June 8, 1917

LIB
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

My right hon. friend

the present leader of the Opposition and then the leader of the Liberal Government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier). He was laughed at by hon. gentlemen opposite when he made that prophecy. That prophecy came true, because there is no doubt that a Japanese cruiser was in the Pacific ocean prepared to co-operate with the ships of Great Britain and the smaller ships of Canada which were available, and this probably prevented an attack being made upon the coast

cities. The important question, after all, is whether we shall broaden and extend the opportunities for oriental immigration into Canada. I do not think we ought to do so, but I think, by this paragraph, the minister is opening a very wide door, which is likely to lead to extreme dissatisfaction in the future

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

I do not intend to be

captious or facetious, hut I would like to know if that is protection or free trade?

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB
CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURNHAM:

I judge for myself, but I was not quite sure.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Would the Minister or the Interior say what the policy of the United States is in regard to Chinese immigration?

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

The United' States have no head tax, but they prohibit entirely the entry of Chinese labour. In t,he case of students and others they have an exemption, but it is somewhat wider than our exemption, and those, who go- to their country for the purpose of getting educational instruction' are allowed to enter free of tax. They are not prohibited from entering the country, as the Chinese labourers are. The hon. gentleman has stated that the present Act has been working smoothly and harmoniously, and that there has been no objection to it. It is just because of the numerous objections that I have introduced this legislation. The requests have been quite numerous, and have been coming in for the last few years, and, indeed, had I been able to have done this by Order in Council, I should have felt like doing it a couple of years ago. The universities have asked for it. They point out that the universities in the United States have a great advantage over the universities ini Canada because the Chinese students are admitted into the United States free of tax, whereas they are not admitted into Canada, to any extent, on account of the imposition of the head tax. It is a hardship to impose the head tax on students, coming into the country. Many young men have not the $500 to spare and. require all the money they have for their educational course. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Pugsley) says it is no hardship at all to impose the head tax, because it will be refunded, tout it is a hardship because these immigrants have not the money to spare. Furthermore, the educated class of Chinese rather resent the idea of imposing a head tax on their sons, who come here for educational purposes.

If they were admitted free of tax there would he additional advantages to Canada by reason of trade and commerce. I have come in contact with missionaries and clergymen from Canada who have visited China and have associated with the people, and they say that the United States derives a great advantage by reason of the fact that Chinese students are admitted into United States universities without the restrictions imposed iby ns, and that by reason of this, trade between the United States and China is encouraged. Each young man going back to China from the United States is possessed of far more knowledge about that country than he would were students not admitted to the United States universities free of tax. I wish again to emphasize the fact that it is on account of the numerous requests year after year for this legislation that I have introduced this Bill. If the hon. gentlemen opposite take a decided stand and decade to hold up the passage of this Bill on the ground that it enlarges the scope of immigration from China, I say that that is not a valid ground, and I doubt if the leader of the Opposition would take a stand similar to that taken by the hon. gentleman from St. John. If the leader of the Opposition expressed his views this afternoon, I do not think they would harmonize with the views of the hon. member from St. John.

I do not imagine that he is at all opposed to .allowing Chinese students, to enter Canada for the purpose of attending an educational institution.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

We are not opposing this as a party matter. Each member is speaking for himself. I do not profess to speak for any of my hon. friends. Each member has a right to express his views in criticising any measure which comes before the House.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

It will be obvious that there is a great difference between the law of the United States and the law of Canada in regard to Chinese immigration, and when the minister draws the parallel, it is not a fair one. Those who are in favour of the exclusion of the Chinese from Canada would be very glad to accept the law of the United States, if it were applied to Canada. But that is not the situation. The United States absolutely excludes the Chinese of the working class, and allows the .entry of those who are seeking education. We do not exclude the working classes. We simply impose a head tax upon [Mr. Roche.3

them, but we make special provision in regard to those who desire an education. If the hon. minister desires to introduce the United States system into Canada I" will be glad to support the proposition to absolutely exclude the Chinese labourer, and simply allow the entry of the Chinaman who desires to secure an education. But to take that part of the United States law which leaves practically an open door to the entrance of Chinese, and add that to our more liberal policy in regard to Chinese immigration, is entirely objectionable, from my point of view.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

Does the hon. gentleman know what the United States immigration authorities claim?

