April 12, 1901

CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

Not only that ; but Mr. Devlin in his report complains of the criticism he has received in the past, and he says it was unfair to measure his efforts by the number of immigrants that reached this country from Ireland, and in fact he seems to make out that he is doing other work. My impression is that Mr. Devlin was appointed to Ireland as an immigration agent, and that his principal business was to get people to come to Canada. That being so he certainly has succeeded very poorly. Mr. Devlin complains of the miserable pittance he is* getting in the way of salary and he points out in his report that the Lord Mayor of Dublin gets more for one year than he gets for three years.

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LIB
CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I suppose there is no reason why Mr. Devlin should keep the job if he does not want it. But, of course, we all understand why Mr. Devlin is emigrant agent in Ireland.

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CON
CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

It is not from choice but from necessity. His leader and he differed very materially on the Manitoba school question, and when Mr. Devlin was elected iu 1896 as a member of this House and found that he could not get the Prime Minister 'of Canada to carry out his pledges as he (Mr. Devlin) understood them, then rather than quarrel with the Prime Minister and his party he accepted the position of emigrant agent in Ireland. That is my version of why Mr. Devlin is an emigrant agent. We find, Sir, that Mr. Smart, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, makes no reference to assisted passages in his report this year. He does not seem to have a word to say about it, and neither does he refer to the great increase in the exodus from Ireland. Lord Strathcona in his report for 1899 took the same view as Mr. Smart and felt that it was

important that we should give assisted passages if we were to get immigrants from the old country, but this year Lord Strathcona is as silent as the grave on what ought to be done in that line. Then we have a gentleman who was appointed by this government as superintendent of immigration in the old country ; one Mr. W. T. R. Preston-

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Hon. Mr. ROSS (Victoria, N.S.).

What does the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wilson) mean by the ' old country.'

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I mean the United Kingdom of; Great Britain and Ireland ; that is what I meant.

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LIB
LIB
CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

Not being accustomed to speak very often in the House I may be pardoned if I sometimes make a slip.

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CON
CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I was about to refer to the superintendent of emigration who was appointed by this government, and I can hardly see what the necessity is for paying this gentleman, who is well known in this country, a salary of $3,000 a year and expenses to superintend seven or eight emigrant agencies with about as many agents in charge. Mr. Preston has a salary of $3,000 and his expenses, and during the year 1900 these two amounted to $4,825. I would like to know what Mr. Preston did for that money. In his report for 1899 he also recommended strongly, assisted passages, and he went further. He said that the time hud come when the old methods must be done away with ; when we must not only give assisted passages to desirable emigrants, but when we must pursue the same course that insurance agents do in this country, namely, see the parties who intend to emigrate and canvass them. Mr. Preston's excuse in his report of this year is, that the time was not opportune for that kind of work. It does seem to me that if there ever was a time that was opportune it was this year when

45,000 people were leaving Ireland and seeking homes in foreign countries.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I want toi say a few words with reference to the fitness of the men who have been appointed by this government as emigration agents. I am afraid they have been chosen more because of political services rendered to their party than for any fitness they possess for the office they were to fill. Mr. Preston in his report refers to New Brunswick, and he says that province appointed an emigrant agent by

the name of Mr. Hickman, and Mr. Hickman got a year to go over the province to make himself thoroughly familiar with it before he went to the old country. Mr. Hickman travelled all over New Brunswick, took hundreds of photographs of the country, which he had fixed on slides so that he could exhibit them with a lantern when giving his lectures. Mr. Hickmau made himself acquainted witli improved farms that were for sale in the province ; he took photographs of the buildings and soihe of the fields, and in that way he was prepared to deal witn the better class of intending emigrants who wanted to get improved farms in Canada. Mr. Preston says that Mr. Hickman has been a great success. He writes in his report :

Mr. Hickman has been meeting with considerable success in inducing a most desirable class of immigrants into New Brunswick; that is, young men with means, or whose relatives are willing to advance a considerable sum of money with a view of getting, them lands in the more populated parts of Canada. He has succeeded in getting attention at his meetings and has incited an interest in New Brunswick in marked contrast with the almost utter failure of meetings that have been held in many localities in the interests of the Dominion.

