CHISHOLM, Thomas, M.D., C.M.

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Huron East (Ontario)
Birth Date
April 12, 1842
Deceased Date
October 1, 1931
author, lecturer, physician, teacher

Parliamentary Career

November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
  Huron East (Ontario)
October 26, 1908 - July 29, 1911
  Huron East (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 13 of 15)

July 10, 1908


The minister has in the schedule a basis for regulating all such matters. By enlarging the schedule he can overcome to a great extent the evil complained of.

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July 4, 1908


When I was in the west I talked for a considerable time to the Minister of Agriculture of the province of Saskatchewan. He explained to me that in the very district of which we are speaking, in order to conserve the moisture it was necessary to summer fallow one year and crop the next year, and for that

reason twice as much land was required for a man to cultivate in that region in order to make a comfortable living as in the other districts. With that explanation, I feel that the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Oliver) is quite justified in making this concession to the settlers in that district. It will have the effect of bringing in a class of settlers that we could not get in any other way. Men who wish to go in and take up quarter-sections in that part of the country will go in there if they are afforded an opportunity to secure 320 acres. In the west, where they use six horses or more in a team, one man can work three or four times as much land as in the east. A farm of 160 acres is not considered any more for a man in the west than a farm of 50 acres in the east, and we know that 50 acres is not a large enough farm for a man to raise a family on in eastern Canada. I am therefore satisfied that the minister is taking a wise step. With regard to the boundary line, I am satisfied with that also. In the west, those who understand the situation of the townships and the laying out of the country, will be well satisfied, because this affords them something definite-they know where they are starting. The area can be enlarged again if necessary. I am convinced that it is necessary, in order to induce the right class of settlers to go in, to give them a sufficient area to cultivate. When we consider the teams they use and the amount of land they can properly cultivate, this is easily apparent. A man there with a gang of ploughs and a team of six horses will plough eight acres in a day, while I have often spent a day ploughing an acre and a half in the east and then I thought I was doing a full day's work.

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June 15, 1908


I presume the inspection will be according to the grade of the fruit, and if a certain brand is found not to be turning out well, a few extra packages will be opened and if turning out very badly still more would be opened and inspected. It is evident that something must be /done, for i if something is not done and done promptly, in view of the prospect of an immense crop of fruit in this country, the market for our fruit in England will be ruined. I sympathize with the efforts made to increase the stringency of this law. I do not know about the amount of the fine, lint it seems to me that there should be more fair-dealing, and I think the inspection of our fruit should be more

thorough and systematic. I think that, if possible, it should begin at the orchard. I have here a letter from a man in my own country who is engaged in the apple business. Perhaps it would be well that I should read it :

Dear Sir,-1 write you re the apple industry of this province. The writer handled about six thousand barrels of apples last season and made a -good deal of inquiry as to how the apples were inspected.

In order to get to the bottom of the export apple business, I went to the expense of going to the old country and visited all the large centres, and came to the conclusion that something must be done in order to protect the apple industry of -this province. I had a long conversation with the Dominion fruit inspector at Liverpool and I found that last season 90 per cent of all the apples that were shipped in from Canada wei'e branded falsely, and particularly thoise from the province of Ontario. This statement came from the Dominion fruit inspector at Liverpool. After spending a good deal of time thinking over this matter I have come to this conclusion, that there should he one fruit inspector for every county, especially for a county like Huron, where there are so many apples produced. Doubtless there are several counties in the province where one inspector would be sufficient for say four counties, but in those large fruit counties I think there should be an inspector for every county.

It should be the duty of those inspectors to go from town to town during the shipping season and have power to inspect the apples at the different depots where the cars are loaded, and. also visit the orchards during the packing season and inspect the fruit on the ground and while being packed.

I think it is a great injustice to the apple exporters and to the trade generally to have the inspection done the way it is at present. If we had inspectors to go from place to place and do the inspecting as I suggest the packers who do the work would then be on their guard and fruit would he put up in different manner and condition, while in the way the work is done at present the exporter sends his men into the country giving them instructions to put up the apples according to the law. and fruit regulation and yet the packers deliberately put up a job lot of apples and simply put in worthless stuff, and seem to care nothing for this kind of deceitful work, as he gets his money on Saturday night and is away from the field of operation when those apples are inspected months afterwards at the port of consumption and nobody to be responsible but the exporter.

