February 23, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. A. B. AYLESWORTH (Minister of Justice).

I certainly entertain the .most, sincere respect for any opinion, especially upon a legal question, which the hon. gentleman from St. Anns (Mr. Doherty) would express. But I cannot agree with his view that the civil remedy which now exists, and which I suppose has always existed, would be adequate for an offence such as is struck at by this Bill. If my agent for the purpose of negotiating any business arrangement with another man receives from that other man a secret bribe, it is the law now, and I suppose it always was the law, that on my discovering that fact I would have by civil proceeding the right to compel my agent to hand over to me the amount he had so received as a bribe. Tt was always an illegal thing on the part of the agent to do such an act at the expense of his principal. But surely it cannot be seriously contended that recovery by the principal of the amount which his agent may have received as a bribe is any adequate punishment upon the faithless agent, or any adequate redress to the man whose agent has been bought and whose interests may have been sacrificed by that agent to many times the amount of the bribe. The whole purpose and intent certainly of this legislation is to make such conduct on the part of both briber and bribed a criminal offence. It seems to mo very necessary that that should be done, and I can only say that I have assumed the House had unanimously concurred in that necessity in affirming the principle of the Bill by the passing of the motion for its second reading.
Bill reported, read the third time, and agreed to.

Topic:   ILLICIT OR SECRET COMMISSIONS.
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