April 26, 1948

CCF

John Oliver Probe

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. J. O. PROBE (Regina City):

Mr. Speaker, because a major part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has its headquarters in my city of Regina, and because of the tradition built around the work of the mounted police over the past several years, I consider it proper that the member from Regina should say a few words respecting the general principles underlying the bill now before us for second reading.

I have not had an opportunity to study the bill in detail. However it looks to me as though it is designed to remedy those conditions which were brought before the House of Commons when in previous years we have been in committee of supply on mounted police estimates.

I said at the beginning that those of us who call ourselves prairie pioneers look upon the mounted police as our own force. While undoubtedly some seventy years ago it was initiated in Ottawa, the fact remains that the major part of its early work was performed on the prairies from the time of the Riel rebellion, and has had a great deal to do with the attitude toward law and order that those of us who spring from non-British stock have come to regard as the law of Canada. I say that because we see it through the eyes of the mounted police, to whom we have looked for friendship and counsel.

I believe the glamour feature of the mounted police has often been over-emphasized. We could properly leave that to the autograph seekers who come to these buildings during the summer months to take pictures of the men who are on duty outside the building and who are more or less on show.

Sometimes it is said that it is difficult to get recruits for the mounted police, or that the type of recruit today is not of the same high standard attracted some thirty or forty years ago. I believe that in some measure the glamour aspect is responsible; because, while the young men of today are as good and loyal citizens as were their fathers and grandfathers in years gone by, they are a little more hardheaded with respect to the dollars-and-cents aspect of the matter, and regarding the amenities which go with the duties they have to perform.

I would draw to the attention of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Ilsley) the fact that the conditions under which the force operates, particularly the conditions of discipline, are in many respects outmoded. No one would say that a police force as much respected as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police should not have a high and rigid standard of discipline. But when the disciplinary features become petty, or when a constable or noncommissioned officer may be made or broken by a martinet above him, then I think it is time we brought ourselves up to date. The commissioner and, through him, his assistant deputies are practically the sole arbiters as to the worth or otherwise of a constable who may have served for years on important missions. They are the sole arbiters in respect of dismissal.

Reference was made earlier by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) to the fact that members of the force are not in a position to comment on adverse reports in their files. That is not just, and does not improve the prestige of the force, nor does it improve the attitude of the men toward the work they may have to perform.

There was a time from October, 1918-and perhaps the minister will correct me if I am wrong-when order in council P.C. 2213 was passed, when members of the mounted police force were prevented the right of association, whether through trade unions or through organization of a fraternal nature among their own membership. They were denied those channels through which they might present their grievances on a semi-equal basis to higher officers, or to make comments with respect to the good and welfare of the service.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

That form of rigorous treatment of men as competent as those in the mounted police is as outmoded as are the horses and buggies we used to use on the prairies forty or fifty years ago. It seems to me that the right of association of constables of the force should be encouraged rather than frowned upon by the Minister of Justice.

Tradition in an excellent thing; but when it is hedged in by an obsolete form of discipline, then I think it is time to do away with it. I want the minister, if he will, to comment during the course of his remarks on the fact as to whether or not the superannuation referred to in the amendments to the act will supersede the original superannuation plan whereby constables of the force received superannuation rights without contribution on their own part. We now have a contributory system of superannuation being introduced here for non-commissioned officers and constables. Formerly only commissioned officers were obliged to contribute.

Second I should like to know whether or not the pension plan that had been instituted for non-commissioned officers and constables, which was non-contributory on the part of noncommissioned officers and constables, is now being incorporated into this plan, or whether it will be possible for those who were not contributing to their pension to continue to be free of contribution from here on for the remainder of their period of service; and whether or not those who had contributed to the superannuation plans involving their wives would now have some consideration by having the old plan incorporated in the new.

Topic:   ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
Subtopic:   CONTRIBUTORY SUPERANNUATION SCHEME-COMPENSATION FOR INJURY SUSTAINED IN COURSE OF DUTY
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

It is clear in the act.

Topic:   ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
Subtopic:   CONTRIBUTORY SUPERANNUATION SCHEME-COMPENSATION FOR INJURY SUSTAINED IN COURSE OF DUTY
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CCF

John Oliver Probe

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. PROBE:

I may not have read it carefully enough. The hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith) said it is clear in the act. If it is, then of course the fault is with my poor reading. I had the bill only this afternoon, and to me it was not clear. The minister may be able to clear that up.

I think that is all I wish to say at this time, Mr. Speaker. But I should like some clarification as to where the old pension plans stand now with relation to the contributory ones that are now being discussed here.

