March 14, 1910

CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

I suppose that the reason why they left their homesteads in the west and removed into British Columbia was because they refused to take the oath of allegiance.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

No, they were not on homesteads, they were living in a community, and refused to take their lands in severalty. We have no means of giving land to people except in severalty, and as they would not take their land on those conditions, they decided to remove to British Columbia where they 'would be allowed to retain their communal system.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE.

In connection with their Port Arthur pilgrimage, I understand that the government of Saskatchewan took issue with the Dominion government in reference to the payment of the expenses of that pilgrimage, and that some correspondence passed between the two governments as to which government should bear the expenditure.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I cannot give an absolutely sure answer, but my impression is that the whole of the expenditures, after the return of the Doukhobors to the province of Saskatchewan, was borne by the government of Saskatchewan.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE.

That was borne by the province.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Yes.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE.

Who paid the expense in connection with Port Arthur?

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I do not know, but I suppose the Ontario government. I could not say.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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L-C

John Herron

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HERRON.

Have the government any requests from any other class of settlers to come in under the Act referred to by the hon. member for Dauphin; that is to avoid military service, and if so has the government any intention of making any such arrangement with any other classs of people? I hope not.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

At the present time, in so far as I am entitled to speak on behalf of the government in declaring its policy on immigration, the government has consistently declined to enter into any proposition for admitting settlers to Canada during recent years on any terms other than those that are common to citizens of Canada. We never recognize any special privilege to any class of people from any part of the world.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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L-C

John Herron

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HERRON.

Are you still permitting settlers to settle in communities?

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

No, there was provision in the Dominion Lands Act to allow pec-

pie 'to settle in hamlets. That provision was abolished by the new Act of 1908, and we have no arrangement now whereby people can occupy government lands except under the terms set down in the Homestead Act.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Alexander Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. HAGGART.

Since the discussion has arisen between the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Campbell) and the hon. member for Lisgar (Mr. Sharpe) on this side of the House, and the hon. the minister, and the hon. member for Assinaboia (Mr. Turriff) on the other side, as to the deportation of undesirables, I desire to say that I cannot agree with the construction placed upon the Act as it is before us in reference to those who are prohibited, and those who may be deported. The word,

' undesirable ' would not be a proper term in an Act like this. The Act provides for a board of inquiry, but it would be a very serious matter to allow that board of inquiry to adjudicate upon a person, or a class of persons, and to determine as to whether they were undesirable or not. By referring to section 3 of the Act it will be seen that the following are placed among the prohibited classes:

(a) idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, epileptics, insane persons, and persons who have been insane within five years previous.

I doubt very much if on a fair and proper construction of the Act, Doukhobors would come within that definition, and section 40, which provides for deportation, also specifically names a different class of persons who may be deported at the expiration of five years. When these clauses come up I have no doubt that with the assistance of the Minister of Justice we may be able to get some more suitable expression that would meet the views which were set forth by the hon. member for Lisgar, and the hon. member for Dauphin, and something which would also meet what appears to be the views of the majority of the members of this House. The whole subject matter can be properly discussed under these sections.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

I have a vivid recollection of the debates that took place in this House on several occasions in reference to the Doukhobors. I have always been opposed to giving any class of immigrants any special privileges. I recollect that when the Mormons wanted to settle in Canada, and when they applied to Sir John Macdonald's government to know if they could bring with them their peculiar institutions-for instance that with regard to their plurality of wives-Sir John said: If you want to come into our country you will have to abide by the laws of our country. When the Doukhobors were brought into this country it was under a special arrangement that was made by Mr. W. T. R. Preston. Mr. Sifton was Minister of the Interior. They had been trying for a good while to make a good showing with regard to immigration, and to get as large a number of people as possible to come into this country. I have no doubt that there were special inducements held out to the Doukhobors because when they had an interview with the present Minister of the Interior, they claimed that they had a right, under the agreement that was made with them, to live in communities, and that their special settlement duties could be performed in that way. They were also to be freed from the performance of military duty. I think all these things were a mistake. In addition to that instead of giving the immigration agents a commission on these people the government paid the amount directly to the Doukhobors, and they got $5 per head which amounted to something over $36,000. Then, when they arrived in this country we advanced them $20,000 to keep them from starving to death. We were told by the then deputy Minister of the Interior, who appeared before the Agricultural Committee many times that we had good security for the money that was loaned them, because we had a lien upon their land.- But it turned out afterwards that they had no land, because they would not comply with the laws of the country. But, there were more serious objections than any of these. The head man of the Doukhobors, who was living in Russia, wrote tc this country that any man who could not agree with his wife might put her away and take another wife to himself, but he must be careful not to marry her, because if he did they would put him in jail. We do not want any communities of that kind. We want people who will abide by our laws, rr we do not want them at all. I am very strong on the point that we should insist upon any person being subject to our laws before he is allowed to put his foot on our soil.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Do I understand that the first Doukhobors came here subsequent to 1896?

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

Yes, when Mr. Sifton was Minister of the Interior, and Mr. W. T. R. Preston was commissioner or inspector of immigration in London.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

In reply to the question of the hon. member for Winnipeg (Mr. A. Haggart), if he will turn to page 4, section 38, subsection (c). I think he will find a clause that will enable us to meet the case.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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L-C

John Herron

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HERRON.

Are the children and the descendents of the Doukhobors exempt from military service under that agreement? Does it extend from generation to generation?

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Yes, it does. It is not by a special agreement with the Doukhobors,

however; it is, as I understand it, a law of Canada that ajnan who by reason of his religion objects to military service is not compelled to do military service. There was no exception made in the case of the Doukhobors, but they being a class of people who would be able to avail themselves of that privilege under our law' w7e still arranged for them to be brought to this country. Everybody knows that the Quakers and the Mennonites are exempt from military service under the general law of Canada.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. SHAEPE.

There are a great many Mennonites in my constituency. 1 have about 1,000 voters of that class. We cannot adopt legislation at the present time for those who have come in the past, but we can take precautions in connection with those who are going to come in the future. I would like to ask the minister if there is anything in this Bill-I cannot see it-whereby these immigrants that come in future will have to take the oath of allegiance, and be required to take up arms and fight for our country. If they are going to receive the benefit why not make them take some of the responsibility? We give them all the cream and take up the burden ourselves. I do not think it is right. If they come to settle, and take part in the welfare of this country they should stand by the country from start to finish. In the time of prosperity they reap the benefit, while in the time of war and trouble they sit back in their chairs and say, fight your own battles. I do not think that is right. If thev are to have a part in our inheritance, they should help us to defend it. I would like to ask the minister if there is anything in this Bill that will cover that point. Now, I wish to say a word in regard to the way in which immigrants are used when they arrive in Winnipeg. In that city we have a very fine immigrant shed, and when foreigners come there, it matters not where they come from, they are taken in hand by our immigrant agents, and are used, as the saying is like princes; but an Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotchman or a Canadian farmer who goes to Winnipeg is absolutely shut out of the immigrant shed, and is told to go and look after himself. I do not think this is right. I think it is our duty to look after our own first, and after the others afterwards. I have heard a great many complaints of this kind myself in western Canada.

Topic:   SUPPLY-INTERIM SUPPLY BILL.
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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March 14, 1910