March 14, 1928

LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

This being private members'

day, and the government having no wish to infringe upon the rights of hon. members in respect of private business, I move that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

Progress reported.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Permalink

SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS


Mr. 0. L. BOULANGER (Belledhase) moved: That, in the opinion of this house, citizens of Canada desirous of settling on western lands should receive from the government of Canada the same assistance and favourable treatment as the citizens of Europe.


LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. A. A. HEAPS (North Winnipeg):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. Immediately following the motion you have just read there is one standing in my name. This motion of mine was discussed on the 16th day of February, the discussion starting in the evening about 10.36 and continuing until about eleven o'clock. Discussion of that motion having already commenced, I claim that it should take precedence over the motion you have just read to the house. In the discussion that took place that evening the right hon. the Prime Minister is reported as having said:

As the rule now stands, this resolution becomes the first order the next time these motions are taken up.

Whatever the interpretation of the rules may be, I think that a motion that has once been called and discussed should have precedence over any other motion on the order paper. That is what occurred in the case of my motion. If the rules are such that the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger) has the right to proceed now with his motion, I think there is something wrong with the

1338 COMMONS

Western Lands Settlement-Mr. Boulanger

rules. Under the circumstances I think that my motion should have precedence over that of the hon. member.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

I would not have any objection to allowing the motion of the hon. member to take precedence over mine.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I appreciate the courtesy of the hon. gentleman, but this is a question of the interpretation of the rules.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Standing order 27 says:

If at the hour of six o'clock p.m. on a Wednesday, or at the time of the adjournment of the house, a motion on the notice paper be under consideration, that question shall stand first on the order paper of the following day, next after orders to which a special precedence has been assigned by standing order or order of the house.

Under the rules, the motion of the hon. member for Bellechasse stood ahead of the motion of the hon. member for North Winnipeg. When by the effluxion of time the hon. member was interrupted by the operation of the eleven o'clock rule, his motion was kept where it was when it was introduced. The motion of the hon. member for Bellechasse did not lose its rank on the order paper. The hon. member for Bellechasse was entitled to have his motion called, and if not proceeded with on that day, to have it called in its place upon another occasion. That occasion has arisen to-day, and if the hon. gentleman does not proceed with his motion now it will go to the foot of the order paper. It stands now where it ought to stand.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMES ARTHURS (Parry Sound):

I was a member of the committee that revised the rules, and I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I do not think the committee had any such intention. If there are thirteen or fourteen orders called, as has often been the case in this house, should all these orders take precedence over an adjourned ordejr when six o'clock comes on Wednesday? That is the question. I do not think so. Here is a case where one order was ahead of the motion of the hon. member for North Winnipeg, the debate on which was adjourned according to the rules of the house at eleven o'clock, and if the motion of the hon. member for Bellechasse has precedence over it, then all orders called previous to it on that day w'ould have the same precedence.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Standing order S2 says:

When a private member's notice of motion shall have been twice called from the chair-

The motion of the hon. member for Bellechasse has been called only once. To-day is the second time of its calling. It is where it Should be, at the head of the motions on the order paper. Because the hon. member for

Bellechasse was not ready to proceed when the motion of the hon. member for North Winmipeig was called, his motion did not lose precedence, but if he does not proceed with his motion to-day, it goes to the bottom of the list.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. O. L. BOULANGER (Bellechasse):

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

Is there not plenty of available agricultural land in both Quebec and Ontario?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

I would not say that; I think most of the good farming land in the bid provinces is already occupied. Fortunately, in the case of my own family, we all remained in Canada; but this is not always the case with eastern Canadian farmer families. There remain very few colonizable areas in eastern Canada and the surplus farmers' sons go to the cities, sometimes on this side of the border but very often on the American side, where they are lost to Canada. This attraction of the sons of our farmers by the industrial cities of New England, which are closer to us than western Canada, is a subject of much anxiety to every Canadian who loves his country, and it is quite natural to think of means to prevent the desertion of their traditional calling by such valuable citizens. Case after case has come under my observation, in my own and in the neighbouring counties- and I presume the situation is about the same in the maritime provinces-of young farmers, born tillers of the soil, brought up in the best traditions of our unsurpassed rural population, becoming lost in the great American cities near us. They have heard of the vast fertile

