March 11, 1901


lishing the feasibility of that route. At that point, we have the best information obtainable that there has been open water there all this winter, and no solid packed ice as there is at the eastern end of the island. The engineer, Mr. Shewen, assures us that by the action of the currents and the tides, the ice is separated and loosened all the time, and consequently easily navigable by a good ship. But it is somewhat amusing to review the history of this matter. When I had the honour of a seat in this House in 1896, 1 asked the lion, the Minister of Marine what he was going to do in order to keep up navigation between the island and the mainland, and he replied that he had a scheme which he had no doubt would get the support of the hon. member for West Prince. What that scheme was he would not make known then, but he said that he had a scheme, and had $20,000 voted to carry it out. The scheme was this : He hired a tug boat, a boat that would do for towing rafts on Hake Ontario, and had her brought to Prince Edward Island to keep up steam communication. I happened to be in Summerside when that boat came into the harbour there. The people were assembled on the house tops and on the streets watching her coming in. They were able to get her up to the Queen's Wharf, the lower wharf, and a party of tourists boarded her- this craft that had been hired from some pets of the minister up in Ontario. These people took passage to Cape Tormentine, intending to return the same evening. This was in the month of November, and, unfortunately, a little frost came on, causing a light coating of ice to form-and the new boat remained at Cape Tormentine, while the tourists were obliged to go around by Pictou, and return by the old Stanley, that had been built by the Conservative government. And that was all this new boat did. I had occasion to cross in the ice boats from Cape Traverse about the end of February. They were expecting the Stanley. There was open water, and no doubt about the boat running. In the morning I was aroused by the whistle of a steamer. I rose, dressed rapidly, and rushing down stairs, asked the host if the Stanley had arrived, and if that was her whistle that I had heard. He said : ' No, that is the government whistle. She has been there whistling all winter; she whistles us up in the morning and whistles us to bed at night.' And she did nothing to keep up communication between Prince Edward Island and the mainland. Now, as I have said, if the minister would place the Minto between Georgetown and Pictou at the eastern end, and have the Stanley run between Summerside and Cape Tormentine, you would have an ideal system of communication. To have the two boats on the same route as at present is most unwise. Both were stuck In the ice about February 1. If you had one of these boats


L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

plying between Summerside and Cape Tormentine, and the other on the other route, there would be no detention of mails, passengers or freight. But the hon. minister has seen tit to keep the two boats at the eastern end of the province, having no means of communication direct with the western end. This cannot be on account of politics ; we do not want to make this a political question. It is a question that interests every man on Prince Edward Island, and every man in the Dominion of Canada as well. I do not know who is to take the place of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and give an answer to our question. I saw the Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding) here a few moments ago, but he also has disappeared. He went to Prince Edward Island during a by-election two years ago, and barely escaped being imprisoned in the ice also. He came across from Summerside to Point Du Chene, N.B., just in time to escape. He ought to be able to give us a little information on the matter. I see the right hon. Prime Minister is in his place, and I would remind him that in any conversation he has with the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, he should impress upon him the necessity of having terminal facilities completed at Cape Tormentine, and have the Stanley on the route between Cape Tormentine and Summerside, P.E.I., leaving the Minto at the other end of the province. This would enable the government to keep up communication. It should be impressed upon the Minister of Fisheries that a northeast wind which packs the ice in the gulf at the eastern end of the province, loosens it at the western end, so that you always have one route with open loose ice through which a winter boat can navigate. I am glad to see that the Prime Minister is paying attention, and I hope that he will impress this matter upon his colleague. And even if the independent electors of East Queen's do reject his candidate, I hope that both these hon. gentlemen and the government generally will see the necessity of doing something for Prince Edward Island.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   L. H. DAVIES.
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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

I am sorry that my hon. friend and colleague, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, is not here, and that he has not had the advantage of hearing my hon. friend. But, in that hon. gentleman's absence, I can assure my hon. friends that I have taken their remarks all in, and I shall be happy to report everything that has been said to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. If I correctly understand the view of my hon. friend (Mr. Hackett), it is that the Minto should be left at the eastern end of the island, and that the Stanley should do service between Summerside and Cape Tormentine, and that this is the ideal service-almost as good as a tunnel would be.