Mr. A. L. SMITH '(Calgary West): Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a remark or two about the police, and then to suggest to the minister three points or three legislative fields which I think are worthy of study, following the remarks made by my colleague, the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker).

To those of us who have watched this force and have been close to it, theirs is an amazing achievement. I refer particularly to Regina whence comes the hon. member for Regina City (Mr. Probe). I do not know that we really appreciate what has gone on in their laboratories by way of scientific study. We always hear about the great achievements of the federal bureau of investigation. They are great; they are not only great but tremendously expensive. The federal bureau of investigation are now recruited from persons who must have professional education, even graduation in accountancy or law. There may be some other profession involved, but I know those two are.

Not so long ago I had occasion to have experience with some of the excellent work which is being done by the mounted police on a number of subjects. One was human hair. It would just amaze you, Mr. Speaker, how those men in that place, having found a bit of hair, and then getting a piece of yours, would show that you were the person who was at the scene of the crime at the particular moment when it was committed. The things they have done with steel and the things they have done with paint are remarkable. I was on the losing end of a case not so long ago where my unfortunate client, in committing his crime, had1 scraped against the wall and a bit of paint came off and fell into his overcoat pocket. The paint was of a common variety, the kind used in painting barns and so on. But the mounted police were able, by an . amazing instrument, to photograph in colour the bit of a crumb of paint in this man's pocket. Then, by comparing it with the paint on the wall, they were able not only to trace it and establish that it belonged to that kind of paint, but to trace it back to where the paint was made and the shipment from which it came; and in that way to trace it to the store from which it was sold and thus identify my innocent client with this crime which had been committed.

Those things have been done, and I mention only two or three. The work that has been done with regard to blood is simply phenomenal. The mounted police, I might say, have matched and in some eases exceeded the achievements of this institution in Washington. It strikes me as strange that the man who is in. charge of all that, and who is a wizard if ever I saw one, is only a sergeant major in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I will not mention his name because he may be getting a medal; and if I mentioned his name he probably would not get it, so I will not do so.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

Then going back through history, I know of so many fine, extracurricular things, if I may use that expression, that have been done. But they all point up this fact, Mr. Speaker, and I think the Minister of Justice (Mr. Ilsleyl has no doubt given it consideration. Our greatest lack in crime detection and punishment in the Dominion of Canada is a central police organization as, for example, England has.

I am happy to think that in the province from which I come we have no provincial police. The mounted police perform those duties. In many towns in Alberta that is the situation and they are growing in number. The mounted police, under contract with these towns, are also doing the municipal policing which is required in these various places. The thing that I call to your attention there is this. Consider what a mounted policeman in Alberta must necessarily know. He must know the dominion laws, outside of the code laws with respect to narcotics and all that sort of thing. The mounted police have been involved -and I am sorry they were1-in the wartime prices and trade board prosecutions. They must know the many dominion statutes. In those towns which have contracted with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police they must know the municipal laws of the community in which they are carrying on. I can think of three places now in which I know the municipal authorities are happy about the change they made. They have no municipal police. The whole thing is carried on by the mounted police.

I said that I intended to make some suggestions to the minister as to a field in which legislation might take place. One is with respect to the field of communism. The first thing I point out is this. There are in the Dominion of Canada thirteen foreign language newspapers which are admittedly communist newspapers. They have a large circulation indeed. There is no hiding the fact-it is admitted-that all their propaganda is obviously of that kind. I do not want to go into detail with regard to matters of perhaps jurisdictional differences, but I mention it merely as a field of study. I have no doubt the minister has already given consideration to that point.

I turn now to something else, perhaps the most important field in which this parliament may operate. That is the pinpointing, if I may use that expression, of communist propagandists, both oral and through the newspapers. That must rest on one thing. I would rest it on the principle that all persons doing that sort of thing for a country other than Canada must register as a foreign agent. Then,

when our people know the person to whom they are listening is a foreign agent they can accept what that person says and evaluate it properly. I spoke on this matter in this house some time ago. Some people thought I went too far; and at times when I am told that by enough people I even doubt miy own judgment. But it does seem to me that we must come to this point in whatever we do, that the person among us who confesses higher loyalty than that to the Dominion of Canada, should, in short order, be regarded and treated and punished as a criminal in this country.

