July 10, 1917


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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. (2) (a) A certificate may be conditional as to time or otherwise and if granted solely on conscientious grounds shall state that such exemption is from combatant service only. (b) A certificate granted on the ground of the continuance of education or training or on the ground of exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position, shall be a conditional certificate only. (c) No certificate shall be conditional upon a person to whom it is granted continuing in or entering into employment under any specified place or established. (d) A certificate may transfer a man to the class next in numerioal order. (e) When a conditional certificate is granted the conditions shall be stated on the certificate. (f) It shall be the duty of any man holding a conditional certificate within three days after the conditions stated therein cease to exist or after his exemption terminates, to give notice in writing of such fact to the Registrar of the province in which he ordinarily resides; and if he fails without reasonable excuse to do so, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars. (3) (a) Subject to such conditions as to application and notice as may be provided by regulations, and subject also to paragraph (b) of this subsection, a certificate may, during the currency thereof, be renewed, varied or withdrawn at any time by the local tribunal issuing the same. (b) Where a decision of a local or appeal tribunal has been varied on appeal to an appeal tribunal or to the Central Appeal Judge, a certificate granted upon such variation shall thereafter; subject to such conditions as to application and notice as may be provided by regulations, be renewed, varied or withdrawn, but only during the currency thereof and only by the appeal tribunal or judge who granted the certificate. (4) Any person who, for the purpose of taining a certificate or a condition in a certificate for himself or for any other person, or for the purpose of obtaining the renewal, variation or withdrawal of a certificate, makes any false statement or representation, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for any term not exceeding twelve months with or without hard labour. (5) (a) Any man who, having applied to any local tribunal for the issue to him of a certificate, applies without the leave of the Minister to any other local tribunal for a certificate, and any person who, knowing or having reason to believe that an application for a certificate has been made or is being made by or in respect of a man to a local tribunal, makes or aids or abets in the making or establishing of an application without such leave by or in respect of such man to another local tribunal, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars. (b) All applications and all proceedings taken on application for certificates made with- out the leave of the Minister by or in respect of a man before a local tribunal other than the local tribunal before which the first application by or in respect of such man was made, shall be null and void. (c) Nothwithstanding anything in this section contained, the Governor in Council may by regulations abolish any local tribunal, and transfer its duties and powers to any other local tribunal. (6) Any person who alters or tampers with a certificate or, for the purpose of evading this Act, falsely represents himself to be a person to whom a certificate has been granted, or, if granted a certificate, allows, for like purpose, any other person to have possession thereof, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months. (7) When a certificate is lost, destroyed or defaced, the tribunal by whom it was granted shall, upon the application of the man to whom it was granted and upon payment of a fee of fifty cents, issue to him a duplicate of such certificate.


LIB

Edmond Proulx

Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

It has been suggested by hon. gentlemen on the other side that conscription would not affect the farming community; that it was the intention of the Government to leave the farmers at home in order that they might produce food and agricultural products. Nothing, however, in these subsections exempts the farmers as a class. Considering the usefulness of their occupation, I think that they might well be exempted from military service. It would satisfy a great many people in the country if it was made plain in the Bill that the farmers would,not be conscripted.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

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LIB

Edmond Proulx

Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

I think that some limit should be imposed as to the number of men required on a farm. My hon. friend cited the case of a father and two sons on a farm of 100 acres, and the father being left to do all the work as the sons had enlisted. We might state in the Bill that not more than three persons should be allowed to 100 acres. Three men, I think, would be sufficient for that acreage. In England so many agriculturalists were allowed to enlist in the early days of the war, and farm labour became so scarce that 27,000 men had to be recalled from the trenches to cultivate the farms. There is danger of something similar happening here unless we provide against it. We should take steps to ensure that our production will be sufficient to support our own population and to help supply the Allies with foodstuffs. There are not many farms in Canada where you will find more than two- sons [DOT]and the father working the farm. I think the Bill should allow a certain number of men to each farm.

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CON

Joseph Hormisdas Rainville (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RAENVILLE:

My attention has been drawn to this very question. The purpose of the 'Government in introducing this Bill is that the nation's efforts should be directed toward winning the war. Some men will be called on to fight, and others will be engaged in sustaining the productivity of the Dominion. The preamble states that in view of the large number of men who have already left agricultural and industrial pursuits in Canada to enlist, and in view of the necessity of sustaining the productivity of the Dominion, it 'has been found necessary to introduce this legislation. If the Government are sincere in stating that their intention is to retain men who are useful in agricultural and industrial pursuits, I do not see why this section should

203J

not be made to read accordingly. The preamble, it is true, sets out the Government's intention, but I do- not see why it should not be expressly stated1 in this section- that agriculture and other necessary industries of the country shall be maintained.

I therefore beg to move:

That in line 32 of subsection (a) of section

II the words "agricultural, industrial or" be inserted after the word "in" and before the word "other."

