March 16, 1921


Motion agreed to.


FORTIFICATIONS OF QUEBEC CITY

L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. C. G. POWER moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the ancient walls and fortifications of the city of Quebec, having for all military purposes become obsolete, it is expedient in order to better preserve these valuable heirlooms as a historical monument for future generations, that their upkeep and control be now vested in the National Battlefields Commission.

He said: Mr. Speaker, this motion came up for discussion on a previous occasion when the Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie) stated that he would have an investigation made by his officers into the practicability of carrying out this proposition. In a few words the situation is that the walls and fortifications of Quebec are rapidly crumbling away; that it would require a considerable sum of money to keep them in a fit and proper condition; and that-I think this is generally admitted-they no longer serve useful pur-

pose in so far as military necessities are concerned. I think it is universally recognized that in these days of high power artillery, and other implements of warfare which we now have, the walls of any fortified town, however well protected, cannot resist for any great length of time, so that for military purposes these defences have become obsolete. On the other hand, the associations connected with the walls and fortifications of Quebec, and with the city of Quebec itself, are such that, to my mind, and I think most hon. members will agree with me, it would be a pity to see these monuments of our country's glorious past disappear. It should be our duty, in order to promote a true Canadian spirit to encourage so far as possible a reverence and admiration for the memory of those of our forefathers who have accomplished much on this continent to make Canada the nation which it is and to enable it to reach that higher status to which we hope it will attain. These are the considerations which have permitted me to once more place this motion on the Order Paper. I may say that the proposition has been received by the newspapers of Quebec city and elsewhere, with considerable approval. It is not a matter in which politics intervene, for Conservative and Liberal journals alike have given the project their blessing. The different public bodies in the city of Quebec have also, I understand, on several occasions passed resolutions favouring it. I do not know that there is any more to add except that if the Minister jf Militia has not had time on account of his numerous occupations to look into this matter since March 16th, I think it was, last year, when the resolution was first debated, I would like him to give this subject very serious consideration during the coming year. Should he transfer the cost of the upkeep of these walls and fortifications to an independent body such as the National Battlefields Commission he will undoubtedly relieve his department of a burden which should not belong to it and which, from a military standpoint, does not make for the efficiency of our defences in Canada.

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Militia):

The House will well remember the occasion last year on which my hon. friend brought this matter to its attention and the very excellent address which he delivered at that time.

I remember, too, in replying to my hon. friend upon that occasion I intimated that inquiry would be made into all questions pertaining to the ancient walls and fortifications of the city of Quebec to see if it were possible to meet the suggestions contained in his motion, which was to the effect that the Government should hand over these ancient walls and fortifications to the Battlefields Commission-a Commission which was established a number of years ago and which still continues to function.

During last summer I had the pleasure of looking over those fortifications myself, and I instructed an engineer of the department of Militia and Defence to examine them and report thereon. According to that report I may inform the House that it would not be considered proper, at the present time at all events, to transfer the whole of these walls or structures to the Battlefields Commission. Some parts of the fortifications are still in use, and will continue to be in use by the Department of Militia for a long time to come. There are portions of the fortifications which are not used, and which I agree with my hon. friend are rapidly falling into decay, and considerable expenditure will have to he made at some time in the near future if these walls are to be preserved in their ancient grandeur and strength. Moderate expenditure might be made from time to time which would probably maintain them in a condition suitable for their historical value and associations, but to rebuild them would involve, according to my information, a very large amount of money.

I think I might give the House also a brief report in regard to those portions of the walls which should be handed over to the Battlefileds Commission, and as to those portions which, in the opinion of the engineers of the Militia Department, it would be necessary to retain for the use of the department. For this purpose the walls have been divided into sections, and those familiar with the city of Quebec will readily locate the various portions from the description which I shall now give to the House.

Section 1 is described as a section from Mountain Hill to the intersection of Des Ramparts and Canoterie streets. It consists only of the walls at the top of the cliff and a very narrow strip of ground adjoining the street. This portion is not used for military purposes and might be handed over.

Section 2 runs from the above point to the foot of Palace Hill comprising the walls and face of the cliff. This section is of no use for military purposes and might also be handed over. The property at the foot of the cliff and fronting on Canoterie and St Valier streets is now being valued by the department of Public Works with a view to offering it for sale.

Sections 3 and 4 comprise the Dominion Arsenal site. They form the northern and western enclssures of that site, which is used for ordnance and other military purposes, and possession of these portions should be retained.

Section 5 runs from St John's Gate to St Louis Gate. It consists of rampart walls and the St. John, Kent and St. Louis Gates. It is of no use for military purposes and might also be handed over.

