July 5, 1935


On the orders of the day:


Ian Alistair Mackenzie


Hon. IAN MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of National Defence or to the Prime Minister-I am sorry I was not able to give notice of it-in response to telegrams that I have received this morning with respect to the movement of the men at Regina back to British Columbia. The question is this: Is the government prepared to cooperate with the government of the province of British Columbia to ensure that only those properly domiciled in British Columbia will be returned to that province? Also, will the Minister of National Defence take steps to see that those who were properly in the camps will 'not be returned to the city of Vancouver?


Grote Stirling (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. GROTE STIRLING (Minister of National Defence):

I shall be very ready to take into consideration the request of the hon. member. It is a little difficult at the

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present moment to make any definite reply because the movement of these men to whom the hon. member refers is at present being carried out by the premier of Saskatchewan.


Ian Alistair Mackenzie


Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I want to make it very definite that there is no objection to -returning to British Columbia those who are properly domiciled in that province, but we know very well that not twenty-five per cent of those in the camps and properly domiciled in the province of British Columbia belong to the active strikers.


Grote Stirling (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of National Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)


Yes, I think I fully realize that point.



On the orders of the day:


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday this house -passed a bill approving a treaty between Poland and Canada which had the effect of reducing duties on some of the commodities of each of these countries. May I aisk the Pri-me Minister whether further progress has been made towards effecting such an arrangement with the United States, an arrangement that will have the effect of reducing the duties, on each side, on certain commodities, something that is greatly to be desired?


Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, .1 have nothing to add to what I said the other day. If any finality had been reached I would have advised the house, but- no final conclusion has been reached with respect to any of the terms that would enable me to make a statement to the house.

BORSTAL SYSTEM On the orders of the day:


Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, some little time ago

my hon. friend from Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) asked me if any statement would be made in the house in regard to the establishment of the Borstal system in the penitentiaries of the Dominion of Canada. I have now obtained what is called an interim report on the subject from the superintendent of penitentiaries together with a number of appendices,^ some five or six, which if the house will permit me I would like to put on Hansard for the benefit of the members.

The superintendent of the penitentiaries visited Great Britain and returned about the first of June. During his visit there he carefully examined many of the leading Borstal

[Mr Stirling.]

institutions. Those particularly noted in the report are the ones at Wormwood Scrubs, Wandsworth, Feltham, Portland, Rochester, Lowdham Grange. Those are the leading Borstal institutions in England at the present time.

In his interim report the superintendent sets out in a good deal of detail his observations, and I would particularly draw to the attention of the house the statement contained in appendix "B" which sets out the youthful papulation in Canadian penitentiaries as of the seventeenth day of June last. In Kingston penitentiary there are 42 under the age of 21 years; in St. Vincent de Paul, 92; in Dorchester penitentiary, 46; in Manitoba penitentiary, 33; in British Columbia penitentiary, 19; in Saskatchewan penitentiary, 22; in Collin's Bay penitentiary, 12. Of course the house is aware that by far the larger portion of youthful offenders in Canada are not in the federal institutions but are in provincial reformatories, prisons, gaols, homes and various other provincial institutions.

The superintendent reports that the Borstal system may be introduced into Canadian penitentiaries within the next sixty days. There will be no legislation necessary to achieve this end. The Penitentiary Act is already broad enough to provide for it. There is sufficient in the penitentiary vote to cover all the expenses of instituting -that system in the Canadian penitentiaries-. Some additional staff will be -required as is set out in the report and it will be necessary to construct some additional buildings but in the opinion of the superintendent this system can be made applicable to the Canadian penitentiaries within sixty days and be based almost precisely upon the system now in effect in Great Britain. In Great Britain the prison population is under a single government, the prison commission. They do not have provincial institutions to deal with such as we have. There are many different prisons and the report gives a fairly good idea of what is accomplished in this respect in the leading Borstal institutions in Great Britain. The government is prepared to adopt the Borstal system in Canadian penitentiaries for the youthful prisoners. I ask leave of the house to have this report placed on Hansard for the use of hon. members. The report reads:

Memorandum to the Deputy Minister of Justice

Re: Interim report on the Borstal system of England.

Re: Convicts under twenty-one years of age in Canadian penitentiaries.

1. By direction, the undersigned proceeded to England for the purpose of making an

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exhaustive study of the Borstal system, with a view to advising the government as to how best it could be tried out in Canada, arriving in England on Sunday, April 30, 1935, and embarking for Canada on Saturday, May 25, 1935.

