July 11, 1917

LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Precisely.

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:

The hon. gentleman was endeavouring to prove that there was an injustice even in respect of the calling out of the classes. He contended that only a certain percentage in various localities should be called out, and that the percentages could be adjusted to call for more or less according to the number from various sections that have already enlisted. But how can the calling out of the men be proceeded with otherwise than as provided in this Bill, in order that it may be justly and fairly done? IT it were provided that a percentage of a given class should be called out in one locality and another percentage in another then we might well say that the Bill was unjust; but when every man of a given class is called out, surely it cannot be said that there is injustice. A village in Quebec with a population of 500 will give every available man of the class called; an Ontario village from which a number of men of the class called have gone to the war will give those who remain. I think that that is a fair proposition. I agree with my hon. friend that the Bill is a little lax in some of its clauses; perhaos the tribunals are allowed to- let men off a little too freely-I think that there should be some check on those tribunals. But there is no use in wasting all the afternoon arguing about something that is in the Bill.

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:

This is a very important matter. It is the most important piece of legislation, I suppose, that has come before the Parliament of Canada since Confederation, arid it is desirable that we should understand thoroughly what its results are going to be. We are not quibbling about the percentage of a given class; what we want to know is whether the results will be fair and equitable. Unless the results are fair and equitable, the Bill will become an instrument of 4 p.m. tyranny- and oppression, not a manifestation of the spirit of democracy or of a desire to win the war. If the Bill simply contained provisions intended to provide men for the firing line,

certain restrictions would not be needed. But in view of the fact that subsections (a) and (b) of section 11 have been deliberately placed there for the specific purpose of exempting men from the firing line, how can my hon. friend or anybody else say that there is any assurance, under the provisions- of the Bill, of equality in its administration?

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:

I know of cases such as this: if the maker of a special tool in a factory were conscripted, a hundred men not of military age would be thrown out of employment. Why should there not be some arrangement whereby men of this kind should be exempted? There is no argument at all in favour of the hon. gentleman's contention, in which there is neither common sense nor justice. If the hon. gentleman would confine himself to objectionable clauses of the Bill, we would make much more progress.

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 have stated my case as to the Bill having tjvo purposes. Beyond any argument, it is a double-purpose Bill. That being the case, those of us who are subject to its provisions in respect of one of its purposes are insistent upon having knowledge as to how far its other purpose will be employed for the benefit of other people. The Solicitor General has rested his whole case on behalf of this Bill upon the contention that those who are charged with its administration will administer it fairly and according to its intent as stated to the Committee.

He rests his whole dependence upon that and refuses absolutely, specifically and persistently to provide any safeguard of any kind whatever. Having rested his case absolutely on the good intent of himself, his colleagues and those who may through their instrumentality be appointed to administer this Bill, he will have to permit me to say that, since the beginning of this war on August 4, 1914, until this minute of this hour, there is nothing in the waT administration of this Government to warrant the supposition that anything administered by it in regard to the war will be fairly administered. From the day war broke out, from the day when boot contracts and horse contracts were let, down to the disbanding of the battalions in England, down to the arming of our men with Ross rifles, and down to the introduction of this Bill, there is no instance in which my hon. friends can claim that Canada's military administration has been conducted fairly and with, regard only to the winning of the

war. It lias been a double-barrelled administration, just as this Bill is a doublebarrelled Bill. It has been one barrel for the war and the other barrel for politics, just as this Bill is one barrel for the fighting line and the other barrel for the munition plants.

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:

Mr. Chairman, will you

please read the section under discussion?

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:

The section under discussion refers to the raising of 100,000 men.

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

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. Blain):

Section

13, reads:

(1) The Militia Act, the Army Act and the King's Regulations and Orders for the Army shall so far as applicable and not inconsistent therewith apply to and form part of this Act.

(2) Section twelve and subsection two of section forty and the proviso to section forty-five of the Militia Act shall not apply to men liable to be called out under this Act.

(3) The Minister of Militia and Defence may transfer to the Naval Service any man who has reported for duty under the provisions of this Act.

(4) Unless further authorized by Parliament the reinforcements provided under this Act shall not exceed one hundred thousand men.

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 am speaking in regard to the last subsection which refers to the raising of 100,000 men.

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

Some hon, MEMBERS:

Carried.

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

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I am asking for information in regard to the section re the raising of 100,000 men. That, I take it, is the critical section of the Bill. When the minister asks us to rest our dependence upon the administration by -the tribunals and by the Government, I ask him: There being no registration of the man-power of the country, a call being made and that call not being responded to, what is the action, of -the Government? What responsibility do the Government purpose assuming, and how do they purpose exercising that responsibility?

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:

In what case?

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:

The issue of a call for,

say, class No. 1 and the non-response of some members of that class in a certain locality. What measures are the Government going to take to ensure that all the members of that class in that locality respond?

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:

If the hon. gentleman

[DOT]will look at subsection 4 of section 4 of the Bill, he will find that any man who does

not report is guilty of absenting himself without leave and is liable to be tried by court-martial. There have been trials by court-martial before, and future trials by court-martial will be much the same as those that have taken place. Or, such a man is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment. There have been summary convictions before, and tnere have been imprisonments before. Those that will take place under this measure will be the same as those that have taken place during the last forty years. .

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

John Smith is in class 1, and he does not respond to the call; he simply stays at home. What happens?

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:

John Smith is guilty

then of absenting himself without leave, and he is liable to have court-martial applied to him, the same as courts-martial have been applied time and again in this country; or he is liable to eumm-ary con-' viction and to imprisonment, the same as every year thousands in this country are liable to summary conviction, and can be sent to prison.

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Who is going to bring

John Smith to the court-martial or to the magistrate's court?

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:

He will be brought by the machinery of the law, and if there is not enough machinery now, we will make more.

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

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Who will put the law in motion?

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