March 16, 1923

CON

Charles Herbert Dickie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DICKIE:

I have thought, after listening to this debate for several days, if a composite picture could be drawn of it, I would like to have that picture. We have had all kinds of expressions of opinion and arguments with respect to the policy brought down by the minister, and I do not see any finality in anything that has been said with respect to that policy. I am sometimes almost persuaded to one phase or another, and then another speaker arises and disabuses my mind. I am reminded of an old man of ninety-two years of age who had never taken a drink in his life. Some prominent temperance people were holding a meeting in the vicinity, and they decided to motor out to interview this old gentleman. They went out and saw him. He was hale and hearty, ninety-two years of age. He said:"Yes, gentlemen, I have never taken a drink in my life." While he was talking, there was a noise of furniture being broken upstairs, and someone expressed a little concern. The old man said: "Never mind, that is only father;

he has been out and had a drink or two, and they cannot do anything with him." So that shows that what may seem almost unassailable is probably not quite as sound as it would seem. I sympathize with the minister in connection with the policy that he has placed before the House. I sympathize with him because of some of the criticisms that policy has received. It is my humble opinion that he is trying to do what is best for the country in what is a most complex, difficult and contentious problem.

I am going to deal with this problem from an entirely different angle. I am going to try to show that it is of very little use bringing immigrants to this country, unless we can prepare the country for them. For a number of years now we have had very many of our men and women going to the country to the south of us. Why are they going? I am going to endeavour to tell this House why they are going, and they are going in greater numbers now than in previous years. This is due in large measure to the wonderful prosperity which that country is enjoying at the present time, to which prosperity we are contributing in a large degree. Our young men are leaving the West, leaving the Pacific province, of

which I am best able to speak, and their fondest wish when they leave is that they will return at some early date, for they love their country and are only leaving it because of the better opportunities that exist in the United States. The reason, I think, Mr. Chairman, is this: We have an adverse trade balance with our neighbours to the south, of $200,000,000 every year. A fairly constant stream of $200,000,000 of gold or its equivalent is flowing yearly from this country to the United States. Just imagine-one billion dollars every five years from a population of nine'million people! What can be the result? We must inevitably follow that stream of gold. We will drift the way the gold is going. We have a trade balance in our favour with the old countries of Europe and people from those countries are following that gold out here at all times. We want them to stay here. Canada cannot afford to be a preparatory school for people from European countries whose ultimate destination will be with our neighbours to the south. If they come here and remain here they will probably displace some of our citizens, and then they will go. One man who has been brought up in the resourceful Canadian school is in some respects worth on an average three men that come to us from European countries. I think that will be conceded. We must keep our people at home.

How are we going to stop them following this constant stream of gold to the United States every year? My remedy will be one which will not appeal to my hon. friend from Saskatoon probably, but he may agree- with me before I get through with my argument.

One phase of my remedy would be for each of us to practise a little patriotism ourselves for the sake of our country. There is not a person in this country who does not buy something that is manufactured in the United States when probably he could buy something here that he could get along with just as well. I do not mean to discourage trade with that wonderful country to the south, but we must keep our money at home, and we can probably do that by a little self-denial on the part of each person in Canada, if we only would do it.

Let me explain a little further how this stream of wealth affects us. In the island where I live, Vancouver Island, we have a large coal mining population in the district represented by my hon. friend the member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) and myself. We have a coal mining population of 20,000 people. We find a market for not one half the coal we can mine, and it is rated as the best bituminous coal on the continent to-day. In

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the years 1920 and 1921 we were sending $1,000,000 approximately every month out of British Columbia for fuel oil, $12,000,000 a year from a population no larger than the city of Toronto. What could occur under those circumstances? What did occur was this: We send out that million dollars a month, and we are importing 360,000,000 barrels of oil every month. That is the equivalent of 90,000 tons of good coal. That displaces that output of