Section 6 comprises that portion from St Louis Gate to the face of the cliff. This section is of no use from a defence point of view. It comprises the walls enclosing the ditch of the Citadel. The Citadel itself, consisting of casemates and buildings, is used for housing the garrison and should be retained; but section 6 might be handed over to the Battlefields Commission, if desired.

Section 7 consists of the ramparts along the face of the cliff to the southeast corner of the Citadel. It forms part of the walls of the buildings of the Citadel, and should be retained.

Section 8 is a section running from the southeast corner of the Citadel to the present site of the Post Office. It consists of the wall facing the Terrace, which is already le.ased to the city of Quebec. This section is not used by the Department of Militia and Defence and might be handed over to the Battlefields Commission.

To recapitulate, I might say that of the sections I have enumerated, sections 1, 2, 5 and 8 might be handed over to the Battlefields Commission if the House so decides; sections 3, 4 and 7 should be retained for the purposes of the department; and section 6 might also be handed over if there is any special reason for such action.

The question of cost is something that the House will have to deal with. As hon. members are aware, we make an annual grant to the National Battlefields Commission. The grant in the Estimates this year for the purposes of that commission amounts in all to about $51,600. It will be found at page 62 of the Estimates. If the work of repairing these walls

is undertaken, a considerable amount of money will have to be provided.

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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Will the minister allow me

a question? Is there any item in the Estimates this year for the upkeep of the walls?

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UNION

Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Militia and Defence)

Unionist

Mr. GUTHRIE:

No, there is no specific item in the Estimates of the Department of Militia and Defence, nor in the general Estimates for the upkeep of these walls. Any repairs that have been made from time to time have been defrayed out of a vote for the department under the heading of "Engineers' Services". But as time goes on more extensive repairs will be needed.

I have asked the officers of the department to prepare a scheme and as nearly as possible to estimate the annual cost of the upkeep of this property. As soon as that is available I shall lay it before the House, and then I think the time will have come for some definite action to be taken in regard to these ancient walls and fortifications.

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UNION

Herbert Macdonald Mowat

Unionist

Mr. MOWAT:

Mr. Speaker, in connection with this motion, I desire to bring before the House something which is so cognate to the subject under discussion that I am sure you will not consider it out of order. I refer to improvements or repairs to the fortifications of the most ancient of upper Ontario's forts-those at Kingston.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am afraid the hon.

member would be distinctly out of order in discussing the fortifications at Kingston, because this is a specific resolution having to do wth the fortifications in the city of Quebec. The rules are very clear that under these circumstances the debate must be restricted rigorously to the specific subject before the House. Therefore, I do not think the hon. member would be in order.

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UNION

Sydney Chilton Mewburn

Unionist

Hon. S. C. MEWBURN (East Hamilton) :

Mr. Speaker, many of the remarks

of the hon. member for South Quebec (Mr. Power) have my entire sympathy. I have felt for some time, particularly when I was occupying the position of Minister of Militia, that unless the fortifications of the Citadel of Quebec are put in repair at an early date the walls will entirely crumble away. I think it will be a lasting disgrace to this country if those walls and fortifications are not preserved for future generations. The hon. member spoke of the glorious past. Well, I think we might also consider the glorious future of this country. I feel, as I felt at that time, that

something should be done along the lines of the resolution by handing this property over to the National Battlefields Commission. I also realize that a considerable portion of that property is required for military purposes. If the country is in a position to build other barracks or accommodation for military purposes in the city of Quebec, then, indeed, the whole property might with wisdom be handed over. But having regard to the statement made by the Minister of Militia, I am satisfied that the hon. member for Quebec South will view the situation in the same light and will feel that the purpose of his motion will be met when the minister brings down the report to which he has referred.

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L LIB

Thomas Vien

Laurier Liberal

Mr. THOMAS VIEN (Lotbiniere) :

Mr. Speaker, I wish to express my gratification at hearing the very comprehensive statement that the Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie) has just made to the House. The arrangement that he has proposed would seem to meet the military requirements, and, at the same time, the necessity of maintaining this beautiful landmark as an historic monument for future generations. It is the custom in the older countries of Europe, such as England and France, to preserve such historic landmarks, not only on account of their beauty as architectural monuments, but also as a lesson in history to present and future generations. There are few landmarks which are so instructive or so capable of giving inspiration to the people of our country as those which are the subject of this debate. It is true that we have the fortifications of Kingston and others of Ontario, and also the Citadel at Halifax. These military works at Halifax, Quebec and Kingston should, to my mind, be preserved as a lesson to present and future generations. The best arrangement, I think, would be to transfer to the Battlefields Commission those sections which are not used for military purposes and keep under the department, as suggested by the minister, those that are used. I am sure that the House will vote, and the country will appreciate, any expenditure which may be necessary for the upkeep of these military works, which will be of such value to coming generations.

