That is different.
Sir, the condition of things to-day is exactly the same as it would be under such circumstances. While we have not a law which compels us to contribute a certain sum of money for imperial defence, yet we have done so voluntarily. Our soldiers have gone to South Africa ; our money has been expended ; we, as an integral portion of this great empire, hat e surely an interest in this question. I maintain that we in this parliament as the representatives of six millions of British subjects have a right to express humbly and respectfully an opinion, and that is all that the resolution asks shall be done.
Now, Sir, the motion may be useless, but the spirit manifested in offering it cannot 'be questioned and cannot be condemned. The motion may have no weight, but on the other hand it may perhaps be extremely useful. It may aid the imperial government in the settlement of this question by showing that in one of the great colonies of the empire the same spirit of bitterness does not exist that probably does exist in Cape Colony and Natal. This motion may have a counteracting influence possibly. to the pressure from the British colonists in these colonies asking for the exacting of vengeance upon the Cape rebels. If the motion does' produce that effect, it will have a beneficient Influence ; it may counteract that influence upon the British gov-
eminent which would be a most prejudicial and harmful one. In any event, while the motion is meant to do good ; while the motion is respectfully expressed ; while it is -merely an expression of opinion ; in any event if it does do no good, in mv opinion, it can do no harm. I shall no doubt be subjected to criticism for offering this motion, but that is a matter of utter indifference to me, provided I can feel that I have done right.
What troubles me is whether it is a judicious act, whether it is a proper act, whether it is something I ought to have done or ought not to have done. As to how it will be received by my fellow citizens is a matter of minor importance. It is my firm conviction that in the course I have taken I have been actuated by a sincere desire to benelit my country, to offer an influence that will aid in the settlement of a melancholy struggle. The motive, at all events, in offering this resolution is a good one. My own record with regard to this matter would render it absurd to say that I am actuated by pro-Boer . sentiments. The House will remember the position I took on this question, the defence I made of the action of the authorities here and of the policy of the imperial government in this war. The House remembers that I would never for one moment have entertained the idea of parting with one foot of South African territory, or of lowering the British standard in the slightest degree. I have always maintained that British supremacy must be maintained in South Africa. I take that position to-day, and the question with me now is, what is the best course to pursue in seeking such a settlement as will place matters in South Africa on a just, humane and enduring basis.
Now, Sir, nobody would venture to make the assertion that Canada is not loyal to the empire. The expression of this humble opinion, if the House chooses to sanction that expression, will not be accepted in England as an evidence of disloyalty. It will, on the contrary, be accepted in* England as an evidence of the sincere desire of Canada to aid, if it possibly may aid, in securing a settlement of a question which it is desirable to have settled. Canada is loyal to the empire, and its loyalty has been proved. Nobody in this country or in the world at large doubts that Canadian loyalty is something that will bear the strain, something that can be relied on, something that is thoroughly imbedded in the hearts of the people of this country.
Now, what were Canada's interests in this struggle ? Here we are on a continent, pos- I sessing more than two-fifths of it. with vast resources, with our own destiny to work out, with our own nationality to erect, with our interests requiring our utmost efforts for their advancement, with enough to command our utmost labours and resources. What had we to do as a matter of selfinterest with the struggle in South Africa ?
Witli 3,000 miles between us and the motherland, with 7,000 miles of ocean between us and the scene of conflict, with our commerce with South Africa of the most insignificant character, if we had been governed by merely material or selfish considerations, we never would have put a dollar into that struggle or have sent one man to the scene of conflict. But we sent the men and voted the money because we wished to maintain and uphold the integrity of the British em-' pire; because we wished to maintain the prestige of England; because we wished to have that country which afforded us a market, that country with which we were allied by the bonds of race affinity and by political institutions, furnished with aid, not from any selfish consideration, but purely as an offering to the welfare of the empire, given freely and fully by one of her great colonies without hope of securing reward for the sacrifices made. Canada stands in the position to-day where, having made these sacrifices, having put forth these efforts, having proved by its conduct that it is thoroughly loyal, it naturally desires to see an end put to this struggle that lias been in progress for three years, and an honourable peace obtained; and Canada actuated by that desire may venture to express to the imperial authorities a humble and respectful opinion as to what course, in the estimation of the people of this country, might be pursued.
It is preposterous, Mr. Speaker, to assert that that expression of opinion can be or will be considered in England or anywhere else an impertinence. Of course, British authority must prevail; that is an absolute condition. No proposition of peace will admit of consideration involving Boer independence or anything but the absolute sovereignity of Great Britain over all South Africa-the Orange Free State, the Transvaal, Cape Colony, Natal, Rhodesia, and the whole of that magnificent country. British authority and sovereignty must prevail. This House perhaps lias not been fully aware of tiie importance of that country, that great region of 1,500.000 square miles now in the possession of Great Britain, with vast possibilities for the increase of territory, with resources almost beyond the dream of the enthusiast, awaiting to be developed. A few days ago Cecil Rhodes was buried on the Matoppa Hills with imposing ceremonies, and his grave overlooks that vast region which liis genius and his. energy secured for his native land-a region which embraces the ancient Ophir, a region of untold possibilities, a region which England never could have afforded to have lost and must have put forth great efforts to retain. Happy perhaps it would have been if the genius and the experience of Cecil Rhodes had exercised more influence upon the counsels of British commanders and British authorities in South Africa. But this conflict has nearly run its course. It has been a great struggle, a greater struggle than was
anticipated at the outset, a struggle which will form one of the epochs of history, a struggle which has demonstrated the resources, the credit, the perseverance, the indomitable grit of the British citizens. We perhaps fail to understand the obstacles which they have overcome. With a single line of communication from Cape Colony penetrating into the far north, 1,500 miles in length, liable to be cut at almost any point : with the transport over that overloaded line of the supplies for a large army; with an aggressive and acute foe, familiar with the country; the subjection of the Boer has been a great achievement. It has been, I repeat, a great struggle ; and Great Britain has learned in this war lessons with regard to the conditions of modern warfare that will be worth to her all the money she has expended.
And now we come to the point when this war is practically ended, when the opposition! that remains is merely guerilla warfare. We come to the point of considering what were the causes of this war, and what distinction shall we draw between the belligerents in one section of South Africa and those in another ? Shall we make a different rule of settlement for the Orange Free Stater, the Transvaal man and the Africander of Cape Colony ? Is the one a rebel whom we shall put into chains and hang, and the other an honourable belligerent whom we shall treat with and pardon, and deal with on the terms of civilized warfare.
