April 10, 1935

CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

So that I will

not omit any points which have been raised I shall take this opportunity to deal with some of the observations made by hon. members who have spoken. The problem which has confronted departments of agriculture is one which is known in one way or another to almost every person in Canada. The challenge to those who hold positions of authority is whether or not we have left un-

done anything which should have been done to alleviate the difficulties through which those people have passed. In passing may I pay a tribute, one which I believe is hardly necessary, to the fact that although during the last four years millions upon millions of dollars have been poured into that large area of Canada this is one expenditure upon which all Canadians have agreed, and against which no criticisms have been raised. But the load the country has carried in endeavouring to assist the people in that area who through no fault of their own have found themselves in these unfortunate circumstances, pales into insignificance when it is compared with the load which the people in those districts have carried. No words could describe their difficulties as emphatically as a first-hand observation of the difficulties under which they have been living. I realized that fact when last October I attended a meeting of farmers and farmers' wives held in the midst of one of the larger drought areas. One could see unmistakable evidence on the faces of those people who sat in front of me at the meeting of the trying conditions through which they had lived. The lines in their faces were sufficient evidence for any person. Despite their difficulties however, with the optimism of pioneers still in them they were building and planning in the hope that conditions would improve.

The hon. member for Swift Current (Mr. Bothwell) has stated truly that all they need is something to keep up their morale, and it was with that in mind-together with other points which I did not think we would have discussed in such detail at this time, but would have waited until the bill was before the committee-that we have asked the mortgage companies of western Canada to name at least one of their ablest men to act on the advisory committee, and it is again for that reason we made a similar request of the bankers' association, and some other organizations. If this is a national problem the whole country must work in cooperation. No person realizes more than I do the difficulties which must be met; there is a part which each must play. Those people living in the areas will devote their time and I believe they will do that voluntarily because I have under my hand a summary of the offers which have been made since this project was given publicity. As these offers have been received they have been passed on to a small committee and have been listed, and following that investigations have been made to ascertain those who could best help.

The people living in the district will give their time, their labour and will make avail-

_______________Rehabilitation oj Drought Areas

able the land they own. Our work is to give them all the expert advice and assistance we can give them. At this point may I correct an impression which seems to be general. There is a tendency on the part of certain people to associate experts with theoretical people, and I do not believe that association is fair. The experts, so called, who will deal with this problem in both the provincial and federal departments, are not theoretical people. They are experts because they know the practical difficulties, and no people can appreciate to a greater degree than they can the great efforts, the success and the intelligence of the farmers who throughout this time have made a success of farming in those areas. The whole program has been built around those key men, because all will admit that they know more than any other people about the difficulties and the efforts which have been made towards a solution of those difficulties. Many farmers right in the worst sections of the dried' out areas have had crops and, as the hon. member for Swift Current has stated, have been able to carry on. It is almost impossible for us to understand how they have been able to do so. We have investigated the reasons for their success as compared with the lack of satisfactory results obtained by farmers around them.

Upon a number of occasions the hon. member for Swift Current expressed the hope that there would be and the belief that there should be cooperation in this matter. To entertain any possible doubt of cooperation in the matter would, it seems to me, almost amount to a criticism of my efforts. To satisfy the hon. member and other hon. members who may follow him may I say that a national advisory committee on agricultural services has been set up in each province of the Dominion of Canada. That is, in each province of Canada joint committees are interlocked. Here we may have a committee on grain, on livestock or on grasses on which there would be a representative of the province, one from the agricultural college and one from the federal Department of Agriculture. Those committees are doing investigational work in their own particular lines of agriculture. They are not acting as separate units, but act in cooperation, and will continue so to do. At the present time in the province of Saskatchewan and in the other provinces work of this very nature is being carried on. These committees do not proceed each in its own line; they meet two or three times in the year to review all available information to bear on the problems remaining to be solved. For that reason I say that in the ordinary acceptance of the term we

have not separate departments. So far as agriculture throughout the dominion is concerned we work as one body, and could not work more closely if in fact we were concentrated in one department. I have no doubt the hon. member for Swift Current had not realized just to what extent the cooperation has been exercised.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

In uttering those words it was not my intention to express any criticism in that regard. It was really to set at rest some of the rumours that have been circulating and which I thought should be set at rest.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEIR (Melfort):

That is just what I was going to say, that I had no doubt my hon. friend did not have that in mind. With reference to debts and accrued interest, we have representatives on the advisory committee, and from the very nature of the publicity which centres on a closer relationship and an even better understanding than they have now of the necessity of keeping these people free from any worry so far as possible and giving them every encouragement, it is hoped that they will be able to devote their whole energy in cooperation with all the different phases of life in Canada to the reclamation of that area where there has been such a national and such a costly calamity.

The hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown) made a point that I think was well taken when he said that we should not lead people to be too optimistic about this program; that it was all to the good to dam up water, but that the people should not be led to expect too much. I thought I had made clear in my statement the one thing that in our estimation should be given prominence in this program more than anything else, and that is: What can we do that we have not done to make it possible for these people to be self-sustaining to a greater degree than they are, and to be more thoroughly prepared if this present condition does not last, to meet drought conditions if there should be a recurrence of them. The basis of our work is a study of the people who have farmed in the district and who have made use of trees and dams and grasses and cultural methods, and then after an analysis and a summing up of what the experts so called have felt were the most important factors in each case, they will be able to place before a committee of farmers themselves in each province information that will be the basis on which all the work will be done.

Rehabilitation oj Drought Areas

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

Mr. Chairman, for the last four or five years this question of the drought area in western Canada has occupied the attention of a great many people throughout the dominion. Last year I brought it to the attention of the house, and I am glad to know that at the present time the government are bringing in a bill to do what they think

In order that the committee may obtain some vague idea of the importance of this question I should like to give to hon. members an idea of how large a territory is covered and what I mean when I speak of the drought area in western Canada.

In the year 1929 a small portion of the south central part of Saskatchewan, about one hundred miles square, had no crop. We had dry weather and there was a drought area consisting of a district about one hundred miles square. Since that time this drought area has gradually spread until it has reached into Manitoba and to the foothills of Alberta, the area east and west extending for four hundred miles, and north and south in a triangular shape for a- distance of 150 to 200 miles. It stretches over a large portion of what is known in western Canada as the short grass country or the open prairies. That district in years gone by has produced wealth amounting from S200.000.000 to $300,000,000 a year, but in the last few years it has been producing no crops whatever, and that has been through no fault whatever of the people living there. It has been simply 'due to the fact that there has been little or no rainfall.

Some may speak of soil drifting and all that, but the fact of the matter is that we know that if we had rain, soil drifting would not be anything to contend with, and would present no difficulty whatever. It is because we have had no rain or not sufficient rain to produce a crop in what is known as the short grass country or the open prairies.

Let me also say with the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Willis) that this district is occupied by our own Canadian people. It is open prairie, the part that was easiest to bring under cultivation, and the result was that our own Canadian people went to the open prairie and brought it under cultivation. The foreigner from central Europe is the one who went to the park areas or to what are known as the wooded areas and cleared his land in there. So I repeat that the people living in that drought section are Canadian people or of the Anglo-Saxon race. Now this section of country for the last four years before these

drought conditions came, did produce crops. This south central portion of Saskatchewan where the drought area began, for some twenty years produced crops, and good crops. It produced the best wheat that was grown in the world. It produced more wheat and better wheat than any other part of the world. I remember quite well speaking to one of our Canadian Pacific Railway officials, and referring to the line of railway running into that district and saying that it was the best paying branch line in western Canada. It produced more wealth than any other part of western Canada year after year. But when the drought arrived in 1929, then for year after year we had crop failures in that area.

Some ask, why do not the people that are in there move out and go into other districts? Let me say this. I know many of the men that went in there practically with nothing in 1908 and 1909. They took up 320 acres of land, and since then they have probably bought another 320 or 640 acres. They built good buildings, they made good homes for themselves, they fenced their land, and now they have 640 or 960 acres of land, and they have made their living by farming that land. Now they are 55 or 60 years of age, and it is pretty hard to ask these people to leave everything behind them, and get out and go into another district, perhaps to scrub land and hew out a home for themselves up there. In fact they won't do it; it is impossible to get them to do it. There are many people leaving that district, but they are chiefly those who are living on rented farms or have such large mortgages on their farms that they have very little equity in them. Some of these people are moving out, leaving the older settlers and the best settlers behind them in that dried out area.

