February 15, 1955

SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

Since my time is almost up I think I should emphasize one thing. I am not one of those persons who look at the figures and says that certainly we must have more people come to Canada than came last year or the year before. I am not going to do that. In fact when I look at the figures I find that if you go back 40 years you will see that on the basis of numbers at least we had a more vigorous immigration policy then than we have today. But I know there are other factors that enter into the situation. People may not be very desirous of coming to Canada. On the other hand, I certainly would not wish to build up the numbers just for the sake of numbers because, as I said earlier, in my opinion the policy should be a selective one. I think we have a perfect right to choose.

There is one thing I want to say about the report of the department. I stated earlier that I believe the department is in the habit of dealing too much with charts, statistics, etc. I find that in the report on immigration there are 20 pages of statistics, counting each side of each leaf as a page, and there are

only about five pages of text actually dealing with immigration itself from the point of view of policy. I believe the minister could probably escape a certain amount of criticism if in the production of the report of the immigration branch more information were given than is contained in this report for the year ended March 31, 1954. What is now contained in the report is just about the same sort of information that one gets from a newspaper in reading an account of something that has happened.

The house should have a more detailed statement of the operations of the department. I would not suggest dropping the statistics, because they have their place and value. I am not going to delay the house further. I hope the minister will see fit to give consideration to some of the matters I have raised.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

If I may be permitted, I will send over to the hon. member a copy of the Immigration Act and the regulations. I think all the red tape is here within these two covers.

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SC

Frederick Davis Shaw

Social Credit

Mr. Shaw:

I would be very glad to review that in the light of all the various rulings and regulations that have been indicated to me.

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, I was not going to take part in this debate, but when I heard the hon. member for Kamloops paint a black picture of the services of the former minister of citizenship and immigration I thought I would state a few facts just as I know them.

I have had a good deal to do with the minister in charge of immigration and with the departmental officials, and I must say that I have been well treated. I did not get everything I asked for, though everything I asked for was probably right. When I have tried to get an immigrant admitted to Canada I have been able to do so when work could be guaranteed. I must say that I had one case where an immigrant came to this country who was not guaranteed work, and he subsequently took ill. I have the case before the minister now. I do not think the municipality should have to pay the expenses of that individual. I think the government should pay.

There are certain types of work that young Canadians will not do. I have found that they are not very keen to go into the bush. Neither are they very keen to work on the railroads or in the mines. We need men for these types of work, and I think it is the duty of the immigration branch to see that we have workers who will do them. I have also had some difficulty about the admission of

young Chinese to Canada. We were able to bring one young student to Port Arthur. It was proved beyond any doubt that he was the legitimate child of the parents who were seeking his admission. It was proved by X-ray that he was under age, and he came to Port Arthur and made good.

A local doctor of prominence wanted to secure the admission to Canada of two boys belonging to a Chinese doctor known to the local doctor, so the boys could go to university at Winnipeg. I had no trouble securing the admission of these two boys because they were under age and everything was proved up to the hilt. I hear from them every Christmas. They are bright students and are making good. At the present time I am trying to secure the admission of two other Chinese boys, but so far I have utterly failed. However, I am going to keep at it until I find out the reason.

When parents live in Canada and their children are in China and they want to bring them here, I think they should be allowed to enter the country, provided the children can be proved to be legitimate, because their fathers are citizens of Canada. I want to pay my tribute to the minister and the director of immigration for the patience they have shown me. There are two groups of people in Canada, one which agrees with the department and one which does not. There are those who think that immigrants coming here create unemployment. There are others who say that immigrants coming here make employment. These two views are just the opposite, and they are held by members on both sides of the house.

I simply rose to pay my tribute to the former minister of immigration.

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LIB

Auguste Maltais

Liberal

Mr. Auguste Maltais (Charlevoix):

I am

very glad to take part in this debate, because the last time I took part in a debate on this subject was in 1952. The views which I expressed at that time were the same as the views I hold today.

This afternoon I was rather surprised at some of the remarks made by the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton). I believe the three main points in his speech were to the effect that this government had not spoken with a consistent voice; that our immigration policy was not in accordance with the needs of Canada; and that injustice and hardship had been worked on Canadians and non-Canadians alike as a result of our immigration policy.

I said that I hold the same views on this subject as I expressed in this house in 1952. I am glad to say, Mr. Speaker, that those were the views of the late Mr. King and of

Immigration

the Liberal party, and are consistent with the policy of this government. I believe it was in 1947 that the late Mr. King expressed the policy of his government on immigration along these lines: first, our immigration

should be made up of permanent immigrants on a selective basis; second, our national economy should be ready and able to absorb this influx of immigrants; third, immigration should not be the cause of an undue change in the ethnical balance of the two main groups in this country; fourth, immigration is not a right but a privilege to be extended.

I should say, Mr. Speaker, that as a supporter of this government I certainly share those views on immigration policy, and I shall certainly vote against the amendment that has been brought forward by the hon. member for Kamloops.

Coming to the first point in this government's policy, that our immigration should be made up of permanent residents, one has only to recall what happened between 1901 and 1931 to realize the importance of this statement. In that time about 5 million immigrants were brought into this country, and during the same period about 3-5 million left the country. I would dare anyone to say that our policy should not take care of this factor, and that our policy should be based on non-permanent immigrants being brought to this country. It is a very expensive way of getting immigrants into this country, when you bring in 5 million and during the same period 3-5 million leave.

