April 22, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)


Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)


We also are proud of their success. Mr. Hall, in his work entitled ' Immigration/ says: ' We must not forget that New England's first settlers were selected with the utmost care.' We may say it is only a fancy, but I will answer No, it is our history, our glorious past. And when those records are filled with heroic deeds they should be placed before the people of this country.
I recognize, Air. Speaker, the importance, the necessity for the government and parliament, to endeavour to develop a desirable class of immigration. There is no doubt but that the better suited classes to develop Canada's resources are the descendants of France and the descendants of Loyalists, or better, the Canadians. In order to follow up our great traditions, we must above all encourage farmers to come to Canada. Every province of this country has thousands upon thousands of acres of available agricultural lands which will eventually be the great purveyors of Europe as well as the east owing to their great producing power. We need settlers to develop our unoccupied lands in order to increase the production and the national wealth. We could get a great many desirable farmers in more than one country, and these will be able in the noble pursuits of agriculture to enhance the development of this country.
The provincial authorities of Quebec have adopted a very commendable policy on immigration. I will acquaint the House of it by reading a letter from Mr. RenS Dupont, which is addressed to the editors of newspapers in Canada, and which reads thus:
Quebec, January 8, 1908.
Mr. Editor,-In order to give an impetus to immigration in the province of Quebec, the Interior Department has just authorized the organization of ail information bureau, relating to farm land under cultivation, and available, so as to inform all intended purchasers of such farms.
* So far such information were lacking altogether, although we had often received demands for the sale of settled farms. This branch of the department will he available to every one intending to acquire a farm in any part of the country, or to whoever wishes to sell his farm for some purpose or other.
I include for your information a blank form which we send to all who intend disposing of their farm, and I would he very much pleased if you could give a word of encouragement to our countrymen about this new scheme in your valuable paper.
Thanking you beforehand for the interest vou display towards colonization, and for services which vou are always ready to render to that cause. I have the honour to beg you to believe in the most distinguished sentiments of
Tour faithful servant.
RENE DUPONT, Colonization agent.
A statement and classification of all available farms may have good results, especially

in those localities where emigration of our countrymen to the United States has caused untold injury to the farm industry. This policy may have a helpful effect in bringing back our citizens to Canada.
Farm hands and domestic servants are also a desirable class of immigration if only we take the trouble of selecting them. Allow me to quote the wmrds of my colleague in the legislature, they are the expression of my own opinion:
' Agriculture suffers from a shortage of help on the farms. It is very difficult to get farm labourers and domestics, notwithstanding the high wages which are offered. It is a state of things which is an impediment to the cultivation of our farms and tends to discourage the agriculturists. The time has really come for the government to organize a movement to bring into Canada farm labourers, which could be easily found in France and Belgium if serious and persistent efforts were made. It is a very serious question. It exists in a very acute state in certain localities.'
In the province of Ontario the Minister of the Interior has under control a great many agents whose duties are to find employment for farm labourers. I was reading in ' La Patrie,' of the 9th of March.
Ottawa, March 9, 1908.
Special to ' La Patrie.'-As ' La Patrie ' said a tew days ago. that the Hon. Mr. Oliver, at the request of the French-speaking members of the cabinet, has decided to appoint ill each county of the province of Quebec, one agent whose duty will be to find, free of charge, employment as farm labourers or domestics for the immigrants wishing to settle in the province. This decision will be oi very great advantage to the farmers and to the emigration agents, who will be in position to communicate with the provincial asrents and get exactly the class of immigrants which is necessary. Following that decision, the Minister of the Interior has just appointed twenty agents in the province of Quebec, and other denominations will soon follow.
Since that date, new agents have been appointed. There is a lack of the farm labourers in the province of Quebec. The president of the colonization and repatriation of Montreal stated in January, 1908 : [DOT] The decision which we have taken has had the good result of aiding the farmers in getting help and to secure servants for a good number of families. Our employment bureau have in this way found employment for a good many hundreds of farm labourers and servants and besides that, they have been the means by which individuals and industrials have been able to get the same advantage.'
In some localities our labourers will fear the competition of farm labourers coming from the outside. One of the most distinguished citizens of the county which I have the honour to represent was writing me last week: ' The lion. Mr. Oliver has decided to appoint in each comity of the province of Quebec an agent whose duty will be to recruit farm labourers and servants so as to help our farmers. Would the result of this movement, whose object is noble, he to increase the exodus of our fellow-countrymen towards the cities and industrial centers of the United States? Would it not be the means of introducing in our parishes socialists and anti-clericals ? Is there no danger of bringing in our country elements which will brake harmony between the clergy and the people?'
1 put this letter before this House believing that it contains opinions worthy of consideration. The government must be very careful in selecting and appointing the agents. They should be allowed to introduce in the midst of our moral populations only emigrants whose character is well known.
On the 15th of April, 1907, I was urging upon the government to make the strongest and most generous efforts to bring in this country desirable French and Belgium immigrants. The government has adopted a more active policy towards France. Three new immigration agents have been appointed. It seems as if measures have been taken for a larger distribution of literature and information. The Minister of the Interior has secured the active co-operation of many French immigration agencies. These agencies will get commission on the immigrants belonging to certain classes which they will send to Canada.
In the past the government has thought that it was its duty to pay bonuses in order to aid and encourage immigration. Bonuses were offered to booking agents to encourage them to send immigrants from Great Britain. At that time New Zealand, Australia and Argentine Republic were spending very large amounts in assisting immigration by way of bonuses. But the booking agents have, unfortunately, no interests in looking to the character and the morality of the immigrants. They have no other care naturally than to send the greatest number possible of immigrants to Canada so as to get more premiums. What do they care about the character? What do they care about the morality of our population ? I am almost sure of it the government will soon abandon this policy. There is a fear that during this financial and commercial stringency, the suspension of payments of bonuses on immigrants would bring a crisis, but I think the last commercial crisis has had the effect of consolidating our credit in the world.
During the fiscal year 1906-7, 34,647 immigrants came into the country from the United States. The premiums paid in the United States amounted to $4,743. and these American immigrants brought with them values amounting to some fortv millions of dollars. During the nine months of the fiscal year 1906-7, 235,32S immigrants came

