May 25, 1961

PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valade:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to take this opportunity to call the minister's attention to the rather irregular way the R.C.M.P. carries out certain investigations.

I have been told that, with the help of the food and drug branch of the Department of National Health and Welfare, the R.C.M.P. makes investigations in establishments where pharmaceutical products are sold, especially in retail drug stores. Yet, the way the constables do their work, they should not be called investigators but instigators. Indeed, under false pretences, they succeed in getting special drugs from people who act in good

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faith, professional pharmacists whose only care is to exercise their profession conscientiously and do their duty by serving the public well.

Constables present themselves as sick people and pretend they have forgotten their medical prescription or that they are strangers visiting relatives and that they urgently need the drugs. They play on the druggist's sympathies so that the latter, moved by their plight agrees to give them without a prescription, drugs which call for one.

Mr. Chairman, I should like to draw the minister's attention to two particular cases which happened recently in the Sherbrooke district, in the province of Quebec. R.C.M.P. constables went to a drugstore and told the pharmacist that they were on a trip and did not have a medical prescription for certain drugs they wanted. Out of sympathy for those supposedly sick people, the druggist gave them 12 tablets. Needless to say, that in both cases, the R.C.M.P. laid charges against the pharmacists who are highly respected in the profession and who render great services to the public. They were brought before the court and had to pay a nominal fine but it remains, sir, that this use of false pretence with druggists who act in good faith, who are conscious of their obligations, is what I would call a disgusting behaviour, if it did not reflect upon those who use such means to succeed in their investigations.

Consequently, I would ask the Minister of Justice if he could not impress upon the R.C.M.P. that its constables who are in the employ of the Department of Justice should not instigate honest people to break the law.

Mr. Chairman, since I am not a lawyer I feel I am in an advantageous position to make this second point which I should like to bring to the attention of the hon. members of this house. The general public are sometimes justified in complaining about the slowness of court proceedings. Indeed, people who have to go to court, sometimes have to wait one, two and even five years before their cases are heard and passed upon. Such a delay in the proceedings is highly prejudicial to the taxpayers, that is to the Canadian people, and especially to those whose interests are at stake.

I personally know people who suffered serious money problems before they could obtain justice.

I would therefore ask the Minister of Justice whether he could take steps to increase the number of judges so that justice could

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be rendered more expeditiously, thus insuring better protection and greater justice to the Canadian people.

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CCF

Douglas Mason Fisher

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Fisher:

I have brought to the minister's attention the fact that I should like from him an explanation of his speech in Toronto and his views on R.C.M.P. security. Just a moment ago I went to the reading room and found that one of 'his old friends and associates who worked together with him on "Freedom Wears a Crown" by John Farthing, namely Miss Judith Robinson, in the Telegram has a comment on this very point. I thought he would be interested in hearing those observations and I thought it would help him to understand the point I was getting at. Miss Robinson in her column of today says this:

Last week end in Toronto Hon. E. D. Fulton, Canada's Minister of Justice, opened a new line of thought. He was explaining, to a dentists' convention, "the role of the police in a non-police state." Security dossiers on private citizens could, Minister of Justice Fulton said, be very useful in that role:

Then we have a quotation which I assume is from his speech.

"If slanderous rumors have been circulated about an individual and the police investigate and find him to be loyal and honest, then his file proves this fact," Mr. Fulton said.

"If his integrity is ever in doubt again, his file would attest to that," Mr. Fulton said.

Mr. Fulton did not say to whom it would attest or to whom it would prove; which makes it confusing. In old days the member (P.C.) for Kamloops made a good battle in parliament against an R.C.M.P. habit of leaking information from police security files. He was one of the freedom fighters who, in the parliamentary session of 1954, pursued another minister of justice until they cornered him on that issue and forced him to a statement:

"That it is government policy to forbid the giving of information to private citizens from secret police files."

So it would be strange if Minister of Justice Fulton's remarks in Toronto last week end meant what they seem to mean. It would be regrettable if he were really saying that information from police security files could be used to attest to any fact or prove anything, good or bad, to any citizen, about any citizen except under oath and in a court of law.

The courts are open to Canadians whose loyalty and honesty are impugned by circulators of slanderous rumor. Police, as Davie Fulton once knew, should have no power to attest to anything anywhere else. The quickest way to change a non-police state into a police state is to lift that limitation. Citizens are not dependent on character references from secret police files in a free country.

