January 25, 1909

CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

May I ask the hon. gentleman (Mr. Ralph Smith) a question? I think he will admit that in all my campaign the whole of this matter brought before the House

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Some hon. MEMBERS

That is not a question.

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CON

Martin Burrell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL.

I would ask if he heard me discuss any phase of the question except that of the Japanese? And did I not differentiate between the Japanese and the Hindus?

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

My position in this House is that I do not differentiate between the Chinaman the Japanese and the Hindu. And I say that that is the position of the average man in British Columbia.

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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

The Prime Minister does.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

The government does.

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

I did not need to be reminded of that. But I say that I do not differentiate, and if the government does, then, of course, on that point, I am at variance with the government. But what I am pointing out is that, so long as the employers of labour in British Columbia employ orientals, the demand for orientals will be encouraged, but the moment you destroy the demand the supply will look after itself. And I want to make this statement-for I think this is a time to put the case plainly- that these hon. gentlemen who stand for a 'white Canada' do employ yellow men. And so long as these gentlemen come to this House with crocodile tears, bemoaning the depressed condition of British Columbia and declaring their desire to defend the white labour of British Columbia against the yellow races, yet spend their own money in encouraging the presence of these orientals in British Columbia, the people of that province will not believe for very long that they are true advocates. The subterfuge may be successful on election day for once. But ' chickens come home to roost,' and when the electors' facts become known, the permanency that these hon. gentlemen expect in their political lives will be absolutely destroyed. I have preached against orientalism

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CON
LIB
CON

George Henry Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN.

I say that ' preached ' is good.

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

I have preached against orientalism strongly, and I do so yet. But I have practised what I preached, for I have never spent a dollar in the employment of an oriental. And it is my business to put it up to these hon. gentlemen that they are not consistent advocates on this burning question for British Columbia. They must clean their own doorstep. If their influence is to be of importance in this House, they must give a guarantee that they do not encourage with their money and through their business that class in British Columbia of which they complain and over whose presence they pretend to be broken-hearted.

I believe the effect of the settlement of this question has been reasonable and fair.

I believe that when the facts are presented to the people of British Columbia the government will get credit for its position. When the contract with Japan expires, two years from now, if, in the judgment of the people of this country, it is absolutely necessary to have restrictive legislation associated with the treaty, that is the time to put it through. But I submit that, according to the figures before this House, Japanese immigration has been reduced by the settlement, and yet encouragement has been given to oriental trade which is entirely in the interests of the great undeveloped province of British Columbia. I venture to think that that is the position that the people of British Columbia will stand for when they realize the meaning and importance of what has been accomplished, and the government must see that this exclusion must continue.

I have spoken longer than I intended to do, but it is important I should spea,k long. I am the only representative on this side, and I have to reply to all my hon. friends opposite. I am in earnest on this question, because I am a believer in a white British Columbia, and I am glad to say that I put that belief into practice. I think this government ought to go as far as possible to exclude these people, and that we ought to encourage white people instead to come to British Columbia and assist us in developing that great province. As long as you have 30,000 orientals in that province, you make it impossible for white labour to come in from the British Isles. I repeat that while our Tory friends have made the province of British Columbia an oriental country, and never did a thing when they were in control to restrict oriental immigration, the Liberal party have taken vigorous steps against Chinese im-

migration, and have entered into a reasonable agreement with the Japanese government to restrict immigration from that country. They have successfully reduced the emigration of these people to British Columbia in the last six months, down to 18 persons in the month of December last, and this must continue. If this government compelled the government of Japan to stand to the integrity of that agreement, the people of British Columbia themselves, four years hence will support this government in their Japanese policy.

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CON

Arthur Samuel Goodeve

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. S. GOODEVE (Kootenay).

As a representative of British Columbia, I desire to say a few words on the issues that have been raised by the First Minister with regard to this question, and I also propose to deal with the arguments advanced by the Postmaster General. I wish to say with regard to the question raised by the First Minister, that if this government was so signally defeated in our province, it was due to the four factors mentioned by my hon. friend from Yale-Cariboo (Mr. Burrell). In my constituency at least the question of the deferred election and the presence of the Minister of the Interior in that riding, had a great deal to do with the majority I obtained. The sense of justice and fairplay so eminently characteristic of the west, resented the deferred election. Our people felt that they were being unfairly and unjustly treated, and they showed their resentment. In regard to the second issue, there were certain districts in my constituency in which we conceded a Liberal majority ; but after the Minister of the Interior had come in and spoken on behalf of the Liberal candidate, and explained the policy of the government, as we considered, authoritatively, he found the sentiment in those districts altogether hostile, and the result was that in those Liberal districts I received a very large majority.

