Mr. Speaker, on the
occasion of the celebration of the king's birthday-
Mr. Speaker, on the
occasion of the celebration of the king's birthday-
Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
I am sorry to interrupt my hon. friend, but 1 think we each had the same thought in our minds. As hon. members are aware, to-day has been fixed by proclamation for the observance in Canada of His Majesty's birthday. The anniversary of His Majesty's birthday does not actually come until December 14, but it is being celebrated in Great Britain on Thursday the 12th of this month. However, to-day being fixed for the observance in Canada, I take it it will be the wish of all hon. members that we begin to-day's proceedings with the singing of the national anthem. I suggest accordingly.
Whereupon the members of the house rose and sang God Save the King.
Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
May I be permitted to
add to the file partly tabled a day or two ago some additional correspondence which has passed between the premier of Ontario and myself.
Mr. J. T. THORSON (Selkirk) moved that the third report of the special committee on war expenditures presented to the house on June 4, be now concurred in.
Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):
I understood that there was
to be some discussion on this. It is my understanding that the work of one of the subcommittees is not quite complete. If it would be agreeable to the chairman or the members it would be a matter of great convenience if this discussion could be postponed until to-morrow.
I am quite agreeable to that.
Hon. J. E. MICHAUD (Minister of Fisheries) moved:
That the fourth and final report of a special committee on the defence of Canada regulations, presented to the house on the 4th instant, be now concurred in.
He said: Since very little of this report has been brought to the attention of the public it might be appropriate to say a few words by way of explanation.
As hon. members of this house know, the defence of Canada regulations are issued under the authority of the War Measures Act for the protection of the realm and the safety of the state, for the efficient prosecution of the war, and to protect Canada and her people from the activities of the enemy. The responsibility for administration of these regulations rests with the government and has been entrusted to the heads of various departments: the Minister of Justice, the Secretary of State, the Minister of National Defence, and, in some respects, the Minister of Transport. The regulations provide for protection against those who would give themselves to espionage activities or acts likely to assist the enemy.
The reasons for these regulations have been given to the public on many occasions; and of course, being rules passed during war time, in their nature and operation they are restrictive of the general liberties of the subject. Because of that fact, in some quarters they have not been altogether accepted, and in many instances have been criticized. The regulations were passed the day following the declaration of war, and have been in force ever since. During the last session a committee was appointed which studied the regulations and recommended certain amendments which were thought desirable in view of existing circumstances. Again this year,
Defence of Canada Regulations
on March 4, the house appointed a committee to look further into the regulations and report to the house as to what it might be advisable to suggest to His Excellency the Governor General by way of amendment. The committee held twenty-four meetings; a subcommittee was appointed, and the final report of the committee was made on June 4, appearing in Votes and Proceedings of that date.
The principal recommendations contained in that report were made for the purpose of giving the assurance that the administration of such regulations would afford full protection to those who might be affected by them; but before the final report was made an interim report was presented on April 3, containing suggested amendments to rules 26A, 26B and 37A, which amendments were accepted immediately by his excellency and at once implemented. The effect of these amendments was that persons who are nationals of and who were born in Czechoslovakia should be excluded from the categoiy of enemy aliens. The report was concurred in and adopted by the house.
During the course of its deliberations the committee was fortunate in having appear before it Mr. Alexander Patterson, his majesty's commissioner of prisons for Great Britain, who happened to be in Canada in connection with the internees sent to this country from Britain and who gave your committee valuable information as to the manner in which similar regulations were administered in Great Britain.
Your committee has recommended important amendments to regulation 15. If hon. members will refer to the defence of Canada regulations they will find that regulation 15 reads:
The Secretary of State of Canada may make provision by order for preventing or restricting the publication in Canada of matters as to which he is satisfied that the publication, or, as the case may be, the unrestricted publication, thereof would or might be prejudicial to the safety of the state or the efficient prosecution of the war, and an order under this paragraph may contain such incidental and supplementary provisions as may appear to the Secretary of State to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the order including provisions for securing that documents, pictorial representations, photographs or cinematograph films shall, before publication, be submitted or exhibited to such authority or person as may be specified in such order.
