emphasizes the fact that his government stands for a sound money policy and he ridicules any reforms in money matters by referring to them as cheap nostrums in the form of quack remedies. He was so enamoured of the phrase that he rolled it over four or five times.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
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