April 22, 1932

LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

As to the families placed,

I see the figures are: 2,894 by the Canadian National; 2,471 by the Canadian Pacific and 987 by the department-a total of 6,352. The minister said the average was five to a family. Is that average arrived at from detailed information? If so, why not give the committee the number in each family placed on farms? That is quite a large average.

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Not in some sections.

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LIB
CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I probably could, but that average was arrived at by taking a crosssection, as it were, and estimating the number in each family. We started this movement back in November, 1930, probably some of those families have increased since then, and we may have a great deal of difficulty gathering the information.

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LIB

Peter John Veniot

Liberal

Mr. VENIOT:

If the minister could get

that information, even before the closing of the house, I would be quite satisfied.

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

Probably I can get the

information for the most part.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Last night I directed a question to the minister and I made a mistake, but it seems to me the answer he has just given the member for Gloucester does not quite bear out his answer to me. He told the member for Gloucester that 14,000 single men were placed on farms. Does that total include the men who last year were placed on farms in Saskatchewan under the Unemployment and Farm Relief Act?

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

No, it does not.

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LIB

John Power Howden

Liberal

Mr. HOWDEN:

While we are talking

about the back to the land movement, I would point out that there are on relief in the city of Winnipeg just mow considerably over two thousand families and some seventeen thousand single men. At the present time the province of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg are joining hands to place a lot of these men on the land. Personally I do not see any means by which Canada will ever overcome her unemployment problem until a large proportion of these men are got back on. the land, where they can at least feed themselves. Contrary to the opinion expressed by my hon. friend from North Timis-kaming (Mr. Barrette) we have a good deal of land in Manitoba that is suitable for settlement and I have no doubt that a lot of these men could be settled on the land in Manitoba, where they would at all events find a living. We have not heard so much lately about dis-

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tress among the farmers of Manitoba as compared with the farmers of the other western provinces. I believe that the farmers of our province are getting at least their bread and butter and have a home over their heads. It stands to reason that at all events cabbages and potatoes can be produced on the land while they cannot be produced on a paved street in a city. This is a proposition which I think should appeal to the minister and to the government, and perhaps the government may see its way clear to giving some assistance to the province of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg in getting these men back on the land. We have the men and we have the land. Many of these men who are now unemployed are bona fide farmers and they are only anxious to get a little start on the land. The amount I have heard spoken of is six or seven hundred dollars and a piece of land, not an extensive piece. I think in Manitoba at all events we can best overcome unemployment by getting these men back to the land where they can find a living for themselves on the soil.

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CON

James J. Donnelly

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DONNELLY:

In connection with this back to the land movement, I would point out to the minister that we have in southern Saskatchewan a large dried-out area in which a great many of the farmers have not had crops for two or three years in succession. Some of them are now destitute and are moving to the northern part of Saskatchewan and trying to hew out homes for themselves there. I have had several communications from them asking if this government would be willing to assist them in any way in moving from the southern part of the province to the wooded area in the north. Is the department in any way assisting these people to move from the southern part of Saskatchewan to the north? Has the minister considered the matter at all, and is he willing to assist these people?

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The province of Saskatchewan is I believe taking care pretty well of the situation to which the hon. member refers. We must always remember that such subjects as have been referred to by various hon. gentlemen with respect to colonization are in the main peculiarly matters for the provinces to deal with, and I think each province of Canada in one way or another has set up a board or commission which is more or less taking care of that situation. We certainly have had no communications from the provinces generally with respect to the dominion entering into a state-aided scheme of colonization. The province of Saskatchewan has itself inaugurated a scheme which I believe is work-

[Mr. Howden.l

ing very well. The province of Ontario loans money to settlers, and the province of Quebec bonuses land clearing. I do not know what efforts have been made in the maritime provinces but I am sure that they are taking some steps to colonize there because I have had occasion to talk the matter over with their representatives.

