March 12, 1914

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

I say they are

unfortunate, and many of them are in poverty. Some of them can barely get enough money together to pay their passage out here.

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET:

Does the hon. gentleman think that this inspection should bo made

by the steamship company or by the Canadian Government?

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

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CON

William James Roche (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of the Interior)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE:

Oh, yes, they do.

They have to take them back.

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Yes, if you catch

them. Is there any common sense in bringing these people to this country if they have not the $25, or have some mental or other disease that compels them to be sent back? There is not a member in this House who would take the ground that there is any good reason for allowing these people to come out here, and then send them back. They lose their situations and break up their families in the old country, all because we want to have the

10 p.m. medical examiners on this side.

Send three or four doctors to the other side and stop them from getting aboard, not only because of disease, but for any other reason that would prevent them entering Canada,

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

The hon. gentlefnan advises the minister to^ send doctors across to England, Scotland or France to prevent these people from getting on board ship. I doubt very much if this Government would have authority to send a man to England, to France, or to any other country to say who should or should not get on board a vessel.

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Of all the reasons 1 have - yet heard that is the poorest one. Every man in this House knows that if the Government asked the British Government to let them put a doctor or two at Liverpool, that privilege would be granted immediately, The hon. gentleman knows that as well as I do.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

The steamship companies would listen to them.

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Everybody would

listen to them. I said the same thing to the former Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver). For many years I have pleaded for that and it has got to come whether it comes immediately or not. People will not stand for these poor people being robbed as they are in this matter. If the reason advanced by the hon. member for Frontenac is the only one, the minister could fix it in five minutes.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

In such a matter as that each country would have jurisdiction over its own ports. My hon. friend is assuming entirely too much when he assumes that this Government could, in all the various countries from which Canada receives immigrants, appoint -its agents to stand at the ports and say who should and who should not get on board a vessel.

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Does the hon. gentleman not think that other countries would welcome it, rather than have their poor people sent over here and then have them sent back again ? Every country in the world from which we receive immigrants, will welcome it.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

On the contrary, instead of these countries welcoming such officials, the very fact that so many of these people com.ing from various countries have to be deported, shows an inclination on the part of these countries to get rid of them. They are only too glad to get rid of them.

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Not at all.

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET:

The hon. member for

the St. Lawrence division of Montreal (Mr. Bickerdike) is anxious that the medical inspection of immigrants should be performed at the sailing port. I agree with him that such a system would be the best, but before accepting the suggestion it may be advisable to look over the report of the United States commission of immigration, a report which I have quoted the other day in the following terms:

It is highly desirable both for humanitarian and medical reasons that aliens who are not admissible to the United States should be turned back at foreign ports of embarkation, or better still, that they should not leave their homes for such ports only to be returned. It has been strongly urged by immigration officials and other students of the question that the embarkation at foreign ports of persons not admissible to the United States because of their physical condition, would be more effectually prevented by a medical inspection by American officers at such ports. This plan was so strongly urged that this Government a few years ago made official inquiry respecting the probable attitude of European governments toward it. At that time one or two governments expressed a willingness to permit such an inspection by American officials; others made indefinite replies to the inquiry, while others were positively opposed.

Such are findings of the United States commissioners appointed to inquire into the conditions in the various European countries. Now, I requested the Minister of the Interior a few days ago, to co-operate

with the imperial authorities so as to obtain that right of inspection at ports of embarkation.

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Is not the hon member wholly agreeable to the proposal of effecting the inspection on the other side of the Atlantic rather than in our seaports?

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET:

I am in favour of making a selection as judicious as possible of the immigrants. I believe that one of the means of preventing the deportation of undersirables would be to have the inspection made at the sailing ports, or on 'the ships carrying the immigrants. A few days ago, I stated that, in my humble opinion, the ideal system would be to have the medical inspection performed by a specialist appointed and paid by the Canadian Government on board the ships carrying the immigrants.

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

But why not previous to their boarding the ship ?

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET:

For this reason: We must first find out whether we have jurisdiction in foreign lands and, from what I have read, we have no such jurisdiction in foreign countries. It appears from the report of the United States commission which I have just referred to, that the United States experts offer merely suggestions which are, it is true, generally complied with by foreign governments.

In Europe generally things are done in this way. Let us take Germany, for instance. Russians and Austrians wish to cross the German frontier with a view to reaching a German seaport and thence cross over to America. On the German frontier, there are stations for the medical inspection of immigrants, and no undesirables are allowed to proceed any further.

On Monday last, I stated further that in Greece there are stations for medical inspection in their own towns. Besides, the [DOT]other day, I referred to the means that should be taken to prevent as much as possible the hardships inflicted by deportation. It is apparent that the medical officer at the port of embarkation has not enough time at his disposal to detect mental or constitutional diseases with which the immigrant may be afflicted. If inspection was performed on the ship by an expert appointed and paid by the Canadian Government, he might during the trip take the requisite time and means to have the immigrants undergo such an inspection as I believe to be necessary in the country's interest

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Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

The hon. gentleman advocates inspection on the ocean, on board the vessels. But no ship would turn around when half way across the sea to take back a rejected immigrant.

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LIB

March 12, 1914