January 25, 1958

LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. Tucker:

In view of what has been said by some of the members opposite, and particularly by the hon. member for Battle River-Camrose, namely that this is the first time that there has been put into legislation anything which recognizes the right of the farmers to a fair share of the national income, I should again like to draw his attention to section 9 subsection (2) of the Agricultural Prices Support Act. This provision is not in any preamble but is in an effective part of the act which was binding on the board set up, as a statutory obligation whereas something in a preamble is not binding. As every person who has had anything to do with the interpretation of statutes knows very well, the preamble just expresses a hope whereas a statutory enactment in a section of an act is binding upon those administering it. For the benefit of the hon. member for Battle River-Camrose, who said that this is the first time that anything like this has been enacted, I would read him again the section of the Agricultural Prices Support 96698-2434

Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization Act which embodies this provision. As I pointed out previously, that act was hailed by the president of the federation of agriculture of that time as the most forward looking legislation that had been enacted for many years. I will read this section.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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An hon. Member:

Did it work?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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LIB

Walter Adam Tucker

Liberal

Mr. Tucker:

It was something which was laid down to be aimed at, and to the extent that it v/as found possible, on the advice of the various farm organizations, it was the constant aim to attain this objective as was required by an act of parliament. Now we are repealing it. I for one think that the present bill is not as good as the Agricultural Prices Support Act for protecting the farmers of this country, and particularly the farmers I represent. I will read this section again:

(2) In prescribing prices under paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (1), the board shall endeavour to ensure adequate and stable returns for agriculture by promoting orderly adjustment from war to peace conditions and shall endeavour to secure a fair relationship between the returns from agriculture and those from other occupations.

In other words, that was the objective laid down for this board, namely that it should strive to secure a fair relationship which meant a fair share of the national income. This, I point out, was part of the act which was binding upon the board. In contrast, what we are now putting into the preamble is not binding upon the board set up by the proposed bill.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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SC

James Alexander Smith

Social Credit

Mr. Smith (Battle River-Camrose):

There are just one or two other comments I wish to make. When I made the statement that I felt there was some improvement to be hoped for from this new bill over the situation prevailing under the Agricultural Prices Support Act, I was not necessarily saying that I was expecting to get too much from this bill in the way of assistance for the farmers of Canada. When I said that I was looking forward to a greater amount of assistance than was received under the old Agricultural Prices Support Act what I had in mind was this. I felt there was a possibility that the farmers of Canada would be reimbursed from the federal treasury over the next period of years to an amount somewhat greater than 15 cents per person per year. The cost to the people of Canada was approximately 15 cents per person per year for the Agricultural Prices Support Act which is about to be repealed. In those years of assistance it has cost the people of Canada approximately 15 cents per person per year. That is not a terrific amount. Certainly it is not enough to justify one in rising and asserting that any act has done a whole lot for the

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Agricultural Products-Price Stabilization farmers of western Canada or Canada as a whole. I am not prepared to retract any statement which I made previously.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

This proposed amendment is alleged to give the farmers a fair share of the national income and to be of assistance to the agricultural industry, but I suggest that since it fails to take into account wheat, oats and barley grown in the prairie provinces it will be quite impossible for this amendment to have any meaning, for western grain farmers. I made reference earlier to the large percentage of the total wheat grown in Canada which comes from the prairie provinces and the latest report of the Minister of Trade and Commerce produced in December with respect to wheat points out that farm marketings of that commodity dropped from 26 million bushels as the average of 1955 to 1956 to 11 million bushels for the present year in the province of Manitoba; in Saskatchewan there has been a drop from 111 million to 67 million bushels and in Alberta from 53 million bushels to 24 million. In the minister's own "Coarse Grains Quarterly" he points out that of the wheat grown in Canada, totalling 573 million bushels, 551 million bushels are grown in the prairie provinces. With respect to oats out of a total of 524 million bushels, we grow 400 million and of the total barley grown, amounting to 269 million bushels, we produce 262 million bushels in the prairie provinces.

It will therefore be seen that it is quite impossible for this proposed amendment to have any meaning when the government refuses so stubbornly to accept responsibility for the farmers in that large area.

I very much resent the suggestion that we have been asking for something unreasonable. The latest figures for France I have seen indicate that the French grain board paid out between $1.40 and $1.48 per bushel on all the wheat that they sent into the export market; the government of the United States is spending around $1 a bushel for every bushel they give away or which they sell in the markets. With our competitors subsidizing this operation to such an extent, while our Canadian farmers are left in the position where the government plans on selling only six bushels per acre this next year and refuses to give a support price, it will be quite impossible for our farmers to receive a fair share of the national income.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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CCF

Hugh Alexander Bryson

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

Mr. Bryson:

I would like to ask a question of the minister, but before doing so would say that I am personally disappointed and I feel sure that most farmers, especially those in western Canada, will also be disappointed at the outcome of this legislation. I am sure

it will, as far as western grain producers are concerned, mean a continuance of rural poverty in Canada.

