February 17, 1932 (17th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Edward James Young



I do not know. I asked the Prime Minister the other day if he intended to charge interest, but he could not answer me at the time. Probably he will let the house know later on.
Before coming to Ottawa I was summoned to a gathering of farmers, and the first question they asked me was "Where do you stand on this proposal of $1 an acre bonus?" I said, "Tell me exactly what you want: do you want SI an acre in addition to the relief that you are now receiving, or do you want $1

an acre in lieu of the relief you are now receiving? If you want the $1 an acre cash in addition to all the relief you are receiving, do you think you will get it?" They said, no, they did not think they would. Then I said: "Do you want $1 an acre in lieu of the relief? If so, let us try and figure it out." We took the case of a farmer working a halfsection of land last year; he would have probably 200 acres in crop; at $1 an acre the bonus he would receive would be $200. At present, if he is on full relief, he will be receiving from the relief commission food, fuel, feed for his stock, and he expects to receive seed for his land. Would that amount to more than $200 in the year? Yes, it would. They did not feel that they could accept $1 an acre in lieu of the relief; and they did not feel that they would be able to get that in addition to the relief. The matter was thoroughly discussed and finally they thought that this would be a fair proposal: Give us against our notes that you are holding and which we will have to pay, a credit equal to $1 an acre on all the acreage seeded last year, and we will be satisfied. I think hon. members will all agree that that is a very fair proposal on the part of the farmers. It was not submitted to the farmers all over the country. I am speaking of the farmers in one community who discussed the matter thoroughly in my presence, and that is what they agreed on. That, of course, would leave out some odd farmers throughout that dried-up district who had saved a surplus and were not on relief, although they have resiped no crop for the' last two or three years. Perhaps in their particular case a grant would have to be made in cash; but for those farmers who are obtaining relief I think it is not unreasonable to ask the government to grant them credit equal to $1 an acre on their seeded acreage against the notes held by the relief commission.

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