February 9, 1923

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. Sir LOMER GOUIN (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 7, to amend the Northwest Territories Act. He said: The purpose of this proposed legislation is to permit the trial outside of the Northwest Territories of persons charged with crimes committed within those territories, and to provide for such trial by the same court and according to the same procedure as if the trial took place within the said territories. The amendment is of particular importance in view of the necessity which confronts us of bringing to trial next summer a number of Eskimos charged with murders in different parts of the Northwest Territories. These Eskimos are now under guard at Herschell Island where we propose to try them on account of facilities which we find at that place for their confinement and trial. Furthermore, provision has to be made so that the decisions given pursuant to that new and large jurisdiction may be enforced, by execution or otherwise, at the place where they are made outside of the Northwest Territories. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


CAPITAL PUNISHMENT


Mr. WILLIAM IRVINE (Calgary East) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 8, to amend the Criminal Code. He said: The purpose of this bill is to abolish the death penalty for all crimes for which it may be imposed under the present criminal code, and to substitute therefor life imprisonment. I may add that the bill I am now introducing is exactly the same measure, in every particular, as the one which was introduced in this House by Mr. Bickerdike on February 9, 1915. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


VIMY RIDGE MONUMENT

FRANCE'S GIFT OF MEMORIAL SITE GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE ICING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech which His Excellency the Governor General was pleased to make to both Houses of Parliament at the opening of the session, mention was made of a gift by the Republic of Fi ance

to the Dominion of Canada of a tract of land on Vimy Ridge. His Excellency referred to this gift in the following words:

The Government of France has graciously offered to the Canadian Government a tract of land of 250 acres on Vimy Ridge, at the site selected for the erection by Canada of a monument commemorating the exploits of Canadian troops in the Great War. This gift has been gratefully accepted, and a bill approving the agreement has been duly introduced in the French Parliament. An appropriate resolution expressing Canada's appreciation of the action of the French Government will be offered for your acceptance.

There would appear to be something peculiarly appropriate and gratifying in the circumstance that His Excellency, whose name and fame are so inseparably associated with the achievements of the Canadian army at Vimy Ridge, should be the one whose privilege it was to announce to the members of our parliament this gift of the Republic of France to the Dominion of Canada.

I have the honour, Mr. Speaker, to move:

That it be resolved by the House of Commons,

That Parliament do approve the acceptance by the Government of Canada of the gift graciously made by the Republic of France of a tract of land 250 acres in extent on Vimy Ridge at the site selected for the erection by Canada, of a monument commemorating the exploits of Canadian soldiers in the Great War and in so doing records its sense of gratitude for and its high appreciation of the motives which prompted France to associate herself with a project so dear to the hearts of the Canadian people.

Hon. members will recall that in the consideration last session of the appropriation for the Battlefields Memorial Commission a general wish was expressed by the leaders of the different parties in this House that if at all possible the commission should acquire a tract of land on Vimy Ridge which would form a suitable environment for the monument to be erected at that place in commemoration of the heroism of Canada's soldiers overseas. It was in pursuance of that wish that you, Mr. Speaker, during the interval since last session, visited France and conducted on behalf of the Battlefields Memorial Commission negotiations with the French government for the acquisition of this tract of land. The fact that we have received as a gift, what we should gladly have acquired by purchase, while due to the generosity of France, which we acknowledge in the fullest measure, is no doubt also due in part to your well-known tact and diplomacy in dealing with international affairs.

I would like to read to the House the text of the agreement with respect to this grant of land. The agreement was drafted on the 5th December, 1922, and concluded as between the French government, represented by Mr. Charles Reibel, Minister of Liberated Regions

Vimy Ridge

on the one part, and the government of Canada, represented by Hon. Rodolphe Lemieux, Speaker of the House of Commons on the other part. It reads:

Whereas the Government of Canada desires to erect on Vimy Ridge (Pas-de-Calais), in the centre of a park which they intend to lay out, and the maintenance of which they will assume, a monument to the memory of the Canadian soldiers who fell on the field of honour in France during the war of 1914-1918, the French Government put at their disposal the necessary land which will remain the property of the French Republic.

