The last speaker told
of the difficulties in his district in getting permits for trucks. The condition is general, and in Alberta where the needs have been great and the distances considerable we, too, have had much trouble in getting these permits. But the people of Canada realize that rationing is sharing and they have loyally submitted to restrictions because they know what a difficult position the department is in.
There are few men in Canada who have as great a knowledge of industrial construction and of industry generally as the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe). He has had a difficult job and has rendered great service as Minister of Munitions and Supply. I believe the whole reconstruction problem of converting the industry of Canada from a war-time to a peace-time basis will be safe in his hands.
I would call the attention of the committee to one post-war activity which I believe will bring rich results toi the people of Canada. I refer to the irrigation problem in the dried-out districts of southern Alberta. We know of two projects there which have been surveyed and re-surveyed. At a cost of $20 million spread over six or seven years they could be completed. Four hundred thousand acres of land which is now of no use could be made productive and it would add greatly to the output of products that are needed in Canada. I refer to- the Redcliff-Ronelane and St. Mary projects.
It is said that in Canada we have too much wheat and too little meat, but the reclaiming
of this area would make it possible for the farmers who might locate there to produce meat, vegetables and fruits which are needed in the diet of the average Canadian. Canadians do not have sufficient dairy products, fruits and vegetables. They have not sufficient meat or eggs, and the reclaiming of this area would do much to help in the nutrition of Canadians. Sugar factories could also be constructed, as well as canning factories, quick freezing plants, so that these fruits and vegetables co-uld be processed and used the whole year round. Moreover, the reclaiming of this area has been proven to be feasible. There are already practical schemes in operation in both districts and the water supply is available. If the projects could be completed where the ditch is already constructed the present irrigation districts would have more water and new areas could be brought under cultivation. This is badly needed if we are to save the waters of these international streams which may go to another country if they are not used here. In addition, the developing of these districts would provide homes for those who have suffered so mueh in their struggle to eke out an existence in the dried-out area, and also homes for many who are returning from the battlefields and are anxious to make a living on the land.
Topic: DEPARTMENT OF MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY