April 22, 1908

CON
CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET.

(Translation.) English economists have made some very true remarks with respect to emigrants coming here from the British Isles. According to Gerald Adams, our emigration agents do not make any very serious effort in tbs rural districts of England. It is there that we should reach the English farmer. The exhibition of our products in rural districts produces very good results. The Franco-Canadian treaty will favour French emigration to a certain extent, if we take proper advantage of the conditions of that agreement. ' It is the duty of France to help her far off sons.'

The small birth rate of France may prevent her from sending* many emigrants here, and the economic conditions obtaining in that country may render unnecessary the departure of her sons, but France should send us capital in order_ to develop transactions with France, especially in the province of Quebec.

We should have a consul or a commissioner in Belgium where agricultural emigrants of the best class may be recruited. This suggestion may perhaps appeal to the government.

Most classes in Belgium have as yet no knowledge of our resources. In that country which may be called a French land, we might secure good agricultural emigrants, excellent farm hands and intelligent and skilled workmen. This system might be expensive, but the solution of a national problem is here involved. The social question is more important than the financial. Remaining faithful to our traditions, I am ready to vote the necessary funds to advertise our wealth abroad.

Mr. Leroy Beaulieu finds that of all countries Canada is to-day the one offering the best inducements to emigrants and being the most rapidly developed, especially as regards agriculture.

After the exhibition of Liege. I read in ' La revue economique Internationale ' :

The Canadian exhibit reveals to us.or reminds us that there lies to the north of the vast American continent, territories of abundant natural wealth, inhabited bv a population small in numbers, but energetic, enterprising and resolved to develop, with foreign help, the treasures of the soil. Overpopulated countries will find there an extensive field

for emigration, the more worthy of attention that the climate is healthy and temperate. Strangers are astonished at the actual condition and future prospects of Canada.

We can point out to them our progress in matters of transportation, construction of railways, telegraph and telephone lines, in the improvement of waterways, in thrift, in agricultural, forest and mining industries.

Our vast and fertile agricultural lands, our wealth in forest and minerals, in iron and coal especially, ' the muscle and blood of modern industry,' our developed industries. the religious and political liberty we enjoy, the advantages of Christian teaching, our satisfactory economic and social conditions ; the harmony existing between Church and State, Capital and Labour, employer and employee, are all of a character to attract emigration to our shores.

The Canadian Emigration Act is sometimes biterly criticised. If it be properly applied, the Act would appear to answer to the economic and social requirements of the nation. It contains provisions for getting rid of bad emigrants. The medical examination has become more serious, at least at Quebec. According to Mr. Bryce's report (page 120) ' 1,422 emigrants were detained at the Quebec hospital in 1904-5; in 1906-7, 523 only were detained at that hospital. The examination in European ports is also more serious and this is to our advantage. The United States government flues Steamship Companies $100 for every person shipped without sufficient inspection or suffering from tuberculosis, epilepsy or any eontageous disease. It is sometimes difficult to discover the true physical and mental condition of an emigrant at the time of his examination. But we can deport those who prove undesirable.

You will allow me to make a few remarks concerning the medical inspection of emigrants at Quebec. Dr. J. D. Page t00lU'!iar^ of tho emigrant hospital there in 1904. Before that there was no system ot scientific medical inspection. Two inspecting physicians were appointed, but there was no place for sick emigrants or emigrants under observation. The government understood the necessity of efficient medical organization. Dr. Page was in consequence appointed, in addition to his hospital duties, medical officer of the port of Quebec. He has thoroughly organized the system of medical inspection at that place.

I am in a position to state that the medicai inspection of emigrants at Quebec, is in no wise inferior to that of any American port. Our emigration Act says': 'No weak minded, epileptic or insane emigrant shall be allowed to land in Canada.' Those having any experience in the practice of medicine know how difficult it sometimes is. to discover the symptoms of epilepsy. Certain patients are quite intelligent and the attacks infrequent. It is also known to be

very difficult to locate tuberculosis in the first period. The physician is obliged to make long and repeated examinations and sometimes resort to a bacteriological test. As to madness and crime, all jurists know how difficult it is, in a criminal case, to clearly establish the mental state of the accused.

