February 10, 1909

CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET (L'Islet) asked:

(Translation.)

For a copy of all correspondence, reports and documents between the Department of the Interior and the immigration agents in the United States; and between the Department of the Interior and the colonization societies since the 1st of January, 1908.

He said : Mr. Speaker, I ask for a copy of correspondence between the Minister of the Interior and the colonization societies, between the Minister of the Interior and the immigration agents in the United States ; in order to study the work of repatriation.

The solution of this social problem is the most important in the interest of the Canadian people ; I recognize the value of the work done in the past. I do not desire to raise a tablet to the methods adopted, and on the ruins erect new systems. We must preserve such things that meet our requirements, social and economic, but at the same time, improve and consolidate them and bring them to perfection. Our object is to quicken the work of repatriating the Canadian descendants of the races that civilized France and the British isles. In this work, too complete and too imperfect, I desire especially to study the repatriation of the French Canadians.

In the days of the French administration, we see our ancestors already on the shores of lake Champlain, in the plains of the west and on the banks of the Mississippi.

The French missionaries and discoverers left the St. Lawrence valley and overran the American territories, implanting Christian civilization as they went. They did so to discover new lands in the interests of France, of civilization and of religion. Successive generations of Canadian birth ploughed the English colonies of our continent.

With respect to the causes that have influenced the immigration of our people Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

to. the United States, permit me to cite our historian, Mr. DeCelles. ' A law of the English parliament allowed a colonial minister and the Canadian government to dispose of the vacant lands of a province to their favourites at a nominal price. At times the Government made use of its powers over the public domains to coin mopey and increase the revenues. Mr. Rouillard, in his work, ' The Province of Quebec' said, 'Already, long before the distribution made to the loyalists, the colonial executive had commenced to grant great stretches of the public domain still remaining in an uncultivated state to monopolists without compelling them to make settlements under penalty of confiscation for failure to do so. Thus the British American Land Company received for its share 600,000 acres. From 1773 to 1811, more than three million acres of public lands were distributed among 200 favourites, of whom some had as much as 60.000 to 80,000 acres each. The Governor, Mr. Milnes, took for his part,

70,000 acres.

From that time the monopolists had but one object in view, namely, to wait for the increased value of their lands and watch for speculative developments. In this way, the Domains, debarred from cultivation and preserved in a wild state, served as a barrier, preventing the settlers from penetrating further into the interior of the country. It was no rare spectacle to see the agents of the public lands seeking, in the face of the colonizing movement everywhere, presenting itself, to oppose it under the pretense that the timber trade outweighed the interests of colonization. Hence, great was the number of the French Canadians who took the route for the United States.

The English bureaucrats, from 1760 to 1848, by informal persecution, by exile, by the scaffold, by plundering laws, by the confiscation of patriots' belonging, prevented clearings, paralyzed commerce and industry, and restricted to the narrowest proportions the developments of the French population, and thus opened the way to the disastrous emigration of the French Canadians to the United States. French Canadians were found in the armies of Washington.

After the troubles of 1837, a more extensive emigration took place towards New England. These families fled before fire, iron and proscription. As one orator said: ' Honour and gratitude to the magnanimous Mai tin Van Buren, the president of the American nation, who offered to our unhappy exiles land, employment, and the protection of a generous people.'

From 1760 to 1848, the Anglo-Saxon bureaucracy showed no intention to favour colonization in the province of Quebec for the advantage of a race that it wished to humiliate, to denationalize and perhaps to destroy.

As regards the French Canadians, it was an era of ostracism. Instead of encouraging French colonization, the Government disposed of the crown lands in favour of speculators.

From 1845 to 1849, 20,000 French Canadians quitted their native soil.

From 1848 to 1854, these figures rose to

40.000

From 1840 to 1848, the Canadian parliament voted $300,000 to promote the settlement of Lower Canada. The same' parliament supremely unjust with regard to our province, voted two millions at the same time for colonization roads in Upper Canada.

No doubt improvidence and extravagance led some families to the United States, to become the servants, if not the slaves of American capitalists. But a great number of our compatriots owe their abandonment of their country to the persecutions of the English bureaucrats, and the indifference of governments that exhausted them in unhappy struggles when they should have united their forces and created a national industry.

To cite the Rev. Father Hamon: ' The

emigration en masse only began after the civil war in 1860. Then the industries of the east witnessed a prodigious development. They devoted themselves to the construction of manufactures, and the Canadians came in great numbers looking for work. The flood of emigration overcame all obstacles, swept over all the dams, and, animated with resistless force, invaded the towns and villages of New England. In a few years, thousands and thousands of the cultivators of the soil had exchanged a rural existence for the lives of workmen in the immense manufactures of the United States. The labour of these vast works is to a large extent in their hands.'

This great Canadian emigration to the United States dates form the close of the civil war. Then arose in all directions those varied industries that soon covered the eastern states with gigantic manufacturing establishments, and the French Canadians in great numbers went there in pursuit of easier conditions in industrial pursuits.

The expatriated French Canadians have worked, without counting the days, without measuring the effusion of their sweats, for the glorification of their race and of their Gospel. The Franco-Americans, to the number of 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 are accomplishing a splendid work on the soil of the United States. They have known the proofs required from strangers; but did not at that time ask from the national societies the cohesion indispensable to assert their imperishable rights and save their ancestral traditions from shipwreck.

Without deserting the flag of their nationality they have never betrayed that of the new country. They know how to prove their loyalty to the institutions of the Republic while still remaining attached to their faith, their language and their customs. Our compatriots are with energy making the conquest of a large place in the politics, the commerce and the industry of their new country. In the annals of the great Republic, the French Canadians rave with pages alike original and illustrious. On November 8, 1908, they effected a remarkable achievement: our compatriot, the Honourable A. Pothier, was elected Governor of Rhode Island. As a journalist writes: ' It is the natural crowning of a work accomplished by persistence, and for years, for the advancement of his fellow-citizens, and for the prosperity and good name of his State.

The expatriated French Canadians display the strength, tenacity, courage and heroism of the French race. They struggle against the assimilation of their race and elaborate the future in preserving the language of their ancestors and remaining faithful to the flag of that virile and generous democracy that astonishes the world with the boldness of its conceptions and its triumphs in all the spheres of human activity.

It would be unpardonable treason, undignified abdication, real national suicide not to make every effort to bring back to Canadian soil such a generous population.

As far back as 1848 the bishops of lower Canada exhorted the clergy and the people to do all in their power with a view of favouring the settler and of improving his social condition. Bishop Turgeon said:

' Let all French Canadians contribute according to their means and without delay to the work of colonization, and every difficulty will disappear.' The bisho ' deplores the departure of so many excellent Canadian families who are casting their lot in a foreign land far from the alters of their youth and their native land. Patriotic suffering is perhaps the most bitter of all moral sorrows. In the face of this alarming emigration of - our compatriots, Lafon-taine, together with the civil, religious and political authorities, worked strenuously in favour of the expansion of the Frenchspeaking population on Canadian soil.

Colonization and repatriation societies were at that time founded to promote the interests of agriculture and of repatriation. In Lower Canada these colonization and repatriation societies were generously endowed.

It is imnossible to think without emotion of those thousands of Canadians toiling in the factories of a foreign land. Their labour, energy, talent and patriotism enrich the ajoining republic to the detriment of Canada.

Our countrymen, no doubt, play a noble part in the United States, where they have bean attracted by an extraordinary era of commercial and industrial prosperity; they are becoming there the representative of French civilization. But in order to fulfil our mission on Canadian soil, and if we would save the prestige and preserve the influence of that ancient race who civilized our land, it is necessary that the French Canadian family should sustain no loss.

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?

Reverend Father M.

Martineau, in his pamphlet; 'Projet de Colonisation,' says: ' If the three millions of French Canadians sprung from the 60,000 souls who formed the Canadian nation in 1760, resided, if not all, in the province of Quebec at least within the limits of Canada, would we not be in a much better position to protect and defend our rights, our language and our faith and to lend a helping hand to the feebler groups of our countrymen living among people who are often hostile to them? '

We ardently desire the return of ' our people ' in order to increase the prestige of our nationality and to contribute our full share to the prosperity of the Dominion.

The work of repatriatoin is a great national work, but we understand that it is a dificu't one. As a public speaker once said: ' Repatriation has got beyond the domain of official literature ' it is going on every day with increasing success. Thanks to the work of colonization societies, to the help of the railways, to Governments' grants, to the good will of public men and to the active and disinterested helo of the public at large, the final results are no longer uncertain.

