March 22, 1923

CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Outside?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

Outside. It has nothing to do with the organization my hon. friend is discussing.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The outside employees must of necessity be the field officers, and consequently must come in touch with this work.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

No, no. I have tried to make it clear to my hon. friend that those dealt with in the $700,000 vote are practically all civil servants. No activities of the association come under this particular vote; they are covered by the next vote, No. 53, which we propose to leave open.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Then there are evidently two systems: The machinery for carrying on under the old system is still being retained; and this is entirely aside from anything connected with the present system.

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Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil) :

Mr. Chairman, it seems almost hopeless to get my hon. friend to understand. I made the statement the other day that we had been giving grants to the Salvation Army. But we do not interfere with the army in the handling of those grants, and that has been the practice of the department. for years. They are working in the same fields in which our agents are working-employees of this government, and the same

applies to the Canada Colonization Association. The money-I will deal with the matter when the item comes up-is given them by way of grant as well.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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CON

Donald Sutherland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

The grant to the Salvation Army is in view of work which they are carrying on, well known services that they have been rendering. In the other case there are conditions attached that do not apply in the case of the Salvation Army. If, therefore, there is no check by the officials provided for under this item, I do not see how there can be otherwise.

On September 16 the Prime Minister is reported to have delivered a speech at Stouff-ville, in North York. The report says:

Mr. King spoke at some length on the immigration policy. He said that Canada must get quality and not quantity in immigration, and the plan of co-operation between provincial and federal governments had been worked out. We are determined that we in Canada should say who would come and who should stay out. Conditions as they are discouraged many who would be good citizens in better times, he said, adding that there had been organized in Canada the Canada Western Colonization Association, which would sell lands on thirty-year terms and would look after settlers. The government would work in co-operation with the association, choosing and bringing out settlers, and having the association look after them.

This statement clearly indicates that the policy had already been shaped and that a contract had been entered into with this company. You will observe that these three statements were made in September. As late as November 17 the Globe reports:

Hon. Charles Stewart will disclose immigration policy within ten days. A comprehensive plan of immigration will be recommended to the government of Canada within the next ten days by Hon. Charles Stewart. Minister of the Interior, according to an announcement he made at the Kiwanis Club luncheon to-day, following an address by Lord Shaughnessy.

The intimation is made that another policy is to be brought down. I direct attention to the fact that the Prime Minister, speaking months before, intimated that a policy had been formulated and was to be put into effect, and later the minister himself intimated at this luncheon, if he is correctly reported, that a new policy was to be brought down. On December 27 the Globe has another article, as follows:

Light Immigration Canada's Prospect. No dearth of suitable persons agree to come, but they need assistance; expense too great. In the meantime the government is just doubling its activity in publicity in both the United States and the United Kingdom, including both advertising and lecture work.

Not. a word about a subsidy or bonus being paid to anji-body; but there is an intimation that the activities of the government are not to be nearly as extensive as the people were led to believe they would be from former

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articles appearing in this government journal. On January 7 there is a fresh report from Winnipeg as follows:

Sir John Willison, in a letter addressed to all directors and made public here to-day, announces that his resignation as president of the Canada Colonization Association was due to the fact that he had no voice in settling the details of policy.

I wonder if the reference to "details of policy'' involved a conflict between Sir John Willison and the government, or was it in regard to the directors of the company? Perhaps the minister can give the committee

some information on that subject.

II p.m. We were assured that it was

largely owing to the fact that Sir John Willison was at the head of this organization that the government entered into the arrangement with them; yet here he states that he had practically no voice in settling the details of policy. The report quotes his letter as follows:

"A short experience of three months has forced me to realize that I cannot give adequate attention to the affairs of the Association." Sir John's letter states "Since I have had no active relations to the association when its funds were subscribed, and have no voice in settling the details of its policy, I am sure that my withdrawal should not affect its interests or prospects unfavourably. I desire that my resignation should take effect January 2nd, 1923.

This comment is made:

The new Canada Colonization Association, with a commendable programme and a useful future, is apparently suffering from internal dissension.