It would doubtless be more prudent to * forbid access to this country of all emigrants whose antecedents cannot be discovered. Any person wishing to come here should be compelled to produce a certificate stating that he is guilty of no moral crime. Such a certificate might be delivered by a reputable magistrate, the clerk of a court of justice or a clergyman. But cases of personation might here be possible.

American laws restrictive of emigration are very often highly praised. It appears to me that the economic conditions of the two countries cannot be compared. Our emigration, as to character and morality, does not seem inferior to that of America. Formerly the strong and robust northern peoples emigrated in great numbers to the United States. Since 3890, things have changed and the northern emigrant, the most easily assimilated, no longer occupies the first place in American emigration statistics. People from southern and eastern Europe are flooding the States since 1890. As Leroy-Beaulieu says :

' The enormous increase of immigrants tends to introduce in this country elements far more heterogenous; more difficult to assimilate, poorer, less educated and at all points of view less progressive.' In 1907 the United States received:

From Italy 238,000

From Russia 258,443

From Austria-Hungary 338,452

We must notice that in 1907 the United States received only 56,637 immigrants from England. This is a very serious question, says Leroy Beaulieu. However, these new elements coming in since a few years have not yet had time to exert any sensible influence on the American people, and its population is now so numerous that the new comers will not have a very great effect upon its character in the future.

Our immigrants are coming in great numbers from the United States, Germany, France, Belgium and British Islands.

I do not wish to criticise too severely the immigrants from Russia, Italy, Hungary, Austria and Roumania, but in my humble opinion our immigration is more mono-geneous than the one of our neighbours.

The problem of assimilating the races in our immense territory is of the greatest national importance. The Slavs, oriental and meridional, are slow to understand our institutions and aspirations, but the immigrants from the United States, British Islands, France and Belgium, having in then-own country the representative institutions,

understand rapidly our political system. The English and French immigrants find here the old beloved language. They hear it in the churches, in the courts and in parliament.

In the great work of immigration, I fear the desire of making money, the passion of graft. Some speculators, who would like to make a fortune rapidly, naturally want the gates of Canada to he widely opened to every nation. These men exert in our country a nefarious influence. We do.not want here those people who will not help to the progress of the country. I read the following lines in ' La Patrie,' of the 18th March, 1908:

The department of immigration at Ottawa has established a new rule by which, after the 15th of April next, the immigrants sent from England by the philanthropic societies will be immediately sent back if they have not with them a certificate from the Canadian office of immigration in London, stating that they are fit to become useful citizens.

If properly put In force these regulations might have the effect of preventing undesirable immigrants to enter in our country. The government must act wisely in this case. You have heard a few weeks ago, Mr. Speaker, the Lieutenant Governor of the province of Quebec saying: ' The increase of criminals in certain parts of the province, principally those parts where the immigrants come in greater numbers, has been the subject of serious cousideration by my cabinet who is firmly decided to neglect "no means possible to protect the lives and property of the people.' These alarming words, pronounced by a man of wide experience, by an old magistrate, should awake our attention.

Canada has immense resources. The sons of the soil and the immigrants having good morals, good health, and being able of supporting themselves can take advantage of our national wealth.

The new generations of immigrants growing stronger and more numerous will perhaps one day be masters of Canada. If our immigrants are Christians, we might be treated with justice. We deserve respect from those who come to settle into our country. As a matter of fact, we have always shown great generosity towards the new comers. In 1831, the legislative assembly of Lower Canada granted full rights of citizenship to the Jews, putting them on the same footing as the Canadians.

