I would like to say a few words before this motion is put. In the first place, this Bill is badly drafted. In the next place the effect of this Bill will be to make this House utterly ridiculous throughout the world. I presume the promoters of this Bill desire to prevent young men from smoking cigarettes, but at the same time, there is not one word in it to the effect that only young men will be prevented from smoking cigarettes. The result is that as the Bill stands at present the man who smokes one-fifteenth part of an ounce of tobacco will be sent to the common jail for one year, while the man who smokes one-eighth of an ounce of tobacco will be left free. Can we insert such an illogical clause on our statute-book ? As
pointed out by the hon. member for La-belle (Mr. Bourassa), it is utterly absurd, utterly ridiculous, to insert in our statute-book, this illogical discrimination between the man who smokes a little bit of tobacco and the man who smokes half a pound, the first one being sent to jail and the second one being left free. Under the circumstances I should vote against the Bill. It cannot be amended, it is altogether bad, it is anticommercial, it is immoral, There is no proof that the smoking of tobacco is bad. Tobacco has been in use for centuries, and I have not been able to find, either in philosophy or ethics or medicine, that it is wrong to smoke tobacco. Why should we accept the word of the promoters of this Bill as the word of the gospel ? There is nothing in the gospel against tobacco. For my part I am not willing to take the word of the promoters of this Bill as gospel. Let me say to my hon. friend from West Huron (Mr. Holmes) that it has not been proved that tobacco is a poison. It is no worse to smoke tobacco than it is to use hundreds or thousands of other articles that are in common use in this country. Therefore I say that the aim of the Bill is bad, the Bill itself is bad because it does not discriminate between classes of persons who are to suffer through the application of the Bill. Then X say that the penalties imposed by the Bill are too heavy. For all these reasons I should vote against the adoption of the Bill, not only against this fifth clause, but I am opposed to all the other clauses which have already been adopted by the committee.
Topic: PROHIBITION OF CIGARETTES.