THE MENACE of the ALIEN
THE West has made up its mind very definitely about two or three things; and one of them is that no more alien population is required or wanted The fever for growth even at the expense of bringing in people who could neither speak English nor think the way we do, has passed. The West wants now to consolidate its gains. The melting pot must be given a chance to work before more material is poured in.
It is not intended to imply that the West alone has a foreign problem.The Eastern Provinces have an overplus of alien population as well. But in this article it is proposed to deal only with the Western phase of the question, particularly as the West, quite characteristically, has made up its mind first on the subject.
The discomfort of having too large a proportion of alien population has manifested itself in four ways. First, during the war, there was deep unrest among the Germans and Austrians who had settled on the prairies; which meant still deeper unrest for the British-born part of the population who feared uprisings and lived
amid rumors of conspiracies and constant threats of trouble. Second, comes the Labor disturbances which are augmented by the “red” tendencies among foreign laborers. It has been found that many of our importations from Europe are thorough-paced Bolsheviks, disciples of the torch and the bomb. Third, it is realized that the prairies contain too many people who are not becoming Canadianized in any sense of the word. There are indigestible lumps in the form of foreign settlements on one kind and another in all parts of the West. These people not only do not speak English but manifest no desire whatever to learn. They have no conception of Canadian ideals. Nevertheless they are becoming opulent and powerful. Finally, there is the Asiatic problem which British Columbia faces. Just at present it does not press but it is liable to come to the fore again soon. It contains all the elements of very serious trouble indeed.
It is no wonder, therefore, that the West has made up its mind very positively that no more foreigners are tó be allowed in. The “Welcome” sign has been taken down and packed away in the coal bin and “No Admittance” has been nailed up in its place.
The Advent of the Hutterites npHE temper of the people was shown very clearly a few weeks ago when a horde of Hutterites came pouring over the Dakota border into Manitoba. Hutterites are a rather sourly religious set who live on the land and maintain queer little communities with common kitchens and dining halls and a common purse. They are Anabaptists, they speak a Moravian brand of German and they do not vote or fight. They have adhered to their present way of living and believing ever since the Anabaptist faith came into existence— say, roughly, four hundred years. Nothing that has happened since that time has meant anything in the , lives of the happy Hutterites. In other words, they are exactly the kind of people that the West does not want at this stage.
Nevertheless they decided a short time ago to migrate for the fourth time—Moravia to Russia to the United States wrns their previous itinerary—and almost before the West knew what was happening, soberfaced men with broad-brimmed felt hats and patienteyed women in the plainest of home-made clothes were flocking over the border.
Manitoba promptly demanded their exclusion. The country that had put up with the Doukhobors and wrestled with the problems of the Ruthenians, the Poles, the Austrians and the Slavs, shuddered at the
thought of Hutterites. The Government of Manitoba paid heed to the outcry to the extent of promising to let no more in ; but, even after the promise had been made, the Hutterite ingress continued. Whether they will be sent back remains to be seen ; but there can be no doubt as to the feeling of the people of Manitoba on the matter.
A newspaper reporter and a prominent grain man from Winnipeg were together in a town along the border when a party of the Hutterites arrived. The former had gone down especially to have a look at the unwelcome arrivals.
“They’re not such a bad-looking lot after all,” he exclaimed, after watching a steady stream of them pass. “They’re honest and industrious. You can bank on that. Perhaps they won’t make such bad settlers after all.”
But the grain man, who knew all about settlers, shook his head.
“I’ve had a lot to do with every kind of people we’ve got on the prairies—and we’ve got every kind, even dowm to gypsies—and I want to tell you we’ll have to put a stop to this sort of thing,” he said, emphatically.
“I watched these peopie closely. They won’t do. They’re as different from us as if they came from Mars. They think differently. Remember, they’ve lived in half a dozen places during the last three hundred years and nothing has ever made a dent on them. They stick to their religion and their language and their own antiquated ideas and they’ll continue to stick until perdition freezes them over. Let them settle down here and fifty years hence they’ll still be Hutterites. Perhaps five hundred years the same.”
