April 25, 1916

DEATH OF PRIVATE D. CURRY.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Inquiry was

made in the House on the 18th instant with regard to the case of Private Dougall Curry, who died at St. Joseph's Hospital, Glace Bay. The following telegram was sent to the General Officer Commanding, Military District No. 6, Halifax, N.S.:

Reference late Private Dougall Curry who died at St. Joseph's Hospital, Glace Bay, and your telegram dated 21st instant: what was cause of delay in notifying Captain Calder of admission of Private Curry to hospital? Give name of person responsible for Captain Calder not being notified promptly. Urgent.

(Sgd.) Adjutant-General.

The reply was as follows:

Reference death of Private Dougall Curry, St. Joseph's Hospital, Glace Bay. Patient first complained eight p.m., Aprii 2 ; was kept in bed and seen daily by Captain Munro, battalion medical officer. Felt himself improving until April 5, when within a few hours he became worse. At five p.m. was sent from Broughton by special train to St. Joseph's Hospital, Glace Bay, in charge of an orderly who had a note from Captain Munro asking for patient's admission to hospital. Patient arrived in hospital 7 p.m., April 5. Captain Calder, who attends military patients in hospitals, Glace Bay, was not notified until noon next day of patient's arrival in hospital. Captain Calder states that the delay in seeing Dougall Curry in St. Joseph's Hospital had nothing to do with patient's death as it was a case of tubercular meningitis. Medical Board also reports that case was tubercular meningitis.

A medical board was also assembled in this case, and its findings were as follows :

This board, in view of the above, is of the opinion that Private D. Curry died. of tuberculous meningitis.

(Sgd.) W. E. Hodgins, Major General,

Acting Adjutant-General.

Topic:   DEATH OF PRIVATE D. CURRY.
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ENLISTMENT UNDER AGE.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

I desire to ask the Premier, as the Acting Minister of Militia, if

any policy has been adopted regarding boys who have enlisted who are under age or who are very much under the age of eighteen years. I have here a letter, which I will send over to my Tight hon. friend, from a lady living in the county of Victoria, who lays a very serious complaint against the recruiting officer at Andover. She claims that her boy was inveigled into joining the army at fifteen years of age, and that when the recruiting officer was told over the telephone that the boy was only fifteen years of age, he stated that the boy had told him he was eighteen and that he had as good a right to believe,the boy as to believe his mother. The boy was signed on, and now he wants his discharge, and his mother is anxious to have him discharged. I do not want to mention names. I believe this matter has already been brought up by the hon. member for Two 'Mountains (Mr. Ethier), and I do not know exactly what decision has been reached. If any policy has been adopted, I would like to know what it is, and I would like if the Prime Minister would reply in regard to the letter, either publicly or confidentially, as he sees fit.

Topic:   ENLISTMENT UNDER AGE.
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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 have not had my attention directed to the subject recently, but I have always understood that the policy is not to enlist boys under eighteen years of age. If that is not the policy, it ought to be the policy. I will take up the case to which my hon. friend has drawn my attention and see that steps are taken that the boy who is of the age of fifteen years or under eighteen shall be discharged and returned to his parents.

Topic:   ENLISTMENT UNDER AGE.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

That is very satisfactory. I did not want to read the letter and make it public; but the Prime Minister, when he reads it, will understand the reasons why I brought the matter up.

Topic:   ENLISTMENT UNDER AGE.
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REBUILDING OF PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

May I once again direct the attention of the House to the rebuilding of the Parliament Buildings? Good progress is being made with the preparation of the plans, and we are now ready to give more detailed consideration to the carrying out of the work, and it has been suggested that the committee to be appointed should be increased to four from each side of the

House. I have no objection to the suggestion, and if it is agreeable to the Prime Minister and to the right hon. leader of the Opposition, I shall be very glad to have the names of four from each side of the House.

Topic:   REBUILDING OF PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
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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 have already intimated to the Minister of Public Works the names of three of my colleagues. I told him, when m.y attention was drawn to the matter about a week ago, that I would name a fourth, and I did so. Therefore, so far as we are concerned, we are ready to confer with the Minister of Public Works. If my right hon. friend would name four gentlemen from the other side of the House, the work could be taken up at once; and it seems to me, in view of the hope, somewhat remote, that we may have the buildings ready for next session, that no time should be lost.

