June 24, 1904

LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I understand that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Russell) is speaking to the point of order.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

Then, let him speak to the point of order.

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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

I think I have the floor. I ~say there is no fact upon which such a point can be raised, because I never dreamed of such a thing as applying that designation to any hon. gentleman in this House ; and I am amazed that anybody should suppose me capable of such a thing.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Why, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Russell) spoke so of the followers of the leader of the opposition.

Mx\ RUSSELL. I say he is the leader of those poor, despicable creatures.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Order, order.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I ask your ruling, Mr. Speaker.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Russell) has made it verj plain. He says he has not applied that epithet to any hon. gentleman in this House.

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CON
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, that he spoke of the followers of the leader of the opposition.

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LIB

Benjamin Russell

Liberal

Mr. RUSSELL.

I was going on to say that the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who leads this House would have been perfectly justified in standing by the expression he used. He would have been warranted by the usage of some of the best writers of English, had he stood by the word that first sprang to his lips. Finding that it did not as accurately convey his meaning as another that immediately suggested itself he withdrew it and substituted the other. Everybody knows that he withdrew the word, and did so before any of the hon. gentlemen opposite had the perspicacity to raise any question. But I say he would have been absolutely right, and justified according to the usage of some of our best writers, had he allowed the word to stand. If there ever was a writer who will be recognized as a master of absolutely choice and perfect English it was Joseph Addison. Using this very word ' foreigner,' Addison says that " water is the only native of England made use of in punch, but the lemon, the brandy, the sugar, the nutmegs are all foreigners." These things came, some from our own colony, some from the West Indies, they came from countries under the English flag, yet they were all foreigners because they were not natives. ' Native ' is contrasted to ' foreigner ' and ' alien ' is the only word the right hon. gentleman could have used if he had any such meaning in his mind. A bill of exchange which is drawn in England on Canada is a foreign bill of exchange, not an inland bill : a company incorporated in England is a foreign company and not a domestic company ; a judgment recovered in England is a foreign judgment. Lord Brougham talked of English law as foreign law to a Scotchman, and by the same token why could not a Scotchman be spoken of as a foreigner, or an Englishman as a foreigner even in British colonies. In the same way, a Nova Scotia judgment is foreign in New Brunswick; and Scotch commentators treat all English judgments as foreign judgments. and speak of all persons resident out of Scotland as foreigners.

Well, Sir, the right hon. gentleman might very properly have adhered to the word if he had seen fit to do so ; but he found another word and a better word for his purpose, and one more accurately conveying the meaning which he undoubtedly meant to convey, as everybody knows, and which every honourable man in this House recognizes that he intended to convey, when be used that expression which has been so much tortured out of its proper meaning, and distorted into a meaning injurious to the right hon. gentleman. And for what

purpose ? For the purpose of discrediting a man whose record in this country has belied the injurious meaning from the earliest days when he took his seat in this House down to the present, and will continue to do so as long as he may hold a seat in this House-God grant that it may be for many years to come ! an hon. gentleman, I say, who has had perhaps move than any other public man in this country a true and just conception of, and has displayed a tenacious adherence to, the two great foundation principles, two of the greatest foundation principles upon which the noble fabric of our civilization is based. One of those great cardinal principles is the principle of local self-government, the right of every portion of the kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of every colony of the empire, to exercise a practical sovereignty in the management of its local affairs. That is one great principle which lies at the base of our British system. If there be any that is greater than that, it is the ascendancy of the civil over the military authority, the absolute and unquestioned subordination of military functionaries to the civil authority of the state as administered by a government responsible to the houses of parliament. Those, I say, are the two great basic principles of our English polity and the polity which ye inherit from England, both of which are opposed by this Dundonald campaign, one of them implicitly and the other explicitly and emphatically. ' Better, I say, that every British nobleman should withhold from us the light of his lordly countenance for evermore than that we should forfeit one iota of our rights of local self-govdtnment or abate one particle of the authority of this Canadian parliament to administer the affairs of this Dominion. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, proud as we may be, thrill as our hearts may well thrill in contemplation of the achievements of our soldiers and sailors in all periods of our history and in all portions of the globe, better I say again that the name of every one of them from Henry of Aglncourt to Roberts of Kandahar should be blotted from the page of our history and perish from the memory of mankind than that we should abate one jot or one tittle of the principle which subordinates every military authority in this Dominion, high or humble, nobleman, gentleman or yeoman, to the people of Canada as represented in the parliament of this country.

