April 26, 1918

L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

This is section 3 of the Bill. What is under consideration before the Committee is a Bill, and section 3 of the Bill which provides that sections 14 to 23, inclusive, of the Act as it now reads, shall be amended. I want to be sure whether the numbers of the sections in the statute are going to rule, or whether the Bill under consideration is going to rule, before the Committee.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

My submission is that we should consider the proposed, repeal of each separate section of the Bill .and the substitution of a new section, as being a clause to be dealt with by itself.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

My ruling is that

clause 3 being a re-enacting clause, each section of the Act which it proposes to repeal and replace by x new section, should be considered separately by the committee. It is, however, the privilege of any hon. member to movie that any number of clauses or re-enacted section be considered together. If the hon. member for Trois Rivieres (Mr. Bureau) wishes to so move, I will be pleased, to submit the motion.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I do not desire to offer [DOT]any obstruction or create embarrassment, but my contention is that we have a right to discuss with section 3 all the re-enacted clauses. We have to consider the Penitentiaries Act only because that Act is referred to here in this Bill, and sections 14 to. 23 of that Act are included in section 3 of this Bill, and my contention is that- while we are discussing section 3 all these sections are one and the same for the purposes of this discussion. I suppose I could move that ail these clauses be considered together, but I cannot make any motion having reference to anything except the clauses as they are numbered, in this Bill. I am not going to move that clause 14, or clause 15 of the Penitentiaries Act be considered. I can only move with reference to the 'clauses of the Bill .as they are numbered and submitted to the committee at the .present time.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The hon. member has a perfect right to move that all the sections re-enacted by clause 3 be considered to-gather.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

If the hon. member,

without discussing whether he can make a motion, or not, thinks that, all these separate substitutions should be made by separate sections, or if he says that any

[Mr. Pohertv.l

advantage would he gained by taking them altogether, I have no objection. I have not the slightest objection to anything that-, within reason, will appear to facilitate a thorough understanding of this measure. But it did seem to me, and it still seems to me, that it would he more convenient and we would get our work through with a perhaps clearer understanding of it, if we should take the Bill with these proposed substituted sections of the Act one by one. But I have no desire to insist upon it if the hon. gentleman thinks it will be an advantage.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Subsections 14 to 23

were put into one section for the reason, I suppose, that they were related one. to the other, but I find a difficulty in undertaking to discuss a matter which should properly come under section 3 of the Bill when I step outside of the sub-sections referred to. The very fact of the two subsections in question being included in one section seems to give weight to the argument of my hon. friend that .the whole section should he opened up. Will the minister kindly state what salary the inspectors receive at present?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The present inspectors, whose duties, of course, are different from those of the old inspectors, have both, I believe, reached the maximum of their class in which the salary is from $2,800 to $4,000. It is obvious, I think, that the new office of inspector will not be nearly as important as the old office was, because there is withdrawn from the -office the duty of direction and superintendence, which is perhaps the principal duty.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

I do not know just how both the inspectors attained the maximum $4,000. I can understand how that happened with one inspector, because he has been in the service for a long time. In the case of the other, doubtless, duties performed by him in other capacities in the penitentiary branch were taken into consideration and had to do with his advancement. I have already said that I could not exactly see the necessity for appointing two more inspectors, and one reason- is this: For the last two or three years one man has been performing the work of inspector and that of superintendent also, while 'the other inspector has been overseas. In other words, all the work which will, under this Bill, be divided between a superintendent and two or more inspectors, has for the last two or three years been performed by Inspector 'Stewart. That being the case it seems to me that one superin-

tendent, with one inspector to visit the institutions, would be sufficient.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I have no desire to insist upon the appointment of three inspectors but let me point out that the provision is not that there shall be three inspectors, hut that the minister shall have power to name not more than that number. I would like to give the reasons why it seems to me we ought to have an inspection force larger than, looking at it purely as an inspection force, was required in the past. If the regulations, for the making of which power is asked in section 18, are carried out, it will involve the carrying on of operations which, I hope, will, in the not very remote future, assume some considerable importance in the different penitentiaries, and which are likely to call for closer and more frequent inspection of the different institutions and render necessary, perhaps, a more absolute keeping in touch with them. Under the plan which it is proposed to adopt, the superintendent will do the directing from the administrative centre here. There is one power conferred to go and look into conditions in any penitentiary, but that, properly, is inot his function. The new conditions render it important that he-and through him the department and the minister-should he kept informed, and adequately informed, .as to what is going on in the different penitentiaries. I do think-anid I may say that I have so felt since I have been charged with the ultimate responsibility of the administration of these institutions.- it is highly desirable that those who have .that responsibility should, so far as possible, be kept in touch with the conditions as they exist. I would say that that should be done from day to day. Perhaps that is an exaggerated requirement, but it indicates the importance that I attach to the necessity of those at the administrative centre being kept, so. far as possible, informed of and in touch with what is going on in the different institutions.

