March 22, 1910

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Not at that time. In regard to general incompetence or improprieties on the part of the immigration agents, I may say to the hon. gentleman that we have to guard a frontier of 3,000 miles, with ports on both oceans, and it is not reasonable to suppose that we can always get a perfect or entirely satisfactory agent. When the people of Canada all become angels, then that will he possible, but not before. I am glad to know, however. that those officials my hon. friend is most acquainted with, those whom he sees most frequently he has no fault to find with. Now, I beg to say to my hon. friend that the minister is sitting in his place in the House, and no one in the House I am sure would find fault with him . more quickly than my hon. friend if the minister were not in his place. The minister is in his place in the House. I beg to assure my hon. friend that complaints in regard to the conduct of any particular officers in any part of the country receive prompt attention, and justice Mr. J. D. REID.

is done as we understand Justice in the matter. We do not claim perfection for the head of the Immigration Department or for any of its officers or officials, but. we do claim that both officers and officials average up fairly with the rest of the community.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID.

I do not think the minister deals out justice to his officials as he says. I remember a case in the minister's department up in his own city of Edmonton, where one of his officials was found guilty of stealing money from immigrants, and he was put in jail. The minister paid his salary while he was in jail, and after he got out he increased his salary, and still keeps him as an official in his department. That is the way he deals out justice to his officials. He still has that official in Vancouver. I was surprised to hear him state that he had kept on this othcial _ at St. John. Then there has been a complaint against an agent at Quebec that he allows a" contractor to go down and pay all the men $25 so that they can put it in their pockets and walk past the inspectors and then hand the money back to him again. That is how the minister deals out justice, a man who commits an offence is promoted and that is the kind of officials he has in many of these places along the frontier. Of course in my county they are good officials because you cannot get any but good men there, but when you go to Edmonton, and some of these places you get men of the class I have mentioned. I do not find fault with the minister, there are other departments where the same thing is done. At Sorel an official robbed the country by padding the pay-lists, and the Prime Minister had him removed to his county with a larger salary, that was a man named Roy.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB
CON
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

They are all good in my constituency.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID.

-if he looks it up he will find that what I say is true. Another immigration agent of the Minister of the Interior, is Jackson, who was guilty of all the election frauds in South Oxford. He was sent to England as an immigration agent. It is with the class of immigration agents I find fault. I hope that when the minister is appointing any more agents, if he cannot get good ones in the constituencies where they are to be employed, he will come to my constituency where he will find good men who will do what is right if they are given the opportunity.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I was not able to follow all the hon. gentleman's statements but if they are all as incorrect as two I happened to* catch, his criticism is not very damaging. He mentioned an instance of an

official of the Immigration Department in the west who was sent to jail for stealing from immigrants, and said that the minister paid his salary while he was in jail, and promoted him on his release. If the man mentioned is Wagner, whose case was up before this House on several occasions, I was not the minister at the time Mr. Wagner got into jail, and I have every reason to believe that he did not get any salary while in jail, nor was he promoted while in jail, nor was he employed by the department when he came out of jail, nor for a considerable time afterwards.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Yes, and giving every satisfaction. The man Jackson, "whom my hon. friend has mentioned, is not in the employ of the Department of the Interior in any capacity whatever. As to the other statements my hon. friend has made, if he will become definite rather than incoherent, and will give U3 the instances by name and date, and place, I will guarantee him that every means will be taken to see that justice is done.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID.

I do not think it is well to do that any further than I have. I have mentioned the agent at Quebec. The trouble is that if the minister investigates that case the result will be that the offender will get a better position, and the country will have to pay more. The best thing we can do is to let him stay there until this party gets into power, when we can put a "ood man in his place.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

The minister would not say that Jackson is not in the employ of the government. It is true he is not in the employ of the Department of the Interior, but it is well known that Jackson, who took an active part in the election trial in South Oxford, was appointed to an important position by the Department of Trade and Commerce, and the Minister of Trade and Commerce defended his appointment in this House in a general discussion some years ago.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

I would again call attention to the desirability of having a doctor on board each ship that brings immigrants to Canada so as to thoroughly examine them on the voyage. I think that is particularly desirable because while we cannot prevent them getting on the ship, as the minister has no authority in a foreign country, the doctor would certainly have plenty of time on the voyage across the ocean to make investigation and report, and then permission to land might be refused to undesirables. We are passing a stringent law and ought to do everything we can to enforce it.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I have already spoken on that point. There is no doubt the method

suggested would give opportunities for medical examination that we have not now, but it would also greatly increase the expenditure, and if we are to judge of the efficiency of the present law, and administration by the immigration of the present as compared with that of past years, it will be generally agreed that it is not necessary in the interests of a proper selective policy to make that expenditure. If it should appear from the experience of this year that it is necessary, I will be very glad to consider the proposition favourably, but it is my desire to keep the necessarily heavy expense of administering the immigration law as low as possible consistent with efficiency. I believe that with the campaign we are now making, with the warnings that we give, and with the attitude we have assumed towards the transportation companies, placing the responsibility on them, that we are in a very good position in regard to the exclusion of undesirables from Canada.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

I suggested the other day a method of furnishing the money without largely increasing the expenditure. I have been opposed for some years to the bonusing system, giving agents one pound for every man or woman that they send to this country. I think that is altogether unnecessary. In a recent speech the president of the New York Central railway told the people of the United States that unless they greatly increased the productiveness of their farms they would within five years be importing breadstuffs to feed their own people, and he added that it was desirable that experimental farms should be established in every county and every state of the union. If that be true, then the American people will shortly have to come to us for their foodstuffs, and in that light the giving of 160 acres of land free is quite an inducement to immigrants to come to Canada, without donating a bonus to some smooth-tongued agent who often induces undesirables to come to this country.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The bonus is only paid in respect of immigrants who will settle on the land-and to female domestic servants -whose presence in Canada may reasonably be expected to increase the production and productiveness of our land. It is true that the offer of 160 acres of free land is a wonderfully good offer, but it is no use unless people know about it, and we pay the $5 bonus to the booking agent on the ticket he sells to the farmer or farm labourer in order to advertise to them the offer that Canada makes. Our bonus policy is part of our advertising policy, and I believe we get more direct and indirect value from it than from any other part of our immigration expenditure. It is not correct to say that the bonus is paid in any way to induce the immigration of people of

Canada other than those who will go on the land or go into domestic service.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

I have been somewhat interested in this question, and I had supposed that from the number of immigrants of the farming class upon whom we are paying a bonus, that fully two-thirds of the population of the new provinces would be foreigners. I was surprised, however, to find by a recent report that of 808,000 people there in 1906, 444,000 were Canadian born. About one-half the population of Winnipeg are foreigners, and where are ail these men gone to that you would expect to find in the rural districts. I believe that everything possible should be done not only to induce foreigners, but to induce our own people to settle on the land, and I do not think the bonus is doing very much good. We expect to get immigrants from Great Britain, but out of the 44,000,000 population I find that less than 2,750,000 are settled on the land, and in view of that I do not see how we can expect^ to get farmers from Great Britain. I think the probability is that a large number of the settlers on whom we pay a bonus are taken from the cities rather than from the agricultural communities.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The very fact that the proportion of farm occupants in the old country is small and that the number of occupants of the cities is large, is the very reason why we give the bonus in order that the advantages of Canada may be brought to the attention of the agricultural population. The report of the homestead entries in the west shows that we have been successful in some measure. The number of people of British birth who have taken homestead entries in the northwest in the past ten years is ample evidence that whether the agricultural population of the British isles is large or small, we under our present policy, secure a very considerable share of them for Canada.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

They do not have to be farmers to take a homestead.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I know, but if they take homesteads and retain them they must become farmers. The evidence is plain in the northwest that our administration in that regard has not been by any means unsuccessful.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Can the minister say what proportion of the immigrants come because of the solicitations of immigrant agents, and what proportion come voluntarily? ,

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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March 22, 1910