March 22, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. D. REID.

I do not quite understand what rule the minister follows. At many of these points where immigrants arrive, he has physicians to examine them, and I suppose they also see at the same time that the immigrants fulfil the law in other respects. At many other important points his officials are not medical men, and therefore are not in a position to judge whether the immigrants are proper persons to allow into this country. As long as they have the necessary funds, which I think is $25 each, the immigration officers allow them to come into this country. They may be persons who are not .altogether mentally right, and yet these officers are not qualified to judge, and therefore undesirables are allowed in. As an instance, take Sault Ste. Marie, where tlm minister stations medical men to examine immigrants coming in. But opposite my own town there is no medical officer. There are men there acting as immigration agents, and I am not saying anything against them, they are all good men. But how are they to decide whether a person is fit to come into this country? As long as they have the funds they are allowed to come in. There are other cases where I think this immigration law is violated, and the minister knows it; it is violated on account of the kind of officers he appoints. We all know that it is not very long ago when thousands of Japanese were allowed to come ^ in at Vancouver. After one immigrant' was allowed in -yvith $25, he handed that money over to another one who is also allowed in, and so they kept the thing going on, and the official allowed immigrants in who were not able to comply with the law. We had another case at Halifax or St. John, where one of the minister's officers was letting in immigrants that were diseased, and that were certainly not the proper kind of citizens to allow into this country. But he was allowing them to come in and getting a rake-off for doing so. In that case all the minister did was to dismiss this official-at least I think he did, but he did not prosecute him for violating the law; and the Tesult is that the next man he appoints is probably doing the same thing. But that is not the only case. There is a case before the public at Quebec to-day where an official appointed by the minister himself has been,

I understand, allowing these _ people to come in, though they have violated the law; he allowed a lot of them to come in that had not the necessary funds. The way they do it is a contractor will go down and hand the men the $25, and then they are allowed in and remain here as citizens. Yet the minister pays noi attention to that. People can get into this country, no matter whether they have $25, or whether they are filled with tuberculosis, or anything else, because of the class of men the minister has acting as inspectors. When I read of these things taking place at Vancouver, at St. John, and at Quebec, and the minister paying no attention to them, I think it is time the people should rise and rebel against the kind of officials he puts there to carry out the inspection law.

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