If I am in order in discussing another matter under this item, I would like to ask the minister for some information regarding a regulation that was>
passed in August or September last year, instructing the agents of the department to *interfere with Newfoundlanders entering the province of Nova Scotia. . We have a great many people from Newfoundland coming into Cape Breton to work in the mines. They come in the summer, work seven or eight months, then go home and come back to Nova Scotia again. Our mine managers find them a very excellent class of people to employ in the mines. Last year we were very much startled to find that there was a regulation put into force to prevent them coming into Canada, and it caused a great deal of ill-feeling in the island of Newfoundland. I think the regulation was withdrawn, but I would like to know from the minister why this new departure was entered upon. It is not desirable that we should create any disturbance between ourselves and the people of Newfoundland. Of course, away out in Manitoba and British Columbia they do not feel it very much, but we regard, Newfoundlanders very much as part and parcel of ourselves, because the distance between us is very small, and a great many Newfoundland people live in the town in which I reside. We find them excellent citizens and good people to associate with. It created a good deal of disturbance and inquiry, particularly when the war was on, many Newfoundlanders going to the front, not only from Canada, but from Newfoundland itself. If there is any satisfactory explanation that the minister can give I think it would be desirable that it be given here, so that these people and the Government of Newfoundland would know why Newfoundlanders were discriminated against in this way. Did any complaint come from our part of the country and what is the reason for passing this regulation? .
The hon. gentleman speaks as if he were under the impression that a
special regulation tad been passed to prevent Newfoundlanders coming into Canada. People coming into Canada during the winter months are supposed to have $50 in cash in their own rights, and during the summer months $25. This regulation was put in force for a short time against Newfoundlanders, during my absence from Ottawa, on representations from certain people to the department that there were sufficient labourers in Nova Scotia unemployed to meet all the demands, and that mining men were bringing over Newfoundlanders to work in the mines. It was by reason of these representations that the department enforced the money qualification, not only against Newfoundlanders, but aganist people coming .from the British Isles, or any other country. We sent an officer down to inquire into the situation, owing to protests being received against the enforcement of the money qualification in respect to Newfoundlanders, an investigation was held by this officer and he advised that we should admit Newfoundlanders without insisting on the money qualification. It was only for a short time that this regulation was in force and we now treat Newfoundlanders as ordinary returning Canadians.
I have received from Mr. Ben C. Saloway, who lives in my riding, a letter in regard to immigration matters. I do not propose to read it but there are one or two suggestions to which I would like to call the attention of the minister. Mr. Saloway is an Englishman who, during the last Government's term of office, was in England as immigration agent and he is a very observant man. He writes ime that he thinks that large numbers of the industrial class of Englishmen will come over to Canada and settle. He points out that, 'homesteads being much fewer in number than they were, these men of the industrial class are perhaps scarcely fitted to go out in the newer countries situated long distances from railways. He makes the suggestion that, there being large areas in. the hands of speculators near railways, the department might make some arrangement with the holders of these lands to sell them on more reasonable terms than those at which they now offer them for sale. He points out that if these men attempt to purchase lands on the terms now offered it will only mean ruin to them. The views of Mr. Saloway on this matter are set forth in the Montreal Star of the
13th of this month. I draw this matter to the attention of the minister for his consideration.