February 11, 1947

LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I did not go to Japan to get my campaign funds.

Mr. MaeINNIS: Who went to Japan?

Topic:   P.C. 2115.
Permalink
LIB
LIB

William Ross Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order.

Immigration Act

Mr. MaeINNIS: I didn't either; so neither of us did. If you will tell me how much you got from the breweries in British Columbia, I will tell you where mine came from.

Topic:   P.C. 2115.
Permalink
LIB

William Ross Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I must insist that if an hon. member wishes to ask a question he may ask it only with the consent of the hon. member who has the floor. And the hon. member wishing to ask the question must rise in his place.

Topic:   P.C. 2115.
Permalink
LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I am sorry; I apologize. But may I ask the hon. member a question? How many members of the British Columbia electrical union are orientals?

Mr. MaeINNIS: I don't know.

Topic:   P.C. 2115.
Permalink
LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

No, you bet you don't know.

Mr. MaeINNIS: If I may proceed without being so rudely interrupted again, I shall conclude.

Topic:   P.C. 2115.
Permalink
LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

You won't say anything, anyway.

Mr. MaeINNIS: It would be best if the minister withdrew this bill until he has his immigration policy better organized, and can tell the house exactly what is to take the place of the Chinese Immigration Act being repealed. Until that is done, so far as I am concerned-and I believe I am speaking for this group as a whole-I will stand for equal rights for all citizens of Canada, regardless of race, colour or creed.

Topic:   P.C. 2115.
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened: with a great deal of interest to the debate thus far. I have the impression that a somewhat similar thing has happened to the house this afternoon to what happened when we were discussing the N.R.M.A. in 1944, in that there was contributed to the debate a tremendous amount of heat but the light tended to be obscured:. I wonder if we cannot manage somehow to get our eye on the ball and follow it through during the rest of this debate.

The first question for us to ask is, what must be Canada's purpose in having an immigration policy? Is Canada aiming by her immigration policy to increase Canada's population, or is she aiming to bow to certain other considerations such as, for example, one or more of the following which I believe constitute a sort of summary of the arguments which have been made or implied this afternoon by various speakers.

First, to relieve congestion of population in certain densely populated areas such as China, Japan, India, Java, Belgium, Germany-dear

me, the list stretches out almost interminably when you start it! If Canada's object is to relieve density of population in overpopulated areas, then I fear if she undertakes the task she is attempting something far beyond her capacity.

Second, to relieve the distress of certain unfortunate individuals such as displaced people. Of course we all wish to relieve displaced people, but surely there is a limit to our responsibility in this regard. We ought to be able to find what that limit is and meet it squarely and honourably.

Third, to assume Canada's proportionate share of the international burdens which appear to rest on the shoulders of the victors in world war II. It is a sad commentary, Mr. Speaker, if I may stop to make it, that the people who appear to have lost this war are the victors!

Fourth, to satisfy other nations that Canada dloes not intend to follow a dog-in-the-manger policy designed to exclude from her soil the land-hungry millions yearning to reach her shores. Is this in other words, a measure to allay the hard feelings of other nations against us? One would think so from hearing some of the talk.

Fifth, are we by this measure aiming to satisfy certain pressure groups working for certain ulterior objectives, regardless of whether those objectives will contribute to the greater prosperity, unity and happiness of Canada?

Or sixth, are we doing this to reward the people of nations that fought well on the same side that Canada did in world war II? Is that our object?

Or seventh, is it to discharge our obligations as a signatory to the united nations agreement?

I think every member of the1 house1 will readily concede that there is a measure of validity in each one of these reasons, that probably not one of them ought to be entirely out of our minds at any given time. But as one member of the house, I feel that our primary and cogent reason is number one, to increase Canada's population, to make her stronger,, more prosperous, more happy, more enduring. If we can all agree that this is the primary purpose, let us consider that to be the ball and keep our eye on it and follow it through the game.

What has the government already done toward opening the door for immigration?' May I read two passages which have already been read into the record once, but which, I fancy, if anyone out in the country should do me the honour of reading my remarks it would

Topic:   P.C. 2115.
Permalink

IX, 1917


Immigration Act interest him to have them appear in the record in this context. The minister gave us a statement- as recorded at page 151 of Hansard of February 5. Answering the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart), the minister said: Has the hon. gentleman forgotten that only a short time ago I placed before the house the contents of an order in council which was passed on May 29 last and which opened and widened the doors for immigrants coming to this country? That order in council provided: "(a) The wife or unmarried child under eighteen years of age of any person legally admitted to and resident in Canada who is in a position to receive and care for his dependents. Is there any discrimination in such an order which is binding upon the immigration authorities? The order further provides: (b) The father or mother, the unmarried son or daughter eighteen years of age or over, the unmarried brother or sister, the orphan nephew or niece under sixteen years of age, of any person legally admitted to and resident in Canada, who is in a position to receive and care for such relatives. The term "orphan" used in this clause means a child bereaved of both parents. (c) An agriculturist having sufficient means to farm in Canada. (d) The fiancee of any adult male legally admitted to and resident in Canada who is in a position to receive, marry and care for his intended wife. (e) A person who, having entered Canada as a non-immigrant, enlisted in the Canadian armed forces and. having served in such forces, has been honourably discharged therefrom. That was the first set of widenings, shall I say, of measures to expand Canada's immigration policy, opening the door, so to speak. Further on, on the same page, the minister said: Only on Friday last, not in consequence of the hon. member's speech, an order in council was passed, widening the doors to other classes. It is P.C. 374. dated January 30, 1947, and I will quote from it as I think this will answer the hon. gentleman's criticism of the department so far as preferred and non-preferred classes are concerned. We are providing in this order in council that the following have been added to the admissible classes: 1. The widowed daughter or sister (with or without unmarried children under 18 years of age) of a legal resident of Canada who is in a position to receive and care for such relatives. 2. An agriculturist entering Canada to farm when destined to a father, father-in-law. son, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, uncle or nephew engaged in agriculture as his principal occupation who is in a position to receive such immigrant and establish him on a farm. 3. A farm labourer entering Canada to engage in assured farm employment. 4. A person experienced in mining, lumbering or logging entering Canada to engage in assured employment in any one of such industries. I thought. Mr. Speaker, as the minister finished reading those provisions, that he had surely opened the door. All hon. members need to do is just to visualize all the possible combinations which might arise across Canada from these provisions, and then they will realize that Canada has indeed broadened her immigration policy substantially within the past year. These were serious orders in council to be passed without reference to parliament! And what was the need? I do not wish to criticize the minister or the government unduly, because they know things that the ordinary member does not know, but I consider it regrettable that these orders in council were passed without discussion by the house.


SC
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

These are pretty serious matters. Does this bill concerning Chinese immigration now under discussion tonight mean that these order-in-council regulations apply to the Chinese? That is the first thing hon. members need to know. If these regulations do apply to the Chinese who are in the country, then I maintain that the situation deserves the most serious consideration of every hon. member. Does it apply to Germans, to Italians, to Japanese or to any other people who might seek admission to our confines? If it does, then that matter also requires careful thought.

As I see it, the main consideration for us to have in mind is primarily what sort of people does Canada want and what sort of people has Canada a right to expect. I believe it has been quite generally agreed by those who have discussed the matter tonight that Canada wants people who are assimilable, people with whom Canadians can marry with desirable results. I emphasize "desirable results".

There are certain races who are proud; when they marry with the proud white people who have made this country they have offspring who are despised by both sides, who are outcasts. I have seen this thing happen several times. I refrain from mentioning a race because I have no desire to offend anyone. I will give hon. members the information privately if they so desire. That is an exceedingly serious matter and must be borne in mind by every hon. member who shoulders the responsibility, as I know all desire to do, of the future of the country in' drafting or approving immigration policies.

In addition, we want people, as I understand it, who will intermingle with the people of Canada. That means we are not desirous of acquiring people who will get into groups by themselves and tend to establish little blocks of their own nationality in the country, building, probably, for the future serious

342 COMMONS

Immigration Act

disorders in the country. There are groups of that sort, Mr. Speaker; I have had contact with such people, people who will never come out, so far as I can see, and mingle freely with the members of this nation. They segregate themselves. All hon, members have to do is to consider what might happen in segregated areas if a substantial number of new blood of the same sort should be brought into this country to go into these areas and increase them in size and economic power. Therefore I say there are two important considerations respecting desirables. They are both exceedingly important when we are evaluating .people to come into Canada. They must assimilate with desirable results, and they must intermingle.

Tonight a good deal has been said by some speakers tending to imply that we white people consider ourselves superior to other people. I do not consider the white race superior to any other race. I believe that we are all brothers under the skin, but I should like to see us keep our places. I think people get along a good deal better with those who have the same colour of skin. That is a general rule which, I believe, applies pretty well everywhere. It must be borne in mind that the present Canadians, whose fathers came here, pioneered, fought and struggled to develop this country, could see their children and their grandchildren utterly dispossessed in the land their fathers struggled to gain. I have seen this process in action. I do not believe that the majority of Canadian people desire to see that sort of thing take place in Canada. It can happen unless we choose the right kind of people to come into this country; it is entirely without consideration of quality at all.

I have no feeling of superiority, as I said a moment ago, to any man who lives on the earth. We are all God's creatures; we are all struggling to find the right way to gain happiness in the world, but we shall do it better with those who think and do as we do.