Whereas, on the other hand, France desires to associate herself in the tribute which Canada wishes to pay to the victims of the great war, and as moreover, the land concerned, comprised in the red zone, is to be acquired by France in conformity with'section 46 of subsection 7 of the Act of the 17th April 1919.

Article I

The French Government grants, freely and for all time to the Government of Canada, the use and free disr posal of a parcel of land of 100 hectares on Vimy Ridge in the Department of Pas-de-Calais, the boundaries of which are indicated on the plan hereto annexed.

Article II

The Government of Canada pledge themselves to lay out this land into a park and to erect thereon a monument to the memory of the Canadian soldiers fallen on the field of honour in France during the war of 1914-1918.

They moreover pledge themselves to provide for the maintenance of the park and monument, in default of which the French Government would resume the free disposal of the park, except however the land on which the memorial is erected.

Article III

The land granted to the Government of Canada by this agreement will be exempt of all taxes and imposts. The French Government will take thfc responsibility of all difficulties with the borderers, except those arising from damages caused by the personnel or the material belonging to the Government of Canada and kept in France for the maintenance and protection of the park and monument.

Article IV

There shall be obligatorily mentioned on the monument the names of all units of the same class of the Canadian army having fought on Vimy Ridge during the same period of time.

Article V

This Agreement will become effective by the passing, by Parliament, of a bill approving its provisions which the French Government has laid on the Table of the House. .

In testimony whereof, on the day and year above mentioned, this agreement was drawn in four copies, each copy having the same force and effect as an original by the French Government represented by Charles Reibel, Minister of Liberated Regions, and the Government of Canada represented by Mr. Rodolphe Lemieux, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada.

It is the purpose of the Battlefields Memorial Commission to erect, in all, eight monuments, three of them in Belgium, the other five in France. Of the eight monuments to be erected, the most important, indeed one of the most imposing and noble monuments in the world, will be the Allward monument to be erected on Vimy Ridge. As mentioned in the agreement I have just read,

this monument will record the names of other units which fought at Vimy Ridge of a like standing with the Canadian army. There is, however, another record to be placed on that monument which will, I imagine, touch even more deeply the hearts of all Canadians. It is the names of some 20,000 Canadians who were numbered among the missing, and for whom there are not individual graves in either France or Belgium. Happily their names will for all time be recorded on this monument to be erected at Vimy.

I need not say anything to the House of the significance of Vimy Ridge. There were many battles fought in the great war; and for many purposes, it would be unwise to seek in any way to draw comparisons between them. This possibly may be said of Vimy which could not be said of the others: that it was at Vimy that the Canadian corps first fought as a unit, composed of men from every part of Canada. It was at Vimy that the Canadian army was welded into an efficient fighting organization, so strong that no opposing armies could resist it; and that Canadian soldiers were able to achieve what no other army had been able to do in the meeting of the enemy at that point. Vimy Ridge stands as one of the world's great altars of sacrifice. As one reflects upon the significance of the Great War, one cannot but feel a resemblance, albeit on a world's scale, between that colossal tragedy and the tragedy of 1900 years ago, when the best life which the world has ever known was sacrificed through the materialism of its day that mankind might enjoy a wider measure of spiritual freedom. In the tragedy of the late war, it was not one life only, it was an appreciable portion of humanity, which was sacrificed for the sake of the larger freedom of mankind. History will look upon the battlegrounds of the Great War as the places of sacrifice. Among the number, no altar will be more conspicuous through the years than that of Vimy Ridge.

There is something which is more deserving of recognition in the gift of the French Republic. It is not so many years ago, as history records time, that Canada was a part of France in the new world, and that, in what was considered enlightened opinion of the day, Canada was referred to as so many acres of snow. To-day, under world conditions as transformed as any the human imagination can well conceive, the Republic of France, in a spirit of gratitude, grants to our Dominion, no longer her possession, not a few acres of land covered with snow, in some

