Daniel Lee REDMAN

REDMAN, Daniel Lee, LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Unionist
Constituency
East Calgary (Alberta)
Birth Date
October 4, 1889
Deceased Date
April 8, 1948
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Lee_Redman
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=aa2dfd75-ffc6-4091-82bc-613931ebd1c9&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
UNION
  East Calgary (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 6 of 7)


March 31, 1919

Mr. REDMAN:

There may be cases that are not casualties that are suffering from these disabilities, and if any way could be devised to include them in the classes of men meriting better treatment, I should be only too pleased.

I have enumerated the different points I had in my mind with respect to this matter. I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not indulging in any criticism of the Government, or of the iCivil Service; I am simply pointing out to the House the defects which I think exist in the Act passed last year, defects which should be remedied since we all have the intention of doing full justice to the returned soldier.

I do not think anything which I have suggested will weaken in any way the efficiency of the service. It is rather a question of seeing that those who are more entitled than others to positions in.

4 p.m. the Civil Service are given that preference to which they deserve. I do not think there is anything to-day which is causing more distrust amongst returned soldiers than the appointment of young civilians to positions in the Civil Service.

Sir SAM HUGHES: I heartily

endorse the views expressed by the hon. member for Calgary (Mr. Redman) and the hon. member for Colchester (Mr. McCurdy).

I would go a little further and broaden the

word casualty so as to include those who saw active service in the trenches that is men who fought in the trenches-because the fact that a man may have got a slight wound in the arm does not give him any better claim to a position over the soldier who fought alongside him for three years and happened to miss being hit. But that is merely a detail, which is covered by the remarks of the hon. member for Calgary.

I want to point out-while II am sorry to see the returned soldiers all looking for Civil Service positions, I would rather see them take their place in the broad fields of life and become more useful citizens to the country than civil servants can possibly become-that the remarks of the gentleman (Mr. Redman) are worthy of most serious consideration. I have been making inquiries throughout the country, as to whether the soldiers who have returned from the trenches have been reinstated in their old positions by the employers, or have taken other work, and with one or two exceptions, where men had been more or less disturbed by shell-shock, I have received most gratifying reports. I was speaking to the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Lalor) the other night and he mentioned that every man who had returned to his service, and he has many of them, is an infinitely better man than he was before he went overseas. As an old educator 1 have always been opposed to technical examinations for promotion, and I think that every educator in the country, who has studied the matter, will agree that technical examinations constitute no test of efficiency whatever, or very little. I would like to have the Government consider the matter from that viewpoint, that is, instead of having an applicant examined for a position by gentlemen who know nothing about the qualities of a soldier and mighty little about the duties of the office to which the applicant is aspiring, that these examinations should be limited practically to returned soldiers, and that the commission should give the benefit on every occasion to the returned soldier who is applying. Because, mark my words, the man coming back from the front is a much stronger and better man, nine times out of ten, except by reason of his physical incapacity, than if he had never gone to the war. The best men are those who had gone through the furnace of war

I would also like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that it would be well to have regard to the honourable casualty. There are casualties that are not

very creditable but, thank fortune, they aj*(j very verv few. A friend was telling me about a man who had made a great to-do about getting a position. My friend asked him for his medical sheet and his service record-his crime report; he never got them, and the man ceased applying. He had not been to the front at all. I think it would be well to make sure that we are getting the very best of these splendid fellows appointed to these positions. I thought all these positions were being filled by returned soldiers, and I was very much surprised to hear that that is not being done. I think the returned soldier is entitled to everything that can be given to him. I suggest that the motion should be enlarged so as to take in the men who have served at the front.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE POSITIONS.
Full View Permalink

March 31, 1919

Mr. REDMAN:

No. Such a man is not an offcial casualty. One would have to be a mind reader to determine all such cases.

Sir SAM HUGHES': That is the point I want to see explained.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVICE POSITIONS.
Full View Permalink

March 3, 1919

Mr. DANIEL LEE REDMAN (Calgary East):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to move the address in reply to the speech from the Throne, I wish to tender to the Honourable, the Acting Prime Minister (Sir Thomas White), my humble thanks for the honour which he has conferred upon me and upon the constituency which I have the honour to represent, a constituency which, **' in enlistment and other war efforts, has made an enviable record. I had the honour to serve for a short period in a small way in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, I have been for some time in association with returned soldiers and their organizations, and I have no doubt that, in choosing me to move this important address, the Government wished to do honour to our soldiers generally. In their behalf, if it is not presumption on my part to speak for those splendid Canadians, I wish to express gratitude and appreciation.

I can assure you, Sir, that I enter upon this task with a keen sense of my temerity, and I ask for the kind indulgence of you, Sir, and of this House, in listening to the brief remarks which I intend to make. Great honour has been conferred on this Dominion in giving to us as our Governor General the head of a House which, for centuries, has taken a leading part in ruling our great empire.

His Excellency, the Duke of Devonshire, can he well assured of the high estimation jn which he is held by the Canadian people, and of their deep appreciation of the painstaking and able manner in which he performs the arduous and important duties which devolve upon him.

I must pause here, as indeed this nation has paused, to pay my humble tribute to the great man who has died. I can add very little to the eloquent tributes which have been paid by honourable members on both sides of the House. As a new member of this House, I consider it a very great privilege to have witnessed the closing years of his great and illustrious career. His memory will always remain as an inspiration to those who love Canada.

In each of the last four years Parliament has been opened under the cloud of a great war. A war entailing enormous effort, unlimited sacrifice and great sorrow, and requiring the undivided attention of the nation to the exclusion of all other national problems.

To-day, the cloud has lifted and we stand on the threshold of an assured and, I believe, a lasting era of peace. Our great epoch of struggle and sacrifice is ended. A glorious, a victorious peace has crowned the efforts of our Empire and its allies. The armistice has been signed on our own terms. The enemy is utterly demoralized. The menace of militarism and 'autocracy has been crushed, we trust forever, and democracy and representative institutions have been preserved to humanity.

The British empire, of which Canada has the increasing honour of being an important member, has played an outstanding part in this war. Her matchless navy made victory a certainty. The splendid tenacity of her army made defeat an impossibility. Her lofty aims and unbending adherence to the principles of fair play and international justice attracted numerous nations to the side of the allies.

The British Empire has been preserved to itself and to humanity. Hundreds of millions of human beings are assured that they may continue to live safely under its beneficent laws. Its ideals, its institutions, have been preserved, and will continue for the good of the world, we hope, for many centuries to come.

