Mr. Speaker, although the Bill is entitled ' an Act to' amend, consolidate and amend the Acts respecting Alien Labour,' it will be necessary to amend that title inasmuch as it is not a consolidation. The provisions of the present Bill are as follows : ,
One section of the Bill amends section 1 of the Alien Labour Act, 1897. That original section provides that it is an offence to import alien labour under contract. It was found that this provision could be easily evaded by the contract not being made abroad, and therefore it is proposed to strengthen the clause by making it a;n offence to import under a promise or offer of employment.
Another section containing a number ot subsections provides machinery whereby employers may obtain judicial permission to import labour that cannot be procured in Canada. At present the spirit of the Act, so far as it is enforcible, is stringent, and it is represented that in many cases labour not procurable in Canada could not be lawfully imported. It is expedient that under these circumstances a measure should be adopted to meet such a situation so that there would be no inducement to persons in need of labour of a particular class to import illegally that class of labour. The machinery provided by this Bill contemplates an application to a judge for permission. That application will require to be published in the press and a hearing of the application can be conducted in the open court as in civil causes. All parties interested have a right to appear and if the judge is
of opinion that the application should be granted, he may do so, setting forth the extent to which he grants the leave and to the extent to which he grants the leave the order is an authority to the employer to import the persons authorized by the order.
Another section amends section 3 of the Act of 1897, which was further amended by the statutes of 1901. That section as it stands to-day requires the consent of a certain functionary to the bringing of an action for a violation of the provisions of the Alien Labour Act. The proposed section dispenses with any such preliminary sanction.
Under the law as it is to-day it is declared illegal to induce people to come into Canada in contravention of the Act by promise of employment by advertisements. It has been held by a judge of the Supreme Court in the province of British Columbia that an advertisement, for example, such as ' wanted,' naming a large number of men, and other inducements which might be or might not be correct, was not an offence against the law inasmuch as the advertisement could not be held to he a promise. It is proposed therefore to add to this section after the word ' employment,'
-or by representations justifying reasonable expectation of employment.
There are some other verbal changes.
Another section deals with the case of inducing people to come to Canada by false representations. This spring there was an illustration of the injury done by men inducing people to come to Canada by false representations. It appears that a very large number of Italians, going up to the thousands, reached Montreal this spring in search for employment under circumstances that amounted to a serious fraud upon these people, and a demoralization of the labour market of Montreal and perhaps of other portions of Canada. A commission was issued to inquire into the circumstances attending the bringing in of those men. The commissioner has not yet reported, but his investigation was conducted in open court, and the press reported somewhat fully the evidence given. I do not purpose at this moment to state in any detail the nature of the evidence, but I think that any one wno has perused so much of it as appeared in the press cannot but reach the conclusion that the methods adopted to induce these unfortunate people to come to Canada were criminal and cruel in the extreme. They were brought into Canada by the most grossly false representations originating in Montreal, by a scheme of fraud for the enrichment of men in Montreal to bring men here thousands of miles from their own homes, and, when they reached Montreal, to induce them to contribute money to the persons promoting this agency, in the deluded belief that they would thereby immediately secure profitable employment. The scheme seemed to be conceived and carried out in Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.
fraud. It is proposed by this section to make such false representations as to the state of the labour market a criminal offence.
Another section proposes to incorporate into law the spirit of the clauses introduced into the Crow's Nest Pass Railway Contract, requiring the work on lines constructed by a railway subsidized or aided by the government either by gift or loan of money or guarantee or other valuable consideration to be carried on in accordance with the spirit of the clauses made applicable to that contract. Hon. gentleman are familiar with the provisions of that contract. They are to the effect that, wherever possible, the labour shall be British or Canadian labour, and that in case contracts are made with companies for the work of construction, the companies shall be incorprated in Canada under Dominion or provincial legislation, the majority of the directors shall be citizens of this empire and the majority of the capital shall be owned by citizens of the empire.
Another section provides that persons infringing the Act by importing the classes of labour in question, that is in violation of the law, shall be liable for the expense of their deportation to the country from which they came, and obligations are also cast upon the ships bringing out persons of this class knowing, or having reasonable ground for believing, that they have been brought here in contravention of the law. Then some other provisions of the Bill deal with undesirable classes of people, not being brought here in connection with labour at all, and it is proposed to prohibit from landing or remaining in Canada any of the following classes :
Idiots, insane persons, paupers, or persons likely to become a public charge, professional beggars, persons afflicted with loathsome or dangerous contagious diseases, polygamists, anarchists or persons who believe in or advocate the overthrow by force or violence of all forms of law, the constituted authority of the country or the assassination of public officials, prostitutes, and persons who procure or attempt to bring in prostitutes or women for the purpose of prostitution ; persons who have been within one year deported or ordered to be deported from Canada for having entered Canada in violation of any of the provisions of the said Act of 1897 as amended, or of this Act, and of persons convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude; provided that this shall not be held to exclude from Canada persons convicted of offences purely political, not involving moral turpitude.
