March 9, 1938

THE LATE PETER SINCLAIR

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, since its last sitting, this house has suffered the loss of another of its members, the thirteenth since the present parliament assembled, fortunately the only one in the present session.

Hon. members will have learned, with deep regret, of the sudden passing of Mr. Peter Sinclair, one of the members for the constituency of Queens, Prince Edward Island.

Mr. Sinclair had been in regular attendance at the sittings of the house since we reassembled here in January. He was in his seat as recently as Friday last. It was only on Saturday last that he became indisposed, and it was thought advisable that he should go to the civic hospital for treatment. Neither in Mr. Sinclair's own mind nor in that of others, had there been, at the time, any anxiety concerning the possibility of his recovery. His death was wholly unexpected, and the word of it in this morning's press must have occasioned a shock to his many friends in this house, and will be particularly felt in his native province.

Mr. Sinclair had little more than completed his fiftieth year. He was returned to the House of Commons at the last general election. His political career, though short, had not been without promise. He was elected to the legislature of Prince Edward Island in 1927, and became a minister without portfolio in the government of Hon. A. C. Saunders in the following year. He continued as a member of the legislature till 1931. He suffered defeat in the provincial elections of that year and retired into private life for a while, giving his time to farming and to business activities. In the general elections of 1935 he became one of the Liberal candidates for Queens and as already mentioned was returned as a member of this parliament.

Mr. Sinclair came of a family in Prince Edward Island well known for its interest in public affairs and possessed of a fine tradition of public service. His father, Peter Sinclair, after whom he was named, had, in his day, been a member of the legislature of Prince Edward Island, and one of the representatives in this House of Commons of the constituency which his son subsequently represented. For many years the same constituency was represented in this house by his brother, the Hon. John Sinclair, who was a member of a former Liberal administration, and is at present, as hon. members are aware, a member of the senate. Like his brother, the senator, Peter

MARCH 9, 1938 H61

Immigration Act

Sinclair had been throughout his life a member of the Liberal party in Prince Edward Island, and active in his advocacy of its principles and policies. He took a special interest in all that pertained to the welfare of his native province. He was most loyal in the support which, at all times, he accorded my colleagues and myself, and we feel deeply a loss which will be shared by all members of the party in this house and by the people of Prince Edward Island.

In the short time he was a member of this house, Mr. Sinclair had not had opportunity to take much part in its proceedings. Being, however, of a kindly, generous and friendly disposition, he made many friends among its members.

The sadness of Mr. Sinclair's passing at so early an age is increased by the circumstance that he leaves behind a widow and seven children. You, Mr. Speaker, I am sure, will convey to Mrs. Sinclair and the members of the family, in their bereavement, the expression of the very sincere sympathy felt for them by all members of this house.

Topic:   THE LATE PETER SINCLAIR
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, the sudden passing of the member for Queens is a striking illustration of the truth of that ancient saying, "In the midst of life we are in death." No one who saw Mr. Sinclair in his place in the house on Friday would have thought it at all probable that on Wednesday afternoon we should be mourning his passing. It is, I say, a most striking illustration of the uncertainty of human life.

I did not know Mr. Sinclair at all well personally, but I knew him in the way that one does know members of this chamber. He was a zealous supporter of his party, and deeply concerned in everything that had to do with the prosperity and welfare of the province whence he came. His devotion to the interests of Prince Edward Island might be said to be perhaps his outstanding characteristic.

I believe that when Disraeli passed away, Salisbury said, "Zeal for the greatness of England was the passion of his life"; and if our late confrere might be said to have had a passion, it was zeal for his native province of Prince Edward Island. It manifested itself on all occasions, and he took a very deep concern indeed in everything that had to do with the welfare and prosperity of that province.

I cannot do more than say that we should like to associate ourselves with the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and his party in sympathy for the loss of one who has been very early in life called from its activities, and who leaves behind him a wife and

seven children, thus intensifying, as the Prime Minister has so aptly said, the sympathetic concern that every member must have in his passing. In associating ourselves with the government in the loss of the deceased member, we realize, Mr. Speaker, that you in your own way will convey to the bereaved widow and family an expression of the sympathy which we all feel, and our deep regret that one of our number should have been so suddenly called from our midst.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, we in this group should like to associate ourselves with the expressions of esteem and sympathy uttered by the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, our group also would like to join with the Prime Minister and his party in extending sympathy to the family of the deceased member.

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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, MARCH 14

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, MARCH 14
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Motion agreed to.


IMMIGRATION ACT

AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES


Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 38, to amend the Immigration Act.


LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Explain.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

This is a very simple bill, and framed in modest and very general terms. It does not discriminate against or specifically name any nation or any race. It proposes to make a small but, I think, a useful addition or amendment to section 3 of the Immigration Act. In order to facilitate, I trust, its passage through the house and to secure the support of the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett), I have followed the suggestion he made on a previous occasion in connection with another bill and have provided that it shall not come into force until the first day of July, 1939.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

What is it?

Questions

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What is the bill about?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

It is to amend section 3. To put it in two words, it proposes to add the words "of Europe" to section 3, paragraph (t). If the house wishes me to read it out,

I shall do so, but that is the only change.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What is the effect of the bill?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Paragraph (t) of section 3 of the Immigration Act, chapter 93 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927, is repealed and the following substituted therefor:

(t) on and after the first day of July, 1939-

That is one change, instead of 1927.

-in addition to the foregoing "prohibited classes," the following persons shall also be prohibited from entering or landing in Canada: Persons over fifteen years of age, physically capable of reading who cannot read the English or the French language or some other language or dialect commonly spoken by and native to the people of any country, state, province or other political or territorial division of Europe-

And then follows the rest of the section, keeping to the old section.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF PROVISION RESPECTING PROHIBITED CLASSES
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QUESTIONS

March 9, 1938