February 25, 1901


Samuel Hughes


Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

implying that I have departed from the customs of Her Majesty's service. Permit me to say, I have rightly adhered to the custom prevailing since 1878 (though I have dilfered in applying as citizen), a custom which has on other occasions been recognized in words of loyalty, love and encouragement to the principle of Canadians seeking service in the Imperial army.

In 1878, an officer high in authority in Canada, a then deputy adjutant general, volunteered in his military capacity direct to the Imperial government to raise a Canadian corps. He was courteously thanked and encouraged by the home authorities. On subsequent occasions others made direct application, and I never learned of but one instance before where the procedure was questioned, and that only questioned before action. A Halifax officer made direct application, not as a citizen as I did, but officially as a militia officer of Canada, to enrol a corps for the Imperial service. My information is that, the right hon. the present Secretary of State for the Colonies at first deemed the proper course of the application to have been through the Canadian government and His Excellency, it being an official military application. The decision, as I am informed, was that while a Canadian officer, yet the gentleman had the same rights as any English, Scotch or Irish subject in the empire, that any one in Great Britain could volunteer to the right hon. the Secretary of State for War, or to him for the colonies and not through the Home Secretary, so in case of the Halifax officer, it was not deemed necessary for him to apply through the Canadian government and His Excellency. Such is my information from very high sources, and it has the advantage of seeming sensible.

Further, I have on two former occasions made direct application (after finding previous official offers had been suppressed by the then General Officers Commanding), each time as on this occasion as citizen, viz., not signing myself officially, merely stating my qualifications and Canadian positions ; and in each instance I was thanked most courteously by the. Secretary of State for War. The procedure was not in even the slightest called in question or deemed irregular. Therefore, the custom is all in favour of mjr action.

Furthermore, I fail to find in the laws and customs of the Canadian constitution anything against my acting as I did, and I respectfully ask to have pointed out the authority which any one in connection with the government of Canada has for catechising me as officer of the militia of Canada for my legal, loyal and honourable conduct as citizen of the British Empire.

May I also inquire, for my information and guidance, to have the authority quoted which permits the General Officer Commanding, as officer directly under the Minister of Militia, to receive and transmit as General Officer Commanding, commands from His Excellency? As citizen and as militia officer, I have ever understood the law and custom of the constitution to require commands in the militia to emanate from the Minister of Militia, directed, it may be, by order in council. Further, where is the authority for communications from His Excellency to come through the General Officer Commanding instead of the Secretary of State?

Therefore, while I am determined to obey those in authority in militia affairs, be the command right or wrong, yet I am equally desirous of becoming familiar with the laws and customs bearing on those matters. May I respectfully Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

request that you will be so good as to quote me the authority-

(a) Which forbids me as citizen of the British Empire, though an officer of the Canadian militia, from offering to the British government to enrol a corps for the Imperial service, especially when I had concurrently made an official military application through my district officer commanding to the same effect.

(b) Which authorizes my being reprimanded as militia officer for my honourable act as citizen of the British Empire.

(c) Which permits the General Officer Commanding to receive and transmit any commands from His Excellency without its being an order in council, and then only by order of the Minister of Militia.

(d) Which, enacts that I as militia officer am deprived of any privilege enjoyed by any other citizen of Canada, not a militiaman.

(e) Which sanctions the notion that honour-i able and loyal acts of one as citizen of Canada

who chances to be a militia officer can possibly be subject to the militia authorities just as if the person were in the permanent service.

(f) Which allows an acknowledgment from the light hon. the Secretary of State for the Colonies to me to be forwarded through the General Officer Commanding without the order of the Minister of Militia; and

(g) Which recommends such an acknowledgment to be embodied in the same letter as one calling upon me to give reasons for my conduct and in another paragraph making assertions not consistent with the facts.

Inasmuch as the letter was doubtless dictated without a correct knowledge of the facts of the case, or of the law and custom of the Canadian constitution. I shall be glad to return it if desired; otherwise I must respectfully ask permission, in the absence of authority being shown in support of the position therein taken, to use the letter to test the matter further.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

SAM. HUGHES. Lt.-Col.,

C.O. 45th ' Victoria ' Batt.

Later on, the general points out that I had disobeyed the command of His Excellency, and which command, I say with all due deference, His Excellency had no more right to give than that child there.

I have already referred to the action of the British government in relation to the com- [DOT] mander-in-chief ; an officer who holds a much higher position than does the general officer commanding in this country. In reply to that letter I wrote asserting my rights as a citizen. I find a letter from Col. Foster, written to me direct, in which he views the situation and states :

September ID, 1899. Lieut.-Col. S. Hughes, M.P.,

Commanding 45th Battalion,

Lindsay, Ont.

Dear Colonel Hughes,-Your long official letter of 2nd September regarding your application to raise a Canadian regiment for Imperial service abroad, has reached headquarters and awraits the return of the Major General Commanding next week.

I am writing privately to you to ask if you will not take advantage of the delay before your letter must be laid before the General, to with-

draw it, which X would earnestly ask you to do before the General has to take official notice : of it. You will remember that in the case of i a former letter of a similar description you wero good enough to allow me to have a long talk with you about it, after which you withdrew it as likely to cause friction and lead to no good t result, I "was much relieved by your decision in that case, and I cannot help hoping that on reconsideration you will perhaps allow me to ] persuade you to take the same action with regard to the present letter. Of course as a citizen you are at liberty to express your views in any way you like and on any subject, but as officer commanding a battalion, it would, 1 am sure, be quite impossible for any general to overlook the character of your letter, which from a military point of view could only be considered as inconsistent with discipline.

There is no one who has a better appreciation of your value and good points as a commanding officer and as a soldier than the General and myselfj and in writing to you privately I am. believe me, entirely actuated by a wish to prevent trouble arising in connection with a matter as to which you have received the appreciation of Mr. Chamberlain, His Excellency and the General. It would seem an infinite pity if the loyalty and patriotism you have shown in your offer should only result in making your military position here untenable, and I sincerely hope that you will not hastily decide to reject my friendly suggestion. Before answering this letter, I would ask you to carefully and patiently consider it. It is indeed prompted only by very friendly feelings, and I trust you will receive it in the spirit in which it is written.

Believe me, dear Colonel Hughes,

Yours very sincerely,

Subtopic:   HUGHES.


I draw your attention to that letter, Mr. Speaker, merely to show that it was written to me direct. I replied to that letter refusing to withdraw my letter, and stated that I iiad decided, come what might, to see the matter through. I draw the attention of the Minister of Militia to the fact that only a part of my letter in reply was published. I want the whole of that letter brought down if the House will be good enough to pass an order.



