March 16, 1903

CON

Mr. MONK asked :

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Has the government finally decided to build a post office at Valleyfield, in the county of Beauharnois ?

2. If not, when was that decision arrived at ?

3. Has the government purchased a piece of land for that purpose ?

4. From whom did the government buy that land, and for what amount ?

5. How long has the person who sold that land to the government had possession of it, and from whom was it obtained by him ?

6. Was the land so purchased by the government the property of Mr. George M. Loy, M.P. ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VALLEYFIELD POST OFFICE.
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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS (Hon. James Sutherland) :

1. Yes.

2. Answered by No. 1.

3. Yes.

4. R. W. Johnston, $10,000.

5 and 6. From the 14th July, 1902; from the then owner, Mr. Loy.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   VALLEYFIELD POST OFFICE.
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ESTABLISHMENT OF A LAW LIBRARY IN LONDON, ENGLAND.

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Mr. T. C.@

CASGRAIN moves for (Translation.) :

Copies of all documents, letters, correspondence and papers in connection with the establishment in London of a law library for the use of counsel retained in cases before the judicial committee of the Privy Council.

The motion which I am now making aims at having certain papers laid on the table which concern the Minister of Justice, the Solicitor General, lawyers and their clients, that is to say, those who are amenable to

tribunals and the general public in Canada. As is well known by members of the bar engaged in cases before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of England, it is extremely difficult for them to have access to the London law libraries, where they could find proper authorities to bring in support of their cases, to their own satisfaction and that of their clients. With the hon. minister's leave (Mr. Fitzpatrick), I would tell the House I had several interviews with the hon. gentleman on the matter, and there is, I think, in his department, a correspondence bearing on the same. As I said, it is no easy task for members of the Bar visiting London in connection with the proceedings of the Privy Council-and here I refer not only to the lawyers from the province of Quebec, but also to those from the other provinces-to have access to the required law books and judicial reports. True, there are to be found large law libraries at Lincoln's Inn and Temple Bar ; but the trouble is that, for one to have access to such libraries it is necessary to be introduced by a London lawyer or barrister, who is a member of that corporation, without mentioning the loss of time involved In going so far from the place where the Privy Council sittings are held. Now, as to the members of the Quebec Bar, I may say that they experience a still greater inconvenience, and as a matter of fact, it is almost impossible for them, as my hon. friend the Minister of Justice is well aware, to have access to the desired law books. That some of those law books are toi be found in the large libraries just referred to is quitetrue; but the few works one may findthere, are only such works as may satisfythe curiosity of a chance reader, or be serviceable to such students as wish to

pursue their studies in comparative legislation. So, for instance, I may say that the last time I visited London I noticed that in the catalogue of Lincoln's Inn there were no such works as Dalloz's repertoire, Laurent, Beaudry-Lacantantinerie, and the French Pandects and Sirey. Those works which are of great value, and I may say indispensable to those who have cases to argue before the Privy Council, are not to be found in those libraries. Under those circumstances, it often happens that lawyers are under the necessity of bringing across with them a pretty large library, or else to have the required extracts copied out of those works. In the former cases, it is easy to realize the inconvenience experienced by counsel who are engaged in cases before the Privy Council. Then as to having such extracts as are required for the pleadings copied out of the law books, there is this draw-back that, when they appear before the Judiciary Committee, they experience some trouble in having those extracts accepted by the tribunal ; so that high as may be their standing at the Bar, they are nevertheless open to suspicion. So, I think, under Mr. CASGRAIN.

such circumstances, it is highly desirable that a law library should be established by the government in the High Commissioner's office in London ; not a very large library, but one at least in which the best French and English law books would be at the disposal of members of the Bar. Should one find there a collection of the standard works and reports of French courts, it would undoubtedly be quite sufficient. It would also be exceedingly convenient for us to have access to the standard English law books and to the statutes and reports of all our provincial courts ns well. I think this would give the members of the Bar engaged in cases before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ample satisfaction. I do not think the establishment of such a library would involve considerable expenditure, as I have reason to believe, from an estimate which I have been able to control, that $5,000 would cover the whole outlay. Hesirable as the establishment of such a library may be from the standpoint of lawyers retained in cases before the Privy Council, I say that to their clients it is a matter of considerable interest, the more so that upon the pleadings of counsel before the tribunals, the issue of the cases argued depends to a very large extent.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF A LAW LIBRARY IN LONDON, ENGLAND.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE (Hon. Charles Fitzpatrick).

