June 5, 1922

LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. S. W. JACOBS (George Etienne Cartier) :

Mr. Speaker, my Object in rising to-night is not to indulge in any lengthy discussion upon the budget. Practical men, I submit, can say what they have to say upon the budget when the resolutions are before the committee. The budget is an annual talk-fest for doctrinaires who wish to discuss the relative advantages of protection and free trade. The free trader looks upon the protectionist as a thief; the protectionist looks upon the free trader as a visionary.

It is rather late in the evening, Mr. Speaker, for me to express any views upon

The Budget-Mr. Jacobs

these questions-if I had any. My object in rising is to discuss a matter which I wished to bring before the House earlier in the session. I had on the Order Paper a resolution with regard to immigration, but unfortunately private members' day was taken away before this resolution could be debated. I may say that it would have been reached earlier, had I not consented, out of good nature, to give way to oleomargarine, and then I found that after oleomargarine had-I was going to say paved the way-

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An hon. MEMBER:

Greased the way.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

-my right to speak was lost. So that the only opportunity I have is here during the budget debate now drawing to a close. Therefore I shall express those views now, and I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that my words will be very brief indeed. First, I want to point out that I propose to criticize my own party in connection with its immigration policy, and I am rather glad that it should be done at the dead of night when as few people as possible are present, and when I hope the members of the press have gone to seek well-merited repose.

During the campaign which ended in our return to power last December, I had occasion to criticize as vigorously as I could the immigration regulations enforced by the government which gave up the reins on December 6th, and I feel that a large part of my success was due to the fact that I was able to show the electorate something of the iniquities of those regulations. I sometimes think that I actually grew eloquent as I depicted the wickedness of the government in keeping out of this country a proper class of immigrants. At any rate when the votes were counted I found that my four opponents had lost their deposits and that the Liberal candidate had been returned at the head of the polls, pledged to do something for intending immigrants.

Well, I waited through December, Janu-any, February and March, but nothing was done by the new Government. On March 31st I had my resolution placed upon the Order Paper, but, before it could be reached, the Government changed its immigration policy. But in what way was it changed, Mr. Speaker? The regulations and the orders in council were, I thought, in all conscience restrictive enough, but by the new orders in council I find they are much more restrictive. It was another case of: "Where my father

whipped you with whips I will whip you with scorpions." I want to cite to the House some of the regulations which are now in force. I wonder whether the House and the country are aware of the fact that we have a new regulation declaring that immigration into this country on and after the Pth of May is prohibited? I will read this regulation:

Prom and after the date hereof and until otherwise ordered, the landing in Canada of any immigrant is hereby prohibited.

Now, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, other transportation companies, and many public bodies in this country during the last year, particularly during the last six months, and especially since this Government has come into power, have declared that what this country needs is a sane, progressive and vigorous immigration policy. They contend that we have had enough of the system which was in force during the war. Let us, they say, get away from that; let us see that we pump into this country a proper class of immigrants. Let us see that men are brought into this country from Europe who are willing to come here; men who are willing to give up everything that they had in Europe and to start life anew in Canada. Let us see that we have immigrants not only who will go on the land, but who will go to the cities and become part of our artisan classes there. We want people from every walk of life. Well, the answer of the Government to that is: Immigration into Canada from and after the ninth of May is prohibited, with, of course, certain exceptions. Let me give you those exceptions:

On 1. A bona fide agriculturist entering Canada to farm and has sufficient means to begin farming in Canada.

On 2. A bona fide farm labourer entering Canada to follow that occupation and has reasonable assurance of employment.

On 3. A female domestic servant entering Canada to follow that occupation and has reasonable assurance of employment.

These are the only people who are permitted to come into this country-bona fide agriculturists who have sufficient means to farm in Canada, farm labourers, and female domestic servants. Why, only a few nights ago the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Macphail) told us that farming was a luxury in this country. What does the regulation mean when it says that agriculturists shall have sufficient means to begin farming in Canada? What does it mean in the West for an agriculturist to start to carry on agricul-

The Budget-Mr. Jacobs

ture as it should be carried on in that part of the country? Who is to decide what are sufficient means for a farmer coming into Canada? There are further provisions with regard to whom the immigration officer may admit. He may admit:

(a) The wife and family of any person legally admitted to and resident in Canada who is in a position to receive and care for his dependents.

