March 7, 1932

UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF


On the order for motions:


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, as we do not reach the orders of the day until late in the day, if at all to-day, there is a matter which I would like to mention to the Prime Minister on the order for motions which is of importance at the moment, and which may not have occurred to him.

There appears to be an obvious necessity for the voting of money for unemployment relief, and particularly for supplying seed grain and other forms of farm relief to those who are in need in the west. What I wish to say to my right hon. friend is that if he will bring into the house a supply bill asking for the amount that he may regard as necessary and wish to have for this month, so far as the opposition is concerned we will be prepared to do what we can to facilitate its passage rapidly through the house. We recognize that it is a week since the Unemployment and Farm Relief Act lapsed and that my right hon. friend will certainly be coming to parliament for some moneys, for this purpose. If a supply bill is brought in at any time to provide what may be necessary for the balance of this present fiscal year, so far as the opposition is concerned we shall be prepared to agree to any suspension of the rules which will allow the bill to go through this house with as little in the way of criticism or delay as possible.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

I assure the right hon. gentleman that I appreciate his observations, but the government has not overlooked the fact that it is necessary to provide money for seed and feed.

Excise Act

But it is not its direct responsibility; that rests with the provinces. Our duty is to confer with them as to their financial position and give them such assistance as we may. That will be found stated in the Unemployment and Farm Relief Act of last session. Believing as we do that a national emergency exists that demands our giving that assistance it is proposed to proceed with order No. 13 to-morrow, notice having been placed on the order paper some time before the 26th of February, but obviously the title as it now appears would be improper because the first of March has passed; but the sense of the measure proposed is to extend the provisions of the Unemployment and Farm Relief Act to the first of May, 1932, and not to proceed by way of a supply bill for reasons that I shall endeavour to explain to the house when we reach order No. 13 which I propose to take up as the first order of business to-morrow when government orders are called. I thank the right hon. gentleman for his offer of assistance so far as the dealing with this emergent situation is concerned.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I would like

to make clear to my right hon. friend that one reason I mention the matter immediately is that if it is proceeded with by means of a supply bill I believe there will be no question as to the rapidity with which the bill would pass, but if my right hon. friend has in mind proceeding with a bill such as the one passed at last session, which was intended to meet a situation while parliament was not in session, I may say that we on this side would have to take very strong exception to proceeding in that way.

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PRIVILEGE-MR. BRADETTE


On the ordeT for motions:


LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. J. A. BRADETTE (North Timiskam-ing):

On a matter of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker, in a letter which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen of last Saturday from James Hoey, Sr., Ottawa, it is stated in the first sentence of the last paragraph that the members of parliament received the sum of $4,000' for attending during the emergency session of the fall of 1930. After making inquiry I wish to state to the house that the members of parliament attending that session received only the sum of $375. I think that misstatement should be corrected.

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OPIUM AND NARCOTIC DRUG ACT


Hon. MURRAY MacLAREN (Minister of Pensions and National Health) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 26, to amend the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act, 1929.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   OPIUM AND NARCOTIC DRUG ACT
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CON

Murray MacLaren (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacLAREN:

The purpose of this bill is to make certain amendments to the act to bring it into conformity with the Geneva convention which was held last year. As hon. gentlemen will remember, the convention was laid before the house last week by the Prime Minister, and in order to conform with the conditions laid down in the convention these amendments to the act are necessary. They are few in number. One is in reference to the definition of drugs, to provide that it shall include "by synthetic process" as well as by natural process. Another amendment rather broadens the definition of opium. There are also two minor changes in addition to the amendments which are necessary to bring the act into conformity with the Geneva convention. One is to remove a misunderstanding with regard to the act which exists at the present time, and the other is to permit the use in small quantities of the drug cannabis sativa.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   OPIUM AND NARCOTIC DRUG ACT
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EXCISE ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. E. B. RYCKMAN (Minister of National Revenue) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 27, to amend the Excise Act.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   EXCISE ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman (Minister of National Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

The proposed bill is one to amend the Excise Act in relation to its administration. I do not think there is any matter of principle proposed in the bill upon which there could be a divided opinion. I do not like to take up the time of the house in explaining these matters, all being unrelated to each other, but the bill will provide lor the definition of a provincial analyst; that the commissioner of excise may exercise administrative powers when these are delegated to him by the minister. At the present time it is doubtful whether the commissioner of excise has the right to revoke a licence for brewing beer. An amendment will provide that the minister shall not be required to sign all these revocations of licences for the privilege of brewing beer. The bill also provides that the penalties and forfeitures recovered under this act shall be the property of the crown. There is at present some doubt as to that, and the doubt will be removed. Then there is the right given to druggists as defined in the act to obtain alcohol for use in the manufacture, compounding or dispensing of medicine for pharmaceutical preparations. Provision is made for the trying of cases, and the necessity for this ajises from the fact that

Criminal Code

one province in particular, Prince Edward Island, has given to a tribunal certain legislative powers, which we wish to use. The proposed amendment the purpose of which I have outlined will make easy the trial of such cases.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT


Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 28, to amend the criminal code (promoting changes).