I shall report that faithfully to my col-

12 82-

league. Meanwhile, there is no objection to the adoption of the motion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   L. H. DAVIES.
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RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.


On the motion :


CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR :

That, in the opinion of this House, the time has arrived when the best interests of Canada demand that the government should without further delay introduce a Bill embodying a workable scheme looking to the granting of adequate retiring pensions to the officers, noncommissioned officers and men of the permanent corps orthe militia of Canada.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.
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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

Stand.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.
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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

Does not the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Prior) move this ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.
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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

Several hon. gentlemen on the other side wish to speak on the subject, and have asked me to allow the motion to stand. Do I understand that if I ask that it be allowed to stand now,-it will be taken off the Notice paper ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

No, I will give another chance. I said at the opening that we would allow motions to stand today if desired, but at the next sitting I will ask that those not moved be dropped. I may remark that the session is advancing, and the hon. gentleman's chances of getting his motion forward are becoming more slim.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.
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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

I would move it to-day but for the absence of supporters of the right hon. gentleman, who wish to speak upon it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.
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The PRIME MINISTER.

Very well, let it stand.

Motion allowed to stand.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   RETIRING PENSIONS TO MEMBERS OP PERMANENT CORPS.
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ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. S. HUGHES (North Victoria) moved :

That in the opinion of this House it would be in the best interests of the militia of Canada were the government or the Minister of Militia to authorize the payment of ten dollars annually towards the expenses of one man, selected under departmental regulations, from each company, squadron and battery, or other unit of the active militia, to attend the provincial rifle Association annual rifle matches, each in his own province ; and that the sum of fifteen dollars annually he granted to each of two men of the foregoing number from each battalion of two hundred and fifty men and corresponding number of cavalry and artillery and other arm of the service while an additional man should be selected for each extra one hundred and twenty-five members of any arm of the service) toward expenses in attending the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association matches annually ; and further, that a liberal supply of ammunition should be granted to each active militiaman free, for practice under proper departmental regulations on local or home ranges.

He said : In placing this motion upon

the paper, I am actuated by a desire to bring the importance of this question to-the attention of the House and the country. I will not dilate here on the great importance of rifle shooting for the defence of any nation, it is not necessary to enter into any sentimental discussion of that aspect of the question. All the arguments have been advanced in years gone by in favour of rifle shooting, and they have been vigorously opposed by those who have taken the opposite view, opposed on the ground of red-tape and other reasons. But all these reasons have been exploded by the recent war and the absolute necessity of encouraging rifle shooting has been made abundantly plain. My object is simply to draw the attention of the minister and of the country to the necessity of the government and of the Militia Department taking cognizance of rifle shooting. I understand that the government are bringing down some scheme of rifle associations. I have not seen the scheme yet, it may be a good one, but I very much fear that a mere scheme of establishing rifle associations over the country, unless they are under the control of the Militia Department in some definite way, will not redound to the benefit of the militia of the country. What I fear is that when these associations are organized these men will disassociate thefiiselves from the militia of the country, at least so far as they can do so under the regulations. We have already existing very good associations, but I feel they can be much improved. I desire again to impress upon the minister the scheme I had the honour of bringing up a number of years ago. Why not offer a prize to each militia company all over Canada, that prize to be a certain payment-I have only put down a nominal sum here, that need not be adhered to-but a certain prize to go in payment of his expenses towards attending the provincial rifle association matches which receive the sanction, the cognizance and support of the various provincial governments all over Canada, and rightly so ? Let the government set apart, say, two men from each unit all over the country to attend these provincial matches, and then pick out say one or two of the best of these men from every battalion or certain sized units to attend the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association matches. The expenditure of money, I am satisfied, would be more than returned to the government in the impetus given to rifle shooting. At present, with the long range rifle, and these long range targets that we must necessarily have now, and expensive targets too, rifle shooting as a science, has largely become centered in the cities. It is almost impossible in a rural district to get a range that will not be objectionable to some one. After you get a range, the first thing you know is an appeal from the township council that it is dangerous, somebody kicks,

and unless the militia is strong enough to control the council, the range has to go. Indeed there is not that incentive to rifle shooting in rural regiments now that there formerly was. One reason is the expense of providing a rifle range, and you cannot expect rural men, with little time at their disposal, to go in for this expensive training.