“But surely influences will change them, if wre go about it the right way,” began the newspaper man.
“No chance,” said the other. “These people just naturally couldn’t be anything else. I had a good square look at some of them. They’re not like us and they never could he. That big fellow wTith the reddish beard, now. He iooks like a kind of leader. Think anything we could do would change him ? That man is the product of centuries of seclusion, of belief in one set of narrow ideas. Ilia ancestors have believed that all the world was wrong and the Hutterites were right—and the heritage they’ve handed down to him is a state of mind that couldn’t be changed with a club.”
In justice to the Hutterites it must be explained that they are sober, industrious, hard-working people. They are good farmers and are not, as far as can be learned, troublesome in any’ direct way. And yet the opinion
of the grain man is the proper one in assessing the worth of such people to Canada. The West
wants none of them.
What An Alien Thinks TT would be a comparatively easy matter to assimilate foreign settlers if, behind the differences in speech and dress and education, all men w’ere alike. But they are not alike. One race has entirely different viewpoints from others and vastly different ideals. The differences go deeper than the color of the skin and the cut of the jib. They go right into the cells of the brain where thought originates, into the roots of being where instincts are evolved and nursed. Centuries of differences in living make the human race a strangely assorted mixture.
Mrs. Arthur Murphy (Janey Canuck) of Edmonton who had the distinction of being Canada’s first woman magistrate, and who has come as closely in touch with as many kinds of'aliens as any one in the West, says that her greatest difficulty is in reading what goes on behind the sombre eyes of the people wrho face her in the court room. It is comparatively easy to plumb what is transpiring in the mind of the average Anglo-Saxon. Certain questions will react on our minds in a certain way. But these same questions bring strange results sometimes when fired at a dusky-skinned fellow whose father, and all his ancestors before that, herded goats on the Carpathians. He gi'opes back along mental trails that are unknown to us and evolves answers that may be a curious tissue of lies or actually the truth as he sees it. One never knows which to expect.
Mrs. Murphy tells of a case that came before her recently. A Galician woman had left her husband and two small children on the farm they owned west of Edmonton, and had come into the city. She was arrested for vagrancy in due course and came before the woman’s court.
“I’ll give you a chance,” said Mrs. Murphy. “You can go back and live with your husband and family again if you’ll promise to stay there and be a good wife and mother.”
The husband, a big, good-natured fellow, was in court. He voiced his complete willingness to take her
“Me not go back,” said the woman. “Me not live with Mike no more:”
“Then,” said Mrs. Murphy, sternly, “I’ll have to
send you to jail.”
“Me not go back,” repeated the woman, sullenly.
The upshot of it was that she was left to think it over until the court sat again in the afternoon. In the meantime, the magistrate got in touch with the priest of the established Greek Church and asked his advice.
“I don’t knowT just what to make of her,’ she explained. “If she had the common streak of dishonesty in her, she’d promise to do better and escape jail that way—and then she w’ould just slip away again.”
“Madame Magistrate,” said the priest, “there is only one way to make this woman go back home and stay there. You get a big cane and take her back into your office and beat her till she’s black and blue. I know this kind of woman.”
But Mrs. Murphy thought she knew a better way than that. She took the absconding wife into her office and talked to her to such good effect that in half an hour the delinquent had dissolved into tears and w’as ready to go back home with Mike and start life afresh. They started back home together and it looked as though the policy of kind words had done more than the Big Stick could have effected.
But inside of two weeks Mike’s home was empty again. The bird had flown—for good this time. Perhaps after all the priest was right. These people are different from us.
