Mr. ROBERT JOHNSTON.
It is quite evident from the discussion we have had that the report of the Minister of Agriculture is completely misleading as regards the expenditures on the experimental farm. When this report of the Minister's Department is sent out, the public accept it of course as giving a correct statement of the facts; and if any one on the hustings were to declare that the experimental farm at Ottawa costs more than was set down in the report, no one would be inclined to believe him. But we have it amply proved in this debate that no less a sum than $19,000 has been left out in the statement of expenditure. That sum has been expended on the different experimental farms but not one dollar of it is accounted for in this report. Of course we can understand that the minister who not only has charge of the Department of Agriculture-the most important in the country and one which gives abundant scope for the exercise of all his energies and ability-but also at intervals takes charge of the Department of Militia, cannot be held strictly accountable, but it is high time that the people should know how this department is managed. Why should the people's money be spent in getting up a report which is absolutely incorrect ? How are we to find out how much is spent on these farms ? As the great taxpayers of this country, we have a right to have a proper report and not a partisan report. We have a right to a report that will enable us to make comparisons between the acts of this government and of their predecessors. I remember that when hon. gentlemen opposite were appealing to the country, they criticised these points of book-keeping and declared that if they were put in power they would submit the accounts to the public in such fashion that everybody might know how the money was spent. And they said : If we do not act in accordance with our professions. turn us out. The amount of money they are spending and the way they are accounting for it is a flat contradiction of every promise which they gave in this respect, and I believe that at the next appeal the country will take them at their word and turn them out. I hope that in the future we shall not have such a wrangle about these points but that the facts will be placed before the people so fairly and so clearly that there will be no difficulty in understanding what is the actual cost of these experimental farms.
Topic: EXPERIMENTAL FARMS.