June 27, 1917

FINDING.


The Court of Inquiry appointed by the Adjutant General by orders dated the 1st of May, 1917, for the purpose of collecting and recording evidence in connection with the allegations contained in several newspapers that troop-trains had been stoned passing through Rivi6re du Loup, P.Q., and other places, and for the purpose of collecting and recording any other evidence which, in the opinion of the members of the court, in any way relates to or has a bearing on this matter, Report as Follows: 1. The Court assembled at the city of Quebec on May 9, 1917, and took the evidence of one witness, and then proceeded to RiviSre du Loup where twenty-three [DOT] witnesses were examined; after which the court adjourned to sit at St. John, N.B., to. take the evidence of members of the 2l7th Battalion, and finally concluded its sitting at Mont Joli. 2. The Court could not get any direct evidence that there was stone-throwing at troop-trains by the citizens of RivSre du Loup, but the Court believes that there is some foundation for the rumours circulated amongst the citizens themselves that on one occasion in October, 1916, a few stones were thrown at one train. The circumstances were as follows :- One Sunday evening towards the beginning of October, a train with two cars attached filled with the men from the 132nd Battalion stopped at RiviSre du Loup. Some of the men detrained and began asking young men why they were not in khaki, and, not receiving a satisfactory reply, used insulting language, and several were assaulted by the soldiers without provocation. This aroused considerable indignation and a group of youths formed apparently with the intention of throwing stones by way of retaliation. The station constable, noticing this, dispersed them, and, although there is no direct evidence, it would appear that at least some of them threw stones from a point beyond the station as the train was pulling out. 3. There is nothing in the evidence to show that there was any organized intention to do this before the arrival of the train and the incident above referred to. 4. Referring to the accusation in one of the newspapers that the 204th Battalion had been stoned, the Court obtained the evidence of the train crew of both sections of the train which conveyed the battalion through RiviSre du Loup. None of these witnesses either saw or heard of any such occurrence and the citizens and the railway officials at RiviSre du Loup had never even heard of it. 5. The Court could obtain no evidence with reference to the alleged stoning of the 176th Battalion. 6. Dealing with the case of the 217th Battalion, referred to the Court by special message from the Adjutant General, the Court assembled at St. John, N.B., where that battalion was stationed, and examined twelve members of the battalion. From this evidence it was shown that at least four missies, and not more than six, were thrown at the first and second coaches of the second section of the train as it was leaving the station at Mont Joli. The circumstances werq^ as follows:- About five o'clock on the evening of April 6, 1917, the second section of the train conveying the 217th Battalion stopped at Mont Joli and remained there for about an hour. During that period some soldiers belonging to the Canadian Army Medical Corps, the Canadian Army Service Corps and the 217th Battalion offered the same insults to the citizens as in the case of the trouble at RiviSre du Loup, and this was resented by a small number of young men, mostly between the ages of sixteen and twenty, who answered 'back in the same vein. To avoid any possihle trouble, the Mayor of Mont Joli, who was present, cleared all citizens from the station, while the soldiers were ordered to remain inside the train. As the train was leaving, a few stones and cinders were thrown at the car three of which came through the windows. These were evidently thrown by some of the young fellows who had previously been on the platform and who had hidden behind some freight cars lying about 150 yards beyond the station platform. 7. In addition to these facts, admitted by the soldiers themselves, the citizens gave additional evidence that the soldiers had thrown potatoes and other articles of food, and snow, ice and cinders at the citizens without any provocation whatever. In fact a complaint was made to that effect that very same day by a citizen of Mont Joli to the Adjutant General by - wire. S. From all the evidence which the Court could obtain there is nothing to show either hostility or unfriendliness on the part of the citizens of RiviSre du Loup or Mont Joli towards the soldiers. 9. Any stone-throwing at troop-trains there may have been were the acts of a few individuals angered at the moment by the treatment they had received from the soldiers while passing through. 10. Owing to the strong feeling of the majority of the soldiers that the province of Quebec has not, as yet, done her full share of sending troops over, they express their opinions to the citizens in strong terms whenever occasion offers, and this has had a deterrent effect on the volunteer service in these localities. 11. The Court is of the opinion that all necessary steps should be taken to prevent similar occurrences in the future. (iSgd.) E. S. Wigleth, Col. J. Ostell, Lt.-Col. Gregor Barcley, Major. Dated at Ottawa, this 18th day of May, 1917. Thursday, May 31, 1917. Sessional Papers -No. 173. FINDING. The Court of Inquiry appointed by the Adjutant General by Orders dated the 1st May, 1917, for the purpose of collecting and recording evidence in connection with the allegations contained in several newspapers accusing the citizens of Quebec of maltreating, or allowing to be maltreated, soldiers returning from the war and passing through or sojourning in Quebec, and for the purpose- of collecting and recording any other evidence which, in the