Canadianizing the Foreigner TT is not intended to imply that the stranger in our midst cannot be Canadianized. This would be to discount most unfairly the splendid work that is being done in that direction by the governments, the churches, the women’s institutes, the various farmers’ organizations, the schools and the press. Magnificent progress is being máde on which something will be said later in this article. In order to get a grasp of the alien problem as it faces the West, it must be ^understood, however, that the proper Canadianizing of the alien is more than a mere unfolding of our own ideals before him. It is more than teaching him the English language. It practically amounts to changing his whole nature and giving him a new viewpoint in life. Inasmuch as the mental make-up of the alien comes down to him through the centuries, it can be taken for granted that it is going to take time to alter it.
That is the crux of the whole px-oblem. The West has a tremendously large alien population in all stages of development and the wox'k of Canadianizing them is a task that will stretch ahead for a generation at least.
Labor and the Alien
'TYHE most acute phase of the agitation against the -1 foreigner is found among the returned soldiers. The veterans do not split hairs on the question at all. They would not only prevent aixy more foreigners from coming in but they would bundle out bag and baggage a good many of those who are already hex*e. They did not fight to save the countx-y that aliens might reap the benefit.
And the voice of the returned man is a power in the land. When the' veteraxx organization throughout the country has been perfected and cohesion of purpose established, as it doubtless will be—the Great War Veterans will wield tremendous influence.
“And,” said one of the Western leaders in the organization recently, “one of oux’ main planks is going to be a ‘White West’!”
In the days of earlier development in the West, there was undoubted need for a’ larger supply of foreign labor. The foreigner was in reality a hewer of wood and a drawer of water. He took on the heavier work that the native born could not, or would not, do. He made up the railx*oad construction gangs, labored in the mines and manned the canneries on the coast. But there is not the same need now. The heaviest pioneering work has been done.
The West is left, however, with a large supply of foreign labor. These people are for the most part just as raw as when they came in. They have labored and lived apart. Canada has meant little more to them than a liberal meal ticket. Beyond picking up a few words of English they have not done anything to make Canadians of themselves.
It is among these foreigners that the “red” agitators have worked with greatest success. Many of the immigrants brought in ideas of a dangerously socialistic and revolutionary character, particularly those from Russia and the German countries. They were Bolsheviks in the making.
Lacking initiative they might never have become seriously dangerous but, as soon as the right kind of leadership offered, they became a distinct menace.
In justice to the alien it must be stated that the leadership in sedition has been almost exclusively supplied by us. The agitators who have worked among the foreigners have been occasionally Canadian but for the most part English and Scotch. The latent discontent with the social order that existed in the inarticulate mass of the foreign-born has been fanned ixxto a blaze by firebrands who got their training on the Tyne and the Clyde and even right here in Canada.
One of the Government officials who made a close study of conditions during the Winnipeg strike reported: “I find that the foreign
element can be divided roughly into
three classes. Ten per cent, of them are actively and outspokenly revolutionary. Ten per cent, approve of the more conservative methods of trade unionism. Eighty per cent, are absolutely inarticulate and can he swayed in any direction, though their natural tendency is to follow the leader who talks violence and destruction.”
Canadians Forced to Strike
BUT the fact remains that the eighty per cent, have been swayed to a belief in the One Big Union, to adherence to the principles of the I. W. W., even to a willingness to suppox't a Bolshevistic uprising.
The labor situation has become hopelessly entangled since the Winnipeg strike and it is difficult to see what the outcome will be. The native Canadian element has to some extent, at least, been dragged into the O.B.U. movement by the dominant voting power of the foreigner. For instance. Some weeks ago the writer met a man in Winnipeg who, being a metal worker, had been on strike for many months.
“I’m both a striker and a strike-breaker,” said this man.
On being asked for an explanation of his anomalous position, he said:
“In the first place I didn’t want to strike. There were eighty-five union men employed in the shop where I worked and only seventeen of us were English speaking. The other sixty-eight were foreigners and few of them knew more than a few words of English. There was no particular kick on wages but the question of striking came up and when we put it to a vote there were just seventeen votes against going out! It was a secret ballot, of coxirse, but you can draw' your own conclusions.”
