June 26, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I confess, then, that I have overlooked that. If the figures up to date present a different picture from the one I have drawn as a result of the figures I have, then I hope the minister will be quick to point it out. Up to that time, out of a total of 78,403 admitted, there were 4,361 from the United Kingdom; 22,224 from Germany and Austria, and a very small number, something in the neighbourhood of 1,700 or 1,800 from other European countries. The proportions between those countries from which immigrants have come under this scheme worked out at approximately 15-4 per cent from the United Kingdom, 78-2 per cent from
26, 1954 6789
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration Germany and Austria and 6-3 per cent from elsewhere. Once again the figures show that with respect to preserving the ethnic balance of this country, the assisted passage loan scheme is not being equitably applied to the different countries of Europe, in that the United Kingdom has a disproportionately low number of immigrants coming out under that scheme.
Now, there are other matters which are causing concern in connection with the immigration policy of the government. One of these is the picture with respect to the fact that, of the large number of immigrants coming from Italy, practically none came from the north. I draw the attention of the committee to a series of articles appearing recently in the Vancouver Sun and written by Stanley Burke. He pointed out that last year Canada had taken more immigrants from Italy than any other country had taken. He obtained figures from the Italian government which showed that 24,000 went to Canada, and only 400 returned. Out of
10,000 who went to the United States, 2,400 returned. Immigrants to the Argentine totalled 13,000, and almost that many made the "disillusioned" trip home.
Now, sir, I do not mean to say that we should not take immigrants from that country. They have made good citizens. What is pointed out is that the great bulk of those who have been coming so far appear to have been from southern Italy. What is suggested, and I should like to hear the minister's comments on the matter, is that we should, in so far as our industrialization is increasing, give more attention to immigrants from northern Italy. Those who come from southern Italy at the moment tend to be a rural people but they do not fit in well with the present Canadian farm picture. While they are farmers themselves, they are accustomed to living in villages, in a very closely integrated communal life, and they find life on Canadian farms somewhat lonesome so they tend to gravitate immediately back to the city. Well, when they get to the city they are not at all qualified or trained as industrial workers, and so they find themselves completely out of place. The suggestion has been made that in our policy of soliciting immigrants from Italy we should pay more attention than we do to those in northern Italy. Experience has shown that the latter make excellent Canadian citizens, with background of industrial and technical training. These people would be much easier to fit into the Canadian scene than those drawn exclusively from southern Italy.
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration
What I have said is by way of a general survey of the immigration picture as I see it today. I should like now to turn for a moment to some particular criticisms of the department, and to say I find that there are a number of procedures being followed today which impose hardships and unfairness in many cases.
I have in mind the situation of the Chinese who are attempting to bring over their children. I know the minister has received a brief on this matter from the Chinese benevolent association, dated April 1954. I shall not go into the details in this connection, but I think it is important to point out that the department still appears to attach undue and rigid importance to the results of X-ray examinations. We have had it out with the minister before, where Chinese here in Canada want their children to be brought in. The department in Hong Kong has the children examined and X-ray photographs are taken. If the department feels that the X-ray photographs indicate a bone structure of lesser or greater maturity than might be expected in the child for whom application is made, they say that according to the X-ray picture they cannot accept this child as the one applied for.
The department adheres rigidly to the decision, notwithstanding the fact that the father may have produced testimony from relations here and back in China, as well as his own sworn affidavit, establishing on the basis of evidence from those who know the facts that this child is his own.
According to my information, the United States has rejected this X-ray procedure. While they may not have rejected it completely, they laid down the principle in the forties that where there was positive evidence, not otherwise contested, that the child was in fact the child applied for, then it was not a proper course to rely upon X-ray evidence discrediting identity. A number of cases in the United States established that, and the principle they follow is that unless there is direct evidence to contradict the evidence of the applicant, then the evidence of the applicant prevails. However, that principle is not being followed in Canada, and there are a number of cases of unfairness resulting in respect of these applicants for admission from China. We are dealing here, not with Chinese applying to come to Canada, but with people who morally and legally are in fact Canadian citizens, because they are the children of Canadian citizens. So I cannot understand why the department adheres so rigidly to this and other administrative practices which in fact make discrimination between Canadian citizens.

Those principles are not followed in the case of applications from other Canadian citizens but only, so far as I can make out, in the case of applications from Chinese. And I would suggest that in the light of certain recent court decisions, particularly that of Leong Ba Chi, if I have the name right, the department would be well advised' to review its administrative practice in this field, and not only to avoid having its own administrative decisions reversed by the courts but also to avoid putting these applicants to such great expense.
In the instance to which I have referred, where the question arose as to whether the child was in fact the child of the applicant- and it was not based upon X-rays, but rather on a question of law-it had to be taken to the Supreme Court'of Canada, and one can imagine the expense to the applicant and the incidental cost as well as the heartbreak in the meantime until this barrier of administrative obstinacy was broken down, and the courts saw to it that justice was done.
Another series of incidents recently have given rise to a feeling of concern in connection with deportation orders made under circumstances which seemed to be unfair to those persons ordered for deportation. I am going to refer to only one of these cases, to which reference is made in the Ottawa Journal of April 24. This is the case of Mrs. Shirley Brent.
The article is headed "Justice Raps Deport Order-Even He Can't Understand It." The article is dated at Toronto, and is a Canadian Press report. It states:
Mr. Justice Wilson of the Supreme Court of Ontario criticized the Canadian immigration department Friday and said it should have disclosed any information it had against Mrs. Shirley Brent, 23, of Buffalo, N.Y.
He deferred judgment in the matter. The article goes on:
Testimony was the woman entered Canada as a visitor January 1 as Shirley Taylor and was married to Barry Brent, of Toronto, March 9. On January 28 she appeared before an immigration board and was told she "didn't meet requirements".
John D. Pickup, of Toronto, representing the immigration department, said no reasons had to be given under the statutes.
"Fine state of affairs in this country where there is supposed to be justice," said Mr. Justice Wilson.
Then the report goes on to summarize the argument of Mr. Pickup as to the reasons why the department did not disclose the details behind the order. It then continues:
Said Mr. Justice Wilson: "That is perfectly plain to the immigration people, but I must confess 1 would like you to explain it to me."

Full View