Now, Sir, in dealing with the issues raised by the Postmaster General, I desire to say here that I was delighted,' on this the occasion of my first appearance in the House, to hear the eloquent language of the minister, but I regret to have to say that, while admiring his eloquence, I cannot also admire his logic. I regret to say that I can neither agree with his logic nor with his conclusions. I also desire to thank the hon. gentleman for the compliments he paid to our splendid province and its representatives. He has argued, as most of the speakers on the government side have argued, up to a certain point in agreement with the position taken by the people of British Columbia. I think I can say that as regards the economic phase of the question, we are m accord. The First Minister himself has stated much more eloquently than I could hope to do, the exact economic changes involved in bringing these Asiatics and orientals into Mr. RALPH SMITH.

the province of British Columbia. He has explained that owing to their environment in their native country, to the fact that for generations they have lived in poverty and distress, the presence of any considerable number of them in that portion of Canada creates a disturbance in the economic conditions. We are at one on that part of the question. But it seems to me that when hon. gentlemen opposite reach a crucial point in their argument, they fail to follow it out to a logical conclusion ; they point in a more or less distracted way to the old flag and in various -ways endeavour to avoid the logical conclusion of their argument. That has been the case with all the speeches from the other side that I have listened to so far. They say that if it was only the economical question that was in dispute, that could be easily settled.

But they have gone on and told us that there was danger to the empire at large. Sir, what are the arguments they have advanced in support of their attitude in that respect ? Not only during the last campaign, but during the last eight years, I have failed to find a single argument advanced by any member of this government to support their contention that the people of British Columbia are guilty of any disloyalty to the empire in the attitude they have taken on this question. Both the Prime Minister and the Postmaster General have told us that if we push the policy we have taken with regard to this question to a conclusion, we are likely to disturb the friendly relations existing between the empire and Japan. Now let us look at this question from a non-partisan standpoint, as one appealing to the whole Canadian people. My good friend the Postmaster General says that the people of British Columbia do not understand this question, that they do not understand the people of Japan. He says, they have not visited Japan, as I have done. Well, Mr. Speaker, it is true, we have not been so fortunate as to be able to visit that beautiful country he describes, at the expense of the Canadian people. But I venture to say that if we were sent over to Japan as delegates from the province of British Columbia, or from the Dominion of Canada, we would not come back and recommend to this parliament that they should place the control of immigration into Canada in the hands of the Japanese government. I will go further and say that if the Postmaster General himself would visit that great province of Manitoba, that was so eloquently referred to by the mover of the address as the granary of the world, if he would go farther and visit the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta and observe their flocks of cattle on a thousand hills or if he would go still further west and stand on the summit of the Rock-

ies and look over that sea of mountains, to quote the words of a Liberal leader of former days, if he would take note of the splendid natural resources of that great province, of her lakes and rivers, of her immense wealth in minerals, fisheries and timber ; if he would look over this vast heritage and realize that the men who are called upon to develop these immense resources are of the Canadian race, descendants of the great Anglo-Saxon race that has done so much for the civilization of the world, I venture to say that even the Postmaster General, however much he may admire our little brown friends in Japan, would not say that we should give up to them the task of peopling and developing that province.

I venture to say that even the hon. Postmaster _ General would hesitate to hand over this vast Dominion to these people, as ii6 is advocating at tliis time. The answer of the hon. Postmaster General is that we have the assurance of the Japanese government, both by word of mouth and in writing, from the \ oar 1900, and that assurance Has been repeated in ten or twenty communications from that government since that time, that there would be no immigration from that country to Canada exceeding 600 a year, and yet I find in Hansard, in a speech of the Minister of Agriculture c.emered in this House seven years afterwards, the statement that in ten months 8J25 Japanese had come into Canada What explanation does the Minister of Agriculture make of that fact ? He said : It is true, 8,125 Japanese came into Canada from January to September, but of that number some 4,000 come from the islands of Hawaii and some 900 came in under contract for certain immigration agencies or bureaus, and a certain number passed through to the United States, leaving something like 3,000 remaining in Canada according to the minister's own figures. But when we go behind the statement of the Minister of Agriculture, we find that every one of those immigrants had a passport direct from the Japanese government, as was brought out at the investigation in Victoria. This shows that there is nothing in the spoken or written promise of the Japanese government. What difference does it make to the labourers or artisans of British Columbia whether these men are brought in under contract or as free labourers? If you bring 900 or 9,000 Japanese into the labour market, under contract, you are doing the very thing that we in the west and the whole of Canada are fighting against. We want this country for our own Canadian people. But we find that the wages of our labourers and artisans are being cut down by the influx of these people into our country. We are told that this is more or less a local question. When it comes up for discussion, as it will later on, we shall be able to bring forward such facts

and arguments as will convince both sides of this House that it is not merely a provincial question affecting the province of British Columbia alone, but a question affecting gravely the whole Dominion of Canada, and affecting the whole British empire.

