July 17, 1944

PRISONERS OF WAR

REPORTS AS TO THREATENED EXECUTION OF ALLIED AIRMEN IN JAPAN


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

I should like to ask a question of the Prime Minister, of which I have given him notice. The newspapers of Saturday last carried a dispatch from American news sources which indicated that the Japanese government had renewed its threats to execute any allied airmen caught landing in Japan. If substantiated, this latest evidence of callous disregard for international conventions would seem to call for a strong protest from the governments of the united nations. I would be glad, therefore, to have the Prime Minister's comments on the situation; and perhaps he will indicate what steps Canada may take.

Topic:   PRISONERS OF WAR
Subtopic:   REPORTS AS TO THREATENED EXECUTION OF ALLIED AIRMEN IN JAPAN
Permalink
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, may I say in reply to my hon. friend that the press report to which he has referred has still to be verified, but I would1 agree entirely with him not only as to the desirability but the necessity of the strongest protest from the governments of the united nations being made should there be any grounds for believing that these reports are correct.

Topic:   PRISONERS OF WAR
Subtopic:   REPORTS AS TO THREATENED EXECUTION OF ALLIED AIRMEN IN JAPAN
Permalink

HOUSING

INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO REPORTED EVICTIONS IN TORONTO


On the orders of the day: Mrs. DORISE W. NIELSEN (North Battle-ford) : Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Prime Minister. This morning I have received two telegrams from Toronto to say that a woman and her five children are to be evicted from their home in that city on the morning of the seventeenth. She is the wife of a service man who has been serving overseas for four years. Does the government propose to take any action to prevent such disgraceful things happening again? Dominion Elections


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):

May I say to my hon.

friend that I heard over the radio this morning a reference to the matter which she states at the present moment has been referred to her by telegram. My intention was to have the representations considered by the cabinet at its first meeting, but I now have reason to believe that the eviction will not take place. At any rate at its first meeting the government will consider what was stated this morning.

Topic:   HOUSING
Subtopic:   INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO REPORTED EVICTIONS IN TORONTO
Permalink

DOMINION ELECTIONS

MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


Hon. N. A. McLARTY (Secretary of State) moved the second reading of and concurrence in amendments made by the Senate to bill No. 135, to provide regulations enabling Canadian war service electors to exercise their franchise, and Canadian prisoners of war to vote by proxy, at any general election held during the present war, also to provide amendments to the Dominion Elections Act, 1938, consequential to such regulations, or made necessary by the advent of the said war. He said: Mr. Speaker, the other house has returned this bill with two amendments. I shall not at this stage deal with them at any length but might explain them briefly. The first amendment is to section 5, by adding the words, "at the time of the passing of this act". The intention and effect of that is that in the event of any provincial legislature deciding that it should disqualify electors by reason of racial origin between the time of the passing of this act and the next election, this amendment will not prevent the affected parties mentioned in such measure from voting. The next amendment is to section 11. That section deals with those clauses of the bill that will apply only to an election held within the present war and within a period of six months thereafter. I think from the wording of section 5 it might be argued, in fact it is made clear that it could apply only at the time this country is at war, because it states specifically that any disqualifications are those of a country which is at war with Canada. Members of this house, especially legal members, will agree that a statute always speaks in the present tense, but notwithstanding that, the endeavour has been made to make it clearer. I believe, Mr. Speaker, there is no objection to concurrence in the amendment. It might be argued that it makes assurance doubly sure and there could be no exception taken to that. Consequently I am prepared to move concurrence in the amendment. But I also wish to move another amendment consequential to the senate amendment, and that is: That the following words be added to the words "at the time of the passing of this act": "namely, July 1, 1938, and on the date of the declaration of such war resided in a province in which on those dates." The effect of that is simply this. There has been some criticism of the disqualification of certain members of the Japanese race even though we are in the midst of a bitter and grim war, and the result of this amendment will be that no one who has enjoyed the right to vote will be disqualified. In other words, the right of the Japanese race to vote will be unimpaired in so far as they previously enjoyed that right. I believe this will meet the situation. I do not think, no matter how broadminded we may be, that at a time of war we should consider extending the franchise to those of an enemy race, and any other provision in the act will unquestionably have that effect. This leaves the right of those of the Japanese race who had the right to vote unimpaired, untrammelled, and uninterfered with. I believe that will meet with general approval in all sections of the house, and I consequently move that the senate amendment be concurred in as well as the motion I have proposed.


NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I would ask the minister what the rights were previously so far as the Japanese are concerned. Were they in any degree impaired except in one province?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

I am not sure that I get the exact significance of the hon. member's question. British Columbia is the only province in which any person is barred on account of his being a member of the Japanese race.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

So that in other provinces there has been no barring and there will be no change?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

That is correct.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Perhaps it might be well if I were to read the amendments and the effect of them as I have them here:

That the amendment made by the senate to section 5 of Bill No. 135 be agreed to with the following consequential amendment:

That the following words be added to the words "at the time of the passing of this act": "namely, July 1, 1938, and on the date of the declaration of such war, resided in a province in which on those dates"; and that as a consequence, for greater clarity, paragraph (n) of the said section be made to read as follows:

"Every person residing in Canada whose racial origin is that of a country at war with Canada, if such person, at the time of the passing of this act, namely, July 1, 1938, and

Dominion Elections

on the date of the declaration of such war, resided in a province in which on those dates a person of his racial origin was disqualified from voting at an election of a member of the legislative assembly of that province, and who did not serve in the naval, military or air forces of Canada in the war of 1914-1918 or in any subsequent war in which Canada may be engaged." *

That the senate amendment to section 11 be agreed to.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. CLARENCE GILLIS (Cape Breton South):

It is unfortunate at this stage of the session that we are obliged to take part in a debate on this measure. I am speaking as a member of the committee that assisted in drafting the war service voters regulations. I had hoped that the amendment the government would propose would not make it necessary for members of this group to precipitate a debate on this bill. Unfortunately I cannot agree that the amendment proposed by the Secretary of State consequent upon the amendment made by the senate to section 5 * of this bill meets the situation as I understand it.

Perhaps it is just as well to have a brief review of matters leading up to the passage of this particular bill. I wish to make it quite clear that as a member of the elections committee who helped to draft-

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I understand that the hon. member is proposing to give a history of what has happened prior to this.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink
CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

No.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENABLE WAR SERVICE PERSONNEL TO VOTE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink

July 17, 1944