It is difficult to understand why the government, in view of these unexplained circumstances, should allow this company to benefit frcftn the bonuses they are being paid and the commissions they are receiving from the land owners whose lands are placed with them. These lands are listed with the company for a period of five years, on the understanding that when a sale is made it shall cover a period of thirty-two years. If any hon. member was offering his lands under these circumstances, would he not fix the value at least 25 per cent in excess of what he would otherwise accept? Yet the settler is being brought in in this way, and the Canada Colonization Asociation is to receive ten per cent commission.

This matter may be dealt with more specifically under a subsequent item, but as the first item is the one upon which the general policy of the government is discussed, it is only fair that these things should be cleared up. Before any item is passed we should have a clear statement from the minister with regard to this company, particularly with reference to the points I have mentioned. The

arrangement is unfair to the prospective purchaser. It will bring discredit on the people of this country if sales are made under these conditions. Land agents as a rule have not a very high reputation. They produce letters asked for by leaders of groups in this House, with a view to bolstering up their case and establishing their claims upon the government. Moreover, the very name of the organization is misleading; when the people know that the Soldier Settlement Board are co-operating in the matter, they will believe the whole thing is part of the machinery of the government for placing the people on the land. Much of this land is held by speculators. It is the first duty of the government, not to look after those who are holding these lands, but to protect the interests of those who have invested their money in lands for agricultural purposes and are endeavouring to carry on under very difficult conditions. Probably the best thing that could happen to this country would be for those people to be forced to relinquish their control of these lands at a reasonable price, so that settlers could obtain them. If this policy proposed by the government is dropped I am satisfied that these lands will be purchased much more cheaply than they will be through the means provided for under the proposal which the minister has announced to the House. I would again remind the House that the arrangement with this association is of such a character that the outside employees of the department must of necessity be allied, in some sense, with the association if any control at all is to be exercised over it. The statement has been made in the press that $40,000 have already been paid to the association. If such is the case I think the minister should fully inform the committee with regard to it.

I do not intend to take up any more time, at this stage but I would like to point out what is happening in the far western end of the province of Ontario at the present time. In the Ottawa Journal this morning I read the following:

Young Canadians rushing to Detroit Eighty families a day reported crossing Border

Windsor, March 21.-Lured by high wages, hundreds of young Canadians are emigrating to the United States. According to the railway and ferry companys no fewer than eighty families a day are entering the States at Detroit. On one train arriving here this afternoon from the East there were forty-five young men who said they were on their way to Michigan industrial centres. A majority of the men are between 25 and 40 years of age. Most of them came from Toronto, Hamilton and other cities of eastern Ontario. Lack of work and prospect of high wages, they explained, induced them to leave the Dominion, More than half of the 45 are mechanics connected in some way with the building trades.

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If it is a fact that there is a reluctance on the part of anyone to undertake any building or construction work in Canada under present conditions, that is a serious matter which should receive some attention. There is a need for inspiring capital with confidence, a confidence which is lacking to-day. To such an extent is that the case that I believe it is absolutely imperative on the part of the government to adopt much more stringent regidations respecting those who endeavour to hamper and restrict people in legitimately carrying on their business in Canada. An effort is being made along that line. We have heard statements made here during the present debate which I am sorry to think should ever be made by members of the Canadian parliament. One can see what the tendency and the drift is, and I believe the responsibility resting upon the government is such that they cannot afford to follow along the line of least resistance. They must face the conditions with courage, and deal with the situation in a statesmanlike manner. Then those people with capital will be inspired by that feeling of confidence which is necessary in order to enable them to go ahead and develop the natural resources of this country.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

Mr. Chairman I do not think I will take up the time of the House by emitting a wail of distress such as we have become accustomed to hearing from this end of the chamber. I do not think that the people of Cariboo sent me here to brand Canada as an undesirable country for citizens of other countries to come to. Those who entertain such an opinion of Canada would do well to leave it. I do not think there is another country on the face of the earth which holds the opportunities that Canada does for a young man to make a start in life. Some people advocate increasing the population as a remedy for the situation complained of. Others say: Do not increase -production.

Twenty-seven years ago I was farming down at the mouth of the Fraser river. At that time we were selling hay, baled and loaded on the barges for $5 a ton, and selling potatoes for 25 cents a sack, and we were not complaining about hard times either. There were a few agitators going around the country and calling out for lower production, and saying we must not raise so much hay, and oats. To-day there is six times the amount of feed raised at the mouth of the Fraser river and the Delta, and in British Columbia generally, and we are getting $30 a ton for our hay and $20 to $25 a ton for our potatoes. This country will never be what nature intended it to be until we have a population of from twenty-

five to thirty millions. There is no reason why Canada should not support that number of people. One hon. member made a statement about the "better element" in this corner of the chamber. That hon member is not here now but I would like him to inform us who is the better element in this section of the House.

