I am only stating my own view's and speak what I believe to be the truth. The hon. gentleman can state his views later. I am not complaining about his views. He can have his views as far as I am concerned, and I do not care what his views are.
I am speaking as a Canadian born in this country. I am a Canadian, but I also am a British subject. They are both the same and always have been. The minister must surely
be the greatest discoverer since Jacques Cartier and John and Sebastien Cabot because he has discovery that a Canadian citizen is a British subject. A Canadian citizen has always been a British subject.
Who is asking for this bill? We do not know. If the government put the bill through they will live to regret it. It may satisfy some people in the country, but I would point out that we all owe allegiance to one sovereign and one empire. British citizenship is the greatest thing in the world.
Just look at this bill. It says that a person born in Hamilton or St. Catharines of Canadian parents is a British citizen. Everyone knows that without being told. We have all been Canadians and British subjects, ever since the treaty of Paris. This bill should be sent to the archives-earth to earth, dust to dust and ashes to ashes, in the sure and certain hope that it will never be resurrected. It can only cause the widest division amongst the people of this country when unity is what is wanted at this time. We were Canadians before. We were Canadians and British in the war of 1783, when our splendid citizens from Quebec did so much, in the war of 1812, the Northwest rebellion, the South African war, and the two other wars in our generation.
The bill provides that a British subject not previously resident in Canada will have to live in Canada for five years before becoming a Canadian. Aliens who fought against us in this war are treated the same as those men of other dominions who served in the forces with us; before they will be eligible to become Canadian citizens they must live here five years. The bill requires a British subject not formerly resident here to go through the same formalities as an alien to become a Canadian subject.
This is, in my opinion, one of the most untimely, un-needed, mischievous bills introduced into this parliament for a long time. It is separatism in excelsis. It will cause widespread disunity and resentment. It is a glori-ficatipn of one class at the expense of another, something which should1 never be allowed to happen; it is political first, last and all the time. Why is it put forward at a time like this? In my opinion-and I have read a number of speeches made throughout Canada during the last election-it grows out of the last two elections; it is just window-dressing, there is a whole lot of shadowjboxing in it, and it is of the nature of vote-hunting propaganda. It is strange that some of those outside this house who are supporting this bill seem to favour a republic in Canada similar to what South Africa and Eire want,
In my opinion this bill should not have been introduced at the present time. Section 25 speaks of a Canadian citizen as a British subject. Who ever said he was not? I am surprised that any minister from Ontario would introduce such a measure into the house. The bill states that people born in Canada or people from Great Britain already in Canada shall be known as Canadians. I never knew that to be questioned before. I am a Canadian and also a British subject; they are both the same, and we need no bill like this to make them so. To be able to say, "I am a British subject," means something, because if you were a British subject on the seas and produced a British passport, it guaranteed a safe journey to your journey's end. British supremacy on the seas saved the world in four centuries-those of Philip of Spain, Louis XIV, Napoleon, and twice in our genration against Germany. Are we to lose all this now for the sake of a meaningless bill?
When St. Paul was before the centurion he said to him, "I am a Roman citizen," The episode is told in the book of Acts, chapters 22 to 24. He was then sent to the chief captain, and also to the high priest; afterwards he was brought before the security council, or t'he council of state, as they called it in those days. When they heard him they took him into the great hall, and when he appealed to Caesar they sent him over to Rome. In those days to say, "I am a Roman citizen," meant something. I say these things in no spirit of exclusiveness. I know a large number of the foreign-born in Toronto, and they are among our best and most distinguished citizens; I am anxious that they Shall have fair treatment in connection with all our future policies; for I recognize, while I am a member of the house, no racial or religious considerations; such things are out of place in the House of Commons.
A grave warning has been issued in relation to the principles of a bill of this kind. It is contained in an address by the ex-Prime Minister of Canada, Viscount Bennett, and will be found, I believe, in the library. It was delivered by Viscount Bennett to the Royal Society of Arts on June 3, 1942. In a foreword prepared by Mr. Patrick Donner, one of the leading and ablest members of the British House of Commons, it is stated that Viscount Bennett gave
... a grave warning that the problem of finding machinery to secure a common foreign policy for the British empire is still unsolved . . . He begins with a very full statement of the constituent parts of the empire-dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandated territories, et cetera; goes on to trace the development of domjniou status and gives the history of the imperial conference. He emphasizes the large
number of subsidiary empire conferences on such matters as copyright, patents, forestry, education, cables and wireless communication, and so forth, but comes back to the inadequacy of the means for securing a common foreign policy. Speaking of the ten years prior to 1942, he observes:
"True, there have been consultation and discussion on foreign policy, but such policy has been the policy of the United Kingdom, and while generally speaking the dominions have been advised and consulted, circumstances made it almost impossible for them to do other than agree."
The foreword continues:
Lord Bennett argues that nothing in the Statute of Westminster alters the law made clear in the case of Williams v. Howarth (reported 1905) that there is only one king ruling over the empire and not a separate king for each dominion. He accordingly makes it clear that in his view the neutrality of Eire is unconstitutional and would otherwise potentially imply "an obviously impossible and ridiculous situation." He asks pertinently: "Can the legations of warring enemies of the British commonwealth of nations be legally or honourably maintained within the territory of that commonwealth?"
The ease cited by Viscount Bennett is relevant to the matters now under discussion.
This bill is going to cause a lot of trouble.
