July 10, 1903

LIB
CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

These railways that the member for Saskatchewan has in that country would not be much good to him if there is a black eye given, to immigration. Mr. Haultain says :

From conversations he had with members of the colony on the trail between Saskatoon and Battleford he was convinced there had been gross mismanagement.

That is strong language coming from the premier of the Territories. Gross mismanagement by whom ? Was it by Mr Barr ? Well, if it be. Mr. Barr is the accredited agent of the Department of the Interior ac-

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THE ROYAL ASSENT.


A message was delivered by,the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows : His Excellency the Governor General desires the immediate attendance of your honourable House in the Senate Chamber. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker, with the House, went to the Senate chamber. And having returned,


LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I have the honour to inform the House that when the House did attend His Excellency the Governor General in the Seuate Chamber, His Excellency was pleased to give, in His Majesty's name, the Royal Assent to the following Bills :

An Act to incorporate the Home Bank of Canada.

An Act respecting the Quebec Bridge Company. and to change its name to ' The Quebac Bridge and Railway Company.'

An Act respecting the Vancouver and Kootenay Railway Company.

An Act to confer on the Commissioner of Patents certain powers for the relief of James S. McDougall.

An Act respecting the London and Port Stanley Railway Company.

An Act respecting the Rocky Mountain Railway and Coal Company.

An Act to incorporate the New Canadian Company, Limited.

An Act to amend chapter 27 of the revised statutes, respecting the Department of Public Printing and Stationery.

An Act respecting and restricting Chinese Immigration.

An Act to -amend the Customs Act.

An Act to provide for further advances to the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal.

An Act respecting certain aid for the extension of the Canadian Northern Railway.

An Act to incorporate the Lumberman's Fire Insurance Company.

An Act to aid in the settlement of Railway Labour Disputes.

An Act for granting to His Majesty the certain sums of money for the public service of the financial years ending respectively, 30th June, 1903. and the 30tli June, 1904.

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SUPPLY-THE BARR COLONY.

CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

When interrupted by the summons of the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. I was referring to the statement >

made by the bon. the Minister of Labour

and his attempt to prove that the hon. the leader of the opposition drew a wrong inference from the Preston Interview. That interview we must accept as authentic. The proof of its authenticity is beyond all question. Mr. Preston says :

He will also probably receive-the matter has not yet been settled-seven shillings per immigrant from the Canadian government.

The only inference, Mr. Speaker, that can be drawn from that statement is that an amount was to be paid, but what that amount was to be had not yet been settled. Mr. Preston speaks in another place :

It being the custom to pay to agents obtaining immigrants a certain percentage per head.

I think that is what the department does when immigrants are brought from the United States. The agents are allowed $3 per head, and evidently this man was to get a certain amount, probably seven shillings per head. It may be that now, on account of these complaints, the government will not pay him anything. Certainly they should not, under the circumstances. 1 fail to understand why the hon. the Minister of the Interior should have thought fit to censure hou. members on this side for bringing this matter up. Why, we would be remiss in our duty if we did not ; we would lay ourselves open to censure for having failed to do our duty. I find in the Toronto 'News' of July 9th, the following despatch from Winnipeg :

As to his future plans, Mr. Barr was noncommittal. saying these were yet indefinite but it was possible he might bring out more immigrants.

So well satisfied apparently was the government with Mr. Barr that he is on the point of bringing out more immigrants. Yet, we are to be censured by the hon. the Minister of the Interior for venturing to criticise this tiling in the House. The hon. the minister would evidently like to be in the position of the Czar of all the Russias, against whom, when he issues an edict, no man dare say a word. That might suit the hon. gentleman, and he might find it convenient to put the country under martial law. The hon. gentleman will have to look after the newspapers, for they are committing the unpardonable sin of daring to criticise the conduct of his own department. Unquestionably this is a matter that should have, as Mr. Haultaiu says, a most thorough investigation. It is incumbent on the Department of the Interior to clear itself of these charges, because the charges made against Mr. Barr are actually made against the Department of the Interior, which made him its agent. Could there be any doubt in any man's mind as to the agency existing between Mr. Barr and the Department of the Interior ? What are the facts ? This man Barr, before he did anything at all. went to the Department of the Interior and arranged to have a block of homesteads reserved for him and his colony. Then he went to the Canadian Pacific Railway and got a reserve of certain lands adjoining these homesteads. Then, from the very inception of this scheme, Mr. Barr was in constant communication with the government. The government knew everything that was going on, and approved of his plans. The government insisted upon knowing all about the character of the immigrants he was bringing in. Mr. Preston said :

In granting this concession to Mr. Barr, our government had no intention of divesting itself of its responsibility.

