March 11, 1949

MANITOBA

ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITIZENS IN CURLING AND BALLET

CCF

Alistair McLeod Stewart

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

Mr. Alistair Stewart (Winnipeg North):

should like to call the attention of the house, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that the rink led by Mr. Ken Watson of Winnipeg emerged for the third time as the best curling rink in Canada, thus bringing much credit to himself, his colleagues and his province.

Manitoba's obvious superiority does not end there, however, for last week in Toronto the Winnipeg ballet club, under the skilled direction of Miss Gweneth Lloyd, also brought honour to Manitoba by asserting its supremacy over all comers by taking extra honours in the Toronto festival.

Topic:   MANITOBA
Subtopic:   ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITIZENS IN CURLING AND BALLET
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. Ross (Souris):

I should like to ask the Secretary of State whether he realizes that in his home city last night one of the finest curling teams in the world won the Canadian championship for the third time.

Topic:   MANITOBA
Subtopic:   ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITIZENS IN CURLING AND BALLET
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?

Some hon. Members:

Too late!

Topic:   MANITOBA
Subtopic:   ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITIZENS IN CURLING AND BALLET
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross (Souris):

They should be congratulated, I believe, on their fine victory.

Topic:   MANITOBA
Subtopic:   ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITIZENS IN CURLING AND BALLET
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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Colin Gibson (Secretary of State):

had the pleasure of seeing the Manitoba rink curl in Hamilton, and I do want to congratulate them on their victory.

Topic:   MANITOBA
Subtopic:   ACHIEVEMENTS OF CITIZENS IN CURLING AND BALLET
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PROVISION FOR EVENING SITTINGS 7.30 TO 10.30 UNTIL LAST SITTING DAY IN APRIL


On the order: Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion of Mr. St. Laurent that, except on Wednesdays, Mr. Speaker shall leave the chair at six o'clock p.m. until seven-thirty, and shall adjourn the house at ten-thirty p.m. without question put, unless the closure rule (standing order No. 39) be then in operation, this order to be in effect until and upon the last sitting day of the month of April.


LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

May I suggest that this order be allowed to stand? It is not immediately practicable to proceed with it, because we have not reached the end of the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne.

29087-87i

If by good fortune we do reach the end of the debate today, I shall ask the house to come back to this motion and deal with it then.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR EVENING SITTINGS 7.30 TO 10.30 UNTIL LAST SITTING DAY IN APRIL
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IMMIGRATION

ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. Si. Laurent (Prime Minister):

At the risk of making some of our newspaper friends believe that I am providing the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) with another easy victory, I should like to deal with a couple of questions that he has placed on the order paper, one of which was passed as an order for return.

The first question was as follows:

1. How many orders In council relative to the provisions of the Immigration Act have been passed since the first day of July, 1947?

2. Of said orders in council, how many have not been (a) published in the Canada Gazette; (b) tabled in parliament?

Answer: 121, of which ten were published in the Canada Gazette and none tabled in parliament.

The other question, passed as an order for return, read as follows:

1. How many written permits provided for by section four of the Immigration Act were issued by the minister during each of the years 1947 and 1948 (a) authorizing any person to enter Canada; (b) authorizing any person to remain in Canada; and in either case without being subject to the provisions of the said act?

2. How many of these permits have been included in a return laid before parliament within thirty days after the commencement of the next ensuing session of parliament in each of the said years?

Answer: 1. 1947-twenty-four authorizing persons to enter Canada and three authorizing persons already here to remain in Canada; 1948-twenty-five authorizing persons to enter Canada and twenty-six authorizing persons already here to remain in Canada.

2. All the above permits were included in the following returns: For 1947-January 28, 1948, Votes and Proceedings, page 94; for 1948 -January 27, 1949, Votes and Proceedings, page 16.

The answers to two other questions, which have also been passed as orders for return, will be tabled as soon as the necessary information has been collected.

I have had a careful check made of all the orders in council relative to the provisions

Immigration

of the Immigration Act, including those orders regarding the entry into Canada of individuals or groups of individuals during the period from July 1, 1947, to March 4, 1949.