Sir, the deep-seated case of the hostilities in South Africa was the determination on the part of the Dutch element in that entire country from Cape Town to the Transvaal, to make South Africa a! Dutch country. The Afrikander Bund, for years before the hostilities began, was laying its plans, accumulating its resources, buying arms and munitions of war, erecting fortifications and preparing for this struggle, which it entered upon deliberately. It had one clear purpose in view and that was to expel the British from South Africa, and when it found that Great Britain was transporting troops to that country, and threatening the success of that policy, it precipitated hostilities by invading British territory. I hold that every belligerent in South Africa should be dealt with on the same principle, that we should draw no distinction between the Dutehmeu of Cape Colony and the Boers of the Transvaal or the Dutchmen of the Orange Free State. They all belong to the one nationality. They were all actuated by the one purpose and fought in the one [DOT] common cause. We were contending, not with the Transvaal Dutch or the Free State Dutch alone, but with the Afrikander element in South Africa from Cape Town to the Zambesi.
The Free Staters had no cause of complaint ?
No, tout they joined in the general purpose of the Dutch in South
Africa to erect a Dutch empire in that country. The Boer was a brave foe. He fought for his race, for his ideals. He staked his life upon the issue, and he has lost. It was known toy close observers from the outset that there could be but one of two results. Either the Afrikander must prevail or the British; either South Africa would be Dutch or British. One thing or the other had to come to pass. And the thing that has come to pass is that the Afrikander has been driven to the wall, that the British forces are supreme and the contest practically ended. The question now confronts the imperial authorities : How shall this
war, which has degenerated into murder, rapine and foray, how shall these useless hostilities be terminated ? It is a question of delay in putting an end to useless suffering. It is a question of delay in the advent of prosperity' and peace in South Africa. How is peace to be secured ? How is this delay in securing peace to be obviated ? How are these useless struggles in South Africa to be terminated ? They can be terminated toy protracting this struggle until the Boer cause is ground into fine dust. But it will take long to do it, many lives will be lost, and when that result is reached there will be left the seeds of bitterness and hatred in every Boer heart south of the; Zambesi. It can be done in another way. It can be done by the exercise of mercy and magnanimity'. The exercise of these two qualities will hasten peace, and not only hasten peace, but place that peace, when it comes, upon a sure and certain foundation, and leave these people satisfied that the struggle is indeed ended, and that it is useless to perpetuate it longer. On the other hand, severity will retard peace and leave endless hate to fester in the heart of every Boer in that country.
The imperial authorities are facing today the question of African reconstruction. The conditions of things that existed before cannot be continued. There can toe no Transvaal with its dim shadow of suzerainty to the British Crown. There can be no independent Free Orange State. There can be no divided authority in South Africa. The whole country must be under one flag and one king. It must be a part of the one great empire. That is a foregone conclusion. How is this South African reconstruction to be accomplished ? Not by the exercise of vengeance, not by the exacting of the pound of flesh, not by pursuing a fallen and noble foe to the utmost extremity of vengeance. But African reconstruction will toe accomplished, if it is ever accomplished on an enduring basis, by Afrikander assimilation. Afrikander assimilation will be the hope of South Africa, and without "it peace upon any enduring basis and success in the formation of a South African confederation cannot be secured. We have the exercise of a great principle now in operation which is peculiar to the Anglo-Saxon-the principle of federal
union, first adopted by tbe American states after the revolution, in 17S7, next adopted by Canada in 1807, since then adopted by Australia, and waiting now to be adopted by South Africa. In that country there will be the colony of Natal, the colony of Cape Colony, the colony of the Orange Free State, the colony of the Transvaal, the colony of Rhodesia and other colonies to the north in that magnificent valley of the Zambesi, beyond which British possessions reach to the great inland sea of Tanganyika. This African reconstruction will be accomplished. It will build up in South Africa an empire under British influence and British laws. It will be another of the great commonwealths formed under British influence, and in accord with the genius of British laws and institutions. Does any man doubt that magnanimity will promote this result, that the exercise of mercy and generosity will have a favourable influence on the population of these colonies and tend to cement in ties of common interest their institutions and their laws ? I think it cannot be doubted, and one reason why I introduce this resolution is the belief I entertain that the imperial government is probably embarrassed at this moment by the demands of the English colonists of Cape Colony and Natal, who refuse to consider the Dutch in arms against British authority in Cape Colony in any other light than rebels, and who demand the condign punishment of these men after the war is through. I do not believe that it would be good policy to adopt such a course. I do not believe that we should make any distinction between the Cape Town rebels and the Orange State belligerents and the Transvaal soldier. I believe, if any distinction is to be made, that it will simply retard the settlement and make it less satisfactory and less likely to be enduring after it is accomplished. This feeling, no doubt, impedes reconstruction. In my humble judgment, this feeling is an embarrassment to the imperial authorities, and for that reason I believe that the expression of a respectful and humble opinion on the part of the representatives of this great colony of the Dominion would have great weight with the British authorities and be most welcome. In this view I have ventured to offer this motion, and in so doing I believe that I am acting in the interest of my country and of humanity and on lines which would promote settlement in South Africa and hasten the realization of that condition of things for which we all hope. A great many thousand Boers are in captivity. Some are in Bermuda, some in St. Helena, some in Ceylon-thousands and thousands of these men who must be restored to their country some day-and it is a matter of the utmost consequence whether these men come back with sore hearts and cherishing vengeful feelings because of undue severity which they believe their conquerors have practiced, or whether they come back with gladness of heart, with
thankfulness for mercies granted to them, for magnanimity, for generosity, for the restoration of privileges, for the expression of a desire that they should go back to their native land and become good citizens and obedient to the country that had treated them with magnanimity which I believe it would be wise to display.