The subsection would then read:

That it is expedient in the national interest that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in agricultural, industrial or other work in which he is habitually engaged.

That would be expressly stating the Government's intention as set out in the preamble. I would impress upon the House that the intention of this Bill is not to conscript the whole man-power of the country, but only 100,000 men, and if there aTe any industries that should be protected, they are agriculture 'and the other industries necessary to the .winning of the war. I think every one will admit that agriculture is one of the first .industries that should be taken care of. The inserting of these words would not mean that a man so engaged would necessarily be exempted, but it would ensure that the production of the country would not suffer by reason of this Bill. The amendment is .absolutely in accord with- the Government's .intention.

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IND

Joseph Girard

Independent Conservative

Mr. J. GIRARD (Chicoutimi-Saguenay) (translation):

Mr. Chairman, I beg leave

to second the amendment offered by my hon. friend from Chambly-Vercheres (Mr. Rain-ville), to the exemption clause.

I think that, if the amendment offered by my hon. friend is not going to be applied to the exemption provisions, to which he wishes to apply it, it would be desirable to make the interpretation of the section clearer and to add to subsection, A after the words " in which he is habitually engaged " the following words: " The men engaged in agricultural and industrial pursuits and in the fisheries." I do not intend to embarrass the Government with this amendment, but in the preamble, the Government seems to be aiming at protecting the agricultural and industrial classes. The intention of the Government in that respect is open to doubt. I have received several letters and I think this subsection should be made plainer, so as to make perfectly clear what the real purpose of the Government is.

As remarked by the hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres, the intention of the Bill is not to conscript the whole man-power of the country, but only 100,000 men, and it matters little once those 100,000 men are enlisted, whether such or such a class is exempted, as what is needed is production and farmers engaged in sustaining the productivity of the Dominion, to support our own population and help supply the Allies.

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CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (translation):

I fully agree with what has been said by my hon. friend from Chicoutimi-Saguenay (Mr. Girard). As far as possible, it is desirable to allay public anxiety and to ease the minds of many people who are anxious to know which are the classes that are going to be conscripted, and everybody knows that it is in the interest of the country that the agricultural class should be taken care of and exempted. I think that at this phase of the debate on this Bill, it would be desirable to insert a clause such as suggested by the hon. member for Chicoutimi-Saguenay to subsection A of the exemption section. By adding the words suggested by my hon. friend, the debate would be simplified and it would also meet the views of the Government which is acting in the general interest of the country. I may further say that it would meet the views of the people in general, and more particularly the Views of the farmers who do not expect to be disturbed in the work in which they are engaged and who should be left at home, unless we want to throw the whole industrial machine of the country out of gear. I believe that the Government should not hesitate to insert those words, or else, we might add after clause F another one which would be clause " G ", worded as follows:

That, it is expedient in the national interest that all the bona fide farmers and fishermen, instead of being employed in military service, should be maintained in the work in which they are habitually engaged.

If this would not be covered in paragraph

(a) we could make another paragraph (g) and put it in there; so that it would be well understood which are the classes we want exempt. I think this would save quite a lot of discussion and would meet the views of the majority of the members of this House.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I do not know very well how the House could adopt the amendment offered by my hon. friend. The principle of the Bill, as I understand it, is that there should be no exemptions. If we start to exempt the farmers, fishermen, and so on, there is no telling where we may end.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And the-lawyers.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

Lawyers are pretty well exempt anyway.

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CON

Joseph Hormisdas Rainville (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RAINVILLE:

I do not mean by this amendment that it is to he a special exemption. I just mean to advocate the principle of the law as it is to-day. The hon. member knows very well that to interpret the law we may use the preamble just as well as any other part of the Bill, and saying that the judge will be called upon to decide as to what are the most essential industries is just repeating what is in the preamble.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

I agree with the idea and the argument of my hon. friend that the agricultural classes should not be disturbed, as far as possible. There is no intention in this Bill to disturb the agricultural class any more than any other class, but as was said by the Solicitor General a few minutes ago, take the case of a farmer working say 100 acres of land and having two or three eons to help him. If these two or three sons have volunteered for the front, the position of that farmer is different from the position of another farmer who may have two or three sons on the farm whom he can spare.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Provided they are

wanted.

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

Provided they are

wanted. It is only fair these men should be selected. I think that is the principle of the Bill, and that is what every member of this House understands. I should object strenuously to support any Bill or any suggestion that would exempt any class of people in this country. This Bill must apply to everybody. The farmer has responded nobly already, and I am sure when the time comes to* make the selection required for this 100,000 men. the farmer will not be drawn on unfairly. But, where there are places, and we know there are hundreds, where farming districts have not done their duty, this Bill will compel them to do their duty. Other farmers have done more than their duty. I can cite you dozens of cases in my own constituency where men have gone who should not have gone, and who would not have gone if we had selective conscription. I think this Bill is a step in the right direction.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Sir SAM HUGHES:

Would not the

farmers, as a class, resent the insertion of any such clause?