There is a side of this question that has never yet been touched upon, so far as I have seen, on reference to Hansard, or heard in any of the speeches I have listened to from time to time. The hon. Postmaster General has referred to the fact that the Japanese are aggressive and intelligent, and he afterwards took credit to the government that by increasing the head tax on the Chinese from $50 to $500, they had done much to shut out the Chinese. He did not agree with the hon. member for Nanaimo, but said: 'I make a clear distinction between the Chinese and the Japanese'; and he went on to explain what the distinction was. He said that the Chinese engaged in more menial occupations than the Japanese, that they were not so advanced in western civilization. I want to point out that that is the very thing that makes them all the more dangerous. On this point I will call the attention of the government to the report of their own royal commission, consisting of three Liberals, appointed to investigate this question some years ago, when the various boards of trade and labour organizations throughout British Columbia and the other western provinces were bringing the question to the attention of the country. That commission consisted of Mr. Clute, who has since become a judge, Mr. Foley and Mr. Munn. That commission investigated the question with a good deal of care, and the gist of their report was that the admission of the Japanese into the Dominion, and particularly the province of British Columbia, was more dangerous and more inimical to the interests of the people of Canada than an influx of even the Chinese. But, Sir, notwithstanding the finding of their own royal commission, notwithstanding that they sent one minister twice and another minister once to Japan to study the question, the government of Canada have done practically nothing other than to get the personal assurance of the Japanese government that they themselves would restrict this immigration. The hon. member for Nanaimo tells us this afternoon that under the agreement made by the Japanese government with the Postmaster General the immigration of these people has been restricted to such an extent that in certain months of the year not more than twenty-three or twenty-four come in. But the agreement the Postmaster General made could not possibly restrict immigration from Janan. I find from a stenographic report received by the Japanese newspapers on the discussion that took place in the Diet of Tokio, the minister with whom he had the correspondence spoke as follows :

Japanese newspapers received in yesterday s mails give stenographic reports of the discussion in the Diet at Tokio regarding the question of Japanese immigration to Canada. Count Hayashi, Foreign Minister, in the course of a long speech is reported as having declared that after the Vancouver riots Canada asked Japan to negotiate a treaty differentiating labour immigration from her shores and that the Japanese government bad replied that it could not possibly negotiate any treaty differentiating injuriously against its own nationalists, and that all negotiations having that object must be futile.

Nevertheless, Canada has sent Hon. Mr. Lemieux to this country last November, with instructions to negotiate such a convention if possible. In that respect the envoy's mission had failed, but he had received assurances from the Japanese government that would continue to exercise to the full all the functions delegated to it by law in this matter.

Notwithstanding that at that particular time the Postmaster General was negotiating this very treaty, this minister of the Japanese government claims that the only treaty that could possibly be made must be carefully defined within these lines. Such a treaty is certainly not such a treaty as was described by the Postmaster General in his speech on Friday last. I quote further from the remarks of this Japanese minister:

Mr. Lemieux had asked for an interchange of documents in that sense, and despatches were given which have already been published. The question then arose as to exactly what immigrants were to be vetoed, and it bad been agreed that no restriction whatever should be imposed with regard to the following, namely:

This is the gist of the whole matter:

first, travellers, merchants and students; secondly, Japanese subjects who, although belonging to the labouring class, had their wives and families in Canada; thirdly, labourers who had returned to Japan from Canada and who contemplated going back to Canada; fourthly, contract labourers, that is to say, men having fixed employment; fifthly, Japanese subjects discharging the duties of domestic servants and accompanying their employers; and, sixthly agricultural labourers Obviously the only labourers not included in this category were those who drifted to Canada without any resources of their own and on the chance of finding employment.

Ip other words, this is a distinct declaration that the Japanese government would enter into no negotiations with the Postmaster General for a treaty which would debar these particular classes from free entry into Canada. It was not argued by any member from British Columbia-at an'j rate it was not argued in my constituency-that the treaty gave any special privileges to the Japanese outside of the Immigration Act, but what I do say is that the Japanese government distinctly stated that they would not be restricted further than our Immigration Act restricted other Mr. GOODEVE.

nationalities. The fact is that the Japanese government have simply given an assurance to the Canadian government that in so far as it is reasonable or in so far as they themselves are satisfied they will restrict immigration, while at the same time they hold themselves free at any time to allow the immigration of all these classes which I have enumerated and which include the very labourers and artisans about whom we have been speaking.

We grant that the Japanese are a people who are rapidly taking up with western ideas. They have a territory of over one million square miles and a population of over forty million people. The Postmaster General argued on Friday last that we are constantly increasing our intercourse with these eastern nations, and he suggested that when the time came, and it was rapidly approaching he said, that we would have an ' all red route,' intercommunication between us and oriental nations would increase more and more. Therefore, Sir, the danger will be getting greater as the years roll by. The Japanese people with their enormous population crowded into such a small area are naturally casting their eyes around to see wherein their surplus population may find a home. And, if we have the same great influx of these people into the fair lands of our western shores that we have had in the past, let me ask this House wliat would be the result? In British Columbia we have a large territory and a sparse population, and if the influx of orientals were to continue the time is not far distant when the alien and foreign population would exceed the native population. There is this difference between oriental and European immigration, that the orientals cannot and will not assimilate with our people. We never look to the time when by marriage and inter-marriage with the Chinese and Japanese these orientals shall become assimilated with the people of our race. Every man in this House knows that is an impossible thing. I ask you then, in what position will Canada be when we have several hundred thousand of these orientals, remaining loyal to their own flag and unassimilated with us. Do hon. gentlemen think what the result might be in case of war ? There is not a single Japanese who leaves his native land who is not enlisted and who does not report every three years to his home government. What would such men do in the case of a call to arms for the defence of Canada? Hon. gentlemen opposite may perhaps say that I am raising a bugaboo, but is it not well that in the government of a nation we should look to the future ? We trust, Sir, that the alliance between the Biitish empire and the Japanese empire may long continue, we believe it will, but when we are dealing with such a question as this we must look at it in all its aspects. It is only ordinary prudence that we should

