March 7, 1902

LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

If the hon. gentleman wants to make a debate, he should be very cautious about it. He should not go so far as to refer to a past debate. I am afraid that the hon. gentleman is referring to a previous debate, and simply reaffirms the statement he made.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PERSONAL EXPLANATION.
Subtopic:   L. H. DAVIES.
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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to refer to a past debate. I merely wish to give the explanation which has been asked for by Sir Louis Davies, who was a plenipotentiary on that occasion. My only purpose is to make that point clear, without any reference to what may have happened in this House. The letters I am reading now are necessary to make the whole record complete. I went on :

My authorities for making such a statement are the interviews which you gave on your arrival from England and published in the

'Montreal Gazette' on October 30th, 1899, page 7 ; in the 'Toronto Globe' of the same date, page 10; In the 'Montreal Herald,' of either of the same day or the next, page 9.

I may have made a mistake as to the length of time you passed in the Old1 Country. But the substance of my statement is fully justified, I think, by those interviews which, to my knowledge, have never been rectified.

Yours respectfully,

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HENRI BOURASSA.


To this I received the following reply ; Supreme Court, Ottawa, 26th February, 1902. My Dear Mr. Bourassa,-This morning I received your letter in answer to mine of the 21st instant, in which I asked you for your authority for making the extraordinary statement you were reported in the newspapers to have attributed to me in your speech in the House of Commons on your motion for papers in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. This report stated that you ' then went on to credit Sir Louis Davies with making the statement that he had spent three months in London trying to get the officers of Mr. Chamberlain to take the part of Canada at the sitting of the Anglo-American commission.' I am glad to find that you uow repudiate the correctness of this report, and send me as a correct statement of what you did say that I ' was obliged to pass three months in London to convince Mr. Chamberlain's officials that they should not side with the American government, but with us.' While accepting this statement of what you really did say, I have failed to notice that you have made any public correction of the report of your remarks. As your authority for making this statement you refer me to certain alleged interviews which, you say, I gave upon my arrival from England, namely, the ' Gazette,' and the ' Herald,' Montreal, and the Toronto ' Globe,' of October, 1899. I have looked up these reports which you gave as your authority, and I am obliged to say that after a careful perusal of them, I am unable to see that they afford just ground for the statement you were reported to have made, or the one you send me as the statement you actually did make. I gave no ' interview ' to any of those newspapers, and the report to which you call my attention do not purport to be in the form of a regular interview ; but with respect to the charge you make, you have been entirely and grievously misled. I went to England in 1899, accompanied by Mr. Pope and Mr. King, to lay before the Imperial government a complete statement of the contention of Canada with respect to the Alaska boundary line. Our treatment by the officials of the colonial office on that occasion was most sympathetic, and those gentlemen did everything they could to furnish us with any official documents and information we required. In point of fact, Sir John Anderson, who had charge of this question in the colonial office, did everything that lay in his power to further the object of our mission. Nothing could have been further from my thoughts than to have attributed to Mr. Chamberlain, or any of his officials, either indifference or hostility to Canada's interests, and if I had done so I certainly would have done violence to the truth. And here I call the attention of the House to the following paragraph : The American correspondents of the English papers in Washington and New York had been transmitting during that summer letters and cablegrams to England giving a very perverted and incorrect view of Canada's claims and position, with respect alike to the main contention and the provisional boundary line then being established, and these telegrams would, no doubt, have had the effect of prejudicing Canada's case, if left unanswered. I did what I could to dissipate this prejudice. I certainly never made any such statement as you are reported to have attributed to me ; nor did I ever make any such statement as you in your letter give as the correct report of what you said. I never knew or heard of any officials of Mr. Chamberlain taking any part adverse to Canada during the sittings of the Anglo-American commission or afterwards ; on the contrary, as I have stated before, so far as my knowledge went they were ready at all times to do everything they could to further Canada's interests. As you were one of the secretaries of the Joint High Commission, and sat as a colleague with me for two sessions after this alleged interview took place, and never to my knowledge, made reference to it before, I trust you will take an early opportunity in the House of Commons of correcting your statement, which is certainly a misleading one and unjust to me. Yours faithfully,