I repeat, British subjects coming from other parts of the empire, including the mother country, are to be treated as though they were outsiders and aliens; and the impression has gone abroad in the empire, and, indeed, in France as well, that the people who supplied our two great racial stocks are not wanted here, and that if they try to get in ' they will have to line up at immigration offices and take their chance and reside here for a long time before they can become citizens or are allowed to vote.
The first schedule to the bill, may I point out, refers to some countries which are not in the British empire at the present time. In one, Eire, a republic has been set up, one of the so-called dominions. In the schedule it is called "Ireland"; it is not that at all. The schedule speaks of "the United Kingdom". It should be "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", and "Eire" should be substituted for Ireland, for Eire is not a dominion; it has already set up a republic.
I do not know that I need say anything further. I have received a number of protests against this bill. I tell you this, regarding citizenship of the empire, that unless the dominions hang together they are going to hang separately, because none of them is capable of "going it alone", either in respect of citizenship or any other matter, and Canada
will have little to say at the peace table. I believe in what Mr. Churchill said at Fulton, Missouri:
Let no man underrate the abiding power of the British, empire and commonwealth. Because you see forty-six millions on our island harassed about their food supply, or because we have difficulty restarting our industries and export trade after six years of passionate war effort, do not suppose that we shall not come through these dark years of privation as we have come through the glorious years of agony, or that half a century from now you will not see seventy or eighty millions of Britons spread about the world and united in defence of our traditions, our way of life and of the world causes you and we espouse.
I quote also from Lieutenant-General Montgomery:
We must maintain a strong and united British empire. The empire has great responsibilities. Much of the world looks to us to give a lead in solving the many problems that lie ahead. We must give that lead, and we must shoulder these responsibilities. To do this we must always be strong so that never again can the tyrant consider that he can safely twist the lion's tail. Xo tyrant can ignore a strong British empire which stands for freedom and justice.
In conclusion, let me say simply this. I have been in this house for a great many years and during all that time I have tried to speak what I believe to be the truth temperately and moderately. I am opposed to this bill. It is not needed at present. While I have great respect for my hon. friends to the left, I suggest that there are three views, the right view, your own view and we must consider and respect the other fellow's views, and I have always tried to follow that principle. One must be interested not only in his own ideas but in the views of others, and must endeavour to find what the right views are. I believe I have expressed the views of a very large number of the Canadian people regarding this bill. Even if we wanted this bill, this is the wrong time to introduce it, because it will cause disunity and will satisfy no one. It is meaningless and it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to enforce it. Elaborate machinery will have to be set up and already our judges are overburdened with work, with divorce cases and other litigation. Now we are going to pass an act requiring every citizen to register before he can be regarded as a citizen. In my opinion it will lead to endless confusion and before long the government will regret that it ever had anything to do with it.
Topic: CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic: NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OF ALIENS
The bill which we have to study and examine is one which, in my opinion, will engage the attention not only of this country, not only of neighbouring countries such as the United States, but of all other countries to which we
are bound by ties either political, diplomatic or commercial. We are considering a bill which is extremely important. Indeed, I would call it a halting place in the life of the Canadian nation.
I wish to comment briefly on the bill and to refer to some of the principles involved. Then ft would be useful, I think, to analyse the effects of the bill on our country and on our relations with other nations. This I shall try to do, and then I shall attempt to draw certain conclusions or lessons from the bill, having regard to the future of Canada.
The history and the origin of the bill are particularly interesting. Since it is legislation dealing with Canadian citizenship it will be necessary, if we are to study it properly, to look at its sources and for that purpose to go back to the birth of the country. That, however, I do not intend to do. It would not be of any benefit whatever in the purely practical study which I wish to undertake.
To give a rapid summary of the matter I would say this. During the French regime there obviously was no law on Canadian citizenship. Canada was then a French colony; all French people who came to settje and establish themselves here were French citizens and remained such, and their children born in Canada remained French subjects. When this country was conquered by Great Britain it became simply a colony of the British crown and did not constitute a separate country. It formed a single British territory, part of which became later the United States of America, with the exception of one portion, Louisiana, which remained French until 1803 when it was sold to the United States by the French.
In 1783 the United States of America was formed and in 1812 the frontiers between the United States and Canada were fixed by special treaty. During all that period our country enacted no law relating to Canadian nationality, the initiative being left entirely to the mother country, and it is only in 1814 that one can find traces of the first Canadian legislation relating to nationality. However, those first laws enacted by Canada had only local scope and influence. In 1867 Canada became a dominion by virtue of the British North America Act and retained for a long time all basic laws of the mother country, which it took care to approve systematically
In 1881 our country promulgated a really important law which could then clearly 'be distinguished from those enacted by the imperial parliament. That was the Naturalization Act, 23 and 24, George V, chapter 49. But it was soon discovered that this new
legislation providing for local naturalization was creating serious inconveniences not only in Canada but in the other dominions. At the imperial conferences of 1907 and 1911 Sir Wilfrid Laurier brought these difficulties to the attention of the other dominions and sug-gesed the adoption of a uniform law on imperial naturalization. The principle was accepted by all parties and the new law was enacted at the same time by Canada and Great Britain. As a matter of fact, it was adopted first by Canada and it was adopted just a few months later by Great Britain.
In our statutes this law is known as "An act respecting British nationality, naturalization and aliens,'" and it is in substance the same as the British law, which is called "an act to consolidate and amend enactments relating to British nationality and the status of aliens." This British law is chapter 17 of the private and general acts of Great Britain. All the other dominions accepted and adopted the same legislation, but they did so only many years after the first world war. As a matter of fact, Ireland never adopted such legislation. Ireland enacted its own constitution in 1935. Before this date, in 1914, Canada promulgated in 1910, for the first time, a law mentioning the words "Canadian citizenship." It is the act respecting immigration. That special law, frequently amended, has become chapter 93 of our revised statutes, and one can still find in it the same definition of "Canadian citizen" as in the previous law which I have mentioned, the . law of 1910.
This' law on immigration is still in force to-day. I stated a moment ago that in 1914 our country was the first among all the nations of the commonwealth, including Great Britain, to adopt the imperial law of naturalization, which was later ratified .by all the other dominions of the commonwealth, except Ireland. Then, until 1921, there was no important legislation affecting nationality or citizenship in Canada enacted by our parliament. In 1921 our country enacted the Canadian Nationals Act, which is to be repealed by the present bill.
This act was adopted, as mentioned by the Secretary of State (Mr. Martin), on the occasion of the selection of judges to represent Canada at the permanent court of international justice. It seemed to be necessary, and I think rightly so, to distinguish those judges from those who were appointed by Great Britain and those who were appointed by the other dominions. I submit that it was the first time a real distinction was ever made by our parliament between the subjects
[DOT]of Great Britain, the other dominions and those of Canada. Until then there was only one British subject. By that new legislation, the Canadian Nationals Act, a British subject [DOT]who is at the same time called a Canadian national, is created. The question then arose whether that new legislation did not have the effect of provoking the creation of a double nationality for all the nationals of the dominions of the British commonwealth, for I must add that all the other dominions adopted a law similar to that of the Canadian Nationals Act. As I said, the question arose as to whether or not this did not have the effect of provoking double nationality.
This interesting legal question was studied very carefully and was dealt with by many authorities on constitutional law. It was dealt with and capably discussed by my former legal partner, Mr. Chateau guay Perrault, in his book "Nationality", published in 1939. This book was published after Mr. Perrault obtained a doctorate of law from the university of Montreal based on a thesis he had written. I had the great pleasure of attending the event. In this book Mr. Perrault ably discussed these questions, and he came to the conclusion that this unusual legislation cannot effect a division of nationality, but is, as he calls it, rather the qualification of a new nationality. In other words, the Canadian person of 1921 when this Canadian Nationals Act was adopted was not acquiring a second nationality; he was only adding a new quality to his nationality as a British subject by becoming a British subject of Canadian national denomination. Such was not the case with the people of the Irish Free State because they never adopted the imperial naturalization act. One might think that as far as Ireland is concerned they actually acquired a double nationality, at least so far as the British commonwealth is concerned.
From 1921 until the present time Canada has not adopted any other law affecting nationality, except in 1937 when special legislation was enacted to prevent Canadians from enrolling in the Spanish war. In that act respecting foreign enlistment, chapter 32, I George VI, 1937, a distinction was made between a British subject and a Canadian national. Such in short is the history of this legislation and the sources of bill No. 7, which I shall now study briefly.
The bill is entitled, "An act respecting citizenship, nationality, naturalization and status [DOT]of aliens", and is to be known as the Canadian Citizenship Act. One immediately realizes, Mr. Speaker, that Canada breaks the unity of legislation on nationality in the British commonwealth, and that our country
is. swerving away from the beaten path to proclaim its own independence, citizenship amongst other things. Until now in the whole British commonwealth the legislation was uniform, for everywhere the imperial law of 1914 had been adopted except in the Irish Free Sthte. It is my humble opinion that so far as that particular country is concerned Ireland can be no longer considered a dominion, because in 1934 it adopted its own constitution by which it declared that Ireland is a sovereign, independent and democratic state.
Topic: CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic: NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OF ALIENS
Yes. It is a fait accompli. As far as international law is concerned, a situation of fact soon becomes a situation of law. I think it would be interesting to follow in the future the development of that country from the constitutional point of view.
It is now Canada's policy to proclaim its own distinct nationality and citizenship. I said a moment ago that Canada was breaking the unity of legislation in the British commonwealth. It does so first my repealing the Naturalization Act of 1914 by a special section of the bill, and, second, by setting aside the Canadian Nationals Act. There is another section of the bill which is important, and the principle which it contains is categorical. A Canadian citizen is a British subject; but a British subject is not necessarily a Canadian citizen. On this point I must say I was very much impressed with the argument of the hon. member for Kindersley (Mr. Jaenicke), an argument which he succeeded in expounding clearly in spite of numerous interruptions. The hon. member has voiced the opinion that the special provision of the bill which enacts that a Canadian citizen is a British subject is ultra vires, because in our legislation we have no right to say who is a British subject. I concur in his conclusions that this special section should be changed, and I intended to offer the very same suggestion but for some other reason. I do not intend to discuss whether that special legislation is beyond the powers of this parliament or not, although I might say that if such a contention were true it could be said also of numerous other provisions of the bill. Moreover, the British subject was defined by parliament in the Naturalization Act, and such a definition would also have been ultra vires if, as my hon. friend contends, it is up to the British parliament alone to say who is a British subject.
My reason for voicing objections to the special section which provides that a Canadian citizen is a British subject is different, although it may be qualified as also originat-
ing from a legalistic mind. But when it comes to the drafting of legislation I submit that it is not being legalistic to ask from our government that the legislation under study be prepared in accordance with our constitutional rights. That is what my hon. friend contended. As far as I am concerned I do not believe that my reasons for opposing that special legislation will likewise be considered legalistic.
Topic: CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic: NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OF ALIENS
Yes, that special provision. After examining the present measure very carefully I have noted-and that is why I roust concur in the conclusion that this provision should foe changed-that the Naturalization Act being repealed, there is no more definition in our statutes of a British subject, no other definition having ever been given other than the one contained in paragraph (j) of section 2 of that act. There is then every reason to conclude, if in our statutes we have no definition at all of a British' subject, that this section of the present bill has no practical sense whatever. For these reasons and remembering also the suggestion which was made by the Secretary of State who has asked us to make suggestions for the drafting of this legislation, and also because I wish that my participation in this debate be somewhat constructive, I concur in the opinion. I wish to make a suggestion that has, in my view, the effect of giving a more precise and practical sense to that disposition of the present bill which provides that a Canadian citizen is a British subject.
Since this bill has for its purpose the affirmation of our sovereignty; since this legislation seems to be intended to proclaim better our identity in the British commonwealth of nations, as Canada wishes to distinguish its entity from that of the other countries of the British group, there is a very simple way to attain that aim, by simply modifying this ambiguous disposition contained in the bill.
It is useless to say that a Canadian citizen is a British subject, since nowhere in our statutes is there a definition of a British subject. I might be told that anyone knows what a British subject is, that a British subject is a subject of His Majesty the King. But, Mr. Speaker, we must also keep in mind the rights we have acquired as a result of the imperial conferences and the statute of Westminster. I hope we would not wish to enact legislation which would be retrogressive simply because it lacked the necessary clarity. We know the aim of the government is precisely to distinguish a Canadian subject of His Majesty from any
other subject of His Majesty. We know also that the purpose of this legislation is to inform the rest of the world of our sovereignty as a nation of free individuals. Finally we know that through this bill the government desires to give us a name and to define clearly, once and for all, our national status. Therefore, why should we not eliminate all ambiguities; why not clarify that section of the bill which would seek to achieve precisely that aim? By declaring that a Canadian citizen is a British subject the present bill is contradictory, in my opinion, to the status which we have thus far acquired as a nation. I am absolutely convinced that no one in this house will deny that His Majesty the King is the king of Canada. I am further convinced that no one in this country will contend that it is not to His Majesty the King of Canada that we owe our allegiance. I therefore suggest with the hon. member for Qutremont (Mr. Rinfret) to the Secretary of State, who has moved the second reading of the bill, that the ambiguous sections of this legislation be clarified, and accordingly I would recommend that it be declared in the bill that a Canadian citizen is a subject of His Majesty the King of Canada.
Some time ago I was discussing the consequences of the Canadian Nationals Act of 1921 in relation to the Naturalization Act of 1914 in so far as duality of nationality is concerned. With the adoption of the present bill I believe there can be no question of a double nationality for the Canadian people. Up to the present we have been British subjects and nationals of the Dominion of Canada; now we become Canadian citizens. We remain with only one nationality, but at least this time it will be ours, the Canadian nationality.
The other sections of the bill are proof that such a nationality will not be granted to anybody simply upon reqhest, since the conditions necessary to acquire it are strict and onerous; and I think that is well. Even the British subjects of Great Britain and the other dominions will have to submit themselves to these requirements, and that is only fair and just. I shall not undertake to discuss the conditions or the offences provided in the bill which will lead to loss of Canadian citizenship. Such prescriptions are contained in the major part of the bill; they are clear and concise, and cannot bring any confusion. In my opinion, that is the economy of this legislation which, as I said a moment ago, constitutes an important step in the life of the Canadian nation.
I wish now to define briefly the consequences and results of this important legislation. There is not the slightest doubt that by asking this house to adopt this bill the government
continues, with the same constancy and spirit, its progressive march forward; that it is following with the same resolution the very same policy in this country that it followed also at the imperial conferences. The opinions expressed at the imperial conferences, and the legislation following them, clearly established that the Canadian government, at least when it was represented by the party to which I belong, has always endeavoured to work with wisdom and prudence but also with firm determination toward the emancipation and independence of our great nation. Liberty and independence are two of the privileges dearest to peoples and individuals, and they also constitute basic qualities which are indispensable to the influence of a nation. Since the beginning of its already long history our country has been twice under the tutorship of two great nations which were leading the world because of their greatness and power. The descendents of those two great races still constitute a mighty portion of the actual population of the Canadian nation. Little by little, while it has grown stronger and more vigorous, our country has freed itself from those tutorships which paralysed its efforts and great enterprises.
Canada did not break away with violence from the tutorship of Great Britain; it simply left that protection as the fruit falls from the branch when it is ripened. This right to sovereignty was gained by Canada gradually, and it has just been consecrated by the effort our country has put forth to safeguard that civilization to which it wanted to belong and which it wanted to protect and defend. That right Canada may affirm with pride in the sacrifice of all those Canadians who fought; it may proclaim it with honour on the graves of those of her sons who died to defend it.
I am proud that our government has done so much to prove not only to Canadians themselves but to the world at large that today our country is sufficiently great and powerful to take care of its own national destinies. By asking our people to adopt this bill Canada is going forward with vision and certainty toward its progress and greatness. Thanks to the Canadian government, a new citizen is born in the world. That citizen is now very well known and regarded. That citizen is inferior to no other because of the greatness of his origins and the pureness of his blood. That citizen is already great, and has proved to be noble and generous. He will be received everywhere in the world, when he shows his new credentials and passport, with great admiration and respect. I heard the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Cfruneh) say it has meant a great deal to say
that we are British subjects, but I still maintain that it is also a great thing to be able to say that we are Canadian citizens. The hon. member also said that St. Paul one day declared, "I am a Roman citizen." I do not want to get in wrong with the hon. gentleman, but I would remind him that what St. Paul said was, "Civis Romanus sum."
Topic: CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic: NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OF ALIENS
I think they are both accepted as St. Paul. How many Canadians, Mr. Speaker, dreamed of that memorable day when we would acquire our Canadian citizenship; and that day has finally come, thanks to this government. , The proclamation of our Rationality is a definite and peremptory affirmation of our complete autonomy.
But, Mr. Speaker, to such a proclamation gerat privileges are attached, of which the greatest undoubtedly is that of allowing our country to enter international councils as a distinct and free entity. To those great privileges are attached serious and important corresponding tasks whose consequences cannot be ignored either by those who govern or by the people at large. Since the government has decided to create Canadian nationality and citizenship, it is to be hoped that it will always realize the value and price of such a title and privilege and impress it upon others who may wish to acquire it. Those who govern this country should always be very carefid and upon their guard not to award too generously and without the necessary. discretion and discernment such a privilege, which is the greatest any country can offer. To-day this warning becomes of greater significance, in view of recent events which caused the creation of a royal commission to investigate the activities of certain agents who are charged with having given secret information to a foreign power. Many of those were people who were admitted to Canada and who were not British subjects by origin. In the near future a great number of persons will be knocking at our doors asking the right to come in, the right to live with us and the right to acquire.our nationality. It is the duty of this government to be >
cautious and circumspect, and even parsimonious, in awarding this precious privilege.
The example of certain European countries must be our guide. I could recall the errors of France who was too generous and too hospitable, who was receiving with open arms all those who were asking for refuge and assistance and who was giving them the right of citizenship without always going through the necessary investigations and inquiries.
Since our government knows the value of the title it confers in giving Canadian citizenship, it should always be assured and convinced that the person asking for it deserves such a privilege and that he will become a real Canadian valuable to the country and to the community at large.
The Department of Justice in the United States has understood the importance of that question and it decided some time ago to launch a campaign of national education on American citizenship. In a pamphlet published by that department in 1943, entitled, "Introduction to citizenship education," I find these important remarks which should be a warning to all Canadians:
And so, in the United States of America, it must be good-bye to the old, easy days when the assimilation of those who came to us was scarcely even recognized as a problem. Not that we shall seek to make it hard to become an American citizen. God forbid that we should ever place needless formalities or raise artificial barriers before men who love our way of life and seek to share it fully! But safety for our nation in a dangerous world and safety for the alien within our borders demand alike a humane, liberal, carefully thought-through approach to the problem. In free America we dare not cut any man off from the goals of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" merely because he lacks certain "papers'; but just as surely, we dare not permit any man to endanger our free America.
I come now to the chief point of this speech, to the very reason why I decided to participate in this debate. I ask our government to form and appoint a special committee to study the problems resulting from our new nationality and from the creation and establishment of Canadian citizenship. Such a committee would have a definite aim and a clear purpose.
It would accept the great task of defining for the general benefit of the whole nation, and also for all strangers who will happen to acquire our nationality, the privileges and rights, the obligations and responsibilities; in other words, it would clearly determine the fundamentals of Canadian citizenship. Every Canadian who loves his country and who wishes to see it grow and prosper, would be glad to have a clear, national definition of Canada's ideals and aspirations.
I desire to add that such a committee formed by a group of Canadians of good will could do a useful and practical job. That would be to summarize, with its report in a special book, the conclusions arrived at; such a book would state in brief the principles of Canadian citizenship and would become the code of Canadian citizenship.
I strongly urge my government to take that great and patriotic initiative for the best interests of our country. After all, it seems to me that it is the task of this parliament clearly to define for the future, and in the light of the national situation, the rights and obligations of the newly-born Canadian citizen.
It is obvious now that to-day the people of Canada understand all the advantages and privileges to be derived by living in this fair land of Canada according to a single Canadian ideal. In proclaiming in Canada, in the parliament of the nation, the existence of the Canadian citizen, the government is giving to all the inhabitants of this country wherever they come from or of whatever race, creed or religion, solemn and precious advice. It is asking each and everyone of us not to think any more in narrow and provincial terms; it is demanding that we all elevate our minds and thoughts, and be glorified in acquiring the rights of a citizen; it is asking all Canadians to abandon any restricted and purely racial ideals; it is urging everyone of us to be nothing but real Canadians.
From a book entitled, "For education in a sovereign country," published in 1945 in Ottawa and written by Reverend Father George Simard, I wish to read these few lines:
By examining that question carefully, everything in our country is settled as depending upon 1760, and narrow forms of nationalism are confronting each other since 150 years without the Canadians having yet succeeded in discovering a real formula in which we could find harmony if not a real Canadian peace.
'Things will remain the same as long as the two major races of our nation will not accept to consider Canada, the whole of Canada and nothing else but Canada, as their only country, even if they must keep and maintain certain ties with the European countries from which they originated.