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The purpose of this bill is to attempt to clarify or remove some of the more objectionable subsections of section 98 of the criminal code. The first change is the insertion of the word "physical" before the word "force". According to the proposed amendment seizure of property can be made only after a search warrant has been issued, and such property may be confiscated only when the charges are proved. The burden of proof of innocence is removed from the accused. On a number of occasions the looseness of this wording has proven a difficulty, and for many years the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada has been protesting that this section should be altered. In 1920 a report was given to the congress concerning the present section. It was pointed out that upon one occasion a judge charging a jury had said:

Mr. Russell gave us his idea of a sympathetic strike. He said, "When a dispute originates between an employer and his employees, and when the labour organizations see that organization being beat, they come to their assistance by calling a strike to force their employers to bring force to bear upon the original disputants to make settlement." Force, force, force.

The report continues:

Any dictionary will show that "force" has a very wide meaning, covering influence, pressure and the like. If the statute meant physical force it would not go on to enumerate "violence" and "physical injury." It must therefore, have a different meaning from "violence" and "physical injury."

The proposed amendment would seek to clarify the subsection.

Then, subsection 2, to be repealed, reads as follows:

(2) Any property, real or personal, belonging or suspected to belong to an unlawful association, or held or suspected to be held by any person for or on behalf thereof may, without warrant, be seized or taken possession of by any person thereunto authorized by the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and may thereupon be forfeited to His Majesty.

The amendments I am introducing to-day do not touch the question of unlawful assembly. The one to which I am now referring merely seeks to safeguard those who are not members of an unlawful assembly but may easily enough, be inconvenienced or suffer hardship through the sections as they now stand. Provision is made that a search may be carried out after a warrant has been issued, but that there should be a search without any warrant, and a seizure without any conviction does not seem to be in keeping with the best British traditions.

Then, there are one or two sections which have to be renumbered. Into a discussion of those sections I will not at this time enter.

Then, subsection 4 to be repealed is as follows:

(4) In any prosecution under this section, if it be proved that the person charged has

(a) attended meetings of an unlawful association; or

(b) spoken publicly in advocacy of an unlawful association; or

(c) distributed literature of an unlawful

association by circulation through the post office mails of Canada, or otherwise, _

it shall be presumed, in the absence of proof to the contrary that he is a member of such unlawful association.

It seems quite unfair that in this way the burden of proof should be placed upon the accused. Any chance passer-by might stop to listen to a speaker on a street corner and might find that the speaker to whom he had been listening belonged to some unlawful association. At the present time there is no safeguard. Then, a person may pass on a piece of literature he has obtained, which action, in itself, would be considered proof that such person belonged to an unlawful association. To an innocent man such legislation is most unfair. To prove innocence would be next to impossible because such an accused person would not be in a position to bring proof from any member of an existing unlawful association.

Subsection 6 is amended by striking out the words "or is about to be" and also by inserting the words "if the charges are proven" before the words "may be forfeited to His Majesty" at the end of the subsection. At the present time the subsection reads as follows:

(6) If any judge of any superior or county court, police and stipendiary magistrate, or any justice of the peace, is satisfied by information on oath that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that any contravention of this section has been or is about to be committed, he may issue a search warrant under his hand,

Criminal Code

authorizing any peace officer, police officer or constable with such assistance as he may require, to enter at any time any premises or place mentioned in the warrant, and to search such premises or place, and every person found therein, and to seize and carry away any books, periodicals, pamphlets, pictures, papers, circulars, cards, letters, writings, prints, handbills, posters, publications or documents which are found on or in such premises or place, or in the possession of any person therein at the time of such search, and the same, when so seized, may be carried away and may be forfeited to His Majesty.

It would seem only fair that we should not charge a man or allow him to be charged with some crime which a magistrate may conceive is about to be committed. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that British tradition and practice relate only to crimes already committed. I do not think any magistrate, however clearheaded he may be, is in a position to say whether or not a crime is about to be committed. I would strike out that section. Further, I do not think a man should have his property confiscated until charges are proven. The insertion of the words "if the charges are proven" would take care of the difficulty I have mentioned.

Then subsection 9 provides merely for renumbering. I should like to read that subsection, because the next one to which I shall refer would not be understandable without first hearing subsection 9. It is as follows:

. Any person _wlio circulates or attempts to circulate or distribute any book, newspaper, periodical, pamphlet, picture, paper, circular, card, letter, writing, print, publication or document of any kind, as described in this section, by mailing the same or causing the same to be mailed or posted in any post office, letter box, or other mail receptacle in Canada, shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than twenty years.