There is one thing to which I would like to draw the attention of the minister. It has been stated that in all likelihood army officers would come and locate in Canada. I may be wrong in that impression; if so I stand corrected. What I am going to say has no reference to any of our Canadian army officers that served overseas. No person in this House entertains a greater respect for those men than I do. The army officers to whom I refer have spent the greater part of their lives in the Old Country and I think they are a very good class of people to steer clear of. I have known of a number of these officers who came out to Canada and settled on the land; and really it was pitiable to see their efforts to try and make a living. Through no fault of their own they were greatly handicapped from want of experience in trying to carry on farming. Indeed they are a class of people that we can ill afford to bring to this country, but if the minister has some easy and well paid jobs around Ottawa that he wants to fill by all means let him bring these men over and install them in the positions.

I am opposed to assisted immigration. If any young man, healthy and strong, comes to Canada and cannot make a start for himself we do not want him; I do not think Canada is the proper place for him. One h

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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Sub-subtopic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

If a young man cannot come to this country, make a good start for himself and go ahead I say we are better off without him. Consequently, I would give no assistance to any immigrant that comes to Canada; I am opposed to it in every way.

An hon. member made the statement that it was a love of society and a desire to have a good time in the city that caused people to flock to the large centres of population. Well, if I want a good time I start for the country; you can have a better time there than you can anywhere else.

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Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Out at the country

club.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   IMMIGRATION AND COLONIZATION
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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

The country club is a mighty good place to go to. Some hon. members have spoken during this debate for an hour or more and have concluded by saying they had no suggestions to make to the government. Well, I think I will make a suggestion or two to the government before I conclude. The first suggestion I have to make is in connection with advertising. I hold in my hand a book bearing the names of the Minister and Deputy Minister of the Interior and dated 1918. This is some of the advertising that the former government sent out, in connection with the Peace river country:

The Peace River district contains an area of over 115,000 square miles. Its charming climate and scenery, so long famed by legend and mystery, has been proven a reality. Our keen searching trials and tests have proven it to be all and more than it was ever represented to be.

The climate is excellent. The air is pure and bracing -in the. winter clear and crisp, and in summer dry and balmy. Extremes of temperature, sudden changes, and severe storms are very rare, with little snowfall and few winds. Blizzards are unknown, but the mild chinook w'inds occasionally sweep through the mountain passes from the warm Pacific.

Seeding usually begins in April, sometimes in March. Most of the rainfall occurs in June and July. The average precipitation for the full year is about twelve to thirteen inches.

The summers are remarkable for their long days and short nights. For three months there is almost continual light. The days are warm, but the heat is not sultry or murky.

Harvest commences about the middle of August. September is an especially pleasant month.

The climate need not be feared. Taken the year round, it is healthy and pleasant.

The soil is rich and easy to till. Flowers and vegetables grow with wonderful energy, and spread cheer and profit alike.

There are many large islands along the Peace river, and these are all thickly wooded with fine straight spruce.

I am only giving a synopsis of the advertisement sent out. I might also state that the gentleman who handed me this advertisement said he got it down in Tennessee, and he is now up in the Peace river country:

Seams of coal are exposed in the Rocky Mountain Canyon above Hudson Hope, of excellent quality and higher grade than most of the western Canadian coals.

Now I want to draw the attention of the committee specially to this:

Railway construction is in progress. Location has been carried west as far as Pouce Coupe, and it is only a matter of time until the steel will be laid across the prairie and thence through the mountain passes to give an outlet to the Pacific coast.

That is what I consider a contract between this government and the people who went into that country. I can take it in no other light:

Much of the country is still unexplored, but many millions of acres of fertile lands are known to lie in its valleys, and untold mineral wealth beneath its hills. It holds out very alluring promises for the future. Railway surveys have been projected from the south and east, and railway construction is in progress.

Another promise on the part of the government to the people of the Peace river country:

Much water power is available. Fish and game are abundant. The scenery is magnificent, and the summer seasons very delightful.