Statistics furnished by the Department of the Interior are encouraging. From 1901 to the 1st December, 1907, 31,644 Canadians have returned to Canada.

Our immigration agents in the United States report favourably in this respect. Mr. D. Gauthier writes as follows to the Minister of the Interior: * It is everywhere recognized that Canada is the land of the future, offering as it does exceptional advantages for the settlement of numerous families and an excellent field for the investment of capital. As a rule, Canadians living in the United States favour the idea of returning to Canada. They intend and before long the'- will do so. We have sown the seed in fertile soil and may reasonably expect an abundant harvest.'

On the 11th July 1905. Rev. Father Va chon wrote: 'I have continued the work begun some years ago and I am pleasd to be able to report good results as to the quality and the number of settlers.'

Mr. Scott reported, 7th July, 1906: 'The repatriation of French Canadians has occupied the attention of the Department since some years past and considerable progress has been made.'

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET.

Mr. White, inspector of agencies in the United States, wrote on the 15th April, 1997: ' Part of our work is being done among French Canadians.

Besides the agents already mentioned we have opened an office at Biddeford. Our prospects are very good.'

In the work of repatriation it is necessary to show our progress.

Trade of Canada.

1868 $ 57,567,000

1907 617,964,000

Imports.

1868 ' 73,455,000

1907 359,000,000

Exports.

1868 57,567,000

1907 258,000,000

Agricultural Exports.

1868 12,871,000

1904 37,000,000

Exports of forest products.

1868 18,274,000

1904 33,000,000

Exports of Mineral.

1868 1,446,000

1901 40,369,000

Deposits in Chartered Banks.

1877 62,000,000

1907 589,000,000

Our trade and our progress attract the attention of civilized nations. A great economist, M. Pierre Leroy-Beaulieu declares that Canada is to-day the country offering the greatest inducements to immigrants, its development being the most rapid, especially as regards agriculture.

We may well expect the return of a certain number of our own people when we consider that Americans, recognizing the value of the lands and the industrial future of Canada are selling their establishments in the United States for the purpose of casting their fortunes on our side of the border.

In 1906. 57,000 immigrants came to us from the United States. This is a recognition of the vast resources of Canada. Colonization and repatriation societies have laboured fruitfully at the task of repatriation. They have organized colonization and repatria tion congresses in which have been dis-. cussed the best means of securing our national development. Our fathers rallied round these associations as around a banner protecting our national future.

Some of them, helped by Government subsidies, now maintain agencies in New England for the purpose of promoting the return of our countrymen.

With very small financial means, colonization and repatriation societies, thanks to the zeal of their directors, have done much good work. They have favoured colonization and secured the return of a considerable

number of Canadians. They retain the services of able and practical lecturers in their effective propaganda throughout New England.

The eovernmnt formerly granted an annual sum of $4,000 to the Lake St. John Colonization Society. This has been discontinued and M. Rene Dupont appointed immigration agent. I would like to know what induced the minister to stop that grant.

Allow me to read an extract from the report of the Mutual Colonization and Repatriation Society for the year 1907. 'Fifteen thousand booklets and maps have been recently distributed among the Canadians of New England and the agricultural clubs of the pi evince of Quebec, over and above our monthly distributions, by means of bur agents in the United States, of a number of publications in the French and English languages, of pamphlets on western farm lands and those of Ontario and Quebec.

We have inserted advertisements in the French newspapers of New England calling upon our fellow-countrymen residing there to return to Canada where they will obtain farms and be well provided for under the care of the Montreal Colonization Sosiety. The statistics embodied in this report establish the truth of the statements therein contained.

The funds at the disposal of colonization and repatriation societies do not allow them to carry on their work with sufficient energy. Their grants should be increased so that the New England repatriation agen cies might be multiplied.

We have several emigration agents in the eastern states ; Mr. Laurier and Mr. Tessier are at work in Michigan. Would it not be in the interests of Canada to have a few more French Canadian agents in Minnesota, Illinois and Montana, in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis where there are important French Canadian groups? Should we not at least have agents speaking both official languages in all our immigration offices of Western America?