90.000 tons of coal, and to mine that

90.000 tons .of coal monthly would represent a population of 6,000 or 7,000 pepple. This oil comes into our country. Our coal mines are only working part time, and none are paying dividends. They have been good to their employees. We have had no trouble with our coal miners in British Columbia, although they are largely imbued with socialistic ideas. They were true all through the war, and we had uq complaint of them loafing on the job. Our coal operators tried to treat them as men, and receiving such treatment, they are content. But with this $1,000,000 worth of oil coming into our country every month, these coal miners and others who are dependent on what the coal miners do, drifted down into California, and they are down there now working in the oil fields. They simply followed our money to California. There is no other way out of it. The thing seems perfectly plain to me. In California they are having a period of unexampled prosperity. What is known as the Huntington Beach field, near Long Beach, has turned out to be a wonderful oil producing field. In a strip of barren country known as Elk Hills, from which geologically speaking iittle was to be expected, there is I believe, the deepest well in the world. It was drilled to 6,500 feet and was a failure, but with all the money they have there they tried again, and at 4,500 feet I understand they opened up a gusher of 45,000 barrels a day. Since then numerous wells have been placed there, and it is now one of the great oil fields out-rivalling even Oklahoma. On the Pacific coast transportation is very cheap, as the oil comes in tank steamers to British Columbia. At one time before this Huntington field was opened up, we had to pay $2.75 a barrel. Now by buying for future supply we can get it at $1.24 a barrel. It we had the assurance that we were going to get it that cheap for two years more, our coal mining population would be absolutely wiped out. There is always a chance, as people know who are familiar with the oil question, that some day a well will begin to spout salt water, and then the well is done, and it is only the uncertainty

of the life of the oil regions in California that keeps our coal mines operating at all to-day. We are just living from hand to mouth in that respect. I am not going into the remedy for that now. I shall leave that to a time when the subject may more appropriately be discussed.

Just on the subject of people leaving our country, I may say that our probably greatest potential wealth in British Columbia, is timber. Nearly every day immense booms of our logs leave British Columbia for the state of Washington to be manufactured into lumber in the mills there. That raw material is going over there every month to be manufactured, and our people are leaving this countiy and going over there to assist in that manufacture, or people are manufacturing over there who would come to our country and do the manufacturing here if they were forced to manufacture it in British Columbia. The slojfes of our mountains are being denuded. There is a regular timber boom on out there, and a great part of this timber is going to our neighbours to the south. Is not that a matter for grave consideration?

There is another matter which occurs to me at the present moment. I am quite familiar with an undertaking in which half a million dollars has been embarked, and that is the creosoting industry in the constituency of Burrard, which I believe the Minister of Finance has had drawn to his attention. This industry has had simply a life and death struggle for years. For this reason: On the American side they have two immense creosoting plants doing an immense volume of business. I do not need to tell any of you gentlemen that an industry conducted on such a scale can simply crush the life out of a smaller competitor. We have a comparatively small plant in British Columbia, but given equal treatment, given a chance to succeed, it can be made a success. That would mean giving employment to 200 people, which would represent a population of nearly a thousand souls. In that industry preference has always been given to married folks and to white people. When tenders for piling are asked for, the creosoting plants on the American side put in bids at such a low figure that our people cannot compete with them. It has been asserted that the American firms put in such low bids that they made no profit at all. They do that, we have reason to think, in the hope of crushing out their Canadian competitors. The minute they succeeded in doing that, competition would disappear and the prices for creosoting piles and material would go up to rates much beyond

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what the British Columbia company is doing this business for. That is another argument which undoubtedly will be used later on in favour of a higher tariff wall.

A policy which appeals to one section in Canada we well know does not appeal to another. In the Maritime provinces free trade is looked upon very kindly. I do not believe that Quebec could succeed under a policy of free trade, or that Ontario would be any more successful. Undoubtedly the prairie provinces would succeed; free trade would be a great temporary benefit to them. In British Columbia free trade would simply put us out of existence. I could multiply arguments showing what the result would be. Therefore, why cannot we sit down and reason together, regardless of political dissensions, and see if we cannot devise some remedy, such a remedy as a business man or a business firm would devise. I know of no reason why we could not do that. I believe that every thinking man in Canada should be in favour of erecting a tariff wall in this country corresponding in height to the tariff wall that has been erected against us by our neighbours to the south. Why, Sir, I have heard Americans laugh at us for neglecting to do this; they wonder at our being so slow in adopting this protection. What argument is there against our doing this? We import forty million pounds of pork products every year from the United States. We also import, I do not know how much, butter-probably a couple of million pounds. We allow the United States to ship butter into this country under a duty of only 4 cents a pound, whereas in the case of the five million pounds of butter which we exported to that country last year we paid a duty of eight cents a pound- That meant a difference of four cents a pound which might represent the profit to the Canadian manufacturer of that butter. What is the argument in favour of such a policy? I can see many good arguments in favour of reciprocity which was so strongly supported by the Minister of Finance. Some of us, however, were fearful of the future effect of reciprocity on this Dominion. Whether right or wrong I for one was fully convinced, from personal judgment, and in view of the statements of Mr. Champ Clark, Mr. Taft, and others that the policy was one which required careful consideration on the part of Canadians. But, Sir, reciprocity is absolutely out of the question at the present time. Under the circumstances why allow to these gentlemen in the United States privileges which they do not extend to us?

