April 29, 1902


Secretary, 59 Edward Street. I I only received this letter to-day. While it is not quite germane to the particular branch of the question now before the House, it does deal with the government's general immigration policy, and I trust the minister will give some consideration to this statement made by the Trades and Labour Council of the city of Toronto.


LIB

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. McCRBARY.

I do not wish to speak again on the general question, hut to say a word about the document that has just been read. The inconsistency of the statement made is shown by the reference to the values of land In the city of Winnipeg thirty years ago. There happened to be no city of Winnipeg thirty years ago. I believe it was incorporated in 1874. Before that time, it was only an Indian settlement, and its lands had no value at all. This letter involves a contention that I have often discussed with the labour unions. They wish us to believe that in bringing immigrants and settling them on the land, developing the prairie country and raising forty, fifty or sixty million of bushels of wheat a year, we do not increase the price of labour. I think that is one of the most ridiculous things that could be stated before this House. For instance, take the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1890 and 1891, how much of their rolling stock was standing idle in their round-houses? In some seasons practically 50 per cent of that rolling stock is idle, and. of course, the crews of the engines are thrown out of work. In seasons when there is a large crop, not only are none of these men Idle, but a large number of extra men are employed. We need only look at the facts to see at once the fallacy of this argument.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I am glad to see this Bill introduced, very glad to support its provisions, and only sorry that it does not go a great deal further. When we say that we are dealing with the question of increasing our population, we are not dealing with the whole question, for there is not merely the question of increase, hut the question of improvement before us. When we deal with the immigration question without considering it from the standpoint of the possibility and necessity of efforts being made to improve the population as we increase it, we are not dealing with the subject as its importance requires. It seems to me strange that it should be required, at 'this date, to provide checks on the entrance of diseased immigrants to our country. If such checks have not existed in the 'past, they certainly cau-not be provided too soon, nor can they he made too complete.

But from my standpoint the diseases existing amongst Immigrants are hut a trifling consideration in comparison with the general character of the immigrants. I cannot understand the frame of mind which looks carelessly upon the introduction into the very life of our country of a population without regard to whether such population will raise or lower the general standard of our people. Let the people who come in be the healthiest in the world, if their disposition,

and ambition, and inclination are not such as will help us to realize our ideals, then then presence is objectionable and a detriment to us. I am not claiming that we are the best people in the world ; that our civilization is the highest form of civilization ; but I do claim that our present civilization suits us, and it is that which we have set ourselves to improve. Our social system, our political system, our religious system are those which we have inherited and under which we are trying to improve ourselves. Then if it is worth while to organize all these systems for the purpose of improving ourselves in this country, it is surely worth while to take means that our efforts shall not be to a certain extent rendered useless by the introduction of an element into our population which will have a contrary effect. It is not necessary to say that such people are not as good as we are. Possibly a Chinaman is a better man than an Englishman, let the Englishman answer for that himself; a Japanese may be a better man or a Russian may be a better man than the Englishman ; I say nothing about that, he may be a much better man, but he is not one of us, and inasmuch as he is not one of us he is not helping us to develop along those lines that Providence has chosen for us, or that we have chosen for ourselves. His presence is a hindrance and not a help.

This country is of immense extent, it is of equally immense possibilities. The population of Canada at the present time occupies but a very small part of our total area, and turns to account but a very small part of our total resources. We have five millions of people in a country capable of supporting easily fifty millions. It does not need any demonstration on my part to show that if the increase of population which will necessarily take place in the development of those resources, is of a character and constitution essentially different from our own, not only will they build up a different civilization whenever they establish themselves, but they will infallibly control our civilization in this part of the country. One to ten, the odds are too many. The western prairies are the seat and cradle of the future population of this Dominion. They are the seat of power and control, and as' that population is. so will this Dominion be. If you will fill those prairies1 with people of different ideas, different aspirations and different views from our own, you are simply placing yourselves under a yoke, you are swerving your country from that ' destiny which your fathers intended it, and which you fondly hoped you were achieving. It is I say, under the present circumstances of this Dominion, a matter of the highest necessity that the population we introduce into this country should be like minded with ourselves, so far as that is possible, if we are to achieve greatness as we understand greatness, if we are to achieve civilization Mr. OLIVER.

as we understand civilization, if we are to achieve liberty in government as we understand liberty in government.