In saying that, I am saying nothing against our freedoms the freedom of a citizen; because what is the pri-ilege and what are the responsibilities of a citizen of Canada? His privilege is the protection the laws of Canada give him. His responsibility is loyalty to the king of Canada and to Canadian institutions. If that person is not prepared to accept the responsibility while he enjoys the privilege, then the equation is broken; the equality is gone. He stands for what he is, the agent of a foreign country. I do not want to go into detail, but I suggest that basis for a study of what may be done legislatively by this parliament in combating that menace.

Another matter which I think requires thorough investigation is this. Are the embassies and consulates of certain countries being used for the spread of propaganda here which, in the final analysis, is aimed at the destruction of this country? I make no charge, but I say this. We have an expression "diplomatic immunity." We even had a couple of dogs barking at our diplomatic immunity the other day. But this big expression, "diplomatic immunity," must certainly be a two-way street. In other words, diplomatic immunity should never permit an embassy or a consulate in this country to be the means of spreading propaganda for the destruction of our way of life, unless in the country from which those people come we have permission to act in a similar way. There is no sense, it seems to me, and no justice in our just hiding behind a formula when we know very well that the immunities we would get over there are not the same as we are granting here. In other words, I think in the legislative field we might find something in the nature of reciprocity on that subject.

Once more I want to say how much I am in favour of the principle of this bill. After we pass it, no mounted policeman will die with a sockful of money, or anything like that. The pay is modest. The reason is just. The time is opportune, and I shall help the minister in every way possible to get this bill, as he has drawn it, through the House of Commons.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

Topic:   ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
Subtopic:   CONTRIBUTORY SUPERANNUATION SCHEME-COMPENSATION FOR INJURY SUSTAINED IN COURSE OF DUTY
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. A. M. NICHOLSON (Mackenzie):

The points I planned on discussing have already been mentioned, Mr. Speaker, but before you leave the chair I want to urge that greater consideration be given the question of the compensation of members of the mounted police. I have always thought that, if we take into account the responsibilities of the members of the force and the number of hours they are on duty in the course of a week, the compensation is quite inadequate; and the increases that have been given on account of the increase in the cost of living have not been sufficient. I also want to urge that consideration be given those who joined the armed services that they should not be penalized through the loss of seniority.

Then I want to raise the point that has often been mentioned in the house, the medieval ideas still prevalent in connection with the marriage regulations. For some twenty years I have lived in a northern frontier area where we have seen a succession of young men join the service and come north. There they have become acquainted with schoolteachers, nurses and other charming young women in that north country, and decided they would not wait for five years to get married. As a result, they have given up the mounted police and have been lost to the service. It could be understood, perhaps, that regulations of this sort might be necessary before the railways were built across Canada, when men went to their posts on horseback; but now, with modern travel, I can see no reason why a man who is able to measure up to the requirements of the force should not be allowed to get married.

The standards that have been set are high. No officer or constable shall be appointed to the force unless he is of sound constitution, active and able-bodied, of good character and between the ages of eighteen and forty, and unless he is able to read and write either the English or the French language. Men who can meet these requirements should not be asked to wait for five years before marrying, if they meet the young lady of their choice. I would remind the minister that, during the war years, he did not ask young men who joined the army, the navy or the air force to wait for five years before taking on family responsibilities. The minister was able to find the wherewithal to provide allowances for the dependents of those who risked their lives for our country in wartime; and I urge that now in peacetime, in his own department, he remove these barriers which prevent his personnel from living a normal life.

In northern Manitoba there is today no problem in providing air transportation. 1 know of a corporation which maintains a large establishment in the Churchill river district. They encourage women to come into that community, and men to live normal lives, because they believe they get much more in the course of the year from men who come in and bring their wives and children with them. In the event of illness, people are flown out to the nearest hospital, and provision is also made to fly them out for their holidays. I believe the people who live in these northern areas deserve the best from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and I think we should encourage the young men who go in there to marry and bring in their wives.

The final thing I want to do is to put in a word on behalf of my legal friends. I find in the act a long list of offences and penalties. The paragraphs run all the way from a, b, c and down to x. Section 31 of the act provides:

The commissioner, the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner, or the superintendent or other commissioned officer at any post or in any district, may, forthwith, on a charge in writing of any one or more of the offences mentioned in this act or any regulation made under the authority hereof being preferred against any member of the force, other than a commissioned officer, cause the person so charged to be brought before him, and he shall then and there, in a summary way, investigate the said charge, and, if proved on oath, to his satisfaction, shall thereof convict the offender. Every commissioned officer for the purpose of this section is empowered to administer the necessary oaths in dealing with a charge in a summary way.