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L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. GEORGE PARENT (Quebec West) :

Mr. Speaker, I have just one word to add to the very interesting remarks which have just been made by the member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Vien). The upkeep of the walls of the city of Quebec is a matter of interest to us all, especially to those who happen

to represent the constitutency in which they are located. In this connection it might not be out of place to direct the attention of the House to what a former Governor General of Canada, Earl Grey, did for the city of Quebec when he created what we call the Battlefields Park. Earl Grey took an interest not only in the Battlefields, but also in the walls of the city; he made certain improvements in those walls which are much admired by tourists. If it was the object of Earl Grey to emphasize the fact that these walls should be preserved for future generations, he went far toward accomplishing that object, and those who follow in his footsteps will be acting wisely indeed.

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L LIB
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has the right to reply, and I must call the attention of the House to the circumstance that the debate is closed if he does so.

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to

thank the Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie) for the evidence which he has given us of the interest which he takes in matters affecting his department as brought before the House by private members. I wish also to apologize to him and to the House for my somewhat premature suspicions regarding the work which he accomplished during the recess in this connection. I had thought that this ministerial promise had met the usual fate and that the work had been neglected. I may say that the minister has astonished as well as pleased me by the able and intelligent report which he has brought down. The report shows that the officers of his department have really done some work; that they have taken into consideration the claims made by members on this side and have studied the question thoroughly. The report seems to be very complete, and I assure the minister that the citizens of Quebec will be grateful to him that he has done good work for his country, and-what is, perhaps, more important to him-that his department will be materially benefited thereby.

I suppose that the best I can do under the circumstances is to accept the report and the explanations given by the minister -which I consider to be sufficient-and ask leave to withdraw my motion.

Motion withdrawn.

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THE CASE OF W. H. TAPLEY

L LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain

Laurier Liberal

Mr. P. F. CASGRAIN (Charlevoix-Mont-morency) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the Governor in Council should cancel the privileges extended to one W. H. Tapley of Montreal, under the provisions of the Ticket of Leave Act, and that he should be re-arrested and sent back to the penitentiary to finish the term of the sentence imposed upon him in the best interests of justice and the community.

He said: Mr. Speaker, last year, on the 5th of May I moved in this House a resolution calling for the production of copies of letters, telegrams, documents and correspondence in reference to the release from the penitentiary of one W. H. Tapley and one E. L. Baugh. At that time the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) replied in this way:

It is impossible to assent to the passing of this resolution. It is very well recognized in the House that correspondence with regard to applications for tickets of leave is of a confidential nature and is not to be brought down. There are numerous instances in which the matter has been brought up, and the last time I recollect its being discussed was in 1913, when the subject was discussed on both sides of the House, and when the late Right- Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier entirely concurred in the view that these papers were not of a. kind that ought to be ordered to be brought down.

The motion was dropped at that time. As you will see, Mr. Speaker, in a certain way I was balked and prevented from obtaining certain information under the assumption that this was the practice in years past. I have no intention of discussing the practice at that time. There may have been different circumstances, on account of which our late and revered leader thought that at that time, in 1913, it was not proper to put before the House certain correspondence in connection with release under the Ticket of Leave Act. If I present this resolution to-day, it is not that I have any ill-feeling or grudge or something personal against this Mr. Tapley of Montreal, and indeed, I might say that I have none against anyone. I am presenting this resolution in order to bring before the House the circumstances which at present obtain in regard to this matter. Mr. Tapley is very well known in the city of Montreal and the whole district as a usurer and money lender. For years past, before he was convicted and sent to the penitentiary, he was extorting money, against the law known as the Money Lenders' Act, from different persons at exorbitant rates of interest, running as high as 120 per cent, if not more in certain cases. What happened was this. One day in 1914, Mr. Tapley was arrested, and after trial before the Court of Kings bench, he was found guilty of rape and incest upon Lorita Tapley, his daughter, and he was sent to the penitentiary for a

term of thirty years, being sentenced by Judge Lavergne on March 25, 1914. Since that time, I might say that many people have been at peace and liberty in Montreal. Last year, however, about the month of February or March, this gentleman appeared in Montreal after having obtained his conditional release under the provisions of the Ticket of Leave Act. Since that time, he has endeavoured to revive all the old judgments standing in his favour against different persons in our city, and lately there appeared editorials in regard to the matter in the press, especially in the Montreal Star, which, by the way, is a good paper-sometimes I agree with it, and most of the-time I do not agree with it, but in this case, I think the campaign in that paper was a good one. In different editorials which appeared in the Montreal Star from the end of December to the middle of January, facts were presented to the public which I and some other people in Montreal though ought to be brought to the attention of the House. In the Montreal Star of 23rd December, 1920, the following heading appears:

Montreal shark puts the screws on.