Now, Sir, why has Mr. Hickman been able to attract the attention of the people of the old country, more than have the agents of the Dominion government. I think the reason is very obvious. Mr. Hickman was better equipped for the work. He- had taken the time and the trouble to make himself perfectly familiar with the business he was going to do and perfectly familiar with the province he was trying to induce emigrants to come to. Mr. Preston appeared before the Committee on Agriculture last year and in his evidence he said, with reference to Mr. Jury :

It has been very seldom, I have been told, that at these meetings there would be more than possibly a dozen or fifteen or twenty children, with perhaps a half dozen or less, half a dozen being the maximum, of adults- that would be present at a lecture about Canada.

That shows what Mr. Jury's lectures have been, for if he could induce only half a dozen grown-up people to attend, they could not have been very instructive. They were looked on, Mr. Preston says, more as outings for Sunday school children than as lectures to induce people to come to Canada.

Last year Mr. Preston said that he was going to try to get some Boers to come to our North-west. He thought they would make good settlers and would be glad to get away "from South Africa. At that time I gave as my opinion that we did not want any of that kind of people, that we did not want any people who were disloyal and had an unfavourable idea of the British flag or British institutions.

Mr. Preston has now got a new notion in his head. He wants to form a company

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

The story of this Doukhobor revolt against the laws of Canada is an interesting one.

In June last the Doukhobors settled in the neighbourhood of Yorkton, N. W. T., addressed a petition to the Dominion government setting forth the grievances which they consider the Canadian laws impose upon them.

Their first objection was to their taking up homesteads individually, on the ground that private ownership of land is opposed to the law of God. They wished to have a tract of land set apart for their brotherhood, in the same manner that reserves are set apart for Indians, the title to the whole tract being vested in the sect and not in the individual members of the community.

This is a system to which the government cannot consent, and to which I do not believe they will consent. If the Doukhohors are going to settle in our country, they must take out land the same as other people and obey tbe laws just as our own people do. They cannot be allowed to live like Indians. We have got all the Indians we want, but while we are bound to take care of our Indian tribes, because they were the original owners of the soil and we have taken their property from them, we owe nothing to the Doukhobors and ought to insist that they comply with our land laws just the same as our own people.

Then they object very strongly to our marriage laws. They say :

We cannot accept such a law. for we believe that it also breaks the law of God. We cannot believe that a marriage can become legal because it i3 recorded in a police register and a fee of two dollars paid for it ; on tbe contrary, we believe that such recording and payment annuls marriage and breaks up its real legality. We believe that the real legalization of a marriage union is when it is brought about freely as a result of pure feeling, of a mutual moral affection between man and woman.

How does that strike you, Sir, from a moral point of view. They do not recognize that the community has any right to determine on what conditions marriage shall be celebrated. They contend for the right to do as they please, and pretend that the open sin of leaving a wife and taking another woman in her place is less than what they call the secret sin committed by a husband of living with his wife after be has got tired of her.

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LIB
CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I am reading from the reports in the newspapers. There is a motion on the Order paper calling for all the papers in connection with this matter,. but as the government has seen fit to take all the private members' days, that motion could not be made and the papers have not been brought down. I can, therefore, only use such papers as are at my disposal. Not having any access to the private office of the Minister of the Interior, I cannot get the documents, but no doubt my bon. friend

has the opportunity and can get them all if he wants to. I put the question myself to the minister, and he admitted that there had been a petition received from tbe Doukhobors expressing their dissatisfaction with our marriage, land and registry laws. And you will see, as I go on, that a copy of this petition was sent to the gentleman who was principally instrumental in bringing these people to the country ; and he wrote a letter to the Doukhobors, advising them to comply witli tlie laws of tbe country in a formal way. He said : You can take a wife and marry ber ; and, if you do not like to continue living with her, you can leave' her and take another woman without marrying her

there is no law against bigamy in Canada, but there is no law against adultery. If that is tbe doctrine taught by tbe leaders of this society, what may we expect of the rank and file ? To my mind, these are the most undesirable people we can possibly have, because they have no regard for our laws. I heard an instance the other day. A railway company was in a great hurry to build a piece of line, and some of these people were engaged for the work. They were poor, and the men who employed them paid their way out to the work. But when they got out there, he found that it tvas a holy season for them, and for two days they refused to enter upon the work, though they had been engaged specially for that purpose.

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LIB

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. McCREARY.

Was that not all right- not to work on Sunday or a holy day ? Is that not all right according to any religion ?

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

I can only answer by saying that if these people were as religious as they pretended to be, they would have told this man : Our feast day comes at such and such a time, and we cannot go until after that time. Is that not what an honest man would have done ? We do not want to be dishonest, whether we are religious or whether we are not. But, when men who profess to be better than their neighbours deceive people and get benefits under false pretenses, they are worse than tbe out-and-out man who does wrong things openly. I have not much use for the religious man who is dishonest-I do not think he has much religion or much principle. I am of opinion that if the government had to bring these people in to-day, they would hardly do it.