Vimy Ridge

remote and unknown part, but a tract of land, as sacred as any in Europe, consecrated with the blood of human sacrifice of Canada's own sons in the cause of the world's freedom. This is the gift which we to-day as a parliament acknowledge with gratitude to France, and this we do, deeply moved by all that it implies of a close relationship between the British and French people. We recognize in the gift this larger significance, that above and beyond all the changes that time may bring, changes of the past and uncertainties of the present, there is an enduring friendship between the French and the British peoples, which stands for all that is best in the maintenance of human liberty, and the freedom of the world.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to express my warm approval of this resolution. The site of Vimy is, beyond comparison, of the various battlefields of the war, the most closely associated in the hearts of the Canadian people with all that the war involved in story and in sacrifice. I am moved by one regret, that the feelings of this parliament, as embalmed in the resolution, feelings of undoubted gratitude and appreciation, cannot be expressed, rather than by me, by one who like yourself, Mr. Speaker, or many others assembled here, is linked by memories more sacred with all that sacrifice. I stood on Vimy Ridge four years ago, and again in 1921. As an observer, I could see something of the story of turmoil, of blood, of terror, of heroism, in which the sons of this country bore so conspicuous a part, and I know that Canadians returning there in the years to come, will be filled with feelings of gratitude to the nation for whom the boys of this country fought so gallantly and who, in recognition of all that has been accomplished, have given us this historic site. It is not in any way related to the question of overcoming a difficulty of purchase that we recognize the value of this gift; the significance of it all lies in the feelings that prompted the French parliament and the French people. That is what makes the gift infinitely more valuable than would be its acquirement in any other way.

Since the war ended, in the tragedy of the events that have ensued, differences of view, differences that I cannot help but think are intellectual and intellectual alone, have unfortunately, in some degree, parted the pathways of Britain and of France. I think I can say that notwithstanding differences of conclusion as to methods that have arisen, the heart of Britain is to-day in sympathy with France, and if the test were necessary, would be shown to be in sympathy to a

degree equal to that which prompted her efforts in four years of war.

I believe the action of France in this regard will meet with fitting response throughout the whole of this Dominion, and I hope that years will not measure the time before the heart of Canada will be severed from France. We fought that France might be free; we fought as well that Britain might be free; we fought as well that Canada might be free. In the memory of the common struggle and the common sacrifice, we are linked, and linked forever.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. ROBERT FORKE (Brandon):

Mr. Speaker, I should like, in a few words, to associate myself with the sentiments expressed in this resolution. In these trying days, when troubles surround us on every hand, incidents such as these reveal to us the inherent goodness and kindness of the human heart. I know there is an enduring memorial inscribed in the breasts and hearts of the Canadian people to those splendid men who went overseas and sacrificed so much for us. The passing years will, no doubt, obliterate in some degree the memory of those great gifts bestowed upon the Canadian people, and I rejoice in the fact that there will be erected upon the soil of France a monument to those sons of Canada; and that-lest we forget-that monument will still stand during ages in the future. I also-agree that it is fitting that you yourself, Mr. Speaker, should have had a part in the negotiations in connection with this splendid gift which France has seen fit to make to the Canadian people. I will not add any more than to say that I am sure that once again this day we remember with gratitude the heroism and devotion of those who sacrificed their all for the freedom of the world and for the good of our Canadian land.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Marine and. Fisheries) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, Canada, to-day, in the eloquent terms uttered by its Prime Minister, sends forth to France the acknowledgement of its gratitude. The leaders of the other parliamentary parties have associated themselves with these sentiments; perhaps it is befitting that a French voice should join in this unanimous expression of the heartfelt feelings of the Canadian nation. This plot of land that we possess in France has been rendered illustrious and sacred by the heroism of our soldiers, they have written there a page of history that the sons of Canada will always read with pride and emotion. By granting it to us, France wished that it should ever be dedi-