Mi-. JABEL ROBINSON (West Elgin). I am not sure who is to blame for bringing about this great discussion that has been going on now for two days. Although I have listened attentively to every speaker and have read all I could about it, I am not sure I say whether it is the Minister of Agriculture who is responsible for this deplorable discussion. If it is the Minister

of Agriculture, or whoever it may be, he should be compelled to pay all the expenses that are incurred in the prolongation of this discussion. Let us ascertain who it is, and all this-time should be charged up against him and taken from his indemnity. Borne hon. gentlemen may squirm at this proposition, because they may be the guilty parties. We do not know who it may be, but circumstances point towards the Minister of Agriculture. If the Minister of Agriculture had not been so officious, if he had not been acting in the place of the Minister of Militia, and if the Minister of Militia had been at home in his office, this thing never would have happened. Now I think myself that the militia, the military, the navy the church, the school and all like institutions, should be free from politics. I think whenever politicians undertake to interfere with the religion of the people, or with the education of the people, or with the disposition of the army, they are making a great mistake. If a commander prides himself on anything, it is on the men who are to assist him in defending this country if it is attacked, and an officer who has not the good will of his soldiers is not likely to succeed in battle. Therefore I say that the men themselves should be consulted as to the officers who are to be appointed over them. The Minister of Militia told us in his speech last night that he -was away from his duty at the time, and had been away previously for five or six weeks, in the city of Boston. Now if a member of this government can leave his duties for so long a time, it seems to me that almost any person could fill that office. If you put the Minister of Agriculture in his place it is not a proper thing to do. and if ever I am appointed to be a minister I will stay in the office and look after my business, and if I go to Boston I shall be able to give a reason for it.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

If the hon. gentleman read the newspapers he would have learned that I was in Boston on account of illness.

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IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. JABEL ROBINSON.

If the hon. gentleman had told us that last night I would not have referred to it at all, because a man has a right to bb away when he is ill.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

I do not understand why any hon. gentleman in this House should be so anxious to misjudge the motives of a member of the government who may be obliged to leave his office temporarily. I think it would be fairer and more just to assume that he went away for good reasons and proper motives.

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IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. JABEL ROBINSON.

If he went

away on sickness that is sufficient excuse. But the hon. minister did not tell us that last nipht, and we might have thought that he was in the States acting as a spy on the American people. I do not want to detain

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IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. JABEL ROBINSON.

the House because it has been detained long enough on this question and the country is tired of it, I think. But, I want to say that I do not think any man ought to interfere with me, if I am allowed lio raise a squadron of horse or a troop of soldiers, in my selection of the men. I say that the hon. Minister of Militia ought to assist me instead of chalking out the name of a man that I had selected to help me and putting another man in his place. The hon. Minister of Militia would not have done that had not the hon. Minister of Agriculture come from that section of the country and intimated that he would pick out some of these people himself. He told him that he was determined that there should be so many Tories in the regiment. I have yet to learn that Tories do not make ns good soldiers as Grits and I think there should be no distinction between them. What we want are men who will fight for our country without asking the question as to whether they are Tories or Grits. What do the English government do when they want a man to lead their army ? Do they go to some partisan, to the man who is the strongest Liberal or the strongest Conservative ? No sir, they select the best man they have in their army for that post. Wellington was brought from India and sent to the Peninsula because they knew that he was a soldier of the best type, and he defeated the enemy and won extraordinary victories wherever he went. If they had had poor little politicians in the government of England at that time perhaps there would have been some other man placed over him. Wellington, Wolseley, Roberts and Kitchener were selected-for their politics ? No, Sir, but because they had made themselves perfect in their profession and were known to be the ablest men in England to lead the army. The English navy has done the same thing from the time of Blake, of Drake, of Frobisher, and scores of others, down to the time of the great and immortal Nelson. Did they ever ask what this great admiral's politics were ? Certainly not. So it should be with our troops in Canada. We hope that they may never have to fight, but if they do let us not select one set of men because they are party politicians. I do hope that this debate will close soon because we are only administering pin pricks to the British people. We are injuring ourselves when we do that. The hon. gentleman who spoke last (Mr. Russell) said that he thought it better that we should lose a thousand men from Britain or the light of the countenance of a lord than that we should lose one iota of our liberty. We do not intend to give up our liberty. Every Governor General we have had in this country has helped us from Lord Elgin down. We never had a Governor General who went home who was not a first-class immigration agent for us. We want to try and get the British people to come out here and bring more wealth with them. We have room for them. I am afraid that we

are going to prevent squadrons from being formed by such a proceeding as this one. Whenever another squadron is about to be brought out, for pity's sake let the officers choose the men and let the Major General in command of the forces choose the officers.

