May 23, 1947

UNITED NATIONS

ACCESSION OF CANADA TO CONVENTION ON PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution: That it is expedient to introduce a measure to provide for the accession of Canada to the convention on the privileges and immunities of the united nations and to grant to the united nations and any specialized agency of which Canada is a member and which is brought into relationship with the united nations, to their officers and to the representatives of their members, the legal capacity, immunities, facilities and privileges necessary for the accomplishment of the purposes of the united nations and of its specialized agencies. He said: His Excellency the Governor General having been informed of the subject matter of this resolution recommends it to the consideration of the house.


PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

May I ask how many agencies it will cover?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: The hon. gentleman asks how many of the specialized agencies of the united nations it will cover. It will cover all the specialized agencies of which Canada itself may be a member.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   ACCESSION OF CANADA TO CONVENTION ON PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES
Permalink
PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

There are about four

hundred of them, I think. No wonder there is a scarcity of housing in Ottawa, with twenty-four countries to be represented here.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   ACCESSION OF CANADA TO CONVENTION ON PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

PROVISION TO MEET CERTAIN EXPENDITURES AND GUARANTEE OF SECURITIES AND INDEBTEDNESS


Hon. DOUGLAS ABBOTT (Minister of Finance) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution: That it is expedient to bring in a measure to authorize the Canadian National Railway Company to issue securities not exceeding $46,723,000 in principal amount to provide the moneys necessary to meet capital expenditures made or capital indebtedness incurred during the calendar year 1947; to authorize the governor in council to guarantee the principal, and interest of securities issued by the company for the purpose aforesaid; to authorize the making of temporary loans to the said company secured by such securities and not exceeding $46,723,000 in principal amount to enable the said company to meet such expenditures and indebtedness; with authority to give financial aid and assistance to other companies of the said national system. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the house. Motion agreed to.


PROVISION FOR REFUNDING OF FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS


Hon. DOUGLAS ABBOTT (Minister of Finance) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider t.he following resolution: That it is expedient to present a measure to provide for the refunding of matured, maturing and callable financial obligations of the Canadian National Railways and for the issue of securities guaranteed by the dominion of Canada in respect of such refunding to an aggregate principal amount not exceeding $260,000,000. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the house. Motion agreed to.


EMIGRATION

CANADIANS LEAVING FOR YUGOSLAVIA-POSITION OF NATURALIZED CITIZEN LEAVING CANADA


On the orders of the day: Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): Mr. Speaker, on May 20 several questions were directed by hon. members to the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) and to me concerning the emigration to Yugoslavia of certain residents of Canada. As all the questions are related, the Prime Minister informed the house on May 21 that I would make a comprehensive statement on the subject. The first suggestion that a group of Yugoslav nationals might leave Canada for Yugoslavia was made by the charge d'affaires of the Yugoslav legation in Ottawa in a letter, dated March 5, 1946. In this letter he stated that there were a number of Yugoslav nationals who wished to return to Yugoslavia when transportation facilities became available. He also raised the question of export permits for various Canadian products on behalf of the nationals concerned. The charge d'affaires was subsequently advised of the export regulations then in force. In June, 1946, passports were granted to four Canadians of Yugoslav origin for the purpose of proceeding to Yugoslavia. The passports were granted subsequent to a written request from the charge d'affaires of the Yugoslav Emigration legation in which he stated that the applicants wished to proceed to Yugoslavia to make arrangements for certain Yugoslav nationals or Canadian citizens of Yugoslav descent who "were planning to return to Yugoslavia for the purpose of lending their skill and assistance in the reconstruction of the country." Subsequent to the return of these persons to Canada a good deal appeared in the Yugo-slav-Canadian press about the return of Yugoslavs and Canadians of Yugoslav descent to Yugoslavia and it appears that funds were collected in connection with the proposed emigration. In regard to the export of capital the regulations of the foreign exchange control board provide as hon. members know, that persons leaving Canada for permanent residence elsewhere are provided with sufficient foreign exchange to pay their passages and reasonable expenses en route. They are allowed to export personal and household effects, and their remaining cash assets up to a maximum of $25,000 each are transferable in Canadian funds. A proposal was made by the Yugoslav charge d'affaires under which the resources of the emigrants, within the policy stated above, would be pooled through a central organization known as the Council of Canadian South Slavs. This body, instead of withdrawing the funds from Canada, would use them to make bulk purchases in Canada of goods suitable to trades in which the emigrants would engage upon their return to Yugoslavia. This proposal was approved and bank accounts were established by the Council of Canadian South Slavs under the supervision of the foreign exchange control board. Although up-to-date figures are not available at present, deposits to the accounts have amounted to approximately $1,000,000. In this connection export permits have been granted by the Department of Trade and Commerce for the export of material from Canada to Yugoslavia to the amount of $345,918. Some permits were granted to individuals direct; other permits were granted to Canadian manufacturers who apparently received orders for direct shipment. Settlers' effects are not under export permit control. A farmer leaving Canada, therefore, would be free to take his farming equipment without the necessity of an export permit and, in a similar way, a mechanic would be free to take the tools of his trade. Undoubtedly the total value of settlers' effects would be considerable, but it is difficult to estimate the exact value involved. It is also difficult to estimate the total number of persons leaving Canada under the auspices of the Council of Canadian South Slavs since passports would be applied for by the individuals concerned, if they are Canadians, and Yugoslavs would travel on Yugoslav passports. There is, of course, no regulation or law which prevents a Canadian or an alien leaving Canada of his own free will. The legal position of an alien leaving Canada is governed by the Immigration Act which provides that an alien acquires Canadian domicile "only by having his domicile for at least five years in Canada after having been landed therein". He loses his domicile by "voluntarily residing out of Canada with the present intention of making his permanent home out of Canada and not for a mere special or temporary purpose." Thus a Yugoslav citizen, regardless of the length of time he has lived in Canada, will lose his right to reenter Canada if he goes to Yugoslavia with the intention of making his permanent home in Yugoslavia. Should he change his mind and wish to reenter Canada, he would have no right to reenter Canada and would have to apply for admission as any other prospective immigrant. Moreover, if he should be readmitted to Canada, he could not count his previous stay in Canada for the acquisition of Canadian domicile. In order to become a citizen of Canada, he would, after his return, have to remain in Canada for five years. The legal position of a Canadian citizen by naturalization leaving Canada is governed by sections 20 and 21 of the Canadian Citizenship Act. Section 20 reads in part as follows: "A Canadian citizen, other than a natural-born Canadian citizen . . . ceases to be a Canadian citizen if he resides outside Canada for a period of at least six consecutive years," subject to various provisos. Section 21 provides inter alia for cancellation of citizenship by order-in-council if a naturalized citizen "out of Canada has shown himself by act or speech to be disaffected or disloyal to His Majesty." It is important to note that a warning appears at the back of the current Canadian passport, which reads as follows: Canadian citizens by naturalization certificate or citizenship certificate should bear in mind that unless under the laws of the state to which they originally belonged or by the provision of a treaty, they have ceased to be subjects of that state, their certificates have no effect within its boundaries nor can the good offices of His Majesty's representatives be extended to them there. If. therefore, any Canadian citizen by naturalization who goes to Yugoslavia is,



