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J. D. B. News Letter

December 5, 1928
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Canadian Notes By Our Montreal Correspondent

An analysis of the immigration figures during the first seven months of the current fiscal year, which reached the number of 131,754, according to the official statistics from Ottawa, show that English immigrants continue to be in great majority, despite the recent agitation that Canada is being over-run by “foreigners.” A return issued by the Canadian Department of Immigration shows that with respect to British immigrants, the month of August was the peak period, when 12,460 persons came to this country. Of the “preferred” countries, apart from the United States, Germany provided the largest proportion of immigrants, there being no less than 9.710 Germans admitted into Canada. Swedes were next, with 2,649; Finns, 2,628; Denmark furnished 2,622; Norway, 1,685; and Holland, 1,183.

Of the non-preferred countries, Ruthenians outnumbered the rest. Poles numbered 7,244; Magyars, 5,146; Slovaks, 3,777; Jugo-Slavs, 2,603; Jews, 1,876; and Lithuanians, 1,435.

In view of the fact that the Jewish immigrants are listed as “Jews” and in the category of “non-preferred” countries, it is interesting to note that they are in a small minority compared to the other “non-preferred” immigrants.

The immigration problem, however still continues to occupy the mind of the general public and the press, though not to the extent it did a few months ago when there was much agitation in regard to Lord Lovat’s visit to Canada and his proposal whereby twenty thousand British settlers would be brought to Canada each year. In a statement issued recently by the Hon. Robert Forke, Canadian Minister of Immigration, it was emphatically pointed out that Lord Lovat’s proposals have as yet not been fully considered by the Canadian Government and no decision of any kind has yet been reached.

The general attitude of Canada is that preference should be given to British immigration and that means should be taken to attract British-born settlers to this country. There is, however, a feeling that the closed-door policy would be detrimental to the growth of Canada’s prosperity. While there was some feeling that the color question should also be considered, there was no question raised as to “religion,” it being felt that people of all nationalities should be admitted, provided they belong to the white race and that they meet the necessary requirements of immigration authorities.

This question was recently debated in Montreal between McGill University and the University of Toronto, McGill upholding the open-door policy on the grounds that it was necessary and desirable to the development of a new country and winning the debate. Miss Vera Shlakman, a Jewish student, was one of the McGill debaters. Jewish students at McGill are also upholding the good name in debating abroad. Bernard Alexandor, of Montreal, is one of the two members of the Canadian Collegiate Debating Team now touring England and which has won several debates with English university teams.

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