July 11, 1917

CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No, I should think not. In the first place, I do not think there is any reasonable possibility of our getting over the 100,000, for the reason that we have power to divide classes into subclasses. But if by any chance we should1 get a small number over, it would appear to me that rather than resort to the ballot, it would be fairer and more in consonance with the general principle of the Bill to release the older men in order of

age until only the necessary number was left.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

After the 100,000 are secured under conscription, will all organization relative to conscription cease ipso facto?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

After securing 100,000 men the Bill cannot be used to secure any more. The organization will then be at an end until Parliament acts again, if it does act.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

Is there any provision

for exemptions in the 100,000?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No, they have got past the exemption stage and are in the army.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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LIB

Emmanuel Berchmans Devlin

Liberal

Mr. DEVLIN:

So that the Bill may call for more than 100,000?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No, More than 100,000 reinforcements cannot he secured under it. Should more be enlisted, then, under powers which the Militia Department now has, they may release some of the men, and I gave a suggestion of a principle on which release might he possible.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

If, say in the city of Ottawa, a'large number of young men who would be liable to conscription under this Bill should fail to come forward, what provision is there for punishing them? It might be the duty of the Attorney General of the province to enforce the law, but he would not likely take any action. I have not yet been able to ascertain that under these circumstances the slackers could not get off.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It would be the duty of the authorities, no matter how many men had reported themselves, to see to it that the law was enforced as to those who did not. And, so far as the Government is concerned, that is the intention.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

It would be the duty of the authorities to see that they were registered, but haw would the authorities know?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The general answer

' would be, in the same way as they know of the violation of any law, but specifically I might say that, inasmuch as everywhere in Canada there are those who have gone forward, and who are interested that more go forward, and that this war be pressed forward with all the strength of the country, it is believed that that class of people will make themselves of service to their country by making known to the authorities those who disobey tbe law, and I think there are good grounds for that belief. I do not think

there is any section in Canada where there are not sufficient numbers who are interested generally in the enforcement of the law, and interested specially in the enforcement of such law as strengthens the army of this country for the war, and who will assist their country by reporting men who fail to do their duty under this Act.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I should like to say a word in reference to an idea, which seems to influence the minds of some hon. members, and to point out that there would not be any safeguard in the registration that has been spoken of. I call attention to the fact that the men are to report. That is their first duty. Suppose that you provided for a distinct registration, you would have in front of you exactly the same difficulty.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Sure, I understand that.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

You would have the question as to whether or not all have registered, and in the United States, at the present time, they are hunting up men who have not registered, and taking proceedings against them under the law, so that there really is not any additional safeguard in registration. If there were a distinct provision for registration we should be in precisely the same position.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I was not advocating registration. I was trying to find out if the Government had any means of knowing the men who did not come forward, because, with all due deference to the Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen), in many sections of the country they would think it tattling, as we used to s.ay when we were boys, to tell on a neighbour's boy who did not go forward. There is no question, they would think it disloyal to their neighbour.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

They would think it better to be disloyal to their neighbour than to their country, at such a time as this. I have full confidence that, depending on the means I have stated, infractions of the law will be ascertained, but if that dependence is not sufficient, and if other means should be found necessary to find out those who have not registered, such means as may be necessary will be taken.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

No doubt the Government will find ample means to find the slackers, if you call them by that name, but I must say to my hon. friend that, if he has to depend on the informer, he may not obtain the information.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO:

The only provision in the United States law for the man who re-

fuses to register reads as follows:-

Any person who shall wilfully fail or refuse to present himself for registration or submit thereto as herein provided shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction in the district court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, and shall thereupon be duly registered.

So that they have the same provision as we have.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

That does not cover the point.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink
CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

The language of this Act is not very clear. It says, "called out for active service," and there is also the matter of enrolment and the matter of registration, which they use in the United States, and which we are not using here at all. I think all the classes should be first enrolled, and the call for active service should come subsequently. Then you would have all the manhood enrolled in the first place between the ages of 20 and 45, but a man could not dodge between the two classes. A man might be of such an age that he would require six months to get into one of the classes called out, and, by the time the class was called out, he would be in the other category, and might evade both classes in that way, but if they were both called out and enrolled in the first instance, it would save a great deal of trouble. Any one who has anything to do with the enrolment of soldiers will understand that it requires a tremendous amount of work to prepare the papers of the men. I know of cases where it will take two or three weeks of hard work, with a staff of five or six hundred men, to get the attestation papers of a thousand men filled up and everything in proper shape. So that there is going to be a great deal more work in addition, calling these men out or enrolling them. The word "enroll" is not mentioned in the Act at all. I presume that if they are called out and come before the tribunal, they are enrolled and papers are prepared for them.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
Permalink

July 11, 1917