New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Reports of the Debates (22 May 1865)


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Date: 1865-05-22
By: New Brunswick (House of Assembly)
Citation: New Brunswick, House of Assembly, Reports of the Debates of The House of Assembly of the Province of New Brunswick, During the Session of 1865 at 80-84.
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HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

MONDAY, May 22, 1865.

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On motion of Mr. Connell, the House went into Committee for the further consideration of “A Bill to authorize the municipality of the County of Carleton to issue debentures for a Railway purposes.”

Mr. Williston — Are the members of the County of Carleton unanimous in their desire that the lands of the whole County should be taxed to support the views of the municipality of Carleton? The Bill which passed this House for the purpose of aiding the construction of the St. Stephen Branch Railway authorizes the taxing of all property in a certain district which was to be benefitted by the road; but here the Whole County will have to be taxed, a large proportion of which will receive no benefit from the Railroad at all.

Mr. Needham. — According to the first section of this Bill, the municipality frame a Bill, which they send down to the Government to sanction, and all the Government has to do is see that it is in accordance with the laws of the Province, thus you give the municipality of Carleton the right to legislate for that County. The Corporation of St. John, with its executive powers and credit, have no such power vested in them; when they want to borrow money the whole thing must be set out in a law, and by that law they must borrow it ; but here you authorize the municipality to do the whole legislation, which is to affect the rights of thousands of people; and the Governor in Council must sanction their acts if they are not contrary to this law, or any other law in the Province.

This Bill should cover the whole thing. It should show the form of debentures and what security should be given. It involves a large amount of money, and we are going through it with Railroad speed, none of us understanding its importance. This piecemeal legislation is the worst kind we can have. We are giving up our rights as a legislative body and putting it in the hands of a municipality, investing them with a power they ought not to have, and which we have not right to give them. They should have inserted in their Bill all that we required to render it of value so that it would have protected the rights of all parties, for if we do not secure those rights to the people we depart from the true principles of legislation.

Mr. Lindsay. — I would be willing to amend it if the President of the Council thinks it necessary, for the people of Carleton are anxious to develope the resources of the country, but are not now asking for anything, but the privilege of assessing themselves for the purpose of carrying on a public work, and I do not think any public rights are invaded by doing so; if we were going to tax the whole country there might be some reason in the arguments of the hon. member for York, and if he would bring in a similar measure for his County, I would encourage it, for I believe we should encourage those who are willing to help themselves.

Hon. Mr. Smith. — If the hon. members for the County of Carleton will take the responsibility of this measure, I will support the Bill; but I object to giving the people the power to legislate on this question, because it is inconsistent with our constitution; reference has been made to the School Law, but that is not a parallel case with this; that merely gives permissive power to the people to accept the provision of a law already made, I want to record my opinion against this measure which entirely ignores the principle of representative Government.

Mr. Kerr. — It appears to be the impression of the hon. member from Carleton that. this is a local matter, and no other part of the Province is interested in it. If the hon. member will raise the money in the County of Carleton; if the people of Carleton will agree to tax themselves, and raise the money among themselves, it would be well enough: but under this Bill there is no mention made of where thesé bonds are to be sold. They may be sold in the English market at fifty per cent discount, and by that means still further depress our Provincial securities, which are now selling at eight per cent discount; therefore, every man in this Province is interested in this matter. I feel satisfied we are entering upon. what I consider to be a dangerous principle; that a law can be made by this Legislature and then rendered nugatory by an assembly of the people. It is not so in the School law to which reference has been made.

That law still remains the law of the land; people do not have to pass a vote upon it to say whether it shall be the law of the land or not, but have simply to say in each locality whether they will accept its provisions or not. By adopting the principle contained in this Bill, we are entering upon a course which if followed up, will be utterly disastrous. We are in a different position in regard to building railroads from Canada; we have to import from abroad nearly all we require to build them, and by that means are involved in an amount of expenditure which has reduced our revenue very materially; whereas In Canada they have the most of the material in their own Province. It is, therefore, absurd to say this Bill will not affect the welfare of the people of the whole Province, for every pound our debentures are sold below par is a loss to the whole country.