Now as to what can be done or what should be done for these people in the drought area, there are various opinions as to the cause of present conditions. But in my opinion they are due to nothing but a lack of rainfall, the need of rain. There are many theories and many ideas as to why we have no rainfall or not sufficient rainfall. Many people say that the main thing to do is to get back to the old conditions that existed before the land was taken up or that existed when the land was homesteaded years ago. If we get back to those conditions, then problably we shall have rain again. This will mean that we will get back to having small bodies of water scattered over the country in the form of sloughs and lakes. A lot of the land will be covered with vegetation. One of the theories in connection with this drought is that there is not sufficient moisture in the land to keep

_____________Rehabilitation of Drought Areas

the air cool. The warm air from the south carries the moisture and it is precipitated when it meets the cool northern air but at the present time this air is warm also. The result is that the warm air from the south mingles with the northern air without bringing about precipitation. It is claimed that if we got back to the old conditions we would have rainfall again. That may be true but we should do whatever is possible to store up moisture in different places.

The government should use the men now in the relief camps. These men are doing practically nothing at the present time and they could be put to work in the building of dams in western Canada. This work would prove of benefit to the farmers and might bring about a change in climatic conditions. These men would be able to do work which would be of advantage to the country.

I believe the planting of trees would be of doubtful value. This section of the country is not like that referred to by the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Willis). In his part of the country trees once grew but they never grew in our part, it was wide open prairie. I know a man who planted ten or twelve acres of trees around his home as a shelter oelt. He had fifteen or twenty rows of trees but when I visited him last fall I found this shelter belt drifted in with tumbleweed and Russian thistle. The trees had all died and all he had was a dyke about fifteen feet in height all around his place. I do not think trees will bring moisture; I think moisture brings trees. I have seen other places where 25.000 to 50.000 trees have been planted, but in practically every case all the trees have died from the drought of the last five years. It may be all right to spend a lot of money on the planting of trees but in my opinion it will prove of doubtful value.

I agree with the hon. member for Souris that it would be of benefit if some sort of grass could be got to grow. However we have found it very difficult to get crested wheat grass or the other grasses like brome or sweet clover to take root. I have known of cases where some of these grasses have been planted for three years in succession but there was not a single spear to be seen. It does not blow or drift away, it simply will not grow as there is not enough moisture. If you can get a grass of this type to grow, well and good, but the difficulty is to get it to take root.

I believe that much of the dried out areas will have to be left in an uncultivated condition. When we bring all our land under cultivation and have our summer fallows,

great heat is developed and the evaporation is more rapid. We need more moisture than we have at the present time. Last year up until the end of June we thought we had a crop but there was no rain after that time and the result was a crop failure.

I suggest to the minister that the municipalities should be put in charge of this work. The people could be given work and thus taken off the dole. Plant trees if you like, build dams or do anything, but give work to these people. The closer the government can get to the people through the municipal authorities, the better it will be. Our municipalities have absolutely no money with which to grant relief. When they do grant any they simply sign notes and pass on the obligation to the provincial government. The provincial governments have no money and they are forced to borrow from the dominion government. The federal government will have to finance this work and if these people can be provided with employment it will improve their morale to a great extent.

The provincial governments should cooperate with the dominion government. The provincial ministers of agriculture could give assistance while the departments of telephones and schools are interested in this class of work. They should be able to cooperate with the government and assist in many ways. I contend that the main problem of financing this work rests with the dominion government. This problem which faces western Canada is the most important problem facing the country at the present time. I believe it is as important as our railway problem. There are two or three hundred thousand people in these areas who are solely dependent upon their crops. Anything that can be done to help these people should be done. I believe that in years to come we will again have sufficient rainfall; we had it in the past and we will probably have it again in the future. In the meantime it is the duty of all governments, municipal, provincial and federal, to cooperate with each other to relieve the condition in which these people find themselves.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

Mr. Chairman, I have listened to the various speeches made this afternoon, especially those by the hon. member for Swift Current (Mr. Bothwell) the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Brown), and the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Willis). I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Lisgar. He goes back to the days of experience, and experience is what is needed at a time like this. My sympathy goes out to the