Western Lands Settlement-Mir. Boulanger

plains of the west where hard work, of which they have no fear, and intelligent effort, are always sure of their reward; but, alas it costs a small fortune for eastern 'Canadians to go west and settle there and no benevolent government or colonization organization has been willing to offer them assistance of any kind. This emigration of our young farmers took quite an alarming turn a few years ago, but I must say that, due to the good administration which this government has given the country, and thanks also to the praiseworthy policy of a great Canadian, the Hon. L. A. Taschereau, Prime Minister of Quebec, in attracting capital to our province, in prohibiting the exportation of hydro-electric power, in encouraging the exploitation of our natural resources, and in creating industrial centres and new markets for our farmers, the situation is not so grave as it was, although still too great a number of young farmers, who cannot find land in the east, are obliged to expatriate. It is with a very great sense of satisfaction that I note, in the report of the Department of Immigration and Colonization, that during the last year 56,957 Canadians who had gone to the United States came back to the country they had abandoned. And at this juncture might I be permitted to thank the government for having place a sum of $50,000 at the disposal of the province of Quebec to repatriate its citizens.

But however satisfactory might be the repatriation and return of Canadians who found out that, after all, their own was the best country to live in, it seems to me that it would still be more satisfactory to prevent our own people from leaving us; and I am convinced that this very desirable end would be attained by giving young Canadian farmers, unable to find land in their own vicinity, the same assistance as is given others to go and settle on vacant land in western Canada. I repeat that we in the east are not against bringing in immigrants to colonize our undeveloped areas; we are not even against assisted and subsidized colonization, if we must have it. But we demand that Canadians should be given the first chance, that before we spend our money to place strangers on our land we must first try to place native Canadians there. It appears to me that such an enterprise particularly commends itself in these days, when we talk so much of the necessity of achieving Canadian unity and of creating a distinctive Canadian spirit and character. Prominent people like Colonel R. H. Webb, mayor of Winnipeg, and others, fear foreign domination in the Canadian west; they deplore the spread of communism, which certainly did not originate with our native 56103-861

population; they claim that 40 per cent of the criminals and 60 per cent of the people in asylums and sanatoria, are foreign bom; they oven pretend that immigrants, placed at great cost on land, desert and drift to the cities, where they displace our native workingmen, or to the United States, which was their secret destination from the start. But, sir, let us give our idle land to till and to cultivate, even if we have to assist them with public moneys to do so, to the descendants of those who came on the Hector, to the descendants of the British Empire Loyalists, to the descendants of those who came back to their ravaged homes after the "Grand Derangement" and to the descendants of those who from the provinces of France, three hundred years ago, came without assisted passage or hopes of after-care, to settle on the shores of the St. Lawrence, and to roam this continent from the gulf of Mexico to Hudson bay and from Labrador to the Rockies. Let us place them on the land and they will remain; they have been doing so for centuries. They have inherited traditions of courage, selfreliance, perseverance and tenacity, and they need no training to become accustomed to Canadian life. You can trust them to work for Canadian unity and to help build a strong and vigorous nation, endowed with the qualities and characteristics of the two great races which have written their fame on the pages of our history and which are destined by Providence to achieve together the destinies of Canada. And if the time should ever come when it is necessary for them to defend the soil in which they have been rooted for generations, their past will be a guarantee that the heritage entrusted to their care shall not be wrested from them.