There is no individual who could go into the exporting of apples and see them all inspected himself while packing, hut must trust to the honesty of his men in the orchards, and until there is some wav of appointing more inspectors for the different localities there will be little or no improvement in the present system of packing.

The Dominion of Canada is known the world over for its high quality of apples and there is no earthly reason why our apples should not go into the market in better condition than they do at the present time.

In view of this would it not be money wisely spent for the benefit of the fruit growers at the present time to set apart a certain sum-of money and appoint competent inspectors in the various fruit districts who would in a systematic way inspect the apples in many cases before they got started on their journey?' If this were done, I am satisfied in a very short time, Canadian apples would command the attention they so much deserve in the markets of the world. When I tell you that while in London and Liverpool last December and January, the buyers from the various commercial centres looked with ridicule and disgust at the various shipments that were going forward from time to time, and in many cases Canadian apples were simply named Canadian walnuts, instead of Canadian apples. The government of this country seem to have abundance of money for every purpose in the world and surely they can increase their appropriation to advance and build up the fruit industry of this province.

The writer intended to call the attention of this matter to parliament before this date, but I have been thinking out a good sensible plan that would fill the hill, and I now present to you my conclusions that a movement in this direction would certainly bring forth marvellous results.

I sincerely hope you will be able to call the attention of this matter and present it on the floor of parliament at an early date,

I think this letter from a packer in the province of Ontario, should have some consideration. The difficulty is that our investigation and our inspection begin at the wrong end. It is like trying to stop a leak in a dam from below the leak instead of from above. If our apples were inspec-ed when they were being put up we would get over the difficulty. Although it would cost a considerable amount of money to appoint inspectors in all the apple districts, I think they would only be required for a very short time, and in that way we might get our apples properly inspected and retain our good name in the markets of the world. In Ontario, and particularly in the county of Huron, we have a splendid fruit district, and I am sure that if we could only get our fruit into market in proper condition it would mean a great deal of money to the people there. I have no doubt the minister is trying to do what he can in this matter, but I think a little more money expended in the way I have indicated would perhaps get over the difficulty. It is evident that in the meantime inspection is doing very little good. As to the amount of the penalities, I am not sure but that they are being applied, as it were, at the wrong end of the business, and I am doubtful as to the result. I hope, however, that this matter will be taken into consideration and that something will be done. It is evident that our apple business. our market for apples in tire old land, is being Injured by the way in which the apples are being packed, and by the Inferior stuff that is being sent forward under improper names.

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June 5, 1908


Like the last speaker, (Mr. Kennedy) I seldom address the House. Nor should I detain hon. members long. But there are times when even the quietest member in this House should rise in his place to protest against the way business is conducted. The question now under discussion was brought to the attention of the House this morning by the hon. member for East Northumberland (Mr. Owen) in a speech of five or ten minutes. And we have found hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House ready to carry that discussion along; every time a member on this side has risen to speak to-day, he has been answered in a long speech by an hoD. member from the other side. I was glad to hear the hon. member for East Kent (Mr. Gordon), for like myself he seldom troubles the House, and I am sure that his only reason for rising to speak was that he thought that what he was to say was of importance to the House and the country. Such a member should always be listened to.

