April 8, 1927

IND

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Independent

Mr. BOUBASSA:

Born anywhere outside

of Canada?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Yes. The fact is however that this applies particularly to the British subject. A foreign-bom man may become naturalized in this country.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I am certainly interested in the point. Will my hon. friend, when he makes that assertion, demonstrate how he harmonizes the statement with these two matters:

Provided, that this section shall not apply to any person who is a British subject, either by reason of birth in Canada, or by reason of naturalization in Canada.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The very question of the hon. member for Vancouver Centre I think reveals the fact that a great many of the hon. members of this House have been quite in the dark with regard to the meaning of the act, and perhaps that has led them to mistrust the motives of some of us who have tried to have the act repealed. The hon. member for West Calgary referred to the words in the section:

Provided, that this section shall not apply to any person who is a British subject, either by reason of birth in Canada or by reason of naturalization in Canada.

That refers to either one of two groups.

The first is:

By reason of birth in Canada.

That exempts native-born Canadians.

*-or by reason of naturalization in Canada.

That exempts foreign-bom Canadians. Foreigners may be naturalized in Canada. They are frequently naturalized in Canada, and in such case they come under the exemption in this clause.

It is quite true that in their case naturalization certificates may be cancelled. The provision is contained in another law that dovetails into this. But in the case of British bom citizens it is not necessary for them to become naturalized. I have never yet come

across a British born citizen who has been naturalized in Canada, nor do I see why it should be necessary for such naturalization to take place. Indeed, I do not know that a British born citizen can be naturalized in Canada. Be that as it may, the point that I want to emphasize is that the British born Canadian is not naturalized in this country and, not being naturalized in Canada, he does not come under the exemption provided in this act.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I appreciate the explanation. I see the point my hon. friend is making, and I have a suggestion to make presently.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I may suggest that my hon. friend himself would come under this act.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

That is right-if I committed all the offences enumerated in it.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Or if the hon.

gentleman should be suspected or by common repute be regarded as having committed any of the offences named.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I leave that to my hon. friend.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

This is a very

serious situation. My colleague from East Calgary (Mr. Adshead), bom in Manchester, comes under this act, as does also my other colleague born in Leeds.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

They do not come under the act unless they commit these offences.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

No, but the point

is that they are not exempted. The hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Bennett) observed that British citizens did not come under the act, but he is misinformed on that point; the act does apply to British citizens. That is the question at issue. Why, the Minister of Immigration, Mr. Forke, who comes from Scotland, himself comes under this section and is liable to deportation vjjithout trial by his own department. Surely a re-ductio ad absurdum!

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Has he been guilty of

any of these offences?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

He need not commit any of the offences enumerated to come under the act; he need only be suspected of having committed any of them. Or, if by common repute he belongs to any organization of the kind defined in the act he comes under the section I am discussing. The hon. member for West Calgary made an impassioned speech to the House and was emphatic on

Immigration Act-Mr. Woodsworth

the point that the law did not apply to people of British birth. I say that it does apply to them and so his argument falls by the way. I go further and say that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Heenan), who I understand was born in Ireland, is also subject to deportation under the act. I do not wonder that he wants to have this law abolished, because seeing that he came from Ireland he may be suspected at any time belonging to one of the groups mentioned.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

If any of these gentlemen should be guilty of any of the offences mentioned why should they not come under the law?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I will come to that

point in a moment. I need not refer to the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning), another member of the cabinet. He was born in England and this law applies to him quite definitely. Not only in theory does this law apply to British born citizens but in actual fact it has been invoked against such people. It is therefore not a matter of mere academic interest, and that is why some of us feel so strongly about it. I dislike very much referring to the matter inasmuch as it has been discussed time and again; but I must allude, in passing, to the trouble we had in Winnipeg in 1919, when a number of Britishers, men born in England and Scotland, were arrested under this section and were liable to deportation. It was definitely decided by the

department that they were to be deported within a few hours without trial, and it was only because of the protest made, not only by the labour people but by thoughtful citizens in all walks of life throughout the country, that this action was stayed. I repeat therefore that the matter is not one simply of academic interest. The law was actually invoked against this class of citizens and it may be used again.

I come now to another important consideration. Some of us in this House have been accused again and again of a desire to foster crime simply because we want to get rid of this act. We are charged with wanting to encourage offences of this description and to help people tear down the constitution. I am not advocating any of the things that are legislated against in this act. Not at all. I do say however, and say most emphatically, that the worst man in this country ought to have a fair trial by jury. Far from that being the case under this act, all that is necessary to make anyone liable to deportation is that he be suspected of any of these offences or that he should by common repute, belong to

any of the organizations mentioned. Any man suspected of any of these things may be reported to the immigration department and they, without anything further than a mere departmental investigation, can send him out of the country. That is too great a power to confer upon any department. If any one is suspected or is even guilty of any such offence the very least we can do is to give him a fair trial and not decide his fate by a departmental investigation. That is what we plead for. As a British citizen I claim for all British born citizens in Canada the right to fair trial by jury. But I would extend that plea

in the case of those of foreign birth. I do not see why, simply because a man happens to have been born outside Canada, he should after coming to this country be shipped out again upon a report to the department that he belongs to some undesirable organization. I do not see why he should be deported without, at any rate, a fair trial. Is that the way we are going to teach our newer Canadians to respect British institutions?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Surely my hon. friend

does not suggest that there is any country in the world which enters into a criminal trial before deciding upon the deportation of undesirables? It is a matter purely of departmental investigation to decide who shall be permitted to stay in the country. In any event the right of habeas corpus is always available to the citizen under sentence of deportation.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

If my hon. friend reads

the immigration law he will find that the ight Of habeas corpus is taken away.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Any rights in that

regard are removed*.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink
LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I do not think my hon.

friend (Mr. Bennett) has studied the act.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OP PROVISION FOR DEPORTATION OP CERTAIN CLASSES
Permalink

April 8, 1927