The idea embodied in the resolution which I have the honour to propose is not a new one, but I sincerely believe it is sound and one which it would be in the interests of the country to put into execution. It seems a fundamental necessity to do everything possible to conserve our rural population, that quiet, honest, sane, hard-working and clear-thinking rural population which accord^ ing to Mr. Stanley Baldwin is the core and the source of the strength of the nation. Assisting farmers' sons, who cannot find land in the east, to take up land in the west is, in my humble opinion, one of the best ways of keeping our rural population and of maintaining the balance which must exist between city and country dwellers. It may be objected that provincial governments would look with disfavour upon the emigration of their citizens to another province, and that the

1342 COMMONS

Western Lands Settlement-Mr. Arthurs

federal government would not see the advantage of assisting the transportation companies or the colonization societies in moving these people from one place to another within the country. I do not need to point out, however, that the object of this resolution is to devise a means of preventing the surplus farming population from leaving not only their native provinces but Canada as well, and that provincial authorities would rather see young farmers go to western Canada than to the United States. As to the reluctance of the federal government to spend money in assisting Canadians to settle in their own country, I think we need have no fear on that score because last year the Minister of Immigration and Colonization told us he was working on a plan to help young Canadians who desired to become settlers. If the discusison of this resolution does no more than hasten the maturity of that plan, it will not have been in vain.

I have therefore the honour, Mr. Speaker, to move the adoption of the resolution.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JAMBS ARTHURS (Parry Sound):

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LIB

Pierre-Ernest Boivin

Liberal

Mr. P. E. BOIVIN (Shefford):

I wish to say only a very few words on the matter under discussion. First of all I congratulate the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger) upon the case which he has .presented in support of this motion, and the manner in which he has dealt with the problems which have to be faced not only in the province of Quebec but elsewhere in this country. I wish the house would take this question into very serious consideration, because it is a problem for which we have to find a solution, and one that the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Forke) should study very carefully.

I had not anticipated that this question would be brought up at this particular time and therefore I am not as well prepared to discuss it as I should otherwise have been. But I want to suggest a plan to which the Minister of Immigration and Colonization might give consideration and which he might find worthy of adoption in due course. To make it a success, however, this plan will involve the co-operation not only of all the members of this house but also of every business man and every newspaper dm the country. I realize that it will be a big undertaking, but it is one which is worth studying. That plan is this: that the government establish training farms in every province of Canada, organized to train young mem in farming in the same way that the Militia department train our boys in military affairs in camp. The men to be trained on those farms should be recruited just as we recruit our soldiers. Enlist the men for three years, bring them to these model farms, keep them there and train them in practical farming. After a certain period, when they have been thoroughly

trained, settle each man on say 100 acres of land, in groups, and give them all the encouragement necessary to make that settlement a success. We should endeavour to keep in this country those of our boys who 'have been trained to a certain extent in farming and like the occupation, but who cannot stay at home because the homestead is not large enough. If young men of this type were brought to model farms where they could bo trained and made practical farmers, Canada would gain to a tremendous extent.

Then again at periods when the country, perhaps, was not as prosperous as it is to-day and a certain amount of depression prevailed, you could take from the cities, men who complain that they cannot find work. You could say to them: Go and enlist on one of these farms, and you will at least get your living. If they turn out to be good, practical men, by all means locate them on farms and give them a chance to make a success of farming and become good Canadian citizens. If we pursue the course I have advocated we shall be able to retain many of our own sons in Canada, and they will not be tempted to leave the country and go elsewhere. If the Department of Immigration wishes to study this plan, I shall be only too pleased to cooperate with them in every way and to give them the benefit of any ideas that I have,

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Add-ington):

I have only one or two observations to make in regard to this motion and to the remarks offered by the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger). In the first place I want to say that I am in entire agreement with the tribute which he pays to the young farmers of the province of Quebec, a tribute, I presume, which will apply equally to the young men on the farms in Ontario. In intelligence, virility and energy I think I should be safe in saying that these young men are the equals if not the superiors of any settlers we could get from any other country. But it seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that there is a weakness in this resolution which should be pointed out and I have risen for the purpose of doing so. The resolution says:

That, in the opinion of this house, citizens of Canada desirous of settling on western lands should receive from the government of Canada the same assistance and favourable treatment as the citizens of Europe.