endeavour to see what may occur in the future, and what effect our policy of to-day may in the years to come have upon our country and our empire. Only to-day I read a despatch in the newspapers- I may say, however, that I have no confidence in that despatch-only to-day I read in the newspapers that one of the leaders of the pc-ople to the south has declared that if the United States should continue in their policy of withdrawing their warships from the Pacific ocean it will mean war. I mention that merely to show what the trend of public opinion is and how the people of the United States realize that the great Pacific slope is looked at with longing eyes by these oriental races. It is therefore necessary that every Canadian, no matter what his politics, should realize that this is no longer a question for British Columbia alone. It is a question that concerns every man, woman and child, not only in the Dominion of Canada, but in every part of this great empire of ours. We should view it from that broad standpoint, we should realize that any action we may take now should be taken for the benefit of the whole empire. When the question of this tieaty with Japan first arose it was submitted to the government then in power in Canada, and they suggested to the Colonial Secretary that Canada could only accept that treaty if there was a clause in it giving us control of our own immigration. The question remained in abeyance for several years, and although the present government of Canada had all the information concerning it before them, although they had sent their ministers three times to Japan to study the question, although the British gcvernment itself had called the attention of the Canadian government especially to the matter and asked if they wanted any restriction, this government said: no, and they deliberately signed that treaty without any provision whatever for the restriction of immigration into Canada. We in British Columbia are meanwhile the sufferers from the economic disturbance caused by the results of this treaty, and so we realized more than did the people of eastern Canada what this disturbance means, and we took up the issue. When the question comes up later on we shall endeavour to place our arguments in such light before this House that I think the House will agree that some steps must be taken to restrict the Japanese in their free ingress and egress to this country. That is the whole question. We are just as loyal to the empire as are the gentlemen who sit on the government benches; we admire as much as they do the progressiveness of the Japanese people, but we say that in considering this question we have got to view it in the light of a business proposition. Why, as the Postmaster General argued should they feel any offence, why should their feelings be hurt because we make laws in regard to

the restriction of the entrance of their people into this country? Would it not have been a reasonable proposition? Do we not impose similar restrictions in regard to our own people? We know that under the Immigration Act we restrict the entrance of even our own people into the country. Then is there any reason why we should not in the same way restrict the immigration of Japanese?

The hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith) has made much of the fact of a certain telegram having been sent to Victoria in regard to this question. Speaking for my district, I never saw that telegram, I never heard of it, I never heard it read or knew anything about it until I heard of it in this House on Friday afternoon. It had little bearing in my district of Kootenay. Some one may have read it, and I accept the word of the hon. member (Mr. Ralph Smith) that it was read in his presence, but as he stated I was not present at the time and I repeat that I never heard of it and know that it had nothing whatever to do with the question. I was surprised that the hon. member (Mr. Ralph Smith) seemed to think the whole crux of the question rested on that telegram. Yet what was the real argument in regard to it ? Simply that if he was correct, if his arguments were correct, then the people of British Columbia are very much in earnest on this question. If that telegram swayed votes in favour of the opposition as against the government, there is only one conclusion to be drawn and that is that they are very much in earnest in regard to this question and want it settled along lines that will preserve to them the good heritage of this Dominion of ours.

In regard to the question of better terms, the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Lemieux) said that the Hon. Mr. McBride's mission at the conference of the premiers in regard to this question was a failure. I venture to differ from him in regard to that. When the province of British Columbia applied for an independent tribunal to try their case, they were refused, and instead of giving them an independent tribunal the goi eminent called for a conference of the premiers of the various provinces to go into this whole question. There was nothing wrong in that, but I appeal to your sense and judgment whether or not that was an independent tribunal as putting the claim of one province against the claim of another province. Every member, every school boy, knows that if any one of those premiers had given more to one province than he obtained for his own, the first question asked of him on returning to his constituents would be : Why did you not get as much as the other provinces ? That is natural, that is right and that is fair and yet I can prove to you that our claim was so just that even the biassed

and I say advisedly, prejudiced tribunal admitted the right of the province of British Columbia to special consideration and so the Hon. Richard McBride did not fail in his mission here at that conference. I have here the resolution adopted by that conference, a tribunal composed of premiers, every one fighting for his own province. Yet they felt that our position was so just that they passed this resolution :

That in view of the large area, geographical position and very exceptional physical features of the province of British Columbia, it is the opinion of this conference that the said province should receive a reasonable additional ailowanoe for the purposes of civil government in excess of the provisions made in the Quebec resolutions of 1902, and that such additional allowance should be to the extent of $100,000 annually for ten years.

I rather regret to say-I may be wrong- but I thought I detected certain sarcasm beneath the words of the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when he said that the province accepted the $100,000 for ten years, or $1,000,000, although they said it was not enough. Is there anything wrong in the province having accepted that concession ? Would you have them act as children and when they asked for a cake and get only half a cake throw it down and say : I will not take it ? I venture to say there was nothing wrong in the province of British Columbia accepting the $1,000,000 that was offered them, at the same time entering their protest that it was not a fair or adequate amount under the conditions. Mr. McBride's mission was not a failure.

