Confirming what my
hon. friend from Vancouver-Burrard has said, in the part of Ontario from which I come, for many years-for political reasons or otherwise, which I am not going into now-foreigners were brought before a magistrate and sworn on the ordinary oath of allegiance to His or Her Majesty, as the case might be, although usually it was Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and then many of them, before they were naturalized were appointed justices of the peace, and some of them occupy that position to-day. They have no adequate knowledge perhaps of English, and no knowledge whatever of French. I support very strongly the suggestion made by the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard that in all these cases we should take the opinion of the judges of the court. There is no complaint regarding the working of the present act from anybody in the large cities. The city of Montreal is satisfied. The city of Toronto, where we have a large foreign population, is satisfied, and so on throughout the country.
The complaint is made that some of the applicants for naturalization are located a long way from the court, and have to travel many miles to reach a judge, but surely some slight amendment could be made to the act for the purpose of covering such a case. I maintain that in the main the present law is quite satisfactory, and certainly the present method is more advisable than placing the matter in the hands of a justice of the peace and two other mien, who may be his sons or any other two people so long as they are bom in Canada.