I know that some provision has been made in the bill for lesser punishments, but this section still places members of the staff in a position where they can be dealt with in what I consider to be an undemocratic way. I can quite understand where regulations of this sort might have been necessary before the railroads were established and when men went out to the northwest and were beyond civilization for six months or even six years at a time. No doubt it was necessary to give special responsibilities to those in charge of the force, but I can see no reason why the personnel should not have legal assistance.

I know if I were in trouble I should like to have my good friends, the hon. member for Kindersley (Mr. Jaenicke), or if I were in serious trouble I should like to have the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) plead my case. I would feel that, no matter how dark the future might seem to be, he would make a good argument for a very bad case. I think members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are entitled to legal assistance.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

The hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith) lives in a province in which they have high union fees. I notice that a publisher got a lawyer from Ontario and had to pay union fees in Alberta which ran over SI,500. That publisher probably considered it important that he have legal counsel available to argue his case. No matter how clever a lawyer one might be, I think if a charge were made against you, you would want someone else to argue your case. While the members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are familiar with law and no doubt could defend themselves in most cases, I think they are entitled to counsel to argue their cases.

Many members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have to take on assignments at risk of life. Section 30 provides:

(n) wilfully, or through negligence or connivance, allowing any prisoner to escape.

A man might act on the spur of the moment. I understand that there have been cases where the record was quite clear but where someone who had a good deal of money and held a spite against the police officer took legal action against him. I think it is unfair that a member of the force should have to argue his own case. There should be legal counsel provided for him at public expense as long as he is a member of the force. If he is proved guilty of the offence and is to be dismissed, well and good, but so long as his record is clear I think it should be taken as a matter of course that, if action is taken against him, legal counsel will be provided to see that his case is presented in the proper light.

I wanted to bring these matters to the attention of the minister because the new bill does not make provision for these matters.

Mr. SOLON E. LOW (Peace River): Mr. Speaker, I wish to say just a word on the bill before us. We consider that this Bill No. 211 is a step forward in bringing to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that decent treatment which many of us felt should have come some time ago. I want to congratulate the minister upon having gone into the whole matter. I think it was a year ago that he gave the promise that something would be done at the earliest possible moment.

We are in agreement with the principles of the bill. While it does not go all the way toward the objective that we hoped would be attained, it is certainly a substantial betterment and we are happy about it.

It has been my good fortune to live on the frontier and be associated with the work of this splendid force ever since I was a small

boy. I have seen the changes that have taken place in the force, and my experience from seeing them work in my boyhood home, and more recently in the Peace River country, has led me to believe that the old pioneering spirit of the force has not lost one particle of its vitality. I find the members of the force to be efficient and courteous without becoming obnoxious or obtrusive in any sense. I believe the Royal Canadian Mounted Police can be compared favourably with the finest police force in the world, and that without in any sense being accused of exceeding their duties or of taking privileges such as are taken in many lands. We are grateful to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and for what they have accomplished in this country.

There is one word I should like to say to the minister. I believe it was during the throne debate a year ago last spring I said that in my judgment the special investigation branch of the force was being neglected. I have not kept up to date with the improvements that have been made, but when the minister is closing the debate I hope that he will have something to say about the special investigation branch.

At that time I was of the opinion, from information which I had received from very good sources, that the special investigation branch was being sorely neglected. I did not think at that time-and I think I so stated on the floor of the house-that the best men available were being recruited into that branch. Subsequent events proved that we needed them, because it was not long after that Mr. Gouzenko made his sensational revelations which touched off the communist hunt throughout this country and, in, fact, throughout America.

Reports had been sent in by special investigators prior to that time from various parts of Canada; in fact I would say that some were dated two or three years before the spy probe. These reports from special investigation officers were sent in from areas where it was known that communistic activity was strong, but no attention whatever seemed to be paid to them. The details given were correct and those details were furnished to headquarters, but the reports were pigeonholed. In some instances that I know, these officers were told to tread lightly and not go too far.

When you have an efficient special investigation branch and where it is known there is a strong possibility of communist infiltration, every report sent in by these special investigation officers ought to be carefully scanned and

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

sent on to the commissioner or assistant commissioner, and a note taken, with action wherever it is recommended.

It seems to me that, in selecting men for the special investigation branch, full cognizance should be taken of the experience of the men and of the effective work they have done over the years; and further, that in a specialized branch which requires a particular type of investigational sense the men should receive pay comparable with the qualifications which are necessary to the attainment of a high degree of efficiency in that branch. I do not believe, from my experience with that branch, that these men have been given quite a fair deal in years past.

