Mr. H. H. STEVENS (Centre Vancouver):
Mr. Speaker, I noted the words' of caution which fell from your lips when this resolution was introduced, and 1 am conscious at this time that one perhaps lays himself open to a measure of criticism in bringing up this question or discussing it on the floor of this House. There are those in the House and out of it who think perhaps it should not have been done. On the other hand, Sir, if we are not to be permitted to discuss a matter of this kind, or kindred matters, on the floor of the House where, within the confines of Canada, will we find a more appropriate or fitting place? As I conceive my duty as the representative of a constituency in this country, it is to endeavour to properly present to1 my colleagues in the House the views of those whom I represent.
We ,are told by some who think that perhaps this question should not have been brought up that we should have more consideration for our fellow citizens in the province of Quebec, because they have a, unique character, because they are distinct from the rest of Canada, and because they have traditions and customs -which we must observe and respect. To a large degree I frankly acknowledge that that is,the case, and it i6 not my intention to-day to violate in any iway the opinions o-r-feelings of my fellow citizens in the province of Quebec, but I desire to remind you, iSir, and this House that the citizens of the rest of Canada have rights just as well as the citizens of Canada in the province of Quebec. Throughout the length and breadth of this country we have families who have sent two, three, four or five sons to the front. My attention was brought to one in my own city-the fifth son gone to the front, three dead and one lying in a hospital in England. Families such as that have some claim to the attention of the administrators of the law in this country.
It has been rumoured that the -second class was About to Ibe called up. I wish to say with the utmost frankness, and -with all respect and consideration for what the -words may mean, that I think the Government
would be exceedingly ill-advised in calling up the second class until adequate and definite efforts had been made, -and successfully made, to exhaust those who come under the first class-.
British law, Mr. Speaker, is fundamentally rooted in the principles of impartiality, firmness of application, and persistence. I am reminded of the- long trip of several thousand -miles made into the Arctic regions a oo-uple of years ago by two or three Mounted Police officers to apprehend two murderers. After sixteen, months they brought these two murderers from the Arctic circle to Edmonton and. they were there tried. That is simply an, illustration of the administration- of British law wherever the- British flag flies. I am reminded of the famous- CamieTon -case in Abyssinia, and there are many others- that might be called to mind. But twe have this condition in Canada, to-day, that with the -same law and with the same constitution of courts we have entirely diverse interpretations of this Act of Parliament. In one province it is viewed from one standpoint and you have a certain application of it. In eight provinces we find a directly opposite interpretation, and application. It must be apparent to every man of commonsense that one of two things is wrong, and perhaps the two things are wrong-either that the law itself is faulty and needs amendment or correction or strengthening, or else that there is a tendency on the part of one section of the community to disregard the -law. It must be one of these two things,, or perhaps in a measure it may be the two, and what I wish to draw to the attention of the House is that it cannot and must not -be allowed to continue. The law must be impartially administered in all sections of the * country. We had the assurance of the right hon. the Prime Minister the other day that it would be so, and I must say that I am willing to admit, and to frankly and cheerfully admit, that I trust in the good faith, of the Prime Minister. But, Sir, in my province, in the Western Provinces and in Ontario, you find tribunals constituted under this Act
Subtopic: MOTION OF MR. J. A. CURRIE FOR LEAVE TO ADJOURN THE HOUSE TO DISCUSS.