May 1, 1902

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The PRIME MINISTER.

I do not intend to take the Bill up and make it a government measure, but I am not averse to giving a day for the consideration of it. I cannot say, however, at the present time, whether that can be done. I think I am voicing the opinion of hou. members on both sides 1

when I say that we should have prorogation at an early day. I think the members fiom Ontario particularly are interested in an early prorogation, and, perhaps, I am consulting their wishes better by insisting on this motion. I shall consult with my hon. friend (Mr. Roddick), and if the business of the House permits it, I shall endeavour to meet his wishes and the wishes of [DOT] the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Roche) as well.

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Motion agreed to.


PROPOSED NEW LOAN.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) moved that the House to-morrow go into committee to consider the following resolution : Resolved, That it is expedient to provide that in addition to the sums now remaining unborrowed and negotiable of the loans authorized by parliament by any Act heretofore passed, the Governor in Council be authorized to raise by way of loan :- (a.) Such sum' or sums of money, not to exceed in the whole, the sum of fifteen million dollars, as may be required for the purpose of paying the floating indebtedness of Canada, and of meeting any expenditure authorized by the parliament of Canada ;-and (b.) Such sum' or sums of money as may be required from time to time, over and above any available sinking funds, to pay and discharge the funded debt of Canada, or any portion thereof, as the same matures and; becomes payable, either in England or in Canada ; Such sums io' be raised in accordance with and under the provisions of that portion of chapter 29 of the Revised Statutes of Canada relating to the public debt and the raising of loans authorized by parliament, and the sums so raised to form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada ; the rate of interest to be paid on any such loans not to exceed three and one-half per cent per annum. He said : His Excellency the Governor Gen-ral, having been made acquainted with the terms of the resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the House. Motion agreed to. CLAIM OF J. & C. NOBLE.


CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. BENNETT (East Simcoe).

In connection with a certain amount placed in the estimates to pay what is known as the claim of J. & C. Noble-page 9 of the supplementary estimates-I would ask the government if they will be pleased to lay on the Table of the House all the papers in connection with the submission to the court, the evidence and all the documents. It will be too late now to move for the papers, and if they are laid on the Table, it may perhaps expedite the discussion of the items.

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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir 1 Wilfrid Laurier).

Yes.

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COMMON'S IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.


The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton) moved the third reading of Bill (No. 112) to amend the Immigration Act. [DOT]


CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. F. CLARKE (West Toronto).

When the House was in committee on this Bill reference was made to statements emanating 'from the United States immigration service as well as to satements made by the chief officer of that service in the Dominion of Canada. Some very emphatic contradictions were given to the statements which that officer made as to the character of the immigration that is coming into Canada. The United States officer is, apparently, prepared to stand by his statements. It is a matter of vital public interest that our people should know exactly what kind of immigrants are being sent over to this country by the agents employed in Great Britain and on the continent of Europe, or are being brought here by the steamship companies whose vessels reach our ports. I will take the liberty of reading a letter which the United States special immigration inspector, at Montreal, Mr. Watchom, has sent to my kon. friend from Lennox (Mr. Wilson). It is dated, as hon. members will observe, just two days ago :

United States Immigrant Service.

Office of Special Immigrant Inspector.

Port of Montreal, Canada,

233 St. Antoine Street, April 29, 1902.

Uriah Wilson, Esq.,

Member of Parliament,

Ottawa, Ont.

Dear Sir,-I desire to thank you for six copies of ' House of Commons Debates,' containing your speech on immigration, delivered on the 17th instant. I note that the editions ar9 still marked 'unrevised,' and I would like to state, that if the revised edition contains any material alterations, I should be very pleased to receive the revised edition ol this debate.

I have noted with considerable surprise, aad not a little amusement, the statements made by the hon. Minister for the Interior, and I venture to suggest that the investigation he male at the hospitals here, was not likely to afford him the information he thought to obtain, because the people diseased as immigrants usually are, are almost invariably enumerated amongst ' outdoor patients,' so chat the mere fact that they were not to he found stretched out On hospital cots, &c., is not a serious answer to the statement that they are here in large numbers, and are afflicted as stated to you, when you were here.