The Boer, Mr. Speaker, will make a magnificent component ethnic quantity in South Africa. His is a noble race, the race that held at bay Alva in the Netherlands, the race that furnished to England the Prince of Orange, the race that has the lofty faith of the puritan and the endurance of the puritan-that is a constituent portion of the population of South Africa that it is worth the while of the British authorities to cultivate. It is worth their while to make this Boer element a loyal element, to make of this Boer element an element attached to the English institutions, an element that realizes that it has been treated with generosity, with magnanimity, and that it can put its faith in the power with Which it is dealing. Now Britain wants in this matter, I apprehend, not revenge, that is not a British characteristic. Britain faces its foe, conquers its enemies and then deals with them generously. Britain wants no revenge ; but she wants a united people in South Africa, the restoration of prosperity to that country and the creation of a commonwealth there that, in its history and progress will redound to the glory of English institutions and of English government. England wants no revenge, no devastated farms, no ravaged lands, reduced to the condition of a desert; no hords of beggars and fugitives harrying the country ; she wants a prosperous land, a return to fixed conditions, and the gathering together of these people in their homes, and the use by them of their energies and industry to the advancement of the state. And, Sir, in gaining this aspiration, the three angels, mercy, amnesty and peace stand ready to give their services to securing the consummation of that which every true citizen of Canada must desire.
Now, it may be asked, Mr. Speaker, when the exercise of the qualities of mercy and magnanimity is urged, when the granting of amnesty is proposed, have we any parallel for this policy ? I answer : Yes. And
every parallel we have is a shining, a glorious example of the success of this line of policy. In 1759, Canada passed from one authority to another. Prior to that, the scapling knife, the tomahawk and the torch worked their savage will along the frontier [DOT] from Penobscot to Fort Du Quesne. For generations the English colonists and the French colonists were engaged in bitter war, and the hatred of each side for the other was intense and consuming. We had the slaughter of Braddock's army at Monogahela : we had the battle of Ticonderoga and the British reverse there ; we had the war-whoop and the Indian foray ; we had bitter
and deadly hostilities along this whole border year after year. And when, at last, Wolfe took Quebec, and under the treaty of Paris, Canada was ceded to Great Britain. the policy that was pursued toward the' French people of this country was to allow them to retain their laws, their religion, their language, their social and ecclesiastical institutions. And this broad, comprehensive, liberal policy adopted with these sixty thousand Canadians in British North America has had results for which we cannot feel too thankful.
Is not England's action in that case the best guarantee in the world that she will deal generously with a conquered foe, even without any resolution from any outside country !
Possibly that is so. But does it follow that it is wrong to counsel that policy which the hon. gentleman assumes that England will pursue ? Is it wrong to express the humble opinion here that the policy he says England is likely to follow will receive our approbation ? I think not. As I said at the outset, the expression of this wish can do no harm if it is unnecessary, and it may do good. This historical example -to which I have referred resulted in firmly attaching all this race to British institutions. Thirteen years after the treaty of Paris the American revolution broke out, and an attempt was made by American agitators to carry the French colonists with them. But they failed. Those French colonists were faithful to British institutions then, they have been faithful to British institutions since, and they are faithful to British institutions now-and their history affords a shining and crowning example of the results following the policy of mercy and magnanimity in ' treating with a conquered foe. We had another case in the thirteen colonies. There was a Dutch colony there, which was called the New Netherlands. That colony was conquered and re-cliristen-ed New York, and the Dutch colonists were incorporated with the Anglo-Saxon population. They were treated with generosity ; their rights and privileges were assured to them, including their language if they chose to use it. To-day it is one of the most loyal elements in the country. It lias given one president .to the union-Van Buren-it has its representative in the United States Senate Depew-and it has given rise io a great family of railway kings, the, ^ anderbilts. Its history affords an illustration of the desirability and propriety of treating nations thus incorporated into another with genei-osity. And we have a still more striking example in the United States itself, in, the great struggle of the civil war. That war. was carried through with relentless and remorseless energy. It was a titanic struggle. The north and the south were arrayed against each other on a question of principle, and the hostilities between the sections was of the bitterest kind. The battles fought in that war were remarkable for their sanguinary character. In all the great battles of Europe, the number of men killed was smaller in proportion to the number engaged than in the great battles of this terrible war. There was Chancellorsville with its seventeen thousand dead ; there was Vicksburgh; there was Chieamauga ; there was Missionary Ridge. They fought the fierce seven-days' battle in the wilderness. Great struggles. Great loss of life. The south planted thick with graves. The soil soaked with blood. The war was fought out to the bitter end with relentless hate and, animosity. And at last, at Appomatox, Lee surrendered to Grant. The southerners were' exhausted. They were treated with the greatest generosity. A union soldier would deprive himself of his breakfast to give food to the starving confederate. And when the southern army was disbanded, Grant said : ' Take the horses,
you will need them to put in your spring crops ; take anything that you can make use of-anything that will be of service to you as private property-I will take as public property only what you cannot use.' And these men disbanded with the kindest feelings toward their conquerors. And but for the unfortunate death of Lincoln, the reconstruction of the south would have been speedy and complete. There was a great cry for vengeance on the leader of the southerners, Jeff. Davis, but he was -never punished except by temporary imprisonment. There was no confiscation of the property of a rebel, there was no disfranchisement of a rebel, there was no vengeance inflicted upon the heads of rebels; but there was magnanimity, there was generosity exercised by the conquerors to the conquered ; and the result has been a reconstructed nation, and those two belligerent sections fighting under the same flag in the wars that have since occurred where their country has been engaged. So, Sir, this struggle in the United States, which passed beyond the limits of a rebellion and became one of the great wars of history, is but a type of the struggle that has occurred in South Africa. In South Africa where the principle at issue has been whether one race or another should possess the country, where the prize has been the possession of South Africa either for Boer or for Briton, as in the case of the United States, so in the case of South Africa, let the same generosity and magnanimity be exercised towards the foe now as was exercised towards the foe then.
Heretofore, Sir, the Dutch in South Africa have fgught against our progress. We have had no sympathy with the Burghers. If we can possibly attach to our interest that element of the African population : if we can make them loyal to British institutions ; if we can make use of their energy, and their courage, and their powers of endurance to forward the British cause in South Africa, why, the whole southern half of the conti-
neut lies at our feet It Is a question of great importance what our possessions in South Africa shall be. We have in the north, from Alexandria and Khartoum to Uganda and Victoria Nyanza, possessions reaching across 36 degrees of latitude and to the very heart of the continent. We have in South Africa possessions reaching from Cape Town away north to the Zambesi, and beyond the valley of that great river and the great inland sea of Tanganyika ; and we can make great additions to that empire-it is not necessary to state in what direction. It is of enormous importance to British institutions and British interests that the Boer element, the Dutch element in South Africa, should be consolidated and made a loyal element of the population of that country. And, Sir, we can afford to dispense with all desire to gratify feelings of revenge, we can afford to be generous and magnanimous, we can afford to say to these men : Lay down your arms, resume your allegiance, and you shall have, as fast as you can be safely entrusted with it, the franchise and every right of a British subject, and representation in the colonial bodies that will be erected here ; and we will establish a confederation in South Africa with provincial autonomy and a great central government as in Canada, attached to the government of Great Britain.