opinion of the members of the Court, in any way relates to or has a bearing on the matter, reports as follows :- 1. The Court assembled in Quebec on Monday, May 27, 1917, and took the evidence of twenty-two witnesses under oath, and then adjourned to Toronto to take the evidence of witnesses whose names had been furnished by the newspapers in which the reports were published. 2. The evidence taken was received from the Mayor, Chief of Civil Police, Provost-Marshal, the Provincial Police, the Harbour Police, the City Detectives, the Officer Commanding and the Sergeant-Major of the Discharge Depot, the Civil Magistrates, the Revenue Department, the Military Staff of M.D. No. 5, the Great War Veterans' Association, the Khaki Club, the Patriotic Fund, the Convalescent Home, a Minister of the Methodist Church, and several returned soldiers and citizens, in addition to which the Court visited the College Street Hospital in Toronto and made inquiries at the Base Hospital, Toronto, for the purpose of obtaining all evidence that could possibly have any bearing on the subject under investigation. 3. From the evidence it appears clear to the Court that there is no hostility or ill-feeing on the part of any class of citizens in Quebec towards returned soldiers or any other soldiers, nor does there appear to - have been any maltreatment of returned soldiers by any class of citizens, nor has any such treatment been permitted. 4. The evidence discloses that some soldiers have obtained liquor without any restriction, some of which appears to have been of a very inferior quality, and, being under its influence, they have caused some minor disturbances, the blame for which cannot be placed under the citizens of Quebec. 5. Whenever any misconduct on the part of the soldiers has come to the notice of the civil authorities, the offenders in all cases appear to have been handed over to the military authorities to deal with-the greatest harmony existing between the civil and military authorities. 6. The evidence discloses that latterly there has grown up an indifference on the part of French Canadian citizens towards soldiers in general, largely due, in the belief of the Court, to the continual -accusations that the French Canadians are disloyal and hostile to any participation in the war. 7. Owing to this indifference and to the belief firiqly fixed in the minds of the great majority of soldiers that the province of Quebec has not done her duty in the war, minor incidents, which would otherwise have passed unnoticed, have been grossly exaggerated and given rise to the accusations published. The Court is of the opinion:- 1. That there is no foundation whatever for the articles published in certain newspapers submitted to and investigated by this Court. 2. That all newspapers should be prohibited from publishing articles of this nature. 3. That the sale of liquor to soldiers in the city of Quebec should be absolutely prohibited. - E. S. Wigleth, Col., J. Ostell, Gregor Barcley, Major. President. Members. Signed at Ottawa, this 18th day of May, 1917. This investigation was held in Quebec on the complaint of some officers commanding the troop passing through the province of Quebec, and especially my county of Rimouski. Certain allegations were made by the member for Dufferin (Mr. Best), who seemed to be glad to make these charges against the citizens of Quebec. I wish that he were here to listen to a denial of those charges, not only on my own part, but on the part of the commissioners who were chosen to make the investigation. I expected that, on the receipt of the report of the commissioners, the member for Dufferin would at least get up and say that he had been deceived and that the report which he had given to the House and to the country was entirely false and unfounded. He did not do this, however, and it is my duty to-night as the representative of one of the counties against which this accusation was directed, to tell the hon. gentleman that he should have retracted what he said on that occasion. The facts may have been misrepresented to him, but having made the charges he should have accepted the verdict of the Commission and have made a statement to the House to that effect. Now, leaving out of consideration the facts which have been established by the above figures beyond all possibility of disproof, and .admitting for the sake of argument that the province of Quebec did not give to the cause the number of soldiers that was expected of her, I say that the situation in which we are placed in this country by the will of the majority, the numberless persecutions we are made to suffer, against our language, our schools and our religion, would fully justify our standing aloof in the present war, if we had no other motives to fall in line but the gratitude we owe the majority in this country. If we look hack to the past and delve into history, we easily understand why the French Canadian cannot throw all his efforts in this struggle with the samfe spirit and courage that animate his persecutors. Were we not spurred on by the alliance of England, France and Belgium, leagued together for the defence of violated rights and desecrated treaties, no French Canadian, when he sees his race the constant prey of detractors in this country, would be justified in ever pulling a trigger. I am in duty bound to tell this House and the country the truth, the whole truth. While admitting that the. French Canadians of the province of Quebec have not answered the call to arms in very large numbers, one must take into account the various reasons which have helped to withhold them. If we go back to the origins of the French and English nations, we find between them a deep-rooted rivalry from the very first centuries of the Middle Ages; during all that time, until the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, British armies have constantly waged war on French territory. ' And while those two countries were battling in Europe on land and sea, a like struggle was being waged in America, especially in Canada. Immediately after the foundation of Quebec in 1608, the Iroquois Indians, whom the New England settlers supplied with arms, massacred our missionaries and the French pioneers of_ Canada and Acadia. And there is still subsisting the painful emotion caused by the barbarous expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, the wiping out of an entire peaceful people, an act for which its authors are branded in history with a mark of infamy. Before the English conquest in 1760, the arms of the two nations in Canada were continually pitted against each other; there was between the two races an incessant enmity. After the conquest, the struggle passed from the battlefield to the economic and social arena. Ever unabashed, the English laid hold of everything within their reach; they monopolized trade. Attempts were made to Anglicize the French left in the country and to instil into their minds tenets contrary to their faith. At different periods their language was the object of legislative attacks, until the numberless persecutions became intolerable and resulted in the disastrous troubles of 183738. The conquerors had apparently forgotten the events of 1775, 1812 and 1814, when the French Canadians saved Canada for England. All the sacrifices of our fathers were counted for nought, and before being allowed to breathe the air of liberty *they had to take up arms. In 1867, the old Canadian provinces got together and secured the enactment of the British North America Act. Confederation, at the time of its passing, was by a large number believed to he a blessing, but now one wonders if it is not the most disastrous compact the province of Quebec ever entered into. I say disastrous, because the Fathers of Confederation who represented the province of Quebec were led into traps from which we cannot extricate ourselves. Thus while our friends from Ontario saw to it that the Act should read in express terms that in the province of Quebec the English language will enjoy equal rights with French, the same privilege was denied the French language in Ontario. The Quebec legislators would say at the time: "We must trust the English majority and expect generous treatment at their hands; we have their word, what more is needed." 'Such were the arguments used to secure from the .inhabitants of Quebec their acceptance of the most perfidious and nefarious compact that could he devised, and which has proved the source of 'all the language .and racial troubles that exist today between the French Canadians and the province of Ontario. Without 'any guarantee being required, w.e have been surrendered, .and without guarantees we axe, left to-day, left at the tender mercies of a fanaticism which, radiates- from the University of Toronto 'and spreads to the legislature and the press. Our rights in Manitoba had been guaranteed, but the English majority, German-like, tore up its treaties and repudiated its signature. 'Since 1867, in all the provinces Of the Dominion, the English element is attempting to get the upper hand, and denying our rights. The province of Quebec dedply resents those injustices. Take the Civil 'Service; i't is .practically controlled by the English-speaking people. They get the best situations. I could prove my statement by [DOT]quoting from the list I have here before me the nationality Of the higher officials of the service. The figures- are from last year's public accounts. There 'are: French Canadians 27 English-speaking 152 Our population entitles us to 50 of those positions instead of 27. Those conditions- I would not like my hon. friends on the other side to be deceived by the figures just quoted-existed in 1911, when we came into power; the grievance is one of long standing; things even went from bad to worse under the Liberal Tule. In 1896, when we were defeated, there Were four Frenchspeaking deputy ministers in various departments, while in 1911 only one was left. Things have improved since, for to-iday there are three French-speaking deputy ministers. The same discrimination is to be found in the various classes of the public service. One can go into many of the offices without being able to get any one who1 understands French, and a French Canadian who succeeds to an English official has to perform the same duties for a smaller remuneration. Thiat is the case with the harbourmaster of



