April 4, 1922

LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Militia and Defence; Minister of the Naval Service)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Under the present law, the Government has practically carte blanche to add to their years of service for the purpose of pensions.

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CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Militia and Defence; Minister of the Naval Service)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Outside of the men who come under the Military Pensions Act, there are men in the other branches who do not come under that provision.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE :

I hope the minister will be able to convince me when we come to deal with that clause, which struck me as an odd clause when I read it. My experience is that experienced men, whom Canada has educated, of whom Canada is proud, who did so well in the Great War, should be retained, and new men should not be introduced, either by promotions or new appointments.

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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. YIEN:

Does my hon. friend believe that seventeen generals are necessary to manage the affairs of the Militia of Canada?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

There is some applause to that sentiment from the Progressive side of the House. These seventeen officers were not Generals before the war; but by reason of the fact that these men succeeded in the war, they were promoted at the most critical time in the history of this country and its people. Thus it was that they rose to high command. Should that now be a disqualification? Does it justify us in saying: "Now, you cannot stay in the Militia? You must make way for less experienced men." The seventeen Generals of whom my right hon. friend speaks, are men who did not rise to that rank before the great war; but by reason of their good and hard work during the war, they attained that rank, and we should retain them.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I should like to say just one word as to what my hon.

friend has stated about the references in this resolution to Orders in Council. I think no one understands better than my hon. friend that there is a great difference between asking Parliament to authorize certain administrative acts by Order in Council, which acts can be performed only in that way, and the Governor-in-Council taking to itself power, to all intents and purposes, to enact legislation on matters which should be the subject of legislation in this Parliament. What we on this side of the House took strong objection to in the case of hon. gentlemen opposite, when they were sitting on this side, was that, having-been given certain general powers for war purposes, they continued to use those powers for the purpose of putting through by Order in Council enactment after enactment which should have had their origin in this House, if they were to have an origin anywhere. My hon. friends will recall that it was more or less a habit with them to pass Orders in Council and then to come to Parliament and ask Parliament to legalise the effects of those Orders in Council. I remember, in the case of one bill relating to some matters affecting coal mining operations in the West, the government of my hon. friend opposite presented to this House 180 Orders in Council and Parliament was asked to re-enact these Orders in Council, to give them beyond question the effect of law, although Parliament, at the outset, was not even favoured with copies of the Orders in Council. They were enumerated by number, from number 1 to No. 180, and this Parliament was asked to give the force of law to Orders in Council that were enumerated in that way. What we are asking in this resolution is for Parliament to authorize the Governor-in-Council to do certain administrative acts which are necessary to give effect to the intention of Parliament with regard to this legislation. If, in any particular, hon. members think the powers asked should not be given for certain specific acts, they will not be further asked for. It will be for the House to decide whether these particular administrative acts should be performed by the Governor-in-Council; and if the House decides that they should not, to suggest some other method of doing what is proposed. I think it is but right that the point to which we have taken such strong exception in the matter of Orders in Council, should be made clear. The objection is not to the Governor-in-Council discharging necessary acts of administration, but to the Governor-

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66:

in-Council usurping certain powers of legislation by proceeding by Order in Council where legislation should be sought.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I wish to say a few words about the resolution and also a few words as to this monthly sermon that we receive from the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King).

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

We are receiving a

daily one from the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen).

