July 13, 1917

LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. Mr. MARCEL (Bonaventure):

(translation) : Mr. Chairman, I beg leave to

draw the attention of the Minister of Justice to the conditions created by the lumber companies. These companies are often located at forty miles, fifty, seventy-five and sometimes at more than one hundred miles from any settlement; it is useless to add that there exists no means of communication. I do not suppose that the proclamation calling a certain class of men to the colours will be posted in the woods for these lumbermen in particular; it will, therefore, be entirely impossible for these men to know what is going on, their own relatives not knowing where to find them. These men go away in the fall and only come back in the spring and, during this whole period of time, it is almost impossible to communicate with them. Therefore, if the tribunal should sit in any of the months during which they are away, I cannot see how they will be able to. obey the law, unless an exemption be provided for in the Act itself.

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

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. DOHERTY (translation):

We will do all we can in order that all classes of people may comply with that Act, and no one shall be held responsible for not having done what he could not do. The Act provides for a fine only against those who do not fulfil their obligations. Now, impossibility is the best of excuses and I do not believe it would be necessary to insert a special clause to declare not guilty the party who has not performed an impossibility.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OP THE BIDE IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE.
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IND

Joseph Girard

Independent Conservative

Mr. GIRARD (translation):

Let us suppose a proclamation is issued during winter. As there is no possible means of communication with Clark City, on the island of Anticosti, it is therefore impossible to send them any news of this proclamation. Generally, there are between 600 and 1,000 men who work in the woods; these men come from almost everywhere and a large number of them -are from my district. I then understand, from the words of the hon. Minister of Justice, that this would he a case of impossibility, and there is no doing impossibilities.

Hon. 'Mr. DOHERTY (translation): I

understand that, if lit is impossible for those people to reach a tribunal, or for a tribunal to reach them, that is 'a case of impossibility.

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

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Section 3 has not yet

been passed by the committee. A suggestion by tlhe hon. member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean.) as to subsection 2 stood over for consideration. Earlier in the debate the hon. member for Chambly and V erbheres (Mr. Rainville) urged very strongly that the date of the marriage, after Which the marriage should have no effect upon priority of call, should be changed to the date of the acceptance of the principle of the Bill by the House of Commons, instead of the date of the introduction of the Bill. The hon. member further urged that the Bill should take into account marriages that were contracted for prior to the introduction of the Bill. I think the suggestion of the hon. member will be met by adopting the date of the acceptance of the principle by this House. That date could not have been determined upon at the time of the introduction of the Bill, and it is in reality the more logical date of the two. Once the House of Commons accepts the principle of the Bill it is fair to assume that the people of the country will accept it as the law when passed. I therefore move that in place of the words " 11th " and " June " in sub-

clause 2, there be inserted the words " 6th '' and " July."

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

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mir. NEISBITT:

Did my hon. friend take into consideration the suggestion of imy hon. friend from New Westminster? (Mr. Taylor).

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

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

We have all taken it

into very careful consideration from the beginning. The hon. member for New Westminster and the committee will agree that, after the grouping of the first, second and third classes together, and after the abolition of even the semblance of priority as to obligation between the former three classes of these two groups, no purpose will be served by making a further alteration in the Bill.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

I do not see why we should put any unmarried men in the third category. I think that every unmarried man should go before we call on any of the married men, regardless of age. It may be said that the older 'Unmarried men are not as fit for war service as the young married men. In that ease the medical certificate will let them out. There is no other country in the world where the unmarried men are hdld back and the married ones sent to the front. I do not think it is fair that unmarried men, many of them wealthy, driving their automobiles, men who are too mean to marry, should be left at home and the married ones sent.

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

Mr. MARGIE@

Perhaps some of them

could not find a girl.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

Yes. They constitute two classes, one class very wealthy, who drive automobiles, are selfish, and do not get married; and another class of fellows who are of no value to the community-perhaps marking in billiard rooms or holding horses in livery stables. That class, if physically fit, should go before the young married men, and I appeal to the justice of the House and of the minister in that respect. We have already sent too many married men, and the country will have gfeatly increased financial burdens in consequence.

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

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mt. MEIGHEN:

I think there is a great deal more to be said on the other side of this married men's- question than has yet been uttered, although I certainly do not wish to prolong the discussion. We cannot get 'over the necessity, from the point of view of national interest, of calling the single men before the married men. But there is a great deal to be said for the contention that the unmarried women of this country have to. be considered as well as the married women. The married

women, when their husbands go to the front, are entitled to separation and to consideration of one kind or another; but the unmarried -women have none of that. I do not want to pursue the matter further. No doubt the unmarried man, other things being equal, is freer, and his domestic position has not the same encumbrances. But we cannot shut out of consideration the other point of view, which I venture to suggest to the committee. I think, in a word, we have gone as far as we can in putting priority of obligation upon the unmarried men.

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

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Was it not suggested

that divorcees should be considered as unmarried?

