Herménégilde BOULAY

BOULAY, Herménégilde, LL.B.

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Rimouski (Quebec)
Birth Date
March 20, 1861
Deceased Date
May 18, 1942
farmer, manufacturer, merchant, trader

Parliamentary Career

September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
  Rimouski (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 77)

August 10, 1917


1 wish to move an amendment to the schedule of Bill 118 as regards section 302 of the Railway Act concerning the Government railways. I wish to add to section 302 practically the same words that I proposed on the 18th of July, as follows:

All employees of government railways in the province of Quebec that have to deal with the travelling public shall be conversant with the English and French languages, and this provision to be in force from the first of January, 1919.

As this affects only the Government railway employees, there should not be any such objection as that referred to by the Minister of Railways on the 23rd of July as regards other railroads. This- would meet the approval of all the employees of the Government railways in Quebec, because I [DOT]have here a statement signed by four of the presidents of their societies from Montreal to Campbellton. They all approve this amendment saying that it would be largely in the interest of the travelling public. The statement is dated 28th July, 1917, and reads:

The hon. member for Rimouski has caused to be inserted in the Bill No. 13' entitled: An Act for the consolidation of the railway laws of Canada, on the 18 th instant, an amendment which reads as follows:

" All railway employees on local passenger trains running in the province of Quebec, having to deal with the travelling public, shall be conversant with the English and French languages from and after January 1, 1919."

Now, on Juy 23rd instant, this amendment, although it had been adopted by the House, was dropped and another one has been substituted to it which does not give any satisfaction. The

reason given for dropping this amendment was that the railroad companies were opposed to it.

Now we, railway employees on the division


and representing the International

Association of railroad employees, do declare hereby that we have seen with pleasure the amendment proposed by the member for Rimouski, and fully and sincerely approve of it; in fact, we state that it will not entail any hardships to any one of the employees, but on the contrary, that it would be a notable improvement, which has been demanded for many years by the travelling public in the province of Quebec.

Therefore, we ask that the amendment moved by the hon. member for Rimouski, should be fully reinserted in the Bill.

In witness thereof, we have signed :*-

Phy. Tardif, C.G.R., conductor, president of Levis employees association.

Jos. Robin, president of the Montreal employees association.

J. B. DubS, conductor, president of the Mont-Joli employees association.

E. H. Dionne, conductor C.G.R., president of the Transcontinental employees association.

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July 31, 1917

Mr. H. BOULAY (Rimouski) (translation) :

Mr. Speaker, I wish to add a few words to what has been said by my hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. Maclean) in connection with this Bill No. 83. It seems to me that the expenditure resulting from this war-which we are called upon to meet- is so heavy that we should refrain from appointing further commissions of practically no use, for the time being at any rate. I am unaware of the reasons that may have caused the introducing of this Bill, but we are going through such a crisis that it seems to me to be altogether untimely to impose new burdens upon the people of this country, especially when we


already have a rather costly commission-I mean the Conservation Commission -which, strictly speaking, might attend to this work, and I wonder what that commission will have to look after when this new measure is put into force. If there is one thing that may well be put off until peace has been concluded, I think it is this Honorary Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. It seems to me, moreover, that instead of striving hard to impose new obligations upon this country, the Government should bend all their energies to the task of lightening the burdens now lying heavy upon our population.

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July 31, 1917


We never have the Laval students on these trains; I cannot say how . they would behave.

(Translation): Mr. Chairman, I beg the House to .allow me to. add a few words as to- the organization of the battalions. There is some complaint that the province of Quebec did not enlist as largely as she ought to have done. I will point out that several reasons have prevented our soldiers from enlisting in larger numbers, and among these reasons I may mention, as one of the most important the breaking up of our battalions after they had gone across. I will cite as an example the case of the 189th of Rimouski and Temiscouata. This regiment had been recruited ~ by oompatent officers and under the formal promise that these officers would lead them oil the battlefield. I do not know what were the reasons,

but as soon as the battalion had reached England its officers were put aside and replaced by people who were perfect strangers to the soldiers of the 189th. The latter wrote home, informing their folks of what h.ad happened, and I am convinced that the disorganization of that battalion did largely contribute to prevent any further enlistment. I am prepared to *assert this .fact, for I ihave personally heard a large number of young men repeat that they would not enlist to submit to the fate of their comrades who had left with the 189th.

Now, I would like to have from the hon. Minister of Militia a declaration whether the regulations of the department permit the inflicting of punishments such .as those which are reported to have been, meted out to -the Canadian soldiers in England. It is reported, for instance, that soldiers have been forced to remain with their arms crossed for ten .or twelve consecutive hours.; another punishment which was inflicted, according to reports, is forcing men to run during the same length of time, with five minutes' rest at intervals, of fifteen or twenty minutes, and a 75^pound load on their shoulders. If military regulations contain such punishments nowadays, it seems to me that is a downright shame. I understand that such penalties can have been inflicted a hundred years ago.; but in our present state of civilization, men who are going to. risk -their lives on the battlefields should not be given such punishment. I would ask the hon. minister to tell me if such is actually the case; these reports circulate in my district, and, I repeat it, they are of such -a nature as to prevent many well-disposed young men from enlisting.

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July 31, 1917


No. This happened every time I was on the train, and it also happened when I was not.

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July 31, 1917

Mr. BOULAY (translation):

Mr. -Chairman, I wish to. .say a few words about the. medical examination of our soldiers. I heard, a few minutes ago, some hon. members on the other side of the House criticising the Government for not having subjected our soldiers to a minute medical examination before sending them over to England, and I really believe that there has. been -some laxity in that regard. I will mention one case in order to show what were the shortcomings in this connection. Soldiers who had enlisted in the 150th, the 178th, and the 233rd, and who were being sent eastwards, met with a serious railroad -accident, their train leaving the track; some of them were killed outright and many others wounded. Some of these men, thirty-seven of them in all, were carried over to Partridge island, near Halifax, where they were examined three, weeks after their landing -and finally sent back home. I do not understand the reason of that trip in which the lives of these people were greatly exposed. These soldiers, were all of them French Canadians, and all of them told me they would have preferred being sent across the ocean, where they would .have been given the necessary care and could have later done their duty as well [DOT]as the other soldiers forming part of the regiment. Iif, on the other hand, thes-e men. were not fit to go and fight, it seems to .me they should have been spared the hardships of such a long voyage, and the country would .also have been saved the amount of their pay, of their allowances, and th.e other costs thereby incurred. I do hope that, as far as this' is concerned, the-Government have taken such measures that:

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