Volume #17 - 276.|
ORGANISATIONS ET CONFÉRENCES INTERNATIONALES
INSTITUTIONS SPÉCIALISÉES DES NATIONS UNIES
ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE DU TRAVAIL
Note du ministre de la Citoyennete et de l'Immigration et du ministre du Travail|
pour le Cabinet
CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 219-51|
le 27 août 1951|
REPLY TO THE I.L.O. MEMORANDUM ON "THE BEST FORM OF INTERNATIONAL CO‑OPERATION TO FURTHER EUROPEAN MIGRATION"|
1. In January 1951, the International Labour Office circulated a memorandumfi in the form of a questionnaire requesting member governments to give "their considered views as to the best forms of international co‑operation to further European migration in relation to world economic opportunities and manpower needs, with full appreciation of the financial and other implications of questions raised in this memorandum".
2. The Interdepartmental Advisory Committee on Immigration felt that a formulation in general terms of Canadian policy was desirable before it attempted to answer the specific questions raised by the I.L.O. memorandum.
3. A general formulation of Canadian migration policy having been proposed by a sub‑committee and approved by the committee, it became apparent that most questions were too complex to be dealt with in the framework of the I.L.O. questionnaire, and that detailed answers could only be provided if Canada were willing, ‑ either to appear selfish and uncooperative by answering negatively or evasively, ‑ or to risk eventual embarrassment and financial commitment by taking a positive stand on semi‑hypothetical proposals.
4. Moreover, it is understood the I.L.O. will be submitting shortly specific proposals for enlarged international action in the field of European migration, designed for discussion at the migration conference to be held under I.L.O. auspices in Naples, Italy, in October 1951.
5. The undersigned are of the opinion that there is no obligation to answer this type of questionnaire by specific replies to the questions as framed, and recommends that Canada's reply be limited to a general statement along the lines of the attached.
[PIECE J0INTE/ENCLOSURE I]
Note du ministre du Travail
Note from Minister of Labour
Ottawa, August 20, 1951
CANADIAN REPLY TO THE
I.L.O. MEMORANDUM ON THE BEST FORM OF
1. The Minister of Labour of Canada presents his compliments to the DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Office and has the honour to convey to him Canada's reply to the Memorandum on The Best Form of International Cooperation to Further European Migration.
2. Canada recognizes that mainly due to the war and its aftermath, there exists in several countries of Western Europe a problem of population surpluses created by large scale displacements of people, by the disruption of national economies, and by the interruption of normal emigration.
3. However, some of the pressure caused by refugees has been successfully relieved by the International Refugee Organization.
4. Canada has cooperated in efforts to provide both short term and continuing solutions to surplus population problems through reception and placement of large numbers of immigrants, and by participation in and contributions to existing international agencies.
5. As an immigration country, Canada is interested in continued immigration from Western Europe within the limits of the absorptive capacity of the Canadian economy as determined from time to time by the Canadian Government.
6. Canada is making sustained efforts to improve the nature and scope of its immigration services.
7. Canada recognizes the value of the technical and advisory services developed by existing international organizations, such as the development of arrangements for the systematic exchange of information; periodical enquiries into European manpower surpluses and into the needs of immigration countries; the development of international clearance procedures; the establishment of basic standards for occupational examination; the establishment of uniform standard descriptions regarding the qualifications of the various categories of workers; the promotion of the status and welfare of migrants; surveys of the causes, trends, and consequences of migration; and technical assistance in general including the loan facilities of the International Bank.
8. It is, however, difficult at this time to assess the full extent of the practical value of a number of the services which have been but recently developed or are still in process of development. Before lending support to the development of additional services, Canada would have to be convinced that the existing ones are insufficient to meet actual needs.
9. Canada does not consider the assumption of operational activities in the field of migration by an international agency to be imperative for Canadian purposes. However, this shall not preclude the further consideration of detailed plans which may be advanced later.
10. The Canadian Government is of the opinion that its reply to the questionnaire included in the I.L.O. Memorandum should be limited to the foregoing statement, and considers that any attempt to provide detailed answers would be premature. Many questions relate to activities of specific international organizations or agencies and it is considered that such questions can be more properly considered as they arise at meetings of each organization or agency. For instance, items relating to international financing of European emigration are on the agenda of the present Session of the Economic and Social Council. Other questions of a general nature concerning participation in international activities are not capable of intelligent discussion or reply except in relation to specific and concrete proposals. If such are made, Canada is willing to discuss them with the appropriate bodies, subject to certain basic reservations: for instance, Canada would not wish to consider any proposal which did not recognize the right of Canadian selection of immigrants in accord with Canadian standards.1
1 Approuvé par le Cabinet, le 5 septembre 1951./Approved by Cabinet, September 5, 1951.