I do not believe I need develop the point that our immigration should be on a selective basis. As a matter of fact I believe the hon. member for Kamloops expressed this view, and I believe all hon. members are in agreement with it.

I do not recall hearing the hon. member for Kamloops say that the policies announced by the late Mr. King, and pursued by this government, were not announced in a very clear voice. Of course it may be that, being broadminded, I do not pay too much attention if a minister of the crown says in one part of the country the optimum population should be 35 million, and if in the province of Quebec he says it should be 40 million. I do share this view that the optimum population of Canada within the next 25 years, that is around the turn of the century, should be about 40 million people. This is a very strange argument for a member of the Conservative party to bring forward because at one time-I think I referred to it in this house in 1952-the leader of the Conservative party stated in British Columbia that the population of Canada should be 125 million people.

Immigration

This unclear and inconsistent voice of the Conservative party could be attacked in some other respects. It is only about two or three days ago that the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Hees) gave a statement to the press in Quebec. He said that Canadians speaking French should do their best to learn the English language and that Canadians speaking . English should also try to learn the French language, so there would be greater national unity. This was a member of the Conservative party speaking.

I recall that in 1950 the same member of the Conservative party came to my riding and, under the sponsorship of the Conservative candidate at that time, made a speech. This speech was written in French, and during the course of it the hon. member for Broadview left the implication that the Conservative party, if elected, would nominate an ambassador or representative of the Canadian government to the Vatican. When we came back to this house for the first session I told the hon. member what he had said, and he replied that he had never said that. When he returned to Toronto he stated that his words never carried any such implication. I feel that the argument put forward by the hon. member for Kamloops to the effect that this government does not speak with a clear and consistent voice on immigration policy does not hold much water.

The second point, as I understand it, is that our immigration policy should be based on the fact that our national economy is capable of absorbing this influx of immigrants. Merely because this country extends from one ocean to the other, merely because there are only 15 million people in this land, does not mean that one should support a policy of wide open immigration into this country. Despite the very optimistic declarations of the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Lesage), I do not think any member in this house would take his family up to the Arctic circle or into the Northwest Territories. No one would expect these people who come here as immigrants to go to the northwest and freeze in the cold.

It is true that this land does extend from one ocean to the other. It is true that according to statistics there are only 2-5 persons occupying each square mile, but I feel there are limits to the population Canada can support. There are limits to the number of people we can bring into this country, and those limits are set either by the development of our natural resources or by our capacity to produce. I have heard statements from businessmen during luncheon addresses to the effect that this land is full of opportunity and there is room here for many, many

[Mr. Maltais.l

people. My experience has been that the development of our natural resources is limited, and let me tell you this story to illustrate my point.

The natural resources on the north shore of the St. Lawrence are being developed. We have Seven Islands and the iron ore development. I was up there myself. At the beginning of the development 6,000 people were employed there. That was in the boom years when the development first began. I venture to say that today, since most of the works have been completed, the labour force up there is not more than 3,000 people.

Let me give another illustration. We had a development in the lake St. John district by the Aluminum company. Some dams were built on different rivers. I referred to that four years ago. At that time the labour force was around 6,000 people. I doubt at this moment whether there are a hundred people working on the same project. That means, Mr. Speaker, it is not good enough to justify immigration by the development of our natural resources.

I should congratulate the government on the fact that its immigration policy is based on experience over a long period of time. A statement was made this afternoon by the hon. member for Kamloops and I am wondering whether this statement was based on the same statistics that I am now going to use. In the course of the debate he said that from the years 1950 to 1954, inclusive, the figures establish that British immigration on some occasions has been as low as one-sixth of the total immigration.

I do not think that statement is fair, Mr. Speaker. I hold in my hands a report of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration dated March 31, 1954. I shall quote some statistics that appear on page 23. Over the last ten years the immigrants who came to this country were divided as follows: from the British Isles, 368,127; from Germany, 127,356. During the same period there came 97,122 Dutch; 98,187 Italians and 28,769 French. If you add the number of immigrants coming from countries outside of the British Isles you will find that in the last ten years 351,434 immigrants came from countries other than the British Isles, and 368,127 came from the British Isles.

It would appear, Mr. Speaker, that the statement made by the hon. member for Kamloops was based on a very short period and was made for the purpose of criticizing the policy of the government. He has picked out certain years to suit the purpose he had in mind.

I could criticize the government that I support because its immigration policy has

not tried to keep a balance between the two groups which form the majority in this nation. Of course I am very proud of those immigrants who came to this country from the British Isles and are now Canadians, because as a Canadian of French descent I think we owe very much to the British traditions and we should accept and be proud to share with these new immigrants what Canada has to offer to our people.

On the other hand, I can say I am sorry that our immigration policy does not take more account of immigrants of French descent. Perhaps I should apologize because, on reading this report of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, I find that most of the provinces have come to some arrangement with the federal government to help and to improve the conditions of immigrants coming to this country, but I regret to say that the province in which I live and of which I am very proud has not seen fit to enter into an agreement with the federal government to try to increase the number of immigrants of French descent arriving in Canada.

Another point on which I should like to touch has to do with the immigration policy of the government with respect to the rights of immigrants. The hon. member for Kamloops this afternoon expressed the view that immigrants have a right to come to this country. It might well be that we could discuss this matter for a very long time, whether immigration is a right or whether it is a privilege extended by the country that is receiving immigrants. If a nation has not the right to make regulations and laws regarding the matter of bringing immigrants into this country I am wondering whether the same reasoning would not apply to a family in such a country. I do not think anybody has a right to come into someone else's home and say to the head of the family "I am a neighbour of yours. I want to share in your welfare. I want to sit at the same table and be sheltered in the same house." If we adopt the argument which the hon. member for Kamloops put forward this afternoon it will lead us into a position that will be very hard to maintain.

