February 18, 1932

PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss AGNES MACPHAIL (Southeast Grey):

I doubt very much, Mr. Speaker, if

agriculture can tax itself into prosperity. Looking at the estimates we find that one of the big increases this year is an increase in interest of $30,000,000, which looks as if we could not tax ourselves into prosperity.

On general principle I am opposed to the idea of a bonus, but speaking for Ontario farmers, if the five cents a bushel bonus on wheat will keep the western wheat farmer growing wheat I think it would be worth while to the farmer of Ontario in order to keep the western farmer out of mixed farming, which is ruining the Ontario farmer. So looking at it from that point of view, not that it makes any difference because the government does what it likes, I suppose for the time being we had better support the bonus because if any more mixed farming products come upon the markets of Ontario from the west things are going to be even worse for the farmers of Ontario. I had never believed that mixed farming was the solution of western conditions. True, it would give the western farmer more to eat, since that is all he has at the moment, but it would also give him more lines on which he could lose money. Mixed farming suits Ontario, and if the prairie provinces go into mixed farming it will be very disastrous for

Farm Relief-Mr. Mullins

this province. So, speaking for my agricultural constituency, for the present I support the bonus on wheat. I do not believe in it, but it may for the time being keep the western wheat farmer running after the five cents and not encourage him to do the thing that we do not want him to do.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. A. MULLINS (Marquette):

It

had not been my intention, Mr. Speaker, to participate in this debate, but when I hear so many hon. members on the other side making a political handle of the resolution I have to take a hand in it too. I represent a purely agricultural constituency in western Canada; it has not got a single smokestack in any part of it. When I am speaking of conditions in that constituency I do so from personal experience. My life has been forged on the anvil of experience, and not in a university as was my friend's from Bow River (Mr. Garland); I never had the opportunity of even scratching my back up against a college wall; but when it comes to practical experience on the prairies, probably I have had as much as any one of my hon. friends opposite.

To substantiate what I am going to say I want to read this little clipping which I cut from the Manitoba Free Press a few days ago:

Forty Years Ago To-day

H. A. Mullins, well known live stock exporter

Topic:   QUESTIONS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

That is all right.

-had taken hold of the well known Binsearth stock farm at Binsearth, Manitoba.

That was forty years ago. For forty years I have been farming on the prairies of western Canada, and probably what I shall say will have some little weight to keep up the spirits of some of those whining Jerusalem demigods. I remember well in the old days on the prairies when produce was much cheaper than it is to-day. I remember coming to the city of Toronto with a trainload of hogs. I came under the pressure of that multimillionaire that my hon. friends opposite talk about and I sold the shipment for four cents a pound. What happened? The following year hogs were worth eight to eight and a half cents a pound. I say in an advisory way to the men on the prairies: don't go out of hog raising; don't listen to these whiners from the other side; and don't go out of live 6tock raising; keep in; the best opportunity in the world can be taken advantage of at the present time. Our friends opposite say that

we on this side of the house did not do anything for the west last session. There are men in the constituency of Marquette who are offering thanks to the government for that five cent bonus. It helped them out. Then you will find another man with political leanings not favourable to this side who will say: "Oh, yes, the five cents was quite all right, but you didn't give Smith the five cents. Why didn't you"? I said, "How many bushels did you have"? He said, "I had four thousand bushels of wheat." I said: "Why didn't you divide up with Smith"? No, there was nothing doing along that line. He would not divide up with Smith, no; he took the two hundred dollar bonus that the government gave him, but because of his political leanings he had to whine about the five cents subvention in order to find fault with the government. If the angel Gabriel came down he would not satisfy some of the hon. gentlemen on the other side! That is a well known fact. But I do know some hon. members on that side who are big enough men to acknowledge that the five cent bonus was all right-but they don't say much about it.