Quebec, the captain of the Princess, a boat of the Fisheries Department, etc. If a French Canadian seeks an appointment all sorts of qualificiaitions are required of him that are not required of an English Canadian, ot an English-born applicant. Oftentimes when an investigation is to be carried out in ithe province of Quebec, Englishspeaking judges or commissioners are appointed, who cannot speak French. Even in the management of the Intercolonial we have to submit to the most crying discrimination. Last year I quoted figures that beaT out my statement. All our applications are thrown out. The reply is always sure to come: " Nio vacancy," or " Too late." On pant of the Matapedia branch English travellers were allowed on certain trains, while a Frenchman was refused the same privilege. But what is the use of attempting a complete enumeration of all our grievances? The list is too long. They are well known to all the French population of the Dominion; they have existed and continue to exist from generation to generation. People who have, as I have, the privilege of belonging to a family whose ancestors settled on Canadian soil at the beginning of the 17th century, ten generations back, know of all those facts. iMy object in going into those few details is to have the House and the country understand more clearly the feelings of the French Canadians at the time war was declared. Tell me, Mr. Speaker, what has been done from the very start of the conflict to incite and induce French Canadians to do their bit. The Quebec members have never been consulted either on the appointment of recruiting officers or regimental officers or on war purchases. No horses were bought in my constituency, and of all the millions of dollars spent since the war began, not a cent was spent in the counties around the Gulf. Yet must I say to the credit of my constituents of Rimouski and Matane that' all those insults have been brushed aside and we have nobly done our duty. Scores and scores of brave young soldiers from my constituency have fallen on the battlefields of Flanders and France and our quota of recruits amounts to over eight hundred men. The same credit is due the counties of Bonaventure and Gaspe; their children generously answered the call. More than forty soldiers enlisted in my own parish of Sayabec. Three of my nephews are. at the front, one of whom has only lately made the glorious sacrifice of his life at Vimy. From the start, our compatriots enlisted in large numbers in English regiments, where they had to submit to ill-treatment and abuse. As soon as French Canadian regiments got across, they were dismembered. Wihy not have allowed them to keep their identity and their officers? Necessities of war? Then why not have warned them? Was it right to enlist them under false pretenses? Why should they all be placed in the infantry and not be allowed to enlist in the artillery? Those men were led to believe that they were going to the front with officers of their own race, with men they knew and whom they looked up to as to their fathers and protectors. Why, once in England, were they made to undergo tortures that recall the barbarous practices of mediaeval centuries? If I understand the information of a returned soldier, an intelligent man, who was wounded in action, soldiers are compelled for the slightest offence to run for ten hours within a fixed course, with a load of seventy-five pounds, and being allowed only five minutes rest every twenty minutes. Sometimes they are made to keep their arms stretched out for hours at a time. Those atrocities are reported and are not suoh as to help enlistment. I am told from the same source that such gross injustices without proper motive are committed that there have been soldiers who shot at their officers. Thoise reports circulated among a people accustomed to breathe the pure air of American freedom are no inducement for the slackers to join the ranks. Who can wonder now, after all those insults and with such poor methods of securing recruits, that the French Canadians are not very anxious to accept the sacrifice, when they know beforehand that their merit and their gallantry on the battlefield will not be recognized, and that in many cases they will not even he allowed to wear the stripes of their rank. I heard the hon. member for Rouville state that a Protestant clergyman by the name of Williams had been appointed head of recruiting in the province of Quebec. Where could be found a more odious and systematic persecution of a race proud of its past, conscious of its dignity and jealous of its destinies? It must also be taken into account that 75 to 80 per cent of our population consists of farmers, and that to clear and break new land requires more hands than are required by the English farmers of the western prairies or of the more favoured portions of Canada. It must besides be considered that in almost all the English provinces the teaching -of French in our own schools is discouraged where not completely proscribed, as in Manitoba and Ontario, although these _ provinces have been fertilized by the blood of French missionaries and settlers, so almost everywhere in the Dominion we have manifest injustices to complain of. Our schools are a standing grievance that rankles deep. When one thinks of the situation in which we are placed in every sphere of life, in the Civil Service, as regards our educational and even religious aspirations; when the methods of recruiting and the treatment meted out to us since the beginning of the war are taken into account, then one cannot blame my compatriots if, under those conditions, they hesitate before making the supreme sacrifice. I for one cannot find it in my heart to censure them, although I have never ceased preaching to them that they must do their duty, enlist in numbers, obliterate the past, ignore the present, turn their eyes away from the vexations to which they are subjected by a certain section of the people of the Dominion, and think only of Great Britain and of the true Britishers, who live across from France, and one of whom told me one day anent the persecutions we have to endure from those of his race in Canada: "Never mind them, they know not what they do The true Britisher is on your side." When Belgium is devastated, laid waste, bleeding, because she would keep her pledge; when France's every soldier is proving himself a hero; when Canada's own welfare depends on the issue, and because Canada's first line of trenches, Canada's frontiers are now in Flanders, our gallant Canadian youth must not hesitate to make every sacrifice. We must prove our loyalty to the British Crown so long as the hour of our independence has not struck. France! Belgium ! England! Long live they ! I have shown, I think, with figures that the province of Quebec has furnished as many Canadian-born soldiers as the other provinces, and that even if we have stood somewhat aloof, our conduct is fully justified by the attitude towards us of a certain bigoted and prejudiced section of the people, by the inefficient methods of recruiting resorted to by the Department of Militia from the start, and by the constant abuse to which we are subjected. I say further: Stop these villainous attacks, call off your persecution of our language and our schools, especially in Manitoba and Ontario, and thousands of my compatriots will readily take up arms and jump into the trenches. This rancour against the French of Canada is one of long standing. In 1846, when a Militia Bill was under consideration, Sir E. P. Tache addressed himself to his English countrymen in the following words, which I find in Mr. Henri Bourassa's book entitled: "What We Owe England": Only be fair to the French Canadians, and you will see that their gallant battalions will he the first to rush to the frontier and make of their bodies a rampart against any invasion. The habit has grown too far of calumniating those brave people; too frequently they are described as ungovernable malcontents; the press too often accuses them of disloyalty and sedition, claiming for the other race the exclusive practice of the opposite virtues. To those' detractors I say: You are deceived; we appeal to the mother country; treat us as brothers and not as bastards and rest assured that we shall never forget our oath of allegiance to the day when the last shot shall be fired by a French Canadian in the defence of Great Britain. In the third place, I claim that the mandate we .received from the electorate in 1911 does not empower us to vote for the present Bill. Everywhere I spoke I pledged "myself to oppose any .appropriation to build a navy, or to hand over millions in aid of the British navy, and I have faithfully kept that .pledge. Twice already I have stated in this House that the obligation's we are imposing on Canada in this war are out of all proportion to our resources .and our revenue, and I .stand by that statement. The policy [DOT]adopted in 1911 to oppose strenuously the proposals of the new Prime Minister should still actuate us in considering the Conscription Bill. Notwithstanding the statements to the contrary of our party leaders, I .still 'hold ito the opinion that voluntary enlistment, in the future .as in the past, is the best mode of recruiting in Canada. We are told that men axe needed to reinforce the units now at the front, but surely the entry of the United States into the war will bring to our armies .a sufficient number of men ito compensate to a large extent the help we might give ait .the expen.se of our agriculture and our industries, and lat the risk of starving the Allies .by reducing the production of our fields. National interest is averse to all other but voluntary enlistment. I may even vote .against the amendment of the right hon. leader of the Opposition, because in ia way it is a mitigated scheme of conscription in so far .that .should the referendum carry my right hon. friend



