If the hon. gentleman who has the floor will permit me, I suggest that there is nothing to prevent his going on with his speech when the committee resumes at a subsequent sitting. But it is now Sunday morning, and we are not in the habit of sitting on Sunday.
I see no objection to proceeding with the Bill. Other legislatures do these things, and I do not see why we may not. It is all very well to make a kick against doing this kind of work in Parliament on Sunday, but I do not suppose there are any of us who do not do some work pn Sunday, may be not as meritorious as this. I think the committee had better go on and finish its consideration of the Bill. I am sure that my hon. friend, who has given us so much pleasure and himself so much pleasure in the address which he is making, will remember that we are all mortals and not try us too long, to satiety at least, with his very pleasant and very able speech. He might draw it a little shorter.
To me, this is not a question of pleasure; it is a question of duty. The Minister of Trade and Commerce is not very generous; I have never interfered when he has taken up three or four hours in making a speech to the House. It is not my desire to speak against time; the question is too important for that, Mr. Chairman. I feel it my duty to do the best I can to convince hon. members that they are wrong; that is my only desire.
(translation): What have we seen, Mr. Chairman, since mitigated prohibition was imposed in the several provinces? A great number of stills were seized which had been hidden in cellars, or in barns, in the woods or in the fields, and by means of which intoxicating liquors were made, with the result that the provincial laws forbidding this manufacture were eluded and frustrated.
What have we seen in the province of Ontario as well as in the other provinces, not excepting Quebec? We have seen a great number of .seizures made by the ' revenue officers, who also found large quantities of intoxicating liquors in cellars, in underground recesses, in the fields and in the woods. Those liquors, manufactured underhand, are not alcohol, they are real poisons. .
And this is tolerated by the Government. When things have gone so far as to make it necessary for them to do away with such conditions, they talk about a referendum, and the advisability of consulting the people. We shall see, then, do they say, what people's opinion is, .as though we were unaware of .the fact that thi.s opinion
i.s well moulded into shape and was put on record whenever an opportunity offered for the people making its voice heard.
Well, Mr. Chairman, I claim that this Government is unwilling to face the situation .and instead of introducing la prohibition Bill it brings down a half-measure which will not be satisfactory to the electors of the .Dominion.
*Several of the hon. ministers and members would like me to take my seat forthwith, so. that this half-measure .might be allowed to pass. Well, I must tell them that in spite of all the work which they may have done in behalf of temperance, they are not serious when they pretend to be temperance men.
Great work was achieved by associations of ladies who held meeting, travelling all over the country, in their endeavour to have temperance laws enacted in order to uplift public morality; but those ladies will find that they are not given a fair deal when the Government denies them its help, when they are losing the fruits of their labour, of the efforts, which they put forth during more than ten years and when the result of their activities is reduced to nothing
No, no, I am obsolutely opposed to the Bill which is now before ns, because it does not go . far enough, because it leaves the people free to drink as they used to in the past. The Canadian people want no such legislation.
I shall now follow the advice of the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster). I was bound to register any protest against this Bill, and I think I have done so in such a manner .as to warrant my electors in giving me credit for my efforts in that direction. Those will be my concluding remarks. I shall now resume my seat, thanking, at the same time the hon. gentlemen for having so intently listened to me.
I move that the Bill be amended by substituting the Roman numerals "IV" for the Roman numerals "III" in line 8 on the first page. This is a printer's error. I further move to amend section 152 as reproduced in the Bill, by inserting in the fifth line of the section after the word "territory" the words "in which there is at the time in force a law prohibits ing the sale of intoxicating liquor for beverage purposes." I announced this amendment and Explained the reason for it in moving the second reading.