Sentence and Appeal

AuthorC. Ian Kyer
Sentence and Appeal
A   rendered its verdict and before he passed sen-
tence, Justice Meredith asked Smith if he had anything to say.1
Smith proclaimed his innocence and stated that he had only
met Jarvis twice and only once in connection with the bond trans-
action. “When the cabinet made the arrangement I was at home in
bed with the f‌lu.2 Shaken, he asked for time to arrange his af‌fairs.
But Meredith wanted him to admit that he had received “a large
sum — over $100,000.”3 Smith denied receiving any money. But what
of the coupons? Meredith asked. Smith admitted that he had received
bond coupons from A.H. Pepall: “Because he owed me some money
and he asked me to cash them. They were not due at the time. He was
going away.4 Meredith pointed out to him that his counsel had pro-
vided a dif‌ferent explanation.
Meredith then turned to Aemilius Jarvis, who was more forceful
and eloquent in his reply. Jarvis stated that he had never known Peter
Smith and had neither given him any money nor authorized anyone
else to do so. He denied having conspired with Pepall to in any way
mislead the Ontario government. He insisted that his only dealings
had been with Drury and the Cabinet.
The OnTariO BOnd Scandal Of 1924 re-examined
Unmoved, Meredith asked Jarvis why he had taken “the half mil-
lion dollars or more for the petty services that [he had] performed.5
Jarvis was quick to reply, saying:
I don’t call them petty services. When a man stakes his whole for-
tune signing an hypothecation in London, which you do not put
any credence in at all. When you become liable for $8 million and
staked your whole. . . . I was the borrower . . . and you say that is a
petty thing.”6
When Meredith replied that Jarvis had known that not one penny was
at risk, Jarvis emphasized that he “ran the risk of everything.
Meredith imposed a three-year prison sentence on Smith and a
six-month term in county jail on Jarvis. He also levied a $600,000 f‌ine
on Smith and Jarvis.7 Each was to be jointly and severally liable for
the full amount of the f‌ine and to remain in jail until it was paid in
full. The f‌ine was said to be “the heaviest ever imposed in the annals
of British Justice.”8
Meredith then addressed Smith to explain why he had given him
a longer prison term. He stated:
[Y]ou were chosen by the people of the constituency in which you
lived to serve them and to serve the Province, honestly. Aemilius
Jarvis was not so chosen. You were made a Minister of the Crown.
You were made what is commonly called the watch dog of the Treas-
ury. Aemilius Jarvis was not. You made an oath which you violated,
a solemn oath. Aemilius Jarvis did not.9
In his written reasons, Meredith later explained:
The f‌ine of $600,000 was equal to the net amount of the money out
of which the public, through the treasury department of the Prov-
ince, was defrauded by the prisoners, with interest added at 5 per
cent since they thus obtained the money four years and several
months ago.10
The conviction of these two prominent men was so noteworthy
that the next day the Toronto Star dedicated much of its front and
second page to their treatment after the verdict came down. It noted

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