June 12, 1940

LIB

Louis-Philippe Picard

Liberal

Mr. PICARD:

He is a man whose coolness in any situation, coupled with an admirable clearness of mind and sincerity of purpose, is a guarantee of his fitness for the job in a period such as that through which we are passing. I do know also that he is assisted in the direction of the force by men who have had a splendid training and possess an enviable record of public service, and that they have under them a body of men of whom Canada may well be proud. The internal security of the country, the preventing of sabotage and the treatment of aliens have been entrusted to these men by the Minister of Justice, under whose direction they supervise and administer the defence of Canada regulations which have to do with the aforementioned questions. Therefore the country need not be alarmed; it has, under the authority of the Minister of Justice and the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the most capable and efficient body of men in Canada standing guard to protect and safeguard its security from within.

Another school of thought, Mr. Speaker, seems to be very much perturbed over the idea that certain of these regulations may infringe upon the rights and liberties of the citizens. Some go so far as to say that the main principle underlying the present conflict being the safeguarding of human liberties, we should in a truly democratic country make a point never to interfere with these sacred liberties. As I stated earlier in my remarks, we have to consider now what portion of our liberties we must temporarily sacrifice in order to render more effective our cooperative effort towards the victory of our ideals.

The present war is more than a war of nations; it is a war of cultures; it is a war between two moral doctrines, between " two systems of social, political and economic organization".

Our enemies have crushed all liberties and have subdued all individuals to the service of the state. They have thereby created a homogeneous entity deriving its strength from its unity of purpose and from the abandonment of the rights of the citizens. If we want to avoid the spreading of such a system to

Defence oj Canada Regulations

our hemisphere, is it not worth while for us to make voluntary sacrifices which are small indeed compared with those exacted from the peoples under German domination? I think the time is ill chosen by some people to complain about the veiy few restrictions which the war has made it necessary to impose on our liberties, when we consider what might happen to our allies and to ourselves should our enemies win the war.

As to the banning of the nazi, fascist and communist organizations in Canada, I do not think many in this house will question the advisability of the recent governmental decree. I for one rejoice over it. Those who still proclaim that this action is a blow to political liberties should think deeper. The nazi and fascist doctrines are rejected by all Canada, except possibly by a few erratic-minded persons, by some German and Italian nationals and by some naturalized Germans and Italians.

The doctrine of Aryan or German racial superiority, which is the basis of nazism, cannot appeal, I imagine, to any intelligent person outside Germany. The doctrine of the totalitarian states can appeal only to those who imagine that they could play in a regime of force a role they were never able to achieve in a free country. No sympathy that I know of has been directed therefore to the outlawed nazi and fascist organizations.

As to the banning of the communist party, nearly all the population have approved it, but it appeara that in certain sections efforts are made to have it considered as a first step endangering political liberties and freedom of thought. Some people argue that communism is an economic and social theory and therefore cannot be stopped. This is far from being true. Communism is a total doctrine offering its own specific solutions to all the great problems of man and life. It is a materialistic doctrine which is opposed to all that the western civilization has cherished since the advent of Christ. It has become more than that when put into practice; it has become a monstrous impersonation of the state over individuals and it has gone nearly as far as the nazi doctrine in destroying the minds of its subjects the better to enslave them. Some of the economic and social ideals of communism might have appealed in the past to a number of young minds in quest of a different economic system. It is true that our present system has allowed many faults and abuses to permeate it. It is true that humanity will ever strive towards an ideal of general welfare and always tend to reach the stage when the largest percentage of the population will have

the minimum elementary comforts which the present system has not yet found a way to grant to such a large number of human beings. It may be that the world will evolve many systems before it finds the right one, if it ever does; but I personally am convinced, Mr. Speaker, that communism, as practised actually in certain parts of the world, is not the panacea for all ills its advocates want us to believe. It has become repugnant to most of us not so much because of the nature of its ideals as because of the methods it has used. No real Liberal at heart can approve the crushing of liberty that has taken place in the name of communism. No real Liberal can accept the negation of the liberty of creed, nay, the negation of all creeds which the communist state has made a part of its programme. If communism had been only a social and economic theory, it might have been permitted to have a certain amount of speculative thought, but if we consider its entire aspects and if we analyse its method of operation in Russia we only too well realize the danger of its doctrines. Liberty of the masses has become oppression of the masses; liberty of thought has become compulsion of thought.