L. H. DAVIES.


The three interviews, or whatever you may choose to call them, were as follows : The first appears in the Toronto ' Globe ' of October 30, 1899, page 10. It is a special despatch from Montreal dated October, 29. The despatch first notes the arrival of Sir Louis Davies from London, and after a long story about his difficulties at the customs in New York, it reads as follows : In London he laid the whole Canadian case regarding Alaska before the British government and cleared away the fog which was raised by American correspondents of London papers, who succeeded to some extent in prejudicing Canada's position. He prepared a lengthy volume on the case, and the whole British government are now thoroughly posted on the matter. As it stands now, a temporary arrangement has been made, pending the settlement of the whole case. To that end, Sir Louis, on behalf of Canada made three propositions, an unconditional arbitration, or a reference similar to the Venezuela case, or, finally, if the United States claimed Skagway and Dyea in any event, Canada should have Pyramid Harbour in any event. Then the Montreal ' Gazette ' of October 30, page 7, had the following : Sir Louis Davies arrived yesterday from London, Eng., where he had been for some months consulting with the Imperial government regarding the Alaska boundary difficulty. He found that the Americans, and particularly certain American correspondents of London papers had succeeded in prejudicing Canada's case in the eyes of the English authorities, but he had drawn up quite a lengthy volume setting out the position of Canada and through this and personal interviews with the government re-



816 moved these false impressions. The British government is now thoroughly seized with Canada's contention. And the Montreal ' Herald ' of October 31, 1899, page 9, published the following : ' Sir Louis Davies, Minister of Marine and Fisheries, returned Sunday from London, where he had been for some time past engaged in putting the case for Canada, with regard to the Alaska boundary, before the Imperial authorities. He says he found that the Americans, and particularly certain American correspondents of London papers had succeeded in prejudicing the case for Canada in the eyes of the English authorities, but he had drawn up quite a lengthy volume setting out the position of Canada, and through this and personal interviews with the government, removed these false impressions. The British government is now thoroughly seized with Canada's contentions. Now, Sir Louis Davies gives those interviews or reports, or whatever you may choose to call them, a denial. The whole thing, he says, was perfectly false. Well, if the whole thing was falsh, if Sir Louis Davies never gave to the newspapers the information on which they based these reports, if they were not inspired by him, I think it is rather strange that lie should have delayed saying so until now. I think it rather singular that a representative of the Canadian government and at the same time a plenipotentiary of the British government, should have waited two years and a half before correcting the report published by three of the most reliable newspapers in Canada-one a Conservative and the other two Liberals-that the hon. gentleman was obliged to go to London to dissipate the prejudices raised by American newspapers in the minds of the British people. The only statement which Sir Louis Davies complains of is that which I made. He does not complain of what may have been reported by this or that newspaper, for whose reports I am not responsible. Well, all I have to say to-day is this, that for six months the Canadian commissioners, acting as British plenipotentiaries, endeavoured patiently and assiduously, but in vain, to have this question settled between the British and American governments on the same basis of action as the Venezeula dispute. I have been accused in the public press of having been indiscreet because I told the truth. Why, a similar statement was made to this House at least three times by the right hon. the Prime Minister. If therefore I have been indiscreet, the right hon. gentleman has been equally guilty. More than that, the hon. gentleman not only made a statement similar to mine, but on the 5th of June, 1899, he laid before the House protocol 63 of the Anglo-American Commission, in which it is shown that a proposal had been made by the British plenipotentiaries to have the Alaskan boundary dispute settled by an arbitratlve tribunal, as was done in the Venezuela dis-1


LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

pute, that the American commissioners refused this offer and made a counter proposition, and that when the British plenipotentiaries reported that they could not accept this counter proposal, the whole thing was left in the hands of the American and British governments.