I quite appreciate what my hon. friend (Mr. Casgrain) has said with respect to the inconveniences which members of the bar who visit London in connection with the proceedings before the Judicial Committee are under, because of the lack of material with respect to our judicial reports. So far as the Dominion government are concerned, we have sent over each year a copy of our Supreme Court reports and Exchequer Court reports to the High Commissioner's office, and we also provide the High Commissioner's office with our statutes. It seems to me that some of the inconveniences referred to could be more properly met by action of the provincial authorities. They are very largely interested in these appeals, and it is, to a large extent, the legislation passed by the provincial legislatures that is subject to appeal to the Judicial Committee. If my hon. friend would take the suggestion I would be very glad indeed, if the local legislatures were moved in the matter, to confer with the attorneys general in the provinces and have an understanding with them for the purpose of remedying the undoubted inconvenience to which my hon. friend has referred.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF A LAW LIBRARY IN LONDON, ENGLAND.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

It would be very desirable that the local legislatures should send over sets of their statutes, as far as possible. Also any statutes of Canada that are not there already should be sent over. It does seem strange, considering that the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has jurisdiction over about

half the world one might say ; that counsel coming from Australia, from Canada and from India, should not have some library there at their disposal. I would like to know whether the Minister of Justice has ever taken up the matter with the imperial authorities. I myself have experienced the same inconvenience to which my hon. friend (Mr. Casgrain) has referred. For the most part you can get access to these libraries through the courtesy of the English counsel engaged in the case, but even that is inconvenient because it is almost impossible to carry books forward and backward from one place to another which are quite a distance apart. I might remark also that it would seem to us that a body so important as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council should be a little better housed for the purpose of hearing appeals. That strikes all colonial lawyers on the first occasion on which they are engaged before that body. I understand that there is some talk in England at the present time of having that remedied. At all events it is certainly very desirable, that whether by the imperial government or whether by joint action between the imperial government and the colonial governments, there should be a library placed at the disposal of the colonial counsel who are engaged in causes before the Judicial Committee.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF A LAW LIBRARY IN LONDON, ENGLAND.
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Motion agreed to.


CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.

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Mr. T.@

CHASE CASGRAIN (Montmorency) moved for :

Copies of all petitions, Orders In Council, correspondence, documents and papers in connection with the conviction and imprisonment of one Arthur Brunet, of the city of Montreal, convicted of offences against the Dominion Elections Act, 1900 ; and the pardon, reprieve, or release of the said Arthur Brunet from jail.

He said : A simple reading of this

motion will show that it is of vast importance to this House and to the country at large. Hon. gentlemen will remember what took place when Mr. Brunet was elected a member to this House from the St. James Division of Montreal. It will be remembered that a preliminary investigation was held into certain acts of corruption committed at that election and during the course of that investigation it was found that two important witnesses who were to give evidence with regard to the corruption that took place had absconded from the country and had been sent over to the United States. The preliminary investiga-gation, nevertheless, went on, and Arthur Brunet, who had been charged with gross acts of corruption in that election was returned for trial to the Court of King's Bench. It was proved that personators had 4i

been hired; that they had been given tickets by the central committee of Mr. Brunet, the late member, to vote at certain polls in the division, and that they successfully accomplished gross election frauds to a very considerable extent. It was also proved that in one poll the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk had been hired and paid money to switch ballots. The consequence of this was that one of the polls, when the ballot box was open, it was found that Mr. Bergeron, the candidate opposed to Mr. Brunet, had only four votes cast for him, that Mr. Brunet had an overwhelming majority, and all this despite the fact that a number of reputable citizens deposed that they had voted for Mr. Bergeron at that poll. In order to better carry out this corrupt scheme it was found advisable to bring whisky into the poll, so that the deputy returning officer and the poll clerk were so intoxicated that they hardly knew what was going on; at all events they did not realize the seriousness of the crime which they were committing. I may state also that an effort had been made by those interested in Mr. Brunet's election to hire young students to do this dirty work, but I am happy to say that although the students were offered considerable sums of money to switch ballots or to personate electors, they had the manhood and the honesty to refuse to be connected with such an outrage.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

