Lomer GOUIN

GOUIN, The Hon. Sir Lomer, P.C., K.C., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Laurier--Outremont (Quebec)
Birth Date
March 19, 1861
Deceased Date
March 28, 1929
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lomer_Gouin
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=599c3007-3f56-45f7-8fb9-76ef91733c47&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Laurier--Outremont (Quebec)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (December 29, 1921 - January 3, 1924)
January 19, 1922 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Laurier--Outremont (Quebec)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (December 29, 1921 - January 3, 1924)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 124)


June 20, 1923

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

This bill is the same as the one that was introduced last year and accepted by the House of Commons, but rejected by the Senate. The purpose of the bill is to repeal chapter 38. 11 and 12 George V, passed in 1921 and assented to on the 4th of June of that year. In 1920, there was an understanding between the Ontario government and the Dominion government to the effect that a commission composed of four members, two to be appointed by the Ontario government and two by the Dominion government, would t control the waters of the Lake of the Woods, Lac Seul, English river and Winnipeg river. It was agreed that legislation should be submitted to the legislature

Lake of the Woods Regulation

of Ontario and the parliament of Canada for the purpose of organizing that com-

10 p.m. mission. The Dominion government accordingly introduced a bill which passed as chapter 10, of 11 and 12 George V, which was assented to on the 3rd of May, 1921. The government of Ontario, proceeding also in accordance with the agreement to which I have referred, introduced similar legislation; but the premier of the province, facing an opposition to the measure, withdrew it. Under these circumstances the government of the day, considering it important that some commission should have authority to control these waters, passed another bill, which became chapter 38 of 11 and 12 George V, to which I referred at the outset. The second clause of that act provided that-

All dams, structures and other works of whatsoever description which have heretofore been or may hereafter be constructed in, upin, over, about or across,- (a) any outlet of the Lake of the Woods, (b) the Winnipeg river at or about its junction with English river, or (c) English river at the outlet of and below Lac Seul, which do or may or can in any wise control, regulate or affect the outflow of water from the said lakes, or either of them, or the natural levels of the water in the said lakes, or either of them, at any time, or the natural flow of the water in the Winnipeg river or in English river, at any time, are and each of them is declared to be for the general advantage of Canada.

The last clause reads as follows:

If the necessary legislation of Ontario referred to in the preamble of The Lake of the Woods Control Board Act, 1921-

That is, chapter 10.

-be enacted by the legislature, the Governor in Council may, by proclamation published in the Canada Gazette, repeal or suspend this act and the regulations made thereunder at any time when or after The Lake of the Woods Control Board Act, 1921, shall come into force: Provided that notwithstanding any repeal or suspension of this act in the manner provided by this section the works and each of them hereby declared to be for the general advantage of Canada shall remain and continue to be works for the general advantage of Canada.

Acting under the provisions of that statute the government of the day appointed a commission, also composed of four members, as agreed upon. I understand that the government of Ontario was asked to appoint two of the members of the commission but they refused to do so, contending that this statute should never have been passed and that the works of the Lake of the Woods, the English River and the Winnipeg river should not have been declared works for the general advantage of Canada. Last year the then Solicitor General introduced a bill similar to the one now under consideration. I may say that in the session following the Act of 1921 the legislature of Ontario did pass the legis-

lation which had been agreed upon, and last session the then Solicitor General thought we should simply repeal chapter 38 of the statutes of 1921. After some debate the bill was adopted by the House but was subsequently rejected by the Senate. After prorogation, at the instance of the premiers of Ontario and Manitoba, a conference took place in Ottawa in which the premiers of those provinces and the Prime Minister of Canada took part. After discussion and deliberation the representatives of the three governments arrived at an understanding which was put in writing and signed by them. The first clause of that agreement reads as follows:

This agreement, as a working basis for the regulation of the English and Winnipeg rivers, is entered into on the understanding that all parties are agreeable to the repeal of the Lake of the Woods Regulation Act, 1921, but Ontario does not bind itself to the terms of this agreement in the event of that act not being repealed.