I am not now proposing that the clause I have just read should be changed-although I do think it should be changed. It is an integral part of the legislation concerning unlawful assemblies. A few days ago when I attempted to introduce an amendment regarding unlawful assemblies it was voted down, and I feel I would not be in harmony with the practices of this house if I were to introduce any matter the principle of which has already been decided upon. I do however urge the repeal of subsection 10, so that we may safeguard those who are not members of an unlawful assembly. It reads as follows:

Any person who imports into Canada from any other country, or attempts to import by or through any means whatsoever, any book, newspaper, periodical, pamphlet, picture, paper' circular, card, letter, writing, print, publication or document of any kind as described in this section, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than twenty years.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is manifest that a man might very readily import a pamphlet from Great Britain and find that it came within the prohibited list described in the preceding subsection, in that it advocated force or was issued by an organization that under the previous sections was deemed an illegal organization. In that case the importer would be liable to a twenty-year penitentiary sentence. It is obviously absurd that such should be the case. In Great Britain there are no unlawful associations such as come within the scope of our Criminal Code. I might write a British publishing house, and they quite innocently might send me their literature, and on receiving that literature this subsection would render me liable to a twenty-year penitentiary term. The fact is that the word "force" is so loosely used in this act, and force has been so generally recognized as being justifiable on certain occasions, that there is a whole literature dealing with the use of force that might come under the ban. A recent writer in the Canadian Forum of Toronto has listed some of the books which would come within this section. He states:

To begin with there is a large and diverse group of works whose main object is to prove that in certain circumstances it is not only justifiable but a positive duty to use force to bring about a governmental change. The Spanish Jesuit, Mariana, devotes an entire chapter of his De Rege et Regis Institutione to a defence of tyrannicide. A whole host of Huguenot writers preach rebellion as a religious duty in such works as Duplessis-Mornay's Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants, Beza's Rights of Magistrates over their Subjects, and the anonymous, Whether it is Lawful for the People and the Nobility to take up Arms. So does the Roman Catholic Rossaeus (probably the Bishop of Senlis) in The True Powder of a Christian State. Buchanan, a Scots Presbyterian, follows suit in his De Jure Regni Apud Scotos; Milton contributes to the list no less than four works justifying the rebellion against Charles I (the two Defences of the People of England, Eikonoklastes, and the Tenure of Kings and Magistrates), and Locke's Treatise of Civil Government is a defence of the "glorious revolution" of 1688. Any competent political scientist could no doubt produce at a moment's notice a similar "Index" twice as long; but this random selection is sufficiently formidable.

Then there are other writings, which, while not exclusively or mainly concerned with the advocacy or defence of force, do nevertheless incidentally counsel it or praise historical instances of it. The writer continues:

Chief among these, of course, is the Bible, notably in the account of the revolt against Jeroboam in I Kings. The British and Foreign Bible Society had better take steps at once to issue special expurgated editions for Canadians only. Otherwise it may wake up to find itself

Criminal Code

an unlawful association. The early Greek writer Theognis (accessible to the unlearned in an English translation by the Rev. J. Banks), according to the New English Dictionary, is guilty, like Mariana, of advocating tyrannicide. Macaulay's History of England is another attempt to justify the revolution of 1688. Motley's Rise of the Dutch Republic and the Rev. J. N. Figgis' from Gerson to Grotius, contain glowing panegyrics on the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain. G. M. Trevelyan's England under the Stuarts traces all our liberties to the revolt against Charles I. A. W. Tilby's British North America, Sir George Trevelyan's American Revolutions, and George III and Charles Fox, Ramsay Muir's Short History of the British Commonwealth, Basil Williams' Life of Chatham, and the Cambridge History of the British Empire, are all so incautious as to praise the American revolution. Worst of all-'twas whispered in heaven, 'twas muttered in hell-the Ontario High School History of England (if my memory serves) quotes with gusto Chatham's "I rejoice that America has resisted." If these works fall victims to the new censorship, how many histories of the French revolution, the first Russian revolution of March, 1917, the Spanish revolution, and the Fascist march on Rome will escape?

When such a reputable journal calls attention to the serious dangers implicit in this section, it seems to me that it is not unreasonable that we should seek to safeguard the interests of the public at large. I ask also that subsection 11 be repealed. It reads as follows:

It shall be the duty of every person in the employment of His Majesty in respect of his government of Canada, either in the Post Office Department, or in any other department to seize and take possession of any book, newspaper, periodical, pamphlet, picture, paper, circular, card, letter, writing, print, publication or document, as mentioned in this section, upon discovery of the same in the post office mails of Canada or in or upon any station, wharf, yard, car, track, motor or other vehicle, steamboat or other vessel upon which the same may be found and when so seized and taken, without delay to transmit the same, together with the envelopes, coverings and wrappings attached thereto, to the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

This if thoroughly carried out would in effect turn all our post office and customs officials into a set of spies who would be constantly on the look out for some chance piece of literature of this class for confiscation, and our mails would never be safe. I would suggest that this is quite out of keeping with the very basis of our boasted British freedom.

I would point out again that this proposed amendment to section 98 does not touch the main principles embodied in that section. I should like to have seen the whole section repealed, but I am not at liberty to attempt such a repeal on this occasion. Under the circumstances the best I can do is to try to

introduce legislation which will at least safeguard the ordinary citizen who is not a member of any unlawful association against the dangers of this section, and ensure that to a certain extent our homes and liberties will be a little more secure.

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March 7, 1932