July 5, 1917

REPORTS.


Report of the British Columbia Hydrometric Survey for the calendar year 1915: Water Resources Paper No. 18 of the Dominion Water Powers Branch, Department of the Interior.-Mr. Roche. Report of Special Trade Commission to Great Britain, France and Italy.-Sir George Foster.


QUESTIONS.


(Questions answered orally are indicated by asterisks.)


APPOINTMENTS UNDER O. C., 1 JAN., 1917.

LIB

Mr. MURPHY:

Liberal

1. How many appointments have been made to date by each department of the Government under the Order in Council of January 1, 1917, amending Section 22 of the Civil Service Act.

2. How many of said appointments are temporary, and how many permanent?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENTS UNDER O. C., 1 JAN., 1917.
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CON

Albert Sévigny (Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SEVIGNY:

Department of Interior: 1, four; 2, all temporary.

Department of Mines: 1, two; 2, one permanent and one temporary.

Department of Militia and Defence: 1, Fifty-four; 2, all temporary.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENTS UNDER O. C., 1 JAN., 1917.
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CAPTAIN ALTERED DEFEBVRE.

CON

Louis Joseph Papineau (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAPINEAU:

Why is it that Captain Alfred Lefebvre has signed a declaration respecting the separa-

tion allowance to his wife in which he stated that he was not in the employ of the Canadian Government before June, 1916, and that the said allowance was paid from February 10, 1916, to April 30, 1917?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CAPTAIN ALTERED DEFEBVRE.
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CON

Sir EDWARD KEMP: (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Gapt. Alfred Lefebvre did not sign such a declaration. He did, however, sign a certificate that he had not been an employee of the Government since 1st June, 1916. The over payment of separation allowance to his wife was due to a clerical error of one of dhe untrained clerks in the Assigned Pay Branch. This clerk has been dismissed. As already explained, steps have been taken to obtain a refund of the overpayment.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CAPTAIN ALTERED DEFEBVRE.
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CON

Mr. PAPINEAU: (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Since what date has Alfred Lefebvre been employed fey the Government as sub-collector of Inland Revenue at Valleyfield?

2. What amount has he received for his services in this capacity during the fiscal year ending April 1, 1917?

3. Has the said Alfred Lefebvre been always occupied in this employment since his appointment?

4. If not, for what reason and during what period has he not been occupied in such position?

5. Has he received any salary during his absence from service?

6. What is his salary or compensation per annum?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CAPTAIN ALTERED DEFEBVRE.
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CON

Mr. SEVIGNY: (Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. April 16, 1912.

2. $771.20.

3. No.

4. Enlisted as captain in the 206th Battalion, which battalion was later amalgamated with the 163rd Regiment, from February 10, 1916, and returned to his duties as deputy collector on July 16, 1916.

5. Received the difference between military pay and civil pay.

6. $1,200.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CAPTAIN ALTERED DEFEBVRE.
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PRIVILEGE-MR. MONDOU.

CON

Albéric Archie Mondou

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. A. MONDOU (Yamaska):

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to raise a question of privilege. The Montreal Gazette, in its edition of this morning reports my speech last ni'ght in this House in part as follows:

Mr. Mondou paid a typical eulogy to Sir Wilfrid Laurier as the greatest French Canadian statesman since Cartier, and concluded: "Whether they call me Liberal, Conservative or Nationalist, there is no party in a question of this kind. However, after my address tonight, no one can doubt that from now on I intend to support that great French Canadian statesman, who has done more than any other man to rerlize the aspirations of our race."

Hansard shows the statement that I made, which is as follows:

However, I hope that after listening to me no one shall doubt that I intend henceforth to support the distinguished statesman who does credit to the Canadian Liberal party which under his far-seeing guidance represents, better than any other, heretofore, the true aspirations of our race.

.1 understand that the Journal Press and the Citizen, both of Ottawa, have made comments to the same effect, as the Gazette, and I take also exception to what those two papers have stated in that connection.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. MONDOU.
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MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.

DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.


Consideration of the motion of the Right Hon Sir Robert Borden (Prime Minister) for the second reading of Bill No. 75, Military Service Act, 1917, and the amendment of Sir Wilfrid Laurier thereto, and on the amendment to the amendment by Mr. Barrette, resumed from Wednesday, 4th July.