He said there are at least 5 million people too many in Europe; but I do not think it is the right of those 5 million people to come to Canada at any one time and endanger our economic way of life and the structure of our population. The view that immigration is a right should not be accepted without limitations. It is true, as the hon. member for Kamloops said, that cases have arisen in which the officers of the department do not deserve too much congratulation. But even when you think of these specific cases you

Immigration

must realize that our country has welcomed over a million people since the war.

One should realize that with such a large number of people coming to this country quite a few might suffer hardship because of the regulations or the legislation, but that can be found in any branch of human endeavour. We are always ready to take note of the exceptions and close our eyes to the great majority of the people who came to this country and made a decent living and are now Canadians, sharing in the ideals of democracy and freedom of which we are proud. We do not always agree on the ways and means of obtaining democratic freedom and these other ideals which we all share, and we should not use exceptions like that as a basis for broad statements that the immigration policies are all mixed up with regulations which have accumulated over the years. I do not think that is fair.

As far as I am concerned I shall continue to support this government in its policy of immigration. One can have only praise for the former minister of immigration and for the present minister. I think they have followed the policy which was enunciated in 1947 by Mr. King. I do not see how this policy could be challenged. There are those who believe that immigration should be based only on economic principles, but I think we should keep in mind that humanitarian and Christian principles should apply also. If my memory serves me right, in 1946 we welcomed into this country over 100,000 soldiers from Poland, Czechoslovakia and eastern Europe. That was based on Christian principles. It is not so many years ago that this country opened its doors to a great number of displaced persons from Europe. I would say that the present government has even broadened the principles which were enunciated in 1947 by Mr. King. I do not hesitate to support the Liberal party in this policy which it has expressed in such a clear and consistent way.

I share the view of a majority of good Canadians that this country is certainly in need of immigration to help in the growth of our population. I share the views which have been expressed in the house this afternoon that immigrants do not contribute to a very large extent to the problem of unemployment which occurs every year at this particular time.

I shall not hesitate to support this same government in the years ahead in its immigration policy which I know will be flexible enough to take care of the natural increase of population and which will respect our economic way of life. My suggestion would be that great care should be taken

Immigration

to try to maintain a balance between the ethnic groups which form this country. I share the view that immigration, which might be a natural right, should also be considered in the light of our political and economic situation.

These matters should be taken care of before an assertion is made, like that made by the hon. member for Kamloops, that immigration to this country should be increased and that immigration should be made up of more British stock. It is not that I am against British stock. I welcome them here, but I think we should admit that in order to maintain a balance between the two groups we should have respect for one another's desires and wishes, that this country shall be great and that the two groups in this country shall keep in balance.

In conclusion I would say that the hon. member for Kamloops is not right when he says that only one-sixth of immigration was made up of British stock.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege I should like to correct a figure I used this afternoon, and to some extent I must thank the hon. member for Charlevoix (Mr. Maltais) for directing my attention to it.

I refer to the figure of one-sixth as representing British immigration. I said that British immigration had fallen to as low as one-sixth in one year. I have no correction to make as to that.

However, I think I used an expression to the effect that for the ten-year period it had never averaged more than about 25 per cent. Unfortunately I do not have the Hansard take in front of me, but that is my recollection of the figure I used. I should have said that it has never averaged more than about 30 pier cent. If I have misled the house I ask the house to understand that it was entirely through inadvertence. I like to be accurate in my use of figures, and my figure should have been about a 30 per cent average for the entire period.

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PC

Wallace Bickford (Wally) Nesbitt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. B. Nesbitt (Oxford):

Mr. Speaker, we have heard a great deal today about people having trouble with young Chinese.

I must say that I have had trouble with one older Chinese who wanted to bring into Canada a woman he contended was his wife.

I shall not trouble the minister with that tonight, as he and I have had correspondence about this in the past.

In the few remarks I intend to make, first I should like to pay a compliment to the former minister, for whom I have great respect. Then I have a question I should like to ask. Next I have a story to relate, which I think will be found to be quite surprising.

First, with respect to the compliment; during the last five years a great many people have come into my constituency from Holland and in this respect I think the department of immigration and the present and immediate past ministers should be highly complimented. These people who came to Canada from Holland have proved to be very good farmers. My constituency is semi-urban and semi-rural. Many of these people who have come from Holland were most anxious to get hold of plots of ground, and they have made excellent farmers. They had very little money, but they borrowed money and they have always paid their debts on time. Many of their mortgages have been paid ahead of time. They are hard-working people who never get involved in any serious crime. I found that to be the case from my previous experience in the legal field.

These people from the Netherlands have a particularly fine sense of social responsibility. Since they come from one of the democratic countries in the western hemisphere I suppose that is only reasonable. Just to illustrate this, when Woodstock was building a new hospital these Dutch people put on a concert and sang their native songs dressed in their native costumes. They raised money for the community fund. When "Hurricane Hazel" devastated parts of western Ontario, as it did the Toronto district, the Dutch people again put on a concert and raised money to help those in need of relief. If the minister of immigration has a policy no doubt we will hear about it before this debate is over; but if under that policy he wishes to bring in more people from the Netherlands I for one will welcome them.