But they had the same responsibility as if Mr. Preston himself, or any other agent in the employ of the department, had got up that colony. Mr. Preston said : 1 We do not wish to divest ourselves of any responsibility.' The hon. the Minister of the Interior to-day, however, declines to assume any responsibility. Mr. Preston further said :

The immigrants paid their entrance fees to the homesteads through myself, and so perfect was our organization that not an hour's delay at any point, not even at Winnipeg, from which came such disquieting news some time ago, was experienced in passing through.

We know better than that. We know that it was a long time before these people could be moved. We know that there was a great deal of trouble and difficulty while they were camped at Saskatoon, and that no proper arrangements were made for their removal. They were told by Mr. Barr-and that must have been with the knowledge of Mr. Preston, because he says the government were perfectly cognizant of everything connected with the transaction-that houses would be ready for them and that teams would be on band to carry them from Saskatoon to their homesteads, and that a certain amount of ploughing had beep done. Not one of these houses were built, and tents had to be provided for these people when they arrived at their destination. The statement of Mr. Preston, therefore, with respect to the arrangements made, is absolutely untrue. After these people were dumped down by Mr. Barr, in Saskatoon, the department did take hold of them and do what it could under the circumstances, it is not for what the department did for these people, after they were dumped at Saskatoon, that we are criticising it, but because the hon. minister anil his officers were not aware that this was simply a money making scheme of Mr. Barr, and'that lie was gulling these people all through. A considerable number of those colonists were certainly not suited to agricultural life at all, and had not the slightest conception of wliat it meant. Some of them had never been outside the city of London, except on Hampstead Hill. I do not see how the government can escape responsibility, and we demand an investigation, in order to have

tliose responsible brought to account. Instead of its being an injury to the country to have this matter criticised, it will be for the good of the country to show the outside world that when there is anything wrong we are willing to investigate and make it right. It is the bounden duty of the hon. minister to see that a thorough investigation be made at once by a responsible party, and that compensation be given those who have been wronged, and punishment be meted out to the guilty.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. T. O. DAVIS (Saskatchewan).

The opposition may congratulate themselves upon the fact that they have kicked up quite a disturbance, which they think, perhaps, may have the effect of interfering with the good work that is being done by the Minister of the Interior in promoting immigration. I quite sympathize with the opposition. They have been fishing all session, and up to the present time they have been able to catch nothing. But they think now they have hooked a small minnow

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?

An hon. MEMBER.

A bar.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

They think they have got a little fish in the shape of this trouble they have made this afternoon. The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot, and they have gone far afield to connect Mr. Barr with the gov-'ernment in this immigration scheme. I am not going to discuss any of the statements made by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fowler) who has just taken his seat, nor the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Gourley). But I do think the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden, Halifax), who occupies a very responsible position in this House has gone a little far afield in trying to misquote the statements made by the Minister of the Interior. and also the statements made in the 'Canadian Gazette' as to what Mr. Preston said in the old country. The leader of the opposition made the positive statement that the government had agreed to give Mr. Barr seven shillings for each immigrant that he brought out. and that Mr. Preston said so. He never said anything of the kind

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I beg the hon. gentleman's (Mr. Davis) pardon. I read exactly what Mr. Preston did say.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

I accept the statement of the hon. gentleman. But it appears to jne that it was as clear as the English language could make it that Mr. Preston did not say what has keen attribued to him, but he said that the matter had not been settled but they might probably give seven shillings a head. However, as I said, the whole case is a tempest in a teapot. I would like to review the whole case.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh. oh.

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

I am interested in this matter, and I venture to say I know as much about it, and perhaps a good deal more, than some of the hon. gentlemen who have Mr. FOWLER.