I believe that our government ought to engage immediately and in a practical way in a campaign of national unity to fortify the national structure of our people.
We would be very much in error to ask strangers to come and live with us; we would be very unwise to receive them and ask them to become Canadian citizens if we do not wish to possess the qualities and accept the conditions which must be attached to the title and characteristics of our nationality. We could not grant to anybody a right of Canadian citizenship of which we would not know and accept ourselves the real and definite meaning.
I wish to close, Mr. Speaker, with a note of national pride. All Canadians will be happy, I am sure, to put on for good the
glorious uniform of the free peoples which the government is offering everyone. All will be proud to become in the eyes of the whole world Canadian citizens. I am particularly fortunate in the beginning of my parliamentary life to participate in the adoption of such memorable legislation. I shall draw from that occasion the lessons which impose themselves upon all Canadians. I am proud and happy of this new title of Canadian citizen which our government is awarding me and all the others in my province and my country.
I hope-and this has been said so often that it is a hope which seems sometimes to be completely lost-that the time of our unfortunate national quarrels is definitely ended and that it will be forever forgotten. On the ashes of that painful past, Canada is rising with new power and greatness.
After more than three centuries of toil, effort and struggle, our country wishes now to break, one after another, all her ties, to proclaim her i faith and confidence in herself and in her future. Other legislation, such as that for the adoption of a distinctive Canadian flag, will confirm this new profession of national faith, and I shall be proud to give it my entire support.
Canada left many years ago the humiliating valley of colonialism; she has marched slowly but with firm determination in the thorny path of the conquest of her liberties. With the help of all her people, she has now reached the gates of the City.
Mr. I.IGUORI LACOMBE (Laval-Two Mountains): Mr. Speaker, I am deeply pleased to congratulate the hon. member for Chambly-Rouville (Mr. Pinard) who has delivered a splendid speech, based on a real Canadian spirit.
(Translation): In introducing this bill, the government takes another step towards the independence of Canada. As soon as Canadian citizenship has been proclaimed, we shall have covered a further stage in the achievement of an ideal shared by those who believe that Canada is a nation. Canadian citizenship symbolizes the nation's spirit. Whoever is ashamed of being a citizen of his own country does not deserve the protection of its laws. The bill now before us should have been introduced at the very time when confederation came into being. We are in honour bound to create at last a Canadian mentality and a Canadian citizenship. We should not let the last traces of a narrow colonialism hinder the development of such mentality and citizenship. It must become
known everywhere that Canada has reached her maturity. In this country as well as abroad, Canadians must prou.dly bear their own name and no other. We must personify Canada. No one can glory in personifying a country that is not his own. The refusal to bear its name would be unfair and disloyal to our country. Is there a true-hearted and honourable man who would deny his compatriots and himself the dignity which Canadian citizenship implies. No one but people with a subservient mind can ignore a sacred patriotism achieved through sacrifices, the loyalty and the spirit of justice and freedom of the men who have been the builders of this country.
The material, moral, social and spiritual personification- of a Canadian motherland will never enter the hearts or minds of colonials, because the feelings they harbour are for another land than Canada. Let us respect and honour the motherland by respecting and honouring ourselves. Let us pass this measure which transcends individual selfishness, because it embodies the freedom and the glory of the motherland and her sons. The time has come to give a name suggesting the motherland to every man, woman and child in Canada. There is-no freedom and no glory in concealing her origin and her true name, whether at home or abroad. Canadian citizenship will prevent many acts of treason. It will give to the weak the courage of remaining loyal and honest to their country. Let us sever the last links which carry with them the humiliation of bearing a name that is not our own. Let us hold up our heads and assume again our name and our rank as a nation, We are now a mature nation. We should do nothing that could depreciate and dishonour the nation. We have no right to deny our compatriots and ourselves a name which belongs to us and illustrates the nationality of every one among us. What Canadian citizen would want to be called a pariah or a man without a country, here or anywhere in the world? If such a man exists, I say that he does not deserve to live in this country, or to enjoy the privileges that belong to a Canadian citizen. Is it because favours have been showered on him? Is it because he has enjoyed all the privileges and prerogatives of this country's citizens that he would be ashamed of being a Canadian? I say that such a man is a constant danger to the motherland because his attitude borders on treason. Is there not something tragic in the state of mind of people of that ilk? We do not belong to a civilization lost in some wilderness. We do not want to follow any longer in the wake of the empire. We want to be and remain our own selves. That is the lofty ideal of a whole
nation. Nothing humiliates and debases a people as much as the restriction of its freedom. Let us proclaim before the whole world that Canada is a mature nation and that her people are proud of their distinct nationality which will be consecrated by this measure that I heartily support.
I have had an opportunity of hearing sound arguments on this bill. Some members of this house would like the last trace of the expression "British subject" eliminated from the bill. I agree with them, but I think it is my bounden duty to Canada and to our fellow-citizens to support the principle of this measure which consecrates .Canadian citizenship. In spite of its flaws, this bill evidences a progress which we should acknowledge loyally and without any reservation. Some say a measure supplementing this bill will become necessary as a matter of course. The principle that underlies it is excellent and I should not be justified in opposing it. I am in duty bound to help the evolution of our new prerogatives. I shall do so most willingly, with the conviction that in a country like ours nothing must be left undone when her freedom and sovereignty are at stake.
If I am not mistaken the week which will soon end is the week of national pride. That is why this bill should be passed unanimously. The rights of the citizen will at last be recognized and respected in Canada. Canadian citizenship ought to remove the differences which divide us in this country. Let us confidently hope that those convictions which are at variance with our own will be dissipated by the much nobler and higher ideal of a Canadian nationality and a Canadian motherland. Even in the sphere of politics, the differences which have separated and divided us should vanish before the freedom and sovereignty which are proclaimed in the bill now under consideration.
Topic: CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic: NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OF ALIENS
We have fought for freedom and justice. We have no right to shirk the duty of giving more freedom and justice to Canadian citizens. That is the purpose of the measure which we are asked to support. I shall do so without effort, in the name of the national unity and harmony which I would like to see forever entrenched in this country. I hope no one will protest in the name of colonialism. All true Canadians are looking forward to-day to a revival of an internal pp 'ce based on a Canadian nationality and a Canadian flag. We are used to hearing the partisans of colonialism voice their protests when the issue at stake is our right to self-government. At .a time when Canada must restore its economic and social life, we must advance
determinedly along the path of political and national evolution. Let us not sacrifice on the altar of imperialism, the fruits of many years' suffering.
I believe the time has come to restore in every Canadian citizen the dignity of his rank both in our country and outside, so that he may no longer depend, directly or indirectly, on a foreign power. This bill does not satisfy me entirely, but it nevertheless embodies a principle which is essential to our Canadian nationality. Because of that principle, I have decided to vote in favour of the bill. I do not want my fellow-citizens to retrogress; such a disgrace could be used by our worst enemies to their own advantage. On the contrary, I want them to be respected everywhere. Canadian citizenship is the synthesis of individual political rights.
I positively state that it is up to the legislator to develop in this country a truly national spirit, if Canada is to attain real greatness. The administration is discharging an imperious duty to Canadians and Canada, in giving our citizens a national status. Llenceforth the Canadian citizen will have his distinctive characteristics. His national status will now be recognized both at home and abroad.
I conclude my remarks by quoting section 3 of the Canadian Citizenship Act:
Where, under any act of the parliament of Canada or an order or a regulation made under such act, a person is required to state or declare his national status, any person who is a Canadian citizen under this act may state or declare himself to be a Canadian citizen and his statement or declaration to that effect shall be a good and sufficient compliance with such requirement.
The short title of this act is a proof of the evolution of 'Canadian nationality. I support this bill, hoping that time, which improves and humanizes legislations, will evolve in the case of the measure under consideration, the amendments that will render it perfectly acceptable. I prefer being a Canadian citizen to mourning the loss of my nationality. I. have taken an oath of allegiance to the King of Canada. I am faithful and loyal to His Majesty, and I am proud to serve him in Canada as a Canadian citizen.
Some object to section 26 of the Act which reads as follows: "A Canadian citizen is a British subject".
Does this mean that I should reject this bill just because it contains that clause? I say no. It is true that I should like to see the last vestige of dependence disappear in the matter of Canadian citizenship, but I am
justified in supporting the bill as a whole in view of the principle essential to the Canadian nationality which it establishes.
Topic: CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic: NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OF ALIENS
Further, I shall not adopt an uncompromising attitude and condemn everything worth while which this bill contains merely in order to undertake a dissertation on the advisability or otherwise of section 26. After all, it is better to seek the good in everything, than to constantly complain about possible defects.
Yesterday was Canada's day. To-day is Canadian citizenship day. To-morrow will be national flag's day. How well these measures supplement one another and tighten the bonds between the present and a past marked by greatness and valour! Notwithstanding the presumptuous .protests of a small number of colonial-minded persons who would withhold from their country the right to grow in stature, let us unfurl our sails towards a future in which Canada will be recognized and respected as one of the great nations of the world. Despite the ultra-loyalists and imperialists who prefer tutorship to full nationhood, bondage to liberty, despite the deplorable colonialism shown by those wrho refuse to join in Canada's march of progress towards independence and sovereignty, let us continue with unflinching courage the struggle from which our Canadian citizens will emerge victorious, having attained dignity, individuality and citizenship.
At six o'clock the house took recess.
The house resumed at eight o'clock.
RAILWAY ACT .
Topic: CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic: NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OF ALIENS
I listened the other evening with keen interest to the debate on the second
reading of bill No. 8, to amend the Railway Act, as brought forward in this house by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) on behalf of the sponsor, who was unavoidably absent.
The bill raises an important point, and I think I can sum up pretty -well everything I have to say by stating that there are a number of things to be said in favour of it As framed, it meets the situation referred to by the hon. member for Peel. On the other hand, there are two objections to the bill, and, having these in mind, I think it behooves the house to send the bill to a committee. Before making a motion to that effect, however, there are several facts which I should like to bring out.
The condition referred to by the hon. member for Peel as existing in the city of Toronto and the neighbourhood contiguous thereto is one of which I have been aware for some time. There can be no doubt that in that locality a great deal of' annoyance exists among the citizens living outside the city of Toronto in consequence of the ringing of bells and the blowing of locomotive whistles. Complaints have 'been made to the board of transport commissioners and the Department of Transport from time to time, and I agree with the hon. member for Peel that the situation is certainly not an enviable one, particularly when the health, quiet and peace of mind of residents are concerned, seeing that, as the hon. gentleman stated, some 700 whistles are blown during the course of one day. With the residents there can be nothing but understanding1 and sympathy.
As I have pointed out, however, there are fundamental and technical objections to this bill, and those objections I should like to draw to the attention of the house to-night.
