June 21, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I found it on the basis of the amendment moved just now by the hon. member. If I understand his motion aright it instructs the committee to amend the bill-we will put it in order, and say to amend the report-and to make it read that all guilty of what he describes as political offences, no matter from what country they have come, shall be deportable only after conviction by a jury. Well, I say that virtually all he has urged in favour of the striking out of the original Immigration Act amendment of 1919 is an argument in favour of changing the whole basis of the deportation law in that regard and placing upon the authorities the burden of conviction as a necessary precedent to the deportation of a man even coming- say from Poland. From his own point of view that is consistent, but do we want to alter the whole immigration law in that regard? What I am trying to emphasize is this: it has been the law as long as I can remember that anyone but a British subject coming to this country is deportable without the necessity of an indictment and going through the whole procedure of a criminal prosecution-that is, deportable if in the judgment of immigration officials, concurred in by the minister, he is of a certain undesirable class. And among the undesirable classes is the class known as anarchists, whose professed principles are against government of every kind. We have not, as far as I can remember, ever had a law making it necessary to get a conviction through process of law and the decision of a jury before such a man could be deported if he came from an outside country.

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