OTTWA (Aug. 23)
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has been reliably informed that the Canadian Government will give serious consideration to increased immigration in the very near future. Question of entrance into the Dominion of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe will also receive consideration in the larger immigration plan. Exactly what the Government has in mind will be drafted in a new immigration policy when the entire Cabinet assembles in Ottawa in the autumn.
The policy, it is learned, will probably call for “selective Jewish immigration.” There also exists the possibility that the Government will consider a plan for large scale Jewish colonization in some of the northern and sparsely populated Canadian provinces. This will depend upon whether or not financial assistance can be obtained.
It is known that Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King has followed the question of immigration with interest, having discussed it with at least one individual, Sir Henry Page Croft, who is seeking to interest the Government in the settlement of Europeans in British Columbia. The Government has also been approached on the subject by Jewish leaders. The report of Hume Wrong, Canada’s representative at the Evian conference, has been discussed but no public announcement has been made as yet.
Immigration officials, in the absence of the Minister of Immigration–who is recuperating in Winnipeg from a recent illness–have no official comment to make on any of the proposed plans suggested to the Government. The Prime Minister said he was aware of the interest in immigration in Canada, but otherwise was noncommittal.
Public opinion has been aroused in recent months to the need of increased immigration to Canada and it is this factor that has prompted the Government to plan inauguration of a more generous immigration policy. Publicity given to the Evian Refugee Conference and the tragic plight of Jews in eastern Europe, which Canadian editorial writers have pictured to their readers, as well as pressure from such influential public bodies as the Overseas Empire League in Great Britain, are responsible for stimulating opinion to the need of increased immigration. Also prominent in molding Canadian sentiment in favor of immigration are the National Conservative party, which adopted an immigration plank in its new platform at the July convention in Ottawa; the Canadian Legion, which at the reunion in Toronto late last month also adopted an immigration plank, and demands by the Canadian Co-operative Federation and the Social Credit members of Parliament during the last session for increased immigration schedules.
It should be noted that this awakened public opinion in favor of immigration is not merely for Jewish immigration, but for immigration generally with a decided bias towards new settlers from the British Isles.
Domestic problems have also tended to convince the Government of the need of a vigorous immigration policy. Prominent among these is the perplexing railway question, precipitated by an annual deficit piled up steadily during the past two decades. A Royal Commission has credited the lack of immigration to Canada as one of the important reasons for the failure to reduce the tremendous debt on Canada’s nationally-owned railways. Finally, the fact that the Anglo-Saxon races are being rapidly overtaken in numbers by the French-Canadians has prompted many British imperialists, both in Canada and in Great Britain, to urge an inflow of British and European immigration to maintain the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon in Canada.