April 12, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.
Mr. MeCREARY. I repeat that I was surprised to hear the member for Lennox (Mr. Wilson) cast a reflection upon the adherents to that religion. Now these people were never assisted by the Dominion in any way except that the ordinary bonus was paid as in the case of other immigrants. If I wished to occupy the time of the House 1 could refer to the bonus paid by the Conservative government. I could go back to the time when they paid two pounds sterling per head on some of the immigrants coming in here. I have with me the names of some of these immigrants and certainly they are not French, English or Irish; they sound very Polish. I will tell you the history of some of these, and I can tell you why they were unable to settle down permanently in the North-west. A number of these immigrants were brought out from Galicia in 1889. That country has a population of 7,000,000 people, 3,000,000 of whom are Roman Catholics and 4,000,000 of whom are Ruthenians who are interspersed with Germans, a number of whom were sent there about 104 years ago. A number of these people were brought out and settled in the North-west, and where were they settled, do you think ? They were settled in a country where it was known that a man could not live on mixed farming. There was no water. The government had sunk wells there and they could not find water. I refer to the settlement nine miles this side of Medicine Hat, south. However, the government settled these people there, and what has been the result ? They paid a very large bonus of $10 a head for those immigrants and here are some of the names. Konrad Gredi, Heinrich Yockeroth, Takob Kraushaar, Tehan Dochotke, Gottleib Fliller. What do hon. gentlemen think of those for Anglo-Saxon names ? The first thing the government had to do was to try and get them

water, and when they failed in that, these poor people had to haul water from the Saskatchewan river. The government gave them seed-grain the first year, hut there was no rainfall; the seed failed, and there was no crop. Some of them left. Some remained there and the following year the government advanced them seed-grain again as well as provisions to keep them from starving. Very large sums of money were expended in this way. Some of them left again, and finally every single settler was forced to leave that district and not one was left to tell the tale. All that money was wasted. And, Sir, the result has an injurious effect to-day on the settlement of that country. The seed-grain mortgage rests on these homesteads to-day, and when we send a settler in there to take up one of them, he is met with a seed-grain mortgage of $45 or $50 which he does not want to pay, and so he gets out. I point out to the Minister of the Interior iHon. Mr. Sifton) that this seed-grain mortgage null have to be wiped out. It is stopping the settlement of that district to-day, because men will not pay a debt which they did not incur. Now, Mr. Speaker, I will tell you where these immigrants went when they left the Medicine Hat district. This settlement took place in 1SS!) and 1890, and in 1893 the exodus from that country was so great that the people of Winnipeg became alarmed. I left Winnipeg with some members of the board of trade and drove out Portage avenue on the main road heading west, and in the space of four miles on that road, we met no less than twenty-nine wagons, prairie schooners as they are called, with a family loaded in on top* of the few belongings, and the teams were hauling these people from the great Canadian west to the United States. That is where these immigrants went. A few went to Northern Alberta, but the great number left for the United States and became good American citizens. That was the result of the policy of lion, gentlemen opposite. That was the policy which they pursued not only with regard to farmers, but in regard to other classes of immigrants. What about the Crofter Colony ? What about the great Imperial Colonization Company that settled at Yorkton, and about Churchbridge and about Saltcoats ? Millions of money was spent by the Imperial government to settle these people there. It is true they spoke our language, but they did not know anything about farming, and whom do you think the Conservative government sent to teach them ? They sent political party hacks who knew nothing about farming. These men said to the settlers : You have $600 grant on your quarter section which is advanced by the Imperial Colonization Company; for that $600 I will buy you a pair of oxen and I will buy you a plough and we deduct from that two years interest on the- $600. The stuff that was supplied these settlers was grossly over Mr. McCreary.
charged, and was in many cases absolutely unsuitable. In fact some of these men told me : We did not understand it then, but the oxen actually never were hitched up at all, and some of them were both for the off-side or both for the nigh-side. The men who should have had the best implements, oxen and equipments were supplied with oxen and implements that were not suitable. The result is that there are just nine families of Crofters left in that district, and they are destitute. It is not their fault, but it is the fault of hon. gentlemen opposite for putting men in charge who did not understand their business, and who cheated the people. A few of those people can be found to-day around East Selkirk, and will give evidence to this effect. It is the same in other parts of the country. To-day the town of Yorkton is thriving, and the hon. gentleman from West York who is interested in the York Colonization Company has become almost a rich man through the efforts of this government to bring in immigrants and he should be thankful.
One hon. gentleman said a few moments ago that there has been no change in the policy adopted by this government which made it differ from that of the late government-that the Minister of the Interior has inaugurated nothing new. Well, the best evidence of a change is in the feelings of the people of the west and in the progress of the country. One evidence of the change is in the fact that in Manitoba last year, although we had a very poor crop, one of the worst since the grasshopper plague of 1875 and 1876, you could scarcely hear a farmer or a merchant murmuring. Why ? Because they have got on their feet, and have confidence in the country, and they know that one year's failure cannot affect them as it would have done ten or fifteen years ago, when the failure of a crop caused many people to leave the country. They know that they have a government in power -who are administering the affairs of the country in a business way.
Does the hon. gentleman want any more evidence of the wisdom of the policy pursued by this government as contrasted with that of their predecessors ? Let him look at the city of Winnipeg itself. Stand on the post office corner, and within a distance of four or five hundred yards you will count more substantial warehouses which have been erected in the last four years than ever existed before that time. Take the case of Gault Bros., of Montreal, who a few years ago would not invest a dollar in brick and mortar in Winnipeg. Their confidence has become such that they have erected a $50,000 warehouse in Winnipeg. Geo. D. Wood Co., R. .1. Whitla, and others have done the same thing. In fact, thirty or forty warehouses averaging $30,000 in value, have been erected in Winnipeg in the last four years. Last January, on the train going west, Mr. Gault said to me : ' I do not know

