Warner Herbert Jorgenson
Mr. Chairman, unlike the other members who have spoken on this particular bill, I want to confine my remarks to the bill itself, and they are going to be very short and to the point. I was greatly interested in the remarks made by the former minister of agriculture, the hon. member for Melville, when he said that the Liberals had they been given time, would have enacted this legislation. I was interested in some of the statements he made as to what Mr. Howe had said to the effect that this legislation was not necessary, that the farmers were quite satisfied with the interim financing bill as it was, that all farm organizations had approved it.
I come from a farm and I am directly concerned with the interim financing bill and the legislation that is now before us. My mind goes back to a night not too long ago when the hon. member for Rosthern was attempting to defend the interim financing bill on a television program. I think most hon. members will recall what happened that night when his image was blasted off the television screen by a shotgun. Perhaps the former minister of agriculture feels that he is justified in saying that the leaders of the farm organizations and the people he represented were satisfied with that bill, but I think this proves rather conclusively that the farmers were not satisfied.
My mind also goes back to a time shortly after that when the then minister of justice, Mr. Garson, attended a meeting in Mine-dosa and received the same treatment from the farmers. Then the last but certainly not the least occasion was when the former minister of trade and commerce attended a meeting in Morris. Here again was ample evidence of what the farmers felt about this bill. In spite of the advice the former minister
of agriculture has received regarding this bill, I think the actions of the farmers themselves speak a great deal louder.
The hon. member for Rosthern set himself up as a champion of the farmers. This is a rather belated effort. He had 22 years to be the champion of the farmer and he failed to do so. Now, all of a sudden, he expects this government to go out and accomplish miracles. He expects us to implement a policy that would require a tremendous administrative organization and to do that in the space of a few months. I know the farmers fairly well and I know that they are reasonable enough not to expect the government to come up with an administrative program of that kind, certainly not in the short space of time that they have had. I know that they are quite satisfied to have the bill as it is to help them over an extremely difficult situation. Nobody in this house or outside of it expects that this bill is going to be the answer to the farm problem, it is merely a piece of legislation designed to help the farmers over an extremely difficult period.
The need for cash in the hands of the farmers at this time need not be retold by me. I have had communications from municipalities that are in desperate need of help because of the lack of cash. Everyone, including fuel dealers and storekeepers, is feeling the pinch. I have heard member after member rise in this house and suggest that something be done to remedy unemployment. In my opinion, this is one of the ways in which you can help the unemployment situation.
We know that when the farmers have not the ready cash they are unable to buy the things that are necessary to carry on their farming operations. According to the records of machine companies, sales have gone down in the past year and you can understand how this factor reflects back in the employment field. You have serious negative factors compounding each other in the wrong direction and unless something is done to place money in the hands of the farmer so he can carry on, meet his obligations and continue farming and to keep the industries working in this country, then the situation is not going to improve. 1 suggest that the passing of this bill is going to do a great deal to help the farmer and to help this country in general.