I recall particularly, when we made the change-over in the province of Alberta from the old Alberta provincial police, there were some misgivings about making a contract with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We were uncertain as to the abilities of the force to police the province generally. We did not know how efficient their special investigation branch would be. But after ten years of quite close association with the acting assistant commissioner in Edmonton, and with the force, generally, I want to pay tribute to these men for what they did accomplish, both those in the general force and in the special investigation branch. Those officers were splendid men. I think it is time that the minister and his department strengthened the whole force, as well as the special investigation branch by getting in the very best men they can get, men who are trained in all the modern techniques of investigation and report, and that adequate pensions be provided and payment be made to them commensurate with the services they are rendering. We are very happy, Mr. Speaker, to support the principle of this bill.

Topic:   ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
Subtopic:   CONTRIBUTORY SUPERANNUATION SCHEME-COMPENSATION FOR INJURY SUSTAINED IN COURSE OF DUTY
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. PEARKES (Nanaimo):

Mr. Speaker, as a former member of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police I should not like this bill to go to the committee without expressing my appreciation to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Ilsley) for having introduced the bill, which will improve the service conditions and pensions of the force that now perpetuates the tradition of the force to which I belonged. I should like to say from my personal observation, that I am convinced that the younger men who are in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are in every way upholding the highest traditions of their former comrades.

I have not had an opportunity to study the bill in detail, nor should the details be discussed at this stage, but there are three

points which have already been mentioned in part that I should like to emphasize and perhaps illustrate.

The first is the effort to intimidate certain groups of Canadians who have come to this country from Europe. Only today it was brought to my attention that a disturbance had occurred at a meeting held in Nanaimo and presided over by the mayor of that town, when a gentleman who had recently come from Europe was endeavouring to explain to some of his fellow countrymen and the citizens of the town at large the conditions as they exist in Europe at the present time. The greatest difficulty was experienced in trying to maintain order during that meeting, because a group of some thirty or forty hooligans, mostly of foreign extraction, were endeavouring to prevent this gentleman from telling of conditions as they actually exist. They were accused of being communists, and actually four of them stood up and admitted that they were communists. But they were holding out threats to their fellow countrymen that their relatives in Europe would be persecuted if they listened to the words of advice which were being given by this Canadian gentleman of foreign extraction who was speaking to the meeting at that time. I understand that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the law officers of the crown to take any action against people who threaten to do bodily harm to relatives of other people when those relatives are not resident in this country. Whether it is possible for the criminal code to be amended in order to take care of that situation I do not know, but I feel that the task of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would be made easier if something could be done along those lines.

The second point. I wanted to bring to the minister's attention was touched upon by the hon. member for Regina City (Mr. Probe), who expressed the hope that there might be some means of harmonizing the various pension schemes that existed during the long service of the various forces, the Northwest Mounted Police, the Royal Northwest Mounted Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. There are men living today who joined the Northwest Mounted Police and who served for years at fifty cents a day, that being the rate of pay at that time. I received a letter not very long ago from a warrant officer of that force who joined in 1905 and served until 1935, when he was asked to make way in order to speed up promotion. He had done thirty years of service instead of thirty-five years. By agreeing to the request of his superior officers, he forfeited the full

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

pension that he would have obtained had he stayed on for another five years. I should like to read an extract from his letter. I prefer not to mention his name, although I shall be pleased to give it to the minister if he so desires. He says:

I have to date contributed the sum of $2,609.75, leaving a balance of $249.53 still due on the full amount.

After he discussed his retirement with his senior officer, he was informed that he would have to pay the sum of S219 yearly for the rest of his life. Actually the words which are written on his discharge certificate are, according to my information, these:

A clause should be inserted on the discharge board to the effect that Sergeant (So-iand-so's) pension will be subject to a monthly reduction of $18.25 on account of prior service contribution to the widows pension fund for the rest of his life. Please exercise care in seeing that this clause is inserted on the discharge board for Sergeant (So-and-so).

It seems to me that is a hard case, this old retired police officer who joined up when the pay was only fifty cents a day.

I hope that the details of this bill, or any amendments which may be suggested during the discussion, wrill harmonize these various pension schemes.

The last point I wish to make has to do with the question of whether provision is being made in the bill for those ex-members of the force who served overseas in units other than the No. 1 provost company, which was a unit in which men of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police enlisted directly, to count their services overseas toward their police pension fund if they rejoined the force after taking their discharge from the navy, army or air force, as the case may be. I understand that this was permitted in the case of members of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police who served in world war I and came back and joined the force. Unless it is included in the amendments which I have not had a chance to study in the short time since the bill has been distributed, this provision has not been extended to former members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who served overseas during world war 11.

