An analysis of the economic policies of farm organizations in Manitoba, 1945-1962

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Gordon, John Guertin
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The main purpose of this study is to examine the economic, social and other policies of the Manitoba Federation of Agriculture (and Cooperation) and the Manitoba Farmers' Union as they were presented from 1945 to 1962 to see if some explanation can be found in them for the separation of and repeated clashes between the two organizations -- clashes that took place in the face of strong endogenous and exogenous pressures for unity. The policies of the two organizations are considered as they were presented by the organizations in their briefs to government and other organizations, in their policy statements, in their press releases and in their other statements and publications. These policies are examined against the economic, political and social background of agriculture in Manitoba from 1945 to 1962. The study demonstrates that there are significant differences in goals and values between the two organizations and from this examines the necessary policy differences. These differences are found to result from the MFU's acceptance of Jeffersonian democracy and agricultural fundamentalism as their basic philosophy, a philosophy, which is antipathetic to the Federation's philosophy of economic development. Another factor in the division was the Federation's espousal of co-operatives as a goal, a goal not shared by the MFU who consider co-operatives just another form of business organization. The ultimate conclusion of the study is that the gap between the two organizations has been growing, and baring some unexpected change in either or both of the organizations' value, goal or policy structures, their differences in these vital areas preclude any possibility of unity.