Homesteads have been located about Fort St. John. On the flats wild grasses and peavine grow in great profusion. The land is excellent, and very heavy yields of grain and vegetables are harvested every year on the homesteads already taken up.

Then comes another promise from the Dominion government to these people:

The government of Canada offer all resonable inducements and assistance to encourage the development of this great Peace River district. Progressive steps have been taken to open it up by establishing lines of communication and transportation.

I may say that it is essential to the life of these people that they get railway transportation. Something over two thousand people have gone in on the strength of this advertisement. Will this government carry out its solemn pledge to them? I am not finding fault so much with the old government, nor indeed with this government so far. The old government had the aftermath of the war to deal with, and this government has practically only got settled down and got the Railway Board appointed. But I think it is the duty of this government to give these people the railway facilities they are entitled to, and the railway facilities which this government pledged to them when they went into that country and settled there.

During last session I was asked a number of times to take this question up with the government but I refused to do so. I said that I would first go into the country and see it for myself, and at the close of last session I spent the great part of the fall in the Peace River district, and I have not one word of fault to find with that advertisement. I think there is a country there second to none in Canada, and although I travelled through it day after day I did not meet one person during that time who felt that he had any fault to find with the climate or with the soil.. All they asked for was railway transportation. I went from granary to granary all through that vast country and saw hundreds of them, with two and three years' crops of grain and no way of getting it out. Some of them had their grain in stacks, and could not get money enough to thresh it.

On the train coming out with me were seven men and a bank manager. I wanted to get all the information I could, and of eourse

Supply-Immigration

I was interested in talking to these men and learning what I could from them. I asked the bank manager why he was leaving. I asked him if he had got a promotion. He said, "No I am leaving that country because I think I had better leave it than go crazy in it. How can I stay in that country seeing what these people are up against, and that I am expected by the bank to make collections? I believe I would be locked up at New Westminster if I stayed there much longer. I am going out without instructions," he added "and I expect to get discharged." He was taking his wife and family out with him.

Each of the other seven men was the head of a family, and had left his wife and family in there to look after the cattle and winter as best they could. They were going out to try and earn a little money to buy clothing for their families. Four of these men went down to Seattle, two of them to work in the coal mines there, one of them to drive a teamv and the other to work on the wharf. They said they had some friends over there and thought that they could get a job. Now what is this government doing? These men will work there four or five months and make a little money to buy clothing for their children. They will buy the clothing over there, and on their way batik this government will collect a tariff on that clothing. These men go down there to earn a few hundred dollars to clothe their families and if they buy the clothes over on the American side where they can get them cheaper they will have to pay this government about thirty per cent in the way of tariff on those clothes. Is that the way to encourage settlers in this country? Is that the way we are going to treat them? They came here on the strength of this advertisement issued by this government. They are making good. They are the best class of people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Some two or three hundred of them went over and fought our battle overseas. They went in and settled in the Peace river country on the strength of this pledge made by a minister of this government to give them railway facilities. What is this government going to do about it?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

A minister of the previous government.

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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

He was a minister of the federal government, at the time he made this promise. I was talking to a minister of this government the other day and he said that the difference between this government and the government of the United States was that in the United States one government did

not pretend to carry out the pledges of its predecessor, but he said in Canada they did. Under these conditions I say that this government is in honour bound to give these people railway facilities with the least possible delay. They went in there in good faith. They have carried out their share of the contract. What is this government going to do about it?

I do not want to take up too much time, but I have a petition here representing some two thousand settlers. They ask for a line to start from Prince George and to run into the Peace river country. This would be a matter of only about 200 miles, and it would open up that country. I venture to say from personal inspection of that country, if it had railway facilities, inside of ten years from

