He is not a redblooded individual by any means. I have never yet known a man who appreciated a home that was virtually handed to him, and I have never yet known a man to appreciate a home which was not erected by the toil of his own hands or the sweat of his own brow. I have never yet known a home loving man whose home loving qualities were not engendered by honest, plodding toil.
I also think great care should be taken in the selection of our immigrants. The selection of our immigrants as well as the placing of them when they get here should be a government duty. The immigrants should be sound both in body and in mind, and they should be intelligent. They should be imbued with the idea that while the government is giving them a chance when they come here to build homes for themselves and therefore to share
in the benefits that such homes give them in Canada, they should at the same time be prepared to share with us the burdens and responsibilities that such citizenship entails. A learned man once said that "every choice we make is for an eternity," and it is only reasonable, therefore, to conclude that when the immigrant comes here, he and his offspring will remain in Canada for all generations and all time. Therefore if the government is to .continue its policy of inducing immigrants to come here it should bring in the type of immigrant that is adaptable to a country like ours. I may say, when I speak in this way, that I advocate bringing in people who are of peasant stock. The peasants are emphatically an adaptable type. A great poet once said:
111 fares the land, to hast'ning ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay;
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made:
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroyed, can never be supplied.
I do not think it is wise to embark upon a wholesale immigration to Canada. Just as I think it is folly to bring over to Canada the riffraff of Europe, so I think it is equally foolhardy to bring in too big an influx. Just as I think it is the height of wisdom to bring in the sturdy, pioneering, home-loving types, so I think it is equally wise that our policy should be one of quality rather than one of quantity. Premier Baldwin in a recent speech in Canada had this to say:
Canada has an enormous future and, if it be not impertinent to say so to Canadians, I would say: The future is with you; do not be in too much of a hurry. Your country is a country for virile races. Quality before quantity any day. Build up with the best. What does it matter if it is a hundred years or more before your country is full? Keep the stock you have, and the men and women you have, and see to it that the coming generations are in no whit inferior to them. I have often thought that it is a dangerous thing to the morale of a nation to get rich quickly, as it is to an individual. Time is on your side. Maintain the values; maintain the standards; and may the prayer of Canada always be the prayer of the Greek sailor, which has been preserved for us by Seneca: "God, you may save me if you will; you may sink me if you will; but whatever happens, I will always keep my rudder true".
There is a world of philosophy in that statement-"I will always keep my rudder true." Surely that is the spirit not of the mollycoddle but of the red-blooded pioneer.
Now that I have said something about the type of immigrant that we should allow to come into Canada, I shall speak for a few moments about the classification of those immigrants into the preferred, the non-preferred
and the undesirable. This classification in many cases is an unjust one, because those put on the non-preferred list might in some cases be placed on the preferred list, and it is possible that even some who are classed as undesirable might be put on the non-preferred or even on the preferred list. You cannot expunge a fact by a mere recital which is not a fact. I think it was Abraham Lincoln who once asked a friend of his this question: "If
you call a dog's tail a leg, how many legs would that dog have?" The answer was: "Five." "No", said Lincoln, "You cannot make a leg out of a tail by merely calling it a leg." So in the same manner putting a man on the non-preferred list should not always mean that he is a non-preferred immigrant. I agree with what has been said about undesirable immigrants, that if they are not amenable to our laws and constitution, they should not be allowed to come into the country. I hope hon. members will not misunderstand me when I speak on the question of immigration. I make absolutely no differentiation as to race, or even religion. I speak merely on principle and I oppose the principle of extending financial aid to immigrants in order to stimulate immigration, because I think this is based on a principle that is fallacious, dangerous and absolutely inimical to the purpose for which it was inaugurated. Canada is still a young and primitive country. We have not yet reached the point where the modern conveniences of present-day civilized life begin and where pioneering ends. I have never yet heard in the history of the world of a successful subsidized immigration and I have also never heard of an overfed, pampered and petted person who ever amounted to anything. It is for that reason that I oppose any financial aid to immigration. I know it is dangerous to endeavour to teach a man to swim merely by throwing him into the ocean. But let us remember that there is always somebody in the crew who is ready to throw out a line in order to draw him back on to the deck of the ship. In the same manner in a pioneering community there is always somebody ready to extend a helping hand in times of greatest difficulties. Therefore, other things being equal, if the immigrant has the will and if he is made of the proper stuff, I have absolutely no doubt that he will make good in a country like Canada.