I think the Prime Minister is loyal enough to say that, in this matter, I am not going one iota beyond the statements that have been made by himself, made by common agreement between Mr. Fairbanks, the president of the American commission, and the right hon. gentleman, acting as chairman of the commission, Lord Her-schell being sick. Therefore, I am accused of indiscretion, a few gentlemen in this House and a few newspapers want to lay upon my shoulders-that have been accustomed to scuh treatment for two years and a half-the full burden of what is the fault, or rather the alleged fault of others. But I contend that there is no fault. I have always stated, on the only two occasions when I have referred to the Anglo-American Commission, that the Canadian commissioners did the best they could in the interests of Canada ; they made the best fight it was possible to make to protect Canadian Interests. But what I say, and what I am supported by the testimony of the Prime Minister in saying, is that when they thought it impossible to get any settlement of the question from the commission, they handed it over to the British government. And then what did we see ? Three months after it was handed over to the British government, one of the British plenipotentiaries told us that he had been obliged to take means to dissipate prejudices aroused in the minds of the British authorities, to whom our case was committed, by articles appearing in the American press. Sir Louis Davies does not deny that some things were said to the press,' but he objects to these being called interviews. I do not care what name is used ; what I am interested in is the fact and the result. And in the letter which I have read, Sir Louis Davies makes the admission. He says that the American correspondents in Washington and New York of the English papers transmitted, during that summer, letters and cablegrams giving a very perverted and incorrect view of Canada's claims and position. And he says, ' I did what I could to dissipate this prejudice.' He does not even go so far as to say that he actually dissipated the prejudices, and we have now the proof that this prejudice has not been dissipated.

I have said nothing that is not now repeated in the letter written to me by Sir Louis Davies. After the adjournment of the Anglo-American Commission, the whole settlement of this question, so far as Canada's interests were concerned, was put in the hands of gentlemen who preferred being prejudiced by articles written by American correspondents of newspapers rather than

81S

take the case laid before them by Lord Hersckell and our own Canadian representatives.

It has been said, X do not exactly know where, by some excited or erratic individual, that I calumniated Lord Herschell. Sir, I never uttered a word regarding Lord Herschell but once. In 1899, in the debate on the address, at the opening of the first session following the adjournment of the commision, I spoke about Lord Herschell. This is what I said :

1 consider the sad death of Lord Herschell as heavy a loss to Canada, as it is to Great Britain. His very appointment was a great favour and a high compliment to Canada, as well as an acknowledgment of our independence. One of the most eminent jurists of this century, a straight opponent of the present English administration, and therefore out of political office, the presence of Lord Herschell on the commission meant that the whole political direction of the negotiations was left to the Canadian commissioners, who were given the help of a great legal mind and the moral and constitutional support of Great Britain. And the American commissioners understood it ; they saw clearly that in Canadian matters they must deal with the Canadian people, behind which stands the British flag, not as a forced protection1 to a flock of slaves, but as a free help to free men1.

Mr. Speaker, I have changed my mind on some of the things I said then. I was full of hope. I was impressed by the deliberations of that commission, and I had full confidence that, with the good case so ably made by Lord Herschell, and after the energetic efforts made by our own representatives, we could count on the British authorities to show as much zeal In the interests of Britain's loyal colony of Canada as they had shown in the case of Venezuela. I was justified in making that statement then. I have now a good deal to withdraw so far as the British government is concerned. But so far as rendering a testimonial to the ability and zeal and devotedness which were displayed by Lord Herschell, in the case of Canada, I have nothing to withdraw. My opinion of Lord Herschell is the same to-day as it was then. And, if any man says I calumniated I.ord Herschell, then it only shows that in the British-Canadian dictionary, there still needs to be retained, as a living and useful expression, the word ' Tupperisin.'

It has been stated also-I do not know where, for I have been absent for eight day's, but I have been told that it has been stated-that I had been very indiscreet in disclosing the secrets of the Anglo-American Commission ; that, time and again in the province of Quebec, I made declarations about it which showed me to be an excited and erratic individual. I hope I shall always be an excited and erratic individual in that case, for the moment I become composed and judicial, as some of the hon. gentlemen who have spoken on this matter believe themselves to be, I suppose I shall be