The whole question of state-aided colonization is a very, very intricate one, and our adventures into that field have not been crowned with the success that was hoped for. It is, I am afraid, only too true that- if you start a person out on a farm loaded with any debt at all, in a large number of cases that will spell his ultimate disaster. That therefore confines the effort to pure gratuities, and just how far the Dominion government is justified in going along that line, and taking over a responsibility which is plainly a provincial one, is a matter for very serious consideration. I am glad to have had the views of hon. members on this question, and while I have given the matter a great deal of consideration, I wish to assure the committee that I will consider it again and see if we can work out in conjunction with the provinces some scheme that may help out in this situation. I may say that all the forces of the land settlement branch have been put at the disposal of those interested in colonization. That branch is very efficiently run, and I know from the many hundreds of communications I have received that it is rendering a real service. I, personally, and I think in this I speak for nearly every member of the house, do not want to go into any state-aided colonization scheme unless it becomes abundantly apparent that that is the only solution. We have met with a measure of success, as I pointed out last night, in inducing people who have some money to take up farms, but we have almost exhausted that class of people who have had an agricultural background and who have sufficient money to return to the land. The future with respect to further efforts along the line of colonization will have to be worked out as we come to it.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

The minister has the advantage-I do not know whether it is really an advantage or otherwise just now,-of filling the dual capacity of Minister of Labour and Acting Minister of Immigration. He has been kind enough to express the wish to hear the views of hon. members with respect to colonization schemes that may be in progress in different parts of Canada. I would like to call attention to the province of Quebec, particularly the eastern part including the counties of Gaspe and Bonaven-

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ture. In Bonaventure county the lumber industry has practically disappeared. Our limits have been sold out to the International pulp mills. The mills have been closed down, and last year there were no shanties at all in Gaspe and Bonaventure counties, and only one in Matane county. Thousands of young men have been thrown out of work, and consequently the local farmer has no market for his produce. There is a state of affairs existing in that county which I have not seen for the last thirty years that I have had the honour to represent it here in this house. The present government, under the mandate given it by the people, is seeking to face a condition of affairs which has never before existed in the history of Canada. Many different crises have been discussed in this house from away back to 1878, but within my experience the present one is ten times worse than any we have had before. The only solution that we have in the province of Quebec is to try to induce the thousands of farmers who have flocked into the cities, particularly to Montreal and Quebec, to return to the land. Many of these people are now homeless or will be turned nut on the first of May because they are unable to pay their rent. Applications have already been made for the use of the drill hall in Montreal to house hundreds of these families. I understand that twelve hundred families are to be put out on the street on the first of May in the city of Quebec. A large number of these people are farmers or the sons of farmers who flocked into the city at the time of the war where in munitions work they earned as much as ten or fifteen or sixteen dollars a day. Attracted by those high wages they gave up farming. There is no solution possible in the province of Quebec without a return to the farm, no matter to what extent manufacturing and industrial occupations may be developed. We have in Canada ten millions of people in a country that might be able to support one hundred millions of people, but we cannot support our present population without a great many of them returning to the land. No matter what program the government has in mind, no matter what is agreed to at the forthcoming Imperial conference along the line of developing industry and manufacturing, the problem of unemployment in Canada will not be settled until a large proportion of our people return to the land. These people must 'be sent back to the farms, back to the land. I was glad to hear the minister say that the legislature of the province of Quebec has undertaken some back to the land scheme. In my own constituency His Lordship Bishop Ross, now the bishop 41761-143

of Gaspe, during the last five or six years has headed a movement with a view to opening up new colonization centres in the counties of Gaspe and Bonaventure, and has attracted a large number of young married people who have gone into these settlements to make homes for themselves, repeating the history of the formation of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec which took place a century and a half or two centuries ago.

So far as I can see there is but one solution for the people to whom I have referred, namely to induce them to go back to the land where at least they may have something to eat. True, at the present time there is no market, but the time will come when there will be. Our lack of market is at the root of our present economic difficulties. Due to a kind Providence we have bountiful products of all kinds in all parts of the country with the exception of one or two isolated parts. I hope the Imperial economic conference will be productive of markets; if it is our troubles will be solved, and also the railways will profit. I hope the minister will not abandon his efforts to help the province of Quebec in its scheme of colonization. I know it is his ambition and that of his colleagues to put an end to the present state of affairs, and this can be effected only by going back to the land.

En passant, may I say the Dominion government granted a sum of money to my constituency to carry on local improvement works. The eastern part of the, province of Quebec has climatic conditions different from those of Ottawa. In that part of the country, so far as weather conditions are concerned, we are three or four weeks behind this city. Therefore a large number of works authorized last fall have not yet been commenced; others have been commenced but not continued. I have had the honour to send the minister a resolution from county councils in my constituency asking for an extension of time. This work cannot possibly be completed by May 1, and although small when compared with other problems the government have to face, it is important that some way should be found to give an extension of time for the completion of the work. The government may see fit to extend the time to June 1 or July 1.