This also Canada's Minister of Justice knew before he was Minister of Justice.

Nothing like old Hansards for checking new speeches. 'Twas just such a spring as this seven years ago when the M.P. (P.C.) for Kamloops, E. D. Fulton, took after the government of Canada on its security procedures. He found them dangerous.

In the civil service an anonymous "security panel" of government employees, acting on secret

[Mr. Valade.l

information from secret sources had power to deprive men and women of their jobs without appeal and without giving reasons for dismissal.

In the Department of Justice security files were not being kept secret. As a case brought up in the house revealed, R.C.M.P. officers felt free to leak, and had leaked information from secret files to a potential employer about a Canadian citizen's past political associations; all completely lawful.

The member for Kamloops spoke strongly and followed a clear line in condemning this sort of thing. The government's security measures he said had in them "all the elements which make them potentially unfair."

The house, he said, was entitled to know "that there will be the maximum possible fairness to the individual who may come under security investigation."

It was inherent in our whole system of justice, he said, that a man suspected "should have an opportunity to know the case against him and answer it."

The question is do the principles of justice apply in the use of police security files which the Minister of Justice was reported as recommending in Toronto last week end. On the evidence of Hansard, it seems unlikely that the member for Kamloops would have thought so, back in 1954.

As I say, this expresses the point about which I should like the minister to speak later much better and more succinctly than I could express it. I hope the minister will be prepared to give us an appreciation of this position put by his former co-author, I was going to say, but certainly his co-worker on that great book by John Farthing entitled, "Freedom Wears a Crown".

(Translation):

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LIB

Raymond Pierre Eudes

Liberal

Mr. Eudes:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to make a remark in relation to the point just made by the member for Burin-Burgeo (Mr. Carter) and to this afternoon's discussions regarding the powers of revision and assent which the Minister of Justice must exercise on the various bills which are submitted to parliament, under the authority conferred upon him and the responsibility placed upon him by the bill of rights.

Section 3 of chapter 44 of the 1960 statutes provides, and I quote the English version because I do not have the French one:

(Text):

3. The Minister of Justice shall, In accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the governor in council, examine every proposed regulation submitted in draft form to the clerk of the privy council pursuant to the Regulations Act and every bill introduced in or presented to the House of Commons, in order to ascertain whether any of the provisions thereof are inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of this part and he shall report any such inconsistency to the House of Commons at the first convenient opportunity.

(Translation):

One is justified in the conclusion that the Minister of Justice is required to examine only those bills which are referred to him since the assent to that bill.

However, Bill C-76, which was put forward by the hon. member for Burin-Burgeo in the present session for the purpose of amending the Fisheries Act to make it consistent with the bill of rights shows the need to clarify this section of chapter 44 of our statutes. Proof of this need is found in today's debates, in the long discussions that took place in the house when the bill was considered, and in an elaborate ruling made by Mr. Speaker on March 27, 1961, in connection with Bill C-76.

The minister might perhaps consider amending section 3, to make it compulsory for him, as Minister of Justice, to examine not only the bills submitted to parliament since the date of assent to that bill, but to revise already existing legislation, in order to give assurance to every citizen that it is in all respects consistent with the rights and privileges to which he is entitled under the Canadian Bill of Rights.

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CCF

Frank Howard

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Howard:

Mr. Chairman, before the minister replies to some of the questions that have been raised I should like to mention briefly one of the subjects which the hon. member for Vancouver Centre raised, namely the question of narcotic drugs addiction.

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre read what I believe was an article from the Vancouver Sun. I saw the results of a survey in the city of Vancouver with regard to high school students and their attitude toward the use of narcotics. The survey gave the number of high school students who have tried narcotic drugs, and how they could obtain them if they so desired.

I think one of the most shocking results of that survey, apart from the age of the people concerned, was that a fairly large number of them felt there was nothing injurious or wrong in the use of these drugs; they felt they would not suffer any harmful effects from the use of narcotics. They seemed to look upon trying out narcotics in somewhat the same light as a child of a similar age or younger looks upon smoking a cigarette, as being relatively harmless; making one nauseous perhaps, and a little green around the gills, but beyond that nothing too serious involved. I think this is extremely unfortunate and is a very strong condemnation of the past attitude at both federal and provincial levels of government and on the part of others toward the question of the use of narcotics.