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Subtopic:   CONTRIBUTORY SUPERANNUATION SCHEME-COMPENSATION FOR INJURY SUSTAINED IN COURSE OF DUTY
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. HANSELL (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, I do not suppose that I can really add a great deal more to what has already been said. I appreciate the remarks of the leader of this group (Mr. Low) who has made our position quite clear. I appreciate also the remarks that wrere made by the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith). We favour this bill because we believe that the magnificent work which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have done in the past and are doing today deserves great consideration.

The particular thing I had in mind, and which called me to my feet this evening, is that I believe there should be inserted in this bill somewhere some assistance to the unfortunate widows of those Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who were perhaps, shall I say, unfortunate enough to be non-pensioned. I do not know to what extent that situation exists, but I do know of one case, and perhaps if there is one case there must be others, where a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police died, leaving a widow. She is now growing old and is in need. Her husband had a good record, but because she did not come within the scope of certain acts that are already in existence she was unable to be the recipient of any assistance. I do not know just how far this bill goes along that line and I cannot pick out the section here and discuss it now, but when we come to that section I wish the minister would elaborate on it a bit and tell us how far we are: prepared to go in that direction. These cases cannot be very numerous; there cannot be many of them. It surely should not take a great deal of money to look after the few that there may be.

While I am on my feet I want to pay tribute to the work of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, because I am inclined to believe that, while they may have been lauded to the skies in fiction, when perhaps it may appear that they have made a bit of a mistake here and there someone in the country is too quick to pounce upon them and besmirch them. I say that what we have to remember-and this goes, I suppose, for any police force-is that the police are in reality our protectors. Let us not forget that. I know that among some of them there may be those who appear to have that police complex, shall I say, and if the word is not too expressive, that bludgeoning aspect; but I am inclined to think that perhaps it might be a matter of the nature of the particular individual, because you cannot stereotype human nature, any way.

Generally speaking, I believe that they are doing work to protect the country and to protect the citizens, and not necessarily running out and hunting up a lot of trouble for the sake of doing so. Let us remember that. While my little voice here will not get very far outside this chamber, I am quite certain it might be well for parents in this country to teach their children just that very thing. Children do not need to have the attitude of being just a little frightened of the police-

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

man. That does not need to be. I can say, from experience and from my association with some members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in our province of Alberta, and in my own constituency-and I am not going to mention any names, because like the hon. member for Calgary West, I say that if there are any medals to be passed out I do not want to prevent their getting what is coming to them-I have received many comments from police magistrates to the effect that the officers are very helpful in solving cases, not necessarily or particularly as would-be prosecutors but with regard to the administration of justice as well. I have been told that many of them are very helpful to police magistrates in arriving at a rightful and just decision in respect of their duties.

I know a good many officers. I do not want to over-elaborate. I know some Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who are' highly respected in their communities because they take an interest in community life. They recognize that an ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of cure. Through their community activities they command respect, and the young people look up to them. They are not afraid of the mounted police, but look upon them as men who are interested in the welfare of the community. When that situation exists it is a healthy sign, particularly when we know they are our protectors.

There is an attitude among some people in the country to besmirch the mounted police and to attempt to make them look ridiculous. When our young people hear that sort of thing it is not good for them, nor is it good for our country. I remember an occasion a good many years ago when I attended an open-air meeting at which a soap-box orator was speaking. One or two mounted police constables were standing around; and this speaker actually pointed them out and said, "There they are; look at the yellow stripes down their trousers. The only thing wrong with that is that it should be down their backs."

I do not think that sort of thing impresses sane-thinking people. Perhaps people of the kind I have described should be thankful that they live in a free country, where they can make statements of that kind without being molested. Re that is it may, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police do not deserve anything like that, and there is a responsibility on the citizens of this country to see that that sort of thing does not happen. We must take people to task if that sort of thing is done.

We are behind this bill, and would be pleased if it went farther. The members of this group believe that these pension schemes

could be well-handled on a non-contributory basis. I shall not go into the economics of the matter, more than to say that these men deserve all we are able to give them, not only in pensions but in pay. I do not believe their pay is high enough in view of their responsibilities. However, that is another subject which does not come within the provisions of the bill. We cannot forget, however, that the cost of living is constantly rising, and these men deserve even more consideration along that line. My last note would be a request for the government to reconsider their scale of pay.