The co-operation of the British Empire and the United States of America in this war should result in the happiest relations between these two great Anglo-Saxon nations-relations which shall not only be beneficial to these two nations, but which should enable them, acting in unison, to

exert an excellent influence in world affairs.

Representatives of each of the Allies are now assembled at Paris to settle the immediate differences between all belligerents, and to plan, as far as may be possible, to make war impossible in the future. Great conferences have been held in the past with these two objects in view, notably the Assembly at Vienna in 1814-15, and the Conference at Berlin in 1878. But progress has been made since those memorable days. The right of peoples to choose their own form of Government has been recognized. The horror of war is greater to-day than ever in the past. This Conference is attempting to settle the differences of nations on such a basis as will remove possible causes of war, and it regards the prevention of future wars as its most important problem. This Dominion has been recognized as a nation entitled as such to representation in any league of nations which may be formed. The presence of the right honourable the Prime Minister of Canada, Sir Robert Borden, with several of his ministers at this conference is most fitting, having regard to the great sacrifice which the Canadian people made in the war, and Canada's international duty as a nation among the nations of the world. The Prime Minister has distinguished himself at that conference. He has been entrusted with important and difficult work, and he is reflecting great honour on this Dominion.

The people of Canada may, now that the tremendous burden of effort and sacrifice, imposed on them by the war, has been removed, pause to review with pride the excellent record which they have made under the leadership of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. Only through untiring efforts and sacrifice can the character of an individual or a nation be strengthened and achieve greatness. Canada, in this war, has made and proven itself a great nation. The achievements and sacrifices of its soldiers and sailors have, and of right do, overshadow all its other efforts. Over 600,000 of its manhood enrolled in its service; over

200.000 casualties have been sustained; over

55.000 have given up their lives in its behalf. Canada has raised for war purposes, from its own people, under the able direction of the Minister of Finance, in excess of the fabulous sum of $1,300,000,000. Canada has manufactured and sold to the Allies over one billion dollars worth of munitions, being in excess of one-fourth of all the munitions used by Great Britain and the

United States in the war. Agricultural products of enormous values have been sold to the Allies. Its business and economic fabric is stronger and on a larger scale than ever before in its history. Its people generally during the period of the war submerged petty prejudices, personal ambition and their own convenience, and devoted their energies to war work, notably in connection with Red Cross, Patriotic Fund and kindred efforts. The women of Canada bore a great and inspiring part

5 pm. in the struggle. The stoical patriotism with which they sent their sons to war; the suspense and bereavements which they suffered, the splendid influence which they exercised over our soldiers cannot be too highly commended. They took the places in business of thousands of men who went overseas and added to our economic capacity.

But our main inspiration was given by our soldiers overseas. How nobly have they upheld our honour thousands of miles across the sea; their discipline, their resource, their initiative, their irresistible dash in attack, their stubborn tenacity against heavy odds, has made Canada a name to conjure with. Not only have they upheld our traditions but, far surpassing them, they have established for us new and loftier standards; new and more illustrious traditions. They have made a magnificent reputation for our country on those hard-fought fields where, before the eyes of all the world, manhood is tested and reputations are irrevocably lost or made to endure throughout eternity. Those who risked all, and especially that 55,000 who gave all, have left us a great heritage, but have also left us great responsibilities and great duties. Let us, as Canadians, now look well to the duties which lie immediately before us so that we may not be untrue to those who have sacrificed so much for this country, and so that the principles and ideals for which they died may become actual institutions in this country, to be enjoyed by the people of Canada and posterity, for whom we, at this crisis, are trustees.

But while it is pleasant to pause and reflect upon the achievements of the last four years, so pressing and so vital are the problems which immediately confront us that we must face them now and devote to them all the ingenuity and concentration which we possess, looking backward only for the purpose of obtaining inspiration. And surely the adaptability and ingenuity shown, and the success achieved, by our soldiers, our statesmen, our manufacturers, our workmen, our farmers and

our people generally during the period of the war should make us confident of successfully solving them. Let us then undertake these problems patriotically and unselfishly, inspired by the lessons of sacrifice which we have received from our army overseas.

During the war we had the stimulus of a common enemy, the excitement and the fever of battle. This has now been removed. In order to attain the concentration and efficiency the present situation demands, we must have something to take its place. What is undoubtedly required is a high sense of patriotism, a strong concept of public duty and responsibility on the part of all our people, and such a desire to wrork for the common good as shall overshadow all party prejudice, all class struggles, all personal selfishness and unworthy personal motives. Consider the example which has been given us by our army overseas. There a Conservative was supported by a Liberal,-a millionaire stood side by side with a labourer; there were no class distinctions no party differences; each was willing- to sacrifice himself for the other; all were willing to sacrifice themselves for Canada. The problems before us to-day are equally great and vital. Let us face them confidently, strengthened by our economic success during the war, and unselfishly inspired by the splendid traditions given us by our Army.

The Government has had the problems of reconstruction under its consideration for many months. The uncertainty of the date of peace has added to the difficulty of the work. I venture to say, however, that no country was better prepared to meet these problems than Canada.

It is gratifying to note that the Government intends to present a bill to establish a department of Public Health. It is essential that we should preserve and foster our greatest resource, the vital energy of our people, which nature, by the vigour of our beneficent climate, gives them in such abundance. During the recent great struggle there has been a greater mortality among children in Canada from purely preventible diseases than the number of our casualties in the war which enables us to appreciate the necessity of legislation of this character.

The proposed Better Housing Bill will be acceptable to the entire country. Anyone who has wandered through the tenements of great cities cannot fail to be impressed with the absolute necessity of government assistance and supervision. Happily in this new country we are able

to institute this measure more in the nature of a preventative for the future, than as a corrective of present conditions.

The Government is to be congratulated in presenting a Bill to assist in vocational and technical education. This is a move in the right direction and a work which will assist materially to the earning power of our people.

A measure will be presented to encourage better highways. Such a measure is essential to improve living conditions in rural localities, and to assist agriculturists and others to market their products without unnecessary cost and inconvenience.

The new Franchise Bill, providing as it does for more effectually enabling women to vote, and conferring upon them the privilege of sitting in Parliament, is a happy measure. The splendid work done by women during the war has entitled them to every power and privilege of citizenship, and has assured this country that their advice and assistance in legislation will be of inestimable benefit.

The Bill to be presented, dealing with desirable immigration, is vital to our national life. It is inconceivable that we should allow further immigration of enemy aliens. From my knowledge of the feelings of our soldiers, I can assure this House that the direst consequences will ensue unless some such measure is enacted. With the sentiments of the soldiers, I heartily concur. We must keep this country British, let our growth be fast or slow. While our soldiers have been beating back the Germans from our front in France, they do not propose that any one shall open the back door admitting them into this country.

