The sole purpose of his resolution is to control the price of wheat, which ithe bon. member himself has said, produces the staff of life which feeds all the people of this country. This is a most peculiar time in the history of Canada for a man to advocate in this House the control of the price of the main product of our farmers. During the past few years I have heard gentlemen of the type of my hon. friend advocating that the farmers of this country should go into mixed farming. When the farmer had about come to the conclusion that mixed farming was a good thing, the war came in August last, and immediately my hon. friend and his friends advocate that people should produce more. And now, I suppose, we have the climax of this campaign of " Patriotism and Production " in the speech of my hon. friend, advocating that the farmer should not be paid more than a certain price per bushel for his wheat. I submit that the hon. gentleman has started at the wrong end of this question. I am informed and believe-and perhaps my hon. friend has the information- that the millers of Canada are manufacturing flour out of wheat bought three or four months ago at prices not exceeding a dollar a bushel at Fort William. I know, and hon. members of this House know, that during October and even September-because our harvest was early last year-and during November, there was no dollar wheat in western Canada. It was the exception if the man got 98 cents or 99 cents a bushel, and from that were deducted transportation charges to Fort William. The farmer got for his wheat on an average from 80 cents to 90 cents a bushel. And I am informed, that the millers fortified themselves with a large supply of wheat which did not cost them. $1.25 a bushel or anything like it. And yet flour is selling at $8.75 a barrel.
There is another reason why the hon. gentleman has started at the wrong end of the question. He knows, as does every other member of this House, that for many years past the Canadian miller has been selling his flour in the markets of the world at a less price than that at which he sold it to the consumer in Canada. What is going to be the result of raising a question
of this kind? I agree with the hon. member for Brandon (Sir James Aikins) that the agricultural business is the maip industry in Canada. To increase the prosperity of this country, to get men on the land in the East and in the West, and to get larger acreage in crops and to get more agriculturists on the land, a campaign of " Patriotism and Production " is undertaken. I saw some figures the other day with respect to the population centering in the cities. While the rural population increased from 1900 to 1910 by half a million people, the population of the cities increased by almost a million and a quarter-or almost two and a half times the increase of the rural population. Of course, the cities are always attractive to a large number of people, but the main attraction has been the comparatively high wages that were paid there, especially by the manufacturers. The manufacturers did not raise wages for philanthropic reasons. They have acted in this matter the same as they have in relation to the doctrine of protection; it was an absolutely selfish proposition. They were forced to raise the wages of their employees because the cost of living has so greatly increased within the last fifteen years. The effect, of course, was to increase the wages of all city employees. The farmer could not compete with these prices, and so the farmer's hired men and the farmer's son went to the city. And now my hon. friend proposes that the price of the farmer's principal product should be curtailed. I would suggest to him, as the hon. member for Brandon said, that he might consider advantageously some reduction in the cost of agricultural implements in western Canada. Let me give an instance that came under my own notice a short time ago, one the facts of which I am ready to substantiate at any time the hon. gentleman wishes. A certain man bought an engine gang plough. I ascertained these facts at Carnduff. I learned that the machine was quoted there at a certain figure. But this man crossed the-line into Sherwood, in North Dakota, and bought the plough there at such a price that though he paid about $100 duty on bringing it across the line, he saved $80 or $90 on the transaction. Does the hon. gentleman dispute that? That was a Canadian-made plough, one that had paid duty on going into the United States. Yet, though it had paid that duty and though it had to pay another duty on being brought back into Canada, the purchaser saved the amount that I have named. It was one of the agricultural implements manufactured by those philanthropic gentlemen of On-
tario, manufactured and sold abroad at 20 per cent less than they charge for it in Canada.
The hon. gentleman wishes to control the price of the product of the farmer, but. at the same time he is arranging that his friends the Government of the day should increase the duty on the implements that the farmer uses, and on everything that the farmer consumes. That is the policy of my hon. friend. I would like to know what the Government think of that policy. Is it in favour of the policy of curtailing the price of all the foodstuff that the farmer produces and to enhance the price of all that the farmer uses?
As I have said, what we most of all require in western Canada, and I believe in the whole of Canada, is to get men on the land. Canada is primarily an agricultural country. We have prided ourselves on that for many years past. But immigration has practically ceased during the last six months, and it has been declining, like our revenue, for eighteen months past. If we are to get the farmers on the land to carry out the "patriotism and production" policy that we have heard so much about, how can any reasonable man defend the position that the price of the main product of the farmer's labour shall be fixed? I say, I believe that the majority of the House will agree that the farmer should be allowed the price for his products fixed by the open competition of the world.
Subtopic: GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF FOOD EXPORTS.