During the month ending to-morrow, the rejections at this office alone, for favus and trachoma, will not fall short of sixty persons. At the very moment I am writing to you, there are more than one hundred Greeks, Syrians, and Italians, at this office, seeking permits to enter the United States. Every one of them was refused passage to the United States, by bona fide lines sailing to United States ports from Europe, and the line that carried them to Canada, refused to soil them tickets, until they Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

had changed their destinations from United States points to points in Canada.

I mention this, in order that you may observe how creditable a thing the hon. minister has done, in introducing the measure alluded to in his speech, contained in the above mentioned debate, and how important a thing it is, that it should be passed as speedily as is consistent with the usages of your honourable parliament.

If I am not asking too much, I would esteem it a favour if you send me a draft of the hill in question, in order that I may observe whether It is calculated to accomplish all that is desirable in this connection.

Thanking you again for the copies of Debates, and for your letter. I am.

Very sincerely yours,

ROBERT WATCHORN, Special Immigrant Inspector.

I think the attention of the minister should be directed to the specific statements that this gentleman makes as to the people who are being brought here by the steamship lines, to whom bonuses are paid by the government, people who, this gentleman says, would positively not be admitted into the United States. Certainly, if these statements are correct, they are not desirable immigrants. This gentleman says :

At the very moment I am writing to you, there are more than 100 Greeks, Syrians and Italians at this office, seeking permits to enter the United States. Every one of them was refused passage to the United States by bona fide lines sailing to United States ports from Europe, and the lines that carried them to Canada refused to sell them tickets until they had changed their destinations from United States points to points in Canada.

The letter is not written, as Is evident, in any unfriendly or hostile spirit. The gentleman who writes the letter approves and endorses the action of the minister in preparing this Bill and he urges its speedy passage. But surely the passage of this BUI is not sufficient. There must be more definite instructions given to the immigration agents of Canada on the continent of Europe and in the old land ; there must be a stricter supervision exercised over tbe immigrants before they go on ship board on the other side of the Atlantic so that this country may not continue to be, as has been asserted again and again, a dumping ground, or a place from which immigrants who could not go from European points direct into the United States may scheme to obtain entrance into that country. That condition of things will no be a benefit to Canada if it is permitted to continue. I direct the attention of the House and of the minister to this letter in order that he may be apprised of the statements which are being made by officers who have been sent here by tbe United States government, who have endeavoured so far as possible to implement the inspection which is made by our own officers, and to prevent undesirable immigrants going into the United States through the Dominion of Canada.

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LIB
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Mr. CLARICE@

The heading of the letter is* ' United States Immigration Service, Office of the Special Immigrant Inspector, port of Montreal, Canada, 233 St. Antoine Street, April 29, 1902.' This is addressed to Uriah Wilson, member of parliament, Ottawa, Ontario. I direct the attention of the minister to these statements in order that he may take whatever steps are necessary to put a stop to this class of immigrants being brought here by steamship companies and left in the country until such times as they may be able, if possible, to get through Canada into the United States.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton).

When the statements were published that the result of our present system was to leave in Canada a considerable number of persons who started from their place of abode with the intention of going to the United States, and were rejected by the United States inspectors, by reason of disease or otherwise, I did cause an inquiry to be made ; and the result of the inquiry was that out of 25,000 persons who had passed through Canada in a year, there were, of those who had been rejected by the United States commissioner, some 39 people in Canada. Of these 39 people 21 or 23, I am not sure which number, consisted of Germans who had been rejected on account of some trifling complaint in the children of the family. Our medical inspectors, after examining them, permitted them to go to the North-west, being satisfied that these complaints were not of a serious character, and that there was no just reason to compel them to be sent back. That leaves altogether, according to that inquiry, the difference between 39 and 21, or IS persons. That is the result of the inquiry made by the officers of my department. When the statement was made that there was a large number of persons in the hospitals of Montreal who had been rejected by the immigration commissioners, I caused an inquiry to be made there, and I read the result of the inquiry to the House a few days ago, which showed that according to these reports from the superintendents of the hospitals, there was no foundation for the statement that had been made. I should be surprised to learn that when an inquiry of that kind had been officially made of the superintendents of hospitals in the city of Montreal, these gentlemen would deliberately send misleading reports to the Department of the Interior, leaving out a class of patients which they would know if the facts were as stated in this letter, were the very class of patients in regard to whom the inquiry was made. 1 say I should be surprised to learn that gentlemen occupying the position of medical superintendents of these hospitals would have made such misleading reports. It is, I venture to say, improbable, although not