Now, Sir, the measure of blood is full, the measure of misery is full ; and I imagine that no man in Canada wants any more. We are warranted in looking for a day when South Africa, like Canada will be a great commonwealth with two races moving together hand in hand, as is the case here, in promoting the interests and extending the boundaries and increasing the power of that South African commonwealth. Sir, mercy, and magnanimity, and amnesty are the powers that need to be exercised to secure this result. In moving this motion, Hr. Speaker, I have been governed by a sincere desire to place a statement before the House, to urge reasons to this House, that would warrant us, as I believe, in expressing an humble opinion as to the propriety of inaugurating that policy which I have set forth, which I believe to be the touchstone for the settlement of our difficulties in South Africa upon a permanent, a desirable and an enduring basis.
Mr. HENRI BOURASSA (Labelle).
I desire to add a few Words to what the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) has said in support of this motion. I need not say that with all the views expressed by that hon. gentleman, as well as with some parts of the motion itself that he has placed in your hands, I do not fully agree. Professors of logic in this House will probably find a great deal of comfort and pleasure in such a declaration as this. But, Mr. Speaker. having no other aim in this matter but Mr. CHARLTON.
to fulfil what I believe to be my duty as a representative of the Canadian people, and my duty as a British citizen, whenever I find an opponent of mine coming towards my position I am willing to meet him half way. So far as British supremacy in South Africa is concerned, from the very beginning of this unfortunate war I stated clearly that I thought British supremacy was a necessity in South Africa. I admit that the warlike spirit which reigned in this House as well as in this country has perhaps made some hon gentlemen forget the position I took at that time. But the position I took then, the position I have taken all along, and the position I take now, is that the only way by which British supremacy can be established in South Africa is by adhering to the best British traditions of respect for minorities and of generosity to foes in war.
. to the right of this parliament to offer its opinion to the British government. I think there can be no doubt. I was astonished to hear hon. gentlemen opposite interrupt, with what I might call sneers, the assertion made by the hon. member for North Norfolk, that we have a right to express our opinion on this matter. It is strange that, along with the development of what is called the new imperialism, and along with so much profession of fraternity on the part of the upholders of the new policy, they are always ready to take the subservient position that they are willing to be taxed, they are willing to give the blood and the money of this country, but they dare not express a single opinion on the issue of a war towards the prolongation of which they have contributed.
From the start of this question, I held, of course, that it was not our business to interfere at all in Africa. But from the moment we did interfere, either wilfully or not-from the moment this parliament called upon the Canadian people to vote a cent towards the carrying on of this war- we acquired the right of saying what should be its result. Now, if the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) would come in with a motion interfering with the position taken by the British government-that, of course would not hurt my feelings very much-but it might lead a majority of the members of this House to say that it would be a mistake for this parliament, at this moment, to propose anything that might embarrass the British government. But, Sir, we should not be more loyalist than the King of England, we should not be more attached to British institutions than the parliament and government of Great Britain. It is now a well known fact to the entire world that the British government and the British people are endeavouring to secure peace in South Africa and are just as anxious for it as are their opponents. We have not yet the text of the speech that was delivered a week ago last Monday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer ; but what
do we see in the reports sent through by the associated press ?
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach is seldom dramatic; but when he referred to-day to the government's intention to restock the Boer as well as the colonial farms, his voice rose to an eloquent pitch. His gesture, as he spoke in praise of the valor of the Boers and expressed his hopes for subsequent friendship between Britons and Boer, took the House with him, and the cheers, especially from the opposition, prevented the speaker from continuing his speech for several moments.
When the hon. member for North Norfolk, a moment ago, gave expression to almost similar feelings, there were also some interruptions, but interruptions indicating that the broad feeling of generosity which is passing now through the British parliament, which is animating the mass of the British people, has not yet, unfortunately, penetrated this House. Whatever may be our differences upon this question, whatever may still be our private opinions as to the merits of this war, as to the causes which have led to this war and to the way in which this question should have been treated in years past, I think we can afford to bury these differences. We should be ready to help the British government and the British people in putting an end to this cruel and unfortunate war.
It has been stated in the press, and may be it will be stated in this House, that by adopting this motion we are embarrassing the British government and helping the enemies of Great Britain, and thereby preventing the war to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. But, Sir, what did Sir Michael Hicks-Beach say in the British parliament, in the name of the British government ?
After the war was over there would be (he great expenses of the relief and settlement of the two colonies and the re-stocking of the. farms. He hoped that when durable peace was' made, parliament would be generous and loan money for restocking the farms, not only of those who fought on the British side, but of those who had been honest enemies and whom they now hoped to make friends, and for railroad and other enterprises to serve to develop the two states.
So it is proper for the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Great Britain to say that the British people are ready to tax themselves and to borrow money in order to give the Boers back the farms, and restock them, after the British government had declared two months ago that they would seize these farms and sell them to pay for the support of the concentration camps. If the British government have come to the conclusion that they must change so radically their policy, is it not proper for the parliament of Canada to say simply and solely that a policy of mercy and generosity should be the basis upon which this war should be settled ? Not only are we not embarrassing 105
the government of Great Britain, but by passing this resolution we are helping the British government.
