Hon. Mr. COSTIGAN.
that we were a portion of the British Empire and had been given the privilege of selfgovernment, and having had the experience of its happy operation and good effects in this country, we thought that we might very reasonably ask this House to express its opinion that what worked so well in this country might well be tried as an experiment in Ireland, and this House generously responded to the appeal. Parliament took that view-a very fair and moderate view- and so expressed itself on several occasions. I am simply asking the House to reiterate the expression of parliament on those occasions. With reference to the land question and the bright prospects of the settlement of that question, had I the eloquence of a Gratton or a McGee, I would use it to praise the generous spirit in which the British government have come forward to-dav to grapple with this problem and settle it. I have no desire to cavil or to minimize the liberality of the British government as shown in this broad measure which, as far as can be seen at present, involves $500,000,000 of its credit and $60,000,000 of a bonus to bring about a peaceful settlement of the land question in Ireland. I am moved by as deep gratitude to the government which has introduced that measure of reconciliation as any man in or out of this parliament.
Why should the mention of home rule be a bugbear ? Has it grown so obnoxious in this country or the motherland as to justify any hostility or opposition to the mention of or any reference to it here today ? Certainly not. Why, the question of home rule is to-day an imperial question. It has assumed broader proportions than ever before. The best English minds to-day are engaged on it. They say that they are not going to confine their attention to Ireland alone but will give home rule to Scotland, England and Wales as well, and I am proud to know that the experience of Canada is the great object lesson cited to show the desirability of granting local self government to the different portions of the United Kingdom. I shall quote in a few minutes the words of a prominent English statesman who is in favour of home rule all around. Our parliament, the British parliament, he says, ]s overburdened with legislation that should not belong to it. _ Its time is so much taken up with local affairs, that it is unable to properly deal with matters of imperial concern. What is the remedy ? There is but one and that will be found on Canadian lines. Just think of it, Mr. Speaker, the men in the empire to-day who are conducting the business of the United Kingdom, who are considering the changes that require to be made in the British government system- these men say you must provide for Scotch affairs being settled in Scotland by a local parliament, for Irish affairs being settled in Ireland by a local parliament, and English affairs by an English local parliament, and
Welsli business, if necessary, by a Welsh parliament, thus relieving the great Imperial parliament of those burdensome subjects which could be much better passed upon and disposed of by local bodies, thus enabling the great central body to deal with the problems that affect the empire at large. Just imagine in what a position this Dominion of Canada-a young giant, surprising the world by its rapid progress-would be if all our local legislatures were swept away and if all the local questions now dealt with by these bodies had to be settled by this parliament ? Why,, we would then And it impossible to deal with Dominion matters at all. If such a condition of things would be the result here, what must be the condition of that parliament -which has to regulate the affairs of the greatest empire in the world ? Det me just read a note which I received a few days ago and which justifies me in saying that the question of home rule is not a bugbear any longer either here or in; England, Ireland. Scotland or Wales.
I have a letter dated March 15, 1903, and written by the Hon. T. S. Brassey :
Dear Sir,-I observe in to-day's paper, the Daily ' Chronicle,' that you intend to raise the question of home rule in the Canadian parliament. You may, therefore, be interested to hear that there is a movement on this side going forward, the object of which is to educate public opinion to the view that the settlement of the great question of home rule is to be found on Canadian lines. I inclose a leaflet giving an article and speeches on the subject and an account of the work done.