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RUFUS POPE (Compton).

Mr. Speaker, I listened with some attention to the little member for Hants (Mr. Russell) in his valedictory to this House and I could not help but remember the many discussions that have taken place in this House and resolutions moved by the hon. Post-nfaster General in days gone by pointing out what a vicious sin it was that men should sit in this House with commissions in their pockets. I suppose this principle, like all the principles and professions of hon. gentlemen opposite, has gone to the great scrap pit. The little man from Hants referred to the fact that my hon. friend from North Victoria (Mr. Hughes) had a free pass to South Africa. As to that X do not know, tout I do know that the hon. gentleman, according to his own confession, anticipates that he has a free pass to a position for life in the province down by the sea. We sent down there a short time ago what we used to style the Goliath of this House, the member for Guysboro and now, in order that these two gentlemen may average up, we are sending the Banty Tim of this House. That hon. gentleman has been the faithful servant of the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and the party to which he belongs. He has never failed to do any work of a character that some legal men might hesitate in doing. We remember him during the election trials and since ' pettifogger ' is the proper word to use, I say that I do not think that any more miserable specimen of the breed whatever it is was ever exhibited either in parliament or the committees of this House than we had in the little member for Hants at that time. He has taken special pains to deal with the word ' foreigner.' What an endorsation for the right hon. Prime Minister and what weight it will have in the country when it is known that the use of that word has been justified by one of the members of this House with a commission in his pocket. The hon. gentleman spent half an hour in discussing the word ' foreigner.' He ceased, but 'Hansard ' remains just the same ; there is the word, the insult has been given, and though the right hon. Prime Minister down to the smallest follower on his side of the House might spend as many hours and days as they liked in trying to explain it, the word ' foreigner ' is on the record of ' Hansard ' untouched and there it remains as an evidenc. of the true heart feeling of the right hon. gentleman when he rose upon that occasion. Why Sir, the little man from Hants stated, as others have also stated that the proposal of Lord Dundonald involved an expend) ture of immense sums of money-the newspapers have stated so-and that consequently it could not be adopted by this country. It was said that the hon. Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) had intimated that there were some things in the report that could not be adopted by Canada. I think it is only just that the representatives of the people should see that report and judge for themselves. Business men and railway corporations have reports made by their managers, but they are not always accepted by any means. We see in England a war commission recently reporting in favour of conscription but the government do not adopt the report.

But there was no reason why it should not be made public, and, Sir, we ought to know what was in these reports. We had an expert here, a man of high character, a soldier, a commander who had the endorsation of the Minister of Militia himself, until this difficulty arose. Only a year ago the Minister of Militia stated that we had an officer equal if not superior to any who had preceded him. Under these circumstances I say that we, the people of Canada having a servant-as they chose to call him.- and that servant making a report to the Minister of Militia upon the public defence of Canada, that report should be placed upon the table of this House. Whatever our deficiencies are we should know them and as a nation always be prepared to strengthen any weakness in our defences, let the cost be what it may. I can readily understand that Lord Dundonald in making plans for the defence of a country 4,000 miles long, with all its sea coast and rivers and long line of protection against the United States a foreign nation, would advise measures that would be covered not by the expenditure of a year, or two years or three years but of many years, and I say we, the representatives of the people of Canada, have a right to see and understand what he was proposing. The Minister of Militia last night took special pains to take a very wide scope. He took special pains also to offer very little support to the Minister of Agriculture in the position he had taken. It is quite true that speaking the other day he endorsed the minister. A man often does things on the impulse of the moment which he afterwards regrets, and as I listened to the Minister of Militia last night, I came to the conclusion that he regretted the action he had taken a few days ago, in endorsing body and soul the Minister of Agriculture for his action. He went so far as to tell us that he thought that if he had been at home instead of being away from home, this difficulty would not have arisen. There was only, one man to interfere when he was away and to create difficulty, the Minister of Agriculture who was acting in his stead. No severer castigation has been offered to the Minister of Agriculture than was administered by the Minister of Militia in that very short statement. These difficulties commenced with the advent of this govern-