Why specify western lands? I venture the statement that we have hundreds of thousands of acres of just as good lands in Ontario and Quebec as the sun ever shone on, which have not yet been brought under cultivation. It seems to me, also, that there are advan-

1344 COMMONS

Western Lands Settlement-Mr. Edwards

tages to the intending settler that can be offered in inducing him to go on unoccupied lands in Ontario and Quebec that cannot be offered to any settler going to the west. For instance, assuming if you like-and I make the assertion in the confident belief that I am correct-that we have hundreds of thousands of acres of just as fertile soil in Ontario and Quebec as there is in any province in the west, then a man who settles on a farm in either of the two former provinces has this advantage over a man who settles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta: When he brings his farm under cultivation and has his products ready for the market, he is within twenty-four hours of large centres of population like Toronto and Montreal where he can sell those products to advantage. I do not admit for one moment, nor do I believe that any person else who has travelled over this country to any extent will admit, that the soil in western Canada is one whit more fertile or better adapted to agriculture than is the soil in Ontario and Quebec. I repeat there are advantages in Ontario which I believe the men in the western provinces will come to realize in the very near future, and I would ask my hon. friend therefore if he is prepared to extend the scope of his resolution and ask this government, or any government that may be in power, to give assistance to those in western Canada who might desire to come east and settle on vacant lands in Ontario and Quebec. Because I assume that the time will come when the western people will become aware of the advantages I have indicated, and will be anxious to take advantage of them. Why should not people leave cities like Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and even Saskatoon and come down and settle on some more splendid lands in New Ontario, or on some of the vacant lands in the province of Quebec? Why ask the government to adopt a scheme giving special help to those who want to settle in the west? I am not depreciating the advantages of the west but I rather think that a little too much attention has been directed to the west in our immigration efforts to the detriment of the older provinces of Canada. These provinces, I think, have been overlooked to a large extent in our immigration and colonization campaigns in this country.

The resolution, no matter what may be said in favour of it is defective and weak in that it specifies that as regards Canadians who desire to settle on the land, assistance will be given only to those who are going to the west. I see no reason for specifying that and I do not think such a scheme will work out in practice. Very soon other provinces would

be asking the government to give the same assistance in bringing people from the west or the extreme east for settlement in the central provinces.

There is just one other thought that I should like to add to this for the benefit of my hon. friend who introduced the resolution and who, in introducing it, very naturally, though very incorrectly, paid a tribute to the government of the day. Might I point out to my hon. friend that there are very definite reasons, other than the ones that he mentioned, why the boys are leaving the farms of Quebec and Ontario. This government has adapted a policy to discourage our boys in Ontario and Quebec from going on the land. What particular branch of agriculture will a boy take up? Will he go into dairying in the face of the attitude and action of this government in adopting the Australian treaty? Has he any encouragement along that line to go into, dairying in this country? Will he take up gardening, raising fruits and vegetables in the face of the attitude and action of the government in placing every possible obstacle in his way to make a success of it? Will he be encouraged to go into the sheep industry in this country? Not under the policy followed by this government. So I would appeal to my hon. friend who introduced this resolution, I am sure, honestly, conscientiously and believing in what he is advocating, to direct some of his logic and eloquence towards the members of the government and to endeavour, if possible, to induce them to see a little reason and to adopt a policy which will offer encouragement and not discouragement to those on the land in the Dominion of Canada.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink
LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Liberal

Mr. H. E. LAVIGUEUR (Quebec-Mont-morency):

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon.

member for BelleChasse (Mr. Boulanger) must have been inspired to bring forward this resolution and he is to be congratulated upon the splendid speech that he delivered to this house in support of it. I have listened carefully to the remarks of the hon. member for Fron-tenac-Addington (Mr. Edwards). He commenced by saying that he concurred in the argument brought forward by the hon. member for Bellechasse and he admitted that our young men in Quebec and Ontario were certainly as worthy individuals as the foreigners who are brought to this country.