I think perhaps every narcotic addict, at least during the early days of using drugs, is of the opinion that they are not harmful, they are not addictive and he is not really a slave to the drug; that he can, as the expression goes, "kick the habit" any time

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he feels like it. This, of course, as everyone knows who has paid even the slightest bit of attention to the problem, is simply not the case.

I think there is an extreme need in the field of public discussion and education to impart knowledge of the fact that tremendous dangers exist from even thinking in terms of experimenting with a narcotic drug. I think a great deal of public discussion, information and education must flow from the federal and provincial authorities, from various social workers and the like to enlighten as many people as possible about the extreme dangers inherent in the use of narcotic drugs.

I think in Vancouver, or on the west coast, there is the largest concentration of known criminal addicts, as I believe they are called, anywhere in Canada. The largest population in any penitentiary in Canada of those convicted of possessing or trafficking in narcotics is also in the British Columbia penitentiary and in the provincial jail at Oakalla. In neither of these institutions-at least, certainly not up until the last few months-has there been any opportunity or even, I submit, any great desire toward segregation of narcotic addicts from other classes of inmates.

No attempt has been made at segregation and there is no possibility of segregation because of overcrowding both in the penitentiary and in Oakalla. There has been no approach to the treatment of these individuals and no treatment whatsoever other than, if this is a treatment, isolating an addict from narcotics by having him institutionalized and thus making as sure as possible that he does not have the opportunity of obtaining drugs while he is in the institution.

However, this is not always the case. I think there have been a number of instances where this has not been the case. It is common knowledge in Vancouver that it is possible to obtain narcotic drugs in the Oakalla prison farm and there have been instances of guards in penitentiaries providing these drugs.

One instance which comes to mind is the case at Kingston penitentiary a year or so ago. A guard at the Kingston penitentiary was arrested and charged with being in possession of narcotics. He had them in his possession when he was entering the penitentiary to work. I understand that individual was acquitted, but nevertheless this is one instance that comes to mind. I have also heard in the past of attempts being made to smuggle narcotics into the British Columbia penitentiary.

This is understandable too, because as I said, there is no effort at treatment and

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there are no facilities for treatment. The only approach taken to the poor individual addicted to narcotics, if he is caught and convicted of being in possession of them, is to put him in a penitentiary. This is all that has been possible under our system.

I understand that as soon as the minister took office he and his colleague the Minister of National Health and Welfare, paid a great deal of attention to this question. I gather they have had conversations with provincial authorities, because they are involved in so far as the question of treatment is concerned.

I think before we proceed further with the various items of the estimates it would be of great interest to the committee if the minister would give us an account of the progress being made toward the establishment of narcotic addiction treatment centres, how long it may be before such centres are established, where they may be established, and all the other necessary information to apprize the committee of the actions being taken in this direction.

While I am still on my feet, Mr. Chairman, I should like to pose one other question to the minister. I wonder whether the minister could explain to the committee, say for the period of the last year, what have been the duties, responsibilities and functions assigned to the Solicitor General in so far as his work within the department is concerned.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Perhaps I might deal with the various points which have been raised in the order in which they were raised, beginning with the comments and queries of the hon. member for Port Arthur who was concerned with the question of the efficacy of the Criminal Code provision against obscene literature. The hon. member suggested that because there have not been large number of cases before the courts the legislation has not proven very efficacious. Might I suggest to him that such a situation might, in fact, prove exactly the opposite of his conclusion. It might well indicate that the legislation is so effective, especially in dealing with the class of material with which it was mainly designed to deal-the pulp trash-that numerous prosecutions have not been required because an appreciably smaller quantity of this stuff is getting into the stands throughout this country. I do not make that statement as a categorical statement, but I leave it with the hon. member as a suggestion indicating that the legislation is having its desired effect quietly and without fanfare.

I do know that I and my department used to receive, up to two or three years ago, a

large volume of this stuff from people concerned with these "girly" magazines and other trash reaching the newsstands. We had a substantial "library". I had one in my office and used to get embarrassed about it and put it away in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. My officials had a similar "library", if one can dignify it with that word. But mail of this kind has fallen off to a mere trickle and this may well indicate that this stuff is no longer in mass circulation. I think it is open to that interpretation.