I think the majority of the people of Canada want people of their own kind. Canada was explored, settled and developed, by two great races, two of the greatest races in the world, the French and the British people. Have these races no rights? Have, their fathers no rights to see their children well provided for in this land they strove to gain for them? Have their children no rights to be well born into an environment in which they can succeed and be happy? .

We might sum the matter up in this simple question. Has Canada no right to remain British?

Topic:   IX, 1917
Permalink
LIB
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

That is very well put. I thank the hon. member. I say, has Canada no right to remain British Canadian?

Topic:   IX, 1917
Permalink
LIB
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

We have finally arrived at the word which pleases everybody. Has Canada no right to remain Canadian?

Topic:   IX, 1917
Permalink
LIB
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Canadian is good enough for me.

It must be granted that Canada owes a duty to her fellow nations. No one denies that fact. We are all our brother's keeper, even as nations, just as as individuals we are. Canada has a responsibility to other nations of the British commonwealth, and she has a responsibility to other nations of the world. She must assume those responsibilities and discharge them. But surely Canada must not be expected to forfeit her birthright to discharge her responsibilities! Her hard-earned, dearly-bought victory should not ruin Canada; and there is grave danger that if the desires of certain people are met Canada will be ruined because she was victorious.

Can we Canadians discharge our responsibility without ruining ourselves? I believe we can.

We come now to these overcrowded nations, among which we will grant that China, India and several other nations constitute a few. There are two measures which up to the present time have been advocated by various hon. members, which indicate how we might be of assistance to a nation, say like China or India or Java or Germany. One of these is by taking in as many of their people as we can take, and that seems to be the object of a number of hon. members who have spoken in this debate. The other is by freely trading with these people.

I submit that there must be measures far deeper than these two, because these two are so exceedingly limited. Suppose we had completely unrestricted immigration into Canada. Plow many people does the ordinary hon. member believe Canada could safely accommodate? Not so very long ago one hon. member gave a welLreasoned speech in which he finally established pretty well to his own satisfaction that we could accommodate probably nineteen million people. I would be venturesome enough to suggest that we could accommodate fifty million; probably most hon. members would hardly wish to go farther than that.

Immigration Act

Fifty million people is a small number. Suppose for example, we desired to relieve the congestion in China's population. Bear in mind that China has over 400 million people. Suppose we admitted to this country ten million Chinese people? How far would that ten million go toward1 relieving the congestion in China? Why, it would not be a ripple on the lake! But what would it do for Canada? It would utterly ruin her.

Topic:   IX, 1917
Permalink
LIB
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

It would swamp her.

That is a serious matter; and when we bear in mind that China is only one of the congested areas whose population might seek admission to our shores, then we must realize that a great deal of the discussion we have heard tonight is quite beside the point.

May I now speak in respect of international trade? Let us grant that we gave to China all the trade it was possible to give her and that we tried to distribute our trade without discrimination among all the nations. What conceivable substantial advantage would it give these people? It would help them a little, but it would not solve their problems, particularly if we engaged in the kind of trade that is common today, namely, competitive trade.

It would not be in order to say much about the matter of distribution of goods, but I suggest that there might be another attitude toward the distribution of goods. As a result of the adoption of this new attitude we might do much that would help the Chinese a great deal more than to bring them to Canada, where they and their descendants might be very unhappy as the years went by.

I suggest, while on that subject, that we should consider as members of this house an international mutual-aid scheme under which the nations could deliver the surplus of goods beyond their own needs to a pool which would be available to the nations that have not. I suggest that they would finance that pool.-and here is the important point- not with money raised by taxation or borrowing, but by the use of the national credit. Here is a chance for hon. members to show just how desirous they are of finding a solution and how much there is in all this wishful thinking that we have heard expressed.

I submit that this is a suggestion not yet canvassed, whereas every other suggestion made during the debate and during this session has been tried and has proved an utter failure. I merely throw that out in passing. If we could with our national credit, finance a mutual-aid scheme and persuade other nations

to do likewise we might help the deficient nations without bringing their people to our shores and disrupting our economies and destroying our national life.

Let us turn for a moment to the question of racial discrimination, about which there has been so much talk, and concerning which the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) rose to such heights of oratory. Let us give a moment's thought to what racial discrimination is. I ask hon. members whether in what I have advocated or suggested I have advocated racial discrimination. I think not. Let me give a simple illustration. Suppose one of my neighbours fell upon evil days and got into sore need and I proposed to help him. There are two ways in which I could help him. I could invite him and his family to come and live under my roof with me and my family, or I could arrange to support him while he was building a home on his lot, and I could contribute goods and services to his support.

The second course illustrates the one I propose as the national plan which we ought to consider. No hon. member would seriously contemplate asking any individual but the most intimate friend to come and live in his own house.

Topic:   IX, 1917
Permalink

February 11, 1947