Then the Postmaster General (Mr. Le-mieux) said that Mr. McBride went to the foot of the Throne and again was not successful. I intend to prove from the resolution that Mr. McBride was successful. After having obtained an admission from a prejudiced tribunal that the province was entitled to special and exceptional terms to the extent of $1,000,000, Mr. McBride went to London. We had from the First Minister himself a statement that that was a final and unalterable settlement, that it had been settled by the conference of premiers of the provinces and was final. But, Sir, the premier of the province of British Columbia did not so regard it and I am glad to say that in this he was supported by the leader of the opposition in the British Columbia House at Victoria, Mr. J. A. Macdonald, who himself moved a resolution in which he said that the amount was inadequate and that therefore they did not want this to be a final and unalterable settlement. The result of that was that the legislature unanimously, Liberals and Conservatives alike, agreed to send the premier of the province to- the foot of the Throne to argue that the Mr. GOODEVE.

rights of the province were denied by the Liberal government at Ottawa. I venture to say again that they were successful because I find that when the premier of the province of British Columbia went home and placed this matter before the British government he obtained this communication :

Downing Street, June 5, 1907. To the Hon. Richard McBride,

Hotel Victoria, London.

I am directed by the Earl of Elgin to inform you that His Lordship has given the most careful consideration to the documents which you presented to him and to the views advanced against the proposed amendment of the British North America Act fixing the scale of payments be made by the Dominion of Canada to the several provinces.

2. Lord Elgin fully appreciates the force of the opinion expressed that the British North America Act was the Tesult of terms of union agreed upon by the contracting provinces and that its terms cannot be altered merely at the wish of the Dominion government.

I am to add that no mention will be made in the imperial act of the settlement being final and unalterable, such terms being obviously unappropriate in a legislative enactment.

I venture to say that the hon. the Postmaster General was incorrect in both the assertions he made. Mr. McBride was both successful in the conference and successful with the home government. He had these words struck out so that in the future we can easily obtain justice and fair-play for i ur province.

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CON

James Davis Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMES DAVIS TAYLOR (New Westminster).

Although the ground has been very fully covered by other members from British Columbia, I consider it my duty to rise and add my quota to the explanations which have been made regarding the special case of the province of British Columbia. Let me say at the outset that I appreciate the compliment paid to the members on the Conservative side from British Columbia by the right hon. the leader of the government when he said that in our province this election was fought on principle, and I wish to congratulate the Conservative members generally on his further statement that in the other provinces the test was not so much of principle as an appeal to sectional feeling and prejudices. I would like to point out that the result of the appeal to principle in British Columbia was a substantial Conservative majority, and that the result of the sectional appeals throughout the rest of Canada was a Liberal majority. We have the admission of the right hon. gentleman himself to this effect, when he told us that his party had adopted a pamphlet issued against it by a certain organization in this Dominion, but intended only as an address to those interested in the principles of that organization. Well, we hove the First Minister admitting that his

party had circulated that same appeal in quarters hostile to the organization which issued it; and had done this for the purpose of injuring the Conservative party.

It seems to me that this debate has taken a most extraordinary turn, and that we have reached a new era in parliamentary affairs when we find the leader of the House, in his speech on the address, making no mention of the legislation promised and giving no explanation of any of the measures outlined in the speech from the Throne, but instead making theatrical production of shoddy in the shape of a disputed telegram and laying a copy of it on the table, although it was well known to his associates at least that that telegram had been repudiated by the hon. gentleman whose name was signed to it. It certainly was a most unusual experience for a new member to be taunted, as the hon. member for Victoria was taunted the other night by the leader of this House, with having secured his seat by false pretenses and with occupying a seat which by right should belong to another. I think we should have further explanation as to the origin of that telegram. I think we should have heard something on that point from the hon. member from Nanaimo (Mr. Smith), who took up a good deal of time this afternoon. We should have heard something from him regarding the control of the ' Colonist,' in which that telegram appeared It would certainly have come with very gcod grace from him to tell the House that the ' Colonist ' is not in any sense of the word a concern in which the Conservative party has any proprietary control. The ' Colonist,' so far as its ownership is concerned, is a thoroughly independent newspaper, and its editor is one of the most pronounced and prominent Liberals in all British Columbia, and a close personal friend, if I am not very much mistaken, of the hon. member from Nanaimo, who this afternoon sought to make the House believe that this telegram had emanated from sources entirely favourable to the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Barnard), and that the Conservative party should be held responsible for the use made of it. I would like to add that the facts I have mentioned regarding the control of the ' Colonist ' are very well known to the members of this government. It seems to me-and I say it with all the humility which becomes a young member making his first appearance that it is not in accord with parliamentary traditions that stigma should be cast on a whple party because of a document as to which that party cannot be held responsible.

