Canada (Beitish Immigrants).

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 16th May 1933.

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Photo of Hon. Joseph Maclay Hon. Joseph Maclay , Paisley

23.

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is aware that Canada refuses entrance to young men from the United Kingdom whose passages are paid by themselves and for whom provision is made on arrival in Canada; that the British Government permits free entrance of Canadians into the United Kingdom and freedom to take employment of any kind; and whether he will take steps to have this position remedied?

The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS;(Mr. J. H. Thomas):

As regards the first part of the question, if the hon. Member will send me examples of the cases he has in mind, I shall be happy to look into the matter. As regards the second and third parts of the question the policy of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom is that no restriction should be placed on the entry of any British subject into this country and, as at present advised, they see no reason for departing from that policy.

Photo of Hon. Joseph Maclay Hon. Joseph Maclay , Paisley

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman, does he not consider that, from the point of view of our own unemployed, it is rather a one-sided and unfair arrangement whereby men desirous of seeking employment in Canada are refused any opportunity of so doing, whereas the Canadian coming over to this country is able at any time to take employment in this country, which is already overburdened with applications for employment?

Mr. THOMAS:

The short problem is this. Should one take responsibility either of advising or encouraging men to leave this country unless there is the prospect of a job for them? I certainly will not take that responsibility, and I certainly cannot encourage people to leave this country when I know that there are so many unemployed in the Dominions.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Is it by agreement with His Majesty's Government that the Canadian Government refuse entrance to those who have taken upon themselves the responsibility and the expense of going to Canada? Was this matter discussed in any way at the Ottawa Conference?

Mr. THOMAS:

The Canadian Government refuses no entry to Canada to people capable of maintaining themselves, but they refuse to allow entry into Canada to those who are assisted. I have already said that it would be wrong to assist people unless there was a chance of employment.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

May I take it that the Government of Canada refuse, or they have the choice of refusing, admission to persons, British subjects, who pay their own passages?

Mr. THOMAS:

No, not if it is a question of paying their own passages and being in a position to look after themselves. The same law applies in this country; there is no difference.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Will the right hon. Gentleman make the position clear? Can an English citizen enter Canada under exactly the same conditions as Canadian citizens can enter this country?

Mr. THOMAS:

As far as entry, yes.

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

We cannot pursue the matter further now.