I, too, am glad that so far as works with respect to which there may be genuine differences of opinion as to whether or not they possess artistic merit are concerned, they have not been swept away in undiscriminating fashion and declared to be obscene. The case to which the hon. member referred- "Lady Chatterley's Lover"-is going to the highest court. I think this is the way it should be. I think this also shows that the judges in Canada are not, as the hon. member feared they might be, apt to approach this matter with closed minds, throwing out anything new which anyone had said on the subject. At the same time I would draw attention to a judgment given by Mr. Justice Parker in the Yukon Territory in connection with a series of pulp magazines in which, as I recall it, in every case he found them to be obscene within the meaning of the new definition in the code.

The hon. member also asked me to make some comments in connection with security and the activities of the R.C.M.P. May I ask him to allow me to defer this until we reach the R.C.M.P. item at which time I shall be prepared to have a full discussion on security and all the other activities of the R.C.M.P.

The hon. member for Burin-Burgeo endeavoured to raise again the controversy we had earlier regarding his bill and the effect thereon of the bill of rights and my obligation to report thereon under the bill of rights. I am not going to revive this controversy. I am simply going to say, in respect to his assertion that I never quoted any authority in support of my position, that the hon. member had not been listening carefully to what I said. I quoted the Speaker of this house and I quoted what the hon. member himself had to say when he introduced his bill. My position has been throughout, and still is, that this bill was introduced on the basis of an explanation given to the house which does not accord with the facts. I have never shifted ground from that position and I have no reason to do so however the hon. member may seek to change his position. It is a fact that leave to introduce the bill was given on

the basis of a misunderstanding induced by that explanation, and rather than attempting to justify himself I think the hon. member should apologize for having treated the house in that manner.

The hon. member for Skeena raised a question of narcotic addiction, or followed up the reference made to narcotics by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre. He reminded us of the long period during which there was no adequate provision for the treatment of narcotic addicts and no provision for the segregation of criminal addicts in our penitentiaries. With that, I thoroughly agree. With respect to the program we have in mind I would draw the hon. member's attention to the official policy announcement I made in this house on my own behalf and on behalf of the Minister of National Health and Welfare on January 24 of this year. I would be fully prepared to have a discussion on our program with respect to narcotics on the penitentiaries item. The hon. member will appreciate that under the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act the main responsibility is borne by the Minister of National Health and Welfare but my colleague and I have reached a workmanlike agreement with respect to this matter under which he assumes primary responsibility for the legislation regarding the control of narcotics while I assume responsibility for that part of the legislation which deals with the custody and treatmnt of offenders under the act. So I shall be prepared to discuss our program in that regard when we reach the penitentiaries item because our program for treatment will be undertaken by the penitentiaries branch.

I might also add that the bill substituting a new measure for the Opium and Narcotic Drug Act will be introduced in the house within the next week or ten days. It carries out the policy statement that I made. However, I think we could have a useful discussion of this question on the penitentiaries item without too much anticipation of what the legislation will provide.

With regard to the work of the Solicitor General I should like to say in unequivocal terms that my colleague the Solicitor General does extremely valuable work in the department and for the cabinet and the government generally. The Prime Minister, approximately a year ago, gave a full answer to questions asked with regard to the position of the Solicitor General and I do not think I have anything to add to it. The position of the Solicitor General is a traditional one and it is one which both by tradition and by the character and ability of the present encumbent is a most important and valuable position in the cabinet and the government of Canada.

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CCF

Frank Howard

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Howard:

Mr. Chairman, I wonder whether I might ask the minister a question? He has made reference on two occasions to legislation which will be introduced within a certain period of time. Could the minister indicate to the hon. members of this committee when they may expect the introduction of the revised Penitentiary Act?

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?

James Ross Fulton

Mr. Fulion:

Mr. Chairman, I should again say, within a matter of the next week.

(Translation):

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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

Mr. Chairman, just a brief remark before proceeding any further with the study of the estimates.

I listened with attention to the remarks of the minister in reply to suggestions made by the various hon. members who rose on this matter.

What particularly impressed me was that his remarks were to the point. Certain claims were made by the press and the radio. Hon. members themselves asked for an amendment to the Criminal Code so as to put a stop to certain crimes which are being committed in this country.

