March 19, 1930

LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

We have

not discontinued the services of any officers.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Is there any cessation or limitation of effort?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

The instructions I have given are that we are not to lend encouragement to people to come to Canada. We are not, in other words, trying to encourage people to come to Canada. We are not saying that they must not come here The railway agreement, of course, has not expired. We have served notice on the railway companies. I understood, when I took over the department, that the maximum number they were bringing in was 8,000. I at once brought them to Ottawa and told them I felt, so far as that movement could be curtailed. steps should be taken immediately to curtail it, and I have their promise that they will do so as far as possible.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

How is it that advertisements are still appearing in the British press, urging people to come to Canada?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I cannot be responsible for all the advertisements that appear in the press, but I assure my hon. friend there are no advertisements appearing under the auspices of the federal government agencies making any such statement.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Would the minister like to have one? I think I can supply it.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I would be glad to have one. Briefly, that is what we propose to do. So far as juvenile immigration is concerned, it is not our intention to withdraw that assistance in conjunction with the British government, provided that the provinces are willing to take and absorb those juveniles within their jurisdiction. But in every particular it is our intention not to bring or to admit to Canada people that the provinces do not want to absorb in their midst.

May I say in conclusion I cannot conceive of any province which is going to shut the door and say: We do not want a single individual to come into our midst? That would be an absurd position. But I can understand a clear desire on the part of a provincial government to have control of the people who are coming into their midst. I have felt that very strongly ever since I have had anything to do with immigration. I believe they have an inherent right to be able to say what class of people they are desirous of having come within their particular province, because, after all, they are the responsibility of that province the moment they take up their abode in it.

On the other hand, I think immigration will continue. I expect that the provinces will cooperate with us in this scheme of immigration; that we shall have better control, and I hope that we shall remove the feeling that the provinces have, that when difficulties arise with respect to unemployment or even to deportation and matters of that kind, they have no responsibility in the matter. At the present time they can say: We have nothing to do with it. Some of the provinces have said, as I find upon the records, we could absorb so many people. If the provinces make arrangements with church organizations and other organizations of various kinds to carry on this work, we will respect those agreements; but it is not the intention of the federal government to make any agreement of any sort, and as soon as the existing ones are cancelled we shall discontinue anything of that kind and all assistance except that granted to juveniles.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

With regard to deportation, is it the custom of the federal government to pay the expenses, or are they paid either by municipal authorities or by the provincial government?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

The federal government pays the expenses of deportation, but there is, between the time the individual is apprehended or complaint is made by either the municipality or the province and the time the matter reaches the federal department, a period during which expenses have been incurred. We have not paid those expenses, but from the moment we take charge of the individual, we pay all expenses.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

Has,the minister any knowledge of the percentage of immigrants which Canada and other immigrant-receiving countries have been able to absorb in the last ten years; and does he not think that would be a fair basis to work upon for the future?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

My hope is that when the provinces have the full responsibility of stating how many people they can absorb, we shall overcome our difficulty in that connection. I have stated how the difficulty of migration from one province to another can be covered; how domicile and

Immigration Policy-Mr. Lucas

responsibility can be established for the individual. Therefore we get over those difficulties. I think, for example, the provincial government of Manitoba have a far better idea of the number of people they can absorb in their province in any given year than we at Ottawa or even one of our officials located in the city of Winnipeg can have. I anticipate that there will be some difficulty when we begin to work the plan out, but I think it is a sound, safe and sane one and will prevent a lot of difficulties arising that we have had in the past.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The minister said a few moments ago that the Canadian government was not encouraging anyone to come to Canada. Here is the advertisement to which I referred, published in the News of the World of December 8, 1929. It reads:

Try Canada! 3,000 good men are wanted on Canadian farms next spring.

If you are single, between 19 and 35 years of age and physically fit, why not be one of the 3,000?

The British government will give you three months' free training before you sail and a free ticket to your destination in Canada.

The Canadian government promise you a job on arrival.

Apply without delay to any employment exchange, Canadian government agent or passenger agent.