impossible. Now the fact that I have brought this Bill before the House is, I think, sufficient guarantee that the government realize the importance of the subject, and that we propose, as I said before, to take every possible care and precaution for the purpose of carrying into effect the views the hon. gentleman has expressed as being desirable to carry Into effect in the general interest of the country. As to the statement made by Mr. Watchorn, the United States inspector, having heard the statement only now, I cannot say further than this, that recognizing that it is essential that the statement which he has made should be thoroughly, exactly and strictly inquired into, I shall take immediate steps to have that done, and I shall apprise the House of the result in the fullest possible way.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I would ask the minister, when he is giving us the report as to the accuracy or inaccuracy of these statements, to bring down a copy of the instructions he issued to his officials to make the inquiry from the superintendents of the hospitals in Montreal as to the serious allegations that were made.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

In discussing this subject the other day I made reference to the fact that a good many of these immigrants were affected with dangerous or contagious diseases injurious to the human family. The minister rather denied my statement, and said there were, it is true, a few instances of such people coming in where they might have trifling ailments, but they were comparatively few in number. What I had reference to at the time was a kind of sore eyes, what medical men call granular opthalmia.

I was credibly informed that a large number of them were affected by it. I have in my hand at the present time the ' Canadian Journal of Medicine and Surgery,' printed in Toronto, the number for November, 1901, and I see there an article by Dr. W. Gordon M. Byers, assistant oculist and aurist of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal. Speaking of this ailment, he says :

Two summers ago there came to our clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital, a young girl from Glengarry county, Ontario, affected with the most intense condition of granular lids 1 have ever seen in Canada. The conjunctures wore covered with heaped masses of succulent granulations, and the cornese showed a condition of highly vascularized pannus.

Then he says later :

A year later, while away on my holidays, I was asked to see a young boy in the county of Leeds, Ontario, for a chronic disease of the eyes. The appearance was at once suggestive, and on everting the lids I found them1 covered wUh tvpical trachoma fol'liciles. Here too, in spite of thie fact that the parents had put themselves to pains, they had been unable to ascertain the real nature of the condition of their boy s eyes, and at no time had they been advised to adopt even the most elementary precautions against tlie spread of the disease.

Since these patients came under my notice I have thought not a -little of the trachoma Dro-biem as it touches our country, and I am persuaded through information and investigation th-at there is a fainiy large number of unrecognized and untreated cases of granular ophthalmia scattered here and there throughout the Dominion. Thus, for instance, I have been informed by m-edtcal friends that t.he disease is comparatively common in certain districts of Manitoba, and even at our hospital the territory from which our trachomatous patients were drawn was extremely broad, our clinics having been visited by patients from' the counties of Glengarry (two centres), Storm-one, Dundas, Leeds (two centres), Renfrew, Lennox, and Car-leton in Ontario ; and Bronte (two centres), St. Hyacinthe, Missis-quoi, Huntingdon and Ottawa in Quebec.

To those acquainted with granular opthailmia, the years of distressing annoyance to he passed by those affected, and the debarm-ent from ordinary work, let alone the higher pursuits and pleasures of life, it must be a matter of apprehension that cases such as I have spoken of should exist unrecognized and unisolated to act as centres of infection throughout the country.

Then he goes on to say :

It stilil remains for me, however, to speak of one strong prophylactic measure. There is- no doubt whatever that the number of our trachomatous patients is being yearly added to by immigrants to this country. Fifteen per cent of the cases of granular opthalmia at the Royal Victoria Hospital Out-Patient Clinic, during the past six years, was of foreign extraction, and among our patients- with this condition- were Russian and German Jews, and a resident each from England, Ireland, China, Italy and Syria. And I scarcely think that the above percentage properly represents the facts, as- the people most likely to suffer from this trouble are settling largely in our western- districts. As an example of what I say, I may mention that I had it on good authority that the cases of sore eyes among the Doukhobors were probably trachomatous in- nature.

