ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED | OCTOBER 1935 | THE FARMER
In discussing the political situation last month we urged that a new national policy be adopted- one that would focus attention on our primary industries; that would so direct our trade, labor, financial and educational policies as to make these industries sufficiently attractive to our young men, in comparison with the secondary industries or professional life, that they would be attracted to them. It was our contention that this was the surest way to relieve unemployment and eventually to stimulate immigration to this country of men ready to engage in developing our agricultural and other natural resources and thus lighten the per capita burden of national debt.
Several of our friends who are practical, experienced farmers, were kind enough to tell us that, in their opinion, we had pointed to one of the major causes of our present difficulties, and that our suggested policy was worthy of being adopted as a political platform by one of the parties now appealing to the Canadian people. A correspondent, on the other hand, whose letter appears everywhere, expressed appreciation of the thought in the editorial but claimed it could only be given effect through the adoption of the platform of the C.C.F party. With this we cannot agree. We do not believe it is necessary or desirable to socialize all industry- in other words, place their direction and control in the hands of the government- in order to so revise government policy as to give primary industries rather than secondary industries preferred treatment. By this we do not mean spoon feeding, which has so often been the policy adopted toward agriculture in the past. We mean a readjustment of taxation, tariff imposts, wage regulation, international trade agreements and financial arrangements, so as to lighten the burden imposed on our primary industries and increase it, if need be, on the secondary industries or professional life. When these adjustments, coupled with a thorough revision of our educational system, have made employment in the primary industries sufficiently attractive, we will no longer have the spectacle in a country the size of Canada, with a population of only ten million people, of producers in the primary industries unable to get help to harvest crops they have produced, while able-bodied men in urban centres are maintained by the Government in idleness because they lack the skill to aid in producing the fundamental necessities of life.