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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

No doubt the farmers would take it as an insult if any such clause were inserted. The farmers are just as anxious as any other people to do their duty, and they have done it. I cannot very well understand what my hon. friend wants. To my' mind the interpretation of the Bill is very clear. The intention of the Government in submitting the measure to Parliament was that the selection should he made absolutely equitable and fair, and the provisions of this Bill covered this.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Does the Solicitor General intend setting a standard by which those local tribunals are to proceed on his definition of the so-called national interest, qr is each tribunal to be allowed to decide in each individual case and have a standard of its own as to what is the national interest?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

In subsection 3 of section 5 there are regulations looking to the uniform application of the Act. There is a regulation which might cover generally the intentions of the tribunal as to what principles should guide them in determining what is in the national interest. That was done in Great Britain. I have before me a document published under the signature of the Right Hon. Walter H. Long for the guidance of tribunals, and the general principles by which they may well be governed. The English Act practically combined our first two exemptions in one. They followed that by an outline of the principles by which the local board of tribunals should be governed. I will read a portion of this document:-

12. The following observations as regards the different classes of cases may be of service :

Employment cases (section 2 (1) (a))-

the question to be considered in these cases is not whether the man has a claim for exceptional treatment in his own interests, but whether it is or is not in the national interests that he should be retained in civil employment. "National interests" has to be construed broadly. It covers not only services which minister directly to the prosecution of the war, but also services which are esential to the country at the present time. Whether, for instance, in the maintenance of the food supply, or of the export trade, or in the performance of other services which it is desirable should be carried on in the interests of the community.

. In deciding cases of this class, local tribunals should take into account not only (a) whether the service is such as ministers to the national interests at the present time, but also (b) whether it is in the national interests that the particular man should continue in civil employment, and whether, even if the services which he renders are essential, they cannot be performed by available men not of military age or otherwise not fit for military service, or by women.

Then they proceed to a similar treatment of the cases covered by our second clause of exemptions. I might also read it:-

13. It is provided that exemption (which must in this case be conditional or temporary) may be granted to a man who is being educated or trained for any work, if it is expedient in the national interests that he should continue to be so educated or trained. It is not intended that the mere fact that the man is being educated or trained shall be a sufficient reason for exemption. It must be clearly shown that it is in the national interests that he should continue his education or training either because he will become so valuable for work ministering, directly or indirectly, to the national requirements in connection with the war that it would be unwise to take him away from his education or training, or because, quite apart from any services which he is likely to render during the course of the war, his education or training will hereafter render him so essential to the community that it would be unwise to interrupt his education or training.

The presumption will generally be that a man undergoing education or training who is young and free from the responsibilities of older men should do his duty for the country at the present time by undertaking military service,-

That is the prima facie presumption.

-and therefore it is for the Local Tribunal in each instance to make sure that the conditions in the particular case are sueh as to justify special treatment before exemption is granted.

They go on to outline what in their judgment shpuld cover cases of serious hardship which is our third class of exemption. Then they proceed to deal with cases of ill-health or infirmity. I do not say for a moment that the regulations that may be promulgated by the central appeal judge would be identical with those in England, but I read these tp indicate the general scope that may 'be covered by the regulations. I could not say whether there is any reason or not for deviating very widely from them. At the moment I do not know.

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LIB

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Liberal

Mr. PARDEE:

By reason of the fact that there is uncertainty as tp who will and who will not he exempted under the provisions of this selective conscription measure, and more especially as there has been a great deal of talk about its effect upon agricultural production, a doubt has been brought to the minds of a great many people in the agricultural industry as to how far selective conscription would go with them. I quite agree with the principle of the Bill, and 1 believe that nobody should be exempted from conscription under the measure. On the other hand, my ppinion is that as far as possible the work of the agricultural community and the productiveness of this country ought not tp be, even

in the very least, impaired, for we have been told by members of the Government that production is almost as essential to-day to the winning of the war as some pther forms of military service. I would make a suggestion to the Solicitor General. We have just had from the Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White) a declaration of the policy of the Government with reference to the conscription of wealth. The Government has taken exception, very reasonably, to the broad term "conscription of wealth " being used to such an extent and so irresponsibly as to upset certain classes of our people in the Dominion by making them believe that their own savings would be conscripted. The statement that the minister has made will allay public anxiety along that line to a large extent and will ease the minds of a great many people. I am not asking the Solicitor General to make any specific declaration that agriculture should not -be conscripted-I do not want him to do that-but, could not he give some assurance that when the rules and regulations are drawn up for the purpose of carrying out this Bill agriculture will be looked upon from the point of view solely of the productive needs of the country and treated accordingly.

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July 10, 1917