April 5, 1918

L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I am quite aware that

that is not General Lessard's account; General Lessard was not in town at the time. For the information of my right hon. friend, 1 may tell him that about six o'clock on Sunday I was entering the Garrison Club when I saw a party of sold'crs coming up the street under command of Captain Dunn. I said: "What is the trouble?"-for everything seemed to be quiet at that time. He did not say very much; but he ordered his men along and they went up Citadel hill. Then Colonel Beaubien came along and saidj " Did you have any trouble, Dunn?" "Yes, sir." "Any shots fired?" "Yes, sir; our men fired two or three shots; don't know if anybody was hurt." That is the source of my information. Whether this was reported by the military men to the Government, I know not, but I happened to be there by accident and this is what was said. However, I think that even then the situation might have been satisfactory. On Sunday night the rioters, that is to say, the young men who had taken part in these disgraceful scenes-L cannot but condemn them and will condemn them as long as I can-these young men were about satiated; they had seen that force was to be used;

they had seen fixed bayonets and realized that the militia were determined to put down all riots and rebellion with a strong hand. Things, therefore, were becoming quiet.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

Who were these young

men, and where did they live? Were they from St. Roch's?

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I am not from St. Roch's; I have not very much acquaintance with the people there. Moreover, I have been away for the past three years and do not know many of the younger generation.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Tell him why

you were away from Quebec.

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

As I was about to say, on Sunday night the rioting was about over. The rioters were to a certain extent cowed by the display of arms. At that period the Government officials in Quebec-that is to say the then public representative, Mr. Taschereau, who is now registrar, accompanied by one Colonel Machin, who, I understand, went to Quebec as the representative of the Militia Council, spoke to Arm-and Lavergne. I wish to state here positively that Armand Lavergne has never been, is not, and possibly never will be a political friend of mine. I have nothing to do with taking up his defence; I am only stating the facts of the case from my own personal knowledge and from the information which I have been able to secure. Armand Lavergne was summoned to the Chateau Fron-tenac by telephone, and there was asked if there was anything that he could suggest with a view to putting down the riots. Armand suggested that he speak to the rioters, so I understand-and I think we are in a position to prove from Armand's own words -that he was asked by Colonel Machin and Captain Carruthers (whose position I do not know) if he would attempt to appease the crowd. Armand told them he would, and left the Chateau Frontenac after they had wished him Godspeed, and told him that anything he said would be accepted.

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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

That was a

pretty large order.

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

It was; it is the largeness of the order that surprises me, particularly when given to Armand Lavergne, who is supposed to be the arch-rebel of Quebec, as he states himself. However, Armand met the rioters and told them he had been instructed by his friends in the Government to allay the troubles, and asked them to go quietly to their homes, saying that if they did the Government would see to it that

the troops would no longer patrol the streets, and if possible the obnoxious detectives would be withdrawn. Now, I see by the newspapers that the Government have to that extent carried out Annand's promises on their behalf, for they have withdrawn the detectives in the last few days. Armand made those promises, and the crowd went home. On the same evening Armand returned to the Chateau Fron-tenac and was congratulated on his work by the public representative in Quebec and by Colonel Machin, a member of the Militia Council, and the representative of the Minister of Militia.

Major-General MEWBURN: He has

nothing whatever to do with the Militia Department.

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I accept the minister's

statement. I should have said the representative of the Minister of Justice.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

He is certainly not my representative.

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UNION
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I understood the hon. gentleman to say that Armand Lavergne was my representative.

Major-General MEWBURN: The hon.

gentleman said that Colonel Machin was the representative of the Militia Council, and I said no, he was not.

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

After all these denials by

the Government, I do not know exactly who Colonel Machin is, tout he appeared to have some official position.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not want any misunderstanding. Colonel Machin was the representative of the Military Service Council, and we have no apologies to make for him.