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Sometimes the obstinacy of the audience puts an unnecessary burden on the instructor. As regards the Governor-in-Council or the government that has gone out of office taking to itself powers, I do not know what meaning that has in the mind of the Prime Minister. I know it has no meaning at all in mine, and I am sure it has no meaning at all in the mind of anyone who takes a practical grasp of what a Governor-in-Council is, of what an Order in Council is. A Governor-inCouncil can take no powers to itself, no more than can a gentleman take powers to himself, no more than this Parliament can take powers to itself. A Governor in Council cannot add to its powers, nor can any Order in Council at all expand the powers vested in the Governor in Council by the Parliament of Canada. There do come times in the life of every government, and never so much, certainly, 'as in the life of the late government -because the late government had charge of the affairs of this country during by no means ordinary times, to put it mildly- when it is found that the Governor in Council must anticipate the will of Parliament if it is to do its duty 'by the nation. We did that frequently during the war, and we had to do it subsequent to the war, because the condition# that prevailed then were really not different from those that obtained during the days of the war. To say that the late government did anything different from what every government in the world did is simply to speak without any knowledge of the facts. The late government passed its war Orders in Council under the provisions either of ordinary statutes or of what was known as the War Measures Act, an act which virtually gave to the government the powers of Parliament and which passed this House unanimously. The British Government had a corresponding act entitled the Defence of

the Realm Act. Our act was out of effect at least a year-although I think I should be closer to the exact time if I said two years-before the corresponding act went out of operation in Great Britain. Great Britain was legislating under her Defence of the Realm Act, and the King in Council, for a year, if not two years, after our act was out of force, was passing orders in council in the Mother Country. Now, the hon. gentleman says that we passed 180 orders in council which we had to come to Parliament to have confirmed. I have some recollection of what he refers to particularly. During the war we were compelled to establish an office, the exact title of which I do not recall.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The Director of Coal Operations.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The Director of Coal Operations. Hon. gentlemen will remember the difficulties that arose in the coal mines in the province of Alberta, difficulties that involved an imminent peril to the whole of western Canada. We appointed the Coal Controller and empowered him to make orders fixing various conditions as between the workmen, on the one hand, and the mines on the other. He made many orders under the powers vested in him by the Governor in Council, which powers were exercised under the War Measures Act. That is the time when the 180 orders were passed. And, by the way, I do not know how many of them were of any consequence, nor am I sure that all of them were not wholly legal, under the powers vested in the Controller by the instrument that appointed him, which instrument was passed by virtue of the War Measures Act itself. But there arose a doubt as to whether, the Governor in Council having acted under the War Measures Act and passed an Order in Council empowering a man to do certain work, that man himself could issue written orders having the force of law. For that reason we came to Parliament and confirmed the whole matter. But to say that everything should1 have stood still, and the whole Chaotic state of affairs allowed to continue, without anything being done until Parliament met, is merely to speak what has no basis in common sense, if indeed it has any basis in sanity. I am pretty sure that the member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) was a member of the government when we appointed Mr. Armstrong a controller. If I am wrong the hon. member will correct me. It will be recalled how perilous the condition was; and, standing

National Defence

here, I am prepared to say, and leave it to the judgment of the House, that our conduct in the crisis of the coal situation in Alberta at that time, and its results, may be very favourably compared with the conduct of the present Government in the coal crisis in Nova Scotia to-day. That is the basis of the hon. gentleman's allegation in that regard. Occasionally, let me repeat, the time comes-and naturally it comes more often in troublous, tempestuous months and years of war, than in the ordinary times of peace-when it is essential, unless the Government runs away from its duties, that it anticipate the will of Parliament. And I do not think that any one can look back to-day and say, wherever we considered it absolutely essential in the public interest to do this in the days that have gone, that our conduct, when it came before Parliament for consideration, was ever open to question as to the rightness of the course we had pursued. Of course, there was the usual talk that this was government by Order in Council, and that Parliament should have done these things. Had it [DOT]been possible to wait for Parliament, undoubtedly that course would have been adopted. However, this is not the time to draw the parallels; but let me suggest to the Prime Minister not to be over confident; because since he has been in office Orders in Council have been passed in fairly quiet times, when the sun was shining^ and all was quiet without, as respects which, if they are to have validity, he will have to come to Parliament for ratification.