Then follow the different clauses which were accepted by the three parties. Consequent upon these circumstances we introduced the present bill. After it was read the first time representations were made to us first by the government of Manitoba and afterwards by the government of Ontario. The government of Manitoba urged that chapter 38 of the Statutes of 1921 should not be repealed until the provisions of the arrangement of November last had been fulfilled. We had a conference and listened to the arguments of the representatives of Manitoba. We told them that this bill would come into force only by proclamation, and that that proclamation should be made only when the essential conditions of the arrangement entered into had been fulfilled. Subsequently the representatives of the Manitoba government wrote a letter to the Prime Minister stating that they could not accept the suggestion that we should proceed with this bill at the present session. In reply the right hon. Prime Minister wrote the following letter to Mr. Farmer, the mayor of Winnipeg:

Dear Mr. Farmer:

I have duly received the letter dated the 29th instant signed by yourself and Messrs. Preudhomme, Sanger, Guy and Johnson, with respect to the above.

You are quite correct in your understanding that the repeal act should not become effective until the conditions of the agreement of November last have been complied with. You suggest that the repeal bill should be amended in such a way as to provide that it shall go into effect on proclamation only after Ontario and Manitoba respectively have so requested by order in council. With reference to this suggestion I would like to point out that the bill has been drafted in a matter which would permit of ho exception being taken by the Ontario government to it.

Lake of the Woods Regulation

provisions. Were the conditions you propose incorporated, it might only serve to raise a fresh obstacle to the final settlement of this whole matter, which is now so near the point of satisfactory adjustment. Our government has in view but the one object of effecting a settlement of the question in a manner which will be wholly satisfactory to all parties concerned. We are as favourably disposed toward the province of Manitoba as toward the province of Ontario, and, inasmuch as the federal government, not less than the governments of Ontario and Manitoba, is a party to the agreement of November last, I think you may take it for granted that we would not take any action or permit any action to be taken which would prejudice the right of either Manitoba or Ontario under any of the conditions of the agreement.

With this assurance I hope you will feel that Manitoba will be justified in withdrawing any opposition it may have to the Repeal Bill in the form in which it has been presented to parliament.

With this assurance, Mr. Speaker, given by the right hon. the Prime Minister of this Dominion speaking for himself and for his colleagues, I do not see that the government of Manitoba can persist in any opposition to the measure.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS ONTARIO ELECTIONS AND PETAWAWA CAMP
Subtopic:   LAKE OF THE WOODS REGULATION
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June 20, 1923

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

No.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS ONTARIO ELECTIONS AND PETAWAWA CAMP
Subtopic:   LAKE OF THE WOODS REGULATION
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June 13, 1923

Sir LOMER GOUIN (Minister of Justice) :

If the House wishes that I should

state the object of our visit and the result, I will do so. The object of the visit to Washington was to press the settlement of a claim that our government has against the government of the United States in reference to the seizure of certain properties seized by the Custodian of Alien Enemy Property of the United States. In 1918 and 1919 the Custodian of Alien Enemy Property of the United States government proceeded to seize certain certificates of shares and bonds of Canadian companies which were owned by enemies residing in Germany, which certificates' and bonds were then deposited with different institutions in the United States. Our own custodian, proceeding under our war measures act. had also seized some, if not all, of the same securities. Some of the companies which had been ordered by the American courts to pay their dividend to the Alien Property Custodian paid some of the dividends and then ceased to pay, on account of the vesting orders which had been issued by our