Topic:   REBUILDING OF PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I will send the names to the Minister of Public Works this very day.

Topic:   REBUILDING OF PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.
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CENSORED MAIL MATTER FROM THE UNITED STATES.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

I desire again to call

the attention of the Postmaster General through the Premier to the present status of the censoring of correspondence coming from foreign countries into Canada. There is at present experienced in this country an enormous amount of difficulty in transacting business, which I think every member of this House must have observed if he has talked with his constituents during the holidays. I find that it takes usually about a week to get an ordinary business letter from Boston to the province of New Brunswick, when it ought to take about a day and a night. I saw it stated in some newspapers during the recess that the censorship was to be discontinued after Wednesday of last week, and I know of one letter passing between Canada and the United States which was not censored, but I have found others which have been censored sinc'e then. If the Government claim that they are compelled to carry out this work of censorship, I suppose the public have nothing to do but submit; but I would like to have a pronouncement from the Premier upon the subject.

Topic:   CENSORED MAIL MATTER FROM THE UNITED STATES.
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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:

We are not compelled to carry it out, because it is a mat-[.Mr. Rogers.]

ter which the Government of this country has the right to determine. Secret documents of an important character were sent-to us by the Imperial Government. If I am not mistaken, my right hon. friend who leads the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has been made acquainted with the terms of that communication. We felt, under the circumstances, that if it was reasonably possible we should comply with the request that was made. There has been an earnest endeavour on the part of the Postmaster General and his officials to have it carried out in an effective way and with the least possible disturbance and delay. The magnitude of the task, I understand, has been very great, it having been undertaken without the assistance of any additional officials. If I am not mistaken at certain of the offices to which mail for the United States must be sent for censorship-technically called exchange offices, I believe -it has been necessary to deal with some 250,000 letters a day. Considering the enormous number of letters which have thus to be dealt with, the number of complaints that have come to the Government have not' been very great. Undoubtedly mistakes have been made, and sometimes they have been made the second time even after they have been pointed out and the instructions made more emphatic.

Topic:   CENSORED MAIL MATTER FROM THE UNITED STATES.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

If the Prime Minister

will permit me-would not he tell the House at what points in Canada this censoring takes place? Does it take place in every little country post office?

Topic:   CENSORED MAIL MATTER FROM THE UNITED STATES.
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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:

No. There

are these exchange offices to which I have referred. Mail for the United States originating within a certain district is sent to Toronto, originating within a different district is sent to Montreal, and so on with other places. All the work of the censorship takes place at these exchange offices and not at the office of origin. In the same way letters from the United. States addressed to any point within a certain district go to Montreal, and others to other exchange offices, from which, after being censored, they are sent to their destination. It is at these exchange offices, which have been called upon to handle such an enormous number of letters, that the errors and delays have taken place.

Topic:   CENSORED MAIL MATTER FROM THE UNITED STATES.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

I thank the Prime Minister for the information he has given the House. I am sure it will relieve a great-

deal of anxiety that has been felt all over Canada because of the fear that letters may have been opened by practically any country postmaster. While I am on this subject, I would like to suggest that some mark be put upon a censored letter to show that it has been opened by an official of the department. As things are now, the letter is simply slit open and then a piece of paper market " censored " is pasted on the envelope. Any body could go to a newspaper office and get thousands of such slips printed. So any country postmaster, or any one having access to postal matter, could open correspondence and having done so mark it " censored," and there would be no means of knowing by whom it was done. If our correspondence must be censored, means should be taken to give us assurance that the censoring is done by officials of the department. I can understand, after the Prime Minister's explanation, that, as letters have to go to central clearing offices, there might easily be delay. Before I sit down I would like to point out that it is almost impossible to conceive of the necessity for censoring letters of members of Parliament and well-known business concerns carrying on their ordinary business. But, if there be a good reason for it, I think the Government should tell us what it is.

Topic:   CENSORED MAIL MATTER FROM THE UNITED STATES.
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April 25, 1916