into Canada, on 20,492 of which a bonus was paid. Excellent results might be obtained in the United States, in Great Britain and in continental Europe without resorting to the bonus system. Indeed, economic conditions in Canada are changing for the better. The country is growing marvellously and becoming known among civilized nations. In several of these, the name of Canada may be said to be famous, and will soon attract emigrants, as does now that of the United States.
In every country with which we entertain agricultural, commercial or industrial relations, we should' have emigration and commercial agents understanding our wants and our aims. Such agents might deliver lectures and give information to all classes. They should be educated men and well informed as to our laws, resources and economic conditions. They should be honest, progressive and capable of helping to develop social, commercial and industrial relations. A journalist remarked -with great truth, on the 7th April last : ' A commission composed of men conversant with our commercial situation and making a study of the markets of the world with a view of finding an outlet for our manufactured articles and information for our importers, would help the rapid and profitable development of our foreign trade, which has shown of late years such prodigious powers of expansion. It would create a demand for our goods abroad, and by spreading the knowledge of the natural wealth we possess, would bring to us, in a continual and abundant stream, new capital and very desirable immigration.'
Special delegates might also be sent abroad-emigrants who have been successful here. They would speak of their success on their native soil and become the very best of emigrant agents. We should also invite here, more frequently than we do. members of the foreign press and of the Boards of Trade of the United States and of Europe. These distinguished visitors would admire and speak of our natural wealth, thus promoting desirable emigration.
The people of Britain and of the United States are pretty well acquainted with our resources and economic conditions. Yesterday, the Canadian press foreshadowed a great immigration movement to Canada from the American republic. Most American immigrants are farmers enjoying a certain amount of wealth. Among them may be found a certain number of Canadians. Canadians from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Dakota are being attracted here by our agricultural development and progress.
French Canadians have crossed to the States seeking that intense industrial life which the country affords. The province of Quebec, thanks to technical education, to the development of its agricultural, forest and mining wealth, is bound to become a Mr. PAQUET.
great industrial centre. The development of our industries will be exceedingly favourable to the work of repatriation. In the midst of the human throng massed in great American cities, in that great crucible where races are mixed, expatriated French Canadians have preserved the distinctive character of our national genius. Their ideas, feeling and ideals are not very faraway from those which we ourselves entertain. Repatriated French Canadians are among our best immigrants.

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