The problem of immigration has been discussed in this house for many years and all governments of late years have paid a great deal of attention to it. But it has been found and admitted that, although enormous sums of money have been spent in order to promote immigration, the results that were ex-

Western Lands Settlement-Mr. McGibbon

pected did not ensue. A great improvement in immigration has been noticeable, especially since the present government has been in power, and the1 great efforts made by the former Minister of Immigration and the present minister have been fruitful. I want to say to the hon. menfber for Frontenac-Add'ington that he should not send forth the whispers of death as he did a few minutes ago when he took advantage of the discussion of the motion of -the hon. member for Belle-chasse to state that our young men, whom we wish to establish on our farms in the west or in Ontario and Quebec, would have no reason to stay in this country or, if they had gone away to the United States, to return, because they could not make a living in Canada on account of the policy of this government. I wish to protest against the attitude of the hon. member as revealed in that statement. Instead of making such a statement he should join hand in hand with the hon. member for Bellechasse' and support this resolution in the same spirit as it has been introduced in the house.

Mr. PETER MoGIBBON (Muskoka-Ontario): Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to detain the house at length upon this question, but it seems to me that in a small way it will supply something that this country needs very materially at the present time, and that is work. One thing that to my mind is wanted in Canada to-day is work. It has been my unpleasant duty now for many years, almost weekly, sometimes almost daily, to write medical certificates for people in my riding, boys off the farm and from other places, who 'are going to the United States largely because 'there is not work for them in this country. We might just as well admit this fact and we deplore it as much as anybody. They are going there and during the last three or four years I have not run across a single one that has returned. My sister's family consists of five children and four of them are in the United States making a living, although they would much prefer to live in Canada if they had equal opportunities. It is the duty of this country and, of course, of the present government, to supply every means possible to give our people work. I have not been able to understand why the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) will give greater facilities, greater encouragement, to people from Eur ope, than he will to our own people when they are almost daily leaving this country in search of work.

I regret also that the government have discontinued giving assistance to our soldiers.

That scheme, launched as it was under great stress and difficulties, was a success, everything being taken into consideration, and I think it points the way for helping to keep our boys at home. I agree with the hon. member for Fron-tenac-Addington (Mr. Edwards) that there are still great opportunities in Ontario and Quebec and I am going to throw out to the government the suggestion that they can keep people on the land profitably in other ways than by having them grow grain or raise stock. I have spent some time in the last few years investigating fur [DOT]farming in the northern parts of Ontario and Quebec. In that country there are -admirable 'locations for that business, and in my belief a -man who goes upon a fur farm where the conditions are suitable can get a greater revenue from it than he could from any farm in the west or in the older parts of Ontario on purely agricultural land. The possibilities are greater, and more than that, it is something new, comparatively speaking. In northern Ontario -and Quebec there are timbered lands and lakes and rivers and swamps that are admirably suited for this purpose. I wonder how many members of this house are aware of the rapidity with which rats, for example, multiply. They will have four or five young ones at a litter, and four or five litters a year, find those rat skins are worth from $2 to $2.50 each. The rats feed themselves, and all you have to do it to see that the conditions are favourable, and weed out their enemies. That offers a possibility for the government and the people of this country to develop a new industry that would be very profitable indeed *to Canada. It has this further advantage, that the character of the country best suited for the purpose is the least valuable as a rule for agriculture, and once the timber is taken off, the land has -practically no value at all. Anyone who has travelled over northern Ontario and Quebec must have seen large areas of land which to-day are practically worthless for agriculture, but which -could be utilized in a scheme of this kind, giving employment to tens of thousands of people, who would -make a better living from it than they could from agriculture simply.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   SETTLEMENT OF WESTERN LANDS
Sub-subtopic:   PROPOSED GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND FAVOURABLE TREATMENT OF CANADIANS
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Before the

house adjourns, I should like to advise my hon. friends as to the procedure for tomorrow. It was understood that when the Finance Minister introduced the budget and spoke on a Thursday, private members would

Questions

not be deprived of their right to an equivalent amount of time on some subsequent Thursday.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

They do not want it tomorrow.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The government's intention was to give to-morrow afternoon to hon. members as private members' day, and then to go on with the regular Thursday proceedings in the evening.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

March 14, 1928