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LIB

James Ewen Matthews

Liberal

Mr. J. E. MATTHEWS (Brandon):

Mr. Speaker, my remarks will be brief, as they generally are. I shall not refer to any particular sections in the bill, and shall not do more than in a general way express my approval of this important legislation which will redound to the further advantage and further protection of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

I join with all other loyal and law-abiding Canadians in paying respect to this police force, a respect shared not only by the people of Canada but by many thousands in other nations of the world. These men perform their duties midst greater dangers than most of us realize. I know for a fact that often they are ferreting out crimes when most of us are at home and are comfortable, probably asleep. No matter what dangers they have to confront, it can always be said that the mounted police acquit themselves like men.

I believe that in late years they have been successful in doing their work with a greater degree of smoothness and a lesser degree of irritation than was the case some years ago. The hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Hansell) referred to their work among the young people, and their addresses to groups in the different communities. I know a little about that, and it- is my belief that the results have been far-reaching in creating better understanding between these officers of the law and ordinary citizens.

It is not necessary for me to speak at length; but one of the previous speakers suggested that, while a number of anomalies in the act have been remedied, some still remain. I would add to his remarks that every reasonable step should be taken to remove any anomalies which, he suggests, remain in the act. I am in favour of anything within reason that would redound to the advantage of the force.

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PC

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. W. SKEY (Trinity) :

Mr. Speaker, I should like briefly this evening to express my approval of the action of the Minister of

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

Justice (Mr. Ilsley) in bringing this measure before the House of Commons so soon after his taking over his new post.

It was in 1946, shortly after I came to this twentieth parliament that I made the suggestion-I suppose it had been made before, but the fact is that I did make it-that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police should be put on a pension basis comparable with that of the armed forces. I am greatly pleased that the minister has done that, and I hope that the armed forces service of those now in the mounted police will be counted immediately for pension purposes, and also for marriage privileges and benefits.

I am advised that service in one of the armed forces is now only counted after the constable has given twenty years of service with the force. I may be wrong in that, and if I am I hope the minister will correct me. I would make one further recommendation, one which has been made by several other members this evening, and it is that, now that the principle of equality with the armed forces in the field of pensions has been recognized, the minister will ask his department and his officers to compare the ordinary pay of mounted police constables and officers with that of those of the armed forces. If anomalies are found, perhaps in a short time he could put them right.

I believe, too, that there should be special pay for certain posts in this service, perhaps for the special investigations branch. Then, consideration might be given to the cost of living in urban centres for members of the force who are posted in large cities where the cost of living rises sharply.

I shall not delay the house much longer, more than to say that, from the speeches tonight, it seems clear to me that further legislation is required to give our mounted police the power to fight the battle in which they are engaged today, the battle against foreign agents and communists in Canada. I believe we must have legislation to give the mounted police power to protect our people and to protect those who are threatened by the agents of a foreign power, who would approve engaging in subversive activities or belonging to subversive organizations in this country.

I am another member of this house who has the greatest admiration for what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have done for Canada, for their great services to our nation and for the high reputation they have maintained for a number of years. I will close my remarks by saying this. The members of this force are now in the front line of the cold war.

It is the duty of every member of the house and of the government to support them in every possible way.

Mr. NORMAN J. M. LOCKHART (Lincoln) : Mr. Speaker, there are two points

I wish to bring to the attention of the minister. I will not delay the house by repetitive remarks on our pride in the work that has been and is being accomplished by this force. I will associate myself with most of what has been said. Personally, I would draw to the attention of the minister that at the present time, and back over a period of a year or two in particular, organizations are continually approaching business people for the purpose of raising money under the pretence of some alliance; perhaps they have the name of their nationality or racial origin attached to them. I am satisfied and convinced, from investigation, that this money is going back through these channels into lands where freedom is a thing of the past.

I suggest to the minister that something might be done to bring organizations of this kind more out into the open. They are not only taking money out of the country but are organizing to the extent of getting people of their own nationality and others to join them. There is no accounting for these moneys which are raised. As I say, the activities of these groups should be forced out into the open. The officers of these groups should be known. These groups should be forced to publish the officers' names on their letterheads. I could produce a letterhead of a so-called society, which gives no name of the president. You cannot tell who is who or anything about it. The result is that these organizations often perpetrate things on the community which, I say, ought to be stopped. I do not know whether there is any law in the land which would stop them, but I am drawing the matter to the attention of the minister.

