October 2, 1919 (13th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Albert Edward Kemp (Minister of the Overseas Military Forces)


Sir EDWARD KEMP (Minister of the Overseas Military Forces):

Mr. Speaker, I have been asked on several occasions for information regarding members of the Overseas Military Forces in Canada who are detained in England under sentences of varying [periods'. tCbnsidering the large number of soldiers who were sent overseas, I think that the figures which I am about to give will be considered as very satisfac-

tory and as indicating that the conduct of our soldiers was most exemplary and the discipline excellent. It will probably be found that the number that it was necessary to convict for various causes would be much less than the number that would be cnvicted of offences from amongst the civil population of Canada during a,.similar period.
Several months ago I requested Judge Dennistoun, of Winnipeg, who was Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, to return to England from Winnipeg for the purpose of reviewing these cases individually, the object being to look into the matter carefully and, if possible, to reduce or commute the sentences. The policy was to exercise as much leniency as was possible under all the circumstances. Colonel Dennistoun did review the cases and he submitted a report upon each case; that report is available to any member of the House who desires to see it.
The figures to which I have referred are contained in the following statement:
Analysis of report of Deiputy Judge Advocate General, O.M.F.C., on Revision of Sentences. Total number of members of O.M.F.C. in prison on 1st July, 1919, undergoing sentences imposed by military tribunals 170 Sentenced by military tribunals between 1st July, 1919, and 1st September, 1919 29
Total number of members of O.M.F.C. in prison on 1st July, 1919, undergoing
sentences imposed by civil authorities.. 46
Sentenced by civil authorities between 1st July, 1919, and 1st September, 1919.. .. 29
Total 274
Number of military sentences:
(a) Remitted [DOT][DOT][DOT][DOT][DOT][DOT] 77
(b) Commuted in part from imprisonment to detention barracks 90
Number of cases in which no action in respect to sentence was recommended.. .. 86
Number of cases reserved for future consideration 10
Number of civil sentences for the commutation of which application to the Home Secretary has been made 5
Date of release of prisoners:
Number of prisoners who have been released from Imprisonment between 1st July, and 1st September, 1919.. .. 74
Numbers of prisoners to be released during months of: September, 1919.. .. 22October, " .. .. 24November, " .. .. 34December, " .. .. 32January, 1920.. .. 42
(a) Number of prisoners whose sentences expire after January 31, 1920:
(1) Where sentenced by military
courts 21
(2) Where sentenced by civil courts 25
(a) These cases an where convictions are for murder, manslaughter, rape, burglary, larceny.
Number of cases not yet reviewed 5
(These cases have been tried in the civil courts within the past two weeks.)
That is two weeks prior to the 9th September last.
When prisoner is released from imprisonment and sent to detention barracks he is then retained only until his documentation is completed and arrangements for his sailing made.

Full View