Now, in the first place, when we came here-and it is nearly seven months ago- we expected that the work of this parliament would be ready to go on with. But what do we find after seven months ? We find that the most important legislation of the session is only now being prepared for our consideration. Could there be a more important subject, for instance, than the Hudson Bay Railway ? That is a subject that should be discussed here with the very greatest care. We should consider the course that road is to take, for it would be a very serious matter if it were built in the wrong position. My own opinion is after considering carefully all that has been said in the long discussion of the matter that the road should go directly from Prince Albert to Fort Churchill. Then, we have the Civil Service Bill-another question that will require time. In the third place, we have this disputed question in regard to the election law. All these things are being brought before us after seven months of

sitting? Why were these not all ready when we came here in November ? In the county of Huron we have a county council composed of business men and farmers, and I would undertake to bring them here and they would finish the business of this parliament, do everything that has to be done here, and do it well, in six weeks. I am ashamed to think that we have sat here all this time and accomplished so little. It is not that we do not go through the form of working, for we sit here such long hours that we actually endanger the health of members of the House. There is only one factory in this Dominion that I know of where the employees are expected to go to work at eleven o'clock in the morning and work until three or four the next morning, and that is this factory on Parliament Hill where we empty windbags and manufacture laws. I think that if we were to try to get our speeches into condensed and concise form, it would be much better. Why, Sir, Mr. Chamberlain has delivered some of the best speeches ever delivered in the British parliament in half an hour. And here we are on both sides-there is no use in finding fault with one side more than with the other-making speeches of four and five hours duration. Do you think any body will ever read them ? Do not you think that the people who read ' Hansard ' in after years will say that we spend forty times as long in expressing our ideas as we have any need to do? At the origin of parliament, you know, Mr. Speaker, the struggles that were gone through to establish the (rights and privileges of the body of representatives of the people. The sword, and even the stake and the axe, had to be met and overcome that we might have certain privileges and advantages. And I am sure that even the opposition has its rights that were gained in those struggles. I do not think that hon. gentlemen opposite should say that the opposition has no rights except such as the majority choose to allow them. In fact, I do not think they meant what they said. I was pleased to hear the hon. member for Carleton, New Brunswick (Mr. Carvell) admit that members of the opposition had some rights. This parliament takes up more time in legislating for six millions of people than is occupied by the British parliament in legislating for four hundred millions. I am only speaking for myself, but I should be very much pleased to see the speeches cut down. In the United States Congress, I understand, a member speaking on an amendment is limited to five or ten minutes. I think that it would be a good thing if our speeches could be made equally short. I believe also that the Speaker should leave the chair at twelve o'clock at night, just as he does at six o'clock in the evening. If these changes were made, I believe we should make better progress. It is some-

thing terrible what the members here are! expected to submit to. I came down here| from the county of Huron three years ago on the tenth of last January, and five of my neighbours came with me as members of this House. We were all strong, healthy men-I was the oldest and most worn-out man of the whole six. And where are the men now ? Three of them are dead and buried and other men sit in their places. We six were the representatives of the three Hurons, the two Bruces and North Wellington. All must have been strong able-bodied men, or we could not have gone through the labour's of a political campaign. But long hours, irregular meals aud worry did their work. Why, it would appear to be more dangerous to come to this parliament than it was to go to South Africa and fight the Boers-the death-rate here is much greater than it was there. Let me draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that, since 1904, we have had the following deaths amongst us : Messrs. McCreary, McIntosh, Proulx, Clarke, Sutherland, Demers, Johnston, Prefontaine, Bland, Laurier, Martin, Stockton, Cochrane, Gunn and Lovell-fifteen men taken away in that short time. I have no doubt at all -and I am sure the medical men on the other side will back me up in this-that this room is an unhealthy place. We get here no direct sunlight ; and we know that sunlight is necessary for health. Take a potato and plant it in a cellar where there is no light, and though you may have moisture, good soil, proper temperature and all other necessary conditions, what will be the colour of the "stems ? The stems will be pale and sickly.