Some years ago we believed, or some of us believed, that those vast areas of fertile country in the west must for ever remain unpeopled, or become inhabited with such people as we could gather from any corner of the world. But nobody thinks that today. At present people are thronging into those territories by thousands, people equal to ourselves in intelligence, in energy, in ambition, in civilization, like-minded with ourselves in almost every particular. There is no danger that these prairies will not be occupied by people such as we will be proud to work with in building up our civilization. There is, however, one danger, and only one, and that is that they may be occupied by other and inferior people who will keep out those whom we desire to help us in establishing and improving our institutions. I say that every undesirable settler who enters the North-west, who is, we will say, inferior to ourselves in his knowledge of government, in his ideas of liberty, is a detriment to this country, inasmuch as to a certain extent he displaces another man whose ideas are similar to our own.

I believe in immigration, and in a vigorous immigration policy. But I also believe that when we are spending money to bring immigrants into our country the first consideration should be the intellectual as well as the physical quality of those immigrants.

I would like to say that our immigration policy as directed to the United States has been a pronounced success, and I am glad to believe that it will continue to be so. I am sorry to say that as directed to the British islands, to the mother country, or to the mother countries, if you like, it has not been a pronounced success. I think I am safe in saying that up to date it has been a dismal failure. I have heard it said that we need not look to the British islands for immigrants to people our country ; that the supply was practically exhausted. If that is the case, it is a melancholy condition. It is a marvellous thing if those two islands, which have carried liberty and civilization, and conquest, if you like, around the world, are as to population in a state of decadence, and that we cannot look for any further immigration from that quarter. ' But, if we look at the records, we find that people are still flowing out of those apparently, except Canada. I am given to understand that a new system is being adopted in regard to immigration from the British isles. I am not familiar with the details of that system, but I will say that there is no possibility of adopting any system which could be less effective than that which has prevailed during the past years.

I am satisfied that any system that is adopted will be an improvement. Now, I would like to say that in my estimation, if we. as

Canadians, wish to get the fullest benefit from the settlement of the North-west Territories, it is necessary that that settlement should be, as much as possible of people not only much like ourselves, but altogether like ourselves, not only in ideas of civilization, but also in political traditions; in other words, that we should draw upon the British islands as much as possible for our immigration for that country and that every effort should be made to attract immigration from the British isles.

Let me say further that it appears to me to have been a mistake in the past to have spent so much money as we have in paying bonuses to steamship companies for the conveyance of immigrants and for this reason : We made the steamship companies, by that means our immigration agencies, and It did not make any difference to the steamship companies what the character of the immigrant was, who he was, or where he was from, so long as they got the bonus. It seems to me, from my point of view, that this is a most undesirable system and a' most undesirable expenditure, and I would ask that it be not continued. Understand me, I do not object to large expenditures for immigration, but I want these expenditures to be made with a view of securing the better people and not the worse. To depend on the steamship company is to put a premium upon the worse rather than upon the better.

I would like to say still further and to urge upon the House at large, upon hon. members who come from all parts of this Dominion, that the immigrant who is of the most benefit to this country in every way is the man of our own -blood, namely, the native-born Canadian, who, finding it necessary to shift his ground, must go either to the United States or to the Canadian Northwest.

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Mr OLIVER.

Well, those who represent New Ontario can talk for New Ontario. I say that in my estimation it is a mistake, and the worst kind of mistake to consider that it is not a question of interest to this country or to this parliament whether our people go to the North-west Territories or not. I have heard it said here, and in the country that we want our people to stay at home. Of course we want our people to stay at home, but unless we nail them down they will not stay at home if the conditions are not suitable. It is because of the disposition and the determination to better themselves that they are so valuable as settlers wherever they may go, and they make such a success. I cannot look upon the matter quietly when I see from the census returns that we have 1,000,000 native-born Canadians in the United States, while we have in Manitoba and the North-west Territories considerably less than half a million of people of all nationalities. There

