Rt. Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice):
Mr. .Speaker, the Senate has
made to this Bill quite a number of amendments, some of them purely verbal, -and some that produce a material effect as modifying certain of the sections as passed by this House. After consideration of the anrendments, however, although they do detract from the full effect which I think this House desired to produce, they do leave us a very material advance in the law on the subjects dealt with, and for that reason I would be disposed to ask the concurrence of the House in them. In regard to the particular provisions I have in mind, we have gained at least half a
loaf in regard to what this House has been able to impress upon the Senate should be the law. I think it is wise to take that and to look to the future for further advances in that regard. The first amendment is merely to correct a description of the court which is to take appeals in the province of Ontario and to substitute for "the Court of Appeal for Ontario," the words "a divisional court of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Ontario." It transpires that that is the correct description according to the provincial statute. The second amendment is to add to the number of authorities who may grant licenses in connection with the possession, or carrying, of firearms to "any person authorized under the law of any province to issue licenses or permits to carry firearms." This amendment "was introduced' at the suggestion of the Government. It has -been represented to us by different provincial authorities that under provincial laws there were persons authorized to issue such licenses, and it seems only proper that their powers to issue permits under this Act should be recognized. Section 4 has been amended. This is the section which makes it an indictable offence for any person over the age of eighteen years to seduce or have illicit connection with any girl of previous chaste character of or above the age of sixteen and under the age of eighteen years. Under that provision an offence would be committed by seducing or having illicit connection with such a female. The amendment is to strike out the words "or has illicit connection with." Under tfie amended section the offence is committed only when seduction takes place; the mere illicit connection is not an offence. Section 5, the section which makes it an offence to have illicit connection with females in the employ of the party committing the offence, has been amended by striking out the word "woman or." As that clause left this House it was an offence to have such connection with any woman or any girl. The Senate seems to have considered that the Act when committed in regard to a woman-by which, I understand, a married female is meant although I cannot give their reasons for that-should not be constituted an offence and they have struck out the words "woman or." Section 6 which would make it an offence for persons not being married to register themselves in a hotel as being man and wife is struck out. Section 9, which makes it an offence to have carnal know-ledge of a girl
under the age of sixteen and above the age of fourt-een has been amended by inserting after the word "girl" the words "of previously chaste character." They have also added to section 9 a subsection, 9a, which provides that:
No person accused of any offence under this subsection shall be convicted upon the evidence of one witness, unless such witness is corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.
The purpose apparently is not to look upon the evidence of the party against whom the offence is alleged to have been committed as sufficient by itself to justify conviction. *
Immediately after section 9 there has been inserted a section entirely new which deals with an offence not dealt with in the Bill itself. The section, however, I think is absolutely unobjectionable and should meet with our approval. It is to deal with the offence committed by a person who:
"(a) being an officer or employee whose duty it is to collect fares or tolls, wilfully neglects to collect any fare or toll, or wilfully collects less than the proper amount, or accepts any valuable consideration for omitting to collect such fare or toll:
The application of this provision, I think, would probably be to collectors upon railways. The suggestion for such legislation came from the railway employees who find that at present they are being prosecuted under the Secret Commissions Act for offences of this kind with the result that they are liable to be proceeded against summarily and that their opportunities for appeal are exceedingly limited. It was represented that for men in that position such a charge was one of exceptional gravity and involved consequences which brought very severe punishment under the code, involved the loss of their employment, loss of their standing in the future and that it would be only right to make a provision under which they would he subject, for that offence, to be prosecuted upon indictment, with the option to themselves to take a summary procedure of trial if they thought proper. This provided that a man who has committed the offence I have described is liable upon indictment to two years imprisonment or to a fine not exceeding $2,-5*00, or to both fine and imprisonment. Then there are additional provisions for the method of trial and a provision that any person liable to punishment under a charge of this kind shall not be prosecuted under the Secret Commissions Act. I may say that this was considered before it was
agreed upon and that in out judgment it is a desirable and commendable provision.