We have an excellent man in the person of Mr. Egan who is one of the most capable civil servants we have. I cannot
understand why we should retain this other gentleman at $10,000 when we could have had his services at $6,000. And I do not know whether we want him at all. Do we want two departments of immigration, both striving for the same end? The Canadian National Railways are attempting by every possible means to bring people into the country, but there are in the department over which the minister (Mr. Robb) presides rules that prevent him from encroaching on the work of the other department. So there is a merry war between the two. I should like to see one of them eliminated so that we might know where we were going. Sir Henry Thornton in his annual report made the suggestion that in view of the great importance of immigration to the country the government might very well consider the question of naming a commission to deal with the whole immigration problem. He suggested that the commission should be on somewhat similar lines to the railway commission. I am not prepared to say whether this suggestion should be accepted or not. I suppose the object was that the immigration department of the Canadian National Railways and the Department of Immigration under the minister might bring their differences before the commission to have them settled. Whether that was in the mind of Sir Henry Thornton or not I do not know. But it does seem to me that that we might very well consider the question of appointing a standing committee of this House to deal with immigration problems. As I said on the budget, we have departments dealing with fish and fish culture, with mines, forests and all sorts of things, animate and inanimate.
The Minister of Justice, forgetting that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) is immediately behind him, suggests insects. We are dealing with these too; we are dealing with bugs, onion maggots and other allied matters through select standing committees. But surely immigration is something that should occupy a sufficiently dignified position to demand from the government similar treatment. If we had had an immigration committee such as I suggest, we should have been deprived of the highly diverting evening we have had to-night, because all these matters could have been referred to that committee. Certainly, the minister would gain a great deal of useful information and assistance through such a committee, and now that his time is so much taken up in the Department of Finance, I am sure we are willing to lend him every
assistance possible. I suggest therefore that the government consider the question of appointing next year a select standing committee on Immigration and Colonization. I could say a great deal more on this question. Indeed, I feel somewhat like the poet-I would that my tongue could utter the thoughts that arise in me. The government is fully aware of my attitude on this question, and nothing that has been done since I have spoken on it has caused me to change my views, nor do I think that anything which the government may do in future will bring about such a change.
The member for Bow River (Mr. Garland) would probably do fairly well if he were taken in hand by intelligent people and made to see that after all there is another point of view besides his own. I am free to confess that he impressed me towards the close of his remarks when he said that he had no objection whatever to allowing physically healthy people to come to the country. I must reckon that unto him for righteousness. I did not know that these were his views, and' I am willing to overlook many of the things he said in view of that conclusion. The hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) also said that he would allow every white and healthy person to come to Canada; that would be part of his policy. Now, I find that his leader two or three days ago made a rather different statement in answer to a question put to him by the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woods-wortth). At page 3806 I find the following:
Mr. Woodsworth: As long as we have anything like an open door immigration policy, how is the Canadian worker being protected?
Mr. Meighen: Well, I am not in favour of an open door immigration policy, any more than I am in favour of an open door trade policy.
We cannot, I fear, expect very much from the party immediately opposite me.
My policy is known both to the House and to the country. The right hon. gentleman went on to explain himself. He said:
Certainly you cannot allow everybody into this country; nobody ever suggested it. The cheapest labour of the world we ought to bar entirely, and we do bar it. I would be the last to suggest that any other policy be adopted.
stated time and again that I am in favour of every healthy white person coming to this country. That is my policy. The leader of the opposition did not speak about oriental labour. Before he was interrupted by the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg he said:
It is possible to give preference and do so without invading the just rights of the Canadian worker. It must always be a case of Canada first, and until we are ready to stand up and proclaim Canada first, and act Canada first, then we may just as well resign ourselves to this sliding-back process which characterizes our drift to-day.
Now, there seems to be no party at all which is ready to accept my policy, so I will start a party on my own account and look for recruits. And the first one whom I ^hall recruit into that party is the hon. member for Bow River-on the theory, of any port in a storm. I would start with him as a nucleus and we could secure other equally worthy supporters.
In answer to the question whether there are two immigration departments under the government, I would say yes and no. The Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railways each have an immigration department, and the government of Canada must take care not to be allied with either. It would not be fair to do that.
These three immigration departments are endeavouring to get closer together and work in greater harmony than they have done before, and there has been a good deal of cooperation with a view to reducing the expenditures under each of the departments and obviating any duplication.