July 19, 1917

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

There are different

religious orders existing in this country, and the question whether it was a recognized order on the date of the coming into

force of this Act, is perfectly susceptible of being established. I do not think there would be any use in my giving a list of the orders. Their names do not occur to me at the moment, but they are the Redemptor-ist- order, for instance, and a variety of others. The members of these orders are mostly clergymen anyway. They live in communities together instead of living as individual priests. The hon. gentleman confuses "order" in the phrase "any recognized order " with " holy orders." These men are clergymen whether they belong to any religious order or not. An aspirant to the priesthood takes a succession of orders one after the other. My hon. friend will notice that the term is in the plural " holy orders a man takes more than one order before he becomes a priest. Notwithstanding any doubts that have been expressed there is no question that from the moment a man takes one holy order he' comes within the designation of "clergy."

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The minister says that there are orders which are entirely distinct from what are known as orders of a religious character.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I did not say that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

This section does not limit religious orders to such orders as the Jesuits and Trappists.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

That is the kind of order it refers to-exclusively religious orders.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

What does the minister mean by saying that after a divinity student studies for a certain period he becomes attached to a certain order?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I did not say that. There is what is known as holy orders, that is to say, of ordination, which make a man a clergyman, and ultimately a priest if he takes all the holy orders. That is spoken of as the sacrament of the holy orders. It is not an order in the sense of a gathering of people at all. The phrase "religious order" means a society or body of men joined together for an exclusively religious purpose. The words have no connection whatever with "holy orders," though it is usually true that the member of a religious order has taken "holy orders," just as a person who is not a member of a religious order may have taken them. In the former case the man would be 'both clergyman and a member of a religious order. The word "order" in the phrase "any recognized order" means an association or community of people who live together under JMr. Doherty]

religious rule-the Christian Brothers for instance.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Is there anything to prevent divinity students from at once becoming attached to any one of these religious orders?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

As I tried to point out, there is no connection whatever between divinity studentship and religious orders; I cannot make it clearer.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

My religious training has not been along the lines "of that of the hon. member of South Renfrew (Mr. Graham). If divinity students of all denominations are to be treated alike, I would rather see the words "divinity students" left in.

Mr. PiROULX: The amendment of the

member for Rouville has reference only to persons who are attending divinity or theological schools. I understand that he has used these words in order to meet the objections made by some hon.. gentlemen on the other side. Some one has suggested that if divinity students were exempted there might be a rush towards these orders or to the ministry. By the addition of the wprds suggested by the member for Rouville, the exemption would apply only to bona fide divinity students. For that reason il approve my hpn. friend's amendment.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

My hon. friend (Mr. Doherty) suggests that this question should be approached with an endeavour not to create any more irritation than has been already evidenced in this debate. That is my view also but I must take exception to something that he said. This question is a technical one. Our legislation is more liberal than the American legislation in that it exempts religious orders. The member for Bonaven-ture (Mr. Marcil) has on several occasions mentioned the Christian Brothers. The Christian Brothers are not priests, but they are a religious order, and under the terms of this Bill they are exempted. I quite approve of that; it is a concession - to the liberty of conscience, which -should be a guiding principle. But,

I see no reason why the exemption which was introduced in respect to divinity students, should not be maintained. I must say to the Minister of Justice that I do not pretend to be a divinity -student-I was much flattered, when a moment ago,

I was accused or charged, or lauded, on that ground. However, that expression has never been applied to me before this day- and I am -a pretty old man now. But may I point out to my hon. friend that the

clergy commences with the priesthood; all divinity students are preparing foT the priesthood; minor orders confer nothing at all. They are not even a vow; they are a ceremony and nothing else. That minor orders are part of the clergy is a thing I never heard of. If you provide in the law that they shall be considered as part of the clergy, all right; otherwise it is incorrect to say that they are included in the law.

Mr. HERMENEG1LDE BOULAY (Rim uski) (translation): Mr. Chairman, I would like to have the amendment now before the House read in Erench. I did not have the pleasure of receiving a eoov of it and I would like to know exactly what is the subject matter of the debate.

Th ? CHAIRMAN (Mr. Rainville) (translation) : It is moved by Sir Robert Borden that the words "divinity students" be struck out in subsection 6 of the schedule.

Hon. Mr. LEMIEUX moved in amendment that the words "divinity students" be struck off and replaced by the following: "Students preparing for the ministry in any recognized theological or divinity school."

