May 14, 1931

?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CHANGE IN METHOD OF DEALING WITH APPLICATIONS FOR BAIL
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CON

Finlay MacDonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacDONALD (Cai*e Breton):

This bill is intended to repeal the section of the criminal code dealing with the granting of bail to convicted persons. Under the present arrangement, when a person is convicted only the chief justice or some judge designated by him may grant bail. This is very inconvenient for lawyers practising in the country, because the chief justice usually resides at the provincial capital. This amendment is designated to give any trial judge the right to grant bail to a convicted prisoner, if he thinks fit, until his appeal has been heard. As a matter of fact I know of cases where bail has been refused and the prisoner has remained in gaol for two or three months until his appeal was heard. Then, on the hearing of the appeal, the conviction has been quashed. This amendment is designed to do away with that situation and to enable any trial judge to give bail, under proper circumstances, pending the hearing of the appeal.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CHANGE IN METHOD OF DEALING WITH APPLICATIONS FOR BAIL
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NATIONAL RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING

APPOINTMENT OF SELECT STANDING COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES

CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved:

That standing order 63 of the House of Commons relating to the appointment of the select standing committees of the house, be amended by adding to the select standing committees of the house for the present session a select standing committee on railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government, to which will be referred the accounts and the estimates of the Canadian National railways and the Canadian government merchant marine for the present session, for consideration and report to the house.

Provided, however, that nothing in this resolution shall be construed to curtail in any way the full right of discussion in committee of supply, and that the said committee consist of Messrs. Beaubien. Bell (St. Antoine), Both-well, Cantley. Chaplin, Duff, Euler, Fiset, Fraser (Cariboo), Geary, Gobeil, Gray, Hanbury, Hanson (York-Sunbury). Heaps, Kennedy (Peace River), McGibbon. MacMillan (Saskatoon), Manion, Power, Rogers, and Stewart (Lethbridge).

Reparations-Armenian Claims

Topic:   NATIONAL RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SELECT STANDING COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

' Are the Canadian National steamships included in the Canadian Government Merchant Marine?

Topic:   NATIONAL RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SELECT STANDING COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES
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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MAXION:

Yes.

Topic:   NATIONAL RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SELECT STANDING COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


REPARATIONS COMMISSION

REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS

CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):

I desire to lay on the table of the house a report made to His Excellency the Governor General in council by Errol M. McDougall, ICC., commissioner on reparations, dealing specially with Armenian claims. If the house would permit it, and at the request of hon. members on both sides, I should like to make a very brief statement as to the purport of the findings of the commissioner.

These claims arise out of the Armenian massacres in 1915, when the Armenian population of Turkey, which was then estimated at

1.800.000, was two-thirds wiped out, one-third by death and one-third by deportation and dispersal in other countries. Apparently one-third survived, dispersed throughout Turkey. There are a number of Armenians who are naturalized British subjects residing in Canada, and who therefore came within the definition of Canadian nationals within the terms of the treaty of Versailles. The commissioner on reparations has disallowed these claims, to the number of some 270, on three grounds, which may be briefly summarized as follows: First, the property destroyed in Armenia as to the majority of claims, was, according to his findings, the property of Armenians who were Turkish nationals at the time of such destruction, and not the property of their relatives who were then resident in Canada who have proved that they were Canadian nationals at that time. This conclusion rests upon the facts disclosed by the Bryce report and by the findings of the Canadian commissioner, that the destruction of the property took place concurrently with or before tihe massacre of the Armenians, to the number of

600.000.

There occurred, in fact or constructively, a seizure of the property by the Turks before the claimants resident in Canada inherited the property from their relatives then resident in Armenian Turkey. The commissioner therefore finds that the claims of the Canadian claimants did not fall within sections 231 and 232 of part 8, and the annex thereto, of the treaty of Versailles.

The second ground is that by an international convention of November 23, 1923, an international commission was set up at Paris, La Commission Devaluation des Dom-mages subis en Turquie, whioh is known generally as the Paris commission of 1923.