Train during the winter and sail in the spring for Canada.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

If my hon. friend will send the advertisement over to me, I shall make inquiries about it.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. W. T. LUCAS (Camrose):

I was very glad to hear the minister state that in the government's new policy the responsibility for bringing in immigrants in the future is to be delegated to the provinces. If that plan is carried out, it will meet a very large body of opinion in western Canada.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I do not want my hon. friend to misquote me. I did not say delegating; I said, at the request of the provinces. The responsibility will still remain with the federal government.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

The responsibility of recruiting immigrants will remain with the federal government, but the provincial governments will be responsible in regard to the numbers to be brought in, if I understood the minister correctly.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Yes.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

The resolution proposed by the hon. member for Willow Bunch (Mr. Donnelly) this afternoon expresses, I feel sure, the opinion of a large and growing body

of opinion in Canada, an opinion that has been expressed in this corner of the house for several years past. The question of immigration is perhaps one of the most important with which Canada has to deal. Canada is a young and growing country, with a vast area, tremendous natural resources, and a sparse population, and therefore the people that we are bringing in to settle this country at the present time are very largely going to lay the foundation stock for the future of this great Dominion. In my opinion, therefore, it is necessary that we should not look upon numbers alone, but that a careful selection should be made of intending immigrants in order that we may lay a sound foundation. In this connection I should like to read a resolution which was passed by the United Farmers of Alberta, at their annual convention held at Calgary in January last.

Whereas, the policy of assisted immigration as practised in this Dominion for many years has been futile, and has not resulted in the anticipated increase of population; and

Whereas, the concentration of effort towards the increase of our agricultural population, with the consequent neglect of other lines of productive effort has resulted in an unbalanced development of this country, and has adversely affected the values of farm products in relation to those of other articles of consumption; and

W hereas, the fact that the federal government has sole jurisdiction as to the number and type of immigrants who may come into this country, and the conditions under which they may make entry, and that a part of this authority has been delegated to various organizations, together with the refusal or neglect of both the federal government and the organizations concerned to effectively assume the responsibility for the after care of those who enter this country under their auspices, has thrown a great burden upon the provinces and municipalities within whose boundaries those new comers may locate;

Therefore be it resolved:-

(a) That the practice of subsidizing various organizations for the purposes of immigration be discontinued, and that only the agents appointed directly by the Federal government shall be authorized to carry on this work;

(b) That the federal government shall cooperate with the different provincial governments to the greatest degree possible to the end that only those immigrants may enter each province as may be usefully assimilated during each year;

(c) That no financial assistance be granted actual or prospective immigrants, either by way of assisted passage, or of land settla-ment;

(d) That all immigration shall be strictly selective, based upon the racial possibilities of assimilation, the physical, mental and moral qualities of the applicant, and the willingness of each to assume the full responsibilities of Canadian citizenship, and further, that no discrimination be practised as between occupations, save that brought about by the prospective employment which may be in view.

Immigration Policy-Mr. Lucas

If hon. members will study that resolution carefully I think they will agree that it offers a sound basis for an immigration policy. I know that in the past the government has been faced with difficulty because of a large body of opinion that in order to be prosperous we must have a large number of people. All governments in this country, I presume, have been faced with that difficulty, and whenever the volume of immigration decreased the opposition would claim that it was the fault of the government. Governments in the past, therefore, have always attempted, by giving assistance in various ways, to bring into the country as many immigrants as possible. Some people believe that the prosperity of a country is directly related to>

the cumber of people within its borders, and they seldom make any effort to ascertain whether the average well-being of the inhabitants has improved, which in reality is the only sound measure of a country's progress. Agriculture is in anything but a prosperous condition at the present time. Prices are low, and the prospects are not any too bright. The efforts of those who urge the opening up of new agricultural areas could lead only to a condition of further depression in the agricultural industry. Anything that will reduce the standard of living in Canada will simply mean a greater exodus of our people to the United States. Ever since confederation we have spent a great deal of money in Canada on immigration. It is hard to estimate the exact sum that has been spent every year, but when we add to-gether what has been spent by the federal government, by the Immigration department and the Health department, by the provincial governments, by our railway companies, and by all the various organizations that are assisting immigration, it must run into many millions of dollars, and yet when we look at the results we can only conclude that this vast expenditure has largely been wasted. In July of last year the Bureau of Statistics issued a statement showing that Canada's population was at that time 9,796,000, an increase of 38,000 over the previous year. When I look at the figures of the Department of Immigration and Colonization, at page 11 of that book, I find that the number of immigrants last year was 167,722. If we add to that number our natural increase, which according to the Bureau of Statistics amounted to 127,255, we find we should have had a total increase in our population of 294,977, and yet according to the Bureau of Statistics our increase was only 38,000. In other words, we lost 256,977 of our population; we lost more than our natural increase after spending many millions of dollars. It drives

one to the conclusion that there must be something wrong.

Now, agriculture is faced to-day with the condition of over-production just the same as other industries. Going back to the age of steam, we find its introduction revolutionized the industrial system of the world. For many years farming lagged behind, but in later years farming machinery has been improved to such an extent, especially since the introduction of oil, that to-day oil is doing for agriculture what steam did for manufacturing industry. In 1928 Canada produced on 24,119,140 acres of land 566,726,000 bushels of wheat. While on that point, I may say I believe that our present farm population could very materially increase that production if conditions were such that they had a profitable market for it. With this increased efficiency of farm machinery we find in the United States that for the last ten years, according to the Bureau of Statistics, they have lost something over 6,000,000 farmers and still they have increased their agricultural production. As I have said, in 1928 we produced 566,000,000 bushels of wheat, and yet we have people in Canada who are still advocating the opening up of vast new areas of agricultural land. We hear a good deal at the present time about the Peace River country, and it is estimated that there is something like 49,000,000 acres of agricultural land there suitable for wheat growing. Having produced 566,000,000 bushels in 1928 on

24,000,000 acres of land, what are the possibilities for the production of wheat if the Peace River country is quickly opened up? It would mean that we would simply have over-production to the extent that we would get not even the cost o-f the production for our wheat.

In this age of keen competition I believe our farmers will have to do just as those engaged in other businesses are doing, that is, increase their efficiency. I recognize that to-day the business man who is not running his business along business lines is going under; and the same applies to the farmer. But after he has done his part in bringing his industry to the highest degree of efficiency under business methods, if then he is to be subjected to the competition of an influx of people from foreign countries with a lower standard of living, he will not be given a fair chance. This resolution asks that no more money be spent on bringing immigrants to this country. Let us stop and look at Canada for a moment. There is scarcely any public man who does not swell up his chest when he gets on a platform and boasts about the great natural resources of this country.

768 COMMONS

Immigration Policy-Speakers' Ruling

I think we all agree that we have one of the finest countries in the world, one endowed with the greatest natural resources and the most wonderful potentialities. But, if such is the case, why should we have to go out in the highways and byways and beg people to come into this country, even paying their passage? There seems to be something radically wrong with our immigration policy. I believe the best immigration policy for any country is to have prosperous, contented settlers, because if our farmers are doing well we shall not have to spend millions of dollars to induce others to come here. Therefore I am glad to know that this resolution is receiving the sympathetic consideration of the government and I hope it will meet with general approval throughout the Dominion.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Willis Keith Baldwin

Liberal

Mr. BALDWIN:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Before the hon. gentleman proceeds I should like to call to the attention of the hon. member for Athabaska (Mr. Kellner) that his amendment does not seem to be in order. It calls for the imposition of a tax:

That any company, organization, association, church or other institution bringing or assisting in bringing, any immigrants to Canada, shall deposit with the government the sum of $1,000 for each and every immigrant so brought in or assisted: and provided further that the money so collected shall constitute a fund from which payments shall be made to the governments of the provinces in which the immigrant resides, to provide for unemployment, health and other expenses.

It is termed a "deposit," nevertheless it is a tax. Bourinot says at page 432:

Though there is no rule to prevent private members moving abstract resolutions proposing changes in the scheme or distribution of taxation, or the imposition of new duties, "yet they have been uniformly resisted by the government in the English House of Commons as inexpedient and impolitic." All proposals for the imposition of taxes belong peculiarly to the crown, and custom, as well as sound policy, has long ago devolved upon ministers the duty of submitting such questions to the consideration of parliament.

This amendment calls for a deposit to be made by each organization dealing with immigration or assisting immigration, and expense is involved on the part of the federal authorities in the administration of the fund and handing it over to the various provinces. It seems to me that the hon. gentleman should draft his amendment somewhat differently, otherwise I shall have to declare it out of order. The alteration of a few words might make the amendment admissible; in its present form it is not admissible.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION POLICY
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL TO DISCONTINUE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE EXCEPT IN CASE OF FEMALE DOMESTICS
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March 19, 1930