Just think of how kind-hearted the Minister of Immigration and Colonization is. He is going to permit the wife and family of any person who is already legally admitted to come in. I must say that is very kind indeed of him, and we must give him credit for it. The regulation continues.

(b) The national of any country in regard to which there is in operation a special treaty or agreement or convention regulating immigration.

That, I fancy, refers to Japanese.

(c) Any British subject entering Canada directly or indirectly from Great Britain or Ireland, the United States of America, or any self-governing British dominion or Newfoundland, who shall satisfy the immigration officer >in -charge at the port of entry that he has sufficient means to maintain himself until employment is secured.

Let me say a word or two in regard to that provision. Why should discrimination be made in favour of British subjects from Great Britain and Ireland or any self-governing dominion who can satisfy the authorities that he has sufficient means to maintain himself? Why not extend that provision to any person who wishes to come into this country? What is there in a British subject which makes

12 m. him better in this country than any one else? Any person who comes here and who desires to become a Canadian citizen, even if he has not British blood in his veins is, I submit, a proper person to come into this country. Why should a discrimination be made in that respect? Then we come to paragraph

(d):

(d) Any American citizen entering Canada from the United States, provided it is shown to the satisfaction of the Minister of Immigration and Colonization that his labour or service is required in Canada.

What is the effect of this provision, and of the others to which I have referred? They bar out every person who is not an English speaking person. Now, you know and I know and every person knows the class of British citizen which sometimes is permitted

to come to this country and which certainly is permitted to emigrate from the Old Land. We know that to-day in England one-twelfth of the population is submerged; that is, they belong to a class that are absolutely worthless to any country, particularly to the country from which they come. I am not now saying anything in disparagement of the British people; I am simply talking about this class. In the past we have made regulations to prevent this submerged class, this worthless class, this class of ne'er-do-wells, from coming into the country, but by these regulations these people are permitted to enter Canada while people coming from other parts of Europe have to come in as farmers, as farm assistants or as domestic servants. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, and I ask hon. members of this House, is that the way in which we are going to build up the country? How are we going to pay our immense national debt with a population of eight and three-quarter millions when we should have fifteen millions? How is that going to be done? Is it going to be done by encouraging the coming to Canada of only the farmer, the farm labourer, and the domestic servant? How are you going to get farmers to come to this country? You are going to get them by pointing out to them the advantages of Canada over other countries. Well, having listened for the last three months to the doleful plaints and wails of my hon. friends from the West I cannoit see that any person coming from Europe, unless he engages in farming in a small way-intensive farming, as they call it there-can make a success in this country. The only way in which this class of people can be successful is by their settling near large cities so that they can engage in truck gardening or farming in a small way. But how can you get them to go to the great West, where the climatic conditions are of such a rigorous character and where large sums are required to carry on farming as it should be carried on? A man has to have his section of land, his tractors, his gasoline machines, and things of that kind. It is practically impossible to get these men to go on the farms in the West; as I have said, the only thing to do is to induce them to go into the more settled districts where they can make a living in a small way by market gardening. So I say that this policy of attempting to secure farmers for this country, particularly from Europe, is bound to fail; it cannot be successful. My idea is that we ought to permit people to come to Canada irrespective

The Budget-Mr. Jacobs

of what they are going to do when they arrive; they will find some kind of work to do. If a man is an artisan, let him come here and take his chance; if he finds there is no occupation for him as an artisan, he will very soon find his way into some occupation in which he can be employed. It is all very well to say that we want farmers, but what have we to oifer to farmers? If a bona fide farmer comes to this country, goes on a farm and finds that he cannot make a success of agricultural work, he will drift into the city and try to earn a living there.

Do you not think it would be folly on the part of a farmer to remain on a farm and endeavour to make a living when he knows it is much easier to make a living in the city? We must allow these people to work out their own salvation. Do not attempt this paternal system of government and say: You shall go on a farm, and you shall not be allowed in the country if you do not farm. It is a mistake on the part of the Government to do that, and I am surprised that a minister of the astuteness and intelligence of the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Stewart, Argenteuil), should lend himself to any such scheme as that which has been propounded in these orders in council.

