FR
ūüĒć

Legislative Assembly, 23 May 1865, New Brunswick Confederation Debates

64 DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1863.

  TUESDAY, MAY 23.

  Mr. Young moved a ryder to the Militia Bill. He had been looking over the Canadian Act, and he found among the exempts " sea-faring men, branch pilots, and pilots actually engaged in their calling." He thought this would cover the deep sea fishery men who certainly should not be liable to the draft.
  Mr. Keen said he thought that seamen,  branch pilots, and those engaged in deep sea fisheries should be exempt. The pilots were as much required to attend to vessels entering our ports, as ferrymen to cross our streams. In Canada all fishermen and pilots engaged on the Lakes were exempt.
  Hon. Mr. Hatheway said this ryder  would cover all the people of the County of Gloucester as it was well-known that every man there kept his fishing boat and went out in the morning to return at night.
  Mr. Young explained that there were  over a thousand militia men, besides those whom it was contemplated to, exempt. His object was to exempt those men who go to the Labrador coast and elsewhere, and are absent during four months in the year.
  Hon. Mr. Allan said he thought it  would be best to let the Bill run for a year, and in that time it would be seen upon whom it bore hardly, and could be remedied.
  Mr. Williston said those who were  engaged in the deep sea fisheries had but a short time to obtain their livelihood, and during that time they should be exempt.
  Mr. Needham wanted to know the  meaning of deep sea fisheries. The sea is defined as below low water mark. The difficulty would be to define the meaning of the term. He had looked over the Imperial Dictionary and found sea, seaman, and sea devils, but nothing of sea-faring men.
  Mr. McClellan said if any class of men should be exempt it was the farmers of the country. We were giving a great power into the hands of an irresponsible officer withouth having received any com- complaint or petition from the people, and he thought the whole thing was uncalled for.
  Mr. Boyd moved the following to be  added to the list of exempts, as an amendment : " That no militia man employed in the deep sea fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bay de Chaleur and Bay of Fundy, be called on to do duty as such in any camp of instructions during the fishing season between the months of April and October in each year ; and also branch pilots and apprentices, and pilots employed in their calling during the season of navigation.
  Mr. Coran thought that any man who  was engaged in harbour fisheries, which were of great importance to the country, should be placed amongst the exempts.
  Hon. Mr. Allen felt confident that if  this class of men were made exempt that dissatisfaction would be felt among many other callings. It would be very difficult to define who came within the meaning of the law, and he thought that it would be best to let the Bill remain as it is for this year. The hon. member for Albert (Mr. McClellan) seemed to pursue a somewhat inconsistent part, as he now opposes a Bill which contains the same provisions as that he supported under the late Government.
  Mr. McMillan said there was one class of men who should be exempt, and he was sure the Hon. Commissioner of the Board of Works would support him in this ; he referred to the lumbermen of the Province. At certain seasons it would be a gret loss to have these men taken from their employment. Suppose a gang of men were employed on a raft of logs coming down the Nashwaak and they were to be called off to attend drill, the Hon. Commissioner would be subjected to great loss ; he thought these should be added to the list of exempts.
  Mr. Wetmore said he had moved in  this matter yesterday when the Bill was before the Committee, and he could not support either the ryder, or amendment, unless it included all who were engaged in salt water fisheries. He hoped the hon. member for Charlotte would allow them to be included in the amendment.
  Mr. Thompson did not believe the  draft would be enforced at all, as there would be plenty of volunteers to fill the camp. He thought it was all nonsense to bring in these exemptions, and that the Bill should remain as it is.
  Mr. Otty informed the Hon. Attorney   General that what is implied by deep sea fisheries could easily be known by reference to the Fishery Act, 14th Victoria, Chap. 31, Section 4, where the coast fisheries are defined to be " situated on the sea coast of the Province, or around any island laying off the said sea coast, between low water mark and three marine miles of each coast or island." The deep sea fishery would be outside of this line.
  Mr. Needham thought that lawyers  should be added to the list of exempts, as it would be very hard to take them from their duties during the settings of the Courts.
