June 8, 1917

LIB
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Has the minister received from the coal mine proprietors of British Columbia, or any other employers of labour in British Columbia, any request for permission to bring in oriental labour?

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

Yes, there have been several requests made on behalf of certain employers of labour, in British Columbia, in the central provinces, and I think in the eastern provinces, asking that Chinese labour should be brought in, but the Government has not seen its way clear to adopt a policy of mat kind under existing circumstances.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB
LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

Some of the requests were to the effect that we should bring them in practically under an arrangement by which a guarantee was to be given that after the waT was over they should be returned to their own country, but we did not think it was wise ait the present time to adopt such a policy.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Have there been many requests of that nature?

Mr.'ROCHE: Not very many, possibly four or five, and certainly not in excess of half a dozen.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB
LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

There may have been some request made from the miners, I am not certain as to that. There was a deputation here about a week ago, consisting of members of the Board of Trade of Vancouver, who made a suggestion of that nature. Then one or two parties sent communications to the department; I cannot recollect their names, but I think some of this correspondence emanated from those who are not employers of labour, and not particularly interested, but making a suggestion

that it would be wise to adopt such a policy in view of the scarcity of labour.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

Will the minister tell us the provisions of the present legislation, and what changes are made by this measure? I understood students were admitted free heretofore?

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

No. I explained the matter when the Bill was read the first time. At present students are admitted into Canada by paying a head tax of $500, but upon producing proof of having attended an educational institute recognized in Canada, they are refunded the head tax when leaving the country.

Considerable objection to the payment of the head tax has been made on behalf of Chinese students entering Canada. Chinese students are allowed free entry into the United States fpr the purpose of attending educational institutions. Many of these students, having had the benefit of the educational institutions of the United States, become missionaries for that,country in the commercial world. At the earnest request made by quite a number of persons in Canada during the last few years, we have decided to include Chinese students in the class exempted from: the head tax. In the existing Act, clergymen are not specifically included in the class exempted; this, I believe, was an oversight, because clergymen's families have been admitted free of head tax. We are now, therefore, specifically mentioning clergymen, as well as students, as exempt. Our practice in the past has been to collect a head tax upon the entry of Chinese students into Canada, the amount of the tax being refunded upon the production of satisfactory evidence of attendance at Canadian educational institutions.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

Does the department

now admit the sons of resident Chinese without the payment of head tax?

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB
LIB

William Erskine Knowles

Liberal

Mr. KNOWLES:

I understand that sons of Chinese restaurant keepers have to pay the head tax, while sons of Chinese merchants are admitted free.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

If they come in for any

purpose other than that of attending educational institutions, the head tax is imposed.

'Mr. KNOWLES: I believe that a distinction is drawn between the sons of restaurant keepers and the sons of merchants.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE :

The Act provides :

Every person of Chinese origin, irrespective of allegiance, shall pay into the consolidated revenue fund of Canada, on entering Canada, at the port or place of entry, a tax of five hundred dollars, except the following persons, who shall be exempt from such payment, that is to say:

(a) The members of the diplomatic corps, or other government representatives, their suites and their servants, and consuls and consular agents ;

(b) The children born in Canada of parents of Chinese origin and who have left Canada for educational or other purposes, on substantiating their identity to the satisfaction of the controller at the port or place where they seek to enter on their return;

(c) Merchants, their wives and children, the wives and children of clergymen-

It will be observed that the Act does not mention clergymen, and that is why I am making provision for that in the present Act. The section continues:

tourists, men of science and students, who shall substantiate their status to the satisfaction of the controller, subject to the approval of the minister, or who are bearers of certificates of identity, or other similar documents issued by the Government or by a recognized official or representative of the Government whose subjects they are, specifying their occupation and their object in coming into Canada.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Would the provisions

relating to clergymen include those Chinese clergymen who teach the religion of Confucius?

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

I am not confident as to that. I should think that it includes all recognized clergymen.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

The purpose of the existing Act is to keep out of Canada people of Chinese origin. I have not heard the minister give any good reason why the proposed amendment with regard to Chinese students should be made. Such a suggestion was made when the original Bill was before the House, but it was then considered, in view of the difficulty which would probably arise in enforcing the Act according to its intent, that it was better not to leave such a loophole. Accordingly it was provided that Chinese persons who desired to avail themselves of the advantages of education in Canada should comply with the law respecting the admission of Chinese, and that, upon satisfactory proof of their having availed themselves of those advantages; their money would be returned. While under present circumstances this question is not as pressing as it was when the original Act was passed, I submit that this is not the time to make alterations in the letter, spirit or principle of the Act without good and sufficient cause, which, I submit, in this case has not been shown. As

to the admission of clergymen, the member for Rouville asked a simple and appropriate question which the minister was not in a position to answer. I submit that the minister should not bring forward legislation in regard to which he is not able to give clear and direct information, especially in a matter so important as this.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

The question was asked if the priests of the sect of Confucius would, under this provision, be admitted into Canada without the payment of head tax.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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June 8, 1917