LIB

David Arthur Lafortune

Liberal

Mr. D. A. LAFORTUNE (Montcalm) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, in politics very queer things happen, but there are also-troublesome things, necessary things, disagreeable and sometimes even pleasant things. In the political world, we are called upon to make sacrifices of all kinds, but I willingly -condone all that my opponents have done against me. If there be a moment of satisfaction to me, it is now that I have the honour and pleasure of rising before this honourable House to discuss such a momentous question; it is a great compensation -for evjefiy sacrifice 'that I have willingly made in the past.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to greet new friends, to -see them sitting in our midst and I hope that there will be many more ere long.

I have listened most attentively, with a great deal of pleasure, and I will even say dutifully, to all that has been said on either side. I have read and read again very carefully all that has been written; I have scrutinized the situation and pondered over the pros and cons, so as to properly ascertain my position. To-day, being called to speak for the electors of that fine and large -county of Montcalm, it i-s a pleasure to me to be able to declare my views and my convictions on behalf of those good electors. A great many hon. member! of this House have supported the conscription Bill and a 'great many others also have taken exception to it. In discussing this mo-

mentous question we are bound to respect the opinions of everybody, while bringing into the debate as much impartiality and fairness as possible. I would have been remiss in my duty had I not discussed this Bill, and now I hasten to state that I disapprove of it and that I strongly support the amendment submitted by the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid1 Lau-rier) and I will endeavour to state why I share the views of my revered leader.

Mr. Speaker, it is rather ticklish to begin a speech after the hon. members who have spoken on both sides of this subject, for it is almost entirely exhausted. How can I find a new argument? What can I do, in order to not sift anew everything that has already been said? That is a pretty hard undertaking.

We have, on the right side of the Speaker of this House, most distinguished men, lawyers, scholars, old parliamentarians, in a word, as I said at the start, men of the highest distinction, who have discussed, this Bill under all its aspects, in all its forms and phases. On the other hand, we have on the left men just as distinguished who have also spoken, on the same subject, and I am afraid that I may not be equal to the situation; I fear that I cannot do full and fair justice to the people I have the honour to represent andi that I may annoy the hon. members who have both the task and obligation of hearing me through. Nevertheless, Mr. Speaker, I shall do all I can to fulfil my obligations.

The electors of the county of Montcalm have sent me petitions in large numbers; every parish in my county, and there are quite a number of them, have signed these petitions and all of them contain a great list of signatures, asking me to oppose this Bill. I laid these petitions on the Table, Mr. Speaker, and I have the assurance that they have all been duly received, even if they have not all been welcomed. At all events, I have done my duty, as you have done yours in paying due respect to these petitions I have laid before the House.'

I have visited the county I represent and discussed the situation with my good electors; I listened to the arguments made by many of them and I may tell you that those in favour of this Bill are pretty scarce and that it is a hard job to find them. The opinion is formed in a decisive way and the people are most determined. There is no possible mistake, they disapprove of that Bill and when you will have to enforce it, I greatly fear you will find it a difficult, not to say an impossible task.

191*

I have been all over the county where I have had the honour to live for the past thirty-two years, I mean Jacques-Cartier county, the old time Conservative county, which has been in days gone by represented by the most important, the .most influential and the most worthy men of the province of Quebec, I might perhaps say, of the whole Dominion, I wish to allude specially to the hon. F. D. Monk, who represented this county from 1896 until his death. I still hear him, when from his seat in this House before he had resigned as member of the Cabinet, before the struggles of 1910 and 1914, declaring in this House: Mr. Speaker, we owe nothing to England who owes us everything; it is she who is indebted to us for having preserved for her, in its entirety the finest of all her colonies, Canada. I hear him again, from his seat, when he declared: No, never shall we spend a cent for the Laurier navy before consulting, the people.

How times have changed! I did listen to those words, and I saw the hon. members now sitting on the right, applaud, rejoice, clapping their hands as loud as they could, when the late lamented Mr. Monk uttered these words. I do say, Mr. Speaker, how times have changed! It is very right to say that the years, the months, the days follow on but that they never are the same. And when I peruse the Hansard, When I read ever again the .debates of those days and f nd out what was then said by hon. gentlemen of the obheT side, who were then sitting on this side, what a change!