free to discourse in Tupperisms or Mou-keyisms. But, having such a bad reputation as I have, I am bound to remain within the limits of truth and discretion. As a matter of fact, I have never opened my mouth on the subject of the Anglo-American Commission. I acted as secretary to that Commission, and I perfectly understood what my duties were, just as I understand what my duties are to-day. For two years I was perfectly silent, though I was beginning to perceive what was going on. I was waiting for the moment when public facts known to the whole people of Britain, as well as the whole people of Canada, would allow me as a Canadian representative, to state, on the floor of this House-where I have the right to speak in the Canadian interests as well as anybody else-what was the true position of Canada. But, since the case of Canada was handed over to the British authorities, not one inch of progress has been made. What is my authority for this ? Is it taken from the deliberations of the commission ? Not at all; it is taken from the repeated statements of the Prime Minister. And my anticipations as to the betrayal-that may be considered too strong a word, then, if you prefer let us say the abandonment-of our rights by the government of Great Britain, are merely those that were expressed in this parliament by the late leader of the opposition, Sir Charles Tupper. I suppose I am not bound to be more loyal to Great Britain than that hon. gentleman was. On the 22nd of July, 1899, the late leader of the opposition, Sir Charles Tupper, read in this House the announcement that was made of the adjournment of the commission by Mr. Fairbanks and Sir Wilfrid Laurier acting respectively as the American and British presidents of the commission, and added : Those who have read the American papers, and those who have read the London 'Times,' know that a great deal of misapprehension has existed with regard to this question,, and that the steady and persistent efforts of the press of the United States of America to mislead the public mind on the question have been eminently successful in that country, and I regret to say too successful in Great Britain. . . . But I now come to a very important question, and that is the reluctance on the part of Her Majesty's government to do that with the United States that they would do with any other country in the world. I speak from intimate knowledge, and from my personal acquaintance and official association with both the great governing parties in England-because there were many changes of government while I held the position of High Commissioner, and I was necessarily thrown, in relation to these matters, into intimate association with both-when I say that from 1868, when I had occasion to deal with an important question relating to Canadian interests with Her Majesty's government, down to the present hour, I have been struck very forcibly with the unwillingness on the part of Her Majesty's government to allow any circumstance whatever to even threaten a col-' lision with the United States.

And so on. Well, Mr. Speaker, before this day I never uttered a word of blame against the British government in relation to this question, I never uttered a word of criticism upon the conduct of these negotiations. Contrary to what has been stated in this House and outside, I never opened my mouth, either in this House or elsewhere, giving a single word of what passed during the commission upon this question. The only time 1 referred to it was in 1899, just at the opening of the session, when we were told the deliberations of the commission would begin pretty soon, and I said I felt that in the hands of our commissioners our case was safe, and I hoped also it would be safe in the hands of the British government. Down to this session I have never said a word during all the time that comments were freely made by members on both sides of the House, and in the Canadian press, accusing at one time the British government, at another time the Canadian government, and at another time the United States government. During all that time I remained silent. But when I read this article published under the signature of the late Minister of Justice in the December number of the 'Empire Review,' I felt compelled to speak :

Canada is a great North American State. Her commerce is far greater in proportion to her population than that of the neighbouring republic. The construction of a Central American canal would he as much called for in her interest, as in that of the United States, and We shall never he content to submit to any other rule in respect to such a canal than that of perfect equality. This is what our neighbours asked for at the outset, and this is all they have a right to claim now.

The provisions of the Clayton-Buiwer treaty in this regard, are vital to Canada, and the government of the United Kingdom must not, for any political consideration, sacrifice the interests of Canada, and the future of the British Empire upon this continent.

And later on :

To give the United States possession of the canal, is practically to transfer the territory of Central America to that republic, contrary to the terms of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. We shall see by a further examination of the diplomatic correspondence upon this subject, how the principles by which they then claimed to have been governed in the adoption of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, and their adherence to a particular construction of that instrument have been departed from in the bolder pretensions which they have recently put forward. These,

I think, upon careful examination, will be found to be of such a character that to recognize them would be a greater menace to our security and future progress than any other matter of controversy that now presents itself for solution.

Not fifteen days bad elapsed after these lines were written over the signature of an adviser of the Crown in Canada, before we were told that the Clayton-Bulwer treaty had been sacrificed, that the interests of Canada -to use the words of the late Minister of Mr. BOURASSA.

