March 18, 1915

LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

To anything that it not of a contentious character, of course, we have no objection. But, if anything of -a contentious nature is proposed, we must have time to breathe.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
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LIB

Edmond Proulx

Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

"Last year the Minister of Finance brought in a Bill with reference to the Civil Service, and that Bill was left over for consideration at this session. I can well understand that this is not a proper time to deal with it and that it might be left over, but I would suggest to the minister that he should propose some temporary measure for the lower grades, especially the male officers who are not given salaries sufficient to enable them to support their families. The minister proposes to put them on a salary of $600 instead of $500 as at present. I suggest that, pending the proposed reclassification of the whole service next session, the Finance

Minister make provision that the salary paid to employees of this grade shall be increased from $500 to $600, to take effect April 1.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
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STATUS OF CANADIANS IN CALIFORNIA.


On the Orders of the Day being called: Mr. WILLIAM GRAY (London) asked for leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the recent announcement in some of the states of the United States of laws which deny to Canadian citizens resident in those states the right of enforcing through the courts of those states their claims or contracts against persons and corporations in those states. And leave having been granted, he said: I desire to bring to the attention of the Government a very serious condition of affairs detrimental to our fellow-countrymen and, I may say, to all Britishers in the state of California, which I am satisfied will have not only the sympathy but the unanimous support of every Canadian citizen in having the matter thoroughly investigated at as early a date as possible, and I am sure the Government will use their good offices and do all in their power with the proper authorities, to bring about, a satisfactory adjustment of this matter, which is a gross injustice to our fellow-citizens. I have received the following letter from Mr. William S. Short, of London, Ontario, under date of March 10: Dear sir,-I want to interest you as member for London, dn case of several hundred Canadians who are in trouble in California regarding a law that has been dug up from an old statute, and on the strength of it the county and state authorities are disregarding contracts made with aliens though holding aliens to contracts they may have happened to make. I enclose a copy of a letter from my daughter who is teaching school in California, and which will explain the situation very fully. You are pretty well acquainted with California and have large interests there, and can sympathize with these people who find themselves out of work, unable to collect even the wages they have earned, and standing to lose property they have struggled hard to pay for. The following letter was written to Mr. Short by his daughter, from Mendocino, California,, on February 28: Will you try and interest your representatives in Parliament in the following matter of very great concern to me and to a large number of other Canadians in California? In 1901 a law was passed providing that no



state or county money should be paid to aliens. Among others, I have been teaching here since 190G, and no cognizance was taken of the law. In fact, no one seemed to know of it. It seems that this year the city of Bakersfield found out about the law and asked the Attorney General for a ruling on the subject. He said that the law was plain that no money should be paid to aliens, nor should contracts be made with them. But they had made a contract with me to teach until the end of May, knowing I was a Canadian and not naturalized. Yet this week the county office here notified me that they would not pay me for work performed since February 20th, and have held up my warrant for the whole month. If this affected me only I would perhaps have not said anything, but it affects about 1,500 people in the state, a large majority of whom are Canadians. It also affects 28 full professors in the State University, among whom are Professors Henry Morse Stevens and Gayley, Both British. A declaration of intention to naturalize is not sufficient, and it takes two years to obtain final papers. We fear that it is the right of California to make what laws she pleases against aliens. The Legislature meets March 8, and it should be a simple matter to pass a relief bill covering past actions and to the end of this school year. If pressure is brought to bear, this will be done. It will be hard enough on me not to be able to teach here again, as I have done it so long it is almost impossible for me to do anything else, especially since San Francisco is so congested with visitors; but the worst part for me is that I have bought property on which I have been paying taxes for three years and which has been purchased on the contract plan. If I cannot teach I shall not be able to pay these monthly instalments as they come due, and as time is the essence of these contracts I shall probably lose what I have worked so many years to make. It does seem to me that the Canadian Government ought to remonstrate and by so doing help to protect the contract rights of its citizens in a foreign country. Will you get our member to do what he can to interest the Government on behalf of these citizens and greatly oblige? I have before me the laws of the state of California referred to by Miss Short. I quote from Act No. 127 of 1901: 1. No person, except a native-born or naturalized citizen of the United States, shall be employed in any department of the state, county, city and county, or incorporated city or town government in this state. 2. It shall be unlawful for any person, whether elected, appointed or commissioned to fill any office in either the state, county, city and county, or incorporated city or town government of this state, or in any department thereof, to appoint or employ any person to perform any duties whatever, except such person be a native-born or naturalized citizen of the United States. 3. No money shall be paid out of the state treasury, or out of the treasury of any county, or city and county, or incorporated city or town, to any person employed in any of the offices mentioned in section two of this Act, except such person shall be a native-born or naturalized citizen of the United States. tMr. Gray.] If the officials of any state, county, town or village, disregard the laws of their country, why should the innocent suffer? I have a letter from Mr. J. Norman Dean, of Havelock Court, Havelock and College streets, Toronto, written on March 16, in which Mr. Dean says; I notice by a press despatch from Ottawa under date of March 15 that you are laying the case of Canadian teachers in California before the House of Commons. I would respectfully call your attention to the fact that on June 20, 1914, my employment as statistician of the Industrial Accident Commission of the state of California was terminated by virtue of this law. Whatever possible objection there can be to Canadians being employed in California municipal or state service, evidently lies behind this law. Needless to say it is about time that a protest was made on behalf of Canadians in the same position. It is also interesting to note that the writer was refused the opportunity of applying for a school certificate in the state of California and that many of the Canadians -in California are in the same position. I note in the Ottawa Journal of the 16th an item: Officials in the university of California denied yesterday the charge made by Wm. Gray, member of the Canadian Parliament, that 28 professors and instructors in the university were unable to receive their salaries because they were not American citizens. I just wish to say that this is a quibble arising out of section 3 whereby no moneys are to be paid out of the State Treasury, and university employees are not paid out of the state fund but out of the specific fund denoted as the university fund. In conclusion I have to say that if the United States are, as we believe, a Christian and civilized nation, when this gloss injustice being done to our fellow countrymen is put before the proper authorities the matter will, I believe, be speedily adjusted and the jug handled Act wiped off the statute book.


CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) :

Mr. Speaker, I do not think there can be any doubt that the matter which the hon. member has brought to the attention of the House is one of importance and one in reference to which we are called upon to interest ourselves. If the facts alleged are found to be true, and it appears that Canadian citizens even through the operation of a law which may have been properly enacted and may have been perfectly justifiable from the point of view of those enacting it, suffer injustice, it is certainly a proper matter for us to look into. The matter has come to my attention through

the press and from other sources of information, and I have already given instructions that it should be carefully looked into; and, furthermore, that it should be taken up through the proper channels with a view to having put before the proper authorities in the state of California any cases of injustice towards any of our Canadian fellow subjects which may have arisen under this law. The matter certainly will have the careful attention of this department and, if upon verification it proves necessary or desirable or proper that representations upon the subject should be made, they will be made in proper course. I think we must assume that there can be no intention on the part of the proper authorities in the neighbouring states to cause any injustice to any Canadians.

Motion to adjourn the House negatived.

Topic:   STATUS OF CANADIANS IN CALIFORNIA.
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WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.


The House again in Committee of Ways and Means, Mr. Sevigny in the Chair.


CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. W. T. WHITE (Minister of Finance) :

Mr. Chairman, I think you have

before you the resolutions which I moved yesterday referring to the proposed special taxation. There is one item in it, No. 16, which, for reasons which I shall give when we reach it, I propose to drop. I would suggest that we take up each resolution separately.

Resolved, that it is expedient to provide:

1. That each bank to which the Bank Act applies, exclusive of hanks in the course of winding-up, shall pay for Consolidated Revenue Fund quarterly a tax equal to one-fourth of one per cent upon the average amount of the notes of the bank in circulation during the three months preceding, the greatest amount of notes in circulation at any time during each of the three months being the basis of the average, provided, however, that where the greatest amount of notes in circulation exceeds the amount of the paid-up capital then an amount equal to the paid-up capital shall be the basis used in calculating the average;

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

What revenue

does the minister anticipate from this source?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

Approximately $1,000,000.

There is $100,000,000 of bank note circulation and one per cent of that would be $1,000,000. I would think approximately that amount would be derived.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

If I understand the last paragraph of the resolution aright, the tax is not to be imposed on note circulation in excess of the paid-up capital of the bank. What is the reason for this?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

Under the Bank Act as

amended by the Government of my right hon. friend a chartered bank may issue normal note circulation to the amount of its paid-up capital and there is also an excess circulation privilege under the authority of which, during certain months of the year, the banks may issue circulation in excess of their paid-up capital. The banks are obliged to pay now 5 per cent upon that excess circulation. It therefore appeared to us that, as we are already taxing the privilege of excess note circulation, it would be unjust to add to that 5 per cent an additional one per cent. The effect of that would be to discourage banks from issuing that excess circulation.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I do not

know that the banks are being treated severely, but that may ue a very good reason.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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Section agreed to. That every loan and trust company incorporated under any legislative authority, including the banks subject to the Quebec Savings Ranks Act, 1113, shall pay for Consolidated Revenue Fund a tax of one per cent, upon the gross amount of (a) interest, the property of the company, from loans and investments in Canada, and (b) Income, other than interest, on business transacted within Canada received by the company on and after the first day of January, 1915 ;


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

How much

does my hon. friend expect from this?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WHITE:

About $150,000.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

I suppose you

will have some method of obtaining the necessary information. Forms will be supplied to the loan companies, I suppose?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE TARIFF.
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March 18, 1915