I think it would be well to change the rules of the House. For instance, we should have short, concise speeches. Let it be understood that when we have something to say we say it and then sit down. A gentleman about to address the House was asked how long he intended to speak on a certain subject, and he said, ' If I know nothing about it, it will take me three hours; if I understand it fairly well, I can get through in an hour; and if I know it perfectly well, I can get through in half an hour.' I think there are some members here who speak sometimes when they do not understand very well what they are talking about. I think there should be a time limit for speeches, with perhaps some way of giving a special privilege to members under certain circumstances. I think the rules of the House might be changed in that direction. I think also that the government should have their business ready when parliament opens so that we can get right down to work. The government cannot get out of this whole difficulty by trying to throw the blame on the opposition. A certain amount of blame may be attached to the opposition. I think, however, it Mr. T. CHISHOLM.

is a good thing we have a ' Hansard,' because that ' Hansard ' will show, this year's ' Hansard ' at any rate will show, that the members on the government side of thd House have taken up as much time as we have, aud perhaps more. There is no use denying what is put down in the ' Hansard.' All the important measures of the government should be ready at the beginning of the session. There is another thing we should not forget, the health of the members ought to be considered. If we are to be kept here so many months every year it will soon become impossible for a poor man to come here at all. In fact any man who has business, or anything to do outside this House, can scarcely afford to come here now, because he has to stay here so long that it spoils his business. We will not be able to get good men to come to parliament as long as the sessions are as lengthy as they are now. I formerly thought that all the men who come to parliament were great men, but I am obliged to confess that my opinion has undergone a considerable change since I came to this parliament. My idea was that we had here two hundred and fourteen men, the greatest men probably in the world, and I came to my first session in awe and trembling. I am beginning now to think that after all they are not such great men. But I suppose that is a consequence of my view point. Now I want to say also that long sessions are causing more deaths than used to take place when the sessions were shorter. I find that during the first ten years when the sessions were shorter, there were only twenty-five deaths, while during the last three years there have been fifteen deaths. It is, however, not only a question of health, but one of business. I hope therefore we will not go on in this fashion like a lot of school boys. I think if the government gave the back benchers a chance to settle this question, and allowed the front benchers to go off on a picnic, both the members of the government and the leaders of the opposition, we on the back benches could get together, and I am satisfied we woiild settle this whole thing and finish up in about two weeks. I did not get up to talk long, and I do not intend to transgress the rules that I am recommending the House to adopt.

Subtopic:   190S
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April 21, 1908


The question of immigration which we are

now discussing lies at the very foundation of our national prosperity and greatness, and no more important question could engage our attention. I must say that I think it is much more important than the question which we had intruded here this afternoon. Although I stand on the opposition side of the House, I desire to say right here that I have no sympathy at all with the intrusion into this debate of the question of a little bit of dredging. The character of the immigration that is coming to our country means everything to the future of our country. The subject was brought up in this House by one of the ablest men in it, a man who never speaks on any subject unless he has something of importance to say, a man who can handle a subject properly, and it is much to be regretted that the discussion was interrupted by the break that was made this afternoon. The future and greatness of the country depend on the people who inhabit it. Look at Scotland. Scotland is not a large country, but what other country in the world exercises so great an influence over the world, according to its size and its population, as Scotland? Germany is a wonderful country, and our good friend who has just spoken (Mr. Miller) has told us that the Germans are a wonderful people. They are, and they are exerting a wonderful influence all over the world. Now then what we want to do is to get people of the right kind to come to this country, and so long as they are of the right kind, the country will go on and prosper. I believe that this country will become in due time one of the great nations of the world. Cheap labour, as has been well said toy an lion, member this afternoon, is not everything. You may get in cheap labour, but that will not make the country great. The Americans got in cheap labour in their negro population, but that did not make the country great, and it has been the occasion of the great civil war and the expenditure of millions of money. In the neighbouring republic they have that labour question on their hands, and it is complicated with the race problem, which is one of the most difficult problems that any country could have to face. In the same way we look to British Columbia, and some say that the bringing in of cheap labour from Asia will be a great help to Canada. But I think we can scarcely afford to allow immigration of that sort. These people will not assimilate with our western type of civilization, they will not assimilate with Canadians, and if they did, it would only be to lower the tone of our civilization. At the same time we have nothing against the Japanese, we admire the Japanese, but we don't wish them as immigrants because we caunot assimilate with them. Now then speaking of immigration, it seems to me that too much attention has been paid to settling up the west to the neglect of eastern Canada. It seems to me that the east has been forgotten. Of course we have a great country in the west, and there is no danger but Mr. T. CHISHOLM.