In 1847. thousands and thousands of Irish emigrants, leaving their country where there was starvation came to Canada. Illness brought many deaths. Our people gave to these Irish all the necessary care. They sacrificed their own lives to save them. We should entertain the same good sentiments, the same sympathy towards immigrants of good character. I wish to repeat it, I am in favour of giving our aid. small but gen erous. to help a desirable immigration, but Mr. PAQTJET.

I believe we have come to a sufficient degree of development that we can dispense of paying premiums on immigrants.

I welcome desirable immigrants; I welcome in our country all those people whose liberties have been abolished, whose rights have been violated and prayers ignored.

But, in the interest of our civilization, in the interest of Canada, we ask from this government to make a proper choice of the immigrants who want to become part of the Canadian family.

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LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE (Strathcona).

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the indulgence of the House for a few minutes while I make some brief remarks on the motion moved by the hon. member for .Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). I think that hon. gentleman is to be congratulated on the presentation of the question, for it was a careful presentation and, in the course of it, the hon. gentleman put forward arguments that are agreed to by both sides of the House. That we require immigrants and require a desirable class of immigrants, it is a foregone conclusion. The hon. gentleman puts forward ids view's in the beginning of his speech in this way-I quote from page 6S77 of unrevised 1 Hansard ' :

We are, therefore, Sir, considering the vast extent of our territory, a small community numerically and our country could no doubt well support a far greater number of people. There is no congestion in Canada and all will and do, I am sure, agree that an increase of population in Canada is desirable. All must also readily agree that if an increase of population in this country is to accrue to us through immigration from other countries it is essential also that none but desirable persons should be admitted to Canadian citizenship and to the Canadian family.

With these sentiments we are in accord. But, in the course of his address, the hon. gentleman puts forward some rather peculiar arguments and draws some more peculiar conclusions. I have read the hon. gentleman's speech very carefully, and I find running through it two or three main ideas. One may be thus expressed: Cease operations of a selective nature and you will procure immigrants of a more select class. I cannot agree with any such deduction from any such premises. Another may be thus stated: Cease operations and the desirable

classes of immigrants will increase. Which, applied to business, I take it, might be stated in this form : Do not endeavour to do business and you will do more business; do uot earnestly desire to attain a certain object and you will attain It all the more surely and speedily. That seems to be ab-sured on the face of it. Another idea in the hon. gentleman's speech may be thus expressed' : Undesirable classes come here because a number of agencies are at work other than the bonus system, but, because these undesirable classes-or, more accurately, these undesirable persons-come

here, there can be only one reason why they come here, and that is the bonus system. That is the hon. gentleman's whole argument. As pointed out by my hon. friend from South Perth (Mr. G. H. McIntyre), that is the only point of the immigration policy that he aims at. Yet the bonus system exists purely and simply because it is of an essentially selective character. Now, what bonuses do we pay ? As I understand it, the first bonus that we paid in this country was begun in 1867, a bonus to certain charitable institutions for bringing our children of a certain class. Those children, it was understood, must not be institutional children-that is children who had been in a penitentiary or a home-in other words, they must be carefully-reared children. That bonus to these institutions is in existence to-day. The second bonus that I would speak about is the bonus on immigrants from the United States. At certain eligible points in the United States we have agents who are paid $3 for every man, $2 for every woman and $1 for every child who, through their influence, settles in Canada. These bonuses are paid for giving directions, for advertising, for getting location points and railway rates and issuing certificates in order that these immigrants may get a reduced rate to certain points of our country. There are more favourable points at which the bonus paid is only .$2 per head for men, $1 for women and 50 cents for children. We have still another bonus, the bonus paid on British immigrants. This bonus is paid as specified in the order in council to certain agents at fl per adult and 10 shillings for each person between 18 years and 1 year, for farmers, farm labourers, stablemen, gardeners, carters, railway service men, navvies, and domestic servants of one year's experience in each occupation. This bonus is applied to the continent of Europe for exactly the same classes, but is only applicable to these countries: Norway, Sweden. Denmark, Holland, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Austria-Hungary. I would point out to my hon. friend from Montmagny (Mr. Armand Davergne) that Italy is excluded from the countries in which bonuses are paid for farm labourers or other classes.