2. The undersigned reported to the home office on Monday, May 1st, and here begs to express his deep appreciation of the courtesies extended to him by the Home Secretary, the chairman of the prison commission, the prison commissioners, and the governors and officers of Borstal institutions and prisons.

3. Commissioner A. Paterson, M.C., devoted some time to the undersigned, and apparently came to the conclusion that the undersigned had a sufficiently wide knowledge of the Borstal system that a program might be immediately arranged for visits to Borstal institutions, with a view to making an exhaustive study of the management and training of the young prisoners who are the inmates of Borstal institutions.

4. The program arranged carried the undersigned through all stages, from the institution of reception to the institution where the greatest amount of liberty is permitted to the Borstal inmate, and included the following institutions:

Wormwood Scrubs (Reception and classification centre);

Wandsworth (Institution for least hopeful cases: disciplinary institution);

Feltham (Institution for treatment of apparent defectives, mental and physical);

Portland (Institution for the training of amenable but more sophisticated "lads.");

Rochester (Institution for amenable, less sophisticated lads);

Lowdham Grange (Open prison system for training of hopeful cases transferred from other Borstal institutions).

5. "Borstal training is a combination1 of mental, moral, physical and industrial training of a strenuous kind. It is not a fixed system, but like other progressive systems, is in a state of flux." Vide The Modern English Prison, page 181.

6. The undersigned is of the opinion that similar training and treatment can be put into effect for convicts under twenty-one years of age in Canadian penitentiaries, and recommends same (see appendix "A").

7. It is further recommended:

(a) That for the putting into effect of the training and treatment hereinbefore mentioned, all convicts under twenty-one years of age should be segregated into one building, or segregateable part of an existing building, in each penitentiary.

(b) That the classification board of each penitentiary, with the augmentations hereinafter referred to, would proced to select the youthful convicts who would be amenable to, and would benefit by, the type of training hereinbefore referred to (see appendix "B").

8. It is also recommended that each penitentiary staff should be augmented by the appointment of one specially selected person for each thirty youthful convicts confined in each penitentiary, with a minimum of two such persons in any one penitentiary. Persons so appointed might be called supervisors and assistant supervisors of youthful convicts, and would have duties corresponding to housemasters and assistant housemasters in Borstal

institutions, i.e., the supervision, management, treatment and training of youthful convicts outside of working hours. Such persons would be in addition to, and distinct from, custodial officers (see appendix "C").

9. It is respectfully submitted that accommodation is either available, or can be made available in a comparatively short time, in each penitentiary, for the segregation of youthful convicts, each penitentiary being considered an institution of reception and classification, similar to Wormwood Scrubs in England (see appendix "D").

10. When discharged from a Borstal institution, an inmate is on licence to the Borstal Association for the unexpired portion of his sentence, and a further year in addition. The prison commission of England states that "The Borstal Association represents one-half of the Borstal system." The Borstal Association is a private body, and is made up of interested persons will) are acceptable to the Home Office, there being approximately one member of the association for each lad actually on licence.

11. If such an organization were brought into being in Canada, the membership would be limited to those persons who would agree to act as the adviser and confidant of a youthful convict during the portion of his sentence that he was under conditional release (see appendix "B").

12. It is respectfully submitted that the aforementioned treatment, training, classification and aid after release from an institution could be brought into effect without any amendment to presently existing legislation, or any augmentation of the penitentiary vote for the year 1935-36.

13. It is respectfully submitted that whereas the treatment of youthful convicts in England, as now carried out under the Borstal system, was definitely considered in 1894, and whereas the Borstal Act was not passed until 1908, and that whereas innumerable changes were made in the Borstal system between 1914 and 1919, and that still more drastic changes were made between 1921 and 1935, the inauguration of this type of treatment and training should not be unduly rushed in Canada, but should be developed step by step, only as rapidly as the staffs and youthful convicts can absorb well-thought-out changes. Insufficiently considered, or too rapidly brought about, changes, might work to the lasting detriment of the objects intended to be obtained.

14. It is respectfully submitted that, in view of the experimental work carried out in England and the information so generously made available to Canada, that good results may be obtained and a scheme be put into well running condition in the number of years equivalent to the number of decades that the matter has been under consideration, experimentation and operation in England.

Respectfully submitted.

