September 29, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Samuel Hughes


Mr. SAM. HUGHES (North Victoria).

Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called, I desire to draw the attention of the House and of the country to a statement of the conditions as they seem to exist at Sault Ste. Marie, in the Province of Ontario. I notice in the morning paper the following telegram :
Toronto, Sept. 29, 1.00 a.m.-Col. Buchan
commanding the military district in which Sault Ste. Marie is situated, has just received an urgent telegram requesting the immediate despatch of troops to the Soo.

1 do not know what the condition of [DOT]affairs may be, but at all events it is quite 'evident that there is a considerable disturbance. The point I wish specially to emphasize this morning is the facility with which the people of Canada are calling upon the troops to suppress disturbances on any and every occasion. I presume the troops called for here will only be some volunteers from the city of Toronto and other districts, and probably the permanent corps of the country. Sault Ste. Marie is situated in the Toronto military district. I desire to know what steps have been taken in the premises, or if the government has been advised as to what steps have been taken by the military authorities in that district ?
I know that the military authorities act independently of the government under the regulations and orders, but still the commanding officer should apprise the government of whatever steps he may take. While the situation there may be, and doubtless is, a very trying one, and while there may be rioting, I think all communities should be encouraged to depend on their own local authorities to as great an extent as possible. X have therefore the honour of asking the right hon. Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) if he lias in his possession any information regarding the situation at Sault St. Marie, and whether it is such as to justify the calling out of the troops ?

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