Mr. Chairman, the house will recall that on July 22 last year I spoke on the estimates for agriculture and made a request for a dominion experimental station in Norfolk. I do not intend to make the same speech all over again but there are a few points I would like to re-emphasize.
First of all, farm income has not risen with other lines of endeavour and in some cases it has declined. This would be bad
in any event, but to make matters worse our operating costs have risen sharply and farmers are now in a squeeze that could be disastrous if nothing is done about it.
One way for government assistance to work to the advantage of our farmers would be for us to have this experimental farm located in Norfolk so that farmers could, under direction, work out some of our problems. I think perhaps our needs are greater now than they were in 1955 and I am renewing the request for this station.
Our temperature in Norfolk is about five degrees lower than at Harrow and Vineland, the other two government stations, and varieties that do well there would not give us the same production under our different growing conditions and temperatures.
My request of last year has won universal support in Norfolk and it has particularly won the support of the county council which sent four of its members here on April 24 to support the request for a station.
Bruce Wallace, who is a large apple and cherry grower and manager of Norfolk Fruit Growers and Norfolk Berry Growers, met the minister with us. We were favourably received by the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Finance and the deputy minister of agriculture.
The press in Norfolk has also supported the request both editorially and in news items. The London Free Press and the Brantford Expositor have also given the request much support.
I think perhaps the committee will bear with me if I quote some of the production figures I gave last year. I regret that these figures are for the year 1954 and perhaps are not quite relevant to the year which has passed.
First of all, we had 2,000 acres of apples in Norfolk and 400,000 bushels were produced in 1954. Last year we had relatively the same acreage but we produced many more apples and experienced some difficulty in selling them. There were 30 acres of sweet cherries and we produced 640 bushels. There were 142 acres of sour cherries and we produced 16,730 bushels. That was in 1954, Mr. Chairman. In 1955 sour cherries were about double and again we experienced some trouble in disposing of them.
There were 500 acres of peaches which produced over 60,000 bushels. There were 66 acres of Bartlett pears which produced
20,000 bushels. There were 103 acres of Keifer pears which produced 16,000 bushels. Now I would like to deal with strawberries.
Topic: AIR TRANSPORT
Subtopic: STATEMENT AS TO PRIVATE PLANE