Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Wellington South (Mr. Gladstone) asked a question on October 22, as reported on page 1351 of Hansard, with regard to the use of firearms. I have received a report from the commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which will constitute an answer to the question.
Measures deemed to be appropriate have already been taken to control the entry of such souvenirs as revolvers, pistols, et cetera, into Canada by returning members of the Canadian armed forces.
The Department of National Defence (army, navy and air force) have all issued orders prohibiting the possession or retention of any weapons or ammunition taken from the enemy in the field during hostilities or after the cessation of hostilities. Any revolvers or auto-loading pistols which are brought back from overseas have to be registered in accordance with the provisions of the criminal code.
In addition, under the automatic firearms regulation, 1945, P.C. 4885, dated July 10, 1945, provision is made in this regulation banning the importation of automatic firearms. These automatic firearms are more commonly referred to as tommy guns. This regulation provides for the issuance of permits to allow persons to have such automatic firearms in their possession, but the commissioner has already issued orders to the effect that such permits are to be kept to an absolute minimum and issued only when the firearms in question have been rendered useless so that they cannot be used again for firing purposes.
Remarks were also made'in the house at the same time concerning defence of Canada regulation 37A. In this regard, while certain paragraphs of that regulation were revoked, thus removing from control of that regulation all firearms surrendered by aliens under war-time legislation, the control of such firearms comes under the criminal code, and it is encumbent upon such persons to obtain a permit in form 76B from the competent provincial authorities before they can legally regain possession [Mr. Mavbank.l
of any firearms which they may have originally surrendered under the defence of Canada regulations.