If we did not shelter them, they would not come to our territory and we would lose that trade.
You have a lot of Canadian immigrants sheltered in New York city, who arrive there and come to Canada, and a great many of them are in the hospitals there.
When was the building located at St. John ?
It is now being completed. We discussed the item a few days ago. It was begun last year.
I find an item here-not very large, it is true-but it strikes me that legal gentlemen come very high in St. John, much higher than in Ontario :
McAlplne, E. H., barrister, professional services locating premises for building, $8 ; preparing deed, $8 ; search at registry office, 1? days, $40 ; sundry, $1.41.
I have employed some legal gentlemen from Ontario, and I find that they know just as well how to make a charge as those from the maritime provinces. I may add that all the fees are prepared in the Department of Justice, and I have nothing to do with them. The land was given to us.
I would like to ask about this item of furniture. Is it purchased by public tender, and are the local merchants and dealers given an opportunity to tender ?
That item of $12,000 covers1 expenditure for furniture for all the public buildings. If I remember well, we have 185 public buildings under our care, and this small sum is to cover requisitions that may be made upon us by caretakers and others. It is simply to cover petty items of expenditure for furniture.
Where is it purchased ?
It is purchased locally. With only $12,000 scattered all over the country, we could not adopt any system of purchase and at any central point.
' Is any of it purchased in Ottawa ?
That is under another item altogether.
I still take objection to our expending Canadian public money for a class of people the whole benefit of whose
appearance in Canada goes to the transportation companies. I know of no reason why the railway companies and shipowners should not furnish that accommodation, just as they furnish accommodation for baggage, freight or any other item from which they benefit, and the benefit to the country is only indirect. In this matter of immigration, I am afraid that we are subject not only to great cost, but to great danger because we allow all sorts of people to land in this country. The United States keep an army of officers to inspect the immigration into their country. From such information as I get from the Bureau at Washington, I am inclined to think that a very large percentage-even a very large majority-of the immigrants landing In this country are destined for the United States and that we, under such items as this we are discussing, are furnishing cover for people who intend to become American citizens. If even the large majority of the people, landing on our shores had points in Canada for their destination, that would alter the case. But the statistics of the Washington Bureau are against that belief, and our statistics are not well kept in comparison with theirs. These immigrants are all counted by United States officers as they pass on the trains, and reports sent into the Bureau. Those statistics show that we are furnishing cover to people who do not intend to become Canadian citizens, and that is not just to the tax payer of this country.
I would, perhaps agree with my hon. friend (Mr. Pope) to a certain extent if we had erected or were asking parliament for money to erect buildings intended exclusively for foreign immigration. But that is not the case.
But you do not discriminate.
Here is what we have done and what we are doing. We are putting up an immigration building at St. John. That is our winter port; all our own immigration comes from that port, and we must provide for it. My department has been asked to provide a corner, if I may so say it, in the immigration building. And the same is true of Quebec. I was asked to provide rooms for American officers to inspect American immigration.
Why should we provide accommodation for American officers ?
I take issue with my hon. friend (Mr. Clarke). Though in these matters, I am only a builder, and it is not for me to defend this part of the policy, yet, I take issue with the hon. gentleman. The immigration trade is good trade for us to
have. Our navigation companies and railway companies benefit by it and our traders benefit by it also. Why should we not encourage it ? I cannot understand the hon. gentleman's reasons for objecting.
Hon. Mr. ROSS (Victoria, N.S.) I am sorry that Halifax is Ignored altogether as a port for the arrival of immigrants. We have an immigration agent and we have immigration sheds, women to attend to them, and all the facilities for receiving immigrants. These people are carried to the port of Halifax by ships subsidized by the Dominion government. We have a road from Halifax extending to Montreal and running through our own country. I maintain that the immigrants that come in our own ships to our own port should go by our own railway into the centre of this Dominion. That would prevent them going to the United States. As for those who go to the United States, they are divided at Halifax, because they are on the manifest of the ship which shows so many immigrants going to this port or that port. Those coming to Canada should enter at the first port where the steamer arrives in the Dominion, particularly as that port has all the facilities to handle them; and they should certainly go by our own road into our own country.
I may be allowed to remind my hon. friend that St. John is the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which has western connections. Unfortunately, the Intercolonial Railway has not those connections. When an immigrant lands in Canada, he is anxious to get aboard a car that will take him to his destination. That is the reason why St. John has been favoured in connection with that immigration in the past.
But would it not be a reasonable proposition that the railway companies that bring these immigrants through Canada into the United States and the steamship companies that bring them across the Atlantic should provide the accommodation necessary for these people ? There is no objection to treating them as they ought to be treated, but the question is who ought to bear the expense. For my part I say we ought to imitate the example of our friends of the other side-we should collect from the transportation companies for the inspection and temporary housing of immigrants who are not destined for points in Canada.