April 9, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Douglas King Hazen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. D. K. HAZEN (St. John-Albert):

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member for Rosthern (Mr. Tucker) upon the contribution he has made to the debate. I followed his remarks closely and while I do not agree with all he said-we have the right to disagree, of course-I may say that I am in wholehearted agreement with many of the things he did say.
The Secretary of State (Mr. Martin) spoke with such eloquence and fervour on his motion for the second reading of this bill that a stranger listening might have been justified in coming to the conclusion that when it was passed we would "change the sorry scheme of things entire" and have a new heaven and a new earth in this country. Unfortunately that result will not follow.
We are all Canadians and we have called ourselves Canadians for many years. When this bill becomes law it will not make us better Canadians or more conscious of our
Canadian Citizenship

Canadian citizenship. We shall take no greater pride in our country after this bill is passed than we did before. We shall be no more loyal to our constitution and we shall be no less critical of or more satisfied with conditions that prevail in this country. We shall be no more united as a nation.
I make these remarks with two reservations. First, I believe that proper ceremonies on the granting of naturalization will be of benefit and, second, I think the provision in the bill that a declaration of Canadian citizenship will be an adequate statement of national status is a step in the right direction. But may I point out to hon. members that if a person applies to-day for a Canadian passport he can have inscribed on it the fact that he is a Canadian national. When the next census is taken I have no doubt that a person will be able to say he is a Canadian citizen, but inquiry will be made as to his national origin. There are good reasons why we should keep a record of national origin.
In dealing with questions of citizenship, nationality, naturalization and the status of aliens we are dealing with technical subjects. They are matters about which I do not profess to have the answers, and they are matters about which I think the members of the house should have a great deal more information. Therefore I am in agreement with the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) who suggested' that this bill should be sent to a committee. There could be called before that committee experts from the Department of External Affairs, from the Department of the Secretary of State, from the immigration department and from the Department of Justice who could explain the difficulties they face in connection with the present legislation. There could also be called before that committee men who have made a particular study of this matter and who could express their views, who could criticize the bill and who could furnish information that hon. members do not possess at the present time. I strongly urge that the bill be sent to a committee for further study.
We have on the statute books of this country, and have had for many years, a definition of Canadian citizenship. This is to be found in section 2 (b) of the Immigration Act, which is chapter 93 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927. With the permission of hon. members I wish to place this definition on the record because that has not been done during this debate. I should like permission to do that without reading it in order to save time.

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