Now, this resolution foreshadows a bill which is considered of such moment that it was thought necessary to refer to it in the Speech from the Throne; and very considerable beating of drums and sounding of trumpets have been going on as to this very vital piece of legislation. I think, first of all, that the disposition of the responsibilities of departments and branches of departments among ministers is a matter which might well be left to the Government in office, a matter more or less of domestic arrangement; and as respects any such disposition I should not be inclined to offer very severe criticism. I think a government should be permitted to dispose of its work among its ministers as it may deem best. There might, of course, be arrangements as to the distribution of work that would be incongruous. In one respect the present proposal is open to that objection, and only

as regards that do I feel like offering criticism. But to say that this is any great outstanding piece of legislation is surely rather to reflect on the weight or moment of the programme which the Government has in mind. The Government could practically do what it now proposes under the legislation that has been in effect for years. The late government brought departments and branches of departments together under that legislation. It is true that by the existing provisions you cannot wholly amalgamate and get rid of deputy ministers. Under those provisions you can keep departments separate, but under one minister; while under this legislation you can get rid of deputy ministers and effectually amalgamate departments into one. Whether anything more will actually result under this proposed legislation than could be done under the machinery now in force I doubt very much. I, at least, do not think, and I do not believe that any one else does, that there is any doing away with ministers by this legislation. Previously the Marine and Fisheries Department, the Naval Service Department, the Militia Department, the Air Department, the Mounted Police, and External Affairs-I name six-were all under the review and the charge of three ministers, the Minister of Militia, ordinarily so-called, the Minister of Marine, and the Prime Minister. Those six departments, when this legislation goes through, will still be under three ministers, just the same number as before. The work will be differently disposed among them, that is all. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries will have charge of Marine and Fisheries alone; the Naval Service goes from him to the Minister of Militia. The Prime Minister will have charge of External Affairs; and the Mounted Police, which before was under myself, will go from that department to the Militia Department. Sb that the six services that previously were under three ministers will be under three ministers still.

As to taking the Naval Service out of the Marine and Fisheries Department, so called, or really disjoining it from the Marine and Fisheries Department-for it is a department in itself-and putting it under the Militia Department, I have no criticism to make. I fancy that as the duties of the Minister of Militia now will be very much lighter than they have been in the last eight years, it may be a division that will more equitably take care of the services and responsibilities that fall to the various ministers. And it may be that the Naval Ser-

National Defence

vice is really more akin to the Militia service than it is to the Marine and Fisheries service. I presume it was really joined with the latter as two departments under the one minister because both the Marine and Fisheries and the Naval Service are departments that have to do with our waters. That the Naval Service should be taken out and now joined to the Militia Department is in my judgment a matter for the Government itself to determine, and does not lend itself to criticism.

But I do object to the Mounted Police being' taken out of a civilian department and made part of the military forces, and I see no reason for the step whatever. The Mounted Police from its inception has been a civilian force, and the very credit that accrues to it to-day throughout this Dominion is derived more from the fact that it is a civilian force than from any other consideration. Make it a military force and throw around it the atmosphere and the trapping's of the militia, and you will not find the Mounted Police held in the same regard; the attitude of the public towards that force will not be maintained. The Mounted Police is not a defence force in any sense whatever; it has been a civilian force all through its history, and there is more reason for maintaining it as a civilian force now than there ever was before. Why? Because two or three years ago the Dominion Police, which had been administered under the Justice Department, were joined with the Mounted Police and under the title of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. So here we have the Dominion Police and the old civilian Mounted Police in one force, now to be merged in the Militia Department and to be administered as part of the defence forces. Bt what turn of language can the Mounted Police or the Dominion Police be described as a defence force? They are in no sense such a force. I think that the use of the Mounted Police has been solely for the purpose of supplementing the work of the local police in taking care of emergencies that the latter were incapable of handling, and hence municipalities called upon the Mounted Police for assistance. That use will not be availed of with the same freedom, and the Mounted Police will not be held in quite the same regard, if the local authorities feel that it is really part of the militia they are calling in to do service that they would rather have performed by a civilian force. The Mounted Police investigate crime, they go into the far remote parts of our country and ferret out the criminal. Why should men engaged in that pursuit be attached

to the militia? This suggestion I remember was made before I had the honour of being head of the Government, and after consideration it was felt that it would be a mistake to take the Mounted Police out of its civilian rank and put it under a Minister of Militia, although it was never even considered that they should be assigned to militia service and to that extent be given the character of a defence force. I think the minister would be well advised to reconsider this resolution in the light of that experience. Beyond that I offer no objection to the resolution, but I think it will be regretted in the days to come if the Mounted Police with its splendid history is taken out of the category of a civilian police force and placed before the public as part of the militia or defence force.

