February 11, 1947

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I just want to ask these questions: How does the government propose to keep out the Japanese, and under what order in council are they being kept out at the present time?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

James Allison Glen (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. GLEN:

I must ask for your ruling, Mr Speaker.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I am all through; I have nothing more to say on that.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

James Allison Glen (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. GLEN:

The hon. gentleman has introduced something which may be the subject of further discussion, and I am taking the position now that the reference by the hon. member to the Japanese is not within the purview of this bill at all. In view of the

Immigration Act

fact that Japan is at present an alien enemy country, I suggest that we are not dealing with the nationals of that country, and that the policy as far as Japan is concerned can be determined only after a peace treaty is signed.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I suggest that it is in order, because I was going to say a change might be made in the Chinese Immigration Act by substituting the word "Japanese" throughout that act for "Chinese" rather than repealing the act; and I submit that is in order on a discussion of this repeal measure.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Vancouver North):

I

should like to speak to the point of order in support of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green). We are discussing the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act, which to all intents and purposes was an exclusion act. So I think it is quite fair to discuss other exclusion acts or exclusion orders in council which this government has passed.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

On second reading, of course, it is usual to discuss the general principle underlying the bill. This bill refers to the Immigration Act and also in particular to the Chinese Immigration Act. The minister in charge of the bill has suggested that the question of the immigration of Japanese into this country should not be considered at this time, as the Japanese are alien enemies and are not being admitted. I think probably there will be a feeling on the part of hon. members that the question of the Japanese might well be left in abeyance for the present.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

May I ask a question on the point of order? The other day I heard the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for External Affairs say that as yet it had not been decided when the war would be declared over. Are they enemies now, or are they being welcomed down here? They are still here.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, once more I would ask that this house and this country, before this bill is passed, be given full details concerning Chinese immigration that will be allowed if the Chinese Immigration Act is repealed, and what will be the future policy in regard to Chinese immigration. Also we should be told the policy of this government toward the suggested united nations control over immigration into Canada, and in the third place we should be told the policy of this government concerning Japanese immigration.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. W. ROSS THATCHER (Moose Jaw):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the explanation given by the minister, and to the

remarks of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green). The major change proposed by the bill, as I understand it, is the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act.

As hon. members realize, this act has singled out the Chinese people for a kind of treatment which Canada does not apply to any other nationals. It prohibits any person of Chinese origin from coming to Canada to make a permanent home. If I understand it correctly, the act as it stands is frankly discriminatory. In effect it officially labels Chinese people as undesirables, because of their race and their colour.

Since its inception as a party, the C.C.F. has always been opposed to racial discrimination of any kind. We believe that all men, regardless of race, religion, colour or creed are entitled to the same treatment under Canadian laws. In the past we have always opposed intolerance, and we intend to do so in this instance.

The Chinese Immigration Act is an insulting and unwarranted slur against a fine race of people, people, moreover, who were our allies in the recent war. The act was passed in an era of prejudice. Having allowed thousands of Chinese men to come to Canada, it then deprived them of the society of their wives and their children. To this group such action seems contrary to the principles of morality, humanity and social welfare.

The hon. member for Vancouver South said that he had the greatest admiration for the Chinese people. I am sure we all have. But would it not be a good way to show our admiration, if we were to allow those who are married to bring their wives to this country? As I understand it, the repeal of the act does not mean an open door to Chinese immigration. It will place the Chinese people under the same regulations as apply to the nations of other foreign countries. This group, therefore, welcomes the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act, and I believe I can say that the members of this group will support this action unanimously.

I should like to make a few comments on the Immigration Act, as it is now before us. I cannot refrain from expressing concern over the continued failure of the government to adopt a long-term immigration policy. Last session the house debated a resolution which in effect asked for such a policy. Numerous speakers, representative of all political parties, expressed themselves in favour of that resolution. Last year, too, the senate did some admirable work in this connection, when it brought in a comprehensive report recommending material changes in the Immigration Act.

Immigration Act

I believe many hon. members hoped that last session we would see definite action in connection with immigration. But what happened? On May 29 the cabinet nibbled at the issue by passing orders in council under which, theoretically', Canadian citizens in the future could bring in some of their near relatives. No one will deny that this order in council was definitely a step in the right direction, but I believe that even the minister will admit that the directive was little more than a gesture.