Communism has been the absolute negation of liberalism. While liberalism fights for the liberty of creed, communism has denied the right to believe and ha? persecuted all creeds. While liberalism stands, in normal times, for the liberty of speech, of press and of thought, communism means compulsion and negation. All true liberals, all true Canadians, will approve the action of the government in outlawing the communist party.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, may I say that it is the duty of all Canadians to help the government enforce the defence of Canada regulations. The committee which is the object of this motion will report to us if it deems advisable to alter them. We shall have the opportunity of expressing our views before doing so. Until then let us trust the government to carry on the task of using these regulations to safeguard the internal security of the country.

Canada will not let its internal enemies use free speech to deprive its people of it.

Canada will not let them use the right of assembly to organize semi-military associations.

Canada will not allow the freedom of the press to cover up traitorous propaganda.

Canada will not let the fifth columnists run down its form of government to help the enemy.

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194U


Defence of Canada Regulations


NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Hon. H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, the statement which the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) gave to the house on Monday of last week, while helpful in some respects, does not deal with an important aspect of the situation. The scolding which he administered to those of us who are seriously concerned about possible fifth column activities will not help to relieve our anxieties.

It is foolish for the dominion leaders to deny that they have been lax in the matter of rounding up the agitators. For many months now, action has been awaited, but the government has apparently been waiting for the various groups to start something and then it will be too late.

The Minister of Justice stated on Monday of last week that no active sabotage had yet taken place. Surely he does not intend the police force to continue to stand idly by watching aliens, and do nothing until they have committed sabotage. The world has had many illustrations of the serious consequences of fifth column activities. There is no doubt now that the break through of the powerful German mechanized army into neutral countries was made possible by fifth column traitors in those countries. We have, in addition, the great betrayal by a king, which jeopardized the safety of the British and French forces in Belgium, while they were responding to his urgent call for help, but thank God the day was saved almost by a miracle - the glorious, almost impossible achievement of the British army, navy and air force, ably assisted by her illustrious ally, France. When even a king was capable of being a traitor to his own people and to his allies, why should there be any qualms about interning, until the war is won, all suspected aliens of German birth? Now that Mussolini has taken his appointed place among our treacherous enemies, enemies also of mankind, will the Minister of Justice give an assurance to the house that he will immediately make use of the powers vested in him by regulation 21 of the defence of Canada regulations?

The Minister of Justice told us that the police were keeping careful watch on these people now increased in number by the entry of Italy into the war, but I ask him how this is possible when the whole Royal Canadian Mounted Police, even with the additional five hundred which he promises, will enable us to have only one member of this force per mile across Canada from east to west and none at all from north to south? Even if supplemented by the local police, and by the small home guard of three thousand, spread over our vast country they are powerless to prevent sabotage. The fact that as yet none

has taken place in no way allays our fears. The fifth column working underground was so successful in Oslo that fifteen hundred Germans succeeded in capturing a town of

300,000 inhabitants without a shot being fired.

A number of members of this house have already drawn the attention of the government to the exposed position of some of our great public utilities.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in the house yesterday stated that at the beginning the government was criticized on the ground that the regulations were too severe, and is criticized now on the ground that they are not severe enough. My criticism is simply that the Minister of Justice has failed to use the power vested in him by regulation 21, and as a consequence there are thousands of potential quislings entirely free to roam about our country, to prepare plans in advance and to strike and perhaps cripple us at vital points at the moment when it suits their employers to have them do so.