The farmer is still going to be put through the wringer, so to speak, and I am sure that the introduction and passage of this kind of legislation will make farmers much less responsive when they come to Ottawa to request from this government certain considerations.

A short while ago the minister suggested that we had taken three weeks in which to debate this bill, and I regret that we should need to spend that amount of time in debating an agricultural bill. I believe there was a solution to remedy the situation and to obviate the necessity for this long and tedious debate. Might I suggest that we are going to have to change our thinking when devising farm programs. A much more realistic approach to this question, in my opinion, would be to ask the representatives of all the farm organizations of Canada to evolve a farm program. I think it would be advisable for any government to recognize the fact. I do not think there is a section of society more responsible or cautious than are the farmers. They have never come down here to ask for the moon; they have been very, very responsible people, and I think it would have been wise had the government said to these people, "You come to Ottawa and we will provide you with the railway committee room and all the necessary staff, all the brains and technicians at our disposal, and you can sit there until you hammer out a farm program. Then you will go back to the country and you will defend it."

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

Charles Edward Rea

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Rea):

I hope the hon. member realizes that it was decided not to send the bill to committee, and he is out of order in making his reference. We are on the amendment to the preamble.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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CCF

Hugh Alexander Bryson

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

Mr. Bryson:

I do not think this bill is much different from the old Agricultural Prices Support Act on two counts; first of all, the producers are not being supported-

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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CCF

Hugh Alexander Bryson

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

Mr. Bryson:

What I would like to ask the minister is, will he be able to enforce the regulations under this legislation any more effectively than the former government was able to enforce the regulations under the old act, in that floor prices will be paid to the producers?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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LIB

Irvin William Studer

Liberal

Mr. Studer:

I would like to ask a question of the minister as follows: With the passing of this bill am I right in assuming that it does not preclude the possibility of another

bill being presented to provide deficiency payments to the grain growers of western Canada?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Mr. Chairman, I have said several times during the course of this debate that we do not handle those products in this bill because of the advice of the heads of the three western wheat pools and other persons who are thoroughly familiar with their handling. For reasons I have given before, which I do not think I should repeat, anything which is done as far as western wheat, oats and barley are concerned, will be done through and under the wheat board.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE GUARANTEED PRICES FOR CERTAIN COMMODITIES, ETC.
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Amendment agreed to. Preamble as amended agreed to. Title agreed to. Bill reported, read the third time and passed.



The house in committee of supply, Mr. Rea in the chair.


DEPARTMENT OP CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION


61. Departmental administration, $604,729.


CCF

Alexander Barrett Macdonald

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

Mr. Macdonald (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words on the subject of Chinese immigration and Japanese immigration which is, of course, of particular concern to the province of British Columbia but is of interest to some extent to the whole country.

I was very glad to see that some concession was made in this respect by an order in council now published in the Canada Gazette. That order in council does, as I read it, allow landed immigrants of Chinese origin to make application today to bring in their relatives as set out in the regulations. They do not have to be citizens any longer. I think that is a step in the right direction, and in asking that consideration, be given to further concessions at this time I should like to say at once that I do not think they should be treated as a political matter. For that reason I am not going to look through Hansard of bygone days to find quotations from hon. members formerly on the opposition side saying what they would do if they came into office. I am only asking that reasonable consideration should be shown.

Unfortunately, we have to face the fact that discrimination still plays a part in our immigration policies. I have nothing against countries of the Middle East-Turkey, Lebanon or Egypt-but I regret that citizens whose origin is in those countries have greater rights so far as bringing their relatives to

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration Canada and uniting their families in Canada are concerned than have our Canadian citizens of Japanese and Chinese origin. It seems to me, with all respect, that we are overlooking the great contribution which is being made by our Canadians of Japanese and Chinese origin. The Chinese community in particular has a background of service to the development of Canada which very few people can rival. These people came over here in the early days of the gold rush in 1858 to pan gold in the Fraser and Thompson rivers of British Columbia. They came as Chinese coolie labour in large numbers to help push the C.P.R. through the Rocky mountains and down to the coast, and many of them lost their lives in trying to cut out tunnels and railway lines through the Fraser river valley and elsewhere. They have been a very law-abiding people; they have been a very self-supporting people, and it does seem to me that when we are considering concessions we should consider trying to remove the difference which exists between the privileges accorded to these people and those accorded to Canadians from, let us say, the Middle East or Central America.

These regulations are technical things and I am not going into them in detail. They are set out in the immigration regulations section 20, subsections (c) and (d). Subsection (c) provides very clearly that Canadians who have come from the Middle East and countries of North, Central and South America, have the right to bring in a very wide range of relatives-not just sons, husbands and wives, but brothers and sisters, grandchildren, parents and so on. There is no restriction imposed on these people to the effect that they must bring in only children under 21 years of age.

