July 21, 1904

LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

I will venture to say that in the constituency which the hon. membe'' for Compton (Mr. Pope) represents there were a great many houses with slats on the windows in 1896. .

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMMOXS
Permalink
CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

That is the old story repeated by the Minister of Agriculture fifteen years ago. You ought to get somebody else to post you.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMMOXS
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

A lot of people were living in houses that were nailed up with slabs, because they were so poor that they could not buy window glass. Is there anything wrong in saying that we have millions of acres of land to give away free to settlers in the Northwest ? It says that settlers' effects are brought in duty free. Anything wrong about that ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMMOXS
Permalink
CON
LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

Is there any reason for concealing it, because it is not new ? Did you do it in 1896 ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMMOXS
Permalink
CON
LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

When you brought over Jew pedlars that we had to arrest in the Northwest Territories and put into jail ? I heard some gentleman complain about the miserable class of immigrants we are getting at present. When the hon. gentleman's friends were running the immigration machine they spent a great deal of money and got very little results. The immigrants were like gophers, dodging into one hole and dodging out of another ; they came in on one train

and out on another. They said they brought in 16,000 immigrants in one year ; but if they did, I venture to say there were 25,000 went out-the census shows that. The census shows that in a certain number of years they were supposed to bring into this country something like' 1,000,000 people, and they got the money to do it with, but when the census was taken all these people had evaporated, and the natural increase had gone as well.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMMOXS
Permalink
CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Because the hon. gentleman and his friends were telling the world that this country was not fit to live in.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMMOXS
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. DAVIS.

The member for Marquette is doing the same thing at present ; he is putting on ' Hansard ' a matter to show that the country is no good. To show how far afield the hon. member for Marquette had to go, how hard pressed he was for something to say against the government, he selected out of a whole page one line and garbled it to bring an accusation against the government. He read this paragraph :

There was very little number 1 hard in 1902, and while the prospects for this grade were good a few weeks ago, as a result of the big storm

He underlines these words, ' As a result of the big storm.'

-there will be not much more this year, or in other words, the grades will compare equally for the two years.

If there had not been a big storm I do not know what the hon. gentleman would have done for some ground on which to criticise the immigration department. Everybody knew there was a storm last year, and that it reduced the grade of wheat. It was no use for the hon. gentleman to try to hide that when we had thousands of people travelling all over the country examining it and writing to their friends in the United States. One of the reasons for which the minister has been so successful is in the character of the immigration literature. In all the immigration literature that has been circulated by this government in the last five or six years there has been a fair statement of the conditions which we have in this country. People do not come in under false pretenses, they know the length of the winter, they know we have good seasons and occasionally we have bad seasons, and when they come they find that we have given them nothing but facts. The fact that we had 125,000 immigrants last year shows that our immigration literature has borne good fruit. These people who came in last year do not come empty-handed ; whereas, in 1896. the hon. gentlemen opposite brought in people that had not much money. These people who came in last year brought in six or seven million dollars in cash or goods. They also brought in with them a lot of money of which we have no account at all. I suppose when the immigration officials ask

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMMOXS
Permalink

'339 COMMONS


a man how much money he has got, he says I have $100, $200 or $300. That is the record that the Minister of the Interior gets. But when a gentleman comes into that country with $300 in his pocket, he looks over the country, he makes up his mind that it is a good country to settle in, and he immediately writes back to his agents and tells them to sell out his holdings. Those are sold for $6,000 or $7,000, and that money is all sent across the border and deposited in a Cana dian bank, but the Minister of the Interior lias no record of that at all. So it is impossible for us to arrive at an estimate of the amount of money these people have brought in. The manager of the Union Bank at Saskatoon told me that when he opened business there the head office instructed him to be very careful about making loans, told him to keep his loans inside his deposits. He started out with the idea that he was not going to do much business but he was not there one month until he could not loan out half the money he was getting in on deposit from these people that were coming into the country. I say that to-day we have a record of some $6,000,000 or $7,000,000 these people have brought in. but they have brought in millions more besides. A lot of wealthy people came in from the United 'States. Hon. gentlemen talk about the vast public debt, some $35 per capita. Now, every one of these 125,000 is helping to reduce that debt, they are all taking a share of it on their shoulders. In bringing in 125,000 people you bring in six millions of money, and you get all that by an expenditure of $650,000 on immigration. I think it is pretty good business, and if the minister keeps on the people of this country will be pretty well satisfied.


CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I am sure the Minister of the Interior will be grateful to the hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis) for coming to his rescue in defence of the campaign literature that he is circulating under the guise of immigration literature. I do not know whether the literature my hon. friend has read is correct or not, but I think it is fair to say that it is not in the best interests of the people of Canada. We complain that the Minister of the Interior selects the leading political journal of his province and pays out of the public treasury $7,500 to circulate it under the guise of immigration literature for the purpose of inducing people to come to.Canada. I have no time at this late hour to enter into a discussion of the matter contained here. The hon. member for Saskatchewan has gone over this paper very minutely this evening, and I do not intend to follow his example, but I will just produce one illustration. I have here some reports of the farm delegates that were sent to the old country by the hon. Minister of the Interior last year for the purpose of telling the people there of the grandeur of the Northwest of Canada. One of these gentlemen has made a reference to this kind of eam-Mr. DAVIS.

paign literature, find perhaps he would be a good authority. Mr. W. H. Bryce, who was one of the farm delegates selected by this government, says :

The information that is given in the literature that is distributed is not what the people want. They do not believe what is printed.

That is what this gentleman says about this kind of literature. I repeat the statement that I think the hon. minister should consider the expenditure of money a little more carefully. I say that it will always be open for discussion and that some portion of the Canadian people will have some right to condemn the hon. gentleman if he is going to subsidize one of the leading political organs in his own province for the purpose of inducing old country people to come to Canada.

I want to say one or two words in respect to the old country delegates, and if it is the policy of this government to continue sending successful farmers from the Northwest to the old country I would like to direct the hon. gentleman's attention to the fact that there was practically no preparation for these gentlemen when they arrived in Great Britain. The evidence of that fact comes from these gentlemen themselves. I will turn to the evidence afforded by some of these gentlemen to show why I make this statement. Mr. E. J. Thomson, delegate-to Scotland says :

One suggestion I omitted at its proper place was this : The delegates should be met at the port of landing and instructed as to his district and to proceed to it direct, and at once and thus save the expense of going to London or elsewhere.

Here is a delegate who was sent to the old country. There was no preparation made for this gentleman and he asks that some preparation should be made so that the delegate could go to work immediately without travelling hither and thither in the old country. Another gentleman, Mr. H. C. Whellams, in his report to the government, says :

On the third of March I went to Gloucester, and I was at first somewhat disappointed to find no advertising done'. I at once arranged with the papers for a thorough and complete system of posting and advertising through the columns of the local papers, also by means of hand bills posted throughout the country.

Here is a gentleman sent to the old country to tell the people about the Northwest and when he arrives at his destination he finds that no advertising has been done. Nobody knows that he is in the old country at all. He makes this complaint in his report to the government. Mr. Hugh Mc-Gillivray another of these delegates says :

I started at Aylesbury, the county town, and visited all the principal towns, taking a town each day on market days. I advertised in the local papers ahead and on my arrival would put

.TTTT.Y 9,1. 1904

up posters furnished by the department that I *would be at a certain hotel all that day and [DOT]evening.

When he went' to the market town he would take the posters in his pocket and after lie had arrived at the town he would announce that he would be in that town all day. These are some of the points that I W'ould bring to the attention of the hon. minister if it is the policy of the government to continue sending these gentlemen to the old country. I am sure it cannot be said that we are not spending enough money on Mr. Preston and his colleagues in the old country. Surely these gentlemen would have an opportunity of making some preparation for the delegates that we sent over there and who cost the people of Canada $25,000. These gentlemen direct the attention of the government to the fact that no preparation was made for them and how does the hon. gentleman expect that he is going to do a great service to the people if some preparation is not made for these delegates and if the people in the old country who are desirous of coming to Canada and occupying our lands are not notified that these gentlemen will visit their localities and tell them about the advantages of the Canadian Northwest Territories ? How did the hon. gentlemen, expect that they would find these delegates when they only remained in these towns from one to two days ?

