January 30, 1958

SC

Frank Claus Christian

Social Credit

Mr. Christian:

May I ask a question of the minister? What is the view of the minister as to the length of time this procedure of leasing Indian lands will be followed? Might it be a matter of 40 or 50 years, at which time the Indians might no longer be wards of the government? The reason I raise this question is that leased lands around cities and municipalities hold up the development of those cities. I am concerned with how long this leasing system is going to operate in so far as the lands adjacent to cities and municipalities are concerned.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I do not think the question raised by the hon. gentleman is so much affected by leases as it is by the question

of surrender. If a band agrees it can always surrender its land and that land can be sold or otherwise acquired by the municipality.

I should point out also that the policy of reducing the term of the lease is in accordance with what the hon. gentleman has in mind, so that we could be in a flexible position. If the band agrees, then they might be in a position to turn the land over instead of finding that it has been tied up for 40 years by a lease. I am not attempting to terminate discussion, but I should like to suggest that if we are going to get into a discussion of policy with regard to Indian affairs, that might be left until we get to the Indian affairs branch item.

The hon. member for Red Deer raised a question about a country in Europe which he said he learned through the press was contending, through a government spokesman, that former nationalists who were now Canadian citizens were still subject to military service. I can only tell him that no case has come to my attention by either seeing the press release or by correspondence, in which I have been advised that this suggestion has been made that anyone is subject to military service in the country from which he came. I have not heard of the government of any country in Europe, certainly not a country outside the iron curtain, having taken that view. I can say without hesitation that neither I nor the government of which I am a member would recognize any such claim by any government that a Canadian citizen is liable for military service in that country, whether or not he returns to that country of which he was formerly a national, unless he re-acquired citizenship of that country.

Then the hon. member for Timiskaming raised an objection with regard to sponsored movements of miners into Canada. I can only point out to him that we have not had such sponsored group movements since 1956, when I understand the Canadian metal mining association did get an agreement to bring in a group of miners, but that was not altogether satisfactory. There has been no request for such a movement since that time, and therefore the problem has not come before me. I must say I believe, in general at any rate, we should see a general pattern of immigration where the department, in co-operation and consultation with interested organizations, would be responsible for carrying out the main activity of selecting the immigrants who are to come to Canada.

In so far as the Chinese are concerned, I can only say here again the problems are well known and are being studied. We have the brief to which the hon. member referred, 96698-2571

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration and we have made but one change. It is no longer necessary for Chinese to wait until they are Canadian citizens before they can apply for the admission of relatives.

The problem in connection with Chinese children and grandchildren is, and always will be a problem difficult to solve satisfactorily. One of the problems is that of identifying satisfactorily the children who present themselves for immigration at Hong Kong as the children who are described in the application. This problem again raises humanitarian issues, and we are working on a satisfactory reconciliation on the desirability, on the one hand, of ensuring that the person who presents himself for examination is the person stated in the application, and on the other hand the desire of many of these elderly citizens to get in the people whom they claim to be their relatives and who could assist them in their old age.

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CCF

William Arnold Peters (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Peters:

If these children referred to were legally adopted, and that could be arranged, would they then be eligible under this clause relating to a child under 21 years of age?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

No, a child is defined in that clause as being one born within wedlock and who would have the status of legitimacy. This illustrates the sort of problem that arises because the adoption laws in Canada are exclusively provincial and it is a very difficult thing for us to say that a child adopted in China is the legal son of a Canadian living in Ontario and would be regarded as a legal son when he comes into Ontario. We do not know to what extent the Chinese law of adoption conforms to the Ontario law of adoption, and that is the sort of problem you get into in connection with this question of adopted children.