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

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Yes. Divorced men are not married, andi consequently come in as unmarried men here. Of course, if they have other domestic obligations, 'they can claim, exemption under section 11.

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

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD:

The figures

showing the relative numbers of married and unmarried men given by the Prime Minister when introducing this Bill are six years old, and for the moment it is impossible to tell how many there are of'each class in Canada and how many of each class have enlisted.

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

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The Minister of Militia informs, me that we have no- figures of that.

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

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Liberal

Mr. PARDEE:

The ultimate cost of sending unmarried men is not as great as that of sending married men. I can only reiterate that, in my opinion, the unmarried men should be the first to go.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

The one thing that has

brought the voluntary system into disrepute more than anything else is the tremendous amount of red tape that has surrounded the separation allowance. Under the King's Regulations, a soldier has to get the consent of his officer to marry. The common soldier is not allowed to address his officer on any matter of business or discipline unless he is brought

before the officer by a non-com. That is the rule of the army. A young Canadian desires to get married, He asks his corporals or sergeant to bring him before liis officer. When brought there he states his ease. The officer is perhaps a young subaltern, who. says, " That is all right, I will tell the commanding officer." Then he forgets all about notifying the commanding officer, or goes off with the men to

Europe and the department is not notified that consent has been given to that marriage. Very many cases constantly come to my attention, and I am sure every member of this House is aware of cases of that kind, where no separation allowance was allowed, all through the carelessness of the officer not giving notice to the department that he had given consent. There is no form which the officer can fill in, showing that he had given his consent. This is an old army regulation made at the time when men were living in quarters, quarters had to be provided for the men, and only a certain number of men were allowed to get married in each regiment of the regular army. The regulation was framed to prevent a man marrying an undesirable. I think, as far as we in Canada are concerned, we can safely assume that every man who has joined the forces and married, has married a good woman, and no objection can be taken on that score. The next point is the obtaining of the consent of the commanding officer. In every case I have had occasion to investigate, I found the officer had given his consent, 'but neglected to notify the proper authorities. The result is that these women have suffered, and are suffering, great hardships, and the system has been brought into contempt. I submit that it is not too late for the department to adopt a regulation, which they can do at any moment by Order in Council, providing that every women married to a Canadian soldier is entitled to separation allowance, without hunting up the officer, and that, in no case, will the allowance be kept away from her, unless the commanding officer has notified the department that the man has married an undesirable. I think the members of this. House will consider such a regulation very fair and just, and it will prevent a lot of red tape. These

conscripts will be getting married, and we may have a lot of difficulty. It will simplify matters if it is presumed the consent was given, and in no case should the separation allowance be withheld, unless the commanding officer notified the department that it was not in the interest of the state that the separation allowance should be paid.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OP THE BIDE 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 refers particularly to marriage in England?

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

No, in Canada. I have in mind two cases. ^

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OP THE BIDE 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:

So far as Canadian marriages are concerned, we need not worry very much, because there has been no great restriction placed upon young men marrying

in Canada, but there have been very great difficulties encountered in this regard in England, for reasons that are apparent to any one w-ho has studied the situation. An Order in Council has been passed to safeguard the public and to safeguard individuals. Our young men in this country have not been accustomed to all the conditions which exist in London and in other places in England, and it has been with a view of preventing a certain kind of marriage taking place in England that restrictions have 'been placed upon the soldiers marrying. It is not desirable that the young men of this country should contract hasty marriages in England, and marriages, perhaps, in some cases, with women who are not desirable wives for young Canadians, and, therefore, safeguards have 'been provided. After giving the matter a great deal of thought and consideration, an Order in Council was passed a short time ago, whereby a young man desiring to get married must obtain the consent of the officer commanding, and the officer commanding was directed to secure the best evidence he could to show that the woman was a desirable woman for the young man to marry. He was also directed to call to his assistance the clergyman of the parish, if possible, to certify as to the character of the woman whom the soldieT desired to marry.

I think these safeguards were necessary. Therefore, I am sure the course that has been adopted will be approved.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

I .am not dealing with the question of marriages in England. That is a seperate matter altogether. I stated that the regulations should be such that it would be presumed that any young fellow who married in this country had received the consent of his commanding officer before being married. I have a case in mind of which I was notified the other day. I have the letter of the commanding officer, written some months ago, that he gave his consent in the town of Barrie to the man marrying a respectable woman, and her separation allowance has not been granted. Other cases have been brought to my attention all over the country. Men have been married, and the officers commanding have neglected to send the notice to the department. I believe, after the men go abroad, the regulations should be much stricter. My own experience in the matter bears out every word the minister has said, but I think a regulation should be made, dealing with conscripts and with those who have been married already in Canada, giving the separation allowance, without any

further red tape. I ask the minister to facilitate this, so that we will not have any question about the separation allowance to the wives. Many separation allowances have been standing for three years, and are not settled yet.

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

July 13, 1917