As will be noted from one of the answers just given, there were 121 orders in council in all. Included in this total were eleven orders of general application amending the regulations. Of these, ten were published in the Canada Gazette; the eleventh-P.C. 4852 of November 26, 1947-merely repealed certain obsolete orders in council and its publication was therefore not considered necessary. Next there were sixteen orders in council dealing with unnamed groups of persons, such as the displaced persons, the Maltese, the Estonians, the movement of orphan children, and the like. Then there were nineteen orders in council of an administrative or executive character. Lastly there were seventy-five orders in council which waived the provisions of the general immigration regulations in regard to the persons named therein.

I now wish to table copies of all the orders in council included in the four groups to which I have referred. This in fact includes all orders in council relating to the Immigration Act that have been passed during the period July 1, 1947 to March 4, 1949. The tabling of these orders in council will also serve as a return to the motion on the order paper in the name of the hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Ross).

I think I should take advantage of this occasion to say a word about the manner in which the government-not only this government but all preceding governments-have administered the question of exceptions under the regulations for the admission of immigrants.

Immigration into Canada is controlled by the terms of the Immigration Act and by the regulations made in accordance with those terms. The act does not define the classes or categories of persons who are admissible to Canada as immigrants. On the other hand it does define certain prohibited classes, including persons suffering from some forms of mental or physical ailment, criminals, advocates of the use of force or violence against organized governments, spies and certain others enumerated in the terms of the statute. Persons within these prohibited classes cannot be admitted to Canada as immigrants unless and until the Immigration Act is amended by parliament. On the other hand it is in the general orders in council that one finds in the definition of persons who are from time to time admissible.

The reason for such an arrangement is to provide a certain flexibility which would not be possible if every changing circumstance had to be met by an amendment to the act. Because the regulations made under the act can be altered by order in council, this provides the flexibility without which the whole administration of the Immigration Act would be so rigid as to be practically unworkable.

It is of course inevitable that in dealing with human beings, as is the case in the administration of the Immigration Act, special circumstances will arise in which it is proper to make exceptions to the general rules. This happens most frequently as a result of humanitarian considerations. For example, a person is found to be living in Canada who entered several years ago contrary to the regulations. In the meantime he has become well established, is married to a Canadian citizen, and has a family. In such circumstances, if the regulations had been embodied in the act, it would have been necessary to pass a special act of parliament to provide for the admission of that one person. Under the procedure establishing the regulations by order in council, however, it is possible for the governor in council to provide for his admission, and that is quite frequently done.

Another example of the kind of thing that is handled in this way would be found in the passage of an order in council to permit the admission to Canada of a Swiss manufacturer who desires to come to this country with certain capital and technical knowledge to establish himself in business here. Under the existing regulations he is inadmissible, but by the passage of an order in council his admission can be authorized.

The whole movement of displaced persons to Canada has been provided for by order in council.

The members of the house will recall that at the beginning of the depression, the government of the day, under the authority of section 38 of the act, passed order in council P.C. 695 of March 21, 1931, which practically prohibited the landing in Canada of immigrants of all classes and occupations except those coming from the British isles and the United States. This order in council was amended from time to time as it became desirable to widen the field of immigration. Therefore, when for the reasons I have mentioned it is desirable to admit persons who are not classed as admissible under this order in council, new orders are passed waiving the prohibition.

As I have said before, there is nothing new about this procedure. It has always been followed.

It might be of interest to hon. members to know-and I am not citing this in any critical

m0od-that during the period from November 1, 1930, to October 23, 1935, two hundred and seventy-five such orders in council were passed in regard to 4,173 persons, waiving the provisions of the restrictive regulations. May I point out that this was during a time when there was great unemployment and there were felt to be very good reasons for restricting immigration. None of these orders was published. But it shows that even in those times there were considered to be that number of cases which were worthy of special treatment.

I should also say a word about the alleged "secrecy" of these orders in council. In fact, of course, there is nothing at all secret about them. When an order in council is of a general character, changing the regulations or affecting categories of persons, that order is published in the Canada Gazette. On the other hand, when the order in council deals with groups of individuals or specific individuals, it is normally considered to be of interest only to the persons immediately concerned and it is not published. Information about it, however, can be obtained by application to the immigration branch.

