April 21, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


George Spence


Mr. SPENCE (Maple Creek):

I will tell
my hon. friend about that. We have a marketing organization known as the wheat pool. Affiliated with it are two other units, the Alberta pool and the Manitoba pool. The three are amalgamated in selling the wheat of the growers of western Canada through a central office. There are something like 100,000 growers in these organizations who will market this year 200,000,000 bushels of wheat. Just think of it I I am speaking of this because I wish to show that we have been leaving no stone unturned in the direction of putting our business of farming on a sound economical basis. We have organized ourselves in such a way that we have to a great extent eliminated much of the waste and inefficiency in distribution. Thanks to the services of our various activities, governmental and otherwise, we have been able to put our production on a very high plane indeed. It is only quite recently that we were able to follow that work up by putting our system of distribution on the same basis also. Now that work is going on, and to-day I do not know of a single farm commodity that is not marketed in that way. We have the wheat growers; the live stock men are organized; the poultry and egg producers; in fact, as I have already said, commodity organization is applicable to every farm commodity. We have been unremitting in our efforts to benefit our condition and have had marked success. Thanks to a beneficent Providence we have had for the last three or four years good crops which we have been able to market at good prices. The hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) saw fit recently to make an allusion in that regard and perhaps I may be permitted to read exactly what he said:
I say that Providence has blessed Canada during the past season with a wheat yield in the western provinces unsurpassed both in quality and quantity, a yield which is to-day commanding a good price in the markets of the world and this fact constitutes the most important feature of our commercial success.
I am glad that the hon. member referred to that matter and stated that the crops, particularly wheat, and agriculture as a whole, gave the greatest contribution to our com-
The Budget-Mr. Spence (Maple Creek)
mercial success. When I come to the point, I wish to relate the great business of agriculture to the industries of manufacturing and mining. I think perhaps agriculture has not been brought forward in this House to such an extent as its importance demands. In my own province of Saskatchewan we have, roughly, $300,000,000 coming in from our wheat crop alone, and about one-half billion, in round figures, for all field crops. We have one billion and a half dollars coming into Canada as a whole from all agricultural products. An enormous amount of money comes pouring into the country in payment for the products of the land. We have three million people engaged in agriculture. We have the enormous amount, approximately, of three billion and a half dollars in actual money invested in the land in the western provinces. I am sometimes inclined to smile a little when I hear my hon. friends talking about industry and its importance. They speak of some shoe factory employing a few hundred men, or some automobile manufacturer employing a few thousand men, and turning out a few hundred thousand dollars worth of automobiles. It may not be common knowledge to hon. members of this House, but our dairy industry alone is worth more than the products of all the mines, gold and silver, and all the oil and gas wells in Canada. The amount of money received from dairy products exceeds the products of the mines and wells by a hundred million. The old brindle cow, chewing her cud on the farm in Saskatchewan, represents more wealth than all these other industries I have referred to.

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