ment to power. The right hon. the Prime Minister was warned by many of us, and I can remember on two or three occasions, doing my best to impress him with the trouble that would ensue if he followed out the spoils system by dismissing good servants to make places for political friends and driving the political knife into every one for that purpose. To-day we find the smallest Minister of the Crown, coming I regret to say from the section of country from which I come, carrying out the same system. We have had militia affairs in that country as long as in any portion of Canada but this is the first we have ever heard about the interference of politicians in regard to the formation of our militia. Last year the forces in Compton were reorganized and converted in Mounted. Rifles, just as they were in Missisquoi, Brome and Shefford. There was no interference there because there was no member who felt that lie had a mandate from his electors to select particular officers. The appointments went through the proper channels, and the result was that when the regiment went into camp in June every officer was in his place, the regiment was up to the full establishment permitted by law and there has been no trouble. Two-thirds of the militia men of the eastern townships and two-thirds of the officers are Conservatives. That is the history of the militia there, and history stands behind that statement. The country was originally settled by elements that came in from the United States-; some of them empire loyalists, and others American traders who came there to better their position. In 1849 the question of annexation arose, and we had two parties, the Loyalists on one side and the American trailers on the other. Following that we had Confederation and the Conservative party were the loyal party of the eastern townships, who contended for the preservation of British rights and the flag of Great Britain, on the northern half of this hemisphere at that time. Consequently when the militia was established shortly after Confederation this militia force was composed very largely of Conservative officers and men. I do not say there has not been some change but it has been a very small change, because in our section of the country the French Canadian element has not gone largely into the militia, and the overflow from the other parts of the province of Quebec have settled the back regions of those counties and you have to-day but a small proportion of English and the remnants of the same people who came there years ago and fought that battle and are still fighting it out.

When the hon. gentleman ' refers to Mr. Baker and his family his reasons for doing it are well understood. Mr. Speaker, you have not heard anybody refer to the Fisher family in the eastern townships as being great soldiers. Oh no, they prefer to keep behind a fortress which they themselves own Mr. POPE.

and control by a servile following which cannot be penetrated. The Minister of Agriculture has made his choice and has taken a family from which to select officers. He has selected the family' of Milti-mores, and we find Miltimore No. 1, Milti-more No. 2, and Miltimore No. 3. He has a right to take these men if he sees fit, and to call them his proper representatives as an eastern township family. We find Clifford Miltimore put forward as a fit and proper person for a position of command. I find this record in regard to him :

I, undersigned, John J. Barker, of the village of Cowansville, in the district of Bedford, printer and publisher, do hereby solemnly declare :

1. That I am a resident of Cowansville, in the county of Missisquoi, in the district of Bedford, and a duly qualified elector of said county.

2. I was present at the meeting of the municipal council of Cowansville when the preparation of the voters' lists was in progress, and I made application to the said council to have the name of Clifford Miltimore struck therefrom, as I believed he had not the legal qualifications required by the law. He had previously been a tenant within the corporation but had ceased to occupy the premises which had been leased by him.

He resisted the application to have his name struck off and asserted that he was otherwise qualified as having his domicile within the munieipa.! iTy, and in support of that pretension made oath that he was so qualified and therefore entitled tb have his name retained.

The Council being guided by the statement so made by him under oath retained his name upon the list.

Knowing the circumstances, X was impelled to petition one of ittae judges of the Superior Court to strike his name off. The petition was resisted 'and after proof his name was struck off the voters' list by the judge.

Here is the judgment of the judge, striking his name off that list, showing conclusively that this man took an oath that was false. That is his first recommendation. I presume, for preferment. I know Mr. Pic-kel very well, and I have no fear of his reputation, handled as it may be by the Minister of Agriculture, being tarnished. He stands in his community respected and admired by' every one. The official positions he fills as mayor of his town and warden of his county are a sufficient endorsation of the man without any statement on my part. We can well understand that a man of that character was not very ambitious, as Colonel Smart's letters and others here show, or very anxious to join the militia. But the young men of that community said, if you can get L>r. Pickel to head this squadron, it will be a great success. Consequently Colonel Smart tried to get Dr. Pickel, and with what result we will see. Now, Sir. I find the Minister of Agriculture on page 5391 of the revised 1 Hansard ' saying : . I took no exception to this. But I found a recommendation in regard to the neighbour-

hood of Sweetsburg, which, I .confess, surprised me, and to which I did-take exception.

I must premise my explanation in regard to this matter by saying that Senator Baker of Sweetsburg, is the acknowledged and active leader of the Conservatives of that district. .