must necessarily be in the United States four native-born Canadians for every one that is in the North-west Territories. I put it to this House and to the government that this country has made a more substantial loss in all' that constitutes value by the transference of the energy and wealth of our people to the United States rather than to the North-west Territories than it has from any other cause. There is no other cause that has tended so much to the comparatively slow progress of this Dominion as the fact that our life blood has been drained across the line. While we have been trying to develop our own country with other people, the United States has been developed, to a large extent, by our people. It is a matter of the utmost interest to every man in every province of this Dominion that the people of Canada should be retained in Canada, and if they cannot be retained in one part they should lie retained in another, if possible. That there should be no lack of effort put forth to secure the settlement of our own surplus population where we have surplus land to dispose of amply sufficient for all of them.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I would like to say a few words in reference to this matter. I do not know whether any provision has been made by the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Si-fton) in this Bill, or whether provision is contained in the statute already in existence, to compel railway and steamship companies to bear all the expense attendant upon the return) of undesirable immigrants brought by them to the country. My attention has been drawn to chapter 65 of the Revised Statutes of 1886, which deals with immigration and immigrants. Subsection 2 of section 17 provides for a bond to be entered into by the steamship companies for the return of lunatics, or for the indemnifying of a province or municipality in case a lunatic is permitted to remain in the country. Section 18 makes provision as follows :

The proper immigration agent may, with the consent of the Minister of Agriculture, make arrangements with the master, owner or charterer of the vessel carrying the lunatic, idiotic, deaf and dumb, blind or infirm person with respect to whom a bond has been given, or money paid in lieh thereof, or with the master, owner or charterer of any other vessel, for the re-conveyance of such person to the port from which he was carried to Canada.

Section 23 deals with pauper immigration :

The Governor General may, by proclamation, whenever he deems it necessary, prohibit the landing of pauper or destitute immigrants in all ports or any port in Canada, until such sums of money as are found necessary are provided and paid into the hands of one of the Canadian immigration agents, that the master of the vessel carrying such immigrants, for their temporary support and transport to their place of destination.

And so on. 1 believe a proclamation was issued a year or two ago against the ad-

mission into Canada of pauper immigrants. It would seem to me, from what I have seen in the papers since, that the proclamation is practically a dead letter, and that Canada is still being made a dumping ground for a very undesirable class of immigrants.

I noticed in the Montreal ' Herald,' just about a year ago, an article referring to the arrival of a very large number of des-titue Italians at Montreal. The Montreal ' Herald ' is not a paper that would knowingly or wilfully make a statement derogatory to the government. The ' Herald,' of the Cth of April, 1901, had an article entitled : ' Influx of Italians to Montreal.'

' About 2,000 now here.' ' Many of them penniless and unable to find work.' It seems to me that if the provisions of the proclamation issued by the government had been enforced, it would have been impossible for these people to have been permitted to have come into Montreal, and to be a tax upon the good people of that city and other parts of the Dominion. I am not opposed, Mr. Chairman, to any ablebodied immigrant coming to Canada. I rather think that we ought to endeavour to promote a vigorous immigration policy, but of course limiting the immigrants to the right class-of good character and not destitute. So far, the policy inaugurated by hon. gentlemen opposite has not been as successful as we would like to see it in that respect. It is a lamentable fact, a fact which has been substantiated in this House, that a large number of diseased immigrants have been brought into Canada, are now in Canada, and are being maintained at the expense of the Canadian people. The hon. member for Lennox (Mr. Wilson), in the recent debate on immigration, read copious extracts from a statement sent to him by one of the officials of the United States government, stationed in Canada for the purpose of examining immigrants who arrive here destined for the United States, and of determining whether they shall be permitted to enter that country or not. It seems to me a most deplorable condition of things that we should have a staff of thirty-five or forty United States officials stationed in Canada, sorting out and examining the immigrants who land at Canadian ports en route to the United States, and determining who shall be given certificates to enable them to enter the United States, and who shall not. That is a condition of things that should be put a stop to. It can be stopped in two ways; either by having a more careful examination of emigrants before they leave the ports in Europe whence they sail, or, having our own agents take charge of them when they land here, and preventing those who are undesirable in any way from staying in this country. The clauses of the Immigration Act which I read, seem to me to give the government power to prohibit the introduction of diseased pauper immigrants into Canada. But

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

in the Bill which the hon. minister (Mr. Sifton) has introduced, I do not find that any provision has been made to compel the railway companies and the steamship companies to assume the expense which the people of Canada are put to in order to deport these undesirable immigrants to the country whence they came. The hon. member for East York (Mr. Maclean) read from a circular which has been sent to every member of the House-a protest from the Toronto Trades and Labour Council against indiscriminate immigration. That is not the first document of the bind which has been submitted to members of parliament during the present session. There was a document issued at the beginning of the session, away back in the middle of February, and which I believe was sent to every member of this House. That document declares very strongly against indiscriminate immigration. It says :

The council-Toronto Trades and Labour Council-does not raise the slightest objection, or refuse the fullest welcome to suitable immigrants who come of their own accord, but they do most emphatically object to the taxation of labour in order to flood the labour market against, the wage earner, and to favour the protected capitalists. While the tariff even favours the employer 50 per cent, the immigration policy cuts down the wage of labour, we know not how much per cent.