As I have said, Mr. Speaker, at the outset, let us respect the opinions 'o.f every one, we are in a free country-as regards the past, at any rate,-and let every one express his convictions, his opinions; but do not criticise more than you should. It seems to one, Mr. Speaker, that I have realily the right to say that the times have materially changed. To-day, Liberals, Conservatives, Nationalists are hand in hand, they are agreed to fight this Conscription Bill; not all, however. I would prefer seeing a larger number on our side. I would have wished that all the members of the fine province of Quebec, of the grand old province of Quebec, were united and had acted as the hon. member for Yamaska (Mr. Mondou). Honour be to him ! As did the hon. member for L'Islet (Mr. Paquet). Every other hon. gentleman from the province of Quebec has joined us in our protest against this Bill, and it seems to me that my immediate duty is to offer, on behalf of my constituents, my most sincere thanks to these good gentlemen, and I would want them to take one more

step forward, I would like to see them cross over to this side of the House, one after the other, and come and stand with us under our grand Liberal flag. That flag so grand, so wide, without-I was about to say something which would probably have displeased those gentlemen, but I will not say it-this flag so wide, so grand, that it can shield and cover every man of goodwill, and I am sure that none of these gentlemen would have regretted having made that splendid move just executed by the hon. member for Yamaska. He is really a brave one!

Just so. The hon. member for Labello (Mr. Achim) should not he left out. He is a young man, and courageous. Though a staunch Conservative, and loyal to his party, he did not fear to come and sit with us. For a half day's work, that is not too *bad. I am told, Mr. .Speaker, that there is a third one. When it starts, it's like snowrolling, it swells quick, and before I take my seat, I hope there will be others. The French Canadians of the Dominion, the weLUthinking Englishmen, land English Canadians, the Irishmen are with us.

Ah! how proud, Mr. Speaker, I felt a few days ago, when I attended an exclusively Irish meeting, made up of the most representative, the most influential and financially the strongest men of the large city of Montreal, the Queen of the Dominion, although Toronto people may think otherwise. I was proud of being among these gentlemen-not as an Irishman but as a mere spectator. There were present, the ex-Mayor of Montreal, Dr. Guerin, who is an authority at home; my colleague on the bench, Mr. Joseph Walsh, ex-member for St. Ann's, who was replaced by the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) a distinguished gentleman whom I would like to see- on our side, and I regret that he is not, for he would have expressed, had he been there, the unanimous sentiments of the division which he represents as an Irishman. How proud I was, Mr. Speaker, to see St. Ann's division bringing together all the best men of that district. Its representative was not there, I don't know whether he had been invited or not, but the hon. Minister of Justice was not there. He should have been present, it would have given him an idea of what was going on; he would have realized the unanimous sentiment of his own electorate, protesting and 'Condemning this proposed legislation.

The hon. Minister of Justice is jointly and severally responsible for this enactment, being a member of the Cabinet, but I do not think he ever gave life to that

child. I know the hon. Minister of Justice, he is a distinguished citizen, a legal luminary, an ex-professor of the great McGill University, for a long time a judge of the Superior Court of Montreal, a credit to himself, to his compatriots and to his country. Were he on this side of the House and giving his support to what his good electors of St. Ann's are demanding. I was reading over this morning the resolution adopted by the electors of that division, absolutely condemning this law. It seems to me that, had he been there, he would have given in to that sentiment .and, instead of occupying a seat on the other side, he would be on our side, I iam sure of it. It many yet come to pass.

I have attended, Mr. Speaker, several meetings held in Montreal, that fair metropolis, under the patronage and the immediate guardianship of the distinguished member for 'St. Mary's (Mr. Martin), who is familiar with the feelings of the electors he represents, and when I speak of the St. Mary's division, I am speaking of all Montreal, from north to south, from east to west, the outskirts and the heart of the city, no one wants that law.

Mr. Speaker, if you attended any one of these meetings, you would stare in surprise; you would return home, I am satisfied, with something of that feeling, which is unanimous in Montreal, that this Act is condemned by all that is most worthy and most representative throughout the great metropolis.