“Well,” he continued, “we had to go out—seventeen Canadians forced to give up work because we were outvoted by a bunch of roughneck foreigners. We’ve been out ever since. I’m so nearly cleaned out of the savings I’d laid by that I’ve had to work on the side whenever I’ve had the cliance. Yes, sir, I m as good a union man as ever lived and as loyal but I ve had to pick up jobs here and there to keep my family from starving.”
“Don’t misunderstand me,” almost fiercely. “I’m heart and soul with the cause of labor and I’d fight to the last bi'eath to get labor its just deserts. But I want to see things fixed so that honest, thinking Canadians can’t be ruled about by the vote of ignorant foreignex's. I’m fed up with foreigners!
The Veterans Take a Hand
THE vetex'ans have found one solution and have very .
effectively put it into effect. The whole of Canada has heard how an organized party of returned men took matters into their own hands at Dx-umheller, Alberta, and settled the strike there by ejecting the agitators. The real inside story of what happened has not yet been told, however, and, as it has a very close bearing on all phases of the foreigner problem, the writer proposes to set it down. The facts were secured by a visit to the mines a few days following the disturbances.
The Drumheller district is studded with curious hills that look as though they had been formed in giant jelly-moulds; and they are literally full of coal. For a number of years the mines there have been manxxed almost exclusively by foreign labor, largely Austrian.
The outstanding figure of the Drumheller field is Frank Moodie of the Rosedale Mine—a big man with the frame of a prize-fighter and the brow and eyes of a poet. Frank Moodie is a curious combination of the man of action and the dreamer; and his dx'eam has been to establish at his mine conditions that would make life comfortable and worth while for his men. The qxxarters of the men have been coxxstructed with that end in view. There are comfortable wash rooms with baths and showers and a xxnique method for the rapid cleaning and drying of clothes; a large diningroom (where the best of meals ai-e served) and over that a meeting hall with piano; a football and baseball field. Ten years ago a night school was started and a qualified teacher was imported entirely at the expense of the company.
It is not on record that the men appreciated these efforts for their own xxplift. A few of the more ambitious attended the night school and benefited hugely. They picked up English with rapidity and were genuinely grateful. The majority held aloof, however. It was a case again of the foreign mind failing to understand. They had come from a land w'here they had always been ti-eated as inferior beings. That the big boss should voluntarily give them these privileges filled them with suspicion, a suspicion that the agitators carefully fostered. Perhaps they even thought he Avas afraid of them and Avas pandering for their favor.
When the special shower baths and other equipment W'ere put inluxuries that they had never known before—a deputation waited on Mr. Moodie. To thank him? Hardly.
“We come to say Ave’re not satisfied,” announced the spokesman. “We Avant that you should have a bath for each man.”
Just AY hat Mr. Moodie answered is not known, but as he is a man of the tAA'o-fisted variety, his reply was probably vigorous and to the point.
These foreigners wrere earning astonishingly large wages. While the native-born sons of Canada risked their lives on the fields of Flanders for a dollar ten a day, one Mike Stabr averaged during the month of Oc tober, 1918, at the Rosedale mine the sum of $17.45 a day; and there were others not far behind. And yet the Mike Stabrs, who had probably never made more than that in a month in the country where they came from, were not content with the miraculous good fortune that thus came their way. For five months in the spring of 1918 they had been out on strike. They were all pledged to a conspiracy to rise and seize the West as a part of Germany’s last grand offensive in the early summer of 1918. The date set for this effort was July 15, and very extensive preparations were made. The story of this abortive conspiracy may be told in an early issue of MACLEAN’S. Finally, the miners went on strike at the Rosedale in March of the pi*esent year; and that ended their connection with the Rosedale mine.