A trachomatous patient is a highly undesirable, for the most part a useless, and a dangerous citizen, and I see no reason why these individuals-or others for that matter suffering from- certain diseases different from- that under discussion

should be admitted to cur country where only strong, active people are needed, no matter how slow the tide of emigration may be.

It was in reference to such patients that I spoke and when our attention was drawn to the fact by the American agent that large numbers of these immigrants had been refused admission to the United States, that they were in Canada only waiting an opportunity to cross the line and that our government made no effort either to prevent them coming, or to send them back. I thought it was proper to call the attention 1 of the hon. Minister of the Interior to it and , to draw the attention of the country to it as well.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would like to say that so far as the statement of the American inspector is concerned possibly Mr. SPROULE.

the communication to the hon. minister's officers in Montreal and the hospital authorities might have been so worded as not to include out door patients and a misapprehension might have occurred in that way. This gentleman seems to speak from actual knowledge and I should hardly suppose that he would make any misrepresentation of the facts and I am sure the hospital authorities would not misrepresent the facts at all. I quite agree with the hon. minister that this is a matter for investigation. I think the facts must present themselves to him in a somewhat more serious light now than they did the other day when he spoke upon this subject. This inspector says that during the month of April alone sixty persons were rejected by him in Montreal. That would amount to a very considerable number in the course of a year. I think, as he is speaking from a knowledge of the facts which took place in his own office, his statements may be a little more accurate than the reports made to the hon. gentleman in respect to the persons who still remain in Canada and who have been rejected by the United States officers. Assuming that sixty persons were rejected in Montreal by the American authorities would it not be difficult some months afterwards to trace these people and find out how many of them were in Canada ? I have no doubt the reports which the hon. minister has received are perfectly bona fide, but it would seem to me that the statement of a man who has had actual experience of these facts every day in his office might be relied upon a little more closely than investigations made afterwards in regard to the number of these persons who still remain in Canada.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

I think my hon. friend (Mr. Borden, Halifax) will agree with me that the only kind of a report that could settle the question at issue and give the House that satisfactory information which it ought to have is a report which will set out the names of the persons that are alleged by this gentleman to have been rejected and the grounds upon which they were rejected, with an exact statement as to what the facts are in each ease. Then we could look at the report and ascertain what the facts are. So far as the remarks of the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) are concerned,

I desire to say that" the class of diseases which is referred to in the communication which he has read is a class of diseases with which we have not hitherto had. legally, power to deal, and it is that class of diseases with which we desire to deal under the Act which I have before the House at the present time.

Bill reported ; read the third time, and passed.

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CHINESE CAPITATION TAX.


House in committee on the following proposed resolution : That it is expedient to provide that, after July 1st, 1902, one-half of the net proceeds of all taxes paid hy Chinese immigrants shall, at the end of every fiscal year, be paid to the province wherein they were collected.-Minister of Trade and Commerce. The MINISTER OB1 TRADE AND COMMERCE (Hon. Sir Richard Cartwright) The object of this resolution is simply to deal with the percentage at present paid by the Dominion to the various provinces. At present the provinces receive one-fourth of the capitation tax. We have been very strongly urged by hon. gentlemen from British Columbia and the government have thought fit to consent to their request to make this percentage one-half instead of one-quarter. That is the sole object of the resolution.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Is the percentage fixed on any particular basis ? What are the grounds for fixing the percentage ?

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The MINISTER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.

Members from British Columbia have complained that their province is put to certain extraordinary expenditures more or less on account of Chinese immigration. It is a matter which has been more or less a burning question for a good while between these gentlemen and the various governments, ourselves and our predecessors. When we increase the capitation tax to $100 a very strong request is made to us, that, at least, if we would not increase the capitation tax to $500 we would give British Columbia and the other provinces a little larger slice of the capitation tax and after very fully considering the matter we have agreed to do it. I do not know that there is anything else to be said in regard to the matter.

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May 1, 1902