March 30, 1921

L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

We will not shelve the question. I hope it will come to a vote this afternoon in order that we may take the opinion of the House as to whether the resolution of my hon. friend from St. Mary is in the interest of the country. What pleased me particularly was the assertion of my hon. friend from St. Mary that he was making this resolution entirely on his personal responsibility. Well, it is such an illiberal motion, it is a motion so contrary to all ideals of freedom, that I would rather have expected it to come from an hon. member opposite. I am somewhat surprised that my hon. friend, who calls himself a Liberal, who votes Liberal, and who, I trust, thinks as a Liberal, should introduce such an illiberal resolution as this;

What was it that made this country prosperous from 1896 to 1911? I submit, Mr. Speaker, that it was the immigration policy introduced by the Laurier government and carried out by it up to the very moment

that it went out of power. I had occasion to say before in this House that Sir Clifford Sifton is largely responsible for the tide of immigration which came into this country after 1896. We may have different opinions and views respecting the character of Sir Clifford Sifton but I must say this-that at no time in the history of Canada, with the possible exception of the present Minister of Immigration and Colonization, did we have a man who viewed the question of immigration so clearly as did Sir Clifford Sifton; and we ought to consider ourselves under a heavy delft of gratitude to that man for having clearly seen what was to the interest of this country, and put into force an Act to forward our immigration policy which did so much to people the West and to bring prosperity to Canada. If we adopt such a resolution as this we are going to face a most serious crisis. I warn my hon. friend the Minister of Immigration and Colonization that he ought to go slowly in the matter of restrictions on immigration. There are in Europe to-day thousands and tens of thousands, yes millions, of people who would become desirable immigrants in this country; but once you make them understand and believe that Canada is only for a certain class, that although this country is one which can accommodate one hundred and fifty millions, it is going to be made a stamping ground for seven or eight millions merely, then you turn the eyes and thoughts of those desirable immigrants elsewhere, and we lose them for all time. This resolution, although it has been introduced by my hon. friend from St. Mary, who knows practically nothing of the whole question, will have served a very good purpose by promoting the present debate, and more especially if it should elicit from the Minister of Immigration and Colonization some tangible, concrete views on this highly important question.

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UNION

George Boyce

Unionist

Mr. GEORGE BOYCE (Carleton) :

I

have listened with a great deal of pleasure to the hon. member who has just taken his seat. I regret very much that that hon. gentleman is not a farmer, because, judging from the opinions he has expressed, he would make a good one. I have heard a good many speeches in this House but I must say I do not think I ever listened to one which contains more sound common sense than the speech which my right hon. friend delivered this afternoon. There is no doubt that immigration is one of the

great questions to which we should give our most thoughtful consideration at the present time. In the great West there are boundless acres lying uncultivated for the want of men to till them. In New Ontario what do we see?-millions of acres, waiting for settlers to come and cultivate the land. The need is great for desirable immigrants to enter this vast country of ours and help to increase its production. For my part I do not see why we should place such a serious handicap as now exists on respectable persons who wish to enter this country and settle here. Why should an honest man who is willing to work, and who would probably make a better living than he did in his former home, be hindered from coming into this country? I think I am safe in saying that there are hundreds and thousands-I might almost say millions- of men in the Old Land who would be only too glad to be given the opportunity of coming to Canada in order to work here and earn an honest livelihood. I have had letters from two or three men now who are there and who would like to get back to Canada. They lived here before the war broke out, and then went across the ocean to do their part. After peace came they remained in the Old Land, but although they would like to return to Canada they have not the means to carry out their desire.

I am a farmer and speak with some little knowledge of agriculture and its needs. In the county which I represent I believe employment could be found for at least one thousand qualified men in the course of a few days. In the farming industry we have been labouring under all sorts of difficulties for years, trying to get along with only about one-quarter of the labour needed, and yet we know there are any number of men available for settlement in Canada if they can only be brought here. We often hear it said that in the cities there are great numbers of idle men. I have not the least doubt that such is the case. I have visited this city myself trying to get men to work in harvest time but without success, although there seemed to be any number of persons without any visible occupation. I know of one case where a man was asked to take a place on the farm and demanded $5 a day and his board. When this was promised him he said: "Will you take my two chums?" The farmer replied in the negative and the man then said: "Oh, well, I do not want to work on a farm." That is the type of man that is idle in our large cities. Such men as this do not want to work. I have

been brought up in this country and have an intimate knowledge of the conditions here, and I say that no man who is willing to work need experience hard times-he can always get sufficient employment to keep him going and yield a little to spare.

I trust that no serious monetary handicap against desirable immigration into Canada will be enforced.

How are we going to amount to anything if we stop immigration? We have heard several references to the United States. Would there be a population of 110,000,000 in the United States to-day if there had been any restriction on immigration there? Not a bit of it. If we put restrictions on immigration how long will it be before we have a population of even 50,000,000? We want men who are willing to work. It deos not make any difference whether they are farm hands or mechanics, if they are willing to work they will always find plenty to do. That is the type of men we want,, and I hope we will do everything to encourage such men to help in the upbuilding of Canada, so that we may become one of the great nations of the earth and our land will be a blessing to millions who will make their homes here in years to come.

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L LIB

James Alexander Robb

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. A. ROBB (Chateauguay-Hunting-don) :

Mr. Speaker, the pith of the resolution presented by my hon. friend from St. Mary (Mr. Deslauriers) is that Canada should suspend all immigration until normal conditions are established. In my judgment if this resolution was adopted, and the Government based their policy upon it, my hon. friend would be helping to delay the very conditions that he wishes to bring about, because the restriction of immigration would go far to retard the reestablishment of normal conditions in this country.