I have taken a part in several of these meetings. You cannot find a discordant voice: "No conscription; down with conscription, we have done our duty, nobly done our duty, and nobody will thus lead us to be slaughtered !" That is what was heard.

You have in Quebec-Quebec, the source of patriotism, the source of true Liberalism -in Quebec it can be nothing strange, for they have as their mandatory the most distinguished leader of the Opposition, Sir Wilfrid Laurier-there have been meetings held in Quebec, .in several places, unanimously condemning this 'Bill. Three Rivers, the capital city of my hon. colleague, Mr. Jacques Bureau. You must have perceived, Mr. Speaker, that Jacques Bureau is not the man on the street. You have listened to him religiously, you have followed his arguments, as we have also done on this side of the House-these gentlemen across did not say much, but by their very silence they approved him. What a masterly speech was that speech delivered by the hon. Mr. Bureau ! The strongest arguments,

irrefutable arguments, to which no one has yet replied, and I do not think any one can go counter to his statements. I was delighted to hear him, my friends are almost beside themselves, iso proud were they of him, and rightly too. Jacques Bureau has enormously gained in the estimation of all, and it must have been the best day in all his political career, I am sure of that, any way.

We have also heard in this House the hon. member for St. Hyaeinthe (Mr. Gauthier). I fully endorse all the hon. member for St. Hyaeinthe has said. He has been reproached for having gone too far; he has not gone any farther than he should; what he said was not intended as a threat, hut as a protest, a warning to ministers should they persist in putting through such a Bill, and especially should they insist on enforcing it, so well satisfied am I that this legislation cannot be carried out, and in a few moments, Mr. Speaker, I shall attempt to show why.

Meetings were also held in Sorel, the country of the strong men. When I speak of Sorel men, you had better stand aside, Mr. Speaker. Meetings took place in Joliette-the land of the Babys, the Godins, the Oliviers, all the wisest men of the North country-and here I must say that it was an inspiration to me to see the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. Guilbault) leave his sick couch, impotent, almost dying, making superhuman efforts in order to come here to protest personally against this iniquitous law; I pay due homage to that generous heart who did understand the full responsibility impending, and who, in spite of all, realized what his duty was, and fulfilled it. I say: All honour to him.

I held a meeting in Lachine, and I can tell you that among those present there were many French Canadians, Englishmen, Irishmen and even Jews, and I must say that there was not a single dissentient voice in the protest voiced against this Bill. I was asked if any French Canadian could be found to support this law. I told them that there was not a single dissentient voice in were few and far between; and if ever any of those French Canadians should come to Lachine, I would let them know that the canal is not far distant.

Another similar meeting was also held in Sherbrooke. You must notice, Mr. Speaker, that Sherbrooke does not only count French Canadians, but .that, on the contrary, its population is rather mixed; at that meeting, which was largely attended, all energetically protested against conscription.

Another meeting was likewise held in St. Jerome, the county of the men who were to have their wrists cut off. I remember that in those days they held public meetings to protest against that enactment of the hon. leader of the Opposition. We shall repeal that legislation, did they say, we shall destroy the statutes containing it, and, if we do not succeed, we will cut our own wrists off. I defy any one to go and see if any wrist is missing to-day. I must add that the promoter and leader of that wrist-cutting operation has his own more steadfast than ever, especially so since he is in the Government manger, drawing quite a handsome salary. I respect him, for, after all, he is perfectly entitled, like anybody else, to be a railway commissioner, but it is a remarkable fact that, since he holds that position, he no more talks of having his hands cut off, and yet that Act is still on our statute books.

I have held two big meetings in Ville-Emard, and I can assure you it was quite a sight to look at those working men, that laborious class of people, that class who only ask for protection and fur justice, protest as strongly as they could against this iniquitious conscription Act; I am -glad indeed to speak to-day on behalf of the electors of Jacques Cartier, the county where I will have the honour of making my rext political fight. Some of thr se good Conservatives on the other side of this House, declared that the hon. member for Montcalm should be shelved. They tried to put me out of this fine Montcalm county, hut they couldn't do it. They then thought it over and decided that the best means was to do away with the constituency itself; that is what they did, but I shall get even with them by capturing another county from them. I will capture Jacques Cartier, I am confident I will, and when I do return to this House, it will be on behalf of the electors of that county. Some may observe that the votes are not yet counted. That is true, but after my own calculations, it should give an overwhelming Liberal majority.