Justice-had been sacrificed by the British government. Well, Sir, the least I expected was that the British government had done something in the way of securing compensation for Canada in return for the abandonment of its rights under the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. Therefore, when I heard the declaration of the Prime Minister that the Alaskan boundary question had not advanced one single iota, when I heard that the Clayton-Bulwer treaty had been abrogated without any protest having been made in relation to that question, when I remembered that the late Minister of Marine and Fisheries was obliged to admit, what we have now in evidence over his own signature-that it was sufficient for some American correspondents to write to the London papers in order to destroy, in the minds of the British officials, the results of six months' labour under the presidency of such an able and devoted man as Lord Hers-chell-I said to myself that it was time that we should know a little about it. I am sometimes told that I am an Anglophobe, that I am an anti-imperialist. I hope the time will come when it will be seen that my love for Great Britain, though perhaps not so bombastic, not so noisy, not so voluble as that of some whose expressions we have heard, still it is true. But I believe we can best prove our attachment and admiration to Great Britain by showing that we have as much national spirit as they have, and that when our interests are sacrificed we see clearly through the game. I think it is very important that this question should be cleared up. Within a few months the Prime Minister will be going to the foot of the Throne, and will lay at the feet of His Majesty a declaration of the unswerving fidelity and loyalty of his Canadian subjects, and in that respect the people of this country are a unit. I hope that in addition to that declaration he will also be able to point out to the British officials that the Canadian representatives understand their duty towards the Canadian people, and if this parliament is ready at any time to vote millions of dollars to assist some English cause elsewhere, at least a majority in this House are disposed to assure the British government that the Canadian people are determined to see their rights respected. I did not expect to go fully into these details ; but in summing up. I think I am justified in saying that the letter I have received from the late Minister of Marine and Fisheries and which I have just read to the House, is a full justification, not of the words I am reported to have used, but of the declaration I actually made, namely, that Sir Louis Davies was obliged to go to London in order to dissipate the prejudices that had been raised in the minds of the British officials by articles in American newspapers. I think it is important that it should be thoroughly known in tills country that the American newspapers

had more influence with the British govern^ ment than Lord Hersehell had, or the four representatives of the Canadian government.

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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

When my hon. friend (Mr. Bourassa) rose a few moments ago, I was under the impression that his object in speaking to the motion now before the Chair, was simply to rectify a statement which had been made by him, and to which exception had been taken by Sir Louis Davies. So far as that matter is concerned I do not propose now to do anything more than coniine myself to that issue. A few days ago I received this letter from Sir Louis Davies :

February 28, 1902.

My dear Sir Wilfrid,-I have been obliged to correct a most unjust and misleading statement made by Mr. Bourassa in the House of Commons with respect to my mission to England re the Alaska boundary line in 1899. I inclose you herewith a copy of the last letter I have written him in which I request him to make the necessary correction in the House, so as to put me straight with the country and with the officials in the Colonial Office, if any kind friends were to send them marked newspapers with Mr. Bourassa's statements. May I ask you, if Mr. Bourassa fails to make the proper explanation and correction, to do so for me at some convenient time, and if necessary, to read those passages of my letters giving his ctatement full contradiction. I have marked in pencil the passages.

Yours faithfully,

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L. H. DAVIES.


