February 10, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)


Mr. White, inspector of agencies in the United States, wrote on the 15th April, 1997: ' Part of our work is being done among French Canadians.
Besides the agents already mentioned we have opened an office at Biddeford. Our prospects are very good.'
In the work of repatriation it is necessary to show our progress.
Trade of Canada.
1868 $ 57,567,000
1907 617,964,000
1868 ' 73,455,000
1907 359,000,000
1868 57,567,000
1907 258,000,000
Agricultural Exports.
1868 12,871,000
1904 37,000,000
Exports of forest products.
1868 18,274,000
1904 33,000,000
Exports of Mineral.
1868 1,446,000
1901 40,369,000
Deposits in Chartered Banks.
1877 62,000,000
1907 589,000,000
Our trade and our progress attract the attention of civilized nations. A great economist, M. Pierre Leroy-Beaulieu declares that Canada is to-day the country offering the greatest inducements to immigrants, its development being the most rapid, especially as regards agriculture.
We may well expect the return of a certain number of our own people when we consider that Americans, recognizing the value of the lands and the industrial future of Canada are selling their establishments in the United States for the purpose of casting their fortunes on our side of the border.
In 1906. 57,000 immigrants came to us from the United States. This is a recognition of the vast resources of Canada. Colonization and repatriation societies have laboured fruitfully at the task of repatriation. They have organized colonization and repatria tion congresses in which have been dis-. cussed the best means of securing our national development. Our fathers rallied round these associations as around a banner protecting our national future.
Some of them, helped by Government subsidies, now maintain agencies in New England for the purpose of promoting the return of our countrymen.
With very small financial means, colonization and repatriation societies, thanks to the zeal of their directors, have done much good work. They have favoured colonization and secured the return of a considerable

number of Canadians. They retain the services of able and practical lecturers in their effective propaganda throughout New England.
The eovernmnt formerly granted an annual sum of $4,000 to the Lake St. John Colonization Society. This has been discontinued and M. Rene Dupont appointed immigration agent. I would like to know what induced the minister to stop that grant.
Allow me to read an extract from the report of the Mutual Colonization and Repatriation Society for the year 1907. 'Fifteen thousand booklets and maps have been recently distributed among the Canadians of New England and the agricultural clubs of the pi evince of Quebec, over and above our monthly distributions, by means of bur agents in the United States, of a number of publications in the French and English languages, of pamphlets on western farm lands and those of Ontario and Quebec.
We have inserted advertisements in the French newspapers of New England calling upon our fellow-countrymen residing there to return to Canada where they will obtain farms and be well provided for under the care of the Montreal Colonization Sosiety. The statistics embodied in this report establish the truth of the statements therein contained.
The funds at the disposal of colonization and repatriation societies do not allow them to carry on their work with sufficient energy. Their grants should be increased so that the New England repatriation agen cies might be multiplied.
We have several emigration agents in the eastern states ; Mr. Laurier and Mr. Tessier are at work in Michigan. Would it not be in the interests of Canada to have a few more French Canadian agents in Minnesota, Illinois and Montana, in the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis where there are important French Canadian groups? Should we not at least have agents speaking both official languages in all our immigration offices of Western America?
Franco-American national societies are playing an effective part in New England The directors and members of these dif ferent associations are in close contact with every class of French speaking Americans. Our immigration agents, through the officers and members of these national socie ties, might reach those families who are not satisfied with economic conditions in the United States and perhaps secure their Teturn.
We call upon the federal government to vote larger sums for the purpose of adver tising our wealth and our resources in New England. We ask them to distribute our pamphlets and publications carefully and actively in the Franco-American cities: Fall River, Nashua, Lewiston, Salem, Woon socket and Lowell.
During the fiscal year 1906-7 we expended $58,000 in advertising Canada in the United States. We have no intention of blaming this expenditure. But, according to the Auditor General's Report, printing in the French language took up a very small portion of this somewhat large amount. Let us demonstrate to Franco-Americans by means of the press, by the voice of public lectures, by colonization literature, the marvellous progress of Canada. They will then gladly return to become active tillers of the beloved soil of their native land.
The authorities have adopted, with respect to agriculture in the province of Quebec, a policy favourable to the work of repatriation. This is explained in a letter written by Mr. Rene Dupont to the directors of the Canadian Press Association, which I will read:
Sir,-With a view of promoting settlement in the province of Quebec, the Department of the Interior has authorized the establishment of an information branch respecting vacant farm lands, so that persons desiring to make a purchase may obtain all requisite data. In the past no agency of this kind existed and we were unable to give satisfactory replies to the numerous requests we received. This agency will be available for all persons desirous of purchasing farms in any part of the country and also for those who have farms for sale. I inclose for your information a blank form which we send to all those having farms for sale and I would be much gratified if you would devote some of your valuable space to the work of explaining this to our compatriots.

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