If that statement is true with regard to healthy Immigrants, it has much more force In the case of undesirable immigrants; diseased immigrants wbo are permitted to come to Canada-immigrants who are not able to earn tbeir own living and wbo become a tax on the people of this country. The Montreal ' Star,' on the 22nd of March, had a number of sketches of the types of immigrants who have been landing in Canada during the past two or three months. It bad also what purports to be an interview with this very same Mr. Watchorn, the special United States immigration inspector in Canada, and the statement that this gentleman makes shows that a not very desirable class of immigrants is coming into Canada. This article is beaded :

' Menace to the health of Montreal.' ' How the city is being made a dumping ground for immigrants rejected by the United States inspector.' ' Disease and dirt being scattered broadcast amongst them.' ' How the American inspectors carry on theiEB work.' The introductory paragraphs of this article are as follows :

Ninety-eight per cent of the European immigrants who are prohibited from entering the United States by the American officials in Montreal and at other points of entry along the border, are suffering from Infectious diseases which are the direct result of filth and lack of sanitary methods. Such is the startling statement made by Mr. Robert Watchorn, the special immigration inspector, who has charge of all the immigrant inspectors from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to Montreal, Including Port Huron'

Detroit, Niagara Falls, Black Rock, Buffalo and Vanceboro, Maine.

How long has the work being going on ?

Officially, since the first of last September.

And what has been the result since the first of September ?

That about 500 persons have been, rejected as unfit, either physically, mentally, morally or financially, to enter the United States.

And these were all rejected right here in Montreal ?

Yes, in Montreal.

To say nothing of the other points of entry where no doubt similar rejections were made ?

Exactly.

What would be the percentage of refusals at Detroit, the Soo, Port Huron, Niagara Falls, Black Rock, St. John and Vanceboro ?

I should say that all these points combined would have about as many as Montreal.

That would be one thousand, and these figures would corroborate the statement made by Mr. Watchorn in a letter to the hon. member for Lennox (Mr. Wilson) in which he stated that since the inspection commenced in September last, 1,000 diseased immigrants, disqualified immigrants, whose destination was the United States, were prohibited from entering that country, and many of them unhappily and unfortunately have been permitted to remain in Canada. So far as I understand this Bill, the minister has not made any provision for the deportation of these people, many of whom are still in the country; nor is there any provision to compel the railway and steamship companies to hear all the expense in connection with their deportation.

My hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver) referred to the decreasing number of immigrants of British origin, who are coming into Canada. From the reports which I have seen in the papers during the last three or four weeks, I am led to believe there will be a larger number of British immigrants coming into Canada during the present season, than for many years past, and X am glad to see that statement made. The hon. member for Alberta said that it was alleged that the stream of immigration from the British Isles has fallen off. That is not the case. If the official statistics of the United States can be relied upon, during the past ten years over three-quarters of a million of immigrants of British birth left the old country and have found a home in the United States. During the past thirty years more than three millions of our kith and kin have left the United Kingdom and have gone to the United States. Greater efforts it seems to me, should he made, and I hope they will be more successful, to induce a larger number of Irish, English and Scotch to make their hotnes in Canada, and to try to turn the tide of immigration from the United States towards Canada. I believe that in proportion to the total number of immigrants coming into this country, we are receiving too large a percentage of foreign-born. In 1891, 118

of our total immigration we received 70 per cent of British origin and about 30 per cent of foreign origin, whereas in the last five years the tables have been turned, the proportion being about 30 per cent British and 70 per cent foreign. That, in my humble judgment, is not a satisfactory state of affairs, and proper steps should be taken to induce a larger percentage of people to come from the old land and settle here and help to build up this country. To show that this undesirable class of immigrants is still trying to find its way through Canada to the United States, and is still being turned back at the frontier, I will read a clipping which I have taken from the Toronto ' Evening Star ' of March 22nd. The Toronto ' Evening Star ' is a very able and enterprising journal, and is not by any means hostile to the government of the day. That journal has a despatch from its Montreal correspondent, dated March 22nd, headed : ' Turned back from border-United States will not admit a woman and her children whose eyes are sore; ' showing how closely United States immigration agents are watching immigrants, as people who have sore eyes are intercepted at the border and sent back. This is the despatch :

Montreal; March 22.-Mr. Joseph Francis, immigration inspector .of the United States government at Niagara, formerly chairman of the United States Immigration Board in this city, was here this week with a family of rejected immigrants, who attempted to get through to Philadelphia by way of Niagara Falls.