I certainly would like to see him bring in more from the British Isles as well.

The second point I would like to deal with is a question. I should like to ask this of the minister of immigration and also the Minister of Labour (Mr. Gregg), who I think is involved in it as well. Quite a number of persons who immigrate to this country become unemployed for various reasons a short time after their arrival. If they have not paid in the 180 contributions toward unemployment insurance within a two-year period they cannot, as we all know, collect any unemployment insurance. In addition, if they have been only a short time in a community they cannot obtain any relief from that community. I understand municipalities vary as to how long they require a person to be resident before they pay relief, but in Ontario, after making inquiries, I find that the rule of thumb method adopted is a period of three months, which seems to be the generally accepted figure.

Quite a number of people who arrive here have been resident in these communities for a matter of only several weeks. They are out of a job; have no money, perhaps because of the fact that they can bring very little with them; they cannot get relief, and when they go to the unemployment office they are refused unemployment insurance. They are then in a fine kettle of fish and many of them are afraid of becoming public charges, because, as I understand it, they have been told they then will be shipped back to their country of origin.

I would ask the minister what is the policy in this regard. If these people become unemployed and have no means of subsistence, if they try to obtain relief will they be sent back to where they came from? If this is the case I do not think it is fair. They should not have been brought here in the first place unless the government could give them some assurance of employment, or alternatively assure them relief.

I am told that in some constituencies the Department of Labour helps these people in some manner or other. In some other places it certainly does not. There seems to be little co-ordination between the department of immigration and the Department of Labour in this respect. I would like to direct this question to the ministers in charge of these departments. Is there any consistent policy with respect to immigrants who come here and become unemployed? Are the Department of Labour going to assist these people, and if so are they going to adopt a consistent policy throughout Canada? I think the policy in this regard should be made quite clear.

It is very embarrassing for municipal officials to have people who are starving come to them for relief. The municipalities do not like to turn them down. On the other hand, the people are not resident in that municipality, and the municipality itself will probably have to suffer in the long run if it gives out limitless relief. I know that some municipalities, when they have people come to them from adjacent municipalities, got in touch with the original municipality and agree to pay the relief if it will foot the bill. But that practice cannot be put into effect with regard to those who come from another country.

The last point I wish to mention is amazing and I believe quite shocking. In fact the story seemed so amazing to me that I made several inquiries before I decided to bring it before the house. I am convinced that my sources of information are reliable, and I hope the minister will have some comment to make when he speaks in this debate.

Immigration

Greek mythology had a story, Mr. Speaker, to the effect that persons who died and departed this world had to be put into a boat and taken across the river Styx to the next world by an old ferryman called Charon. This story bears some relation to the modern world, or at least that period to which my particular story relates, and that period was three years ago.

The metaphor is not exact, because the river Styx would have to represent the Atlantic ocean, and I would not care to compare either the present or the past Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with the old ferryman who carried the bodies across the river into the other world. In addition Canada, instead of being the other world, is a land of promise, free of despair. However, in other respects that Greek story has some application to the story I am about to tell.

I was informed by two persons who came to Canada over three years ago from a camp in Germany that the following incident took place on the S.S. Beaverbrae, which is out of service now but which at that time was used to bring immigrants to Canada. These people were Estonians originally and now live in my constituency. They were displaced persons located in a camp in Germany. They paid, I am told, $190 each for their passage on the Beaverbrae. They had a young baby with them. On the way over the men were made to sleep in bunks in one hold and the women were provided with bunks in another hold. In addition the men were made to scrub the decks and passageways, and the women made to clean up the toilet facilities and prepare vegetables for the meals. The meals, such as they were, apparently were not always edible, and I am told that the eggs were rotten. The passengers-I call them passengers because they paid a fare of $190 although they seem to have been regarded more as part of the crew-were told that if they did not work they would not receive any meals. Apparently the crew took considerable delight in this situation and on arrival in Canada-I am not sure whether it was Quebec or Montreal-the crew told the passengers that if they said anything about it they would be sent back home.

As I said earlier, this story seems utterly fantastic, but I checked my sources of information and I am inclined to believe it is true. I believe it will be difficult to confirm this story because the events took place three years ago, but I hope if there is any truth in this story the minister will see to it that conditions such as this are not permitted to exist on ships bringing new Canadians to Canada. I hope the minister will be able to give us some assurances on this score.

Immigration

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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Elmore Philpoll (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to keep the house very long tonight. When I heard remarks from several speakers on the other side of the house to the effect that the department of immigration was all tied up in a policy of calculated confusion; and I heard this talk about the lack of humanity in the treatment of immigrants and that immigrants were being treated as statistics; I could not but help think that the experience of these hon. members was very different from my own. During the very short time I have been a member of this house and for several years before that I had occasion to deal with immigration cases, and during the time of the present minister and the period during which his predecessor held office I received every courtesy from the department and my experience was the exact opposite to that mentioned by some hon. members here today.

I would like to remind the house of one quite well known case involving two Korean boy refugees with whom I had some contact. As a matter of fact we had to get them out of the immigration shed at Vancouver by methods which I will not now reveal to the ex-minister of citizenship and immigration. But it is not true that we backed the hook and ladder truck of the Vancouver fire department against the window of the shed. We got them out by some other means. But when the war started in Korea and the R.C.M.P. suggested to some of us that it might be a good idea to have these Korean boys report, we were able to get them to report within three or four hour's of the time the R.C.M.P. suggested it to us.

