February 20, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. L. SCHAFFNER (Souris).

Mr. Speaker, I shall not attempt to speak very long on this question, but I feel that it is my duty to express my opinion upon it. I regret very much to-day that all of the ministers of the Crown are not present. I also regret that every hon. member of the House is not here to listen to this very interesting discussion on one of the most important questions that is before the people of Canada to-day. Now, I take exception to one of the remarks made by my hon. friend from Hants (Mr. Black). Speaking of the importance not only of bringing people into the country but of saving the people who are already in the country he said that one good Canadian was worth twenty Douk-hobors, and I think I must have misunderstood him when he said one hundred Englishmen. An hon. member beside me says that it must have been one hundred Indians. If that were so it would save me making a few more remarks, and it would save the feelings of some of my hon. friends behind me. I am only going to refer to two phases of this subject. Although this is a subject that may come more particularly within the province of the medical profession, I am glad that it has been introduced by my hon. friend from Argenteuil (Mr. Perley), a layman and I am glad that a layman on the other side of the House has seen fit to speak upon this question. The medical profession are entirely in accord in regard to the measures that should be taken in the treatment of consumption. I use the word consumption because that is the term which is more generally understood. I would like the galleries 1
and the pressmen to note what has been said on this question to-day as evidencing the great interest we take in it, and also because of the need there is of having the facts widely disseminated throughout the country. One of the phases of this subject to which I wish to refer is the educational value of the movement which has been carried on. The tendency at one time when a sanatorium was about to be established in any part of this country or in any other country was for people resident in the neighbourhood to dread that it should be placed in their midst. Experience has shown that this dread has been entirely overcome and that the people are now glad to have such an institution right in their midst because it has been proven beyond a doubt that the educational value of the institution is such that people become early educated in reference to taking care of the sputa and other things in connection with this disease, and the result is that those within the radius of the institution are safer than those outside of it. We have had that experience in Manitoba. Being a member of the provincial board of health, we have, during the last two years, taken up the question of providing a sanatorium for the province. The people are taking an interest in it. One means we took of tindiug out as to whether the people were interested or not was to ask them to subscribe. I think that is one of the best ways of ascertaining whether a man is interested or not. If he is willing to go down in his pocket he is certainly interested. Before going to the provincial government to ask them to give us a grant we thought we would interview the people, and the way to reach the people is through their municipal councils. We sent out a circular to every municipality in Manitoba and eighty per cent of those municipalities, without any very strong influence being brought to bear upon them, have returned subscriptions of all the way from $25 to $100, and have said in addition to that, something that pleased us more than all, that this was only the beginning of what they were willing to give. They indicated in that way their belief that the idea of a sanatorium was right and they said that they were willing to give their money in support of it. I hope the hon. Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) who is a medical man is paying some attention to me at least, as down in the province of Nova Scotia they have established the only provincial sanatorium there is in the Dominion of Canada. I do not want to take up the time of the House any longer, but I hope that the government and the people will appreciate the very great importance of this question of establishing sanatoria in this Dominion.

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