The family in question:-a woman and four children:-arrived in St. John, N.B., suffering from trachoma, a peculiar and highly infectious form of eye disease, which leads to blindness. Their destination was Philadelphia, hut being unable to pass' the medical inspector there, she came up to Montreal, and being refused here, she went on to Toronto, representing that she was going to join a cousin there, the cousin in that case representing the relationship of a compatriot, and not of blood. On the second day after her arrival she secured a ticket for Philadelphia and went on by way of Niagara Falls. There she came under the inspection of Mr. Francis, who passed her on to a medical practitioner, who pronounced her to he in an advanced stage of trachoma, and likely to be blind within- a year. Ons of her eyes is permanently closed, and when moving she stoops and leans forward in the manner common to the partially blind. The children have all been smitten, with the disease, tut if properly attended to they may be cured.

This woman, according to this statemeut, came to New Brunswick as an immigrant, intending to go to the United States. The official in New Brunswick who examined her refused to give her the necessary certificate to enable her to pass into that country. Notwithstanding that, she came on to Montreal and from Montreal to Toronto, and at Toronto purchased a ticket in the hope of being able to evade the authorities and pass into the United States by way of Niagara Falls. The vigilance of the officers at Niagara Falls prevented her accomplishing

her purpose, and she was turned hack; and that woman, unless some provision is made by either the United Sates authorities or the Canadian authorities for paying her passage back and the passage of her family, not having herself the means of returning to her native country, will be obliged to remain in Canada, and, unfortunately for herself and her children, will become a burden on the people of this country. This condition of things, in my opinion, calls for the most drastic remedy. The most perfect provision should be made to .stop for all time diseased and pauper immigrants coming into this country. I am not sure whether the Bill of the hon. minister makes the necessary provision, because I see nothing in the Bill which enables the government to collect from the steamship companies the cost of deporting those people and the moneys it will expend in providing inspectors to do this work. In that respect we might take a leaf out of the book of the United States government. I believe that they collect a tax from the steamship companies, which has been found amply sufficient to cover the cost of a thorough inspection of all immigrants who go into that country without the people of the United States having to bear a single dollar of the expense .of that service. The time has come when a similar provision should be adopted here ; and if this Bill is wanting in any of its provisions, the minister should amend it so as to make it as clear and explicit as it can be made. The^ trades and labour organizations of the Dominion, as the hon. member for Hast York (Mi-. Maclean) has pointed out, are objecting strenuously to the expenditures made by this government on account of immigration. In one paragraph of then-circular, they say :

For many years enormous sums, at times exceeding $400,000 in a single year, have been expended for the purpose of aiding the importation of cheap labour into this country.

Further they say :

Agents have been sent ti>

the poorest countries in the world to flood our labour market with a host of men, women and children, anxious to secure work and glad to accept work at almost any price. And these emigrants are induced to come here even at times when thousands of labourers are tramping the streets in idleness, vainly looking for employment. I

I would like to ask the Minister of the Interior to say whether he himself examines the literature which is distributed-by immigration agents throughout the United Kingdom and Europe before it is issued by the department, or whether he keeps any file or record of that literature ; because it is stated from time to time by the representatives of the trades organizations that the most glaring misstatements are made by immigration agents appointed by the government, and that as a result of the distri-Mr. CLARKE.

button of these misstatements many people are induced to come to Canada, who, when they come, find that things are not as rosy as they were painted, and that they are unable to get on as well as they expected, or to find employment as readily as they were told they could. If that is the case, when these people come they get dissatisfied, and are liable to make statements which do damage to the country. I would like to ask the minister if he himself assumes the responsibility for the literature distributed by the immigration agents throughout the old country, because if the allegations made by the trade organizations are correct, many of these statements are entirely unwarranted and misleading.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

The House spent a whole day a short time ago in discussing the question of immigration, and most of the remarks which have been made by hon. gentlemen who have spoken this afternoon will be found answered or dealt with in the discussion which took place on that occasion. That may be said, almost without qualification, of the remarks which have been made by my hon. friend who has just taken his seat. The points he brought up were practically all answered in the discussion which took place here on a former occasion, and I would only be unnecessarily detaining the House by going over the same ground again. He will find that I dealt fully with the allegations regarding the wholesale dumping of diseased immigrants at our ocean ports, and showed conclusively that these allegations were wholly unfounded. There has been nothing of the kind to such an extent as even to justify any reference to it in this House. What has occurred has been of a most trifling character, such as is bound to occur under any administration.