All the measures enumerated tend to the creation of better and fairer living conditions for all classes in Canada, and the Government is to be congratulated in moving unfalteringly in this direction.

It is essential that we face squarely the feeling of unrest that prevails throughout the world, a spirit of change which eludes constituted authority, and crosses frontiers at will. I believe we can look at this phenomenon optimistically. We must believe that the curve of human evolution is an ascending curve. We should, instead of defending ancient institutions, turn our efforts towards guiding the new spirit, and be alert to do everything practical to improve economic living conditions for all classes. It seems to me that reconstruction must not stop when we have reached our pre-war basis of stability, but the lessons and inspirations of the war must be capitalized,

and our people must receive the benefits to which their sacrifices during the last four years have entitled them.

Unfortunately a creed has risen in Russia which has become an actual menace to civilization. 'It aims at destroying all industry, all representative institutions, and to substitute autocratic and non-productive rule by a single class. In my opinion, Sir, the new creed is just as dangerous as the one that we have been combatting during the last four years. Canada is happily practically free from this evil, but we should be prepared, should it raise its head in our country, to stamp it out even more ruthlessly and thoroughly than we crushed German autocracy, because it is equally autocratic, and is absolutely opposed to civilization and our representative institutions. Our returning soldiers have already given evidence that they are fundamentally opposed to this doctrine, and can be relied upon for any assistance which might be required if this menace should ever arise in this country.

The most immediate problem which confronts our Government is the demobilization of the returning soldier and his absorption into civil life. This, while an arduous duty, should be, and I am sure is, a pleasant one. A grateful country will wish to do everything reasonably possible to assist its soldiers. I think I can say with considerable assurance that all the returned soldier desires, is to receive such assistance and encouragement as shall enable him to take his place in our economic and social life, freed, as far as possible, from any loss or handicap which his service overseas may have imposed upon him. That I think is not asking a great deal, that much the returned soldier expects. Otherwise I am sure it is his desire to be as good a citizen in peace as he was a patriot in war. The Government has grappled vigourously with this problem. The Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment has, in my opinion, done its work exceedingly well. The various regulations are constantly improving and the administration of the work is gradually becoming more efficient. However we must take the most punctilious care to see that the soldier is fairly treated, and that he has an opportunity to enter, unhandicapped, into our economic life. Nothing less will satisfy the people of Canada. _

It must be remembered that our soldiers are changing from a life under a simplified administration, where necessary changes are made instantly in a general order, and results obtained, to life under our compli-

cated and sometimes unnecessarily 'slow civilian system, where what he may desire and indeed, what he may be absolutely entitled to, cannot be obtained without endless delay. Possibly the influence of the returning soldier, trained in a speedy, simplified, clarified form of administration, may have a salutary effect on some of our government departments, and on our system of life generally.

Every precaution should be taken so that needless and harassing delays should not be imposed on our returning soldiers, who are anxious to get adjusted into civilian life as quickly as possible. Our soldiers should not be hampered and irritated by red tape and unnecessary rules. These are purely matters of procedure, but are equally important in their results with questions of principle or legal rights.

The immediate and piessing question is that of employment. Canada owes an absolute duty to its soldiers to furnish them with employment as soon as they are ready for it. All problems centre about this one. Among our half million soldiers are men capable of filling every position under the control of any government. Every opening in every government service, be it military or civil, should be filled by a returned soldier. Provision must be made, and in the Government's building programme is being made to furnish additional employment. Each lesser governing body should have a similar policy and programme, and each employer of labour should, if he is worthy of citizenship, make every possible provision to employ soldiers. Many civilians employed in the place of soldiers should, if necessary, be dismissed.

In this I feel that I am not stating the case too strongly but am simply enunciating the principle that our soldiers have an absolute right to be absorbed into our. economic life, and to have an opportunity to be respected and useful citizens, without any handicap on account of service overseas. This principle cannot be too clearly understood by the people of Canada.

The Government is to be congratulated on the recent Order in Council dealing with land settlement. Our great resource is our undeveloped agricultural land. We wish this land developed by patriotic Canadians, not by the people of other lands who are not in sympathy with our national ideals, and I hope that any scheme presented by the Government to make available our western lands will made adequate reservation for not only our soldiers, but the soldiers of other parts of

the British Empire. In Western- Canada, especially, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of returned soldiers ready for the development of the Government's scheme, and I hope that it will be proceeded with with all possible speed.

The Government will present a Bill improving and consolidating the Orders in Council dealing with pensions. Many laudable improvements were made in the recent Order in Council passed in January last, and doubtless additional improvements will be included in the coming Bill.

T feel that this Government should be congratulated on the splendid manner in which they directed the energies of the people during the last four years of war and on grappling so vigorously with the problems arising in this period of reconstruction But no Government alone could successfully solve either the problems of the war or the problems which are at present before us. During the four years of war they had the co-operation and assistance of all the people of Canada, and I believe that they may rely on similar support and assistance now.

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the House for your courteous attention and for the patience with which you have listened to my remarks.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. REDMAN, SECONDED BY MR. MANION.
Full View Permalink

May 2, 1918

Mr. D. L. RBDIMAN (Calgary East):

jMr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. gentleman (Mir. McKenzie) on making the *longest speech which we have heard during the course of this debate. I regard this as the more remarkable because when commencing hie speech he gave some very weighty advice to the member for Queen's, P.E.l. (Mr. Molsaac) who preceded him. Perhaps the hon, gentleman thinks that the fact that he read for 'two hours out of the three during which he addressed the House will take something from the length iof his speech. However, I will say nothing further with regard! to that.

I wish to congratulate the Acting Minister of Finance (Hon. A. K. Maclean) for *the able manner in which he presented his Budget to the House and for the firm way in which he has grappled with the tremendous financial problems that confront the country. The record of the Finance Minister and of this Government in the financing of the country's affairs during the war, in the splendid loans' which they have floated, in the well-placed taxation which they have effected, is one of which they may justly he proud. The people of Canada have reason to he proud of their splendid response to the call for subscriptions to war loans, of the manner in which ordinary business affairs, of the country have been carried on, and of the wealth which has* been produced throughout the land. !We can look with satisfaction upon our financial position, and we can feel that no matter how long the struggle may last we shall be able to keep up in the collar; we shall be able to maintain the position we now occupy until that victory comes of which we are assured.