Continued on vage 86
The Menace of the Alien
Continued from page 32
Veterans Employed in Mine TJ'RANK MOODIE immediately began .to employ returned men to take their places. He soon had a squad of about one hundred and fifty working for him, sturdy, well-trained lads, who took naturally to the work and were highly enthusiastic over the wages paid. The Rosedale mine ran along full-tilt while all about it were mines that had been forced to suspend because the foreigners had gone out.
.Naturally the strikers did not take kindly to the importation of veterans and they began to picket Rosedale. The picketing was largely under the direction of a native striker whose name has escaped the writer and who therefore will be designated as Smith. This Smith had been the union check weighman at various mines and had proven himself a master troublemaker. At one place he became so obnoxious that to get rid of him—a union check man can’t be fired although he goes on the pay roll— they organized a subsidiary company and offered him a job as manager. Smith resigned from the Union and took the position. WTen the company petered out, as it was bound to do, Smith got back into the Union by some means and became a check weighman again. In the course of time and to the intense dismay of the management, Smith had come to the Rosedale in that capacity and had been unquestionably a prime instrument in bringing about the strike.
One night a few returned men got off the train at Rosedale and walked down the track to the mine. Smith and his picket squad took after them with cries of “Scabs!” and other epithets. The returned men were mad as hornets when they reached their quarters.
“Look here, are we going to stand for this? they demanded of the rest of the men. The answer was an emphatic, “Not on your life!”
In a few minutes Smith and his men saw a party of veterans emerge from the camp and, not being of the fighting breed themselves, they decided that it would be best tc suspend the picket for the night. Rut they didn’t get away, that is none but Smith. The latter being a good runnel escaped up into the hills and spent the night in the brush. The rest were taken m hand and warned that if they did not leave the district, they would be thrown into the river on sight. They protested vigorously that they were through and got away just as soon as they could. Most of them kept their word. They were thoroughly frightened. There was no more picketing after that.
In the meantime a few veterans had obtained work in the mines right at Drumheller which are some miles from the Rosedale. One night they were hustled about by a crowd of foreign strikers and a telephone message was sent to Rosedale for help. It so happened that Mr. Moodie was away that night, so the boys got together and talked the situation over among themselves.
“They’ll not bother us any more,” said one man, “but they’re holding up these other mines. Let’s settle this thing once for all. These wops can’t run this country to suit themselves.”
There was a chorus of assent and the boys rapidly organized themselves for action. They gathered up clubs, pieces of pipe, in fact any kind of weapon that offered, and piled into rigs and automobiles. They were the most gleeful lot imaginable. A fight was right in their line, especially when they believed it Lo be in a mighty good cause.
Trained Men Clean Out Strikers
'T'HERE were probably four hundred foreign strikers around the streets of Drumheiler and some of them were armed. They were in an ugly mood. There had been loud talk of raids on the stores and residences of the place and of a seizure of the mines. But the situation changed as soon as the first load of veterans arrived.
“We’ve come to settle this little business,” cried the returned men, as they piled out of the car. And they started right in. At first the foreigners showed a tendency to fight but, as more car loads of determined veterans arrived, they melted away. It was almost a bloodless victory.
Then the ex-soldiers made the rounds of the camp and routed out the leaders of the strike, all of whom were openly and aggressively I.W.W. Some of them were in bed. They were ordered to dress. Then they were taken out on the trail and turned loose.
“Start going and keep going!” they were instructed. “If any of you ever come back to this part of the country, we’ll kill you. We mean business.”
In the meantime, the veterans had rounded up groups of the strikers and were talking to them straight from the shoulder. They demanded the nationality of each man.
“I’m a Scotchman, me,” quavered an old Austrian, his hands in the proper kamerad attitude.” I work again, you let me.”
Another man, the swift intake of his pipe denoting that he was mentally perturbed, acknowledged that he was English. “You’re the worst of the lot because you ought to know better,” they told him. “You better cut out this Bolsheviki stuff and go back to work or we’ll know how to deal with you.”
