April 10, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Henry Alfred Mullins

Conservative (1867-1942)


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.

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