Our city friends have for some years been clamouring for a reduction in the cost of living and in rents, and they complain bitterly that foodstuffs and rentals have become dearer year by year. But what has contributed more to the advancement of rents in the cities, to the detriment of the workers, than the action of the workers themselves? They are not willing to work more than eight hours a day; but, after all, that would not be so

4 p.m. bad if they were willing to give a good eight hours' work. However, the rule apparently is to do as little work as possible, and this in very large measure is responsible for the higher rents which they have to pay. While they are clamouring for a reduction in the cost

of foodstuffs, apparently our city friends forget that their advocacy of shorter hours and increased pay has taken away from the farms the people who by their work on the land would have contributed to a fair reduction of the cost of living. And our city friends by their advocacy of higher pay and shorter hours for railway workers have still further helped to increase the cost of transportation of the products of the farms to the cities. As a result, to-day we have dissatisfaction both in the cities and in the country, because there is a shortage of labour in the latter and a surplus of it in the former, and the trouble is that many of the men who were attracted to the cities by higher pay and shorter hours are disinclined to work.

I have no quarrel with my city friends for wishing to bar immigration completely, but, representing an agricultural constituency, I do not wish to see this resolution passed without saying to the minister in charge (Mr. Calder) and the Government that in my judgment what Canada requires to-day more than anything else is more and better immigration. If workers in the cities are to have cheaper foodstuffs and lower rents, Canada must produce a surplus of exportable products to meet our national obligations, and the only way to stimulate production is to encourage men to come to this country who are willing to work. I am quite ready to admit that there are a sufficient number of artisans in this country if they were only willing to work. And I am not urging upon the Minister of Immigration to make it easier for foreign agitators to enter Canada. Indeed, I am satisfied that even old Mother England should keep her agitators at home. We do not want them here, but we do want men and women who are willing to work, and therefore I do not think we would be acting wisely in placing a money restriction on the right type of immigrants. Perhaps many of us in this House would not be here had there been a money restriction placed upon the earlier settlers, for many of our parents came here with very little money; all they had was their health and their willingness to work. They did work, and their industry helped to make this country what it is to-day-attractive to those from overseas who are seeking to enter our ports. Therefore I urge upon the minister the adoption of a policy that will bring to this country all immigrants who are willing to work.

From what I read in the press recently it occurs to me that some gentlemen who

are very closely associated with the Government apparently have not much confidence in its immigration policy. I noticed that recently in the city of Winnipeg there was formed what is known as the Western Canada Colonization Society, and, strange to say, instead of placing at its head the Minister of Immigration, who is himself a western man and should know the needs of the West, they selected as president a gentleman from Hamilton, Mr. Robert Hobson, one of the directors of our national railway system. The reason for the formation of that society was stated to be that, in the opinion of its organizers, Canada must have increased immigration in order to secure greater production, and instead of urging upon the Government to extend its immigration policy I gather from the newspaper reports that these gentlemen say: We are going to take this work out of the hands of the immigration authorities and ourselves see that the work is done right. It is aparent that they are not satisfied with the methods of the Immigration Department. The managing director of the association is General McRae, who did such splendid work in the war, and it has been left to him to go out and stimulate immigration. It seems to me that when the minister replies he should tell us whether the newspaper reports are correct, and whether those gentlemen are to send their agents throughout the British Isles and other parts of Europe in search of suitable immigrants, instead of leaving the work in the hands of the Immigration Department.

For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to suport the resolution presented by my hon. friend for St. Mary and so well argued by him from his point of view. I say in all frankness to my hon. friend from St. Mary that if the city people wish to secure lower rentals and cheaper foodstuffs, the best thing he can do for Canada is to withdraw his resolution and allow the Government to proceed along sound, sane lines as was the case in the years from 1896 until 1911, when we were so prosperous, when we had immigration of anywhere from 200,000 to 350,000 each year. That is the policy we require for Canada-not the restriction or suspension of immigration.

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UNION

William Garland McQuarrie

Unionist

Mr. W. G. McQUARRIE (New Westminster) :

Mr. Speaker, I think there is

a good deal to be said in favour of the resolution, the effect of which is to recommend to the Government that all immigration shall be suspended until conditions

again become normal. We all have to admit that conditions are not normal at present, and it seems to me that they are going to become worse before they get better. Factories and industries all over the country are closing down; we hear that every day, and a great many men are out of employment. I was in Hamilton during the Easter holidays and I heard there that a lot of the Hamilton factories were closing down and that a great many men would be out of employment. Included in the institutions which are closing down, I think, is the International Harvester Company, a big concern which employed 3,500 men. Now, we have bread lines in nearly all the cities. I know that in Vancouver a great many men are at present out of employment, men who want work but cannot get it. I do not agree with the hon. member for Huntingdon (Mr. Robb) that the unemployed of Canada are men who do not want to work; there are a great many men who cannot get work. That being the case, why should we bring into the country a lot of men to make conditions worse? Because that is what the result would be. The great argument seems to be that the farmers are unable to get help. Well, I think the time will come, and come very soon, when the unemployed in the cities may be very glad to go back on the farm, and when that time comes you will have lots of men, and good men, to work on the farms.

When I was coming up from Hamilton I met one of the men who had been thrown out of employment through the closing down of a factory in that city. I got into conversation with him. I do not know what his name is, but I ascertained that he was one of the Princess Pats, one of the men who came back with the remnant of that famous regiment not so very long ago and marched along the streets of Ottawa; one of the regiment of which we are all so proud. That man said he had been working in a factory where threshing machines were manufactured; that the concern had been getting no business for some time and had had to close down. I asked him what he was going to do. He said: I am going to a farm here where I have secured employment. I believe that will be the case with a great many men; when they cannot get any other work they will have to go on the farm. I believe conditions will right themselves and that we have in Canada sufficient men to look after all the work which is required to be done on the farms.

The matter of the need for domestic servants has been referred to during the course of the discussion. I believe it would be advisable to encourage the coming to this country of domestic servants, because there is a shortage of that class of labour in Canada. If a good, capable girl comes into the country, in a short time she gets married, and I believe we should encourage that kind of thing if they are the right kind of people.

