Mr. A. S. GOODEVE (Kootenay).
As a representative of British Columbia, I desire to say a few words on the issues that have been raised by the First Minister with regard to this question, and I also propose to deal with the arguments advanced by the Postmaster General. I wish to say with regard to the question raised by the First Minister, that if this government was so signally defeated in our province, it was due to the four factors mentioned by my hon. friend from Yale-Cariboo (Mr. Burrell). In my constituency at least the question of the deferred election and the presence of the Minister of the Interior in that riding, had a great deal to do with the majority I obtained. The sense of justice and fairplay so eminently characteristic of the west, resented the deferred election. Our people felt that they were being unfairly and unjustly treated, and they showed their resentment. In regard to the second issue, there were certain districts in my constituency in which we conceded a Liberal majority ; but after the Minister of the Interior had come in and spoken on behalf of the Liberal candidate, and explained the policy of the government, as we considered, authoritatively, he found the sentiment in those districts altogether hostile, and the result was that in those Liberal districts I received a very large majority.
Now, Sir, in dealing with the issues raised by the Postmaster General, I desire to say here that I was delighted,' on this the occasion of my first appearance in the House, to hear the eloquent language of the minister, but I regret to have to say that, while admiring his eloquence, I cannot also admire his logic. I regret to say that I can neither agree with his logic nor with his conclusions. I also desire to thank the hon. gentleman for the compliments he paid to our splendid province and its representatives. He has argued, as most of the speakers on the government side have argued, up to a certain point in agreement with the position taken by the people of British Columbia. I think I can say that as regards the economic phase of the question, we are m accord. The First Minister himself has stated much more eloquently than I could hope to do, the exact economic changes involved in bringing these Asiatics and orientals into Mr. RALPH SMITH.
the province of British Columbia. He has explained that owing to their environment in their native country, to the fact that for generations they have lived in poverty and distress, the presence of any considerable number of them in that portion of Canada creates a disturbance in the economic conditions. We are at one on that part of the question. But it seems to me that when hon. gentlemen opposite reach a crucial point in their argument, they fail to follow it out to a logical conclusion ; they point in a more or less distracted way to the old flag and in various -ways endeavour to avoid the logical conclusion of their argument. That has been the case with all the speeches from the other side that I have listened to so far. They say that if it was only the economical question that was in dispute, that could be easily settled.
But they have gone on and told us that there was danger to the empire at large. Sir, what are the arguments they have advanced in support of their attitude in that respect ? Not only during the last campaign, but during the last eight years, I have failed to find a single argument advanced by any member of this government to support their contention that the people of British Columbia are guilty of any disloyalty to the empire in the attitude they have taken on this question. Both the Prime Minister and the Postmaster General have told us that if we push the policy we have taken with regard to this question to a conclusion, we are likely to disturb the friendly relations existing between the empire and Japan. Now let us look at this question from a non-partisan standpoint, as one appealing to the whole Canadian people. My good friend the Postmaster General says that the people of British Columbia do not understand this question, that they do not understand the people of Japan. He says, they have not visited Japan, as I have done. Well, Mr. Speaker, it is true, we have not been so fortunate as to be able to visit that beautiful country he describes, at the expense of the Canadian people. But I venture to say that if we were sent over to Japan as delegates from the province of British Columbia, or from the Dominion of Canada, we would not come back and recommend to this parliament that they should place the control of immigration into Canada in the hands of the Japanese government. I will go further and say that if the Postmaster General himself would visit that great province of Manitoba, that was so eloquently referred to by the mover of the address as the granary of the world, if he would go farther and visit the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta and observe their flocks of cattle on a thousand hills or if he would go still further west and stand on the summit of the Rock-
ies and look over that sea of mountains, to quote the words of a Liberal leader of former days, if he would take note of the splendid natural resources of that great province, of her lakes and rivers, of her immense wealth in minerals, fisheries and timber ; if he would look over this vast heritage and realize that the men who are called upon to develop these immense resources are of the Canadian race, descendants of the great Anglo-Saxon race that has done so much for the civilization of the world, I venture to say that even the Postmaster General, however much he may admire our little brown friends in Japan, would not say that we should give up to them the task of peopling and developing that province.
