September 13, 1917

LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I forgot to state, in answer to the statement by the Minister of Trade and Commerce the other day, that some years ago, when the World's Congress of Geology was held at St. Petersburg, the or-ly scientist representing Canada was the late Monseigneur Laflamme of Laval University, who was a well-known authority in geology and other sciences. He has left seme successors to follow in his footsteps. Some years ago, when I was in Japan, visiting the University of Tokio, where there aie, as my hon. friend knows, very eminent scientists, I found that the name of Monseigneur Laflamme was the only Canadian name known to that distant country. I make this -statement to show that Laval c- uld be of service to the country through some of its well-known professors. I hope my hon. friend will revise the unjust and biased view taken by his colleague the Minister of Trade and Commerce.

To provide for the expenses of the Conservation Commission, $4,000.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I notice that Sir Clifford Sifton is very busy conserving other things than the national resources of the country. He is trying to conserve the good things for the Tory party. Perhaps, if his activities -are so much needed in that conservation process, his services might be passed over to the Tory party for good, and a less obnoxious gentleman might be appointed at the head of the Conservation Commission.

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

A report of their whole work during the year has been laid on the Table. I have not read the report this year, but it gives a full explanation of the work done.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I wondered if, included in- the work of this commission under its distinguished head, there was anything devoted to cabinet making.

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CON
LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

Yes, the report has been laid on the table of the House; it is very extensive.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I know that we receive from the commission weekly sheets which are interesting, and the annual report is interesting also. I am anxious to know if there is a report made in regard to expenditure.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The expenditure is all given in the Auditor General's report.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

This is a supplementary

estimate. About what will be the total expenses of the Conservation Commission for the year? What was the total expenditure for last year?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I have not that here.

Civil government-Department of Justice, including penitentiary branch, $5,475.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

While we are on the item of penitentiaries, and as the session is coming to a close, will the minister give the committee the information concerning Thomas Kelly? The other day the Solicitor General stated that he would bring down the papers, but I have not seen them so far. I have read in the Toronto Telegram an item which deos not tally with tne information given by the minister to the House. I am not saying that I do not accept the statement made by the minister, but the item in the Toronto Telegram differs radically from his statement. The item was published the second day after the release of Kelly. Possibly the minister saw it in the press.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I did not see it.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The Toronto Telegram, in a despatch from Winnipeg, expressed surprise that Kelly had been released. It stated that, as a matter of fact, he had received special treatment since he had been detained in the penitentiary; that he did not, for one thing, receive the hair cut; that he did not wear the garb of a convict, and that he was immediately sent to the hospital ward. That means favourable treatment for any prisoner, unless, of course, he is, as the minister states, sick. Later on, after some pressure was brought to bear upon the department by way of petitions, letters, telegrams and doctors' certificates, he was sent to a hospital outside of the the penitentiary. This is the point I wish to emphasize. According to -the despatch-I am- referring to what the correspondant of the Toronto Telegram states-Kelly -apparently was not sent to -any ho-spital, but was sent

home, which, after all, is the best hospital. The first news -that he was released was that he was seen in his house by people passing -along the street. I cannot for one mo-ment believe that any favour w-as shown by the minister to -a prisoner found guilty of such a crime as Kelly had committed. I believe what the minister -says, namely, th-at Kelly was really -a very -sick person, and in danger of losing his liberty for good, that is to say, his life. For the -s-ake, however, of -the minister's reputation, in view of the statement -made by a paper which supports the Conservative -party, he might, perhaps, give an explanation in re-gard to the matter.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I -shall be very 'willing to do so. I am -surprised that -any statement that Kelly was treated differently from the manner in- which -any other prisoner in the -same condition -of health was treated, should have been published. There has already been laid upon the -table the correspondence with regard to the manner in which Kelly w-as treated during his detention in the penitentiary.

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LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Yes. We are on the question now -as to -hi-s treatment in the penitentiary. I -may summarize the matter very briefly. When Kelly arrived at the penitentiary the penitentiary surgeon, in the performance of what he conceived to be hi-s duty, com-munic-ated to the department the fact that in his opinion-the co-m-mittee, of course, will understand that I do -not purport -to- give his exact words-the prisoner was -suffering from nervous breakdown, which placed him on the verge of insanity. I do not -say th-at he used the word "insanity," but he did -say th-at the prisoner was in a most critical condition, and -asked that he might be permitted to call in -another doctor in consultation, Mr. Kelly, or hi-s family, being willing to p-ay the expense of that consultation. I do not think that was a very -material feature in the matter. Permission- was, of course, given when the surgeon asked for it. The doctor called in consultation was Dr. Oarseallon, of Winnipeg, a gentleman of -standing and reputation, I am informed, and -the head of an institution in which nervous diseases are treated. Dr. Carscall-on, -in consultation with the penitentiary surgeon, Dr. M-cGuire, who, I regret to say, ha-s since died, reported at that time in very strong