It has been said also that the solution of our railroad problem, which is a most unfortunate one, of course, is to throw open the doors to immigration and let everybody in. That course has been urged by men like Mr. Beatty, of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and the hon. member from Marquette (Mr. Crerar). Well, that may later be the proper policy; when conditions right themselves it will, I suppose, be proper for the railroad companies to do as they did before and bring people to this country by the thousands and tens of thousands. But I do not believe that time has come; I do not believe that the bringing of immigrants into Canada by the wholesale will help out our railroad situation. Before you throw open the doors, I would say, get rid of the bread lines- which involves practically what the mover of the resolution (Mr. Deslauriers) suggests, namely, the return of conditions to normal. I am not a pessimist, by any means; I believe that we have a great country and that a great future lies before us. But we should be very careful not to make conditions worse during the next few years.

The United States is restricting immigration, and no doubt a large number of people who are refused entrance into that country will try to come into Canada. Something has been said about the policy of the late Liberal Administration, and Sir Clifford Sifton's name was mentioned, great credit being given to him for bringing so many people into the country. But I am afraid that under that policy a great many people of the wrong kind were brought in. I do not think that the country gained anything by the admission into Canada of people like the Doukhobors, for instance,- I mention simply that one class; there are others. These people do not do anv <~~'d to the country, so far as I have been able to discover. They have their own settlements; they make money for themselves; they cultivate the land, it is true, but they remain more or less a foreign settlement in our midst. I do not think that is what we want; we do not want men who, when we

get into any kind of trouble, will say that they are conscientious objectors and that they are not going to take any part in the defence of the country. We want people who will make good Canadians, who will perform the duties of Canadians, and who will help to make Canada the country which it ought to be.

I stated that there was a good deal to be said for this resolution, but I do not wish it to be inferred that I would support such a drastic proposition as this. I believe rather that the policy which the Government has adopted, of the very strictest kind of supervision of people who are trying to get into Canada, should be followed out. Such people should be examined in every possible way. I quite agree that it is not sufficient to qualify them that they should possess the sum of $250 or any definite amount of money; they should be the right kind of people, and the Government should examine them very strictly in order to find out whether that is the case or not. I would allow in, as the Government is doing, domestic servants and farm labourers. It is quite true that when you let in a farm labourer, you cannot be at all sure that that man is going to stay on the farm, but a certain number of them will do so. They have the farming instinct in them, and if they cannot get employment in other lines, they will go on the farm. I want to help the farmers; there are many farmers in my constituency, and there is a certain amount of room for men who will go on the land, particularly in the West. Let in domestic servants; let in farmers; but be very careful, though, about the class of people that you let in to be farmers. The mere fact that a man has been a farmer in some European country, to my mind, does not altogether qualify him as a proper citizen of Canada.

Some hon. members, in speaking of the need for farm help, have, perhaps, to a certain extent, exaggerated the situation. There are in this country people to work on the farms, provided that you can induce them to do so. If a man is out of work and will not go on a farm, there must be something wrong either with the man or with the treatment that he receives when he goes *n the farm to work. Something can be done to improve conditions on farms so as to make them more attractive for men who might be expected to work on them. I am, unfortunately, not a farmer, and possibly I have not a great deal of information about the way in which farm labourers are treated; but it seems to me

that they are more or less turned out in the backyard to live; that they are not given proper accommodation, and that they are not treated exactly as they should be in more respects than one. The time is coming when the farmer will have to get down to the eight-hour day, and while some hon. members may smile at that, things are changing; in other lines of industry, the eight-hour day has had to be adopted, and I do not see why farm labouring should not be considered in exactly the same way as labouring at any other kind of work.

This resolution should not pass, but the Government should carry on the policy, which the minister has stated as reported in the press, of the very strictest supervision of immigration for some time to come.

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UNION

James McCrie Douglas

Unionist

Mr. J. M. DOUGLAS (Strathcona) :

Mr. Speaker, the question of immigration, to my mind, is one of the greatest questions confronting the people of Canada at the present time. At the outset let me say that I have not the slightest sympathy with the resolution propounded by the hon. member for St. Mary's division of Montreal (Mr. Deslauriers). Some facts with regard to the difficulties of admittance of settlers into this country under the present immigration regulations were set forth very clearly by the hon. member for George Etienne Cartier (Mr. Jacobs) and I agree entirely with every statement he made in that regard. In the province from which I come we can accommodate millions of immigrants. The previous speaker (Mr. McQuarrie) stated that, under the regime of Sir Clifford Sifton there came into this country a certain kind of immigration which, in his judgment, was not in the best interest of Canada. He mentioned the class of Doukhobors. Personally, I have no knowledge of the Doukhobors; but I presume, in his classification of Doukhobors, he also included other residents of Austria and Russia who were of the same type, but Who do not hold the same religious convictions which the Doukhobors hold.

In Alberta, we have a large number of foreign-speaking settlers who are now Canadian citizens, men who came from Austria, from Russia, and some from Germany. In spite of any criticism which may have been made as to the immigration policy which was put into effect in 1897 or thereabouts, I make the statement in this House that that immigration policy was the foundation of the success of this country, and that Alberta and the other western provinces

have profited greatly by the settlement of those people on our fertile lands. The regulations in vogue to-day contain so many restrictive measures that a great injustice is being perpetrated on people, particularly 'from certain sections of Europe, coming into this country. Those people, in many instances, are relatives of people living in Western Canada at the present time, who are progressive, well-to-do people, and who are prepared to take the chances of seeing that those people do not become charges on the country. I have had, under my personal observation, many cases of former Austrian citizens, former Russian citizens, former Polish citizens, now living in this country, who are quite prepared to give a bond, if necessary, to the Government that their relatives will not be a charge on the public of this country if they are allowed admittance. But they cannot get in, and yet we see other types of people coming into Canada who are not in the same class whatever as settlers, who are not under any circumstances to be regarded as being of as great value to the country as some of those people whose entry into this country has been prohibited by regulation.

