August 11, 1917

LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mt. DOHERTY:

We will take it that it is in the Code in plain words and will not discuss it further. But I adhere to what I said, that I do not think a man has a grievance because he has to submit himself to a magistrate, subject to appeal to the higher court, with the option of having his trial by jury. So far as the question of bail is concerned, if the magistrate cannot or will not admit him to bail, the accused has his recourse before a judge of a higher court.

Topic:   XI, 1917
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

For a man living in a city, where judges are easily accessible, the consideration which the minister advances may be some consolation, but if a man lives twenty or forty miles away from a judge and is put in a lock-uip by a magistrate it is not as easy as the minister might think to obtain authority for bail. However, the minister thinks it is all right. Every word of subsection 2 and all the procedure is of a summary character, the language of the Summary Convictions Act is used. Everything is summary in its nature and procedure except that this is made an indictable offence, with three months in j ail if the fine is not paid.

Bill reported, and read the third time and passed.

Topic:   XI, 1917
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SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.


BILL, IN AID OP PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION; THIRD READING. On motion of Hon. C. J. Doherty, Bill No. 121 to amend an Act in aid of provincial legislation prohibiting or restricting the sale or use of intoxicating liquors was read the second time and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Rainville in the Chair. On section 1-Insertion of words "for beverage purposes ": *


LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Are these amendments being inserted at the request of any particular provincial government or temperance association, or as the result of experience gained during the past year? What is the raison d'etre?

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

There are different

Taisons d'etre. Some have been suggested by representatives of the authorities for the administration of prohibitory legislation, as in Ontario by the commission appointed under their statute. Others have been asked for by persons interested in temperance in certain provinces, more particularly in New Brunswick, and for the purpose of meeting legislation, in New Brunswick in particular, and legislation that I understand it is within the power of the commission in Ontario to bring into effect, if it has not already done so, and to give to that legislation the support or aid that is given to general legislation upon the subject by the Act of last year. Then, one amendment is to correct an omission in one of the sections of thq Act passed last year. The Senate last year struck out a clause inserted by the Commons, and in accepting the Senate amendment it was announced in this House that another effort would be made to< re-insert this clause in the Bill. The clause providing for the right of seizure of liquor has been introduced on representation of the authorities engaged

in the enforcement of the law in the provinces, who have pointed out that grave inconvenience has resulted from the fact that, while the liquor was liable to confiscation on conviction, there was no provision under which it could be seized and held pending prosecution. The first clause is to insert in paragraph (a) of section 3 of chapter 19 of the Statutes of 1916, after the word "liquor" the words for "beverage purposes."

As the section reads now, it makes it an offence for any person to ship intoxicating liquor into a province. The old section reads:

(a) Shall send, ship, take, bring or carry or cause to be sent, shipped, taken, brought or carried to or into any province from or out of any other province, or import into any province from any place outside of Canada any intoxicating liquor, knowing or intending that such intoxicating liquor will or shall be thereafter dealt with in violation of the law of the province into which such intoxicating liquor is sent, shipped, taken, brought, carried or imported as aforesaid;

This amendment is inserted upon the suggestion of the authorities in Ontario charged with the carrying out of the liquor law. They point out that their prohibition is against the sale of liquor for beverage purposes, and was not intended to interfere with the shipping of liquor for any other purpose not prohibited by law. It was a mere oversight in the legislation of last year.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

How does the hon. minister distinguish between liquor sent for beverage purposes, and liquor sent for other purposes?

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

It is necessary in order to bring the offence under the law, to establish that the liquor is being sold for beverage purposes. That is the offence, and this imposes no additional requirements. In order to constitute a violation of the law, it must be sent for the purposes of being sold for beverage purposes, because that is the only violation of the law; and this is intended to avoid making prohibition which nobody desires. Nobody wishes to prohibit the free circulation of liquor for the purposes for which no province prohibits its use. Of course, it would be incumbent on tlfe prosecutor to prove the liquor is being sent in for the purposes of violating the law. I do not know that any occasion has arisen for this provision, The request for this enactment comes really from the authorities charged with the administration of the legislation in Ontario.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. J. J. HUGHES:

Would the quantity of liquor not very largely determine the use for which it was intended?