is pledged to compulsory service. In fact, it would. l>e sure to carry, because it would rally .a >soli'd vote from the soldiers ia-s well as their relatives ^and friends, as was pointed out by the hon. member from North Grey (Mr. Middlebro), and tibart vote would be of itself sufficient to carry the referendum by :an immense majority. I have received numerous petitions from the electors of my county, asking me to vote against any form of compulsory service, whether introduced by Sir Robert Borden ot 'Sir Wilfrid Laurier. I have come to ithe conclusion that I should comply with the wishes of my electors. And in any case, what faith can we place in Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his party when we read the declarations made by him in the House 01 Commons at various times since .the 12th of December, 1912? Does he not favour placing at the disposal of Great -Britain all out resources, both in men .and money, and for. the further -information of the hon. members, I shall quote what he stated in this House on December 12, 1912: This is the Australian policy; this ought to be the Canadian policy. I insist once more upon what is stated in the memorandum: There is no emergency, there is no immediate danger, there is no prospective danger. If there were an emergency, if England were in danger-no, I will not use that expression ; x will not say if England were in danger, but simply if England were on trial with one or two or more of the great powers of Europe, my right hon. friend might come and ask, not $35,000,000, but twice, three times, four times $35,000,000. We would put at the disposal of England all the resources of Canada; there would not be a single dissenti^it voice. Oh, ye Tory jingoes, is that the amount of the sacrifice you are prepared to make? You are ready to furnish admirals, rear-admirals, commodores, captains, officers of all grades, plumes, feathers and gold lace; hut you leave it to England to supply the bone and sinews on board those ships. You say that these ships shall bear Canadian names. That will be the only thing Canadian about them'. You hire somebody to do your work; in other words, you are ready to do anything except the fighting. And farther on: Is that the true policy? It is a hybrid policy, it is a cross between jingoism and nationalism. Unless I mistake the spirit of the Canadian people, if they are true to their ideals, if they are true to their own blood, no matter to what province they belong, they will not he satisfied with this hybrid policy, but they will insist that their contribution shall he a contribution of money and of men as well, as was provided in our resolution of 1909. Mr. Speaker, it is not money that England wants at this, moment. England never was wealthier than she is at the present time; her coffers are overflowing. What she wants are the hearts, the brains and the brawn of her subjects all over the world. After -such statements can we believe that [Mr. Boulay.j the right hon. leader of the Opposition is disposed to refuse his support to every scheme of compulsory service? Can we put stock in his amendment when he is well a-ware that a referendum might result in a majority in favour of conscription? As I am against all form of conscription, I have decided to vote against the -Laurier amendment and the main motion and vote for the Barrette -amendment, which- would mean the death of the Bill. Mr. M. MAIRTI-N (St. Mary's, Montreal) (Translation): Will my hon. friend allow me to put a question? Mr. BOU'LAY (Translation): -Certainly.


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William Melville Martin

Mr. MARTIN (Translation):

You stated just now that the referendum would likely carry. On what do you base your opinion?

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CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (Translation):

I have

stated my reasons. If you take the soldiers' votes, 400,000 of them, together with that of their relatives and friends, say 400,000 more, you -have a total of 800,000, while in 1911 the total vote polled was only 1,300,000. Supposing that the number of electors has increased v-ery little since 1911, then deduct

800,000 from 1,300,000 and we clearly would be -a minority.

Mr. MiARTIN (Translation): The soldiers overseas, from all reports, are more strongly against conscription than those in this country.

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CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (Translation):

I -do not

believe it.

How can we manag-e to obtain immigrants from Europe, who come to America to enjoy liberty and freedom? After putting this Act on our statute-books, how can we hold out to them that in Canada they will, be free from European militarism?

We are told that unless we send reinforcements we must withdraw our troops from the front. My reply is similar to what other hon. members have already said: If we

cannot maintain four divisions, then let us have only three and if it .is impossible to keep three to full strength; let us have only two, ,provided we istay within the bounds of our meads and resources.

The other day I listened to the strong plea of the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) in favour of an appeal to _the people by way of a referendum, and I was -taken alba-ck at some of his statements. I was wondering whether I was listening to the same member for Rouville, to the same Postmaster General of the Laurier Cabinet, who in 1911, addressing a public meeting at St. Hya-cinthe, denounced Bourassa? *

f

I

Is he' really the same Liberal leader who in the campaign of 1911 went from parish to parish decrying nationalism? Is he really that same Grit orator who since 1911 has constantly inveigled not only against Henri Bourassa but against all the Nationalists, because, forsooth, the latter, and it is their only crime, had advised Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Liberals to submit a referendum to the people at the time of the general elections in order to feel the pulse of the people on the question of a -Canadian navy and that of free trade with the United States-

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William Melville Martin

Mr. MARTIN (Translation):

And of boring holes in the British flag-

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CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (Translation):

What sudden happening is responsible -for this sudden turning around of the hon. member for Rouville? Did the Liberal chieftain hold council with Mr. Bourassa and bargain for the support of the Nationalists by adopting their tenets and coming before the House to acknowledge that they were mistaken in 1911 and to repudiate all they said against Nationalism? Have they accepted -all the policies we advocated then and are still ready -to endorse on the same question, in order to take by storm the seats of the mighty?

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LIB

Michel-Siméon Delisle

Liberal

Mr. DELISLE (Portneuf) (Translation):

So yo-u acknowledge having been elected as a Nationalist? .

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Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (Translation):

Certainly.

W,hy then this alliance, this face about? The ho-n. member for Rouville alone can explain the enigma. If Mt. Bourassa and those who followed hi-m in 1911 were traitors in defending their principles, what are we to believe of the hon, member fo-r Rouville and all those who share his views on conscription? To me, their conversion appears somewhat strange and I view it with a certain amount of suspicion.

I wlill conclude my remarks with a few words -in English. There -are but few of our English-speaking friends in their places at -this time, but I desire that these -should understand a summary of what I have already said in French. Besides, it will show that we have the two languages in the province of Quebec including the county of Rimouiskd. In the early days of August, 1914, when Germany -had declafed war on France and Belgium, we French Canadians lived -hours that were lengthened by great anxiety. The eyes of -all our people were turned -towards England, and we expected

fro-m moment to moment the despatch which would make known that she had decided to take her pl-aoe by the side of France and Belgium. I must remind my French-speaking fellow-countrymen- that we should have been the first to charge England with cowardice and treason if she had hesitated fo-r one single day to give the assistance which those countries needed. We expected that England would enter the fight (to -save her honour, to show her reverence for treaties -solemnly entered upon, to crush barbarism, and to defend her trade and her colonies. Every man learned in thes-e matters, every public man, every man of sense, knew what would be the consequence fo-r Canada should England enter the fight. Do not let anybody -believe that the French Canadians are indifferent to this war, or are disregardful of the mother country, for they realize that -in this -time of trial she has done only what they wished -her to do and is fulfilling their desires in carrying on the fight. In this life -and de-ath struggle Britain has always had our full sympathies. In the early days of -the w-ar a large number of French Canadians enlisted, and if the current of that enlistment has grown less since those early days, it is due to the fact with which I have already dealt in my remarks in French, an-d al-so to the fact that a large number of local leaders -among the Liberals in the back parishes' have done their best to stop it altogether. I blame in this connection also -some persons of high standing in public life who have done exactly the contrary of w-hat they should have done, and have created a condition of mind am-ong the public of which, in the future, they may be the first to complain.