We have a tremendous transportation problem on our hands; we have tremendous resources undeveloped; we have a huge national debt, and if we are ever going to get out of the mire, we must have the people. In my judgment the $250 qualification does not represent the value of an immigrant in the slightest degree. If I might be personal, I might cite the case of my father who came to this country in 1853 with one sovereign in his pocket, and who had to make his way in a country where the advantages at that time were not nearly as great as they are to-day. His case is only one of thousands This country was built up by men of that kind. If we are going to restrict and hamper this class of people we are not going to have a country at all.

Hon. gentlemen have referred to what the United States is doing, but the United States cannot be compared with us at the present time. They have in the neighbourhood of 110,000,000 people, while we have only a paltry 8,000,000 or 9,000,000. We have as large an arable country as they have, yet we are putting up the bars against possible assets in the form of hard-working industrious people who will make this country a place that we shall all be proud to live in. I am entirely in favour of the bars being thrown down to a great extent; at all events, more than they are at the

present time. Give us a policy that will bring the most progressive and strongest type of immigrants to this country, and I have no fear as to what the results will be in the future.

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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. FERNAND RINFRET (St. James, Montreal):

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, as this motion may go to a vote, I wish to address the House though very briefly, on the subject, if only to qualify my stand in reference to it.

I must first congratulate the member from St. Mary's (Mr. Deslauriers) for having brought about this debate and this independantly of what he had to say, and I should like also to congratulate him for having opened it in French, since this permits some of the members from the province of Quebec to follow it in their own language. I hope that the minister in charge of the debate will not think it a lack of courtesy if I continue in the same language as that used by the member from St. Mary's, since the arguments on the debate have been offered in such profusion in English that he has certainly been able to form his opinion without having to hear in detail that which I wish to say. I will add though, that the Government is but imperfectly represented in this debate, since, while it is mainly a question of immigration that has been raised, it is at the same time one of labour. Once more we are shown the proof of the absurd position of the present Government which has in the Senate some of the ministers who are at the head of the most important departments, notably that department among all others which should be represented in the democratic House, the lower House, the House of those elected by the people," the department of labour. But I hope that upon this side of the House we have voices powerful enough to make themselves heard even in the richly decorated hall of the Upper House.

I agree with a good part of what has been said by my friend the member from St. Mary's who shares with me the distinction of representing one of the divisions of Canada's metropolis, and who is my neighbour on the left in the city of Montreal. I also agree with the part of what has been said by my neighbour on the right, the member from Georges-Etienne-Cartier (Mr. Jacobs), and it is an odd circumstance that though I am geographically situated between them, I should be called upon to take a stand which is not entirely that of either of them.

The member from St. Mary's maintains that the labour situation is such that all immigration should be suspended. The member from Georges Etienne-Cartier on his part answers, " It is true that the situation of labour is difficult enough, but nevertheless we should continue to open wide our doors." It appeafs to me, Mr. Speaker, that it should be possible to find in a treatise on architecture the contrivance of an aperture which be neither the dark closed grill of my hon. friend on my left, so to speak, nor the wide-open door of the member from Georges-Etienne-Cartier.

It is rather remarkable that the member from St. Mary's, while pretending to treat the immigration question as a whole, contents himself with presenting the arguments which have to do with the problem of unemployment from the labourer's point of view. It did not occur to him that one of the ways of solving the problem of unemployment in the towns is to increase the population in the country districts, for the larger the rural population, the greater is the need for articles manufactured in the towns. A community after all is like a person, it must be fed. But there are certain foods which suit this person and others which are distasteful to him, and if a diet of overfeeding (which I suspect my hon. friend from Georges-Etienne-Cartier of wishing to prescribe) would not agree just now with the Canadian people, I do not believe that we would be justified in exposing the community to starvation by cutting off the supply of food which it needs. For who can deny that up to a certain point we need immigration in Canada? The member from St. Mary's says that he does not wish an indiscriminate invitation to our shores extended to all would-be immigrants, but it seems to me that he falls into the opposite danger, which is to prevent ali, without distinction, from coming in. If the motion is not at fault in its premises, if it be true, as he has so ably shown with the science and eloquence which gained for him the support of the most thickly populated county of the Dominion, I really believe that we have unemployment in our cities, and that this constitutes a grave problem. He adds that the Government purposes to study this question. This is also true, in the exact terms in which he puts it. The Government, alas, purposes all sorts of things and then does nothing further about them! It is true that a social upheaval exists in Europe, and that on this side we are exposed to having undesirable immigrants. All this, from my point of view, is

quite true. But I am forced to disagree with my hon. friend from St. Mary's, when he asks that immigration be completely suspended, though that does not mean that I accept in their entirety the views of my hon. friend from George-Etienne-Cartier.

In fact, we know that in his conclusions the hon. member for St. Mary's has allowed it to be understood that he is willing to modify to a certain extent his conclusions; and he admitted that there might be immigrants who would become excellent citizens. It is therefore easy to see that we can come to an understanding. We must therefore content ourselves with asking the Government to exercise a reasonable control over the immigration that presents itself at our doors. This is what is done by our neighbours of the United States. I do not wish to prolong this discussion- I have here a very interesting compilation from The Literary Digest, on the subject of immigration to the United States, in which is explained, by extracts from different American papers, how they mean to proceed in that country. In the United States, though it is a very populous country, already having 110 million inhabitants, it is not the intention to stop immigration, because it is admitted that even in that thickly peopled country, certain elements from European or other sources may be needed. It is all the more so, Mr. Speaker, in Canada, where we are only 8 millions; where we have to face immense problems; where we have, for instance, the problem of State-owned railways-a problem which can only be solved as it seems by adding to the population of the country in years to come-where we have a heavy war-debt which will be reduced if our population increases. If this tax is so much per head to-day, it is evident that when the population is 16 millions it will be reduced by 50 per cent. Unless the Government persist in increasing the debt by their extravagance, but, notwithstanding the Government's great aversion to go before the people, we know very well that there cannot be a longer delay than fifteen or sixteen months. We must have a " back to the land " policy, and I believe that the member from St. Mary's will admit that in the increasing of the rural population lies a remedy-I do not say the only remedy, for no single remedy can solve a complex problem-for the evil of unemployment in the towns however would certainly disappear with reference to foreign immigration, I would like to add a word. I declare in all sincerity before this House,

that there are different "European elements the incorporating of which would be a distinct gain to us. I would like to mention some who have become Canadian citizens and are worthy of our attention, for instance, the Syrians. Those who are familiar with Montreal, particularly the east end, know that they are easily assimilated; that they readily learn not only French but English, that they are industrious, and become merchants, not labourers. We have in Montreal, on Notre Dame St. east, and in other parts of the town, not only in the constituency of St. James, but in other constituencies, a Syrian population carrying on business along sound and profitable lines and constituting an immigration eminently desirable. Nevertheless I know, from having talked with them, that most of these Syrians came into the country with less than $250 which the Government now exacts on arrival.