The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) interrupted the hon. member for North Norfolk and asked : ' Is not the example given by Great Britain in 1763 a guarantee that the same policy of generosity will be adopted in this case ? ' Circumstances alter cases. In 1763 there were two great powers fighting upon this continent, turies, and hon. gentlemen in this House They had been fighting in Europe for cen-seem sometimes to forget that if England had conquered on the soil of America she had been conquered on the soil of Europe during the Seven Years' War; that the treaty of 1763 was a treaty of give and take between England and France ; and that some advantages which France secured on the continent of Europe were compensated for to England by the cession of Canada, securities being given that the rights of the French settlers should be respected. The hon. gentleman seemed to assume a condition which does not exist in this case ; but I put that altogether aside. Contrasting the tone of the present English with the tone of the Canadian press, I am quite ready to say that, if I were a Boer myself, I would rather submit my whole case to British public men than to some colonial public men. But, Sir, this fight is not merely a fight between Great Britain and the Boers. This fight is a fight between the Boers, the Cape Colonists, or rather those who are called Cape Loyalists, and the paramount power of Great Britain. That the British government and the British parliament are disposed to show generosity in their treatment of a conquered foe, I have not the slightest doubt; but, at the same time, that there are in Natal and Cape Colony a certain number of people who are ready to exact the pound of flesh, who are only looking to their own personal interests, and who would be ready to see the peace of the empire sacrificed if their personal interests were thereby secured and their personal feeling of revenge were assuaged, there is not the slightest doubt. You have only to read the statements which have been published in the British press to get evidence of this fact ; and the purpose of this resolution is neither to embarrass the British government nor to dictate terms to the British government, but it is to give strength to the British authorities in order that the very proposition that they are ready to uphold shall be upheld, and that they will be strengthened against the exactions of the very narrow loyalist element of Cape Colony. When I speak of the loyalist element of Cape Colony, I am not referring to the whole English speaking population of Cape Colony. There are, in South Africa, thousands of English-speaking people who have looked upon this war as a most unfortunate
period of British history, and of African history, and who would like to be helped so that this policy of generosity and mercy might be granted to the enemy.
It is true that the example of 1763 is to a certain extent a guarantee to us that the policy of generosity will be adopted. But there were other rebellions in other periods of the history of England which showed that some of the officials of Great Britain are not always animated by this sentiment of generosity. We have the history of the Jamaica rebellion where the British governor-after having notified the home authorities that the rebellion was over and that there was no more danger of uprising-caused hundreds of people to be hanged and flogged. I know that such is not the policy of the British government to-day; but we have unfortunate instances which show us that among the loyalist population of South Africa there is an element that would be glad to carry out, not the policy of the British government, not the policy of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, not the policy of Mr. John Morley, not the policy of the leading spirits of British opinion to-day; but the policy of Governor Eyre of Jamaica. X am sure that the British government will not give away to such pressure, but at the same time I believe that should their hands be fortified by expressions of 'opinion from the colonies generally, and especially from the Canadian parliament, it would be all the better to confirm them against temptation.
X agreed to second this motion in a spirit of conciliation. My opinions upon the merits of the war have not changed. My opinions as to the conduct of the British government previous to the war and during the war have not changed. These opinions were held by me sincerely and honestly, and I still hold them. But when I saw that a representative of the Englishspeaking majority in this House was ready to join hands with me in a motion like this, I was willing to put aside for the moment many of my opinions upon this question, and I did so in the hope that this House would receive the motion in the same spirit of conciliation, of peace, and of harmony.
One more word. I have my opinion and my strong opinion as to the policy of the British government upon this whole question-as to the policy especially of Mr. Chamberlain. But, I suppose lion, gentlemen opposite have a great deal of admiration and consideration for Mr. Chamberlain and his policy. For the past two years, previous to, during and after the last general election, what was the position taken by Mr. Chamberlain ? It was : That the policy of the British government was framed not only in accordance with the wishes of the British people, but it was framed in accordance with the wishes of the people of the whole empire. His strongest argument against his Liberal opponents was : That the entire opinion of the colon-
ies being in favour of his policy, he would not accept the views of a small handful of Englishmen and Scotchmen as against the views of the whole empire. That was repeated a hundred times by Mr. Chamberlain in parliament and out of parliament. We have therefore the very words of the Colonial Secretary, that he considers the opinion of the colonies as a great weight.
What is the opinion of the British government at the present time with reference to this matter ? XJp to within the past few weeks it was announced time and again by nearly every member of the government that unconditional surrender was the only basis upon which the war could be settled. But now we have the straight declaration of the government organs and supporters, and of members of the government themselves, that a policy of generosity and mercy is going to be the basis of the settlement. It may be said that when the Boers lay down their arms, then would be the time for this parliament to say that they should be treated leniently. But, if the British government, who know their position in Cape Colony-if the British authorities, both civil and military, who know exactly where they stand and where the enemy stands-if they should still persist in saying that unconditional surrender is the only basis upon which the war can be settled-I then would agree with the argument that this parliament should offer no suggestion until surrender is made by the enemy. But although hostilities are yet going on, we have the announcement that the British government will probably agree upon a policy of mercy and generosity; and that being the case, the passage of this resolution by the Canadian parliament would be a great help to the British government. It would not mean that we came between the British government and their enemy; it would not mean that we came between the British government and British public opinion; it would mean that having heard that the British government were ready to settle this question upon the basis of mercy and generosity, we, the representatives of a people who have given their money and their men to uphold British power, are now ready to help the British government in according mercy and generosity to the enemy. Let me say here-and I believe the Prime Minister will not contradict me upon this point-let me say that the French Canadians as a whole are' opposed to this war. They detested, and they still do detest this war; but at the same time they are ready to join with their English-speaking countrymen in saying that the policy which has secured amity and friendship in Canada is the only policy that can secure amity and friendship and peace and harmony in South Africa.
I claim that the French Canadians have a special right to have their voice heard upon this question. We stand here as living testimony that this policy of conciliation is
the only one which can secure the acceptation of British institutions by a foreign element. Sir, that acceptation by us was not made in one year; it was not made in fifty years. We had to fight against British governments and against British governors, and against British civil and military authorities to get the rights that we now enjoy. It was not always peace in our history. Our freedom was not always a free and generous gift from the British authorities. It was very often a matter of fight, and had it not been for several outside circumstances, at times perhaps we would have lost what we had gained. But on the whole, why are we satisfied with the conditions under which we live ? Why have we become year after year more loyal and devoted supporters of British institutions ? It is because we have found that British rule, in its general and higher spirit and manifestation, is a good rule ; British rule is a rule of peace; British rule is a rule of conciliation, of progress and of prosperity. I therefore say that this parliament, more than any other representative body in the British world, is specially entitled to express an opinion at this period of the war. I insist on the point that this will not be an interference with the policy of the British government, but that on the contrary it will strengthen their hands in showing mercy to their foe; it will strengthen them in carrying out that policy of generosity which all well-thinking British people wish them to carry out.
For my part, I have no doubt whatever that both the mover and the seconder of this resolution are animated by the very best of motives. I have no doubt that both hon. gentlemen are thoroughly sincere in their hope that peace should be restored speedily in South Africa, upon the broadest possible basis of generosity to the Boers. On the whole, I do not regret this debate. At the same time, I must express the fervent wish that my hon. friend (Mr. Charlton) will not press his motion further, and that the debate shall stop here and now. My hon. friend from La-belle (Mr. Bourassa), who seconded the motion, told us that he took some exception to the speech of the hon. member (Mr. Charlton) who proposed the motion. We who know the views long entertained by my hon. friend (Mr. Bourassa) are not at all surprised at that.