The town of St. Laurent where I have the honour to reside, the town par excellence, with respect to education, with its college, its convent and its numerous schools, has also protested energetically against the Bill now before this House. Most recently, after divine service, we have seen, in the church of St. Laurent, a whole population kneeling down and imploring God to enlighten the men who are governing us so that this conscription Act

be not adopted. Afterwards, tables were placed in front of the church, so that all the people, men, women and children, might sign the petitions which I laid before this' House as a protest. I repeat it, Mr. Speaker, in that section of the country, there are not two opinions; the conscription Act is absolutely condemned.

Other meetings werfe likewise held in the city of Maisonneuve, which contains thousands and thousands of workingmen among its population; the same in the city of Levis, in St. Henri, near Montreal, and in Ste. Cunegonde, where thousands upon thousands- of men employed in the large local mills have most strongly protested and signed numerous petitions.

In Berthierville, it was the same. In the town of L'A'ssomption-the heart of our venerated leader Sir Wilfrid Laurier must beat more strongly when 1 mention L'Assomp-tion and its classical college where he spent the best years of his life-and the Lauren-tian town did protest. Here, I delay, when I speak of St. -Lin; one should stop one moment and cogitate; it is the cradle of the Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Well, I tell you, Mr. Speaker, there also, as everywhere else, they have protested, they have done all they could possibly do. In the town of Pointe Claire-where next Sunday your humble servants shall be present, being specially invited to speak and protest against that enactment; in the town of Dorval; at Ste. Anne de Bellevue, in the city of Nicolet, I met there a few days ago a clever young man, a confrere of great distinction, I refer to Mr. Chasse, a Montreal lawyer. Mr. Gh-as.se, -had accepted to be a candidate in Nicolet county, as standard-bearer of the Conservative party, and when he learned that the Conscription Bill was before this House, his candidature came to an end; he sent his resignation as a Conservative candidate, entirely repudiating the law which hie old friends had just -laid -before this chair. Will he run as a Liberal candidate? I do not know, but a sure thing, he will never support this Act, and he can never support the men w'ho have conceived it.

Mr. Speaker, have you had and have you seen or heard of any contradictory meetings held in favour of this Act? Not at all. Not a single meeting has been- held, to my knowledge, in favour of the Bill now before you.

Mr. Speaker, I maintain that this Bill is illegal, unjust, that it is discriminating oppressive, vexatious, unconstitutional, and in no way applicable, as I shall en-

deavour to shhow. In the first place, I say it is illegal, because those who wish to pass it have not the right to do so; they have no mandate, and I have only to refer to the arguments made by the worthy leader of the Opposition to prove it. We are not at present legislators, we are only administrators. To be a legislator, you must have a mandate authorizing you to make laws. Well, we have no such mandate. The hon. members who have previously spoken- have clearly defined the situation. The Hon. Mr. Murphy, ex-Secretary of State, has well explained it; the Hon. Dr. Pu-gsl-ey -has well discussed it also the ho-n. member for Piotou (Mr. Macdonald); Mr. C. A. Wilson, of Laval, has discussed it; the hon. member for Iberville, Mr. Joseph Demers, has well discussed the question, as all honourable gentlemen who have preceded me and they are no newcomers, they are men -well versed in constitutional law, and when I see hon. gentlemen of suoh standing risk their reputations as parliamentarians, as lawyers in their respective districts, when I isee these men taking upon themselves the defence of such a position I feel I am in good company, and I have no fear to ratify what they said. I know there are ihon. gentlemen on the other side who have made much noise, who have spoken about the constitution, who have -spoken of laws. I have much respect for all these hon. gentlemen, but there are many among them who do not know much about law; they are greater experts at the plough.

