July 10, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


Joseph Girard

Independent Conservative

Mr. J. GIRARD (Chicoutimi-Saguenay) (translation):

Mr. Chairman, I beg leave
to second the amendment offered by my hon. friend from Chambly-Vercheres (Mr. Rain-ville), to the exemption clause.
I think that, if the amendment offered by my hon. friend is not going to be applied to the exemption provisions, to which he wishes to apply it, it would be desirable to make the interpretation of the section clearer and to add to subsection, A after the words " in which he is habitually engaged " the following words: " The men engaged in agricultural and industrial pursuits and in the fisheries." I do not intend to embarrass the Government with this amendment, but in the preamble, the Government seems to be aiming at protecting the agricultural and industrial classes. The intention of the Government in that respect is open to doubt. I have received several letters and I think this subsection should be made plainer, so as to make perfectly clear what the real purpose of the Government is.

As remarked by the hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres, the intention of the Bill is not to conscript the whole man-power of the country, but only 100,000 men, and it matters little once those 100,000 men are enlisted, whether such or such a class is exempted, as what is needed is production and farmers engaged in sustaining the productivity of the Dominion, to support our own population and help supply the Allies.

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