Let me quote as an example the case of my own village. I did what'I could to encourage our young men to enlist, and I -must say to the honour of my parish priest that from the very start of the war he acted in a manner befitting a minister of religion and a true and loyal citizen of the country. He used every means to encourage our boys to go to the front. And what was the result? Over forty men of our village have enlisted. Some of them have fallen gloriously on the field of battle, and many are wounded. What has been done in my village could have been done in a great many others, and I am confident that the same results would have followed.

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William Melville Martin

Mr. MARTIN:

With the permission of the hon. gentleman, I would ask if he has any sons?

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CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY:

I have no boys that could enlist. But I have just stated to the House that I have three nephews who could leave, and they have left. .

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?

William Melville Martin

Mr. MARTIN:

But your sons?

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CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOTJLAY:

he complained of the Teuton'sbarbarity that .condemned him to occupy his leisure time in a shell factory. The farce is evident; if ithat man had not been a spy, he would aiot, being a German, have escaped the firing squad where the Germans have always sent any of their own they found fighting against' them. But nothing of this must be reported to our Government who have such overweening regard for the Civil Service officials of German origin.

Let us return to this conscription question. I have said that Canada has done her share. I have said that "considering, on the one hand, our numbers as a people " and, on the other hand, the number of those who enlisted, it may be said that we have made a greater effort than the British people. I do not say that we .should stop recruiting, but I do say that our past record is a guarantee for the future. I submit that a compulsory service Bill will not result in. a marked increase in the num- . her of enlisted soldiers and that it will be a menace to peace at home. I contend that just now, the best means of bringing about final victory is the organisation of our economic resources. The day is not distant when we shall be asked to contribute, not soldiers but food. What is our Government doing to provide for the years of dearth that are forthcoming? Do they indeed beleive that the 400,000 or

500,000 men who have gone have not caused an awful gap in every branch of the trade as well as of commerce. Labour has become so scarce in the country places that our farmers are unable to cultivate all their lands; they are already anxiously asking themselves how they will be able to take in their crops. Have our Government done anything to. prevent the alarming increase in the cost of living? The speculators are keeping on their work at their heart's content; those who govern won't listen and they look in other directions. One thing only concerns them: to send more men to the mother country. The only fixdd idea of our Prime Minister is the fulfilment of the promise which the overseas military authorities have wrung from him; it is his nightmare, his obsession: one hundred

thousand men!.,, one hundred thousand men!. . . He must find them at any price. The trusts are about to starve our people; no matter-one hundred thousand men !- If the Government does not attend to it immediately, we will have this winter, in spite of the controller, a dreadful dearth of fuel; *io matter, one hundred thousand men! Agriculture and the national trades

are short of hands; no matter, one hundred thousand men! It is useless to try and argue, so long as those hundred thousand men have not come out of Jupiter's thigh. We should not forget that Canada's population is so much the sparser that the country covers an immense territory. But the friends of conscription see men everywhere; they don't see anything else; they forget that the men are indispensable to the good working of our economic machinery in every one of its wheels.

It may be that the moving picture theatres in the large centres, that the pool rooms and the shows are filled with idle youths. Do you think conscription will reach these boys? Seventy-five per cent of these cigarette smokers are not fit to pass the medical test and half of the rest are rich men's sons whom protection will keep away from the rosters.

There is a question which it is my duty to toucfi upon here. I do it with a certain hesitation, for it is an exceedingly delicate one. It is that of the province of Quebec and of her present situation as regards the other provinces. The French Canadians have been upbraided for their indifference in the present conflict and for their reluctance to answer the call of the mother-country. Were we to believe certain -fanatical sheets of the English provinces, and also some members of this House, the province of Quebec, and especially the French Canadians, remained absolutely deaf to that call. Exaggerations were resorted to, in order to make abuses easier. Other English papers and also other English speaking members, more honest, more loyal and more broad-minded, have replied to these calumniators and that is sufficient. If I Tefer to it here, it is only to try and show that the French Canadians' situation at the present hour is an exceptional one. Shall I be rightly understood when I say that the instinct of preservation, the strongest sentiment that exists, is leading the French Canadians in spite of themselves? There are English Canadians-and legions of therm-who are English before being Canadians and who, unsuspectingly, are ready to sacrifice the interests, even the future, of the colony to those of their mother country. I do not wish to blame them, for their blood is up, and blood will tell. But neither can they blame my fellow-people for being Canadians before being British, and even for being French Canadians before being only Canadians. In this case also, blood must tell.

Yes, without suspecting it, the racial instinct is at work among us .French Can-

adians. Instinctively, we feel that it would be dangerous for us to weaken ourselves beyond measure, because we know that for the struggle to come, we can rely only on our own forces. Foreign immigration benefits only the English element in this country: Irishmen, Swedes, Scotchmen, Americans, Germans, Norwegians, Finlanders, Austrians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Turks or Doukhobors, all, in a hundred years hence, will have dissolved themselves in the English element, having its character, its language, its manners and its ideal. No one, except a few Frenchmen or Belgians, will have joined the French Canadian race. We must, I repeat it, depend only on our own resources. Now, instinct does not. reason in face of a danger. The French Canadian is attached to his land, to his soil, to his old province; persuade him, if you can, to go and get killed for the salvation of the Empire, he will go; but do not attempt to send him there by force; he will cling to his green maples, and you will find that his arms are too robust for you to break their grip. For the French Canadian does not see things in the same light as the English Canadian does; and the great pity of it all is that the English Canadian cannot or will not understand that there are always different ways of considering a question. Will you .say that we lack patriotism? Let any foe, whoever he may be, invade the old soil so dear to every Canadian and then you may judge our patriotism. The facts of our past history would be renewed. And if ever Canada were to suffer an invasion, the foe would soon see more Salaberrys arise. But it is useless, absolutely useless to attempt to impose conscription upon a people that does not want it, because it has its own reasons for not wanting it.