Now, if there is one impression which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Monk) would like to convey without stating It, it is that a bonus has hitherto been paid upon all classes and upon every one who comes here as an immigrant. That impression has been conveyed to the country. I believe such an idea was put forward in the days of the North Atlantic Trading Company, when our friends opposite declared that every man, woman and child cost the country $5. There never was a time when the North Atlantic Trading Company or all the companies operating. received bonuses on more than 30 per cent of the people from any country. A 221

few figures will show how the commission operates at the present time. In the nine months of 1906-7, the total immigration from the United States was 36,659 and we paid bonuses on 2,561. That is, we paid bonuses on 7'04 per cent of the immigrants of that year. In the year 1907-8, we had 46,925. American immigrants, and paid bonuses on 2,425 or 5 per cent of our American immigrants. In Great Britain the operation of the bonus is slightly different from what it is in the United States. The question why we paid a bonus on British immigrants might well be taken up. You are well aware that the people to whom we pay the bonus are the booking agents. Their occupation is not solely as Canadian agents. They engage in some other occupation that takes them through the country and brings them in touch with other people and enables them to carry on a propaganda in advertising, just as if they were paid agents of the government. That is, the bonus paid on British and continental immigrants is simply a means of advertising.

These booking agents are not booking agents for Canadian ports alone ; they are booking agents for Australia, New Zealand, the Argentine Republic and other countries much farther away than Canada. It is important to remember that they receive a commission from the steamship companies and that that commission is a percentage on the amount of the ticket. Therefore, it would naturally follow that every booking agent would want every one purchasing a ticket from him to go to the most distant ports. Here is where the bonus operates: Our Immigration Department steps in and says: _ For certain classes of immigrants we will pay you $5 a head extra. You. cannot imagine any more selective scheme. The person who is undesirable from our standpoint, who does not belong to the agricultural or labouring classes, as we have them specified here, will naturally be induced to go to other countries, whereas the farm labourer, the domestic servant and the farmer will be induced, owing to the bonus, to come to Canada. This must necessarily be the result.

There is a suspicion, and it was expressed here some time ago, that when a man goes to a booking agent he simply says he is a farmer and that is all there is about it, that no further certificate than his word is required. This is not the case. In the first place he has to sign a written statement of where he comes from, where he served and what experience he has had. That statement is kept by the booking agent. Now, as to the second check

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

How does my hon. friend know that and since when did that rule

exist?

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LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

My informant is the Commissioner of Immigration. When the farmer lands in this country he

himself need have no knowledge of whether that booking agent is receiving a bonus or not. When he comes to the Canadian side of the water he is received by the inspector who asks him whether he is a farmer or a farm labourer, and if he comes under these classes a different certificate is made out. These certificates of inspectors are preserved and are forwarded to the head office. The returns of the booking agents are also forwarded to the head office.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Does the hon. gentleman say that the examining officer makes out another certificate here?

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LIB
CON
LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

All I can say is that the person who has stated that to me is the Commissioner of Immigration.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Is the information in writing or oral ?

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LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. WILBERT McINTYRE.

The information submitted to the head office is in the return.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Is the information from the Commissioner of Immigration to the hon. gentleman in writing or oral?

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Simply an oral conversation ?

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Is there anything in the published reports which substantiates that?

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

It is remarkable that the hon. gentleman should have information that no other hon. gentleman has.

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LIB

Wilbert McIntyre

Liberal

Mr. W. McINTYRE.

My method of securing the information was simply to ask the question, because it was stated here that there was no check and I was exceedingly anxious to ascertain if that was true.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I do not wish my hon. friend to misunderstand me. I was not criticising him. His action shows very great diligence and earnestness as a member of the House, but it would seem that if information of that kind is available and is valuable it should be in the possession of every member of this House in the shape of a report.

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April 22, 1908