He has stated at the same time that he takes exception to the motion which he has seconded. For this, I may say, I was not so easily prepared. But I will not quarrel with my hon. friend on this score. My hon. friend -has thought it advisable, and for this I do not blame him, to make a compromise with himself, to not carry out to the fullest extent the views he entertains on this matter. My hon. friend realizes that conciliation and compromise is an instrument 1051
of government, and that while it is quite proper and right for any one to hold his own convictions, it is also proper to remember that other people have convictions which they also hold dear. My hon. friend will realize that in a country like this, inhabited as it is by two different races, a policy of compromise and conciliation is indispensable if we want to make Canada a nation. This is the principle he wants to apply from Canada to South Africa, and in this I abundantly agree with him.
With the terms of the resolution, I may say without any hesitation whatever, I al-. together agree. The resolution advises that the war in South Africa should be settled on two principles. The first is the principle of British supremacy. I am glad to hear from my hon. friend from Labelle that he also agrees that the interests of South Africa and the interests of civilization at large require that South Africa should be under British supremacy. There are two races in South Africa, the British race and the Dutch race, equally proud, in many respects equally strong, so intermixed that it is impossible for either to have an absolutely homogeneous government. The Dutch and the British are there together-in the Cape, in Natal, in the Orange Free State, in the Transvaal, in Rhodesia. They are neighbours who meet together every day in the ordinary avocations of life. It is impossible to separate them. They must be governed by the same authority-which shall it be, Dutch or British ? This resolution affirms that this authority shall be British. With this we are all agreed. British civilization is the very civilization which will give what the Transvaal hitherto has not had-equality of rights for all, whether they be Dutch or British. That was the cause of the war-to secure this equality, which did not exist in the Transvaal. The Outlanders had long sought to obtain it, but failed to do so. The resolution affirms that the authority in South Africa shall be British ; and we know from past experience of British civilization everywhere, that if British supremacy reigns over South Africa, there shall be freedom, not only for the British, but for the Dutch as well.
The second principle affirmed in the resolution is, that there should be most generous treatment accorded by the victors to the vanquished, by the British to the Dutch. Sir, for my part I do not think any resolution is necessary to obtain this generous treatment for the Boers in South Africa. A brave foe always commands the respect of a brave opponent, and that is enough to show that the Dutch shall receive generous treatment at the hands of the British. Why, it was only a few days ago that on the banks of the Hart's river a position had been entrusted to a few men, most of them I am proud to say, Canadians. They were assaulted for the best part of a day by an enemy at
least eight times their superior in numbers. Each assault was repulsed, but after each assault the thin band of defenders were reduced in numbers. So reduced were they at last that there was not one man in that small force who had not been either killed or wounded. At last, when the position was carried, there was still a man defiant and proud-Bruce Carruthers was his name, a Canadian officer, I am proud to say- a name that is honoured in the heart of every one of his countrymen. By all the rules of war he might have been killed ; but *from the ranks of the enemy, in their sympathy, came the cry : ' Do not kill him ; in; is too brave a man ; he must live.' This, Sir, is the lesson of the war, and I have no doubt the victorious British now in South Africa will display the same spirit. I have no doubt they will say : ' The Dutch must live ; they have earned it by their gallantry in the field.' Sir, this is the position left to the men who are now engaged in South Africa, not only with war, but also with the negotiations for peace.
As to the right of this parliament to interfere in this question, to affirm this resolution, I, for my part, unhesitatingly say there can be no discussion whatever. The parliament of Canada to-day is a sovereign parliament. It is a sovereign parliament within the British empire. Many years ago the parliament of Canada asserted this authority, and claimed not only the privilege but the right to interfere in any question which might affect any part of the British empire of which we form a portion. It is now almost twenty years since the parliament of Canada passed a resolution in favour of granting home rule to Ireland. We were not directly concerned with the question ; but why did parliament twice in succession affirm the position that home rule should be granted to Ireland ? Because we felt that it was in the interest of Canada as well as of the empire that the wrongs of Ireland should be righted. It was only two years ago that parliament passed a resolution in favour of praying the British parliament to amend the Coronation oath. Why did we do so ? Because we considered that it was a question which affected the rights and priviledges and consciences of a large section of His Majesty's subjects. It was only three years ago that this parliament passed a resolution expressing its sympathy with the Outlanders in the Transvaal. We then affirmed that we sympathized with the efforts of the British government to right the wrongs which the Outlanders were suffering. Surely to-day we have the right to pass such a resolution as the one presented by my hon. friend from Norfolk and seconded by my hon. friend from Labelle, to ask that the rights of the Dutch population be generously considered.
But while I do not hesitate to say that we have the inherent right to pass such a reSir WILFRID LAURIER.
solution and to present our views as to the conditions of peace, I ask myself, and I ask my hon. friend from Norfolk and my hon. friend from Labelle, is it opportune, is it judicious, is it advisable to present such a motion to-day ? That is the question and I do not hesitate to say that in my opinion at this moment such a motion is very injudicious. I will go further, and I will say to my hon. friend from Labelle that if I felt as he does, that the passing of this resolution to-day would strengthen the hands of the British government to be merciful and to grant an amnesty, I would not hesitate to agree to it. But the question to-day is not in this position. On the contrary, in my humble judgment-and I think I can make it clear to any man in this House- if we were to interfere at this moment, we might hinder that peace which we all desire to see established. Sir, my hon. friend from Norfolk knows, and my hon. friend from Labelle, who has been a close student of all these events, knows that at this very moment negotiations are going on for a settlement of the terms of peace. My hon. friends know that only" a few days ago Lord Kite he* ner and Lord Milner met the heroes of the war on the Boer side-General De Wet, a brave soldier, General Delarey, another brave soldier, General Botha, another brave soldier. They have been in close conference, and we have every reason to believe, though we are not yet informed officially, that terms of peace have been agreed upon.
