March 26, 1930 (16th Parliament, 4th Session)


Thomas William Bird



My hon. friend is not acting
with his accustomed wisdom when he adapts that attitude. The dairy council of Manitoba ;s in this thing just as much as is the dairy council of Alberta. The officials of the Manitoba organization who attend the meeting of the dairy council of Canada are well known, and they have not been stampeded into this thing. The idea of protection is deeply rooted in the mind of the Manitoba farmer, as well as in the minds of the farmers in the rest of the Dominion, and they have to be dealt with. Why has the farmer taken this stand? It is because he has been disappointed with his politicians. For years past the farmer has been expecting the different governments to give him some relief, but they have been disappointed in that expectation. We may regret it, but we must face the fact that in recent years there has been a definite trend toward the idea of protection. The farmers to the south have been protectionists for years; the farmers of Dakota have been protectionists for years, so why not the farmer of Manitoba? The proper way to meet this evil is to face it, and the only way the Liberal party can meet it is to do it boldly. If that party desires to retain the support of the farmer there is only one way in which that can be done, and that is to prove to the farmer it is apprehensive of the conditions under which the farmer labours. I am not going to belabour mv Liberal-Progressive friends as some of my hon. friends have done; I do not think mutual interchange of that kind helps very much. The hon. member for Lisgar and his friends have a perfect right to be where they are; they represent their constituencies as much as I or any of my hon. friends in this corner do ours, but there is only one thing they must do, and that is show they are dealing with the evils from which the western farmer suffers. By their fruits they will be judged and not by any academic arguments of ours. I am content to leave the matter at that. I hope they can bring home the bacon. It is the bacon we want.

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