Plant h'„B mi'itia authorities of my depart-hi£r 1,0t lost sight of this fact in framthatthe *11g til
Pfhinen Bi|l. 1 may say that we have ex-,Ws of' "''t °uly the imperial laws and the aWs of er colonies of the empire, but the i.'Kle-'ivoii ,1' countries as well, and we have b&st tho.« . to incorporate in this Bill the It wn, ,18 jn them all. n°W i„w® tound that in the Bill which 1 Jhade in ,, ?c.e there have been changes *sting law6.1'^11 0|- the provisions of the ex-ttitions tn I timre have been important admission* i;,' nnd there have been important
omissions1 Amo"s the more import'd6 first ni?,"? ^f'°m the present law is, in
f 6 first nio om the tnletlce tn +iC6' tIle disappearance of any re-.re i'n„* tne naval militia. Tills is due to at a Bill will he introduced by
^Tine) !£' ot Marine (Hon. Mr. Prgfon this , 1 ,wi" meet all the requirements
,'t the s„„ 1 may say that this is done
Voioniai i w 0n nnd under the advice of the Admiralty efence Committee and of the
&1'esentUnf,t important omission from the ' 18 that restriction which prevents the appointment of a Canadian officer as commanding officer of our militia. The existing Militia Act provides that no one but an imperial officer, and no one below the rank of colonel in the British army, shall be appointed general officer commanding the militia of Canada. The new Bill omits this restriction and leaves it open to a Canadian or to any qualified person within the British empire to be appointed by the government as commanding officer of the Canadian militia. The next important omission-'military men will consider it important, although in a sense it is perhaps a matter of minor importance-the next omission from the Bill is the provision in the present law by which an officer of the British army of the same rank as a Canadian officer, but of junior date of appointment, takes precedence of the Canadian officer in the militia of Canada. This provision is not included in the present Bill, so that in future imperial officers who come here to serve in Canada will rank with officers of the Canadian militia according to the date of their appointment.
The next important provision which is not included in the present Bill, but which exists in the law as it now stands, is with reference to the powers of the imperial officer commanding the imperial troops at Halifax. Under the law as it now stands, in case of war, the imperial officer commanding the imperial troops at Halifax, no matter how junior he might be, would immediately take command of the whole militia of Canada over the head of the general officer commanding the militia of this country. That provision has been eliminated from the present Bill, and no allusion whatever is made to the general officer commanding at Halifax. If he is a man of senior rank, he would in time of war, by virtue of his seniority, take his position as head of the forces in this country.
One other omission is made. There is no reference in the Bill I am now proposing to the King's regulations. Under the law as it now exists the King's regulations are made a part of the law of Canada. This has been found to be troublesome and cumbrous, and to add to the difficulties of the administration of the militia. Therefore, we shall rely in future upon the regulations made in Canada for the administration of the militia of Canada, except that the Army Act will apply. It was at first thought that we might re-enact the Army Act in this country ; but it is a very long document and is being changed from time to time ; and, after taking the best advice I could get in this country, it was thought wiser to adopt the British Army Act rather than to attempted to re-enact a similar Act here at present.