Coming as he does from a new part of Canada, I should like to impress upon the minister the importance of getting people back to the land. We know that northern Ontario has been changed from a wilderness to its present state of development and that it is one of the most promising parts of Canada. The same may be said of the

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eastern section of the mother province of Quebec; the conditions down there are about the same as those which obtained in northern Ontario. I hope the aid given to that section of eastern Canada will not be merely transitory but of a lasting character, something which will endure.

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LIB

Albert Edward Munn

Liberal

Mr. MUNN:

Mr. Chairman, I should like

to say a few words in connection with this back to the land movement. In my view if the provincial and federal governments cooperate much good could be accomplished.

I should like to say only a few words concerning the province of British Columbia. In that province there are thousands of acres of logged-off land, fertile soil, where it is not necessary to have irrigation. Climatic conditions are perhaps the best obtaining anywhere in Canada or, indeed, anywhere in the world. The trouble with logged-off lands is that it costs too much for any individual to clear them, the cost being about S300 or $400 per acre. Once they are cleared however they are really worth while. My opinion is that the federal government in cooperation with the provincial government should formulate some land clearing scheme whereby they may put on the market ready-made farms. Those farms would not necessarily be large, because four or five acres of land will support the ordinary small family which might come from the city of Vancouver, Victoria or one of the other large centres. Although the individual cannot finance the clearing, the government is in a position to borrow funds, and carry on the work.

At this time when there is so much unemployment, rather than build roads here, there, and everywhere, I suggest that those lands be cleared, small houses ibuilt, and an opportunity afforded to men from the city to gain a living. Probably they would not be regular farmers, but chaps who had not made a success of city life. Get them back to the land; they are misfits in the cities. At least they could grow their vegetables and fruit, could keep cows and chickens or whatever would be necessary to maintain a family. The minister said these men would have to have money; I do not think that is so. Those farms could be sold, to purchasers bonded for a period of twenty years. Payments could be made small, thereby enabling the average man to make a success of his venture.

I am absolutely opposed to any assistance being given to immigration. Rather than assist a policy of immigration I should like to see a system such as I have suggested. Help the chaps who are now here. Get taxes

; Mr. Marcil.]

down, and make Canada a country in which people will want to live. When people in other countries see Canada is worth while they will come, without assistance. In the meantime help the people at home.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I wish to bring to the attention of the minister a situation which has arisen in my own constituency and to which I have already directed the attention of the deputy minister who has been kind enough to give me all the information at his disposal.

I refer to the action of the United States immigration authorities in refusing Nova Scotia fishermen and yachtsmen admittance to the United States to undertake seasonal employment in that country. The minister may not know that these men, because of the serious condition in the fishing industry in Nova Scotia, go to the New England ports and sail from them either on trawlei'S or schooners to the fishing banks. Some of them ship as members of the crew or as skippers on yachts from the city of New York and elsewhere. All this is seasonal employment, and many of them have gone back and forth in this way for years. This year, for the first time, they have been refused admission to the United States, with the result that many are deprived of their means of livelihood. I understand fully that this is a matter within the control of the United States immigration authorities. The deputy minister was good enough, however, to ask me to submit to him any names I may have, and I am getting them for him.

I wished to bring the matter to the attention of the minister however, and it is for that reason I am now taking the time of the committee with the idea of finding out from him if there is any possibility of making arrangements in cases such as I have described. I have in mind an arrangement which I have seen described in the newspapers whereby Canadians and citizens of the United States cross the border between the cites of Windsor and Detroit to attend their daily vocations, each in the country of the other. That arrangement must be the result of some convention. I was wondering if there was any possibility, or if the minister knew of any method whereby effective representations could be made so that these citizens of Canada might work at their usual avocations in the United States during seasonal periods.

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I am very glad the hon. member has brought up the question. It is under consideration by the department, attention having been directed to it by other hon. members us well. I will do my utmost

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to see that the same sort of arrangement is made with respect to the people to whom the hon. member refers as has been made at Detroit and Windsor.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I should like to say just a word with regard to some of the suggestions which have been made to the minister this afternoon in regard to land colonization. I have listened with great interest and some amusement to some of the proposals which have been made. It is possible that if the speakers had taken time to go into details they might have answered the objections I am going to take, so it would be unfair on my part to denounce their proposals as absurd, although frankly I am tempted to do so.

