Charles-Édouard FERLAND

FERLAND, The Hon. Charles-Édouard, Q.C., B.A., Ph.L., LL.L.

Personal Data

Joliette--l'Assomption--Montcalm (Quebec)
Birth Date
March 2, 1892
Deceased Date
January 8, 1974

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1928 - May 30, 1930
  Joliette (Quebec)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
  Joliette (Quebec)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Joliette--l'Assomption--Montcalm (Quebec)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Joliette--l'Assomption--Montcalm (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 40)

June 26, 1944

1. Has the construction controller granted any permits for the construction of grain elevators and grain storage plants?

2. If so, (a) to what persons or companies; (!b) in what localities; (c) at what dates?

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June 1, 1944

1. Have the licensed dealers or packers of Canadian leaf tobacco of the district of Joliette, Quebec, asked the wartime prices and trade board to raise their wholesale prices, because the prices paid to the tobacco producers are *higher than the maximum prices authorized by *the board?

2. Has the tobacco administrator recommended to the chairman of the wartime prices and trade board an increase in the wholesale price of Canadian leaf pipe tobacco, grown in the province of Quebec?

3. Has the special adviser to' the chairman of the wartime prices and trade board, for the province of Quebec, made a similar recommendation?

4. Has the wartime prices and trade board arrived at a decision in connection with this matter; (a) if so, what is such decision; (b) if not, will such matter be examined and decided upon by the government?

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February 24, 1943


I accept the wordi of the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Roy;. I have nothing else to say on that question. He can rest assured that I do not wish to impute to him any motives.

Mr. Speaker, there is perhaps some confusion in certain sections of the country following the many amendments that have been moved, especially in these difficult times. For that reason, I have deemed it advisable to explain why I intend to support the government. In 1940, I received a mandate from my electors; it was a formal mandate to support the Liberal government, subject, however, to my opposing conscription of men for overseas service. Last year, in February I think, the government brought down the famous plebiscite act. Prior to the vote which took place on April 27, 1942, I addressed a message to my electors of Joliette-PAssomp-tion-Montcalm, explaining why I had supported the government on the plebiscite act;

I told them I had done so because the amendment moved was a motion of want of confidence and that the government would have been defeated and replaced by another government if it had not received the support of the Quebec members. But I told my electors that I still had confidence in our leader the Prime Minister of Canada and that whatever government might be in power, I would vote against them if they ever attempted to pass conscription for overseas service.

Canadian Navy-Submarine Operations

Mr. Speaker, I have kept my word. In June, 1942, I think, the government had the bill of conscription for service overseas passed, and I not only protested against it in this house, but I broke with my party and my leader and I voted against the government. Fifty-three other French Canadian members gave a similar vote and broke with the Liberal party by voting against conscription. I had no reason to walk across the house and to desert my party, even though that conscription bill was incorporated in the statutes of Canada, because at the time, before the vote was taken on that amendment to the Mobilization Act, the Prime Minister of Canada repeated once more that conscription of men for overseas service had never been, was not and probably would never be necessary.

But the Prime Minister, in a speech delivered in the House of Commons, gave us his word of honour and a verbal guarantee when he solemnly declared that if it ever became necessary to enforce that conscription measure for service overseas by order in council, he would not put conscription into force without previously consulting parliament, and without being authorized by parliament through a vote of its members. We have continued ever since to fight and to contribute to the war effort. I must say, Mr. Speaker, that in spite of all the difficulties we had to face, in spite of certain errors that we have pointed out for correction in this house where free speech is recognized, in party caucus, in the newspapers and elsewhere, I have confidence in the Prime Minister of Canada and I say there is not in the whole country a man who enjoys the confidence of the electors to a higher degree.

Mr. Speaker, I notice that it is near six o'clock and I want to conclude my remarks in order to give the house a chance to vote on the amendment now before us and on the main motion.

I shall vote against the Conservative amendment and I shall support the government on the main motion.

Mr. NORMAN J. M. LOCKHART (Lincoln): Mr. Speaker, it was not my intention to participate in this debate, but within the past few days certain incidents have taken place on which I think I should say something.

