June 21, 1919

UNION

Newton Wesley Rowell (Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. ROWELL:

What I said in answer-to my hon. friend from Kamouraska was-that a committee had been appointed representing all portions of the Empire to' consider certain questions which were not covered by the existing legislation, and that no final conclusions had yet been reached by that committee. When final conclusions are reached by that committee, they will have to be embodied in new legislation.

(Section agreed to.

On section 2-Certificate of naturalization.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE :

Subsections 5 and 6 are entirely new and are taken verbatim from the Imperial Act of 1918. Subsection 5 is taken from 5 George V, and subsection 6 from the Imperial Act of August, 1918.

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UNION

William Antrobus Griesbach

Unionist

Mr. GRIESBACH:

I move:

That Section 2< subsection 1 be amended by inserting the following proviso after subclause C:

Provided that under no circumstances whatever shall a certificate of naturalization be granted to any person, a citizen or subject of a foreign state in which there exists a law, rule or regulation which qualifies limits or restricts the citizenship by this Act conferred or in any way exacts or requires from such foreign applicant military allegiance or service to such state on the event of threatened or actual war.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

That would hardly be appropriate in the present section. If my hon. friend will give me the proposed amendment I will consider it. It would be more properly inserted about the end Of ' part 1. I move that consideration of it be allowed to stand in the meantime. I will see that it is submitted at the proper time.

Motion stands.

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UNION

Robert Hamilton Butts

Unionist

Mr. BUTTS:

Subsection (b) provides that any one- who is of good character may be granted a certificate of naturalization if he has an adequate knowledge of either the English or French languages. It does not say anything about other languages, and in the great war we had other Allies than the French. For instance the Italians were our allies. Are they to be excluded?

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

This is only a matter of making persons British citizens. Before the war the opinion of this Parliament was that they should be familiar with the English or the French language, and in Great Britain, they have confined it to familiarity with the English language. I think that there should be some familiarity with either

'the English or the French language provided for.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

The languages of the

country.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Yes.

On section 3-Effect of certificate of naturalization :

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UNION

Richard Clive Cooper

Unionist

Mr. COOPER:

How does this affect the Oriental?

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I am not aware of any law that provides for the naturalization of .Orientals in this country.

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UNION

Richard Clive Cooper

Unionist

Mr. COOPER:

The Oriental at the present time has no vote. Under this section he would be allowed to vote.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I am not prepared at

the moment to answer that question. I shall have to inquire into it and answer it at a later stage. I was under the impression that they had no right to be naturalized or to become British subjects.

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UNI L

Sanford Johnston Crowe

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CROWE:

There are two or three

thousand Japanese in British Columbia who have taken out naturalization papers but they have no vote.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I think I can answer the question now. I understand Orientals have a right to be naturalized in Canada, but under certain local laws of the province they are not enfranchised, notwithstanding their right to be naturalized if they comply with all the requirements.

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UNI L

Sanford Johnston Crowe

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CROWE:

The naturalization does

not give them the right to vote.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

No. It does not change the laws in force for the last thirty years.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. E. LAPOINTE:

Give them the provincial franchise and it would be all right.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Take the case of women- an Indian woman is a British subject. What would be her status? Would she be deprived of the right to vote by special legislation in this Bill? If she can exercise all the rights of a British subject she should have the right to vote, because under federal enactment all women who are British subjects and who have reached the age of twenty-one have the right to vote.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

When we come to the Franchise Act that will be a fair matter to deal with, but not under .this Bill.

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UNION

Herbert Macdonald Mowat

Unionist

Mr. MOWAT:

If it is thought wise in the provinces to limit the franchise to certain nationalities there might be a contest with

the provinces. If a certain class of Orientals are given all the rights, powers and privileges of British citizenship, we would be passing a law that would perhaps be inconsistent with provincial franchise laws.

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June 21, 1919