April 22, 1908

LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

The French are counted as foreign. All born outside the British dominions are counted as foreign.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB

Armand Renaud La Vergne

Liberal

Mr. ARMAND LAVERGNE.

What about the United States? Are they in the British dominions?

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

My hon. friend (Mr. Lavergne) attempted to give statistics'of the foreign born immigration, and he went so far as to call the British immigration foreign.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

And when I challenged his statement he said the British was the worst class of immigrants we received.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

I find by the census of 1906, added to the distribution of population of 190T, that the percentage of foreign population necessary to assimilate-excluding the United States immigration-is as follows :

Per cent.

Alberta, foreign born population.. 15

Saskatchewan 20 6

Manitoba [DOT][DOT].[DOT][DOT][DOT][DOT] I2'3

Average of foreign population in the three provinces 18'7

I have not the statistics of the province of British Columbia, but from the census of 1901 I have selected the foreign population percentages for the five eastern provinces, and I find as follows :

Per cent.

Ontario 3'4

Quebec jj-5

New Brunswick 2

Nova Scotia 1 '4

Prince Edward Island [DOT][DOT] 0 7

In the whole Dominion of Canada the percentage of foreign born population in 1901 was only 5'5 per cent as compared with 13-7 per cent in the United States in the year 1900. It seems to me, therefore, that, as regards the percentage of foreign born population, our position compares very favourably with that of the United States.

The argument is also put forward-I think it was put forward by the hon. member for East Huron (Mr. Chisholm) that we should keep our lands for our natural increase in population. He said, Leave that land there for our children and our child-

ren's children. Well, the hon. gentleman must imagine that our people are very much against competition. Any one who talks like that must claim that competition is a bad thing for the people, because the question must naturally arise as to whether we would prefer to have our country cultivated, its conditions improved, its schools and railroads aDd other public utilities increased rather than have our broad plains remain unpeopled or sparsely populated and in many places an unprofitable waste. J o talk of the possibility of populating Canada by natural increase within any reasonable period is to talk of something practically unattainable. Take the increase of population as shown by our census returns. From 1891 to 1901 the increase was 538,076, of which 223,321 was foreign born. That is to say, the natural increase was 315,753. You can go back, and you will find practically the same natural increase every decade of about one-third of a million. I have attempted to show that we can support a population in our western provinces equal to that of the United States or 80,000,000. We have at present about 800,000 people up there, and we have under cultivation only S,000,000 acres of land. Thus we have one man to every ten acres, and we are cultivating per capita far out of proportion compared with the older provinces. If we had the 120,000,000 acres that are surveyed alone under cultivation, that would support 12,000,000 people on the present average of one man to each 10 acres. Then if we take into consideration the natural industries that must necessarily grow up as the result of our natural resources being cultivated, we could support a very much greater population per acre. But with a natural increase at the rate of one-third of a million in ten years, it would take us ceuturies to increase our population to such an extent that we could develop as they ought to be developed the natural resources of that country. Why, we in that country are handicapped in every way, wp are held back in every way for lack of help. Within 150 miles of Edmonton we have one of the largest bituminous coal fields of the west-coal that is equal, by assay, to that found in southern Alberta or in the Pittsburg region. And yet the Canadian Northern to-day is drawing its bituminous coal all the way from Pittsburg to Edmonton to supply its engines. Why ? Because our resources have not been developed ; we have not gone ahead fast enough.

A great deal has been said about the enormous annual expenditure of this country. In my opinion, when this government, or any other government, ceases to spend liberally for the development of the natural resources of this country, it should no longer have the support of loyal Canadians. For we have enormous resources, and we must have large expenditures in order that Mr. w. McIntyre.

those resources may be developed. The money that we spend in immigration, according to the figures I have given, is shown to be wisely spent by the one fact of the great amount of money brought into the country by immigrants. It is the duty of this government or any other government to_ use every means within its power to bring the people in. We have the fertile fields by the millions of acres, and all that is required is cultivation in order that they may produce and the country develop. We have begun to produce, we have brought Immense wealth to eastern Canada by our production resulting from the cultivation of these wide acres. One part of Canada cannot develop without another part. We are all the same family; we are practically all the same workshop. When we have a failure of crop in the west, nobody feels it more acutely-not even the homesteader

than the eastern manufacturer and the labour depending upon him. I say, then, it is our duty to fill up that country-to bring in desirable classes, it is true.

I know I shall be accused of somewhat representing the western idea. Well, now, let me read a short quotation that will show you the mandate of the west-though ' mandate ' may not be just the word to use. I have here a resolution submitted to the Liberal convention of the province of Alberta, assembled in the city of Calgary. These people in Alberta should know, if anybody in Canada knows, how this immigration policy is operating. I do not care to take as a criterion of Canadian sentiment the view of the crowded cities of the east, where you have brought in farm labourers for the surrounding counties and these people have filtered back into the cities. Those cities naturally object to this surplus labour. But our people in the west, who are dealing with these immigrants, who are homesteading with them, who are living and working with them-these people should know whether this policy is wise or not. We had delegates at that convention from every part of the province, from 700 miles north of Edmonton to the international boundary, and from the summit of the Rocky Mountains to the fourth meridian, which is our boundary on the east. And the sentiment of every part of that great province of Alberta, is expressed in this resolution which was received as heartily as any resolution could be:

Resolved, that this provincial Liberal convention expresses its approval1 of the wise and progressive immigration policy of the Laurier government.