I am satisfied to continue for the next five or six minutes if you wish, but I shall probably take half an hour. Therefore I respectfully move the adjournment of the debate.

Motion agreed to and debate adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Fournier (Hull) the house adjourned at 5.55 p.m.

Thursday, February 25, 1943

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February 24, 1943


Mr. Speaker, the Conservative party, through its leader, is asking us to adopt an amendment to the address in reply to the speech from the throne. This amendment, which is very indefinite and might appeal to various shades of public opinion, is full of promises of exemption from military service.

I will nevertheless vote against this amendment because, fundamentally, it is a motion of want of confidence in the present government. Besides, the promises made by the Conservative party are seldom worth very much. I am afraid that the promises contained in the amendment moved by the Conservatives is not worth the paper on which they are written. When I was called to the bar of my province in 1917, I have had the occasion for a certain period,

The Address-Mr. Ferland

in 1917, and especially in 1918, prior to the end of the war, to appear before military tribunals on behalf of a great many farmers. I successfully defended eight or nine hundred of them, and we believed then, as well as we do now, that farmers would help to win the war and would serve their country better by remaining on the land.

Now, in the conscription act of 1917, the Conservatives had promised exemption to the farmers. They even were to organize tribunals. There were local tribunals which heard all cases in the province of Quebec under the chairmanship of two officers. There was besides an appeal tribunal presided over, in each district, by a judge of the superior court. After the tribunals had granted a great many exemptions to farmers, the Conservative government which was then in power, passed an order in council cancelling all decisions given by such tribunals which had been sitting under that act to exempt farmers. And to-day the same Conservative party, after twenty odd years, is asking us to withdraw our confidence from the Liberal party, and to place it in them, because they will exempt farmers, and will grant all kinds of exemptions, and their war effort will be much more satisfactory than that of the Liberal party.

However, Mr. Speaker, to those who find that our war effort is too great, I would say that the Conservative party asserted its position on Friday afternoon through its leader who stated that if the present Conservative amendment is adopted, it will lead to an increased war effort. Many people believe at this time that our war effort cannot be increased and that we have reached the ultimate limit of our ability to share in this war.

Mr. Speaker, under our constitution and our parliamentary law, the speech from the throne is not subject to amendment. It is impossible to amend a motion for adoption of the address. All that can be done is to oppose government policy, to move a vote of want of confidence for the purpose of condemning the whole government policy and, if such a motion of want of confidence or if such amendment by the opposition carries, the government is defeated. That is why I shall vote against the present Conservative amendment.

That is also why I cannot support the other amendments and I have voted against the amendment moved yesterday by the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Roy) who had thought that, because a pastor who seems utterly devoid of discretion and but poorly endowed with common sense, has written and published abusive articles against the Roman Catholic church and against our spiritual leaders it

constitutes a valid grounds for the hon. member to propose a motion of want of confidence. He asked us to defeat the government because that pastor had insulted our church. What a genius! What a sum of intelligence was required to ask for the defeat of the government on a question of religion 1 However, I know full well why the amendment was moved. It was because our hon. friend from Gaspe expected to embarrass us. He knew the government would not be defeated on the amendment but he probably expected that his friends in the' province of Quebec would later say of him: "See how staunch a Catholic our member is!"

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July 21, 1942

Mr. C. E. FERLAND (Joliette-L'Assomp-tion-Montcalm):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to oppose this amendment to the Excise Act I wish first to express my deep regret that the tax on Canadian raw leaf tobacco has been increased from 10 cents to 20 cents a pound. I protest again against this excessive tax on the Canadian natural product, for which in my district the farmer is paid only 10 cents a pound. I believe the new tax will give the coup de grace, the final stroke, to the tobacco industry in my district in Quebec. The constituency of Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm is the largest centre of production of raw leaf pipe tobacco in Quebec, and in that district there has been a high development of production and distribution.

Our Quebec tobaccos have been popular throughout Canada, and pipe smokers know very well that the tobacco produced in my district is of the best. During the first great war a tax of 5 cents a pound was placed on

Labour Conditions

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