If western Canada had dominated the policy of Canada as eastern Canada did, that difference in distance would have been taken into consideration to a much greater extent than it has been.
I turn to that part of the brief presented by Premier Bracken, in which he dealt with loss of farm income in western Canada. He said that in the seven years following 1930 the total farm income of the prairie provinces declined by twenty-five hundred million dollars, compared with the seven years prior to that time. That is a great deal of money, I should think-twenty-five hundred million dollars! If the manufacturers in eastern Canada had lost that much money, something w'ould have been done about it long before this. We can imagine the howls there would have been-well, one does not even like to contemplate them.
_ In fact, agriculture in all parts of Canada is not paid anything like the proportion of national income it should be paid. In this same brief Premier Bracken said that when we realize that nearly one-third of the people of Canada, w'ho are actually engaged in farming, receive only one-sixth of the national income, it is not a situation we can look on with any degree of happiness. I am not using his exact words, but that is the essence of what he has said.
The other night I agreed entirely with what the hon. member for Qu'Appelle (Mr. Perley) said. I think we ought to have a two-price wheat policy. The one-third that is consumed in Canada should sell at a price comparable with the general price level, and the loss on the two-thirds sold abroad absorbed to some extent by the Canadian government. I feel quite sure we are going to have a two-price agricultural policy, one price for domestic consumption and one for world consumption.
The hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Fumiss) said that the farmers of Ontario or of any other part of Canada could not say that so much of their product was for the
world market and so much for the home market. Of course they can. When they get dominion marketing legislation, and when they are not only the producers but the processors and marketers they can and will do it.
I can imagine many Ontario farmers will take the view that the west has everything and the east gets nothing. But that is an uninformed view. However, an uninformed view is one that prevails at election times and it might be well for me, if I were playing politics, to take the position taken by some eastern farmers, that the west is getting much more than it deserves. I do not believe that. I think the west, has suffered to an extent which is affecting not only the west but the whole Canadian economy.
I do not pretend to know much about the wheat question, other than it is a matter affecting the whole of Canada. If we cannot get back the markets that we had, we are facing a terrible time in Canada; there is no doubt about that. Those are problems which cannot be laid upon the shoulders of westerners only; we shall have to bear them together. I want to say again what I said the other afternoon in connection with another bill, that the greatest calamity which can happen eastern Canada is to have 30,000,000 acres now devoted to the export, if not of wheat, at least of all grains, turned into the production of products which eastern Canada specializes in now. If that happens, there will be a collapse in all agricultural prices. That is the way in which eastern farmers should be thinking at the moment. At least we should be able to understand and sympathize with that portion of agriculture which has borne the brunt of our loss in export markets.
It seems a sad thing to me that we should go on saying that we have a great surplus of wheat, possibly a carry-over of 100.000.000 bushels in Canada and an estimated world carry-over of 1,150,000,000 bushels, and yet in a civilized country like Canada and in a fairly civilized world there are great numbers of people who are not getting enough to eat. I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Massey) in his very much discussed criticism that there are people in Canada who are not well fed, and that these people are dying in numbers none of us knows. I think he was more right in his statement than was the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) When he quoted an official in British Columbia as saying that the poorer and more destitute we are, the healthier we will be. That is a curious attitude.
Prairie Farm Assistance
Subtopic: PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE