February 18, 1947

LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

I do not think any report has been given to the house.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I have raised this question before and, with all deference, Mr. Chairman, I believe it is closely related to what was said by the hon. member for Eglinton and the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar. It is time the house knew what has been going on with respect to those as well as other properties. I feel very strongly that the information should not be hidden in someone's office; hon. members should know what has been going on.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

I do not wish to interrupt my hon. friend. I must say however that I do not know whether that information was ever asked for. Certainly I see no reason why it should not be disclosed. There should be no secrecy about it.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Did this office also deal with the property of Canadians of Japanese origin who were not aliens but rather were citizens of this country? Only last session I was making inquiries about the property of a sergeant in the Canadian army. This man was a Canadian of Japanese origin whose property was taken and sold for a song while he was on service in the far east. When he returned to Canada he found himself with practically no property at all. Is this the organization which dealt with that property?

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

The

Japanese were dealt with by several organizations. The particular case mentioned by the hon. member was dealt with by the custodian, although all Japanese cases were not dealt with by him in the first instance. For example, fishing vessels owned by Japanese were first taken over by the navy, and later some I believe were sold by the Department of Labour. The money received for them was

eventually either turned over to the individual owner, or, if he was not available or was interned, turned over to the custodian.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Where properties were sold, as in the case I have mentioned, for ridiculously small sums in comparison with their real value, and where it was found that an injustice of this kind had resulted, was compensation made by the custodian of enemy property, as it was made in connection with the property to which the leader of the opposition referred a few minutes ago?

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

No, not yet; and I do not know that any compensation in that particular case will be made to the former owner.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

Why not?

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

Those are matters for the judgment of experts, I suppose.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

May I point out that this man fought for our country.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

I know the case.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

He was on our side, and yet he was penalized while he was away. On the other hand the properties to which the leader of the opposition referred belonged to people who at least for a couple of years were doing anything but supporting this country in the war.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

I know that individual case. When the custodian found himself faced with the problem of dealing with a number of properties of Japanese nationals or Japanese Canadians in British Columbia, two committees were set up in Vancouver, an urban and a rural committee. The chairman of the committee was a judge, and the membership was made up of well known citizens, including one Japanese. Those committees appointed real estate advisers to look over each piece of property and give a valuation before it was sold. I may say that in each case the sale price received was considerably in excess of the valuation made by the valuator. I feel the custodian's office endeavoured to provide every protection possible in order to get the best figure.

The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar referred to a Japanese who served in the Canadian army. He had a property which the valuator did not look upon as being very valuable. It was carefully valued to begin with, and since that time the valuation has been reviewed and it has been found that a

Trading with the Enemy

great disparity exists between the figure claimed by the man and that given by the real estate valuators.

A few days ago the Prime Minister stated in the house that the government intended to see that no injustice was done in the cases of sales of properties of Japanese nationals or Japanese Canadians who had been displaced. I feel that it may be necessary to set up another commission, as was done before, to hear these cases and decide whether the valuations put on by the government or the valuations put on by the Japanese are correct.

When the custodian took over these properties he had great difficulty in finding out from the Japanese owners just what they had in the way of furniture, farm implements and other chattels. They are afraid that any list they might give would provide us with a lead as to where their assets were and they would be confiscated. The result was that in many cases the custodian got a most incomplete list of assets of the Japanese who had been removed from the coastal area. Now these people are coming along with claims of exaggerated values and this constitutes one of the problems being faced by the custodian at the present time.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

When the minister spoke a few minutes ago he said that this office had constituted no charge upon the taxpayers of Canada. I should like to ask where the money went to that was obtained from the sale of the properties of the Ukrainian labour temple. These were sold early in the war at low figures, and then later these organizations were paid sums of money greater than what had been secured for the properties.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

That

difference came out of funds in the hands of the custodian which had been built up from profits he had made from his dealings; it did not come out of consolidated revenue fund.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

Is the minister saying that it came out of commissions only, or did it come out of the principal of the properties owned by other owners?

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

It was surplus that had been built up in the hands of the custodian. It was not capital belonging to enemy aliens. .

Mr. BRACKEN; Is there any requirement in the legislation setting up this office that a report shall be made to parliament on the activities of the organization? The minister said that there had been no request made-I have asked personally for this informationbut I should like to know whether there is some requirement that a report of the detailed operations shall be made.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

I understand that some questions have been asked in connection with the office of the custodian and in many cases they have been answered. There is no provision for the tabling by the custodian of an annual report.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

And no annual report has been tabled?

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Hamilton West):

No.

Topic:   TRADING WITH THE ENEMY
Subtopic:   EMERGENCY POWERS-DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY, ETC.
Permalink

February 18, 1947