Franco-American national societies are playing an effective part in New England The directors and members of these dif ferent associations are in close contact with every class of French speaking Americans. Our immigration agents, through the officers and members of these national socie ties, might reach those families who are not satisfied with economic conditions in the United States and perhaps secure their Teturn.

We call upon the federal government to vote larger sums for the purpose of adver tising our wealth and our resources in New England. We ask them to distribute our pamphlets and publications carefully and actively in the Franco-American cities: Fall River, Nashua, Lewiston, Salem, Woon socket and Lowell.

During the fiscal year 1906-7 we expended $58,000 in advertising Canada in the United States. We have no intention of blaming this expenditure. But, according to the Auditor General's Report, printing in the French language took up a very small portion of this somewhat large amount. Let us demonstrate to Franco-Americans by means of the press, by the voice of public lectures, by colonization literature, the marvellous progress of Canada. They will then gladly return to become active tillers of the beloved soil of their native land.

The authorities have adopted, with respect to agriculture in the province of Quebec, a policy favourable to the work of repatriation. This is explained in a letter written by Mr. Rene Dupont to the directors of the Canadian Press Association, which I will read:

Sir,-With a view of promoting settlement in the province of Quebec, the Department of the Interior has authorized the establishment of an information branch respecting vacant farm lands, so that persons desiring to make a purchase may obtain all requisite data. In the past no agency of this kind existed and we were unable to give satisfactory replies to the numerous requests we received. This agency will be available for all persons desirous of purchasing farms in any part of the country and also for those who have farms for sale. I inclose for your information a blank form which we send to all those having farms for sale and I would be much gratified if you would devote some of your valuable space to the work of explaining this to our compatriots.

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RENE DUPONT.


The policy is commented upon in the following manner by a Franco-American journalist: ' A list is being at present prepared of vacant farms in the province of Quebec, with a view of offering them to Canadians residing in the United States. Nothing could be better. Had this been done ten years ago, the results, we feel sure, would have been important. At present, the difficulties to be overcome will be greater, yet practical results will certainly be obtained, especially if in the list are included farms situated aiong the long frontier line, near which, but on the American side, are to be found numerous and flourishing Franco-American colonies. ' Those who direct the colonization movement in the province of Quebec have hitherto given but little attention to the repatriation of French Canadians. Certain efforts have indeed been made to induce them to return, but the results obtained were such as to confirm the promoters of colonization in the idea that the problem could not be solved. Recent events and the splendid spirit of enterprise of some of our Franco-American countrymen have placed the matter in a different light and the practical solution seems at hand.