That is the mandate of the west; that is the estimate that the people out west have; and I may tell you that the Liberals in western Canada, if there are evils, are not at all backward in exposing them. By this resolution the immigration policy of the government received the unanimous endor-sation of that convention.

But in the east it is a different matter. When the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden)

and I am sorry he is not in his place at the moment-was on his campaign tour he spoke in the east, and, of course, learned the sentiment there. And when he visited my hon. friend from Beau-harnois (Mr. Bergeron) in his county, the sentiments attributed to him by the Montreal ' Gazette ' of September 2, were the following:

The immigration question he considered of extreme importance, as it constituted one of the most potent influences in moulding the destiny of the country. We were beginning to develop a great national spirit, he said, but this development was -rendered difficult because the population of Canada was made up of scattered communities, heterogeneous in race and creed. Between the east and west there was a vast stretch of territory that could not be peopled and there was danger of the two sections of the country becoming antagonistic to each other. Under these circumstances, he thought it most unwise to crowd into the west, as the government was doing, a class of undesirable immigrants-Galicians Bohemians, Doukhobors, &c.-who did no! understand our customs and did not readily assimilate either with the French or English elements of Canada.

That was spoken in the province of Quebec. But, when the hon. gentleman (Mr. R. L. Borden) reached the western country, the opinion of his friends up there had its influence upon him. It would almost appear as if the hon. gentleman had been cautioned that it would be unwise to give expression to any such sentiments in that country. This is what he said:

While I am in the west, I wish to say that in respect to the question of immigration, the report which represents me as referring to certain nationalities as undesirable is quite inaccurate. I have never made any such references during my present tour. In the House of Commons I have frequently referred to the Galicians as desirable settlers, basing my opinion on what I saw of the west during my tour of 1902.

There is the one side and there is the other; which are you going to accept? Is it ' while I am in the west ' or ' while I am in the east'? Is it the sentiment of Quebec or is it the sentiment of the west?

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

If the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wilbert McIntyre) will allow me-that is not fair. What the leader of the opposition said in the west is the best answer to what the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wilbert McIntyre) read. It is not a case of Mr. Borden in the west against Mr. Borden in the east. It Is Mr. Borden speaking personally against the report in the newspaper which is a different thing entirely. He should take the version of Mr. Borden himself instead of a newspaper report that Mr. Borden has declared to he inaccurate.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

My hon. friend (Mr. Bergeron) chooses to champion

the leader of the opposition along these lines. But I happen to know from certain reports I read, that the hon. member for Beauharnois, when in Quebec, expresses some such sentiments as these. I want to tell the hon. member (Mr. Bergeron) that when he was in the west he gave expression to no such sentiment.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

I want to tell my hon. friend that the member for Benuhar-nois always uses the same language whether he is in the west or in the east. The hon. gentleman can take the career of the member of Beauharnois during the last 30 years and he will find that such is the case.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. W. McINTYRE.

I will say this: that in looking through the reports of the hon. member's speeches throughout the west, I found he was absolutely silent on the immigration policy of the government. It is a very easy matter to talk in a certain vein in one part of the country and then talk vehemently in the very opposite vein in another part, but the hon. gentleman was absolutely silent on this question in the West. He said nothing.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

I must have great talent if I spoke for an hour and a half without saying anything.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

The hon. gentleman did not hear me, because if he did he would not say what he is saying now.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. W. McINTYRE.

The hon. gentleman used the time of the people in the west and he used his own time entertaining them about the ' Arctic ' and about the ' Montcalm ' and other such matters as to which they had no opportunity of obtaining the real facts. But in that storm center of the immigration question he was absolutely silent because the people knew that the sentiments he commonly expressed in Quebec on that question were not the sentiments of the west.

,\ow, this immigration question largely resolves itself into a business question, and in looking at it from a business point of view we should consider what other countries similarly situated to ours have been doing to secure population. My hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) took the comparison of the United States with Canada, but he must know that most of the natural resources and fertile land of the great American republic have already been exploited with their eighty millions of population. If to-day we had 80,000,000 people in Canada I would hold up both my hands for the resolution of the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
CON
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. W. McINTYRE.

Because our natural resources are undeveloped and we must use every legitimate means to develop them.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Is it a proper way to bring In the wrong people?

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. W. McINTYRE.

The hon. gentleman has not proved to the slightest degree that this method of bonusing brought in the wrong people, but on the contrary, I have endeavoured to show that it brought in the right people.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

You must have all the good people in the west because we have a bad lot in Montreal.

Topic:   SUPPLY-IMMIGRATION.
Permalink

April 22, 1908