August 19, 1914

SUPPLY.


On motion of Hon. W. T. White (Minister of Finance) it was ordered that the House on Thursday next go into Committee to consider of the Supply to be granted to His Majesty.


WAE MEASUEES BILL.

?

Frederick William Borden

Sir EOBERT BOEDEN:

Might I ask my hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) if it will be convenient and agreeable to him to take up now the resolution which stands in the name of Mr. Doherty for the purpose of

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' COMMONS


enabling him to have the Bill read the first time?


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear.

Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved that the House go into Committee to consider the following proposed resolution:

1. Resolved, that It is expedient to enact legislation to ratify and confirm measures consequent upon the present state of war.

2. That the issue of a proclamation by His Majesty, or under authority of the Governor in Council, shall be conclusive evidence that war exists and has existed for any stated period, and that war has continuously existed since the 4th day of August, 1914, and shall be deemed to exist until the Governor in Council by proclamation, declares that it no longer exists.

3. That the Governor in Council may authorize such acts and things and make such orders and regulations as he may by reason of the existence of real or apprehended war, invasion or insurrection, deem necessary or advisable for the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada ; including,-

(a) Censorship and the control and supres-sion of publications,, writings, maps, plans, photographs, communications and means of communication;

(b) Arrest, detention, exclusion and deportation ;

(c) Control of the harbours, ports and territorial waters of Canada and the movements of vessels;

(d) Transportation by land, air, or water and the control of the transport of persons and things;

(e) Trading, exportation, importation and manufacture;

(f) Appropriation, control, forfeiture and disposition of property and of the use thereof.

4. That compensation shall be made for property permanently appropriated under any enacted legislation, order or regulation; that ships or vessels used or moved, or goods, wares or merchandise dealt with contrary to order or regulation, may be seized and shall be liable to forfeiture; that penalties may be imposed for violations of such legislation ; that no person held for deportation or under arrest or detention as an alien enemy or upon suspicion, or to prevent his departure from Canada, shall be released upon bail or otherwise discharged or tried without the consent of the Minister of Justice, and that every order and warrant made or issued by any minister under such legislation, or Order in Council, or regulation thereunder, shall be conclusive evidence of all statements and matters therein made or contained, and no court or judge shall inquire into or make any order in respect thereto.

5. That the Immigration Act be amended to

provide that no resident of Canada who leaves Canada to perform any military or other service for any country then at war with His Majesty, or for the purpose of aiding or abetting in any way His Majesty's enemies, shall be permitted to land in Canada, or remain therein, except with the permission of the minister. -

6. That, notwithstanding the provisions of section 8 of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police Act, Revised Statutes 1906, chapter 91, the Governor in Council may from time to time authorize the appointment of such number of constables, supernumerary constables, scouts and boys, in addition to the numbers limited by the said section, as he thinks necessary.

He said: At the outbreak of this unfortunate war, as was, indeed, to be expected, we found ourselves in a position where our laws, made for the general welfare in times of peace, were not absolutely adequate to give clear legal authority for many measures of the very first necessity to be taken in view of the existing conditions. Some steps had to be taken before this House could be gathered together which were beyond any express legal authorization. In this resolution and the Bill that is proposed to be based upon it, you will find that it is provided that such steps so taken shall be ratified. The steps that are proposed to be ratified are such as, if the proposed legislation had been in force, would have been authorized by it.

The House will observe that the Bill to be based upon the resolution proceeds not by direct enactment of specific provisions of law to meet particular cases, but, by granting a wide power to the Governor in Council, by Orders in Council or by regulation, to make such provision as he may deem necessary or advisable to meet those conditions that have arisen or may arise by reason of the state of war which now prevails. It is true that with regard to certain matters, it might perhaps have been possible to realize just what present conditions require and to enact direct legislation with regard to them, or to provide in a specific manner for authority to the Governor in Council to deal with them in a particular way. Bui, after giving the matter the fullest consideration, and listening to and carefully thinking over the numerous suggestions that came to the Government from many quarters, it appeared to us that the wiser course was to ask this House to give to the Government of the day the power to exercise its own judgment as regards the requirements that the various conditions which we have to apprehend may call upon us to meet. We have therefore determined to ask this House to empower the Governor in Council to take such steps and proceedings and adopt such orders and regulations as he may deem necessary for the defence and security, peace, order and welfare of this

country during the troubled times through which we are called upon to pass.

We have endeavoured to enumerate, not as restricting in any way the general power, but for the purpose of giving, so far as it is possible, the people of Canada an idea of the subjects with which we think it maybe necessary to deal, a certain number of classes of subjects to which that power is to extend. With regard to some of those subjects, we have already found it necessary to take action, as the House has been made aware by t'he statement of the right hon. the Prime Minister.

The resolution also provides for an amendment to the Immigration Act, with a view of adding to the prohibited classes under that Act the class of persons resident in Canada who leave this country for the purpose of giving aid to the enemy, and who may afterwards seek to return. That provision is that such persons shall not be entitled to return to Canada, without, at all events, special permission being granted.