' We allude to a new national institution, the ' Credit Foncier Canadien,' the object of which is to collect into one general fund the savings of the French Canadian population of New England. This institution is earnestly labouring in the work of repatriation. The Franco-American syndicate has already begun important colonization work in the township of Escourt. A large number of our people are returning under the guidance of enlightened men. This, says ' La Revue Franco-Americaine,' is an instance of the happy results to be obtained by association. ' In New England and more particularly in the States of Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the work of the Credit Foncier Canadien is attracting attention among our countrymen. This interest has been increased by the action of the president of the association, Hon. Judge Brochu, who goes from place to place preaching the gospel of the emancipation of Franco-American capital, and explaining to enterprising men the immense field opened to national energy by the undeveloped wealth of the province of Quebec, of which English speaking people alone have hitherto taken advantage. It is in some sort a revendication of the rights of the race to that portion of the soil discovered, colonized and developed by our fathers ; it is a practical and an active implementation of the wise advice once given us : Take possession of the soil ! No doubt our Franco-American friends are not preparing to come over in a body. But this assuredly means repatriation, so far as it can be accomplished. There are at present in the United States 100,000 Canadians desirous of returning to Canada if they may do so with advantage to themselves. It may be useful to listen now to the judicious remarks of a friend of repatriation. ' Of the nossibility of carrying the work of repatriation in a certain measure, there can be no doubt, provided appeals are made to those who, living since some years in the United States, have not succeeded there and are willing to make another attempt to better their condition. These are numerous enough to deserve attention. And yet, if you speak to the younger members of these families, you will perceive that it will be difficult to make settlement on a farm one of the conditions of their return. Even if they consented to farm, they would prefer going to the Canadian West, now one of the objective points throughout the republic, and one to which thousands of Americans remove every year. You would be astonished at the amount of Franco-Americans who have settled since ten years in the new provinces. Whatever may be the importance of the repatriation movement to-day, the number Mr. PAQUET. of those who have returned is insignificant compared with that of those who remain. We may in any case consider it certain that the return en masse of Canadians established in the United States is 'impossible. The majority of those who do return have no intention of becoming farmers. It would be just as easy to induce Canadians from American cities to settle on farm lands as to persuade citizens of Quebec or Montreal to colonize the unexplored townships of Temiscaming or Lake St. John. Years of strenuous labour will be needed to accomplish to any great extent the work of repatriation. We understand the difficulty and we know, as a public speaker expressed it, * that a large Franco-American contingent must remain ever on foreign soil.'" In the interest of Canada we should encourage the return of a French population important on account of their traditions, heroic in their past and present efforts and sufferings, strong in numbers and steadfast in their ancestral faith. We should encourage their return bv the development of transportation, of colonization, of agriculture and of industry. Waterways, railways and colonization roads should be so improved as to secure access to new markets. Our colonization policy should be progressive and enlightened. We should encourage agriculture and adopt scientific methods of cultivation. Every day we behold American farmers settling in the Canadian West with remarkable success. Important Franco-Canadian groups may settle in the West and unite with the first French contingents who civilized Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. They will honour the French name and the Canadian name by prospering among foreign groups. If we would keep the sons of the soil and promote repatriation we should develop industry. French Canadians have sought in the United States that intense industrial life which our neighbours enjoy. As one of our countrymen has said: ' Industry has attracted our people to the United States, industry, prosperous industry will induce them to return.' With technical education and the development of our agricultural, mining and forest wealth, Canada will become a great industrial country. Industrial development will be specially favourable to repatriation. With industrial progress the national spirit will awaken. Let us erect numerous factories to minister to the requirements of the growing west. Let us establish industrial schools where young men may be trained. Such schools have transformed German industry within the last half century. Our countrymen both at home and abroad develop great taste for all industrial arts. The development of industry appears to me the best way of favouring repatriation. In this work, we should never forget form in the great republic a group of two millions of men with social organization not inferior in many respects to that of the province of Quebec and in some points even superior. In certain important centers, Franco Americans control capital, they have good commercial establishments and take an active part in public business. Their property represents millions of dollars. Their ownership of real estate, naturalization, the establishment of French Catholic schools and of the parochial system attach them to the soil of the republic and render repatriation difficult. A large number of our countrymen are kept there by their interests, their marriage connections and the positions they occupy. In spite of such difficulties, our progress in agriculture and industry lead us to hope that a considerable number of them may return. Among our immigrants, Franco-Americans occupy the post of honour. Their feelings, ideals and aspirations are the same as ours. Let them then return, they will work with us and to the French Canadian people, to the Canadian people a still more solid foundation upon which may be built up an edifice of material, moral and intellectual greatness.


LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. LEMIEUX (Postmaster General and Minister of Labour).

(Translation.) I have no intention of speaking at any length upon the question raised by my hon. friend from L'Islet. I have listened with much interest to his eloquent apneal in favour of the repatriation of our countrymen. It is a matter which must always be of considerable moment to the French Canadian minority in the. Dominion.

What has been the policy of the government since they assumed the direction of affairs in 1896? It would be useless to refer to what took place before that time. It is well known that we were then deploring the exodus of our countrymen to the United States. This has been going on since a number of years, and in spite of the National policy, as it was then called,_ our fair Quebec parishes were being alarmingly depopulated for the .benefit of New England.

Liberals at that time contended that a different fiscal policy might stop the outward flow of population. And what happened when they assumed power? Has the present government succeeded in keeping the people in the country? I refer here more particularly to the province of Quebec. The member for L'Islet may read the statistics published by the Census Bureau and he will find that with the exception of the new provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, the province of Quebec alone has maintained and increased her population. It is due to this that the Ontario membership in this House has diminished bv five or six seats.

To what are we to attribute this result?

27J

Precisely to the attitude of the government. The government altered the fiscal policy of the country in such a manner as to secure the development and the full expansion of national industry which remained stagnant not onlv in Quebec but in every province of the Dominion, until 1896. Never before, Mr. Speaker, had the industries of Quebec flourished as they have in the last ten years. We have maintained and increased the population of our great cities of Montreal, Quebec and Sherbrooke so much so that Montreal occupies to-day the whole of the island of that name, the labouring population having built up all the outlying ground.