that it will be filled up in time. On the one side, only four or five days journey distant, we have the teeming millions of Europe ; and on the other side, only eight or ten days journey distant, we have the hundreds of millions of Chiua and Japan ; while to the south of us we have eighty millions of people. If we have got a good country the great trouble will be to keep people out of it whom we do not want to come here. For instance, the Doukhobors are occupying land iu the west that we ought to keep for our children and our children's children. To get these people into this country our government have paid $7 a head, besides affording them assistance after they reach here. They occupy the best land in our western country; and I can say now that if they had never set foot in this country that land would now be occupied by good Canadians. On the 7th of June last year I was in the city of Prince Albert, and there were a number of Doukhobor homesteads, discarded homesteads, that the Doukhobors would not have, that were to be opened on that day. These homesteads had been held for the Doukhobors for seven years by the government. They had lived in their villages, and had made no improvements on the land for seven years, and still the homesteads were held for them. If a Canadian boy goes uj) there to get a homestead, if he is not on hand the very minute he should be, he loses his right, but the Doukhobor can hold it for seven years. One of my own Wingham boys went up there, and understanding that, according to the regulations, the first man who was on hand the next morning would get the choice of these five homesteads, he went into the office the night before and made some inquiries, and when the time came to close the office, he was requested to leave. He walked out, but he kept his hand on the door knob all night. I went up the next morning, it was raining, but still the poor fellow had his hand on the door knob. There were four or five hundred people surging around him, his hat was trampled into the mud, the rain was running off his hair, but still he stood there with his hand on the door knob. I was proud of him as a Wingham boy. The result was that he got the first homestead. Now here were 500 good Canadians ready to take these homesteads, and if the Doukhobors had never gone there those 500 Canadians would have taken up those homesteads. These homesteads were held for these Doukhobors for seven years, but a poor boy went up there last year from my riding. You know that we had a very late spring. He went up into Saskatchewan, he got into a half built hut and he took cold, inflammation of the lungs and pleurisy. His father had to go and bring him home, and he was brought to my riding. I went to the land office a little while ago to make some inquiry to see if they would hold his homestead open. He had his side opened three times and a tube put in. I was pre-

sent at one of the operations and the Liberal doctor who is attending him in Brussels sent a letter down to the department and said that the boy had still a tube in his side, and that matter was running out of his side and we asked the time to be extended until after the first of May. What was the reply that we got from the land office?- 'they are not holding homesteads open after the first of May.' This poor fellow is expected to go back and he must go or he will lose his homestead and, of course, if he goes, he may lose his life. How does it come that these Doukhobors could have homesteads held for seven years and a poor boy in my riding cannot have a homestead held for a few months although he'has a tube in his side.

The farmers of Ontario particularly are neglected under our immigration policy. They are very hard up for help. There is a famine of farm labourers in our country; everything is being done for the west and it is draining the east. We have harvest excursions at cheap rates taking away 20,000 of our young men to the west at a time when we need them most. When we get in the so-called farm help we find that the bonus system is bringing in the wrong class of settlers. They do not bring in men from the heather mills whence my own father came nor from the vine clad valley of Germany and France. They bring in men who have been brought tfp in the cities and no matter how foolish you may think a farmer to be when he goes to the city, no matter how many mistakes he may make, they are nothing to the mistakes which will be made by the city man who goes upon the farm. He is far more out of place. It is no use for a man like that to go to one of our farmers and tell him that he has been brought up on a farm in the old country. The farmer will very soon know where lie comes from. I heard a little story the other day about a man who came from Glasgow and who hired out as a farm labourer. The farmer said : Now, Sandy, there is a farmer across the road and he and I are exceedingly good friends. We have an arrangement that if he in any way spoils any of his farm implements he is to have a loan of anything that I have and if we happen to break any of our implements we can go over and get his. If that man comes over and asks for the loan of any farm implements when I am not here, you must give it to him. One day the farmer was away and the neighbour came across and said : ' Sandy, man, have you a plough ? I have broken my plough and I wish to finish my ploughing.' ' Oeh,' said Sandy, ' Ye can ha the pleu. The boss said ye cud ha onything aboot the place bit I dinna ken whaur the pleu is and I dinna ken whether I waud ken a pleu gin I saw ane, Tout there is the wagon and maybe ye can pleu wi' it till the boss comes hame.'