I want to go a step farther, and this is all I intend to say. These same groups at the present time, particularly with respect to displaced persons who are coming into this country, are making it their business to follow every individual under pretence of teaching him the language he is expected to learn. These groups are bringing these people to meeting places under that guise and are teaching them communism in its worst form. They go a step farther. They point out to these people who are loyal citizens of Canada-and I know many of them-that it is their duty and obligation to join these subversive societies, and indicate what will follow if they do not join. I point out to the minister that there

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

is a sinister threat to people of this type who, as I say, have made their new homes here in Canada.

This matter was referred to by previous speakers; I believe it was referred to by the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) in a way. I know of cases within the past three weeks in which it has been pointed out to these people that their safest procedure is to join up with these groups. They are reminded that back home in the land of their origin their own people are living under the type of discipline which they are suggesting to our Canadian citizens that they should follow. Something should be done to strengthen the enforcement of the law through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and every other way possible, in order to bring this kind of thing out into the open more than it has been over the past few years in particular.

This thing is growing, Mr. Speaker. I am sure the mounted police know it. I am sure the minister has a good deal of knowledge of what I am referring to. Those are the two points I wished to make: the question of the raising of money and not having the identity exposed, and using a sinister influence to coerce displaced people and others of racial origin other than ours, in order to bring them under an influence which is not conducive to what is best in Canadian citizenship.

I propose to give the minister or some of the officials some details in this connection from time to time. But I urge those two points upon the minister, so that some provision may be made somewhere in order to bring this matter more to the fore than it is at the present moment.

Topic:   ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
Subtopic:   CONTRIBUTORY SUPERANNUATION SCHEME-COMPENSATION FOR INJURY SUSTAINED IN COURSE OF DUTY
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PC

George Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GEORGE BLACK (Yukon):

For the past fifty years, Mr. Speaker, I have had an opportunity of observing at close quarters and associating with the Royal Canadian Mounted1 Police. When I first knew them, they were not called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They were called the Northwest Mounted Police. That was the force which opened up the middle west.

I saw them in the gold rush of 1898. I went through part of Alaska to get into Yukon. In Alaska there was no such thing as law and order. There was murder and robbery, and crime of all kinds was rampant. When you stepped across the boundary into Canada, you were in a different world. There disorder ceased. If a man came into town packing a gun, the mountie would say, "Let me see that gun." He would say, "Old man, I don't think you will need that. You might hurt yourself with it." And the man did not get the gun

back. No one in Yukon carried a gun but members of the mounted police, and then only under exceptional circumstances.

I do not think most people understand or realize the variety of duties performed by the mounted police. They are always ready to go to the rescue of anyone in trouble, no matter what danger or exertion is involved.

This bill is all right as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. This wonderful police force is underpaid, having in mind the value of the services it gives the general public. The pay is out of all proportion to the importance of their duties, and I say we should pay them better. They are not paid as well as those in other branches of the civil service or the public service generally. The work they do and the services they perform entitle them to more pay than the great maj ority of people in the employ of the government. It is a force to be proud of, the greatest police force in the world, and I am glad that to some extent the minister recognizes that in this bill tonight.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Mr. Speaker-

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

If the minister speaks now he will close the debate.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Right Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Justice):

I have just a few words to say. I know that the many tributes which have been paid to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been heard by the commissioner with feelings of gratification, as they have been by myself. During this debate ten or eleven speeches have been made on a wide variety of aspects of the work of the mounted police. Suggestions have been made for amendments to the criminal code, which perhaps were hardly in order in this debate, but all of which will be given respectful consideration by my colleagues and myself.

Some questions have been asked as to the principle and meaning of the bill; but, as I said in my opening remarks, I think those questions can be best answered when we are in committee of the whole. The general nature of the bill is well understood by hon. members, but the details can hardly be advantageously dealt with in a speech on second reading. So, without taking more of the time of the house now, I suggest that second reading be given and that we go into committee for a few minutes, so that we may resume the discussion on another occasion.

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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Golding in the chair. Business oj the House On section 1-"Member of the force."


LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

This section may as well stand. It is late, and I move that progress be reported.

Progress reported.

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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE


Mr. ILSLEY moved the adjournment of the house.


LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Tomorrow we shall

resume the debate on the motion of the Minister of Finance to go into committee of

supply, with the amendment moved by the leader of the C.C.F. party. We hope, with the co-operation of hon. members, to be able to dispose of that debate early in the day. If we are successful, then we shall go into supply and call four departments, agriculture, external affairs, trade and commerce, and transport. We shall proceed first with the Department of Agriculture, and then, if we dispose of it, any other items on the order paper.

Motion agreed to and the house adjourned at 10.55 p.m.

Tuesday, April 27, 1948

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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April 26, 1948