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LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

Will the hon. member permit a question now, or would he have me wait?

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I would rather finish, if the hon. member does not mind.

May I refer to a speech dealing in part with this grave question of subversive activities delivered on Friday last, June 7, by a prominent Liberal, Hon. Gordon D. Conant, attorney general of Ontario. He was speaking at a banquet of the University college Alumni association in Hart house, Toronto, and specifically dealt with the following statement recently made in this house by the Minister of Justice:

It is a great disservice to Canada and the allied cause to spread stories that Canada is filled with enemy agents and enemy sympathizers.

The attorney general said that if in this statement the minister meant that exaggerated and alarmist stories are a disservice, he entirely agreed. But he could not agree that it is a disservice to discuss and to make known conditions which on reasonable and proper grounds are believed to exist. The danger, he held, is much more likely to be overcome by realizing and facing the facts than by closing our eyes to them. Nor could he, from his daily experience with subversive activities, and reliable information in his possession, share the confidence of the Minister of Justice that the so-called fifth column is being adequately met by the police and the authorized military guards. Mr. Conant agreed that the police were aware of most, if not all, the enemies within our gates,

Dejence oj Canada Regulations

but could not agree that at present these subversives were being dealt with adequately. No man is in a better position to speak with authority on the problem than the attorney general of a province, charged as he is with the responsibility of administering the law; and Mr. Conant pointed out that the remedy is in the minister's own hands, readily available and not difficult to apply. The minister has the power to intern all suspects subject to their right of appeal. That, says Mr. Conant, is the only proper and effective way to meet the present very serious emergency. The minister has already taken such action in certain cases, and it is simply a matter of extending the exercise of his powers. Mr. Conant made it clear that he did not suggest interning everybody concerning whom there is rumour or gossip. So far as Ontario is concerned, there is ample evidence on file in various police departments regarding persons engaged in subversive activities and he would gladly furnish the Department of Justice with the relevant facts.

He commended and congratulated the minister on having advised the government to declare illegal a number of subversive organizations, but appeals to him to go a step further. As matters now stand it would be very difficult to prove that an individual was a member of an unlawful organization on or after June 6, when the proscription came into effect. Persons bold enough to commit overt acts can be easily detected; but there remain the secret meetings and the insidious propaganda which must be dealt with in another way. The minister, he said, had power to deal with the matter by interning all persons, who, after proper investigation and on reasonable grounds, are believed to be members of subversive organizations; subject always to the right of appeal.

The province of Ontario is making an effort to provide protection against fifth column activities by the organization of volunteer civil guards, and it is hoped that it will help to meet the situation. But it would be far better if this were undertaken by the federal government, which, under the constitution, is vested with control of all matters having to do with militia and defence. It is contrary to our scheme of confederation that an army should be developed in any province at the command or under the jurisdiction of any official of that province. I think this house will agree with the attorney general of Ontario that it would be more in keeping with the continuance of our national structure if the organization of civil guards, aimed at protection against subversive activities, were taken over by the federal government.

For the purpose of clarity may I say that subversive elements may be divided broadly into two classes-namely, first, enemy aliens, and second, all others. "All others" include British subjects and nationals of any country with which we are not at present at war. Under the defence of Canada regulations, the Minister of Justice deals with all enemy aliens by interning them, or by leaving them at large on terms that they report, e.t cetera. Up to the present, and subject to the exception arising out of the arrests in Toronto on or about May 28, when two persons were taken into custody and interned under regulation 21 without any court procedure or trial, or anything else, it has been left for the attorney general of a province to deal with all subversive elements other than enemy aliens, although the Minister of Justice has ample power to deal with these people under regulation 21, by interning them the same as enemy aliens. Leaving it for the attorney general of a province to deal wTith these subversive elements-other than enemy aliens-has the following result:

(a) The attorney general can only act after an overt act has been committed, that is, when the person has actually done or said something that constitutes a violation of the regulations.

