NATURALIZATION ACT, 1914, AMENDMENT.
Rt. Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 184 to revive and amend the Naturalization Act, 1914.
The House will remember that in connection with the Franchise Act considerable discussion arose with regard to the effect of certain provisions of the Naturalization Act' of 1919-provisions which excluded the naturalizing of persons of former enemy alien nationality for a period of ten years following the war. The discussion proceeded upon the understanding-shared in, I think I am safe in saying, all round-that the British legislation of 1918 had so operated as to make it necessary, if we were to preserve a uniformity between our legislation and the British naturalization legislation, that we should adopt this provision making it impossible to naturalize for the period of ten years the class of aliens which I have mentioned. In connection with that discussion I ventured to express a very strong hope that it would be found possible to come to such an understanding as would cause to disappear the supposed necessity of our adopting that absolutely prohibitive legislation for the purpose of maintaining uniformity in the naturalization legislation. I think that in many quarters the thought was entertained, -and, indeed, was expressed-that I was over,sanguine in that regard; that I entertained an excess of hopefulness which some hon. gentlemen were disposed to pardon me for by reason of my youth. I am glad to say that I was not over-sanguine; that it is possible for us to so modify the provisions referred to as to remove the impossibility during the period of time in question of naturalizing the class mentioned, without causing our legislation not to be uniform with that of the United Kingdom upon the subject of Imperial naturalization. One of
the purposes of this Bill is not to abolish entirely the provision but to make it possible to grant certificates of naturalization to persons of proved loyalty who before the passage of the Act had resided in Canada for a period of ten years. The misunderstanding with regard to the effect of the British naturalization disappeared upon careful examination [DOT] of the legislation. J may say that the basis of the hopefulness I expressed was my conviction that there must be a misunderstanding either on the other side or on this side. We were all under the impression that the misunderstanding had occurred over there, and that consequently their legislation produced the effect which I have mentioned. As I have said, however, a more careful examination of their legislation makes it clear that we have to admit that the misunderstanding was on the part of the draftsmen upon this side who framed the legislation under the belief that this clause was an essential part of what I may describe as the Imperial Naturalization Act. That view, which I am now expressing, is concurred in by the British authorities, and, in fact, a careful examination of the statute makes it clear that that is correct. The British Parliament, in making the particular enactment to which I have referred, was careful, inasmuch as there was no consultation with the Dominions on the subject, to make it, not as an enactment to form part of the Imperial Naturalization Act of 1914, but as a substantial enactment in the United Kingdom. That has left us our liberty in the matter. I felt strongly convinced that there was some misunderstanding, inasmuch as with regard to maintaining the uniformity of Imperial naturalization legislation, the matter is not at all one of the British Parliament passing legislation and then we being in a position where we must pass it, but the matter is one of previous consultation as to what legislation the respective Governments will be willing to introduce,, and in this latter legislation the British Government was careful to exclude, as forming part of the Act of 1914, any amendment, with regard to which there had not been previous consultation. It is well just to mention that, because it is a misapprehension to suppose, as some hon. gentlemen seem to think, that this was a matter of legislation imposed upon us by the Act of the British Parliament. The Act of 1914 itself was an Act passed in virtue of an agreement and was ' actually passed by this Parliament beford it was passed by the British Parliament.
, I should add that, for the purpose of clearness, it has been thought desirable that we should remodel the form of the Act as it was passed last year. Last year the Act of 1914 was entirely repealed and reenacted with certain modifications, among them being the particular one that I have mentioned. It seems to us desirable that we should keep clear by themselves the provisions of the Act of 1914 and any amendments that may be made to it, that is the Act the uniformity of which we must maintain, and deal separately, as the British Parliament did, with other provisions not forming part of it. For that purpose this present Bill repeals the Act of 1919, revives the Act of 1914, inserting in it those amendments which properly form part of it and are necessary for maintaining uniformity between our Act of 1914 and the British Act of 1914, and then enacting such provisions as form no part of it as substantial provisions standing by themselves, and among which is the provision that I have just mentioned which will make it possible, not to do away with the ten-year requirements generally, but, in meritorious cases, for persons of former alien enemy nationality who have already resided ten years in this country, to be naturalized before the expiry of the ten-year period from the termination of the war as provided in the Act of 1919.
. Mr. EULEE: I should like to know whether in the new Bill which the minister is introducing, he includes a provision for the personal naturalization of women as well as men. I think that would be desirable.
That is a matter which was dealt with in the original Act of 1914, the Act that was then decided upon. If we should depart from the agreement then reached which was embodied in both the British and our legislation upon that subject, we would then be making in the provisions of the original Act a distinction which would differentiate our legislation, and just as the British -Government and parliament did not think it proper to modify that Act without consultation with the other Dominions, if we modify it without their concurrence we would be 'departing from 'uniformity. Therefore, there is not contained, in the present Bill a provision for a separate and distinct naturalization on the part of married women, of whom I understand the hon. member is speaking.
Motion agreed to, and. Bill read the first time.
(Question® answered orally are indicated by an asterisk).
FRANCO-CANADIAN CUSTOMS TARIFF CONVENTION.
1. Has the Honourable the Minister of Trade and Commerce received the following resolution passed at the annual meeting of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, Vancouver, B.C., June 9, 1920 :-
Whereas, the Franco-Canadian Customs Tariff Convention will terminate about June 19, 1920, and
Whereas, it is highly desirable that the friendly trade relations between France and Canada should be improved by a new Customs Convention whereby direct shipping may be promoted and French markets opened which, owing to the high general Customs duties of France would otherwise remain closed against numerous Canadian products, both agricultural and manufacturing, and on the other hand desirable markets may be opened in Canada for various French products not made or produced in Canada,
Therefore be it resolved, that the Canadian Manufacturers' Association in annual meeting assembled in Vancouver on June 9, 1920,
earnestly petition the Dominion Government to negotiate a new Franco-Canadian Customs Tariff Convention, as soon as conditions become opportune.
2. What action does the honourable minister intend to take in the matter?
Rt, Hon. Sir GEORGE FOSTER:
1. The resolution referred to has been received.
2. I have already intimated to the House that the Canadian Government had signified to the French Government its willingness to enter into negotiations for another commercial arrangement at an opportune time.
CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT.
On the motion of Sir George Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce) it was ordered that to-morrow the House do go into committee to consider a resolution to amend the Canada Grain Act, chapter 27 of the statute® of 1912.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE. SATURDAY SITTINGS.
Rt. Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister) moved:
Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (leader of the Opposition):
If the Prime Minister
can give us a definite assurance that the whole legislative programme of the Government has been brought down and that we need expect nothing further, hon. gentlemen on this side of the House will be glad to do anything to help bring the work of the session to a speedy termination.
Sir ROBERT BORDEN:
There is a Bill, entirely non-controversial, I think, for the purpose of extending the powers now enjoyed by the boards of trade throughout the country. The Government also have under consideration the question of continuing the present authority for wheat control. Outside of that, I do not recall any other legislation that is in contemplation, but I shall consult my colleagues.
Mr. JACQUES BUREAU:
Sir ROBERT BORDEN:
I except, of
course, matters that are already before the House. We shall have to deal with the report of any Committee of the House. I thought my hon. friend's question alluded to measures to be brought down by the Government upon its own initiative.
Mr. MACKENZIE KING:
Can my right hon. friend inform us when we may expect the balance of the Supplementary Estimates?
Sir ROBERT BORDEN:
of Finance has been very busily engaged all morning, and is still engaged on the same matter. Therefore, he is not in his seat at the moment. As soon as he comes I shall mention to him the inquiry my hon. friend has made, which is a very reasonable one, and I shall ash him to acquaint my hon. friend and the House generally as to the date when we may expect the further Supplementary Estimates. Speaking for myself, we shall use the utmost possible expedition in bringing them down. Some of the ministers have been very much engaged with matters of public business apart from the business of the House, and unfortunately the result has been that the Supplementary Estimates have not been brought down at as early a date as we had hoped, or indeed at as early a date as they should have been brought down.