Certainly, Mr. Speaker, Senator Baker Is an active leader, as the Minister of Agriculture chooses to describe him, of that district, an old and respected citizen of that district, and also a lawyer ; and he had the suit against Mr. MeCorkill. the pet of the Minister of Agriculture, who was the provincial treasurer at Quebec and brought that suit to a conclusion; and Mr. Mc-Corkili is ready to throw up the sponge and declare the corruption took place in his election. That is where the sore spot is. The history of the election of Mr. MeCorkill shows that everything known to chicanery in elections was used in it. It was one of the most corrupt, I am told by the very best authority, and the very best proof that that authority is good is the fact that Mr. MeCorkill has thrown up the sponge. That is the sore spot in regard to the Baker family. We all understand why the Minister of Agriculture feels so tender and waxes so furious when he thinks of the town of Sweetsburg and even of Cowans-ville, which is only a couple of miles from it. That district haunts him night and day, ever since the time of the Quebec election. It will haunt him more and more in the future. It will be,a nightmare for bim so long as he remains in public life. He goes on to say :

I found this list of proposed names for the staff of the neighbourhood of Sweetsburg. First, Mr. John M. Gibson, a nephew of Senator Baker, and talked of as a possible Conservative candidate in the constituency of Missisquoi, to be third in command of that Tegiment.

Well, Sir, that is not a bad endorsation for this man.

Dr. Pickel, one of the strongest Conservative workers of the neighbourhood and a family connection of Senator Baker

This, I suppose, is nearer the truth than the hon. gentleman has been for a long time, because Dr. Pickel is a cousin of a boy who married Senator Baker's daughter. There is a semblance of truth in that statement, and I congratulate the lion. Minister of Agriculture before this House and before the press of Canada on having made one statement that has a grain of truth in it:

Dr. Pickel, one of the strongest Conservative workers of the neighbourhood and a family connection of Senator Baker, to be major in command of the squadron which, though gazetted for Adamsville, was to be changed to Sweetsburg to suit his convenience. Mr. G. H. Baker, son of Senator Baker, to be senior captain of the said squadron. Mr. Thomas R. Pickel. son-in-law of Senator Baker, to he the junior captain of the said

squadron. Then there were the names of two gentlemen, Messrs. Steacie and Reynolds of Montreal to be lieutenants. And down at the bottom of the list Mr. Thomas F. Cotton, * Liberal, son-in-law of the above-mentioned John M. Gibson, and grand nephew of Senator Baker.

I knew you would not find a Liberal very nearly related to Senator Baker. The Minister of Agriculture says : But I have

included some Conservatives and I have included some Liberals. Mr. Speaker, what is the principle upon which our militia force should be governed ? Is it the principle of selecting some Conservatives and some Liberals ? No, Sir, it is the principle of taking men irrespective of party. That is no defence on the floor of parliament. It may perhaps be satisfactory on the hustings ; but it is no argument for a minister of the Crown to come here and tell us that cheap sort of thing, that the fact that there were some Liberals and, some Conservatives vindicates him for interfering politically with the formation of this regiment. The moment he conveys that knowledge, that moment he confesses judgment on the resolution of the hon. leader of the opposition. There Is no avoiding it. Sir, In any court of justice, he would have received such sentence as the crime demanded.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we will proceed. We find the Minister of Agriculture saying this :

The position which I took then, and which I take to-day, is this : Colonel Smart was a

stranger

Not a foreigner, Mr. Speaker, only a stranger-

-going into the district of Bedford to organize this regiment. He appears to have got into the hands of certain people out there.

Any one going to Sweetsburg and Cowans-ville will get into the hands of certain people if he wants to meet the best people of that district ; and that gentleman got into these same hands.

He told mer himself that he had no political intentions. I fully accept that statement.

There is where the difficulty is, Mr. Speaker. If he had had some political intentions, and these .had squared with the ideas of the Minister of Agriculture, we would never have heard one word about this question.

I believe Colonel Smart, in making the statement that he had no political intentions, made a statement which was absolutely accurate and truthful.

Now, Sir, what more does anybody want for a colonel going into that district to form a militia corps, than that he went there free from political intentions ? If that is not the very best reason why the hon. Minister of Agriculture should have his nose out of the matter and gone on plant-

I

5527 COMMONS ' 5528

ing tux-nips, lxoeing corn and spreading manure and keeping strictly to the management of his own affairs, I do not know what is. He says again :

Hon. gentlemen opposite are very solicitous against political interference. They do not condemn me at all, Sir, because I asked that Mr. Russell, a well-known Liberal, should he removed from the place of major of another squadron and that he should be replaced by a well-known Conservative.

Well, I do object. I object just as much against the removal of Mr. Bussell as against The removal of Dr. Picket It is a great principle we are fighting for. If the integrity of the militia is to amount to anything, if it is to have any strength as a fighting force in the defence of the country, it must be non-political and its officers must be selected from the very best men available.