Perhaps I can summarize what I have said in this way.

There is nothing secret about the immigration orders in council.

There is nothing new about this method of administering the act. It is the procedure that was envisaged when the act was passed and it has been followed by all governments. These orders from 1930 to 1935 were not published or tabled. They were passed in the usual course, as have been those made since.

I think this would be an appropriate time to refer to statements attributed by the press to the hon. member for Lake Centre.

According to the Montreal Gazette of March 9, the hon. member is reported to have taken steps to determine why the federal government has not tabled all special immigration permits, covering cases not covered by the Immigration Act. This statement appears to be confusing two different things. Section 4 of the Immigration Act provides that the minister may issue a written permit authorizing any person to enter Canada, or having entered or landed in Canada, to remain therein without being subject to the provisions of the act. These permits are limited in time; they do not grant and cannot be used to allow permanent entry. The statute requires that they must be reported to the house within thirty days of the opening of the session, and that is always done. The return for the calendar year 1948, as I have already said, was tabled at the beginning of this session, and showed that fifty-six persons, and fifty-six persons

Immigration

only, were granted such permits. Of these twenty were Polish veterans.

With regard to the other category of persons, that is, those who have been admitted by order in council, I have fully explained the situation in the course of the statement I have just made.

But I want to make it absolutely clear that the department has invariably reported all cases of persons admitted by minister's permit as is required by the act, and this year the report, which was required to be made within thirty days, was made within three days, of the opening of the session.

I should like to refer to another statement attributed to the same hon. member. The Ottawa Journal last Tuesday quoted him as saying that by the use of "secret" orders in council, the government may provide an "underground railway by which thousands of aliens are entering the country, completely by-passing the Immigration Act ..." May I say emphatically that it is a complete distortion of the facts to suggest that there are orders in council providing "an underground railway" or "by-passing the Immigration Act". These orders in council have been passed in accordance with the provisions of the act and in accordance with long established practice.

Because of the controversies which have arisen over this, I felt it my duty towards the Canadian people and their representatives in this house to establish the facts in their true light, so that whatever differences there may be as to the wisdom of particular decisions, there may be no further doubt as to the legality of the procedure, and no excuse for allegations that there has been any concealment or secrecy.

I now table the return I have just mentioned.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may I be allowed to say a word in reply to the statement made by the Prime Minister? First he suggested casually that his answers to the questions could not be interpreted as an easy victory for any hon. member, and with that I agree. The tabling of these orders by the Prime Minister and the attitude he has shown in the last two or three days is a victory for the cause of the restoration to parliament of its right to know what is being done.

The Prime Minister on March 9 tabled a list of the first one hundred orders in council, beginning on July 1, 1948, and a further one hundred beginning on January 1, 1949. He suggested the other day when he brought this matter to the attention of the house that, if there was a request, a like summary would be made for the period not covered, from

Immigration

August 1. I suggest, so that the record be complete, that that list be provided.

One word with regard to secret orders in council. It is all very well-

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I would remind the hon. member for Lake Centre that there is no motion before the house. As the hon. member knows, it is not the practice to permit a debate upon a statement made by a member of the government. The hon. member, if he wishes, may ask for information from the Prime Minister, but I cannot permit debate.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

On a point of order, sir, the Prime Minister went out of his way to make a reference to myself which was not necessary and which was totally irrelevant to the matter being discussed. All I wish to do is to answer the point made by the Prime Minister with regard to secret orders in council.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

Go ahead.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

An order in council is secret when members of parliament have no knowledge of it unless they get in touch with the proper office, give the number of the order and ask for its production. In other words, before a member of parliament can inform himself about an order in council he first must know of the order; then he must get in touch with the office; then the office asks for the number before it produces the order.

I conclude my remarks by referring to page 17 of the auditor general's report, in which reference is made to an order in council which was passed amending section 17 of the Civil Service Act; that order in council was not tabled, and hon. members had no knowledge of it until the auditor general's report was brought down.

QUESTION AS TO MEDICAL EXAMINATION On the orders of the day:

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL GAZETTED AND TABLED
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTIONS UNDER REGULATIONS
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March 11, 1949