At the same time Sir Louis Davies showed-me a copy of the letter he had addressed to Mr. Bourassa, in which he takes issue, not, I remind the House, with the words which have been attributed to him by the hon. member for Labelle, but with the construction which has been put upon them by the hon. member for Labelle. In that letter Sir Louis Davies writes as follows : My dear Mr. Bourassa,-This morning I received your letter in answer to mine of the 21st instant, in which I asked you for your authority for making the extraordinary statement you were reported in the newspapers to have attributed to me in your speech in the House of Commons on your motion for papers in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. This report stated that you 'then went on to credit Sir Louis Davies with making the statement that he had spent three months in London trying to get the officers of Mr. Chamberlain to take the part of Canada at the sitting of the Anglo-American Commission. Then Sir Louis Davies goes on to say : I am glad to find that you now repudiate the correctness of this report and send me as a correct statement of what you did say that ' I was obliged to pass three months in London to convince Mr. Chamberlain's officials that they should not side with the American government but with us.' That is the statement which the hon. member for Labelle is stated to have made concerning Sir Louis Davies' action. This action was that he had been obliged to pass three months in London to convince Mr. Chamberlain's officials that they should not side with the American government but with us. In regard to this inference Sir Louis Davies says that the hon. member for Labelle is attributing an action to him that he never contemplated and never did. I think it would have been more in accordance with the fitness of things if the hon. member for Labelle had accepted the statement of Sir Louis Davies without any qualification. The hon. member for Labelle, however, thought he was justified in not accepting the correction which was made by Sir Louis Davies. He thought he was justified in persisting in attributing to Sir Louis Davies an action which Sir Louis Davies repudiates altogether. My hon. friend for Labelle stated that he was justified by three interviews which he said were published iu the Toronto ' Globe,' the Montreal 1 Gazette ' and the Montreal ' Herald,' in persisting in attributing to Sir Louis Davies an action which Sir Louis Davies altogether repudiates. Well, I must say to my hon. friend that for my part I think he is not at all justified in taking from these newspaper reports the inference which he has. First of all my hon. friend must admit himself that the report, or the despatch, from which he has quoted, did not purport to be an interview with Sir Louis Davies. I do not know how the newspaper man could have made that report, but at all events, the journalist who sent it to the ' Globe,' to the ' Gazette ' and to the ' Herald ' does not pretend that he is reporting the words of Sir Louis Davies, but an inference himself, and from that inference another inference is drawn by the hon. member for Labelle. I think that in public life this is hardly fair. My hon. friend says to-day that Sir Louis Davies might have corrected this ; but did not. Well, my hon. friend has been long enough in public life to know that if a public man were to undertake to correct all the misstatements made regarding him in the newspapers, life would hardly be worth the living. This is an age of enterprise, newspapermen are looking for news and we all know that a newspaperman will sometimes build up an argument or a fact out of very little and sometimes out of nothing at all, and I do not think my hon. friend is justified in assuming the correctness of the report because Sir Louis Davies failed to make a correction at the time.


LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

I have said that I was basing my holding of that view upon another paragraph of the very letter which the right hon. gentleman has in his hand.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

I will come to that presently. I must say, at all events, that my hon. friend has no foundation to attribute to Sir Louis Davies a statement

which Sir Louis Davies actually contradicts and repudiates. The statement is very flimsy, or no statement whatever. I think my hon. friend would have done better not to have built up any argument upon these newspaper reports. As to the paragraph to which my hon. friend comments upon, it is this :

The American correspondents of the English papers in Washington and New York had been transmitting during that summer letters and cablegrams to England giving a very perverted and incorrect view of Canada's claims and position, with respect alike to the main contention and the provisional boundary line then being established, and these telegrams would, no doubt, have had the effect of prejudicing Canada's case, if left unanswered. I did what I could to dissipate this prejudice.

That Sir Louis Davies should have done what he could to dissipate whatever prejudice might have been caused by the American newspapers was not only within his rights, but a duty which he owed to Canada while he was in England, but, because Sir Louis Davies undertook to contradict and dissipate the Impression which might have been created by the American newspapers certainly cannot warrant my hon. friend in stating, as he does in his letter, that Sir Louis Davies was obliged to pass three months in London to convince Hr. Chamberlain's officials that they should not side with the American government, but with us. Certainly, there is no correction, and it is most unfair to Sir Louis Davies to persist in attributing to him statements which he never made. I have no intention of saying anything further upon this matter, but I submit to my hon. friend that in public life, when we are daily called upon to comment upon the actions and sayings of each other, when a public man of the honour and respectability of Sir Louis Davies makes a statement, it ought to be accepted without any further comment upon it, without being qualified at all, and without question.

