January 30, 1958

PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Yes. That was my point. Provided the general remarks covering the whole field are concluded, I might reply now. Then remarks dealing with one specific branch of the department could be made when we reach the appropriate item.

I appreciate very much indeed the generous things which have been said about me by hon. members who have spoken since the

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

estimates first came under consideration on January 15. Of course, I do not take those compliments as directed to me personally but rather as directed toward the government of which I am a member. I assure hon. members that they are appreciated by all those on this side of the house.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I cannot concur in the hon. gentleman's amendment.

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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:

I shall deal with the comments that have been made in the order in which they were made. Some hon. members spoke first on January 15, which is some days ago now. I shall deal first with the remarks of the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. The first point I should like to deal with is his statement that we have increased the estimates this year over those of last year by some 20 per cent to 25 per cent. If he will examine the figures and compare the total asked for this year with the total asked for last year, he will find that the increase is 13.9 per cent, not the percentage figures that he suggested as reported at page 3368 of Hansard. What the hon. gentleman has apparently done is to take the main estimates of 1957-58, the supplementary estimates and the further supplementary estimates 1 and 2, add those all together and then compare them with the main estimates of the previous year.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I think perhaps I could clear that matter up in a second. I think the hon. gentleman misunderstood what I said. All I said was that the increase the hon. gentleman had proposed in the estimates over those that were proposed by Mr. Harris was either 20 per cent or 25 per cent. I was not comparing them with last year's at all. The comparison I was making was between the figure that was put in the main estimates this year and the figure that the hon. gentleman added in his supplementaries that he brought down in October, and I think the figure is either 20 per cent or 25 per cent, or somewhere in that area.

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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:

If it is 20 per cent or 25 per cent this year, the hon. gentleman will be interested to know that the total supplementary estimates last year as compared with the main estimates represented an increase of 40 per cent over the main estimates. That is his record, a 40 per cent increase as against a 20 per cent to 25 per cent increase.

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LIB
PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I know. The hon. gentleman was merely pointing out the facts and I thought the full facts should be laid before the committee for their information.

96698-256J

The hon. gentleman had suggested that there had been no changes in the policy or procedure of the citizenship and immigration department since this government took over. I am quite prepared to admit that there have not been as many changes as we should like to have been able to make and as we intend to make. However, there have been substantial changes in the procedure and in the approach to the problems at the ministerial level. I might point out that with regard to immigration as it affects East Indians and Chinese, the decision was taken on December 20 to which reference has already been made in the house and which allows landed immigrants from those countries to apply for the admission of their relatives before they become citizens. With respect to both these groups the advantages were outlined the other day but with respect particularly to the East Indians it should be pointed out that this change will have the effect of taking those who can now be applied for as of right by landed immigrants off the quota and therefore releasing, we hope, a considerable group of quota numbers to be used in taking care of cases in which arrears have accumulated over the past years.

Then with regard to citizenship, the hon. gentleman referred-and with justifiable gratification, I think-to the setting up of two citizenship courts in Toronto and Montreal during the time when he was minister. I might say that we have decided to extend efforts to make impressive citizenship ceremonies in smaller centres. One of the difficulties in smaller centres is, of course, that the number of applicants receiving their grants of Canadian citizenship at any one time is not sufficiently large to make an impressive ceremony if you try to have a ceremony at the time of their presentation. Our thought is that in such centres an experiment might be tried of attempting to get those who receive their Canadian citizenship to come together on a day or days to be specified-perhaps quarterly or perhaps twice a year, as the case might be-in order to take part in an official ceremony of the award of citizenship. By that method, if you have a sufficient number-say 100 or so at any time -you can make an impressive ceremony. I think every hon. gentleman will agree that when you have, say, a group of ten, it is difficult to build up a really impressive ceremony with all those things that properly accompany it and the presence of all the dignitaries who should be there.

As to some of the ones that I have attended in various centres throughout Canada I have found that, by reason of the lack of numbers, the ceremony becomes rather embarrassing rather than impressive for those who

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration take part in it. But I feel that if you build up the numbers and have 100 or 150, you can make a large ceremony and a much more impressive ceremony; and if you do it once or twice a year in a civic park or the civic hall, then, with the attendant publicity and all the effort that can be concentrated on it, you can make a really impressive and valuable ceremony on those occasions when all those who have qualified for citizenship would be admitted or be put through a formal ceremony at which their certificates would be presented. We intend to experiment with such a formal ceremony in one of the smaller centres to be selected in Canada in order to see whether we can work something out on that basis.

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CCF

Douglas Mason Fisher

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

Mr. Fisher:

Will the minister permit a question on this point of ceremonies?

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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulion:

Yes.

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CCF

Douglas Mason Fisher

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

Mr. Fisher:

Would the minister consider this point in connection with the ceremonies? I have had complaints from people who have attended the ceremonies. They have complained that they have had the feeling, because of the emphasis upon the symbol of the crown and upon the picture of the Queen and the association of certain groups with the ceremony, that they were becoming British subjects more than Canadian citizens. I know there is an extremely delicate point there, but would the minister keep that complaint or view in mind, namely that we keep to the fore Canadian citizenship even though we cannot forget the question of British subjects?

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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:

Yes. Those points are being kept in mind. We have had several suggestions with regard to the form of oath from the point of view which the hon. gentleman has just mentioned, and those are receiving study. We intend to try out some of these forms of ceremony and to see what improvements can be made as to the representation and as to the symbolism which surrounds the granting of citizenship.

Other changes that are proposed are, for instance, the change which the house made today by way of amendment to the Indian Act and the change in the citizenship act which was mentioned also this morning.

