Mr. A. B. McCOIG (West Kent).
The section of Canada in which my constituency is situated is not only the most important agricultural district in the province of Ontario, but in the Dominion of Canada, and so it behooves me to say a word for the agriculturists of southwestern Ontario. The farmers of the counties
of Kent and Essex have probably more money invested in the agricultural industry than have the farmers of any other section of a like area in Canada. The fruit industry in that district is of increasing magnitude, although I must confess that there has been to some extent neglect in the furnishing of means to the fruit growers for the protection of their fruit trees. We have been unfortunate enough to have had experience of the San Jose scale pest, and while some assistance has been rendered by the provincial government that assistance has not been adequate. In this connection I would suggest to the Minister of Agriculture and to the government that they should allow the necessary spraying apparatus for the prevention of the San Jose scale, and which is largely manufactured in the United States, to come into Canada free of duty. If assistance were given in this direction we would be able to raise a larger fruit crop and to export this fruit in greater quantities than at present to other parts of Canada, where there is a profitable market for it. It is well that the House should remember that in the counties of Kent and Essex we are blessed with a climate and a soil which enable us to produce crops which cannot be produced in other parts of Canada. For example, last year the sugar beet crop of these two counties was over half a million dollars in value, and the corn crop amounted to at least probably three million dollars' worth. I need not tell hon. gentlemen that the culture of tobacco is also an important industry with us. Hon. gentlemen will readily see how advantageous it would be to the farmers of these counties if there were established in the vicinity of
Chatham an experimental station which would supply information as to the most approved system of cultivating these valuable crops which are largely peculiar to that district. A short time ago there was a corn convention in the county of Essex and had the Minister of Agriculture been able to be present he would have been justly proud of the samples of corn exhibited there. I do not wish to draw an invidious comparison, but nevertheless I think the newspaper was not far astray, which stated, that the samples of corn exhibited from other parts of Canada were as but nobbins compared with the samples from the counties of Kent and Esssex. Then again, as a corollary of the large production of corn in Kent and Essex, there is a very extensive hog raising industry in these counties, and I am safe in saying that three million dollars would not buy the hog products which have been sold from Kent and Essex. I must compliment the Minister of Agriculture that he has done many good things to encourage the hog industry but something yet remains to be done. The hog trade is not only of importance to the farmers of this district but it is of almost equal interest to the people of the other provinces who to a very large extent buy their dressed hogs from these two counties. I have every confidence in the Minister of Agriculture that he will give us every assistance within his power to enable us to profitably pursue that valuable industry. Then, I endorse all that has been said in favour of a large free circulation of bulletins in the different sections of the country, and I would specially suggest that an effort should be made to distribute these bulletins with particular reference to the kind of crop which is most successfully grown in any given district. These bulletins should be sent not only to the few on the subscription lists of the agricultural colleges but they should be distributed in all the schools of Canada so that the children might learn, and so that they might take home to their parents this information and instruction as to the most modern and best means of pursuing the agricultural industry. I halve felt, Mr. Speaker, that when a motion of this kind was submitted to the House, I would not be doing my duty as the representative of the most important agricultural county of Kent were I to refrain from saying a few words upon a question so interesting to my constituents.
Subtopic: EXPERIMENTAL FARMS ASKED FOE EASTERN QUEBEC.