Rehabilitation oj Drought Areas

people in and around Swift Current. It does not seem like so many years ago-in reality it goes back many years-when they undertook to grow grain in that district, but their efforts were an absolute failure. I remember Sir Lester Kaye who owned 10,000 acres around Swift Current. He imported water carts and undertook to water the grain. Any old timer from that district wild remember the circumstances quite well. There was no rain there; it never rained, and they imported rain makers and tried in every way to get water because it was impossible to grow grain. My sympathy goes out therefore to those people who went there to farm. I remember the drought referred to by the hon. member for Lisgar-the drought that occurred in 1885. It was a serious one and the pioneers at that time suffered and bore it; they fought it. But I say for the benefit of this house that this is the end of the seven years; we have had the seven years, and I do not think that next year you will want any water conservation. I believe that next year we shall have two crops in one. We have had two crops in one in that western country, and I can tell you that there is all the difference in the world between having rain on the land and not having it. Soil drifting? Yes; but give us a year such as we are looking for this year and, with the faith of the old pioneers in that western country, we shall come back in the west and we shall not need to ask the minister for any expenditures for the conservation of water because we shall have enough of it. We have not suffered so much in the constituency I represent though we have had years when we could have done with more water; we should like to have had more rain. However, my sympathy goes out to the hon. member for Swift Current (Mr. Both-well), because I do not believe that is a farming country. It is on the tail end of the chinook belt. I have seen the grass dry, I have seen it cured in June, and I do not know for the life of me how any man could ever farm on that land.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
Permalink
CON

Leslie Gordon Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOTH WELL:

The hon. member knows that that area has produced the best wheat and the best crops of any place in the west in different years.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

It has; but may I ask the hon. member how many years in ten.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

In a sufficient number

of years to enable the people to build as fine homes as can be found in the west.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

Yes; I agree with the

hon. member that if that land gets moisture you can grow a crop and it does grow good

grain. But it is susceptible to the chinook belt and the hon. gentleman knows as well as I do that it is on the tail end of that belt that comes from the mountains and peters out around Swift Current. I repeat, however, that my sympathy goes out to these people, and anything the minister can do to help them I will support. I would agree to the expenditure of any money to help them. The hon. gentleman will remember that in Medicine Hat-we had a rain maker named Hatfield. He tried to make rain and he took a lot of money. In the west we will try any new thing, any old scheme or any old political party they want to form. We have a new one in Alberta, and we are susceptible to any kind of political party that comes forward in that country. Well, they brought a rain maker named Hatfield-

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Does it include social

legislation?

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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CON

Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MULLINS:

-and he took a lot of

money from the people of Medicine Hat. I do not think he was in the Swift Current district but he operated at Medicine Hat and he was a failure, just like the man they imported named Sapiro. All these novices have been imported in the west, but the spirit of the old pioneer will prevail. My hon. friend is one of the pioneers and I always like to shake hands with him. We have faced the elements, we have fought drought before, and we have asked nothing from anybody. I say therefore that the same spirit will bring that country back. I would not waste any money unnecessarily until we see what the conditions really are. I have lived out there and I believe that this will be a wet year.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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LIB-PRO

William Gilbert Weir

Liberal Progressive

Mr. WEIR (Macdonald):

I am sure the

minister will be highly pleased with the general acceptance of his proposal. This problem of the drought area in the west is now recognized definitely as a national one; everyone agrees that it is. If there is any place where national planning should be put to the test-and I say this particularly to my hon. friends in the corner-it is in this drought area, because after all the picture presented here this afternoon by hon. members living in that area must have demonstrated conclusively to others who are not as familiar with the conditions that exist there how grave the problem is. Fortunately for myself, I am just on the edge of the drought area, but my particular concern now is whether or not that area will extend and take in a larger territory which will include at least a part of my constituency. I was very much

Rehabilitation of Drought Areas

interested in the historical sketch given this afternoon by the hon. member for Lisgar with regard to his early experience in Manitoba. I have heard many of the older people of the province relate similar experiences, and the strange fact is that we can have such extremely different conditions in one province, varying from one district to another. I have mentioned before the incident of part of an area in my constituency which I should judge was not more than 150 miles away from the dryest part of Manitoba, where they have suffered for several years since this dry period started by having flood conditions, and drainage was a problem with them. It is difficult to appreciate the fact that these two conditions exist in one province, but it is a fact.

I do not propose to say much at this time seeing that the matter has been well covered by those who have already spoken, but I would emphasize again the condition that may affect the adjoining areas or the condition that may be created should the drought area extend. No doubt the minister appreciates the possibilities of the extension of the drought area, and I think it is time we considered taking steps to prevent encroachment upon further territory. I do not know whether anything is contemplated in this resolution in that regard, but I should hope that something will be done to encourage people to adopt sound farming policies in those areas where experience has shown that such policies have not been in force. I think it is important to bear that fact in mind, and the only thing I would urge on the minister in that regard is the lending of some assistance to procure grass seed and to take care of publicity work with respect to strip farming and corn growing. I think that very special consideration should be given to that part of Manitoba located within the drought area to try to establish it as the corn belt of the province. There is a possibility in that area for com growing that would be of particular benefit not only to the district itself, but to the rest of the province. Corn has been successfully grown in Manitoba and that area is especially well suited to it.

