September 23, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Andrew Thorburn Thompson


Mr. THOMPSON (Haldimand).

It seems to me that the hon. member for East Simcoe (Mr. Bennett) has overlooked one thing, that is, the stringency in the market for farm labourers. I represent a farming constituf ency, and I know the great difficulty the farmers of Haldimand have to obtain the requisite amount of farm labour, and for what they do obtain they have to pay very high prices, so that the legitimate profits of agriculture have been seriously reduced in consequence. I am quite in accord with lion, members in wishing to see the Chinese out of the country, but inasmuch as we have increased the poll tax to $500, and there is no serious danger of their entering in large numbers, I see no cause for this amendment. As to those who are now in Canada, if they were excluded from working on the road that would be a deteriment to our farming class. They are not in any respect farm labourers, and their exclusion would simply mean that the railway navvies would have to be recruited from the farm labouring class, and the farmer would be the sufferer.

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