July 10, 1931 (17th Parliament, 2nd Session)

LIB

Peter Heenan

Liberal

Mr. HEENAN:

Well you and I are going to shake hands yet. I made a speech, Mr. Chairman, with respect to people being brought into this country, and the whole Tory party including the present Prime Minister took exception to my remarks. The Tory papers also objected. On November 22nd, 1928, the Moose Jaw Times contained this editorial:
The Montreal Gazette has been devoting considerable criticism to Hon. Peter Heenan, Minister of Labour, in connection with immigration matters. Mr. Heenan has been returning the compliment and seems to be no better pleased with The Gazette than The Gazette is with him.
To the Toronto Star there is nothing surprising about this. In coming into conflict The Gazette and the Minister of Labour are both attending to their jobs and upholding the beliefs that are within them. The Star says:
Mr. Heenan is censured by The Gazette for having said that any miner-harvester excursion next year would be contingent upon the demand for extra labour that might then exist. This does not please The Gazette and is taken as indicating a hostility to immigration, a subject which, it says, Mr. Heenan should not discuss, but should leave to Mr. Forke, Minister of Immigration. But the fact is that Mr. Heenan, as Minister of Labour, was talking of labour, not immigration, when he made the statement complained of. "Any bringing over of harvesters," said Mr. Heenan, "would be contingent upon the demand for extra labour that might then exist." No Minister of Labour could very well be attending more strictly to his own business than was Mr. Heenan when he made that statement.
1 am reading these extracts to give the minister an idea of the character of the propaganda inspired by certain interests during the last two or three years in an attempt to bring in immigrants, and, conversely, to criticize anyone who would dare take the stand the present minister has taken. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I cannot see why the minister should still desire to pass this vote to grant financial assistance to immigration agents. Consequently I move that the vote be reduced to $1.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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