I was pleased to note this afternoon, when the minister was discussing this measure, his reference to the information that the department had gathered and the people that he hoped would interest themselves in the rehabilitation of this drought area. There is in this district such a large interest on the part of so many different classes that it is imperative we get the wholehearted cooperation and support of as many people as possible. The farmers themselves are the first ones who

have a big stake there; then there are the business people who are established in the towns, and in addition there are the railways. There are also involved insurance companies, mortgage companies and so forth. Therefore it is necessary to bring together under any organization that is going to carry out a policy of rehabilitating this drought area just as many people as possible.

I should like to refer in passing to some publicity activity that has been going on in Manitoba; I think the organization that has been doing this work is called the Conservation League. I should also like in passing to emphasize what the hon. member for Swift Current mentioned. The indebtedness of the farmers themselves in that drought area is such that their condition will be so discouraging that they will not be able to face the future with any degree of confidence unless measures are taken to give them some assurance that they will be placed in a position to earn a livelihood for their declining years. If that is not done, I doubt very much whether we can expect them to put forth their best endeavours in connection with any policy of rehabilitation.

That is not the only problem. Even if we are successful in years to come in rehabilitating that area, we must still deal with the question how these people are to be sustained in the interval. We cannot expect immediate results, although we may hope for them, so the problem is one that will require the best efforts of everyone interested and the cooperation not only of this Department of Agriculture, but also of the provincial departments of agriculture, the business people interested, the municipalities and the local residents. I hope some means may be found whereby we can secure the wholehearted cooperation of the individual farmers themselves in that area. I believe that will be secured for the most part, one danger being that if we should have a period of greater precipitation with improved crop conditions, it may be just a little difficult to carry out the rplans which may be prepared and intended to be used as a means of permanently rehabilitating the area. History has shown that drought conditions have recurred time and time again, and the fact that we may get a good crop for a few seasons may make us forget the hardships through which we have passed.

I feel satisfied that we can do a good deal in connection with this scheme, and I am pleased that the minister has seen his way clear to introduce this measure now, recognizing that the problem is a national one.

2618 COMMONS

Rehabilitation oj Drought Areas_____

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

As I Lad an opportunity of discussing this matter about ten days ago on the minister's estimates, it will not be necessary for me to say much now, particularly as we shall have another opportunity on the second reading of the bUl. Both before and since I last spoke, I have been reading up the story of the deserts in Arabia and Palestine. When we were young and going to school, if the word "desert" came up we always thought of the Sahara. Now we know something of the work of archeologists in Palestine, hoiw they have been exhuming cities that have been, buried there, where once fertile land is now covered by sand. Three thousand years afterwards this has been dug up and exposed to .the world. I think this was about the time when King Tut was entombed. This shows us that deserts grow. Like .the last speaker, I thought I lived on the edge of the drought area in Saskatchewan and I did so for over forty years, but the last six years have revealed to us that a desert really grows. It extends over the adjoining area until the whole country may be involved in it unless some action of .an effective nature is taken. To my mind, there is no secret about the matter. There was no drifting of soil when we went into that section half a century ago except along the buffalo trails or cart trails where the sod was broken. What we have to do is .to restore the grass covering; that is an immense job, but it must be done. The minister is on the right track and he has two good officers who have lived for a time in that area. There is Doctor Kirk who homesteaded or purchased land there, and then there is Doctor Booth who was engaged- in extension work for two or three years about the time the war broke out and who is well equipped in that and other respects.

I conclude-as it is just six o'clock-by wishing the minister well in this great undertaking. If my blessing is any good to him, why, I bestow it upon him. This work of rehabilitation on the wind swept prairie is no week end holiday, no midsummer pastime, and I think he knows it. It is the biggest thing of its kind undertaken in my time in .the Dominion of Canada.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Weir (Melfort) thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 55, to provide for the rehabilitation of drought and soil drifting areas in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS
Subtopic:   DEMONSTRATION AREAS AND INVESTIGATIONAL
Sub-subtopic:   WORK FOR RECLAMATION OF DRIED OUT LANDS IN WESTERN PROVINCES
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At six o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Thursday, April 11, 1935


April 10, 1935