But, there is one matter I had overlooked, and that I want to refer to. We have appointed Mr. Preston as superintendent of immigration. If it was necessary to have such a man and he were a good man for the place, we would expect that he would increase the numbers coming from that part of the world in which he carried on the work. But, what are the results ? We got from countries other than the United States in 1899. 32.59S immigrants, while in 1900, we got only 29,197, or 3,401 less. These are

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON.

the facts, if we may believe the reports of the department. What is the advantage of having appointed Mr. Preston, if we have

3,000 fewer immigrants now that he is full-fledged as our representative, and has spent nearly $5,000 in a year ? The fact is, we have had to provide a place for Mr. Preston, as for hundreds of others since hon. gentlemen opposite came into office, and I think that is the only excuse that can be given for his appointment at all.

Now, I wish to read from a little history of the Doukhobors about the circumstance under which they left Russia. They wanted to get the same privilege in Russia that they get in this country-to be exempted from military service. But, the Russian government said : No ; if you are going to stay in this country, you will have to do as the rest of us have to do ; you will have to perform your share of the duties falling upon the whole body of citizens. When they got leave to go, they had to sign a document, which I will read :

That they leave the frontiers of Russia at their own expense ; and that before leaving they sign an agreement never to return within the borders of the empire, understanding that in the case of non-compliance with this last point the offender will be condemned to exile to remote places.

That shows in what esteem they were held in their own country. I venture to say that Russia was very glad to get rid of them, because they had been a source of great trouble. They had been asked to comply with the laws of their country, and they refused. Of course they suffered by reason of refusing. You may say that their suffering was for conscience sake. But, it is very strange to me that men take these fads, and seem to be entirely unable to reason out what their duty is or what they should do as citizens of a country. These people have had to sign an agreement never to go back to Russia under penalty of being-banished from that country. I am afraid we shall have to take very strong measures with these people, more especially if they persist in their views of marriage. We cannot tolerate the idea of a free-love association in our midst. I do not think the people of Canada, under any consideration, will submit to anything of the kind-that a man can live with a woman for a time, then banish her and leave his children illegitimate. This seems to me outrageous. The authorities of this country ought to insist upon these people complying with our laws or leaving the country.

Now, this government tells us that the only kind of people they are bringing in are farmers and farm labourers. Bast year, in the committee, we went into an investigation of the number of immigrants that came into this country, and, outside of the Doukhobors and Galicians-and I might say that the Galicians have had to be fed by the government, if the reports of the newspapers

are true-the number of immigrants has been comparatively small. The great trouble has been that the government has ignored quality and looked altogether to quantity. Now, what we want is quality more than quantity ; and if we can have only one, let us have quality ; if we can have both so much the better. But, leaving out the Galicians and Doukhobors, we received, in 1899, about

10,000 or 11,000 that mignt be considered desirable immigrants. This year we have not had the pleasure of having any of the officers of the department before us to give evidence on the subject of immigration. We are in hopes that, before the estimates on immigration are taken up, we shall have the privilege of having two or three of these gentlemen before us to give us information if they can, which will enable us to discuss the estimates properly. I find that, in 1899, about one in four of those who were brought into the country settled on the land. In 1900, the proportion was about the same. As to expenditure, we find that, taking into account the appropriations they have asked for the coming year, $445,000, this government has spent in immigration in five years. $1,524,074, as against $876,369 that was spent by their predecessors. Hon. gentlemen opposite may say : We get a great many more than our predecessors did. But, if you have only brought so many more people to the country to loaf around the towns and cities instead of going on the land, I do not see where you have benefited the country. I am afraid, when we come to look for those you are supposed to have got, you will have a good deal of difficulty in finding them. I have here several resolutions passed by the Congress of the Trades and Labour Councils of Canada for several years. These are the people who represent the working classes of this country, and who, I presume, have a good knowledge of their condition. It is true that this government, and the Ontario government, have taken care of two of the most prominent members of those organizations, and in one way have shut their mouths ; nevertheless, I think the views set forth in these resolutions are those held by the working-people throughout this country. I will read first a resolution passed in 1893 :

Moved by Mr. O'Donoghue, seconded by Mr. Glockling,

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An hon. MEMBER.

Who is he ?

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April 12, 1901