As the hon. member from Georges-Etienne-Cartier (Mr. Jacobs) strongly put it just now, it is not the rich, it is not those who are comfortably off at home, who emigrate; those who leave their own country are the ones who seek better conditions than are possible for them at home. I do not wish to discuss in all its details this particular restriction which the Government imposes upon immigration, but I would like to simply show in a general way, and to remain within the bounds of this afternoon's discussion, that this question is very complex, and that it is very difficult to settle it by arrangements of a special character. This is why, in the best of spirit, and because my hon. friend from St. Mary's (Mr. Deslauriers) is one of the best Liberals I know, that I would suggest that he further develop his view of which he gave us a glimpse in the last sentences of his speech. In these he admitted that if it were necessary to maintain a barrier against all immigrants who might be a cause of social disaggregation, or of overbidding on the labour market, a door must nevertheless be left open not necessarily wide open, but it must be left ajar for a certain class of immigrants whom we need in our rural distracts.

Personally, I wish to say that I would gladly vote for a resolution along these lines, but I would be very sorry indeed to vote against that of the hon. member for St. Mary's should it remain exactly in its present form.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (Oxford South):

After listening attentively to the

speeches delivered on this resolution, I cannot help expressing the regret I feel, that it is rather unfortunate that the vision of some of those who have addressed the House does not extend beyond the borders of their own constituencies. The resolution reads in part:

Whereas the question of unemployment In our large cities has become a serious problem .... therefore be it resolved: That, in the opinion of this House, all immigration should be suspended until a normal condition of affairs is established.

The large cities, it seems, are the only points to be considered, and all the other sections of the community, and the interests of the people in general, are to be lost sight of. One almost imagines, from the remarks that have been made upon the resolution, that the people of Canada and the people of the world at large ought to be in a normal condition to-day. It would be strange indeed, after the world-wide convulsion that has taken place, if there were not an unsettled state of affairs in many parts of the world, and in many sections of our own community. The conditions that prevailed during the war were entirely different from what they are today, and were in no small measure responsible for those unsettled conditions which the mover of the resolution referred to as existing at present in the large industrial centres. We heard a great deal during the war about profiteers, and the charge of profiteering was frequently hurled at a certain class of people. I question, however, whether any section of the community are altogether free from this offence, and many of those people who to-day are out of employment in the large cities are in my opinion not free from this charge. It is true there has been a great influx of people from all parts of the country into the large industrial centres, where wages during the war were higher than they have ever been in the past. In the manufacturing of munitions and other necessary war material, our people have congregated in these centres and now, owing to the cessation of hostilities, are to-day without the emp'oy-ment which they had during the years of the war. I venture to say that there was never a time in the history of Canada when labour was so necessary as it is at the present time. It is the only thing upon which we can rely to pull us out of the

difficult position in which we are placed. True, it may he impossible for some people to get employment in the trades and industries in which they had been previously engaged; but if they are out of employment to-day it is largely because they will not do the work which is to be done and which must be done before we shall be able to get back to a normal state. The mover of the resolution would bar all immigration into this country. Well, there is a certain class of immigrants whom I would not permit to come here at any time or under any conditions. But just now there is a certain class of people who are anxious to come to Canada, and I believe they ought to receive consideration at the hands of the Government. If you wait until you absorb all the elements that we find in the large cities to-day, then you will wait a long time; you will wait until those desirable settlers who are eager to come to Canada have gone to some other country. There are in Great Britain to-day immense numbers of men and women who are anxious to come to Canada and make this country their home. But some one says: If you bring these people here they must go on the land, and what assurance have you that they will remain there if you permit them to come in? A few hours ago, before the Pensions Committee of this House, we had certain witnesses, one of whom represented the tubercular patients at the hospital at Hamilton, where they had adopted an industrial scheme whereby they are building houses on the outskirts of the city for tubercular patients and establishing what is known as a "vetcraft industry." Men of means have interested themselves in their behalf as they are anxious that the Government should do something for them. The promotees have made careful observations as to what lines of business can be carried on under the auspices of this organization with a view to making them a success. A witness who appeared before the committee to-day, Mr. Speaker, a shrewd young man who has evidently made a study of the subject, referred to the various industries which could be carried on profitably and without subjecting tuberculous patients to undue strain. But he made some statement which was rather significant, he said that so far as agriculture was concerned they did not intend to do anything because it was absolutely unprofitable. I am afraid that a great many hon. gentlemen wall not agree with me if I should concur in the view of that

witness. Nevertheless it is very significant to-day to learn from a persual of the daily newspapers that many of the essential articles of food in Canada are being imported from Europe and South America and China where labour is cheap. These articles of food are coming into competition with Canadian products, and are taking the place of commodities that ought to be raised in this country. Why, Sir, look at our vast extent of territory which to-day is only occupied by some eight or nine millions of people. We have laid the foundations of great public works intended to aid in the settlement and development of the Dominion. We have built railways, we have dug canals, and we are building steamships to assist in carrying our produce to the various markets of the world. The foundations of a great system of transportation have been well and truly laid; and to-day we are anxiously waiting for people to come in and help develop this country, waiting for people to come here and fill the vacant places that need to be filled, and whose coming is justified by the immense area of this country, as yet so sparsely populated. The transportation system of Canada is in a very precarious condition to-day and I believe that it is more largely responsible for the existing unrest and the lack of employment than anything else. I believe that if we had lower railway rates in the Dominion you would not find the stagnation in business which you do find to-day. Who is responsible for the condition of our railways? It is not altogether due to the fact that we have built tQo far in advance of our needs, or rather that in many sections of the country there are railways paralleling each other, railways which should not have been built. Railway companies have been competing among themselves in order to obtain traffic, but they have not given that cheap service to the country which should have resulted from a competition in the real sense of the term. We find that during the war the railway unions of Canada, which were better organized perhaps than other unions, not only kept abreast of the high wages being paid to workers for turning out munitions and other necessities of war, but their remuneration was far in advance of that received in other branches of labour. The result is that it would appear as though the railway employees in Canada to-day considered that the railways were built for their convenience and benefit rather than for the con-

venience and benefit of the people as a whole.