With respect to our Progressive friends to my left something must undoubtedly be. done for them and for those whom they represent. Unless the farmers on the western prairies prosper, to a limited degree anyway, we cannot prosper as a whole in Canada. Out in British Columbia we look to them for our market, we would like to be more closely associated with them so that we might work together. In the matter of Canada's welfare we should all be closely united. As the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) so eloquently said, we must be united if we are to make of this Dominion the country which it should be, a country of which we will all be proud. Why not let us all work together? Why not let us forget this miserable political bickering and sparring for position; let us sit down in council together and try and do business. The benefits which my hon. friends to my left would lose under a policy which I advocate could be made up to them in some other way. The hon. member for Comox-Alberni suggested that we might possibly bonus the production of wheat. I do not agree with that suggestion, but possibly some concession in the matter of freight rates might be given to them which would be sort of equivalent for any benefit they might otherwise derive under free trade. The great argument in favour of a policy which I recommend is that under it our money would remain in this country. If we only had $100,000,000 of the $200,000,000 which we send over to the United States what could we not accomplish in this country. The future of Canada is fraught with great possibilities. I have made a somewhat modest study of geological and mineralogical conditions and I say it is the consensus of opinion among mining men that the great Laurentian plateau away to the north of us holds possibilities leading us to expect that it will prove to be the greatest gold mining country in the world. We have plenty of reason for optimism. But let us try and stop the flow of gold which is at present going from Canada to the United States. If we do this it will help to put an end to the exodus of people from this country. At present there is a great boom over there to which we are contributing very materially. People will go to a country which holds strong attractions in the way of possibilities, but after all there is in the heart of every man a love for his own country. Make the conditions here more attractive and you will be able to repatriate many Canadians now in the United States. Personally I think very little of a man born in this country with a soul so dead

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that he will ever forget that he is a Canadian.

There is another thing which would contribute materially to the prosperity of this country. We have got to find a remedy for the situation which exists in Canada at the present time in regard to coal. Our American friends have been more than kind; they have allowed Canadians to have coal when they could have used it themselves to good advantage. In 1922 we sent 860,000,000 to the United States for anthracite and bituminous coal. Now that flow of gold to the other side of the line could be stopped. Suppose we have the anthracite fields that are said to exist in Alberta. I do not know whether the facts are overdrawn with respect to these immense deposits or not; at any rate we know there is plenty of coal there. Even supposing our railways haul that coal at a loss, if we can only keep in the country that $60,000,000 now going to the United States do you not see how we could make good any losses incurred in the transportation of coal via Canadian channels. Such a policy would work to the great benefit of Canada. We have unbounded reason for optimism. If we will only work together we can make this country a land to be proud of and we can prevent our people from leaving the Dominion and going to the country to the south. We will also pave the way for a flow of acceptable immigrants from European countries.

With respect to immigration, reference has been made by some of the British Columbia members to the oriental problem in that province. I am not going to say anything about it tonight except that it is a very serious problem, more serious than this House evidently realizes. We also have to have a good white population out there; some of them are not just what we would wish. In saying this I hope it will have some influence on any action which the minister may contemplate in respect to bringing immigrants from Europe. During the peregrinations of the Fishery Commission last summer we called at Malcolm Island where there is a Finnish settlement the members of which are said to be free lovers and socialists. I do not

know whether they are Marxians or Leninists. I do know that they are absolutely discontented although they live on an island which is an elysium compared to the country from which they came. Owing to the noxious doctrines evolved from the unsound reasoning of unsound brains, they have imbibed, however, they are absolutely discontented. There is no reason why they should be. We listened to their woes

for a while. We sat in a large hall with a drop curtain on the stage. There was depicted on the curtain an Hogar-thian female with a large red flag. We deliberated under the red flag in this country with people living better than they had ever lived at home. Those people were told at the last election that if they did not exercise their franchise they would probably lose it. We were informed that a number of them voted and deliberately spoiled their ballots. We want no such citizens. It may be said they were white people and perhaps their children will be all right. Well, they may be, but what chance has a child raised in an atmosphere of sullen discontent and sodden lust to become a good citizen? It may be true that in after years environment will bring out the best that is in them, but. the best that environment can bring out is pre-determined by heredity. True, some may be useful citizens, but the chance for children of that kind is a remote one. I would very much prefer that no more of those people should come here. With respect to oriental immigration, I have no doubt that other hon. members will deal with that in a very comprehensive way later on.