What page is that ?


James Joseph Hughes


Mr. HUGHES (North Victoria).

Page 10 ; a letter dated September 22. Now, Mr. Speaker, these were both jxrivate letters, and yet I find them brought down to this House, while other letters cnat were public were suppressed. One explanation of this is that these letters must have been worked in by mistake, as they were brought down after the general had gone, i would like to know how a letter to which the general's name is not signed could possibly he worked in after he had gone unless the brief had been prepared before his departure. Here is the most wonderful letter of the lot, and I will read it :

Headquarters, October 9, 1899. From the Chief Staff Officer to D.O.C., 3 & 4.-(Confidential.)

Sir,-I have the honour to state that the letter of Lt.-Colonel Hughes, commanding the 45th

Battalion, dated the 2nd instant, addressed to yourself, in reply to my minute cf the 24th ultimo, has been laid before the major general commanding, and I am directed to observe as follows :-

1. The letter in question is, in the opinion of the major general commanding, a highly improper and insubordinate communication for an officer in the position of Lt.-Colonel Hughes to put forward for submission to the major general commanding.

2. Lt.-Colonel Hughes was called upon to give his reasons for committing the irregularity in diverging from the usual routine of conducting correspondence, as laid down in regulations, in that he offered his services by letter direct to the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with a view to raising a regiment for service in South Africa in place of through the general officer commanding the militia and the Governor General in Council. You will notice that I had declined to withdraw that official letter which I laid written in reply to the General's demand for apology for applying to the Colonial Secretary.

Lt.-Colonel Hughes's plea for his conduct would appear to he that he acted in his capacity as a citizen.

I may say that was never my plea. He had no military command of me-that was the position I took :

I am directed to observe that Lt.-Colonel Hughes, who is now in command of the 45th Battalion, Canadian militia, offered his military services in his military capacity, to raise a regiment. It cannot be, therefore, considered that his application -was made as a citizen, hut as an officer of the Canadian militia, serving under the command of the general officer commanding.

It is net within any officer's power to dissas-sociate himself from his duties and responsibilities as an officer holding Her Majesty's commission, and to plead as an excuse for disregard of regulations and orders that he is a citizen and, therefore, not amenable to discipline.

3. Lt.-Colonel Hughes has received orders which have been conveyed to him through the major general commanding, acting upon instructions of His Excellency the Governor General. No officer has the right to dispute the authority of the major general commanding as his superior officer, or to question his action, still less that of the Governor General, the representative of Her Majesty the Queen in Canada.

4. I am, in conclusion, to observe that the tone of the letter forwarded by Lt.-Colonel Hughes is of such a character that unless it is withdrawn, with a complete apology, it will be the duty of the major general commanding to submit the correspondence in question to the honourable the Minister of Militia for reference to His Excellency the Governor General.

I have the honour to he. sir,

Your obedient servant, HUBERT FOSTER, Colonel, Chief Staff Officer.

; Now, Sir, inasmuch as this is a matter which concerns the whole framework of our constitution and our military system, I . most emphatically dispute the whole tenor of that letter. When our permanent corps was established, hou. members who were then members of the House will remember that

the law liad to be amended so as to bring that corps under the Militia Act ; otherwise they would have been amenable to the Militia Act for only a small period-sixteen days at the most. If these statements were true, my good friend Col. Prior might have a second lieutenant who would be aggrieved at something in performing drill, and after the drill was over, he would still have to obey Col. Prior on the street ; because if the general officer commanding could order a man around at all times, there is not an officer in the force who could not do the same thing. You can easily see how absurd the whole thing would become. Why, Sir, what is the law ? The law is that if a commanding officer or any officer happens to offend one of his privates or one of his junior officers, the man offended, when not under military law. can slap the colonel's ears or punish him in some other way. and the only redress the colonel has Is m the civil courts. We are citizen soldiers, and once we divest ourselves of our uniform, we are no more under military discipline than any other citizen of the country. In this connection I have taken the liberty of getting an opinion from the highest military authority in the community : I refer to Col. Henry Smith, the late district officer commanding of Toronto ; and I may say that Dicey, the famous author of ' The Law of the Constitution.' clearly points out not only where officers may disobey in the regular army, but where privates may disobey tlieir commanding officers when they give them orders which would be contrary to common sense. When I mention the name of Col. Smith, there is not a military man or a legal man who will for a moment, hesitate to bow to ids opinion. Tie says :

Wlien^ a man accepts a militia commission or enlists into a corps, he takes upon himself two kinds c.f obligation: the. obligation to perform certain services, and the obligation to obey and be governed by a code of laws in addition to that which governs him as a citizen. In order to ascertain what his liability to serve is, he must look to the Militia Act and to nothing else, for no kind of service or duty which is not, laid down in that Act can possibly be imposed on him. To ascertain what his duty of obedience is, and what are the penalties to which he has made himself liable, he must look primarily to the Militia Act, and secondarily to the laws and regulations referred to in that Act. These laws and regulations are: The Army Act, the rules of procedure, the King's regulations, and the militia regulations and orders.

First, as to the services His Majesty may order the officers and men of the several corps of the active militia, or any portion thereof, to drill for a period of not exceeding sixteen days or less than eight days in each year.

The officer commanding any military district or division, or the officer commanding any corps of active militia, may, upon any sudden emergency of invasion or insurrection, or imminent danger of either, cal] out the whole or any part of the militia within his command, until the pleasure of His Majesty is known.

His Majesty may call out the militia, or any part thereof, for active service either within or Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

without Canada, at any time when it appears advisable so to do by reason of war, invasion, or insurrection, or danger of any of them.

The active militia or any corps thereof, or any part of a corps, shall also be liable to be called out for active service, with their arms and ammunition, under special or general regulations made by the Governor in Council to act as guards of honour, escorts, or as guards and sentries or to Are salutes in the following cases:-

(a) The opening or closing of any session of the parliament of Canada, or of the legislature of any province of Canada.

(b) For the purpose of attending the Governor General of Canada, or any member of the Royal Family while in Canada.

(c) For the purpose of guarding any armoury or other place where arms, guns, ammunition or other military stores are kept.

The Governor in Council may make regulations for calling out for active service as' guards or sentries at the residence of the Governor General, or of any member of the Royal Family while in Canada, any corps or part of a corps of the active militia.