D. M. Ormond,


Appendix "A"

Outline of Proposed Training for Youthful Convicts in Penitentiaries

1. Broadly speaking, the great majority of youthful convicts find themselves in Penitentiaries due to a weakness of inhibition arising

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from a lack of early training at koine, which has not been fully assisted by the church, the school, and social organizations interested in the welfare of youths. The majority of these youths have been guilty of crimes of acquisitiveness:-theft, burglary, housebreaking, and embezzlement. Less than one-quarter of them have been guilty of crimes of passion, i.e., sexual offences, indecencies, assaults, and crimes of violence.

2. Largely on account of the reasons above-mentioned, and the acquisitivness of their natures, these youths have displayed an utter disregard for the rights of property. It is therefore the duty of the penitentiary service to as far as possible correct existing conditions.

3. In a large number of cases, these youths have been guilty of offences, and have been released on suspended sentence; a repetition of the offence, or a new offence, has caused them to serve terms in industrial schools, reformatories or jails, and the courts have finally decided that a long term of confinement in a penitentiary is necessary. There are youths, however, whose first known offences are of so heinous a character that the public sense of decency demands that they be confined over a considerable period, the courts deeming it inadvisable to commit them for a short term of imprisonment, believing that a 'long period is required for an all-round programme of training.

4. It is the duty of the penitentiary to make an assay of the youth, in an effort to discover his possibilities and to develop them as far as the limitations of an institution will allow. It is platitudinous to state that reformation must begin with the youth himself. The institution can only provide him with the opportunities and assistance in bringing about a change of outlook and a better standard of morals and ethics.

5. The management of youthful convicts is an interesting and fascinating duty, but should only be attempted by optimistic persons who are not discouraged by failing to obtain the results aimed at. The training of youthful convicts is of necessity based on the belief that there is a very large amount of what is known as "good" in each youth, and that if the proper chords are touched, that favourable reactions will follow. The supervisors of youths require a genius for understanding and exceptional gifts of leadership.

6. The following excerpts are taken from "The Principles of the Borstal System," published by the prison commission. Home Office, 1932:

" . . . The task is not to break or knead him into shape, but to stimulate some Dower within to regulate conduct aright, to insinuate a preference for the good and the dean, to make him want to use his life well, so that he himself and not others will save him from waste. It becomes necessary to study the individual lad. to discover his trend and his possibility, and to infect him with some idea of life which will germinate and produce a character, controlling desire, and shaping conduct to some more glorious end than mere satisfaction or acquisition.

A Borstal institution is not an end in itself, but a laborious means to the reformation of offenders between the ages of sixteen and twenty one. The training necessary for a change at that age cannot be eompdetely effected during the two or three years spent within the

walls. The lad leaves his institution robust in figure and of confident mien, sometimes a shade too confident, but no one knows whether he is reformed, for no man may call himself a swimmer until his feet are off the ground."

7. The following excerpt is taken from "The Modern English Prison," page 185:

"The routing of the institution is that of an active day of 15 hours, beginning with physical training, continuing with eight hours work in workshop or outdoor party, and ending with 1J>

or 2 hours of school or study. To place first things first, the work a lad does during his training falls into three stages. First wriith the cleaners, doing the necessary domestic work: then, while awaiting a vacancy in the trade party to which he has been allotted, he may have a spell of heavy outdoor work with a labouring party, which is good both for his character and his physique. Finally, he passes into a trade party. In the workshops good class work in carpentry and metal work is carried out with power machinery, and employment is also found at tailoring, shoemaking, cooking (especially training for sea cooks), gardening, farming (some institutions have farms of considerable size, all have some land and stock), various adjuncts of the building trades, and other minor trades. . ."

8. The foregoing is in effect in penitentiaries, with the exception of the study period at the end of the day abovementioned. The appointment of supervising officers will meet this requirement, for these officers would be principally employed in work with the youths from the closing of the shop in the afternoon up to 8.45 in the evening.

9. Equipment for study and gymnasia training can readily be arranged in the corridors of those places segregated for the confinement of youthful convicts.

10. A widely varied syllabus of education presently exists, which provides elementary education for the exceptionally backward and correspondence courses for the more advanced, and can readily be adapted to include branches of education not presently touched.

11. The separate training of youthful convicts should include at least one hour per day of physical training, in addition to volunteer evening classes in gymnastics, the intention being not only to improve physical fitness, but to teach the correlation of mind and body. The physical side might be developed to include certain recreational activities, either as a part of, or in addition to, the regular physical training.

