It will be printed of course, and the government will endeavour to give an opportunity for discussion on the second reading ; but it is not intended to press it this session.
It is intended that a discussion shall take place on the second reading this session
I cannot say that the second reading will be taken this sesion.
I mean, will there de a discusion on it without carrying the second reading ?
It is not intended to carry the second reading. We want to have an early prorogration, but if we have the time we will discuss this measure on the second reading.
It is not intended that we should hear any more about it this session.
Perhaps we may, but I cannot say positively.
Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
YUKON-ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER NORTH-WEST MOUNTED POLICE.
The resolution respecting the appointment of an assistant commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police for the Yukon Territory, at $1,600 per annum, (the Prime Minister) read the second time, and agreed to. The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 147) to amend the North-west Mounted Police Act of 1894. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.
Bill (No. 112) to amend the Immigration Act read the second time, and House went into committee thereon. On section 1.
The transportation companies have called attention to the fact that there are cases in which it is necessary to land immigrants for medical treatment, and they fear that the clause of this Bill will prevent this being done. I propose therefore to add the following words :
Such prohibition may be absolute or may be accompanied by permission to land for medical treatment, but only for a determined period as may be provided by the order or proclamation.
The effect of this amendment would be that while we take power to prevent landing of immigrants by order absolutely, we may also permit their landing for the purposes of medical treatment. It might be desirable to remove the immigrants from the ship for medical treatment.
I do not know whether the hon. minister has had any communication with the American authorities or not with reference to their mode of treating those people. I understand that when a sick immigrant lands at an American port he may be taken to the hospital or any other place. If it then be found that he cannot be treated successfully, he is taken back to the steamer and the steamship company is obliged to take care of him.
This does not relieve the steamship companies.
I think the most feasible plan would be to enter Into an arrangement with the United States, under which the American officials could examine all parties going to their ports and we would examine all coming to ours, and those not fit to land should not be allowed to land. In that way we would get rid of undesirable immigrants, such as we have in this country now, and get rid of them at very little cost. The United States are spending on our frontier at least $100,000 per year to keep undesirable immigrants out, and I do not see why we should not enter into an arrangement with them. We do not want undesirable immigrants any more than they do, although we appear to have been anxious rather for numbers than far the best kind. We want immigrants who will make good citizens, but unfortunately we are losing a very large number of our own people who are going to the United States and elsewhere and we ,are getting in their place most undesirable people from the older countries-people not allowed to enter the United States. And once these people are in, we have np means of getting rid of them.
When the hon. member for Lennox tries to convey the impression that we are getting a lot of undesirable immigrants, such as would not be allowed to enter the United States, he will find, if he will take the trouble to look into the United States reports, that such is not the case. We get nb immigrants who would not be allowed to enter the United States. The class of immigrants with which the United States have trouble is not the Austrians, Germans, Russians or Swedes, but those who come from the towns and cities of Italy and who flock to the cities of the United States. You never see those people go on to the agricultural lands either of Canada or the United States. They go into the manufacturing centres.
They go to the manufacturing states of the Union. That class of immigration is what has given trouble in the United States, but we have not been bothered with it. Now, while I say that, I will admit that a very small percentage of Galicians, Austrians, Poles and Germans have had some diseases, but it is a very small percentage. Still, I think that the minister, when drafting this measure, might as well have gone a little further; he might as well have gone as far, almost, as the United States has gone, by providing that not only can an immigrant be stopped at the port of entry, but that he can be deported within a year after arrival if he develops, for instance, insanity and it could be proven that he was insane before he came here. We have had four or five cases of that kind that have been brought to my notice. Fortunately, we were able to get the railway companies to take Mr. SIFTON.
