May 3, 1923

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There was the question of importation, for this reason. They voted for control by the government, for the government having the right itself to sell liquor in sealed packages; that is to say, government control, government monopoly within the province over the sale of liquor in sealed packages. But they voted, presumably knowing-and that is why I used the word "presumably"-that while such legislation was going into effect, they would have the right, not to sell, but to import for private use. Consequently the people must be presumed to have voted against the prevention of importation for private use. The minister is putting it within the power of the government of that province to put precisely the opposite into effect, that precisely opposite law being a law that can derive force only from enactment by the parliament of Canada.

I have covered both phases of the argument. The minister sweeps aside the safeguards that all along have been provided, where what is exclusively federal power is put into the hands of a province, and he passes a general law which will enable the lieutenant governor of any province, under certain conditions, to put into effect in that province legislation which is federal legislation, irrespective wholly of the will of the people of that province. The minister says that he is justified because of the resolution. I answer him again that he can plead that for the present the Legislature of British Columbia warns this bill. I may be making too sweeping a statement in his favour, because I have not heard the whole of the debate; but so far as I have heard it, he can plead for the present that the legislature of British Columbia wants this bill. He cannot plead that the people do; he has not the slightest ground to argue that the people do. Every circumstance, every

Canada Temperance Act

fact we know argues that the people do not want it. He can, however, argue that the legislature at the present time wants this bill, or it did last December. But I tell the minister again that he is passing a law that will enable the provincial government, no matter what the people may want, to bring into effect a federal law wholly against the will of the legislature and of the people.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

They have the power to change it.

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

But is it right, sound, or for the public good, that a federal law, a law that derives force wholly from enactment by this parliament, should be allowed to be put into effect by order in council in a province irrespective altogether of the will of the people or of the legislature, and to say in effect, for four years or until some other lieutenant governor, notwithstanding any vote of the people, may choose to wipe it away? I am presenting the case from the constitutional standpoint to the minister, and I venture to say, if the minister had taken it into his own hands and reviewed this phase of it, then, as a result of conditions that I have presented to him now, and that would have arisen to his mind he would have never made himself the party chiefly, responsible for legislation of this character.

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

In rising to say a few words on the question before the committee, I should like to assure the Minister of Justice that British Columbia is not entirely represented in the section of the House, to my right. We members here do not want to occupy the time of the House for hours talking politics, nor to influence the vote that will be taken in Manitoba this summer. The right hon. the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) has been referring to British Columbia and telling the House what the people want out there. I want that hon. gentleman to understand that I represent over one-third of British Columbia, and was sent here by a majority of over 3,200 in excess of the man who ran to support the hon. leader of the Opposition, and I say that the people of the province of British Columbia do want the act that is proposed, and say it without hesitation. It has been repeatedly stated here that the whiskey in British Columbia is no good, and hon. gentlemen refer to it as "prune juice". Two hon. members yesterday afternoon said that they had not known the taste of whiskey for quite a long time. Well, I do know the taste of whiskey, and I am here to say that since the act passed in British Columbia I have got no bad whiskey from the Liquor Control Board of the province. I have never had a drink of poor whiskey from that source yet, and I have taken enough of it to know the difference between good and bad. I can assure the committee that the government in British Columbia is asking for the act; the government desires to get this control. A plebiscite was voted upon by the people of the province and was carried by a majority of nearly 35,000. The people of that province requested the present government to take control of (he liquor of British Columbia, and that same government is in power yet. 'The government feel that they cannot control the liquor situation properly under the present act and they come to this parliament and ask to be given further power. Is that unreasonable? I think that the government of British Columbia are entitled to it.

A great deal of insinuation has been cast at the Attorney General of the province of British Columbia, as well as other members of the local government. I think it should be beneath any member of this House to say a word or cast any insinuation against any member of another legislative body, nor do I think that it becomes any of us to speak disparagingly of those persons who represent the people of the province of British Columbia.