One word more about another matter. The other day I was quite surprised, if I may be permitted to say so, because it is a matter of some importance, when I heard the reference made by the hon. member for Pictou (Sir Charles Hibbert Tapper) as to certain allusions which lie said had been made by the hon. member for Labelle unfavourable to the memory of the late Lord Herschell. I am bound'to say, in the presence of the hon. member for Labelle,, and I am sorry I cannot say it also in the presence of the hon. member for Pictou, that to my knowledge the hon. member for Labelle is absolutely guiltless in this matter. I have never heard any statement made by him disparaging to the memory of Lord Herschell. I may say that of the hon. member for Labelle, although it is not necessary for me to offer any defence of him, but since the memory of the late Lord Herschell

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Sic WILFRID LAURIER.

has been mentioned, I am only too glad to testify for myself, as has also been done by my colleagues, to the great loss which Canada has suffered in the death of Lord Herschell, and to the great service which he rendered to Canada while he was chairman of the British side of the commission. The public do not know, and unfortunately ihe Canadian public will never know, the extent of the service which he then rendered to Canada, and the ability he displayed in defence of our rights. No Canadian could Have shown more zeal than he did for the cause of Canada, and no man, to whatever nationality he might belong, could have done it more effectively than he did at Washington and Quebec.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. JOHN HAGGART (South Lanark).

Mr. Speaker, in reference to this extraordinary debate, something that I never had the honour of hearing before in this House of parliament, when an hon. member gets up, the rules of the House allowing him to make a personal explanation, and enters into a controversy as to whether a statement made by a gentleman outside of this House, occupying a dignified position, is correct or not, I desire to say a word or two. The right hon. leader of the government, whose duty it is to look after the rules of the House and draw your attention, Hr. Speaker, to any breach of these rules, as it is your duty, Sir, to maintain the rules, never stopped that hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassa) until an hour had elapsed in discussing a question as foreign to the proceedings of this House as anything could be.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

Will the hon. gentleman (Hon. Mr. Haggart) allow me to interrupt him ? I did not interrupt the hon. member for Labelle, because, on a motion to go into Supply, the hon. gentleman was within his rights in discussing anything he wanted to discuss. He might discuss the empire of China, or the empire of Japan, or anything that he might desire to bring to the attention of the House.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I thought the hon. member for Labelle got up to make a personal explanation.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

He got up on the motion to go into Supply.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Well, if there is a motion to go into Supply I shall discuss the question fully, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member for Labelle made a statement to this House the other day. He was secretary of a commission appointed by the Imperial authorities for the purpose of considering one of the most important subjects that could have been referred to it, the settlement of disputes between us and the United States, and for the purpose of arranging, if possible, trade relations between these two countries. He was cognisant of the proceedings of that commis-

sion. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Bourassa) shakes his head, but I will quote the words he uttered in this House. He said :

But what happened after that ? One of the Canadian ministers, who was on that occasion one of the British plenipotentiaries, the late Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Sir Louis Davies, went to London and passed three months there. For what purpose ? He was candid enough to tell us when he came back from England that after the Anglo-American Commission had sat for six months, after they were supposed to have had at their back the influence of the British government, he. Sir Louis Davies, was obliged to pass three months in London to convince Mr. Chamberlain's oflicials that they should not side with the American government, but with us. Sir, I think that was a most unfortunate statement, but I think it was just as well that it should have been made. It is true that it made known to the public of the United States that in dealing with the government of Canada they were not dealing with the British authorities. But it is just as well tlffit the public of the United States and the public of Canada should know that while profuse compliments were being paid to us in the newspapers of Great Britain and by the speeches of public men in the British parliament, still, when it came to the point of helping the Canadian cause, the British officials sided with a foreign government.

Now, the right hon. Prime Minister was present when the hon. member for La-belle (Mr. Bourassa) made that statement-

Topic:   SUPPLY-PERSONAL EXPLANATION.
Subtopic:   L. H. DAVIES.
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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

It is true that we are ou a motion to go into Committee of Supply, but the rule applies on that motion as well as on others, that a past debate must not be referred to. I must admit that so far this debate has been conducted somewhat irregularly, and consequently I do not like to interfere with the discussion on which the hon. member (Hon. Mr. Haggart) has entered. I trust, however, that this will not be considered as a precedent.

Topic:   SUPPLY-PERSONAL EXPLANATION.
Subtopic:   L. H. DAVIES.
Permalink

March 7, 1902