  Mr. McClellan would explain to the  hon. Attorney General that at the time of the passing of the last Bill he did not vote for it. He believed the Bill was not debated at all. There was, however, a different construction placed upon : certain words now from what was then contemplated. The consent of the Queen was understood to mean the Queen and Her Council ; the command of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor was considered the Governor and his advisers. Now these terms are confined to the persons named without reference to their Council or advisers. If it were not for this construction he would not have spokon the subject.
  Mr. Lindsay said it would be very hard  for the farmers to be called out ; the season was short, and if they lost a month's labor, it might affect their subsistence for the year. He thought the best plan would be to move a ryder that nobody should be called out. If the law passes, every man should take his turn, and if any one was to be exempted, the farmers certainly should be ; they are the bone and sinew of the country. The people can do without fish, for they can get beef and farm produce, but if these fail the country would suffer.
  Mr. Fraser hoped that another class  would be included in the list ; he referred to the back settlers, who were a very valuable class of people.
  Mr. Williston would suggest to the  hon. mover of the amendment the desirability of including the Straits of Northumberland. He wished the House to understand that tho grounds used for fishing purposes by the people on the coast are the same as those used by the Americans, the only difference being that our people go out in their whale boats for the day and return at night, and they lie off in their vessels. There would be no difficulty in determining what is meant by deep sea fishing, as it is understood by the Americans as outside of three miles from the coast line.
  Mr. Lewis said there was so much difficulty in knowing what was really meant that he thought the Bill should remain as it is.
  Mr. Bailey said there was another class  of men he should like to see added, and that was all men engaged in the coasting trade, and the fresh water sailors running in our rivers and inland lakes.
  Mr. Landry said a great many of his  people hired out for a month, and if they lost this time they would be subject to a great inconvenience, and all should be treated alike. The best plan would be to kill the Bill.
  Mr. Cudlip said if anything justified  him in the action he took yesterday as to the compulsory draft, it was the feeling which was manifested this morning. He was strongly opposed to men being taken from their calling in a time of peace. The hon. members were speaking as the people, and the feeling was general that every calling should be exempt from the draft. But he thought if there was one class more than another upon which it would fall heavily, it was those engaged in the shore fisheries. These men are at home, and come within the law, whilst those who are absent engaged in the deep sea fisheries could not be reached. He hoped the ryder would be made to cover both parties.
  On the amendment being put the House  divided, yeas 10, nays 10. They were therefore both lost.
  The Militia Bill being read a third time  was then passed as amended by the Committee.
  Hon. Mr. Gillmor moved the House into Committee of the Whole on a Bill to provide for repairing and improving Great Roads and Bridges and other public works and services.
DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1865. 85
Mr. CUDLIP in the chair.
The Bill was agreed to.
Hon. Mr. GILLMOR moved the House into Committee of the whole on   Bill to provide for the defraying of the expenses of the civil government.
Mr. CUDLIP in the chair.
The Bill was agreed to.
Hon. Mr. BOTSFORD moved the House into Committee of the whole on a Bill relating to Sewers.
Mr. BEVERIDGE in the chair.
The Bill was agreed to.
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN moved the House into Committee on a Bill to promote and regulate a Reformatory School for juvenile offenders.
Mr. LINDSAY in the chair.
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN said it had been considered by a great many persons in St. John that such schools were necessary. Various schemes had from time to time been proposed, but none of them had succeeded, chiefly from the want of means to carry them into effect. His Honor Judge Parker had taken a great interest in the subject, and obtained information as to the working of such institutions in England, and had laid it before the Quarter Sessions. The plans he has suggested have not been considered possible, and nothing has been done. The Bill now before the Committee was founded on a different principle to any that had been suggested here. It was almost a transcript of the Reformatory Bill passeded by the Imperial Parliament, and he considered this in itself a great recommendation. Instead of being carried on as a public institution, it provides that it shall be supported by private interests. Hon. Mr. Anglin then proceeded to explain the provisions of the Bill.
Mr. KERR asked if the juvenile criminals were to be associated with the poor, ignorant children picked up from the streets.
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN explained that it was   only intended for juvenile criminals who     were subjected to 14 days in the Penitentiary. 