I said a few moments ago that the hon. gentleman said Colonel Smart's action was nonpolitical. I acquit Colonel Smart, hut, as I said a few .moments ago, I cannot refrain from saying again that although Colonel Smart's intentions were not political, his actions were intensely political.

Sir, either Colonel Smart went there as a politician or he was not. If he went there, not as a politician, but purely and simply to organize the regiment regardless of politics, then the statement of the Minister of Agriculture is one unworthy of a gentleman occupying his position. The position taken by the govex-nment and the minister opens the door wide to every politician in Canada to interfere in our militia. The minister says :

In suggesting the name of Mr. Adams, under the circumstances, was I interfering politically ?

I think he was.

No, I was interfering simply in a common-sense way.

Mr. Speaker, that thing is unknown to the hon. gentleman. It is foreign to him.

I was interfering simply in a common-sense way in the organization of the new regiment. I grant fully, and no man is more prepared to admit it ^ than I am, that on purely military qualifications the military experts at the command of the government ought to rule.

I want to know, Sir, what higher duty can a military expert have to perform than the selection of the officers, upon whose intelligence the lives of the men under him must depend. You may make a mistake in the construction of a fort, but the first basis of a military force is the intelligence of its officers, and the hon. gentleman has pleaded guilty a dozen times over to his interfering politically in their selection. Then the minister went on :

When it comes to matters connected with the affairs of this country ; when it comes to matters involving local knowledge of local conditions and knowledge of the people of Canada-

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

Will you tell me that when a business man has to fill a certain position of responsibility in his affairs, he does not seek the advice of the very best men who can guide him in his selection of the man most suitable *to fill that position. If we have a question of law to decide, we do not go to our next door neighbour but to the very best lawyer of our acquaintance for proper advice and instruction. Consequently, I say that the selection of these officers is the highest function a military officer has to perform.

But when it comes to matters involving local knowledge of local conditions, I venture to think that the public men of Canada know more than any expert military or otherwise.

The public men of Canada-who are the public men of Canada ? They are not the ministers of the Crown alone. We have been told by the First Minister and by the Minister of Militia and the Minister of Agriculture that any minister in the cabinet should be supreme in all these matters which concern the district in which he resides. Sir, it comes down to a simple question of patronage and nothing more. Political patronage is to be the foundation of our Canadian militia in the futui-e, and that means that every i-epi-esentative supporting the government in any particular constituency has the right to dictate to the General Officer Commanding who should be given commissions in the militia fox-ce in that county. But hex-e is a tid-bit. Here is as ingenious an admission as we have bad in many a day :

The lpader of the opposition 'has said that Captain Converse is a Conservative. I do not know whether he is or not.

The minister does not know so much about local conditions as he thought he did, and he pleads guilty to lack of knowledge with l-egax-d to Captain Converse.

I have only this to say : That my colleague, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries wrote to me asking me to recommend Captain Converse for the position as adjutant of that regiment.

It never dawned on the Minister of Agriculture that the Minister of Marine would recommend any one but a Liberal.

It does not look as if he were a Conservative, unless the Minister of Marine and Fisheries is so favourable to the Conservatives that he should recommend one.

Is not that beautiful. There were no politics in the matter at all. Yet the poor little creature could not imagine his colleague recommending any one who was not a Liberal. He had left Ottawa and his farm and had gone down to visit the various parts of the district in oi'der to see that a proper selection of officers was made. And he went down on a Sunday. I was very much surprised indeed to discover that the hon. Minister of Agriculture did not re-

*member the Sabbath day in that good old Christian community of the Dominion, the eastern townships. When he saw fit to violate that sacred day, I did not pass judgment upon him, because I know that in these matters he will have to reckon later on. The hon. minister says that he struck out Dr. Piekel's name and put in some other name, and that as the net result he got lb Conservatives and 15 Liberals and 4 Independents on the list of officers. All he did was simply to change the whole thing upside down and make it to suit himself. But in all this there was no political interference. There is something more to discover in this business, and it is this. The Minister of Marine evidently was convinced that the Minister of Agriculture had the appointments in his own hands, and consequently when he had any recommendation to make, he passed over the Minister of Militia and went to the Minister of Agriculture. But what right had the Minister of Agriculture to have the appointments of these men in his hands ? If you will look the record over, you will find some twenty odd letters written either by or to Sydney Fisher, and you will find only one written by the Minister of Militia himself, and that was to Lord Dundonald. asking him if he had made that speech in Montreal.