One hon. gentleman who made a big flurry, found it very odd that the French Canadians of Quebec should not be of his opinion. I readily believe that he has studied some, and that he has a certain fund of information, but, after all such is not his mandate, such is not his profession, and one can certainly taJke -exeception- to what he says without offending him. I will say to this hon. gentleman: I prefer

believing what the right hon, leader of the Opposition has said, I would rather accept the statements of the hon. Mr. Pugsley, or those of the hon. Mr. Murphy. I prefer going by wih-at the hon. members of this side of the House have said upon- this question, than those other gentlemen. Dr. Edwards, -member for Frontenac, is a most distinguished man, hut he knows more about pills than about the constitution. I would not like to hurt his feelings, hut ilet each one stick to his trade, to his profession. I believe this gentleman has yet a great deal

to learn about the constitution, and with all clue respect, I may be allowed to differ from him. I say that this Act is illegal, because we have no mandate to pass it. In the first place, it is unjust. Why is it unjust? Because, as a Tesult of that Act, you mean to impose obligations we are not held to assume. We have indeed agreed to help, and I still wish to help, but from that does not mean that we will agree to do what you now want us to do, when we are in nowise obliged to do it and I say: your law is entirely unjust.

This Act is discriminating. Wiry? Because we are asked to do in this country what is not demanded from other countries. The law is discriminating, because it is not universal. I very well understand, if the Empire should ask every British subject to do, each and every one of them, one and the same thing, that would be equality; but, in the present case, Canada is asked to do what they dare not ask any one else to do.

I was reading, this very morning, that the Premier of Australia had just declared that enlistment would remain voluntary. So there is no compulsion in Australia, another colony of the Empire, hut they must impose it in Canada first, in this dear old Canada they love so well, they are so fond of, yes, Canada will 'be first. Well, I am chary of your preference, of your favours, of your gifts, I am apprehensive when you thus ask Canada to do what others are not asked to do. I say it is a discriminating law.

What would you say, Mr. Speaker, if, in a city like Montreal, the mayor, who is here just now, would have his municipal government pass a regulation by which he would say: the carters of Chaboillez Square will pay so much a piece, the carters of St. Mary's ward another amount, and the carters of St. Jean JBaptiste still another amount of money? He would be told: You are mad; you should know and you must know that, be it in virtue of a law or a bylaw, all must be treated the same way, no favour, no favouritism, no privileges, every one has equal rights. Well, then, I say that we, the British subjects of Canada, we are not put on the same footing as the subjects of the other colonies, by the imposition of a law which they do not want to impose elsewhere.

I say that every discriminating law is unconstitutional, and the power of disallowance, of which we are so jealous, and which His Majesty has the right to exercise, His Majesty may, at any given moment, exercise his right to annul such an Act. The la/ws enacted 'here, Mr. Speaker, must be ratified on the other side. The Jaws of the province of Quebec are ratified within two years by the Dominion Parliament. The laws* passed by the Dominion Government must be sanctioned by His Majesty, by the Imperial Government. Well, I wonder if the Imperial Parliament would sanction such an unjust, such a discriminatory law as this one. I do humbly say no. This law is unconstitutional and should not be adopted, because such was the understanding, when the lease of life of this Parliament was extended one year.

I was reading, this morning, the speech of the right hon. leader of the Opposition and I found therein a most serious charge made against the Government. The right hon. gentleman states that this extension was granted with the formal understanding that it was only for the guidance and the good administration of the affairs of the country and that the proposal would never have been entertained, if this Bill had only been mentioned.

I do repeat it, that is a very serious charge, in my humble opinion, for it means that the hon. leader of the Opposition and his followers, who have agreed to this extension, have been deceived. In other words, it means this: you .have induced me to grant you an extension of time and to ask my followers to support you on this question, and you have deceived me. "Well, Mr. Speaker, if we cannot find any good faith in those who govern us, if honour and integrity cannot be found in our rulers, I now ask vou the question: what will be the outcome? I do hope that the hon. Prime Minister will give us some explanations on this subject. '

I say that this law is vexatious for us French Canadians, as well as for the English and Scotch Canadians of this country. Is it not sad, indeed, to find that, in spite of the sacrifices made, after contributing to the Canadian expeditionary forces more than 423,000 men, we are nevertheless charged with not having done our duty? Is that what the hon. member for Chateauguay (Mr. Morris) calls the failure of voluntary enlistment? Let him beware of failure for himself, of the discomfiture which awaits him in his county? A man may go into bankruptcy and still the sum of his assets be greater than that of his liabilities; he may be in straitened circumstances only temporarily, but I don't believe that is the case of the member for Chateauguay. He will have to give a strict and true account

to his electors and may he beware of being more than temporarily crippled, for he should not forget that in Ohateauguay the French Canadians, who compose three-fourths of the population, will ask him to account for his vote in favour of conscription.