The active militia, or any corps thereof, shall he liable to be called out for active service, with their arms and ammunition, in aid of the civil power.

Those are the only occasions on which the militia can' or may he called up. To call it out on any other occasion or for any other purpose, would not only be unfair to the officers and men called out, but would be unlawful, and they would be justified in refusing to comply. It should be noted that an individual may not be called out for any duty except with his corps, or that part of his corps to which he belongs. For example, when his corps or that part of his corps to which he belongs, is not up on service, an officer may not he ordered on any duty (court-martial or court of inquiry, for instance.)

When his corps is not up on one of the services mentioned, an officer or man of the active militia is not subject, even to the slightest extent, to the orders of his military superiors. Indeed, they are not then his superiors, for they have not the least authority over him.

It an officer should rob a bauk and the fact is brought under the notice of the Minister of Militia, the Minister of Militia-not the general officer commanding-may very

properly remove that officer.

I noticed in a Montreal paper the other day, that an officer had stated lie was aggrieved because a judgment given by the general officer commanding regarding him had been made public. If it were proven that one of the officers, to whom that official communication was addressed, had violated the code of honour and published that communication, that man could be brought to task, not for having violated the militia law, but for having violated the code of honour. He could be brought to task by the Minister of Militia, but not by the general officer commanding, because the latter had no control over him. I am not speaking now of custom, hut of the law. Unfortunately, however, the custom has been to allow people to lie trampled on just as the general officer commanding might think fit. Col. Smith continues :

During that period his military status, and their military status as respects him at least, are in abeyance so to speak. Let us suppose, for example, that the commanding officer of the

G.G.F.Cr meets one of his captains when the corps is not on service, and says to him: ' Jones, I want you to come down to .the drill hall and show me your stores, I wish to inspect them.' Jones replies : ' I beg your pardon, sir, but I am busy at present and cannot well go.' The officer commanding then says : ' I order you to come at once and show me those stores.' Jones again replies : ' I respectfully refuse to go, sir ; it is not my duty to go.' In the event of the commanding officer reporting the circumstances to superior authority and asking for Jones' removal, it would be the duty of the superior to sustain Joues_, and to tell the commanding officer that he had exceeded, or had tried to exceed his rights and his jurisdiction.

Second, as to the obligation to obey, or as to the liability to military law.

The act of accepting a commission or of enlisting into the active militia, does not of itself make a man liable to the military code, and if parliament had never made any provision in the matter, the citizen soldier would not at any time be subject to any other than the civil law of the land. That body has, however, declared :

' That the active militia shall be subject to the King's regulations and orders for the army.'

Before going on it may be as well to say that refusal or neglect to comply with the King's regulations is not punishable as an ' act of disobedience,' even when committed by a regular officer or soldier though it may be punished as an ' act or neglect to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.' The meaning of the words ' subject to ' in this connection is a moot point. Like so many other terms in the Act, they require explanation. In the regulations are many things which cannot possibly apply to our militia, such, for example, as ' duties of the commander-in-chief,' ' enlistment, transfer and discharge of soldiers,' and ' army books and forms'; and yet our generals have made use of them without discrimination.

Our parliament has further declared that ' Every officer and man of the militia shall, from the time of being called out for active service, and also during the period of annual -drill or training under the provisions of this Act, and also during any drill or parade of his corps at which he is present in the ranks or as a spectator, and also when going to or from the place of drill or parade of his corps, and also at any other time while in the uniform of Lis corps, be subject to the Army Act passed by the parliament of the United Kingdom, and all other laws then applicable to Her Majesty's troops in Canada, and not inconsistent with this Act ; except that no man shall be subject to any corporal punishment but death or imprisonment for any contravention of such laws ; and ^except also that Her Majesty may direct that any provisions of the said laws or regulations shall not apply to the militia force.'

Here too the words * subject to ' are doubtful and unsatisfactory. Parliament could never have intended the words to be used in their full and unrestricted sense, for if it did, the militia would be under the jurisdiction of certain officials mentioned in the Act, namely, the Secretary of State for War. the commander-inchief of the forces, the adjutant-general of the forces, and the general officer commanding His Majesty's forces in British North America; and

it would mean, too, that the last named officer has power to convene courts-martial for the trial of militiamen. All of which would be absurd. At all times not mentioned in that 82nd section, not only is the militiaman not subject to his otherwise military superiors, not only is he not commandable, but he cannot then commit an offence against military law. Thus, if an officer goes into the general's office, and, in an altercation, slaps the general's face, the latter has no military remedy; he must content himself with thrashing the offender, or with citing him before a civil court. Indeed, the general himself is not subject to military law, nor can he be unless the whole of the militia is called out for active service. ' Corps enlisted for continuous service ' are, under the terms of the statute, * held to be called out for active service.'

That was the amendment which was made to the law when our permanent corps were formed. They are held to be called out for active service.


James Joseph Hughes



My hon. friend from Victoria asks what about city corps. The city corps are subject to military duty, and while going to or performing their drills every drill evening they are subject to military law, but at other periods they are not.

But that is not the case with the general and other staff officers. There is never any * period of annual drill or training ' for the general, he never can be present at any ' drill or parade of his corps,' and he never can be in ' the uniform of his corps,' for he has not a corps. Strange as it may appear, there is nothing for which the general officer commanding, the adjutant-general, or the quartermaster general may be court-martialed, except they are actually on active service. The adjutant-general may go in and kick the general out; it is not a military offence.

More than that ; the general has not the slightest official connection with officers unless their corps have been ordered to perform their annual drill or have been called out for service. In the meantime the officer, is, in a military sense, dormant, and may not he officially c-.m-munieated with, until awakened-until ' switched on,' to use a telephone expression-by the general order affecting his corps. And in the same way, and for the same reason, the officer cannot act in a military capacity, he cannot, legally perform a military act, he cannot give a military command which any one is hound to obey.

Colonel Foster, in a letter, dated October 9, 1899, and addressed to the district officer commanding, Nos. 3 and 4, stated : ' I am directed to observe that Lt.-Colonel Hughes. wh->

is now in command of the 45th Battalion Canadian militia, offered his military services in a military capacity to raise a regiment.' That showed ignorance on the part of Col. Foster, or on the part of the general who instructed him, as regards our military constitution. Lt.-Colonel Hughes was not in command, he had nothing to command-but even if he had been in command, he could not offer his services in ' his military capacity.' for his military capacity would be limited to commanding the 45th. As a matter of law, and as a matter of fact, he was then an ordinary citizen and nothing

more, no matter how much he might put ' commanding 45th ' atter his name.