I take the liberty of drawing the minister's attention to a point which has been considerably discussed by militiamen, and I think he has considered it in the plan that he is carrying out, although I have not seen his plan, in relation to rifle associations throughout the country. I am satisfied that possibly he will be able to adopt some framework of my suggestion here in his new range regulations, if I may call them so. At all events, I trust that the minister, in framing liis resolution on the question of rifle associations and ranges, will give this matter his serious consideration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.
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LIB

Andrew Thorburn Thompson

Liberal

Mr. A. T. THOMPSON (Haldimand and Monk).

Mr. Speaker, in regard to the motion of the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Hughes), 1 have a very few words to say. Personally, I am much interested in the subject of rifle shooting from having had a long connection with the militia of Canada. To my mind, this subject has been, to some extent, neglected in the past, owing to the fact that the people of Canada have not sufficiently realized its importance. One of the good results arising from the South African war is that the people have had called to their attention the fact that good soldiership means the ability to use the weapon of the day. If we go back in history we find that in very early times the ability to use the particular weapon of the time was the fact upon which the winning of the battle largely depended. We find that in the battle of Flodden Field, where, for once the English got the better of the Scotts, the victory was owing largely to the fact that the English had in their ranks the better marksmen. While holding the views I do upon this subject, I have no wish to see adopted in this country a military system that would bear heavily upon the people. We do not, in Canada, want to be ground under the militarism of the old lands, but we want a citizen soldiery which will be effective and which, if need bej can take the field and give a good account of itself and will do so if we have better facilities for rifle practice. I am not in favour of confining the opportunities for rifle shooting merely to military organizations. When I use the term military organizations, I may say that I am speaking of the active militia which is necessarily small in number, being composed of some 40,000 men, which, after all. represents a very inconsiderable proportion of the force upon which the country depends. I have heard it stated by the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence (Hon. Mr. Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Borden), who has always done a great deal ever since he took the portfolio, in the interest of the militia, that rifle clubs are to be organized and facilities given to men to shoot, although they are not active members of the militia. I believe there are limitations imposed to the effect that these men should agree to sign a document that in the case of their services being required they would give them. That, to my mind, would be an entirely unnecessary precaution. I feel convinced that if Canada were in trouble her sons would come promptly to the front and give their services in her defence. When the North-west Territories rebellion broke out the great difficulty was the choice of men. So great was the number of applications that the men were struggling for the places. The same thing occurred when this country offered to send troops to take part in the South African war. I believe that if you teach men how to shoot with tile rifle of to-day you will have provided the best means of defence for this country. Take the little country of Switzerland where they have between 500,000 and 000,000 men who are fair shots at from 000 to 800 and

1,000 yards. There is an immense force in that country to guard its frontiers in time of need. I am heartily in accord with the motion of the hon. member for North Victoria (Mr. Hughes), and I hope the hon. Minister of Militia will take this matter seriously into his consideration and give the members, if not absolutely free ammunition, at least cheap ammunition-ammunition at cost, or even at, perhaps, half cost, and that everything will be done to promote rifle shooting in this country.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.
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CON

David Tisdale

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. DAVID TISDALE (South Norfolk).

Mr. Speaker, I would say, in reference to this expenditure that is foreshadowed for crack shots, that we do not want to forget the general militiamen or volunteer, because, what we want are not a few men that can shoot well, but the encouragement of many men who can shoot fairly well. Otherwise, we would be in danger of paying too much attention to these few men and neglecting the great body of our militiamen. I think it would be well for the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence (Hon. Mr. Borden) to bear that in mind. While I am heartily in favour of both the Dominion and Provincial Rifle Associations, it seems to me that we should pay more attention to securing a large number of men that are capable of shooting fairly well than to get a few who can shoot excellently well. From year to year men grow older, and while they may still have an interest in the subject, they lose the capability of rendering active service which devolves upon the young men who are growing up. Therefore, in my opinion, it is better to have plenty of shooting that is fairly good so that this marksmanship will be available for the defence of the country. The money would be better expended if

some system were evolved that would encourage all of the volunteers and the militia, whether on the reserve or active list, to be * able to master their weapons and shoot fairly well than by giving too much encouragement for a few men in the different battalions who might be able to shoot particularly well.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.
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?