It was the anticipation of making the inspection of these proposed industries more important, and the value that I myself attach to the necessity of those who are here at the centre, and who are responsible, [DOT]dealing with these matters with knowledge, and., knowledge that is up to date, that led me to suggest that the minister should he empowered, if as a result of future operations that was found necessary, to appoint as many as three inspectors. The observation has been made that for the last two or three years one gentleman has, been

carrying on the inspection duties. That is true, but I am perfectly free to say, without intending any criticism of the individual, that it has not been a satisfactory system. It is not satisfactory to myself, as being responsible for what is going on in these institutions, that two or three years should be allowed to elapse without having a thorough inspection. Now the duty of superintendence and direction really does take the time of one man, and it will be difficult to carry on operations if one man is to be continually going through the country on the necessary duties of inspection. Whether as many as three are or are not necessary, I am not prepared to say, except to this extent, that I did not have it in contemplation at present to appoint that number. My idea was to appoint two, but I had thought that it was well worth while, when we were dealing with the subject, to take the power, in case the development of the work we are looking forward to should make it necessary, to appoint a third inspector. However, I have no desire to insist upon that if the committee is of opinion that there should be only two inspectors, or for that-matter only one, although I think we could hardly work out the scheme satisfactorily with only one inspector. In connection with the work of inspection, and as a further reason for the number contemplated, let me say that if you have but one inspector you infallibly have a system under which the movements of that inspector will necessarily become known. That being the case-I am not making any suggestion with regard to any officer, but we know the tendency to "window-dressing" characteristic of human nature-when an inspection is anticipated the natural desire is to have all things look as nice as they can. There is, at- all events, a temptation to have things look better than, perhaps, they do every day in the week, when they know the inspector will come. What I had in contemplation with regard to these officers was that the whole of their time would be on inspection, going at irregular times, not necessarily taking the penitentiaries in regular order. I would not assign a particular district to either inspector. I would have, through the superintendent, either inspector sent when a case presented itself, and if thought desirable, to any of the penitentiaries. One of the reasons for having men to do nothing but inspection is that I do feel very strongly that close contact on the part of those responsible in the department, and, as far as possible, close contact

on the part of the minister, with what is going on, is a most essential thing, a thing which also will prevent the growing up of abuses which are very likely to grow up under the administration of men when they fall into the routine of running an institution of which they are the heads and naturally get to be quite satisfied with their own view-unless they feel that there is some one constantly keeping an eye upon them. Now, these are all the reasons, and I submit their sufficiency to the consideration of the committee, that led me to think it .wise to provide for the possibility of appointing three inspectors if the work developed. I did not for a moment contemplate appointing more than two, and if the committee think it wiser to substitute two for three I shall not insist on the provision as it stands.

Now, while I am on my feet, I will refer to what the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) said as to the desirability of diversifying or increasing in number the useful employments to which the convicts may turn and the good effects that we may hope for from providing some remuneration for their labour, and of arriving at a system whereby the younger and less confirmed criminals should be separated from the influence of the older, or at all events the more confirmed criminals. The views which he has expressed have my thorough sympathy. I may say that it has occurred to me that it would be a better method to attain that result if, instead of seeking to make special provision for the less hardened, we considered the advisability of gathering together in one, or say two, institutions, those of our convicts who may be looked upon as falling principally under the designation of hardened criminal, and then endeavouring to conduct the other institutions on lines that might be more suitable to the case of the younger offender or,' in any event, the less hardened. I would be disposed to believe that the greater number might fairly enough be classified among the less hardened; and, if we had one or two of the institutions set apart as the prisons in which were to be detained and punished those with regard to whom-I would not like to say we have no hope- but those for whom we have less hope, we might then regulate the respective institutions in view of the character of the criminals detained within them. I do not think even with the best thought that can be given to it-and that has been generally agreed to