Then I heard another one about a man

who came out to this country who was taken out to the bush to assist a farmer to get out some logs. The farmer said to him : ' John, will you go and get a cant-hook ? John went home and soon brought back a mooly cow because he thought she could not hook because she had no horns and that therefore she must be a cant-hook. I believe that if an effort were made this difficulty would be solved if the minister would give attention to this matter and I am sure he has tried to do the best he could, but he does not understand the situation. The farmers have solved the difficulty of the cheese and bacon question, and I believe that the farm labour question might be solved by going about it in the right way. There is a great difficulty not only in regard to the scarcity of labour, but, since Automobiles have been placed upon the highways, the farmers' daughters and wives cannot go to town and to market. They cannot drive the horses because farmers' horses, being more isolated, are more easily frightened. I have seen farmers in my county with 200 acres of land who would [DOT] have to leave the farm work and drive to town on account of the automobiles. We must get into our country a class of men about whose history we know something, about whose life history we know something. A farmer must take his hired help right into the bosom of his family, to be the companion of his sons, his wife and his daug-ters. We must have the life history of such people. We cannot take every man that you pick up in Whitechapel, or Glasgow, or Dublin. These men may or may not be suitable associates for a farmer's family. We must know them and have their life histories. I propose that the province of Ontario should be divided into districts and that the farmers who wish help should be invited to assemble at some central point during the slack time in the winter. They would give in a list of the labour that they required. One man wants a man with a family because he has bought out his neighbour, he has 200 acres of land and he has acquired a nice brick house with it. There is some man away off in Europe, in Germany, or England or Ireland or Scotland living in a cottage with his family and if that man must come and occupy that house he would think that he was in a palace and the farmer, with 200 acres of land, might give him five or six acres to work for himself and his family. In this way the farmer could get the kind of help that he requires. Another man needs a boy. Each farmer would designate exactly the kind of help that lie required and all these requirements would be written down. Then the farmers assembled together wTould elect one of themselves to go to the old country, hire the help and bring it to Canada. That man would go to the old country and he would say : Here is John Jones; he has a large family and he could occupy that house and culti-

vate a piece of land in connection with it. The man who would actually engage the help in the old country would see the man who had been delegated to go over there and ascertain from him exactly the kind of help that would suit him. If the man who was delegated to do this work did not do it properly the farmers would next year elect another representative. Let the government pay the expenses of these men who would be selected to go over to the old country and engage help. It is not my place to suggest how it should be done.

There is another thing that I desire to say and that is that as a result of the way in which our tariff is regulated the manufacturers enjoy rates so much in excess of those which the farmers enjoy on their products that it is impossible to keep farm labourers on the farm. They drift into the cities because they get work and the farmers are not able to pay them high wages because their products are not protected to the same extent as the products of the manufacturers are.

I regret that many of the immigrants we are getting in this country are not such as are desirable, or as are calculated to build up and strengthen our nation. On the contrary, far too many of them are subjects of charity aud are filling our hospitals and our charitable institutions, and still worse, in some cases they are filling our jails and penitentiaries. I quote from the St. Thomas ' Evening Journal ' of the 11th of April, a good Liberal paper, the following :

Dumped in Ontario is Hon. Mr. Hanna's claim.

Toronto, April 11.-Hon. Mr. Hanna called the attention of the legislature last night to the effect of immigration in the last year or two upon the inmates of the principal institutions. He had just received a telegram from Port Arthur, as follows:

' Port William police magistrate has committed ten male Doukhobors to Central Prison ; nine females to the Mercer Reformatory. They are in jail here. We have no room for them. Fifty-three other prisoners here now. There are fifty-seven other Doukhobors at Fort William to be sent to the Central and the Mercer. They have burned their clothes and are naked.

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