Our friends opposite say that we on this side of the house did nothing for the west. Let me tell something for your information -and this is from personal experience, not from mere hearsay. I advise the western farmer to keep in the live stock industry. There is a twelve dollar rate out of Montreal to England. Did you from Bow River say anything about it? Why not? There is a $10.85 rate out of Montreal for stockers, and if it was not for the depreciation of the British pound sterling and their clamouring in Scotland-but I don't want to talk about the Celt, I want to deal with these wheat growers. They have been troublesome all the way down from the days of Cain and Abel. You know that men came to the prairies and wanted to make their wheat farming a steam plough proposition. They would not look at a hand plough, they would not look at a team of oxen.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

I have used a team

of oxen many a time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

The member for South

Battleford (Mr. Vallance) knows the situation very well, he has had experience, and if he is broadminded enough he will be prepared to give credit to this side of the house for the five cent subvention. . They wanted a steam plough proposition, and they tore the bunch grass all to pieces until the land is of no use.

Farm Relief-Mr. Mullins

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Might I suggest to the member for Marquette that if we go into live stock we will not get the five cent bonus?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Keep to wheat growing.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

I ask my friends opposite to read Mr. John W. Dafoe's book on the Life and Times of Clifford Sifton. Sir Clifford Sifton was one of the cleverest men who sat in this house. He tells us that when they took from the rancher the land south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway they were wrong. The member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) knows that. They are working now on the weaknesses of the poor farmers. I think of the Weyburn district in the early days. I think of the day when the horse I was riding went into the cracks and nearly turned somersaults two or three times on my way to Weyburn and Yellow Grass. Take the country south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway all the way from Swift Current to Medicine Hat, where I used to ranch. The settlers came in. God help them. I felt sorry for them. I told them "You cannot grow wheat in this country." But they went at it and ruined the land. I say to the Prime Minister "If you would use good judgment, move the poor settlers from that country to the country north of the main line, to the Peace River country." You may woi'k your politics on the weaknesses of the poor fellow who is suffering on the land south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, but you cannot get much support if you come up to Marquette where the farmers are all engaged in diversified farming. Yes, I should like to read this letter that I received to-day.

We have great cause to thank kind Providence for the blessings we have received during the year. We had a fair crop of wheat, but oats and barley were poor. We have confidence in the country-we have prepared lots of good land for next year. We had to draw on what we had saved during the prosperous years,

Now, get this:

We had to draw on what we had saved during the prosperous years. It is hard times on a great number of farmers around here, they are so much in debt.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

That is quite correct. If the gold were all around their feet they could not pick it up.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Read the

rest of the letter.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

Why do you;laugh at these conditions? I know the conditions of the

farmers on the prairies; I motored all over my constituency to observe them. The gentleman who sat here representing Marquette, Mr. Glen, sent up a whine and got behind a lady to send a challenge. He did not challenge me; he got a lady to write me a letter asking for a debate on better policies for western Canada. I will not get any woman to write-I will stay right out in the open. I will not ask any woman to write a letter, at a time like this, challenging anyone to a debate on better policies for western Canada. Now I want to finish this letter, which states:

They never will be able to redeem themselves.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

They put in their crop

on the stubble; they are too lazy to plough it. They grow a mass of weeds, so how can they redeem themselves? I ask hon. members, will they ever get out of trouble? We have sow thistle and weeds all over the country because of poor farming, and then hon. gentlemen opposite try to make capital of it for the sake of party politics. I do not care if I never sit in the House of Commons again, but I came here to represent agriculture and I am going to do it fairly in spite of the man who got a country newspaper to write an article saying I travelled over Marquette at the end of a leash.

I did travel over the constituency of Marquette, and while doing so I stopped in to see one of my best Liberal friends in the town of Hamiota, the town in which my hon. friend from Provencher (Mr. Beaubien) lived. He knows the man very well. I sat with him one day interviewing farmers and finding out their problems in order to come to this house prepared to tell hon. members of the difficulties confronting the western farmers at the present time. While I was sitting there a farmer drove up in his car and said: "I want ten gallons of gasoline." My friend said: "Go out and help yourself." In how many other places could that have happened? The farmer went out and filled his car, and later came in and sat down to discuss his problems with me. I found out the true situation in western Canada, and then one of the newspapers in that district published an article saying there were men in one town in my constituency *who could get only $1 a load for wood, which they had to draw seven or eight miles, and wondered if I understood the situation. Why, I sat on the corner of the sleigh with the man who had the load of wood, and discussed the problem with him. I sat there with him for one hour. That is

Farm Reliej-Mr. Mullins

the situation, and hon. gentlemen opposite want to make capital out of it for the sake of politics.

