April 20, 1923

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

If I may be permitted, I should like to call the attention of the Minister of Justice to a decision lately given by the Court of Appeal of Ontario. I see in the papers this morning is reported the appeal of the case of the Wholesale Grocers and the Attorney General of Ontario. The Court of Appeal has held unanimously that the Dominion criminal legislation, section 498, is ultra vires. The disastrous consequences of such a verdict, if it is to remain undisturbed, are manifest.

The Chief Justice of Ontario bases his judgment upon the late finding of the Privy Council in the Board of Commerce case, and distinctly states that had it not been for that finding, that is to say, had his judgment been given prior to that finding, he would have held that section to be within the competence of the Dominion parliament. I do not presume to comment on the finding of the Privy Council except to say that I think it was most unfortunate. It was unfortunate that there should have been an appeal on that portion of the Board of Commerce and Combines and Fair Prices Acts. It was prosecuted by the province of Ontario, and I think by the province of Quebec as well, but chiefly at the instance of the Attorney General of Ontario.

Militia Pension Act

I am not presuming to give an opinion, only to say that in the judgment of the Privy Council there is no language so decisive and so final as would make an appeal from the judgment of the Ontario Appellate Court a futility. One would think from reading it that the Privy Council never intended to undermine the whole basis upon which section 498 of the criminal code rests. I have it firmly in my mind that the jurisdiction of this parliament to enact such legislation must be upheld, and I earnestly hope the minister is considering taking immediate steps to see . that the judgment so given does not become the law of Canada.

Topic:   JUDGES IN ADMIRALTY
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LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

I should not like

to express an opinion on the judgment referred to, not having yet read it, but I will certainly take under due consideration the remarks of the right hon. leader of the Opposition and do anything that is necessary and possible in the interests of the Dominion and the provinces.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Sir Lomer Gouin thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 117, to amend the Admiralty Act.

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Motion agreed to, bill read the first and second time, and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Gordon in the chair.


LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

The bill is not printed m the two languages.

Progress reported.

Topic:   JUDGES IN ADMIRALTY
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PENNY BANK OF TORONTO ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. \\. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) moved the second reading of Bill No. 104 to change the name of The Penny Bank of . Toronto. Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, and the House went into committee thereon Mr. Gordon in the chair. On section 1.-Name changed to "The Penny Bank of Ontario".


LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

Mr. Chairman, the

founders of The Penny Bank were Toronto citizens, and when the institution was organized it received the name of The Penny Bank of Toronto. In later years the operations of the bank have extended throughout the province of Ontario, and the desire is that hereafter the institution should be known as The Penny Bank of Ontario. The only purpose of this bill is to change the name accordingly.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. MEIGHEN:

At whose request is the change made? [DOT]

Topic:   PENNY BANK OF TORONTO ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING:

At the request of the

managers of the institution in Toronto through their solicitor in Ottawa. I noticed recently in the press there was some expression of opinion as to whether or not The Penny Bank was a successful institution. The only criticism of it was that it gives additional work to the school teachers and in some instances perhaps they are not willing to undertake it. However, I believe that is exceptional. The bank is operating quite extensively, and, so far as I know, to the general satisfaction of the public.

Bill reported, read the third time and

passed.

Topic:   PENNY BANK OF TORONTO ACT AMENDMENT
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MILITIA PENSION ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. E. M. MACDONALD (Acting Minister of National Defence) moved that the House go into committee to consider the following proposed resolution: Resolved, that it is . expedient to amend the Militia Pension Act, chapter forty-two of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, and to provide that pensions of retired officers, who served in the war and are employed in public service, be continued, and that the annual emolument of any such officer shall not exceed the annual rate of pay and allowances upon which the pension was computed; also to provide that pensions which have been paid to such officers shall not be recoverable from them. Motion agreed to and the House went into committee, Mr. Gordon in the chair.


LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

The purpose of this resolution is to provide for a situation that has arisen out of the late war. Under the provisions of the Militia Pension Act an officer shall not receive any pension while he is in receipt of a salary in the public service. This limitation did not apply to those who served as non-commissioned officers or privates. Since the war a number of members of the permanent force who served overseas and were promoted for service in the field or otherwise for merit, subsequently entered the public service, and by so doing lost their right to the pensions they would otherwise be entitled to on retirement. The Militia Pension Act was revised and brought up to date in 1909, when certain provisions were made in regard to pensions generally. Any officer who retires for any cause other than inefficiency or misconduct is entitled to receive out of the pension fund one-fiftieth, for every year he was in the service, of the amount he received during the last year in which he served. This fund is provided out of payments made by officers during the course of their service, at the rate of five per cent

Criminal Code

annually of their pay. An anomaly has arisen through the fact that a man who entered the public service was put in a worse position as the result of his being promoted in the field than he would have been had he remained in the ranks as a private. This measure, therefore, is to provide that if such a man goes into the public service he shall not lose the right to pension which he would otherwise receive.

It is also provided that if the amount of the pension and of the salary in the public service is such as to exceed the amount he received on the date of his retirement, the payments to him may be reduced so as not to exceed the rate on which the pension was computed. It has been found also in certain cases that pensions to officers who have been retired have been paid as a matter of course and that there has been no record in the Defence department as to what occupations the recipients of the pensions were engaged in. They may have entered the Customs service or the service of, say, the British Columbia government, and there would be no information with regard to their activities in that respect, the cheques issuing automatically. It was not until the Auditor General discovered that payments had been made in certain cases contrary to the provisions of the law of 1919 that the necessity for the present provision became evident. It was 4 p.m. felt, particularly in view of the small amount involved, that it would hardly be fair that the men who had received this money during the last year or so should be compelled to repay it. That, m brief, is the purpose of the proposed legislation.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Can the acting minister inform the coqjmittee'how many officers have been paid in excess of the amount to which they were entitled, as referred to in the last clause of the resolution? How many cases is this provision supposed to cover?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

I am informed that the cases are very few, but I can get the information for my hon. friend if he wishes it.

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CON
LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

More than that, but not very many.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The minister states, as I understand it, that this is virtually putting these officers on the same basis as are the privates and non-commissioned officers?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou) :

Yes.

Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Macdonald (Pictou) thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 118, to amend the Militia Pension Act.

Motion agreed to and bill read the fiist and second times, considered in committee and reported.

Topic:   MILITIA PENSION ACT AMENDMENT
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CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT

EVIDENCE IN MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

April 20, 1923