August 11, 1917

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

As I said a few moments ago, this suggestion came from gentlemen representing the commission in Ontario, and was with a view to making our law strike at those things which the provincial laws prohibit. As our law stands at the present moment, it is too wide in this sense that it applies to all intoxicating liquor. As I have pointed out, it is well known that large quantities of alcohol are used for purposes that have nothing to do with beverages, and none of the provincial laws so far purport to prohibit the sale of liquor for such other purposes. We, therefore, find ourselves with a law which is intended to aid provincial legislation, which strikes at something at which provincial legislation does not strike at all. My attention was called to the matter solely in the way I mentioned, and it seemed to be

desirable that the subject matter of the offence under our law should be described as is the subject matter of the offences under provincial legislation. I am disposed to think that, save in so far as there might be difficulties created and interferences with people dealing 'with liquor of a kind not intended to be covered at all from the temperance point of view, no evil would follow if our law remained as it was. But this amendment makes it more accurate, and as the suggestion came from the source I mentioned, I felt it would do no injury from the point of view of the enforcement of the provincial law.

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LIB

James Joseph Hughes

Liberal

Mr. J. J. HUGHES:

Will this law make it easier for druggists to import liquor than the former Act did?

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I think not.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I think the druggists will say it will.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

It is not what the druggist is going to say that is going to settle the question. Whether those words are in or not, the man who institutes a prosecution under this measure will have to,prove to the court that that liquor was sent in to be dealt with in violation of the provincial law. The first thing he will have to prove, whether the case is against a druggist or any other man, is that the liquor was to be used for beverage purposes, because unless it was for beverage purposes it could not be used in violation of a provincial law. Every man who seeks to prosecute under this law has to establish two things: first, the sending in of the liquor, and ' second, that it was sent in to be used in violation of a provincial prohibitory law. In order to prove that, he has to establish that the liquor was sent in for beverage purposes. It is not what the druggist is going to say; the man who is prosecuted for bringing in the liquor has to clear himself with regard to what his purposes' were.

A section of the Act which we are amending reads:

On any prosecution for the violation of section 1 of this Act the accused person shall be deemed to have known or intended that such intoxicating liquor would be thereafter dealt with, in violation of the law of the province into which such intoxicating liquor was sent, shipped, taken, brought, carried or imported, unless he proves that he had good reason for believing that the intoxicating liquor would only be dealt with in a lawful manner.

The burden of proof is on the accused to establish that there was no intent to use the liquor unlawfully. In the second place,

['Mr. Doherty.]

the druggist, whom the hon. members have in mind, is 'the druggist who receives the liquor in the province. His offence is an offence under the provincial law, and we shall not affect what will have to- be proved against him for dealing with that liquor in violation of the provincial law. This law deals with the, man in the outside province who sends the liquor. What the druggist says is not going to make any difference in regard to the matter. This man has sent liquor in, he is charged with having sent it with knowledge that it was to be used for unlawful purposes, and it is for him to satisfy the court that he had no knowledge of any intent to use it for unlawful purposes.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

In other words, there

might be two offences for the same act.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

This is to cover the offence of the man outside the province who sends the liquor into that province. That man, of course, could not be reached by the provincial legislation, and it is to reach him that this legislation is enacted.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

That does not affect the man who receives the liquor?

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

No, the province takes care of him.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

I am sure the Minister of Justice'is to be congratulated upon bringing forward this measure. It it a step in advance in the direction of total prohibition in our country. I should, of course, be very glad if total prohibition could be brought about in this country, but the minister assures me that it is not possible at the present time.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

The subject of temperance legislation has engaged the attention of this Parliament and of the local legislatures for many years. The progress made in temperance reform in Canada has been most remarkable, and the end is not yet. I, for one, will welcome the day when national prohibition will be an assured fact in this country. I represent a district which is strongly in favour of temperance and Dominion-wide prohibition, but they did not send me here to legislate for one district or one province alone, but for the whole Dominion. They know that any province in the Dominion can have prohibition just as soon as the people of that province decide in favour of it, through their provincial legislature. In 1893 the Liberal party promised a plebiscite upon the question of

prohibition, and in 1898 the plebiscite was taken and carried by a large majority. But the Government did not enforce it, leaving the matter to the provinces. The provinces then took it up, and while most of them to-day have advanced temperance legislation, none of them have come out for total prohibition.

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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

The hon. gentleman is reading his speech.

Mr. MARCH.: Is that a war-time speech?

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

I am merely giving the dates in connection with this matter. I should also like to call attention to the fact that on the 17th April, 1916, the Minister of Justice introduced a Bill in aid of provincial legislation prohibiting or restricting the sale or use of intoxicating liquors. While this matter has been pretty fully discussed in many of the provinces, the provincial governments have hardly dealt fairly with the people in directing petitioners for total prohibition and their petitions to the Dominion Government, when the provincial governments themselves have power in their hands to bring that about. Let me read a portion of clause 1 of the Bill introduced on the 17th April, 1916:

Any person who by himself, his clerk, servant or agent, and any person who as clerk, servant or agent, officer or employee of any other person, or of any government railway or steamship, whether Dominion or provincial,

(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; or

(b) shall sell or cause to be sold any intoxicating liquor, knowing or intending that such Intoxicating liquor will be sent, shipped, taken, brought or carried into any province from any other province, or from any place outside ot Canada, and 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.

Then follow the penalties. There is no question in my mind that the provinces have the power to prohibit the importation and sale of liquors of any kind.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

If the provincial governments will prohibit the sale or use of intoxicating liquor in the provinces, the Dominion Government ;will support

them and not allow the liquor to be taken in.

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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

That is the law absolutely in the province of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and, I think also,, in Ontario.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

While it is

true that the Dominion Government are prepared to assist the provinces in this matter, not one province has yet taken advantage of this law.

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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

In what way did my

own province, for instance, fail to take advantage of the law?

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG:

Not a province in the Dominion has granted total prohibition within its borders.

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August 11, 1917