On the other hand, under regulation 21, the Minister of Justice could intern on reasonable grounds and before an overt act has been committed.

(b) The attorney general can only proceed in the regular course of law, subject to all the procedure and rules of evidence.

This involves strict proof "beyond a reasonable doubt". The general principle of law applies in the defence of Canada regulations, namely, that the crown must prove its case beyond a "reasonable doubt".

In the order in council dated June 6, 1940, regulation 39(c) was added to the defence of Canada regulations, declaring certain organizations to be illegal organizations. Under regulation 39(c), subsection 3, if a person is charged with continuing to be a member of an illegal organization, as evidenced by attendance, public advocacy and distribution of literature, it shall be presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary, that he is a member of such illegal organization. This, in fact, throws the onus on the accused person to prove that he is not a member of such illegal organization. In this sense, the expression "proof beyond reasonable doubt" is qualified; but when one remembers that proof must still be obtained of "attending at, publicly advocating, or distributing literature", there is a heavy onus of proof still remaining. Evidence

Defence of Canada Regulations

will be difficult because these people will always try to lie themselves out of any charge. On the contrary, the Minister of Justice can act on any evidence as he sees fit. For example, if the attorney general of a province reports to the Minister of Justice that his police had fully investigated, say, "John Smith", and that in his opinion he should be interned, that might be regarded as sufficient to justify the internment of the man. It would amount to nothing, however, in a court of law.

Procedure by the attorney general of a province in the ordinary courts of law makes it impossible to deal with most of these subversive people because of the rules of evidence, the burden of proof and so on, and also because witnesses are reluctant to appear in court because of fear that some retribution may be visited upon them. On the contrary, a witness could give his evidence to the Minister of Justice by way of affidavit or otherwise. No person would ever know that he had given such evidence, and he would be under no fear of dire consequences.

Procedure in the courts of law involves delay and, of course, expense. The procedure may involve first, a preliminary hearing before a magistrate; then, if he is committed, a trial before a judge or before a judge and jury. While the attorney general has the right to require them to be tried before a magistrate, he is always on the horns of a dilemma in such cases, because the punishment when tried before a magistrate is much lighter than when tried on indictment, so that in serious cases an attorney general, to do his full duty, must direct trial on indictment before a judge or before a judge and jury; and this, of course, involves further delay, particularly if it is before a judge and jury which must wait for an assize or the sessions. After the trial is all over, in whatever tribunal he may be tried, the person has the right to appeal, which may involve a further delay of perhaps as much as two months.

The Minister of Justice has made reference in the house to the order made by Mr. Justice Chevrier, rather suggesting that with this further instrument communists could be suppressed. In the first place, the order of Mr. Justice Chevrier was based on the conviction of the Binders and Saunders. All three of these defendants have appealed. If the Minister of Justice had not declared the communist party to be an illegal organization, by order in council dated June 6, the illegality of the communist party would depend entirely upon the success or failure of the Binder appeal. Even if the order is confirmed by reason of the convictions being confirmed, the

scope is very narrow and limited. Regulation 39(c)3, order of June 6, should define "meeting" to include concerts or social gatherings of any kind, or any gathering or concert held under the auspices of any of the organizations named in the June 6 order, or meetings held under any other organization, group or individual, where speeches of a communistic character are made or where a communist takes an active part in the meetings. Such an eventuality should be covered by the order in council. There is always difficulty in getting evidence because of the secretive nature of these organizations. Drive them under cover by banning public meetings, and they will still be able to hold small meetings in private houses.

It would not be sufficient to prove that a person was a communist or that he held communistic views, and so on. The crown would have to prove that he was a member of the communist party of Canada since the Chevrier order dated May 15, 1940. It would not be sufficient to prove that he was a member of the communist party of Canada a week, a month or a year before. Under these circumstances it can be assumed that the number of cases in which the crown could succeed on these very strict and narrow grounds would be extremely small. The evidence in the hands of the police that the individual was a member of a communist organization between September 3, 1939, and June 6, 1940, cannot be used unless the order in council is made retroactive to September 3, 1939.