I venture to say that even the hon. Postmaster _ General would hesitate to hand over this vast Dominion to these people, as ii6 is advocating at tliis time. The answer of the hon. Postmaster General is that we have the assurance of the Japanese government, both by word of mouth and in writing, from the \ oar 1900, and that assurance Has been repeated in ten or twenty communications from that government since that time, that there would be no immigration from that country to Canada exceeding 600 a year, and yet I find in Hansard, in a speech of the Minister of Agriculture c.emered in this House seven years afterwards, the statement that in ten months 8J25 Japanese had come into Canada What explanation does the Minister of Agriculture make of that fact ? He said : It is true, 8,125 Japanese came into Canada from January to September, but of that number some 4,000 come from the islands of Hawaii and some 900 came in under contract for certain immigration agencies or bureaus, and a certain number passed through to the United States, leaving something like 3,000 remaining in Canada according to the minister's own figures. But when we go behind the statement of the Minister of Agriculture, we find that every one of those immigrants had a passport direct from the Japanese government, as was brought out at the investigation in Victoria. This shows that there is nothing in the spoken or written promise of the Japanese government. What difference does it make to the labourers or artisans of British Columbia whether these men are brought in under contract or as free labourers? If you bring 900 or 9,000 Japanese into the labour market, under contract, you are doing the very thing that we in the west and the whole of Canada are fighting against. We want this country for our own Canadian people. But we find that the wages of our labourers and artisans are being cut down by the influx of these people into our country. We are told that this is more or less a local question. When it comes up for discussion, as it will later on, we shall be able to bring forward such facts
and arguments as will convince both sides of this House that it is not merely a provincial question affecting the province of British Columbia alone, but a question affecting gravely the whole Dominion of Canada, and affecting the whole British empire.
There is a side of this question that has never yet been touched upon, so far as I have seen, on reference to Hansard, or heard in any of the speeches I have listened to from time to time. The hon. Postmaster General has referred to the fact that the Japanese are aggressive and intelligent, and he afterwards took credit to the government that by increasing the head tax on the Chinese from $50 to $500, they had done much to shut out the Chinese. He did not agree with the hon. member for Nanaimo, but said: 'I make a clear distinction between the Chinese and the Japanese'; and he went on to explain what the distinction was. He said that the Chinese engaged in more menial occupations than the Japanese, that they were not so advanced in western civilization. I want to point out that that is the very thing that makes them all the more dangerous. On this point I will call the attention of the government to the report of their own royal commission, consisting of three Liberals, appointed to investigate this question some years ago, when the various boards of trade and labour organizations throughout British Columbia and the other western provinces were bringing the question to the attention of the country. That commission consisted of Mr. Clute, who has since become a judge, Mr. Foley and Mr. Munn. That commission investigated the question with a good deal of care, and the gist of their report was that the admission of the Japanese into the Dominion, and particularly the province of British Columbia, was more dangerous and more inimical to the interests of the people of Canada than an influx of even the Chinese. But, Sir, notwithstanding the finding of their own royal commission, notwithstanding that they sent one minister twice and another minister once to Japan to study the question, the government of Canada have done practically nothing other than to get the personal assurance of the Japanese government that they themselves would restrict this immigration. The hon. member for Nanaimo tells us this afternoon that under the agreement made by the Japanese government with the Postmaster General the immigration of these people has been restricted to such an extent that in certain months of the year not more than twenty-three or twenty-four come in. But the agreement the Postmaster General made could not possibly restrict immigration from Janan. I find from a stenographic report received by the Japanese newspapers on the discussion that took place in the Diet of Tokio, the minister with whom he had the correspondence spoke as follows :
Japanese newspapers received in yesterday s mails give stenographic reports of the discussion in the Diet at Tokio regarding the question of Japanese immigration to Canada. Count Hayashi, Foreign Minister, in the course of a long speech is reported as having declared that after the Vancouver riots Canada asked Japan to negotiate a treaty differentiating labour immigration from her shores and that the Japanese government bad replied that it could not possibly negotiate any treaty differentiating injuriously against its own nationalists, and that all negotiations having that object must be futile.
Nevertheless, Canada has sent Hon. Mr. Lemieux to this country last November, with instructions to negotiate such a convention if possible. In that respect the envoy's mission had failed, but he had received assurances from the Japanese government that would continue to exercise to the full all the functions delegated to it by law in this matter.
Notwithstanding that at that particular time the Postmaster General was negotiating this very treaty, this minister of the Japanese government claims that the only treaty that could possibly be made must be carefully defined within these lines. Such a treaty is certainly not such a treaty as was described by the Postmaster General in his speech on Friday last. I quote further from the remarks of this Japanese minister:
Mr. Lemieux had asked for an interchange of documents in that sense, and despatches were given which have already been published. The question then arose as to exactly what immigrants were to be vetoed, and it bad been agreed that no restriction whatever should be imposed with regard to the following, namely:
This is the gist of the whole matter:
first, travellers, merchants and students; secondly, Japanese subjects who, although belonging to the labouring class, had their wives and families in Canada; thirdly, labourers who had returned to Japan from Canada and who contemplated going back to Canada; fourthly, contract labourers, that is to say, men having fixed employment; fifthly, Japanese subjects discharging the duties of domestic servants and accompanying their employers; and, sixthly agricultural labourers Obviously the only labourers not included in this category were those who drifted to Canada without any resources of their own and on the chance of finding employment.
