May 30, 1930

UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

I will apply it to

the leader of the opposition, and suggest that he stop opposing and start proposing, with a view to changing not only his own personal staitus but that of his party as well; and I would also suggest to the leader of the Progressive group to stop baking biscuits that taste like shrapnel and preserve the health and integrity of this group by eating food such as only a Czechoslovakian wife can cook. To -crown the whole thing I would suggest that Bishop Lloyd! of Saskatchewan marry all these people off, and that all the Ku Kluxers, Orangemen and Knights of Columbus be allowed to attend the ceremony, as well as the subsequent festivities.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

It seems most

unfortunate that there has been practically no opportunity this entire session of discussing matters of this kind which are of the utmost importance to Canada. It is only upon the estimates that we have really an opportunity of reviewing the policies of the government. I had placed on the order paper a resolution upon the discussion of which I do not intend to enter, but which I should like to pass on as a suggestion to the government. This resolution was not reached. It read:

That in the opinion of this house the Department of Immigration and Colonization should be abolished, and that the administration of the Immigration Act should be placed under the Department of Labour and the work of colonization left to the provincial governments.

I suggest that the department should be abolished. Apparently the government has partly anticipated this resolution in that no successor to the former minister has been appointed, and we are told there is to be a less vigorous policy. However, I should think that now that the natural resources have passed into the hands of the three western provinces, where in the past, immigration has been considered most necessary, it would be a very good time for the transference of the whole of the colonization end of the department to those provinces, The provincial authorities there, working in cooperation with the municipalities, it would seem to me are the best agencies for carrying on work of this character. I do not believe that colonization work should be carried on from the city of Ottawa now that the natural resources are in the hands of those provinces. The Soldier 2419-185

Settlement Board, which has been doing good work along this line, will I fancy have to be completely reorganized. This then is the time for that whole section of the department to be transferred to the prairie provinces.

Further with regard to immigration, I believe it would be a very great advantage indeed if we could closely correlate the Department of Immigration and the Department of Labour. In the United States, as hon. members are aware, immigration comes under the department of labour. That seems to be the natural place for it, because in the settlement of a country the number of new people introduced ought to a very considerable extent to depend upon the state of the labour market-the demands for workers. If that principle were rigidly adhered to we would not have a recurrence of the troubles with which we have been afflicted in the past. An increasingly large number of citizens are beginning to question the theory that "the more people the more prosperity." Immigration may indeed mean prosperity for the railroads, because not only do they participate in the general welfare by increased traffic, but they are very large employers of labour, and there is no doubt that they have been the principal beneficiaries of vigorous immigration policies of the past. I am glad to know that the immigration agreement with the railway companies has been terminated, and I hope it will never again be renewed in any way, shape or form. The Dominion government ought to be the only authority to decide who shall come to this country. They ought to stand at the gate. I hope that no private organization of any kind will be permitted to decide who are to become the future citizens of this country.

I have a number of other matters that I should like to bring before the house, but as we are all anxious to get away I must deal with them on another occasion. I have scores and scores of letters before me which'I should like to have read showing the extreme difficulties under which a large number of our immigrants are labouring, and the equally grave difficulties that are being experienced by people who to-day are out of work in part at least, because of the introduction of so many immigrants. There is not the slightest doubt that a great deal of our unemployment is due to the fact that many of our own people have been supplanted in their jobs by newly-arrived immigrants. Only the other day the minister himself in dealing with unemployment in Winnipeg said that before long some of the new arrivals in Winnipeg would be despatched up the Hudson Bay line to Le Pas. Already at Le Pas, returned men and

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other Canadians were out of work. That is simply an illustration of what has been going on all along. I would not be doing my duty by the class of people who send me to this house if I did not protest against any more immigrants being induced to come here while any of our own people are unemployed.

Just one other aspect of the case. I read the other day the annual report issued by the public school board of my own city of Winnipeg. Of the 6,938 pupils between the ages of 14 and 18 who left school, 4,449 are employed. There are still, however, 760 boys and 1,587 girls over 14 years of age who have left school and have not found employment. Now, that is a serious state of affairs for any one city. And what is true of Winnipeg is equally true of a large number of towns and cities in the west. Our own girls and boys do not know which way to turn for work. Any of us who have children in our families know how difficult it is to find work for them. I have scores of my own constituents come to me imploring help in this direction. They say: "Tell us how we can place our girls and boys; what is there for them to do?" And yet these girls and boys walking the streets of Winnipeg and other cities not knowing what to do meet at the trains thousands of people who are brought in here, and who in too many cases are given the preference by employers of labour.

Had I time I should like to have presented to this house a series of statistics prepared for me by a professor of economics that go to show that after all we have needed immigrants only in the pioneer stage when there were not large numbers of young people growing up in our own homes, but that to-day we have reached the stage where young families are rapidly coming to the working age, and in the years to come we will have increasing numbers of these young people, especially in the west, thrown on the labour market. So we will not have the same need of immigrants, and cannot absorb them as we have been doing in the past.

I would impress upon the government the urgent necessity of refusing to permit more immigrants to come into this country until our unemployed people are reabsorbed into industry. I would also suggest that before very long this department be transferred in the way I have indicated.

