March 22, 1910

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I believe my hon. friend's remark applies to some booking agents, but they are the agents who do very little booking. The booking agency business in the British Islands, and continental Europe is a special business, carried on the same as the grocery business, or any other. Every immigrant to Canada has to buy his ticket at a booking office. Just as in the case of other callings, some are enterprising, and some are not, and the booking agent who does a large business, makes money while the one who does a small business makes very little. The booking agent who is energetic and ambitious advertises to the public that he is a booking agent, and in addition the advantages of some country to which immigrants are likely to go, in order to induce them to buy their tickets from him instead of from his competitors. So that when Canada offers a bonus of $5 to these agents for bringing certain classes of immigrants to Canada, they advertise in the newspapers, and give lectures with the idea of getting the business. In that way we get ample returns in publicity for the money we spend, and in interesting the men to whom the immigrants must go to purchase their tickets. They are booking agents for every part of the world, and sell tickets to every part of the world. Everybody has heard of Cook's, for instance, who have booking agents everywhere, and sell tickets to everywhere. The result of our offering a bonus of $5 to the booking agents on tickets sold to agricultural people coming to Canada is that the booking agent advertises Canada, and particularly the agricultural advantages of Canada, because that is where the money is made. That is where we get some of our best advertising results. The Australian colonies are now Mr. OLIVER.

waking up, and, I am sorry to say, are adopting our methods. But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Besides, I do not think that anybody will suggest that our Australian cousins are lacking in enterprise or in good sense. They see what we have been successful in doing by this policy, and they have decided to follow it. It is true they are adding to it by a system of what I call assisted immigration. We are not doing that; we do not believe it is the best policy. We believe that the advantages which Canada offers are such that if they are brought to the attention of the people who are able to use these advantages, that is sufficient; and if we cannot get the people that way, we are content that they should go somewhere else.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

William Wright

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WRIGHT.

In criticising the minister in the efforts to promote immigration, I was merely pointing out that these booking agents seem to be not so much promoting immigration as taking toll from the immigrants who come to Canada. As _ to their advertising Canada and promoting the emigration of the class we desire, it is clear that the large population from which they can most easily draw is that of the towns. As the minister has pointed out, only a small proportion are those who are really on land. I am somewhat of the opinion that the booking agents convert a lot of those who pass through their hands into agriculturists-they have an interest in doing that. While I am on my feet, I would ask the minister if there is any person who looks after these booking agents to see if they are actually doing something to bring immigrants of the right class to Canada?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

We have five salaried agents in England, two in Ireland and two in Scotland. Each of these agents _ has supervision of the booking agencies in a certain number of counties, and is expected to make visits to these booking agencies from time to time to see how they are carrying on their business. If we find that a booking agency is not doing our business in what we think a right and proper manner-if they are giving out improper advertising, misrepresenting the conditions in Canada or otherwise acting discreditably- we put them off the bonus list. Then, no matter to whom they sell tickets, we pay them no bonus. I think my hon. friend will agree that that has a fairly salutary effect.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

William Wright

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WRIGHT.

Do the salaried agents of the department make a proper report to the minister with regard to these booking agents? If so, I suppose that is included in the minister's report?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

No, they are under the control of the Assistant Superintendent of Immigration in London. They receive their

* orders direct from him, and make reports to him. These reports are not part of the records of the government on this side, so that I should not be able to bring them down. But the supervision of the booking agents is a part of their business, and I am satisfied that they attend to it. My hon. friend is entirely in error in thinking that the booking agents-the enterprising ones, I mean-do not spend money, and a great deal of money, in directly advertising the advantages of Canada.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Is there an age limit in regard to the immigrants for whom a bonus is paid to the booking agents?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER.

If the committee desire to discuss immigration questions generally, I am ready to accommodate myself to that desire. But. I may remind hon members that the clause before the committee is that relating to medical examination of immigrants. I think that after this long general discussion, it would be better to come back to the clause before the committee.

Mr-. S. _ SHARPE. On this subject of examination, what system of checking has the minister with regard to these immigrants? What is to prevent the booking agents making fraudulent returns its to the classes they book?

Mr. OLIVER, An account is kept between the booking agent and the London omce on the basis of information received from this side. The booking agent claims a bonus on such-and-such a person. If the records here show that that person arrived and was of the agricultural class according to our information, authority is given to pay the bonus to the booking agent.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. S. SHARPE.

With such a good system, why does the minister restrict this bonus to a few agents? Why not offer it to any booking agent who will earn it, and so give Canada the benefit of the widest advertising?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Air. OLIVER.

This is open to any booking agents in Great Britain and Ireland except agents who may have shown by their actions that. it is not desirable that we should do business with them. Prima facie every booking agent in the British Islands who has received a license to sell transportation in the British Islands is entitled to claim this bonus on fulfilling the conditions on which it is paid. ,

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. S. SHARPE.

They are licensed by the imperial government?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

Yes.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

Where is the inspection of the immigrants made?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Air. OLIVER.

At the port of landing.

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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Air. OLIVER.

At no other place.

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

That is the system we have always had?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Air. OLIVER.

Yes.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. SCHAFFNER.

The minister has no doubt noted in late American papers that about 4,000 have been deported from New York. Has he any idea of what their means of inspection is?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

It' is the same as ours, but it is much more elaborate.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.
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March 22, 1910