Just a word with regard to the position of affairs at the ocean ports. The hon. member for Uennox urges that we should make some arrangement with the United States. There is no necessity for any arrangement. so far as the examination of immigrants is concerned. We are quite competent to attend to that without any arrangement. We have consented to the American officers making examinations at our ports of immigrants in transit to the United States, but as these are practically all examined by our officers, the examination is to all intents and purposes complete.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Would the hon. gentleman allow me to draw his attention to a statement in the Toronto ' Star ' which would seem to show that the immigrants mentioned in that statement, and their families, were permitted to leave New Brunswick and find their way to Ontario. The examination could not have been very rigid or that could not have happened.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

I cannot say anything in regard to a spe-

cial case reported in a newspaper. In the first place, I do not know that the facts are as stated, and in the second place, the case was never 'brought to my attention. But at present, at Quebec, St. John and Halifax, we have a very complete and thorough system of examinations, and this Bill is brought in for the purpose of remedying a defect in the law. I am advised by the law officers of the government that we have not the power to prevent people of the particular class referred to in this Bill from landing, or to compel them to leave Canada once they have landed. If the hon. member for Toronto would refer to my remarks in the debate on immigration, he will find that I showed by the figures I gave, that there were no people of this class now in Canada, with the exception of four or five who were at St. John, waiting an opportunity to get away, and who in all probability have gone. The government desires simply to be in a position to enforce that which every one admits we ought to enforce. The only point made against the Bill is that suggested by the hon. member for Selkirk (Mr. McCreary). He says that we should take power to deport immigrants from inland portions of the country. We have not yet seen the necessity of doing this, because cases of no importance or difficulty have yet arisen. There can be no special objection to our taking such power, but It has not been thought necessary because no difficulty has arisen.

As regards the literature circulated in the United States and other foreign countries, it is wholly impossible for me to examine all the immigration literature prepared for the department. The superintendent, Mr. Pedley, is directly responsible for the preparation of all literature issued from Canada and sent to the United States. The literature circulated in Great Britain and on the continent has heretofore been almost entirely prepared by or through our office in London, but that system is now changed, and it is our intention that it shall be prepared here, and the superintendent, of immigration will examine all the literature himself and be directly responsible to me. I do not believe that there is any substantial ground for the statement that any of our immigration literature has the effect of leading people to suppose that they can get employment readily in Canada. I am aware that some gentlemen connected with the trades and labour councils of different places are in the habit of making broad statements of that kind. But I have not been able to get any evidence from these gentlemen to indicate that they have any ground for making such state* ment. Under any system whatever of immigration, encouraged and stimulated by advertising and employment of agents, there will always be numbers of people admitted who will not be perhaps the most desirable class, and a certain number will perhaps not 1184

belong to the class the agent thought they did belong to. And a certain number will come in who, perhaps, will not follow the occupation which it was anticipated they would. No department that has ever existed could carry out a system of encouraging immigration without having these results follow to some extent. As to the statement that there is any encouragement, directly or avowedly given to persons to come in for the purpose of finding employment, that is entirely incorrect. I have discussed that question at different times in the House. Cases have been cited of persons who have alleged that they were encouraged to come in under these circumstances. I have always replied that the instructions to the officers of the department were most explicit, definite and positive, and that in every possible way we have tried to prevent any one being encouraged to come to Canada, except those who were desirous of following agricultural pursuits. These things cannot be carried out with absolute perfection, but that is the purpose of the department. Clear instructions are given to that effect, and everything done that is possible to carry out . the policy I have indicated. Now, as to the suggestion made by my hon. friend from Toronto, that we should levy a poll-tax upon steamship companies to pay expenses in connection with this work, I may say that I consider that suggestion wholly impracticable at the present time. If any attempt were made in that direction, we should put the steamship companies who are carrying a portion of the immigrants to Canada out of the business, and, instead of getting 11,000 or 12,000 British immigrants, as we get at the present time, we should get few or none. We have to adapt ourselves to the circumstances as they exist. The circumstances of the United States are wholly different from our own. In the United States they do not wish immigration, they would prefer it if nobody came from outside to settle in that country. Their population is felt to be large enough. The natural increase of their 75,000,000 of people will soon render the position in the United States difficult for the statesmen of that country to handle it. Anything that they can do to discourage immigration they do-in fact, they do some things that they themselves would hardly approve of on principle to discourage the bringing the people from outside. We are in a wholly different position and are seeking immigration. Of course, we do not wish those of an undesirable class ; but, in seeking to make distinctions, we must not adopt a policy that would close up entirely the source of supply. Speaking of the question of the nationality of our immigrants, I do not admit that my hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver) is correct when he says that the policy, so far as the United Kingdom is concerned, could not