Section 308 of the Railway Act is that section which wiis put in for the purpose of protecting the public from accidents, and it reads:
When any train is approaching a highway crossing at rail level the engine whistle shall be sounded at least eighty rods before reaching such crossing and the bell shall be rung continuously from the time of the sounding of the whistle until the engine has crossed such highway.
There is a definite and clear obligation, placed in the statute, on the part of the railways. That section is the foundation of all actions in damages arising out of accidents or deaths at level crossings. Apart from that statute, there may be, and I believe there is,
a common law liability on the part of the railway if the crossing is not properly protected.
Subsection 2 of this section 308 provides a breakdown and takes away from that basic action which lies against the railway, when it states:
Where a municipal by-law of a city or town prohibits such sounding of the whistle or such ringing of the bell in respect of any such crossing or crossings within the limits of such city or town, such by-law shall, if approved by an order of the board, to the extent of such prohibition, relieve the company and its employees from the duty imposed by this section.
In other words, if the municipality of a city or town by by-law prohibits the sounding of the whistle or the ringing of the bell, and the board approves that by-law, then the company shall be relieved of the obligation. The company shall not be relieved of lia-* bility, however, as the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) intimated the other night in his remarks. It will be relieved only of liability to blow the whistle and ring the bell. .
What the bill purports to do is to cut down still further that statutory obligation on the part of the railway by extending the prohibition to townships and villages contiguous to or near such city or town; and if all the municipalities which are villages and townships and in which there are these level crossings were to pass by-laws of the kind referred to in this bill, then there would be no reason whatever for the existence of section 308. It would have been practically all nullified by these amendments.
I say that by way of a general statement because I believe that parliament will want to see that the rights of the public are protected so far as level crossings are concerned.
In cities and towns where under existing provisions the sounding of a whistle may be prohibited, the speed of trains is restricted both by the provisions of the statute and by the actual necessities of train operation. The speed of motor cars is also restricted as a rule to thirty miles an hour or less. In the open country trains travel at faster rates of speed, sixty and sometimes eighty miles an hour, and in the open country motor cars also travel at faster rates.
In these circumstances the general adaption of the prohibition for which the bill provides, even in only those portions of municipalities adjacent to cities and towns, would increase enormously the risk of accident to those using the highways and add considerably to the dangers of train operation, because a collision between a locomotive and an automobile usually results in death or, at any rate, serious
injury to the occupants of the motor car and sometimes also in injury to the train crew and the passengers when the brakes are applied quickly in an emergency. I make that statement simply to point this out to the house. While the bill seeks to rectify a situation which should be corrected, still in doing that in municipalities contiguous to cities it may create a set of circumstances elsewhere and defeat the very purpose of the bill.
There were one or two things said the other evening by two hon. members who took part in the debate to which I wish to refer. The hon. member for Broadview seemed to complain about the board of transport commissioners generally; he felt they were not performing their duty in cases such as this. I should like to say to him that the obligations of the board of transport commissioners are set out in the Railway Act. It is their duty to enforce the sections of the act as they are brought to their attention. If the hon. gentleman would take the time to look at the annual report of the board of transport commissioners for 1945, which was tabled in this house a few days ago, he would see for himself the scope, work, and operation of that board.
Dealing particularly with the complaint of the hon. gentleman, let me say that the report of the engineering department of the board of transport commissioners indicates that 420 inspections covering the whole dominion were made in 1945. These inspections covered opening of railways for the carriage of traffic; highway crossings; signal protection on highway crossings; bridges; subways; interlocking spans; drainage; private crossings; railway lines in connection with maintenance; signals on swing bridges; fencing; improved view at crossings; investigation and inspection in connection with accidents on railway lines and at highway crossings; automatic block signals; less than a standard clearance and many inspections in connection with projects to provide post-war work. *
The hon. gentleman said that he was in favour of this bill, and yet toward the end of his remarks he at least led me to believe that he was strongly opposed to anything which might tend to create accidents at crossings. That is the very thing which this house should guard against. It should not do anything which, while it may help a group which is deserving of help, may on the other hand tend to affect the great mass of the public by taking away from them certain rights which they already have under the . statute.
The hon. member for Durham (Mr. Stephenson) made certain references to automatic-
signals. He was of the opinion that the government should take steps to instal automatic signals at every level crossing in the country. That is a large order, because the protection referred to by the hon. member would be in addition to that which is already granted under the act. The total number of railway crossings in Canada is 33,396. Of this number only approximately 3,020 are protected by grade separations or some, form of automatic protection such as gates, wig-wags and bells or flashing lights and bells. It is therefore clear to the house that the magnitude of the task becomes apparent.
For many years it has been the practice of the board of transport commissioners in administering the act, where protective devices are directed to be installed, to set aside at places or points where the junction between the highway and the railway is dangerous, forty per cent of the cost of the construction of a device for protection. As a rule, the remainder is made up by an assessment against the railway and the municipality having jurisdiction over the highway. There is no set rule as to the amount which should be assessed against one or the other. That may depend upon the amount of traffic. For instance, if the highway is responsible for the increased traffic it may well be that the board of transport commissioners will assess a greater proportion against the highway than against the railway. On the other hand, if it is the railway which is responsible for the increased traffic the board would act accordingly.
Topic: POWER TO PROHIBIT SOUND SIGNALS AT CROSSINGS IN OR NEAR CITIES AND TOWNS