50,000,000 to 100,000,000 bushels of wheat would be raised there. That is something the government wants to look into. The government is talking about bringing in immigration. There is a district in which not one person, all the time I was there, had one complaint to make about the climate, crop conditions or anything else. One man to whom I spoke said that a crop failure was unknown. He had been there for thirteen years, he said, and this year came the nearest to being a failure of any year since he had been there. He had as fine a crop of wheat, oats and barley as I want to see grown anywhere. The country is a splendid one, an empire within itself, and yet those people, after they have gone in there in good faith, are tied up and cannot get transportation. Now, it is up to this government to furnish them with transportation. If this government sends a commission there to investigate conditions, and if it is found that any word in that advertisement and the statement I have made to-night is not correct, I do not ask them to do anything; but I think they will find what I have said more than verified on investigation. Therefore, it is up to the government to build a line, in my judgment, from Prince George into that district. This would put those people within 667 miles of Prince Rupert, which is undoubtedly one of the coming cities on the Pacific coast, and it is up to the government to do everything it can to develop freight for its lines going there. It would also bring that country within 892 miles of Vancouver, and all the government has to do is to build about 200 or, at the outside, 250, miles of line. I have had a railway expert go and investigate the situation, and he says that such a line could be built for $35,000 a mile. I would ask the government to investigate the matter and try and make a start at the earliest possible date.

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Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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PRO

Lincoln Henry Jelliff

Progressive

Mr. JELLIFF:

It is not my purpose to take up very much of the time of the committee in entering into this debate. I have been sitting here for almost a week now in the gloom and shadows of this chamber and I felt that it was up to me to bring in a little gleam of sunshine from sunny, southern Alberta. We have heard a good many complaints from this side of the House in reference to conditions surrounding the farmers of this country, and I regret to say that most of those complaints are well founded. They are true; they are absolutely true from investigations which I have been able to make. But at the same time, we must ask ourselves the question, as fair-minded and reasonable men, members of this House of Commons, a great deliberative assembly: Where in the world can we go and not find similar or even worse conditions? We have come through a great war, and the situation in which we are placed, to my mind, is to a large extent the result of the losses of men and of treasure which we sustained during that great conflict and its inevitable reaction. I doubt whether any one of my farmer friends sitting to my left to-day, for whom I entertain the utmost respect and affection, could, at this time, plant themselves down in any other agricultural country in the world and find better conditions than exist right here in Canada, bad as these conditions are. We are here to try to help correct those conditions; and when I review the whole situation as best I can, looking the world over, I must conclude, when considering the matter of immigration to this country, that there is net another country on earth where incoming men who are honest, who are industrious, and who possess a fair share of intelligence, stand a better show of making a livelihood than in Canada.

I am going further than that, and I am going to say here to-night that, looking Canada over as a whole, I know of no province in this country which can offer better opportunities than the province of Alberta from which I come. I came into Alberta as an immigrant twenty years ago There was not a railroad in my neighbourhood; I journeyed part way to the land which I had selected, on what we called a narrow-track or turkey trail railway, and in those twenty years I have seen that country fenced up all around me. Those lands which formerly were the exclusive home of the ground squirrel, the coyote and a few straggling herds of cattle are now the homes of hundreds and thousands, I am going to say, of prosperous and successful farmers. I have seen school districts blocked out, schoolhouses built, churches built, towns and cities grow up,

all the institutions of civilization placed in our midst, and the building in the three western provinces of one of the greatest empires on earth.

I am going to give the committee something from the records of our own provincial government-I am not going into it very far- just to indicate what Alberta is, what it has been doing during the last ten or fifteen years, to show it is a proper place for bringing in new settlers who have an honest intention to earn a fair living for themselves and their families. In the matter of grain, according to records which I have from the Alberta government, we produced in that province in 1909, 8,467,799 bushels of wheat, and in 1920, 83,526,901 bushels of wheat, or nearly ten times as much. As regards oats, we produced in 1909, over 24,000,000 bushels; in 1920, over

115.000. 000 bushels, and in 1921, 92,000,000 bushels.

As regards barley, we produced in 1909, over

3.000. 000 bushels, and in 1921, over 12,000,000 bushels. Passing from that to the cattle industry, let us see what took place. In 1910, the figures given as to cattle in Alberta are 672,709 head, and in 1921, 1,854,202, a tremendous growth and development. Our dairy products sprang from $7,855,751 in 1910 to $34,000,000 in 1920; our creamery butter rose from $2,315,000 in 1910 to $11,821,291 in 1920, and so on. The number of dairy cows in the province increased from 94,671 in 1910 to 423,838 in 1921; while the number of horses increased from 254,197 in 1910 to 916,510 in 1921, and swine from 237,510 to 574,318.

Now, these are some real facts in reference to what we have produced. True it is that in late years, with these great productions and with the market conditions such as they have been in the world at large, we have not been able to obtain a fair reward for the money invested and the labour put forth in agriculture in that province, and in the other western provinces. But I do not believe that that is a reason for us in Canada to stand by and let matters drift. I do not believe that the people in this country outside of this House of Commons would approve in any measure whatever of our taking an attitude of that kind. I believe that people are looking for an immigration policy; I think they are fully sensible of the great extent of our territory and the immeasurable richness of our resources, agricultural, mineral, fisheries and timber. They are looking to us to inaugurate policies in regard to immigration and otherwise which will result in such a development of these immense resources that Canada, within a reasonable period, will attain that position of

Supply-I mmigration

influence and power and usefulness among the nations of the world which Nature and destiny intended she should fill. I thoroughly believe that and I feel that it is our business to promote that end. And it all has a relationship to this immigration policy.

I am heartily in favour of immigration. I do not believe there is a member in this House who is not in favour of it; I do not believe there is a member here who does not want to see this great heritage of ours, this magnificent land with its resources developed to the utmost. I believe we all are anxious to see steps taken that will bring about that result. Speaking for myself and for the district in which I live I must say that we are very anxious to have immigrants. Nothing would please me better than to see the Acting Minister of Immigration (Mr. Stewart) set down 2,000 good reliable farmers in my district of Lethbridge to-morrow. We have passed through as difficult times as any district in Canada,, and I believe worse. But outside certain localities in connection with which a mistake was made in earlier immigration policies, and where we had no business to place settlers without having made proper preparations, I believe that we can gjve every man who wants to come in and farm a good opportunity to make a fair, square living for himself and his family. Our people are persevering and gritty and they are determined to win. They have set aside and hypothecated great areas of land in my district to the extent of eight or nine million dollars, to be devoted to irrigation projects, and I am quite sure they will win. When they get these projects settled up and in operation there will be few failures in that part of the province, nor, I trust, any further misery or suffering. Now', it is sometimes well for us to see ourselves as other see us. I hold in my hand a letter I received two or three weeks ago from a young man who settled a few years ago in my immediate neighbourhood. Before coming out into our part of the country he was a book-keeper with T. Eaton and Company, his wife having been a stenographer with the same company. He had been brought up on a farm in Ireland. He came and settled down in that neighbourhood and made a success of farming in every way. This letter, which is -written in beautiful handwriting, is dated February 23rd., and reads:

Dear Mr. Jelliff,

In view of the discussion on immigration in the country, in the press and in parliament I am sending you a clipping from my home paper in Belfast, Ireland. It is the concluding article of a series in which this clergyman describes his trip from Belfast to Pennant, Saskatchewan and return. He is a man of considerable standing in his community,-the minister of probably

the largest Presbyterian church in Ireland,- and if you will read his concluding remarks you will see he is very favourably impressed with this country. I understand it was the custom of the Immigration department some years ago when they were going after immigrants seriously to send over to the Old Country Canadian farmers during the winter season to tell them over there the actual conditions on the farm in Canada; and knowing your intimacy with the Hon. C. Stewart-this is complimentary to myself-I thought possibly you would use your influence on my behalf in that direction.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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PRO

Lincoln Henry Jelliff

Progressive

Mr. JELLIFF:

You can "oh, oh," at this all you please, gentlemen, but here is a man who is as honest, as honourable, as conscientious, and as successful a fanner as any that sits in this House to-night.

Of course, all the world knows the unsettled condition of Ireland, and lots of young farmers are at the present time anxiously considering the question of going overseas. As you know, I am familiar with conditions in each of the prairie provinces, both city and country, as I have been in Canada fifteen years, coming direct from the Old Country to Winnipeg in 1908. 1 can address public meetings if necessary and point out in [DOT] a convincing manner the advantages the country offers to the settler, and have no doubt I could secure a considerable number of immigrants from the farms under present conditions in Ireland.

My people are farmers over there and have occupied the same farm for ninety-eight years, so that I am thoroughly familiar with farming conditions on both sides of the Atlantic.

This is a man from my own district who changed from a clerical occupation and is making a marked success of farming. He wants to go over to his native country to spend the. winter time there and bring over men in the spring to settle on farms in Canada.