I am just bringing that matter up tonight in order to remind the house that on that occasion the ex-minister of immigration, the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris), stretched the law to the utmost possible degree in the interests of human compassion. He did as the great Nelson did at one of his famous battles, when he put his blind eye to the telescope, in the interests of human judgment. I could cite several other instances which have never had one line in print, where when everything else failed and I was able to appeal to the former minister on the straight ground of compassion for a human being in distress, he went far out of his way and beyond the line of duty to do a great act of kindness to a human being in distress.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Will he do that when he brings in the budget?

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LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Philpott:

For the benefit of my friend the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) I may say that was done before I was a member of parliament or had any idea of sitting here where I am tonight.

There is one point I wish to bring to the attention of the house. I had intended to do it on the estimates, but since we are now talking about immigration this seems to be a good time. We have in British Columbia a small but highly respected minority of what we call the East Indians. They have been a respected minority for many years. They are almost entirely of the Sikh religion. They are not Mohammedans; they are not Hindus. They are of the Sikh religion, which is a fine religion that believes in one God, the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. I may say that these people practise their religion.

For many years the community did not grow. These people came here away back at the turn of the century. Most of them were in the wood business. For many years the restrictions were such that it was difficult for the young men in the community to bring out from India girls who were suitable as wives. The East Indians, like everybody else, as a general rule prefer to take their mates from among people of their own culture and religion and, I might say, most important of all, from among people who can cook the kind of meals they like to eat.

When India became a great free nation within the British commonwealth and when the East Indians of Canada were at long last enfranchised and became fully free and equal citizens of this great nation of Canada, this country made a treaty or an agreement of some kind with three new nations out in that part of the world, namely India, Pakistan and Ceylon. As a result of that agreement there is now a quota on East Indian immigration.

I am well aware of the fact that the arrangement we now have represents a tremendous advance and all concerned were glad to get it. But in my opinion it has served its purpose, at least at the level at which it is now fixed. I myself do not believe in quotas on any nation. I believe we should judge every human being on his merits when he applies for admission into our country. If there is no good reason why we should keep him out, and if there is every reason to believe that he will fit into our Canadian family life, we should let him in.

I would suggest for the consideration of the minister and the government that we should do one of two things. We should either make the quota arrangement more liberal, especially with regard to India-because almost all our immigrants from that part of the world come from India, not from Pakistan or Ceylon-or we should abolish the quota altogether.

I have just one final word to say. I have not said anything much on the question of

Chinese immigration and I do not intend to do so, but I want to leave this thought with the house. When we are dealing with the people of other nations whose laws with regard to marriage are not in all cases exactly the same as our own laws right down to the crossing of the last "t" and the dotting of the last "i" let us tend to take a broad-minded approach. Let us remember that great man King Solomon, whom we all hear about if we go to church or perhaps if we go to lodge; and let us remember that if we applied to him the same rules that we now apply to some of the younger sons of the second wives of Chinese immigrants he would never have been admitted into Canada if he had applied for admission as an immigrant. Let us just remember that if we draw the line too fine we may be keeping out more than one potential Solomon.

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LIB

Henry Alfred Hosking

Liberal

Mr. H. A. Hosking (Wellington South):

Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention to take part in this debate this evening, but after listening to the remarks of the hon. member for Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) I thought how different his experience was from the one I had this past summer.' I had the happy experience of coming to know a German immigrant who came to this country this summer and who worked for a friend of mine. During the summer he informed me that he had applied for the admission of his wife and five children, and that he hoped to bring them out. While he was waiting for them to come I spent some time in his company and became acquainted with him and his chum.

When I knew that the family were arriving at Montreal I found myself in that city, and went down to the wharf to see the arrival and the reunion of that family. I should like to take just a moment or two of the time of the house to describe the wonderful organization I saw at pier 4 in Montreal when that ship was unloading.

The first thing that happened was that all the baggage was taken off and laid out in alphabetical order in the A's, B's, C's, D's and so on right down that long pier. When the owners of the baggage came off the ship they were conducted to the rows of baggage which belonged to them, and they very quickly sorted out their hand luggage and were conducted from that position to the buses and taken to the train.

In all the army movements I have been on I have never seen a more complete organization than that which I observed on the arrival of that ship. The immigrants were conducted in a comfortable and orderly manner to the train and were dispersed to their various destinations. The freight, the heavy

Immigration

baggage they had-and they were allowed to bring large parcels-was moved off and arrived at its destination almost at the same time as did the immigrants themselves. In talking to Mrs. Manhardt, I was informed that they had only the choicest cuts of beef and that they had all the fresh vegetables, apples and oranges they could eat. They said that during the course of their trip, from the time they left home until the time they arrived in Canada, a period of some 12 days, they had better food than ever before in their lives.

I was very proud to think that the treatment of these new citizens on their passage to Canada indicated that they were coming to the land of plenty, and I am quite confident that the minister will see to it that the good conditions present on the ship which sailed from Holland that brought the Manhardts to Canada will continue. It is important that they exist. It is important that when these people are coming to Canada for the first time they should be provided with good service, shown every courtesy and given good food, as has been the case.

I would not have taken part in this debate if it had not been said that these conditions do not exist, when I knew from my experience last summer that the absolute reverse was the case, that they received the best treatment and were treated on their first trip to Canada much better, so far as food and general organization were concerned, than we were as soldiers.