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Yes, and the question whether the liquor is really suitable for beverage purposes. You may have liquor that would be very intoxicating, if you drank it, but not in a condition to be used for beverage purposes. These are the matters which, in a prosecution for violating the provincial law, would have to be dealt with. We are not adding anything to the difficulty in dealing with cases in making our law correspond with the prohibitory law of the province. I do not think any harm would be done if the law stood as it is. It is only as our attention is called to the fact that there was an inaccuracy, and it was suggested we should correct that inaccuracy, that this amendment is proposed, because if you send in liquor not for beverage purposes, it could not be said that it was sent in for the purpose of being sold in violation of provincial law, inasmuch as the prohibition of the provincial laws deal with liquor for beverage purposes. Large quantities of alcohol are used in the manufacture of munitions. It would be unfortunate if, by the wording of this law, there should be any interference with the handling of liquor manifestly only used for purposes of that kind.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. J. J. HUGHES:

When the Bill which passed last session was before the committee, it was thought by some that perhaps it was not intended to be very effective. I thought it would be a step in the right direction anyway, for pretty heavy penalties were attached to the carrying of liquor into provinces where the sale was prohibited. I think the minister read the clause in the Bill passed last year, and I desire to call his attention and that of the Government to the fact that the employees of the Government are the real offenders in this case, so far as the province of Prince Edward Island is concerned. I am quite safe in saying that nine-tenths of the liquor imported into the province is carried on the Government railways and steamships, and it could not be carried without the knowledge of the employees, if they have ordinary intelligence.

A small portion of it is carried on the steamers subsidized by the Government, owned by private people, and the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), I think, intimated last year that he would notify the owners or managers of the steamers so subsidized that if they knowingly violated the law the payment of the sub-

sidy might be withheld. I do not know that any notice was ever sent out. I rather think not. This traffic could not be carried on to any great extent if the government employees did not connive at it. If the government employees were determined that they would not be any party to it but would do the best they could to prevent it, and if the officers of the steamers subsidized by the Government would act in the same way, the traffic, so far as Prince Edward Island is concerned, would be practically stopped.

I would like it very much if the Minister of Justice, and the Government generally, would take any action they could along that line. We are peculiarly situated in Prince Edward Island, because practically the whole traffic is carried on between that province and the mainland by government-owned railways and steamers, and the smaller portion is carried by the subsidized steamers. I think something ought to be done to prevent the traffic.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Government employees and employees of the steamships are subject to penalties under the Act, as everybody else is, but quite apart from that, I quite recognize that anything that can be done to impress upon them the necessity of being law abiding citizens ought to be done, and I shall be glad to call attention to what the hon. gentleman has 'stated.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

At whose instance is this amendment introduced? Is it at the instance of the Provincial Governments, or any of them, or temperance societies?

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The suggestions come from different directions. The principal sections are concurred in by the commission in Ontario charged with the administration of the provincial law and by people very much interested in the enforcement of the prohibitory law, I might say in a special way, in New Brunswick.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

What commission in Ontario is that to which the minister refers?

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I cannot give the official designation of it, but I understand that, in the operation of the provincial prohibitory law, large powers are entrusted to a body which I believe-I have had the pleasure of meeting the head of it-is called a commission.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The authority constituted under the provincial Act to see to its administration. Representations have come from New Brunswick, and strong representations from different associations interested in the promotion of temperance, in support of such of the provisions as are new. As I have intimated, one of the provisions-and it is an important one-seeks to reintroduce and to replace in the Act of last session a section which the Senate struck out. That provision we are introducing now in fulfilment of a promise, made when the Bill came back from the Senate last year and was accepted with that clause struck out, that we would again ask the House to pass the section and send it back in order, to afford the Senate an opportunity of reconsidering its action.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

The Act which we passed last year is to give effect to different temperance legislation passed in different provinces. So faT so good. If this amendment in the first section is asked for by the temperance societies, I have nothing more to say. But it seems to me that it is opening the door to very severe abuse and not making the enforcement of the law easier. Drug stores are places in which such legislation may be violated, and it is a well known fact that in many sections drug stores supply liquor. Suppose a druggist imports a certain quantity of liquor. If you ask him what he is importing it for, he will say, with some appearance of reason, that he is not importing it for beverage purposes, but that he requires liquor in the preparation of his drugs. Drugs are frequently prepared with alcohol, and this provision is supplying, a good reason for the druggist to say: I want it in my own business. The effect may be to break the law.

Topic:   SALE OR USE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS.
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August 11, 1917