While our position is an excellent one, we should not lose sight of the fact that at

the end of Mlarch of this year our national debt is approximately $1,200,000,HOO. What that debt will be When the war is over no one can say, but if the struggle continues one, two or more years, we can be certain that i't will be substantially larger than it is now. We must remember also that in addition to our current expenditures and capital outlays, we have to make annual payments out of revenue by way of interest on our national debt, which to-day is estimated at approximately $50,000,000, and which will increase as our debt increases. Moreover, we have to meet annual payments by way of pensions, for which in the Estimates of this year some $15,000,000 are being asked. It is safe to predict that when the war ends the amount payable for pensions will exceed $50,000,000 a year.

We should have regard to two things in considering this Budget: first, the manner in which we shall raise funds during this and possibly the next year; second, the financial position in which our country will be placed at the termination of the war. To-day we have an opportunity of greatly influencing that post-war condition. In discussing this matter I wish to keep that second point more especially in view.

For many years it has been the policy of this country to rely upon customs revenues for the means to meet ordinary expenditures. I shall not make any comment upon the merits of that source of revenue, except that in time of war we must without question continue it. But our reliance upon this source of revenue should not blind our eyes to other possible means of . raising money; in the circumstances existing to-day, it is desirable that every possible source of revenue should be carefully investigated and, if deemed advisable, taken advantage of by the Government.

The other great form of taxation is direct taxation, of which in England the most important factor is the income tax-and it should be the case in Canada. Income tax has existed in England since the year 1799, when it was put on by Mr. Pitt to raise moneys for the prosecution of the Napoleonic wars. Since that date, and more especially since the repeal of the Corn Laws, that tax has been the mainstay of each Chancellor of the British Exchequer, and in England to-day that tax, more than any other source of revenue, is enabling England to carry on the war and to pay as substantial an amount as 17 per cent of its war indebtedness. They can do that in England better than

we can, do, it here because they have been accustomed to income tax for one hundred years. It is proper that in Canada we should introduce new modes of taxation slowly; no important departure in the way oi taxation should be made suddenly. Our people should be gradually educated to a new form of taxation, and only when they have accepted it can it be considered successful. What is the history of income tax in this country? The subject was discussed early last session. The Minister of Finance stated: at first that an, income tax would not be introduced-he pointed out various objections, to it-but later, towards the end of the last Parliament, the income tax which is now on our statute book was brought in. The imposition of that tax was in itself a great step forward, and after sax months we can feel that it has been favourably accepted iby the people. They have looked into that tax; they have considered the rating under it, and viewing the matter in relation to the requirements of the country, they feel that it is a tax which they should be called upon to pay. That being the case, we should consider whether or not it is advisable to make any substantial increase in the rate payable under that tax. That brings ue to the changes proposed in the tax as outlined by the Acting Minister of Finance. I agree with him in the lowering of the minimums of exemption in the case of unmarried men to $1,000 and of married men to $2,000, and the placing of the rate of 2 per cent on the amounts by which these minimums have been respectively reduced.

I feel that is only fair, and especially that those unmarried men, although not earning a great deal, should be called upon to pay some little part-I believe the tax amounts to about $10,-so that they will feel that they are citizens of this country; that they have responsibilities, and that they are taking their fair part in this war. The next important point in regard to this change in the tax is that it affects a very large number of people, and, as a consequence, a substantial revenue will be received. No one, I believe, can take exception to the exemption of $200 granted in the case of each child. A similar provision has for some time existed in the American and British Acts, and this provision will tend to make the Act a great deal more fair, and as an Act 'becomes more fair, so will it become more popular, and so will the people of Canada become more willing to pay it.

I cannot say that the surtax which is proposed to be imposed by the Government,

has impressed me as have the other two items. I do not know for what reason this tax has been imposed in this manner. As I understand it, this surtax is a tax upon the super tax already imposed, and it varies in degree as the incomes become greater. I do not, however, think that this surtax is substantial. It commences with a tax of 5 per cent on the tax already assessed under the old Act, and a tax of 5 per cent on the former tax is, in my opinion, not substantial, and I cannot see that it makes any great difference in the Act.

Speaking of the classes who should be exempted, I put out in a more or less tentative manner this idea, that while possibly those who are serving in His Majesty's forces and navy should not be entirely exempted from the operation of this tax, some exemptions, greater than those ordinarily given, should be granted to them, because I think it is evident to every one that, in most cases, those who are overseas are not receiving as much as they were heretofore receiving, or as much as they would to-day he able to earn in this country. If by sending them overseas we have taken away a source of income from them, then to that extent they should he exempted from the operation of this tax.

Leaving, however, those points which are more or less smaller points in this subject, I come to the next change which has been proposed by the minister. That is the very heavily increasing taxation on incomes over $50,000. To this I can only most heartily agree and say that I personally would he willing to go considerably further in regard to those increases. There is another great class of incomes in which no change has been made. There are large incomes, underneath the sum of $50,000. per year which are not very heavily affected by the present tax. iln order that I may present this matter definitely, I shall lay before the 'House a table showing what the tax on incomes between $5,000 and $50,000 would be if the rate were doubled. This will be in the case of a married man without children, premising that the exemption would be $2,000, and that the rate between $2,000 and $3,000 would be one-half of the normal tax. This is the table:

Income. Tax. Net Income.$ 2,500 $ 20 $ 2,4803,000 40 2,9604,00!0 120 3,8S05,000 200 4,8006,000 280 5,72010,000 760 9,24020,000 2,5.60 17,440

I have read these figures to the House because I think they will show that even m the lowest income, for example, that of $2,500, the payment wtould be only $20. I do not think that could be considered as being too heavy a drain upon the individual, nor one which he could not well afford to pay. As we get up into the higher amounts, for example, an income of $20,000, 1 d'o not think the sum of $2,560 would be a tax which that man could not, having regard to everything in this country,. pay, and I think that the balance of $17,440 should be sufficient for him to maintain himself upon each year. The first point I want to make is that I feel that the rate under the income tax should generally be substantially increased, and that especially the higher incomes should be very substantially taxed. I believe, upon the figures which I have just given to the House, showing the effect with the rate doubled, it is apparent that each person should be able to afford the tax which he would have to pay and should have quite sufficient left to maintain himself in the degree of comfort to which he has been accustomed. If any further evidence should be required as to the possibility of a family having an income of $2,500 being able to afford a tax ci $20 and to live on a net income of $2,480, I should like, for purposes of comparison, to draw the attention) of the House to a large class of families living to-day in Canada. Every hon. member has met with them in his constituency. I refer to the families of soldiers overseas who are living on the moneys which the Government and the Patriotic Fund give to them. We all know the sort of life that some of those families have to lead. We know they have nothing but the bare necessities of life. I believe $15 is the amount of the assigned pay, $25 the amount of the separation allowance, where there are no children, and the amount donated by the Patriotic Fund varies. Think for a moment of the amount on which those families are living, and they comprise no inconsiderable proportion of the people of this country. Some

400,000 men have enlisted, and from that we can deduce the number of families in our country who are living on that scale. Personally, I believe the amounts payable to those families should be increased; but I am using this illustration to show the possibility of a family living on a less income than it now receives. I quite agree" with the statement that a tax to be successful must be popular. I believe the people of Canada would accept a very substantial increase in the income

tax, and the more readily because the strain of war is upon them. Our people are interested in the war more than in any other question which could possibly come before them, and for that reason I think they would not object to the payment of this additional tax. It may be urged that the cost of living is higher, but on the other hand money is freer and wages in a great many, if not the majority of cases, are higher.

