He is all right personally and every other way He is absolutely one of the best and nurest minded men we have on the bench in British Columbia'. Mr. McCrossan, who conducted the proceedings for the government, is also one of the leading young barristers of the city of Vancouver. There could not have been two better appointments made, as the resuits would show. If I had any criticism ' Mr. TEMPLEMAN.
at all to make of the commission it would be that a lot of irrelevant matter was permitted to go on the record; however, that is erring on the right side. No evidence having any bearing on the question was ruled out.
I think this will dispose of the question so far as I had any personal connection with it. The attempt that has been made by my hon. friend from New Westminster (Mr. Taylor) on this occasison and on former occasions, was with a view to connecting myself and the Liberals of the city of Vancouver with an attempt to burke the inquiry. I absolutely deny any attempt of that kind, either on my own part, or on the part of the Liberals of Vancouver. I think it is an outrageous thing, and I say to this House that there is no foundation in fact for it, nor has there been any evidence adduced which would substantiate any such charge. I do not desire to delay the proceedings, or to kill time, but there are a few points in reference to the question to which I wouid like to refer.
The enforcement of any law respecting the immigration of Chinamen is a very difficult proposition; it has always been so, it always will be so. There were very few difficulties, I am advised, up to the time the head tax was increased, some six yearns ago. Previous to that time there were certain exemptions. As the law stood, Chinamen were required to pay a tax of $100, and for a number of years before that $50, and there was very littje temptation to the Chinamen to smuggle themselves into the country or enter it by false pretenses. Under the law as it exists now, there are certain exemptions. As the law stands, Chinamen are required to pay $500 head tax with exemptions of, among others, merchants, their wives and minor children, tourists and men of science. The great difficulty with the department for a number of years has been to define the term ' merchant ' in such a way that cidinary Chinamen might not come in under that designation. Merchants among Chinamen are very numerous. Chinese firms are sometimes very large, there may be a dozen members of a firm; merchants may be almost anything; peddlers of green vegetables may be merchants. So the Chinaman could put the most -liberal interpretation on the term ' merchant.' The frauds committed during recent years have been bv the introduction of labouring men as merchants. They have received consular certificates in China, duly signed by Chinese viceroys or officials of some standing, as merchants when, as a matter of fact-, they were not merchants. The certificates have been given, the department believes, by the Chinese authorities
in good faith, but they have been trafficked in on the other side. That is one explanation of the case with which Chinaman have come in as merchants when they were probably simply labouring men and should have paid the $500 head tax. The
law, therefore, as it exists at present is
lax, it allows the Chinamen to interpret almost for themselves the word 'merchant,' and if they are permitted to come in under the passports issued by Chinese authorities it is very difficult for the officials on this side of the Pacific to keep them out. The department was fully cognizant for years of the difficulties of administering the Act, particularly of describing merchants, and the department prepared an Act session before last, but owing to the pressure of business it was not then presented to the House. This session a Bill is on the Order Paper amending this very clause and making it more difficult for Chinamen to enter the country as merchants. The onus of proof under the Bill now before parliament and which might before this have had its second reading but for the delays caused by the long speeches of our friends opposite, provides that the burden of proof in respect to the profession of the incoming Chinaman shall be with the Chinese, and also that the burden of proof of the right of any Chinamen in Canada to be in Canada shall be with the Chinaman.
Topic: WAYS AND MEANS-CORONATION CELEBRATION IN OTTAWA.
Subtopic: GORDON GRANT,