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PC

Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. O. White (Middlesex East):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few remarks regarding the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. I understand that during the first year of residence in Canada of an immigrant the department is responsible for the cost of any sickness or hospitalization the immigrant may incur, but that after the period of one year has elapsed the municipality and the province are saddled with the cost of hospitalization and so forth if the immigrant becomes ill and is not in a position to pay. I understand that in cases where the hospitalized immigrant is not able to pay a deportation order is issued against the immigrant and in some instances he is deported.

We all realize that none of us know when we may become ill and need hospitalization or the services of a doctor, but under the present set-up once a deportation order is issued the department immediately becomes a collecting agency for the hospital. These immigrants do not want to return to their homeland, and consequently their friends are called upon to dig up the funds to pay the hospital costs, and they do so.

Immigration

I had a case brought to my attention of a mother and father up in years, and their daughter. They were all employed, then the father lost his job. There is a certain amount of unemployment, whether or not the government is prepared to acknowledge it. Then the mother became ill. The family was not able to meet the cost of hospitalization and a deportation order was issued. There were no other members of the family in Europe to whom the mother could return. We call ourselves a Christian country, yet the department of immigration is a party to that sort of proceeding.

I asked one of the officers of the department how many deportation orders ars issued a year or week or month, and I was amazed to find that in this particular district it averaged two to three a week. I grant that all these deportation orders are not carried out, but the orders hang over their heads for the rest of their lives and I understand that these people will never be able to obtain Canadian citizenship. Surely some better method could be worked out. I suggest to the government that instead of only being responsible for the hospital expenses of immigrants for a period of one year they should be responsible for such expenses until such time as these people have an opportunity to become Canadian citizens, which is a period of five years.

There is one other matter which I believe I have mentioned before, namely that a good many people who would become good citizens would come to this country if it were possible for them to bring more of their capital with them. We know, of course, that some are without any great means, but there are others who would come here if they could bring their capital. I have suggested that some system should be worked out whereby loans would be made to them against the money or wealth they possess in their homeland, so they would have capital to use here when they arrive.

I also had it brought to my attention last summer that a couple of truckloads of people, who formerly lived in the northwestern part of our country but migrated to Mexico some 25 years ago, had returned to Canada. They brought with them their children who were born in Mexico. When these people arrived in Canada they failed to send their children to public school, and when it appeared that they would be required to do so they moved to another locality and thus avoided the education of their children. When I inquired about the matter I was told that these people were Canadian citizens and could not be kept out of the country.

I am not going to go into that point, but it seemed to me that it was a rather far-fetched story. I want to point out to the minister that the people in the community to which these people came were not too happy about the situation. When investigations were carried out recently with respect to whether the children were going to school the investigators were told that these people had moved out of the community. There were over 30 of them living in one house in a rural community not too far from London.

I point out these things to the minister. I hope the department will see fit to assume the hospitalization costs of immigrants who become ill so that the municipalities, already overburdened as they are with costs of one kind and another, will not be saddled with another burden, one that could be removed if the department would assume the responsibility.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take advantage of this debate to say a few words on a particular phase of immigration matters that I have taken up with both the present minister and his predecessor. I am not going to go into the question of general policy now, but will deal with the policy of the department respecting certain people found more generally, I think, in the province of British Columbia.

The hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Philpott) referred to the East Indian residents of British Columbia, and I can save time by saying that I agree with what he said and support him fully in the points he raised. I wish to take up the case of other persons of Asian origin in Canada, the Chinese. It is just possible the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Philpott) may have touched on this, too; I went out of the chamber while he was speaking, and I do not know.

I am sure the minister will know, even although he did not hold his present office at the time, that the Chinese benevolent association of British Columbia presented a brief concerning immigration laws and the citizenship act to his predecessor, the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris). I must say that I am in complete agreement with the association when they say they want to be put on the same basis as other residents in Canada in regard to immigration. I do not believe that is too much to ask.

I see the minister is paying attention, and he will find on page 3 of this brief-I am sure he has a copy of it on file-a request for modifications. Under that heading they say this:

As you know, the Chinese benevolent association has, on behalf of its members, long pressed and

still presses most strongly for the repeal of the discriminatory order in council P.C. 2115 and of the footnote thereto, and for the repeal of P.C. 2826 which replaces former orders in council P.C. 2743 and P.C. 4849. If, however, the total repeal of the aforementioned provisions of the immigration regulations is at this time impossible, we would petition for at least the following modifications to the immigration regulations.

I am not going to take up the time of the house by reading the modifications particularly requested. I do insist, however, that we should not have in this country two classes of citizens or even two classes of residents. What we do for a resident, let us say of Swedish nationality who is not a citizen, we should do for a resident of Chinese nationality, Japanese nationality, or East Indian nationality who is not a citizen. I feel the house will agree with me when I say that is not too much to ask.

Now I shall read the last request made by the Chinese benevolent association. I am going to say a few words about that, and then I shall conclude my remarks. This is clause (g) of the modifications the Chinese benevolent association would like to have made:

That in special cases or merit where circumstances of hardship exist, close relatives of Chinese Canadians such as parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and stepchildren, and children not otherwise admissible because of their age, be allowed to immigrate to Canada at the discretion of the minister of citizenship and immigration.

The particular persons to whom I am going to refer do not fall within any of the particular relationships mentioned. During last winter it was brought to my attention by a person of Chinese nationality resident in Vancouver since 1910 that for a number of years he had been supporting two grandchildren in China. I believe the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Campney) has full knowledge of this case as well, because I discussed it with him. He told me he knew this gentleman, who is a merchant in Vancouver.

