Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Pime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lockhart) asked a question respecting passport regulations. I should like to take this opportunity to reply.
The hon. member's question was whether intending visitors to the United States can choose between the new procedure of special border-crossing identification cards and the passport system. The answer is in the affirmative. The new simplified procedure does not supersede the old system but is offered as an additional facility. If an intending visitor should find it more convenient to get a passport than to get the non-immigrant border-crossing identification card, he may do so in the regular way. It is purely a matter of personal convenience, though I am sure that, for the great majority of intending visitors, the new system will prove much more convenient than the regular passport system. In this connection it must not be overlooked that under the passport system the passport alone does not suffice to secure entry into the United States. The holder must also secure a visa, for which a personal appearance before a United States consular officer is essential, or an ordinary bordercrossing card, which requires a personal appearance before a United States immigration officer.
It is understood, of course, that in speaking about the new procedure I am referring only to visits of less than thirty days by Canadians and other British subjects permanently resident in Canada. I understand these are the classes of persons the hon. member has in mind. The new system, as has repeatedly been stated, does not apply to visits of thirty days or longer, and its privileges do not extend to other classes of persons who must use the regular passport system.