January 12, 1910

REPORTS PRESENTED.


Railway Statistics of Canada for the year 1909.-Hon. Geo. P. Graham. Civil Service List of Canada for the ^ear 1909.-Hon. Charles Murphy. Report of the Auditor General for the year ended March 31, 1909 (Vol. II).-Hon. W. S. Fielding. Report of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police for the year 1909.-Sir Wilfrid Laurier.


THE ARCTIC COMMEMORATIVE TABLET.

LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. WM. PUGSLEY.

Mr. Speaker, I would like permission to correct an answer which, as it is reported in 'Hansard,' was made to a question put by the hon. member for Digby_ (Mr. Jameson) on or about the 15th of December last, relating to the tablet which has been erected in the vestibule of the library of parliament. The following is the question:

1. By what authority was the tablet commemorative of the Arctic expedition placed in the vestibule of the Library of Parliament?

2. Was a sketch of the tablet proposed to be erected submitted? If so, what officer of the government was charged with the duty of examining and reporting on said sketch?

3. What has been the cost of the tablet, and to whom was the money paid?

The answer should be as follows:

1. The Honourable the Speaker of the House of Commons.

2. This tablet is an exact copy of the tablet left on Tarry Rock, Winter harbour, Melville island, lat. 74-47, N. long. 110-50 W., by the crew of the 'Arctic,' 1st July, 1909.

3. The tablet was made by the government employees on board the ' Arctic,' and there was therefore no charge made for this work.

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DOMINION LANDS ACT AMENDMENT- THE SPEAKER'S RULING.

LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

On December 17 last the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) asked leave to introduce a Bill intituled ' An Act to amend the Dominion Lands Act.' An objection was raised, on a point of order, that the Bill should have been first considered by a Committee of the Whole before its introduction, on the ground that rule 77 applied to the case. Rule 77 provides that if any motion be made in the House for any public aid or charge upon the people, the consideration and debate thereof may not be presently entered upon, but shall be adjourned to a future day; and then should be referred to a Committee of the Whole House, before any vote do pass thereon. Not having had an opportunity of perusing the Bill at the time the objection was taken, the Bill was allowed to stand in order that this point might be considered. I have looked carefully through the Bill, which contains two clauses, the first of which provides that ' An entrant for

a purchased homestead may, within six months after the date of entry, abandon such homestead and make a second entry, and shall receive credit for the amount of principal paid on the first entry.' The second clause is substantially the same as far as the principle of rule 77 is concerned. I do not find here that any public aid or charge upon the people is provided for. The proposed Act simply provides that an entrant may abandon one lot of land to the government and take up another in lieu thereof, his cash payment to the government simply remaining to his credit on account of the second lot applied for. This is no charge upon the revenues of the country; nor can the substitution of one parcel of land for another be held to be equivalent to a charge or tax. Therefore, I think, the hon. member may introduce his Bill without reference to a Committee of the Whole House.

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FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 89) respecting the Calgary and Edmonton Railway Company.-Mr. Douglas. Bill (No. 90) respecting the Central Ontario railway.-Mr. Stratton. Bill (No. 91) to incorporate the London and Lake Erie Railway and Transportation Company.-Mr. Harris. Bill (No. 92) respecting a patent of the Mond Nickel Company, Limited.-Mr. Mc-Giverin. Bill (No. 93) respecting the Vancouver and Coast-Kootenay Railway Company.- Mr. R. Smith.


ELECTION OF MEMBERS.


Mr. SPEAKER-I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery certificates of the election to the House of Commons of John Best, Esq., for the electoral district of Dufferin, and John D. Sperry, Esq., for the electoral district of Lunenburg.


NEW MEMBER.


John Best, Esq., member elect for the electoral district of Dufferin, introduced by Mr. R. L. Borden and Mr. Sproule.