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB
LIB

William Roche

Liberal

Mr. ROCHE:

They say that Canada gets the head tax and the United States gets the Chinese immigrant.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

That is a different story. We are discussing the statute as it is, and as it is proposed to frame it, and having had something to do with the statute as it stands, I may be pardoned for intruding upon the House to the extent I am doing. Having had some responsibility for the present statute, and for the administration under that statute, with due regard to the compliments of my hon. friend from Westminster, I wish to say that, for my own part I desire in this House to promote the idea of a white Canada, and the exclusion, so far as it is reasonably possible, of those races, who, by a policy of peaceful penetration permitted to be carried on, would change the condition of this Canada of ours, from being a white Canada to being a Canada of some other character, and il will have to ask the minister and the House to bear with me while I express my opposition to any legislation calculated to facilitate that change of condition. It is quite clear that this proposed amendment is deliberately intended to let down the bars, and, in so far as that is its purpose, it is objectionable. The minister has said that he has had protests against the law as it stands, and that these protests are the foundation of the amendment he proposes to make. With regard to the instance which he mentioned with reference to the clergy spoken of by the hon. member for Pictou, I may say that in my judgment there is no foundation whatever for a change in the law in any such instance. There is no possibility

of a law regarding immigration being placed on the statute book that can be administered according to rule and line. The officers of the department must administer that law according to its spirit and intent, using the letter where that is necessary to enforce the spirit and intent. But to apply the letter of the law in such a case as was mentioned by the member for Pictou and by the minister is to disregard the responsibilities of administration.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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LIB
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

When the Justice Department is asked to do so, it states, of course, the interpretation of the law. But my hon. friend must know that, in many cases, common sense and public policy demand that the law shall be administered according to its import rather than according to its letter. There is no evidence, therefore, either of the necessity or of the desirability of any change in the law. The proposed change rests, then, simply upon the desire or intention of the minister to let down the bars with regard to Chinese immigration to the extent provided in this section. To that I am compelled to offer my most strenuous opposition. It is suggested that because we are in a state of war, and because we have the assistance of certain allies, we are debarred from dealing with our own affairs according to our own requirements and the dictates of our own interest. But let it be thoroughly understood that that is not the purpose for which our Soldiers are fighting in this war. The soldiers of Canada are fighting in, this war so that Canada shall be mistress in her own house.

As to the amendment respecting clergymen, the existing Act was framed with regard to the fact that white men had gone to China as missionaries, and had there married women of that country. These men, being required in the course of their duties to come back to Canada, found themselves faced with the necessity of paying head tax upon their families. It was to provide for such cases that the law was made as it is. It did not contemplate the admission into Canada of clergymen of the Chinese race, whatever might be their religion. It contemplated simply the free admission of families of Chinese origin which were the families of white clergymen whose duties cal-led them back to Canada. It is not desirable that any amendment to the law should go further than that, especially in view of the fact that the minister is not able to explain

how far-reaching this section is. I wish to go on record, therefore, as protesting with all the strength of which I am capable against the proposals contained in the first section of the Bill.

Topic:   CHINESE IMMIGRATION BILL.
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Section agreed to. Bill reported.


MEAT AND CANNED FOODS ACT AMENDMENT.


On motion of Sir George Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce), Bill No. 73, to amend the Meat and Canned Foods Act, was read the second time and referred to the Select Standing Committee on Marine and Fisheries.


FISHERIES ACT AMENDMENT.


On motion of Sir George Foster, Bill No. 74, to amend the Fisheries Act, was read the second time and referred to the Select Standing Committee on Marine and Fisheries.


June 8, 1917