Sir. looking at this whole matter from a standpoint of efficiency, I say that a blow has been struck at the militia of Canada. I say more. If Lord Dundonald was dismissed on good grounds, if he was dismissed because he reflected on the conduct of his superior officers, what about Colonel Whitley and Colonel Smart, who were the subordinates of Lord Dundonald and Mr. Fisher ? What is going to happen to these men ? Their heads will not be worth anything if the Minister of Agriculture does not agree with their opinions of ideas. Under these circumstances, who is responsible ? If Lord Dundonald should go, if the government is right in making it necessary for him to go because he was not subservient to the ministers of the Crown, I say that the man who was at the bottom of it, who pin-pricked the condition along, who, by his speeches in this House and by the record which has been developed in this debate was responsible. should go also. How does he prevent himself from going,.? He stands there as plaintiff in the case and as judge also. A very courageous position to occupy. If the Minister of Agriculture had been compelled to win his position by the manifestation' of the courage which has won his spurs and the reputation of Lord Dundonald, it would be a long time indeed before we should see him gracing a place in this honourable assembly.

Mr. Speaker, the hour is growing late, and the case has been well argued. One thing has been clearly proven. No one will charge the Earl of Dundonald with being a politician. There is no dismissal of

Lord Dundonald for being a politician, but we have the dismissal or rejection, of Dr. Pickel for being a politician-that is established by the record and by the Minister of Agriculture's own word in this House. So, if political interference with the militia of Canada is a crime-and it should be- then the resolution before this House should pass. But, had the Prime Minister done his duty, had he exercised duly the powers with which he is vested by the constitution, had he guarded, as he should have done, the best interest of the militia of Canada, this resolution need never have been moved-for the Minister of Agriculture would have been put out of the government. And had this been done the Prime Minister would have stood higher in the estimation of the people of Canada than he does. As for Lord Dundonald, it is not necessary for me to defend him. As has been said in this House, but as I may be allowed to repeat because it gives me great pleasure to do so, he is a man of honourable intentions, a soldier, a wealthy man *who left his home and came here to Canada. And what for ? To dabble in politics ? Do you think he came here to appoint people to office or to dismiss Pickel from office ? He came here to spend a few years and to give Canada the benefit of his experience. As air army officer in South Africa he had seen a sample of the boys who had gone out from Canada-had gone out not through any willing action on the part of the government of the day- and he said : Here is a specimen of manhood under the British flag that, I believe, can be made the most efficient portion of the British army. He had no. thought of establishing the system of militarism that hon. gentlemen opposite speak of and that their press are shrieking about throughout this country. Lord Dundonald is on record, and strongly on record, on that point. And he is too practical a man ; he learned too well the character of our boys in South Africa, to recommend militarism for Canada. He came here to do his duty. He worked faithfully and hard. He worked under the praises of the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) who, last night, I regret to say, played a role in this House which was creditable neither to himself, nor to the government, nor to Canada. Lord Dundonald came here to perform a great, a sacred duty-for to the soldier his duty is a sacred one. The true soldier is not necessary a mercenary, but he is a man who is moved by deep sentiment of patriotism and loyalty and who believes that the exercise of his profession is necessary to preserve the integrity of the nation to which he belongs. And I say it is a sad exchange^ it is an extremely poor bargain, to give away the ability and experience of the Earl of Dundonald in exchange for the privilege of keeping in bis place' the gentleman who

occupies the position of Minister of Agriculture.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister).

Mr. Speaker, the defence which we heard yesterday from the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher) against the charges contained in the motion in your hands was so full, so complete and so masterly that there was no need for any of his friends to interfere in this debate. Nothing could be added to what had been said when he sat down. And, if I rise in this debate it is not at all to follow the line of argument that has been pursued ; it is to call the attention of the House to the closing paragraph of the motion of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Bordeu). The words to which I wish to call attention are especially these :

The House regrets that this unwarrantable interference has been approved by the government, and that it not only has unduly delayed the organization of the regiment, hut has culminated in depriving the Militia of Canada of an experienced and distinguished Commanding Officer.

