Topic: Canadian Militia
The Carden-Lloyd "tankettes" at Wolseley Barracks. Between the Wars, even these were occasionally deployed in Aid of the Civil Power on strike duty.
Calling Out the Militia
Handbook of Canadian Military Law; Singer and Langford, 1941
The law in regard to the Militia being called out in aid of the civil power wil1 be found in the Militia Act, Sections 75-85 inclusive. K.R. (Can.) 848.
Who is Liable to be Called Out
"The Active Militia, or any corps thereof, shall be liable to be called out for active service, within or without the municipality in which such corps is raised or organized, with their arms, ammunition and equipment, in aid of the civil power, in any case in which a riot or disturbance of the peace requiring such service occurs, or is, in the opinion of the civil authority, hereinafter designated in that behalf, anticipated as likely to occur, which is beyond the powers of the civil authorities to suppress, or to prevent, or to deal with." M.A. 75.
Section 120 of the Militia Act provides that every officer and man of the Militia who, when his corps is lawfully called upon to act in aid of the civil power, refuses or neglects to go out with such corps, shall, if an officer, incur a penalty not exceeding $100.00 and, if a man, a penalty not exceeding $20.00.
"In any case where a riot or disturbance occurs, or is anticipated as likely to occur, the Attorney-General, or acting Attorney-General, of the province in which is situated the place where such riot or disturbance occurs, or is anticipated as likely to occur, on his own motion or on receiving notification from a judge of a superior or county or district court, having jurisdiction in such place, that the services of the Active Militia are required in aid of the civil power, my by requisition in writing (see M.A. 80) addressed to the district officer commanding the military district in which such place is situated, require the Active Militia or such portion thereof as the district officer commanding considers necessary, to be called out on active service to assist the civil power." M.A. 76
An Order-in-Council was passed on August 7th 1940 empowering certain other Provincial officials to requisition the services of the Active Militia when necessary. This was passed by reason of representations to the Minister of National Defence that situations might arise, during the state of war now existing, necessitating military action in aid of the civil power, and that delay might ensue, by reason of the Attorney-General or acting Attorney-General being absent or otherwise not available, or by reason of the locality where military aid was required being so distant from the place where the Attorney-General or acting Attorney-General could be found, that communication with him would entail considerable loss of time.
Accordingly, regulations under the authority of this Order-in-Council, empowering "any Crown Attorney or any other provincial official or class of provincial official designated from time to time for that purpose by the Attorney-General or acting Attorney-General of "the province concerned " as persons who, in the manner prescribed by the Militia Act, may requisition the services of the Active Militia in aid of the civil power, and "may notify the district officer commanding that their services are no longer required in aid of the civil power."
"The district officer commanding a military district, or the officer for the time being performing his duties, shall call out the Active Militia in the district of which he is in command, or such portion thereof as he considers necessary for the purpose of suppressing or preventing any actual or anticipated riot or disturbance upon receiving requisition in writing made by the authority hereinbefore designated in that behalf; Provided that, so far as the Permanent Force is available, it shall be employed upon the duty of suppressing or preventing such actual or anticipated riot or disturbance, and recourse shall not be had to other militia corps except to the extent that the Permanent Force is not available." M.A. 11.
"A district officer commanding, upon receiving a requisition from the civil authority empowered by law to make the same, has no discretionary power as to the necessity for aid, nor has he the power to call out the Active Militia in any district other than the one of which he is in command. (M.A. 78(1). Such district officer commanding has, however, complete discretion as to the number of troops he shall employ. If such district officer commanding considers that the services of the Active Militia in districts other than the one of which he is in command are necessary for the purpose of preventing any such actual or anticipated riot or disturbance as recited in the requisition, he is required by law (M.A. 18(Z), to notify the Adjutant-General of the number of officers and other ranks, together with their horses and equipment, which he considers necessary and of which number he is the sole judge, and upon receiving such notification the Adjutant-General is empowered to call out such of the Active Militia as in his judgment are available to meet the requirements of the said district officer commanding as set forth in the notification, and to cause them to be dispatched to him." M.A. 78(2), K.R. (Can.) 850.