terms that he was exceedingly apprehensive that, if Kelly were not released, the consequence would be very grave; that he was in an extreme condition of nervous breakdown, and that he had, as Dr. Garscallon had ascertained, been some ten years ago treated for a similar attack which had been exceedingly grave. The doctor's conclusion was that Kelly ought then to be released. In this condition of affairs, as it was represented that there was apprehension that continual confinement would produce those serious results, I thought it proper that before action there should be at least be some opportunity to see whether those apprehensions would be fulfilled. I waited a little while. In the meantime the facts had been reported to us that Kelly was under the surgeon's care, and that he had not had his hair cut nor been put into the ordinary garb because of the opinion of the surgeon that in his then condition any such action would precipitate the consequences that he apprehended. The matter stood for some little time. I caused inquiry to be made from the surgeon as to whether Kelly's condition was yet such that he might alter the treatment. Not only did he report to me again that Kelly's condition was not such, but he persisted in his view that it was a matter of grave danger to retain the man in the penitentiary at all. Thereupon, because I realized the gravity of the offence of which this man had been found guilty and the great importance of not allowing it to be suggested that because of any position of his, financial or otherwise, there would be any action taken that the circumstances did not actually call for, I caused him to be examined by Dr. Lafleur of Montreal, whom the hon. gentleman no doubt knows to be one of the leading physicians not only in our province, but I think I may safely say, in the whole Dominion, Dr. Lafleur reported that Kelly had certain physical symptoms, that he was very much affected, but in his opinion there was not any nervous condition that might not be accounted for by the circumstances in which Kelly found himself. He didi not think that in the condition in which Kelly \waa there was reason to apprehend that further confinement would bring about serious results. As to Kelly's nervous condition, it was quite impossible for him to form any serious opinion. That was some time in April. In view of that report, and notwithstanding the report of the jail surgeon and of Dr. Garscallon, I felt I would not be justified in ordering Kelly's release. But I did have further

communication with the penitentiary surgeon as to the possibility of altering the system under which Kelly was dealt with. The penitentiary surgeon again reported to me that he would not take the responsibility of that being done. We must conduct these institutions, so far as the health of their inmates and the treatment they are to receive is concerned, in accordance with the advice of the surgeon, and what was done in Kelly's case would have been done in the case of any other prisoner in regard to whom the surgeon had made a similar report. Conditions remained the same until some time in June-I am speaking from memory, and do not recall the precise date-when we again made inquiry, with the same results so far as the penitentiary surgeon was concerned. The conditions remained the same until a date in the month- of August which I do not precisely recall. In the meantime we had the most pitiful representations from Kelly's friends in regard to his condition of health. Whether -they were well founded or not, I think that any gentleman who -heard the story as it was told to- me would at all events have had implicit confidence -in the sincerity of those who fold it. However that may he, in the month of August, on a date I cannot recall at the present moment, I received a message to the effect that Kelly was exceedingly ill, and that the warden had -sent for the members of his family to come and see him. The next day, I think, there was communicated to me the report of Dr. Miner, who had been called in by the family, and he described Kelly's conditions as most serious. He intimated that he was not prepared to define precisely what the trouble was, tout described Kelly as being in a most precarious condition. Under those circurn

stances, I caused Kelly to be visited and examined by Dr. E. R. Poph-am, of Winnipeg, a gentleman who, I ascertained by inquiries from people absolutely disinterested in Kelly in every way, was an outstanding physician of eminent professional capacity and unquestioned integrity. 1 asked him to report to me on Kelly's condition, and to give me his opinion as to the consequences if Kelly was retained in confinement in the condition in which he was. He reported that Kelly was'suffering from an attack of gastritis, and he gave his temperature, which was very high. He said that he was rapidly losing strength, and that in the condition in which he was, tiiere was no reason to expect any improvement. I felt that there was no course open

to me but to act on that report, confirmatory as it was of the other reports that had been coming to me, which were based upon a condition which had supervened several months after the examination by Dr. Lafleur. Thereupon, I did advise His Excellency the Governor General that it was a proper case for the issue of a ticket-of-leave, for the purpose of having the patient transferred to a hospital where he would receive proper treatment. That was what I understood was considered the best course. I did learn subsequently that when the prisoner was liberated for that purpose he was taken to his own home instead of being taken to a hospital. Upon that I had Dr. Popham visit him again to ascertain whether he was in a better condition of health, and whether it would be possible to move him, if desirable, to a hospital. He reported that he was not in a better condition of health, but that it would be possible to remove him to a hospital. Under the circumstances 1 could not see that there was anything to be gained by ordering him transferred to a hospital. We should have no greater control over him there than in his own home. He was on ticket-of-leave, and the order that- he should be liberated for the purpose of being transferred to a hospital had been made, not because we supposed we would have greater control over him in a hospital, but because our impression was that that was what was desired. Upon the last report Kelly is still a very sick man, under the care of his doctor in his own home. What may be the proper course if he should recover will, of course, be a matter for consideration. For the present I regret not having brought down all the papers that bear upon Kelly's condition of health. As I have already said, the papers that bear upon the reasons for the treatment he received are already before the House, and I shall be glad to bring down the other communications with regard to his health to-morrow. I have no hesitation in saying that on the evidence before me I am convinced that I could not have acted otherwise than I have done.

Of course, it has no bearing on the release of Kelly, but it is only fair to him to state this fact. He was convicted of an offence for which the maximum sentence is three years. He was sentenced to two and a half years, and had served nine months of that sentence, but he had been in custody awaiting extradition, and in jail at Winnipeg, from the month of October, 1915, to the month of November, 1916, when he was taken to the penitentiary. He then

[Mr. Doherty. J

spent nine months in the penitentiary, so that altogether he has been in close custody in the jail and penitentiary for a period of twenty-one months for an offence for which the maximum sentence is three years. In all fairness to Kelly it is proper to point out that, while he w,as charged with different offences, yet, under the judgment both of the Court of Appeals in Manitoba and the unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada, he could properly be found guilty of but the one offence of obtaining money under false pretenses.

Of course, I do not want to say that was a matter that had a bearing on his release under the cireumstnaces. He was released solely in view of his physical condition. I think it is fair to point out these other circumstances because it is well for the public to know the extent to which this man had actually received punishment.

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September 13, 1917