Another reason why I think the tax should be increased ruow is that we are having wha't might be termed a period of prosperity to a certain extent caused by war conditions, and I think we should collect for the purposes of the war a substantial portion of the money that has been made by reason of the war. I am not advocating any vfery drastic tax. I do not think the figures I have given could be considered drastic. Another reason why I think we should increase this tax now is lest our people might get the idea that the tax will never be increased, that the present tax is fixed and furnishes a precedent. If the time is ripe, and I think it is, we should move up logically to the next step.

Referring to the collection of the income tax, the Minister of Finance last session stated that one great objection to such a tax in this country was the vastness of our territory, compared to our population, which made its collection difficult, but that objection is eliminated as regards the increased tax I am proposing, because we already have our collecting system established, and it would cost very little, if anything, more to collect a higher i;ax.

Let us consider what would be the result to the finances of this country if the present income tax were doubled or trebled, and if higher rates were assessed on the bigger incomes. The Acting Minister of Finance, in introducing this tax, estimated it would yield between seventeen and twenty million dollars, and I do not think any public ^statement has been made in reference to that estimate since. Taking that as our basis, and premising the doubling or trebling of the rate and increasing the assessment on higher incomes, we could hope to obtain in this way a sum between fifty and seventy-five million dollars. I believe this amount is required in this country to-day. It is true we are paying our current expenditure, and still have some surplus to apply on our post-war indebtedness. It is all a question of the extent to which we should go >n the imposition of taxes, in the reduction of our

indebtedness, and in the amount of indebtedness we are justified in leaving to the future. I believe the amount realized from this tax, together with the surplus which we now appear to have from year to year, would enable us to reduce our war expenditure by at least one hundred million dollars a year, and I do not think we should set our ambitions at anything lower than that. England in the years 1916 and 1917 paid off 17 per cent of her war expenditure, and she did that almost entirely by direct taxation, for she has not, relatively speaking, any customs revenue. England has [DOT]done that while she is fighting with her back to the wall, while she can hear the guns of the enemy thundering across the channel. In view of the great strain and financial demands upon them and theii proximity to the wrar, it is astounding that the people of England have been able to pay off as much as 17 per cent of their war expenditure. The Americans are arranging to pay off 14 per cent, and while it is a matter for congratulation that we in Canada have paid off 11 per cent, I know of no Teason why Canada should not do as well as England and the United States, and I feel that this is possibly the easiest and most proper way to raise the money required to retire annually such a substantial portion of our war indebtedness.

It may be said by some, that if we impose such a severe tax it would interfere with our war loans. I quite agree that the major portion of the money we require to carry on this war must be obtained by means of war loans, but I do not think the imposition of this tax would interfere with the success of the war loans. After all, while the sum is substantial in itself, it is not very great for each individual, nor is it very great in comparison with the amount w'hich we may have to borrow. To take care of our war needs, the next loan may have to be for $400,000,000. I do not think the imposition of this tax would cause our people to subscribe less freely to the war loans, or decrease to any appreciable extent the funds 'which they would have to subscribe.

One thing at least is clear. By the imposition of this tax we should reach a class of our people who do not now subscribe to war loans, and who tout for the imposition of some such tax as this will never contribute to this war. From one end of our country to the other there is scattered a class, small, it is true, who for different reasons are not contributing to our war

loans, and this is the only manner in which they can be made to do their share.

I might suggest this further idea. If it is apparent to our people that their incomes will be substantially taxed for war purposes, and if we continue to make our war loans free from income tax I should imagine the imposition of this tax would incline people more and more to the purchase of war loan bonds. Whether we should issue our war loans free of income tax, is a very important 'question. In order to influence people gradually to buying loans subject to income tax, an option might be given to purchase bonds at par, [DOT]if they want them free of income tax, or [DOT]at something less than par if they are to be subject to the income tax. A gentleman suggested that to me in conversation to-day, and it is a possible mode of making the transition from loans free of income tax to' loans subject to the tax. Personally, I do not think this tax would have any bad effect on the war loans, and I certainly think it should be imposed. I think that all we have to do is to grasp this question firmly and put it through. I believe that we will find that this tax will be popular, that our people will pay it without complaining and that they will rise to the necessities of the situation by purchasing war (bonds as they did (before.

Soane people may object to the 'increase of this tax because they fear that our people, or their money to some extent, may emigrate to the United States. One can only estimate what the effect of a substantial increase in this tax may be in that regard. I can. only say in the light I have been able to obtain with regard to the question that I do not believe that such a result as this will be brought about. Eventually our indebtedness must be paid. The United States are perhaps, in some regards, not in as good a condition as we are with reference to the financial side of our war operations. We are further on in the war than they are; we know where we are; we know how much we must provide, what we have to provide for and what our expenses are. On the other hand the United States are practically commencing. They do not know what their, costs will be and' they do not know exactly the form o

States, unless we substantially decrease our national debt that may aot as, a great de-terent to immigration into this country. We should endeavour to, so reduce our national delbt that after the war Canada can be looked to by the prospective immigrants as a country which, if it has not a proportionately less debt has no greater defb't than other countries which may be offering inducements to immigrants. Having regard to our great need of immigration after the var, the problem of the amount of our national debt will be an important factor, and we should endeavour to grapple with that problem now as firmly as we can. When the war is completed we will require a large amount of money to develop the resources of the country, to. carry on until they become more productive our railways to assist our returned soldiers and to promote those more or less co-operative enterprises which are creeping into our national life. We shall be very seriously handicapped if, at the end Of the war, we have made no substantial progress in redeeming an appreciable part of our national debt.

