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104   DAYS OF PREPARATION

Quebec courts became dogged with appeals against the draft. In the other provinces, too, these appeals were far more numerous than was anticipated. As the winter wore on the Dominion Police began rounding up those who had never appeared before the tribunals, these men being classed under the Act as deserters. In many places the action of the police caused some irritation, but there were no serious disturbances until the end of March, when incipient flames of revolt burst forth in Quebec City. Rowdies in the ancient capital of Canada looted the office of the district tribunal registrar, and stoned and set fire to some buildings. During a couple of nights' rioting several persons were killed by the troops, who were forced to fire on the mobs in order to maintain order. It was an unfortunate occurrence, blazoned as it was in the Press of the country from ocean to ocean. On the other hand, it may be argued that these Quebec riots had a beneficial effect, because from that date began Quebec's real effort towards implementing the man-power of Canada. The pressure of the first German offensive in the spring of 1918 told, as nothing else could have done, the need for men. There were also rumours of a changed attitude on the part of many of the Quebec clergy. Even with these changed conditions the Military Service Act of 1917 did not produce the numbers required. Up to March 25th the total number of recruits as announced in the Commons by the Minister of Militia in reply to a question was 472,728, of which 448,062 were volunteers.

Sir Robert Borden and his Union Government were swift to act. Cables from the War Cabinet in Britain told of the urgency of the situation. The first secret session of the Canadian Parliament was held. On April 19th, the Prime Minister asked the House to sanction an Order-in-Council cancelling the exemptions of all unmarried men or widowers without dependents of the ages of 20, 21, and 22, and including under the Act those of 19 years. In his speech urging the acceptance of the


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