William John MACDONALD

MACDONALD, The Hon. William John

Parliamentary Career

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 230)


April 13, 1915

Mr. MACDONALD:

This is a very big chamber.

Topic:   COMMuNS
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April 13, 1915

Mr. MACDONALD:

There is no reason why the officer in Bermuda or in England should not take an oath before some functionary, and we can provide in this Bill to that end. With every sincere desire to see a workable Act, I wish the minister would see his way clear to provide for the different conditions which exist in Bermuda and England from those which exist where the fight is going on. All a man has to do in Bermuda is to walk down the street on that beautiful island on a sunny day, drop into the office of a notary public, and subscribe to the affidavit.

Topic:   COMMuNS
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April 13, 1915

Mr. MACDONALD:

The proposition the

minister is good enough to accept was made by myself in regard to the officers who take the votes in Great Britain and Bermuda. In so far as this amendment provides that the oath should be taken before a notary public or other authorized individual, there is no doubt that in such a case perjury could be assigned. But the minister has added a clause which gives the commanding officer the right to administer the oath. To that alone, I think my hon. friend could take exception, though I think that something might be said in regard to the right of the commanding officer of a regiment in England or in Bermuda to administer the oath with the duties assigned to him under the Bill.

Topic:   COMMuNS
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April 13, 1915

Mr. MACDONALD:

It would be better to put:

Before a notary public or some other official authorized to administer oaths.

Topic:   COMMuNS
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April 13, 1915

Mr. MACDONALD:

I think my suggestion is a reasonable one. I.want to say a word now about another matter, and not in any critical sense. We have heard a great deal

to-day about trusting the officers, but yesterday all day we listened to hon. gentlemen on the other side justify their report in regard to the shoes which were furnished to our soldiers, by basing all their speeches on the contention that the report of 75 or 100 regimental boards throughout this country were not worth the paper they were written on, because, forsooth, these men who were sworn to defend their King and country were going about and holding these boards for the mere purpose of getting new boots for the soldiers. It is ratheT a sudden change in doctrine for hon. gentlemen opposite to come down to-day and tell us that we should trust these officers. Certainly I am prepared to trust them the same as I would trust any other decent citizen of this country, with proper limitations; but we have to make laws here for all classes. I regard the military * officers as honourable men, and I regret that hon. gentlemen opposite did not so regard them yesterday. If the minister will only go a little further and give us a sane amendment to this law, so as to provide for a sane system of voting in Great Britain and in Bermuda, he will be carrying out to a legitimate conclusion my proposition to which he has given assent.

Topic:   COMMuNS
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