I do not believe that the imposition of this tax will tend to discourage or disorganize business in any manner. It may be true that the business profits war tax- that is, the tax on business itself-if carried too far, might discourage initiative and enterprise among business men. hut it -must be remembered that this income tax is not being levied on business itself, where perhaps some surplus is required for the purpose of new enterprises and expansion, hut it is being levied on money that is free even from the control of business organizations. It is not being taken away from any particular business. It is being taken from the moneys of individual people throughout the country and I do not see that there is any great danger of discouraging initiative or enterprise or harming business in any way. This is perhaps the feature of greatest importance that we must consider in imposing any tax. I feel personally that there is no substantial reason why the rate of this tax should not be doubled or even trebled and why incomes in the higher amounts should not he even more heavily assessed than they appear tc he in the Budget which has been brought down. I have not been able to discover any good reason why this should not be done and I feel personally very strongly that it should be done. I think that I have made out an economic case for increasing substantially the rate of this tax. There is another feature and that is that [air. Redman.]

this tax would act in the nature of an equalizer in the matter of sacrifice in this country. A large proportion of our people were called upon to go overseas, to work for $1.10 a day, to endure hardships and to run the risk of losing their lives, many have lost them. At home their families are living on the bare necessities. These men are not able tfo take advantage of the economic prosperity here as many of us who remain at home have been able to. We are enjoying all the conditions which we would have enjoyed in peace time. In addition, we are enjoying even greater prosperity than ordinarily exists in peace time. I have been very closely in touch with a large portion of those who are serving overseas ever since the outbreak of the war, and I think I can indicate to the House what their feelings are. They have a right to express their feelings in regard to this matter, and they feel that while they are doing these things for us we should sacrifice something ourselves. We should sacrifice something out of the money we are making and which we can well afford to part with. It seems to me that when our fellow Canadians overseas are endeavouring to defend us against the German onslaught we might he called upon to protect and defend this country against any burden of excessive debt or any possibility of bankruptcy. Therefore, I believe this measure will be an equalizer or sacrifice, and I believe further that those of our people who remain at home and who have not been called upon as yet to make as great a sacrifice as have the soldiers, wish to do their fair share. This tax will not be unpopular. On the contrary, it will be popular. I believe that the people expressed themselves on, that point at the last election, and that it was their intention, and their mandate to the Government to increase the taxation as well as to obtain the necessary men. For the reasons I have given, more especially for the economic reasons, I recommend that the question of substantial increases in the rates under the Income Tax Act, should receive the most careful consideration of this House.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Full View Permalink

April 5, 1918

Mr. D. L. REDMAN (Calgary, E.):

Mr. Speaker, I feel that I would be doing very much less than my duty to my constituents who elected me to Parliament on the 17th of December last, to say nothing of ignoring my own very strong feelings on the subject, were I to remain silent and not to express my views on the subject under discussion. I come not from Ontario, nor from any part of Quebec, where possibly historic conditions may be responsible for local feeling or prejudices, but from western Canada, where I can assure you there is no feeling or prejudice against any nationality or any special race. I,n the West we regard ourselves as Canadians and we think that answers all requirements. For us there are no especially favoured communities ; and we feel that as Canadians, as members of a free community of the British Empire we have very great rights and privileges, and that it is our duty now, and whenever occasion may demand, to fight as fuliy as may be in our power for those rights and privileges. I do ncvt think I am taking an unreasonable view in expressing the belief that the willingness to fight for the rights and privileges we enjoy should be coexistent with their enjoyment. I am absolutely free, as I

believe the people generally in our province are absolutely free, from any prejudice. But we do feel, for two reasons- first, (that we need the men, and secondly, because the province from which I come, and perhaps other parts of Canada have done more towards sending men overseas than have been done in the province of Quebec- that more men should be sent to the firing line from that province. The mandate which was given to me, equally, I believe, with the mandate which was given to other members who sit on your right, Mr. Speaker, on the 17th of December last, was that we should come to Ottawa and do our utmost to enforce the Military Service Act, not only in a similar manner in each province, but also that like results should be obtained from one end of Canada to the other. That, I feel, is the reason that I was sent here by my constituents, and, to be frank, I have grave doubts as to whether I was sent here for any other reason. Such being the case and such being my own personal belief and feeling, I intend to do what little I can here to see that the Act in question is carried out absolutely and entirely.

As regards the riots that have taken place in Quebec, I do not think the Government have gone too far in'the way in which they have attempted, and have to some extent succeeded in enforcing this Act in that province. The previous enlistments in the province of Quebec for service overseas were not nearly as great as in other parts of Canada, and while, under the Military Service Act, one hundred and seventeen thousand, men have registered-there are still a great many who have not done so-the province of Quebec has sent overseas only some three thousand, or less. Under the circumstances it seems to me that we have a right to demand that more men shall be obtained from that province. I believe that the enforcement of the Military Service Act up to date in the province of Quebec has not been successful. Therefore, it is necessary for such changes to be made in the Act as will ensure a greater degree of success. I wish to congratulate the Government on the Orders in Council deailing with this subject which they have brought down. I believe that each and every one of them will make the Military Service Act more successful, and our opinion is that the changes necessary to render the Act more successful must be made.

I feel that if it is not made successful, and that if we do not obtain, and obtain speedily, from the province of Quebec as many soldiers to go overseas as the rest

of Canada has furnished, each and every one of us who have come here with very, very clear orders given on the 17th day of December, will have failed to do our duty in carrying out our instructions, and that we are not worthy to represent the people who have sent us here.

I have listened to-day to various speeches by hon. gentlemen on the opposite side, in which they have professed a willingness to obey the law, and to participate, as far as Canada is concerned, fairly and equally in this war. I am not going to say what may be the actual beliefs or feelings of those hon. gentlemen, but it does occur to me, afteT listening to their speeches, that the result of their words cannot in any sense be calculated to cause those who follow them to be more anxious or more likely to obey the law; nor do I think that the consequence or effect of their words will in any way increase recruiting. By the plainest of logic, and the use of the most ordinary commonsense, one cannot come to the conclusion that these hon. gentlemen are very anxious to assist recruiting or exceedingly anxious that the law should be obeyed. I would not care to be in the position of those hon. gentlemen, who can exercise influence over their people to the proper end, and who have influenced them in the manner which they have taken here to-day. Various arguments have been put up, the usual arguments we have heard before, that these men should be retained at home for food production. Food production and other industries are all very fine. But men are needed at the front, and when men go overseas, very often they get killed, and each part of Canada should bear its share of that risk. I know of no reason why that should not be.

I would remind hon. gentlemen that they are here to-day enjoying the rights and privileges of British citizenship, and while they are right in protecting those rights and privileges, if we do not send men overseas, and if we do not do our part, and others do not do theirs, we shall see such a sweeping away of British rights and privileges that there will be none left. I have seen the work of the Germans. I have been overseas and have seen them doing their work. And we on this side are doing what should be done in this country to preserve these various rights and privileges, about which we have heard so much talk.