That goes even further than I thought, on looking into the law. I knew that unless we were out in annual camp, we were not amenable to the law. To-morrow morning the Minister of Militia may retire any officer of the force he chooses. My second lieutenant could kick me around the streets of Lindsay, or any officer in Ottawa could do the same to his colonel, and he could not be punished for a military offence. The facts could be brought to the notice of the Minister of Militia, and the minister could say that such a junior officer was not a lit and proper person to be retained in the force, and could retire him ; but that young fellow, if he were dismissed under any so-called construction of military law, could appeal the case and beat the other every time. I think that ended the letter which I addressed to the Eight Hon. Mr. Chamberlain. And, so far as that is concerned, I have not a word to retract. On the contrary, even if I had been subject to military law, that letter might be read and con- | strued in the light of the closest criticism, and it would be found quite within my province. But when I was not subject to military law the letter of the general to me was an outrage. Time wore on. I need not enter into the details ; but the matter at length reached a crisis. X found out that there was a hesitancy on the part of the government in taking action to send a force. They had not been officially asked to do so. But General Hutton, who at first opposed a contingent going from here, suddenly veered round and offered a contingent without consulting his minister. Things were in a mixed condition ; and, in order to bring the matter to a focus. I wrote the following letter to the press of the country. I may say that this letter was omitted from the return brought down last year, although it is referred to. and ought, properly to have been before the department. I quote from the Montreal Star

To the Editor of the Star :

(a) His qualifications.

(b) Age.

(c) Physical condition.

(d) The number and quality of the men each, can enrol, and

(e) The number of days required for mobilization after notice., ,

Before leaving for Europe last spring, Hon. Mr. Tarte gave me the assurance

I am glad the hon. minister (Hon. Mr. Tarte) is present. He will be able to bear me out that this is true.

-that should war break out he would assist in raising for my command, on active service, a proportionate number of his fellow-countrymen, who would, he felt assured, be second to none. Subsequent incidents have convinced me that each and every province will do its duty in the hour of need.

It is needless here to dwell on the causes of the trouble. One fact overshadows all. The principle advanced in defence of the American war of independence, and almost universally endorsed since, that ' Taxation must bear with it the right of full representation and citizenship,' has been systematically and brutally represented and denied by the Transvaal authorities. There is no freeman or lover of personal liberty but must justify Great Britain in insisting in full redress of every Uitlander grievance.

Two commanding officers of infantry battalions, as well as many majors and captains, one an Imperial guardsman, have already requested me to take in hand the raising of a Canadian corps, and all have expressed the wish to serve under my command-therefore have I taken action.

The newspapers of Canada, always potent in advancing a good cause, are respectfully requested to give tliis publicity, in order that the best results may be accomplished.

All letters should be addressed to Lindsay, Ont., at rhe earliest convenience, in order that details may be attended to and official sanction be received as soon as possible, after hostilities begin.



Lindsay, September 18, 1899. I draw attention to tliis point-I referred in the letter to tlie fact that official sanction would be sought to the enrolment of a corps as soon as war should begin. I was surprised to received the following tele- Sir,-Inasmuch as war with the Transvaal now seems certain, and as repeated offers and requests from Canadians of prominence in civil as well as in military circles, have been made that I should raise and offer a Canadian corps for service in the Transvaal, with the object of advancing the cause of mankind by assisting to upbuild the British Empire and render justice to one's fellow-countrymen, even at great sacrifices, and in order that as little delay as possible should result, on the outbreak of hostilities, in enrolling such a corps, may I respectfully request the publication of the following:- I ask hon. members to note carefully what I wrote. Then they will be able to judge the treatment I received with regard to it. Will those who are desirous of enrolling men and serving with me on active service to assist the Imperial forces in South Africa each be good enough to write me, stating fully: gram Headquarters, Sept. 25, 1899. Prom the Chief Staff Officer to D.O.C. M. D. No. 3 & 4. 1. The following telegram was forwarded this day direct to Lt.-Colonel S. Hughes, commanding the 45th Battalion, Lindsay :- 1 General officer commanding directs me to inform you that your action in inviting re-, cruits to enrol for service under you is unauthorized, and is in opposition to section 98, Army Act. Further efforts on your part, however well intentioned, are not approved.' 2. Upon the return of the major-general commanding from Nova Scotia on Saturday last, the action of Lt.-Colonel S. Hughes in inviting the enrolment of recruits for special service in a corps under his command in South Africa, through the medium of the press, was brought to his notice. The telegram above quoted was thereupon forwarded to that officer.


Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).


3. You will be good enough to direct Lt.-Colonel Hughes' attention to the Army Act, section 98, which is, under section 82 of the Militia Act, equally applicable to Canadian troops. The section in question is as follows : -

' If a person without due authority :-

(1) Publishes or causes to be published notices or advertisements for the purpose of procuring recruits for Her Majesty's regular forces, or in relation to recruits for such forces; or

(2) Opens or keeps any house, place of rendezvous, or office as connected with the recruiting of such forces; or

(3) Receives any person under any such advertisement, as aforesaid; or

(4) Directly or indirectly interferes with the recruiting services of such forces;

He shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds.

4. The action of Lt.-Colonel Hughes, no matter how well intentioned on his part in the interests of the empire, is entirely unauthorized. It is a matter of extreme surprise to the major-general commanding that an officer of Lt.-Colones Hughes' length of service and general knowledge of questions involving constitutional government, should have taken upon himself to assume the functions that alone rests with Her Majesty the Queen. You will, in the latter connection, direct Lt.-Colonel Hughes' attention to Army Act, section 94, as follows :

' For the purpose of the attestation of soldiers in pursuance of this part of this Act :

' In a colony, any person duly authorized in that behalf by the Governor of the colony.'

5. You will, accordingly, direct Lt.-Colonel

S. Hughes, commanding the 45th Battalion, to desist from further action in this matter, for which no authority has been given.

By order,

H. FOSTER, Colonel,

Chief Staff Officer.

There was the message that greeted me from the general officer commanding, and for nothing more than if I had asked a man on the street, ' In case of war will you go to the Transvaal ?' I replied to the letter as follows

Sir,-I have the honour, -in reply to your memo, of September 26 instant, inclosing memo. No. 84,496 (copy) from Chief Staff Officer, to state that I am at a loss to understand the communication directing my attention to section 98 of the Army Act, inasmuch as neither in spirit nor in letter have I violated it.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

SAM. HUGHES, Lt.-Col.,

C.O. 45th * Victoria ' Battn.

I need not take the time of the House in quoting authorities on this subject. I had written a letter to the press actuated by the kindliest spirit and most patriotic motives, and here, from the general officer commanding:, an officer of the British service, an officer who was supposed to consider the interests of the whole empire, I received this communication. I had not asked the enrolment of a solitary man, but merely the names of those who, in case I should receive the necessary authority, would be willing to go. I did not ask a man for the British regular army, and neither directly nor indirectly had I left myself open to the reproof of the general officer commanding. If I had violated a law, which I had not done, I was open to the censure of a magistrate, but in no sense had I laid myself open to military censure. I will quote the same high authority on that subject :-

In the Hughes-Hutton correspondence, it appears that a telegram was sent from the C.S.O. to Col. Hughes, in these words :

' G.O.C. directs me to inform you that your action in inviting recruits to enrol for service under you is unauthorized, and is in opposition to section 98, Army Act. Further efforts on your part, however well intentioned, are not approved.'

And, further, the D.O.C. Nos. 3 and 4, was instructed ' to direct Col. Hughes' attention to the Army Act, section 98, which is, under section 82 of the Militia Act, equally applicable to Canadian troops.' What is meant, or intended to be meant by the words ' equally applicable to Canadian troops,' is an enigma. It could be intended to mean only that it is an offence against section 98 to recruit Canadian troops without authority. If so, such construction could be put on the two sections, 98 and 82, by a ' legal idiot ' only, and the same must be said if the meaning was that the members of the Canadian force are subject to section 98, for section 98 is in no sense directed against the military, or persons subject to military law, but against ' a person.'

Section 98 forbids the procuring of recruits for ' Her Majesty's regular forces.' ' Her Majesty's regular forces,' according to the definition laid down in the Army Act, means those who are liable to render continuously for a term militia service to Her Majesty in any part of the world,' as distinguished from those who engage to serve in some locality. The corps that Colonel Hughes had in view was certainly not one of that class. It was to be an irregular corps, and so far as his letter showed, it was to have no connection with the Imperial forces, but to assist the Imperial forces in South Africa. It was not to be for service in any part of the world, it was not a force in any way contemplated by section 98. So. if he had published a ' notice or advertisement for the purpose of procuring recruits ' for such a corps, he would not offend against the statute. But, he did not publish a notice for the purpose of ' procuring recruits,' he did not ask for recruits, he did not invite a single man to enrol. He merely wrote to the press a letter in which these words occur : * Will those who are desirous of enrolling men and serving with me on active service to assist the Imperial forces in South Africa, each be good enough to write me stating fully (a) his qualificat on; (b) age; (c) physical condition; (d) the number and quality of the men each can enrol ; and (e) the number of days required for mobilization after notice.'

Now, that was all Col. H. did. He did not ask a man to enlist, he did not propose to enlist any one, he did not call for recruits, he asked only for the names of th'se who would be willing to act as enrollers in a great emergency, which was then imminent, and who would be willing to serve with him in the event of his being authorized to raise a force : and there is not a word about the troops being Imperial, much less ' regular forces.' Even in Britain a

call for men to fill the militia or the volunteer force is not against that statute.

Still, the D.O.C. was instructed: ' You will, accordingly, direct Lt.-Col. H., commanding 45th Batt., to desist from further action in this matter, for which no authority has been given, and it was pointed out that the proper person to authorize the attestation of ' soldiers in pursuance of this part of the Act ' (regular soldiers) is the governor of the colony.

A more marked exhibition of intense ignorance, more astounding presumption on the part of quasi superior military authority, was never exhibited.

In the first place, the action of Colonel H., even if done in the U. K., was not an offence against the law; in the second place, the better opinion is that no statute of the U. K. like the A. A., extends to the inhabitants of this country, except so far as our own statute has extended it to the militia at certain times; in the third place, an offence against section 98 is not a military one, the section is directed against not officers or soldiers, but ' a person.' If Col. H. could be said in any way to have offended, he would be cited as ' Samuel Hughes,' not as ' Colonel Samuel Hughes,' and he would be cited before a civil tribunal and not a military one, and his puishment, if it could be imposed at all in this country under section 98, would be a fine or summary conviction by a magistrate or magistrates.

In view of these facts, then, and in view of the further fact that Col. Hughes, at the time, was no more under the authority of the Canadian military superiors than he was under the Commander-in-chief in England ; it was nothing less than a piece of downright impertinence for General Hutton to take upon himself the office of calling Col. Hughes to account. Suppose that Col. Hughes had advertised a lottery, contrary to the statutes in that behalf, would General Hutton call on the colonel to desist? Certainly not. Yet it would be quite as legitimate, quite as decorous, and as little impertinent, in the lottery case as in the recruiting case. The officer in military command of the militia is not the ' conscience keeper ' of militia officers, especially those who are under him but twelve days in the year. If they choose to run counter to the laws of the land, that is their business not his; their responsibility is not to him or through him; h-w much worse is his interference when they have not committed any offence whatever.

Of course, under sec. 34, ' Every person subject to military law who .... wilfully contravenes arv enactments or the regulations of the service in any matter relating to the enlistment of attestation of soldiers of the regular forces, shall on conviction by court martial be liable to suffer imprisonment, but Col. H. was not subject to military law, and he did not, even in seeming to contravene the law ; he could not possibly be tried by a military tribunal.'

Now, Sir, there is the communication on that mater, which I have given at length. I regret to take up so much time of the House in reading these communications, but this is a matter of considerable concern to many members of the House. It is a matter of considerable importance to the country. I venture to think that a great many militia officers, some of them high up, will read this with interest, not only on this side, but on the other side of the water.

Topic:   SAM. HUGHES.

Samuel Hughes


Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Now, I have read you my reply to that letter. I said this :

I have the honour in reply to your memo, of September 26 instant, inclosing memo. No. 84,496 [copy] from chief staff officer, to state that I am at a loss to understand the communication directing my attention to section 98 of the Army Act, inasmuch as neither in spirit nor in letter have I violated it.

Yet, here is the response he gives to that. If any' one will tell me how 1 could have replied to that letter in a more kindly spirit, in a more submissive spirit, I would like to have him do it. I see nothing insubordinate whatever in my letter, yet here is the answer to it. These things do not appear iu the return brought down last year iu such a way' as that they could be understood at all. Here is the letter from General Hutton to me :

Revelstoke, B.C., Oct. 11, 1899. Chief Staff Officer :

1. I have read the letter of Lieut.-Col. S. Hughes, commanding 45th Battalion, in reply to your minute of the 25th ultimo, with extreme surprise.