anything about Sifton, but if his policy is such as to produce the development of the west that we have seen in the last three or four years, we ought to keep him where he is. It is a policy which has enabled us to double our business, not only in Winnipeg, but in many towns in the west where we formerly were afraid to trust our goods ; now we send them out with perfect confidence that we shall be paid.'
What about the value of property in and around Winnipeg ? i was for ten years, from 1880 to 1890, handling 80,000 acres of property, as manager for the late Sir John Schultz, and I know almost every quarter section of land around that city. I know that at that time it was impossible to sell much land even for the taxes. The municipalities frequently put up land for sale for arrears of taxes, and they had to adjourn the sale, because no one would give $30 for a quarter section. The municipality had to buy in the land, and on the day following the sale, I have bought a quarter section for $5, and got a tax deed for it. What is the case to-day ? The country around Winnipeg is filling up with settlers, largely from the United States, to such an extent that land which was valued a few years ago by the Hudson Bay Company and others at 50 cents to $2 per acre, is to-day worth from $7 to $8 an acre. This fact shows the difference between the policy of this government and the policy of the former government ; and the same condition of things prevails1 in many parts of the west. I venture to say that this year that there will be an unprecedented number of people from the United States coming into that country. To-day they are flocking into the country between Calgary and Edmonton at the rate of three special train-loads a day, in 'addition to the regular train service, and I believe 25,000 people from the United States will go in there this year. I showed Prof. Saunders a letter which I got a few days ago from Thos. A. Foster, a man who went from Kemptville and settled in Iowa and afterwards in North Dakota, where he resided for twenty years, and who sold his land in North Dakota for $30 an acre, and his land in Iowa for $50 an acre, and having a large number of sons, came back to Canada and the old flag. I asked him about his politics, and found him to be a good Conservative. He bought 2.240 acres of land within thirteen miles of Winnipeg, and he wrote to me the other day thanking me for a sample of seed oats which I had sent him, and for the care which the government were taking of new settlers, and he added :
' You will be surprised to know that I have already 90 lambs, some over 50 pounds.' He had brought in 800 sheep, and he said:
' This is better than I have done in raising sheep in the United States.' That is the best kind of immigration literature you can send out. I immediately had that letter 92*
sent to the United States, and I am going to use it there. The result of this policy will soon make itself known. It is just like advertising any business ; tell the people what you have got, and the results will follow. We have been practically only advertising our wares ; now the fruits will be shown. These men will write to their friends, and before long, instead of having
40.000 immigrants a year, we should more nearly approach the number of 440,000 who go to the United States annually. At all events, we ought to get into this country
200.000 people a year, and we will eventually, because we have now the right policy. I will just give you a list of the amounts of money which some of these people are bringing in.
Mr. Foster brought in $30,000. We have also received the following farmers from the State of South Dakota : Jotoan Benner and family, with a capital of $10,000; Peter Buller and family, with $25,000 ; Johan Boese and family, with $12,000 ; Cornelius Bayer and family, with $2,000 ; John Keaas-sen and family, with $1,000 ; Johan Goerzca and family, with $1,500 ; N. Sfvoble and family, with $3,000 ; Peter Paukratz and family, with $1,000 ; John Baerg and family, with $1,000 ; Isaac Adrian and family, with $1,200 ; N. Patzlaff and family, with $1,000. The Americans almost invariably bring in large sums of money, whereas during the time hon. gentlemen opposite were in power, some of even those few immigrants we got from the United States were the class of people known as professional movers,-a class of people who keep moving about and will not settle down. A story is told of some of them who settled in Red Deer district, that so accustomed were they to move, that their hens and chickens invariably once a year threw themselves on their back to have their legs tied preparatory to moving away.
I will not enlarge further upon this immigration problem, as it will probably be discussed later on. I would like, however, to quote one authority in support of the policy of the government. I think that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wilson) quoted the report of the Labour Union of the east-men who know as much about the Doukhobors as I do about the Fiji Islanders. But let me quote the report of the Winnipeg Board of Trade, which is composed of about four hundred citizens of Winnipeg, representing not only that city, but the entire Manitoba and the North-west. When you speak of the Board of Trade of Ottawa, you mean a body whose interests are almost exclusively centred in Ottawa, but the Board of Trade of Winnipeg is a body whose interests extend over the west-who are agents of the loan companies and the machinery companies and the other great concerns which have their ramifications all through the Territories. And if you will read the names

Full View