Another point which is very significant to me ie that these riots have (broken out at the exact period when overseas we can almost see the fate: of our country and of

Lord Elgin is speaking himself; this was in 1849.

When I left the House of Parliament, I was received with mingled cheers and hootings hy a crowd by no means numerous, which surrounded the entrance of the building. A small knot of individuals consisting, it has since been ascertained, of persons of a respectable class in society, pelted the carriage with missiles which they must have brought with them for the purpose.

The article continues:

The "missiles" which could not be picked up in the street were rotten eggs. One of them struck Lord Elgin in the face. That was the Canadian method of expressing disapproval of a governor general for acting in strict accordance with the principles of responsible government. But this was only part of the price he had to pay for doing right. Worse was to follow.

Immediately after this outrage a notice was issued from one of the newspapers calling an open-air meeting in the Champ de Mars. Towards evening the excitement increased, and the fire-bells jangled a tocsin to call the people into the streets. The Champ de Mars soon filled with a tumultous mob, roaring its approbation of wild speeches which denounced the "tyranny " of the governor general and the Reformers. A cry arose, "To the Parliament House!" and the mob streamed westward, wrecking in its passage the office of Hincks's paper the Pilot. The House was In session, and though warned by Sir Allan MacNab that a riot was in progress, it hesitated to take the extreme step of calling out the military to protect its dignity. At this time the whole police force of the city numbered only seventy-two men, and, in emergencies, law and order were maintained with the aid of the regiments

29* 1 , i

in garrison, or by a force of special constables. Soon the House found that Sir Allan's warning was against no imaginary danger. Volleys of stones suddenly crashed

through the lighted windows, and the

members fled for their lives. The rabble flowed into the building andi took possession of the Assembly hall. Here they broke in pieces the furniture, the fittings, the chandeliers. One of the rioters, a man with a broken nose, seated himself in the Speaker's chair and' shouted, "I dissolve this House." It seems like a scene from a Paris Smeute rather than an actual event in a staid Canadian city. Soon a cry was heard. "The Parliament House is on *fire." Another band of rioters had set the western wing alight, and, in a quarter of an hour, the whole building was a mass of flames. Although the firemen turned out promptly, they were forcibly prevented' by the mob from doing their duty, until' the soldiers came to their support, and then it was too late to save the building. Next day only the ruined walls were standing. The Library of Parliament was burned in spite of efforts to save it, and the student of Canadian history will always mourn the loss of irreplaceable records and' manuscripts in that tragic blaze.

Now, what was the reason tor this affray? Was it because the lives of the Englishspeaking citizens were endangered, was it because their institutions or their religion were threatened? Had there been any violence or exactions? No, the reason was that the Governor General had sanctioned a Bill passed by -a Parliament with a majority of English-speaking citizens to indemnify those who had not taken part in the Rebellion of 1837, and whose property had been wantonly damaged. The law did not attack the lives of these most loyal citizens, but their pockets, and it was more important than their own lives and the blood of their fellow citizens. Mr.. Speaker, I relate these facts not to excuse what happened at Quebec, but to show what might have happened if conscription had been voted down by Ontario and enforced hy the Government. I am not 'au fait' of .provocating acts in Quebec, but I know what happened in Montreal. Men were arrested even when they had their exemption papers in their possession. Their papers were taken away from them and the men put in jail until writs of habeas corpus were taken in the courts of Montreal.

It might be interesting if I informed the House how many writs of habeas corpus have been taken in Montreal from the 27 th February, 1918, until to-day. There were thirteen. One was taken by P. L. Charre on February 27, the next day the military authorities through Colonel Hibbard, declared that the man was wrongfully arrested and did not oppose the writ. On the 1st March, E. St. Denis made a petition, and was liberated

for the same reason on March 16. On the 4th of March, D. Giaconimi made a petition and was liberated the next day. On the 9th, E. Ciamarro made the same petition and was liberated on the 12th of March. On the 11th, Joseph Fortin made the same petition and was liberated on the 14th, On the 21st, H. W. Dodd, made the same petition and was liberated two days after. On the 23rd, J. Paulicci made the same petition and was liberated three days after; and so on. The names, of the other men who made the same petition and were declared to have been wrongfully arrested were A. J. Villeneuve, J. Romani, Henri Fugere, Louis Paquette, Charles Dube.

I have here an affidavit in the case of Henry W. Dodd, who was arrested on the 21st of March, and liberated on the 23rd.

That your Petitioner, on the 29th day of November, filed in the hands of the Registrar,

nder the Military Service Act, for the District of Montreal, an Appeal from the decision of the local tribunal, which Appeal, the Registrar acknowledged having received on the 3rd day of December;

That your Petitioner was summoned to appear on the 21st December before Honourable Mr. Justice Duclos on his claim for exemption, and his case was continued until the 7th of January, 1918, in order that he may be examined by the Revisory Board in the meanwhile ; , ,,

That on the 24th day of December, the Military Medical Revisory Board declared that your Petitioner was of category "E", and therefore on the 7th day of January, 1918, Honourable Mr. Justice Duclos rendered judgment accordingly, allowing the Appeal, the Appellant having been placed in Class "E" ;

That, nevertheless, on the 4th day of March, 1918 your Petitioner while at work in his office was informed that one Major McKenzie wanted him at the Military Headquarters;

That on the said date your Petitioner, although having produced his papers, showing that he had been placed in Category "E", and that, consequently, he was permanently exempted from all Military Service, was lodged in the military prison in the Guy Street Bar-

That the said Major McKenzie pretended that your Petitioner having been placed in Category A2 on the 12th of October by the military doctors had to undergo another examination and to follow a treatment at the Montreal General Hospital;

That on the 5th day of March your Petitioner was taken under guard from the Guy Street Barracks to the Montreal General Hospital where he was detained until the 11th day of March, during which time he was guarded day and night;

That on the 11th day of March your Petitioner was removed from the hospital and was again confined in the Military Prison at the Guy Street Barracks, and had to suffer the most ignominious and injurious treatment, as if he had been serving a sentence;

That on the 15th day of March he was put in uniform and permanently attached to the 1st Quebec Regiment under the orders of

[Mr. Archambault.j

Major General E, W. Wilson and Lt.-Colonel Pichd;

That your Petitioner, has, on many occasions, prayed the Respondent to see that his liberty be given him, stating that he had been exempted from Service by judgment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Duclos on the 7th day of January, 1918, and had been placed in Category "E" by the Medical Advisory Board ;

That the papers which he had in his possession on the 4th day of March were taken from him;

That the Respondents have always refused to grant to your Petitioner his liberty;

Mr. Speaker, I "was present on the morning when the petition was presented before the Hon. GMr. Justice Lamothe in Montreal, and Lieut. Col. Hibbard, who represented the military authorities; stated that the facts mentioned in this petition were true and the man w.as liberated. This is one of the reasons-T do not say it is an excuse- why riots occurred in Quebec. If the law had been applied in the same way in Quebec as it has been in Montreal, if men had Ibeen robbed of their exemption papers, confined in prison and only released by the arm of the civil law by habeas corpus proceedings there is no wonder the people are excited, and resort to serious measures, and no wonder these regrettable incidents occurred in Quebec.

