In fairness, Mr. Chairman, as I mentioned before, I do not want to give the names. I will send the minister my slip when I am through. The part of the judgment in the first case reads as follows: . . . found guilty of anti-national actions against France, sentenced in absentia to imprisonment at hard labour for life and to national degradation for life, July 3, 1945, by the court of justice of Agen.
In the second case:
. . . sentenced to five years imprisonment and to national degradation for life by the court of justice of Toulouse for collaborationist sentiments.
In the third case:
. . . sentenced in absentia to the death penalty and forfeiture of all his property for treason, January 10, 1945, by the court of justice of Toulouse.
In the fourth case:
. . . sentenced in absentia by the court of justice of La Haute-Savoie to imprisonment at hard labour for life, national degradation for life and forfeiture of all property, February 26, 1946, for collaboration with the enemy.
In the fifth case:
. . . sentenced March 28, 1945, in absentia to death as guilty for dealings in time of war with a foreign power with a view to encourage that power against France.
Inspector Waffen S.S.
That means he was serving the German gestapo very well indeed.
These men entered Canada under false names, with false passports, and were provided with false visas. I might say that a high French government official stated they belonged to an organization who murdered the French minister, Georges Mandel, in the forest of Fontainebleau, massacred resisters, and betrayed allied parachutists who were hidden by brave Frenchmen who were shot. Some of these parachutists may have been some of our own men.
Canadian citizenship is a very valuable possession that should be granted only to persons who qualify according to the law.
When I was speaking on this question I could not help remembering the remarks of
the Minister of National Health and Welfare in 1946 when he was introducing the Canadian Citizenship Act. I recall them vividly because I always take pleasure in listening to the organ-like cadences of the Minister of National Health and Welfare. On that occasion he pulled out all the stops and the pedal fortissimo. 1 want to read a portion of that speech as it appears in Hansard of April 2, 1946, at page 505. This is the Minister of National Health and Welfare, who was then the secretary of state, speaking:
But there is no finer club in the world so far as we are concerned than the club that I would characterize as the Canadian family. We should want, therefore, to impress upon new Canadians whom we shall welcome and want to share in our national endeavours that they are joining no mean society but a society that will give them freedom and an opportunity perhaps that they have not had in other lands, and at the same time to point out to them the nature of the obligation undertaken and tell them something of the kind of country and the kind of general political basis of the Canadian society itself.
And then again the minister on page 502 of the same volume:
For the national unity of Canada and for the future and greatness of this country it is felt to be of the utmost importance that all of us, new Canadians or old, have a consciousness of a common purpose and common interests as Canadians; that all of us be able to say with pride and say with meaning: "I am a Canadian citizen.*'
I am sure every hon. member of this house, Mr. Chairman, agrees with those sentiments. But we cannot understand how those sentiments can be given expression by a minister of this government when we find the sort of people I have mentioned being permitted to enter Canada and being granted citizenship in this country. The government of which the hon. gentleman is a member saw fit to grant citizenship to persons who have proved traitors to France, traitors to our cause, traitors to all we hold most precious and sacred, and traitors to the ideals upon which Canadian citizenship is based.
Those people now have the right to say, "I am a Canadian citizen." We in this group strongly protest this action and while I am not one of those who wish to see the death penalty imposed upon any person, X think that this government, when it discovered those persons were in Canada and had entered illegally, ought to have been told, in view of their records, to depart to more suitable places as Count de Bernonville did. There is no place in Canada, Mr. Chairman, for people who have proven themselves so untrue to all the things we stand for.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I am quite sure investigations were held by the proper authorities in the immigration branch and by the R.C.M.P., but if there were, I am afraid they
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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration must have listened to the romantic tales told by those people. We think this house is entitled to an explanation of the reason why these people were given citizenship and allowed to stay in Canada. I am of the opinion that the minister was not told the facts by some of his officials before these decisions were made. We all have great respect for the minister, and while we differ with him on occasion I am quite sure he is very anxious to see that we have the right type of people coming to Canada, and obtaining citizenship.
The minister comes from a very fine Canadian family. He served with distinction in the second world war, and I am quite sure the hon. and gallant member must feel somewhat uncomfortable when he realizes that his department has made it possible for persons who were traitors to France and traitors to Christian civilization to say now, "I am a Canadian citizen."
I hope, Mr. Chairman, that the minister will make some explanation to the house of this most unseemly procedure. I could give some other cases but we have not yet received the documents. However, these are not isolated cases and they are more extensive than appears on the surface.
