April 29, 1902

CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

The article is to the effect that there are large numbers of destitute immigrants coming out to Canada who become a burden upon the philanthropic people of the Dominion, and that these immigrants have been induced to come here by

misrepresentation, misrepresentations so great, if I recollect the article correctly, that the Italian consul had cabled to the home authorities with respect to it. In order to be absolutely correct, however, I will get the statement of the ' Herald ' and read it. They were an undesirable

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

They were Italians, were they ?

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I do not say that the Italians are an undesirable class, but that these people were undesirable coming out in the condition of destitution they did. And, it would appear, they came out because of misrepresentations made to induce them to come out.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

There could not be a better illustration of the totally foundationless nature of the attacks made upon the department than the statement that has just been made. We do not carry on any work in Italy. No Italians have been induced by the Immigration department, by any representations, direct or indirect, to come to Canada. We have never had an agent in Italy, and, since I have had charge of the department at any rate, have not printed a word in Italian to induce any Italians to come here. If Italians have come here, they have come without inducement or effort on the pa l't of the government or the department. But I wish to get the hon. gentleman to make himself clear about one point. It is easy enough for the hon. gentleman to say that some people have come who are not desirable people, who have made trouble in Canada, and who have become a charge upon the community. Does the hon. gentleman desire that the government of this country should be charged by statute, that they should be given the power of deciding whether people are desirable or not, and to keep out whoever they like ?

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I understand that the object of the Bill which the hon. gentleman has presented to the House, and that we are now discussing, is to give the government greater powers of determining who they shall admit and who they shall not admit into Canada.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

' Persons who are suffering! from any dangerous or infectious disease or malady.' Not paupers, not criminals, not lunatics^ not persons suffering from any disease. Would the hon. gentleman say that we ought to pass a law that will give us power to discriminate, as against people not embraced in those classes, to say who we think it is desirable to admit into this country ?

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

There has not been a word said on this side of the House that would justify the hon. gentleman in making such a suggestion. We desire, as he desires, I presume, to see eligible immigrants coming

into Canada; we do not desire to see diseased immigrants coming in here. We do not desire to see this country receiving immigrants who are not thought worthy of being admitted into or of becoming citizens of the United States ; and we object strenuously to a condition of things under which forty-four United States officials are stationed in Canada to select the immigrants that may go into that country, to determine which of them shall be admitted into the States and which shall not. We object to those who are not admitted to the United States, who are not thought fit to become citizens of that country, through disease or other cause-we object to them being left in Canada.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

The hon. gentleman continues, by implication, to misrepresent the facts of the case.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I do not mean to do so.

The* MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR. There is an entire misrepresentation in the statement which the hon. gentleman makes. The hon. gentleman says he objects to the fact that there are forty-four officials of the United States determining what emigrants are going to be allowed to remain in Canada.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

No, but what are to be allowed to go into the States.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Then the hon. gentleman will have to correct himself.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I am in the judgment ot the committee. Perhaps the hon. gentleman did not hear me, or I did not make myself clear. I say it is a disgraceful condition of affairs that forty-four United States officials shall be permitted to examine immigrants who are coming into Canada and whose destination is the United States, to determine which of them shall be permitted to enter the United States and which shall not.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Then I may say to the hon. gentleman that I do not see any particular scandal or disgrace in it at all. But the fact is that the United States officials decide who are to go into the United States, and our officials decide who are to come into Canada. The United States officials are permitted to decide who are going into the United States. If there was a movement of immigration from the United States ports into Canada there would be no objection whatever on the part of the United States government to our placing officials at ports in their territories for the purpose of examining immigrants coming into Canada-there would be no objection whatever on the part of any government on ordinarily friendly terms with us to such a course being taken. But the hon. gentleman, in his first remarks, as I understood him, said that these United

States officials decided who should come into Canada. That is a point which I wish to make clear. Whether the hon. gentleman intended to make it or not, I want to make it clear that such is not the fact, that our own officials decide, after inspection, upon the immigrants that are admitted, and thev alone are responsible if any persons are permitted to get past the line and come into Canada and remain, who ought not to be allowed to come in and remain here. He stated the law was objectionable, that the law was defective, because it did not give us sufficient power. But the hon. gentleman has not yet put himself clearly upon record as to what he means by attacking the position of the government, in quoting this article from the Montreal ' Herald.' What I say is that parliament has never clothed the government with power to say that any persons should not come into this country who are in possession of all their faculities, who are not diseased, who are not criminal, and who do not come within the class of paupers, who do not come within any of the classes specified in this Act. They have provided that we might exclude paupers, criminals, persons of unsound mind; and now we ask to be permitted to exclude other persons who have any dangerous or infectious disease. But parliament has never clothed the government with the power of saying to a man at our boundary line, who is sound in wind and limb, perfect physically and morally-parliament has never authorized the government to prevent such persons from crossing the boundary line. The hon. gentleman would like to get away from the point, but he has got to do one thing or the other.

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Thq MINISTER OP THE INTERIOR.

The hon. gentleman reads an article for the purpose of creating an impression. I want him to understand that the law must be either one way or the other. If Italians come to our boundary line, and if they are going to be excluded, they must be excluded by force of law, there must be some law authorizing it to be done. I say the law does not authorize it to be done, this government has no right to do it, and the hon. gentleman has no right to attempt to create prejudice against the government because these people came in. The hon. gentleman is trying to create a prejudice against the government because these Italians came in, because it was stated in the press that they were persons who were unable to take care of themselves, and would be a charge upon the community, or something to that effect. But I say that people will come to Canada, and some of them may be unable to take care of themselves. It would be impossible for any government under any system which parliament would sanction to prevent that occurring from time to time. So far, however, as relates to Italians being | Hon. Mr. SIPTON.

induced to come to Canada by any representations of the government, that has not taken place since I have been in office. We have carried on no work whatever in Italy, so far as I know we published no immigration literature in the Italian language, nor attempted to get the Italian people to come here. I do not know that it is necessary for me to make any further remarks on that point. As I said, the whole question was thoroughly threshed out on the immigration estimates in supply, and nearly every point that has been raised now was discussed then.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

It is not necessary for me to repeat what I have already said, but I wish to make the statement again that whether it be stated in the Montreal ' Herald ' or not, these Italians were not brought to Canada by the government, or by the authority of the government. Let that be clearly and definitely understood. I do not care what the vice-consul for Italy may have done._ What I say is that this government did not bring these people out. In the next place, I wish to be understood as making a clear and explicit denial of the correctness of the statement made by Mr. Watchorn. If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Clarke) Trill turn up tlie remarks that were made by me when the immigration estimates were before the Committee of Supply, he will see that I made a clear and explicit statement on that point.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

As I understood the point made by my hon. friend (Mr. Clarke) it was that whether these immigrants were induced to come by the government or not. they were practically paupers, and they were allowed to land.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

That is the whole gravamen of the charge made by my hon. friend, and the boh. Minister of the Interior has not dealt witli it at all.

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April 29, 1902