Hon. Mr. Hatheway. — if we had never constructed a line of Railway in this Province our revenues would have been in a better position than they are at present; but having commenced their construction, they will not yield a revenue until extended. By grants and legislation we have a line of Railway to within eleven miles of the village of Woodstock, which will be extended upwards, and if there will be any line likely to pay it will be the connection between Woodstock and the St. Andrews Railway. The people of Carleton have just as good right to put their debentures in the market as the people of St. Stephen; but there is a principle involved in this Bill, and I shall vote against it without the members of the County of Carleton take the responsibility, for they are here as the exponents of public opinion in that County. If they will strike out that section f the Bill which refers it back to the people, I will vote for it.

Mr. Hill — One objection taken by the hon. member for Northumberland if, that those debentures proposed to be issued by the municipality of Carleton, if floated in the English market, will depress our Provincial debentures. I think this apprehension is most unfounded. If the debentures of Carleton sell at a discount it is not reason why the Provincial debentures should any more than the debentures of a city in Massachusetts would affect the bonds of the State. Capitalists in buying those bonds look at the security, and if the municipality of Carleton cannot give good security they cannot sell those debentures, and in consequence cannot build this road. Reference has […]

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[…] been made to the town of St. Stephen putting their debentures in the English market.

I do not think they will go beyond the river St. Croix, there being only $150,000 required. Suppose the city of St. John had, by its Common Council, asked this Legislature to authorize them to take stock in Western Extension to an amount not exceeding $400,000, and an “Act” for that purpose had passed without a clause submitting it to the people, would there be anything to prevent its being submitted to the people ? They could say the law authorizes us to issue bonds to that extent. Now, shall we take stock to the extent of ten, fifty, or a hundred thousand dollars. It would be perfectly legal to do so, and the Legislature could not interfere with them. In like manner, if we pass this Bill without that section, it will be perfectly legal to refer it to the people.

Hon. Mr. Hatheway. — Suppose they do not accept it ?

Mr. Hill. — Then the law would become inoperative. We passed a law authorizing the Magistrates of St. Stephen to make an assessment, but they need not order that assessment unless they choose to do so. It has been said that ” all power emanates from the people,” but now it is stated that it is not constitutional, or in the power of the Legislature, to give back into the hands of the people any of that power. This is going back to the old doctrine of the ” divine right of Kings;” that doctrine was held sacred and it was contended that Kings had no power to divest themselves of this right, or delegate it to others. In this Legislature the doctrine is advanced that its powers are so sacred that we cannot delegate any part of those powers back to the people of Carleton, by accepting a Bill which allows them to decide whether they will tax themselves or not.

It has been said that the members of the County of Carleton should represent the opinions of that County, they may represent their political views on Confederation, but may not represent the views of a majority of the County on finance ; therefore, I should like to see this question submitted directly to the people in order to guard their interests, for I believe it is an important measure. This road will be a great benefit to the town of Woodstock and the surrounding country, by bringing them nearer to a market, and consequently enhance the value of Agricultural produce. As soon as Western Extension is built, it will bring them into direct communication with St. John, and this branch will be a feeder to that road. I believe the only way in which private enterprise can build railroads in this country, is by the assistance of counties and towns in the shape of guarantees.

Hon. Mr. Allan. — As this discussion is likely to occupy a great deal of time, and as the introduction of this dangerous principle is not fully understood, I intend to move that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee ; if this is not done, I shall vote against the Bill. If we adopt the principle contained in the Bill, we could refer every measure involving a tax to the people — even to the building of any public building, court house, or gaol — and divest ourselves of all responsibility.

Mr. Lindsay. — The building of a Court House or Jail is a necessity, and if we passed a Bill to provide for the erection of those buildings, we could issue a mandamus and compel the people to erect them.

Mr. Connell. — The whole population are interested in this road, except a few in one Parish, and leaving this Bill to the people will remove their objections. In reference to the motion of the Attorney General, I would rather see the Bill postponed for three months than to have it referred to a Committee, for that would be evading the question and prevent us from getting a railroad at all.

Hon. Mr. Smith. — I think we had better test the question whether this House will affirm the principle of referring these questions to the people, or not.