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LIB

Willis Keith Baldwin

Liberal

Mr. BALDWIN:

If ever I thought there was need of building up in this country a spirit of patriotism and love of country, it is since this debate commenced. We have been taken by some speakers to the hill tops of patriotism, and others have taken us to the dark valleys, if not of death, then of despair. When we look at this vast and amazing country, and see the opposition that has been aroused against allowing people from the crowded sections of middle Europe and Scandinavia to come over and work out their destiny, it seems to me the situation is peculiar. The hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Marler), the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Baxter), the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey), and a few others appear in this debate like an oasis in a horrible desert. I am pretty nearly the oldest member of this House, as near as I can figure it out; I have lived along the United States boundary and I have seen the pendulum of immigration swing to and fro many many times in my lifetime. It seems to me the pendulum is swinging the people into the United States and for what reason? On account of the United States not entering the war for two or three years after it commenced, they have become the richest nation on the earth. They are now engaged in the greatest development possible in the country, notwithstanding the immense cost. If

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states of Wisconsin and Minnesota was comprised very largely of these people. An hon. member on the other side spoke a few moments ago about lifting the ban from our former enemies of the war. I most heartily concur in that sentiment. You will find in the United States that the German element has been second to none in the settling of that country. I do not think there should be any more talk about race hatred. I am a pacifist and am opposed to that sort of thing, and this world will never be right until race hatred ceases. With our tremendous railway system, with our extensive waterway system to feed our railways, and with our practically unlimited natural resources, it is simply beyond the scope of my judgment to know how we can get along without a broad immigration policy. The writers in our newspapers and magazines are for the most part agreed on the necessity for an energetic and comprehensive policy of immigration, and I think it may be safely assumed that these gentlemen possess as much wisdom as any of us in the House. They see no other way out.

I think the Progressives and the Labour representatives entertain a wrong idea in thinking that the more people we bring into this country the greater competition they will have to meet, for it must be borne in mind that every settler is a consumer as well as a producer, and we need men that will do hard, laborious work and rough it. In the United States the early settlers lived in dug-outs and shacks built of poles and roofed with straw, they roughed it, and the most affluent people in the United States to-day are the descendants of those settlers in the great Mississippi valley and westward for two or three hundred miles. For fifty years or more these men hung on to their land with just enough returns from their work to exist on and pay their taxes, until ultimately with the development of the country the rise in the value of their land made them prosperous and even wealthy. I say the same good fortune will attend our farmers in the West: Let them hang on and deny themselves for the present and with the development of our country they, too, will become rich like the American farmers.

Our Progressive friends have been bewailing both this session and last session the unsatisfactory conditions of agriculture. Let me make a comparison. In New England, in Minnesota, Dakota, Idaho, Oregon and Washington just as many tales of woe are heard as in Canada. And I would tell our western farmers that just as many tales of woe can be told right down in my community, the Eastern Townships. Why? Because our farmers

paid three times more for their farms in many instances than they are now worth. That is an instance of over-capitalization.

It has been suggested, Mr. Chairman, that every member give his opinions regarding the solution of our immigration problem. I have given mine. I presume the minister, with whom I sympathize very much would like to see this debate close before we sleep, and therefore I refrain from making any further remarks.

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UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

Mr. Chairman, I realize that this is perhaps one of the most important debates which can engage our attention, because immigration and all that it involves touches practically every phase of our national life. In immigration itself is wrapped up not only the present condition of this country but the possibilities of its future development, and therefore I repeat, this is one of the most important subjects that we can discuss.

It is customary, I believe, to commence with a few remarks concerning present conditions. We have heard so much from so many different angles that I shall content myself with a consideration of the conditions which will to a large extent influence the class of immigrants coming to this country and which also will to a large extent direct and guide any immigration policy that may be evolved, for it is upon pi'esent conditions that the policy of the minister (Mr. Stewart) must be founded if it is to be successful.

I find there is general agreement on one point-that for one reason or another we have not been able to take anything like full advantage of the immigration we have received in the past. Now, that is not a statement which can be very well controverted. Indeed, I do not think it is an argumentative statement at all. it is a statement of fact founded upon the figures of the department itself and upon the knowledge of every member of this House and of every one outside who has given any thought to this subject. We have not been able to take advantage to any great extent of our past immigration policy because we have not succeeded in retaining the percentage which we should have retained of the men and women who have come here.

Why is it? In speaking of conditions I shall refer to those portrayed by two hon. members who sit in this quarter of the House. I shall first take the picture drawn by the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland). I regret some of the criticisms that have been directed against his speech. I know, and many others in this House know, that in describing conditions as they exist in his part

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of the country he described them with truthfulness and exactitude. I do not say that those conditions prevail generally throughout the West, but I do say that in the part of the country from which the hon. gentleman comes those conditions exist as he has described them. I know because although I do not live there part of my constituency runs into that country. I also know because thirty odd years ago I went through that district and at that time every oldtimer- and I include the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell),-and every rancher knew it was not fitted by nature for farming. In that country, in fact throughout the whole West, there are two reasons for adverse conditions. One is the lack of sufficient rainfall to produce crops-a natural condition which no government can mend. No government can cause enough rain to fall for the production of crops. The other condition is one for which to a large extent governments may be held responsible-the economic policy which we have followed during the past. I wish to divide those two adverse conditions, because the government has enough sins-and I am not speaking merely of this government but of preceding governments also-they have enough sins to answer for without calling down the sins of Providence on their head as well.

