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


Douglas King Hazen

Progressive Conservative


Doctor Read.
Section 76 reads as follows:,
A common status directly recognized throughout the British commonwealth in recent years has been given a statutory basis through the operation of the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act, 1914.
77. Under the new position, if any change is made in the requirements established by the existing legislation, reciprocal action will be necessary to attain this same recognition the importance of which is manifest in view of the desirability of facilitating freedom of intercourse and the mutual granting of privileges among the different parts of the commonwealth.
This report was approved in this house on a resolution introduced by the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe. It came before the imperial conference in 1930 and was approved by that conference. The conclusions that were reached by the conference are to be found in its proceedings. I believe these proceedings were also approved by this house. The conclusions read as follows:
(1) That the conference affirms paragraphs 73 to 78 inclusive of the report of the conference on the operation of dominion legislation.
(2) That, if any changes are desired in the existing requirements for the common status, provision should be made for the maintenance of the common status, and the changes should only be introduced (in accordance with present practice) after consultation and agreement among the several members of the commonwealth.
(3) That it is for each member of the com-momvealth to define for itself its own nationals, but that, so far as possible, those nationals should be persons possessing the common status, though it is recognized that local conditions or other special circumstances may from time to time necessitate divergences from this general principle.
(4) That the possession of the common status in virtue of the law for the time being in force in any part of the commonwealth should carry with it the recognition of that status by the law of every other part of the commonwealth.

Canadian Citizenship

There is one other extract from the report that I should like to read. It is to be found on page 124 of the evidence to which I have referred, and reads as follows:
(2) Although it would seem that no question could arise as between members of the British commonwealth in the ease of those referred to in subparagraph (1) (a) above, it is recognized that in the case of a migrant, referred to in subparagraph (1) (b) above, the member from
which he might wish to declare an interest in the conditions under which the member to which he went might claim to be entitled to regard him as a member of its community. It is also desirable to avoid laws or rules as to acquisition or loss of such membership which might lead to overlapping. _ As time has not allowed consideration to be given to the different criteria which a member might desire to impose, it is recommended that any member contemplating passing a law on the membership of its community, should submit its proposals to the other members of the commonwealth, so as to enable them to offer observations thereon, if they feel so inclined.
I have quoted these paragraphs for one purpose. When the Secretary of State introduced this bill, and when he spoke on second reading, he did not tell us whether the proposals contained therein had been submitted to the other members of the commonwealth before it was introduced here.

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