Mr. CONNELL asked if there was any petition before the House in support of the Bill. It seemed that the Government were to support it by a grant of money, and he should like some further information on the subject.
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN explained that the subject was one that had been urgred for a long time‚ÄĒsome seven or eight years,‚ÄĒ and as to the grant, it was not compulsory, but permissive. The School would be under the inspection of the Governor and Council, and any person appointed for the purpose of inspection, and if the School wes not carried on in such a manner as would prove beneficial the grant could he withheld.
Mr. CONNELL had a great objection to appropriating the public funds for such a purpose. He had watched the operations       of hon. members for St. John when the Hospital Bill was up, and he noticed after the whole was got through they wanted an appropriation of £2,000. He did not know but this might be something of the same kind; at any rate, the Bill was too important to be rushed through, and he hoped progress would be reported to give members an opportunity of looking it over.
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN said there was not, nor had there been, any desire to push the Bill through. It had been on fyle since the first week of the Session, and hon. members could have investigated it. He had been careful to point out the provisions of the Bill, so that nothing should be passed without coming under the di rect notice of the Committee. With regard to the sectarian character of the instruction to be imparted in the School, the gentlemen who had framed the Bill did not believe in any religion which was not sectarian. They regarded it as having no existence -- as a nonentity. No injustice was done to any denomination, for all could under this Bill get up just such an institution. If hon. members thought best, he was willing to submit it to a select Committee to alter and amend it, if they thought necessary, and report to the House upon it.
Hon. Mr. WILMOT said from his knowledge of the City of St. John, he believed it necessary that some such institution as this should be established. Judges Parker and Ritchie had both taken this matter up at different times, and brought it before the notice of the Sessions, and impressed upon them the necessity of making some provision for juvenile offenders. He should like to have seen a measure that would heve included all denominations; but as there appeared to be little prospect of this at present, and as the ccae was a pressing one, he was in favour of being referred to a Select Committee to report upon it.
Mr. KERR thought the Bill was entirely of a local character. In no other country than St. John would sufficient juvenile offenders be found to warrant the establishment of such an institution. And even if it were not so, no country could at any rate afford more than one, and that according to this Bill, must be under the religious instruction of one denomination. And then to take an offender who had been sentenced to 14 days imprisonment and put him in a Reformatorn  for five years, looked very much like placing a tax    upon the country for its support. He saw that the Bill was very important, and that all the Province would be effected by it. He admitted the general principles of the Bill, but it should be very carefully guarded. He would like to know if the Bill had been laid before the Sessions.
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN said it had not; but so much had been said and done, that certain parties ln St. John thought it ought to be brought before the House. Manny of the difficulties had been removed, and they were ready to work at once and put up a building; but without the passage of the Bill they would have no power to retain the children. As to the support of the Government, it was entirely free to be given or withheld, and if that was considered an objection, rather than have nothing done, he was willing to allow that section to be struck out.
Mr. CONNELL asked if the subject of establishing a Reformatory had not been before the Sessions, and if this bu√ģlding were put up to what denomination would it belong.¬†
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN said the Sessions had not been able to agree upon any plan by which it could be carried on. It was well to have everything plain and above board, and he would say that this Bill emanates from from the Catholic body of St. John. The hon. member for Carleton seemed to be afraid that a building which had been erected in St. John was to be used for this purpose. He could assure thim that no such thing was contemplated. There was one provision in the Bill which he had forgotten to mention, and that was, the parents of those children placed in the School would be liable for a certain portion of their support, and could be sued if they refused to pay. The bill in its character was not local, but provincial; but it was denominational, as without a course of religious instruction, it was believed no improvement could be looked for. The difficulty with the Sesions had been chiefly that they thought the country ought not to provide the funds, and were afraid the Province would not. He was quite willing to allow progress to be reported, so that members could read the Bill and consider its provisions. He did not wish to smuggle it through the house for it was an object of the greatest importance that these poor unfortunate children should be saved from a life of crime, and that the community should be relieved of them.