If there be so much loyalty in the other provinces, if those provinces are go eager to go and win glory upon the European fields of battle, why don't they impose conscription upon themselves? There is nothing to prevent them from doing so. Must Quebec he at the fore, for others to jump in? My opinion, I will state it .frankly, is that, at the bottom, the/ sister provinces are veTy glad to witness- the opposition made by the province of Quebec and which may perhaps turn to their own benefit. Have a referendum upon this conscription -question, and of the nine provinces, there will be nine to vote against it. This referendum is a necessity; it is for the people to decide this question. Is it because a negative answer is feared that the imposition of -conscription is wanted? It really would be unfortunate, if this fact was lost sight of, that it is not all

to pass this Act, but -that its most important phase would be the carrying out of its provisions. It would also be its most difficult feature. If the people do not want conscription-and you could only know that by consulting them-will the mere fact that you have passed that law make them change their minds and bring them bound hands and feet at your disposal? And if this measure becomes law, and you attempt to enforce it; if, when it has become a law, you should try and impose it and the people should refuse, what will you do? Have you ever considered, you, the friends of conscription, what may be the outcome of it all?

You want to pass this law because the time js short, do you say; that is why you refuse to ask the people their opinion and that, deliberately, you propose to do a monstrous act? Is not that a false (pretence? If, instead of shifting as they have been doing, the Government had honestly understood their duty and -had submitted the question to the people, they would already know where they stand. The people are and must remain the masters of their destinies; the Government forget that the people are the masters and that we, the members, are only their servants. Under .present circumstances, the Government seem to intend making of the people a herd of slaves.

I have refrained from discussing the merits of this Bill; much could be said on that subject; but it would only be a waste tof time and useless trouble, for, even if it were perfect and a model act in its kind, I would still feel obliged to vote against -such a bill, believing that the-people, and the people alone, I repeat it, have the right'of deciding so momentous question.

I could not conclude without saying a word of praise and of admiration toward the Liberal party's revered leader. In refusing, as he has done, to associate with the ministers for the passing of a compulsory enlisting Act, he has set an example of that true democracy that does respect the rights and the obligations of the citizens. He has avoided the -snare laid for him. He has devoted his life to the building up of the Canadian country; his efforts have always had for their object to make of Canada a united nation in- the Empire. To-day, through the Government's action, Canada reverts once more to the status of a mere crown colony, crouching under the imperialist rod. He who had dreamed of a Canada greater, stronger and prouder, will not bear the responsibility for such a downfall -before history. More than ever before, I am happy to follow in the footsteps of a worthy leader and I shall vote with plea-

sure for the amendment of the right hon. leader of the Opposition, who wants the people to be consulted beforS the tax of blood is imposed upon them.

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LIB

Louis Audet Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. L. A. LAPOINTE (Montreal, St. James):

Mr. Speaker, having followed very attentively the different phases of the debate on this important question, and having devoted the best study and reflection possible to me to the issue which the present Bill establishes, I have come to the conclusion that my first impressions were right, and that my determination to oppose conscription, under any form, was well founded. I have the honour of representing a very large and important section of the city of Montreal; thousands of my electors have conveyed to me, in different ways and at' different times, both individually and collectively, their desire that I should voice their views and opinions by opposing any form of coalition government, any further extension of Parliament, and any project of conscription. And I may say, in passing, that the hon. member who represents another very important section of the city of Montreal has himself admitted that from his own division he has received many and many petitions against conscription. Therefore, there is no doubt that I have truly grasped the views of my constituents and represent their opinions when I say I am against conscription. Such being the unanimous will of my electors, and such being my own inclination, I will trespass but briefly on the indulgence of the House, while I set forth some of the many reasons which urge me to adopt the stand I have taken on this occasion.

I need not at this moment refer any further to the coalition question, because that seems now to be a dead issue. As to the prolongation of the parliamentary term beyond the period already accorded, I will reserve for the appearance of such a proposal all argument in opposition to it. However, I cannot refrain from making one statement, which applies to the general trend of the present Government's policy and which concerns the idea of extension of Parliamentary terms. Eighty years ago, in Upper and Lower Cana'da, our fathers fought against the Family Compact and the bureaucracy of that day, and succeeded in securing for their sons the boon of popular representation thirty years later, in 1867. It has flourished and borne fruit for fifty years; and I object to celebrate the halfcentury of our Confederation by either the uprooting of that tree, or the splitting of it into fragments by driving in the wedge,

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under blows of an Imperialistic hammer, that is calculated to deprive our children of its protection, its shade and its fruits.

The immediate question under discussion is that of conscription; and on that I desire to register my emphatic opposition to any such scheme. I do so all the more heartily, because I am deeply convinced that it is a menace to the constitutional liberties that we have been taught to expect and that we have ever enjoyed under the protection of the British flag. I do so because, in my mind, it is an insult to the manhood and patriotism of Canadians. I do so because it is the outcome of hysterical sentiments created by the overstrain upon the nerves of public men hy the conditions of unrest in the world to-day. I do so on account of the manner in which it has been sprung upon a people long led to believe that no such scheme was in contemplation. I do so, above all, on account of the autocratic spirit that underlies its conception, its presentation and its prosecution.

Bear with me a moment while I attempt to explain: There are two great and

antagonistic principles animating the contending Bowers in this terrible war. On the side of the Central Powers, Germany and her allies, we find the standard of autocracy raised and the doctrine of brute force and Kaiserism preached with fire, sword and shell. On the side of Great Britain, France and her allies, we see the standard of democratic freedom lifted aloft and the sublime doctrine of popular liberty and constitutional rights advocated in accents of thunder. It is for the triumph of that democracy over the monster of autocracy that Canada has joined in this struggle, and that she has freely, loyally, unshackled and uncoerced, sent forth to the conflict far more than a fair proportion of her manhood. The methods adopted by the Government of to-day to attempt to implement the unreflecting promise of an over-excited Prime Minister, are in exact accordance with the autocratic spirit - against which the Allies are fighting, and for the destruction of which this very measure is supposed to have, been conceived and introduced. The refusal of the Government, which has long out-lived its constitutional existence, to allow the people of Canada to have a voice in the issue or a word in the deciding of the fate of their dearest and most precious assets, is purely and simply the illustration in this land of the Kaiserism of Europe, and the putting into harsh practice here of the methods that have raised the indignation and the

battle spirit of the civilized world. Elected in times of peace, with a mandate to administer the affairs of a country in a state of tranquility, the Government, having reached the _end of its term, makes use of the war excuse to cling to power and to avoid a verdict from those who gave its members their original mandate.

