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:

That is about the average increase; about 50 per cent.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Personally, I approve

of this expenditure. I have seen some of the exhibits that have been prepared by this staff at the various exhibitions in Europe in which Canada has taken part. I particularly remember the one at Brussels. The Canadian exhibit there was certainly the sensation of the exhibition. It consisted of the reproduction of a farm in Western Canada, with all the necessary appurtenances, and if there were not ten or fifteen thousand people around that exhibit every day, there was not one. It was certainly the feature of that great exhibition. We have on a smaller scale an exhibit of somewhat the same nature at the Canadian Pacific Railway's Windsor Station, Montreal. These exhibits certainly appeal to the would-be immigrant. In London, England, the Canadian Immigration Office, near the statue of Charles the First, in Charing Cross, has exhibits which are most attractive to the people. You can never pass by without seeing a crowd of people in front of the exhibits, making comments on the happiness that awaits those who come to this country.

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L LIB
L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I would like to ask

the minister a question regarding the inspectors of British Immigration. Are those inspectors located in Canada or in Great Britain? It seems to me that in view of the large number of immigrants coming to this country from the British Isles, the proper place to have them examined would be at the ports in Great Britain. Why

should you force an immigrant to cross the Atlantic, only to be rejected at Quebec, Halifax or St. John? There might be difficulties in having our own agents at ports in foreign countries, such as Holland, Italy or Austria, although there should not be any very great difficulty even there, but certainly as regards Great Britain I think our inspectors, and particularly our medical inspectors, should be located at the chief ports on the other side, and there pass definitely on who should be admitted to this country. It seems cruel to let an immigrant cross the ocean, detain him at the port of entry, and ship him back to the Old Country, when the whole thing could be avoided if the examination were made on the other side. I repeat, it might be a little more difficult to adopt this system in foreign countries, but surely arrangements could be made for having the examination of British immigrants take place at ports in Great Britain.

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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:

This is a matter that has been up for discussion many times. Personally, I should like very much to see the suggestion that has been made by the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux) carried out. But I can assure the committee that it bristles with many difficulties. I fear that if we undertook to carry on all the inspectional work that would be necessary on the other side the Government would have to come to the House again for another item of probably $200,000 - or $300,000 in order to meet the expenses that would be involved. The Australian colonies tried that method and dropped it because they found it was very expensive and unsatisfactory. We have tried partially to meet the situation, and when I was overseas this year I took the matter up with the officials of the British Government as well as with our own officials there. We have sent representatives from the Health Department to Great Britain and they have got in close touch with the medical officers of the Board of Trade, who play a part in this work, as well as with the medical officers of the steamship companies. Many conferences have been held, and the medical officers over there have received information which they never had before in regard to the working out of our law and the requirements thereof. In addition to that we have given our agents on the other side authority, to a limited extent, to make use of the medical practitioners in Great Britain for the purpose of preliminary examination. As a result of these two actions

I am inclined to think that a good deal of the hardship that has prevailed in the past will be obviated. My officers tell me that since the visits of our medical officers to British ports-the first visit was made about six months ago-the number of hardship cases has been materially reduced, and I believe that if our work proceeds along that line there will not be as-much difficulty as there has been in the past.

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Item agreed to. Salaries of Agents and Employees, Outside Service; Canada, $425,000, Great Britain and Europe $115,000, United States $80,000, $620,000.


UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

In regard to

the number of immigrants which we have lost to the United States, I have collected certain statistics which I desire to give to the committee.

The following figures are taken from the Annual Report, for the year 1920, of the Commissioner General of Immigration of the United States:

Year ending June 30

United States to Canada- United States citizens . . Canadian citizens

Other aliens 1918-19 30,223 9,765 4.015 1919-20 36,511 7,953 4,160Total 44,003 48,624Canada to United States- United States citizens . . Canadian citizens

Other aliens.. 22,441 44,110 29,524 19,504 72,994 51,345Total 96,075 143,843Total immigration from United States

Total emigration, Canada to United States 44,003 96,075 48,624 143,843Net loss to Canada.. 52,072 95,219

I do not know why the report of the Commissioner General of Immigration of the United States is not to be found in the Library of Parliament. It is an important volume and should be available. I would direct the attention of the minister to a clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press which I shall read. It was handed to me on the train, when I was returning from the West during the Easter recess, by an English medical doctor who has been travelling in Canada. This gentleman, whose card I have, is Dr. Charles Hawkins, and the cable despatch from London, dated March 31, which he brought to my attention, reads:

