My hon. friend says ' no,' but of course he represents another constituency in the province of Manitoba. Not only have I the honour of representing that great constituency, but I am sent here by the largest majority of any hon. member from that province, save and except, as I must, the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Clifford Sif-ton). As to how he rolled up his great majority, I am not going to say at the present moment, but I will go this far and say that if it had not been for the mean contemptible, shameless practices perpetrated upon the electors of the constituency of Macdonald, by simply taking a red pen and disfrancis-ing them, I would be here to-day with a larger majority than the Minister of the Interior.
If this Bill becomes law, are we putting anything on the statute-book that we have not at the present time ? I will state to the Minister of Agriculture that so far at least, as Manitoba is concerned, we are not. We have on the statute-book of Manitoba what is known as the Noxious Weed Act, which is more drastic-that is a nice term of the hon. minister-than the Bill presented here to-day and in order to prove that, I shall call attention to a couple of clauses in that Act. It appears to me that, so far as Manitoba is concerned, we are to-day wasting time. Sections 22 and 23 of the Noxious Weed Act of Manitoba are as follows :
Any such inspector may, during the day time, enter any store, shop, warehouse, mill, elevator or other premises occupied by any person who vends grain, grass or other seed for feed or seeding purposes, and may inspect such seeds or grain to ascertain if they contain any seeds of noxious weeds, and may take away a
sample of such grain, grass or other seeds if he considers it necessary for the purpose of establishing the fact that seeds of noxious weeds are contained among such grain, grass or other seeds.
Section 23 reads thus :
Any person who vends for seed or feed purposes any grain, grass or other seed, among which there is any seed of noxious weeds, shall be liable to a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, and the magistrate may order that any grain, grass or other seed sold contrary to the provisions of this section shall be destroyed.
Now, Sir, I claim that so far as Manitoba is concerned we have all the protection not only as seedsmen but as farmers, that this Act purports to give, and I do not see that we can make any better law than that which exists in Manitoba. I will admit of course that all through his arguments the province of Manitoba has been dealt with as though it were a back number and was not worthy of consideration. In so far as the work of the Department of Agriculture and the gathering of statistics is concerned, I would say that Manitoba is well up to the mark, and in so far as the Noxious Weed Act is concerned, I think that these two clauses which I have just read will fully establish the fact that that province is quite up to the mark to-day. Notwithstanding that Act the farmers of Manitoba have not by any means the protection that we deserve from the Department of Agriculture of the Dominion of Canada. We require some means whereby we will be able to furnish not only the seedsmen, but the farmers of this country with the means of acquiring good, sound, clean seed. As to the method which will best bring this about, I agree with the suggestion of the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) who has proposed that this question should be referred to an agricultural committee. I think that is the proper place for this discussion, where we farmers can get together-and it will not take a very large room to hold the farmers in this House for there are only 24-notwithstanding the fact that three-fourths of the population of Canada are farmers and paying three-fourths of the taxes of this country. Not quite a fair representation, and I am sure that if the farmers and the seedsmen meet together we can make some progress. Let us get to work and see if we cannot, together with the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) succeed in laying down a fundamental basis whereby we can put within easy reach not only of the farmers, but also of the seedsmen, good clean seed. This can be done, there is no doubt about it, if we would follow out the lines suggested by an hon. member of this government during the last election who thought that it would be to the interests of his party to go to the west and give us one or two addresses, I refer to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir Richard Cartwright). While I do not agree
with ali the remarks he made, still I always try to be fair, and he did make some suggestions which if applied to the seed ques-i tion so that we can get good clean seed, would, II think be of great benefit. He said that he thought the time had come when, there should be established throughout Cam ada, small model farms. If these model farms were established and brought under the supervision of the Minister of AgricuH ture, I do not see why we could not equip them in such a manner-and I do not know; that it would be a very expensive operation; after all-that we would be able to accomplish the object which I hope the hon. Minister has in view in submitting this Bill. I do not know that there is any serious oLh jection to the Bill, from the farmers' point of view, so far as it goes ; but it does not go far enough, and it does not put the responsibility upon the proper persons. It is the Department of Agriculture that should be responsible for the supply of clean seed. I believe that if we got together, we could succeed, with the good judgment of the hon. minister, in mapping out and putting into operation the requisite facilities for placing within easy reach of the farmers and seedsmen of this country the good, clean seed which we as farmers are deserving of, and the seedsmen as well.
Topic: INSPECTION AND SALE OF SEEDS.