Appendix "B"

Segregation and Classification

1. All youthful convicts in penitentiaries at the present time are in either of the following classifications:

(A) Convicts having no previous conviction, under twenty-one years of age;

(C) The large intermediate class, having had experience in reformatories, gaols or penitentiaries.

2. It is submitted that all youthful convicts should be segregated into one building, or a segregateable part of the building, in each penitentiary, for the purposes of observation and re-classification, so that selection may be made of those for whom it is considered treatment as youthful convicts would have beneficial results.

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3. On June 17, 1935, there were 266 youthful convicts in Canadian penitentiaries, confined as follows:

Kingston penitentiary 42

St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary.. .. 92

Dorchester penitentiary 46

Manitoba penitentiary 33

British Columbia penitentiary 19

Saskatchewan penitentiary 22

Collin's Bay penitentiary 12

4. It is submitted that instructions should be sent to each warden, outlining the steps to be taken for the classification or re-classification of each youthful convict. The first classification would be carried out by the existing classification board, which would be augmented at the earliest possible time by the officers referred to in appendix "C," but no delay in the elementary classification need be caused by a delay in filling the new positions recommended.

5. Suitable questionnaires can be sent out to the parents or nearest relatives of the youth, to the church, school, and convicting magistrate or judge, and to any other person whom it is considered would be in a position to supply useful information. This is the normal method of commencing case-work for institutions and welfare bodies.

6. In those cases in which the classification

board considered that special examinations would be required, in order to classify the youth, such special examinations could be carried out by physicians, surgeons, or psychiatrists, according to the requirements of the case. .

7. After all available information has been procured concerning each youth, decision would be made as to whether or not he would continue with the "youthful convict" group, or be returned to "A" or "C" classification.

8. In anticipation of the developments presently under consideration, the Laval buildings at St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary, and Collin's Bay penitentiary, were commenced, and construction is being pressed forward.

9. The Laval buildings at St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary will provide employment for youthful convicts for some years to come. Within the next twelve months, the work at Collin's Bay penitentiary will be sufficiently far advanced to utilize it entirely for the segregation of youthful convicts from Ontario, and, if necessary, the maritime provinces.

10. As an indication of the lines which may be followed in making the classification, the following is quoted from "The Principles ot the Borstal System," published by the prison commission, Home Office, 1932, chapter IV:

" It may be maintained that, as no two lads are the same, only a policy of separate confinement can provide a perfect system of classification. This reductio ad absurdum shall not, however, deter us from proceeding with as sensible a scheme as we can devise. The first purpose of classification is positive, and consists in putting a lad in such a milieu as is likely to draw out what is best in him. Ideally, therefore, each Borstal lad should be drafted to a group of honest and intelligent lads, to whose level he would wish to aspire. This by the nature of things, is impossible; there are too many rogues and not enough honest lads. For this reason the courts rightly hesitate before committing a first

offender to a Borstal institution. But it is possible within rather narrow limits, in assigning a lad to an institution or a house or group, to put him in a place where there is someone or something that will stimulate the better side of him. The second purpose of classification, and it should always be keptin the second place, is the avoidance of contamination. One frvil spirit can poison thetone of a whole house, and every Borstal officer is keen to watch the effect of one lad upon the others. A clique may form whose influence on each member is undoubtedly evil. Such a clique will be scatered among different houses or institutions. Transfer and reclassification are ready to our hand to preventcorruption, and should be employed without hesitation where the reasonable prospect of a risk has been established by those who have observed. The community must be protected even at the cost of disturbance to the individual. _

The advantages attaching to the system of progresive grades which has grown up have already been outlined. The history, however, of every such system points to certain dangers against which we must guard. As time passes, each grade tends to be more easily attained, each privilege more easily won, till what was once a concession is acclaimed as a right, and the lad who is really remaining stationary is found to be proceeding automatically from the bottom to the top. Steps must repeatedly be taken to ensure the difficulty of ascent, so that the minimum of promotion may reward a maximum of effort. This can be done by emphasizing the responsibilities rather than the privileges associated with each grade, and by a merciless reduction when these responsibilities are not fulfilled. Each grade carries a lad a little further towards freedom. He is practising his wings, developing his power of choice between right and wrong. This is a more difficult life than that of confinement and repression. He must show that he justifies the trust and is indeed growing more fit for freedom. If he fails, he must return to the lower order where it is easy to be good, and wait a little while before taking a step forward again towards liberty. Further, we must scrutinize very closely the claim of the lad for promotion. Let it not come to him. Lay rather the onus on him to show that he has stretched himself to reach it.