been speaking on the other side. I am in communication all the time with the gentlemen connected with the colonists. I met Mr. Barr When he arrived with his colony at St. John, and all the colonists that I spoke to were well seized of the fact that the government had nothing to do with Mr. Barr, that he was going on his own responsibility, and had no connection with the government. This Mr. Barr, an English clergyman, came to the department and said he intended to bring out a colony of Englishmen. Of course, we are anxious, as hon. gentlemen opposite are anxious, to get English immigrants into Canada. The department treated Mr. Barr courteously and set aside a certain quantity of land for the colonists he intended to bring in. Mr. Barr brought the colonists in and the government had nothing to do with him, but they did all they could to facilitate the settlement of these colonists. That is proven by the gentleman who brought this question up in the North-west assembly, Mr. Cliukskill. He stated that the government had done everything they could to make things easy for the colonists on their arrival in Canada. This gentleman, Mr. Olinkskill, who started all this disturbance, is a strong Conservative. If he could have made out anything against the government he would have been glad to do it. But he declared in the assembly that the government and its officials had done.everything possible for these colonists. And Air. Haultain made a statement, he made no charge, but simply a rambling statement in reply to Mr. Clinkskill and suggested that the ease should be investigated. What is there to investigate ? The government is not concerned in the matter so far as I can see, except that they did what they could to facilitate the settlement of these people in Canada. Some of the statements made by hon. gentlemen opposite may have the effect of checking the stream of immigration to this country. So far as the people of the North-west are 'concerned, they will not thank these gentlemen for the statements they have made this afternoon. One gentleman, for instance, said that the Barr colony had not proven a success. As a matter of fact it is a success. The fact that Air. Barr as head of the colony has been ousted, to use the common expression, does not prove that the colony is not successful. I have a letter from Air. Lloyd, who is in charge of the colony, and he assures me that the colonists are doing all right, making their entries and going ahead. If there were any charges to be made, Air. Lloyd would probably be the man to make them. If there had been anything unpleasant, would not he have written to the minister cr somebody else asking for an investigation ? But there is nothing in his letters about these gentlemen having been swindled out of their money by Air. Barr. He wrote to me that the colonists wanted a post office. The Postmaster General sent up an inspector

to look over the situation, and the result is that they have their post office. They get everything they ask for. The Minister of the Interior has even sent up a sub-agent to receive their entries, so that they may not have to drive sixty or seventy miles to make them. The colonists have nothing against the government; they are not grumbling at all. There may be some grumbling in connection with Mr. Barr,.but Mr. Barr and the government are separate people. If when Mr. Barr, an English clergyman, came here to Ottawa and said he was organizing a colony of British immigrants, the minister had not treated him as he did, and if he had not set aside these lands, what a howl would have been raised by hon. gentlemen opposite. They would have raised a debate lasting even longer than this one, and would have declared that we did not approve of British immigrants, that no immigrants would suit us, but Doukhobors and Galicians and so on. as they have said over and over again. The Immigration Department, under the control of the lion. Minister of the Interior has proved most successful. It makes hon. gentlemen opposite sore to And that 120.000 good immigrants were brought into this country last year, particularly when they contrast this with the feeble efforts put forth by their own friends when they were in office. These hon. gentlemen are always looking for a weak point in this government, but, so far as what they have been talking about this afternoon is concerned, there is very little capital in it all for them. Why did Mr. Clinkskill bring this matter up in the territorial assembly ? Hon. gentlemen opposite read the newspapers, so they must have been made aware that when Mr. Barr got to Saskatoon, he and ' r. Clink-skill had a falling out which nearly, ended in a free fight. Mr. Clinkskill would naturally feel a little sore; so lie, went down to the meeting of the assembly and made these statements against Mr. Barr. There was not a word, mark you, against the government though Mr. Clinkskill is a strong Conservative. Mr. Haultain answered in a general way that there should be an investigation. There is nothing in that; he makes no charges. And now hon. gentlemen opposite take it up and make it the subject of half a day's debate in the hope that they may be able to show that there is something wrong and that they may stop immigration coming into the country. They c uld occupy their time more profitably in discussing other subjects. No doubt, what they have said will make good newspaper articles for their press, and it will be wired across to Britain to make sensational articles there. So far as the benefit of Canada is concerned, these hon. gentlemen opposite are not doing a friendly act, and they are very far' from helping us to settle the prairies of the west.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).

The hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) seems to think that the opposition have done

something wrong in bringing this matter before the House, and characterizes the conduct of hon. gentlemen on this side as raising a tempest in a teapot. Is that what he calls the remarks of the premier of the territories made in the legislative assembly a few days ago ? Has he no respect for the high position of Mr. Haultain and the views he expressed, that he should characterize this as a tempest in a teapot ?

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LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

I want to tell the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) that no doubt the premier of the North-west Territories is trying to assist hon. gentlemen opposite to kick up some kind of a disturbance. He is doing it all the time.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Mr. Haultain made a statement in reference to facts that came under his own observation. He said he had received information at first hand, and therefore he was justified in making the grave charges which he did, charges of financial mismanagement, even of crookedness.

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

Did Mr. Haultain, in his speech in the assembly, say that the government was connected directly or indirectly with any of these financial transactions 7

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

He said that the government's connection with it demanded a searching inquiry, in the interests of immigration and in the interests of the Northwest Territories, so as either to substantiate the charges or disprove them. Yet the hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis>

says it is only a tempest in a teapot.

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July 10, 1903