This man emigrated to Canada in 1910. He went back to China twice, once in 1917 and once in 1925. On one of these occasions he was married and lived in China for some time. His wife lived in China until about a year ago. She stayed there from 1949 until 1954 solely in order to look after these two grandchildren. I believe it was the father of the children who had deserted the family. I took this matter up with the present Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickersgill) and he informed me, I think quite correctly, that under the regulations as they now exist there was nothing he could do. I am in the very happy position that in any cases I brought before either minister I received a most courteous hearing and possibly the most assistance they could give under the regulations.

Immigration

I believe that a certain discretionary power should be given the minister to deal with cases such as I have mentioned, when he thinks the weight of evidence presented to him indicates that certain persons should be allowed to enter the country. I quite appreciate that this is a great deal of power to put in the hands of a minister, but I am sure no minister of immigration would misuse a power of that kind. He is far more likely to be strict in the other direction. I would hope that the government might give some thought to this matter, because I think it is a very worthy point.

They should give some particular thought to the removal of the discrimination that now exists in connection with immigration matters pertaining to persons of Asiatic origin in view of world conditions at the moment, and particularly in Asia. We should be very careful that we do not discriminate or do anything that would indicate to the people of Asia that we consider them of any less importance than or in any way inferior to the citizens who may come to us from any other country.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Donald M. Fleming (Eglinton):

This is indeed an extraordinary situation. Since three o'clock this afternoon the house has heard a number of hon. members speak to a motion which is technically and, in fact, an expression of want of confidence in the government and indicts the government's immigration policy. As yet not one word has been heard from the treasury benches. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the former minister, now Minister of Finance, have been present in the house during the greater part of the debate and have had every opportunity to participate had they chosen to do so. Now, as the day draws to its close, the house is faced with a situation where the government has declined to take advantage of its opportunity to answer, if it has an answer, these charges that have been made against it.

This is indeed an extraordinary situation. Does the government feel so secure in the support of the large majority of members of this house that it does not feel called upon to state a policy or defend its administration? Does it expect that hon. members who meekly follow them when the division bells ring will rally to their expected duty again by expressing confidence in the government in this atmosphere of silence, without a word being said by the government concerning its policy or its administration?

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

We wanted to hear the hon. member first.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

The minister will indeed, then, have the opportunity. I am just sorry

Immigration

that his patience has been so extraordinary on this occasion. I might have been very happy indeed to have heard what the minister had to say, if he had anything to say, in defence of this record of administration of his department in the light of this indictment of it.

We have gone a long way apparently, Mr. Speaker, in this country in the policy and administration of this government from the time when the Prime Minister is reported in a Canadian Press dispatch of January 16, 1953, as saying:

Mr. St. Laurent, declaring this country has great opportunities, said, at the same rate of growth as the last half century Canada might have 35 million or 40 million people by the year 2001. "There is room enough for that number and for many more", he said, "and there is wealth enough for that number and for many more awaiting use and development".

I wonder whether the hon. member for Charlevoix (Mr. Maltais) was aware of that statement of the Prime Minister. Perhaps it would be proper at this time for the Prime Minister to reiterate those views, if he retains them. Perhaps it would be opportune now if the Prime Minister made a declaration of policy on behalf of the government in relation to those views, if he still entertains them.

While I am on that subject, Mr. Speaker, I might quote to the same hon. gentleman an expression of opinion on this subject that is contained in a Canadian Press dispatch of October 9, 1952, in which the archbishops and bishops of the Catholic church in Canada are quoted as having expressed themselves to this effect in a prepared statement:

Immigration is a social question with many aspects. The church does not wish to pass judgment on the details of policy regarding immigration, but does point out to all that immigration is a moral question, subject to moral laws which should direct and inspire those whose duty it is to determine a policy on immigration.

Since God created the entire earth for man's use and benefit, the countries which have unoccupied lands should open such territory to people of over-populated countries.

The policy that governs the flow of immigration should be truly democratic and any regulations that would restrict in an arbitrary manner, the immigration of people from an over-populated country, or of refugees from persecuted lands would be contrary to the fundamental principles of justice and true peace.

Now, sir, I would have thought an expression of that kind would command the attention and respect of hon. members of this house. This country must, if it be true to itself and its history, look on immigration in a very different manner from most other countries of the world. This country was built by immigration. All of us in this chamber tonight are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, some the first generation, some the second, some the third, some even the seventh or the eighth. But this

country is an immigrant's country. The aboriginal population of this country is very small in numbers indeed. And, for that reason, all of us must approach a question of this kind with humane considerations as well as an honest and a realistic appreciation of the benefits that immigration has conferred upon this country.

Immigration has not been given sympathetic treatment in this house by this government. As we were reminded this afternoon by the hon. member for Kamloops, the studied attempt of the government year after year has been to thwart and frustrate discussion on immigration. When questions have arisen we have been told to bring them up on the estimates of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and in those characteristic manoeuvres of the government those estimates have almost invariably been brought down in the very dying hours of the session for the deliberate purpose, and no other, of restricting and thwarting discussion of that subject in this house.