And there follows a compendium of a judgment of the Circuit Court of the city and district of Montreal from which we see that this man, on a judgment for $20 obtained interest at the rate of 120 per cent per annum and five per cent per annum on $79.80. This case, I might say, was handled on behalf of the defendant by one of the friends of the Minister of Justice, Mr. Frank Curran, K.C., of the city of Montreal, who is one of the eminent members of our Bar. This gentleman proposes to discuss this case when it comes up in Court for trial and to try to have the provisions of the Money Lenders' Act applied in reducing the rate of interest charged by Mr. Tapley. Later, on the 3rd January, 1921, some more facts were brought out by the Montreal Star to the public at large under the heading-I will not read the whole article; I shall be satisfied with quoting the headlines:

Three more relate their experiences with Tapley-all cases based on ancient judgments and seek 120 per cent interest.

On January 4, 1921, other facts were brought to the knowledge of the public, one statement being that:

They had fallen behind in their rent and the landlord was already in Tapley's clutches. Cost them great deal to get out.

On January 5, 1921, this heading appeared:

When court was kind to Tapley he revived old game.

At the time Tapley came out, the civil authorities lifted the interdict which took away his civil rights, and he immediately started his old game and practice. On January^, 1921, we have another editorial in the Montreal Star dealing at length with the judgments he has, amounting to over $40,000 and it states:

All of them are alive and he may proceed to collect. Has been inactive for a week now. A typical Tapley move.

On January 11, 1921, we have an explanation of a case where a loan of $20 grew to $350 thanks to the ways and methods of Mr. Tapley in doing business with different people to whom he had lent money. On January 11 there is another article reporting an interview which a representative of the press had with Mr. Tapley, and in which he said that he did not care an iota-I will not use the other expression, which is more vulgar-for anybody or any court; that he would go on and do as he used to do before, and that he had, while working in a bank, learned how to gauge borrowers. I have received numerous letters from different people in Montreal who have been unfortunate enough to deal with this man. I had many cases to defend against this man a few years ago, and I had given an interview in a newspaper regarding this case. I received one letter which I think it might be of interest to read to the House because it deals with this matter and, in a certain way, with the popularity of certain members of the Government:

Montreal, January 17, 21.

P. F. Casgrain, K.C., M.P.,

Sir: C. J. Doherty-

I would like to put the prefix "Right Hon." but the letter does not bear it.

-C. J. Doherty arrived at G.T.R. station, morning, so popular that not a soul was there to meet him. This is the weakling you want to get after. Leave no stone unturned until

you make him tell how he let that

Tapley

out.

I will not use the qualifying expression.

Mr. Casgrain, you are the only man who has the courage in the House of Commons to make him answer you and the public. Every one of us owe you a debt of gratitude for the able way you are handling this case.- Keep right at it, Sir. Don't take no for an answer.

And the letter says:

Make this four-flusher answer you.

I will not say that.

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UNION
L LIB
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would draw the hon. members' attention to the circumstance that he cannot read from any letter or document any reference in respect to a minister or a member of this House which he could not say as a member, and I hope he will be very guarded in reading states ments reflecting on any member.

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L LIB

Pierre-François Casgrain

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I bow to your ruling. The letter goes on to say that it wishes me success and hopes that I will obtain a favourable answer, and it is signed by I. B. Hamilton. Section 12 of chapter 150 of the Statutes of Canada, 1906, the Act which deals with the conditional release of prisoners, or the Ticket of Leave Act, states that under certain circumstances, when a person, who has been released under ticket of leave, obtains his living and acts and does certain things by means which are dishonest-I have not the correct translation in English here; I have the French version in which paragraph (b) reads:

(b) qui lui paratt se procurer sa sutosistance par des moyens malhonnetes.

It may be that the means which this gentleman is taking to obtain his living are legal in a certain way if he can get away with it, but the question is as to the honesty of his methods, and I humbly submit that when such facts as I have brought before the House to-day are known to the minister, he will surely see to it that my motion is granted, or at least that a proper explanation is given to this House and to the people at large if there was any real excuse or reason for letting this man out of jail after having served only a few years of his sentence.

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March 16, 1921