Has the report of Mr. Justice Murphy, of the Chinese Investigation Commission at Vancouver been received, and if so will it be laid on the table without an order of the House? I put the question because Bill (No. 147) has stood over at the request of members of the House pending the presentation and consideration of this report. If an order of the House to have it printed has to be moved for, of course it would not be feasible to consider the report now.
Can the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) inform us about what time he will proceed with the Act respecting copyright? I want to give that measure some personal attention, and I am reasonably busy now, so that if the minister would say about what time he would bring forward the measure it would facilitate me and others.
I have been in communication with the Rt. Hon. Sidney Buxton who has informed me that he hopes the Bill in the Imperial parliamnet will be passed shortly. As some amendments have been introduced to that Bill it would be
well for us to delay so that our Bill may harmonize with it as far as possible in the shape in which it is finally passed.
Will any opportunity be given to interests who are concerned in that very important measure to present their views to parliament. Since the Bill has been introduced there has been a great deal of public discussion on it in the press and throughout the country. I understand that the imperial Bill was referred to a committee of the House before w iich the interests affected were heard. I also understand that the same proceeding was adopted by the American Congress on their Copyright Bill and also in Germany and other European countries which are in what might be called the copyright family of nations. Does not the minister consider that the Bill should be referred to some tribunal which would receive the opinions and suggestions of those interested?
Before the adjournment, the Bill had practically passed -through Committee of the Whole, but I asked that it should not be reported. Since then 1 have taken great pains to send copies of the Bill and of the debate to everybody who seemed to be at all interested, with the request that they should communicate their views to the department, before parliament reassembled. We have had a few. replies which will receive every consideration. The Bill is still in Committee of the Whole and can thoroughly considered there. I am sure that the hon. members interested will be able to present to the House the views of those whom they represent.
Mr. Speaker, before you leave the chair, I desire to bring to the attention of the House a matter that has been before the government for the last fifteen or sixteen years; that is, the question of the recognition in some substantial manner of the claims of the veterans of 1866 and 1870. I do not intend at this stage to go into the merits or demerits of the claims of the veterans, but I intend to show first of all what steps had been taken by the veterans with a view to having their rights recognized in some manner by this government, In the year 1896. I think, the first deputation waited on Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his government and asked for some Mr. FISHER,
recognition of their claims. In speaking to that deputation, the Prime Minister is reported as follows-I am reading now from ' Hansard ' of the 26th of March, 1906, and quoting from the speech made by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk):
He would like to find a few facts about the subject under discussion so that he would have a basis to work upon. To begin with, he said, I would like to know about how many men were called out at that time, and if it is the desire of the present delegation that services of all the remaining veterans who. took an laotive part and also in what way it is considered their services would best be recognized.
Further on the Prime Minister is reported as saying:
In making his reply, Mr. Laurier stated that he fully appreciated the strength of the reason that all should be remembered, and and that nothing would give him greater pleasure than laying the claims of the veterans before his colleagues at the next parliament, as he regretted to say it was too late at present to bring it up at the present session.
That would be towards the end of the first session of the present administration. Although between that time and 1905 two other delegations waited on the government, each of which received a favourable reply from the government, neither of which was specific, however, I un4erstand that in 1905 a further large delegation waited on the Prime Minister and Sir Frederick Borden, a delegation evidently composed largely of veterans from the eastern townships of the province of Quebec and some from the province of Ontario. To that delegation the Prime Minister is reported to have replied as follows:
Sir Wilfrid Laurier received much applause when "he rose to reply. Two years ago he had been approached by a smaller deputation on a similar errand, but as the session was far advanced he had been unable to give them a definite answer. He had told them then he hoped to be in a better position next time they came to him. The members had evidently remembered his words, for they had now returned in largely increased numbers. He could hardly claim to be a veteran, as they had called him, for he had only been a volunteer in 1870. When the regiment he belonged to had been mustered the trouble was over. To the victors, he said, belong the spoils, was an expression most of them were familiar with. While the veterans had turned back the invaders in 1866 and 1870 there had been no spoils left. Thirty years after they come to ask from the country some recognition for their services, and he thought some appreciation should be shown. Their services then bad (saved the country from much humiliation, if not worse. Had the invaders not been repelled at the border
much misery would have been caused, although, of course, the country would not have been conquered. What the veterans asked was not much. He could not give a definite answer himself to their request, but he could assure them that he and the ministers with him would be very pleased to report their request to the Privy Council. The meeting closed with three cheers and a 'tiger' for Sir Wilfrid, called for by some enthusiastic veteran. [DOT]
In the same year the hon. member for Jacques Cartier again brought the matter up in the House, and at page 642 of Hansard of 1905, we find the Prime Minister reported as follows:
I think it is obvious to any one, and my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) will agree with me, that if the veterans of 1866 and 1870 have a claim against anybody, it is the Dominion government, although I do not say that the veterans, from their point of view, have not done well to address themselves to the provincial government. Mr. Gouin, the provincial premier, I do not think went further in his answer than to say that they should first of all address themselves to the Dominion government. This they have done, and the matter is now under consideration. But I must say, and my hon. friend will not be surprised, that up to this moment the government. has had no time to take the matter in 'hand and give it the attention which it will require before we can come to a conclusion.
I may just point out that although the government say they had not time to take the matter into consideration, it is exactly nine years since the veterans first presented their petition to the House. Then the Prime Minister went on to say:
The matter is under consideration, and without making any pledge, I will say that I will give an answer during the present session. When the answer will be given, I am sorry to say that I can give no indication today to my hon. friend, but certainly it will be given during the present session.
Well, the answer was not given during that session. A further deputation waited on the government in 1906 and laid their claims before it, and I find that on that occasion the following reply was mate to them by the Minister of Militia, Sir Frederick Borden:
But since my hon. friend has presented his argument and suggested that homesteads bona fide should be offered to these men who might be willing to go to the Northwest as actual settlers, I am inclined to the opinion that the government would be willing to take that matter into consideration.