Farm lands in the province of Quebec were being rapidly deserted; to-day, thank God, they are in full cultivation, and when they become too congested the people no longer cross the line, they remove to farms in the western provinces. The member for L'lslet cannot have read the eloquent letters published last year by Abb6 Berube, in which he calls atention to the number of French Canadians who have settled in Saskatchewan and Alberta since five or six years, in spite of the tempest which certain parties sought to raise concerning the new constitution. This is so true that in certain western parishes peopled, until quite recently by foreign emigrants, our French speaking countrymen will soon be in a majority.

It may therefore be contended that the government has not only checked the flow of emigration and kept the people in the province of Quebec, but that the population of that province has so increased as to furnish settlers to the western fertile belt. The government did even more-I quite recognize that the member for L'ls-let was perfectly sincere in his remark- they repatriated all our countrymen residing in the United States who so desired it.

Will my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier tell me how many immigration agents we had in New England before 1897? There was not a single one. The government of that day had not deemed it advisable to appoint a single French speaking repatriation agent. [DOT]

Since 1896, under the direction of Hon. Mr. Sifton-a man most unjustly spoken of in the province of Quebec-and at the request of Liberal members, the Department of the Interior appointed a certain number of agents, and among them certain clergymen, to undertake the work of repatriation. I make this declaration, Mr. Speaker, not in a spirit of animosity, but because, in Quebec, our opponents have never ceased to proclaim that our policy was hostile to repatriation. I have not before me the names of those agents, but I know that there are twelve of them, with clergymen among them, at different points in the New England states.

The member for L'lslet has stated that the best method of promoting repatriation would be to develop transportation especially as regards waterways. He also referred to the necessity of establishing industrial and technical schools, in order to keep our population in the province of Quebec. You know, Sir, that such foundations are placed not under Dominion, but under provincial authority.

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET.

(Translation.) I simply wished to state that we should establish technical schools to develop national industry. I knew quite well that such establishments do not come under federal authority.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK.

(Jacques Cartier.) (Translation.) I think, Mr. Speaker, that ve owe a debt of gratitude to the hon. member for L'Isle, for the interesting and absolutely impartial speech he has just delivered on the question of repatriation. Our friend has treated the question from a high standpoint, and with warmth. His remarks were dictated by no party consideration, and I think that the House will admit that he is the first member from the province of Quebec-at least since I have the honour of sitting here-who has raised that question.

Who among the members sitting on your right has ever, since twelve years, made a speech to point out the means which should be adopted to put a stop to that evil, the effects of which the member for L'Islet has so eloquently explained ? The evil he speaks of has since many years been causing to Canada and particularly to the province of Quebec, most serious and painful economic losses. Yet I never heard the gentlemen opposite mention it. I myself have spoken of it two or three time though not in a special manner. But at the present moment, during the opening days of a new parliament, when immigration questions are about to become of burning in-

terest as stated by the hon. minister, who has) just sat down, it was right, I think, that a representative from the province of Quebec should rise in this House to draw our attention, not to the Yellow Peril of which he cannot bridge, but to the peril resulting from the weakening of national lif e in the province of Quebec.

Notwithstanding the eloquent tribute paid by the Postmaster General to the member for L'lslet, I cannot think that he has rendered him entire justice. The hon. minister began by stating that since 1896, the exodus which is causing so much harm to many of our countrymen has been checked.

Mr. TALBOT (Belleehasse.) (Translation.) That is true.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

(Translation.) It is false, it is untrue, for the movement is continuing. It is not as intense to-day as it was in the beginning, by reason of circumstances ably set forth by my hon. friend from L'Islet, but it is continuing all the same. Have the parishes formerly deserted been repopulated? When we journey through the province of Quebec and see the closed houses and abandoned farms, do we find that any of them have been taken up by others among our countrymen ? Not at all.

I may say that in my own constituency where the evil referred to by the hon. member for LTslet has not been felt to the same extent as in other localities, owing to the nearness of a great city, these houses have nevertheless remained closed. There are also closed houses in the county represented by the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries. A friend of mine living in that county was telling me last summer that in Rou-ville, houses closed as a result of that exodus have since been left unoccupied.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. L. P. BRODEUR (Minister of Marine and Fisheries).