Newfoundland



under Yugoslav law, a citizen of Yugoslavia, the Canadian government will not be able to grant him any measure of protection as long as he remains in Yugoslavia. The group, which is now assembled in Montreal, have satisfied the various regulations applicable to their movement to Yugoslavia both in regard to themselves and to goods purchased by them. No doubt they are aware of their possible loss of status under Canadian law but they are free to go to Yugoslavia or to any other country if they so wish. On May 21 the hon. member for York West (Mr. Adamson) asked whether I would take steps to see that the Canadian passports carried by the expatriate Yugoslavs now in process of returning to their homeland be protected in such a way as to prevent their alteration or transference to other persons, and ensure that each Canadian passport issued to this group will be easily identifiable on its reentry to Canada. I can assure the hon. member that every effort will be made to guard against the misuse of these Canadian passports. Allegations have been made in the press that improper methods have been used to persuade residents of Canada to return to Yugoslavia or to contribute to the funds which have been raised to finance the return of other residents of Canada. Should any evidence come to hand as to the methods used in these or any other cases which would warrant action by the government, it will not hesitate to take such action.


PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

Are the Yugoslavs being given priorities in shipping? If so, with what companies, when Canadian citizens can get no shipping at all?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Any arrangements that have been made for transport were made by themselves or through persons other than agents of the Canadian government.

Topic:   EMIGRATION
Subtopic:   CANADIANS LEAVING FOR YUGOSLAVIA-POSITION OF NATURALIZED CITIZEN LEAVING CANADA
Permalink
PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

Is there a reciprocal provision whereby people may bring assets from a communist controlled country to a democratic country such as ours? It seems to me that we are giving them certain privileges which they would not grant to their own citizens who might be coming here.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I think we have to judge our regulations and laws on their merits, and not on their conformity or otherwise with laws of other countries, some of which our people would not readily accept.

Topic:   EMIGRATION
Subtopic:   CANADIANS LEAVING FOR YUGOSLAVIA-POSITION OF NATURALIZED CITIZEN LEAVING CANADA
Permalink
PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

I think that the public would not expect this government or the

government of any democratic country to be too soft with people who are known as communists and who would revolutionize our system of government.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I would point out that these are general regulations. There are no special regulations made for any special class of resident of Canada. The regulations are general and I think they have to be judged on the basis of whether or not they are proper for the Canadian people.

Topic:   EMIGRATION
Subtopic:   CANADIANS LEAVING FOR YUGOSLAVIA-POSITION OF NATURALIZED CITIZEN LEAVING CANADA
Permalink
PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FERGUSON:

Our esteemed minister of immigration (Mr. Glen) is unfortunately in hospital, but I should like to direct a reminder to his department to remember, when Yugoslavs wish to enter Canada as immigrants, the action of the Yugoslavs now leaving who are exporting all they can from this country.

Topic:   EMIGRATION
Subtopic:   CANADIANS LEAVING FOR YUGOSLAVIA-POSITION OF NATURALIZED CITIZEN LEAVING CANADA
Permalink

May 23, 1947