And, sir, if there is one subject more than another that does call for the clarifying benefits of discussion in this house it is the subject of immigration, because of all the subjects on which the government has indulged in contradictory statements, I suppose immigration ranks pre-eminent among them. Think of it, as we were reminded this afternoon; on one day, January 28 last, we had contradictory statements made in this country by two members of this government on the subject of immigration.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) has at least been consistent on this subject, and has been a spokesman year in and year out for more immigration for Canada. I have read statements attributed to him urging that Canada should have as many as 500,000 immigrants in a year. But on the very day the Minister of Agriculture was making his last pronouncement on this subject the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was making what one might have thought was a statement of policy in which he served notice that the government was not having any wider immigration and making it quite clear, as the statistics are making it quite clear today, that we may look for less immigration into Canada now than we have had in the past several years. Notwithstanding speeches bristling with contradictory statements by ministers of the crown no light is thrown on the subject in this debate, no effort has been made on the part of the government to establish clarity where contradiction now flourishes.

Well, sir, what has been the record in the face of a situation in the world today to which

we dare not close our eyes? We have been reminded in this house in recent days of the concern which conditions abroad in the world today force upon all Canadians. We have been called upon to make sacrifices, continuing and heavy sacrifices, to make a contribution to easing the threat of aggression in the world. May we at the same time indulge in the pastime of closing our eyes to the fact that in the world today covetous eyes are cast in the direction of Canada, her resources and her great broad lands?

Well, sir, if we are going to encourage a policy of making gifts to the world, gifts in various forms representing our share of the common responsibility of the free western world, to keep sanity alive in a frenzied world, then, Mr. Speaker, we had better do a little honest and searching thinking on the subject of immigration. Sir, I am satisfied, indeed I well know, that if some hon. members in this house who normally support the government would unlock their lips on this subject and speak from their hearts we should indeed hear some interesting speeches and some very telling indictments of government administration of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

Immigration has brought great benefits to Canada; immigration in this post-war period has already brought vast benefits to Canada.

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LIB
PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I hear the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration say "hear, hear". Well, why does he not on the one hand rise in his place and tell us that the government's policy is to give fair encouragement, under proper safeguards, to immigration, and on the other hand see that his department is administered with some regard for humanity? Here is a statement concerning post-war immigration which appeared in the press of May 8, 1954, by E. B. Reid, chief of the immigration department information service:

About half these Immigrants were workers, he said. Their wages provided a total annual buying power of about $750,000,000.

If the government are really serious about immigration why do they not go about telling our people of the benefits which this postwar immigration has brought to Canada? We have had something over a million immigrants come to Canada since the war. Half of them have been workers, and those workers have created a total annual buying power of $750 million.

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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

I made at least four speeches with that in it.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

It is amazing that the former minister of citizenship and immigration has made his speeches in such places as have

Immigration

attracted so little publicity. Why did he not rise and say that in this house? There has been plenty of opportunity for him or his colleague who sits behind him to rise today and say that the government recognizes the tremendous benefits that immigration has brought to this country in the years since the war. There are hon. members opposite who could testify to this in eloquent terms, but thus far we have not heard from them.

On well-chosen occasions members of the government, and indeed the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, have permitted themselves to pay tribute to the great cultural enrichment that Canada has enjoyed by reason of the addition to her population of these immigrants who have come to this land to become members of the Canadian family. Why do they not say so today? Why do they not rise in this house and pay tribute to the great benefits we have obtained from immigration? Why do we not hear from them something about the dispersal throughout all parts of Canada of the benefits of immigration?

Here are some of the ways in which that great consuming and buying power of the immigrants has reacted to the general benefit. I am quoting from a study made by a Canadian organization within the past year:

The 1951 census revealed that 52 per cent of the post-war Immigrants lived in single dwellings, and that close to 40 per cent of them had been able to acquire their own homes, with over one-third of these home owners carrying no mortgage. The household conveniences which newcomers were able to provide for themselves not only created work in Canadian factories, but would also indicate that new Canadians were living on fairly good incomes. For example, mechanical refrigeration was to be found in 42 per cent of the newcomers' households, as compared with 47 per cent for the total Canadian aggregate. There were radios in 92 per cent of the Canadian households, but also in as many as 84 per cent of the newcomers' dwellings. While 42 per cent of the Canadian households were equipped with passenger motor vehicles, as many as 33 per cent of the newcomers' households had the same convenience.

These effects have been widely distributed over the Canadian economy. I turn now to a speech made recently by the Hon. Mr. Daley, minister of labour in the Ontario government:

It is not too much to say that without the large scale immigration of the post-war period, Canada's great industrial expansion would not have been possible. Workers were needed to go to remote areas where resource development was taking place, to work in the mines, in the forests, and on the power and transportation developments, and in many cases, immigrants took jobs which native-born Canadians would not accept. The new Canadians also made an important contribution in the factories and in the service industries in our large and growing centres. And in the immediate post-war years especially, workers were desperately needed on Canadian farms to replace those who had left to live in the cities.

Immigration

Let us face frankly the fears which immigration has engendered in some Canadians. Those fears have been principally on the grounds of race and employment. On the subject of race I think the government owes a duty to the people of Canada to say, as we Conservatives say and say emphatically, that immigration into this country must never be permitted to have for its purpose disturbance of the fundamental racial composition of Canada. We subscribe most emphatically to that point of view.

There are those in this country who have feared immigration because they thought it offered a threat of assimilation into an English-speaking community. That is not our View of immigration. We would resist with all the power at our command as a party any attempt to use immigration for that purpose. We owe a duty to Canada to allay that fear that admittedly has existed in certain quarters. I say at the same time that the government owes it to the people of Canada to make a similar declaration to allay those fears.

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February 15, 1955