February 7, 1905

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

Is it simply a compilation on which these officers are at work in the United States, or do they actually get the information from the people ?

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

They do get what I may call interim information. They do not get it with the same exactitude, or by the personal investigation of enumerators as is done in the taking of the census.

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

They get it largelv by correspondence, largely by issuing form's for the people to fill up and return through the post office.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

The minister says that certain kinds of agricultural information will be taken in one year and certain other kinds in the alternate years, and that this information can be made useful for the Mr. FISHER.

decennial census. That I do not understand.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISIIER.

That is not my idea. It is not to be made use of for the decennial census at all, but for the use of the people between the censuses.

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CON
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes, but we would not make use of that information at all for the decennial census. The information taken in the interval between each decennial census will not interfere in any way with the complete taking of the decennial census. The establishment of a permanent census office will not in any way decrease the necessity or the work of the decennial census except that it will decrease the expenditure in this respect, that the office being in permanent existence, we will be able to prepare for the taking of the information during the census year, and thus do the work more easily and effectively. With regard to the question put me by my hon. friend from Lanark (Mr. Ilaggart), the information taken between the census years would not be taken by enumeration, except in some instances. For instance, the census of Manitoba has to be taken once in five years. There was an Act requiring that on a certain day the census should be taken of the population in the Northwest Territories at the end of the five year period. That Act was for one definitely named year. That is only done once ; and in view of the development of our new Territories in the west and of the fact that in Manitoba the census has to be taken every five years, it would be perhaps a good thing for Canada to take the census in the new provinces or in the Territories once in five years. That would have to be done by actual enumeration, but with regard to industrial information and even to a great deal of agricultural information, my idea is that that work should be done from the office here and done through the mails to a very large extent. Perhaps a little might have to be done otherwise, but I think nearly the whole of it could be done through the post office. Something of this kind might be done. A blank form might be sent to the various industrial establishments asking them to fill in the changes in their business since the census year. Those would be compiled and the results then placed at the eommaud of the people.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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?

Mr. I@

BOkHEX. Does the hon. gentleman propose to send out at certain intervals a return to be filled in by business men throughout the country ?

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB
?

Mr. R. L.@

jbORDEN. Is there to be any mode of compelling these people to give the information ?

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I propose to give the same powers to the office as are given under the

Census Act. Anybody who receives such a form would have to fill it in subject to the same penalties as at present for non-compliance.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

It would be useless without that.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB
?

Mr MONK.

Has the hon. minister made any calculation of the expense to be incurred in connection with this law ?

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I wished also to suggest that, as the carrying out of this law would probably involve a considerable expense, the minister should have proceeded by resolution.

Topic:   CENSUS AND STATISTICS.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

As I understand it, the rules of the House do not require the introduction of this measure by resolution. The expenditure will be provided for by an item in the estimates.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I cannot but believe that the minister is mistaken and that the very opposite is the case.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I am not prepared to set myself up as a judge of that point. But 1

consulted the Department of Justice, and understood that it was not necessary in this case to proceed by resolution.

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February 7, 1905