The minister mentioned my having brought up a matter with regard to this legislation at an earlier stage in the session. The minister will recall the case that I brought to his attention at that time, namely the case of a young man who was the son of Mr. Corsbie, who had originally been born in China, but who had been educated in Canada and had gone to Trinidad. This gentleman was a British subject; his son had come to Canada for the purpose of getting an education, and his case was not that of a Chinese person in the sense in which the term is. used in this legislation. When this Bill came up a few minutes ago I asked the minister if he had the statute before him, so that we might know exactly what was the legislation on this subject. Confusion and difficulty arose in the case of this young man, who was a British subject, and the circumstances of his treatment were unfortunate. Complaint was made by many clergymen interested in the matter, and the case attracted special attention by reason of the fact that the father of the young man was a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. I mentioned at the time that it would be well for the Government to deal with this question. I would like to know what the minister says on the point raised by the hon.. member for St. John.
The case to which the hon. member refers was that of a young man who was subject to the head tax under the statute which I read a few moments ago. The statute applies to "every person of Chinese origin," and as this young man was of Chinese origin he was properly subjected to the head tax.
As I recollect the case, while the young map had been a resident of China he was a native of Trinidad and a British subject, both his father and mother being British subjects, but it happened that his grandfather on one side, was a Chinaman. For this reason the absurd contention was made by the department that he was "of Chinese origin." It would be as reasonable to say that a Canadian one of whose grandfathers was born in Ireland was of Irish origin.
young man was a British, subject and born in a British country, and therefore was of British origin. If the boy's father and mother had been Chinese it might be said that he was of Chinese origin. But this section does not profess to deal with the special case of one who may have had a Chinese ancestor, yet it opens the door wide to young men from China to come into Canada without paying the head tax by saying that they are coming to this country for the purpose of securing a higher education. Under any fair or reasonable interpretation of this section, a boy from China coming to Canada, attending a common school and then afterwards getting employment on a farm or in a shop in order to earn money to put him through college would be complying with this law. He would have the intention of entering a university-he comes to Canada "for the purpose of securing a higher education." There may be great trouble and dissatisfaction unless you surround this provision with safeguards. The person , concerned should satisfy some official as to his position, or otherwise we may have a great deal of trouble. I think it better, on the whole, to leave the section as it is.
The hon. gentleman seems to be conjuring up imaginary difficulties that, up to the present, have not been met with. The existing Act has no safeguard as to the time within which one affected by this section shall attend college. The only safeguard is the head tax of $500. Under the operation of the Act, the party concerned would be expected to enter college within a reasonable time-almost immediately upon coming to Canada; otherwise, he would not be allowed to remain in Canada unless by payment of the head tax. The effect of this change is only to
waive the head tax under certain conditions, and I do not anticipate any trouble.
The difference between the existing condition of affairs and what the minister proposes is so great that it looks as if he were opening the gates very wide. He says that at present there is no safeguard other than that which will exist in the future. There is the safeguard of the $400 having been deposited. At present, the onus of proof is on the alleged student, but under the change proposed by the minister the department will have to make the case against the man who enters with an expectation which he does not fulfill. This affects more particularly the province of British Columbia. I see in his place an hon. member who has made rather a specialty of "A White British Columbia." I would ask my hon. friend from Victoria (Mr. Barnard) whether this legislation is such as will be considered desirable by those who wish to perpetuate a white British Columbia. He has, no doubt, full information as to the local circumstances and as to what is desired by the people of his province.
So far as I understand the situation, I do not think this matter has been very much considered in British Columbia. Certainly, there has been no protest against it that I have heard of. I do not think the proposed change will do much harm, but, on the other hand, I do not think it will do much good-it is rather innocuous.
The hon. member (Mr. Barnard) is taking a very safe line. I can remember the day when he was more outspoken. I am glad to see him here, and also to see the hon. member for New Westminister (Mr. Taylor), though both are silent to-day. When the present leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfred Laurier) was at the head of the Government, he increased the head tax from $100 to $500 in response to the sentiment created in British Columbia against oriental immigration. Some months or years afterwards the whole of the Conservative party in that province declared for a policy of exclusion of oriental immigration. I remember that my hon. and genial friend from Victoria was elected on the strength of a certain telegram, which afterwards proved to be a forgery, and he was too much of a gentleman to have benefited by that telegram. But it is a well known fact that the whole of the Conservative party in British Colum-
bia was apparently deadly opposed to oriental immigration.
If in those days any one had made the loophole that is being made to-day in the law, we would have heard my hon. friend from Victoria (Mr. Barnard) and my hon. friend from New Westminster (Mr. Taylor) blaming the Government for their action. This is the second time that a question like this has come up in this House within a few days. ,1 regret not to see the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Stevens) in his seat. He was very outspoken about the question of Japanese immigration. I remember that in the House he censured me because I had negotiated an arrangement, or a treaty, with the Japanese Government concerning a restricted number of immigrants to Canada. Yet, a few years afterwards, the treaty was renewed and it was renewed with a feather in the cap of the Japanese Consul at Ottawa. I forget the terms of the letters which were exchanged between the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) and the Japanese Consul, but it is a fact that the Japanese Consul got the better of the Prime Minister and got better terms than the Japanese Government had obtained before that time.
The other day we were told by the Prime Minister that the question of Hindu immigration was a live one at the Imperial Conference, and that some way or other, Hindu immigration would become the problem of to-morrow as between the various portions of the Empire. What does that mean? It means that if we do not look after our own business primarily and chiefly, we are going to have very serious problems introduced into our national life. I do not blame the right hon. gentleman for having taken part in the proceedings of the Imperial Conference but as a result of that conference, and as a result of the presence lot Hindu representatives, ;Canada, before many months, surely before many years, will have to face a policy of oriental immigration from India. I would like to know where the party of a white British Columbia will be then. We do not hear from the representatives of British Columbia and I think I voice the sentiments of British Columbia to-day when I protest against any loophole being put in the restrictions which have been embalmed in the statute-book. Nobody complains to-day of the restrictions which were imposed upon the Japanese labour immigration, although we were taunted and taken to task by hon. gentlemen opposite, when we
brought that agreement from Japan. It [DOT]was a wise arrangement, it was a good one; yet we were blamed by the hon. member for Victoria, the hon. member for New Westminster and the gentlemen who toddy represent the province of British Columbia. They were elected on a platform of an exclusive white British Columbia and yet to-day they stand for the policy which is being initiated by the present Government. They stand for Hindu immigration in the near future. They stand for a more liberal treaty with Japan and for a more liberal interpretation of the statute which restricts Chinese immigration. I now speak for British Columbia and 1 ask hon. gentlemen to stand by their policy and principles of a few years ago.
I have great pleasure in answering the challenge of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Lemieux). The Conservative party of British Columbia stand to-day where they have always stood on the subject of Oriental immigration. As to the Temajrks of the hon. gentleman about the lack of discussion the other day on the subject of the participation in the Imperial Conference of our Indian fellow-subjects, one would think that the reason for that would appeal to the hon. gentleman, the same as the reason for abstention from harsh discussion' of Japanese ambitions might also appeal to the hon. gentleman and some of his friends. It seems to me that it would be well that we should try to cement our alliance with the friends of the Empire and secure from some of these Allies the assistance in fighting the battles of the Empire, whiich is refused to us in other quarters where we have a right to expect it. So far as I am concerned, I welcome the presence of our Indian soldiers on the fields of Flanders and of France. I welcome the presence of the Japanese fleet on the Pacific ocean to supply the deficiencies which the lack of a naval policy on the part of the hon. gentleman and his colleagues produced on the Pacific ocean.