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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

I have only one short observation to make as regards the amalgamation of these various departments. I do not know exactly from the resolution what the Minister of Defence, as he is to be termed in future, contemplates doing with the fishery protection service, but I hope that he will take into consideration the advisability of putting back this service under the control of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Some years ago I had the honour of being an official in the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and unfortunately the fisheries protection service was placed under the Department of National Defence. The result was that when the departmental officials sent in reports to the department complaining that Americans or others were poaching and in other ways breaking the Fisheries Protection Law, they had to take the matter up with the Naval Service Department, and there was so much red tape that it took three or four days before a naval service boat was despatched to the scene of action. I really believe that it is in the best interests of our fisheries administration that when this co-ordination of the service is being brought about the fisheries protection fleet and all its officers should be put under the control of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Their function is not as a defensive force against an invader, but primarily to see that the fishery laws are observed, and under no department can they be so thoroughly and efficiently enforced as under the Marine and Fisheries Department.

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CON

Sydney Chilton Mewburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEWBURN:

I wish to offer my congratulations to the hon. minister on his

National Defence

endeavour to bring some of the departments together in the way suggested, but I have one or two minor exceptions to make. As the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) pointed out, this is not a new proposal; it was suggested years ago, during the war, and since the armistice, but it did not then seem feasible to carry it into effect. I am not particularly interested in the post-mortems respecting orders in council that the hon. leader of the Government and my right hon. leader have been sparring about; I should like to get down to the essentials of this bill.

I do feel very strongly that the Mounted Police should not be interfered with. The reason that has already been given I entirely concur with. Our Royal Canadian Mounted Police has beyond a question of a doubt been respected not only in Canada but the world over as the finest force for the preservation of law and order that has ever been organized. It is entirely a civil force, but the minute it is merged with the militia it cannot help but be known all over this country as part of the military forces of Canada. I am convinced that if the Mounted Police, which has now within its fold the old Dominion Police, could remain, for administrative purposes, under the Prime Minister, it would be much wiser and sounder. We have had troubles in the past, strikes and that sort of thing, and although under the present Militia Act it is within the power of a municipality to call upon the militia to turn out for the preservation of law and order, that is the very last resort that should be adopted in this country. The Mounted Police are available, and if it were not for the petty jealousies existing throughout the various provinces they could be utilized to much greater advantage than they have been up to the present time. The moral effect of the presence of one or two Mounted Police is the most wonderful thing in this country. I know that in the province of Ontario not very long ago, the Attorney General called for the services of that force in connection with some trouble at Thorold or Merritton. I think the hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) will bear me out that the work that the Mounted Police did was a very vital force in the community. One or two members of the Mounted Police force can do more for the preservation of law and order than any number of militiamen that might be called out. Furthermore, every individual man of the Mounted Police force is a trained con-

stable, possessing nerve and judgment and experience, and in the case of any trouble where the services of the Mounted Police may be required, there is far less danger in utilizing their services than in calling out the militia. I would therefore urge that the minister seriously consider eliminating the Mounted Police from the scope of this bill.

There is one other matter that I would like to touch upon. It may not be serious, and can be discussed more fully on the second reading of the bill. I notice that the resolution provides for two deputy ministers. I do not wish to make any severe criticism, but it seems to me that the services of one deputy minister are all that should be required. We already have a deputy minister of the Naval Service, a deputy minister of Marine and Fisheries, and a deputy minister of Militia and Defence, and from my own personal experience I think that the present deputy minister of Militia and Defence is capable of carrying on three or four important departments now that the war is over, and, I think, with due economy. If you are going to have two deputy ministers, you will be practically carrying on the same administration as we have to-day in the Naval Service and Militia Departments.