For the first time in this house I am in the happy position, with regard to this question, of agreeing with the minister. I congratulate him on having taken the ground that to attempt to place men on the farms to-day under a burden of debt would render the possibility of their success almost neglig-able. I agree heartily with him. I wonder how many of the members who have been speaking of paving stones and cabbages realize that you can walk out on a farm to-day but you cannot pluck cabbages, nor can you pick up eggs under every piece of shrubbery. Indeed you cannot domesticate the wild fowl that are still to be found in some parts of our provinces. You cannot catch a buffalo and milk it. These things all cost a good deal of money. To start farming under the scheme suggested by the hon. member from northern Ontario or the hon. member from Manitoba would imply at least a plough, a drill, harness, horses, seed, a wagon, at least a cow, a stable, a house and some fencing. I am leaving out of the picture at the moment the chickens which are almost a necessity. Surely chickens would be needed at the start, unless my hon. friend from Manitoba has the idea that the would-be farmers could go out and rob the nests of the wild ducks. They could do that for a time in the spring, breaking the law by doing so, but that source of supply would be rapidly exhausted.

I' do think members should take into more serious consideration the financial aspect of farming to-day. It is no longer possible, as it was in the days of my hon. friend from Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil), to go out on a farm and1 use the old hand-made implements, weave your own clothes and make nearly everything you require at home. Those days have passed with regard to modern scientific agriculture. So far as the unemployed are

41761-143i

concerned, I doubt if the average person who is out of work to-day is temperamentally fitted for farming, even if he is fitted by education. Some of these people may have drifted in from the farms, but they have lost contact and they do not like the life. If they had liked it they would have tried to stay with it, as many of us have done. The fact is that it is very difficult to take the average unemployed man and turn him into a farmer. Certainly it cannot be done inexpensively, and the proposal seems to be that the state should be saddled with the financial burden of turning unemployed men into farmers. Before they could even begin to pluck a' cabbage they would have several months of seeding and other work. Frankly I regard the proposals as ill made and ill thought out, and I think the minister will be on absolutely safe ground if he takes an exceedingly conservative attitude towards these suggestions.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I should like the minister to give me a (little information with, regard to general immigration. I should like to have the figures for the last twelve month period of which he has record, giving the total immigration into Canada, as well as the number of those coming from the continent of Europe and elsewhere and those coming from the British Isles.

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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The total immigration for the eleven months of the fiscal year ending February 28, 1931, was 85,810, and the total for the eleven months ending February 29, 1932, was 24,314. In the first mentioned period British immigration amounted to 26,951, and in the last mentioned period to 6,818. Immigration from the United States in the first mentioned period amounted to 22,877, and in the last mentioned period to 13,394,

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I wish to make a few remarks on that subject. I have not taken any of the time of the committee during this debate hitherto, and I would not have taken anv time this afternoon had I not become a little fed up with the reiterated statements that have come across the floor of the house, not only from back benchers but from cabinet ministers as well, to the effect that a great deal of the economic distress and unemployment in this country to-day is due to the immigration policies pursued by the late Liberal government. I think if there is any subject at all on which hon. gentlemen opposite who sat in this house during the last three parliaments should keep quiet, it is this subject of immigration. Talk about people in glass houses not throwing stones; hon. gentlemen opposite would need

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to have a house of brass to maintain, the attitude they have taken, knowing as they must know what has been the attitude of their party in the past.

I am not here to defend the Liberal party with regard to the number of immigrants they brought into the country. I thought they brought in too many, but I said so in 1923 and did not wait until 1932. I did not blow hot in 1923 and cold in 1932. It is well known to all of us who have been here since 1921 how bitter and unanimous were the reproaches of the Conservative opposition of that day against the Liberal government because more immigrants were not brought in. A vigorous policy of immigration was talked of on every platform and from almost every seat on this side of the house. There is only one section of this louse that has any reason to say "I told you so" or which can come out of this mess with dean hands, that is the section occupied by the groups in this corner. While I aim not directly a member of those groups, except as a member of the little group which sits at this desk, we are affiliated in as much as we are often united by the bonds of common interest and common ideals in political matters. I hear an hon. member say that we are united also by the bond of common sense, and there is also something in that statement.

As I say, they-and I also-repeatedly opposed the government of the day in the efforts they made to bring in so many people. Our stand was consistent then and is consistent to-day. I will leave the other groups to speak for themselves, but briefly and sketchily 'I want to clear my skirts of any suggestion that I was in any way a party to having a great number of immigrants brought in. I go back now to the year 1923, that is nine years ago,-and I could go back further if I wanted to. I find that I spoke then on March 15 on this subject, pointing out that in my opinion the two main sources of the demand for this excessive immigration were the transportation companies, who sought to make money by the transportation, and the large corporations of employers, who sought to bring in large numbers of labourers so that they might have a bank of idle men from which to draw as occasion required. I also made the point that I thought that was an expensive bank to have, that it was not a profitable thing, that we had to pay for that idle labour in many ways. I said:

We pay for it in the mental and physical deterioration of the workers, for one thing. We pay for it as well in the cost of the doles, amounting up to millions. In the old country those unemployment doles amount to many millions every month. They are forced to do it over there or there would be a revolution.

We will be forced to do it in Canada, and we pay in that way as well as in the other ways I have indicated.

That wras almost prophetic considering that it was said nine years ago. I also commented on the deteriorating effect of unemployment, citing my own experience in that regard. I pointed out that we brought in these men at the danger of increasing the discontent of the unemployed in Canada. Does not that sound true to-day? I said that for these reasons and many others, we should not be allowed to make ourselves the vehicle, not to say the tool, of piling up a large surplus of idle labour for the corporations. I also referred to the fact that the policy of the Minister of Immigration of the day seemed to be, as regards the prairies, to bring in a lot more farmers, in the belief that this would make the farmers in the prairies prosperous.

I pointed out that this was putting the cart before the horse, because the better way was to make farming prosperous, and farmers, hearing from their friends who had succeeded, would then come in. Later on, in 1928, on March 5, I brought up the subject again. I said I did not expect to get any sympathy or support from either of the two major parties because my ideas did not agree with those of either of them, and I noted the fact that we were dealing at the moment with the proposed assisted system of immigration. I said I thought it was the Ultima Thule of audacity to ask unemployed men in this country to pay taxes in order to bring in others to compete with them, and I wondered whether the manufacturers would be willing to do the same as to manufacturers. Working men in this country were being asked to pay taxes to bring in other workers to compete with them in the often congested labour market, and I asked whether that was the idea of protection we had heard so much about. I also pointed out the evils of this assisted system. Men were being brought out to farm on the prairies and were afterwards discovered in the slums of Toronto. Further, I referred to an investigation that had taken place in the United States which demonstrated that after all available free land had been exhausted the bringing-in of more immigrants did not increase our population but only replaced our children and our children's children By the sons of people now living in Bulgaria or Roumania or some other country in Europe.

I come now to May, 1929, when the immigration vote was again under discussion and the assisted system of immigration was being considered. The then member for Pontiac, Mr. Cahill, moved that the vote should be

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cut down to one dollar, and this was supported by the present member for Belle-chasse (Mr. Boulanger) and the present member for Quebec South (Mr. Power), both Liberals. It was supported very largely and strongly by members of the Progressive group now to my left. The hon. member for Acadia, (Mr. Gardiner) and the hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) were particularly outspoken, and I see that the former gentleman warned the minister that he had better be careful before introducing similar votes in the house or he would be liable to sustain defeat. On that occasion I said that I was in accord with the remarks of hon. gentlemen opposite-referring to the member for Acadia and the member for Battle River-and added that while we did not want to embarrass the minister by refusing to vote money which he had already committed himself to spend, I should like him to reply to the request made by the hon. member for Acadia, that he would pledge himself to consider seriously before bringing in at another session any more votes of that kind. I asked him to give an undertaking that he would consult the house and pay a good deal of attention to the sentiments that were then expressed. The debate on that occasion covered several pages of Hansard, but not a single protest was made by the party to my right. Their attitude was at all times the complaint that the government did not bring in enough people. It was the Progressives, the farmers, the Labour members and the Independents that protested.

Vt e come now to the present situation. Very shortly after the present government were returned to power, it was largely heralded in the newspapers-I think in August or very shortly after that-that they had passed an order in council prohibiting or very much restricting immigration. I was very much pleased to see this intimation, but the orders in council were not printed in the papers; all that was published was the general idea, and certainly the impression that the ordinary individual, even the ordinary member of parliament, would gather from those reports was that the restriction of immigration had been almost wholly complete. But that proved to be very far from being the case. As a matter of fact, the government only restricted to a degree those from the continent of Europe, and practically no restrictions at all were placed on those from the British Isles. On June 26, 1931, the Minister of Immigration said:

Immigration from Great Britain has not stopped and has not been restricted.

I ask the house to take note of that.

Any Britisher who wants to come to Canada . . . is as welcome as anyone else. I hope the

time wiU never come when there is any restriction against people coming to this country from Great Britain.

And even last night the hon. gentleman emphasized the same thing again. That is only twice, but he has said it on several occasions in between. He said:

So far as I am concerned, ... I want to say to the committee that there will be no shutting of the door to British immigration.

_ So that it is quite clear what his attitude is. With all due deference and speaking as a man born in the British Isles and with all the sympathy with the British people which that suggests, for my relations are there, and my people's graves are there, so that I sympathize with them in whatever troubles they are called upon to bear, I submit, never-bheless, that in view of present conditions, we are not entitled to let immigration in at the figures mentioned a few minutes ago, even from the British Isles. Two years ago,' possibly only eighteen months ago, what did New Zealand do? If there is a dominion *within the empire which is more exclusively British in its point of view and in its racial origin than any other, that place is New Zealand. The reasons I need not discuss; it is so. 1 ou will find very few Americans or people who have come from the continent of Europe settled in New Zealand. The people of New Zealand are almost exclusively English and Scotch, with an admixture of Irish. You can see that in the place names: Christchurch, Wellington, Nelson, Oxford and so forth; and in the province where the Scotch settled Scotch names predominate. Now what did these people do, with all their inherited association with the British Isles, with all their intense loyalty to their racial origin? What did they do in their legislature, without protest? Either legislation or an order in council was passed stating that because of the present conditions of unemployment they were sorry but they would not be able to permit any immigrants to come from the British Isles. A vote of regret was passed and forwarded to the British government, but they felt that their paramount duty was to those to whom they owed that duty, that is the people of New Zealand, and that immigration should be prohibited for the time being.

That is the attitude we should adopt. The minister has indicated that the immigration lor a period of eleven months amounted to 24,000, which would be about 26,000 or 27,000 for the year. Take 27,000 people and plant them down in Ottawa or any other city, say to them "What are you going to do?" or "What are we going to do with you," and what will happen? I admit that the order in

227S

Supply-Immigration

council contains restrictions to the effect that no man shall be admitted unless he has sufficient funds to maintain himself until he can obtain employment, but who in these days can say how much money will be sufficient for that purpose? There was a time when $5 would have kept a man until he could obtain employment; there was a time when $20 would have been sufficient, or at the most S100, but who to-day would be willing to pledge his word, or, more important, his pocketboolc to guarantee that a certain amount would be sufficient to keep a man until he obtained a job? These immigrants are carpenters, blacksmiths, mechanics and farmers, and who can say what would be a reasonable amount for them to have? Would $2,000 be sufficient? It might be three years before a man could obtain a position, and he and his family would have to exist in the meantime. Twenty-seven thousand times the requisite figure-these people do not bring that amount with them-would be required. Under present conditions it is absolutely impossible to say whether it will take six weeks, six months or two years before a man can find employment. In the meantime these people are a burden on the community or are taking work away from those who are here and who surely have the first claim. The Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) has said that we are passing through a desperate crisis, a crisis such as Canada and the world has never known before, and yet these people are permitted to enter. The government is spending millions in order to keep the unemployed from revolt. There are 30,000 idle men in Vancouver and it needs only one man with brains to act as a leader to bring about trouble. These are the conditions under which we inject 27,000 more emigrants.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

I do not think the hon. member would make an incorrect statement by design, and I interrupt at this time in order that there may be no misapprehension. The figures disclose that of the 27,000

averaging the figures for the twelve months

21,000 are wives and children coming out to relatives. At the present time when an application is made for the admission of a relative, the officials visit the man who wants to bring out his relatives and inquire as to his ability to care for them. I have insisted that before permission is granted it must be abundantly apparent that the man is able to receive his relatives and continue to take care of them.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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April 22, 1932