The Canadian steamship companies here say that they are receiving from 12 to 15 cancellations daily for passages to Canada, which

[Mr. Calder. J

have been booked by prospective emigrants from the British Isles, the reason given being the continuation of the restriction requiring the increased amount of landing money, which was recently decided upon by the Canadian cabinet. The Canadian immigration authorities here are said to favor this action in so far as it affects continental immigration, but it would appear that it might well be modified in the case of Britishers. It hits hardest those who had booked their passages and made their arrangements before the landing money requirement was altered. Now some of these people find that they cannot go and hence are cancelling their passages daily, much to the discomfiture of the Canadian railway and steamship companies.

Dr. Hawkins told me that he had positive knowledge of a great many immigrants who were cancelling their passages to Canada and who he assured me were agriculturists and farm labourers. Instead of coming to Canada they were re-booking their passages to Australia. I see the minister smiles; no doubt he knows all about it. Well, if such is the case, I think it is most unfortunate that we should lose immigrants of this class. In my opinion, if the British agriculturist and farm labourer have not even $25 in their possession we should welcome them.

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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:

If I may interrupt the

hon. member, I can save the time of the committee. The $250 that we require of immigrants is not asked for in the case of agriculturists and agricultural labourers. No farmer, farm labourer, or domestic coming to Canada is required to have $250.

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UNI L
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

To skilled and unskilled labour, particularly the artisan class.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie):

May I ask then how this information has got abroad?

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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:

You see some funny things in the press at times.

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L LIB
UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

I have this

gentleman's card here and he assures me this is quite correct.

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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 was absolutely mistaken.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

I must take the minister's word and I am glad to hear him make the statement. I was very' much surprised at what was told me. There is another matter to which I wish to draw the attention of the minister. I have here a booklet published by J. Obed Smith in which he makes the statement that immi-

grants coming to Canada cost us $6 per head. Does the minister confirm that statement?

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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 should put it for last year at $5.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

That is a very low figure, but does the minister deduct the emigrants that we lose to the United States? That would make a different showing altogether, would it not? Mr. Smith, our immigrant official in the Old Country, makes some very good recommendations in the booklet to which I have already referred, which no doubt the minister has read. Mr. Smith states that after our immigrants land at the port of debarkation the train accommodation is very often not what it ought to be. I know that thirty-nine years ago the accommodation on the railway was not what it should have been and I speak from experience. Mr. Smith also recommends that on every one of our immigration cars, usually known as colonist cars, an official should be placed, and I think the recommendation is a very good one. Perhaps the minister will see what can be done in that direction so that our immigrants shall' not be preyed upon at very many stations where they stop to purchase goods. Furthermore, when our immigrants reach the city of Winnipeg they are turned loose very often. I would like to ask the minister if he has any policy whereby the immigrants can be taken care of from the time they leave the port of debarkation until they reach their destination-whether they are going to work for some farmer or whether they are going to locate right away on land either purchased or homesteaded. Does not the minister think some improvement can be effected along the line of taking care of our immigrants, something of a similar nature to that which has been adopted by the Soldier Settlement Board?

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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 be only too glad to put into operation a whole series of improvements I have in mind along these lines. No person comprehends the necessity or value of that more than I do; but again I would say that these things cost money. On the one hand you have members of Parliament complaining most bitterly of the increased cost of government, the increased expenditures, and so on. There are very many improvements that could be made in many departments of government but, I say again, they cost

money. Now to put into being an organization that will look after the immigrant who comes into Canada, in every province of the Dominion, follow him up, see that he is placed, and all that sort of thing, would mean a staff of one hundred or probably one hundred and fifty. These people scatter all over the Dominion, and to follow them through on every train, see that they are properly placed on farms, in factories, and elsewhere, see if they are contented, and all that sort of thing, would necessitate a staff of one hundred or one hundred and fifty and the cost to the country for salaries alone would reach probably $150,000 or $200,000. A very good thing -very helpful and good for the immigrant and for Canada-but, I say again, it costs money. If the House is prepared to vote the money for such a purpose, and for other work as well, I would be only too glad.

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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Better to spend money

for that purpose than to give it to the provinces to spend for roads.

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May 7, 1921