December 13, 1909

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 67), respecting the Improved Paper Machinery Company.-Mr. Worthington. Bill (No. 68), respecting the Kettle River Valley Railway Company.-Mr. Burrell. Bill (No. 69), respecting the Prince Albert and Hudson Bay Railway Company. -Mr. Neely. Bill (No. 70), to incorporate the Toronto Central Terminal Company.-Mr. Harris.


OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON.

?

Mr. E. N.@

LEWIS (West Huron) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 71) respecting assaults and offences against the person. He said: The purpose of this Bill

is explained by its title. I have added to it the provision of the Bill which I introduced last year relating to homicide by hunters in the woods. I cannot explain this clause more clearly than by using the words of an editorial in the Ottawa * Citizen ' :

Hunting is a sport. Homicide is a crime. When a keen or careless sportsman in the bush sees something that he thinks is a deer, he fires at it, and subsequently discovers that he has killed a man. If he had seen his target properly he would have known beyond doubt whether it was a deer or a man. Not seeing it properly, he is not sure which it is, but he deliberately takes the chance of killing a man rather than miss shooting a deer. In other words, he does not give the human being the benefit of the doubt. If he gave the deer the benefit of the doubt, and it got away, he would lose about ten dollars' worth of venison. If he gave the man the benefit of the doubt, the life of a human being would be saved. Any hunter who will run the risk of killing a human being rather than risk losing ten dollars' worth of venison deserves to be in the penitentiary. Therefore, the ' Citizen ' thinks that the Bill of Mr. Lewis, M.P., to amend the Criminal Code should pass.

The other clauses of the Bill refer to assaults upon women and to punishment of tramps. I have here small items from newspapers from many parts of Canada. I may just mention some of them: A despatch from Barrie, * Young farmer committed on charge of criminal assault '; from Stratford, * Stratford girl attacked; Cries frightened the man and he fled;' from London, ' Frightened to death by a tramp;' from Winnipeg, 'Another brute;' from Winnipeg, 'Tinsmith arrested; charged with criminal assault upon a child;' from Vancouver, ' Fiendish murder of a

seven-year-old.' This Bill proposes heavier punishment for such offences. How often, when a man is arrested for stealing-even if he has only stolen something to eat- the offender gets from three to five or even ten years. I have before me a newspaper item about a man getting fifteen years for breaking into a car in the city of Victoria. Here is another about a man who got three years for sending indecent post cards. But the man who assaults a child of five years gets only three months. This Bill propos_es to punish the wrong doer in such cases in such a way as to prevent the recurrence of such crimes.

Another clause has to do with what may be called a custom in this country which leads more to crimes by tramps than any other. In Ontario, at least, it is quite common for a magistrate before whom a prisoner is brought for having no visible means of support, to allow the man to go on the condition that he moves to another county. And in how many cases is that productive of crime? Take the case of the horrible murder committed in the city of Stratford, for which the criminal has just paid the last penalty; within the three weeks before that crime was committed that man had been arrested four times and had been allowed to go on condition of going into another county. The Bill empowers the magistrate, in the ease of a man arrested the second time as a vagrant, to send him into confinement under indeterminate sentence as a dangerous character to be at large.

And, Mr. Speaker, in view of the information contained in the newspapers to some items of which I have already referred, and many others which I have collected, I would ask your permission to say to the government that, in my opinion this Bill and others relating to criminal law should be referred to a committee for consideration. It is twenty years since the Criminal Code was really revised. I would suggest that the Committee on Privileges and Elections, which is a large committee with little to do, a committee composed of lawyers, experts in the enforcement of the criminal law, should have its power enlarged so that it may take into consideration this question of our Criminal Code and the amendments proposed thereto. In accordance with this purpose, it might be called the Committee on Privileges, Elections and the Criminal Law.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


THE SAVING OF DAYLIGHT.


Mr. LEWIS moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 72) respecting the saving of daylight. He said : This is the Bill which I introduced last year, and which was considered and favourably reported by a committee of this House. I wish to say that of all the replies we have received, from one end of the country to the other, by boards of trade and by councils, we have had only one objection advanced against the provision of this Bill. When the Bill was first brought up in the imperial House it was laughed at; but it was brought up again, and on the second occasion the House saw fit to appoint a committee of nine members to examine the Bill, and that committee reported absolutely in its favour It has come before the imperial House again, and the imperial House has found one or two reasons, on the eve of an election, why it would not be suitable for England. But those reasons do not apply to this country, and in England they are only thought to apply to the city of London and other large cities, in so far as it might affect theatres and the milk trade. Now, Sir, I contend that if this Bill were passed by this House it would operate one of the most beneficent revolutions in Canada, and after the people had tried it three months it would be absolutely impossible to repeal it. Millions of dollars would be saved to the people now expended on artificial light, and the benefit to public health would be incalculable. The heads of the great railways of this country, the Canadian Pacific railway and the Grand Trunk, are of the opinion that this Bill would be an incalculable benefit to them; because, if you take the records of the railways themselves, you will find that many, many thousands of dollars loss and many fatal accidents occur which would not occur if the trains were run to a larger extent by daylight, and they would be able to finish their journeys almost entirely by daylight. Now, Sir, I ask the government to appoint a committee to examine this Bill, and I think I may venture to say that there is not an bon. gentleman within the sound of my voice, who has examined and clearly understands this Bill, who is not entirely in favour of it. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


INTEREST ACT-AMENDMENT.


Mr. MILLER moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 73) to amend the Interest Act. He said: This Bill is substantially the same as the Bill I introduced a short time ago. . Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time. .


CANADA SHIPPING ACT-AMENDMENT.


Mr. EDWARDS moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 74) to amend the Canada Shipping Act. He said: The Bill which I am asking the permission of this House to introduce is identically the same as the



Bill I introduced last session. It is designed to do away with the discrimination which at present exists against Ontario vessel owners, and it seeks to amend the Canada Shipping Act by introducing the word ' Ontario Motion agreed to, and Bill read -the first time.


CRIMINAL CODE-AMENDMENT.


Mr. HARRIS moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 75) to amend the Criminal Code. He said: The object of this amendment is to make it a specific offence for a chauffeur, or any one else other than the owner of an automobile, to use said automobile without the consent or permission of the owner. This is a practice which is becoming altogether too common in . Canada, and during the past season many instances of this kind have occurred, causing danger to life and property. In New York state they have passed an amendment similar to this, and I think the Bill I am introducing will commend itself to all the members of this House. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


HARLAND AND WOLFF, SHIP BUILDERS.

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Before the orders of the day are called, I wish to ask the government if they have any information about a report of Mr. Clark, an expert sent out to this country by Harland and Wolff to investigate the conditions of ship building. According t-o some of the newspapers, he has made a report, and it has been brought to the knowledge of the government. If so, 1 think it very desirable that the House of Commons should see it, and I would ask the government to let us have that report upon the table of the House.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) is not in his seat to-day. I do not know if he has received such a report; so far as my information goes, no such report has been received by him. The minister will be here the day after to-morrow, and I will ask him about it.

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COMBINATIONS IN RESTRAINT OF TRADE.

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to inquire of the government when they intend to introduce the Bill mentioned in the speech from the Throne rendering more effective the present legislation respecting combinations which unduly enhance prices?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I cannot give any information to-day. The matter is under consideration.

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December 13, 1909