The raid continued well into the night. Some of the veterans remained in Drumheller until the morning but the biggest number returned to Rosedale to get some sleep.
“What have you fellows been up to?” demanded Mr. Moodie, when he arrived next morning.
“Weil,” they told him, “we decided the only v/ay to get this revolutionary crowd settled was to take things into our own hands. We’re going to see it through now.”
“We’d have settled it last night for good and all if the other fellows hadn’t held me back,” said a six foot five youth of twenty-three years or so.
“Big Alex wanted to clean them up trench style,” said one of the others. “Beating these bohunks wasn’t half the job we had keeping him from mopping them up.”
Next night the work was satisfactorily completed. The strikers reorganized and proceeded to hustle the few soldiers who were still in Drumheller out of town. Rosedale went over
promptly in a body and again the superior numbers of the strikers failed to withstand the onslaught of the young Canadians. There were a few shots fired but no one was hurt and the foreigners submitted to being rounded up more or less peacefully. A large body of them were taken to a public hall and there several of the
veterans addressed them on the folly of letting the professional agitators stir them up by wild dreams of labor seizing control of the country. It was most significant that at the finish, when all who were willing to go back to work were asked to stand up, only three remained sitting. Two of these were commercial travelers who had wandered in as spectators and the third was a cross-grained old Welshman.
The foreigners had been effectually awed into compliance. Next day, they actually returned to work. At time of writing, they are still working and the One Big Union leaders, who had been so unceremoniously ejected, had not returned to Drumheller.
Frank Moodie’s Solution
BUT the most significant phase of the whole situation is this. The Rosedale mine is now manned almost exclusively by native Canadians, the bulk of whom are young men just back from the front. They are an intelligent lot and are for the most part boys who were employed in ether kinds of work before they responded to the call of duty and went overseas. One was a lawyer, several were bankers, and a score or more were office hands. Their experience at the front, however, fitted them physically for the work of the mine and they all say that they like it. Also they like the high wages they are earning. The pay roll runs all the way from a minimum of $5.00 a day to $12.00 and $15.00. They are making more money than they ever did before and they intend to stick. What’s more, their daily average of coal mined is only a fraction below the average of the more experienced foreigners who had been years on the job and knew every turn. The claim so often heard that a native-born Canadian could not do such work as well as a foreigner is dispelled by the Rosedale figures.
In what has occurred at Rosedale there is a deep significance. It demonstrates that, after all, the foreign born can be handled. Out of manyyears’ experience in handling the bitter problems of foreign help, Frank Moodie expresses it as his opinion that the solution of the trouble can be summed up in two words—¡-counter propaganda.
“We’ve got to supply them with leadership,” he says. “The O. B. U. men got them into line by putting ideas into their heads. We’ve got to prevent this by making it our business to put the light kind of ideas into their heads. They can be taught anything—either good or evil. It’s our duty to-day to begin teaching them the good things.”
The Foreign Born Settler
'TvHE problem of the foreigner on the 1 land is a different one. For the most part the alien people Who have homesteaded on the prairies are a substantial lot, fully capable of developing the country. They are good farmers— thrifty, industrious, ambitious. In time they will become good citizens although it may take a couple of generations. In the meantime, however, their presence is in many ways a serious inconvenience to the English-speaking settlers.
The writer rode from Saskatoon to Edmonton with a farmer who had taken up land in the Peace River country after doing veil for a number of years in Central Saskatchewan. He was a raw-boned mar of about forty-five with very decided opinions on almost every subject and a willingness to expound them. Naturally, in the course of the conversation he got around to what was apparently a sore subject with him, his reason for leaving Saskatchewan.