As far as carrying on the affairs of Canada, with a view to performing a fair and rational duty in this struggle is concerned, the Opposition has never declined to lend every possible assistance to the Government; but, when it comes to a radical change in national conditions, and to the introduction of methods savouring strongly of coercion and compulsion, it is the inalienable right of the people of this Dominion-the people whose lives and blood are given to the cause, and whose money and sacrifices foot the terrible debt of the nation-to be consulted and to have a voice in this sudden dislocation of their destiny. Had the Government consulted the people first, we would know what they had to say regarding this measure; but to promise that conscription would never be resorted to, to then hurl it unexpectedly at the head of the nation, to do so in a most autocratic and Prussian-like manner, and then, to tell us, if not in words at least in actions, that all the magnificent voluntary achievements of Canada must be wiped off the page of our war-history, and that we are to be presented to the world as a nation of cowards, whose participation in the struggle had to be forced by the lash of conscription; to do all this is unspeakably unjust to Canada and can have but two results; that of keeping a dead Government in apparent and deceptive life for a brief time longer, and of placing the stigma of poltroonery on the character of the Canadian people for all time to come. The Government to-day represents- the spirit of German autocracy; the Opposition represents the democratic and liberty loving spirit if the Allies. Listening to the advocates of conscription, one would be glad to believe that the entire fate of the Allied nations in this war depended upon Canada, and the fifty or one hundred thousand men that she could add to her contingents already at the front or on their way there. Is it conceivable to any rational mind that Great Britain entered upon this war with the expectation of having to Tely upon distant and thinly populated Canada to ensure her success? Does any one imagine for a moment that the- fate of the millions in arms on the vast expanses of the battle grounds

of Europe can be affected more or less by the addition of another 100,000 from Canada? The plain fact is that our additional contingent would not be more than a drop of water in the bucket, as far as the ultimate result of the war is concerned. And it is more so on account of the two-fold fact that the fresh contingent would be necessarily undisciplined and unprepared men, and that, being recruited/ by main force, it would naturally consist of real slackers. Slackers are men who- can go, but will not go of their own free will, but who- are none the less cowards when forced into uniform. After the magnificent showing made by Canada, after the four hundred thousand of heroic and voluntarily enlisted brave fellows, we are going to send a division of cowards and slackers to- represent this country in the belligerent camps of the Continent. Is not that a disheartening proposal-one of the most unpatriotic ever conceived by a Government?

I have heard and read the speeches of some of those prominent, and I rtust sincere, Liberals who spoke on this question, and who announced their determination to vote against the amendment presented by the leader of the Opposition. In particular, did I note the remarkable and extraordinary speech of the hon. member for South Renfrew-one of the leading Ontario members of the Opposition party. In all that speech, as well as in the others I refer to, there was not the shadow of a -shade of reason for their opposition to the amendment, while they each and all advanced every legitimate reason why they should not vote as they have announced. The attitude of these gentlemen on this issue has but confirmed more and more my views that our leader was right, as he has always been right and as subsequent circumstan ces have invariably proven him to be Tight. The amendment calls for a pronouncement from the people of Canada upon this the most vital question since that of Confederation, and either a referendum, or a general election can alone clear the atmosphere and make it possible for any Government to proceed in a constitutional manner and with the. sanction of the people of Canada.

I will not be a party to robbing the immense electorate of this Dominion of the right to say who shall administer the -affairs ' of the country, and in what manner the Government is expected to fulfill its mandate. I am against conscription. I demand elections. The spirit of imperialistic autocracy that introduced this measure is the

same that dictated the coercion laws of England against Ireland, and of Russia against Poland. England and Russia both fight against that same spirit to-day; our fathers fought against it in' '37, and Canada is not to he, set hack eighty years in her advancement along the highway of liberty, and of representation by the .people and for the people.

The fault for all lack of recruiting in Ontario, in Quebec, and elsewhere in Canada has been sufficiently and amply laid at the door of the Government by the various speakers who addressed the House, be they for or against conscription, on this side. I need not go over that overwhelming proof of the Government's mismanagement, and its effort to hide its own failures by casting the blame on the people of Canada, and making the world believe that compulsory measures. wTere necessary with our population. But I will strongly insist on the Government's lack of policy in not giving the proper inducements to recruits.

The story is a sad one. No man who has gone to the front has had any assurance that if he were killed, or wounded, his own family at home would be provided for by the country in whose service he sacrificed either his life or his future; no system of pensions, no adequate remuneration, no guarantee that the members of the soldier's family would not be pauperized and left on the charity of the public.

Throughout Canada there are tens of thousands to-day who have not met with even the paltry fair treatment that was expected of the Canadian Government by the men who went freely to the front. What we need more than conscription is some practical and effective method of safeguarding the families of the men who have enlisted. In the trenches to-day there are numbers whose hearts are sore, thinking of the misery they have left behind them for those who depended on them for comfort and livelihood. This has been one huge deception from beginning to end.

I cannot but emphasize the statement that errors have been committed, and are still being committed, in recruiting. I will read a letter to this effect written to the editor of the Citizen, Ottawa, under the heading of "National Service all Round", and signed " Equal Rights."

0 I concur absolutely in what he says in the letter, which reads as follows:-

National Service All Round.

Editor, Citizen.-Of course, if Conscription of manhood is necessary, it should be accompanied by conscription of wealth.

It is comforting for men above military age to talk of sending their younger compatriots to fulfil their duty in the trenches, but do they think that the younger ones alone have a duty to perform? Do they think that the sacrifices should be borne by one class only of men?

On one side, a certain class of the community is asked to renounce all that they have earned by diligent and hard work, and to go to the trenches, where they may have to lay down their lives on the altar of the country.

On the other hand, those who are no more deserving, no more hard working, but who happen to be a few days above the age limit, or who are under some maybe small physical disabilities, will remain very comfortably in their homes, keeping their positions, getting big salaries, and making no sacrifice whatever, just as if they were not the least concerned in the preservation of the country.

Let me mention a few cases that will illustrate the situation. They are not

special cases; thousands of them will happen. [DOT]

A young .man, 28 years of age, has by his hard work, assiduity, and good behaviour risen to the position of accountant in a bank or commercial institution, where he gets a salary of $1,500 to $2,000 per year. Satisfied that his future is good, he has got married and is the father of one or two babies. He has taken life insurance to protect his wife and children in case of a sudden or premature death. His future looks bright, his home cheerful, and the world smiles on him. The call comes for his class; he knows that war is a terrible thing and that he must answer, and he goes. What is the result for him? Disaster, absolute and irreparable. He forfeits his position. The paltry $20 or $30 a month that the Government hands to his wife, added to his princely pay of $1.10 a day, are just sufficient to prevent his family from dying of hunger. The home has to be closed, the insurance policy dropped, and if the worst happens and his life is taken, his wife and children, for whom he had created a bright future,^are condemned to misery and drudgery all'^their lives.

The same applies to all other eases of successful young clerks, promising business men, skillful apprentices, steadfast labourers and workers. And at the same time that they put on khaki, their companions, not called by the war, will step into their positions, enjoy all the advantages, get 'the pay, and sacrifice nothing. Whilst those who donned khaki will be shedding their blood, the manufacturers, the rich, the millionaires will be heaping up new millions. Whilst the wives and children of the soldiers will be mourning them and working at starvation wages for a living, the

wives and children of those who have not gone will be displaying expensive dresses, riding in luxurious limousines, holding dogs on their knees, the food for which the soldiers' children would probably not be able to get.