Promotion there must be, leaders must be chosen. These are necessary and indeed valuable factors in the system. It is, however, necessary to guard lest a little authority may overbalance a lad, and he may be so convinced of his own importance as to lose proportion, and think that on discharge he will still be a leader, wearing badges of distinction known to all. This is a grave disservice to the lad, for never does he need humility so much as when he leaves the institution and re-enters a world whose only memory of him is adverse. Let, therefore, promotion bring responsibility and balance, steadying the lad and not inflating him, teaching him to be free and selfreliant, but not to be cocksure."

Appendix "C"

Augmentation of Penitentiary Staffs

1. In the English prison service, as in the Canadian penitentiary service, the staff consists of superior and subordinate officers. In

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England the superior officers are appointed by the secretary of state; in Canada, these officers are appointed by the governor in council. In England the subordinate officers are appointed by the prison commissioners; in Canada they are appointed by the superintendent of penitentiaries, in consultation with the inspectors, after having received recommendations from the wardens of pentientiaries.

2. It is submitted that the introduction of separate training for youthful convicts would require the creation of new positions in the penitentiary service, the duties of which would be similar to those performed by housemasters and assistant housemasters in the Borstal institutions of the prison service of England.

3. It is submitted that, if authorized, the new positions might be called, "supervisor" and "assistant supervisor" until such time as a shorter or more appropriate descriptive name for each position is decided upon.

4. It is submitted that these positions should be graded as coming within the classification of superior officers, the appointment to the position of supervisor being made by the governor in council, and the appointment to the position of assistant supervisor to be made by the superintendent of penitentiaries, after consultation with persons outside of the penitentiary service. It is considered that the position of supervisor should be filled by promotion from assistant supervisor.

5. The duties of supervising officers, would be entirely in connection with the management, training and treatment of youthful convicts, particularly during the periods outside of hours set aside for labour, (see appendix "A").

6. A study of staff requirements indicates that there should be one supervising officer for each 30, or part of 30, youthful convicts, and that not less than two of these officers should be employed in each institution, even when there are less than thirty youthful convicts confined in the institution.

7; The persons selected to fill the supervisory positions require to be men of good character, good education, even temperament, optimistic nature, posessed of good common sense, untiring patience, athletic, and having a wide experience in dealing with men. The hours of duty would be long, broken, and making heavy demands on the physical and mental capacities of the supervisory officers.

8. The rate of pay for these positions may be left for the present, but it is considered that it should be approximately that of chief trade instructor for a supervisor, and that of chief keeper for an asistant supervisor.

9. In the initial stages, the subordinate officers including trade instructors, doing duty with the youthful convicts, could be specially selected from existing staffs, and would be 'pven a special course of training before being assigned to these duties.

10. The matter of the creation of the positions of matrons would come up for consideration after the separate training had been inaugurated and further^ experience had been gained.

11. If the positions of supervisors should be decided upon, it would be necessary to assemble the officers appointed _ at some central point for a period of intensive training.

Appendix "D"

Buildings and Accommodation

1. "The principles of the Borstal system," published by the prison commission, home office, 1932. commencing at the bottom of page 20, reads as follows:

"The Borstal system has no merit apart from the Borstal staff. It is men and not buildings who will change the hearts and ways of misguided lads. Better an institution that consists of two log huts in swamp or desert, with a staff devoted to their task, than a model block of buildings, equipped without thought of economy, whose staff is solely concerned with thoughts of pay and promotion. The foundations of the Borstal system are first the recruitment of the right men, then their proper training, and finally their full cooperation with one another in an atmosphere of freedom and mutual understanding."

2. The prison commission of England strongly believes in the foregoing, and has adhered to the policy throughout the developments of the Borstal system in England.

3. It was not until the year 1930 that the experiment at Lowdham Grange was commenced, this being the first and only Borstal institution not surrounded by a high boundary wall.

4. Lowdham Grange houses only the selected lads, who are considered to be the most hopeful cases, for whom the full period of training will probably not prove necessarv (vide 'The Modern English Prison," page 180).