own courts. We tried to arrive at a settlement "a l'amiable." The Alien Property Custodian of the United States government came to Canada. The hon. ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) was then our custodian. I understand that he had some conferences with the representatives of the American government, and Mr. Mulvey was a party to the conferences. The question under discussion was whether we had any right in those securities, or whether they were to be left in possession of the American government. It was important that the dividends should be paid or deposited in the hands of one of the two governments. It was agreed that, pending the discussion, the dividends should be paid to the American government, and that the question of law should be decided by an arbitrator or by a judge of Canada or of the United States. Some of the Canadian companies continued to pay the dividends to the Alien Property Custodian of the United States. After a certain time that very question which was in doubt and discussed between the two governments was decided by the American court, at the request of the American officer, in reference to certain certificates of American companies which had been sequestered by the Alien Property Custodian of the Imperial government, and which certificates were deposited in England. The question was debated and decided in favour of the American government. Taking advantage of that decision, our attorneys tried to induce the American government to turn over to the Canadian government those certificates and bonds. Proceedings have been going on for gome years-since 1920. After consultation with our attorneys we were advised that it would be preferable that we should try and arrive at a settlement with the American government without litigation, and we were advised that if we had the opportunity of meeting the President of the United States, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General of that country, perhaps, after those three decisions-there were three decisions on that very same point'-the American gov -rnment would consent, without arbitration and without litigation, to hand over thos'e securities to our government. Accordingly our custodian, the hon. Secretary of State (Mr. Copp), Mr. Newcombe, Mr. Mulvey, and myself decided to go to Washington. Hon. Mr. Pugsley was not one of our party. We met the Secretary of State of the United States, who declared that he was perfectly willing to turn over to Canada th securities mentioned but thought the

Alien Enemy Property

President would be governed in the matter by the advice of the Attorney General, and that the only trouble in the way was the fact that after the orders had been rendered by the American courts, vesting those securities in the Alien Property Custodian of the United States, they did not see how that officer could take it upon himself to turn those properties over to Canada. We answered that we should invoke the three judgments which were rendered by the American courts at the request of the American authorities, and we did not see that there was any necessity of litigation any more, since the case had been decided in favour of the American government and, consequently, in our favour. The same objection was repeated that there was a distinction also, because registration had been made of those same stocks in favour of the American officer, and they were of opinion that it was necessary that a judgment should be rendered by some tribunal. We had the advantage of meeting the President and repeating the same argument. We were told that the American government were heartily disposed to liquidate the situation as promptly as possible, and that they would be willing to expedite any case that might be instituted by our government before any of the courts of the United States. We suggested that we would prefer to proceed before one of our courts as the American government did in proceeding before one of their judges. Later on, after those two interviews, a conference took place between the Assistant Attorney General and our representative, Mr. Conboy, and it was then agreed that to expedite matters, if we were to institute one or two cases in Canada, assigning one or two companies to appear before such court to be instructed to deliver to the Canadian government certificates for those same stocks, the American government would appear, so that the judgment would be binding upon the American government and upon the companies. This we found most, satisfactory.

As to the bonds, there may be some distinction to be made. Certificates of stocks are only evidence of property, while a bond is something by itself. We contended all the same that no distinction should be made. There is also the question of dividends which were paid to the American government. Our intention is to proceed, as I said, in one or two cases, to have the principle decided of the property in the stocks. If the judgment goes in our favour, necessarily we shall be entitled to dividends paid to the American government. As to the bonds, something

has to be done. We are now considering what is to be done, and when and how it should be done. On the whole we consider that we have accomplished something, and we hope that after a comparatively short delay, we shall get the securities to which we are entitled.

The House in Committee of Supply, Mr. Gordon in the chair.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ALIEN ENEMY PROPERTY
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June 7, 1923

Sir LOMER GOUIN (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I beg to move that the following resolution which appears as No. 44 on the order paper may be referred to the Committee of the Whole with the preceding resolution:

(1) That it is expedient to amend section seventeen of the Judges Act, as enacted by chapter thirty-eight of the statutes of 1914, and to provide that the salaries of the judges of the Circuit Court of the district of Montreal shall be as follows:-The senior judge of the said court, $8,000 per annum, and three other judges of the said court each $7,000 per annum; and to provide that the provisions of section ten of chapter fifty-six of the statutes of 1920 shall not apply to judges of the Circuit Court;

(2) That section two of the Act to amend the Judges Act, chapter fifty-nine of the statutes of 1919, relating to the salaries of local judges in Admiralty, be repealed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT
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June 7, 1923

Sir LOMER GOUIN (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I beg to mtove that the following resolution which appears as No. 44 on the order paper may be referred to the Committee of the Whole with the preceding resolution

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   JUDGES ACT AMENDMENT
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