In representing one department of this government as more inefficient than another, I cite the Department of Immigration. I have no desire to attack any particular officials of that department; individually they are hard working men. But without proper direction, and without any settled plan or policy, they are helpless and the results are most deplorable. The people of Canada are aware of this and are demanding some real results from the large expenditure on immigration.
This year's estimates provide, in this connection, for $5,162,900, apportioned as follows: Immigration, $3,462,900; Land Settlement Board, $1,400,000; health branch in connection with immigration, $300,000. This does not include upkeep or rental of offices and buildings or of quarantine, or what may be in the supplementary estimates, nor does it include the very large sums spent annually by the Canadian National Railways and by the Canadian Pacific Railway, amounting to approximately $1,500,000; neither does it refer to the amount expended by certain of our provinces who maintain their own immigration officials. It does not cover the cost to and the labour of various charitable and religious organizations which have operated so successfully in past years.
The Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) claims credit for every immigrant brought over to this country or coming of his own accord. Let us see what the situation is. According to the government report, from 1910 to 1920, which included four war years, our immigration was as follows:
British.. .. United States European. . .
Average per year 197,544
During the next period, from 1920-21 to
1924-25, our immigration was as follows:
United States European.. .
Thus it will be seen that during this period approximately one-half the immigrants entering Canada were British. During the following year, 1925-26, the immigration was as follows:
United States 18,778
In other words, the immigration from European countries was much greater than
The Budget-Mr. Arthurs
the British immigration, for the first time. During the following year, 1926-27, the immigration was as follows:
United States 21,025
During that year the immigration from European countries was greater than the combined British and United States immigration. Then we take the last year for which we have a record, 1927-2S, and we find the following figures:
United States 25,007
Total '.. .. 151,597
Again the European immigration is equal to the combined British and United States immigration. We must also remember that the immigration to Canada from the United States is not composed1 entirely of Americans; the great majority of the people coming to this country from the United States are classed as aliens in that country. The United States Labour department returns 'for 1928 show that of the 25,007 people who left the United States for Canada 14,797 were aliens passing through the United States to this country. Thus we see that although we have spent millions of dollars more each year we are getting less immigrants and a lower proportion of British and United States citizens.
According to the returns of the United States Labour department 673,683 Canadians entered that country as immigrants during the last six years, and our returns show that over the same period we brought into Canada from all countries approximately the same number. The United States returns are for native Canadians, born in this country, fit physically and not criminals, so really we are expending over $5,000,000 a year in immigration in order to substitute for an average of 110,000 good Canadians an equal number of immigrants most of whom do not speak our language or understand our laws. I have nothing to say against any immigrant who comes to Canada to make a home for himself, but no matter how good he may be he cannot be as valuable to this country as one of our own young men, thousands of whom are still leaving our land through lack of employment caused by the neglect of this government. What this country needs is a policy which will tend to have our raw materials manufactured at home; we should keep our
home markets for Canadian farm products and natural manufactures, thus giving employment to Canadians in Canada and making room for the proper class of immigrants from other countries, especially from Great Britain.
A few days ago I read a very illuminating editorial in the leading Liberal newspaper of Ontario, the Toronto Globe. This editorial deals with immigration. I am not going to weary the house by reading it all, since it occupies over a column of space, but I would like to read' just a couple of short sentences:
If Hon. Robert Forke's speech in the House of Commons on Friday is to be regarded as a major attempt at placing the immigration situation before the public, it must be considered as an unqualified disappointment. It carried too many alibi earmarks, found too many excuses and obstacles for which no solutions were offered, while it lacked the ' clear, ringing note in behalf of British immigration which the country has a right to look for, in view of the many professions of recent months that Canada wanted British blood and was prepared to use every effort to get it.
Further on the editorial continues:
Has the trepidation of government supporters, depending upon the foreign vote for their seats, caused the minister to waver? His own loyalty to the British principle has not been questioned. Something must have happened to cause him to weigh the subject as he did with such evident desire to placate discontented interests.
That editorial appears in the Toronto Globe of March IS, 1929. This government has had over seven years in which to forward the policy which I have enunciated, that of manufacturing our own goods at home, but they have utterly failed in their task and conditions in Canada are worse so far as the working man or the farmer is concerned.
There is a motion on the order paper in the name of the hon. member for Rose.town (Mr. Evans), and although we cannot discuss it at present I wish to read it to the house:
Whereas the Board of Grain Commissioners have failed in the administration of the Canada Grain Act, and particularly the so-called Campbell amendment; and, .
Whereas as a consequence there is widespread distrust of this body among the farmers of the western provinces;
Therefore be it resolved that, in the opinion of this house, the members of the present board should be dismissed forthwith and a new board appointed.
If we substitute the words "government of Canada" for the words "Board of Grain Commissioners" and make a few corresponding changes, the resolution then would read as follows:
Whereas the government of Canada have failed in the administration of Canada; and,
The Budget-Mr. McMillan
Whereas as a consequence there is widespread distrust of this body among the farmers and working men of the provinces;
Therefore be it resolved that, in the opinion of this house, the members of the present government should be dismissed forthwith and a new government substituted therefor.
I am quite sure, Mr. Speaker, that this amended resolution would receive the approval of the great majority of the electors of this country.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE