The Canadian Commonwealth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 281 pages of information about The Canadian Commonwealth.
could not bear to have those newcomers wait a long three years for naturalization.  They got together and they forged in the same hand, the same manipulation, the signatures of three hundred foreigners, who did not know in the least what they were doing, to applications for naturalization papers—­foreigners who had not been three months in Canada.  If forgery did not matter, why should perjury?  The perpetrators of this fraud happened to be provincial and of a stripe different politically from the federal government then in power at Ottawa.  The other party had not been asleep while this little game was going on.  The party heeler neither slumbers nor sleeps.  The papers with those three hundred forged signatures—­names in the writing of foreigners, who could neither read, write, nor speak a word of English—­were sent down to the Department of Justice in Ottawa; and everybody waited for the explosion.  The explosion did not come.  Those perjuries and forgeries slumber yet, secure in the Department of Justice.  For when the provincial politicians heard what had been done to trap them, they sent down a little message to the heelers of the party in power:  If you go after us for this, we’ll go after you for that; and perhaps the pot had better not call the kettle black.  The chiefs of each party were powerless to act because the heelers of both parties had been alike guilty.

It may be said that the fault here was not in the poor ignorant foreigner but in the corrupt Canadian politicians.  That is true of Canada, as it is of similar practices in the United States; but the presence of the ignorant, irresponsible foreigner in hordes made the corruption possible, where it is neither possible nor safe with men of Saxon blood, with German, Scandinavian or Danish immigrants, for instance.


It is futile to talk of the poor and ignorant foreigner as a Goth or a Vandal—­to talk of excluding the ignorant and the lowly.  The floating “he-camps”—­as these floating immigrants are called in labor circles—­are to-day doing much of the manual work of the world.  Canadian railways could not be built without them.  Canadian industrial and farm life could not go on without them.  They are needed from Halifax to Vancouver, and their labor is one of the wealth producers for the nation.

And do not think for a moment that the wealth they produce is for capital—­for the lords of finance and not for themselves.  When Montenegrins, who earn thirty cents a day in their own land, earn eleven dollars a day on dynamite work constructing Canadian railroads, it is not surprising that they retire rich, and that the railroad for which they worked would have gone bankrupt if the Dominion had not come to its aid with a loan of millions.  Likewise of Poles and Galicians in the coal mines.  When Charles Gordon—­Ralph Connor—­was sent to investigate the strike in these mines he found

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The Canadian Commonwealth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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