I beg your pardon; last
year the grant to the Province of Quebec amounted to $139,000, and this year it amounts to $159,000, and it is in the statement showing the distribution of that $139,000 that I find $12,000 for drainage.
Reference has been made to-night to experiment stations. I may be allowed to say that owing to the startling variations in climate to be observed in passing from one district to the other, that policy of having numerous experiment stations, can never be furthered too actively and energetically, especially in its eastern and northern parts. The eastern part of the Province of Quebec, not to say the whole province, has within the last seven years suffered through a succession of bad crops, of a nature to discourage the most determined. The complaint in certain parts is that the population in the country districts is on the decline and is emigrating to the cities. It is no wonder that, following on a succession of reverses, so trying and vexatious as those I have referred to, some should lose heart and should endeavour to find some other means of securing those comforts of life, which after all are necessary in a measure, and with that in view should resort to emigration. It is mueh to be regretted that in such an age as this, when people seem to have lost their heads and to think that comfort, and even luxury, are the main objects of life, our farming class should *have met with a succession of poor crops. Such an unfortunate concourse of circumstances have necessarily had a depressing effect and resulted in the depletion of the country population, a fact which all deplore.
It is much to be regretted that the Quebec Government, about which there is so much talk, should not have deemed proper, being more particularly entrusted with the welfare of the inhabitants of that province, to get right down to work and try to discover the means of safeguarding the farming community under its care against those changes of temperature or other scourges which Providence has in store, in such a way that they would be left, even under adverse conditions, with a modicum of a crop.
Formerly, in some of the far nothern districts of the Northwest, it was found absolutely impossible to produce grain of good quality in fair quantities. Governments have taken up the question; farmers, meeting with a series of uninterrupted failures, set themselves to working out the problem, and to-day in those localities where it was
not possible to find five per cent of good grain in the year's crop, turn out millions of bushels of No. 1 grain every year.
If study, intelligence and industry have in the West given such marvellous results, I wonder if the same means would not, when taken in the Province of Quebec, produce exactly the same results. The idea did not even occur to the Government of the Province of Quebec that something might be done towards finding a remedy to the ills of agriculture under such circumstances.
An interest has been developed in good roads, which is a very good thing, but good roads lose a good deal of their usefulness when there is no traffic to circulate over them. I say therefore that the Quebec Government have completely erred, shown a lack of enterprise and earnestness, inasmuch as they have caused the farming class to turn their attention to other matters of some interest to them, no doubt, but at the same time caused them to neglect other matters of still greater moment. What will he the use of good roads, if the farmers have no produce to draw over them? To my mind, it would be better for them to have abundant crops as they have in the West, though traffic may be blocked for want of means of transportation, rather than have highways or transportation facilities and no produce for home consumption. That is what has happened in the Province of Quebec during the last decade. So I think it behoove3 me to draw the attention of the Dominion Government and of this House to the ridiculous position in which the district of Quebec, if not the Province of Quebec, is being put, and to induce, if possible, the Minister of Agriculture, when negotiating the next agreement with the Quebec Government, to require the Quebec Minister of Agriculture to take up first and carry on such experiments as I have pointed out.
At a not very remote period, the Province of Quebec could boast of leading the Dominion in the matter of dairying. It was recognized that out of ten cheese or butter factories, nine were good, and only one, inferior. Gn the third of December last, at the convention of the Dairymen's Association of the Province of Quebec, the representative of the Montreal cheese trade, addressing a large audience, comprising, if my memory is good, the provincial Minister of Agriculture and his deputy minister, stated that he was sorry to have to warn the Province of Quebec that at present, out of ten cheese or butter factories in that province, there were nine bad, and only one good. That was rather startling information, of a nature to grate on the feelings of 74J
the people of that province, and more particularly of its government and Minister cf Agriculture, who proclaim so loudly their devotion to the imblie weal.
Farmers generally take an interest in crop-growing, as well as in milk production. Those two items make up 95 per cent of the revenue of the farming class in Quebec.