Another section deals with the liability of the owners of and persons interested in the vessel that aids in any violation of this Act. Another section provides for the arrest of any alien brought in in contravention of the law, and for his detention while waiting to be transferred to the vessel to be sent back to his own country. Another section gives the Minister of Labour, instead of as
at present Attorney General, the authority for ordering deportation. Another section authorizes the Governor in Council to appoint special officers for the enforcement of the law and to pass necessary regulations for its more effective working. Another section provides that in case His Majestj should be obliged to defray any expenses in the first place connected with the deportation of persons illegally brought into the country there shall be a clause of action over by the Crown against the persons primarily the cause of such prohibited labour or persons having entered Canada. There are some provisions that I have not alluded to, but they will more fully appear when the Bill is printed and placed in the hands of lion, gentlemen. ,
I would ask the hon. Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock) if there is any provision in the Bill to oblige them to inspect immigrants before they are allowed to leave the port from which the ship sails, because, unless that is a part of the law, I think it would be very deficient. We saw a case of that kind when the steamer ' Lake Simcoe ' landed a number of Syrians the other day. It appeared to me that had there been an efficient inspection at Havre, France, the ship would not have taken any of them on board. The owners of the ship have had to become responsible for twenty-nine that were allowed to come over without any visible meant of support. More than thirty of them have had to be deported and there are a large number of others who are subject to treatment. That is an important provision and should be enacted in the Bill.
There is much in the remark of my hon. friend (Mr. Wilson), but perhaps when he has looked at the Bill he will find that clause 14, or at all events one of the clauses near the end of the Bill, authorizes the Governor in Council to appoint special officers in order to accomplish the object of the Bill. If the object of the Bill, for instance, is to exclude from landing in Canada any undesirable classes of persons, my hon. friend's proposal would be in harmony with the clause that the Governor in Council should appoint such officers as are necessary in order to give effect to that prohibitory clause. It would strike me as a very wise thing that these proscribed classes should be intercepted at the earliest moment. If the government is of the opinion that it would be wise to have such examination made before the vessel sails I think my hon. friend will find that the measure proposes to give the government full authority to make any such arrangement.
Is it the intention to have the evidence which is being taken by Judge Winchester respecting employment of aliens on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and respecting the influx of Italian labour into the city of Montreal printed and distributed for the use of members of the House ?
It is intended to have it printed at the earliest possible moment, but it will not be possible to have it printed before prorogation if it takes place at an early date. As soon as the inquiry is completed I will have it printed and distributed. The inquiry has not yet been completed, but I was informed by Judge Winchester, who passed through Ottawa on his way from Montreal a few days ago, that there only remained the examination of Mr. Lumsden and perhaps the cross-examination of Sir Sandford Fleming as he has not been able yet to conclude the evidence of these two gentlemen.
Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called it is my sad duty to have to inform the House that we have lost anbther of our colleagues in the person of Mr. Isidore Proulx. member for the electoral district of Prescott. As is well known by most members of the House Mr. Proulx had been in poor health for many months past. He had undergone last autumn an operation which he bore with great fortitude, and it was hoped that it had checked the disease, but unfortunately the vital forces were gone and he was carried away at a comparatively early period. He left us last week with the intention of coming back but we are not to see lum any more in this House. Mr. Proulx was a quiet, unobtrusive member of this House, but very much respected by all of those who came in contact with him. and I can bear testimony that he was as
faithful a friend as ever lived. I am sure that hon. members on both sides of the House will join in sympathizing with the bereaved family in the sad mourning through which they are now passing.
I desire to join in the expression to which the Prime Minister has given utterance with regard to Mr. Proulx. While it is true that I did not enjoy an intimate acquaintance with him, nevertheless I learned to know him sufficiently to respect and appreciate him. I am sure that ail of us on this side of the House will join in the sympathy and condolence Which the Prime Minister on this occasion has so fittingly expressed.
If my hon. friend is going to make a personal explanation, I might state that the House will be moved into supply in a few minutes, and he will have a better opportunity then of disclosing his grievance.