June 5, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

It is a transaction that was entered into a considerable number of years ago, when conditions were not at all as they are to-day. I agree with my hon. friend that it is a laudable purpose to try to secure the settlement of even distant parts of the country, and I suppose he will agree with me when I say that it may well be necessary, and, being necessary, it may very well be proper, that special arrangements should be entered into in order to secure the settlement of these distant tracts. On that principle, many years ago, Special arrangements were entered into to secure settlement under the late government and under this government-under this government very few and under the late government very many. This is one of the very few instances under this government. My own impression is that, in the present circumstances of the country and under present conditions, it is not the best policy, in promoting the general settlement of the country, to enter into a special agreement with a special organization for any special class of people to be settled in any special place. I find no fault with the policy that prevailed years ago under different conditions. As conditions change, it is right and proper that our policy should change. My idea is that, under present conditions, our best policy is the principle of the land for the first comer and first come first served. On that principle, I should be inclined to take a somewhat unfavourable view of the claims of this company even on the lines suggested by my hon. friend in as much as it means a special effort on behalf of special people if I understood him correctly.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   '9995 COMMONS
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