Now I am going to read the concluding paragraph of the clipping to which he refers, written by the pastor of one of the largest churches in Ireland. This is from the eleventh of a series of articles he has written with reference to Canada. He came over here to investigate conditions in order to satisfy himself. He had heard a lot about Canada, his people were looking this way, and he wanted them to know the truth about the situation. He says in conclusion:

At the moment there are a good many of our young people turning their thoughts anxiously and inquiringly to the Dominion of Canada. The present industrial depression and the uncertainty about the future of our country have made many wonder if emigration would solve for them the problem of the coming years. If my articles will have helped anyone to decide the question of whether or not they should seek a new home in Canada, then one of the purposes for which they have been written will be served. For my own part, I would say that if they decide to go they will find a land of hardly touched wealth and of many opportunities, a land that is producing men and women of industry, intelligence, and resource, a land in which they will be proud to dwell.

Supply-Immigration

I know what hard knocks are on the farm. I came to Canada twenty years ago knowing little or nothing about farming. I presume I have had harder knocks on that account than the man who comes here even with a limited amount of experience in that occupation. I have seen hard times, and I doubt if there is a man in this chamber who has had more and harder financial burdens to bear during those twenty years than I have. But all through that period I never lost one iota of my faith in the future greatness and destiny of Canada. I am determined to make a win yet on my farming venture, and I believe other men are equally determined. I have seen the wonderful growth and development of agriculture in western Canada-a development such as has never been seen in any other country in the world within the same limited time. We should have hope and we should take courage from that fact.

Now as to this immigration policy. I do [DOT] not like it. I want to see immigration, I want to see this country filled up. I want to see our great national debt paid, I want to see a stop put to these great railway deficits; but 1 am doubtful, sincerely doubtful, even if this Canada Colonization Association should be all right, whether it is going to obtain the results that we have in view. I do not think the immigration policy of the minister goes far enough. I do not think it is comprehensive enough. What does he propose? He is going to bring in, I take it from the plans that have been outlined, farmers, farm labourers, domestics and children- * very commendable so far as it goes, but it is doubtful indeed if that is going to answer the purpose which I have no doubt the minister has sincerely in view.

The bringing in of children as a philanthropic enterprise is commendable, but it will be years and years before such immigrants will be able to give any appreciable help in the payment of our national debt or in decreasing our railway deficits. Then take the next class, the domestics. I cannot see with an}- stretch of my imagination that they are going to_ contribute materially towards paying off our national debt. If what. I have seen of them in my life is still charactertistic of this class, most of their resources will be spent in mimicking their mistresses and possibly in a rivalry as to which can wear the shortest dresses both at the top and the bottom. But, I repeat, I do not believe they will contribute materially towards the payment of our national debt. And the same with the farm labourers. They will help somewhat on the farms to increase the

amount of grain produced, but when it comes to the income tax and to furnishing freight for our railroads they are not going to be a very important factor. Then the last class, the farmers themselves. As I have stated, there are great burdens on our farmers and we want to give them the best possible outlook. This plan of bringing in farmers is a marked admission on the part of the minister as to the relationship of agriculture to the general welfare of the country and to the dependence that we must place on it. But he is proposing to increase the number of farmers. He admits that the farmer is the backbone of the country. But we are not going to carry our debt any easier by lengthening the backbone, for the longer you make it the weaker it will be unless adequate props are provided to sustain it, unless it is strengthened, unless it is energized, unless it is rendered more effective-and there is nothing proposed here to this end.

What I should like to have announced here in this connection is the general policy of the government, which should be dovetailed and fitted in with the immigration policy, whatever it may be, to ensure its success and to accomplish the purposes we have in view. As it is now, we are looking to immigration to lift this load by increasing the number of farmers. In other words, we are asking the tail to wa'g the dog, instead of relying on the more natural action of the dog wagging the tail.

Now, there are certain things that must go concurrently with this policy to render it effective and successful. The first is that we must lower the cost of living and the cost of production. Remove that burden from the farmer and you will remove much of the cause of his coniplaint. I know of nothing better this administration could do than to dovetail the policy outlined in the platform on which it was elected in with its immigration policy. Let them come out with the courage of their convictions upon which they secured their present place in this parliament, and they will do more to contribute to the success of immigration than anything else they could attempt. Take the burdens off the necessaries of life and the implements of farm production. Go further and take the tariff burden off the implements necessary for the development of our natural resources.