Mr. McMillan. — I do not see why, in a mere local matter, the people of Carleton should not be the best judges of whether they will adopt that Bill or not, as they have to pay the tax ; we have established the principle in our School law, and in the construction of public works the Government often state that if the people will do certain things the Government will aid them ; as for instance, the Facility Bill granted $10,000 a mile for railroads, upon condition that Companies would build them. We have established the principle in the St. Stephen Branch Railroad, and why should we deal in a different manner with the people of Carleton? It is a charge made against their intelligence and common sense to say they should not have the liberty to tax themselves to carry on a certain work, and this argument put forth by some of the members of the Government, is a doctrine from which I entirely dissent.

Hon. Mr. Gillmor. — We are charging the people of Carleton with a great amount of ignorance when we charge them with having elected men who do not understand their wants. I do not see why they should not take the responsibility of this measure. I would make it imperative upon members representing localities to take the responsibility of their local Bills. In regard to the School law, that is not a parallel case ; according to that law any particular locality can avail themselves of its provisions, but cannot disannul it ; but I think we established the principle in the case of the St. Stephen’s line, and it is a dangerous principle, and should not be carried out to any great extent, and only under peculiar circumstances. In this case a large majority of the people must be benefited, and if they are willing to tax themselves, I will, under these circumstances, vote for the Bill, for I do not believe a few individuals should retard any great work.

Mr. Connell moved the following as the 6th Section of the Bill, ” Before any by-law passed under the authority of this Act shall be transmitted to the Provincial Secretary for the approval of the Governor in Council, it shall be published in a newspaper published in the County, and a copy sent to the Town Clerk in every town and parish, who shall call a meeting of the rate-payers on property for the purpose of considering the by-law at the time and place to be prescribed by the County Council, by posting up notices in three or more of the most public places in the Parish, at least twenty days before the day appointed for the meeting. The meeting shall be organized and the votes taken for and against the by-law, and certified by the Chairman of the meeting to the Secretary Treasurer of the municipality, in the same manner as in the case of the election of County Councillors, or Town and Parish officers. If it is made to appear that a majority of the rate-payers on property at such meeting vote for such by-law, the Governor in Council is authorized to approve thereof, otherwise the said by-law shall be made inoperative.”

Mr. Wetmore read an extract from a law passed in 1862 establishing municipal authorities, and proceeded to show that the people could take the benefit of that law if they thought proper, and he could not see the distinction between the principle of that and the measure now before them, authorizing certain parties to take advantage of the Facility Bill and tax themselves to construct this portion of Railroad.

Mr. Needham. — The hon. member who has last addressed you has mistaken the point ; that law regarding municipal corporations is not disannulled ; if the people adopt it in one County they can in another. The section introduced by the hon. mover of the Bill renders the whole law inoperative, provided the people reject it, and is an introduction of republican institutions.

Mr. Connell. — The vote on this section will either prevent the road being built, or aid and assist it.

Mr. Needham. — That is an unfair way to state it. I do not vote against the people of Carleton having the benefit of the Facility Bill, but I vote against the principle which it establishes.

Mr. Cudlip. — The case is one of emergency ; it is one of vital interest to the people, and not an every day matter ; if it was an ordinary matter I should vote against it. The members of the County have made themselves responsible for the measure by advocating the principle that this Railroad is necessary, and are willing the people should be taxed for it. I shall take no vote as a precedent, and shall not be bound three years hence by my vote now, for I may change my opinions. I hold that a man has a perfect right to change his opinions when he sees they are wrong.

Mr. Beveridge. — The hon. members for Carleton will be disappointed if the Bill does not pass, for two-thirds of the people of that County are in favor of it, and they have a right to be heard.

The House was now divided on this section, when there appeared 13 yeas and 14 nays.

Mr. Connell. — I move that the Bill be postponed for three months. If we force this Bill upon the people it will create a great deal of dissatisfaction. In Nova Scotia a Bill was passed to tax the people for the purpose of constructing a road from Halifax to Windsor, without the people being heard on the question. The consequence was that the people resisted the measure, and the difficulty was so great that it had to be abandoned. When the Liquor Law was first introduced, I understood it contained a clause to refer it to the people, and I was in favor or it. I believe if that clause had been in the Bill, a majority of the people would have sanctioned it, and probably now it would have been the law of the land. People have told my colleague and myself that we were going to force this measure upon them. I said I never would give my consent to have a Bill of that kind pass without being referred to the people. There is hardly a place in Canada where the principle is not adopted. If the hon. members wished to prevent us from building this Railway, they have accomplished their object.

Hon. Mr. Smith. — It is not our duty to deviate from a principle in order to make our legislation harmonize with the promises made at the hustings by the hon. member from Carleton. If the people of Carleton want this Bill, which is of so much importance, and a majority of the people of the County are in favor of it, the hon. member is recieant to his duty […]

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[…] in not taking the responsibility of it. I think my hon. friend had better take the Bill as it stands.

Mr. Needham. — The Bill is not imperative, — as it stands they need not act upon it. I am not going to vote to postpone it, when eighteen out of twenty in the municipality said they wanted it.

Mr. Lindsay. — We want the matter to go before the country fairly, that we are not willing to have this Bill forced upon them. If we pass this Bill it will go into operation under the present Council, and it is not known whether they represent the wishes of the County on this question.

Hon. Mr. Smith. — Was not the Bill sent down here by the municipality without the amendment?

Mr. Lindsay.— The Municipality party may have been satisfied with the Bill as it stands, but some of the people deny that they represent their wishes on this subject, and they have no more right to carry out the provisions of the Bill than the late House would have had to have decided on the question of Confederation, without leaving it to the people. The promises I made at the hustings I shall always endeavor to carry out.

Mr. Wetmore. — I cannot discover any new system of legislation in leaving a measure of this kind to the people. I do not see why two thirds of the inhabitants of a County, if they choose to impose a tax upon themselves, should be prevented from doing so, if it was not injurious to the country generally. It is a local matter, and these hon. gentlemen do take the responsibility in asking the House to pass a law in this way.

Upon the question being taken the Bill was agreed to as amended.

Hon. Mr. Allen moved the House into a Committee of the Whole for the further consideration of a

BILL RELATING TO THE MILITIA.

Mr. Young in the Chair.

Mr. Cudlip, in continuing the discussion on the 24th Section said, — I do not think there will be the least difficulty in finding men to form this camp, without drafting them. The draft works unfairly, and will tend to make the Bill unpopular, for it favors the rich to the detriment of the poor man, because if a rich man is drafted he can afford to hire a substitute, but a poor man has not the means to do so, but is compelled to leave his home and attend this camp, however unwilling he may be. I think that even in actual invasion the Government should find material to carry on the war out of the property of the country without resorting to a draft. I shall move this amendment to the section ; instead of the words Commander-in- Chief, substitute ” His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, or the Commander-in-Chief for the time being, by and with the consent of Her Majesty’s Executive Council.”

Mr. Needham. — I do not know what the advice of the Executive has to do with the Commander-in-Chief in the regulation of the militia and the appointment of officers ; it would be inconsistent with this law, and would make it a mass of heterogenious conglomorate nonsense. The Government should have nothing to do with these militia promotions, calling out men and drafting them, except it is a question of finance.

Col. Boyd. — We had better let the section stand as it is.

Hon Mr. Allen. — The civil branch of the Government has nothing to do with advising the Commander-in-Chief about military movements. The hon. member for Resigouche speaks of having one head for the forces under Confederation ; that would be in Canada ; surely it would be better to have that head in this Province. The hon. member for Carleton said there was no such thing as drafting men in England. If the hon. member will take the trouble to look in the militia law of England he will find that there is a compulsory law there to compel men to attend military drill. The volunteers are a separate branch of the service, and can attend or not as they see fit.

Mr. Lindsay. — Do you say they draft the militia in England?

Hon. Mr. Allen. — I do ; the Queen is the head of the army and the militia, and she has power to raise companies by a draft. It is the same in this country, the Commander-in-Chief is head of the militia, irrespective of the advice of the Executive Council. This has been the case formerly, and when we passed a militia law in 1862, there as no such objection taken to it as there is now. I do not say the hon. gentleman has not a right to change his mind if anything has occurred in those years to make it necessary to repeal the law passed then, but unless they can show some reason why this power should not be vested in the Commander-in-Chief, it is wrong to insert those words. If the principle is right that the Commander-in-Chief has power to call out the militia for five days, the same principle will apply to twenty days. I do not think the members of the Council desire the patronage of appointing the officers, for they have plenty to do, and plenty of responsibility without it. Those appointments have been generally made in accordance with the recommendation of the Colonel of the Battalion, and I do not think it is desirable to make any change.

Mr. Gilbert. — I think my hon. friend, the Attorney General, does not like to assume the responsibility which this amendment would impose upon the Government. The Queen cannot draft the militia, or exercise her prerogative on any question of importance, without the consent of her Privy Council. When the militia bill of 1862 was before the House I took exception to it then as I do now.

Mr. Connell. — I think the Government should advise in those matters where the people are interested. We have been a Government of progress, but I fear as matters are going now we can call it by that name no longer, for we are going back to the dark ages. It has been stated that such a thing never existed as the Commander-in-Chief being advised by his Council, but if you look back to the year 1838, you will find that such a law did exist in this Province. At that time the whole resources of the Province were voted by the Legislature in order to put down the rebellion in Canada ; and the third section of a law passed at that time says, “The Commander-in-Chief, by the advice of his Executive Council.” That Bill was passed for the purpose of defending our institutions and aiding our fellow colonists in putting down what was called the rebellion. If the Government choose to force this Bill through the House they should take the responsibility of advising the Commander-in-Chief. At present they have nothing to do with the Bill after it passes the House, and the whole thing will be carried out by some militia colonels who will get a sword by their side and a feather in their cap, and lord it over the rest, being responsible to no one.

Mr. Gillmor. — In reading the first section of this Act, passed in 1838, you will find that the ” Commander-in-Chief of this Province, for the time being, by and with the consent of Her Majesty’s Council, be and are hereby authorised to enroll and organize, &c.,” but you look at the sixth section you will find that the power to call out is entirely with the Commander-in-Chief. Thus it will be seen that this law does not strengthen my hon. friend’s amendment.

Hon. Mr. Allen. — The hon. member for Carleton has been in the House for a number of years, but he has never raised an objection of this kind before. He does not take the same view of it as he did when he was in the Government. Has any practical evil resulted from the power being vested in the Commander-in- Chief? because some persons in Carleton choose to wear cocked hats, the hon. member thinks it is all nonsense. Is it not a principle that all militia power should be vested in one head, who should direct their movement and disband them when necessary? When money is to be expended it is done by the advice of the Council, and it is a check upon the Governor. He may call out men, but unless the Executive appropriate money they would not stay long. The ruling power by this means remains with the Executive, because they have the control of the finances, without which these organizations could not take place at all. I think if this amendment is to be carried, it will affect the whole principle of the Bill, and our entire militia organization be subverted.

Mr. Gilbert. — Let me call your attention to the 29th section: ” The Commander-in-Chief may make arrangements for the transport of such companies to the place of assembly and for their return thence, and in case of companies coming more than miles may pay their reasonable expenses of transport.”

Hon. Mr. Allan. — You will see in the 2nd clause of the 28th section that the pay is to be regulated by the Governor in Council, and I thought I had regulated the 29th in the same way. The right to control the money is invested in the Governor in Council.

Mr. Gilbert. — Where is the difference between loss of time and money? Is not the loss of time a loss to the country in the shape of loss of labor?

Hon. Mr. Allan. — I cannot say it is not a loss of time and money, but something of this kind is necessary in every country. To pass this amendment would interfere with the whole arrangements of the law. It might be necessary to do something with the militia when it would be impossible to call the Council together. It is a principle that there should be one head to the army and navy, and why should it not be so with the militia?

Mr. Lindsay. — That case applies only to actual invasion. The Executive know when it is necessary to call out the militia, therefore it should be left to them, for they are responsible to the country, and know its wants and wishes. But after the men are called out let the Commander-in- Chief take the responsibility of their manouvering.

Mr. Needham. — The Government are responsible for everything connected to the political interests of the country, but the militia is a separate organization, and is not connected with the political Government at all.

Mr. Allan. — The law passed in […]

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[…] 1862 declares the Governor shall be Commander-in-Chief in the absence of the Governor General. The same provision applies to Nova Scotia, although it may not be in precisely the same words. It applies also to Canada, for our militia law of 1862 was copied from the Canadians, and is nearly identical in terms. If we pass this amendment it will repeal that law, and there will be no uniformity in the militia law of the three Provinces.

Hon. Mr. Smith. — In Canada the principles of Responsible Government exist in all their purity, and if it was desirable to have this alteration, it would have been claimed in that Province. The Governor of Canada is ex-officio Governor of the other North American Colonies, and it is desirable that there should be uniformity in our legislation, so that we should not have a different law from the other Provinces.

Mr. Gilbert. — Could the Commander- in-Chief in Canada call out the militia without the consent of the Executive ?

Hon. Mr. Smith. — He could, though any prudent Commander-in-Chief should consult with his Council, yet there is no such thing as the Governor’s being obliged to do so. If hon. members think it is desirable that the Government should be consulted in regard to the appointments made in the militia, it should be discussed independent of this Bill, and I am not prepared to say which side I will take on the question.

On the question being taken on the amendment the House divided — yeas 9, nays 14.

Mr. Gilbert moved that all the words in the 26th section after “Officer of the Battalion” be struck out. Motion lost.

Mr. Cudlip moved that the following clause be inserted in the 28th section : ” The pay of any officer shall not exceed that of a Captain in Her Majesty’s infantry regiments, to be determined by the Governor in Council.” in lieu of part of the first section which says — “The officers shall receive during the time of service the same pay as officers of corresponding rank in Her Majesty’s infantry regiments.”

Col. Boyd. — The Colonel will select the best officers he has to go to this camp, and if they are not well paid they will not be willing to go, and that will be the end of this camp instruction. There is a responsibility attached to those officers, besides a great deal of expenses, such as keeping horses, thus making it necessary for them to have full pay.

Mr. Wetmore. — I am at a loss to know why these officers should be put to extra expense. They attend this camp because they have a very proper zeal to look after the interests of the force and render it efficient. They ought not to expend more than the men, if they have their rations. (Mr. Allan : They do not.) They should receive rations the same as the privates, otherwise the colonels might be disposed to lord it over them. They might keep horses and an orderly or two, and though I might admire this sort of thing, yet I do not think it would conduce to the advantage of the military service.

Mr. Lindsay. — The gallant colonel has disclosed the secret. The officers are going to have horses, &c., the same as if they were going to meet an enemy, while the privates have to lose their time by coming to this camp to support their dignity. In this camp instruction there should be no distinction made between the pay of the private and the officer, for the private may be the better man of the two.

Mr. Connell. — In Canada they have a military school, in which the officers are divided into two classes, the first class get $100 and the second class $50, and they drill until they understand the thing perfectly. It would be better for us if we were guided more by Canada, not only in this, but in the Confederation scheme.

Hon. Mr. Hatheway. — It would require a great stretch of the imagination to think that the Government could form any scheme that the hon. member from Carleton would agree to. I was told that he said he would resist the draft if his son was drawn — my boys are only too anxious to go without the draft. He said it was going to be a useless Bill, and he would fight it through section by section. If it is such a useless Bill, he had better allow it to be made as ridiculous as possible, and then the odium and ridicule thrown upon it will defeat it. The question now is, whether or not we shall give the $30,000 under a Bill as nearly in accordance with the acts of Canada and Nova Scotia as it is possible to make it? The Attorney General has spent a great deal of time preparing this Bill, and I hope it may be allowed to pass, although some of the members of the Government have doubts whether any great amount of good will result from it.

Hon. Mr. Allan. — I think the scale mentioned in this additional section is high enough.

Mr. Lewis. — I am in favor of this amendment, because you should allow what is fair and right to the officers, for they have to spend money for accoutrements.

On division of the House this amendment was carried.

Col. Boyd moved that the following be the 84th section of the Bill : That no Militia man employed in the deep sea fisheries shall be liable to be called on to do duty as such in any camp instruction during the fishing season between the months of April and November.

Hon. Mr. Allan. — Any person drawn can procure a substitute, and if you make one class of people you will have to make another.

Col. Boyd. — It is well known that we have in the County of Charlotte a number of vessels that go to Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. These vessels have to depart by the middle of April, and if they are drafted the voyage must be broken up.

Mr. Lindsay. — If you draft a man that is working a new farm, you break up his business just as much as you break up the fisherman’s, and ” justice when it ceases to be even handed, ceases to be justice. ”

Mr. Hill. — If the farmer is drafted, he simply loses a month ; but the fisherman loses the whole season. The Attorney General did not take into consideration the fact that this country requires a navy as well as an army, and these fishermen are training for a navy, and should not be called upon to serve on land.