so long as you have all sorts of

criminals within the same institution, it is practicalble to segregate them into classes in such a manner as to produce any real effectual result. If we had some classification of institutions, that would seem to me a very .desirable thing, and that is one of the things which I hope to be able to get started, at all events, and in practical operation. A difficulty in the way, which explains the delay, is, of course, the question of expense. To build separate and distinct new institutions involves .the immediate expenditure of money. I have some hope that we may be able to do without additional institutions involving the immediate expenditure of money. I have some hope that we may be able to do without additional institutions by classifying the present ones and setting apart one or two, and so arrive at the desired result, or, at all events, to set such a system in movement.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

I have listened very

carefully to the remarks of the hon. minister. If I may be permitted to use the expression, he seems to be begging the question to some extent. I appreciate that this is war time, and that we are really at war. The minister brings in what he conceives to be, and chooses to call, a reform as the basis of his justification -for asking for authority to put upon the Civil Service list of Canada two or three extra men as penitentiary inspectors -at a time when the country is demanding in every other department the most rigid economy. While the minister attempts to justify this under the guise of a reform, he has not shown us clearly enough that that basis exists for an increase of expenditure. I am led to believe-and if I am wrong the minister, I hope, will correct me-that the penitentiary population of Canada to-day is not nearly as large as it has been on the average for a long time past. I would like to ask the minister if that is so.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I understand there has been a reduction in the penitentiary population.

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UNION
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I think about 20 per cent.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

Then it does seem to me a most unfortunate and inopportune time, when the country's resources are so tremendously strained, for the minister, on a declining penitentiary population, to introduce a reform which is going to require money, not only in the meantime, but forever. The probabilities are that the

discipline which our population has suffered under the Military Service Act will curb the criminal tendencies of the people in the future, and the number of convicts will be lessened rather than increased. While I am on my feet, that is one reason why I suggested that there should be something definite and specific provided in the Bill to ensure the appointment of returned soldiers of proper capacity to undertake such positions as these. Men who have seen the horrors and experienced the rigours of war will have their hearts touched with more or less compassion on account of what they have seen. Therefore,

I believe that out of the returned soldiers' class the very best kind of inspectors could naturally be secured. .They would know how to enforce discipline with kindness. How is the country to know exactly what view the Civil Service Commission will take in appointments of this kind? What is there in the Bill to assure that a returned soldier, in every way competent to perform these duties, will not be debarred because of his failure to spell some word correctly?

I have every confidence and every faith in the Civil Service Commission. I believe they are men of large parts and keen observation. But what I want to get from the minister, if I can, is something more specific than the abstract suggestion that, as a matter of course, soldiers will get the preference.

There is no object in giving a returned soldier the preference for a position if he lhas to pass an examination which has no relation to the duties which he will have to perform. I suggest that_ the minister insert a provision in the Bill with regard to this, or give his assurance that if it is within his province or power he will request ' the Civil Service Commission to provide such examinations for positions of this kind that it will be easy for competent returned soldiers to obtain them.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

It will not be any more the law if I put it in this statute than it is already the law, as being of general application. Certainly I shall be glad, so far as I have anything to say in the matter and when I have occasion to deal with appointments, to call the attention of the Civil Service Commission to the consideration that should be given to returned soldiers in the matter of appointments.

Paragraph 15 agreed to.

On section 3, paragraph 17-ex officio Justice of the Peace:

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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DENIS:

Will these inspectors have jurisdiction all over Canada?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

This clause is a reproduction of the existing clause, and confers upon inspectors powers similar to those which they now have. The purpose is to give them these powers in connection with the performance of their duties. Gentlemen who are fit to be inspectors of penitentiaries would necessarily be fit to be justices of the peace, even if they did exercise jurisdiction regarding matters not directly pertaining to penitentiaries.

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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DENIS:

Are these inspectors to reside in some particular place, or may they reside where they choose? Further, will the territory subjected to their inspection be defined in the Act or elsewhere?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

Inspectors will not be allocated to any particular territory; they will be under the orders of the department to go where they are sent. At first glance it might seem convenient that they should reside in Ottawa, in order that they may be available when required, but circumstances might be such as to permit them to reside outside of Ottawa.

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April 26, 1918