I have stated the reasons for which I consider this Act unconstitutional and vexatious, let us now see whether its enforcement is possible. I say no. You cannot attain the desired object with a law so drafted. What is the penalty imposed by the Act upon those who will not submit to it? The Act says: If you do not submit, you will be sentenced to jail! Well, then, what will they do? They will go to jail, that s all. I owe to Sir Lomer 'Gouin, Prime Minister of the province of Quebec, my sincere congratulations for having had the clever idea of having had proper cells made at Bordeaux for our future state prisoners. You will .send to jail those who do not obey; but you must not forget that this will not send them to war. After having spent three years in the state prisons, they will be free. Then, what becomes of your law? Can you force these men to go to the fields of battle? Will the Government have gained anything after they have quartered, clothed and boarded, for three years, at the expense of the state, these men who want to evade the law at any price? I say, Mr. Speaker, that a law the execution of which is impossible in its very principle is good for nothing, because its application would not be practical and it -could not -attain its object. The only result of this Act will have been to cause trouble in this country.

Our mandate has expired long ago. The mandate which I have obtained in 1911, in that struggle, one of the fiercest I have had to sustain in all my political career-for I had to contend against both the Conservatives and the Nationalists-that mandate, Sir, was- good for five years only. I must confess that, in that contest, I had quite a hard time of it, but I hope that, in the future, these go.od Nationalists will be with me, since I -shall be with them. Just as in the case of all the hon. members of this House, my mandate has lapsed; we have remained in office only by virture of our own vote. Is that a mandate? I contend that we are duly empowered to carry on the ordinary business of Government; but that does not give us the right to send a whole people to slaughter; and the people of this country contend, as I do, that we have not the power to do it. Personally, I would have no objection to remain as a

[Mr. Lafortune. 1

member without undergoing an election; that costs less and it is much easier; but we are living in a country where the people have the right to choose the members they wish to represent them -and to be governed by whomsoever they deem fit for the task. It has been said that, in a -stable it is not always the best horse that eats the most, and the same thing may be said of politics. The people are the master, to them belongs the right to judge in the last resort. Besides, -you know this as well as I do: nothing is so uncertain as politics; I might even venture to add that it is as in matters of courtship, where one must be very careful until the young -lady has given her -assent.

I would not care to recall sad memories to my right hon. leader, but I will mention that momentous struggle he fought when he was elected by an overwhelming major-rity; the Hon. Mr. Mackenzie honoured him later by admitting him into his cabinet. At the next election, they -succeeded in defeating him, the village merchant, a Mr. Bour-beau, being elected in his stead; a perfectly honest man no doubt, but who, after all, should not have been preferred to the noblest and most eloquent man to be found.

But Sir Wilfrid Laurier took a signal revenge; he turned towards Quebec, the old Capital, and, as experience has well shown, it is not an easy thing to wrest it from him Yes, Sir, the people should not be ignored, I know that through my own experience, for I also have suffered defeat.

I then say Mr. Speaker, that the mandate, if it may be called a mandate, which we now hold, does not go beyo-nd purely administrative matters. There are in our -Constitution three powers: The legislative, the executive and the administrative power. ,The legislative power has disappeared with the lapsing of onr mandate, the executive power is continued in force for ordinary matters; therefore, all that is left ns is the administrative -power and we can only *expedite public business in the people's interest, until- the people give u-s a new mandate. Therefore, I have no hesitation in asserting that the -State prisoner, the one who will have -been -arrested for having refused to obey that Act, will enjoy adequate protection under our laws.

There are under our laws five writs of royal prerogative. The British Crown maintained, at the time of the conquest, these writs of royal prerogative which are still extant for o-ur protection, thank God. We have the mandamus, the certiorari, the quo w-arranto, the writ of prohibition -and, la-st -but not the least, the habeas corpus.