Ip other words, this is a distinct declaration that the Japanese government would enter into no negotiations with the Postmaster General for a treaty which would debar these particular classes from free entry into Canada. It was not argued by any member from British Columbia-at an'j rate it was not argued in my constituency-that the treaty gave any special privileges to the Japanese outside of the Immigration Act, but what I do say is that the Japanese government distinctly stated that they would not be restricted further than our Immigration Act restricted other Mr. GOODEVE.
nationalities. The fact is that the Japanese government have simply given an assurance to the Canadian government that in so far as it is reasonable or in so far as they themselves are satisfied they will restrict immigration, while at the same time they hold themselves free at any time to allow the immigration of all these classes which I have enumerated and which include the very labourers and artisans about whom we have been speaking.
We grant that the Japanese are a people who are rapidly taking up with western ideas. They have a territory of over one million square miles and a population of over forty million people. The Postmaster General argued on Friday last that we are constantly increasing our intercourse with these eastern nations, and he suggested that when the time came, and it was rapidly approaching he said, that we would have an ' all red route,' intercommunication between us and oriental nations would increase more and more. Therefore, Sir, the danger will be getting greater as the years roll by. The Japanese people with their enormous population crowded into such a small area are naturally casting their eyes around to see wherein their surplus population may find a home. And, if we have the same great influx of these people into the fair lands of our western shores that we have had in the past, let me ask this House wliat would be the result? In British Columbia we have a large territory and a sparse population, and if the influx of orientals were to continue the time is not far distant when the alien and foreign population would exceed the native population. There is this difference between oriental and European immigration, that the orientals cannot and will not assimilate with our people. We never look to the time when by marriage and inter-marriage with the Chinese and Japanese these orientals shall become assimilated with the people of our race. Every man in this House knows that is an impossible thing. I ask you then, in what position will Canada be when we have several hundred thousand of these orientals, remaining loyal to their own flag and unassimilated with us. Do hon. gentlemen think what the result might be in case of war ? There is not a single Japanese who leaves his native land who is not enlisted and who does not report every three years to his home government. What would such men do in the case of a call to arms for the defence of Canada? Hon. gentlemen opposite may perhaps say that I am raising a bugaboo, but is it not well that in the government of a nation we should look to the future ? We trust, Sir, that the alliance between the Biitish empire and the Japanese empire may long continue, we believe it will, but when we are dealing with such a question as this we must look at it in all its aspects. It is only ordinary prudence that we should
endeavour to see what may occur in the future, and what effect our policy of to-day may in the years to come have upon our country and our empire. Only to-day I read a despatch in the newspapers- I may say, however, that I have no confidence in that despatch-only to-day I read in the newspapers that one of the leaders of the pc-ople to the south has declared that if the United States should continue in their policy of withdrawing their warships from the Pacific ocean it will mean war. I mention that merely to show what the trend of public opinion is and how the people of the United States realize that the great Pacific slope is looked at with longing eyes by these oriental races. It is therefore necessary that every Canadian, no matter what his politics, should realize that this is no longer a question for British Columbia alone. It is a question that concerns every man, woman and child, not only in the Dominion of Canada, but in every part of this great empire of ours. We should view it from that broad standpoint, we should realize that any action we may take now should be taken for the benefit of the whole empire. When the question of this tieaty with Japan first arose it was submitted to the government then in power in Canada, and they suggested to the Colonial Secretary that Canada could only accept that treaty if there was a clause in it giving us control of our own immigration. The question remained in abeyance for several years, and although the present government of Canada had all the information concerning it before them, although they had sent their ministers three times to Japan to study the question, although the British gcvernment itself had called the attention of the Canadian government especially to the matter and asked if they wanted any restriction, this government said: no, and they deliberately signed that treaty without any provision whatever for the restriction of immigration into Canada. We in British Columbia are meanwhile the sufferers from the economic disturbance caused by the results of this treaty, and so we realized more than did the people of eastern Canada what this disturbance means, and we took up the issue. When the question comes up later on we shall endeavour to place our arguments in such light before this House that I think the House will agree that some steps must be taken to restrict the Japanese in their free ingress and egress to this country. That is the whole question. We are just as loyal to the empire as are the gentlemen who sit on the government benches; we admire as much as they do the progressiveness of the Japanese people, but we say that in considering this question we have got to view it in the light of a business proposition. Why, as the Postmaster General argued should they feel any offence, why should their feelings be hurt because we make laws in regard to
the restriction of the entrance of their people into this country? Would it not have been a reasonable proposition? Do we not impose similar restrictions in regard to our own people? We know that under the Immigration Act we restrict the entrance of even our own people into the country. Then is there any reason why we should not in the same way restrict the immigration of Japanese?
The hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith) has made much of the fact of a certain telegram having been sent to Victoria in regard to this question. Speaking for my district, I never saw that telegram, I never heard of it, I never heard it read or knew anything about it until I heard of it in this House on Friday afternoon. It had little bearing in my district of Kootenay. Some one may have read it, and I accept the word of the hon. member (Mr. Ralph Smith) that it was read in his presence, but as he stated I was not present at the time and I repeat that I never heard of it and know that it had nothing whatever to do with the question. I was surprised that the hon. member (Mr. Ralph Smith) seemed to think the whole crux of the question rested on that telegram. Yet what was the real argument in regard to it ? Simply that if he was correct, if his arguments were correct, then the people of British Columbia are very much in earnest on this question. If that telegram swayed votes in favour of the opposition as against the government, there is only one conclusion to be drawn and that is that they are very much in earnest in regard to this question and want it settled along lines that will preserve to them the good heritage of this Dominion of ours.
In regard to the question of better terms, the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Lemieux) said that the Hon. Mr. McBride's mission at the conference of the premiers in regard to this question was a failure. I venture to differ from him in regard to that. When the province of British Columbia applied for an independent tribunal to try their case, they were refused, and instead of giving them an independent tribunal the goi eminent called for a conference of the premiers of the various provinces to go into this whole question. There was nothing wrong in that, but I appeal to your sense and judgment whether or not that was an independent tribunal as putting the claim of one province against the claim of another province. Every member, every school boy, knows that if any one of those premiers had given more to one province than he obtained for his own, the first question asked of him on returning to his constituents would be : Why did you not get as much as the other provinces ? That is natural, that is right and that is fair and yet I can prove to you that our claim was so just that even the biassed
and I say advisedly, prejudiced tribunal admitted the right of the province of British Columbia to special consideration and so the Hon. Richard McBride did not fail in his mission here at that conference. I have here the resolution adopted by that conference, a tribunal composed of premiers, every one fighting for his own province. Yet they felt that our position was so just that they passed this resolution :
That in view of the large area, geographical position and very exceptional physical features of the province of British Columbia, it is the opinion of this conference that the said province should receive a reasonable additional ailowanoe for the purposes of civil government in excess of the provisions made in the Quebec resolutions of 1902, and that such additional allowance should be to the extent of $100,000 annually for ten years.
I rather regret to say-I may be wrong- but I thought I detected certain sarcasm beneath the words of the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when he said that the province accepted the $100,000 for ten years, or $1,000,000, although they said it was not enough. Is there anything wrong in the province having accepted that concession ? Would you have them act as children and when they asked for a cake and get only half a cake throw it down and say : I will not take it ? I venture to say there was nothing wrong in the province of British Columbia accepting the $1,000,000 that was offered them, at the same time entering their protest that it was not a fair or adequate amount under the conditions. Mr. McBride's mission was not a failure.
Then the Postmaster General (Mr. Le-mieux) said that Mr. McBride went to the foot of the Throne and again was not successful. I intend to prove from the resolution that Mr. McBride was successful. After having obtained an admission from a prejudiced tribunal that the province was entitled to special and exceptional terms to the extent of $1,000,000, Mr. McBride went to London. We had from the First Minister himself a statement that that was a final and unalterable settlement, that it had been settled by the conference of premiers of the provinces and was final. But, Sir, the premier of the province of British Columbia did not so regard it and I am glad to say that in this he was supported by the leader of the opposition in the British Columbia House at Victoria, Mr. J. A. Macdonald, who himself moved a resolution in which he said that the amount was inadequate and that therefore they did not want this to be a final and unalterable settlement. The result of that was that the legislature unanimously, Liberals and Conservatives alike, agreed to send the premier of the province to- the foot of the Throne to argue that the Mr. GOODEVE.
rights of the province were denied by the Liberal government at Ottawa. I venture to say again that they were successful because I find that when the premier of the province of British Columbia went home and placed this matter before the British government he obtained this communication :
Downing Street, June 5, 1907. To the Hon. Richard McBride,
Hotel Victoria, London.
I am directed by the Earl of Elgin to inform you that His Lordship has given the most careful consideration to the documents which you presented to him and to the views advanced against the proposed amendment of the British North America Act fixing the scale of payments be made by the Dominion of Canada to the several provinces.
2. Lord Elgin fully appreciates the force of the opinion expressed that the British North America Act was the Tesult of terms of union agreed upon by the contracting provinces and that its terms cannot be altered merely at the wish of the Dominion government.
I am to add that no mention will be made in the imperial act of the settlement being final and unalterable, such terms being obviously unappropriate in a legislative enactment.
I venture to say that the hon. the Postmaster General was incorrect in both the assertions he made. Mr. McBride was both successful in the conference and successful with the home government. He had these words struck out so that in the future we can easily obtain justice and fair-play for i ur province.
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.