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UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. SPENCER:

What is the reason for

the big increase of 875,000 m the outside service ?

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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):

In this case it is not immigration work but preventive work. We have eleven new employees in the eastern district located at the entrances

from the United States. At the new bridge in Windsor, where there is very heavy traffic requiring a large staff, we have twenty-two people employed. As new ports are opened for entry to and exit from Canada they have to be manned by immigration officials whose duty it is to examine the people passing to and fro. I think that accounts very largely for the increased staff which is required.

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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

Do I understand the government contemplates making a change in its immigration policy? Will the minister state briefly what the plan is, and also when the present agreement with the railways expires?

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Mr. SI EWART@Edmonton

Some years ago, acting in the capacity of minister, I thought we should have more care exercised to ascertain where we could place people. I agree entirely with the remarks of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. In the year 1923 I visited the various provinces of Canada to discuss with them the advisability of the provinces taking the responsibility for colonization. At that time we were administering the western resources, the Peace River block and the belt in British Columbia. I was told that the matter of immigration was a responsibility of the federal government and that therefore the provinces could not agree to assume any responsibility in that connection. Upon that occasion I was not successful in interesting the provinces, but we have now reached the stage in our history when the federal government will have no control of crown lands. The provinces are taking them over, and for that reason I have again entered into correspondence with the provincial legislatures with a view to having them take over the colonization of their own provinces. The provinces are almost unanimous that they should accept this responsibility. I have sent the deputy minister to visit all the provincial governments for the purpose of discussing this matter with them. We had decided to hold a conference when he returns in June, but with the election before us we find that such a course would be impossible. There is no doubt the election would interfere and it would foe utterly impossible to hold a conference during an election contest, particularly when two of the provinces are engaged in provincial contests. With those facts in mind we have decided to call a conference in the month of August to settle the details. Briefly, my hope is that the provinces themselves will stipulate what numbers of people they can absorb; I hope they will give us the details of the numbers they may require and from what countries they want them. We will endeavour to super-

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vise their selection, bring them to the provinces and deliver them or turn them over to the provinces upon arrival. One of the serious difficulties which exists in Canada is that the moment a person enters a province he is outside federal jurisdiction except when we act more or less in the capacity of a policeman and deport him. I have always thought the provinces should state what numbers of immigrants they require and the type of people they want in their midst. My hope is that the provinces will agree to that, and at such time we will begin a program of recruiting such people as the provinces desire. We will bring them here and deliver them to the appropriate provincial officers. If the necessity for deportation should arise we would have to shoulder that responsibility.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

How will the immigration records of the provinces be kept?

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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):

A very careful record of the entries should be kept; each person's movements should be checked as he goes from one province to another. The provincial governments should have an understanding with the municipalities which would take care of the indigents, so that domicile could be declared and a particular locality made responsible. That action is taken at the present time between municipality and municipality, and between province and province. The work of the department would be largely that of recruiting such people as are required. More particularly however its work would be along the line of what we were discussing, namely, manning the ports of entry into Canada. At the present time I am not in a position to go into details as to how this would work out, because a great deal will depend upon the conference and the arrangements which are arrived at with the provinces. Broadly however the matter of whom they require will be left to the judgment of the provinces; they will be able to state the number and the nationalities they want within their control.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Will central Europeans be admitted under permit?

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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 railway agreement as far as farm labour is concerned expires to-morrow, and it is not our intention to renew it. We are following the recommendation of the committee in allowing the agreement to expire. During the year the assisted passages will also expire; this was a term which applied to domestics. The only system of assisted immigration which we intend to continue is in connection with the

young boys and girls, and in that we are working in conjunction with the British government. The provinces will be in a position to decide how many they require. As far as I am concerned that is the only recommendation I will make to the conference. I wish my hon. friends to realize my desire is that the provinces will make their choice as to the immigrants they want.

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UFA

William Thomas Lucas

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCAS:

What is the position in regard to the three thousand family scheme?

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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):

There are a few of them working as labourers, but there are no more coming into the country under that scheme.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Can the minister tell us whether Canadian boys will be given preference over the old country boys in the matter of finding work?

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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):

In answer to that I can only say that we will have to be guided by the desire of the provincial governments. I think that is where the responsibility should rest, and I would advocate that we should not bring in anybody except when requested to do so by a provincial government. However that is a matter which will have to be settled at a later time.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Has anything further been heard about the $300,000,000 colonization plan of the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. McRae)?

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Item agreed to. Immigration contingencies and general expenses including grants to immigration societies, women's hostels, provinces, and loans for stock, equipment, etc., for Canadian boys, as may be authorized by the governor general in council, $1,160,000.


UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

Before the vote is carried I would like to ask the minister if he can give the names of organizations to which grants have been given during the past year, and the amounts.

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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):

Salvation

Army, $5,000; British Settlement Society of Toronto, $1,000; United Church of England, $1,000; Council of Social Service of the Church of England, Toronto, $1,000; British Welcome and Welfare League, Toronto, $1,000.

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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

Could the minister give us some information as to whether Quebec received a grant last year for repatriation?

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May 30, 1930