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CCF

William Arnold Peters (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Peters:

I may say that there is a young Chinese chap now living in Ottawa, and who is a member of one of the government departments, who was adopted or sponsored, and I believe adopted, by the same gentleman who is asking to have these other children admitted. I am told also, although it is something we cannot condone, that if you go to the right legal authorities in Ottawa they can make these arrangements. Certainly, I do not believe that is the proper method of doing it, even if you have the money to do it. There is one relative, also a nephew, who has been in Ottawa for a number of years, who was admitted to Canada. I cannot see much difference between his case and that of these other children.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Without the relevant facts of a particular case before me, we very quickly get into the realm of speculation which is

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration not a very profitable one to pursue. It may well be that the child who was admitted was brought into Canada as the relative of another Chinese, I do not know. Unless I know the facts, I cannot say why one case is dealt with in one way and another in another way.

With regard to what the hon. gentleman has just said, it is because of that feeling that we want to provide an appeal procedure, a general procedure for dealing with immigration cases, so that the applicant will know the reasons and can have his case decided by the appeal board. These suggestions about money changing hands are suggestions that, in so far as the officials of the department are concerned, I reject absolutely. We have had investigations of that, and there were investigations made during the time of my predecessor-

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CCF

William Arnold Peters (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Peters:

I should point out that my information is not to the effect the arrangements are made in Ottawa, but that arrangements can be made at the other end for those who qualify.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Well, that is one of the general problems of Chinese immigration which is also being studied. There are a number of particular branches of immigration, if I might call them that, such as Chinese immigration, east Indian immigration, west Indian immigration and immigration from the iron curtain countries. They all present their special problems.

The hon. member for Skeena and others referred to the question of Indian education. He asked for an expression of my attitude toward Indians being educated in provincial schools, a process that has been under way for some time now. I must say that the position I take is that it is a desirable program or a desirable principle to follow, as it were, so that as far as possible Indian children may be brought up together with white children with whom they are going to be obliged to live for the rest of their lives. But there are certain safeguards that I think must be maintained.

First of all, the Indians must be generally in accord with the program of sending their children to public schools. There are problems of religious education and faith, and the rights of the Indians which were guaranteed to them in that connection must be safeguarded. Where that can be done, there is no objection that I can see to having the Indian children educated in the schools along with the white children. But to whatever extent that program may advance- and it is advancing quite rapidly; about 18 per cent of the Indian school population is now attending provincial schools-there will be for many years, if not forever, the residue

who will have to be educated in the residential schools because of their distance from centres of population and other factors as, for instance, the fact that their parents are not alive and they have no home, and hence must be brought up in a residential school.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

Would the minister permit a question?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Yes.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

I believe the hon. member for Skeena was suggesting that the matter of the education of Indian children might be turned over to the provinces and the federal government might undertake payment on a per capita basis for the education of the Indian children, where the province is likely to undertake it fairly well in line with their educational program?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

That is practically what is done now, where we are able to work out arrangements.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

Have the provinces been approached with regard to their willingness to accept such a program and to what extent have they accepted it?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

The practice has been to make arrangements with the local school board. The provincial school inspector is, of course, notified but it is an arrangement where individual negotiations have to be made and they are made at the local school board level. We are regularly in touch with the officials of the departments of education of the provinces as to the program.

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IND

Donald Cameron

Independent Liberal

Mr. Cameron:

Can the minister tell us what amounts are paid as contributions toward the cost of educating Indian children in British Columbia?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I did not hear the question.

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IND

Donald Cameron

Independent Liberal

Mr. Cameron:

How much does your department pay the local school boards toward the cost of educating Indian children in British Columbia?

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

May I suggest that we wait to ask detailed questions until we get to the Indian affairs branch?

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IND
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

The hon. member for Skeena also raised the question of the attitude of the white population towards the Indian population. I can advise him that there are at the present time three placement officers in the department whose duty it is to consult with industries and labour groups in an effort to get Indians accepted for employment. From April 1 that number will be increased to five. If I am correct in my understanding of it, that was a project which

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

was conceived by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. I should like to say that I think it is one of the soundest things he did.

In a somewhat rambling and discursive way, Mr. Chairman, I think that covers most of the general points that have been raised by hon. members who have participated in the discussion. If I have been somewhat rambling in my remarks, I apologize and ask to be excused on the ground that this discussion commenced on January 15.

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January 30, 1958