In closing, I wish to answer the remark made by my hon. friend from North Simcoe (Mr. Currie), who asserted that Le Devoir had published seditious1 articles, and that Henri Bourassa ought to he interned. It is not my duty, nor my intention to defend Bourassa in this House. He is well able to defend himself; hut if I judge the knowledge of French of the hon. member for North Simcoe by his love for it, he certainly has not read those seditious articles in French. If he has read a translation, and the translation was made, as they generally are, for the sole purpose of creating racial and religious feeling, I submit that the hon. member for North Simcoe, before rendering judgment on those articles, ought to take a special course in French. French is like good music and it might have a good effect on him. "La musique adoucit les moeurs."

Mr. E. D'ANJOU (Rimouski) ('translation) ; Mr. Speaker, since the hour is late I will be brief, and as the point at issue has, till now, been argued in English I will pay a tribute of homage to Her Majesty in the French tongue by using it to convey the few remarks I wish to make anent the important question which forms the subject matter of the present debate.

First of all, I. believe it my duty to reply to the attacks 'directed against the clergy

of the province of Quebec by the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards). The hon. member-it is, moreover, a habit with him, -did not miss this opportunity to criticize the French Canadian clergy of my province. According to him, it is the clergy who have instilled into our people their present state of mind, and what is happening to-day is due to their influence.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that we have in nowise to blush for the actions of our dlergy, and that, under all circumstances the wisdom of their guidance has led us through the paths of right, of honour and of duty. If the hon. member for Frontenac has the least knowledge of Canadian history he cannot ignore the fact that at the time of the war which resulted in American independence it was the clergy of the province of Quebec who advised the French Canadians to refuse the advantages offered them by the Americans who sought to enlist the aid of the Canadians in the struggle for independence.

Neither is. anybody ignorant of the fact that when the Government, last year, inaugurated national registration by means of cards called national service cards, the clergy took upon themselves as a duty to exhort the people to obey the law. Always, the clergy have shown themselves worthy of their high position and it truly is a matter for regret that we should have in this House members who never allow an occasion to pass when they can throw insults in the face of the clergy of the province of Quebec, in particular, of the Catholic clergy as a whole. Let us remember that at this moment thousands of French priests and monjts are shedding their blood on the soil of France for the cause of liberty and civilization.

Such attacks are unjustifiable and I do not see how I, the representative of a county both French Canadian and Catholic, could let them pass without a reply.

To my mind, the question of the Quebec riot has been debated with such forcible arguments that I have no intention of recurring to all the points discussed; but, Mr. Speaker, one thing is certain: if this riot in the city of Quebec has taken place, it is because the people of Quebec were provoked and, Mr. 'Speaker, it is not solely in the application of the Conscription Act that we meet this provocation.

I represent the county of Rimouski, and in the parish of Mont Joli, barely a few weeks ago, a trainload of soldiers, coming from Ontario or from the western provinces -I do not know which-stopped at Mont

. -i*9

Joli. The soldiers left the train, and proceeded to storm the drug-store, breaking down the doors in order to procure whisky; then they went to the restaurants and insulted the young waitresses there; in a word, they aroused the entire population of Mont Joli who are peaceful folk but who, as our expression has, willl not allow their feet to be trod upon.

It is just such deeds that bring on riots. What happened at Quebec, therefore, is not a matter for surprise.

There is no doubt that the same gang who operated at Montreal was behind the Quebec affair, and perhaps the hon. Minister of Justice will be obliged, before long, to hand over another $10,000 bail in order to get one of these individuals out from behind the bars.

The application of this Act was put into the hands of irresponsible people, most of the time, ne'er-do-wells, individuals totally devoid of discretion, and of judgment, who hie themselves to street corners and there insult peaceful folks, men whose very aspect is a certificate of exemption. For instance, you might have noticed in the papers that the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Fournier) was arrested at Quebec. He was asked to produce his exemption certificate; was it not ridiculous to make such a demand upon a man whose hair is sufficient witness to his age? In a way, of course, it was flattering for him, but on the other hand, it was pretty insulting to have some nondescript of a policeman lay hands upon him, without cause or justification.

Mr. Speaker, feeling' in the province of Quebec is against conscription; there can be no doubt on that score. For my part, I was elected in Rimouski county as an anti-conscriptionist; I was opposed to conscription before it was voted ; I was opposed to it during the elections and I am against it still. I have not changed my conviction, because I believe that this conscription law is inopportune, that it is opposed to the best interests of our country and that it is not a help to the British Empire.

I was saying a moment ago that there had been provocation; well, if there was provocation, there was more than that. Certain high-falutin' personages in the Government of this country came, one day, to give advice to the voters of the province of Quebec, during that notorious election in Dorchester, when Mr. Blondin, the musical-comedy colonel, caane to Dorchester to assist Mr. Sevigny in the contest, and that your humble servant had the advantage of

meeting with him at iSte. Rose de Dorchester.

Mr. Blondin, while I was telling the voters that conscription was on the way, spoke in this vein: "You people here in Ste. Rose; if conscription were to become law in Canada, you are near the American frontier; all you have to do is to escape."

When a man of Mr. Blondin's position comes to the people of St. Rose and says: "If conscription comes to Canada you can escape to the United States," how can you expect the people of the province to submit to this law; to submit, after that sort of advice coming from such an important figure in Canadian politics?

I say that the Government was ill-advised when it passed this conscription law. It seems to me that it would be better under the circumstances to withdraw the law so that, peace of mind may reign once more in all Canadian homes.

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to engage the attention of this House too long, but I wanted to express my opinion before this debate had ended. I received from the voters of the county which did me the honour of sending .me to this House a very definite .mandate: I was elected as an anti-conscriptionist; I aim to-day, and I will remain an anti-conscriptionist.

Topic:   ADOLPHE STEIN.
Full View Permalink