May 14, 1946

PC

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HOMUTH:

Whose government is it?

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

Supplementing what the hon. member for Calgary West has said, may I say that I sometimes get a little tired of being brushed off with the remark that it is government policy-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I would call the attention of the hon. member to the rules, which state that a minister is not obliged to answer a question, and to the fact that the

Canadian Citizenship

house has just appointed a committee to consider the affairs of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The hon. member will have an opportunity to ask his question before that committee.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

I was just going to suggest to the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith) that if he comes to me I can give him the answer which the minister was not able to give.

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CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP

NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS


The house resumed from Monday, May 13, consideration in committee of bill No. 7, respecting citizenship, nationality and naturalization and status of aliens-Mr. Martin-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford City) in the chair.


LIB

William Ross Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

When the committee rose last evening it was considering section 17 together with an amendment thereto moved by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre. Shall section 17 (1) carry?

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I was saying a few words on this section when the committee adjourned last night. I wish to continue my remarks, but before going on to deal with the peculiar confusion that seems to exist among the members to my immediate right, where one section is urging that the government give up legislating by order in council and another section is urging that the government continue with it, I want to make reference to a statement made last night by the hon. member for New Westminster. Speaking on this section the hon. member said, as reported at page 1486 of Hansard:

Supposedly the new law did not impose compulsion, but every Japanese family that I knew of registered their children with the Japanese consul. When these people appeared before the committee of this house which sat in 1935 and again in 1936 they were asked to which country they owed allegiance. This was long before there was any question of racial hatred or thought of war. They said without hesitation that they were citizens of Japan.

A number of wild statements of that kind have been made and I think the best thing I can do is to answer the hon. member for New Westminster by quoting a statement made in the committee on the elections and franchise acts which sat in 1936 and 1937, and not in 1935 and 1936. The hon. member for Davenport was questioning one of the witnesses who appeared before the committee, and I quote from the procedings as follows:

Mr. MacNicol: You are Canadian born?

Professor Hayakawa: I might tell you, for

the information of Mr. Reid, who seems to question our loyalty-

Mr. Reid: No; hold on a minute. Just get

away from that. I have never questioned your loyalty nor do I. The inference I was drawing is that Japan has the first claim, because your children are registered in Japan, in time of trouble.

Professor Hayakawa: No; Canada has the

first claim because we are here.

Surely if we feel that our case is just, we should not use material in support except what can be vouched for. The same question arises with regard to the 1,600 Japanese-Cana-dians who are supposed to have gone from Canada to Japan and to have fought against Canada in the Japanese army. May I say here and now that there is no definite evidence on that that anyone can bring forward in this committee.

I should like now to continue with the point I raised last night as to the different points of view in the official opposition in connection with orders in council. First I should like to quote what was said by the hon. member for Lake Centre, as reported on page 513 of Hansard of April 2. I believe the hon. member was acting as the chief spokesman for the official opposition on that occasion, because he followed the Secretary of State in the debate on the motion for second reading of this bill. Referring to the orders in council, which I mentioned last night, he said:

The order in council P.C. 6577, and the order in council of October 5, 1945, P.C. 6444, which I believe will always be remembered as the forgotten order in council, interfere with the fundamental rights of citizenship which were referred to by the Secretary of State. Is it not time that in this country as in Great Britain these rights shall not be interfered with except under a law passed by the parliament of Canada?

I agree with that absolutely, and I suppose when the hon. member for Lake Centre made that statement he made it without reference to race, creed or colour. As I said before, having spoken in the debate immediately after the Secretary of State who introduced the bill I imagine he was speaking as the leading speaker for the official opposition. But what are we to say, what are we to think, when we pick up Hansard of April 5 and read what the hon. member for Vancouver South had to say? This is another prominent member of the official opposition, and at page 619 he said:

We intend to hold the government to its policy. We ask also that the whole of British Columbia he made a protective zone permanently as a defence measure. That is the policy advocated by the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Mackenzie). I hope he has not changed his mind since the announcement he made just a little over a year ago.

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And then again, in the next column:

Parliament can empower the government to act on this question. We will support the government. I am confident that the Social Credit party will support them because of the stand they have taken throughout. The C.C.F. will not.

What I want to ask is this: What policy was the hon. member for Vancouver South insisting that the government should carry out? The policy of deportation, the policy of revoking naturalization and deporting Canadian citizens? Are we not entitled to ask who is speaking for the official opposition? Is it the hon. member for Lake Centre or the hon. member for Vancouver South, or does the official opposition speak with two voices?

In the second paragraph from which I read, the hon. member for Vancouver South said that "parliament can empower the government to act on this question". "We will support the government." That is: "We will support the government" if it brings to this house a bill to revoke the naturalization of Canadian citizens, to make non-citizens. of people who were born in Canada. Then the hon. member generously included hon. members of the Social Credit party to my left. When the hon. member makes this statement in support of a bill he wishes the government to bring in, is he speaking for the hon. member for Lake Centre? Is he speaking for the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario? Is he speaking for the hon. member for Calgary West? Yes, is he speaking for any number of hon. members in the opposition, whose names I could mention, who have expressed themselves as astounded and perturbed by the policy of the government under which, by order in council, it takes away the rights of citizens? That is something this committee is entitled to know.

I too suggest to the government that they bring in a bill of this kind. When parliament refused to accept the emergency powers bill, and insisted upon a completely revised bill, the government reluctantly complied. In my opinion the government had no right to issue the orders in council. It should have had the courage to come to this house and ask parliament for permission to do what it wanted to do. Then we would have found out who stands for liberty-liberty without regard to race, colour, creed or language, or just liberty for the chosen few.

Later on in his speech of April 5 the hon. member for Vancouver South labelled as "pressure groups" those who have been working in all parts of Canada to prevent the government doing this iniquitous thing. The hon. member referred to the editor of Saturday Night, the editor of the Winnipeg Free Press,

and the editor of the Toronto Star. But I noticed there were omissions in his list of "pressure groups," including, at least one other editor who has supported the hon. member in his elections, but who does not support him on this issue. I refer to the Vancouver Daily Province. There were certain other pressure groups to which he did not refer. Among these can be found the Church of England in Canada, and the United Church of Canada, of which he is a member. He did not refer to either of these. Nor did he refer to the National Council of Women, to the Young Women's Christian Association, or to dozens of other "pressure groups." Pressure groups indeed! Anyone is a "pressure group" who will interfere with those who want to destroy liberty. They had pressure groups in Germany. They were the decent people of Germany. Hitler put them into the concentration camps.

Let us see what the Vancouver Daily Province has to say in its editorial of February 21, 1946, where it makes reference to the judgment of the supreme court. Before I read, let me remind hon. members, if they do not already know it, that the Vancouver Daily Province is the leading daily paper in British Columbia. It states:

The judgment of the supreme court on Japanese deportation touches the lives and destinies of 10,000 to 15,000 people of Japanese blood and may have tragic consequences for every one of them. But that is not all it does.

It also touches the lives and destinies of 12,000,000 Canadians, and the consequences to them may be tragic, too, if they do not take steps to protect themselves. The judgment is thus of greater importance to the Canadians who will remain at home than to the Japanese and the Japanese Canadians who may be deported under it.

And farther down:

The real question, however, is not what the government may or may not do.' The question is what it has the power to do. No government, it is not too much to say, should have the power to deport any Canadian citizen and no parliament should have the power to confer such authority upon a government.

In the last election the Vancouver Province did not support me; but it supports, and supports nobly, the policy I espouse on this question. The editorial continues:

There are certain rights which' are vital and fundamental. They should not be subject to revocation or destruction or interference. They should be sacred. Citizenship is one of these rights. The people of the United States, long ago, saw to it that their fundamental rights were safe-guarded. They placed a bill of rights in their constitution, and no president, no state or federal administration, no congress or court can interfere with them

Canadian Citizenship

And concluding:

Seven hundred thousand Canadians fought recently to protect fundamental rights. Tens of thousands laid down their lives. Are we going, now, to allow these fundamental rights to go bydefault? Or are we going to do something to guarantee them?

It is for those reasons that with the member for Vancouver South I would like to see the government bring into this house a bill to empower it to do what it did m an underhand way. At the very time we were discussing the emergency powers transition bill this government was drafting orders in council to put into effect what parliament said should not go into effect.

I do not think the hon. member for Vancouver South was really speaking for British Columbia. I have in my hand a clipping from the Vancouver News-Herald of March 23, 1946. It is J. K. Nesbitt's column, "Day in the House". It deals with the doings of the legislature during the session in Victoria. The subheading is "Putnam Wants Japs to Stay". Mr. Putnam is the minister of agriculture in British Columbia.

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An hon. MEMBER:

And a good man.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

A good man, I have not the slightest doubt. I believe he is a good man, and I think I shall prove it. I quote now:

Mr. Putnam was the first M.L.A. this session to refer to Japs. Time was when mention of this unfortunate section of Canadian people was sure to stir up a storm. The minister expressed concern that the Japs might be removed from the Okanagan. If this happens, said Mr. Putnam, it will be tough for the farmer, who desperately needs help.

Mr. Nesbitt concludes the paragraph:

Quite a change from the days when we heard Japanese-Canadians were useless.

I have one more quotation to make from the Vancouver Province, and I quote it because of all the indignities which have been heaped one after the other on the Japanese-Canadians. We have had Japanese in British Columbia for a long time. They fought in the last war when Japan was our ally; and let us not forget that there may be another war, and when the wheel of fate stops at the next war, the Japanese may again be our allies-who knows? If so, these little brown devils of to-day will be the little brown heroes of twenty-five years hence. I have here an excerpt from a news report which appeared in the Vancouver Province of February 24, 1920, dateline Victoria, B.C. It tells of a delegation which waited upon the provincial cabinet urging that the franchise be given in British Columbia to naturalized Canadians who fought in the great war. It says:

Leading the delegation was A. M. Whiteside, as counsel, while official support of the Vancouver branch of the great war veterans association for the Japanese was voiced by Captain Ian Mackenzie in his capacity as president.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

That is quite right. It is well known.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

The quotation goes on:

It was pointed out to the government that 195 sons of Nippon-

They were called sons of Nippon in those

days.

-had gone overseas from British Columbia in the ranks of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as naturalized British subjects. Out of tips number 54 had given their lives in the allied cause and all but 12 of the remainder had been wounded more or less seriously. It was a matter therefore, it was stated, for the government at the moment to make provision in the Provincial Elections Act for 142 members of the Canadian Japanese Association. ^ British subjects wearing the returned soldier's button, to share the full privilege of British citizenship as expressed by the right to vote.

Captain (Ian) Mackenzie, in answer to a question from the Hon. William Sloan asking what effect he expected the granting of such-a request would have on the position of Hindus in British Columbia who had served with the imperial forces, replied that for the time being the great war veterans' association was not so much concerned with the details as with the general principles upon which the plea of the Canadian Japanese association was based.

I wish hon. members would think more of principles to-day than of details. Then listen to this. He goes on to say:

In his opinion these British subjects have vindicated the fundamental essentials of citizenship and an acceptance of that principle lay in the extension of the franchise.

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An hon. MEMBER:

A good speech.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I fully agree with Captain Mackenzie, as he was then, because then he accepted and spoke on behalf of t'he principles of democracy. Let me say that the Japanese are no less to-day than they were in 1920. They are the sa.me people, and they have demonstrated that wherever they have been allowed to fight on our side during this war that they can fight bravely. There was a battalion, if that is the proper term, of Japanese Americans who fought with the American army in Italy, and it was the most decorated unit of the American army.

I do not wish at the moment to say much more on this question. I think I have definitely demonstrated that this committee cannot in logic, in justice, or in common sense maintain the position that my hon. friends from British Columbia are trying to maintain.

There was one other peculiar statement made in this debate. It was made by the hon. member for Nanaimo, a Canadian who still

Canadian Citizenship

speaks with an English accent; consequently we would expect him to retain some of those principles of democracy that Englishmen usually carry with them, though perhaps not as conspicuously as they should in their dealings with Asiatics. The hon. member for Nanaimo suggested that the proper thing, the Christian thing, I think he said, was to send these people to Japan as missionaries to teach the Japanese our Canadian way of life. Bash a man in the face, kick him in the pants, and then tell him to go back to where he or his ancestors came from and tell his countrymen what a fine fellow you are. Yes, to preach the gospel, as someone behind me suggests, of brotherly love. I suggest to the hon. member, that if he has not done so already, he should read Bruce Hutchison's column on this subject, which appeared I think in the Free Press. Bruce Hutchison is no friend of mine, but I could not have put it better myself.

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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. PEARKES:

Can the hon. member tell me the page of Hansard that he is referring to? I do not think I have been quite correctly quoted.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I cannot give my hon. friend the page number, but if he will look it up before I sit down, or after I sit down, and if what I have said is not correct, I will apologize humbly. But why delude ourselves with the idea that if we are foolish enough to send Japanese Canadians out of this country, they will be missionaries for our way of life? They will in fact be missionaries for a way of life which is not ours. There may be only a few of them, but the international implications of what we are doing at this time may be of supreme importance-of far more profound importance than the implications of arresting and keeping in detention without trial a few people here; although I am not condoning that act. Asia is a large continent, with an enormous population who have become pretty well tired of the white man's "superiority". Now, with the instruments of war which we have invented and which they can use just as well as we can, it may not be a good thing for the world if we goad them too far. So I suggest that in anything further we have to say in regard to this citizenship bill we try to think of Canadian citizens not according to the colour of their skin, the slant of their eyes, or the country from which they came, but as human beings.

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LIB

William Ross Macdonald (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I must remind the hon. member that his time has expired.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

I have finished, Mr. Chairman; thank you. But I wish to call the attention of the hon. member for Nanaimo to the fact that the hon. member for Winnipeg North has found the page for me, and if you will pardon me I will read the paragraph to which I referred; it is on page 704:

I think from the high Christian point of view now is the opportunity to repatriate the Japanese back to their homeland where perhaps they would be able to introduce to Japan, which has suffered so much, some of the western and Christian ideas that they have learned and in this way raise the standard of the other Japanese. They can do a great missionary work there. If they have not assimilated the ideals of western civilization while they have been here, they never will, and we should send them back.

There is no indication, Mr. Chairman, that the Japanese Canadians have not assimilated the ideals of civilization, but there are disturbing indications that people who talk in that way have not assimilated the ideals of Christian civilization.

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May 14, 1946