May 7, 1921

UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I could not, of course, explain the matter without knowing how they keep their records. I know that on the whole, our records can be taken as being accurate. Supposing, however, a man is coming in from the United States, travelling on a train. He has a grip with him. The immigration officer sees him, and the man says: "I am going up to Canada only for a visit." As a matter of fact, he is coming into Canada permanently. He is simply lying, and he stays in Canada. That man is not recorded, because he did not tell the truth to our officer. As regards all persons coming into Canada from the United States or abroad, if they will tell the truth when they are coming in, their statements are _ recorded accurately, and we know exactly the number of immigrants. I use the word "immigrant" as applying to a person coming to Canada for the first time to stay in Canada, and our figures as regards the number of immigrants are, on the whole, accurate. There may be a number who slip past our officers and who continue to stay in Canada, whom we do not catch at all. There may be some who state that they are coming in to stay, who do not stay, but who leave Canada within a short period, and in that respect, our figures will be inaccurate. These things cannot be controlled.

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UNION

Fred Langdon Davis

Unionist

Mr. DAVIS:

The substance of the minister's statement is that he does not know what the American system is by which they get different results from ours.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

That is right.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Salaries of agents and employees-

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

The minister stated that our immigration officials work on the trains. If they worked on a train going one way-

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The work and salaries of agents and employees in the Outside Service are included in the item which the Chairman has been attempting to place before the committee. Hon. members persist in discussing this matter on the item

now before the committee, and in doing so, they are not in order. If the hon. member will permit me to read the next item, his question will be perfectly in order.

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UNION

Fred Langdon Davis

Unionist

Mr. DAVIS:

The fault, in a sense, is mine and not that of the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Reid). I understood that this was an item by which the immigration staff kept their records. That is what we are inquiring about and, therefore, the discussion distinctly comes under the item which we are considering. The minister, at least, referred to it in that sense.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The hon. member ftfr Neepawa was quite in order, because his question related to the keeping of the records at Ottawa. Immediately after the question had been asked, the discussion wandered to the work of agents and employees at the border and the manner in which the statistics are kept. All that comes under item No. 52. The question was quite in order, but the subsequent discussion was not relevant.

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PRO

Michael Clark

Progressive

Mr. CLARK (Red Deer) :

As regards

your ruling, Sir, may I appeal to your leniency just a little by reminding you of the fact that the Immigration Estimates have taken a rather peculiar course? When the minister introduced his Estimates, he made a very long and most interesting statement, and he appealed to the committee for a debate; in fact, he rather courted a debate upon his statements. And, then, very suddenly, at a certain period of the evening, he withdrew his Estimates in the middle of the debate which he himself had started. As far as I know, that debate has not been continued, and I should very respectfully suggest that perhaps a little liberty should be allowed to us in view of the peculiar course the debate has taken, and that the minister should not be altogether baulked in his wish to have his own mind broadened by communications of reasonable length from the committee in regard to the subject.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The Chairman, of

course, is entirely in the hands of the committee, and if it is the unanimous desire of the committee that the debate should be continued and that the questions and answers should be of a general nature and relate to all subjects that could properly be discussed under the Estimates of the Department of Immigration, the Chairman certainly has no objection, but as we are starting a new day, and no mention of the debate had been made, the Chair-

[The Chairman.]

man felt it his duty to keep the committee to the respective items under consideration.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I would like to suggest that if this item be allowed to pass, the next vote is a general one, covering all our Outside Services, and it would give the widest latitude for discussion. The next vote is of such a nature as to open up the whole subject.

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PRO

Michael Clark

Progressive

Mr. CLARK (Red Deer) :

I did not mean anything so wicked as to re-open the whole debate. I am sure the minister does not take me for an obstructionist, but I think a few remarks that are perhaps a little wide of the item under discussion should be allowed. We shall get on all right.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie):

I was not going to ask a question, but to make an explanation. I would not have asked my question if the minister had not mentioned the matter. What I had intended to do was to state to the House that I had before me the annual report of the Commissioner General of Immigration of the United States, which sets forth the number of immigrants we lose to the United States, but if it is not in order to bring that matter up now, and I shall have an opportunity later, I shall bow to your ruling, Mr. Chairman.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I would like some information with regard to the salary of the Exhibit Decorator. Last year he was down at $900, and this year he is down at $1,320. Who and what is the Exhibit Decorator? What are his duties?

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

He is one of the officials of the Exhibition Branch of the department. It appears that this man was appointed under the old regulations as a member of the Inside Service at Ottawa; otherwise, he would appear in the Estimates with the rest of the exhibition staff. There has grown up some old practice that I could never quite get to the bottom of, that if a man was once appointed to the Inside Service at Ottawa, there was always a struggle to retain him in the Estimates. This man is a decorator. I presume that his time is occupied in arranging display exhibits, which require a certain amount of painting or fixing up.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Do I understand that we want to decorate and exhibit our immigrants? I do not understand exactly what his duties are.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

There is an Exhibition Branch in the department. It was formerly in the Department of Agriculture, but has been transferred to the Immigration Department. It has a staff of about five or six.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Exhibits, I suppose,

such as they have at the Windsor station, Montreal?

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Yes. The time of the staff is spent in arranging exhibits on a small scale. The staff has prepared exhibits for 100 state and county fairs in the United States, if I am not mistaken, and it has also prepared a good many small exhibits for what they call the one-day fairs in Great Britain.

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L LIB

May 7, 1921