July 11, 1917

CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

This Bill provides that while voluntary enlistment is authorized, any one can voluntarily enlist, and if the men to whom the hon. gentlemen refers, who claim they could raise battalions in Nova Scotia, presented evidence to convince the department that they could do so, then undoubtedly if voluntary enlistment was still authorized and was not stopped by specific Order in Council or specific statement pf policy, those men, or one of them, would be authorized to recruit. It would all depend upon the same considerations that now determine the department in authorizing battalions.

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:

Do I understand the minister to say that once a call is issued there would be no variation from that call because of a proposal of voluntary enlistment?

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:

I have no reason to suppose there would be. I do not suppose there would be. Once a call is issued, it is the intention to carry the call out, and to get the men.

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

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

I would like to add a word of entreaty to those which have already been addressed to the minister in charge of this Bill in reference to the advisability of some change being made in the order in which the men are to be called. I had no intention of saying anything in regard to the subject, as I had hoped that what had been said by other members might have moved him to the acceptance of the principle that boys of twenty would not first be called. I have not one word to say in disparagement of what the young fellows of 18 and 20 who enlisted early in the war have done.

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

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

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

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES:

Those statistics are six vears old.

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

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

The hon. member for St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames) says those statistics are six years old. That is quite true. Still the Government statistician who prepared the figures isays: " the figures of the table are those of the census of 1911, and it is estimated that the increase since 1911 in the male population of Canada of ages 20 to 45 lies 'between 300,000 and 400,000. As approximately this number has been already recruited, the figures of 1911, it is thought, reflect rather closely present conditions in the Dominion as a whole." It therefore seems to me it is not unreasonable that I should take these figures as a basis for my argument. When the young man of twenty applies for exemption he will be met by the question: " Why should you be exempt?" The only reason he can give as to why exemption should prevail in his case would toe this: " in the national interest I am entitled to be exempted." The tribunal will say: " on what particular grounds should you be exempted?" The young man of twenty has not chosen his avocation in life, his proclivities have not been determined, and he will find himself ' in this embarrassing position that because he has not had an opportunity of selecting some definite line of work in which he is perfecting himself, the tribunal will likely say: " the work you intend to undertake, or the work you have undertaken, is not of such a character that it should be considered as in the national interest. You need not continue in it, you must be considered a recruit."

If the figures I have read are 'an approximation, and I think they are if the statistician is correct, it is possible the whole

100,000 men may be taken from the first class, and the second class not called up at

all. In my judgment this would be radically unfair.

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

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

It is unfair for this reason, the young man who has not left home is entitled to the protection of home until such time as he has attained stability of character. The young man of 20 to 22, unless he has had to leave home to earn his own living, has not attained the age at which he should be deprived of the protection of his home, and I sincerely trust the Solicitor General will endeavour to look at it in the light in which I think it is looked ut by many of the fathers and mothers in this country.

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

Albert Edward Kemp (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir EDWARD KEMP:

My hon. friend has probably overlooked tbe fact that his figures are wrong, inasmuch as the figures in the Bill are four years, and the census figures are five years.

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

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

My figures are an approximation.

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

Albert Edward Kemp (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir EDWARD KEMP:

But the census figures are for five years, and the first class ' is from 20 to 23, inclusive, four years.

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

William Folger Nickle

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NICKLE:

I thought 1 was reasonably generous when I took twenty-five per cent off that.

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

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

I would call the attention of the Solicitor General to another point in section 4, page 3, of the Bill:

The Governor in Council may from time to time by proclamation call out on active service as aforesaid for the defence of Canada, either in Canada or beyond Canada, any class or sub-class of men described in section, 3 and all men within the class or sub-class so called out shall, from the date of such proclamation, be deemed to be soldiers enlisted in the Military Forces of Canada and subject to military law for the duration of the present war.

Assuming that the Bill goes into operation and the Governor in Council, under that clause,- calls out by proclamation every one of those 303,000 young men between the ages of 20 and 24 who were referred to iby my hon. friend from Kingston (Mr. Nickle), is absolutely fixed by section 4 of this Act unless they can show reason for exemption. What justification would there be for calling any other class if the number were there? The law fixes them iu the military service of Canada and there is no power that cab get them out. Yon cannot call any other class. Your limit is 100,000, and they must undoubtedly be taken from among these young men.

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

Edmond Proulx

Liberal

Mr. PROULX:

According to the Militia

Act single unmarried men are called first up to the age of 45. I see by clause 4 that married men and widowers with children from 20 to 34 are called before single men and married men from 34 to 45. The calling out of married men imposes a heavier burden on the country, -because it has to take care of their wives and children. Would it not be possible to take unmarried men up to the age of 40 before touching the married men and widowers with children?

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:

That, as almost all

other suggestions, was debated in the committee when this clause was first up. The reason for the classification which has been made is that the best military age is broadly from 20 to 35. After 35 there ie a marked deterioration; consequently, it urns felt that all below that should be accepted first.

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

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I put a question to the Solicitor General in respect to this selective element that is in -the present Bill, I did not get an answer because my hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. Maclean), by reason of his superior right intervened. Now that the point mentioned by my hon. friend is over -and done with, possibly the Solicitor General would answer me.

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:

There may be a measure of correctness, speaking from the point of view of the philosopher, in the point of my -hon. friend. The selective clauses are the clauses which relate to exemptions. The operation of those clauses will be of itself the selection. It is quite true that with respect to those who enrol themselves and do not themselves make any application or suggestion to the local tribunals that in the national interest they be exempt, or in respect to whom no such application is made, there is no specific operation of any selective clause. But that -proceeds on the principle that if the man himself does not suggest by way of application to -the local tribunal that he should be -exempt, and if no one does it on his behalf, there is a fair and reasonable assumption that the selection would not exempt him. Consequently, practically speaking, the selective principle permeates the whole Bill.

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

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

As I understand the hon. gentleman's answer, there is no selection at all. The Government accepts everybody who comes along, everybody who will write his name down as being within a certain class. The Government do not reject anybody but take everybody..

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

July 11, 1917