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Herménégilde Boulay

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOULAY (translation):

I thank you, Mr. Chairman. It seems to me that we have been discussing this famous conscrin-tioa Bill long enough without devising new means, not only to further extend the debate but to increase the uneasiness which is now felt by our population. I have always held in high esteem the hon. Prime Minister who is at pre-ent guiding the destinies of this country; I have always believed him to be a broad-minded man and in every way qualified to fill the lofty position which the country has entrusted to him, but I must say, in all sincerity, that if he ever had an unfortunate hour in his career, it was that very one when this famous conscription Bill was introduced.

The other day, while the Bill was in second reading, we discussed the different clauses and it was agreed that there should be inserted an amendment which seemed acceptable to all of us. I certainly do not know what occurred during these few days, but there must have been in the meantime certain occult influences at work, or rather there must be certain people who are just now exercising a nefarious influence and a pressure most detrimental to the union of the two principal races who form our country's population. As long as that class of people were kept away from any meddling in this country's affairs, we have

enjoyed the blessings of peace and never have we observed the wranglings now apparent in our beloved Canada.

It is unfortunate that a certain class of our population should to-day have the ear of and free access to those who are guiding the future destinies of the Dominion of Canada. It seems to me that this class, such as it was, should have been accepted bona fide, for, after all, let no one charge our priests, those who are in the religious orders, with cowardice in the present war.

See what is going on in France and in Belgium ! Who are they who give the start,

' who set an example to all the troops, to the soldiers and who shed their blood upon the battle fields, if not the French and the-Belgian priests? Can anyone say that our priests in Canada are more cowardly, than these men who are now upon the battlefields of France? Surely, no one would be justified in making such a statement, Mr. Chairman, for we have among our clergy, priests who have enlisted as chaplains, and we shall always find within the clerical ranks men ever ready to fill any position they may be called to occupy whether as chaplain or otherwise. So then, what we are opposed to and what the province of Quebec is opposed to, what we take exception to in our religion, is that this class of men who are ready to sacrifice themselves freely should he compelled to do so through a simple amendment, or enactment. Let none get away with the idea, among a certain class whom I have just designated a moment ago, that if the French Canadians have not enlisted in as large numbers as we would have wished it; let no one believe, that we are trying to exempt as many people as possible from the effect of this Bill; if anyone should get that idea into his head, it is safe to say he would have a wrong conception of the French Canadian mentality. We are just as ready to perform our duty in the province of Quebec, as in any other province. We have stated, at the very outset of the discussion upon this Bill, the reasons wherefore we have somewhat kept aloof.

What are the reasons which have provoked such hostility in the province of Quebec? If one may forirf an opinion from the various speeches made during the debate in this House, if that faction who are so much against Quebec would only go to the pains of looking into those very reasons, if they really meant to have peace and harmony in this country, they would be the first to pray for the discarding of all motives

of hatred and of all such questions as tend to set against one another the two great races peopling this country.

Instead of eliminating from the exemption clause a certain portion of our clergy, as meant by the amendment proposed by the Prime Minister, I would be rather disposed, Mr. Chairman, to make subject to conscription as all others hon. members of this House who are of military age. For my part, I am glad to state that I have tendered my services, although I am fifty-six years old, and I am still ready to renew the same offer; many gentlemen are showing a feeling of pronounced hostility to the province of Quebec, why could they not do as I have seen fit to do myself? I mention these facts in order to show that the province of Quebec is not afraid of doing its duty, but she does not want to be compelled to commit any injustice or acts which completely revolutionize the old system established years ago in our country. Since, as stated by my hon. friend from Eouville (Mr. Lemieux), the United States, a country whose population is nine-tenths Protestant, have seen fit to insert in their military service law a clause exempting the clergy and all religious orders, why should not Canada-where half the population is Catholic-do the same? It seems to me that right and justice demand that the amendment such as presented by the hon. Prime Minister should not be accepted, but that, on the contrary, the amendment by the hon. member for Rou-ville should meet the approval of this House.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Onésiphore Turgeon

Liberal

Mr. TURGEON:

Coming from a province by the. Atlantic seacoast where harmony has, for so many years, reigned supreme, in the preservation of which harmony it [DOT] has been my lot during my life-time, so far as my capacity has permitted me, to co-operate, may I be permitted to appeal to the leader of the Government as earnestly as I have ever done that, in view of the explanations given by the leader of the Opposition and by my hon. friend from St. John (Mr. Pugsley), if he lets the Bill stand as it read last Friday when it was returned to the printers to be reprinted in its present form, lie will not cause any disappointment in the country. If he does not accept the suggestion of the leader of the Opposition, I hope he will at least accept the amendment of the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux)? In New Brunswick, which is comparable with Quebec, so far as the Roman Catholic faith is con-

cerned, the young men who to-day are students of theology, are attached either to the Order in which they are studying or to the bishops to whom they have allied themselves. Every bishop in New Brunswick, Roman Catholic as well as Anglican, is depending on those young men's services which would be available in a year or two. If we take away ten, twenty or thirty of those young men from the clergy of New Brunswick in each diocese we impede the proper exercise of the civilizing effect of Christianity on humanity for which cause we are fighting.

Hon. Mr. SEVI'GNY (translation): Mr. Chairman, I have heard several members state that the clergy of certain religious denominations have asked that they should not be exempted. On the other hand, I hear my compatriots who belong to my own religion, declare thqt the clergy of the province of Quebec should he exempted. I carry no brief, any more than my hon. colleagues of the province of Quebec, to speak here on behalf of the clergy, but I do sufficiently admire the Catholic clergy to declare here, in this House, and anywhere in this country, that they are just as brave, as loyal and as courageous as the clergy of any other religious denomination in Canada.

I do not pretend to be any more of a Catholic than any of my colleagues; but I have for my faith all possible respect and confidence; I follow it and it is that same worship I shall teach my children, I state that no one in this House is justified in saying that the Catholic clergy are not ready to do their duty as well as the clergy of the other denominations in this country. Besides, the clergy of the province of Quebec, as well as the clergy of the rest of the country, are exempted under this Act. It is well known that, in the Catholic religion, as soon as a young man has become _a subdeacon, he is considered a member of the clergy.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Gauthier

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAUTHIER (St. Hyacinthe) (translation) :

Will the hon. minister allow me to ask him a question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Albert Sévigny (Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. SEVIGNY (translation):

Certainly.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Gauthier

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GAUTHIER (translation):

What do you do with the-the first of the minor orders-are they exempted or not by. this Bill?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Albert Sévigny (Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. SEVIGNY (translation):

I beg youT pardon, I did not catch on.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Louis-Philippe Gauthier

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mir. GAUTHIER (translation):

When the theological student puts on the cassock, he generally enters college in October, and at

Christmas he is admitted into the minor orders; is he exempted by your Bill, yes or no?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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CON

Albert Sévigny (Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. SEVIGNY (translation):

T do not believe he is. As for me personally, I am in the sixth class and, although I am a married man and have some responsibilities, when I am called, I shall do my duty, and I am convinced that my colleagues on either side of the House, shall do likewise, when called. Many of us are^married, are fathers of several children, having high responsi-dlities, however, all of them are ready tu perform their duty, should they be called upon to do it; and now we have a young man who has decided to enter into some religious order, whj has no ri spon'sibility, I will put the question to my hon. friend from St. Hyacinthe, is it not only fair that this young man, in a crisis like this, should he called to serve just as myself who have children and consequent responsibilities? That is the question I put to him. I know that my hon. friend from St. Hyacinthe and my other colleagues from the province of Quebec are fair-minded enough to answer me that in a case like that, the youth of twenty or twenty-two-for the young men referred to by my hon. friend are about that age-should be called upon to do his duty with the others.

_ I do not believe that the clergy of my province and of my religion would object to it, because the Catholic clergy of the province of Quebec know their duty, they see the gravity of the situation and they are ready to advise our population to respect laws passed by this Parliament.

Therefore, as a Catholic, having for the clergy of my province all possible respect, knowing that the- priests, the vicars, the curates, the deacons and the subdeacons, as well as the clergymen of other religions, are exempted by the Bill, I declare that it is only fair to ask the young philosophy students as well as those in their first year in theology to perform their duty just as the labourers, the farmers and the married men of my province or of my race who aTe apt to be called under -this Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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LIB

Edmond Proulx

Liberal

Mr. PROULX (Prescott) (translation):

When the hon. minister mentions the deacons and the subdeacons, does he understand that they are included under the term "clergy"?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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July 19, 1917