I would like to say a word or two with regard to the immigration we have had to this country in the last ten years. From 1911 to 1921 we received in this country

1.800.000 immigrants, a fairly respectable number. How many of these do you think are now in Canada? Only 600,000 of these 1,800,000. What has become of the others? I am quite in accord with what the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Cre-rar) said to-day, that we ought to have a commission or devise some sort of a scheme to ascertain what has become of these

1.200.000 people who have left. At present their disappearance is as mysterious as the disappearance of the ten tribes of the race to which I belong. We do not know what has become of them.

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Mr. McM ASTER@

Does the hon. member belong to one of the lost ten tribes?

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I feel sometimes when I am in the company of my good friend from Brome, that I am lost.

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Mr. McM ASTER@

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LIB

Napoléon Kemner Laflamme

Liberal

Mr. LAFLAMME:

They will, if you give them a chance.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

In what sense?

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LIB

Napoléon Kemner Laflamme

Liberal

Mr. LAFLAMME:

In the sense you

mean.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I do not think that any French Canadian would want to have his race assimilated with any other race in this country, in order to produce something that was not entirely French Canadian. I do not blame them; I would not have it myself. The question just shows how curious notions will sometimes get together curious people. Can you imagine anything so different as the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, the Bishop of London, Le Devoir, and a few others of that tytpe.

The hon. member from East York (Mr. Harris) in a burst of youthful enthusiasm, because he has only been here for a short time, undertook to read to this House some statistics which he obtained, I do not know where, in which it was declared that the foreign born were responsible for fifty per cent of the crime ir Toronto.

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LIB

Napoléon Kemner Laflamme

Liberal

Mr. LAFLAMME:

There is no crime in Toronto.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

My hon. friend from

Drummond-Arthabaska (Mr. Laflamme) is an expert on crime, and if he says there is no crime in Toronto, it is probably because he does not practice in Toronto.

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Mr. McM ASTER@

They get off in

Toronto.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

The hon. member undertook to read to the House a statement to the effect that fifty per cent of the crilme in Toronto was due to the foreign born. I doubted the statement at the time, and I took the trouble to obtain from the officii1 statistician some figures with regard t* crime in Canada-and I suppose Toronto may be included in Canada-which puts an entirely different phase on the question. I find that, from the year 1914 to 1920 there

The Budget-Mr. Jacobs

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CON

James Dew Chaplin

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHAPLIN:

We have always had Orders in Council.

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

We have had Orders in Council, but I venture to say that Orders in Council of that kind and importance should have been tabled and should have been discussed. Had there been a discussion, I would not have been taking up the time of this House to-night in order to bring the matter to the attention of the country. But I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that this matter is of such vital importance to thousands and tens of thousands of people in this country today, that I felt it was absolutely necessary for me to bring it to the attention of the House. I have been flooded with telegrams, letters and petitions from all parts of the country relating to this Order in Council. The minister is a very kind-hearted man; a most kind-hearted man; he cannot bear to think of these people being brought to our shores and then being deported, so he declares that they shall not come here at all. It is like the story of the man to whom a poor devil appealed for alms. He pressed the button for his butler, and said: "Kick this man out; he is breaking my heart."

Now that the matter has been brought to the attention of the minister and that he sees that some of his followers, not only myself, but a number of others, feel so strongly upon this question, I hope he will see his way clear to giving us some relief. We at least should have been consulted on a matter of this kind. When I heard that the question was about to be discussed by a subcommittee of the Cabinet, I made certain representations that I should like to be heard; but no doubt, in the stress of the business of the session, the matter was overlooked, and the first I knew about it was that an Order in Council had been duly passed. But the hand that creates the Order in Council can also destroy it. I believe that after the minister has had before him the necessary delegations protesting most vigorously against this Order in Council, not only delegations from people who are particularly affected inasmuch as their relatives are unable to come into this country, but bodies of such an important character as the principal boards of trade, the principal transportation companies, and others, he will see his way clear to making some provision which will give us relief from this obnoxious Order in Council. Finally, as my last word to him and to the Government, I would say that, when important matters of this kind are to be disposed of and when the House is in session, they ought to see to it that members of the House of Commons who, after all, are the masters, should have an opportunity of discussing such a matter and not having it ru'shed through as they have done by an Order in Council.

On motion of Mr. Stewart (Leeds) the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Graham, the House adjourned at 12.25 a.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 6, 1922.

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June 5, 1922