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LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Surely that is dangerous theology, that Providence is responsible for sins?

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UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

The hon. gentleman is probably better qualified to speak as to that. I was simply discussing natural shortcomings with which the farmer has to contend. During the last general election a certain gentleman not unknown to fame in this country made the statement, with which I sympathize to a great extent, that his lack of success in that campaign was due very largely in the West to too much rain having fallen in some places and not enough in others. I am not going to blame the present government or the preceding government for these conditions. They exist in that part of the country, and in stating those conditions, I think the hon. member performed nothing more or less than his bounden duty in this House because, if we are to provide remedies for conditions that prevail, if we are to improve those conditions, we can provide those remedies or improve those conditions only if we have a knowledge of the conditions as they exist. Those conditions may be unpalatable to us; we may not like to face them; but if they are there, we should know they are there, face them like

men, and see if, to some extent, they can be overcome. Nothing can be gained by closing our eyes to facts and imagining, because we do not see those facts, they do not exist. When the hon. member for Springfield spoke and poured forth his optimism and praise of the great province of Manitoba, I was cheered up; I felt almost exuberant in my joy to know, in one part of Canada at least, all was well with the world. I could not, I will admit, quite understand the full' extent of his optimism in the face of some facts that even I was aware of, for instance, that there are at the present time in that province unpaid taxes amounting to $14,000,000. But no doubt that was attributable to the "overinstitutionalism", was it not?

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PRO
UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

That it was staggering under taxation, and I am not going to hold that against my hon. friend at all. But when he spoke of that province, again I say, if those are the conditions there, the conditions of which he was cognizant, he was right in stating what he did. As for myself, I shall have to walk the middle of the road again. You know, I have noted that it has been commented upon that I have been given to moderation in this House; I intend to stick to moderation in this House, and in this respect I shall be moderate again. In my part of the country and that extends over a good deal of Alberta-conditions are not as bad as they are painted by the hon. member for Bow River. We are in a part of the country where we have in an average year sufficient rainfall and sufficient feed for our stock, where we can grow crops year after year, where we engage in dairying, where we raise beef, hogs, poultry and eggs, and where in most years we can make our living. I believe that, given a decent chance economically, given laws under which we can carry on, under which we shall be put on an equality with other people, in our part of the country and taking the West as an average, we shall certainly succeed.

There is in this House no man to whom I will yield a place in my pride in Canada, in my optimism for the future of Canada, if rightly governed and if proper policies are put into effect. I believe we have at the present time, in potential possibilities, one of the greatest countries in the world. No one who has ridden as I have ridden over the plains of mv own Alberta, who has gone through the mountains and seen the enormous deposits of the easily mined coal to be found there, who

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has seen hills covered with cattle, the crops that can be raised and the results of the gas deposits, who believes, as I believe, that oil, that almost every natural product can be found there, can despair of a country like that. I believe we have potentially one of the greatest countries in the world, indeed, as the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) said, probably the one great undeveloped country in the northern zone, and there is no country to which we need take a second place. But if we grant that-and most hon. members have granted that- then why is it that during the past forty or fifty years we have not been able to retain more of our population; that we have not succeeded better than we have succeeded with that foundation of natural resources? In an ordinary business, if a company or if a certain number of men were provided with capital, with a splendid stand for doing business, with all the essentials to conduct a successful business and to carry it on to a successful conclusion, and they failed, would you not think their failure was due to bad management on their part? Therefore, if in the face of those natural advantages we possess, we have not succeeded as we should have succeeded-and I do not think any hon. member will say that we have succeeded up to the present time-I. contend that there must be something wrong with the management.

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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

Since I have come into

this House, I have not heard one person in this section say a good word about the prairies. How is it that from 2,000 to 3,000 people come to the coast every year and that many of them go down to California and have a good time if conditions on the prairies are as bad as represented?

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UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

No doubt, many men

do go to the coast from some of our towns and a few from the farms. I have heard a good deal about the men who go to California, and spend their ill gotten gains in riotous living during the winter; but it has not been my good fortune to meet one of them. There may be such men, but they can be but a very small percentage of the men who live on the prairies.

