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


Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I venture to think that if any of those 800 people came to Canada as a result of that lecture, they would be disillusioned and disappointed, would write letters back to this London evening paper and would tell them how they had been tricked into believing that conditions were quite different from what they actually are in this country. That kind of thing hurts immigration rather than aids it. The article went on to talk about education for the children. It states:
Education was under the control of the various provinces, but it was free up to the university standard and, even then, only a nominal fee was charged.
In most provinces today high school education requires some fee. I would not call the university fees today nominal fees. Nor would I agree with this statement:
Many students paid for their own college education by working during the summer holidays.
They can help themselves through college or university during their summer holidays, but with university fees what they are today and the cost of board and room what it is today, a statement of that description is also deceptive.
Of course the British immigrant is now becoming extremely conscious of the fact that we have no national health plan in this country, and that our social security system is incomplete and behind their own. Consequently Mr. Brown had this to say:
There was no national health scheme as such, but there were many comparable services, and a form of family allowance which was payable for each child, including the first.
A lecture of that description is, I think, deceptive and wholly wrong and should be stopped by our Department of Citizenship and Immigration.
As if to confirm all this, I have in my hand a letter received sometime ago from a gentleman who lived in Canada for a long time. He reminds me that I met him on two or three occasions in the city of Toronto. I am not going to read his letter,
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration but I am going to say that he tells me that he had lived in Canada for 40 years and that he is a 100 per cent imperial pensioner. He says he went to England to live-he is not an Englishman; he is a Scandinavian- because he could not exist in Canada on an imperial pension. That gives the opposite side of the story that the cost of living is less in Canada than it is in the United Kingdom. Then he goes on to tell me that he was in a shipping office near the place from which the letter was written, namely Thirsk, Yorkshire, in England, an agency for the Canadian Pacific Railway, where a young man was giving a lecture on Canada and trying to persuade people to emigrate to this country. This man goes on to say:
... it sounded so lovely, lots of houses, lots of jobs at $60 a week, no worries of any kind, pictures of Canadian farms, typical farms, with huge houses and lots of cows around them, no trouble to get one of these anywhere you like, just buy a ticket on the C.P.R. . . .
He goes on to say:
Now I know Canada needs population, but to drag people from the farm here with a lot of false promises is not fair, as England's biggest problem is food and they are desperate for farm workers here. I met a family here a day or so ago that went out to Canada three months ago and had to live all over the place and nobody wanted mother because she had done wrong and had a baby. What about that?
I will be glad to show the minister the letter afterwards. Of course I saw, as I have no doubt the minister did, the story in the Journal of June 23 of the 20-year-old German immigrant who said that he had been lured to Canada by promises of immigration officials in Germany of "a job for every man within 48 hours". I am drawing these cases to the attention of the minister so that greater care may be exercised. As one who was an immigrant to this country many years ago, I know perfectly well that there is no need to present a false picture, that if a person coming here is told the truth about this country, if he is willing to fit into the community and do what he can for himself and the community in which he lives in Canada, he will be perfectly all right. I think there is no country in the world which offers greater opportunities to young men or young women than does Canada. What I am saying to the minister is that we have got to be careful that we do not give an entirely false picture and cause disillusionment and bitter disappointment.
I also want to say something about the sponsoring of immigrants. I believe that Canada recognizes certain organizations as sponsoring organizations, shall I call them.
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration We have the Lutheran or so-called confessional groups in Germany, certain Roman Catholic organizations and other organizations. Yesterday I met in this city a German lady who is here to attend the international conference of social workers or the conference of international social workers-I forget which is correct-in Toronto in the next few days. She was telling me about the international labour assistance organization which has its headquarters in Brussels. It is of course a non-communist organization and is associated with the international federation of trade unions, which of course is an anti-communist international organization. Incidentally, our two labour congresses are both members of the international federation of trade unions, and I believe that through the international trade union organization they make some contribution towards the international labour assistance organization. This organization not only assists in the immigration of displaced persons. This lady told me that she knew the organization had some 500 suitable immigrants who wanted to come to Canada.
The organization is recognized by the economic and social council of the United Nations. In addition to assisting able-bodied immigrants to emigrate to other countries, it is also active in looking after some of those who are unable to look after themselves, the aged and the sick. I think the immigration branch might look into this organization through our embassies and other channels with a view to making use of it and giving it recognition, because that is important. These organizations usually receive financial support from semi-private or private sources like the Ford foundation, and recognition by Canada would be very helpful in obtaining assistance from such sources. I ask the minister to look into the matter and see if something can be done to accord some recognition to a worth-while organization of this description.
The hon. member for Kamloops mentioned discrimination. I feel that there has been discrimination in the department of immigration. I quite agree with all that he had to say about our Chinese immigrants. I know many worthy Chinese who are now citizens of Canada who have had great difficulty in obtaining the admission of their children to this country. I support the hon. member for Kamloops in the plea he has made that the method of determining parentage should be reviewed by the department and that sworn statements might be given more credence than has been the case in the past.
TMr. Coldwell.]

