July 10, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. LENNOX (South Simcoe).

This matter is one of more than ordinary importance because it involves very largely the question as to what kind of immigration we shall have in the future. It was announced that this settlement of Barr colonists was the most satisfactory scheme of immigration which we had up to that time, and that they were the best class of colonists who had ever come into Canada. I do not think that time has led us to change our opinion in that regard, but just in proportion as they were a superior class of immigrants, the attention of the public, both here and at home, was directed to this scheme. And it is all important that, whatever we may do, we shall make it clear to the people of Great Britain that the representations made to immigrants in Canada will be substantially carried out, that whatever prospects are held forth to people coming to settle in our great west will, in the main, be realized. Now, this matter, of course, might have taken the position of being quite unconnected with the government. But, as Mr. Haultain points out, it does appear that the government was to some extent connected with it. And it further appears, by the statement of the Minister of the Interior, that that was the fact. Mr. Haultain says that the Dominion government, by allowing Mr. Barr to reserve a certain number of townships, to that extent recognized the scheme ; and so it was the duty of the government to have all the charges cleared up by a thorough investigation. I understood the Minister of the Interior to say- though I am sorry to say, I cannot at all times hear at this distance what is said- that probably he would determine upon an investigation. I understood him to say also that there were difficulties in the way of investigation. It will appear perfectly clear, I think, from this statement of the'minister, that, although the department did not get complete control of that colonization scheme, it was so far connected with it as that it must be held to a large extent responsible for the success of the scheme. And, whether they are held in the strict sense responsible, whether it would be fair for the people or the members of this House to hold that government strictly to account in this matter, I think the hon. minister in control of the department will recognize, as a matter of public interest, as a matter affecting the settlement of the west, that in the future it is essential that the government and the department should take such active measures as will make it clear that whenever immigrants come from any land, particularly when a superior class of immigrants come from Great Britain, if there is an error at all, it shall be an error on the side of pay-

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