I should like to know if any provision has been made so that a soldier can get a bonus of a few hundred dollars in lieu of applying for a homestead under this Act, and still have the right to [iMr. Mowat. ]
borrow $2,500. I have had a long experience in the West of men going on land under the tutelage of associations, or governments, or colonization companies, and as a rule, those people have failed. When an association has placed people on lands in the West and advanced money and taken mortgages on their farms in nine cases out of ten, or in nineteen cases out of twenty, those people have failed. I do not say that a man who is a farmer and who takes land under this Act will not make a success of it, but the great bulk of them will not be farmers. I don't care what conditions hedge around the grant of $2,500, or what precautions are taken to see that the men buy the right kind of horses and implements, in two or three years these men, who are forty or fifty miles away from a railway, will have spent that money and mortgaged their land, and the Government will have to take the land back and the money will be gone. The soldiers who take up land under this scheme will cost the country a lot of money in the end, for many of them will not make good, to put it mildly. I think it would be better for the country and more in the interest of the soldier in many cases, to give him the option of a cash bonus. T would ask the minister to consider that suggestion in the hope that when we meet next session something along that line will be done.
Subtopic: MEMORANDUM RE AN 'ECONOMIC ROUTE FOR COMPLETION OF INLAND DEEP WATERWAY.