May I ask the hon. gentleman to explain this bill?
Mr. ST. LAURENT: This bill includes
thirty-eight sections, dealing almost exclusively with questions of procedure in criminal matters. To illustrate what the bill deals with, five sections are designed to facilitate the enforcement of the criminal code in respect of bookmaking; that is, in connection with betting on horse races or athletic events and things of the kind. Six sections deal with offences in which a greater penalty is provided if the offender has been convicted of some previous offence. They provide that there may be no mention of the previous offence in the charge, that this will not be inquired into until it has been ascertained whether or not the accused is guilty of the new offence charged; that then, for the purpose of fixing penalty, he will be asked whether or not he has been convicted previously, and if he denies it or does not reply, there will be an investigation into the question whether or not there is any previous conviction registered against him. Then eight sections merely deal with the proper designation of magistrates who may conduct certain proceedings. There have been changes in provincial laws, and these amendments are to have the sections of the criminal code describe the officials in the same manner as that in which they are described in the provincial laws. Then two sections will restore a jury composed of twelve instead of six in the province of Manitoba. The other sections deal with matters of concordance. There is no new substantial provision included in the amendments.
Subtopic: AMENDMENTS WITH RESPECT TO BETTING, PREVIOUS OFFENCE CHARGED, ETC.