That is right; we have the farmer who is shipping the cow's milk to the cheese factory. We also have the farmer who has no dairy cattle but who buys cattle in the spring and sells them in the fall or buys in the fall and sells in the spring, using in that way the feed he grows on his farm. I want to point out to hon. members, if they do not know already, although they ought to know-there are members here representing rural constituencies who have never said anything on behalf of the farmers in their constituencies-I want to point out what these farmers have been going through. First I shall take the dairy farmer shipping milk to the dairies, and I want it clearly understood that I have not picked out the worst case I could find. This farmer is one of what I would call the most prosperous farmers in Carleton county. He is one of the biggest shippers of milk to the dairies in
The Budget-Mr. Hyndman
camps? He says they will be absorbed on the Canadian National railway and the Canadian Pacific railway. I noticed an item in the press the other day to the effect that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company expects to start to pay a dividend soon, and so I imagine that railway will be able to absorb some of these workers who are on relief, but I cannot see how the Canadian National can absorb them, because it is going behind every year. As I said a moment ago, Mr. Speaker, I think those who have been struggling on by their own efforts and have never gone on relief should receive first consideration.
Another thing I should like to see done to relieve the unemployment situation is the introduction of a shorter working day and a shorter working week. If we shorten both the day and the week, we should be able to absorb more of those who are on relief.
Fair wages is another thing that I should like to see firmly established. I have already mentioned the restoration of the five per cent cut for civil servants receiving up to $3,000 a year.
There is one bill which, if it is ever brought before the house, I shall certainly support. We know of course that a number of bills that are placed on the order paper are withdrawn, perhaps because pressure is brought to bear; but one bill which I hope will come before the house, and which I shall support, is that providing for pensions for those over sixty years of age.
I do not want, sir, to get in wrong with the ladies, but it seems to me we should employ the heads of families, the man power of the country, instead of women who have no dependents. We have men holding diown good positions in the government, drawing large salaries, whose daughters are also employed in the government as stenographers or in other capacities. That is not fair; it is not giving a fair chance to others. I would like to see a little discrimination shown in that regard; employment such as that of a stenographer should be given to those who are responsible for the support of dependents at home.
I have already mentioned the condition of the farmers, the plight they are in, and hon. gentlemen have a perfect right to ask me: What do you suggest should be done? As I said before, the eastern farmer has received no help whatsoever other than the bonus on cheese last fall. I regret very much that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) could not see his way clear to continuing that bonus, because it was a boon to the dairy in-
dustry in the province of Ontario. I should like to see that bonus of at least one and a half cents a pound on cheese restored, and continued not only for this year but for a period of from three to five years, in order to give the dairy farmer a chance to get on his feet again.
I should also like to see a moratorium for the next five years on all government farm loan mortgages, federal and provincial. We might as well come to that situation first as last. The farmers of Ontario and Quebec, and of the maritimes too, so far as I know, cannot possibly pay the mortgages on their farms at the present time. You may increase your trade as much as you like, but the farmers are not going to be able to pay off their mortgages. They are not trying, I know farmers in my district who have government loan mortgages on their farms, and they are sitting back in their seats and saying that they are not going to pay anyway; that you cannot collect anything; that it is a government mortgage. They run up a store bill and won't pay it; they run up a doctor's bill and won't pay the doctor, and the consequence is that we are all suffering. But if we could tell the farmer that he is free for the next three or five years from any payment of interest or principal on his mortgage, thus giving him a chance to get back on his feet and to start in where he left off, it would be a great help to the farmers. I repeat that I would like to see the bonus of one and a half cents a pound on cheese continued for five years.
I have made a statement in the house this afternoon as to the help the western farmers have received, and I think I should be prepared to back it up. I think I can do so, Mr. Speaker. I have gone over the main estimates for 1936-37 and the supplementary estimates, and I have checked up on what was paid out to agriculture last year. I find that to agriculture last year the government paid out $25,181,697.87, and of that large amount $17,247,449.38 went to the western provinces, the rest of the dominion receiving only $7,934,248.49. That is what I mean when I say that the western farmer has been getting everything from this government while the Ontario farmer has been getting nothing.
There is another interesting item here that I should like to present to the house, one dealing with the amounts spent on the different departments. I have mentioned what has been spent on agriculture, and I may say that that money has been well spent. In fact, I should like to see more spent on that industry, even though it goes to the western farmer. But there are other departments of
The Budget-Mr. Fleming
government upon which less should be spent. I refer particularly to the Department of National Defence. I eannot understand why we should spend money on this department because we have our representative at Geneva who makes certain decisions and then we wire him to withdraw them. The expenditures for this department amount to $18,695,857. I have in my constituency one of the finest rifle ranges in the Dominion of Canada, in fact one of the best in the world, the Connaught rifle ranges, and when I speak like this I am really speaking against my own interests because thousands of dollars are spent each year upon those ranges. But what do we find? We find old shots coming down from the west and up from the maritimes to shoot there for two or three weeks in the summer time. Money is spent, but I cannot see that it is doing the country any good. If we are really in favour of peace, I would suggest that we spend less money on national defence and more on agriculture or labour.
We are spending $26,476,000 on labour this year, and this amount should be increased by some of the expenditures now made on national defence. I do not want it thought for one minute that I am talking against pensions for the great war veterans, because I agree entirely with the payment of pensions to those who fought in the great war. In the little town of Carp, which has a population of only 700, in a township with a population of only 1,800, we have erected a memorial to the eighteen - who lost their lives in the great war.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE