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Rigid Canadian Immigration Policies Hit in Parliament As Hindrance to Dominion Growth

April 9, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Canada’s refusal to admit any substantial number of European refugees during the war has been severely criticized in recent day in several addresses in the Federal parliament at Ottawa, and there is indication that as a result of mounting pressure, the Government may be ready to make some move toward liberalizing the dominion’s immigration policies.

Sen. Arthur Rosbuck, in a speech in the upper house of Parliament last week, charged that “throughout the war Canada maintained a heartless policy of the closed door towards refugees.” He said that there were thousand of families in Canada who are anxious to care for friends and relatives in Europe. Sen. Rosbuck pointed out that Canada’s future depends on increased immigration, since it “cannot hope to maintain indefinitely its 3,500,000 square miles of territory in the exclusive ownership of 12,000,000 people.”

A similar plea was made in the lower house by Lieut. Col. Cecil Merrit, who demanded an immigration quota of no less than 200,000 yearly. He was supported by Col. David Croll and several other deputies. Opposition was voiced, however, by a number of deputies from the province of Quebec, which has traditionally opposed immigration. Their stand was reflected in editorials appearing in several Quebec French-language papers commenting on the immigration debate.

At the annual meeting of the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society here, M.A. Solkin, executive director, reported that the government had reacted favorably to suggestions that it agree to admit several teachers for under-staffed Jewish schools here, and also orphaned European Jewish children whose families were destroyed by the Nazis.

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