I wish to concur heartily in the remarks of the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) about some of the staff officers. A good many people in this country and elsewhere are very prone to criticise staff officers and the "brass hat," but those who do so fail to realize that it is no choice of these men how they are dressed or what uniform they wear. Behind the staff uniform there has been an education going on for years, and during the late war an experience and ability have been gained through the testing of time. I think, instead of sneering at these men, this country owes them the greatest possible debt of gratitude, and I sincerely trust that the minister will use the services of these men whom it has cost the country something to educate. Some of these men have cheerfully given up their lives, and those who are left are prepared to give the benefit of their experience to this country, to the second and third generation. I commend the minister for the efforts he has made on their behalf.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I just wish to be sure that I understand what my hon. friend has in mind. If I gather rightly, he is of the opinion that the Mounted

National Defence

Police should be kept under the Prime Minister in order that they may be available in times of industrial disputes to be sent into the area affected to act on such occasions. As against that, the method which has prevailed in the past has been for the civil authorities to request the calling out of the militia, if additional aid is needed when there is an industrial dispute in any locality. My hon. friend, I gather, thinks that that course should no longer be followed but that the mounted police should be used instead in these industrial disputes.

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CON

Sydney Chilton Mewburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEWBURN:

Not at all. My hon. friend entirely misunderstood me. I said that the Mounted Police have always been known as a police force, a civil force pure and simple, not as a military force, and I thought it was far better to have that force under the Prime Minister, as it was in the past until a change was made and the force was put under the Privy Council. I do not say that the mounted police should be called into any area where there is a dispute or a strike, or anything of that sort. What I said was that it would be far better if the Mounted Police force, for administrative purposes, was entirely under the Prime Minister, and was known all over the world as a civil force rather than as a military force. I pointed out that I realized that in the event of any trouble arising in any municipality, at the present time the municipal authorities can request the aid of the militia, but I say that before that step is taken, the presence of a few Mounted Police, who could be sent in there to investigate, has such a moral effect in many instances as to prevent further trouble arising.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I think it is most desirable that the Mounted Police should not be drawn into these industrial disputes at all. I might point out to my hon. friend that if we had followed the course he now suggests, there probably would have been very serious trouble in Nova Scotia. A request was made of the Government some two or three months ago to do just exactly what my hon. friend suggested, that is, to send the Mounted Police into these areas in Nova Scotia where there has been industrial trouble and have them skirmish about, as my hon. friend says, keeping order, and in that way obviate possibly worse happenings later on. But the Government took the position that if we wished to create an

industrial disturbance of very serious proportions, possibly the best way we could go about it would be to order the Mounted Police into those areas. The matter came to my attention directly, and I refused absolutely to countenance sending the Mounted Police into these areas at that time. We told the municipal authorities that if they were unable to maintain law and order themselves, as they were supposed to do, they had the right under the Militia Act to call in the aid of the militia, but that they would be responsible for so doing and would have to be prepared to meet the expenses of the militia when called out. If you once open the door to having the Mounted Police called in to aid the civil authorities on any occasion when there may be alarm on account of industrial disputes, you will in a very short time have the federal government discharging a function in the matter of keeping law and order which it was never contemplated it should discharge. I think that if an injury has been done to the Mounted Police, it has been that under the late government on two or three occasions the Mounted Police were brought into these industrial disputes where it was absolutely unnecessary for them to have been brought in.

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CON

Sydney Chilton Mewburn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEWBURN:

My hon. friend says that he refused to send the Mounted Police to Nova Scotia, and quite right. He can always refuse to send them. The Mounted Police, under my suggestion, would only be sent when the Prime Minister acceded to a request for their services and where those services were absolutely essential. I hope that the Prime Minister will never be required to give his consent, but the day may come when he will be very glad to have the force at his disposal and to be able to accede to such a request.

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April 4, 1922