have been a greater failure than it has been. I explained in Committee of Supply, when the estimates were under discussion, my reasons for believing that the practice of the department in Great Britain had not been, perhaps, as successful as it might have been, and pointed out that improvements might be made by changing some of the methods that have been followed. I also explained the changes which had been made with a view to improvement. But because I took steps to effect improvement, I do not admit that that shows that the work had been an absolute failure. Far from it. For instance, during the last calendar year, when something like 49,000 to 50,000 immigrants were received in Canada, about

18.000 came from the United States, practically all British-born, and between 11,000 and 12.000 from the British Islands. So, while the statement of the hon. member for Toronto Is technically correct, that nearly 70 per cent of the total immigration was foreign-born, yet, it must be remembered that, for the purpose of making that calculation intelligible, it must be considered that the people from the United States are foreign-born, whereas, they are not so. Not only are they of Anglo-Saxon blood

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

We had to accept the figures given by the department.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

The hon. gentleman knows wnat the figures mean.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

We could hardly be expected to go behind the figures given in the report

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

The figures show that about 18,000 came from the United States, and something over

11.000 from Great Britain and Ireland. So, out of 50,000, about 30,000 were practically persons of British blood. I have simply pointed out this fact for the purpose of correcting what otherwise might be an erroneous statement.

Now, just a word about the position taken by the Trades and Lab'aur Council of Toronto, and one or two other labour bodies.

I think I received a copy of the communication read by my hon. friend from East York (Mr. Maclean), at any rate I received a communication the same in substance. We might as well have a clear understanding upon this question, and I might as well say now that I wholly and entirely disagree with the sentiments and ideas expressed in that document. In my judgment there is no class of people, at the present time that are profiting more largely by the money being expended for immigration than the mechanics and labouring men of the province of Ontario. If my hon. friend (Mr. Maclean) will go from town to town in his own province and ascertain from the men who are carrying on operations in the various factories and are giving employment to

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Clifford Sifton (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. SIFTON.

people in the manufacturing towns, where the orders are coining from that are keeping these factories busy, he will find that the orders that they are depending upon most largely are those from Manitoba and the North-west Territories. That is the country to which they are looking almost exclusively for the Increase in volume of their business and the widening of its scope. The hon. gentleman will find this to be the case in almost every line of ordinary manufacture, and it is the mechanics and operators who work in these factories who are benefited! most largely at the present time, and who! will most largely benefit in the future, from our immigration policy and from the placing on the lands of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories of a producing population. I am not going into a lengthy discussion of immigration at the present time. As I say, that was fully discussed the other day, when the immigration question was up before the House, and we shall have the subject of the Committee of Supply before the session is over, When, If hon. gentlemen desire it, it can be discussed still further.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Yes, fully.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

If the hon. gentleman will read the ' Hansard ' report of my remarks, he will see that I dealt with it and answered it fully.

I also answered the statement that a large number of diseased foreigners were in the hospitals in Montreal, and I showed by the statements made by the superintendents in charge of these institutions that there was no foundation for the statements that were made, and that no facts existed that could have afforded any excuse for it.

Now I do not know that there is anything further, except the one point referred to by my hon. friend from West Toronto when he quoted the article from the Montreal ' Herald.' I am not able quite to understand what point the hon. gentleman desired to make against the government or its policy-

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

The article was a pretty lengthy one, and I did not wish to take up the time of the committee by reading the whole of it. But I will get it again and read it in full, that it may be on record.

The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR, put what does the hon. gentleman suggest ?

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April 29, 1902