April 19, 1910

OF TITK

DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA SECOND SESSION-ELEVENTH PARLIAMENT 9-10 EDWARD VII., 1909-10 VOL. XCVII COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM THE NINETEENTH DAY OF APRIL TO THE FOURTH DAY OF MAY, INCLUSIVE.


* errata


VOL. V.


Col. 8029, 4th line and 36th line, from bottom, Col. 8031, 28th line, from bottom, ' Kapilano ' Kapilano/ should read ' Kitsilano.' should read, ' Kitsilano.' / 3iouse ol Commons Bebates


SECOND SESSION-ELEVENTH PARLIAMENT


Tuesday, April 19, 1910.


NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.


House again in Committee on Bill (No. 95) respecting the Naval Service of Canada. On section 2-interpretation; (b) 'department ' means the Department of Marine and Fisheries.


LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I desire to move an amendment to paragraph (b) which will read as follows:

Strike out the words 'Marine and Fisheries' and substitute for the same 'naval service.'

This will give me an opportunity of explaining the resolution which I moved yesterday for the organization of the naval .service. In order to understand the amendment which I now suggest to substitute for * Marine and Fisheries ' the word ' naval service,' I propose to explain what the naval service shall be and what it shall consist of. At the present time the Department of Marine and Fisheries is loaded with several public services. There is perhaps no department of the government which exercises so wide a jurisdiction over different matters of public interest as the Department of Marine -and Fisheries. It has to deal, according to law, with:

Pilots and pilotage and decayed pilots' fund.

The construction and maintenance of lighthouses, lightships, fog alarms, buoys and beacons.

Ports and harbours, harbour commissioners and harbour masters.

Piers, wharfs and breakwaters, the collection of tolls in connection therewith, and the minor repairs on such properties.

Steamships and vessels belonging to the government of Canada engaged in connection with services administered by the minister.

Sick and distressed seamen, and the establishment, regulation and maintenance of marine and seamen's hospitals.

River and harbour police.

Humane establishments.

Life-boat service, and rewards for saving life.

Inquiries into causes of shipwrecks and casualties and the collection of wreck statistics.

Inspection of steamboats, examination of engineers, and inquiry into accidents to steamers and the conduct of engineers.

Examination of masters and mates.

234b B-4

Registration and met sureraent of shipping, and preparation of return of registered shipping of Canada.

Meteorological and magnetic service.

Tidal observatioins on the coasts of Canada. Climatology of Canada.

Inspection of vessels carrying live stock from Canada to Europe.

Shipping of Seamen, shipping masters, and shipping offices. .

Winter communication between Prince Pel-ward Island and the mainland by steamer and ice boats.

Hydrographic surveys.

Administration of deck-load law, and the subject of deck and load lines.

Removal of wrecks and other obstructions in navigable waters. .

Sea coast and inland fisheries, the management, regulation and protection thereof, ana everything relating thereto and the payment of fishing bounties. _

Deepening and maintaining the St. Lawrence ship channel from Montreal to the sea. Administration of Sorel snip yard.

Wireless telegraph service.

These the Department of Marine and Fisheries has assigned to it. In discussing the organization of the department with my hon. friend (Mr. Bro-deur) who now presides over it and whose continued absence -tram the House we still deplore, he thought it advisable, or he had in mind, at all events, to divide the department constituting two departments within the same department. What was obviously too much business for one department might perhaps not have been enough for two, but now that it is proposed to have a navy, it is- quite evident that it would not be possible to have the whole of this included in the same department. Therefore, the intention of the government is to create a new department to be called the Department of the Naval Service. Later on, when we come to the proper moment, I will move the following addition:

4a. There shall be a department of the government of Canada which shall be called the Denartment of the Naval Service, over which the Minister of Marine and Fisheries for the time being shall preside, and he shall be the Minister of the Naval Service.

4b. The Governor in Council may also appoint an officer who shall be called the deputy minister of the naval service, who shall be the deputy head of the department, and may also appoint such other officers and clerks as are requisite for the due administration of the business of the department, each of whom, shall hold office during pleasure.

This department shall be charged with the

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

If it is proposed to establish a new department,'would not the proper course have been to introduce -a Bill to establish the department first?

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I think the proper place is in connection with the Naval Bill. When we came to look into the matter closely it was found that it would be too much to place under one department. It was decided to have a separate department which would be presided over by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Is it intended to appoint another deputy minister for that department?

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The proposal is to create a new department with a new deputy minister but to have it under the control of one of the existing ministers.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Yes. Under the Minister of Marine and Fisheries.

On section 4,

The command in chief of the naval forces is vested in the King, and shall be exercised and administered by His Majesty or by the Governor General as His representative.

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CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

Is this section not in direct contravention of the British North America Act, which provides that the authority should continued to be vested in the King? This presumes to direct how that authority, should be exercised, and is therefore adding something material to the British North America Act.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

This has been the law of Canada since confederation.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Section 15 of the British North America Act is as follows:

The command in chief of the land and naval militia, and of all naval and military forces, of and in Canada, is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.

As the hon. member for Hastings has said,

there is a certain qualification to that introduced in section 4 of this Bill, which undertakes to say how that command shall be exercised. There is no such qualification in section 15 of the British North America Act.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I think the objection is not at all well taken. This Act is exactly the same as the Militia Act in regard to the power vested in the government of Canada. Here is the clause in the Militia Act:

The command in chief of the militia is declared to continue and be vested in the King, and shall be exercised and administered by His Majesty, or by the Governor General as His representative.

The clause might perhaps have been improved and made clearer than it is; but since it has received the interpretation of parliament from the earliest days of confederation, we did not think it advisable for us to depart in any way from what has been the settled and well-understood principle of the constitution. Moreover, my hon. friend will find in section 9 of the British North America Act the same language repeated almost identically. I think my hon. friend from Hastings some time ago expressed the opinion that the interpretation of section 15 of the British North America Act was that the command of the forces should be exercised by the Queen and could not be delegated by her to the Governor General. At all events, if he did not exactly express that view, the press has done so. I would simply ask my hon. friend to look at section 9 of the British North America Act, which reads as follows:

The executive government and authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.

If the correct interpretation of section 15 is that the command of the forces is vested in the Queen and cannot be delegated by her to her representative in this country, it would follow that the executive government of the country, which is also declared by the constitution to be vested in the Queen, could not be delegated to her representative. That interpretation is simply absurd. From the very first day of confederation the executive power over Canada has been conferred by the Queen upon her representative in this country, and we cannot conceive that it would be possible to carry on the government otherwise. We cannot expect that under the constitution of Canada or the constitution of any of the self-governing colonies, the young daughter nations of the empire, the Sovereign himself would exercise authority directly in these countries. He can only do so indirectly by a representative. It has been done, and the action has never been questioned. That is the answer I have to give in regard to the language of this section, which follows identically what has been the custom of the country since confederation.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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April 19, 1910