Mr. THOS. CHISHOLM.
I think the minister might try the experiment of putting a medical officer on one or two of those boats next summer, and let him report, not only in regard to the physicai condition of these immigrants, but also obtain some idea of their object in coming over, Whether they intend to become farmers, or farm labourers, or what they intend to do. I think the same medical officer who inspects them in regard to health could also ascertain a great manv things about them in other respects, and make a report to the government that would be useful. I am satisfied it is impossible to make a proper examination of patients coming off the boats as they do at the present time, any medical man understands that. Take a case Where the physician examines a man in the morning for tuberculosis, he examines him with a thermometer and perhaps finds the temperature normal, while in the evening that same patient might have a temperature of 102. I understand that the way the immigrants are examined is simply by looking at them. That certainly is not satisfactory, because it is quality and not quan-Mr. OLIVER.
tity that we are looking for. I think the minister has improved the conditions a great deal, and I am sure he would like to improve them still further, but not being a medical man, he does not understand the difficulties. I am sure we are allowing in a great many diseased persons from abroad that could be kept out if we had an officer on board the vessel coming over. I agree that he should be responsible to this government. More than that,- his report should be published in a blue-book so that members of parliament could read it. But it is utterly impossible properly to examine immigrants in the short time allowed the inspector.
I have spent myself a whole day, from daylight to dark, examining eight or ten or fifteen patients, and been very busy. But here we find an officer putting through perhaps 500 persons in the same time. The thing is utterly absurd. I think the minister should try the experiment of putting a medical officer on one or two of those boats, it would not cost a great deal. I am sure if he did so the result would be so satisfactory that, notwithstanding the extra cost, he_ would continue the practice, and would also insist in getting other information about these immigrants. The physician could ascertain in regard to their moral standing by keeping his eyes and ears open, and he could learn a great deal about them which would enable him to judge whether they should be allowed in or not. I think he could be very busv the whole four or five days during the passage in examining the incoming immigrants.
Topic: IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT.