We do not pay a dollar for the inspecting. What we have done is simply to allow American officers the use of two or three rooms for the inspection of these immigrants.
But we should compel the steamship companies or somebody else
to provide the accommodation necessary for the inspection, and for housing the immigrants who are merely passing through Canada and whose destination is a foreign country. Surely that is not unreasonable.
I do not say that it is.
We have the statement made that, in view of the quality of the immigration coming to Canada, it was found necessary by the United States government, first to send a medical officer to Liverpool to inspect immigrants going to points in the United States through Canada. But that was not found effective, so they had to despatch officers to our own ports. They are inspecting immigrants coming to Canada and determining which shall be allowed to go to the United States. Ought there not to be some provision, not only with these people so that they could be treated rightly, but that, if they are not fit to land, they shall be taken back by the steamship company. Is it not reasonable to ask that the Canadian public should not have the expense placed on its shoulders, an expense which properly belongs to the steamship companies, to the railway companies or to the United States authorities ? I protest against expenditure for that purpose.
We must not fall into exaggeration. Of course, I am sure my hon. friend (Mr. Clarke) does not mean to exaggerate. There are two immigration sheds used for foreign immigration purposes. One at St. John and one at Quebec.
Hon. Mr. ROSS (Victoria, N.S.) And Halifax.
Halifax, from what the hon. gentleman says, does not receive much immigration.
Hon. Mr. ROSS (Victoria, N.S.).
We have ample accommodation.
The accommodation is all right. But there are only two places where foreign immigrants are landed. I make bold to say it does not cost the country $500 a year for that object, because we would be obliged to make provision for our own immigration, and we have made provision for it in point of fact. Foreign immigration is only an incident, if I may say so ; it does not cost anything worth speaking of.
It has been stated in this House that the United States house immigrants at New York coming through that port into Canada. Now, is there any arrangement whereby they are to house our immigrants and we are to house theirs ? That would be reciprocity, and I see no good reason why, if they do that for us, we should not do something in return.
I am not the head of that branch, and cannot say. But I do not share the doubts that are expressed now. My policy would be to give cheap transportation to all kinds of trade, to make provision by land and water for cheap transportation through the country, both of trade and of human beings, provided of course that we do not fall into excess in the way of expenditure.
The hon. gentleman has not answered my question, whether there is an arrangement made between Canada and the United States that they should house our immigrants and we should house theirs?
I am obliged to answer that it is not in my branch, and I do not know anything about it
Hon. Mr. ROSS (Victoria, N.S.) I may say, as one having had fourteen years experience with immigration in the port of Halifax, that immigrants are not housed, because the moment they arrive they are inspected by doctors, and the cars are all ready for them to take their passage. Those for the United States take passage for the United States, and those for Canada are carried into the interior. What have we the Intercolonial railway for unless it is to carry our immigrants from the port of their arrival in Canada ?
Dominion quarantine stations-maintenance, &c., $4,000.
We want some information in connection with this item. In the event of immigrants coming to the country, who land and may be found diseased, do they go into these quarantine stations, and are they kept there and fed, and their expenses paid until they are fit to go on to the United States, and do we bear all that expense ? I think whoever has charge of this quarantine station, whether the Minister of Agriculture or the Minister of the Interior, ought to be able to tell us that. If the United States does the same thing the service would be mutual. But we want to know whether such an arrangement has been made. There ought to be some minister able to give us the information.
The Minister of Agriculture in whose department-
He is in the garden of Eden. He will be back in a little while.
Well, he should stay there for some time. As soon as he is done, he will give us the information.
I would like to point out an item in the Auditor General's Report, I do not profess to be an authority on the Auditor General's Report. I regret to say
X have very little time to study it. But my study thus far has convinced me that the Department of Public Works is being imposed upon, I do not know to what extent. There is a tendency sometimes for individuals to charge the government two prices for things. If the tender system were adopted, that might be avoided to some extent. Once in a while an item will catch one's eye, and I find on page V-68 in the Auditor General's Report an item of $1,293.61, including a certain article which I know something about, and that is a galvanized iron boiler. It is 120 gallon galvanized iron boiler, and it is charged here at $84, while the value of that article is only $37. I do not know what system prevails in the department of checking prices, I do not know how often that kind of thing occurs. But we are paying out here hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money, in fact, millions of dollars ; and it is possible we are voting away hundreds of thousands of dollars more than we ought to. Certainly we are doing so, if that kind of thing occurs very often.
My bon. friend states we have paid $84 for an article that he knows is worth $137. Is he sure of that ?
I have no doubt about it, I know the value of it.