I would like to ask the hon. minister what the policy of the government is in respect to the scarcity of farm hands in Ontario and eastern Canada or if the government has any policy upon that question. Is the hon. gentleman going to give that question any consideration or not and does he propose putting any amount in the estimates so that the people of Ontario and eastern Canada may be better supplied with farm hands ? I did hear the hon. gentleman make the statement that there was no complaint of that kind made during last year. The hon. gentleman has been misinformed because several complaints have been made and the complaint I think is as great as ever it was in the central part of Ontario and in Quebec. Yet the hon. gentleman seems to give it no attention. In view of the fact that this condition has existed for so many years and that there has been coming to the government year after year a universal complaint that farm hands in Ontario and the eastern part of Chnada were scarce, it is time that the hon. gentleman gave some attention to *this question so that the farmers of eastern *Canada might derive some advantage from the very large expenditure of money that is being made for immigration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   '339 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. SIFTON.

We have been giving the subject attention for the last two years. We sent some thousands of labourers to the province of Ontario who were distributed amongst the farmers in that province. I am informed that a very considerable number have gone this year. I am quite satisfied that a larger number could have been absorbed and profitably placed in the province of Ontario if a more effective system of distribution were adopted. There is a system of distribution through the officers of the government of Ontario centralized at Toronto. In my judgment a thoroughly effective system of distribution for Quebec and Ontario would be' to provide agents at the port of debarkation so that the labourers would be taken charge of when they landed at Quebec and distributed from there to the point where they were to be employed. I am giving that my attention and I hope with the cooperation of the governments of Ontario and Quebec to adopt a system that will be effective.

I am bound to say that a great deal of caution is necessary in dealing with a subject of that kind. It would be very undesirable for the depai-tment to dump a large number of labourers either in Ontario or Quebec and find that the system of distributing them was not effective so that a considerable number of them were left without employment. We could not take a risk like that, we have to consider a variety of things such as the housing of the labourers while they are getting employment, and in Quebec and Ontario these present a good deal of difficulty. We have our establishment at Winnipeg and the people there have got into the habit of sending to the provincial and Dominion agents so that the resu't is that the work of the two governments together results in a very effective system of distribution. Both last year and this year we have sent a very large number of labourers and have supplied a very pressing demand, and we hope to be able to make it more effective as time goes on.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   '339 COMMONS
Permalink
CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

In our section of the province of Quebec we have received kind consideration from ilr. Marquette, the provincial immigration agent at Montreal, but we have not been able to get the number of labourers we require. In eastern Canada we can utilize not only immigrants who are suitable as farm labourers, but our industrial development there is capable of employing many who would not be suitable in the' west, i f it were arranged that the public who desire servants would know where to apply for them, they would very soon all be placed. We have this advantage, that one or two years training on a farm in eastern Canada, would be very useful for these people if jthey should afterwards go west. Our farmers' sons are rapidly going to the west, and the farmers find themselves short of labour. There is thus an opportunity of developing the usefulness of these immigrants as suitable settlers in the west.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   '339 COMMONS
Permalink
CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

The extracts read from this issue of the 'Free Press' contain a serious libel upon the district of Alberta as

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   '339 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I am sure the House will excuse _ me of responsibility for a lack of mentality on the part of the member for King's (Mr. Fowler). The fact that he does not understand something has nothing to do with the case. If any statements were made depreciative of the district of Alberta, it would have been an occasion for me to protest, but the hon. member for Saskatchewan did not read, or make any such statement. He read a letter addressed to the Free Press from a resident of the district of Saskatchewan, in which it was said that the correspondent had heard that certain things occurred in Alberta. I will not take upon myself the responsibility of contradicting everything that every body in Canada has heard in regard to the district of Alberta. If any of these gentlemen opposite will get up and make a statement derogatory of Alberta, I will be prepared to talk to him.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   '339 COMMONS
Permalink
CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. J. ROCHE.

Did not the member for Saskatchewan back up that statement ?

Mr. ()i.I \ ER. These gentlemen opposite are very absurd. The correspondent from Saskatchewan was claiming superiority for Ms country as a ranching district, because they did not ranch there at ail but stabled their cattle which in Alberta were kept out during winter, and he said he had heard that the cattle in Alberta had suffered great loss. ,

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   '339 COMMONS
Permalink
CON
LIB
CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

Do you say that ?

Mr. OLIVER, No, I do not say that. I am not responsible for what this writer heard.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   '339 COMMONS
Permalink

July 21, 1904