Mr. Chairman, I, also, would like to congratulate you upon your appointment to your very important office. It is one, which, I know, you will handle justly and well.
While sitting here during the debate this afternoon my mind rambled back on several occasions, to my constituency and when I heard hon. gentlemen opposite speak, some of whom I thought got a long way from the matter which we are discussing, I wished some of them had been in my riding and seen the condition of the snowed-under crops. Possibly, then, they would have understood more clearly the nature of the bill which is before the committee this afternoon.
I feel I should say a few words about this bill, representing as I do, the constituency of Meadow Lake, a riding which was hard hit by the very unseasonable harvest weather. Many areas in my riding had the heaviest rainfall on record during the time when we usually expect harvest weather, only to be followed by 20 inches of wet snow in many parts of the constituency. A further snow storm followed.
This bill will help many farmers who are not qualified for a payment of $3 an acre up to a maximum of 200 acres owing to the fact that in some areas they have more than 50 per cent of their crop harvested. A large percentage of the crop which was threshed was damp and farmers received a very low grade.
I want to compliment the Minister of Transport on the very rapid action he took to make it possible to move tough and damp grain to the terminals for drying. Inspections under P.F.A.A. have had to be held up in many areas on account of the very low acreage harvested. Further inspections will have to be carried out in the spring when the harvest has been completed. I think many townships will qualify for assistance under the P.F.A.A., where crops were neither swathed nor stooked. The grain was standing when the storm hit, but was left lying flat on the ground. I think this bill is very urgent, and I certainly hope it will be passed without undue delay.
Topic: PROVISION FOR ADVANCE PAYMENTS TO PRODUCERS