There are certainly two sides to this legislation. It may operate to the benefit of the militia force in Canada, and it may operate detrimentally; and it is because of the uncertainty in which I find myself that I do not insist upon pushing these sections through at the present time. I would like to have the benefit of some discussion on the subject, so as to see whether the object we have in view will be served by this legislation.
It strikes me that the best plan would be to have a special police force to do this duty. It would be unfair, in that case mentioned by my colleague from Toronto (Mr. Brock) to deprive merchants of the services of their men under all circumstances. What we should have is a sufficient number of regular troops or police
in Canada which should be called upon to suppress cases of riot and cases of disorder.
Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).
1 regret that I have to dissent absolutely from the view expressed that a regular soldier in any sense should be employed, or that Dominion policemen in any sense should be employed, to suppress disorder within the bounds of a municipality. It is all right enough in unorganized territories which are under the direct control of the Dominion government, to have a Dominion, force to preserve law and order; but in municipalities like Toronto and Montreal, I insist that no regular soldier should be called out, other than as a member of the militia force of Canada, to preserve law and order. The sooner we teach the municipalities and business men of this country that each municipality must preserve its own, law and order the better. In reference to the point made by the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Brock) that there are certain men who could not be spared to be called out with the militia, if that be so, then, the Militia Act is the place to have these men excepted. I can see no reason why a man occupying a position in a warehouse in Toronto should be exempted from serving his country. There are men exempted from military service, but I can see no reason why any man occupying any position in the city of Toronto should be exempted from serving his country when other people are obliged to do their duty and incur the odium and loss of time that necessarily falls to the lot of a man who becomes a member of the militia force. As a taxpayer of this country, I object to paying tlie .expense of a regular force to be kept up through the length and breadth of this country to suppress disorders in cities and towns amongst communities that are not capable of preserving law and order themselves. The proper plan in a democratic country like Canada is as far as possible to depends upon the tolerant spirit and respect for law and order to be found in all communities in this country. We should depend upon the militia force which is the people's force rather than to attempt to emulate the policy of continental Europe in having large standing armies, because we must rely upon each man in this country to recruit as a militiaman and do his duty in the ranks.
Mr. ROBINSON (West Elgin).
It would certainly be a very great hardship if the farmers of this country were subject to fine and imprisonment if they demurred to allowing their hired men and sons to he called out. to perform military duties especially at this season of the year. Suppose they were called out now When the harvest is on, it would he a shame to punish a farmer by fine or imprisonment if he did not allow his hired man to go.
May I ask the lion. Minister of Militia and Defence what has
become of the protest or petition sent from Montreal by tlie city council in regard to the expenditure incurred during the strikes in the month of May ? I understand an account was filed which the city council refused to pay, and that a protest or perhaps a deputation, was sent to the lion. Minister of Militia and Defence asking the government to pay. Was there anything of that kind ?
There was a petition.
And the answer, if I understand well, was that the city council should themselves pay these expenses ?
I did not hear the answer of the bon. minister.
The answer was that the city of Montreal should pay these bills itself.
The government has nothing to do with this matter.
Mr. ROSS (Ontario).
I am afraid that if we went as far as the gallant colonel who represents Victoria (Mr. Hughes) suggests, we should have conscription in this country and the people would be compelled to serve in the militia. There are some people in this country who do not believe that everybody should be a soldier. There are some of us who are merchants and I heartily sympathize with the views expressed by the hon. member for Centre Toronto (Mr. Brock). For instance, while I am a merchant I am here attending to my duties as a member of parliament. I have managers and bookkeepers to do my business during my absence. If they should be military men and if they should' be obliged to leave their duties during two or three weeks while I was absent performing my duties as a member of parliament who is there to look after iny business ? I cannot conceive that the proposed law is in the interests of the people; or at all events, there should be some modification so that under certain circumstances only it would come into operation. I am certain that it is the sense of every hon. member of this House that if war were to break out we should leave our shops and fight for our country, but that is not going to take place, we hope, for many long years, and we pray, never.
Mr. ROSS (Ontario).
I know that in times of peace we should prepare for war, but we should prepare for it in an intelligent manner.
I have the greatest respect for the statements made by the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Clarke), and the suggestion he makes may be perfectly
' correct, but it occurred to me, that, probably, although quite In a proper direction as regards having a sufficient police force to control all municipal difficulties in a particular city or town, the section of the Bill as regards military matters goes farther than that. The suggestion of the hon. member for West Toronto would probably not be capable of being worked out under this section. In reference to the remark just made by the hon. member for South Ontario (Mr. Ross) I may say that I am not a military man myself and I have no desire to leave my office except I receive more remuneration in some other field. I recognize the truth of the saying that * they also serve who only stand and wait.' I have been one of the waiters myself. It hardly meets the case to say that in the event of the country being invaded, or a great difficulty arising, we would then leave our shops and places of business and defend the country because there must be some preparation in the meantime. Raw recruits would not be very valuable in such a case as that, and although I recognize the importance of not interfering with the established avenues of trade and business any more than we can possibly avoid, still, there is the necessity of making some reasonable preparation in the meantime. We must also recognize that all of us must make more or less sacrifices in that direction. I do not know that this legislation should be passed at the present time. I think probably it is a matter that might very well be left over for a time until it has been considered. There are certain difficulties that have arisen in the past that it is designed to meet. I wish to direct attention to that point. I was told in reference to a certain organization by a man who is a member of the organization that the reason they did not want their men to join the militia force of the country, was that in case of a disturbance brethren would he called upon to fight against brethren. This is raising a very serious difficulty and probably the suggestion from the hon. member for West Toronto would meet that difficulty very effectually. Probably the difficulty that w'e meet at the present time as far as these organizations are concerned and their dread of having members of the same organization firing upon other members of the organization on the occasion of a strike would be eliminated by having a police force to control any difficulty that occurs throughout the country.
It is very hard to expect that every municipality throughout the country should have a police force that would enable it to cope with difficulties in connection with riots. However. dealing with the matter we have in hand, I would like to point out to the committee the difficulty I have had because of the law that we have now in existence. Section 107 of the Militia Act provides that Mr. LENNOX.
every officer or man in the militia who refuses when called upon to come to the aid of the civil power is liable to a penalty of $100. A man may be called upon to join his regiment and he may be in the employ of some one Who would dismiss him if he did join. He has to face a fine in one hand and dismissal in the other.
He is between the devil and the deep sea.
He is between the hon. gentleman's friend and the deep sea.
I know of a case where a man belonging to one of the crack regiments in Montreal was actually threatened with dismissal-*-