The hon. member just asked me how it was that there was no one with a good word to say for the prairies. I am one who will say a good word for the prairies. I believe the prairies and those western provinces have all that is necessary to make a great country. I have lived there since I was a small boy; I went in there when the country was absolutely undeveloped, and my life, my whole

rMr. Speakman.]

upbringing has been in that country. I have grown up in it; I have learned to love it; I believe in it, and I have the greatest faith in it. It is not the country which is at fault, and no one in my presence will say that the prairies are at fault. The prairies are all right. What I contend is this, that given those prairies as they are, with all their vast resources and potential wealth, the men living on the prairies and working them should be now in a better financial position than they are, and we should have been able to hold our population there.

I know criticism is easy. Nothing is easier than to criticise and to say that the policies of the past were wrong. It is far more difficult to offer any suggestion as to how things might be bettered. I am prepared to offer one or two suggestions; I am not prepared to say that they will absolutely hold water, because they have never been tried out, and until they have been tried out, they will be in the nature merely of a theory or experiment. But I believe three or four changes could be made in our economic system, in the laws which govern our country, which would tend to eliminate many of the disadvantages under which we live at the present time and to bring back at least a reasonable measure of prosperity. I have enough confidence in the country "for that. I will state them very briefly, because the time is getting late, and I like to live up to my reputation of confining my remarks to a very short period. First- and this matter is being worked on now- we should have a better system of credit. I have touched on that before and I shall not go into it again. Second, we should have a tariff which would not bear so hardly upon the basic producers. It is acknowledged on every side that at the present time the tariff is an unmitigated evil to the men on the prairies. Since I have come here I have learned to sympathize more deeply than before with men who are not on the prairies, because I know more of the troubles with which they are faced. I have learned that no one section of the country can have all it desires; that the matter must be one of compromise. But so far the compromise has all been made by the men on the prairies, and the tariff policy could be adjusted so that it would not bear so hardly upon those men and would not raise the cost of their means of production so far beyond the proper proportion of the value of the stuff they raise.

Again, and this is perhaps one of the most important questions-and that is not just a statement, it is a fact-in the matter of transportation for years the western railways

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have been bled for the benefit of the eastern end of the system. There is absolutely no question about that. All we have to do is take the statements made before the Transportation Committee last year, and every hon. member must acknowledge that through these past years, whether under the Crowsnest pass agreement or not the prairie section and the British Columbia section of the railway system of this country have paid a large part of the profits for the system as a whole. I believe that an equalization of rates in that respect all the way through from points to the east and from points to the west, would be of very material assistance.

Further, I believe that with the encouragement of a system of co-operative buying and selling by which the produce could be pooled and sold in large quantities at the lowest possible cost, eliminating the enormous cost of distribution which at present stands between producer and consumer, and which I believe can be done-I think that the cumulative effect of these four remedies, which are worth trying, would go far towards making it possible for the dwellers on the plains to live and to prosper.

What is the remedy offered by some of our friends? Immigration. That means that when you have a leaky barrel, one with a hole knocked in the bottom, you are going to fill it by continually pouring in more water regardless of how fast it is running out. That seems to me to be somewhat of an absurdity. It has been pointed out by some hon. members that as long as there is this enormous demand in the States, our people will keep going to the States, and apparently their only remedy is that we shall pump immigrants into Canada who will pass on to the south until the United States is saturated, and then the residue may remain here. I contend that that is a most absurd policy. We cannot afford to assist in bringing in immigrants if they are simply to use Canada as a sort of calling place on their way to the States, and continue that process until the United States is saturated and has received all the population it requires. I say we cannot afford to do that. When I look upon this country and hear the glowing eulogies pronounced upon it by various members-and I endorse all those eulogies, I believe this is a great country-it makes me all the more deplore the paucity of policy on the part of the government, and I am not referring particularly to the policy of the minister but the policy of this government and of other governments preceding, in attempting to deal with this problem.

80i

What have been the policies suggested? They are embodied in a few words spoken by one of the members to my right, who said that the remedy, forsooth, was more protection. Protection, forsooth, was to be the great panacea which would alleviate and remedy all our wrongs, which would set us all right and enable us to retain our population, enable us to succeed where now we are not succeeding, and to prosper. I have 'a great deal of respect for that hon. gentleman. I find him in private life to be a most kindly and sympathetic man, but I cannot believe that the simple continuance of a system which has been found to be absolutely useless in that respect for forty or fifty years is going to solve the problem. Something more than that is

needed. As a young member in parliament I do not pretend to have the knowledge that is necessary to solve a problem of that kind. I have some suggestions, some

ideas of what might be done, but I cannot pretend to bring forward any solution. The problem has baffled a great many of our wisest men. But in order to solve it, the first thing that must take place is the realization that these conditions exist and that the old methods have failed. If these methods have failed, it seems to me that the obligation is upon the shoulders of the men upon whom has been placed the responsibility for governing this country, and who I believe to be intelligent and sincere men, to find a remedy. We can make suggestions; it is for them to act upon them.