Another matter that should be taken up with a view to rendering the work of the farmers effective is the equalization of freight rates. In my own province we have a rate of 15 cents a bushel on wheat from Lethbridge to Fort William, a distance of 1,177 miles, while the

Supply-Immigration

rate to Vancouver, only 774 miles, is 15.8 cents a bushel. It is costing us 81.95 a ton more, on an equal ton mile basis of rates, to get to the coast than to Fort William. When I went into Alberta my friends said to me: "The trouble is that you are too far from your market." I said, "Well, I expect the day soon to come when I shall be able to ship my grain to the western coast," and I have been waiting for that all these years, hoping and praying that it would come, not only for my own benefit but for the benefit of the farmers generally in my province. In my district we raised 22,000,000 bushels of wheat last year-63,000,000 bushels in the whole province. If we had had an equitable rate to the West the farmers of Alberta would have saved $3,500,000 on their wheat alone. In my own district we would have saved a million and a quarter. That means something to the intending settler; to bring about an equitable condition in freight rates would give added strength and sinew to the men who are already toiling in the fields out in that country. The government has it within its power to remedy that defect.

Another difficulty we are labouring under is connected with our sj'stem of financing. We need a system of financing adapted to the requirements of agriculture, a system that will provide us with money on the terms necessary to enable us to mature our products and put them on the market in an orderly way. It has got to come. Some such system prevails in every agricultural country that we are competing with. It is but a few years ago that a farm loan mortgage system was introduced in the United States. During the war the United States had to back up its farmers by advancing them millions of dollars through their War Finance Corpora-

12 m. tion. Then came the slump of 1920 and 1921; the War Finance Corporation was reinstated and there was distributed within a few months through that corporation $470,000,000 for the relief of cotton growers, corn growers, live stock producers and the sugar beet industry of the United States-in fact, only that could have saved them from utter collapse, Europe not being able to take her supplies as she had taken them in former years. By holding back their surplus and letting it go on the market as its absorption became possible they raised the price of cotton from 8 to 20 cents a pound and the price of corn from 20 to 45 or 50 cents a bushel. That increase was not an undue burden upon anybody; it was the fair average value of the product. In this country it should be part of our policy to bring about

some orderly method of marketing our farm products so that we may avoid slumps and frequent losses by putting the products on the market as they can be readily absorbed. Europe cannot take larger quantities than she requires for short periods; they are not in a position to buy in advance, because of the demoralized condition of their finance and exchanges. The right hon. leader of the Opposition, for whom I have so much respect, would, I am sure, pretty nearly agree with me in regard to some of these things, and I am confident that if the government took action along these lines they would have his hearty support and the support of hon. gentlemen to my right as well as of my hon. friends to my left. It is not simply a question of dollars and cents; we have to spend money here to make money. I doubt whether we can get our country back into shape without going further even into debt than we are today. We must put our producers in such a position that they shall be able to pull the load.

I believe from the bottom of my heart that the future of this government depends on the prosperity of the agricultural industry. If agriculture succeeds, prosperity will permeate to the very top of our industrial and commercial structure. As I sat here to-night thinking, my mind went back to that good old first Psalm that I learned at my father's knee. It presents to my mind a picture that I would like to look upon as a vision of our own country in the future. The words I have in mind are these:

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

I like to think of Canada as a great oak with its roots buried deep in the soil, developing into a magnificent tree under whose branches the war-weary of the world, the industrious. the ambitious, the worthy from all lands can find opportunity, peace, comfort and plenty.

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PRO

Henry Elvins Spencer

Progressive

Mr. SPENCER:

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Item agreed to. Chinese immigration-salaries and contingencies, $00,000.


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I suggest to the minister that considering the success he has had in getting over a really serious hurdle, he do not ask the House to wait longer to-night. This is an important appropriation, and I know there are quite a number who would like to discuss it, some of whom are not "present. No progress will be made by going on with that item. The minister has asked himself that the second item, No. 53, stand, and I do not see what he hopes to gain by going on.

Progress reported.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King, the House adjourned at 12.25 a.m. Friday.

Friday, March 23, 1923

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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March 22, 1923