Conscription of manhood means for some sacrifice of all, for the others sacrifice of nothing. What should be done, for sacrifice there must be? If the services of men on the farm, in the munition factories, in the offices, which are rated as indispensable, are worth $4, $5 or $10 a day,- is it not just that the services of men who are indispensable in the trenches should be paid as much? The advantage would still be with the home work, for it entails no danger.

Surely a country which is willing to pay high wages to its mechanics, its business men, etc., should not bargain to pay less than equal wages to those who are giving their blood in its defence!

Of course, all those whose purse would be touched by such a measure will raise their hands to heaven and say that it is impossible, that it would ruin the country. It shows their sincerity, when they talk of sacrificing the last dollar. Their motto is: make the others' sacrifice their last drop of blood, and their last dollar. 1 wonder if the Government would ever attain its object should this Bill tie put into force. I doubt it very much. I presume that the Bill will unfortunately get its second reading and then I will have an opportunity of discussing its clauses in Committee of the Whole. I reserve to myself the right at that stage to express my views on the different clauses of this Bill; but I cannot let this occasion pass without giving it a proper title. Instead of calling it a Bill of lOonscription, I would rather call it a Bill of Exemptions, Exceptions and Patronage. 1 have got only to put before the House section 11 as an example. It is as follows:

II. (1) At any time before a date to be fixed in the proclamation mentioned in section four, an application may be made, by or in respect of any man in the class or subclass called out by such proclamation to a local tribunal established in the province in which such man ordinarily resides, for a certificate of exemption on any of the following grounds.

Remember this is before the Bill is in force at all. Follow now closely the exemptions, and tell me if there is any rational expectation of securing recruitment by means of this unique, useless and vexatious enactment? Subsection (a) provides:

(a) That it is expedient in the national interest that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in other work in which he is habitually engaged

Practically every man in Canada w.ould come within this exemption.

(b) That it is expedient in the national interest that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in other work in which he wishes to be engaged and for which he has special qualifications.

Still worse: it is made optional to work at what suits him best.

(c) That it is expedient in the national interest that, instead of being employed- in military service, he should continue to be educated or trained for any work for which he is then being educated or trained.

Every student and apprentice in Canada could take advantake of this paragraph.

(d) That serious hardship would ensue, if the man were placed on active service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position;

Where is the man whose financial or domestic relations and conditions might not be invoked as an exemption?

(e) 111 health or infirmity;

This is simply a question of getting a certificate from a doctor. If a man was sick in the morning he could get a certificate from the doctor and be exempted by the tribunal.

(f) That he conscientiously objects to the undertaking of combatant service and is prohibited from so doing by the tenets and articles of faith, in effect at the date of the passing of this Act, of any organized religious denomination existing and well recognized in Canada at such date, and to which he in good faith belongs.

And if any of the grounds of such application be established, a certificate of exemption shall be granted to such man.

The faith of almost every Christian claims " Thou shalt not kill." My hon. friend the member for St. Lawrence (Mr. Bickerd-ike) has a strong plea here for his anti-hanging theories.

I go further. When we take these exemptions- as a whole, the judges may, in their discretion go so far as to keep at home men who would have liked to go voluntarily, and I know that some would take advantage of all these general exemptions. I am told that already some members .of this House have written to certain of their electors telling them that they should bring their sons to their farms.

As you see, Mr. Speaker, the Bill does not stipulate in clear and precise terms the exemptions, but formulates a general exemption after the creating of the different

tribunals for registering, appeals, etc., all the people exercising their discretion in virtue of clause 11. I contend that this clause would render the Bill futile and useless, because there will be so much discretion exercised in virtue of it and other clauses that conscjipts will be very few.

Why should the Government create such perturbation and general disturbance in this country by introducing such a Bill, at such a time, for the levy of a few thousand men, when, according to the Government's admission, there are still 126,000 soldiers and officers of all ranks in England who have not yet crossed over to France, and when everybody can see scores of others in khaki parading the streets of our cities, who have perhaps been enlisted for years but have never been instructed to go overseas? In the face of so much duplicity, deception and maladministration I cannot but register with my whole heart and soul a vote against this impracticable, anti-Canadian and unpatriotic measure-against all forms of conscription, of ' tyranny, autocracy

against all attempts to reduce to ashes the liberties of the Canadian people and the constitutional autonomy of Canada.

It is needless for me to repeat what has been clear to this House ever since this debate began, that my province and my people are the objects of unjust and unpatriotic attack. Were I to raise my voice in their defence, it might be claimed that I am speaking for those to whom I belong and in whom I have a special interest. I prefer to- hear the voice .of one not of my race, not of my province, not of Canada; I prefer to leave the floor, so to speak, to one whose place in the ranks of British authorship must command respect, and whose patriotism has won for him a high station amongst the men of thought, of culture and of weight in the British Empire. Instead of my own feeble voice, I will ask you to listen to the powerful and influential expression of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

The French Canadians.

I do want to take my hat off once again to the French Canadian. He came of a small people. At the time of the British occupation, I doubt if there were more than a hundred thousand of them, and yet the mark they have left by their bravery and activity upon this continent is an ineffacable one. You pass right through the territory of the United States, down the valleys of the Illinois and of the Mississippi, and everywhere you come across French names: Marquette, Joliet, St. Louis, Mobile, New Orleans. How come these here? It was the French Canadian who, when the English colonies were still clinging to the edge of the ocean, pushed round from the

TMr. L. A. Lapointe.]

north into the heart of the land. French Canadians first traversed the great American rivers and sighted the American Rockies. Keep farther north and still their footsteps are always marked deep in the soil before you. Cross the whole vast plain of Central Canada, and reach the mountains. What is that called, you ask? That is Mount Miette. And that? That is Trfe Jaune. And that lake? It is Lake Bruld. They were more than scouts in front of ari army. They were so far ahead that the army will take a century yet before it reaches their outposts. Brave, enduring, light-hearted, romantic, they were and are a fascinating race. The ideals of the British and of the French stock may not be the same, but while the future of the country must surely be upon British lines, the French will leave their mark deeply upon it. Five hundred years hence their blood will be looked upon as the aristocratic and distinctive blood of Canada, and even as the Englishman is proud of his Norman ancestors, so the most British Canadian will proudly trace back his pedigree ' to the point where some ancestor had married with a Taschereau or a De Lotbinidre. It seems to me that the British cannot be too delicate in their dealings with such a people. They are not a subject people, but partners in empire and should always be treated so.

In taking my seat I may say that I have plways respected the opinions of others. I trust that my opinions will be respected, because I speak sincerely, but I have no respect for fanaticism. I have no prejudices and never'had any regarding race or creed..

On motion of Mr. Neely, the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Sir Thomas White the House adjourned at 1.15 a.m. Thursday.

Thursday, June 28, 1917.

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June 27, 1917