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB
PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

Those gentlemen are not here to defend themselves, and hon. gentlemen in this chamber should bear in mind that if they are to carry the dignity of members of parliament it behooves them to let others alone. Let hon. gentlemen here look after their own affairs. Now, a great deal has been said about the influence that government control is having in British Columbia. One hon. gentleman yesterday wanted to read a whole front page of a newspaper in regard to the matter. I am not going to do that, but I desire to make a few statements in reference to the effect that prohibition has had and is having on some people; it may be interesting for us to know the facts. There is one district in the United States, not a very large district either, where in twelve months 9,401 illicit stills were seized. To carry the whiskey from these stills to the consumers there were in use 309 automobiles, 60 rigs and 93 horses, all of which were seized. These conveyances were carrying the product of these stills around the country. With what effect? In twelve days 103 persons lost their lives through this moonshine that came from these stills, and there were 37 cold-blooded murders in one city on the other side of the international line.

Canada Temperance Act

One prominent public man, speaking in reference to prohibition had this to say:

It is making law-breakers of a large portion of the population, and is helping to create a nation of liars, sneaks and hypocrites.

I think the government is to be congratulated on bringing this bill forward, and I, as one member representing British Columbia here, trust that the Minister of Justice will see that it is carried out as he has submitted it.

Mr. MeQUARRIE: We have been dealing with bootlegging in British Columbia. As I understand it, the decapitated bill will be directed against bootleggers there. I would ask the Minister of Justice whether there is any bootlegging in the province of Quebec?

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

I do not think the question is relevant.

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LIB

Charles Arthur Gauvreau

Liberal

Mr. GAUVREAU:

What has Quebec to do with you? Stick to your own province; we have had enough of you.

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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Amendment agreed to.


LIB

George Newcombe Gordon (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

It has been moved by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. McQparrie) that subsection 5 be struck out and the following be inserted in lieu thereof:

5a. Upon receipt by the Secretary of State of Canada of a duly certified copy of an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council of any province in which there is at any time in force a law vesting in His Majesty or the executive government of the province authority for the control and sale of intoxicating liquor in the province or in any board, commission, officer, or other governmental agency, the right of selling intoxicating liquor in the province requesting that the votes of the electors may be taken for or against the following prohibition, that is to say:

"That the importation and the bringing of intoxicating liquors into such province may be forbidden.''

The Governor in Council shall proceed to take a vote on such question in the manner provided in section 152, and the provisions of sections 152 and 152A and 153 shall as far as applicable mutatis mutandis apply to the taking of such vote.

5b. If the prohibition is declared to be in force, the Governor in Council may by proclamation published in the Canada Gazette declare the prohibitions of subsection 1 of this section in that province, and the same shall thereupon be and continue in force therein.

Amendment negatived.

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

Mr. Chairman, before the bill is reported I would call the minister's attention to the wording of clause (b) of subsection 2:

The carriage or transportation of intoxicating liquor into and through a province by means only of a common carrier by water or by railway, if, during the time the intoxicating liquor is being so carried or

transported, the package or vessel containing the intoxicating liquor is not opened or broken or any of the intoxicating liquor drunk or used therefrom; or,

Why cut out the motor truck? Is it intended?

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

It is intended.

Bill as amended, reported, read the third time and passed.

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Subtopic:   CANADA TEMPERANCE ACT AMENDMENT
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IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. CHARLES STEWART (Argenteuil, Acting Minister of Immigration and Colonization) moved the second reading of Bill No. 136, to amend the Immigration Act. Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Gordon in the chair. On section 1-Enemy aliens:


LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Will the minister give us an explanation of this clause?

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Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

It is simply to conform with our regulations.

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Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
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Section agreed to. On section 2-Deported conspirators:


CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Will the minister explain the significance of this clause?

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Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

It is simply striking out the addition that was made to the act during the war period. It seems superfluous to retain the addition now.

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Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT
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Section agreed to. On section 3-Certain persons to be 4 to belong to the prohibited or undesirable classes:


May 3, 1923