Volume #20 - 819.|
Memorandum from Department of Citizenship and Immigration|
CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 9-54||
November 17th, 1952|
1. From 1900 to 1905 the Japanese Government prohibited immigration to Canada but in 1906 our adherence to the Treaty of 1894 between Great Britain and Japan brought about a substantial increase in immigration, details of which are attached. 44 A secret agreement with Japan was made in 1907, 45 a further agreement in 1923, 46 and a new arrangement in 1928. 47 The latter provided for 150 immigrants of Japanese nationality of certain defined classes (details attached), in addition to P.C. 2115, i.e., at that time wives or children under 18 years of age of Canadian citizens resident in Canada who were British subjects under Canadian law. This agreement was automatically terminated by the outbreak of war in 1941 and has not been renewed by the Peace Treaty.
2. By P.C. 10773 of November 26, 1942, 48 certain Canadian citizens by birth or naturalization who departed from Canada for Japan in an exchange of nationals were deprived of their citizenship status, and by P.C. 7355 and P.C. 7356 of December 15, 1945, other Canadian citizens by naturalization were deprived of their citizenship status. A total of 3964 persons were repatriated under these 3 P.C.'s. By P.C. 3689 of July 31, 1952, the Enemy Aliens Order was rescinded so that immigration from Japan is now governed by P.C. 2115 of September 16, 1932, which applies to all persons of Asian origin.
3. P.C. 2115 now provides for the admission of the wife, husband or unmarried children under 21 years of age of any Canadian citizen legally admitted to and resident in Canada who is in a position to receive and care for his dependents. In the case of Chinese, this has been extended in special cases on compassionate grounds to 25 years. Agreements have been signed with India, Pakistan and Ceylon to provide for the admission of 150-100-50 respectively, in addition to wives, husbands and minor children under 21 of Canadian citizens resident in Canada who are in a position to receive and care for them.
4. Therefore, the following groups and classes of persons in Japan, or elsewhere, of Japanese origin are to be considered with respect to immigration:
(a) Canadian citizens who are now in Japan:
(i) Persons who were in Japan at the outbreak of the war;
(ii) Canadian-born minor children of Japanese parents; these children do not lose their status by the P.C.'s above referred to and are, therefore, admissible as natural-born Canadians.
It has been estimated that there are at least 3,000 to 4,000 natural born Canadians in Japan and that many of them have married so that the total number admissible may run to 10,000.
Under the Immigration Act Canadian citizens are admissible as a matter of right and entry, therefore, cannot be refused. It would seem that on humanitarian grounds we should allow them to bring their families with them providing satisfactory arrangements can be made for care and maintenance in Canada; notwithstanding the regulations require the applicant to be a resident of Canada.
(b) Persons who had domicile in Canada and who were in Japan at the outbreak of the war. It is assumed that most of them would have lost their Canadian domicile but there may be some cases where a claim is made that Canadian domicile has been retained; each of those cases will have to be studied on its own merit.
(c) Persons admissible under P.C. 2115 not included in the above. The numbers in this category would depend chiefly on whether Japanese Canadians will continue the custom of returning to Japan for marriage when travel facilities to that country are established. There may be a small number of applications from persons now in Canada.
(d) Canadian citizens who served in the enemy armed forces. There are 32 known cases in this category and these are included in (a). At the Cabinet meeting of July 31st, it was agreed that passports may henceforward be issued to Canadian citizens of Japanese race notwithstanding the fact that they served in enemy forces; it being understood that if an examination of his war record proved any such person to be clearly undesirable every effort would be made to prevent his return to Canada.
5. It would, therefore, seem that there are between 10,000 and 12,000 people of Japanese origin who by reason of birth in Canada, or by reason of being an immediate close relative of Canadian citizens of Japanese origin, are now admissible. Consideration must, therefore, be given as to the facilities to be provided for the processing of those now admissible and of what other arrangements, if any, are to be made with the Japanese Government for the admission of other classes.
6. It is to be assumed that it would be the desire of the Japanese Government that the 1928 agreement should be revived. A case could be made for doing it in our interests to show the Japanese authorities that we are not discriminating against them, and to regulate the flow when the time comes for normal immigration. However, a case can be made against it in that we would be making an exception to P.C. 2115 in favour of our former enemies, placing the Japanese people in the same category as those of Pakistan, India and Ceylon, and preferred to those from China and every other Asian country now covered by P.C. 2115.
7. It is felt that admission should be refused to those who were voluntarily repatriated and lost their citizenship and domicile, unless, of course, they are otherwise admissible under 2115. On the other hand, it is felt that admission cannot be refused to the natural born or naturalized (with their wives and children) who were out of Canada at the outbreak of the war. We should also allow the return to Canada of those who returned to Japan since the war but have not lost their citizenship under P.C. 7355 and 7356 of 1945. Neither would it be advisable to delay the admission of the wives and children of Canadian citizens residing in Canada.
8. In view of the fact that prior to the war with Japan immigration of Japanese was administered under bilateral agreement, it is to be expected that the Japanese Government will press for a similar agreement now and, therefore, we should be prepared to negotiate such an agreement, but it would appear advisable to delay the conclusion of such agreement for some time and it could be explained to the Japanese authorities that it is essential from a Canadian point of view that we dispose of the 10,000 to 12,000 people who would now be entitled to admission to Canada under present regulations.
9. It is to be noted that Chinese immigration reached a peak last year of 2,708 and that in 1952 about 2,300 will be admitted. It is expected that Chinese immigration will decline further next year unless the admissible classes are widened, which appears unlikely. It is estimated that, for the next five years, unless conditions change in China or unless changes are made in the regulations, immigration from China will be of about 1800 per year. Although the Chinese population is spread throughout Canada the largest group, about 30% reside in British Columbia. British Columbia receives annually from 600 to 800 new Chinese immigrants. Prior to the last war practically all the Japanese in Canada were residing in British Columbia. However, during the war, for security reasons, they have been moved to the Prairie Provinces and Ontario. According to the 1951 Census, the Japanese population in British Columbia is 7,169 while the total population of Japanese in Canada is 21,663. It is to be expected that those who would be admissible as close relatives will join relatives where they reside in Canada. On the other hand, Canadians of Japanese extraction who may return from Japan will, in all probability, return to British Columbia. As for those who may be admitted under an agreement, past experience would suggest that they would establish themselves in British Columbia. As it would appear unwise to contemplate the admission of more than 3,000 Chinese and Japanese annually in that province, it is, therefore, an additional reason for deferring as long as possible the signing of an agreement with the Japanese Government along the lines of the one existing prior to the second World War.