February 9, 1915

MEMBER INTRODUCED.


Joseph Adelard Descarries, Esq., for the Electoral District of Jacques Cartier, introduced by the Hon. T. Chase Casgrain and Hon. Louis Coderre.


REPORTS AND PAPERS.


The Civil Service List of Canada, 1914.- Hon. Louis Coderre. Report of the Secretary of State of Canada for the year ended March 31, 1914.-Hon. Louis Coderre. Statement of Governor General's Warrants issued since the last session of Parliament on account of 1914-1915.-Hon. W. T. White. Statement of Expenditure on account of Unforeseen Expenses, from August 18, 1914, to February 4, 1915.-Hon. W. T White. Auditor General's Report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1914.-Hon. W. T. White. . Report of the Ottawa Improvement Commission for the year ended March 31, 1914.- Hon. W. T. White. Statement of the receipts and expenditures of the Royal Society of Canada for the year ended April 30, 1914.-Hon. W. T. White. Statement of Civil Service Superannuation and Retiring allowances for the year ended December 31, 1914.-Hon. W. T. White. Shareholders in Chartered Banks as of. date December 31, 1913.-Hon. W. T. White. Public Accounts of Canada for the year ended March 31, 1914.-Hon. W. T. White.


ELECTION OF DEPUTY SPEAKER.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That Albert Sevigny, Esq., member representing the electoral district of Dorchester, be appointed Chairman of Committees of the Whole House.

He said: Mr. Sevigny is a young member of this House, and young also in years. Since his entrance into the House he has displayed qualities which admirably adapt him to fill the important position for which he is now proposed. He combines a perfect knowledge of that language which is his mother tongue with an excellent command of English, and it is with every confidence that I submit his name to the House as the selection for Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House. .

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I do not rise with any intention at all of opposing the election of the hon. member for Dorchester

to the chairmanship of the Committee of the Whole House. I am prepared to agree that Mr. Sevigny is a young member well qualified in many ways to fill that position. But what will the electors of Dorchester say when they hear that Mr. Sevigny is no longer to champion the policy he was elected upon? Like yourself, Sir, Mr. Sevigny when elected will be an arbiter be tween the two parties in this House. The moment he takes the Chair to preside over the deliberations of this House he is supposed-and I hope the supposition will not be a vain one-to be absolutely without politics.

It is said that he will not be able to take part in any political fight. In this I hope he will not follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, who did not scruple to take part in any political fight although occupying the position that the hon. member for Dorchester is going to occupy. But I believe that, if the electors of Dorchester are in the same frame of mind that they were in at the time of the general elections in 1911, they will be very much aggrieved when they hear that the young man to whom they gave their entire confidence then, and who was pledged to obtain in this Parliament the repeal of the Naval Service Act, will henceforth make no effort in that direction. Henceforth not a word will be heard from the hon. member for Dorchester against the Naval Service Act.

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LIB
LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I do not know, however, that the position which he is about to occupy will change his attitude very much in this respect because the hon. member for Dorchester is entitled to the compliment that the moment he came into this House where he happened to sit upon the side of the Government, his views on the Naval Service Act underwent a very severe change. If my memory serves me, one of the first things the hon. gentleman did after he entered this House was to give notice of a Bill to repeal the Naval Service Act; but I am not aware that he ever presented such a Bill. I think he made one inquiry, whether it was the intention of the Government to repeal the Act or not, but as yet they have not done it. Be this as it may, whatever the change of heart of my hon. friend may be, it is apparent that henceforth'he is to allow the Naval Service' Act to be applied without being able to

utter a word against it. I give credit to my hon. friend for having had a change of heart in this respect, and if he again goes before the electors of Dorchester he will understand that after all the straight path is the best, and that it is better in Opposition as well as in Government to do the best that is to be done for the country.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I entirely agree with one of my right hon. friend's observations, namely, that the electors of Dorchester on any future occasion will be very much of the same mind as they were in 1911, and I think-

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Good-bye to the Naval Act, then.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

That it may be said of my hon. friend from Dorchester that he has at least made as much progress in accomplishing the repeal of the Naval Service Act as my right hon. friend did after 1896 in destroying that protection against which he made so many vows. If my right hon. friend has seen fit to introduce the subject of changes of opinion upon public questions, I can only say that my hon. friend from Dorchester has a long record to fill up before he shall be able to emulate my right hon. friend.

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Motion agreed to.


ABOLITION OF CAPITAL PUNISLI-MENT BILL.


Mr. ROBERT BICKERDIKE (St. Law rence, Montreal): moved for leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Criminal Code. He said: I want to say that capital punishment is murder, and that it is morally indefensible in any Christian land. It is a relic of the dark, pestilential days of Nero.


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am afraid that the

hon. gentleman is starting on a course that will take him away from the well-understood rule of the House that a simple explanation only is in order at this stage.

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?

Robert Bickerdike

Air. BICKERDIKE:

I was just coming to that, Sir. I think I am safe in saying that the time has arrived when it is the bounden duty of this Government and Parliament to give consideration to this grave question, which is daily growing in importance all over the world-

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Not just now.

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?

Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

-especially in the Christian nations. The purpose of the

Bill is to abolish capital punishment in the Dominion of Canada and to substitute life imprisonment for the different crimes for which capital punishment is provided under our present Criminal Code. The opinion has gained ground very rapidly of recent years that the death penalty is nothing more or less than legalized, brutal murder. I am aware that there are a number of. members of this House who look upon capital punishment as a deterrent. I hope that I shall be able to prove, when the Bill comes up for its second reading, that it is not a deterrent. If we wore honest in saying that it is a deterrent, then all executions should be made as public as possible; and if they are to be regarded as an object lesson to the community, then we should have a hanging bee in the public square. If capital punishment is to be regarded as an object lesson, then we had better have this exhibition where every man, woman and child will be able to see all the ghastly proceedings. I trust that every hon. member of this House who votes against my amendment will feel a sense of personal guilt if Canada continues to stand before the world as a barbarous country.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am afraid the hon.

gentleman is not confining himself to an explanation of the Bill.

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February 9, 1915