May 30, 1930 (16th Parliament, 4th Session)


Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta


It appeared in the
News of the World, London, England, and was reprinted subsequently in many Canadian papers. One editor in Edmonton had the decency to make this comment upon it:

Police officials in Edmonton, both provincial police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police don't even consider these ridiculous misstatements worthy of answer.
Mayor Holden of Vegreville, over the long distance telephone Thursday morning, expressed a keen desire to get his hands on the fiction writer responsible for the article. "Every man in Alberta knows that the town of Vegreville is as quiet and law-abiding as there is anywhere in Canada," he declared heatedly. "Our district is largely settled by Galicians and Ukrainians, but if you know of any better citizens of Canada I'd like to meet 'em."
Commissioner Bryan of the Alberta provincial police is surprised to find how many "gin palaces and gambling hells" exist in a town so well policed as Vegreville, and in which there is so little crime. This kind of nonsense he described the British paper's articles as can't be printed in a polite newspaper like the Journal.
Superintendent James Ritchie of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police left the city to-day on an inspection trip to northern posts, but mounted police officials laughed merrily at the heart-breaking story of the old members of the "Alberta Dragoons" who have banded together, much to the relief of the police, to round up "Galician horse thieves."
The story to any person who knows Vegreville and other towns is altogether too ridiculous for anything but derisive laughter. It is quoted merely as tbe worst example yet of the length to which writers, ignorant of conditions, will go in making "copy" of the "penny-a-line" type, and of the manner in which certain newspapers will grasp at such articles without first assuring themselves of the veracity of the statements made.
I do not know who the irresponsible person was that put this article in the News of the World, but whoever did certainly did not do any good to the inhabitants of Canada; but I do know that when people occupying responsible positions in Canada make such statements as the one made before the immigration commissioner by Bishop Lloyd in Prince Albert recently, I think it is about time that such people should be taken to task.
I have proven by figures that the newcomer in Canada is not as criminal as some people would like us to believe. I had intended to deal with this matter at greater length, but I do not wish to delay the committee. There are several things that I had intended to say in connection with assimilation. It . is said that inter-marriage is possibly the greatest test of assimilation, and in support of this contention, having in view the proposition that we should start from the top down rather than the bottom up I think it would be a mighty fine thing at the present time, when we are on the eve of an election, if the Prime Minister chose from among the beautiful central European belles at Prince Albert a desirable helpmate to cheer him on in the forthcoming campaign.


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