To my mind, all the suggestions made by hon. members today had already been formulated last year, and every time the Minister of Justice answered, he said that "it was being considered," and that "an investigation was under way".

Every year, we come back to the matter, which means that in spite of the requests made by the general public nothing is being done to amend the Criminal Code in that way.

Barbiturates and narcotic drugs have been mentioned, for instance, as well as addiction, and the crimes committed by addicts. The hon. member for Outremont-St. Jean (Mr. Bourque) used to take up the matter every year in order to call the minister's attention to the many abuses and acts of violence due to drug addiction.

Again, the minister just answers that things are being studied, that some project is under consideration-always under consideration.

Last year, as well as two years ago, several hon. members rose in this house to protest against the use of premium stamps. Last year, the minister said that a certain case was being considered as a test case. Moreover, he mentioned that the matter was under the jurisdiction of provincial attorneys general. To sum it up, he gave all sorts of answers and shifted the responsibility from this government to somebody else's shoulders.

Nothing is easier, it seems to me, than to get in touch with the various attorneys general of the provinces for the purpose of

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reaching an agreement on the subject, making an arrangement to stop once and for all the abuse of gift stamps which, as various speakers have pointed out, are profitable only to large stores, trusts and chain stores, while the small corner grocer has to supply services not provided by those large stores and therefore is unable to sell at lower cost and giving stamps such as are given by the large chain organizations.

Here again, the minister has been remiss in failing to satisfy the wishes of a very important group of the Canadian people.

As I pointed out a moment ago, the same thing happened in the case of barbiturates. Every day we see the evil effects of such drugs and of those narcotics which, incidentally, perhaps do not affect the system when taken in small doses, but which, taken in excessive doses, produce the results we read about in every newspaper. Young girls and boys, even from good homes, first yield to the temptation of trying them, and then go on using them and finally go to extremes. They finally bring dishonour to their family and often end up in jail.

One means which would at the same time act as a preventive to crime would be to apply a strict control on firearms. Anyone at the present time, can obtain a firearm without having to register it, and this is true for all parts of the country.

I think we should make it more difficult to get a licence to carry a firearm. Moreover, when an accused is found guilty of robbery or robbery with violence, or of any other offence, an investigation should be conducted to find out whether or not he owns a firearm.

Last year, some members of this house discussed this subject and once more, the minister said the matter was under consideration. He told the house that an investigation had been started. True, but it has never been completed. I fail to understand why, every time a member of the house, whether on the government or the opposition side, asks a question to the minister, he is unable to give a definite or even encouraging answer.

The same applies to the matter of a national lottery. For several years, the members of this house have been asking for the creation of a national lottery. Certain newspapers with a wide circulation made surveys, and in one province in particular the report on one such survey showed that almost everyone was in favour of a lottery, provincial or national. The minister, in view of that almost complete unanimity within an important

sector of the population of this country, should take immediate action. I wonder why the minister does not introduce an amendment to the Criminal Code and comply with that request. No, in this case as in many others, the Minister of Justice simply says that he is considering the question or that he is inquiring into whatever request is put to him. But what does he really do? He offers us a mitigated abolition of capital punishment, something nobody asked for. I say that nobody asked for that, except perhaps the hon. member for York-Scarborough (Mr. McGee) because he seems to ride this subject to death, so much so that I wonder whether this question has such a vital importance for him.

However, the hon. member for York-Scarborough is considered an expert in this field, and this enables him to see his picture in the papers and also to appear on television. In addition, this gives him an opportunity of bringing on television his colleagues who are in favour of his measure, except a few who are against it. Besides, we find today that opinions are divided on this subject, among the Conservatives and the Liberals, as well as in the press.

Allow me to point out that last year, as the minister will remember, the matter of capital punishment was brought up and some members on the government side-

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PC

Jacques Flynn (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order. The hon. member must remember that the house disposed of that matter yesterday and that, besides, the bill will be brought back before the committee next week.

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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

You are perfectly right, Mr. Chairman, but that was only the minor premise to a conclusion to be drawn. As a matter of fact, the point is not only to deal with capital punishment but also to provide for a strict control of firearms, following the findings of a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons which sat for a year or two, if not more, and which included Liberals, Conservatives, C.C.F.'ers, Social Credit-ers, as well as senators of the same political affiliations. Moreover, if I am not mistaken, the Minister of Justice was on that committee.

