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.