I would like to say a word as to the possibility of immigration itself. I am not one of those, nor do I think there are many in this House, who are among those who believe that we should not have any more people in this country, that this country cannot support any more people than it has at the present time. I believe that this country could support five and ten times the population it has at the present time. I believe it would be good for the country and good for the immigrants themselves, but until we have a policy of retention to go hand-in-hand with the policy of _ immigration, an immigration policy is suicidal. It in itself cannot solve the problem. Immigration to my mind is a result. It is not a means for gaining a result. It is the result of sound policies put in force, practised, and the two must go hand in hand. We know, even the farmers, and we are not credited with knowing much by some members of this House, that it is absolutely useless to sow a crop of wheat, buy your seed and put it in the ground, unless you get the ground right first. You have to plough it, and till it, and

Supply-Immigration

put it in proper condition, or you will not have any crop, and I wish to reiterate and emphasize the fact that that applies absolutely in the same manner to the crop of people we wish to sow here. If they are to grow and prosper and succeed, they must be planted in the proper soil, and we must prepare the soil for them.

I was somewhat interested in a few remarks that were made by one or two hon. members who apparently feel that they have a personal grievance in our presence in this House. I was struck by a remark of the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) and I speak of him with a good deal of respect because I admire his ability, ability gained, no doubt through many years in this parliament, and no doubt also through his legal studies and in his practice. The ability with which he can present a case is only equalled, if possible, by the ability with which he evaded answering any question asked of him. I was interested in one thing he said in particular. He said that the United States, which is a very great country, was prospering far more than Canada was at the present time under the two-party system, and that they had not found it necessary to bring in a third party in order to save the country. That is a criticism that might cut both ways. If this country had prospered under the two-party system then this third party would not have entered the House in this country. The third party entered this House as a protest on the part of a great many people against the way in which the business of the country had been handled by the two old parties. That is the reason we are here.

It was also stated by the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Baldwin) I think, that we were here representing one particular class. Well, to some extent that is true.

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LIB

Willis Keith Baldwin

Liberal

Mr. BALDWIN:

I think I did not say one particular class. I said that men were in the House representing certain classes.

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UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

In that case I must apologize to the hon. gentleman, but at this distance I certainly understood him to say that there were men in this House who had come here to represent a class.

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LIB
UFA

Alfred Speakman

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I am glad my hon.

friend does not mean his observation in any derogatory sense. I will admit that some of the members here are largely representing one class. And why? Because any hon. member sent to this House represents the majority of the people in his constituency. They cannot

[Mr. Speakman.J

help the fact that in certain constituencies the majority of the people happen to be of one class; there is no known means of preventing the majority in any constituency, or in any province, from sending representatives to parliament if the people come together and work together in co-operation. If any excuse were necessary for the farmers sending men to represent them in parliament that excuse is to be found in the statements of some hon. members in this House, and the fact that certain hon. members seemed to be unaware, until the last two sessions of parliament, of conditions as they existed amongst the farmers.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I wish to make one or two suggestions with respect to the subject of immigration itself. I am not sure whether they will be of a constructive character, but I hope they will be. The first suggestion would be as to the type of settlers we could do with here. They should be settlers who would come on a voluntary basis, selected simply according to their fitness for admission to this country, of a type that would be apt to succeed here under reasonable conditions, I would not draw a line at Anglo-Saxons particularly, I would not limit admission to people who come from the United States or from the Old Land. All through our western country we meet with a great many people, especially people from northern Europe, and I want to say this: Although I am of British birth myself, and am perhaps prejudiced in that direction sometimes, no better settlers are to be found anywhere than the Scandinavians, the Dutch, the Finlanders, let us say in many cases the Icelanders, the Esthonians, and a number of other such people. They make splendid neighbours, fine farmers, excellent citizens, and they are turning out to be good Canadians. I have met them by scores and by hundreds and in every case I have found that their standard of living is rapidly rising to the standard of living of the Anglo-Saxon. They are striving after high ideals of citizenship such as are held by the true Canadian, and they are endeavouring to make true Canadians of their children. I am not in favour, however of bringing people of these nationalities and establishing them in colonies consisting exclusively of people of their own race. That is no way to build up a country. You cannot build up Canada by establishing in it little Scandinavians and little Russians. These people must be treated as individuals, and established individually, if they are to be absorbed into the life of this country and become part of the real Canadian population.