Now let me speak on the question of relief. I have men in my constituency, though not a great many of them, who need relief. Let me tell you that Marquette is in fair shape financially, and Marquette thanks the government for what it has done with the five cent subvention. The government has come to the help of the farmers in that constituency. I have a list of the w'orks the government are carrying on at the present time. I was surprised when I saw that list; I had no idea that all this was going on. The government have been fair to the people in that constituency in helping public works, and they thank the government.

Before I sit down I want to say that we shipped three oars of produce from Marquette to this area in southern Saskatchewan, the country that is supposed to be in such bad shape. Those goods were loaded in Marquette by horses. Understand me; horses drew this produce to the cars when it wias being loaded, but at the other end it was unloaded by motor trucks. That is one of the things that is wrong. We make too much of motor trucks and motor oars, we need to go back to horses, and go a little slower. Some hon. member on this side of the house said that in 1925 Saskatchewan had 90 per cent of the mules in Canada in that district.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

I am referring to fourlegged mules. If the farmers will go back to mules and horses they will be better off. There is too much gasoline being used; there are too many tractors. There is too much exploitation of the soil, with the farmers ripping the fibre out of it. I listened to the exMinister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) say, "We must have more fibre in the soil." That is right, but you drove out the men who were putting fibre in the soil; you drove out the real money-making industry of live stock, and it gave way to the farmers.

I am sorry for the farmers to-day; my sympathy goes out to them. I know of the hardships through which the farmer is going at the present time, but you cannot expect to rob the top six inches of rich, fertile soil, and then grow anything but weeds. Any man who has had practical experience, who has stood behind the plough and worked on the prairie, knows the truth of what I am saying. I ask the hon. member for South Battleford if that is not a fact. The fibre has been taken out all the way from Moosejaw 41761-21

to the Rocky Mountains. The land never should have been taken away from the ranchers; the leases never should have been cancelled. If you read the book written by John Dafoe you will find that Hon. Clifford Sifton made that prediction thirty years ago, and I made the same statement on the floor of this house in 1925.

I have taken up quite some time, and in concluding I wish to place one or two further statements on Hansard. To the farmers of the west I say, "Keep in the live stock and do not listen to these grain growers. Do not be carried away with the idea of growing wheat alone. You cannot live by bread alone, and you cannot live by growing wheat alone. Keep in the live stock, because the day will come when the markets will be opened and you will be able to ship to the British market. Prices will go up. It may be hard just now; you may be suffering from low prices, but from my years of experience I tell you to stay with the hog industry and the cattle indristry. Feed cattle. If you read the old Bible you will find that the very best men in those days were in the oattle business."

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

Is that not true? When Joseph was introducing his brethren to Pharaoh, did he not say, "These are men of flocks and herds"? I do not know what to call those gentlemen who are trading on the misfortune of the farmers, but I cannot sit here and see that sort of thing going on without a protest. Some of these gentlemen will not learn a lesson no matter how much you preach, but they are all wrong, and my advice to the people of western Canada is to go in for mixed farming. That is my advice; I impress upon them, not to get a professional man at the head of affairs. I do not want to say a word against my lawyer friends, but I say this: Do not get a professional man behind your endeavours but get a man whose life has been forged on the anvil of experience; otherwise your efforts will end in failure. I say that to the head of this government, to Mr. Beatty and to everyone else.

What about the cow scheme in Alberta? Let me ask hon. gentlemen who come from that province-What about the Duncan Marshall cow scheme which cost Alberta so much? In Saskatchewan you have the same condition, and in Manitoba, a lot of agricultural students directing affairs. What did they do in connection with the Winckler cow scheme? That enterprise cost Manitoba many dollars, and what happened? I suggest that hon.

Farm Relief-Mr. Mullins

gentlemen go to Quebec and study the old traditions there. In Quebec, when the old father was passing away, he gave to his daughter-

Topic:   QUESTIONS
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

A cow.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   FARM RELIEF
Sub-subtopic:   ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON BUSHEL RATHER THAN ACREAGE BASIS
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February 18, 1932