Mr. CORAM said it was time something was done in this matter. The police reports of Saint John show that the number of juvenile offenders is continually increasing, and he t thought it was a great wrong that children of tender age, who had been brought up in vice and crime, should for some small offence be put in the Penitentiary to become hardened by contact with old offenders. He saw no objection to children being trained and instructed in the religion of their forefathers, and nothing in the Bill that should prevent its going through. He was in favor of progress being reported that members might look into the Bill and be in a position to carry it through the House.
Mr. WETMORE endorsed the idea of the hon. member for Saint John ; but the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Connell) seemed to think that because there was no petition it was therefore hardly worth while to go into the matter. The hon. member had not probably seen the police court of Saint John. There, frequently, boys of from eight to twelve years of age were arraigned for trifling offences,, (but which the law regarded as larceny, and, therefore, the Magistrate could not overlook) and were sentenced for different periods to the Provincial Penitentiary. If the Magistrate made the penalty light on account of the circumstances in which they were reared, and the influences by which they were surrounded they were sure to be brought up again and again. The Penitentiary was a very bad school to teach boys to reform, for there they were thrown in contact with men of the worst character, who had committed the vilest crimes. The hon. member was afraid there was something sectarian in the School proposed to be established; he would ask the hon. member if he was ready to proscribe the Roman Catholics?
Mr. CONNELL. -- No, but let it be known by what denominetion the School is to be carried on .
Mr. WETMORE would put it to the hon. member if he was willing to prevent the Protestants moving in the matter? He thought the step a very laudable one, and one that reflects credit on the Catholics. of Saint John for taking the initiative in a matter of so much importance. he was sorry the Protestants had not moved before. but he hoped they would do so now. The hon. member for Northumberland (Mr. Kerr) appeared to be alarmed lest the country should crumble to pieces on the mention of money grants, but he was sure that money could not be better employed than in such an undertaking. All that other denominations would have to do, was to subscribe funds and put up a building, to have a Reformatory too. He had frequently heard both Mr. Justice Parker and Mr. Justice Ritchie speak in the strongest terms of the necessity for such a reform school, and he was glad that steps were taken to do something for these poor untrained boys.
86 DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY FOR 1865.
Mr. McCLELLAN said no hon. member could object to the position taken by the hon. member for the city of Saint Joh.. There could be no doubt but that a Reformatory was very much needed there. The only objection he raised was that it was sectional and sectarian, and therefore should not be supported by the funds of the Province. He thought the Catholics were entitled to much praise for the steps they were taking, but this School being entirely for the benefit of Saint John, and under the care of the Catholic body, should not be upheld by public grants. He did not think such Institutions were needed in   any other part of the country; but, apart but apart from the grant, was willing to assist in carrying out the views of those who had framed the Bill.
Hon. Mr. SMITH said the objections to the Bill semed to be narrowing down to the details. Judgess Parker and Ritchie, whose only motives could be to bring juvenile offenders from the paths of vice and iniquity into those of virtue, had taken great interest in this matter, and he thought the House should take hold with them and do something to assist in carrying out so laudable an object.   The training in this school would sectarian and he thought it should be; he did not see how such an Institution could be carried on if it were not sectarian. As to the grant the Governor and Council were not compelled to take action, and give towards its support. All denominations could organize under this law, and amounts could be granted to each as required. It was, however, entirely voluntary on the part of the Governor and Council and also on the part of the Sessions, to grant anything towards its support. If there were any objection. to this Section, he had no doubt the hon. mover would consent to have it struck out And as there was so little objection. he thought it would be best to go on and pass the Bill at once.