As to the question of immigration we ought to be careful about the class of immigrants we permit to enter Canada. I have here a clipping which was published in a newspaper in 1913, just before the war broke out, and the article refers to information which had come from Berlin, that the Canadian Pacific Railway had succeeded in securing twenty thousand immigrants per month to come out to this country, and that these immigrants were mainly Austrians and people from southern Europe. There may have been some method in the policy of bringing immigrants to Canada which was pursued at that time; but in view of what has transpired during the past six or seven years we ought to be careful to see that the immigrants permitted to enter Canada are in sympathy with our laws and institutions. At the same time if we enforce a penalty, as it were, to the extent of 3250 against the entrance of desirable immigrants we are going to handicap our people in a way that nothing else can do. As has been already pointed out by previous speakers, labour was never more difficult to secure in the rural districts. Never before was it so difficult to secure satisfactory farm labour as it is at this particular time. I think it was the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. McQuarrie) who declared that the farmers do not treat their help properly and who proclaimed himself in favour of an eight-hour day, in order to overcome the difficult situation that confronts us. I say, and I have said it on previous occasions in this House, that what we need is labour and a class of labour that will not be too particular as to whether it works half an hour over the usual time or not. It is not an eight-hour day that is so necessary in many walks of life, but a desire to give value for the wages received. This is what is needed in order to establish confidence and put many of these industries on their feet again. My hon. friend says that the farmer should adopt the eight-hour day. Well we have to-day to consider the competition from Holland, Denmark, Argentine, and other countries whose products are now sold in Canada but of a quality that does not begin to compare with our own. Surely we are not going to permit such inferior importations to take the place of commodities which ought to be produced in our own country.

I had no intention of speaking on this resolution, I had not even read it before coming to the House this afternoon, but I do desire to put the Government on their guard against paying too much attention to the demands of some of the labour unions in Canada. These unions are asking not only that the hours of labour shall be cut down, but they are even fixing the amount of labour that a man will be permitted to do, with the result that if he exceeds the maximum he is fined by the union to which he belongs. It does not appear to be a question of giving value for what is received; it is an effort to curtail as much as possible what each individual man can do. How can a country expect to have prosperity under such conditions? If you follow such a policy out to its logical conclusion you must apply the same regulation to every other class in the community. The same standard must apply to all, which would mean that the Government would eventually have to take charge of the entire population and provide that they shall do just so much labour without competition, which all will admit, is an absolute impossibility. I do not believe it is advisable for a government to attempt to undertake anything that the people ought to do and are capable of doing for themselves. There are sufficient necessary duties devolving upon a government without its seeking new spheres of activity along that line. But I want to say again that the only hope for our country is to have competition whereby the best will come to the front, merit must be the test, because once you eliminate competition you are going to have stagnation. And that is the very thing sought to be accomplished by the so-called Independent Labour party of Canada. I realize that I may be saying something that will not be very popular in many parts of the country and it may be in certain sections of the constituency that I represent, but I have been accustomed to say exactly what I think on matters of public importance since I have been a member of this House, although, I recognize such frankness is not always popular in certain quarters. But I am so seized of the seriousness of the situation with which 5 p.m. we are confronted to-day that I welcome this opportunity to put on record my views in regard to this question. You must remove the shackles that are to-day placed on trade, you must permit natural and normal development, and you must see that our transportation

facilities are placed in such a position as will make them of the greatest possible use in the further development of the Dominion. Given these conditions, I am satisfied that the genius of our people will overcome the difficulties with which we are now surrounded.

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UFOL

John Wilfred Kennedy

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Mr. J. W. KENNEDY (Glengarry and Stormont) :

Mr. Speaker, my only reason

for taking part in this debate is that the question of immigration is so closely related with that of employment. I think it is rather strange that a debate of this kind should have arisen, even at this time, in a country such as Canada, and I am surprised that any one would advocate the barring out of suitable immigrants when our broad acres and our many natural resources are waiting the necessary labour to develop them.

We have heard a great deal this afternoon about unemployment, but it has not been suggested that there is much unemployment in our rural sections. It has, however, been stated that the unemployment situation is very general in all our urban centres and very serious. This condition, according to some people, is due to the refusal of labour to work reasonable hours for reasonable wages; certain others have been disposed to blame this condition on the employers; but in this particular I think the discussion has really overlooked the actual cause. I submit, Sir, that the present serious labour situation is a very sad commentary on the fiscal policy which Canada has so foolishly followed during the last fifty years. This policy was entered upon to a certain extent to afford employment to labour. We have heard a great deal of argument along this line in the last few years, and even in the present session, in the Address which we had from His Excellency it was mentioned that the present Administration was still pursuing the policy of protection in order to afford employment to our labouring men. After following that policy for fifty years, is it not strange that we have such a serious unemployment situation in our urban centres to-day? Surely the advocates of protection will not further argue that-a continuance of that policy will afford permanent employment to the working men of this country. Protection has encouraged industry, but industry is dependent on so many conditions outside of itself that there are certain times when it flourishes very rapidly and demands a great deal of labour, while at other times it is beset by certain unfavourable conditions and it turns labour out. This is a great

hardship on the labouring man, for he cannot easily change his employment. Therefore I would suggest that it is very unwise to continue a policy of trying to build up in this country large industrial centres which are so dependent on external conditions. I would suggest instead a policy of encouraging some of our basic industries, such as agriculture, which is not so dependent on outside conditions, and which will afford permanent employment for many more thousands of labourers than we have at the present day.

Much has been said about permitting farm labourers to come into this country, and excluding artisans. Well, the farm labourer who has come to us in the past has, after spending a few months on the farm, usually drifted into the urban centres to become an artisan. That has been the experience of the past and will likely be the experience of the future so long as we follow a policy which makes agricultural labour so unremunerative. I was struck by a remark made by the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sutherland) who immediately preceded me, that if you eliminate competition you produce stagnation. I would suggest to him that the fiscal policy of protection tends toward that very thing, towards restricting competition, and so inevitably producing stagnation.

I want to combat one or two statements made by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. McQuarrie). He intimated that the reason why agricultural labour was so scarce in this country was that hired men were not properly treated. I think he used the expression, that they were turned out into the back yard. I think the hon. gentleman admitted that he was not a farmer and was not familiar with farming conditions. This is quite evident or he would never have made such a statement.

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CON
UFOL

John Wilfred Kennedy

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Mr. KENNEDY (Glengarry and Stormont) :

The hired man has usually the

same privileges, the same food and the same accommodation as the farmer and his family enjoy. The hon. member for New Westminster also stated that he advocated an eight-hour day for the farmer. Well, I am sure the majority of farmers would welcome an eight-hour day.

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CON
UFOL

John Wilfred Kennedy

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Mr. KENNEDY (Glengarry and Stormont) :

I am quite sure they would welcome an eight-hour day on the farm.

But I might advise the hon. gentleman that if such a thing came to pass our urban population would very soon be paying possibly a dollar a pound for their butter and for their beef and bacon, fifty or sixty cents a pound for their cheese, a couple of dollars a dozen for their eggs, and so on down the list. That would be the inevitable result from the establishment of an eight-hour day on the farm. I think it would be very unfortunate if this resolution were concurred in and suitable immigration to this country restricted at the present time.

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L LIB

Willis Keith Baldwin

Laurier Liberal

Mr. W. K. BALDWIN (Stanstead) :

Mr. Speaker, this, to me, is one of the most important resolutions which has been presented to the House this session. If we cast our eye over this broad Dominion, three or four thousand miles in its extent, and consider the proportion which our population bears to our railway mileage, to our vast agricultural possibilities, our great waterways, our splendid mineral and other resources, we must come to the conclusion that only by increasing our population through a wise immigration policy can these vast resources be developed and our country attain its fullest progress. We have an area comparable with that of the United States; see what they have done. It is only recently that they have had restrictive immigration laws of any kind. People come from the four corners of the earth, to that great country, and, as some hon. members have said here to-day, whether these immigrants be Norwegians or Swedes or Germans or Danes, they have been the best possible immigration agents and they look after their people as they come in. So unless we wish to retard and hold back the progress of this great Dominion we must work along progressive lines. Look at our railway system, our great agricultural and mining possibilities and our water-powers which, if developed, would enable us to get most of our coal in our own country instead of from Pennsylvania and to keep our money at home. All these branches of development need help, need the assistance of labour. Let me say right here that the climatic conditions of this country are such as to discourage the coming here of those nomadic races who live by putting their hands into the other fellow's pocket. We do not want that class of people; we want a better class. We do not want loafers; we have enough of them already. I am interested in some large undertakings and have been for many years, and I can say that there never was a time when it was harder to get labour than it,is to-day. We talk about

farmers and the need for production. Well, the value of the products of the farm has declined to the extent of one-third, and if the farmer is to go ahead, if he is to extend his tillable land, he must be enabled to get labour and to get it at rates more consistent with the prevailing prices of farm products.

We know that labour creates all things, all that we eat and use and wear, and our population must increase if this country of ours is to go along as it should. It is appalling to see hon. members looking no further than their own constituencies, their own little neighbourhoods. The great province from which I come, with all its important industries and its agricultural possibilities, loses one-half the people born within its borders-people who are persuaded to go down to the New England States through the inducements of cheap land and high wages.

Mention has been made of the need for domestic servants. Well, many who come from the Old Land and who would otherwise act in the capacity of domestic servants are absorbed in the Civil Service of Canada. In my opinion we have in this country-and I care not who hears it-three civil servants where we should have one, and here is where a great deal of our domestic help is absorbed. Then there are the telephone concerns and other institutions which want to employ people during a few hours each day; it is ridiculous. I know captains of industry in this country who work fifteen hours a day-there are -not many of them, because it does not take a great many captains of industry to make a country grow; but they are all handicapped by the lack of labour. Agriculture is especially handicapped, and will be until we can get labour more cheaply. We are handicapped in a sense, even by the three thousand miles of border line between this country and the rich and powerful United States, a line so easily crossed by our people who seek to take advantage of the inducements offered by that country. They are re-claiming their marsh lands, re-claiming their arid lands by irrigation, even reclaiming lands along the Atlantic coast which are lower than the sea level. They are doing all these things to develop that wonderful country, and they are offering strong inducements to Canadians to go down there. I submit that we should have a system under which any one can come to this country who is law-abiding and willing to work.

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UNION

James Robert Wilson

Unionist

Mr. J. R. WILSON (Saskatoon) :

Mr. Speaker, the resolution before the House

is a most important one and if concurred in might give rise to far-reaching and serious results. I believe, Sir, that there is inseparably bound up with this question of immigration the question whether this country is to progress or to stand still. Prior to the war, immigration was, so to speak, the life-blood of Canada, infusing new life and progress into our country.

I agree that it may be well for us to restrict certain classes of immigration; certainly we do not need many more of certain classes of people. What we do require are persons who will settle on our rich agricultural lands, which are awaiting the touch of the hand of man to blossom forth and to produce all that is required for man's sustenance.

