Item agreed to.
26, 1954 6831
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration Immigration branch-
59. Administration of the Immigration Act, $968,610.
Mr. Fulton I am not going to seek to revive the discussion we have already had, Mr. Chairman, but I could not let the matter stand without pointing out that, probably because of the pressure of time, of which the minister is now a victim as well as ourselves, the minister did not deal with the fundamental policy matters concerning immigration which were raised in the course of this discussion. The minister did not deal with the matter of the country of origin or the matter of the changing composition of present groups making up the 'total immigration, nor with the question of enlarging our effort in connection with immigration generally. I can only assume that is due to one of two things. Either the government has no policy in this regard or has not considered the matter in all its implications or else, as I have said is equally probably, the minister finds himself a victim of the shortage of time that is allotted for the discussion of these estimates. I believe it is regrettable that this department should be disposed of this year without any reply from the minister on these important points.
There are some questions I want to ask the minister on this item which provides for the administration to the Immigration Act. I come back to what was referred to in the course of general discussion, and that is the adminstrative practices in dealing with these immigration applications. If what I have to say appears critical I want to make it clear my criticism is not directed against the immigration officials in their capacity of administering this act. My criticism, although it may appear to be directed towards them, is based on the fact that there appears to be no directive or if there is any directive it is designed to direct them to deal with the matter along certain lines and to give certain answers or provide certain information which is, in my view, desirable to be provided. I do not regard that as an irresponsibility of the officials concerned; that seems to me to be a matter of policy which must, of course, come from the top. So what I am concerned with is the policy with respect to the administration of immigration.
I am aware that there are many complaints about which I alleged in a general way this morning, that when an application is rejected, it is most difficult, if not impossible, for the applicant himself or his representative-if he is represented by counsel-to obtain a clear-cut and concise statement of the reasons why the application was rejected.