When you turn to subsection (d) which applies, as I understand it to Chinese Canadians, Japanese Canadians and others, you will find that they are restricted. The only children who can come to Canada must be under 21 years of age, and there is still the provision that such minor children must be accompanied on that trip by either a father or a mother. And in the case of parents of citizens of Chinese or Japanese origin, they may only enter, I believe, if a father is over 65 and a mother is over 60.

All these matters should be adjusted, I say, in all seriousness in a non-partisan way by further concessions along the lines that were made in the order in council of December 20.

I think we have to look at the background in terms of the world situation. Many Chinese Canadians are, of course, living in Hong Kong at the present time. We were

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration told in the very excellent brief presented some time ago to the Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on behalf of the Chinese benevolent association of Vancouver by Mr. Wong Foon Sien that the population of Hong Kong has gone up by two million since 1948. That number was raised from 800,000 to 2,800,000, a surely staggering increase when you consider that even then you had a small, crowded island. I think we have to consider the plight of these people because it is one which affects many who have fled from communist China to Hong Kong and who have been trying to keep going in the face of high living costs in Hong Kong.

We have to consider their plight, and I think we should also consider whether it would not be to our advantage to bring to Canada some of these qualified professional, technical and skilled people who are among the refugees now in Hong Kong. There may be doctors there who for reasons of their own did not choose to live on mainland China and who, if permitted to enter Canada, would be able to make a useful contribution. Nevertheless, because they are not covered under the terms of section 20(d) by being related to a Chinese citizen resident here at the present time they would not be permitted to come here.

Frankly, I think we have reached the point where we should consider, in addition to permitting relatives to come in under certain conditions, the admission of a regular quota over and above that number. I think we allow 150 to come from India, and similar numbers from Pakistan and Ceylon. In addition to the relatives admitted, I should like to see some quota established for Chinese immigrants in order that some of the very best people who wish to do so-people such as doctors, whom I have mentioned-might be able to come to this country from Hong Kong.

Nobody is suggesting that there should be a flood of immigration from the Orient into Canada, particularly during a time of unemployment such as the present, but I do think we should go some distance towards removing discrimination from our immigration policy, though we may never remove it completely; the link we have with British subjects and European races is probably too strong for that. But some concessions along the lines I have mentioned could, I think, be made.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the interest of the hon. gentleman in this matter of Chinese immigration. I rise now because I should like to place on record a short statement with regard to the order in council passed on December 20 to which he has

IMr. Macdonald (Vancouver-Kingsway).]

referred because, on the basis of correspondence which I have seen, there appears to have been some misunderstanding as to the effect of that order. I had considered making a statement in this house immediately the order was passed and, again, immediately we reconvened for the Christmas recess.

I was hopeful at the time that my estimates would be up the next day or the day after and I felt that was the appropriate time to do it. Then when the estimates were up the other week I thought I would first listen to hon. members who made general comments and then include the report of this order in council in my reply. I now find that the result has been that time has gone on and news of the regulation got out with certain misunderstandings and I think I should make the statement at this time.

The immigration regulations made by order in council P.C. 1954-1351 of September 17, 1954, as amended, restricted immigration of citizens of Asia to the husband, the wife, or the unmarried child under 21 years of age, the father where he is over 65 years of age, or the mother where she is over 60 years of age of a Canadian citizen residing in Canada who has applied for and is in a position to receive and care for any such person. This restriction has been resented by various national groups, particularly the east Indian and Chinese, on the ground that immigrants from those countries are obliged to wait until they can acquire Canadian citizenship, a period of at least five years after landing in Canada, before they can bring forward their close relatives; whereas immigrants from other countries may bring their families as soon as they are in a position to provide satisfactory settlement arrangements.

It is considered that the restriction has caused hardship in some cases, particularly when a married man comes forward in advance of his dependants, with a view to establishing himself firmly in employment and providing a home for his family before moving them. In many cases the immigrant is ready to bring his family within a year or so after arrival and yet cannot bring them forward until five years have elapsed or in other words until such time as he becomes a citizen which may be even longer and the prolonged separation then imposes both financial and psychological handicaps. Hardship also occurs in the case of elderly parents whose children in Canada desire to receive and care for them if their movement is delayed until the son or daughter in Canada acquires Canadian citizenship.

As the reunion of families is a vital factor in the satisfactory and permanent establishment of immigrants in Canada, it was decided

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

to remove the restriction in regulation 20 (d) and regulation 21 that the applicant must be a Canadian citizen.

Mr. Chairman, it occurs to me that perhaps the committee would not want me to read the detail of the amendments and changes. Perhaps I should just put this on Hansard.

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PC

Charles Edward Rea

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Rea):

Has the

minister unanimous consent of the committee to place this information on Hansard?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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January 25, 1958