The hon. gentleman can make inquiry, but it is not in order to enter into a discussion of the matter now.
I will later on test
the sentiment of the House as to whether the orders of the House are to be treated in the manner the Minister of ^Customs has treated this order in this particular instance.
INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
On motion of Hon. J. D. Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries), the House went into Committee on Bill No. 182, to provide for the inspection and branding of pickled fish, Mr. Blondin in the Chair.
This Bill was referred for
consideration to the Select Standing Committee on Marine and Fisheries, which considered the Bill most carefully at three or four meetings, and made some amendments which are recommended to the favourable consideration of the House.
On section 17-penalty for falsifying official documents:
Is not the penalty rather severe? Should not 'not less than' be * not exceeding '?
This is the penalty the committee have recommended. I am willing to reduce the term of imprisonment to two months.
Why not give some discretion to the courts?
There is a. minimum fine, and I think there should be a minimum imprisonment also. The committee have considered all this question.
I was in the committee, and I argued that there should be a discretion left to the courts, because there may be different degrees of offences, and there should be different degrees of punishment.
I would suggest that the term of imprisonment be not less than two months, instead of three.
Section as amended agreed to.
On section 23-persons found committing an infraction of this Act:
Does that leave the power of arresting without a warrant to a constable? This section was held over once or twice in the committee.
It was practically unanimously decided at the last meeting of the committee to leave this section as it stood. An officer can arrest without warrant only
a person who is actually found committing a crime. The committee felt that this power was desirable because, unless this power was given, there would be very great difficulty in enforcing this legislation in certain districts in the north.
I would not object very much to this section if the power of arresting without a warrant were left to an inspector. I think this is too wide a power to give to a constable.
Section agreed to. On section 25-fixing of venue:
Will it be in the discretion of the inspector or the officer bringing the prosecution to decide where the venue will be laid? The minister will understand that there are three places where a venue may be laid. Who is to decide that question?
If the venue is laid in any one of the three places, it will be considered to be properly laid under this legislation, and I presume the inspector laying the complaint is the one who will decide that question.
If the officer chooses, he can select whichever of the three places he chooses. If an offence were committed in the town of Yarmouth, and the officer discovered it and procured a warrant in Halifax or St. John, he could summon the man from Yarmouth to Halifax or St. John to stand his trial. Is that the way it is to be understood ?
Section agreed to.