It was highly creditable to these students that they did so refuse, and I am glad to be able to mention this fact on the floor of this parliament. At the close of the poll one of the leaders of the gang who invented this nefarious system of switching ballots and personating electors, declared openly and publicly that Mr. Brunet's election was sure because the system which had been adopted in this particular poll had been carried out in eighteen other polls, and therefore the Liberal candidate was sure of his election. This showed that it was not an isolated system of corruption at one poll, but that it was part of a general and organized system carried out at that election. Here we had in this election, personation of voters, subornation of perjury, corruption of public officers, and other heinous crimes against the rights of the people. I must say that the press of all political shades of opinion denounced these crimes. Now, Sir, some of the offences which had been committed at this election were punishable, under the Dominion Elections Act, by a maximum fine of $200 and by from six months to two months' imprisonment, and for other offences there is a maximum penalty of three years in prison, a minimum of six months and a fine of $300.

Now, Sir, who was the instigator of all these crimes ? Who was the arch-con-

spirator ? Who was the man who hired these unfortunate returning officers and poll clerks to violate the oath they had taken to honestly discharge the duties of their office S Who had hired these men to telegraph votes; who had induced these men to personate other electors, and who had gone to the students to tempt these young men to commit high crimes against public morality ? It was Mr. Arthur Brunet. To the credit of the province of Quebec be it said that Arthur Brunet was brought to trial, and notwithstanding that some witnesses had absconded, his trial took place, and upon his own confession he was found guilty of three distinct offences under the Dominion Elections Act, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment on each indictment. I am not here to judge whe-: tker the punishment meted out to him was sufficiently severe, but I have no doubt that the chief justice who conducted the trial took into consideration all the extenuating circumstances which were laid before him, and so he condemned Arthur Brunet to almost the minimum punishment which the law provides. Be that as it may; here was a man convicted of the most serious crimes; here was a man sentenced to jail for six months for crimes which upon his own confessed he committed. The people of Canada believed at the time that Arthur Brunet had been rightly and properly punished. It was notorious that this ballot switching and personating of voters was prevalent not only in the province of Quebec but in other provinces as well. Not so many years before this House was seized with the question as to whether or not an inquiry should be held into certain election frauds which had been committed in the province of Ontario, and the offences were considered so grave that this House instituted an inquiry with a view of discovering the guilty parties and the extent to which this particular crime prevailed. Therefore, when Arthur Brunet was sent to jail, all good citizens rejoiced that at last it had been found possible to convict a man who was guilty of such crimes against the franchise of the people of this country as he had confessed to. I bear no malice whatever towards Brunet; I do not even know him. But his offence was serious ; he was caught red-handed ; he was one of that gang of men who are going around, through the length and breadth of this Dominion, stealing the votes of honest men, and preventing the free expression of public opinion upon the administration of affairs in this country. No doubt, as I said before, due weight had been given by the chief justice to all extenuating circumstances when he condemned this man to six months only in jail. Notwithstanding all this, upon petitions which were sent to the government-and this is the reason why I am making this motion-the government thought fit, after this man had been in Mr. CASGRAIN.

jail four months,' if my information is correct, to pardon him and set him at liberty. Now, Sir, it is important that the House be put in possession of these petitions. The government may seek to shield themselves from responsibility behind the men who signed these petitions ; but those who are entrusted with these matters are given a sacred trust, and they alone have the responsibility of showing this country that a man convicted of such offences as those I have described, must suffer the full penalty of the law, or at least the full penalty inflicted upon him by the courts before which he has been tried. I say the government cannot shield themselves behind the petitions which have been presented to the proper authorities, because any one who has had any experience of such petitions knows very well how they are gotten up and signed. An intimate friend, a relative, perhaps a brother of the accused man, goes about with a petition and asks people to sign it. He uses all kinds of influences and persuasions, and it is very difficult ayd requires a great deal of moral courage in many instances to refuse to sign the petition. In other instances, a man may be very busy when asked to sign the petition, and instead of entering into a long argument on the gravity of the offence which has been committed, he signs the petition in order to get rid of the man who has approached him. All these facts should be taken into consideration by the authorities to whom the petitions are presented and due weight should be given to the circumstances undei which they are signed. But this fact, I say again, cannot relieve the proper authorities from the responsibility resting upon them of maintaining the dignity of the law, and the due severity of the punishment which should be meted out to all who have committed such offences as those for which Brunet was convicted. It was a relief to the common morality and to the conscience of the country when Brunet was caught, tried and sentenced to jail for those offences ; but the community was scandalized when, after having been in jail for four months, he was liberated by the government.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