I have often wondered whether it would not be an improvement on our present system if something were done to make Canadian residents who bring in immigrants on affidavits actually responsible for those immigrants when they come into Canada. I have known cases where immigrants upon their arrival in Canada found that the people who had signed affidavits in order to bring them here repudiated the affidavits or eschewed all responsibility for them and would have nothing to do with the immigrants. I have in mind the case of a young girl who came to Canada about two years ago. She also came over here on an affidavit signed by an Alberta farmer. When she arrived, he eschewed all responsibility for his affidavit, and would not give her the work she expected to find when she came to Alberta. She is now being bandied about from one farmer to another, and they are taking advantage of that situation. She is receiving no wages, but is living in the hope that the work and the remuneration she expected to find in Alberta before her departure for Canada will be forthcoming. Cases like this are by no means rare. I merely cite this instance in order to give an example of what is being done, not only in the province of Alberta, but all over Canada. It might be argued, therefore, that only families already resident in Canada should be allowed to bring people in on affidavits. I personally think it would be a very good thing, because when the immigrant arrived in this country somebody in Canada would be responsible for him, and this would prevent the immigrant becoming a charge on the country and from joining the numerous breadlines which we have all over the country even at the present time.
With regard to the immigrants and their susceptibility to our .laws and constitution, and their readiness to accept those laws and that constitution, I know, that I am dealing with a subject that is of grave concern to many people in Canada. It is of grave concern for this reason, that they see in the coming of foreigners to our shores a potential menace to everything that they hold as dear as life itself.
I have noticed also that the coming of im- [DOT] migrants to our shores has caused a great stir in our social, political and educational circles, directed, no doubt, with a view to welcoming the immigrant and with a view to assimilating our immigration within as short a time as possible. The subject is at once a dangerous one, and also very contentious and very delicate. It is difficult indeed to deal with a subject like this without stepping on the toes of immigrants, and also without hurting the sensibilities of the native born. There are many realities in life such as religion, race, love and patriotism, which can be overdone. I intend to deal merely with the question of assimilation so far as it has to do with the questions of race and patriotism.
To begin with, there have been many plans for the quick assimilation of the immigiant.
One of them has been to sandwich the immigrant in with the rest of the races in Canada. So far as this sandwiching plan is concerned, I have this to say: I actually know how it works. It is possible to tolerate the immigrant only so far as he obeys our laws and also respects our constitution, but when it comes :o accepting him in our social circles, that is a different matter. It is a different matter also for the immigrant. What does it all result in? It results in the immigrant trying to seek his own level; in other words, he leaves the locality to which he originally came, and goes to another where he hopes to find his own level.
It has been said also that the segregation of the immigrants in large colonies is not conducive to ready assimilation, that it results in an imperium in imperio, or a nation within a nation. When we make remarks like that I think we stretch our imagination a little too far. The immigrant is a human being just like ourselves. He differs from us in no way except in language and certain racial characteristics, and surely in the matter of worldly-wise self consciousness he is not the sophisticated human being that a good many of ua are.
There have been two ways in which the immigrant has been looked upon in Canada. One is the mystical attitude, and the other is the rational one. The rational attitude is the one we employ in our everyday life. The mystical attitude is the attitude which we often adopt towards him when we are not in a very good mood, when we are not very well disposed towards him. The rational mood, I would say, would be the [more humane. The mystical attitude is the one which smacks more of prejudice, discrimination, and in less democratic countries than ours it virtually amounts to persecution. We on this side of the ocean are more sensitive than we appear. The mere vague annoyance which our own supersession in this country causes us is combined with our antipathy towards anyone and anything foreign. We are obsessed with that mystical attitude which repels everything we are not used to, and it is precisely this attitude which causes such a great gulf to be made between the different racial elements in our country. It is this attitude that makes us look with horror upon the farmer driving into town in his sheepskin coat, and upon the woman dressed in shawl and top boots coming home from market with a duck under one arm and a chicken under the other, in preparation for the family dinner. Why, even the foreigner's thrift and industry is viewed by us sometimes with hostility and suspicion. Of course we must recognize
that the Canadian views the foreigner from his own individual and very limited angle. He does not realize that the shadow of penury hangs very frequently over the newcomer and that everything he owns and attains in the way of the material things of life and education depends wholly upon his thrift and industry. The same can be said of the children of the immigrant at school. The immigrant's son or daughter must not fail, because he cannot afford to support his children on his paltry income. They must extend themselves to the limit at all times, for it is only by the greatest economy of finance that these poor people are able to get an education.
It is these things and a multitude of others that must be considered in the light of their effect upon the mind of the Canadian; for it is precisely these things that produce that typical mystical attitude towards the less fortunate newcomer. Yet, Mr. Speaker, I think if we were able to visualize ourselves in the immigrant's position we would realize exactly what his feelings are; we would understand his attitude better, and we would come to a more reasonable solution of the question than we have done up to the present. At any rate ft would help to break down the present barriers of misunderstanding between the different racial elements in our population, and it would also result in clear and sane thinking, without which no true progress can take place.
Now. sir, from what I have said with respect to this question I may be considered an ultra idealist, and my contribution may be thought impracticable, but I hope not. Despite everything that has been said against the immigrant, I think the day is not far distant when all the animosities engendered by racial conflicts not only in Europe but even on this continent will give way to a more reasonable attitude and will bring about a sound solution of the whole question. I look forward to the * time when all these racial misunderstandings will disappear and will recede into the dim and distant past as relics of a barbaric and savage age.
Subtopic: MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN REPORT OP COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION