Charles Gavan POWER

POWER, The Hon. Charles Gavan, P.C., B.A., LL.L.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Quebec South (Quebec)
Birth Date
January 18, 1888
Deceased Date
May 30, 1968
Website
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Gavan_Power
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a47e2fa3-277a-47c3-8868-2fc0fdddd05a&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
L LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
  • Minister of Pensions and National Health (October 23, 1935 - September 18, 1939)
  • Postmaster General (September 19, 1939 - May 22, 1940)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
  • Postmaster General (September 19, 1939 - May 22, 1940)
  • Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence (May 23, 1940 - November 26, 1944)
  • Minister of National Defence for Air (May 23, 1940 - November 26, 1944)
  • Minister of National Defence (June 11, 1940 - July 4, 1940)
  • Associate Minister of National Defence (July 12, 1940 - November 26, 1944)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1531 of 1532)


April 5, 1918

Mr. POWER:

Of the city of Quebec and the province of Quebec, presumably. I understood from the Prime Minister that such disgraceful occurrences took place all over Canada.

Topic:   ADOLPHE STEIN.
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April 5, 1918

Mr. POWER:

I understood the right hon. gentleman to say that the abuses by Dominion detectives had taken place in other parts of Canada. However, these were the causes of the riot. I do not intend to go into any further discussion as to the more remote causes of the feeling in Quebec, but I do say that the fact that the Government, in its enforcement of the Military Service Act, changed the law and employed these detectives in the way which I have indicated contributed to the causes which were responsible for the outbreak in Quebec.

Instead of asking the House to moderate its views on this subject, instead of asking the country to be patient with Quebec, instead, after having studied the question, of saying: This was an outbreak which might have been avoided had we been more careful in our exercise of power, the Government have come before this House and said: We will see to it that coercion is used in the province of Quebec. They have deposited on the table of this House an Order in Council such as I do not think ever was passed in any other British country in the world. Extraordinary power has been placed in the hands of military officers. I respect the uniform of His Majesty and every one who wears it but we have put it in the power of the military officer to arrest on sight any man whom he thinks is committing a breach of the peace. This poor individual is to be tried by court martial. The

civil law of the Dominion, and of the province of Quebec, is laid on one side in order that the military authorities may have full sway. I appeal to my hon. friend the Minister of Justice, who should know the history of his motherland; he ought to be able to tell us whether, from his reading of history, the 700 years of coercion in Ireland has effected anything to bring Ireland more into line to 'help Great Britain and the Allies in the present war. I appeal to the verdict of history. We have seen Poland persecuted, its nationality lost, its religion taken away, but Poland after 200 years is still Poland and the people still long to breathe the breath of Polish freedom. We have also seen Alsace-Lorraine torn away from Mother France, and still, forty-four years afterwards, Alsace-Lorraine is one of the reasons which brought about tbe bloody conflict in Europe to-day. Should, Mr. Speaker, coercion be applied, as it is evident that the hon. gentlemen opposite wish to apply it, should our laws be set aside, should tbe civil laws of the province be set aside-laws guaranteed by treaty and sanctified by tradition-and everything that we consider just, fair, and honourable in the province of Quebec, be set aside,

I aim sorry to say that I do not expect it will profit hon. gentlemen opposite in any degree. As one who is for the fullest participation in this war T am sorry to say, considering those whose spirit has been outraged and whose better feelings have all been disgusted by the treatment of tbe Government, that it will be impossible for us, if we have to use two men for every man we get, it will be impossible for ug to put tbe same force on the battlefields of Europe that I think we should place there. For as long as the feeling of hon. gentlemen opposite is as it is, you will have to maintain a garrison in the city of Quebec, and the effort of taking the men you need will be difficult beyond measure.

(Some hon. MEMBERS: Order.

Topic:   ADOLPHE STEIN.
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April 5, 1918

Mr. POWER:

I beg the right hon. gentleman's pardon. I was speaking in the more general sense. The Tight hon. gentleman had said that such abuses as had taken place in the enforcement of the Military Service Act -and I presume that would cover the case that I have mentioned-had taken place in other portions of Canada.

Topic:   ADOLPHE STEIN.
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April 5, 1918

Mr. POWER:

1 am, as I have already said, for the fullest participation in the war. Too many of my dearest, truest and best comrades, the truest and best comrades that a man could have, now lie buried in the ground trodden by tbe sacreligious foot of the Hun, and I am sure they never will rest until Canada puts forth its best efforts to wrest from the Hun the land in which they now lie.

Topic:   ADOLPHE STEIN.
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April 5, 1918

Mr. POWER:

I withdraw my statements with regard to the judge. However, there was a feeling in Quebec that certain members of the Bench were more or less inclined to be adverse to the draftees. Even that did not affect things very much until the Government adopted the system of Government by Order in Council. First, an Order in Council was passed to the effect that the family physician was no longer to be considered as an expert in the case, that his finding was to be submitted to the Board of Medical Review, and the decision of the Board of Medical Review was to be final. In one case a family physician produced a sworn certificate before the judge to the effect that Mr. So-and-So was an epileptic and had suffered from epileptic fits all his life. That man went before the Board of

Medical Review and he was classed A-l because he could not have an epileptic fit at the proper time to convince the Board of Medical Review. These cases were well known. Everybody in Quebec talked about them.

Then, we had another Order in Council to the effect that the delays foreseen by the law-that is three days and, in some cases, twenty days, to allow for appeal from the decision of the first tribunal-would no lpnger count. Apparently, from the interpretation which we have had of this Order in Council, these delays were only to count in favour of the Government. A poor devil who wished to apply for his exemption, and who had been in the bush somewhere, or in the back blocks, had not a chance within the twenty days and was conscripted; whereas, if through lack of diligence on the part of the officers of the Government, the public representatives, and others, thfey had forgotten to apply for the review of a certain man's exemption, the Government representatives were perfectly at liberty to take the law into their own hands and see that the appeal was carried on. There was a further Order in Council prohibiting rehearing, but with that I am not familiar.

However, these are only some of the causes. The question of the men who were placed in charge of the enforcement of the Military Service Act has already been very fully dealt with by my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, but there were other things which were said, and I think with some show of justice, because arrests took place in Montreal and it was stated that certain Dominion detectives held up people on the streets, and, if their papers were not exactly right, these Dominion detectives asked them to give them $2, or $5, or $1.0, and they would let them go free. I understand that certain people were arrested in Montreal under those circumstances. There was another rumour. This is for the information of my hon. friend who asked :me a question some time ago. I hope to be able to substantiate it at some other time, because I cannot substantiate it to-night. But it is a rumour and I am giving the causes of the riot. It was rumoured among the people that the Dominion detectives were in the habit of tearing up the exemption papers.

Topic:   ADOLPHE STEIN.
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