That is better than they do in Ontario, where they do not imprison them.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

As I said before, a great deal of credit is due to the province of Quebec for having caught this man and convicted him. Another object which I have in moving for the papers in this case is this. It must be made known that those who sign petitions of this kind undertake a grave responsibility, and in this instance I think their names should be placed before the House, so that in future, when people are asked to sign such petitions, they may realize that their names will probably be placed before parliament, and they shall

have to take their share of responsibility for the result of their actions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE (Hon. Charles Fitzpatrick).

Mr. Speaker, the practice established in England in respect to cases of this sort is not to produce the documents upon which the prerogative of mercy is exercised, and that practice has been also fairly well established in Canada. It was established by Sir John Thompson in a case to which I shall have occasion to refer when the documents are brought down. I think, however, I ought to be under great obligations to my hon. friend for having asked that an exception be made in this case. I agree that this is an exceptional case, and one that ought to be dealt with in exactly the same way as the case of McGreevy and Connolly was dealt with by this House. I think I agree also with what my hon. friend has said as to the propriety of producing the petitions presented to the government. I may say that I did not myself sign this recommendation, though I assume all responsibility for what was done.. I think it is advisable that we should have the petitions, because then my hon. friend will have an opportunity of seeing that they were not signed exclusively by persons who support the government, but were signed by persons high in the counsels of the Conservative party, and occupying high positions in this House. I agree with all my hon. friend has said about the propriety of punishing criminals who have been proven guilty of offences such as those which this gentleman was convicted of. But these offences are not new. I myself had occasion in the province of Quebec-and the law reports will bear me out- to prosecute gentlemen who were guilty of even worse offences, in 1880 and 1881 ; but they escaped at that time. Of course, the Liberal party was not in power in the province then.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Would that have made any difference ?

The MINISTER OF1 JUSTICE. No, but my hon. friend called attention to the fact that when the Liberals were in power, Brunet was punished. I think the proper time to discuss this question will be when all the documents are before the House. It is possible that in this case the government assumed some responsibility, for which they must of course account to the House ; but I think it would be easy to show that the responsibility does not rest exclusively on the heads of the gentlemen connected with the government. I think it will be shown also that there have been other cases equally serious in which clemency was exercised under circumstances less defensible than in the present instance. I ought to say here that Brunet was represented at the time by medical certificates to be in a very precarious condition of health. Men are not sent to jail for the

purpose of dying there ; they are not sent

to jail to be executed ; they are sent there to be punished, and if a man is sent to jail for six months and medical men testify that his life is imperilled in consequence, it behooves the executive to take that fact into consideration. I ought to say also that in the Court of King's Bench of Quebec at the same time, a man who had been tried for a similar offence connected with a municipal election was sent to jail for two years. 1 have not the name, but I will get the name. He was sent to jail for two years, and Mr. Brunet, who was tried after him, was sent to jail for six months. Another man connected with the same offence, was tried in the term following, and went to jail for twelve months. All these things will be discussed at the proper time, and we will find out how these inequalities of sentences came to prevail and see whether or not, in view of these inequalities, it was necessary for the executive to occasionally interfere.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Inasmuch, Mr. Speaker, as the Brunet sentence was very much shorter than the sentences in the other cases, it seems to me it was hardly necessary to interfere in this case, whatever might be said of the others. If what my hon. friend from Montmorency (Mr. Cas-grain) has said as to the gravity of Brunet's offence be correct, the sentence of six months was very short. And considering what was said in this House some two or three years ago, by my right hon. friend, the Prime Minister, with regard to the gravity of offences of this kind, it is somewhat astonishing that, after a six months' sentence had been imposed on this man-a very short sentence-the government should have seemed fit to have shortened that sentence by a period of two months.