DOMINION LANDS ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. TURRIFF moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 94) to amend the Dominion Lands Act. He said: Mr. Speaker, this is the Bill which I explained briefly the day before the Christmas recess. The object I have in view is to provide relief in the case of a party who is entitled to a purchased homestead and who makes entry for a purchased homestead, but who, either through Mr. SPEAKER. some fault of his own or from some misfortune, has entered for a piece of land that is absolutely worthless. In entering for a purchased homestead, for which the entrant has to pay $3 an acre, a payment of $1 per acre in addition to the entry fee of $10 has to be made when the entrant makes the entry. A number of instances have occurred in -which the entrant has by some means or other got hold of a piece of land that is absolutely worthless. Under the present law it is impossible for that man to abandon that worthless land and get another quarter section without forfeiting not only his $10 entry fee, which would not be bad, but also the $160 which he has paid on account of principal. All I ask is that the man who has been so unfortunate as to get a quarter section that is absolutely worthless, shall, for the period of six months, have an opportunity of going to the land office, abandoning that particular quarter section, substituting another in its place and getting credit for the amount of money paid on account of principal on the first quarter section. It is very simple and very easy, it will not conflict with any interest or hurt any one, and it seems to me to be a desirable reform. No man in this country should be put in the position of forfeiting $160 of his hard earned money to the government and getting nothing in return. It is to enable the department to avoid such injustice that I am introducing this Bill. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.


Sir WTLFRID LAURIER moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 95) respecting the Naval Service of Canada. He said: Mr. Speaker, it was understood when the House adjourned for the Christmas recess that, upon resuming our sittings, my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) would introduce the Naval Bill which was foreshadowed in the speech from the Throne and expose the policy of the government in regard to it. Unfortunately, my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries is to-day in such a condition of health that he cannot be present, but with a view of not disappointing the House and of expediting its business, my hon. friend has asked me to introduce the measure for him. He hopes, and still more I hope, that when the Bill is brought up for second reading early next week he will be able to be in his place to move the second reading and then go fully into the whole question and all the details of policy and administration connected with it. My object, therefore, to-day will be simply to introduce the Bill and give to the House its salient features, reserving for the second reading the more general discussion of the measure. The Bill which will be laid upon the table is entitled ' An Act respecting the Naval Service of Canada.' It provides for the creation of a naval force to be composed of a permanent corps, a reserve force, and a volunteer force on the same pattern 'absolutely as the present organization of the militia force. The Bill, I may say, follows the Militia Act in many respects, and does not materially depart from it except in one feature. Under the Militia Act it is provided that the whole male population of Canada, from the age of 18 to the age of 60, is liable to military service. Should an emergency arise the whole male population within these ages may be called upon for service. Some discretion is vested in the government under the law. The first class is composed of men from 18 to 30 years of age, the second class of men from 30 to 45, and the last class of men from 45 to 60 years of age, and should the volunteer force in its different classes not be sufficient there may be an enrolment and balloting under the law. Nothing of that kind is to take place under the present Bill, no man in this country, under the Naval Service Act or any other, will be liable to military service on the sea. In this matter the present Bill departs altogether from the Militia Act; every man who will be enrolled for naval service in Canada will be enrolled by voluntary engagement, there is no compulsion of any kind, no conscription, no enrolment and no balloting. The Bill provides that the naval force shall be under the control of the Department of Marine and Fisheries. It further provides that there shall be a director of naval service who must be of the rank of rear admiral or at least of captain. The department shall be assisted by a naval board who will advise the department. The terms bf engagement will be determined by the governor in council. Commissions in the naval militia will issue in the name of His Majesty. These are the general features so far as the organization of the force is concerned. Coming now to the service which will be required from the force, 'active service,' as defined by the Act, means service or duty during an emergency, and ' emergency ' means war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended. The Act provides also, that, at any time, vhen the Governor in Council deems it ad-\ isable, in case of war, invasion or insurrection, the force may be called into active service. There is also an important provision to which I at once call the attention of the House, that while the naval force is to be 55J under the control of the Canadian government, and more directly under the control of the Department of Marine, yet, in case of emergency the Governor in Council may place at the disposal of His Majesty for general service in the royal navy the naval service or any part thereof and any ships or vessels of the naval service and any officers or men serving on these vessels or any officers or men of the naval service. There is a subsequent prevision that, if such action is. taken by the Governor in Council at a time when parliament is not sitting parliament shall immediately be called. This provision is taken from the Militia Act and reads as follows: Whenever the Governor in Council places the naval service, or any part thereof, on active service, if parliament is then separated by such adjournment or prorogation as will not expire within ten days, a proclamation shall be issued for the meeting of parliament within fifteen days, and parliament shall accordingly meet and sit upon the day appointed by such proclamation, and shall continue to sit and act in like manner as if it stood adjourned or prorogued to the same day. Provision is made for pensions of the officers of the naval service, these provisions being closely akin to. if not actually taken from, the Militia Act now in force. Another important feature of the Bill is that it provides for the establishment of a naval college on the pattern of the military college now in existence at Kingston. It also declares that the naval discipline shall be in the form of the King's regulations. These, Mr. Sneaker, are the leading features of the Bill. Of course, the matter can be very largely elaborated, but I do not think that any elaboration is necessary to an understanding of the matter. In* resume. it provides for the creation of a naval force; in this there are to be three classes as in the militia, the permanent, force, the reserve and tire volunteer force. The naval service may be placed at the disposal of His Majesty in case of war.


CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

In that connection, would the right hon. gentleman give us the clause that defines ' emergency '?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

It is the clause taken from the Militia Act:

Emergency means war, invasion, riot or insurrection, real or apprehended.

And, as I have already stated, in case of emergency the Governor in Council may exercise the power of calling out the naval force to be placed at the disposal of His Majesty, "the only restriction being that parliament is to be immediately summoned.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Is the ' war ' referred to war in any part of the empire or in Canada only? _

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

War everywhere. When Britain is at war, Canada is at war; there is no distinction. If Great Britain, to which we are subject, is at war with any nation, Canada becomes liable to invasion, and so Canada is at war.

The question may be asked: What is to 'be the number of the permanent force? Under the Militia Act, the number of the permanent force is limited to 5,000 men. There is no limit specified in this Bill, for the very obvious reason that the number of men cannot exceed the number required to iman the ships we may have.

These being the leading features of the IBill, I come now to the question of what armament it is contemplated to have at this juncture. If hon. members will look at the notes of the conference which took place in London, and which have been published, they will see that at that conference the idea was entertained that it would not be advisable for Canada to have a fleet unit on the Pacific ocean. I read from page 26 of the notes of the conference:

The Canadian representatives explained in what respect they desired the advice of the admiralty in regard to the measures of naval defence, which might be considered consistent with the resolution adopted by the Canadian parliament on the 29th March, 1909.

While, on naval strategical considerations, it was thought that a fleet unit on the Pacific, as outlined by the admiralty, might in future form an acceptable system of naval defence, it was recognized that Canada's double seaboard rendered the provisions of such a fleet unsuitable for the present.

And at page 22, in the summary of the proceedings given by Mr. Askwith after the conference had taken place, is the following :

Separate meetings took place at the admiralty with the representatives of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and general statements were agreed to in each case for further consideration by their respective governments.

As regards Australia, the suggested arrangement is that with some temporary assistance from the imperial funds, the commonwealth government should provide and maintain the Australian unit of the Pacific fleet.

The contribution of the New Zealand government would be applied towards the maintenance of the China unit, of which some of the smaller vessels would have New Zealand waters as their headquarters. The New Zealand armoured cruiser would be stationed in China waters.

As regards Canada, it was considered that her double seaboard rendered the provision of a fleet unit of the same kind unsuitable for the present. It was proposed, according to the amount of money that might be available that Canada should make a start with cruisers of the Bristol class and destroyers of an improved river class-a part to be stationed on the Atlantic seaboard and a part on the Pacific.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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January 12, 1910