(Translation.) Will my hon. friend allow me to ask him a question? I think I have a fairly good knowledge of what is going on in my county and I am in a position to state that the hon. member's statement is unfounded. He would oblige me greatly by naming the place where he found such a state of things.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

(Translation.) My hon. friend wishes me to point out the range, the hill, the very neighbourhood where a house abandoned fifteen years ago has since been left unoccupied. He knows very well that I am not able to do that off hand.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BRODEUR.

(Translation.) Will the hon. member be so kind as to give the name of the parish?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

(Translation.) The house situated in the parish of which the hon. minister himself is a resident. My informer stated: That is the result of the exodus.

And why should we endeavour to pander with the truth? There was a time when

people were leaving this country in large numbers. The flow of emigration has diminished since. It is pretty well known that perfect happiness is not to be found in the United States, that milk does not flow in their rivers, nor gold for that matter, that prosperity has some drawbacks in tnat country. That is why the flow of emigration has diminished, but it has not ceased. I am satisfied that statistics might be found in support of that statement.

Two or three years ago, I went to Philadelphia in company with the hon. Postmaster General. We were invited to a banquet and there we were met by a large number of English speaking Canadians, of great ability no doubt, who had come there from the Maritime Provinces. It is that same exodus which has depopulated the Maritime Provinces which has also drawn away from Canada so many of our French speaking Canadians. Who can deny it? Young men in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, being unable to find at home a wide enough scope for their activity, have gone to the United States and have remained there.

The statement that the hon. member for L'lslet has made in reference to the people of the province of Quebec, of a more or less industrial character, who have emigrated to the United States, might be extended to the remainder of Canada . That exodus has been going on in all parts of the country, and is still going on.

It seems as if the Postmaster General had considered as a reflection on the government as a vicious attack on his party, what was an entirelv unprejudiced statement of fact. It refers to a state of things which claim just now our whole attention; but the hon. gentleman has thought fit to throw that red herring across the track and view it as a reflection on this government and his party.

Do hon. members know by what magic at a certain time in 1896, when there was a change of government, that evil which the member for LTslet has just pointed out came to an end. The Hon. Postmaster General has told us. Some hon. members must have been surprised to hear him make the statement: it is the new tariff policy of the government put in force in 1896. How can that be made to agree with the statements made in public by the ex-Minister of the Interior (Mr.Sifton), whose authority the Postmaster General appeals to just now, and whom he eulogizes in the strongest terms. Such change of position is rather surprising to those who have not forgotten that at the time that minister resigned the French party organs of the Postmaster General bitterly attacked that ex-minister.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. BUREAU (Solicitor General).

(Translation.) Who said so?

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

(Translation.) It is the Prime Minister's organ which made an onslaught on the ex-Minister of the Interior at the time he resigned, stating that he had been treacherous to the French Canadians and Catholics. Is that true or false? Does my hon. friend the Solicitor General (Mr. Bureau) challenge me to lay that article before the House?

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LIB

Jacques Bureau (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU.

(Translation.) Certainly.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

(Translation.) He has been slow in answering, and he knows that I am unable to take up his challenge just now.

The hon. Postmaster General has referred to the tariff question. He is well aware that his party has held fast to the policy which we had started in 1878, when a protective tariff was established. Only slight changes have been made to it by the Liberal narty. What was the statement made by the ex-Minister of the Interior? Did he not state in this House that practically the tariff had not been changed and that consequently the fiscal question was no longer a party question? How then could the changes effected in the tariff policy have put a stop to the exodus of our fellow citizens to the United States? I leave to the Postmaster General the task of answering that question.

We should not blink at the facts. The Postmaster General stated (that in 1886 we had not a single emigration agent among our French speaking fellow-citizens in the eastern states. That is true. I am not aware, at any rate, that we had any at the time. Any one familiar with the management of public affairs knows what was our immigration policy in 1896. We spent barely $125,000 for immigration purposes.

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LIB

Onésiphore Ernest Talbot

Liberal

Mr. TALBOT.

(Translation.) Whose fault was it if more was not spent?

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February 10, 1909