I wish to add that I do not impute any wilful wrong to the 'Colonist ' newspaper or its editor. In justice to one of the great newspapers of British Columbia- and with which I had at one time a pretty long connection-I can say that, so far as I know, that newspaper is conducted now, as

ever, on the most honourable lines. I would like to have an explanation as to how this telegram came to be distorted, but 1 would not for a moment attribute any wilful distortion to the ' Colonist.' But when you examine the words substituted, namely, ' The absolute exclusion of Asiatic labour,' and contrast them with the words said by the leader of the opposition to have been in the telegram signed by him, namely, ' the absolute protection of white labour/ when you contrast these and get ycur mind away, for the moment, from the enormity of making any alteration whatever in a telegram published with the signature of the author, you will find that, after all, there is very little difference between them.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

Mr, J. D. TAYLOR. You will find, I say, Mr. Speaker, that there is very little difference between them. I would like to impress that particularly upon the hon. member for Nainaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith), and ask him, as the representative par excellence of the labour interest, what difference he sees between the absolute protection of white labour in British Columbia and the exclusion of Asiatics from British Columbia. To my mind, the terms, in meaning are identical. But I can well see the point which the right hon. gentleman who introduced this matter before the House might have made against the leader of the opposition if he could have fastened upon him the responsibility of sending the telegram as it appeared. It is quite plain to any one who considers the matter that in the face of the Japanese treaty, in the face of the possibility that the sender of that telegram might, within a short time, have had to assume the responsibility of leading the government of this country, it would have been a very undignified position for him to take to send a message which might have been interpreted as a message of defiance to the Japanese people with whom we had a treaty. Under the treaty, and the agreement in connection with it, the condition of affairs in British Columbia with respect to the Japanese would have been very much better than it had been in the past, especially the then recent past. While we can well understand the caution which would move the leader of the opposition in sending the telegram,

I say, as a member of the Conservative party in British Columbia and in this House, that, whether or not our leader sent the telegram, that our policy was one of absolute exclusion of Asiatics from British Columbia, I do believe that that is the policy of the Conservative party of Canada, and I do maintain that, so far as the members from British Columbia can be influential in shaping the policy of the Conservative party, they will stand to a man in fa-

Your of the exclusion of Asiatics from our magnificent province.

Another reason suggests itself to my mind -and probably will suggest itself to the minds of others-for the extraordinary heat shown by the leader of this government in connection with this Japanese question. It occurs to me that this Japanese treaty was of the nature of a personally-conducted excursion into the realm of legislation, and that it followed the appearance of the siren within the precincts of the Privy Council. It appears to me that the fatality attending upon these personally-conducted excursions has had an irritating effect upon the right hon. gentleman. When we see the latest excursion of this kind followed by the disappearance of the Minister of In land Revenue, and when we recall that a previous essay of this nature was _ followed by the disappearance of a Minister of the Interior, and when we remember certain negotiations from which the Minister of Railways was excluded, followed by the disappearance of that Minister of Railways, we can understand the heat with which the subject is approached by the Prime Minister, and his natural annoyance that a third should have been added to the cabinet fatalities, and that he should be held, in a measure, responsible for the disappearance of his unfortunate colleague.

Now, we heard the right hon. gentleman challenge the patriotism of the members from British Columbia when he said-I speak from recollection-that our attitude with regard to Asiatic immigration was a menace not onlv to the interests of Canada but of the whole British empire. Sir, we are not a peculiar people in British Columbia. The most of us are Canadians from the eastern provinces who have been attracted by the greater opportunities of the west, but who, in our progress westward, have not had our vision narrowed. We have not lost anything of our affection for Canada or for the British empire because we have removed from Quebec or Ontario to British Columbia. But we think we can claim that we see this Asiatic problem with clearer vision than that of our fellow countrymen who have remained in the east. We do not want to see the Japanese planted in our fields. We do not want to hand over our fisheries, as has been the case with the Fraser river, to the

swarm of their boats. Emphatically we do not want to surrender our anchorage in the harbour of Esquimalt or the harbour of Vancouver to the warships of the Japanese nation. The Prime Minister suggested that these ships would be likely to ride at anchor there at a future date to protect us from molestations by enemies of our Empire. I may say that no man in British Columbia that I ever heard indicated that he looked for foreign molestation from any quarter which Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.

would cause us to welcome the protection of the Japanese fleet. I do not know that any person in British Columbia has ever feared that the time would come when the power of the British navy would be insufficient to protect our shores. If I have heard criticism in that respect, it has been of the policy of the Canadian government, which policy has dismantled our only naval station in British Columbia and has made of the great naval yard at Esquimalt little but a wreck and has left us, indeed, at the mercy of any hostile vessels that might have come there. I say, we are not apprehensive of hostilities from any quartei. But when we think of these matters, we remember that a few years ago we had a naval base and that to-day there are no ships of war there. And when we look for the cause, we find it largely in the refusal of the government of Canada to contribute to the cost of imperial na.val defence or to take any part in negotiations said to have been set afoot by the British authorities with the view of a businesslike arrangement to that effect. .