The Secretary of State is entrusted with the duty and obligation of prohibiting the publication of pamphlets or other documentary propaganda which may be subversive, and he
has the responsibility of declaring that such publications or newspapers are carrying on subversive activities. Some people, however, think this power might be subject to abuse; that it is altogether too much power to be given to one person, and that there is danger that such power might be used-not by the present incumbent of the office, but by possible successors-to restrict the publication of documents which could not be considered subversive. Therefore the committee has considered it advisable to recommend that the Secretary of State be authorized to call in someone to pass upon his orders when those concerned felt justified in appealing from his decision.
If the report of the committee is adopted, the following will be added to regulation 15:
(3) Any person against whom an order is made under this section may take objection to such order to. a committee appointed by the Minister of Justice to consist of a person who holds or has held high judicial office.
(4) When objection is taken, the functions of such committee shall be to consider and make recommendations to the Secretary of State with respect to any objections against such order which are duly made to the committee by the person to whom such order relates.
(5) Notice of objection shall be made to the Secretary of State within fourteen days from the date of service of the order in question, which order shall contain a provision notifying the person of his right to make objection and shall refer to the publication or publications in respect of which the order has been made.
(6) On receipt of any such notice of objection, the Secretary of State shall forthwith notify such committee who shall make arrangements for the hearing of such objection.
In the event of the adoption of these recommendations the person or persons affected by the suppression of publications would have the right to object to the order of the Secretary of State, such objection to be heard by a person occupying or having occupied high judicial office. His report would be made to the Secretary of State.
A further recommendation of some importance suggests the repeal of regulation 22, and the substitution of another section. Hon. members are no doubt aware that section 21 provides for the detention of persons who are believed to be carrying on subversive activities. This regulation applies to British subjects, and the onus is placed upon the Minister of Justice of dealing with the liberty of such persons. Strong exception has been taken to the procedure which has heretofore been followed in dealing with these persons. Some critics have gone so far as to say that no such person should be arrested, detained or interned, without first having been tried as
Dejence of Canada Regulations
to the justification for such detention. The committee has found that in the past, while there has been no abuse in the administration of these regulations, there might have been some justification in the minds of some people for apprehension as to t'he safety of persons who might have been detained without just cause. The committee recommends therefore slight changes in procedure, so that assurance may be given to the public that those who are detained will have full opportunity of appealing from the detention order made by the Minister of Justice. Under the amendment they may have their cases reviewed, and are given the opportunity to offer evidence in support of their contentions.
Heretofore an appeal from an order of detention was made to a committee of one, and it was stipulated that such person must hold high judicial office. It has been claimed that this provision is not wide enough, and that the tribunal hearing an appeal should consist of more than one person. The committee recommends therefore that it consist of three persons, the chairman being a person holding or having held high judicial office.
Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):
No; the word "high" has been eliminated.
Yes, that is correct. The expression "high judicial office" applies only to regulation 15. In regulation 22 the word "high" has been eliminated, and the chairman may now be a person holding judicial office.
Perhaps it would be well if I were to place on record the regulation suggested in substitution for the present regulation 22. The committee recommends:
That regulation 22 be repealed and that the following regulation, to be numbered 22, be substituted therefor:
22. (1) Any person aggrieved by the making of an order against him under the powers conferred by the last preceding regulation may make his objection to an advisory committee as provided in this regulation.
(2) For the purpose of this regulation the Minister of Justice shall appoint one or more advisory committees, each to consist of three persons, to consider and make recommendations to him with respect to any objections against an order made under the last preceding regulation. The number of committees appointed shall, in the opinion of the Minister of Justice, be adequate to deal promptly with the oases arising in the different parts of Canada.
(3) The chairman of each committee shall be nominated by the Minister of Justice and shall be a person who holds or has held judicial office.
(4) As soon as possible after detention under an order made under the provisions of the last preceding regulations, the person agninst whom the order is made shall in every case be informed
of the general grounds on which he is detained and notice of his detention shall, where possible and not contrary to the public interest, be given to his family or such person as he may request.
(5) It shall be the duty of the Minister of Justice to secure that every person detained as aforesaid is informed of his right to make an objection under this regulation.
(6) A person desiring to make an objection shall deliver to the person having his custody a written notice of objection, signed by the objector, within thirty days from the date of such detention or such further time as the Minister of Justice in his discretion may allow, and a true copy of such notice shall forthwith be forwarded by the person aforesaid to the Minister of Justice for transmission to the chairman of a committee.
(7) The chairman on receipt of such notice of objection shall give such directions as may be convenient and necessary for the prompt and just disposition of the objection.
(8) It shall be the duty of the chairman to inform the objector within a reasonable time before the hearing of the grounds on which the order has been made against him, and, in order to enable him to present his case, to furnish him with as full particulars of the reasons for such order as in the opinion of the chairman the circumstances permit, and such particulars shall be further supplemented by the committee at the hearing by giving the objector all such further particulars as it shall deem necessary and advisable.
(9) The objector may be represented by counsel, solicitor or agent.
(10) The hearing may take place at ,any place and it may be adjourned from time to time as the committee shall determine. The Minister of Justice shall cause to be put before the committee all the information about such person available to the minister except such as is not in the public interest to disclose.
(11) Where the Minister of Justice has referred a recommendation of an advisory committee to the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in order that the latter may have an opportunity of putting such further material as he may desire before the minister, the commissioner shall submit such material within a delay of fifteen days or such further time as the minister may allow.
(12) The chairman or any member of a committee may administer oaths, and a committee may receive and accept such evidence and information on oath, affidavit or otherwise as m its discretion it may deem fit and proper.
(13) A committee shall have all the powers and authority of a commissioner appointed under part I of the Inquiries Act, chapter 99 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927.
(14) The Minister of Justice may make further rules as to the manner in which objections against an order ,as aforesaid may be made and 'disposed of.
(15) The committee shall consider and make recommendations on any matter arising under these regulations which may be referred to it by the Minister of Justice.
These are the main recommendations made to the house by the committee in connection with regulations 15 and 22.
Defence of Canada Regulations
A minor amendment is suggested to regulation 39, which has to do with the spreading of reports or the making of statements prejudicial to the public interest or the carrying on of the war. A recommendation is made in respect to persons who "aot in a manner prejudicial" to his majesty or who .nterferes with the success of his majesty's forces. A recommendation is made in connection with regulation 58, covering the forfeiture of articles seized by the police and providing that forfeiture and destruction of such articles may be ordered by the Attorney General of Canada or the attorney general of any province.
A recommendation is made that internees be segregated according to their classification. A recommendation is made 'hat internees be given the privilege of receiving visitors provided that it is not against the public interest. The committee also recommends that before a person is taken to a detention camp he should be detained in the gaol or other place of confinement nearest to his place of residence.
It is hoped that these recommendations will be accepted by the house. It is true that in some respects they would seem to change the condition of affairs which has hitherto existed. The committee recommends that the chairman of each committee shall be a person who holds or has held judicial office. It has been brought to our attention that in Great Britain all the members of the committees are laymen and that it might be possible that a superior court judge or a judge of the high court would find it difficult at times to preside permanently.
I move that the report of the committee be adopted.
What did the committee find with regard to naturalization and deportation?
The committee did not have much time to go into those matters, but studied them sufficiently to be able to report that it would appear that the naturalization and immigration laws would not need to be amended at the present time, because they are not being used to any considerable extent. Before the war is over, however, it is possible that they may have to be revised.
The committee recommends:
Your committee has received some evidence and has investigated these two important subjects in part only and, notwithstanding the fact that your committee has held a great many meetings, including on occasions two meetings a day. the limited time at our command has made it impossible to devote the time to these subjects which they require in order to enable a proper report to be made to the house.
Your committee therefore respectfully begs to recommend that at the next session of the house the law relating to naturalization and deportation and matters incidental thereto be the subject matter of a reference to a committee of the house.
The committee felt that the law with respect to naturalization will have to be amended, in respect to procedure if not in principle. The same is true with respect to the law having to do with immigration and deportation. In view of changing conditions and the possible influx of immigration after the war, the committee thought it might be well that a committee of the house should be set up at the next session, or later if necessary, to study these two subjects exclusively.
That would be separate from any committee studying the defence of Canada regulations?
The report recommended that another committee of the house be chosen to study these two subjects.