[ them out without compulsion. But we had | to send a man to the sea-board with the j insane, and that cost us some money at least. Then, convicts-we get a small percentage of these. I think that eight or ten catne before the police court in Winnipeg who had served terms in the countries from which they came. I think that five of them came from Denmark. Then, there may be contagious diseases that will not develop at the port of entry-say smallpox that may have been contracted before reaching Canada, but that may not develop until the immigrants have gone far on their way. We know that in 1883 a large number of immigrants, three or four hundred of them, who came from Europe destined to the United States, and reached Winnipeg before the disease developed, cost for quarantine about $14,000. In 1898 a large number came here who must have had small-pox, but the disease was not sufficiently developed to be detected at the port of entry. It is a question whether the municipality that had to undergo the expense ought not to be remunerated for its outlay. Then,.I see no provision in the Bill to compel the railway companies to carry back these immigrants. Most of the immigrants at present coming in come a long distance west, and the government should not be put to the expense of removing these undesirable immigrants. The law of the state of Minnesota and of other states of the Union provides that the railway companies that brought them 'to the state is to carry them out, and that law, if I am not mistaken, was made a federal law within the last two years. I believe that this measure, when put upon the statute-book. will have a desirable effect, but, in my opinion, it does not go far enough to touch the root of the difficulty.
I have a letter dealing with the general immigration policy of the government, which I would like to read. It is from the Toronto Trades and Labour Council, and is as follows
W. F. Maclean, Esq., M.P.,
(Re Immigration Policy.)
Dear Sir,-I have been instructed by this council to call your attention to .he sum of $445,000, which has been placed in the estimates for this year for the assistance of immigration.
A memorial was sent in to you some time ago by this council, pointing out the reasons why we objected unanimously and most strenuously to the expenditure of public money for -his purpose. The members of this council wish me to express their regret that so far their communication has received no consideration in this matter.
Thie reports show that there has been expended for the assistance of immigration during the last ten years $2,400,173. Must not the effect of this policy be to intensify the competition on to which labour is at present subject?
Is there any other class in the community which is treated in this way ?
The excuse has been made that assistance is given only to those who intend to settle on the land ; but how can that make the slightest difference? The intention of the government will no more determine the ultimate destination of the settlers, than it will affect the flow of the tides. To say that labour in the rural districts will not compete with the wage earner is just as foolish as to say that water will not find its level. All the facts of the case are against such a contention During the last hundred years the movement on this continent from the rural district to the cities has been sc marked that whereas the civic population a century ago was only three per cent of the whole, at the present time it is upwards of thirty per cent.
While tho general population on this continent has doubled every twenty-five years, the civic population has doubled every ten years. How, therefore, can any government say that the immigration will not drift into the cities, as it has been doing all along ? Suppose the assistance was confined to those who will take up agricultural land would that be the slightest justification for this policy ? When we ask the question, who is it bears the burden of taxation ? Is it the man who works alii day, or is it some other man who collects his thousands of dollars yearly from ground rents or who draws his immense dividends from some coal ' mimes ? There can be no question as to the correct answer. Industry and Industry alone must bear the burden all the time. Then when we ask the further question, who reaps the benefit from this policy, what must be the answer ? Increased population does not increase the price of goods, nor does it increase the rate of wages ; but it does increase the price of land. Already the price of land in Winnipeg, which had almost no value thirty years ago, is now a thousand dollars per foot frontage on the best sites. In this city the best lots have increased fifty-fold in seventy years. Are we not fully warranted in stating that the immigration policy taxes industry to enable the land owner to subject the toilers to still greater exactions ? _
Has the government ever used one dollar of taxes to enable the workingmen to buy their goods cheaper, or to reduce the exactions of the land owners? Never, but while it places a tariff to shield the employers from foreign competition and whilst it brings increased rents to the land owners, to the working classes there is not merely unrestricted competition, but that competition intensified by assisted immigration.
The effect of this policy must he to keep wages down to the lowest figures.
We regret that we are r.hU3 compelled to draw your attention to this disregard of our request, so reasonable and so just.
I have the honour to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,