“I had a nice place down there, good rolling land with plenty of water,” he said. “I never had a real failure the whole eight years I was there and most years I cleaned up nice. I’d built a comfortable house and the best barns for fifty miles any direction. My idea was to stay there right to the end of the piece ; nothing would ever suit me better. But I had to move just the same.” “It was the neighbors,” he went on. “The people around us were all Ruthenians, after my nearest neighbor left. He’d gone in about the time I did and he aimed to stick it out but it got too much for him so he sold out—to a Ruthenian—for $19,000. Got it in cash too. After that we had no one to be sociable with at all. They were all right in their way. These Ruthenians never bothered me and they tried to be friendly too. But when I meet a neighbor I like to hear him say ‘Good day’ or ‘How are ye,’ not Szczo bilshe or Y aka riznytzia. My wife and I both have a liking for the social side of life—tea meetings and parties and such. But these people think a shine means eating for a whole day and dancing with shawls over their heads and wearing outlandish crazy quilt clothes. And then our children had to go to a school where all the others were Ruthenians and we didn’t reckon that was good. So we sold out and left.
I haven’t a word to say against these Ruthenians except that they’re not my kind of folks.”
And then in an outburst almost of fury, he added:
“I was the first to break land up in the part where I am now. Who do you suppose came along next? A fellow from some European country I’d never heard of and I can’t even get his name right!”
Time will bring the solution to this problem. The children of alien parents rapidly assimilate the new ideas, even where the old folks stick to their own customs and tongues. The grandchildren, especially if there is a certain amount of intermarrying—as there is bound to he—will be hard to tell from the native stock.
The Assimilation of the Alien
THERE is encouraging evidence of assimilation to be found on every hand. Premier Martin of Saskatchewan told the writer of a visit that he paid to a point in the north-western section of that province where the popu-. lation was almost exclusively foreign. A picnic was held while he was there and there were fully seven hundred children present. He did not hear a single child of all that large number speak anything but English. Most of the men, who stood around in groups and discussed the crops, as men always do on such occasions, talked English also. Some of the women still wore the gala dress of their home lands.
Most significant are the _ statistics with reference to the education of the Mennonites in the province of Saskatchewan. The Mennonites do not believe in education other than their own particular brand and they invariably vote down bylaws for the building of public schools. The Government of Saskatchewan, determined to overcome this opposition, created the necessary machinery a few years ago, to build schools in districts where the bylaws had been defeated and to charge the cost against the taxpayers willy nilly. There was one district, a very stronghold of the Mennonite faith, where the school bylaw was turned down hard. The Government proceeded to build a proper school there and a teacher was installed, all at the expense of the land owners of the district. On the first day the school was opened, there were four pupils in attendance out of a possible forty-five. Later the number was increased to six. This occurred, however, in a section where the old faith was still closely adhered to.
In another section a school was built after the bylaw had been rejected and out of a possible forty the attendance the first day ran twenty-five. This district was almost exclusively Mennonite but it had been showing signs of a gradual break from the rigid tenets of the faith, in other words of assimilation. There is proof in these figures that even the most difficult of the aliens can be brought around.
Whole volumes could be written on the pi’ogress that is being made toward the assimilation of the alien. The writer visited a town where a grain growers’ conference was in progress— a town of one hundred and twenty souls, two elevators, two stores and one hotel —and saw thirty-four automobiles parked along the main, in fact the only, street of the town. Pretty nearly every popular make of car was represented there. Thirty-one of them belonged to Ruthenians who had driven in for the meeting. They were, for the most part, pretty good-looking business men too, talking English and smoking cigars of an expensive variety.
Such instances could be told by the score. The lesson to be drawn is that the alien on the land can be assimilated, that time only is needed to effect this much-to-be-desired consummation. But, sure as he is of this, the average Westerner devoutly feels that he wants to accomplish the Canadianization of those
he now has on his hands before he lets the bars down for more.
At the recent industrial congress in Calgary it was shown that there were still 225,000,000 acres of good land available for settlers in the prairie provinces. But when one of the speakers asserted with the fervor of deep conviction that the West desired none but English-speaking settlers in future, there was a loud chorus of whole-hearted acclaim.