Mr. Chairman, that being well understood,, what shall we say of the policy of the Government which, after witnessing the drift of things, flatter themselves with finding a. remedy in a good roads policy, even though it entails the mortgaging of municipalities for a period of 41 years, with almost ruinous-consequences to some of them, and then prevents the Dominion Government fronv granting to its province hundreds of thousand dollars, part of which might surely have been applied to partly paying off every year the aforesaid mortgage. Hon. gentlemen will admit, no doubt, that representing as 1 do an agricultural constituency, it is incumbent on me to draw the attention of this House and of the Minister of Agriculture to the way matters are being managed in the Province of Quebec, and to request the men holding power in Ottawa to firmly take in hand the interests of my province and of my county, so that the Dominion subsidy granted by us may be put to a more practical use than heretofore.
I may be allowed to state that the agreement entered into by the Quebec and the Ottawa ministers in the last two years, h is given results far from satisfactory to those members of the Quebec district who support this Government. We are supposed to know the requirements of the province and of oar various counties as well as, if not better than, one or two government men in Quebec who utterly fail to take a broad view of the requirements of agriculture, and for the last ten years have allowed the farming class in Quebec to lose ground in the woeful way I have pointed out; and I am satisfied that the time has come when, perforce, the Government providing the funds to assist the farmers of my province must take upon itself, acting on the information supplied by us, to lay down its terms and see to it that the general interest be safeguarded in preference to those of individuals, the latter having had the upper hand during these last two years, under the arrangements as taken.
Of course, in view of the facts just referred to, experimental research work will be in order in the eastern and northern parts of my province, so as to render as expeditiously as possible' agriculture a paying and attractive venture. Unless that is done the depletion of population which is complained
of, will be growing worse, and the ills whi :h all deplore will continue developing from day to day.
Many references have been made to experiment stations to-night. Every hon. member wants one for his own constituency, though not objecting to others being treated alike. Let me say that the Dominion Government having at present in the Province of Quebec experimental farms organized or about to be organized in the Eastern Townships, where the climate is mild, in the vicinity of Quebec, for the middle region, and at Ste. Anne de la Pocatiere, for the South shore, that number, considering the transportation facilities which are now everywhere at hand, should afford a fair measure of service to the major part of the province, until the time comes when the Government will be in a position to provide one farm per county, if required, which, I think, would be a very good idea.
But I have the honour to represent here a district which from the geographical viewpoint occupies a very peculiar position. Its climate is different from that of Quebec, it rests on a geological formation different from that at Quebec; there Spring is always later than elsewhere; even the forest growth has a different appearance from that to the south of the Laurentian range. There is to be found there a population of about 40,000 souls which is making a pretty good living, thank God, but under climatic and other conditions to be found no where else in the Province of Quebec. The fight which the farmers have to put up in that district against adverse conditions of every description-even when Providence extends its beneficent hand here as elsewhere-is necessarily much more strenuous. So I say it behooves the various governments with which my constituents have to do, to confer on them that great boon that they have been in need of for sixty years past and that they have been applying for through petitions, delegations and all possible means from the Dominion Government, for the last ten years.
" I appeal to the good faith of all my colleagues from the Province of Quebec: this [DOT] is no question of party politics, it is a simple question of business, common sense and equity. I contend that with the experimental farms at present in existence in the Province of Quebec, the general interests are thoroughly looked after for the time being, and if the Government be disposed, as I understand it, is to grant to them experimental farms, the district where that policy should be carried out in the first place is that ot
Chicoutimi and Lake St. John, which I have the honour to represent,
Before I resume my seat, Mr. Chairman, I wish to draw the attention of the Minister to the importance for him, if he wishes to actually be of assistance to the Province of Quebec, of making arrangements for carrying on in the course of this year, on the farms at Cap Rouge, and more particularly at Ste. Anne de la Pocatiere, experiments in the growing of winter grain, which has been the salvation of the West and shou'd be the salvation also of the Province of Quebec. I understand that one of his head officers has been carrying on such expen-ments on his own farm in the district of Quebec. I know that a few fanners have carried on such experiments at home, with invariably satisfactory results. So I say it is urgent that the Minister should himself carry on such experiments, in order to be in a position to lay official data before the public. It is practically a question of life and death for the farming class of Quebec that they be assured every year of fair returns from their seeding, as are secured in the West. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your kindness in allowing me to make these few remarks.