5. In Wormwood Scrubs, the Borstal lads are confined within the same boundarv wall, but in a separate building from short term prisoners and prisoners held on remand.

6. The Borstal buildings form a part of Wandsworth prison. Feltham is an old reformatory building converted to use as a Borstal institution. Rochester and Portland were both convict prisons.

7. When making observations on the question of walls, bars on the windows, and other security measures, the undersigned was reminded that the great public schools of England are enclosed within high walls, with broken glass on the top, and that the windows are barred, these precautions being considered reasonable and necessary to assist in the management of the high-spirited and youthful students, and that there does not appear to be any reason why similar arrangements should not be made when controlling youths who have been proven to be delinquent.

Kingston Penitentiary

8. On this date there are 42 convicts in Kingston penitentiary under twenty-one years of age. These could very aceptably be accommodated in the old prison for women, presently utilized for the confinement of selected convicts who are receiving special treatment.

9. Presently before the department is a recommendation to segregate "C" corridor of Kingston penitentiary for the purpose of housing the most unsatisfactory type of convict in that institution. If that is put into effect, it would leave available the east cell block, which might be used for the treatment and segregation of specially selected convicts over twenty-one years of age, or. in the alternative, it might be utilized for the segregation and treatment of youthful convicts.

10. By putting up a brick wall, in the yard a subdivision could readily be arranged in which youthful convicts could carry out their exercises out of view of the other convicts.

11. These youthful convicts could be employed m separate shops, or parts of shops partitioned off from the adult convicts, arrangements being

to pass them to and -from work at different hours from those of the older convicts.

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St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary

12. In St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary there is existing a cell block containing 104 cells, in which the 92 youthful convicts in that institution could presently be segregated for classification and study purposes. Arrangements to proceed to and from work in shops or gangs could be made in a manner simliar to that recommended for Kingston penitentiary.

Dorchester penitentiary

13. There are 46 convicts under twenty-one years of age in Dorchester penitentiary. One corridor of the north wing could be readily segregated for the confinement of youthful convicts. It would only require the opening of a door from this corridor into the prison yard, and the erection of a short wall, to make a self-contained exercise-ground for the youthful convicts.

Manitoba penitentiary

14. There are presently 33 convicts under twenty-one years of age in Manitoba penitentiary. The south side of the east wing could be immediately put aside for the accommodation of youthful convicts. The rearrangement of the penitentiary yard to provide separate exercise-grounds for convicts is presently under consideration. One of the segregation areas could be specially retained for the exercise of youthful convicts.

British Columbia penitentiary

15. On this date there are 19 youthful convicts in British Columbia penitentiary. The north side of the east wing in this penitentiary could be set aside for the accommodation of youthful convicts, and one of the large lawns could be set aside for exercise-grounds. Arrangements could be made to have work carried out to meet the situation.

Saskatchewan penitentiary

16. There are on this date 22 convicts in Saskatchewan penitentiary under twenty-one years of age. The north side of the east wing of this penitentiary could be segregated for the confinement of youthful convicts, with a large exercise-ground immediately adjacent thereto, which would be out of sight and out of hearing of other convicts.

Collin's Bay penitentiary

17. This institution should eventually take all youthful convicts received in Ontario, but until such time as the construction of the cell blocks and the wall is further advanced, it is not considered that youthful convicts should be transferred to this institution. At the present moment there are only 12 convicts under the age of twenty-one years in Collin's Bay penitentiary. Any of these convicts having more than three months to serve might be transferred back to Kingston penitentiary until the dates of their release.

18. The undersigned fully realizes that certain person interesting themselves in the introduction of the Borstal system into Canadian penitentiaries will publicly express strong protests against such steps being taken or considered, and will advocate the immediate purchase of new lands and the immediate erection of new buildings by contract. Such protests and recommendations could be considered, but

in any event, it would be twelve to eighteen months before land could be purchased and buildings erected, whereas the scheme of segregation outlined above can be put into effect within sixty days of the receipt of instructions to d'o so, and would in any event be necessary during the period of classification of youthful convicts and the selection of those whom it was considered would receive benefit from the type of treatment recommended.

Appendix "E"

Re: Conditional Release and Aid after Discharge.

Re: Borstal Association.

1. The Borstal Association is a semi-official body, acting under the presidency of the home secretary and an executive committee, with central office in London, and approximately one associate for each lad released from a Borstal institution, the associate acting as adviser, confidant, big brother, and friend to the lad during the continuance of the licence under which he is released.