But I do not think that discrimination stops there. I can think of some of our commonwealth associates, people from the West Indies, for example, where some of the oldest colonies of Britain are situated, people who have been associated with us in bonds of citizenship for centuries. If these people from the West Indies are coloured or even slightly coloured they have a very difficult task in trying to get into our country and settle here. Even if they are students they have difficulties in remaining here beyond the time they have set as being required for them to obtain their degree or education.
Of course the same applies to the East Indians. I do not know how long our Indian fellow associates in the British commonwealth are going to tolerate discrimination against people of East Indian origin. In other respects also I think there has been discrimination. I have heard from time to time about discrimination even in the choice of people from Europe.
At the end of the war we had departmental officials overseas who thought that every person who was more or less socialistic or associated with a socialistic organization was a communist. Yet among the bitterest opponents of modern communism are those to be found in the socialist parties of Europe. Before we send officials over there to screen people we should be very careful to see that they are told exactly what the position is in that respect.
I have said something about immigration. I want to make it perfectly clear first of all that I think the minister's policy of having a cut-off date so that immigrants will not arrive here in the depth of winter or in autumn when winter is approaching and be faced with hardships is a good policy. I support that. I think that immigration should be properly planned. We should try to bring in immigrants and place them where they can be placed without displacing Canadian workers. If displacement of Canadian workers is allowed, I think it will cause a great deal of opposition to immigration as such. This country requires more population and the opportunities that are here for great expansion should be taken advantage of under a careful plan.
There is one other group I should like to mention in connection with immigration. I believe our department might perhaps give a little more attention to trying to bring in orphans for adoption. I know of people in this country who are sending over $15 each month to Europe to maintain a war orphan in Europe. I believe that end would be much better served if we could bring a child into this country, and place that child in a good

Canadian home, because there are homes that are seeking children for adoption. The child could be brought up in a Canadian home, in a Canadian environment and then would become a first class citizen of our country. I mention the immigration of orphans as worthy of consideration.
I do not want to speak too long, but I want to say one other thing in connection with the Indian department. I was very happy last night to hear about the situation at Sarnia. I believe that the minister, in encouraging the co-education, if you like, of Indian and Canadian children

Indians are of course Canadians but I mean children of Indian origin and children of Anglo-Saxon, French and other origins-is doing a good thing. I believe that is something that should be encouraged everywhere. I have never been satisfied with the residential school as the solution to our Indian problem; I have never been satisfied that was a wise thing. I know it is not always possible, but I think it would be better to have these Indian children mixing, in so far as possible, with white children. They may be in separate schools or public schools, but let the two groups attend the same school. I am convinced if that is done we shall find the Indian child has just the same kind of ability as the average white child. I do not believe there is any difference in individual aptitudes or intelligence because of the colour of the skin.
I am quite sure that in the past we have not given the Indian child the opportunity that child should have had to live a full and decent life. I know we are not touching on health, but it is satisfactory to know that the health of the Indian population is being improved by the provinces and the dominion in co-operation with one another. This has resulted in an increase in the Indian population. I believe that is all to the good. After all, the Indians are the original occupants of this country and have a culture of their own. I have never agreed with the view that was expressed in some quarters half a century ago that time would settle the Indian problem because the Indians would become extinct. I am happy to know that is not happening. Given the opportunities for education, I believe that the Indian boy and girl can achieve an educational standing and enter useful fields of endeavour, not only on the farm and in industry, but in some of the higher branches of learning. I am, therefore, very happy to know that the minister is encouraging this type of association and co-education.
I know that the house is hoping to prorogue today, so I propose to take up no more time with this department. I have tried to say
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration all I want to say at the moment. I believe we are all interested in doing the best to promote the kind of immigration we believe will build up the kind of Canada that we hope will develop in the future.

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