According to newspaper reports-I do not know how authentic they were-it was indicated that officials estimated that at the outside about 5,000 people a year would be affected by the order in council. What is even more disturbing are the difficulties and red tape which the immigrants meet in trying to come to Canada, even though they qualify under the order in council.

Mr. CRUICKSHANIv: Speaking to a point of order; the hon. member for Vancouver South who, I thought, was following the regulations strictly, was called to order. If what the hon. member who is now speaking is saying has anything to do with the bill before the house, I should like to have a ruling to that effect.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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?

Mr. COLD WELL@

I understand he was not called to order, but the house asked him to refrain from discussing the Japanese question and other matters.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

David Arnold Croll

Liberal

Mr. CROLL:

I have before me the words used by the minister when he spoke to this matter. He spoke of the general policy of mmigration, and used the words, "slowly and steadily'"-I wrote them down-and opened the subject for discussion at that time. Consequently the hon. member is quite in order.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

That is right; the hon. member is in order.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I thought it was agreed by' both sides of the house that the subject of Japanese immigration should be left in abey'ance, because the Japanese were alien enemies.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Silence gave consent.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. THATCHER:

I was saying that I find it disturbing that immigrants who have qualified under the order in council passed last May are still having difficulty in coming to Canada. At least a dozen persons in my constituency have asked me to help them bring their relatives to Canada. On each occasion I have checked with the immigration branch and have learned that these people have met the required qualifications. So far, however,

none of them has been allowed to come to Canada. I do not know whether this is because of a lack of transportation, or what it is, but they have not y'et arrived here. I believe dozens of other members have had similar experiences.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
Permalink
LIB

James Allison Glen (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. GLEN:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. The hon. member is now introducing a discussion on general immigration policy, W'hich is already set out on the statute books. When I made the statement to which reference has been made by the hon. member for Spa-dina I was referring to the general policy that would! be evolved. When my estimates are before the committee there will be opportunity to discuss those matters, and that is the time when they should be discussed, namely when I am asking for money to carry on the immigration policy of the government.

At the present time, however, we are dealing only with two items, namely those of dependents and the Chinese Immigration Act. I suggest that those are the only subjects before the house, and they alone should be spoken to. The general argument upon which the hon. member is now embarking is one which can be offered when the estimates are before the committee. Meantime I am stating that what he says does not fall within the four walls of the bill before the house.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I wish to disagree with the minister's interpretation. If we look at the bill we shall see that it deale generally with immigration. It deals in particular with transportation and admission of persons under bond, and a number of other factors which come under our Immigration Act.

I suggest to the minister that the debate is one on the provisions of the Immigration Act, as implied in the sections of the bill. I submit, further, and with all due respect, that Mr. Speaker should not support the minister's contention, although I frankly admit that if his advice were taken the debate would be considerably shortened.

I must say, however, that I do mot agree with the point raised by the minister. In my view hon. members must act according to their judgment in the matter, because I believe the bill opens wide the door for discussion.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I do not think it is the wish of the house to have a general discussion on immigration at this time. The minister has pointed out that it would be more appropriate to have a general discussion when his estimates are before the committee. The bill does allow considerable latitude, but I hope the house so far as possible will limit dds-

Immigration Act

cussion to the provisions of the bill, and leave a general discussion of immigration to a later date.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
Permalink
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

May I point out, Mr. Speaker, that surely it is not a question of what we agree to do as members. Either we have the right now to discuss this question fully or we have not. Those of us who are objecting to the minister's objections say that there is the right to discuss this immigration question in its broad implications. If Your Honour is going to rule against us on that, of course we have the right to test the opinion of the house as to whether your ruling is correct. I submit that we should not be put in the position of being told: Oh, you have agreed

that you will only discuss (a), (b), (c) and (d). Either we have the right to discuss the immigration policy in its broad implications or we have not that right.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHINESE IMMIGRATION ACT-BONDING OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT THROUGH CANADA
Permalink

February 11, 1947