Before I leave this subject of oriental immigration I would like to say that the position in British Columbia is very much aggravated by the attitude of this government towards the Japanese who have come to our province and are naturalized there. It is bad enough to have these people monopolizing our industries, especially to have them take possession of the sockeye fishery of the Fraser, but when we find the government proposing to put these orientals by thousands upon the voters' list in British Columbia and so place them in a position to swamp the white vote, then the electors of a riding such as New Westminster, which I have the honour to represent, believe that it is time for a pause, believe that it is time to take most resolute action to arouse public opinion to the danger to which we are exposed, the danger of humiliation in an electoral sense brought upon us by the most peculiar attitude of this government m relation to the Japanese. We find on the records of three or four years ago a most indignant remonstrance by the then Minister of Justice of Canada against an Act of the legislature of British Columbia denying to Asiatics, the right to be registered on the voters' list of that province.

The Minister of Justice of that day, endorsed by his colleagues, declared that the province of British Columbia should not be allowed to deny the privilege of the franchise to naturalized subjects of His Majesty; and that representation should be made to that province to the effect that naturalized Asiatics should go upon the voters' lists. Now when this proposition came to be discussed by this government they knew the extent to which the J apanese had been naturalize 1 in British Columbia, and in New West

minster particularly. It is part of the Dominion fishery laws that no man can obtain a fishing license for the salmon fishery unless he is a naturalized British subject. We had at that time close upon

3.000 naturalized Japanese holding fishing licenses, and the proposition of the government virtually was to put that whole

3.000 on the voters' list in British Columbia, mainly in the riding of New Westminster. I appeal to any person who can understand the meaning of an Act of that kind, I appeal to his sense of fair play, whether any community would be true to itself that remained inactive, and did not strain every nerve to resist such a proposition, that did not do as we have done, and form Asiatic Exclusion leagues, which have done so much to educate the people of British Columbia and to make possible the emphatic answer we returned to the policy of this government.

Now a few words on the subject of better terms. It seems to me that the case has not been so fully stated by the members of the government as it might have been, seeing that they are so much more conversant with the facts than the average men can be. This is a matter of first importance in British Columbia. Our application for an increase, which we call better terms, had been before the government of Canada for about six years. We were able to show by the most detailed calculations that we were paying into the federal exchequer a sum in excess of the other provinces, proportionately, and that we were not getting back what was rightly due us. We were exasperated that the government, year after year, made no reply to our appeal for redress, and virtually ignored us. Finally the premier of British Columbia received an invitation from the Prime Minister of Canada to come down to Ottawa, not to discuss the matter with the other provincial premiers alone, but to discuss it also with His Majesty's ministers, with a view to a solution of a long standing problem. Mr. McBride's grievance began when he arrived at Ottawa and proposed to discuss with His Majesty's ministers the special claim of British Columbia, that did not involve the other provinces at all. We had a claim that was not shared by the other provinces, and we addressed that claim solely to the government of Canada. I say that when he came to Ottawa, and when His Majesty's ministers refused to discuss that claim, and told him that he must take it before a conference of provincial premiers, that the federal government would not consider any representations at all except such as came from that conference, then of course Mr. McBride was forced to take his case before those premiers, and according to all the reports we have received he presented his case in a most heroic manner. I say that he achieved a

signal triumph when he obtained from the conference of provincial premiers a verdict that in consideration of the special disabilities of the province, we were entitled to a 'reasonable compensation' in addition to what we received from all other sources. Now, Mr. Speaker, those were the terms of the resolution passed by the provincial premiers, namely, that we were entitled to reasonable compensation. And what we hold now, what we have been pressing on our constituents during the recent campaign, is that the government of Canada, as at present constituted and then constituted, distinctly refused to enter into any calculation to ascertain what was a reasonable compensation. We were told that we must accept the frivolous sum awarded by that conference, and the government refused to make any calculations to ascertain whether it was reasonable or unreasonable. On the other hand, we have received from the leader of the Conservative party a distinct pledge that if he were placed in power he would refer our case to an independent tribunal to ascertain the amount to which we were entitled, and I appeal to any fair-minded man whether the leader of the Conservative party can be accused of bribing the province of British Columbia, whether he has not acted fairly towards the province and whether we would not have been unworthy of the support of our constituents if, having been turned down by the present government, we had not made the appeal of the leader of the opposition to put himself on record. Can any person in this House or out of it hold for one moment that a fair and distinct promise publicly made by the leader of a party upon a great public question like that, can be regarded as a bribe ? I wish to refer for a moment to the extraordinary attitude taken by the minister representing British Columbia in the Cabinet. We were told by Mr. Templeman that the question of better terms was as dead as Julius Ceasar. Well Sir, our reply is the empty seat of the Minister of Inland Revenue. He it is who perhaps is as dead as Julius Ceasar, and were it not for the esteem in which the late member for Comox-Atlin is held bv his constituents, and deservedly held, as a gentleman who has been most diligent in looking after the affairs of his riding, the Minister of Inland Revenue would remain as dead as Julius Caesar. Whether or not he will have opposition, I have no information. but I say that if the Minister of Inland Revenue is resurrected, it will be solely because of the compassion of the electors of Comox-Atlin for that hon. gentleman, because they wrill not desire to see the undoubted sacrifice made in vain, which has been made by Mr. Sloan in retiring from this House.