When these gentlemen will arrest a British subject for having disobeyed the Act, they will send him to Bordeaux; but, first, they will bring him before the magistrate, and the prisoner relying on the constitution, will appeal to the court. He-will say: Let them show in virtue of what principle I have *been arrested and imprisoned. If the law invoked against me were constitutional the authority entrusted with the duty of applying it would say so, and this man will be told: Sir, you are free this legislation is void even should the Prime Minister and all his fellow workers, even should the Premier and all the other councillors of His Majesty declare our law is valid, the Courts whose duty it is to carry it out would hold otherwise.

The hon. Minister of Justice has been a Judge of the Superior Court, and he knows that I am right-Should I go before him with a man arrested in virtue of an unconstitutional law, the hon. minister would be the first to set that man at liberty. He knows the law, he knows the constitution. Why does he take a hand in such legislation as this? I respect his opinion, his conduct, his convictions, but I am sure if he were not in politics, if he were still in the sanctuary of Justice, he would not hesitate for a moment and would immediately confirm what I have just isaid, that this law is unconstitutional, is not worth anything and that a writ of habeas corpus, issued in the King's name, asking the reason where-for I am arrested and sentenced, would undoubtedly restore my rights. But politics is a cloak for many misdeeds.

Mr. Speaker, I have, everywhere I have gone, pleaded the cause of the people; I said, everywhere I went and had the honour of being heard, that there would be no conscription. What were my reasons for saying so? My reasons? Why! What the Prime Minister had declared in the speech from the Throne, on the letters addressed to the archbishops and bishops; on their declarations.

I see in his seat, Mr. Speaker, a man to whom I have something to say and I take occasion of his presence to offer him my most sincere congratulations, I mean the ex-Secretary of State, hon. Mr. Patenaude. He has, indeed, done an admirable feat. He held a high position in the cabinet. Young, with a grand future in sight, full of hope, taking a keen interest in his duties, he sacrificed everything in order to keep his pledged, word. That is really grand. I say to the hon. ex-minister, all honour to you, sir. The people shall give you credit for

that; the people have seen in you a statesman, a strong man, a man who does not hesitate to break away from his former friends, from his party, from his high position. You do honour to the pledged troth, [DOT]honour be to you. I would have liked to *see the others follow suit. (They have not willed it. It is their own business; but the people shall remember it. Beware. When the people kick, they kick for good. No one has the right, Mr. Speaker, to fool the people. Everyone has the right to hold opinions contrary to those of his opponents; everyone has the right to change his convictions; everyone has the right to abandon a leader, if he does not approve of him; every one has the right to condemn his policy, if it does not suit him; but, none have the right to deceive the people. You would not forgive a servant who lied to you; no one forgives a servant who would say anything but the truth; and our public men, those who govern, those who direct the people, those men to whom are entrusted honour, wealth, integrity, uprightness, all that we hold most precidus in this world, would be permitted to play false.

I say, that is not what I have been taught iin my country, and I say to the hon. Mr. Patenaude, ex-minister: Why not come with us, come and sit with your old colleagues, you will be well cared for and be given due justice, because the stand you have taken was a most honourable one, and it must be a great satisfaction to be able to say to yourself that you have been faithful to the call of duty.

Mr. Speaker, I was present in my own country church, when our learned parish priest ascended the pulpit and said: "My children, I have just learned that the National Service cards are not being signed; you are probably afraid that it may be the first step towards conscription, well, I tell you now, from this pulpit, that we are duly authorized to say to you that there will be no conscription. We have the pledged word of those who govern that you can sign the National iService cards without any apprehension, that there will be no conscription." Then, every one, or almost every one, did sign. This same scene took place in every church, throughout the province; the parish priests mounted their pulpits and advised their flocks to sign, because those in power had given assurance that there would be no conscription. The cards had scarcely been signed when conscription came. Where do you find sincerity here? Where do you find frankness? WheTe do

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET (L'Islet) (Translation):

Will the hon. member allow me one question?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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LIB

David Arthur Lafortune

Liberal

Mr. LAFORTUNE (Translation):

Certainly.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON MOTION FOR SECOND READING AND ON THE AMENDMENTS.
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July 5, 1917