I understand that the province of Ontario has prosecuted and convicted more persons under the defence of Canada regulations than all the other provinces combined, but in spite of this they have only scratched the surface. I understand that the police of the province of Ontario and the Toronto city police have in their files scores of cases which should be seriously considered for internment, and that most of those concerned should be interned.

One of the most disturbing factors in the present war has been the effective use made by the Germans of the secret agent. These secret agents have gathered information concerning the location of troops and of military objectives. Is there any wonder that our citizens are alarmed lest we suffer as have Norway, Denmark, Holland and Belgium? Has the minister received a communication from the police association of Ontario stating that they have information respecting persons regarding whom complaints have been received as to their nazi or fascist activities, as well as persons known to have been active in communistic organizations of this province? Has

Defence of Canada Regulations

the minister received from this association a list of names of persons who should immediately be placed in internment camps, because of the danger of obstructing directly or indirectly Canada's war effort?

In all of these cases, however, the police are not able to adduce evidence to bring them into court, either because they have committed no overt act or because witnesses cannot be induced to appear in court to give evidence to convict them. If the Minister of Justice would exercise the power vested in him under regulation 21, the procedure would be very simple and about as follows: Upon receipt of representations that any person should be interned-which representations might be made by any chief of police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario provincial police or the attorney general-he would refer the matter to an organization within his department, headed perhaps by the deputy minister of justice and including other legal and police officials. That organization would sift the evidence and recommend to the Minister of Justice what should be done. He would then either act on the recommendation or ask for further evidence as he might see fit. It must be remembered that anybody interned by the Minister of Justice has the right to appeal to a tribunal which it is the minister's duty to set up. This tribunal under the regulations is presided over by a judge of a superior court. It will be clear, therefore, that no great hardship would be done if a person were improperly interned; no doubt the tribunal would straighten it out in short order. It is conceivable that if the minister exercises his powers under regulation 21 some few persons might be improperly interned. It becomes a question, therefore, as to whether the inconvenience of these few persons should weigh against the safety or perhaps the survival of the state.

I have been in contact with police authorities and find them seriously alarmed about the freedom allowed to enemy aliens and the subversive elements in this country. They cannot understand the complacency with which this dangerous situation is being met. Internment is not a fitting punishment for some of these people. Should not the Minister of Justice profit by the example of Great Britain and France and take capital power, and when necessary enforce it? I am not arguing for this method of dealing with crime in peace time, but it is essential in time of war. If Canadian lives are lost as a consequence of not using the power given under regulation 21, a heavy responsibility will rest on the shoulders of the Minister of Justice.

In order not to delay the house I will hand in a list of organizations and publications which have not yet been outlawed by the government, but which should be banned forthwith. All these have been actively associated with the spreading of subversion. Some may be inactive at the present time, but there is a danger that they may again become active in order to take the place of organizations which have been outlawed. With the consent of the house may I place the list on Hansard without reading it?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

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NAT
NAT
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Read it all.

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LIB
NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I shall now read into the record the names of organizations and publications which as yet have not been outlawed or banned by the government. All have been actively associated with the spreading of subversion. Some may be inactive at the present time, but there is a danger that they may again become active, in order to take the place of organizations which have been outlawed.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Is my hon. friend making the statement, himself, that all these organizations have been guilty of subversion, or is it made on information received? On what is so wide and general a statement made?

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I do not think the hon. member should be cross-examined.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I am not cross-examining, but I want to know whether the hon. member makes the statement himself, or whether it is made on information received.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

He has made the statement.

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NAT
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Read the list.

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NAT
LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Does the hon. member object to my interruption?

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June 12, 1940