2. The parents of a lad, or a friend, acceptable to the home secretary, may be, or act as, the associate for the lad, but in those cases in which the home surroundings are unsatisfactory, or the lad has no relatives, an associate is found for him.

3. When an associate is selected, he is called upon to interest himself in the Had, and to give him advise, and also "to act in two capacities, the reconciliation of which requires a good deal of tact-first as friend and adviser, then as "policeman": and even the first of these needs boundless sympathy and understanding, for firmness must he combined with persistent patience if the feet of a wayward youth, too apt to throw up an uncongenial job or resent the hard word of a foreman, are to be kept firmly along the narrow path of hard work and right living."

4. During the period which a lad is on licence, he is required to keep in close touch with the associate to whom he is attached, changing neither work nor residence without his consent. The lad looks to his associate for help in finding employment, and for a wise means of spending leisure, and in turn receives encouragement and a bracing word when good resolutions begin to wane.

5. The associate reports to the association at least once a month on the progress of the lad. Should there be definite signs of a relapse, an effort is made bo direct the lad in the right path, but should this fail, the associate immediately reports to the prison commissioners, who cause the lad's licence to be revoked and he is taken to a special block at Wandsworth prison for further training and treatment.

6. At Wandsworth, the conditions are substantially those of prison life. The purpose is not to give further Borstal training, but to make it clear to the lad that he has been a fool and the way of the transgressor is hard, and also to allow the authorities to find out why the lad failed.

7. When the authorities "have made up their minds about a lad they fix the time he is to serve, and in due course he is licensed again. It is not often that a licence is revoked more than once-a lad who persists in going off the

Borstal System

rails after revocation is, unless he is young and not evidently hopeless, usually written off as a



8. It is respectfully submitted that no new machinery will be required to bring into being in the penitentiary service arrangements that will be .equally as effective as the work carried out by the Borstal association. The close liaison presently existing between the remission branch, the department of justice, and the penitentiary service, permits of a facility of close co-operation. The classification board of each Penitentiary, plus the supervisors, if appointed, will have a complete knowledge and appreciation of the life and conduct of a youth while in the penitentiary. 9. The remission branch has full particulars pertaining to the nature of the crime, and of the environment in which the youth lived prior to his conviction. 10. The penitentiary is presently equipped with a staff and facilities to seek out, investigate, and recommend persons who might be approved as adviser, big brother, or friend, to a discharged youth having no suitable home to return to upon release. 11. Existing legislation and clemency practice permit of the release of a convict on licence. The person undertaking to act as guide, philosopher and friend to a released youth would only be called upon to perform those functions during the period for which the licence is granted. 12. There would be no difficulty in arranging for close co-operation between the remission branch, and the selected persons referred to, either direct or through the warden of a penitentiary. 13. Nothing is here proposed which would in any way affect the authority of the crown, or alter existing clemency practice.


On the orders of the day:


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker,

as this may be the last day upon which the present parliament will be in session I should like to ask the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) if it would not be possible before we prorogue for him to make a statement to the house or to the country as to the probable date of the general elections. I would not expect my right hon. friend to give the exact date but he .might see his way clear to indicate whether the elections will be held in the month of August, in the month of September or in the month of October. I do not think the time will make any difference in the results one way or another but if an approximate time were announced considerable uncertainty would be removed which I think would be of benefit to the country generally.


Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

Mr. Speaker, if I were in position to

answer the right hon. gentleman's question,

I would do so. I will say this: Just as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made for the holding of the elections, they will be held. That is as far as I can reasonably go. I mean by that, the completion of the lists and concerning all matters of that kind. They will not be delayed beyond such date as may be necessary to have the machinery properly functioning under the sections which have been enacted in that regard.




Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) moved the second reading of and concurrence in an amendment made by the Senate to Bill No. 120, for the purpose of establishing in Canada a system of longterm mortgage credits for fishermen. He said: There is one amendment made to this bill by the Senate and this is made because in some province the word "land" would not be broad enough to cover buildings erected on the land. It is proposed to add the words "and buildings thereon" at the end of clause (d) of section 6. This will remove any doubt as to this section covering buildings. It will be recalled that \Vhen the natural resources agreements were under consideration a similar difficulty arose as to whether water was covered by the word "land." I move that the amendment 'be read a second time and concurred in. Motion agreed to; amendment read the second time and concurred in.

July 5, 1935