I agree with my hon. friend, the Minister of Justice, that this case might perhaps be better discussed when the papers come down, but the hon. gentleman has undertaken to discuss it to some extent himself and he must pardon us if we say a few words about it now. The hon. Minister of Justice seems to take a somewhat peculiar view of the responsibility of the government and of himself in this matter. Does he consider that if every Conservative in the city of Montreal signed a petition for this man's release, that would lessen his responsibility one whit 1 If he does, he takes a view of the duties of his position absolutely different from that which I entertain. Here is a man convicted of a very serious crime- crime of a character which unfortunately has prevailed very largely throughout this country during the past five or six years, and in reference to which the Prime Minister said in this House a few years ago, that no matter could better engage the attention of our judges than an investigation into charges of that kind, because no

fountain could be pure which was tainted at its source.

Well, we have had a criminal convicted at last. Those in Ontario have for the most part, gone scott free. Every criminal involved in the case which I brought to the attention of the House at that time, has gone scott free. The investigation was burked in the committee at that session, and the hon. gentlemen opposite, by their votes prevented its being proceeded with during the following session. My right hon. friend and his colleague, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, both arose and said when I first brought up the matter, that no matter could better engage the attention of the House. But they sat dumb the next session when I asked to have the matter proceeded with, and they voted that no investigation should be had. The Minister of Trade and Commerce has never explained his position from that day to this. His leader did get up, at the conclusion of the debate and attempt to explain why he then voted down a motion for an investigation which a year before he had been so willing to grant. We all know the reasons. We ail know that the investigation into the West Huron election before the Committee on Privileges and Elections did not have the result the hon. gentlemen opposite expected. We know how they prevented my witnesses being called until their own were summoned, in order that the criminals might be heard first, yet we had proof from the inspection of the ballots and out of the mouths of their own deputy returning officers that' frauds had been committed. Certain revelations were made, more particularly with regard to the Brockville election, which made it very undesirable to the hon. gentlemen opposite, that the investigation should proceed further. None of the men implicated have been prosecuted since. There is a Liberal government opposite and one in power in Ontario, and the curtain has to some extent been lifted during the past few days, with regard to certain matters going on in that province. I do not take the view of the Minister of Justice, that he can relieve himself from responsibility by saying he has petitions from any number of Conservatives. The responsibility is not on these gentlemen but on the government. My hon. friend says that he did not sign this recommendation. Are we to infer that he did not concur in it ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

Not at all. I take full responsibility for it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

My hon. friend must take full responsibility, so long as he remains a member of the government, but it may nevertheless be the case that he did not concur, so far as his personal opinion is concerned, in the recommendation that this man should be released. I do not know that what took place in 1880 has much to Mr. ijUKDnjN (Halifax).

do with the position of affairs in 1903. The question is whether Brunet was properly released from custody. We can judge of that when the papers come down. There was something said about his health. Hon. gentlemen opposite will remember how they sneered when the question of health was raised in the McGreevy case. They charged collusion, they said that certificates were procured simply for the * purpose of releasing this man. I have not read the certificates in the Brunet case, and I do not know whether they afford any justification on the ground of health, but I venture to think that unless there is some very strong justification from the condition of this man's health, no greater outrage was ever perpetrated than to release him from prison before the expiry of his very short term. When the papers come down, it will behoove the Minister of Justice to deal with this matter more fully, because it is one which calls for our most serious attention.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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CON

William Humphrey Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. H. BENNETT (East Simcoe).

The hon. Minister of Justice has told us that he did not personally sign the report, but that afterwards he concurred in it. This will throw a flood of light into the Department of Justice and enable us to form some idea of how certain judicial appointments came to be made. There was a time when the Judiciary of Ontario was looked upon with a great deal more respect than it is to-day. But, hon. gentlemen opposite have seen fit to make appointments which have aroused the adverse criticism of not only the party press, even the independent and law journals. Let me quote from the ' Canada Law Times ' with reference to one appointment recently made in Ontario. I know not whether the hon. Minister of Justice has concurred in all the demands that have been made from time to time. But let me call attention to what is said by the ' Canada Law Times,' which is certainly not a political journal, with reference to the nonpromotion of Mr. Justice Osier :-

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Order.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CASE OF ARTHUR BRUNET-DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT, 1900.
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March 16, 1903