Of course, I cannot enforce my view on the minister, and I must bow to his judgment, but I cannot bring myself to agree with the principle that if a man happens to send to the United States and buy a pamphlet or a book even though he should prove that he knew nothing whatever about the contents of the book that he had brought into Canada for his private reading, he should be treated as criminal. Or if some person came into a oity and asked a certain man to distribute certain
literature from house to house-that is the ordinary bill poster or distributor to be found in many of our cities.-that he should be held to be a criminal simply because he entered into a contractural relationship, though he demonstrated beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was not in any way endeavouring to break the law. Of course, if the principle is to secure a conviction at any cost then probably this legislation will do it. But-I have always been moved by the idea that it was wise that the benefit of the doubt should be given, and that it was better at times that those who had broken the law should be acquitted rather than that those who were innocent should be convicted, because the stigma of a criminal character is not k pleasant thing for a man to carry through life. I cannot bring myself, therefore, to agree with the reasoning of the minister, although of necessity I bow to his judgment.
Mr, McKENZIE: I wish to say to the minister on this point, and I have said it so often in this House that I am almost getting tired of it, that there must be a criminal mind before there can be a crime. It is also implied anyhow that the man does a thing knowing it to be wrong. I think we can always trust to the jury and to the judge to believe or disbelieve the accused person's plea- of not knowing. Of course, although it is provided for in the law the man may say " I did not know anything about it," but it is for the jury to believe him or not. If the judge says "you did know, you could not help knowing," and advises the jury that under the circumstances the man could not help knowing, that he was familiar with this book, and with its contents, and if the jury believe the accused did know, of course they would bring him in guilty. But I think the proper way to legislate jn a criminal matter is that if a man knowingly does a thing he is guilty, and it is for the jury to believe or not believe his plea that he did not know.