AFTERNOON SESSION -- 3 P.M.

Mr. KERR said Section 7 gave authority to the Sessions to assess the whole inhabitants to any amount needed for an object that was entirely sectarian, and as there was no petition from them asking that such a power might be granted he thought the Committee should pause before passing the Bill. Section 10 says that this Reformatory could only be made  available for one denomination, and he did not think that all other sects should be assessed to support it. He hoped process would be reported. to give time for the Bill to be printed and circulated about the country.
Hon. Mr. SMITH could see no objection to it. If gentlemen chose to get up a school of this kind and to support it, every encouragement should be given them. There was no danger that the Sessions would assess the whole population for one denominational school, and if the hon. mover would strike out the Section with reference to the Governor and Council, he could see nothing objectionable in the Bill, or that required that progress should be reported.
Mr. CONNELL said his only objection was that a grant should be taken from the Provincial funds.
Hon. Mr. ANGLIN thought the striking out at that clause would seriously detract from the usefulness of the Institution. He should test the feeling of the House upon it, but he would" rather consent to have it struck out than have no Bill at all. He thought the Committee now thoroughly understood the Bill, and did not call for reporting progress. So far as the in struction was concerned-this school would be denominational ; but it was neither sectarian nor sectional that we should have one murderer, or one thief, or one felon the less, and the community one good citizen more. He was opposed to even the smallest denomination having anything but fair play and he asked no more for the denomination to which he belonged that he would willingly grant Protestant Episcopalians, or Presbyterians, or Baptists. 
Mr. HILL considered the move a good one; taking up the youth who had been surrounded by evil influences all their  lives and placing them where better habits would be inculcated. The objectionable point was that the Governor and Council may give pecuniary assistance. The " may" might just as well be "shall," for that was the effect of the clause. The carrying on of a Reformatory was hedged with difficulties. If it should be carried on without any religious instruction, in five years the inmates would be more like heathens than christians. Then it would certainly be a wrong to compel them to receive a certain denominational education contrary to the wishes of their parents. And then there was the plan now introduced ; but this is denominational, and he did not wish to see the Government suffering any greater denominational pressure than now, and he thought the Government grant should be struck out. But with regard to the Sessions he was willing to go further than the Bill provided, and make it compulsory on them to assess the people to support such a school. If a youth were sent there, it was not for the benefit of the denomination to which his father belonged. but for the good of the community. He did not ap prove of any more denominational grants, for he believed that now some schools received assistance more on account of the denomination than from any merits they possessed in themselves.
Hon. Mr. HATHEWAY thought the question should not be taken up on denominational grounds. He regretted that religion was brought up in connection with grants to schools. It had long been complained that the Provincial Penitentiary had been used for these young miscreants, while the people all over the Province had to pay for their support. The Gaol accommodation of Saint John was not sufficient, and so they had to be sent there; and now when it is proposed to take them off the hands of the Province, complaints are made that it is the work of a certain denomination. In his official capacity, as one of the Commissioners of Public Institutions, he had seen children working at the same bench with the vilest criminals. This should not be. He was in favor of the Bill, and should go for anything that would tend to benefit these juvenile offenders.
Mr. WETMORE referred to the position of boys in the Penitentiary that they were liable to the same penalties, as the men; that from the influences by which they had been surroundedsil all their lives they were not so much to blame; that their being sent to the Penitentiary was but the means of hardening and totally destroying them; and he thought they should not be sent there at all, but at once put into Reformatory, and that there everything should be done to save them from a life of degradation and crime.
Mr. NEEDHAM had never known but one case of good resulting from punishment during the ten years of his magistracy, and that was a boy who was sentenced to the Penitentiary with two others. He came back and has since lived honestly and worked industriously. He believed that children should not be sent there are all, but that Magistrates should have power to commit them directly to the Reformatory. The obejct of conviction was not punishment, but reformation. He felt that punishment should never be inflicted by man except for murder, and he fully believed that if during the last century men had done as much to reform abuses as they have to punish offences there would not be so much crime and degradation as there are now.
Mr. THOMPSON was anxious to see some such Institution established, as he believed it would be the means of saving a a large amount of money in the expenditure for the Provincial Penitentiary.
Mr. GILBERT said it was evident that juvenile delinquency was on the increase; this was shown by the report of the Chief of Police in Saint John. It therefore, now becomes necessary for the Legislature to deal with the matter. and, decide whether these young criminals should continue to be educated in crime, or stop the present system and train them in a Reformatory, where their habits would be changed. This was not a local affair; it was not confined to Saint John, but one in which all the country felt an interest. After the friends of the Institution had done all their means would permit, the Government should step in and assist in the work. The system now proposed is carried out in England and upheld by English law. If it is wished to reform these youths it is not only necessary to give them a moral training but also a religious, a spiritual training. the only mode by which they could permanently be benefitted is by giving them a Christian training in that which is right and good. He thought the hon. member for Saint John (Mr. Anglin) deserved much credit for introducing the Bill.  
Mr. MCMILLAN did not view this question in the light of a denominational institution but as a sectional, a local one. It had been admitted that even Fredericton was not in a position to support one of these Reform Schools, and it was evident that only Saint John could be bene fitted. He therefore should oppose the granting of the Provincial funds for a purely local object. 
Mr. KERR regretted that an institution could not be obtained that would embrace the whole juvenile offenders of the Province, but as it appeared this could not be done, he thought this one had a strong a claim on the revenues of the country. Still he was opposed to giving the power to grant  into the hands of the Governor and Council. 
On the question whether power should be given to the Governor and Council to grant assistance to the Institution the House divided‚ÄĒYeas 10. Nays 11.
Progress was then reported 
Mr. CONNELL moved the House into Committee of the whole on a Bill relating to Marriage. Mr. LEWIS in the Chair.
This Bill, the object of which is to shorten the time in the publication of banns, and to reduce licence fees, was supported by Petitions from almost every part of the Province.
After some remarks by various members progress was reported. 
Hon. Mr. GILLMOR moved for leave to bring in a Bill relating to Light Houses.
Mr. KERR moved for leave to bring in a Bill relating to Saint John's Church, Chatham.
House adjourned to meet on Thursday morning at 9 o'clock. J.M.
 

Source:

New Brunswick. Reports of the Debates of the House of Assembly. St. John: G.W. Day, 1865-1867. Microfilm copies provided by the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

Credits:

.

Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

Participating Individuals: