June 25, 1925

PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

There is one phase of

the question which has been entirely overlooked and to which I would call attention. A Japanese may become a Canadiar citizen, but in doing so he does not give up his Japanese citizenship, and in case of trouble between Japan and Canada a Japanese is in honour bound to side with Japan. That has been stated by a judge of the Supreme Court in British Columbia and has never beeD questioned. It was the same with the Germans. When the Germans were in this country and in England they became British subjects, but never gave up their German citizenships and after the war broke out they were just as much Germans as when they came into existence in their own country.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

The best franchise

is the provincial list, and although this legislation and the proposed amendment are applicable to other parts of Canada as well as to British Columbia, the greatest effect would be in British Columbia where the largest Japanese population in this country resides. British Columbia does not allow the orientals the franchise. The section of the act which the amendment seeks to delete overrides the wishes and the laws of British Columbia. In extenuation of that it may be said that it only affects a few, but as has already been stated in this debate, the principle is wrong, and there is no reason why the franchise should be extended to orientals simply because they fought with the Canadian corps.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)

Liberal

Mt. BELAND:

My hon. friend says that

the Dominion franchise is based upon the provincial franchise'. In Quebec the provincial franchise does not extend to women the right to vote, but in a Dominion election the women in the province of Quebec all vote, so that I think the principle is not adhered to in regard to the province of Quebec in that respect.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

May I be permitted,

in reference to the conference with the Senate which has been called, to state that Bourinot at page 278, referring to the practice of the House of Commons, says:

When the time has come for holding the conference the Clerk will call over the names of the Managers who will proceed forthwith to the place of meeting.

The Clerk will now call over the names.

The Clerk of the House called over the names of the Messieurs Graham, Murphy, Lapointe, Robb, Macdonald (Bictou) and Malcolm.

Elections Act

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

The minister's observations in regard to the provincial voters' lists in Quebec are quite correct, but in British Columbia the provincial list forms a basis, and unless an elector can get on the provincial list he is not entitled to vote in Dominion elections. On the question of gratitude I maintain that we are under no particular gratitude to the orientals who enlisted in the Canadian expeditionary force. Japan was in the war on her own account, and it was the duty of the Japanese to go to war just as much as it was the duty of the Canadian. It was more convenient for those Japanese in Canada to enlist in a Canadian corps than in a Japanese corps. The Canadian who went to the war and came back had to qualify to get on the provincial list and why should we make an exception in favour of the Japanese? Unless a Britisher or a Canadian could get on the list without qualifying, a Japanese should not be allowed to do so. This legislation makes an exception.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LAB

Joseph Tweed Shaw

Labour

Mr. SHAW:

I desire to raise a point of

order. Referring to the conference between the Senate and the House of Commons, Bourinot at page 179, rule 662 says:

While a conference is taking place, the deliberations of both Houses are suspended.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

That is quite correct when the House is in session, but the House

ic in o Am vYi if too 10 iu oumiuiutwv.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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PRO

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

This matter is not very important.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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CON
PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

Perhaps I may be allowed

to reply to a few of the criticisms that have been made. The Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment (Mr. Belaud) says that we ought to let the Japanese vote in Canada. Do the Japanese let us vote in Japan? I should like him to answer that question. Is it right or proper that we should extend to the Japanese in Canada a privilege which is not extended to us in Japan?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LIB

Lucien Cannon

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Is the hon. gentleman in

a position to tell us what the Japanese government did for naturalized Japanese subjects who fought in the Japanese army during the war?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

No Japanese naturalized subject of any creed, colour, sex or description is given the right to vote in Japan on anything at all.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LIB

Lucien Cannon

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Even if they fought in

the Japanese army?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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PRO
LAB

Joseph Tweed Shaw

Labour

Mr. SHAW:

Does my hon. friend draw

a distinction between the case where rights have never been enjoyed and where they have been granted and are now being taken away?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

Yes; I am quite aware of

that distinction. The minister says that it is not right to deprive the Japanese of their rights. But we are not depriving them of any rights; they never had and never will have any right in this regard in British Columbia. We are not depriving them of

Elections Act

any right to take part in the government, because they are not entitled to it. It is true they had it in the last Dominion election but they should never have had it, and this is onlj1' to remedy the situation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland (Minister of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment; Minister presiding over the Department of Health)

Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

Can the hon. member tell

us what would be done in Great Britain in similar circumstances where any oriental such as he describes had fought in the army? Would he be denied the right to vote?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

The conditions are not the

same in Britain and I am not familiar enough with them to say actually what they do. I am not going to talk about things I know nothing about. But I cannot imagine any Assyrian who fought in Turkey being allowed to vote in Great Britain.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Is there not an

Indian in the British House of Commons?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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PRO

Alan Webster Neill

Progressive

Mr. NEILL:

What on earth has that to

do with this subject? The hon. member does not confine his questions to the subject under discussion any more than he confines his speech to it. He has given us his fine and well-known diatribe on the rights of certain peoples; but that has nothing whatever to do with the subject under discussion. He is entitled of course to hold the view which he puts forward, that every naturalized citizen should have the right to vote. But unfortunately when he takes this position he brings himself into disagreement with men like the Earl of Halsbury, the Privy Council of Great Britain, and the statesmen of Canada, whose opinions I quoted. The disagreement is unfortunate for him-or, it may be, unfortunate for them. The point however is not at issue at all, because it is admitted that \?e in British Columbia did and do possess the right to exclude orientals. And we did so. The real question is whether British Columbia's desires and wishes as expressed in the legislature of that province shall be taken into account in the Dominion franchise. That is the question which hon. members are asked to decide; it is not whether in their opinion the world-wide question of naturalization as regards the franchise should be considered at all in this legislation. That is not under discussion. The hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth) commented upon my use of the expression "neighbourly."

I stand by what I have said so far as that is concerned; and I say that it is the best spirit of neighbourliness to so act towards your neighbour that you will not have a row with him next week. If he has a flower garden, and you have hens, it is a neighbourly

act on your part to shut up your hens before they cause a row between you and him. And it is the best sort of neighbourliness with us in British Columbia to refrain from anything that will cause trouble with the Japanese. They are not asking for the vote; and in refusing to extend it to them we are only preventing no end of friction that would indubitably arise in the future if we gave some of them this privilege. Some hon. members may be influenced by the hon. member for Centre Winnipeg (Mr. Woodsworth) who has lived on the coast and who claims to be familiar with conditions there. But that hon. gentleman takes at all times a different view on the oriental question from the view held by members representing the province of British Columbia, including myself. I remember it was only last year the hon. member expressed the opinion that it was a disgrace that we did not allow oriental girls to train with ours in the hospital in Vancouver, a view which, if expressed in Vancouver, would have provoked a riot.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT .
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June 25, 1925