Vimy Ridge

cated and consecrated to the glorious memory of those who came there to fight and die so that she might be free and victorious. It will be a bit of Canadian fatherland in the greater fatherland of France, an everlasting pledge of the sacred union and close friendship which must always subsist between our two countries. Mr. Speaker, it was your acknowledged privilege to negotiate, in the name of Canada, this gratifying concession which was granted to us. On more than one score you were entitled to this honour and you were particularly qualified to make such a request. By granting it, France wished to pay you a personal homage whilst bestowing an honour on our country. I feel fully confident that the monument which will be erected on the historical ridge of Vimy will recall to future generations the great ideal for which our soldiers so valiantly battled. Sixty thousand Canadians had died so as to establish a reign of justice and peace; all fought to prevent any further war and it is our ultimate hope that the civilized nations of the world will respect their sacrifice by not rendering it fruitless and illusory.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Fort William and Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, I had hoped that perhaps someone much more worthy than myself would say a word in this connection as representing rather the men who were over there than the people of this country. However, as a returned soldier, as one of those who had the honour of being at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917,-and let me assure the House that I say this with no thought whatever of self-glorification-I should like to say a word- although without the authority of the returned soldiers in the matter-by way of associating myself and them with the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen), the leader of the Progressives (Mr. Forke) and the Minister of Marine (Mr. Lapointe), in the acceptance from France of the site for the erection of a monument by this country. I do not think that there has been exaggeration on the part of any of the speakers who have referred to the glorious deeds of the Canadian boys, and I doubt whether any situation could be chosen by the Canadian government, if the choice were left to them, that would be more emblematic of the deeds of the Canadian soldiers than the site which has been offered so generously by the French government to the government of Canada. May I also congratulate you, Sir, on the part you have played in this matter, and express the opinion that you deserve the thanks of this country both as its honourable representative and as one who has made very great personal sacrifices in the promotion of peace and good government in the world. I congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman through whom the French government made, this offer, and I cherish the hope that the erection of this monument may help in some small way to bring about that "parliament of man, the federation of the world," which was so eloquently spoken of by an English poet many years ago.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) :

The spendid gift of the French government, in the negotiation of which you, Mr. Speaker, had such a useful and honourable part, is evidence of the gratitude of the French nation-because I am sure that in this case the gratitude comes not only from the French government but from the people of France as well-for the service which Canada rendered the world in the great war. I rise now only that I may be permitted to mention another incident which illustrates the feeling of the French people. Of course, every Canadian who goes to France now makes if possible a pilgrimage to Vimy, and naturally I did so. And I recall the fact that on the way to Vimy we passed through the town of Cambrai. There the Canadian visitors were met by the mayor and town council of the town who desired to express in a very formal way their recollections of the services rendered by the Canadian soldiers in and about their town, and to give utterance to their gratitude, in order that the Canadian people might learn that the French people were not unmindful of what our soldiers had done. In terms of the warmest commendation they spoke of the service rendered by our men and of the great part they had played in the battles in that stormy region; and then, to mark their feelings in a more tangible way, they brought us a magnificent wreath of flowers that we might use it as expressing their sympathy. It was placed in one of the graveyards, which are too numerous, I am sorry to say, in the Vimy region. I do not know whether this incident was ever recorded in Canada, but it is one of the indications that the part played by the Canadian soldiers in that great drama is fully and gratefully remembered not only by the French government but by the French people as well.

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PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

There will

be no resolution introduced into this House at any time with which we shall be more proud to associate ourselves than the one which has just been moved. When we remember the circumstances under which the great war broke upon the world; when we remember

Vimy Ridge

the fear that took possession of us for a time: when we remember the call that went forth to all the world to join in the battle for freedom; when we remember that from among ourselves there went out young men who had known nothing about war, it is not surprising that we wondered at that time whether, when the great trial came in actual battle, our young men would prove equal to the demands that would be made upon them. It was but natural that such a thought should enter our minds, for our boys had had no experience of such events as they were soon called upon to participate in. But when the time came and they were actually face to face with the enemy, they proved, Mr. Speaker, as I believe it will be proved again and again in human history, the falsity of that old Satanic cynicism that "all that a man hath will he give for his life." And should such occasion arise again our men would undoubtedly give similar proof that there are things men hold dearer than life when, in the course of their days, they are called upon to make great decisions, not for life, not for * personal honour, nor for glory, but for the cause of God and the cause of right. Our Canadian boys fully met that demand that was made upon them. In all ages men have been pleased to set up stones of commemoration to remind their children of the deeds performed by their forefathers. And for centuries to come there will stand on Vimy Ridge a stone of remembrance to which the French people of future generations will point their children and say: Here is the place

where men from far over the seas came in order that they might help us preserve not only for France, not only for Europe, but for the whole world, the great benefits which have been won for us and which we enjoy through our civilization of to-day. Again, Mr. Speaker, let me say it is a proud moment in my life to be able to associate myself with this resolution.