Mr. Gilbert. — This draft will be doing the fisheries a great injustice by taking them away from their business ; these sailors may be required when a draft for a navy is enforced.

Hon. Mr. Smith. — The Attorney General should have excepted this class of people. This draft is taking their employment from them, for they sometimes have a share in the vessel, and it is absolutely necessary they should go on their voyage in the Spring.

Mr. Gilbert. — I am prepared to sustain the amendment, and believe there should be no draft at all, because there will be hundreds of volunteers from all parts of the Province. The same arguments that apply to the fishermen will apply with equal force to the farmer, manufacturer and lumberman. The farmer may be prevented from putting in his crop. The manufacturers of lumber may, during the sawing season — that is in the spring of the year during the freshet — have the men drawn out of the mills, and thus causing them a great deal of trouble and inconvenience. The exception should also be extended to the Grammar Schools and Universities throughout the country, for there is no greater injury you can fix upon the young men of the Province than hastily calling them from their homes to attend this drill exercise for twenty-eight days. They will never become good citizens afterwards, for they will have a desire to be engaged in this sort of calling.

Hon. Mr. Smith. — I thought we had determined that question about the draft, but my hon. colleague has made an attack upon his constituents that I feel called upon to answer. He says the men attending this camp will be useless hereafter. It is a slander upon the young men of the country, for there are plenty of young men who can stay twenty-eight days in this camp without spoiling their morals, or unfitting them for becoming useful citizens.

Col. Boyd. — The care of fishermen is not parallel with that of the lumberman or farmer. The lumberman can work in the woods all winter, and the farmer can work on his farm all summer, but the fisherman loses his whole year’s work, therefore he should be exempt.

Mr. Wetmore. — This is a very reasonable proposition, and should be extended to all fishermen instead of those only who are engaged in the deep sea fisheries, for I do not see any reason why they should be exempt more than the others.

This amendment was lost — yeas 11, nays, 14.

Mr. Wetmore called attention to the 97th section, which says : ” If any person shall wilfully interrupt or hinder any Militia man at drill or on duty, or at target practice, or shall trespass upon any lands or range marked out or set apart for that purpose, every such person shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding — dollars for each offence, and may also be taken into custody by verbal order of the Commanding Officer, and detained until such drill duty or practice is performed;” and remarked that these powers were too extensive, for the Commanding Officer might have a spite against some person, and would walk him off into limbo, keeping him there for the remainder of the twenty-eight days, simply because he might happen by chance to walk on the grounds set apart for drill exercise.

Hon. Mr. Allan. — Some persons may interrupt the practice, by running through the men or standing by the target, and there should be some power to arrest him at once, instead of having to go to the Magistrate and get out a summons for him to appear next day, the men thereby losing a whole day’s practice, and this man probably not worth a farthing.

Mr. Needham. — I think it better be amended in this way, ” Any person wilfully interfering, or shall willfully trespass on any lands set apart for such purpose, may be taken into custody by the verbal order of the Commanding Officer until such practice is over, and for every succeeding offence he may be fined.”

Mr. Gilbert. — Who is to decide whether it is a willful trespass or not ? It should […]

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[…] be, ” if he is ordered off, and refuses to go, he should be taken into custody. It is very hard for a man to be deprived of his liberty ; some men are very sensitive and would remember it all the days of their life.

Hon. Mr. Allan. — My hon. friend says who is to decide whether it is a willful trespass or not ; the distinction is well known ; if a man goes upon the ground after he has been forbidden, he is willfully interfering with the practice, and should be taken into custody for that day by the verbal order of the commanding officer.

Hon. Mr. Smith suggested that the words ” and refuse to leave after being requested to do so,” be inserted after the word ‘ purpose’ in the Section. This suggestion was adopted.

Mr. Wetmore moved that the following be the 102 Section of the Bill :— “That no Militia man employed in the salt water fisheries shall be liable to be called on to do duty as such, in any camp of instruction during the fishing season between the months of March and November in each year.”

This Section was lost.

 On motion of Mr. Hill the following additional clause was inserted in the 83rd Section, ” Members of Fire Companies, and Hook and Ladder Companies in any city or town, shall be exempt from duty beyond the limits of the same respectively.”

 The Bill was then reported as agreed to, with certain amendments.

 The House then adjourned until nine o’clock tomorrow.

 T.P.D.

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