July 11, 1917

LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

If they do not claim an exemption, they do not go before the tribunal at all.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

Where do they go?

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

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

That is what we want to find out.

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:

They will report as provided in 'the proclamation.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

Would it not be better to have them all report, in the first place? You would have all the men and you would know how many would go into one cate-

gory and how many in the other, and the matter would he settled in the beginning. I think everybody should be enrolled from 18 to 45, and then if you want to call out those from 20 to 30, you can do so. A man would then get his papers to show he was enrolled, and if he were arrested by the corporal's guard, he could produce his paper to prove, he was enrolled.

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:

The Bill provides for that.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

But it does not provide they shall all be called out at once. If you call them all out at once, every man in the section would be enrolled. The military tribunals will meet in every parish or township, and the young men will have to be enrolled. If you fail to get 100,000 in the two classes, you have to call out the third class. In foreign countries, men always carry their papers in their pocket. If a man is in a class which has not been called out, he has his papers in his pocket to show he has been enrolled. I think we should follow the same procedure, and it would simplify matters. I think hon. gentlemen should not insist continually on numbers being given in this House. Hours have been spent in arguing about the number of men sent to the front, and the number who have not been sent to the front.

It is one of the first principles of war that information as to numbers or strength of troops should noit be given out fco any person. It is simply- giving aid to the enemy to ask, as gentlemen in this House have constantly asked, how many men have enlisted from time to time. I hope that the Government, when this Bill is enforced, will insist -that this rule shall be observed. To give information as to'how many men are enlisted, where they are enlisted, and that sort of thing, is a violation of one of the fundamental rules of war; namely, that information as to the number of troops enlisted or enrolled or the figures of parade states of the army should never be given. I hope, therefore, that members on the other side will not constantly endeavour to make an issue of the number of men enlisted, for by doing so they -are unconsciously helping our enemies. If the Minister of Militia said that 70,000 more men enlisted than really did, he was only giving the Germans a greater scare to that extent. He should have said 100,-CGO there-or he should have refused to give any information at all. Everybody who has read anything of military law or military history knows that it is -a crime to give figures in this regard,

207*

*and that rule should be enforced here in this Ho-use as it is outside.

Mr. MiARCIL: Is all voluntary enlistment on the -part of men who will not come under the classes named in this Bill to be *suspended the moment the Act comes into force?

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:

There is nothing in the Bill to that effect.

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:

I am sure that the Government are to be congratulated upon having my hon. friend the colonel to advise them in this matter. M.ay I ask the Solicitor General wihert/her section 3 has been passed?

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:

The whole of section

3, which is the section dividing the classes, w.as allowed to stand.

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I notice that the Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Sevigny) is in his place. May I direct Ms attention to the following statement which he made in the House on June 25, page 2751 of Hansard:

The law authorizes the raising of 100,000 men, in nine provinces. I do not know what number of men the tribunals of each province will decide to send to the army, hut let us suppose it will be as follows: British Columbia, 10,000 ; Alberta, 10,000; Saskatchewan, 10,000; Manitoba, 10,000'; Ontario, 25,000 ; Quebec, 25,000; New Brunswick, 5,000; Nova Scotia, 5;00 0; Prince Edward Island, 2,000. We reach a total of 102,000 men; the law authorizes but 100,000. The Government thinks they can be found, but once more, I say the tribunals will decide.

May I ask the hon. gentleman upon what basis he suggested that distribution of men?

Mr. SEVIGNY; I was just showing that it was very easy to find 100,000 men in Canada.

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Am I to understand that

the minister made the suggestion without, any knowledge of the facts?

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

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SEVIGNY:

According to the Bill,

the men must be chosen by the tribunals. I do not think that any man in this committee or in the country can -say now what the tribunals will decide.

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

The tribunals are to exempt men, not to ehooee men.

Mr. 'SEVIGNY: I do not agree with the hon. gentleman's distinction. In my judgment, the men will be chosen by the tribunals. The tribunals will decide what men are more essential on the farms, on the railways or in the industries, and they

will decide at the same time what men can he spared for the army.

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

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

That would mean that no man would be enlisted' unless he went before the tribunal. My understanding is that the only men to come before the tribunals are those who claim exemption. If a man does not claim exemption, his case will not come before the tribunal.

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:

My understanding of the

Bill was that the tribunals pass on everybody; I was surprised to hear the Solicitor General say to-day that they do not. Men who are more valuable in certain employments than they would be at the front are still, ae they were under the

5 p.,m. voluntary system, able to go of their own free will. There is nobody to say: You cannot go. Many men are essential to the industries of the country for other purposes. As the Bill stands now, unless such a man objects to going- and many men will be too proud to ask for exemption-he goes. I think that the names of men in certain trades or categories-farmers especially-who are called upon to go should come before the tribunal.

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 hon. gentleman is not quite right in his interpretation of the Bill. The obligation is not imposed upon the man himself of applying for exemption. He may apply, but if any one else feels that it is in the national interest-that that man be exempted, that person may apply on the man's behalf.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I can understand that that would apply to large manufacturers or makers of munitions who might apply on behalf of 1,000 or 5,000 men in their employ. But how can it be worked out in regard to the farmer or the farmer's boy? In such cases application would not be made by a stranger or by -anybody except by the boy himself or his father. The member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) says that in many cases the men will be too proud to apply for exemption. Such men would necessarily be conscripted and attached to the army unless -application for exemption were made on their behalf. There is a great deal in what the member for North Simcoe says that, in the interests of the nation, many positions in various occupations should continue to be filled by those who are now filling them. That more especially applies to the farmer, the farmer's son or the farm labourer. The Minister of Inland Revenue has said that the tribunals pass on every man.

They do not; they pass only upon men who make application or on whose behalf application is made. If application is not made on a man's behalf, he necessarily becomes attached to the army and must serve. If he declines to serve, he will be treated as a deserter and be liable to punishment accordingly.

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

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SEVIGNY:

That is the way I understand the Bill.

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:

I do not think that it should go out from the House that application for exemption brings any ignominy or disgrace upon the applicant, even if he applies on his own behalf. I think that men engaged in agriculture in Canada who are of opinion that they serve the national interests at home do no dastardly or disgraceful act in applying for exemption. They are doing what they believe to be in the national interest, and I think they will not fail to apply. I think that there will be no general feeling -of revulsion against those who do this. If they fail in individual cases to do so, -there are others who can apply on their behalf, and I do not think that those others will fail to apply.

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

July 11, 1917