The committee assigned experts, particularly in matters such as crime in general, hanging, and even degrees in the crime of murder.

I want to underline once again the fact the Minister of Justice was a member of that committee which heard judges, attorneys general, wardens, penitentiary directors, chaplains, criminologists, psychiatrists, etc.

Finally, all the available experts were there to consider any amendment on the three subjects: capital punishment, corporal punishment and lotteries. As the chairman does not want me to over-emphasize these points, I will make no further comment in this respect.

Now this committee, having made a full investigation, submitted its recommendations. I cannot understand why the minister does not follow the suggestions of the committee on which he was sitting, but does just the opposite. I am talking here of the joint committee.

Therefore, what is the use of the Minister of Justice telling us: "We will study the matter and make an investigation", if, the following year, he introduces a bill inconsistent with a report based on the evidence of experts on the matter.

As far as firearms are concerned, I wish to quote part of the evidence given by the chief of police of Vancouver, Mr. Walter H. Mulligan.

This is what he said, as it appears on page 14 of the report. Mr. Fulton himself was questioning:

Q. According to you, is the fact that there is capital punishment preventing criminals from carrying firearms and therefore from becoming murderers?

A. Certainly.

Q. In other words, they do not carry revolvers for fear one of them gets angry or nervous and uses it?

A. Yes.

Q. Is this opinion of yours based on conversations you had with criminals?

A. Yes. I spoke to criminals with long records and that is the opinion they expressed.

There it is, Mr. Chairman, evidence not only establishing the fact that reports are not only disregarded, but that steps contrary to the recommendations they contain are taken.

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CCF

Frank Howard

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Howard:

Would the hon. member permit a question? Was the person whom he quoted from that book Walter H. Mulligan?

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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

Walter H. Mulligan, chief of police of Vancouver. He was called as a witness before the Senate committee.

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CCF

Frank Howard

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Howard:

He ran away to California too a while ago.

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LIB
LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

I would ask the minister to take into serious consideration the suggestions made by some members, instead of always answering the same way, saying that everything will be considered, that an enquiry will be made.

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I should like the minister to make other amendments to the Criminal Code, if there is still time, this year, in accordance with the report of the joint committee, whose enquiry lasted three years and a half and which cost thousands of dollars to the Canadian people.

The minister was himself a member of that committee, and it is his recommendations that I would ask him to carry out.

Other recommendations have been made by previous speakers, as well as by newspapers and the general public.

Let him implement these recommendations submitted to him, and let him refrain from serving us a review or an investigation every year.

If the minister wants the reputation of a man who has done something during his short term as Minister of Justice, I suggest that the least he can do is to propose the amendments that the members are asking for.

(Text):

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to say that I look forward to the enthusiastic support of the hon. member for St. Denis for the three bills which are going to be introduced in the house in the next week or ten days and on which we were working long before he suggested them, namely, a bill to carry out a narcotics control program, a bill to revise the Criminal Code to deal with dangerous sexual offenders and matters of that sort and also a bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act to deal with barbiturates. We have been acting while he has been talking.

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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

I should like to thank the minister for what he has promised, but may I tell him that for two or three years the Liberals have been asking for these improvements.

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?

James Ross Fulton

Mr. Fulion:

For 22 years they did not do anything about them.

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PC

Frank Charles McGee

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McGee:

Mr. Chairman, in view of the statements made by the hon. member for St. Denis which you very properly ruled out of order after he had been speaking for some time, I would hope I would have the opportunity to reply because of the fact that my name was mentioned. Apparently the hon. member has been following post office robbers too much to have time to read the newspapers. If he had done so he would have found that editorials in every newspaper in this country, with one or two possible exceptions, have concurred in and supported the proposition put to the house last week by the Minister of Justice. To suggest that there was no demand for any change in the law concerning capital

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punishment is patent nonsense. I would refer the hon. member to the 1960 Gallup poll for an expression of public opinion on this matter.

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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

In answer to my hon. friend, may I point out that during that inquiry a list of states in the United States which had abolished capital punishment and then restored it because of the increase in violence and murder was submitted.

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May 25, 1961