We have in the three prairie provinces about 1,100,000 people who are located on the land, holding in the neighbourhood of-

26.000. 000 acres. It is estimated that the arable land in those provinces consists of about

152.000. 000 acres. If this land were settled even to the extent that the occupied parts of the provinces are now settled-which is sparsely-and brought under cultivation, there would be located on the land in these three prairie provinces about 8,000,000 people thus doubling our present population. It seems to me that the only solution of some of the problems which face us is a strong immigration policy to settle these vacant lands which are capable of valuable production.

It also seems to me that, in past years, in our policy of subsidizing railways, we were working at the wrong end. We were subsidizing and assisting railways to pay interest on bonds, which interest the railways were unable to meet owing to their having been built in advance of the settlement of the country. When the railways found that they were unable, through lack of traffic, to earn sufficient to pay their way, in years gone by they approached the Government, and the Government handed out assistance. At that time it was my opinion, if assistance that had been given in order railways had possibly been given in order to encourage agriculture and to induce men to go on the lands of the West, we, perhaps, would not have had the railways coming to the Government with their hands out for assistance to pay interest on bonds.

In this regard I should like to give an illustration of something that happened not so many years ago. In 1914-this is a matter of history-hon. members will remember that we had a very dry season in the West; that many farmers, through failure of

crops, were faced with the problem of securing seed, and they had no money with which to secure it. The Government came to their assistance and furnished seed at an expense of about $10,000,000. What did that return in wealth to this country? At that time I was managing one of the Government elevators and I was in fairly close touch with this proposition, because there passed through my hands about a million and a half bushels of that seed I kept track of the districts into which the seed went. As things turned out, ir 1915, we had, I will admit, an abnormallj heavy crop; but the grain that was furnished by the Government, purchased at a cost of about $10,000,000, returned in wealth to the farmers of Canada, which after all means Canada as a whole, at a very conservative estimate, about $150,000,000. But the return did not stop there. If that grain was transported via our allCanadian route from its point of origin to the Atlantic seaboard, it brought about $35,000,000 to the transportation companies. I give that as an illustration of my statement that I think we have been working at the wrong end with our railways in helping them to meet deficits. The only way in which we can solve the railway problem which is now confronting us is by increasing settlement on our western land, increasing production and thereby increasing traffic and revenue to our railways.

I think everyone admits that agriculture has been in the past, is at present, and will be, for some years to come, the basic industry of Canada. I was a little bit interested and amused to hear the hon. member for Glengarry and Stormont (Mr. Kennedy) blame the fiscal policy of this country for the unemployment which exists at the present time in our cities. This is a condition which prevails throughout the world, as can easily be found by correspondence with foreign countries or conversing with men who have travelled through them. There is not in the world to-day another country in which conditions, generally speaking, are as good as they are in Canada. Many problems confront us; but if we hold to a national spirit of self-reliance and have some confidence in our ability to meet and surmount those obstacles, we will meet and surmount them. I feel certain that this resolution will not be accepted, or taken very seriously, by members of the House, and it would be a calamity if it were.

The hon. member for George Etienne Cartier (Mr. Jacobs) referred to some impediments put in the way of immigrants coming into this country. I have had experience in dealing with some cases, and the regulations seem to me to be a little drastic, to work a hardship, and to be somewhat unfair. Prospective settlers who buy a ticket, possibly en route, who may be laid up for a month or two on account of illness and who then continue their journey, are debarred from entry into Canada owing to the journey not having been a continuous one. Some cases have occurred where part of the family is in Canada. This works a hardship, and it is something that should be taken note of.

As I said some few minutes ago, I did not intend to speak on this question, and I do not wish to take up any more of the time of the House, as time is passing and I know the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Calder) wishes to have a little time in which to give us some information and probably an outline of what his policy in the future will be. In con-elusion, I think this $250 qualification for the class of immigrants that we are in need of in this country, is putting a handicap on their coming in, and it should be seriously considered whether we should put any impediment in the way of the entry into Canada of the class which we are most in need of and most desirous of having. We all admit that the great need of this country is more people. People at the present time seem to be inclined to move, and while they have that inclination and we being in need of more people, now is the time for us to bestir ourselves and take advantage of the opportunity of securing as many as possible of the class of immigrants that we desire to have.

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L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LUCIEN CANNON (Dorchester) :

Mr. Speaker, I wish to offer just a few brief remarks on the resolution which is before us for debate. First of all, I am in accord with the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Wilson) when he says that the resolution probably goes too far. I would not favour barring altogether immigration into Canada, but I would favour a policy, on the part of the Government, under present conditions of restricting immigration to a certain extent. When one is considering this problem of immigration into Canada, the first consideration which comes to one's mind is: whence at the present time can immigrants come into Canada?

Immigration certainly cannot come from Africa, for obvious reasons. Nor can it come from Asia. We have endeavoured in the past, and we are still endeavouring now, not only to restrict, but to bar altogether, immigration from Asiatic countries. Therefore, immigration can only come from the United States or from Europe. As regards American immigration, the more we have the better for Canada. As regards immigration from European sources, I think we should be very cautious and very careful; in fact, we cannot be too cautious or too careful. Immigrants cannot come into Canada from France, they cannot come from Belgium, they cannot come from any of the allied countries in any great numbers. We can only expect European immigration from the central Empires or from Russia. Now is that immigration desirable? Should we open wide our gates to Russian immigration, to German immigration, to Austrian immigration? That is a question of very great importance, and I am quite sure that before coming to any definite conclusion hon. members of this House will think the matter over very, very seriously.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

May I point out that

Austrian and German immigration is debarred completely from Canada?

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L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Notwithstanding the

laws or regulations that might exist as regards Austrian or German immigration, these people manage in some way or other to evade the laws which exist in their own country.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

The Canadian law prevents them from entering here.

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L LIB

Lucien Cannon

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

They evade the law in Germany and in Austria, and it is only when the Canadian laws are enforced that these immigrants are kept from coming into Canada in as great numbers as they desire to come.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

They cannot, under the Canadian law, enter this country.

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March 30, 1921