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fanatical beliefs. Religious mania and dense ignorance were at the root of their many strange pilgrimages. The arrival of a leader, Peter Veregin, who had been in exile in Siberia, saved the day. He became virtual dictator, and induced his people to settle down to farming. Some of the younger generation have broken away from the community life, but on the whole the Doukhobors are as little a part of Canada as they were a quarter of a century ago. Such a situation is extremely unfortunate. There is a ray of hope, however, so far as some of the children are concerned. Through the influence of the public schools, where they have been permitted by their parents to attend, the children seem to be coming more in touch with the life about them, and in some cases as they have grown older, have broken away from their colonies.16

PROBLEM OF THE ORIENTAL

Canada, too, has her problem of the Oriental. Statistics in regard to Asiatic immigration are incomplete, but as early as 1900, it appeared that Chinese and Japanese constituted about twelve per cent. of the population of British Columbia. A proportion unimportant in itself, but relatively of great significance because of the race antipathies generated. From that date, British Columbia began a series of legislative acts for her own protection but these were all disallowed, since, according to the British North America Act, immigration falls within the province of the Dominion parliament.

An agreement between Canada and Japan in 1908 limits the number of Japanese laborers who may come to Canada to four hundred annually. This agreement has not always been lived up to, more than double the specified number having entered in 1918, but there seems to be only a slight excess at the present time, the number being 471 for 1922. Since 1900, about 18,000 Japanese have entered Canada. During the same period over 33,000 Chinese have come and they are still coming, 1746 having arrived in 1922.

18 Maurice G. Hindus, “Bookless Philosophers," The Century Magazine, January, 1923, page 423–430.

The situation in regard to the Chinese is somewhat different from that of the Japanese. For one thing the Chinaman must prove satisfactorily that he belongs to the admissable class; with other races the authorities do the proving; for another thing, he must pay a head tax of $500. Chinese laborers, however, are practically excluded from Canada now by the last Amendment to the Chinese Immigration Act, while Alien Land Acts similar to those of California have been deemed desirable in British Columbia. The interests of the Pacific Coast sections are the same irrespective of international boundary lines. The objection to the Asiatic everywhere is his low standard of living, and his willing acceptance of inhumanly long hours and low wages, while other laborers living in the western part of the continent are striving for the direct opposite of these. The Asiatics are found in intensive cultivation of the soil, fishing, lumber camps, pulp mills, and on fruit farms.

THE HINDU A DISTINCT PROBLEM The entrance of large numbers of Hindus created a situation quite distinct from that of the other Asiatics, because in this instance, we have one British possession legislating against the natives of another. The British are not sentimental about one another, and Canada has never taken the high ground that she is a haven for the world's unfortunates. The discrimination against Hindus is so effectual that fewer than two hundred have come since 1908 when 2,623 arrived as against 45 in 1905. In 1918, there were only 5,297 in the country. On account of protest in British Columbia, the whole question of Hindu immigration was referred to a Royal Commission that finally diplomatically reported that the native of India was not “a person suited to this country; that accustomed as many of them are to the conditions of a tropical climate, and possessing manners and customs so unlike those of our own people, their inability to readily adapt themselves to surroundings entirely different could not do other than entail an amount of privation and suffering which render a discontinuance of such immigration most desirable in the interests of the Indians themselves.” 17

The Dominion Government, however, as will be seen later, while agreeing with these sentiments so far as they went, took definite steps to keep the Hindus out. In order to enter Canada, immigrants may not come otherwise than by continuous journey from the countries of which they are natives or citizens and upon through tickets purchased in those countries. Since there is no way to make such a journey from India to Canada, Hindus are by this regulation effectively excluded. For a few years about 1908, these people added picturesqueness to the mountain slopes, as clad in cast-off European clothes and wearing the red turbans of their native land, they worked leisurely and oftentimes shiveringly at railway construction or repairs. But they were out of place. Their Canadianization did not seem within the realm of possibility, so the authorities adopted the above mentioned measures to keep them out of the country.

IMMIGRATION ON THE INCREASE

18

To sum up, it may be said that immigration is increasing in Canada, but it is selective, dominantly English speaking in character, and largely agricultural in occupation. As illustrative of this policy of agricultural development, the “family scheme” of emigration may be mentioned. This was recently announced in the British House of Commons as a plan whereby Canada agrees to receive 650 families from Great Britain, Scandanavia, France, Belgium and other approved countries for settlement in the western provinces. Groups of fifty families will be accepted, but each family must possess at least $500.00 capital, $400.00 of which will be deposited with the Canadian land settlement authorities who will expend it in the interests of the settlers or return

17 Quoted by Smith, A Study in Canadian Immigration, page 161.

18 The figures for April and May, 1924, show an increase of 30 per cent. in British immigration over the corresponding months of

Her expe

it. This plan is open to the objection that foreign groups of about 300 individuals would thus be established and might prove too large to be readily assimilated.

Manufacturing industries are developing greatly as is always the case with an increase in farming operations, and are offering further openings for immigrants. The country has no illusions now about becoming an asylum for the persecuted and unfortunate from foreign lands. rience with the Doukhobors was a disillusionment. The problems of a polyglot population are difficult enough even when not rendered more complex by the establishment within a nation of entirely foreign colonies such as were allowed to grow up in western Canada prior to 1914, when it was found that in many places schools, newspapers and churches were conducted in alien tongues. It is the story of the United States retold. Uncontrolled immigration under such conditions might eventually mean national disintegration.

CHAPTER VI

1

CANADIAN LEGISLATION It is not necessary here to review the few laws designed to regulate somewhat the movement of people into the separate provinces of Canada before Confederation. This was, on the whole, a simple matter, and even after the creation of the Dominion in 1867, many years elapsed before legislative control was deemed necessary. As was indicated in the preceding chapter, the British North America Act gives the Dominion government jurisdiction over immigration. Consequently it is to Dominion statutes that we must go for enactments concerning this important subject.

BAD CONDITIONS ON IMMIGRANT SHIPS There had been agitation from time to time about the conditions on sailing ships carrying settlers from the British Isles to the various provinces. These had become so bad that they were made the subject of a report by Lord Durham as early as 1838. Crowding and unsanitary conditions were accentuated by the length of time consumed by the passage, but, after sailing vessels were superseded by steamships, there remained the incentive to use every inch of space, regardless of the comfort of passengers. An abnormally high death rate on the voyage resulted. Early legislation in the provinces aimed at correcting this unfortunate condition connected with transportation. There seemed to be no wit in inviting settlers to come over only to have them die on the way. Children suffered inordinately on these journeys, and there were many children since the emigrants were practically always in family groups.

ACT OF 1906 FIRST IMPORTANT LAW The first important Dominion legislation to be noted is the Act of 1906 with its amendments of the two years following. The purport of this Act, as of the United States Law of

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