We know that the Boer delegates have gone back to the commandos in the field to submit to them the terms upon which peace may toe secured. What these terms are we yet do not know, but is it advisable at this moment, when the conditions are submitted to the Boer commandos, that we should interfere and excite perhaps in them hopes which might clash with what has been done, and prevent the negotiations being brought to a peaceful and satisfactory conclusion ? My hon. friend from Norfolk may say perhaps that this is a remote contingency. My hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) may say that what we want is not to reach South Africa but England, but in these days of rapid communication, when news travels on wings, we were to pass such a resolution, its very terms would be wired at once to South Africa and possibly induce the Boers to break off the negotiations in order, if possible, to gain better terms. We are still in the dark as to the precise nature of the conclusions which have been reached but let me suppose a case, which is not a violent supposition. My hon. friend from Norfolk a moment ago referred to the civil war in the United States. Well, it is due to the American people to say that there never was more generous treatment accorded by a victorious foe to its enemy than was accorded by the men of the north to the vanquished south. There never was a page
more glorious in the history of any natiori than (that which was written. But my hon. friend knows as well as I, perhaps better- because he also has been a close student of those times and events-that after the war, the amnesty granted was not given to all those who participated in the strife. It is to the eternal pride of the American nation that not a drop of blood was shed on the scaffold, that not a man was punished for his participation in the war, that even Jefferson Davis, after a few years of seclusion, was set at liberty again. But my hon. friend knows well that immediately after Appomattox, which he described to us so eloquently, the amnesty granted to Geueral Grant and later by Sherman did not cover all those who took part in (the war, but only those who had laid down their arms after the surrender. A number of civilians were then debarred from the enjoyment of civil rights, but gradually, as the peace of the country increased and dangers were removed, all the shackles and disabilities were struck off, and at last a universal amnesty was proclaimed. Suppose at this moment terms were agreed on between Lord Kitchener on the one side and the Boer generals on the other, and suppose those terms) did not include a general amnesty, but only an amnesty which covered the great mass of the belligerents, but excepted certain individuals. And suppose the resolution of my hon. friend were adopted and wired over to Africa, might not the Boers then say: ' Oh, we have the
Canadian parliament standing behind us, and we must insist on better terms.' I do not know that my hon. friend would then find that by his resolution he was promoting the cause of peace. I think we had better at this moment leave this question in the hands of the brave soldiers who are dealing with it-Lord Kitchener on the one side, and Generals Delarey and De Wet on the other. I think we had better leave them to determine the settlement, and I firmly believe in my heart that the terms which will be granted and accepted by these brave soldiers will be such as can be accepted by every British subject all over the world. When the terms of settlement have been agreed upon, when the country enjoys again the blessings of peace, should it be found that the terms were not as generous as, in the judgment of my hon. friend from North Norfolk and my hon. friend from Labelie, or perhaps my own, they ought to be, we shall not abdicate the right of the Canadian parliament to affirm and send its views to the imperial authorities. It will not be too late then, because that will be the time when we can speak effectively. But at this moment, when negotiations are pending, it seems to me the argument is overwhelming that perhaps we would lose all in attempting to save all. These are the views I have to submit to the House and to my hon. friend from North Norfolk, and if I have any wish which I can express to him, speaking, I believe, the sense of both sides of
the House, it would be that he ought not to press this motion, but agree to withdraw it.
Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier).
I regret extremely, Mr. Speaker, that the unavoidable absence of the leader on this side of the House imposes upon me the task of offering a few remarks in respect to this resolution, but I must confess that what has fallen from the lips of my right hon. friend the First Minister has rendered much easier the task imposed upon me. It struck me from the very first that this resolution was extremely untimely-I might almost say out of place, to use no harsher expression. The circumstances are these. After a protracted and very bitter struggle, the two great enemies have entered upon negotiations in order to arrive at some basis of arrangement. I 'believe also that they have agreed upon terms, but what these terms are it is impossible to say. In fact the home government itself is probably at present not informed as to the details. It seems to me, therefore, that, under these circumstances-and I believe that in this respect I am fortunate in representing the opinions of my friends who sit around me to-day-regrettable, whatever may be our prerogatives-and I would be the first to revindicate the rights and privileges of parliament-that we should take any action which might interfere with the negotiations. Such interference might defeat the very object of this resolution, to which in reality very few, I am sure in this House, have any objection. It might imperil not only the beneficent work upon which the home government is at present engaged, but also the advantages which the Boers are anxious to secure. t
The hon. gentleman who moved this resolution took up considerable time in explaining its opportuneness and purport, in which he was perfectly right, tout it seems to me that at this critical moment in this deplorable war, the voice of the politician-and in using that term, I am not implying anything which is not meritorious-should be silent, and we should leave the settlement completely in the hands of those armed foes who are now deliberating in order to secure if possible what we all desire-a satisfactory conclusion of this terrible conflict.
f believe that this parliament, with the sovereign rights which we undoubtedly have, can deliberate and express its opinion on every question. Yet I haVe been forced to the conclusion that, in a matter of this importance, in view of the constitutional principles which govern us, it would be better for our parliament, as it would be better for the British parliament, to observe the rule which I think they have steadily adhered to, and to which they have shown their adherence within the past few days-the rule that the conclusion of a treaty belongs to the executive authority. I Parliament, of course, as my right hon.
friend (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier) observed a moment ago, has reserved the right to criticise the conditions of the treaty when that treaty is concluded. And that is a rule which we should adhere to under the present circumstance, particularly in view of the fact that we have not the information necessary to enable us to form an opinion. In listening to my hon. friend from Norfolk, in listening to the remarks so vehemently urged by my hon. friend from Labelle, I was struck with the thought that, at this very hour, when great and courageous men are deliberating in the field in South Africa upon the conditions of the cessation of hostilities, how pitiful, if these hon. gentlemen will allow me the expression, how commonplace must appear the remarks which we make here, and how deficient in any truth and correct comprehension of the necessary important details which must attend any settlement. We can well take example form the attitude of the mother of our parliaments, that great assembly upon which this is modeled. It is a significant fact that, at this moment, the parliament of Great Britain has not taken up the study of this question, but has abstained, as it seems to me it should abstain, from deliberating on the question which, in its present critical stage can only be settled upon the field of battle itself. And I have remarked with no small degree of admiration that the great public men of England, the foremost men of that great country, where the almost constant necessity exists for public utterance on public questions, have refrained studiously from offering any deliberate opinion upon this serious question, as they are obliged to offer opinions every day upon other questions which present themselves for deliberation and decision in that free country. At a moment like this, and holding this view of the situation, I would not for an instant take up the task of pointing out certain serious discrepancies which have struck me not only in the speech of my hon. friend from North Norfolk, but also and more particularly in the remarks offered by my young friend the talented member for Labelle. I will not do that. God forbid that, holding the opinion that this-discussion should, as soon as possible, drop, I should commit the indiscretion of entering upon the discussion of these discrepancies, which, under other circumstances, I should certainly deal with. I must say that, amongst many painful [DOT]circumstances which attend public life, it is very satisfactory to see that upon a matter of this gravity, I believe I may say that there is a quasi unanimity in' this House. I believe-and I may add this to the remarks made by the right hon. Prime Minister who preceded me-that not only could we do serious injury to the British cause, which lias been so courageously upheld by our own fellow-countrymen in South Africa, not only could we do serious injury to the cause of the Boers themselves, a cause which must arouse our sympathy, Mr. MONK.
if not to the extent indicated by my hon. friend from Labelle, certainly to that extent which is always won by courage and valour-but I do believe that, upon the occasion of the visit to England of the Prime Minister of this country to take part in the coronation, any resolution which we might adopt, any view which this parliament might authoritatively express would place serious obstacles in the way of the performance of the task, which is a noble one and in which we all take an interest, of representing this great Dominion at that imposing ceremony. I believe that any resolution that we might pass might embarass the right hon. gentleman himself. Whatever views we may hold upon the great public questions in our own country, I, for one, would be extremely sorry on a matter of this gravity to embarass the right hon. gentleman in a mission which I submit, in more than one sense, he performs on behalf of both sides of this House. Mr. Speaker, I do regret that my hon. friend from North Norfolk has seen fit to bring this motion to the notice of the House ; I do regret that my hon. friend from Labelle has taken part in supporting it. My young friend from Labelle, who has many qualities that I very much admire, has not the deep interest in this matter that some others have. Let me remind him of that day when the friends and adherents of Macduff brought to him the harrowing news of the death of his wife and children. His henchmen surrounded him, sought to inspire him with the legitimate desire of revenge for this awful outrage. "When Malcolm urges revenge upon him, we all remember the answer of Macduff-' He has no children.' Sir, my thoughts and my feelings go out generously to those who have a greater interest, a nearer interest, perhaps, in this matter than I have myself. And I do believe, Mr. Speaker, that many a man far and near- aye, Sir, and many a woman, too-will silently experience a feeling of deep gratitude to those of us in this House who, remembering that others have so many dear relatives upon the field of battle in South Africa, adopt the suggestion which some of us have ventured to make, that at this moment the discussion of this subject should be dropped.
Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).
I would not say anything on this subject
Drop it, drop it.
I would not attempt to say anything on this subject but for the fact that I think we have been introducing a principle in this House of late years that is not conducive to the best results, and that is, upon every little occasion, of giving advice to the mother country. If I thought the mother country required advice, I would be one of the first to offer it. But it is because I do not share that opinion that I desire to protest against this principle and against this resolution. I
.APRIL 23. 1902
may say, in passing, that in my judgment the whole tenor of this resolution and of the speeches supporting it are an implied denial that the instincts of the British nation are humane and generous, and that they are disposed to do what is right. If we believe conscientiously and implicitly that the instincts of the British nation are to do what is right, what is generous and humane, where is there any necessity for such a resolution '! 1 oppose it also because I think it is ill-timed. It is ill-timed to start a discussion in this House at the very moment, as lion, gentlemen have admitted, when negotiations are going on, negotiations that we sincerely hope and believe will bring about a peace to the satisfaction of all. I believe the resolution is unnecessary because England has ever been generous, as all her history shows, to conquered foes. It is an instinct of the Anglo-Saxon race, and that instinct has been in evidence in all the history of the British power the world over. England has been most liberal, most humane, most generous, in her treatment of those who have been conquered by her. But we cannot but remember how necessary it is that peace should be established on a firm basis in South Africa; because thrice already England has had trouble with her South African colonies, and it is absolutely necessary that peace should be established upon a firm basis in order that the rights of every British subject may be secured beyond peradven-ture in that country. For this reason, if for no other, I say it is unnecessary that we should interfere by resolution at the present time. It is because I think this resolution is improper, uncalled for, and is an unwarranted interference with the prerogatives of the British government, that I oppose it. 1 do not think that we are warranted by our past services in passing a resolution in the Canadian parliament giving advice to the imperial government, notwithstanding our liberality and our endeavour to sustain British authority in that far distant country. It is also because I believe this resolution is in very bad taste that I offer objection to it. To justify it upon the ground of what we have done, I think is in bad taste. What we have done we have done believing it to be right, believing it to be our duty; therefore, I do not think we are justified in invoking our past services as a plea for passing this resolution. I think the resolution is indiscreet. Once before when we offered advice with regard to the internal affairs of the British empire, we are reminded that the Queen would have regard to the advice of her constitutional advisers, or in other words, that she did not think it proper that the Canadian parliament should offer advice to the mother country regarding affairs which concerned her and not ourselves. Now I am far from saying that we have no right to tender advice; I believe, with those who have already spoken, that we
have such a right; but I do not regard it as the part of wisdom at this time that we should offer any advice. We are here to legislate for Canada and not for the purpose of settling South African affairs. Believing that we should attend to our own business, and believing as I do that we are drifting into an unsound custom of tendering advice to the imperial parliament on the most trivial occasions, I hold the views I have expressed, and I believe that this motion should be withdrawn.
Of course, I do not need to recount any of the arguments I. made in justification of my motion.
Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).
I hope the hon. member is not closing this debate, because I intend to speak on this motion.
I may say that at the request of the premier, I was about to withdraw the motion. But I will take the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, as I am upon my feet, of stating that my attitude on this occasion is not based upon any change of opinion as to the propriety of the motion. I do not by any means withdraw any of_ the opinions I have expressed ; the country may judge of the correctness of those opinions by the facts and the arguments I have advanced. But I realize that the leader of this government has a right to demand of me in this case a certain line of conduct; he is responsible not only for his own opinions, but for the opinions of the government. While I do not concede that the position that 1 occupy is an improper one, and while I take due notice of the premier's own admission, that he was glad the discussion had taken place, and that he approved of the principle of the resolution, still as he asks that the motion be withdrawn upon the ground of its being inexpedient and inopportune, I think I am bound to be governed by the desire expressed by the Prime Minister; and with the consent of the seconder of this motion, and with the consent of the House, at the suggestion and request of the government, I beg to withdraw the motion.
Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.
Mr. Charlton moves, seconded by Mr. Bourassa, for leave to withdraw his motion.
Does that prevent me from speaking on the motion ?