There is also a provision looking to an extension of the number of the members of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. There are incidental provisions also with regard to the carrying out of the orders and regulations which the House is asked to authorize the Governor in Council to pass. We are not unaware that in proposing a measure of this kind we are asking the representatives of the people of Canada for an expression of very wide confidence in us. I think it might, perhaps, be more correct to say that we are asking the people of Canada to entrust us with a very wide power. The justification for their doing so is not to be found in any confidence they may entertain in ourselves individually; nor do we, in asking the House for this wide power, rely upon any confidence that they may entertain in us personally. I am Satisfied that no question of personal qualifications can arise in this connection; the justification for our demand is to be found in the necessities of our common country. We are quite aware that in asking for this wide .measure of power we are asking you to lay upon our shoulders a very heavy burden of responsibility, and if we were looking to our personal advantage or personal comfort in the matter, we might perhaps be tempted to shirk that responsibility. But, under the conditions of to-day, it is for every man to do that which lies within his power, on behalf of our country, whose fate, in common with the fate of the entire Empire, is hanging in the balance. Fortune has willed it that we should be in

the position where the assumption of this heavy burden becomes the manifest duty that we are called upon to perform. In submitting this measure we express our readiness to take upon our shoulders that heavy burden; and we venture to believe that in presenting it to a House that is itself, as are the people whom it represents, divided on no party lines to-day, we may count on it that they will see that as it is our duty to take this burden it is their duty to ilay it upon our shoulders.

After the most eloquent and patriotic) address of the right hon leader of the Opposition, I feel that I may say that we can with perfect confidence submit this measure to the consideration and for the action of this House. I may add that of course we shall be glad of any suggestions which may be given tending to improve it in form or in substance. We are not wedded to the precise terms of any particular provision of this measure, and all we seek in laying it before the House is to have the sanction of this House to our doing the best that is in us under these trying circumstances for our common country.

The whole principle of the measure to be based on the resolution is that the necessities of the conditions in which we find ourselves are such that it is necessary for the people of Canada to place their confidence in us for the time being, and when we come forward and ask them to do so, we assure them that we realize how heavy is the burden of responsibility that it carries with it; and further give them the assurance that, while the powers to be conferred on us are large, in their exercise we shall endeavour to bear in mind the desirability of departing as little as it may be possible, in view of the interests and the necessities of the country to-day, from the rule of the ordinary laws under which our country is governed under normal conditions.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Hon. WILLIAM PUGSLEY :

Animated as we all are by a desire to facilitate in every way the despatch of measures which the Government deem necessary on this occasion, I trust that my hon. friend will not think I am unduly delaying the proceedings if I venture to make some remarks with regard to a portion of the resolution now under consideration. The Minister of Justice very properly invited criticism or suggestions in respect to the matter, and I am .sure he will pardon me if I call attention

to a provision in this resolution *which I think requires very careful consideration and very strong reasons

to be given for its adoption. That is section 4. Section 4 really suspends the Habeas Corpus Act. It does not say that in words, but that is its effect. It takes away, with regard to persons who may come under its provisions, the right of every man to appeal to the courts, and to have those who are depriving him of his liberty compelled to show before a court or a judge the reason why he is being deprived of his liberty and is being kept in prison. That is a pretty serious enactment to make, because there is no measure which English people regard with greater appreciation and of which they are more jealous and have been for centuries than the Habeas Corpus Act; and I think that, before that Act is suspended and the liberty of the subject is left entirely in the hands of the minister for the time being, very strong reasons ought to be shown for it. The section reads as follows:

That compensation shall be made for property permanently appropriated under any enacted legislation, order or regulation; that ships or vessels used or moved, or goods, wares or merchandise dealt with contrary to order or regulation, may be seized and shall be liable to forfeiture; that penalties may be imposed for violations of such legislation; that no person held for deportation or under arrest or detention as an alien enemy or upon suspicion, or to prevent his departure from Canada, shall be released upon bail or otherwise discharged or tried without the consent of the Minister of Justice, and that every order and warrant made or issued by any minister under such legislation, or Order in Council, or regulation thereunder, shall be conclusive evidence-*

Not prima facie evidence, but conclusive evidence.

of all statements and matters therein made or contained, and no court or judge shall inquire into or make any order in respect thereto.

That resolution strikes at the dearest liberties of a British subject. It may be that the occasion has arisen which demands such extraordinary legislation. I think it will be incumbent upon my hon. friend to show the committee that such occasion has arisen,, and that in the interests of Canada and of the Empire this extraordinary enactment should be made. I desire only at present to call the attention of the_ Minister of Justice to the matter, and no doubt my hon. friend will give some attention to this clause before it comes before the committee for consideration.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

It is proposed that, after the Bill has had its second reading, it shall be referred to a special committee for careful consideration of each one of its dispositions. An opportunity will in that way be afforded, before it comes to the final judgment of the House, very fully to consider the effect of its dispositions and the teasons that lie behind them. I realize fully the gravity of the disposition which my hon. friend has read, and I may say that it is only after giving it very serious consideration that we have put it forward. But still we shall be glad to have the benefit of its further consideration by a special committee.

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Motion agreed to, resolution considered in committee, reported, and concurred in. Mr. DOHERTY thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 2, to confer certain powers upon the Governor in Council and to amend the Immigration Act. Motion agreed to,, and Bill read the first time. On motion of Sir Robert Borden, the House adjourned at 5.45 p.m. Thursday, August 20, 1914.


August 19, 1914