We are concerned about the fact that at the present time there is a difference in the attributes of citizenship required by the naturalized citizen compared with the natural born, and that arises out of section 19 of the citizenship act. We are concerned about this difference and would like to follow the principle of removing it but, as I explained this morning, the time factor has made it difficult to introduce legislation of this type which

must be very carefully considered. Because we appreciate that no Canadian citizen should suffer because we have not been able to move as quickly as we would like in this matter, instructions have been given that no case of revocation of citizenship will be disposed of until we have had a chance to survey the matter and draft the legislation which we believe will be 'appropriate and present it to parliament. Thus, no one will be prejudiced by the fact that we have been unable to bring in a bill this session.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Is the minister at all troubled by the fact that the citizenship of Mr. Fred Rose could not have been revoked if this action had been taken earlier?

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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulion:

The minister is aware of the situation in this respect, and in anything that is done it will be necessary to take such a situation into account and to ensure that those guilty of such actions as Mr. Fred Rose could not continue to claim the rights and privileges of Canadian citizens. We have said that our intention is to amend section 19; I did not say that our intention was to repeal it.

The hon. gentleman mentioned the situation which had arisen respecting the payment of fees because some registrars and others concerned had extracted more than the statutory amounts provided. We have had conversations and correspondence with the attorney general of New Brunswick, the province in which most of the difficulties seem to have arisen, and no further difficulties have been reported since the last exchange of correspondence I had with Mr. West.

Then the hon. gentleman asked for the figures of movement and distribution in Canada of the immigrants who entered the country during the year 1957. I will not read the figures for immigration to Canada by provinces of destination, but it would perhaps meet the convenience of the house if I placed the whole table on record in Hansard. But so that we have some of the information available-

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I wonder whether it would not save the time of the committee if the minister were allowed to identify these tables and then place them on record in Hansard. We all realize the government wants to get on.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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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:

The document to which I have just referred deals with immigration to Canada by province of destination. The next table, table 2, deals with immigration to Canada by ethnic origin and shows that a total of 282,164 immigrants entered Canada in 1957. The tables follow:

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IMMIGRATION TO CANADA BY PROVINCE OF DESTINATION


Calendar December Year 1956 1957 1956 1957Newfoundland Prince Edward 36 34 426 495Island 3 7 112 134Nova Scotia 144 103 1,639 2,790New Brunswick .. 68 48 852 1,673Quebec 2,823 1,939 31,396 55,073Ontario 8,704 4,709 90,662 147,097Manitoba 485 339 5,796 11,614Saskatchewan 169 172 2,202 4,427Alberta 690 595 9,959 21,131British Columbia . Yukon and North- 1,558 909 17,812 37,528west Territories . 6 4 118 202Not Specified 3,717 3,883 Total 18,403 8,859 164,857 282,164


IMMIGRATION TO CANADA BY ETHNIC ORIGIN


December Calendar Year 1956 1957 1956 1957Albanian 1 5 22Arabian 4 7 86 87Armenian 16 29 181 272Austrian 133 69 2,948 2,293Belgian 119 27 2,127 2,786British 3,805 1,920 51,319 112,828English 2,333 1,180 32,389 72,476Irish 475 230 6,962 14,336Scottish 919 477 10,939 23,514Welsh 78 33 1,029 2,502Bulgarian 3 1 30 59Chinese 77 206 2,093 1,669Czech and Slovak . 19 13 297 307Danish 187 79 3,642 7,790East Indian 23 32 330 317Egyptian 2 10 52Estonian 10 3 162 221Finnish 78 90 1,094 2,829French 262 170 3,106 5,471German 2,369 1,242 26,457 29,564Greek 817 610 5,236 5,631Hungarian 3,639 270 4,274 29,825Icelandic 7 4 41 56Iranian 1 10 24Italian 4,595 1,900 29,806 29,443Japanese 5 4 120 178Jewish 258 144 1,632 5,472Latvian 14 10 334 415Lebanese 49 29 408 348Lithuanian 8 3 190 168Luxemburger 12 153 124Maltese 36 22 378 654Mexican 4 2 23 15Negro 44 48 504 634Netherlander 338 176 7,956 12,310Norwegian 33 27 842 1,337Polish 229 146 2,269 2,909Portuguese 139 173 1,971 4,748Roumanian 22 7 137 206Russian 24 23 234 375Spanish 60 73 532 1,182Swedish 9 10 387 763Swiss 34 25 1,044 1,294Syrian 9 1 67 76Turkish 6 5 48 91Ukrainian 58 6 540 494Yugoslavian 249 393 1,993 5,725Others 4 6 64 92From the United States 594 852 9,777 11,008 8.859 164.857 282,164 Supply-Citizenship and Immigration Later, the hon. gentleman had something to say about the announcement we made on July 12, I think, with regard to the curtailment of immigration for the winter months of 1957-58. He said that this announcement, and the abrupt manner in which it was made, came as a shock and a surprise to many, and that it was an example of poor public relations. I quite admit that it came as a surprise to many, although it was, in a large measure, in accordance with the usual cut down of the rate of immigration which takes place every year during the winter months. However, it did become effective some six weeks earlier this year than in the previous years for reasons that have been thoroughly explained. The reason why I agree this came as a surprise- and it is one in which I am reinforced in holding as I look over what has happened in the past-the reason for the difference between the attitude taken this year and last year- is that this year we announced our decision, and announced it at the time it was made; whereas in the past information about immigration was as far as possible treated as a matter of secrecy; these decisions were not announced and explained to the Canadian people as they were made. It probably came as a great surprise to the people concerned because they thought this must be an entirely different policy, something which had never been done before. And when you find people are surprised because of an announcement that has been made, it is a good indication that people were not taken into the confidence of the government on earlier occasions by being informed with regard to our immigration policy and the decisions made to deal with it. We intend to continue this policy of informing the country of our decisions and of our reasons for making them.


January 30, 1958