July 19, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)

LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

The criticism offered toy my right -hon. friend the Prime Minister to the -amendment proposed by my hon. friend from Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) is purely verbal and technical. If

we accept the idea it is easy to frame a clause which will express it. The only thing that my hon. friend from R.ouville contends-and I venture to affirm and support his contention-is that theological students, a class which is well known at least in one province of the Dominion, should be exempted as they 'are exempted by the words in the amendment which was adopted the last time we had this Bill before the committee. Whether the amendment is accepted or not makes a vast difference. In the United States that class of young men is excepted from the operation of the law. In the. United States they exempt divinity students and students in theology. Under this Bill, if my hon. friend's amendment is not adopted, they will not be exempted. I would suggest to my right hon, friend that the relations between the United States and Canada are very close. The system of selfgovernment is very much the same; the interchange of commerce is becoming every day more diffused; we are fighting for the same cause, and I would suggest that this is creating a great contrast between the legislation of the United States and our own legislation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
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