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LIB

Jean George Robichaud

Liberal

Mr. J. G. ROBICHAUD (Gloucester) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, I feel that I cannot allow this occasion to pass by without making the voice of the Acadian people heard. If, in the past, the Canadian people had misgivings and underwent sufferings, we, in Acadia, received the crown of martyrdom, and this is the reason why I feel it is my duty to say at least a word in behalf of our dear Acadia.

When the trumpet sounded summoning all the civilized nations of the world to take part in the great war, the Acadians from the Maritime provinces answered the call. In the county of Gloucester, which I have the honour to represent in this House, whole villages

answered the call of the Motherland. For instance, in a village numbering twenty-two young men, twenty had fought overseas while the other two had been found unfit for military service.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me much pleasure to mingle my humble voice with those-far more eloquent-we have just heard in order to second this resolution, and, in the future, when the Acadians together with the other elements of the Canadian population will visit "la belle France", they will find there, as it was so happily expressed by the speaker who preceded me, a diminutive fatherland which they can admire.

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Motion agreed to. Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING thereupon moved: That a message be sent to the Senate informing Their Honours that this House has adopted a resolution approving the Government's acceptance of the gift made by the Government of France of a tract of land on \ imy Ridge for the erection of a monument commemorating the exploits of Canadian soldiers in the Great War, and requesting that Their Honours will unite with this House in the approval of the said acceptance by filling up the blanks therein with the words "Senate and" Motion agreed to.


COLD STORAGE ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. W. It. MOTHERWELL (Minister of Agriculture) moved that the House go into committee to consider the following proposed resolution: That it is expedient to amend the Cold Storage Act chapter six of the statutes of 1907, and to provide that the Governor in Council may enter into contracts with properly constituted co-operative societies or associations, for the construction, equipment and maintenance in efficient working order of public cold storage warehouses in Canada equipped with mechanical refrigeration, and suitable for the preservation of any food product. He said: His Excellency the Governor General has been made acquainted with the subject matter of the resolution and recommends it to the consideration of the House. Motion agreed to, and House went into committee, Mr. Gordon in the chair.


LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The bill to be introduced shortly, based upon this resolution, is an amendment to the Cold Storage Act of 1907 and the amendments thereto. The act provided for certain subsidies to encourage the construction of cold storage plants throughout Canada. During the first few years after its enactment very little advantage was taken of these subsidies. However, as the people become more familiar with the act, and less fearful of cold storage, advantage was takeD

Cold Storage Act

of the opportunities offered by that legislation, and during the war still greater advantage was taken. After the war, in 1919, the government of the day, and, I think, quite correctly, amended the act and made it apply to municipal cold storages only. Before that it applied to all and sundry, but the activity under it began to absorb a good deal of money to pay the subsidies earned. In the meantime the local authorities went ahead with the construction of a cold storage plant at Montreal, and we now have one of the best plants at that harbour to be found on this continent. But that was four years ago, and in the interval no subsidies have been earned under the amendment providing for the encouragement of municipal cold storage plants. It would appear as if municipalities are not anxious to construct cold storage plants even with this encouragement. Only one other municipality has attempted to comply with the act, but up to date it has not got sufficiently far on to earn the first instalment of the subsidy, neither do I know if it ever will be able to reach that point.

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CON
LIB

William Richard Motherwell (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

At Sydney, Cape Breton. In view of that, Mr. Chairman, I think the time has come when we should amend this act so that it will function. The proposal is to make these subsidies apply to co-operative cold storage plants. This is an age of co-operation, as to the advantages of which, however, there is some difference of opinion. A certain number of municipal cold storage plants had been constructed before the act was amended in 1919. Now, it is proposed to revert, though not entirely, to the old act of 1907, which applied to all kinds of cold storage plants, including those constructed by private enterprise. The proposed amendment will make the act applicable to co-operative cold storage plants, preferably to those of a non-profit-making character that pay out a portion at least of their profits to their patrons in proportion to the business they have brought to their respective plants.

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February 9, 1923