July 11, 1917

CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

A man once ma4e liable by an Act is not released until the Act says he is released. Consequently, a man does not release himself by violating the Act. In my opinion, the Act, as it stands, renders a man liable, after he commits the offence and serves the punishment, just as he was before. If, however, I should change my mind, I will bring the matter before the committee.

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

George Taylor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR:

Subsection 2 of section 4 reads:

Men so called out shall report, and shall be placed on active service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

In the case of a man who does not report, and is Sentenced to a term of imprisonment, he is not in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, not having reported, and they have no claim on him. In order to compel that man to go overseas, we must first make him a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Under the present practice, a man who deserts, and is brought back, tried by a magistrate, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, does not by that procedure, evade service with the force, but, when his battalion leaves for the front, he is taken from, prison, overseas, and compelled to, enter upon his military service there. It seems to me we should provide in this Bill that those who seek to evade service by getting into prison may be taken out of the prison, on the occasion of the first draft, and taken overseas.

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

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Unless he is entitled to exemption.

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:

Those men do nut get exemption. Section 4 reads:

4. (1) 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 subclass of men described in section three and all men within the class or subclass 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, and of demobilization thereafter, save as hereinafter provided.

Whether he reports or not, the moment the proclamation issues that man is a soldier in the military forces of Canada, and subject to military law, and consequently, being a soldier, we can apply the hand of the law to him, just as much as we could to any other soldier, and if he does not report when it is his duty to report, it is the duty of the proper authorities to apply the physical hand of the law to him.

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

Mr TAYLOR (New Westminster):

There is this difficulty in the reasoning of -the hon. Solicitor General: that this man was a member of the military forces of Canada only, and the military forces of Canada are not, by this Bill, sent overseas. It is only the Canadian Expeditionary Force that goes overseas. This man, not having reported, is not a member of that force, according to subsection 2 of section 4.

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 subsection does not say that no one shall be placed on active service except those who report. It is the duty of the authorities to place these men on active service, and it is their duty to report. They will 'be placed on active service, whether they report or not, or whether they are brought to the proper place by the military authorities.

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:

These men not reporting may be tried in a summary manner, which means that any ordinary justice of the peace could send a man to the penitentiary for five years. I would seriously suggest of the minister that no less a personage than a county court judge, under the Speedy Trials Act, khould have authority. I do not think it is right that an ordinary magistrate, no matter how well meaning he may be, who knows very little about law, should be entrusted to the very serious duty of trying men, in circumstances of this kind. ,1 think they should be tried before a county judge.

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 summary convictions clauses of the Act provide for an appeal to a judge. It is true that, in cases involving intricate law, or substantial cases of law, the general scope or spirit of the legislation is to entrust that to the judges, but this will not involve consideration of law to .any very great extent. It would be a simple matter to decide whether the man was of the proper age, and if he was of the proper age, whether he had an exemption.

Then it is a mere matter of judgment as to tlie proper punishment. Of course, if a county judge tried all these eases it would, in one sense, be better. But we want to take care not to add too much formality or chance of delay or congestion to the enforcement of the Act.

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 would suggest that the hon. gentleman at least provide that these cases be tried before county court judges or stipendiary magistrates in cities and towns.

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 would suggest that we deal with this clause as we have dealt with some other clauses: that it be allowed to pass, and I will promise consideration myself, as well as to bring-it to the consideration of my colleagues. It can be spoken to later in the House.

Subsection 4 of section 4 agreed to.

Progress reported.

On motion of Sir Edward Kemp, the House adjourned at 11.58 p.m.

Wednesday, July 12, 1917.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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July 11, 1917