Mr.. POWER:. The Minister of Militia and the Minister of Justice may have a fight on this matter, but I am neutral. At all events, Colonel Machin represented' somebody, because the Prime Minister read a report from him. Whoever he was, he congratulated Armand Lavergne on his work on the evening of Sunday, March 31.

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UNION
L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

thirty or forty thousand, but appeals on the part of individuals were very few. These appeals began to be heard some time in January. The judges heard witnesses, allowed the conscript to state his case, and to be represented by counsel, and the case was heard like an ordinary civil case. Everything went welh Later on, the Government or the Minister of Justice, or someone else in authority-because after my experience with Colonel Machin I do not know just where to place the responsibility -decided that perhaps the law was being too well observed in Quebec, that they reported well, and that their exemptions were being pleaded well. But the rumbling of the storm which broke out this evening, was being heard in the other provinces, and it was suddenly decided to clean up in six weeks the cases which in the ordinary course of events would have taken six months to decide. Hundreds of people were summoned to the courts; relatives and children came to hear these exemption cases. There is nothing discussed except exemption and exemption and exemption. So long as the cases were carefully listened to, nothing was done; but from the moment that a judge was brought from Three Rivers, conditions changed. As a member of the Bar, I have the utmost respect for the Bench, but a certain judge was brought from Three Rivers, and with all the brutality which characterized Judge Jeffries in the worst time of English history, he refused to listen to draftees, treating them rudely, would not allow attorneys to'state their clients' cases, insulted any one who appeared in court

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order; the hon. gentleman is not in order in making such a statement with respect to a member of the Bench.

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I withdraw my statements with regard to the judge. However, there was a feeling in Quebec that certain members of the Bench were more or less inclined to be adverse to the draftees. Even that did not affect things very much until the Government adopted the system of Government by Order in Council. First, an Order in Council was passed to the effect that the family physician was no longer to be considered as an expert in the case, that his finding was to be submitted to the Board of Medical Review, and the decision of the Board of Medical Review was to be final. In one case a family physician produced a sworn certificate before the judge to the effect that Mr. So-and-So was an epileptic and had suffered from epileptic fits all his life. That man went before the Board of

Medical Review and he was classed A-l because he could not have an epileptic fit at the proper time to convince the Board of Medical Review. These cases were well known. Everybody in Quebec talked about them.

Then, we had another Order in Council to the effect that the delays foreseen by the law-that is three days and, in some cases, twenty days, to allow for appeal from the decision of the first tribunal-would no lpnger count. Apparently, from the interpretation which we have had of this Order in Council, these delays were only to count in favour of the Government. A poor devil who wished to apply for his exemption, and who had been in the bush somewhere, or in the back blocks, had not a chance within the twenty days and was conscripted; whereas, if through lack of diligence on the part of the officers of the Government, the public representatives, and others, thfey had forgotten to apply for the review of a certain man's exemption, the Government representatives were perfectly at liberty to take the law into their own hands and see that the appeal was carried on. There was a further Order in Council prohibiting rehearing, but with that I am not familiar.

However, these are only some of the causes. The question of the men who were placed in charge of the enforcement of the Military Service Act has already been very fully dealt with by my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, but there were other things which were said, and I think with some show of justice, because arrests took place in Montreal and it was stated that certain Dominion detectives held up people on the streets, and, if their papers were not exactly right, these Dominion detectives asked them to give them $2, or $5, or $1.0, and they would let them go free. I understand that certain people were arrested in Montreal under those circumstances. There was another rumour. This is for the information of my hon. friend who asked :me a question some time ago. I hope to be able to substantiate it at some other time, because I cannot substantiate it to-night. But it is a rumour and I am giving the causes of the riot. It was rumoured among the people that the Dominion detectives were in the habit of tearing up the exemption papers.

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UNION

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Unionist

Mr. MORPHY:

Were these the papers of persons who were strangers to the city of Quebec?

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L LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Laurier Liberal

Mr. POWER:

The rumour was that certain of these detectives had torn up papers belonging to exempted men.

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UNION

April 5, 1918