2. You will forthwith cause this officer to be informed I am extremely dissatisfied at the highly improper and insubordinate tone of his official communication.

3. You will further cause Lieut.-Col. S. Hughes to be informed through the D. O. C. Nos. 3 and 4 district, that in the event of my orders conveyed through you being disobeyed, he will at once be suspended from the command of his battalion.

EDW. T. H. HUTTON, Major General, Commanding Canadian Militia.

There was a letter in response to my letter, in which I stated that * I was at a loss to understand the communication, because neither in letter or in spirit had I violated the law.' 1 had not violated the law. even though I had been an officer in the British regular army ; but when I was merely an officer of the Canadian militia, even if I had been on active service, I would not have violated the law : and when I was not on active service, triply had I not violated the law.

Now, about this time, another very interesting incident occurred. In the London Times of September 25, 18!)i*, appears this cablegram :

Ottawa, Sept. 24.

Although there has been no official announcement of the government's intention in the event of an outbreak of hostilities in South Africa, it is understood in ministerial circles that arrangements have been completed promptly to place the service of a Canadian regiment at the disposal of the home government when the hour for action comes.

It was a little anterior to this, I may say, that the general officer commanding was seized with a fit to command a corps himself.

All the details have been carefully worked out. The Canadian contingent will be a composite one, consisting of 1,200 men, regulars and militia, representing the three arms of the service, and

drawn from every province of the Dominion. The Canadian forces have just completed their annual training, and as a result of the changes introduced by General Hutton, the militia was never in better shape. While appreciating the patriotic effort of Colonel Hughes to raise a regiment for service in the Transvaal, the Dominion government, of course, could hardly permit a single officer to assume the functions which pertain to the Dominion parliament. Colonel Hughes, therefore, is likely to drop his project.

Mr. Speaker, when 1 tell you that I traced that cablegram up, and traced it to General Hutton as the author, that I ascertained that General Hutton had dictated that cablegram, that little bit of taffy for himself and condemnation of myself, in much stronger terms than it appears here, but the representative of the press sit Ottawa would not send it in the terms in which it was first dictated, then you will understand a little the character of the officer who was commanding our forces. At the same time a similar intimation to that appeared in all the Canadian papers. I will not quote it here, but I will say tliat it pointed out that Colonel Hughes had usurped the fmr i . * of the government ; it is stated in that communication that the government felt That I had usurped their functions. I would like to ask the Prime Minister if he felt I had usurped the functions of the government In anything that I did at that time. 1 do not think he ever expressed himself so.

At the same time, as soon as my communication appeared in the press of Canada. I received an offer of $1,000,000 of insurance on 1,000 men. I regret exceedingly that I am not at liberty to make public the name of the gentleman who so kindly placed that insurance at the disposal of the officers and men of the Canadian forces going to South Africa. I may say, however, that I believe the offer came from the same source as the insurance which Sir Charles Topper managed, and which has done so much to alleviate the sufferings of the families of the volunteers who went to the front in this war. I regret that I am not at liberty to make use of the gentleman's name, but that offer of insurance did the yeomanry, the volunteers of this country, much service, in encouraging them to go to the front. These inspired attacks on myself in the papers came from the general officer commanding. The statement in the Canadian papers 1 also traced home to General Hutton, as having been dictated to the press reporters. On September 28, three days after the other had appeared in the Canadian papers and the English papers, the following appeared :

Ottawa. September 28.-Major-General Hutton has notified Col. Sam. Hughes that he is not authorized to call for volunteers for service in the Transvaal. Still the gallant colonel evidently has not paid any attention t.o the gentle hint. He has gone on calling for volunteers. Attention is now drawn to the fact that section 98 of the British Army Act makes it an offence

punishable by a fine up to $100 for anybody, without due authority, attempting to procure recruits for the army

Tills 1 traced home to General Hutton, it having been directly furnished to the press of this country. I then took the liberty of writing a communication to him drawing his attention to the fact that I had not violated Sec. 98, and asking him to he good enough to place me right before the country. He did not do so; on tile contrary he followed it up by a series of threats and letters which were very much aside from his duties as general officer commanding. Previous to this, though I had been spoken 1o by officers who were friends of General Hutton to say that if X withdrew the controversial matter it would all he settled. Accordingly, at the request of Colonel Foster who, throughout, making all due allowance for his being under the direction and control of Major-General Hutton, has acted the part, to my mind, of a perfect gentleman. T wrote :

October, 17, 1899.

Dear Col. Foster,-I beg to withdraw the letters written by me to General Hutton re application for service and other matters Yours truly,

Topic:   SAM. HUGHES.


That was forwarded by Colonel Foster with a very kind note to Major-General Hutton. Major-General Hutton replied, and I want you to note this, Mr. Speaker : 0. s. o. The foregoing has been received by me this evening. I do not consider that the irregular form which Lt.-Col. S. Hughes, Commanding 46th Battalion, has adopted in treating so grave a breach of military discipline as in any respect whatever adequate to the extreme gravity of the circumstances. This officer's treatment of the official correspondence, as exemplified by his half private and half official communication to you by name, is sufficient indication in itself of his ignorance of the miiilary fitness of things and of his ignorance of the elements of military discipline.


Commanding Canadian Militia. Ottawa, October 2G, 1S99. I want lion, gentlemen to note that, and I trust that the hon. Minister of Militia will give this matter his attention. I would thus briefly refer him to the correspondence to see who has been the sinner. This is the first irregular letter I had written, the first one that was not addressed officially except those marked ' private.' On July 31, Colonel Foster wrote a letter to the district officer commanding Militia District No. 3 and 4, in which he says : Headquarters, July 31, 1900. From the Chief Staff Officer to D.O.C. 3 & 4. Herewith for your information is a copy of a letter addressed direct, by direction of the Major-

