May 28, 1921

?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Mr. LAPOINTE [DOT] Then I say they should be treated like Canadian soldiers.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I do not see why this matter is so laughable when we are talking of men who went to serve their country and the Allied cause and did their duty.

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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

Does not my hon. friend-

Mr. LAPOINTE [DOT] The smiles and laughter of my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) are absolutely out of place.

If we cannot give those men anything else, at least let us give them respect.

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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

Does not the hon. gentleman know that it is not pensions that are asked for on behalf of these men, but the same pay and allowances as our Canadian , soldiers received?

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I asked my hon. friend from South Renfrew (Mr. Pedlow) and he says *that these men should be given the same pensions as those granted to Canadian soldiers.

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UNION
L LIB
UNION
L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Will you permit me

to state my own case? My hon. friend from North Simcoe is the man who knows it all in this House, we are aware of that, but I will ask his indulgence and that of the House for a short time while I state my views. These men were Canadian citizens; nobody denies that; they were not reservists of any other country. The fact that they were subject to the Military Service Act, as was stated by the Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie), is no argument against their claim, for they would have been compelled to serve in the Canadian army if they had not been allowed by this country to volunteer for service in the Polish army, Authority was given to raise that regiment, the men who enlisted did so with the full consent of the Canadian authorities, and, as I have stated, the fact that they were subject to the Military Service Act has no bearing on their case at all. Indeed, if they had been conscripts they would be entitled to full pension, for there is not one law for volunteers and another law for conscripts.

Another argument is that they were not paid the same rate, as soldiers in the Polish army, that they would have been paid as Canadian soldiers. But they deserve all the more credit. If they were taking the same chances, enduring the same sufferings, and were paid less money, is that a reason

why they should not be entitled to pensions >

when they come under the provisions of our Act? Surely this is no argument against their claim.

My hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark) asks: Where will the money come

from? It will come from the same source as the money that will be paid to the other soldiers, it will come from special taxes paid by the relatives of these men, Canadian citizens, just the same as by the relatives of all the other Canadian soldiers. There is no good reason why these men should be accorded different treatment from that accorded to our other soldiers. And surely, if we do not give them anything in the way of pensions, at least let us give them some respect and not laugh at them in their misfortune.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Shelburne and Queen's) :

Mr. Speaker, I think it is a

misfortune that the House is called upon this afternoon to decide in a very hurried manner a question which seems to be regarded, and justly so, as one of considerable importance. It appears that a number of hon. members are already familiar with this question, having had it before them in one form or another, but to the majority of the House, as to myself, the matter comes up in a hurried way and entirely new. Probably if I had had as much opportunity to study it as has my hon. friend from South Renfrew, I would reach the same conclusion as he has reached. Unfortunately there is a conflict of fact to-day in the House as to what we are doing for the various classes of reservists of foreign nations. I would, not wish the Polish soldiers to be treated in any different way from the French, Belgian or any other body of reservists, who returned from Canada at the outbreak of the war.

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L LIB

Isaac Ellis Pedlow

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PEDLOW:

Will my hon. friend

allow me? These men on whose behalf I am appealing are not reservists, they are Canadian-born citizens.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

Still it is explained

that - although (they were Canadian-born citizens, they, for their own good and patriotic reasons no doubt, preferred not to enlist in the Canadian army. I do not dwell on that point. But there is this conflict not only of opinion but of fact. Now, if we had abundance of time to take this matter up again I do not know what conclusion I might reach, But the chairman of the committee has informed us that they had the matter before them. I have such profound respect for the work of that committee, and especially for the great work that has been done by my hon. friend from London (Mr. Cronyn), that when he tells me that the committee have given this matter all due consideration, knowing as I do that they could have no desire but to do what was right, I see no reason why I should not support the chairman's report.

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UNION

John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac) :

Apparently the discussion has departed from the request made by the member for South Renfrew (Mr. Pedlow) which was that members of a Polish regiment, Canadian-born citizens, be granted the difference between Canadian rates of pay and allowances and the rates which they received on service overseas in the armies of Allied countries. The discussion has wandered far afield; matters affecting pensions, gratuities and so on have been taken up which have nothing to do with what the hon. member is asking. I submit that if this report is sent back to the committee with instructions to make the amendment suggested, it will carry with it the obligation on the part of the committee to give the same consideration to Frenchmen, Belgians and Italians who went overseas and served at a lower rate of pay than that given to members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Amendment (Mr. Pedlow) negatived, and main motion (Mr. Cronyn) agreed to.

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JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT

UNION

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

Unionist

Right Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved:

That Messrs. Guthrie, McKenzie, Redman, Lapointe and Doherty be appointed managers on behalf of this House of the free conference with the Senate with respect to the amendments made to Bill No. 60, intituled "An Act to amend the Judges Act," and that a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their Honours therewith.

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Motion agreed to.


CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT


Right Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 219, with regard to certain proceedings under Part IV of the Canada Temperance Act. He said: Mr. Speaker, this Bill was explained the other day when I asked for the consent of the House to introduce it without notice, and it is perhaps unnecessary for me to go over what was then said. I would add, however, that the purpose of the Bill is not in any way to invade the proper field of the courts, which is the in-



terpretation of the existing law and the determination of its effect, the purpose of the Bill is to modify the existing law so as to obviate the possible unfortunate consequences involved in a repetition or renewal of the plebiscites that have been held. On inquiry from the Auditor General I find that about half a million dollars has been paid in connection with those plebiscites, and at that, all the bills have not yet been paid. I mention this to show the gravity of the consequences that are sought to be avoided. I think it should be made clear also that in proposing this legislation it is not to be understood that we are acting because of any change of view on the part of the law officers who advised the drawing of the proclamation as it was drawn. They then were of opinion that it was sufficient, and they are still of that opinion. In that connection I propose to lay on the table of the House for the information of members a copy of the considered opinion of the Deputy Minister of Justice on the subject. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


May 28, 1921