Now I desire to say a few words bearing more directly upon some of the subjects

mentioned in the speech from the Throne. I dissent from the position laid down by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries that because he has been re-elected by his constituents, and because this government has been returned to power, he has a right to regard the charges made against himself and this government as having been disposed of. To my mind the minister and the rest of the members of the government still stand arraigned at the bar of public opinion, and must be judged by their action upon the report of Mr. Justice Cassels. In regard to the reference in the address to this report, I would remind you that in 1891 we had a similar *condition of affairs in this House. We had a serious arraignment of the government of that day. We had a report presented exonerating a minister of guilty knowledge of irregularities in his department. But he resigned his portfolio, because he felt that he had not been sufficiently conversant with the operations of his department, and had not discovered the irregularities that the commission found to exist in it. We had an amendment to the Criminal Code at that day, introduced by the then Minister of Justice, Sir John Thompson, providing certain punishment for offences of that nature. It seems curious that no steps have ever been taken, under the special clauses inserted in the Criminal Code by Sir John Thompson, to deal with offences by employees of the government against the government. I for one would have liked to have heard on this occasion how it is that there have been no prosecutions under these provisions, whether it is because Sir John Thompson was so poor a draftsman that he was not able to draft a section covering cases of this kind, a supposition which I do not think any one in this House will admit for a moment-or whether it is the benevolent intention of the government to absolve all the persons shown to be guilty of having used the money of this country for their private benefit, by passing an Act which shall not be retroactive but apply only to offences committed subsequent to its adoption. I think we should have some explanation why there have been no prosecutions, why matters in this respect have been allowed to drift.

Mr. Speaker, I have no more to add. I have to thank the House for the patience with which they have listened to me on this occasion, and to join in the hope expressed by my colleagues from British Columbia that on a more fitting occasion we shall have the subjects of more particular importance to our province brought before this House and discussed at greater length, so that we may have a thorough understanding as to the attitude of the government and as to what we may expect to Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.

be done for the advantage of British Columbia during the term of this parliament.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. N. LEWIS (West Huron).

Mr. Speaker, owing to indisposition I was unable to hear the first part of this debate.

I have, however, read the speeches delivered on Friday and have heard the hon. gentlemen who have addressed the House to-day, and I wish to congratulate the province of British Columbia on the contingent which it has sent to represent it in this House. The hon. gentlemen who have preceded me have been discussing the yellow labour question. I wish for about ten minutes to discuss a white labour question, one which is very material to the interests of Canada and is of special personal interest to the members of this House. It is a question affecting labourers who, most of them will claim, are harder worked and less paid than any others on this continent; I refer to the labourers for the Dominion of Canada whom I see around me. I wish, Sir, to bring to your notice- and I do so without any political animus whatsoever, but simply for the good of Canada-the question of the length of the session. For eight long months, mostly within a year from now, the parliament of Canada was in session here. The question which I wish to ask is this: To what end did the legislation of those eight months tend? Did it tend to benefit the Dominion of Canada for the time spent ? The opposition and the government were like two hostile fleets reconnoitering and man-oeuvering for one purpose only-to influence the impending general election; they were trying to get the weather gauge on each other; and I contend that if that session had lasted but three months, it would have served the general good of Canada quite as well as it did. I do not mean to say for one moment that one side is more obstructionist than the other. In what I am about to say I do not mean to reflect on the members from British Columbia who have spoken in this debate, because so far as I have heard or read their speeches, they have not conflicted with each other; there has been no tautology or reiteration in them. But the habit has been growing in this parliament that when a member from one of the smaller provinces makes a speech on a subject pertaining to that province, every other member from the province gets up and goes over the same ground. There should be some changes in our practice. We have drifted into a system of managing the public business that is very detrimental to the interests of the country. We take longer to do the business of the country than any other parliament on the face of the earth. I have looked into the matter, and I find that during the eight months this parliament

was in session last year we passed 157 Bills. In the province of Quebec the legislature was in session one month and twenty-two days and passed 218 Bills. In the province of Ontario the legislature was in session two month's and twenty days and passed 146 Bills. The imperial parliament at Westminster passes on an average between 200 and 300 Bills in a session shorter than ours. In the United States there are introduced into congress upwards of 15,000 Bills on the average every session, and upwards of 2,000 are passed. The sessions last an average of five months. I contend that we in this parliament have drifted unconsciously into a system of carrying on our parliamentary business which is not suitable to this country. We have adopted the poor rules and not the good rules of the parliament of Great Britain. Now, I do not for one moment advocate what is known as the closure and there is a misconception in the public mind that the Speaker in the British parliament has the power of closure. However, we must remember that the Speaker of the English House of Commons is an entirely different official from our Speaker here. In England the Speaker of the House of Commons is like a judge of the land, appointed for life, but here he is elected each parliament.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

So he is in Great Britain.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

Yes, but jin the British House the same Speaker is re-elected.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Yes, the election is a mere convention.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

The same gentleman is elected from parliament to parliament in England. Now, power could be given our Speaker to see that all reiterations were omitted, and as is done in England all questions could be answered in writing and published in 'Hansard,' and if there is anything objectionable in the answers^ it could be referred to later. Another thing that would tend to lessen the length of the sessions would be to insist that all speeches delivered in the House should be of original matter and in the hon. member's own words.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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January 25, 1909