I am confident that our immigration service overseas is not all it is supposed to be, not only with respect to matters brought before the house this morning by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar, but also with respect to the glowing picture with which immigrants seem to be presented. The service does not appear to make certain in all cases that the people we admit to this country are people who can become good Canadian citizens and subscribe to our democratic ideals. In my opinion the minister would be well advised to go to Europe personally and visit some of his own immigration offices and see what is happening there.
I support some of the remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition and other hon. members who have spoken in this debate to the effect that there is not effective screening of some people who come to Canada at this time. I realize there are difficulties and even though there is careful screening some unsuitable people are bound to slip through the screen; but we are of the opinion that not enough attention is being given to stop that type of person.
I have had several questions brought to my attention recently, and indeed one of the managers of our national employment service brought to my attention the arrogance with which a former SS man treated him because he could not give him a job immediately. I can also tell you of an experience I had
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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration recently with another immigrant. I spoke to this chap because I am always interested in finding out how they are getting on, and I said to him, "How do you like Canada?" He said, "Well, not too much". I said, "What is wrong?" and he said, "In Canada you say 'Uncle Louie' and in Germany we say 'Herr Adenauer' I said, "What else is wrong?" and he said, "In Canada when a Canadian soldier is in a restaurant and a Canadian officer comes in he goes on eating. But in Germany when a German officer comes in a soldier stands up, salutes, and opens the door". Then I said, "What else?" and he replied, "Too many Jews in Canada. Hitler fixed them". I did not want to get upset with the man but I hope he will change his ideas after living here some time. However, that shows that we are getting people into Canada who, after all that has happened in recent years, have not any idea of what we stand for in this country. Certainly there are hundreds of thousands of good German people anxious to come to this country who want to live under improved conditions and accept our democratic way of life. But I do not think it is necessary to bring to this country people who still adhere to the philosophy of those who saw fit to join the German elite guard and SS troops. Now, that is all I am going to say in this connection.
I say these things with conviction and feeling because Canadian citizenship means something and it is something we should extend to people who in accepting it realize they are accepting one of the most valued citizenships in the world. I might add that the conversation with the man about whom I spoke was held in the presence of the widow of one of the finest men who ever lived in Canada, a man of Jewish descent and who died 10 years ago from his war disability.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I leave that subject at that point, and I now want to say a few words on our general immigration policy. I think that in certain aspects our policy, other than the policy for screening, is unfair to Canadians and unfair to the immigrants. I do not think we should bring in immigrants unless we are certain they are going to be placed in employment and are not going to compete with Canadians for already scarce housing. The present unplanned policy is unfair to Canadians and the immigrants concerned. It is now providing competition for employment and for scarce housing. We recognize our national responsibility to help ease the tremendous burdens created in Europe and other countries, and we think we have got to do all we can to provide homes for those people who need them. That is why the C.C.F. party has continually
urged a certain program with respect to immigration. That program is an assurance that standards of employment, wages, hours, and conditions of work of immigrants shall not be less than those in effect for other Canadians. Careful preparation and planning to ensure that houses and jobs are available for those who come and that the livelihood and living standards of our present population are not threatened. Also, non-discriminatory selection of immigrants from all countries and categories subject only to the limitations of a planned immigration scheme. Our immigration policy should provide for the bringing to Canada of as many desirable immigrants as can be absorbed into our economy without creating unemployment or intensifying the housing shortage.
We should also make very certain that no undesirable persons are allowed into Canada or obtain Canadian citizenship. As I said before there are multitudes of good people from other lands who would make excellent citizens in this country. I also think we should stop bringing immigrants to Canada to work on contract labour on railroads and projects like that where there are no collective agreements and on which they can be exploited and employed for less than persons employed for that class of labour generally receive.
Now, I want to make a plea for the admission of certain persons who are relatives of Canadian citizens of Chinese origin and I would like to make that plea as vigorous as I can. I realize some of these people have been admitted to the country and permitted to obtain citizenship. I might say that I had a long association with many excellent Canadian citizens of Chinese origin. They never become charges of the state and never ask for any government assistance. That fact is recognized across this country. They live in peace and harmony with other residents and have become essential ingredients of many communities in Canada. I urge the minister to give serious consideration to the brief presented by the Chinese benevolent association in which they ask for an easing of the regulations. As a matter of fact, we are showing discrimination against certain Canadian citizens, namely these Canadian citizens of Chinese origin, East Indian origin and other origins. We are treating them differently from the way in which other citizens in Canada are treated. This brief asks for consideration of certain important things. I am not going to take the time to deal with them at the moment. I am sure that the minister has gone over the subject carefully.
I urge that the representations of these excellent Canadian citizens of Chinese origin be sympathetically considered by the minister and his department.