There is one point in the minister's policy that I would like to comment on for a mo-

Supply

Immigration

ment, and that is the possible use of the Soldier Settlement Board for the purpose of locating men on the land. Now, Mr. Chairman, I have become somewhat familiar with the working of that organization, and I believe that the staff are admirably qualified to carry on some aspects of this work. I would not believe in the staff of this organization acting as immigration agents-that is going out to solicit immigrants to enter this country. But I think there are no men better qualified to do that; to take care of and locate people after they come here; they have the knowledge, and they have the experience, in fact the store of data they have at their disposal is simply enormous and may be utilized to good advantage; I would agree to that only on one condition. I would not be in favour of-in fact I would strongly protest against- that organization being allied in any way with any corporation, or any company, in this country whose business was the establishment of persons on the land. Whatever success they have obtained in settling soldiers on the land-and I believe under the circumstances it has been considerable-has been due to the fact that they were able to control the character of land which the settlers would buy, and control the price to be paid for that land. That is the secret of the success they were able to achieve. But if someone else were allowed to sell at high prices to settlers land that was absolutely unsuitable for farming, and then the Soldier Settlement Board were to step in and take over the supervision of those men, and assume a part of the responsibility for their success, it would put them in an absolutely impossible position, and would make it absolutely impossible for them to succeed. If the responsibility is placed on governmental officials or a governmental organization, then the necessary authority and powers should go along with that responsibility; the two things cannot be divorced. I have seen farm after farm where the farmer was industrious, thrifty and honest, working all hours of the day and night, absolutely fail for the simple reason that the land upon which the farmer was located was totally unsuited for farming purposes. I am very much afraid that any colonization company might list properties of an unsuitable character and the Soldier Settlement Board officials would have no supervision over the choice of those lands or the price to be paid for them. Yet they might be asked to assist in supervising the work of the settlers afterwards. I think such a situation would be absolutely impossible. I believe in granting assistance to those who are going to be settled on farms. I do not believe in the system of assisted

passages, but I do believe in giving intending settlers all the information possible as to the places where they should be located, and the style of farming which might be followed profitably in certain districts. I also believe in protecting them against the exorbitant exactions of men who, in some cases, have more land to sell than they have conscience. I believe in looking after the prospective settlers to that extent. We have no officials more competent to perform that work at the present time than those on the staff of the Soldier Settlement Board.

In conclusion let me say that the way to ensure the success in connection with immigration is to inaugurate a plan under which a governmental policy which will enable men to succeed shall go hand in hand with the policy of bringing in more immigrants. That course being followed I would let the people of those countries where there is a surplus population know of the opportunities to be found here. I would let them know of the opportunities that exist, what lands there were, inform them of the laws under which they must live-in fact give them a true picture of the conditions they must face and the possibilities of success. Having done that, if they were of a suitable type to be admitted into Canada and wished to come to this country I would do everything possible to welcome them here and to see that they got a fair chance to be favourably located, to make a living, and to prove that they were capable of becoming good citizens.

One hon. member spoke of the co-operation that was necessary. I also think that cooperation is necessary. I think that the cooperation of every man and woman who is already in this country is the main essential. I think the one thing that, more than anything else, discourages a settler is to come into a new country and find himself apparently unwelcome, to find himself excluded from the social circles, excluded from friendships and from neighbourly kindliness. I think one of the greatest ways in which we can co-operate, one of the greatest helps we can be to the new arrival is to see that he gets the help that honest, kind hearted neighbours can give. In my opinion that will prove a very great help indeed. I am in favour of having as many people coming to this country as desire to do so, if they are suitable for the country and can make a living here. I would go further; I am in favour of doing all we can so to change conditions and so to change some of the laws under which we work as to make it possible for those men to succeed.

Progress reported.

Civil Service Act

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MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR GENERAL

?

William Melville Martin

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Marti!, Bona venture):

I have the honour to inform the House that I have received a message from His Excellency the Governor General, signed by his own hand, reading as follows:

I have received with great pleasure the Address you have voted in reply to my speech at the opening of parliament and thank you for it sincerely.

Bynq of Vimy.

Government House,

Ottawa, 16th March, 1923.

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Subtopic:   MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Sub-subtopic:   ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ADDRESS
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HALIBUT FISHERIES TREATY-CORRESPONDENCE TABLED

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I promised the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) that before the House rose I would lay on the Table, the correspondence passing between the government of Canada and the government of Great Britain respecting the Halibut Fisheries Treaty.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King the House adjourned at 10.55 p.m.

Monday, March 19, 1923

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Subtopic:   HALIBUT FISHERIES TREATY-CORRESPONDENCE TABLED
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March 16, 1923