Hon. E. G.@

PRIOR (Victoria, B.C.) Mr. Speaker, I wish to say that I am heartily in accord with the resolution moved by the hon. member for North Victoria (Mr. Hughes). 1 wish to say a word in regard to what the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Thompson) has stated. He says he does not think that any agreement should be asked from the men who join these proposed rifle clubs because Canada always can find plenty of men who are willing to fight for her in the time of need. It seems to me, that, although we can find plenty of men, we cannot always find plenty of men who are first-class rifle shots, and these clubs are proposed for the express purpose of teaching men how to shoot. Why should any man, when he joins one of these clubs, object to signing an agreement to serve ? He knows that the reason that the club is formed is to make men first-class rifle shots so that, in case of need, his services would be worth something to the country. If it were not for that nobody would wish him to join that club. I cannot see any reason why a man who joins a club of that kind should object to signing an agreement to serve in case his services are required. I am perfectly well aware that the governmnt can find plenty of men, as it has done in the past, but it is those men who have proved themselves to be first-class shots that should be the first asked to join when they are required. I do not see any hardship in calling on a man, when the government assists him, either with money, or with ammunition, or by giving him a first-class rifle range, to come forward as a militiaman in the defence of his country. *

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.
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The MINISTER OP MILITIA AND DEFENCE (Hon. F. W. Borden).

Mr. Speaker; I think we should all be very much obliged to the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Hughes) for having brought this matter up. I assume, however, that in doing so, his object was simply to discuss the matter and not with any idea of tying the hands of the department by the actual passage of this resolution. There can be no question as to the vital importance of rifle practice to the militia. The fact is that without it the militia amounts to nothing. That being the case, as I have said recently in another place, the department has been considering the establishment of lifle associations in the country. I expected that before this the proposals would have been formulated and published in the Gazette, but owing to a discussion which took place at the rifle as-41*

sociation meeting the other day, I thought it was desirable to give a little more consideration to the matter. I hope before the militia estimates are considered that the regulations will have been published. I think my hon. friend from Haldimand (Mr. Thompson) will, perhaps, change his opinion later as to the desirability of applying no test to the men who become members of the proposed associations. I agree with the hon. gentleman from Victoria (Mr. Hughes) that it is desirable that a test of some kind should be applied in order to make sure of the good faith of the men to whom we supply rifles and free ammunition to learn the art of rifle shooting. It is the custom of a good many people in the Dominion to pursue rifle shooting simply as a pleasure without any idea of carrying it further in case of necessity. I have no objection to that, but I do not think that we should supply these persons with free ammunition, and it is to make it necessary that those to whom we supply the rifles and ammunition should put their marksmanship to some practical use that we apply the test. Now, that my hon. friend from North Victoria has attained his object in bringing about the discussion I understand that he will withdraw his motion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

I. wish to ask from the minister whether or not his department has under consideration the desirability of training young men throughout the country in the art of riding and manageing horses. I know that progress must be gradual in these things, but it seems to me that this is a matter which the department might take into consideration. In connection with that, the question arises as to whether we can train men throughout the Dominion to shoot from horseback. That also seems to be a very desirable, if not a necessary part of a soldier's training in these days.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.
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The MINISTER OF MILITIA AND DEFENCE.

This matter will be discussed on the estimates. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden) will remember that last session the question of establishing mounted rifles was thoroughly discussed, and I stated that we would make a beginning in Manitoba and the North-west. I think a school will be established, probably in the city of Winnipeg or some part of Manitoba for a coi*ps of the kind designated by the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   ENCOURAGEMENT OE RIFLE SHOOTING.
Permalink

March 11, 1901