These claimants filed their claims with the Canadian custodian during the term of the late government, and their claims were by that government, through the Canadian custodian of that date, referred to the international commission sitting at Paris. The claimants appeared by counsel before the Paris commission, submitted to that jurisdiction, and put their cases before the commission, offering evidence both documentary and oral. The Paris commission granted awards to certain Canadian claimants for the loss of wife or children at the time of the massacres, but dismissed the property claims of the Canadian nationals on the ground that there was not sufficient evidence to support those claims. The documentary and oral evidence submitted before the Canadian commissioner. Mr. McDougall, was practically identical with the evidence submitted before the international tribunal at Paris, and therefore the Canadian commissioner has dismissed these property claims on the ground that the claimants were estopped in respect of claims which they had submitted already to the Paris commission whose findings were against them.

The third ground is that even although the Canadian commissioner were to assume jurisdiction, the evidence submitted to him, including the evidence submitted before the Paris commission, does not constitute proof of the claims preferred and cannot form the foundation for awards by the Canadian commissioner. In other words, the bulk of the claims made by the Canadian nationals, that is by Armenians who were naturalized British subjects and resident in Canada, were not valid because there was no legal title vested in them prior to or at the time the massacres took place, and when the destruction of property occurred, but their claims were based on title by inheritance to property which would only vest in them upon the death of their compatriots and relatives who were massacred in Turkey; and the commissioner holds that at the time of its destruction the property was vested in Turkish nationals-Armenians then resident in Turkey-and not vested in the Canadian nationals who would have inherited by reason of the death of their relatives by massacre. There was no proof of title nor proof that individual Canadian claimants became exclusively entitled to inherit. Some

600.000 Armenians survived and became dis-

Reparations-Armenian Claims

persed, and there was no proof available to show that even in respect of title by inheritance these Canadian nationals would necessarily have exclusively inherited the property. The commissioner finds also that there is an utter lack of concrete, conclusive evidence as to the value of any property alleged to have been destroped.

These are the general grounds upon which Commissioner McDougall disallowed the 270 Armenian claims. A large number of the hon. members are interested in this matter and I am told that it is likely to be brought up again for discussion.

By leave of the house, I beg to move, seconded by the right hon. member for Argenteuil (Sir George Perley):

That four hundred copies in the English language and two hundred copies in the French language of the special report by Errol M. McDougall, K.C., Commissioner on Reparation, upon Armenian claims laid on the table of the house this day be printed forthwith and that standing order 64 in relation thereto be suspended.

Topic:   REPARATIONS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (St. James):

Inasmuch as these Armenian claims have been dismissed, is the hon. minister (Mr. Caban) in a position to state when we are likely to have the final report of the commissioner on the other claims? Is it the intention of his department to recommend a vote of money to cover these claims when the report is brought down?

Topic:   REPARATIONS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I cannot answer that. I

gave a very conclusive answer to the hon. gentleman the other day as to the number of claims outstanding which have been heard, and those still to be heard. The commissioner has devoted his whole time to this work and at the earliest moment at which it is possible to give a reliable statement, I will furnish such a statement to the house. As to asking for a vote to cover these claims, that would depend entirely upon the final report being approved by the governor in council and the action taken thereon with respect to it.

Topic:   REPARATIONS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

I understand that the

claimants covered by the interim report have been paid already.

Topic:   REPARATIONS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

The olaims covered by that report were paid out of an appropriation made at the last long session of parliament for the payment of such awards as were made during the past year. That appropriation which expired on March 31 was used before that date for the payment of those awards which had been approved by the governor in council in accordance with the procedure of previous years.

Topic:   REPARATIONS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

I have some doubt as to whether or not the money voted last year was properly used to pay the claims covered by the interim report; I do not object to the principle of those payments but I do not think the money was voted for that purpose.

Topic:   REPARATIONS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

The hon. gentleman can

raise that question at the proper time. The advice of the proper officers was taken and it was quite conclusive in respect to the legality of the payments made.

Topic:   REPARATIONS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   REPORT OF COMMISSIONER RESPECTING ARMENIAN CLAIMS
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT


Mr. MAURICE BRASSET (Gaspe) moved the first reading of Bill No. 42, to amend the Bankruptcy Act as respects locality of a debtor.


May 14, 1931