General Commanding, to Lieut.-Colonel Hughes, Commanding 45th Battalion. By order, H. FOSTER, Colonel, Chief Staff Officer. (For copy of letter referred to above, see preceding.) So tlint, as early as July, General Hutton began himself the half official form of correspondence, because Colonel Foster wrote that letter by direct order of the general officer commanding. Following on we find, on September 19, Colonel Foster, again, by order of General Hutton, writing to me addressing me directly and complimenting me its dear colonel, etc. That letter was written by order of General Hutton, and is a half private half official communication. Then we 11ml tlie telegram referred to in the letter of September 25, sent to me direct by Colonel Foster, by order of General Hutton. We find also his unofficial correspondence with the London Times of the 25th September, and we find also his correspondence With tlie Canadian papers. So that, he began it and carried it through. I only wrote one letter, and yet I am held up to the ridicule of tlie people of this country, because I only wrote one letter and he a dozen of the ' half-private, half-official ' class. Now, I have about done with the letters, with this one exception, and 1 shall read it as being from the general to the minister. I have clearly traced up the whole business. I shall not refer to anything that transpired before the applications for service began. Let me review the incidents as I have stated them. I wrote three letters, one out of mere courtesy through tlie district officer commanding to tlie general who paid no attention to it and never laid it before the minister. Then, I wrote direct to the minister, and 1 may say that I was treated most courteously by the minister. I never knew how my communication was treated until I read the report in ' Hansard.' He seems to have done everything that a soldier, a gentleman and a minister should have done. I speak of him just as I find him. The only thing that 1 thought lie had acted unfairly in was in allowing the private correspondence to be published, until I saw that General Hutton had distinctly stated that he had communicated this to me, a statement which was untrue. I had never heard of such a thing until l saw a copy of the correspondence on the steamer, and I can very well excuse tlie minister on that point. I wrote that letter to the minister, and I was reprimanded by the general for writing it, but. he withdrew his letter. The third application was a letter to Mr. Chamberlain, which has also been referred to. For that, I was reprimanded by the order of His Excellency. 1 gave my reply, and they saw that they were wrong. As far as the publishing of this letter in the papers drawing attention to the war is concerned, I may say that I was Mr. HUGHES (Victnvia). reprimanded by telegram for having laid myself open to section 98, when a child could have told the general officer commanding that I had not left myself open. Major-General Hutton knows nothing as to why section 98 was drawn up. It was drawn up to prevent soldiers being enlisted in barrooms and over drinking tables, and from being entrapped into taking the shilling, when they did not know they were being enlisted. There is not a man who knows anything of the reason why section 98 was adopted, who could consider my letter as bringing me under the operation of that section. Yet, I was rapped over the knuckles by General Hutton in the London Times and the Canadian papers. Then I was met with the statement that I was liable to a fine and imprisonment ; all these things belittleing me before the country. You will see that I put up with a great deal before I wrote back in rather warm language. Here comes the crowning letter of the lot : October 26, 1899. The Honourable the Minister Militia and Defence. Sir,- 1. Knowing that there is an anxiety on your part and believing that there exists a similar feeling on the part of some of the members of the cabinet, that Lieut.-Colonel Sam. Hughes, M.P., commanding the 45th Battalion, should be employed on active service with the Canadian forces now proceeding to South Africa, I deem it my duty to place on record in an official form my reasons for having declined to recommend this officer's employment with such force in any capacity whatever. 2. I regret the necessity for my action in this matter, as I am well aware of the leading and praiseworthy part which Lieut.-Colonel S. Hughes has taken in bringing the patriotic necessity for military service in the cause of the empire before the Canadian public. I should, however, fail in my duty if I recommended the employment of an officer, however well-intentioned, whom I now know and whose correspondence shows to be, not only devoid of any proper spirit of subordination, but to be also deficient in military judgment. I need hardly remind you that the selection of officers for the command of troops about to engage in a serious campaign is one involving the greatest responsibility. It is a matter in which the lives of our soldiers, the credit of Canada, and the honour of the empire are directly concerned. 3. I therefore submit for your perusal and information the following facts and papers :- (a.) Minute from Chief Staff Officer to D.O.C., M.D. No. 3 and 4, dated August 24, 1899, re despatch from Secretary of State for the Colonies, and reply of Lieut.-Colonel Hughes thereto. Marked ' A.' (b.) Minute and telegram from Chief Staff Officer to D.O.C., M.D. No. 3 and 4, dated September 25, 1899, re advertising for recruits in Canada, and reply from Lieut.-Colonel Hughes. Marked ' B.' 4. I have further, with great reluctance, deemed it necessary to submit for your perusal and information the following additional unofficial correspondence sent by Lieut.-Colonel S. Hughes to myself personally. I am impelled to this course from the necessity of proving to you that this officer's want of judgment is conspicuous, and that his reflections upon Imperial officers generally, even those of the highest rank now employed in South Africa, make Lieut.-Colonel Hughes' employment absolutely prohibitive With reference to his communication of the 10th instant, I deem the matter so serious that, in the interests of discipline, I recommend that Lieut.-Colonel Sam. Hughes be removed from the command cf his regiment, and be placed on the retired list. I have the honour to be, sir, Your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding Canadian Militia. I am glad that he had learned by that time a little constitutional law, and that he cannot place me on the retired list. He admits here for the first time that he has a superior in this country because ' he recommends' to the minister to do certain things. General Hutton talks about insubordination. Why, i have read in the ' Hansard' about his being turned out of this country for insubordination himself, and I need not refer to his record elsewhere. I am going on 35 years a Canadian volunteer ; I have been under a great many men in my time, and 1 have never been charged directly or indirectly with insubordination. My record as a volunteer and a soldier in Canada or elsewhere I leave to those whom I served under. Not one will say that I ever refused to carry out an order. Although I have received orders given by my seniors in active service for which they had no authority, I nevertheless obeyed them. I carried out every order that General Hut ton himself gave me, although I am free to say that many of them were contrary to the drill book and to common sense. General Hutton says further, that I am deficient in military judgment, and he talks as if he knew something about it. He says : * It is a matter in which the lives of our soldiers, the credit of Canada and the honour of the empire are directly concerned.' Since that letter was penned, General Hutton and X have had an opportunity of facing the music, and I leave it to the official records of the British Empire to show which of us has best looked after the lives of our soldiers, the credit of Canada and the honour of the empire. Now, Sir, in all this correspondence I have not one word to retract from any letter I wrote. Possibly, had I known that the private letters were going to be published I might have softened the tone. Possibly, if I had waited 24 hours, I would not have written quite as sharply to him as T did in face of his taunts. Neither directly nor indirectly do I retract one word as untrue. Some of the private letters 1 can infinitely strengthen, should any gentleman challenge me on the floor of this House. Hon. gentlemen know to what I refer, and I am in a position to give evidence as to it much stronger than anything I have stated in my private letters. I do not wish to do so, l>ut I am ready if I am challenged. The statement in that letter of General Hutton's about my reflections upon imperial officers was written with the direct object of being published and circulated in South Africa and that was done. I have nothing to retract in that respect. 1 slandered no general in South Africa ; 1 said nothing about any British general which has not been intensified by British officers themselves. I call the attention of the minister to the fact that one letter dated ' On the train, Oct. 28.' is either intentionally or unintentionally incorrect. as the date should be Oct. 23, and I trust the minister will have that corrected when the return is brought down. There is another matter to which I wish to refer. As to refusing to permit me to be second in command of the Canadian corps-I say it is all for the best in the end-I had been assured by the Minister of Militia that I would be second in command ; I knew that I had been selected by -Col. Otter for the position, and I did not know until I reached Ottawa on the morning of the 2Gth or 27th of October that I was not second in command. X was determined to go to Africa if I had to swim there. I was determined to go to Africa either by way of England or direct from Canada as I was enabled to do by the kindness of the Minister of Militia. Imagine my being handed the following note through Col. Otter : October, 1899. 1. The following minute has been forwarded to the O. C. the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, proceeding to South Africa by ss. Sardinian on Monday, October 30, 1899 ' Permission has been granted for Lieut.-Colonel S. Hughes, 45th Battalion, to have passage to South Africa by ss. Sardinian, conveying the Canadian troops.' ' It is to be clearly understood that this officer does not proceed in any military capacity whatever. He will accordingly not wear uniform on board ship.' . 2. Leave of absence is granted you from this date with leave to travel abroad. By order, H. FOSTER, Colonel, Chief Staff Officer. October 29, 1899. This letter addressed to Col. Otter says leave of absence is granted ' you' ; that is to Col. Otter. In this connection I draw the attention of the Minister of Militia to the fact that I have never been granted leave of absence, and so far as the official records show, I have seen no official notice that I ever returned to Canada. I characterize that letter as one of the most impudent pieces of meddling that any officer ever perpetrated. He had no more authority over me than that child has. Nevertheless, 1 found that followed by another similar letter to the commanding officer in South Africa. I demand to know why the general officer commanding in Canada dared to

write to a general outside of this country. He might as well write to the general commanding the United States troops in the Philippines as to write to General Buller in South Africa. What was it his business 'or their business. How dare he write that Lt.-Col. Sam Hughes, of the 45th Battalion, was without military status. He had nothing to do with me outside of tlie three mile limit, and yet he wrote : I am not prepared to recommend his employment in any capacity in South Africa whatever. More than that, Sir, he got Col. Otter to do a little bit of meddling oil shipboard. Col. Otter, acting on his instructions, thought he had control over me. He did not seem to know that there was one officer only bossing that ship, and that was the captain of the ship. If the captain had wished, he could have put Col. Otter himself in irons, as well as every other man on the ship. He was the one man who was supreme there, and to him alone did I owe allegiance. Col. Otter and I are the best of friends, as we always have been, and as I trust we always shall be ; but in pursuance of this contemptible order, he undertook, of course very politely, to issue instructions to me. I at once informed him that he had nothing whatever to do with me. I was very sorry to find an officer like Col. Otter committing the mistake of following such an order as that of General Hutton. There is another matter in this correspondence to which I wish to refer ; that is, a cablegram which I received at Cape Town offering me a command in Strath-cona's Horse. I wish to say here that I would have been very much pleased to have had the command of a Canadian regiment. I do not hesitate to say that it was m.v ambition to have such a command, and I wish to say, in all modesty, that I think I have proven that I was and am capable of commanding a Canadian regiment. I would have given a very great deal to have been permitted to command Strathcona's Horse. But when I received an offer of a captaincy in that regiment, signed 'chief staff officer' -I do not know who he may be-I looked on the whole thing as a piece of impudence. The cablegram read as follows : Col. Sam. Hughes, Canadian Regiment, Cape Town. General proposes recommend you captain in Strathcona's Horse. Reply if you accept. Chief Staff Officer. I need not say that I deemed this one of the greatest insults ever offered me, and I did not reply to it. I find that followed up by a letter from General Hutton to the Minister of Militia, in which he makes this statement : Lieut-Col. S. Hughes, 45th Battalion, having written a full and complete apology, and expressed regret for his insubordinate and improper conduct, I request that the final paragraph of my letter of October 26, 1899, may be considered as cancelled.


Samuel Hughes


Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

I may say that bears on its face a deliberate falsehood. From the time I left Canada I never, either directly or indirectly, communicated with General Hutton ; I had nothing to do with him.

That, in brief, is the correspondence. I have brought this matter up, not in order to vindicate myself, and not because I have any objection to the general officer commanding the Canadian forces being a British general. On the contrary, I desire that our general officer commanding should be a British general. I know that a great many of my friends, both on the other side of the House and on this side, in view of the conduct of some of the general officers in recent years, have expressed the wish that a Canadian officer should be appointed to that position. I wish to say, standing here, that it is my desire that the general officer commanding should be an Imperial officer, and I believe that if we paid that officer .$10,000 a year, which is the pay of a major-general in England, and is about what little New South Wales pays to her general officer Commanding,we would get an officer to come out here to take command of our troops who would be a credit to the position and to the empire. A man would not he sent here to be got rid of because be was cranky in the office in England, or to make use of the position as a stepping-stone to some other position. One reason why I have brought this matter up is to let these men know that we have responsible government in this country, and that no military officer can step outside of the law in dealing with the officers under him. I wisli the papers to be brought down in order that the officers throughout the country may know what their powers are. Would you believe it ?- fully one-half the officers of this country think that because I or any officer may command a battalion, the men under the colonel, even when off duty, are subject to his whim in military matters. The idea is childish and absurd, but, nevertheless, it exists, and I would very much like that these men should be disabused of it. I have brought this matter before the House in the hope that any harm which may have resulted from the unconstitutional conduct of that general officer commanding in the whole matter may be wiped out. 1 have brought it up in the hope that the good which has resulted from the colonies participating in the war in South Africa may continue to grow, and that in the very near future we may find the Imperial parliament divesting itself of parish politics and entering the arena of Imperial politics proper, and that we may soon see Canada represented in an informal council, ultimately to become a formal council, for the promotion of the best interests of the British Empire and the upbuilding of the human race. I must thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the House for the patient hearing of this rather long and uninteresting

legal discussion ; but I felt that the circumstances required that this matter should be clearly placed before the House, in order that there might be a better understanding in the future of the respective duties owing to the various authorities, from the Governor General down, in military matters.


February 25, 1901