June 15, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

But this gentleman apparently occupies a portion of an upper floor. The accusation is that immigrants applying to the Canadian office are referred to him. Now, the Canadian officers have direct instructions from the department here that the class of immigrants they are to encourage to come to this country are agricultural labourers, people wishing to go on the land, and domestic servants ; and when other people come for information, they are not in any way encouraged to emigrate to this country. Those people sometimes insist on getting information, and on certain occasions apparently some of them have askrd where they could get the information, Mr. FOSTER.
and I think probably some time ago, not recently, officers in the Canadian office did say to them, ' You can get information on that point at Mr. Leopold's office.' More than this does not seem to have been in any way established as to anything suggesting that people should go to Mr. Leopold's office. There is, however, one letter on the file, in which a certain person applied to Mr. Preston personally, saying that he had had communications with Mr. Leopold's office, and he wished to know what its standing was ; and Mr. Preston's reply acknowledged his letter, and stated that he believed that Mr. Leopold's office was an office of good standing, and was able to carry out anylhing that it undertook to do. So far as I have examined the files, I see that there is no other proof of connection of any kind whatever between Mr. Preston or any other officer of the Canadian immigration office and this Mr. Leopold. In consequence of sim-iar representations being made last year, Mr. Smart, then deputy minister who'was in England, published in the British press a warning to the people, and that warning was also published in the 'Canadian Labour Gazette.' It was as follows :
The government of the Dominion of Canada have been informed that certain persons conducting labour agencies in London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, have been promoting the emigration to Canada of mechanics and other skilled workmen ; have been giving false information respecting labour conditions in Canada, and have represented themselves as agents of, or as having the sanction and endorsement of the Dominion government ; notice is hereby given that the Dominion of Canada has no such agents in the United Kingdom, has not authorized, sanctioned or in any way given its approval to any agency in the United Kingdom for promoting the emigration to Canada of mechanic or other skilled labour.
(Sgd.) JAMES A. SMART,
Deputy Minister of the Interior of Canada.
This was a positive announcement that the Dominion government had no connection with these different agencies. It came to Mr. Preston's knowledge that he was accused of being in league or in collusion with this Mr. Leopold, and Mr. Smart discussed the question with Mr. Preston and he reported to the minister that the Canadian government had no means by which they could interfere with Mr. Leopold's occupation of the office as he held it under lease and was paying his rent. Mr. Smart seems to have had an interview with Mr. Leopold and to have investigated his business to some extent, and Mr. Smart reported apparently that nothing could be found which would go to throw discredit on the business. At the same time it was evident from circulars which had been issued by Mr. Leopold and probably by other agencies of a similar character, that representations with regard to the labour conditions in Canada were made to the English people, which the facts would hardly justify.

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