December 19, 1951


On (the orders of the day:


LIB

Donald Ferguson Brown

Liberal

Mr. D. F. Brown (Essex West):

I should

like to address a question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs or to such other member of the government as it may concern. I regret I have not given notice. Are Canadian citizens working in the United States to be subject to the United States draft law, as reported in the newspapers?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

As it happens, I have some information on that subject.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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LIB
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I anticipated a question of this kind.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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PC
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Reports appearing in this morning's press incorrectly indicate that there has been a radical change in United States policy affecting Canadian citizens who reside in Canada but work in the United States. This is not the case. Since the introduction of the selective service act all male persons residing in the United States have been liable to call-up under the United States draft law. Up to June 19 of this year an alien residing in the United States might claim exemption on the ground that he was an alien and exemption would be granted to him under forfeiture of his

right ever thereafter to become a citizen of the United States. By amendment to the selective service act on the date stated this privilege of exemption previously granted to aliens was rescinded.

The specific position with regard to Canadians living in Canada and working in the United States seems to centre about Detroit and Windsor. No person can be admitted to the United States for the purpose of engaging in paid employment in that country unless he is granted an immigration visa. It is not material to this issue where he may happen to sleep. All persons who are admitted to the United States for the purpose of engaging in paid employment are presumed to be "residing in the United States" for the purposes of the selective service act. Therefore there can be no question that under the terms of the United States selective service act Canadians who live in Windsor but work in Detroit under an immigration visa are liable to be called up under the United States selective service act in precisely the same way as United States citizens.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

What was the effect of our selective service act during the war? Was it not done in consultation between the two governments?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Yes, there was consultation during the war in regard to the application in either country of selective service laws of the other. The situation is not quite the same now.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

There has been no consultation with respect to this matter between the two governments?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I would have to look into that.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Since this seems to be a procedure taken unilaterally with regard to Canadian citizens, should not some representation be made to the United States government on the matter?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I doubt whether this procedure was taken unilaterally regarding Canada. I am sure it applies to all living in the United States, and not only to Canadians. I am not sure whether we have or have not made representations on the subject, but I shall be glad to look into that.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I mean unilateral action on the part of the United States with respect to Canada and not with respect to other nations.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I should like to ask the minister whether students and short-term employees cannot go to the United States unless they take out immigration papers. A number of students have taken positions in, we will

Inquiries of the Ministry say, Washington, and other places, in their university years. This has been temporary employment.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

The Canadians I have been talking about are those who are working in the United States on immigration visas. The situation would be different in regard to * great many of our students over there.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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PC
LIB
PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Yes, Essex West. His name is so well known that the name of his constituency is forgotten. In the case of temporary lay-offs in Windsor, where someone goes across for temporary employment in Detroit, would they be subject to the draft law?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Only if they are in the United States on immigration visas. If they are in the United States on immigration visas they are subject to the United States selective service law. Normally, no one can go from Canada to work in the United States, except under immigration visas. There may be exceptions in the case of temporary employment. I am not sure, but I will look into it.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION VISAS
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December 19, 1951