January 22, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)


Well, I have nothing to do with the Minister of Public Works. If you ask him, he will tell you. He can take care of himself. He has been able to do so so far.
I want to say something with respect to agricultural education. Education is a good thing, no matter in what department it is, whether in regard to agriculture or engineering. This Government promises to give $10,000,000, at the rate of $1,000,000 a year, in aid of agricultural education. This Government will be derelict to their duty if they do not increase that sum before the end

of ten years to $50,000,000, and I believe that will be done.
I used to have conversations, in the House and out of it, with the late Minister of Agriculture. I said to him: 'Mr. Fisher, your experimental farms are good things, but I know from experience, living not very far from the experimental farm at Brandon, that they are not doing the work.' He said:
' Why? ' * Well,' I said, ' Mr. Fisher, it is because they are not reaching the people.' That is my opinion, but the people are somewhat to blame. The people should take advantage of these experimental farms; they should visit them, but, as a matter of fact, very few do so. Now what is this aid to agricultural education doing towards taking the work of the experimental farms to the people? We got this year, I think, about $50,000, and that, with the additional sum granted by the Provincial Government, has enabled the Minister of Agriculture of the province of Manitoba, Hon. George Lawrence, to establish in every local constituency that asks for it, a forty acre plot right in the neighbourhood of the people, where all classes of people, coming to town or going out of town, would pass by and thus see the results. To me that is a splendid example of affording agricultural education. If we wanted an example, we could refer to Belgium and France. Belgium farms produce $50,000,000 more annually than they did twenty-five years ago, at a cost, for every kind of agricultural education, of not more than $200,000 a year.
These are the things that the farmers came down here asking for, enlargement of boundaries, reduction of freight rates, reduction of express rates, Government owned terminal elevators, parcel post, aid to agricultural education and aid to roads. If I have heard the late Government condemned for any one thing more than another, except the navy, it has been for throwing out the Bill for good roads. One way of helping to reduce the high cost of living is to keep the men on the farms, the boys and girls on the farms. Nothing will keep the girls and boys on the farms more than to give them good roads. In the constituency of Souris the people have felt very keenly the fact that the Senate saw fit, under the direction of the right hon. the leader of the Opposition, (Sir Wilfrid Lau-rier) to throw out the Highways Bill.

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