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


The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

Mr. Speaker, I have not seen the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence (Hon. Sir Frederick Borden) this morning, and therefore he may have information which I have not at this moment. But I can give to my hon. friend (Mr. Hughes, Victoria) the information which I have myself. Yesterday I received, personally, several telegrams, all coming from the same party, from the party in charge of the works at Sault Ste. Marie, Mr. Coyne, representing that there were disturbances and riots, that the property of the corporation was threatened, and asking that the government should supply troops to quell the riot. We had to inform him that under such circumstances the government had no authority to act, that it was for the local magistrate, the civil power in charge at . Sault Ste. Marie, to determine whether the presence of troops was necessary, and if necessary to call for them. Whether any Steps have been taken in that direction by the local authorities at Sault Ste. Marie I have no information at this moment. I may say that there is a disposition to call very often upon the government to send foops. Perhaps the people are unduly seared, but I do not think for my part that there was a very serious condition at Sault Sle Marie. There was a small disturbance, hut in so far as my information goes it was not of a very serious character, and nothing but which could have been con-Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).
trolled by the local authorities. If the (citizens and police are powerless to quell rioters, of course they have a remedy by law, but whether they have availed themselves of it or not I do not know.

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