' Has culminated in depriving the militia of Canada of an experienced and distinguished officer.' Here is a statement which is not "Warranted by anything which has been proved to this House. The motion is an indictment against the Minister of Agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture joined issue upon it with his accusers. He has traversed it. in every particular ; and I submit to the impartial judgment of those who heard him, that he has cleared himself completely of the accusations and insinuations brought against him. Even if the charges here asserted were true, there is no justification and no reason for saying that the action of the Minister of Agriculture. even if proven, was the cause why Canada has been deprived of the services of an experienced and distinguished commanding officer. For, my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture in the speech which he delivered yesterday, showed conclusively to the House that nothing which he may have done was conducive to the retirement of the General Officer Commanding ; he stated and proved, that for several weeks before, it had,been the determination of Lord Dundonald to retire from the post which he has occupied for two years. My hon. friend gave the evidence, but I think it will not be amiss if I repeat, in one particular the case which he made. I have here the statement delivered to the press by Lord Hunt donakl which, has been, not improperly, I think, characterized as a manifesto. Speaking, as he says, of the Impediments put in his way by the Department of Militia and of the many things done to mar his work, Lord Dundonald tells the people of Canada that he had come to the conclusion that he would sever his connection with the department. These are his words :

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CON

Rufus Henry Pope

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. POPE.

I call tbe attention of the House to the concluding words :

-and with the duty of rendering such advice and assistance on military affairs as may be required of him.

Not as be may choose to offer himself but as may be required of him. and the difference between the duties which are imposed upon the commander of the forces in Great Britain, and the duties which are to be performed by Lord Dundonald according to his own conception was, that he was not to wrait until he was asked to give advice, but he was to proffer advice to the Minister of Militia, which the Minister of Militia was bound to accept whether he approved of it or not. Let me go a point further.

I know'-and it is heralded by the press which supports hon. gentlemen opposite- that a crime has been charged against my hon. friend the Minister of Militia-a grave offence has been put upon his shoulders- because he has refused to accept the advice of Lord Dundonald, and has refused to bring that advice before parliament. It was stated in the House yesterday, and I believe it has been repeated to-day. that it was the bounden duty of the Minister of Militia, as soon as he was given that report by Lord Dundonald, to bring it before parliament- that if he failed to do so. he failed to comply with the law of parliament. Sir, nothing could be more in contravention of the law of parliament than such a doctrine.

I assert. Sir. as a principle of parliamentary law, that all reports which are sent to

the government or to the head of any department by subordinates, unless they relate to mere questions of fact and routine and the every day transactions of the department- that all reports in which are implied questions of policy-are from their very nature confidential, and remain confidential until in the judgment of the minister they become the contrary. This is a broad statement to make, perhaps, but I make it on authority. I have already quoted Todd, who is acknowledged to be the best writer on this subject. Let me call the attention of hon. gentlemen to w'hat he says on this point:

The system of laying upon the table of the House reports from officers addressed to particular departments of the executive government is most objectionable. And the House ought not to insist ' upon the production of papers and correspondence which concerned the preparation and preliminary consideration of measures ; they would thereby put a stop to that freedom of criticism which was always invited on such occasions, and which contributed so much to the perfection of public measures.' If the House were to insist upon the production of such documents, instead of the government getting what we get now, confidential reports, containing the most minute details of the opinion of officers, given frankly and freely, for the heads of departments, we shall have a system of reports framed for laying upon the table of the House of Commons, and those will he accompanied by ' confidential reports for the head of the department alone.' There have been cases in which reports of a confidential character from officers of the government have been laid upon .the table of the House, to prepare the public mind, and also that of parliament, to consent to some large measure, or perhaps some considerable vote of public money ; but, generally I think it is a course which the House ought not to sanction.'

Mr. CA8GRAIN. Will the right hon. gentleman say whether that is Todd in Canada ?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILRID LATJRIER.

No, that is Todd in England. That is not simply the opinion of Todd. It is a series of quotations from speeches delivered in parliament by the great leaders who have brought the law of parliament from time to time up to its present perfection. The last quotation of all is from Mr. Disraeli, who says :

There have been cases in which reports of a confidential character from officers of the government have been laid upon the table of the House to prepare the public mind, and also that of parliament, to consent to some large measure, or perhaps some considerable vote of public money.

This would have been the case here. The report of Lord Dundonald, I understand, would have been a preparation for a large expenditure of public money ; but Mr. Disraeli said :

But generally I think it is a course which the House ought not to sanction.

There is implied in this that such a report might be brought down at some time ; but this is a matter of governmental responsibility, on which parliament is to depend, unless there is a vote of censure. But the minister is absolutely free to follow his own opinion in this respect, and not to follow the dictum of the gentleman who is appointed as his adviser.

I may be told that this is antiquated law. Well, there is something more recent than that, which I now give to the House. I have stated that though the question of supremacy as between the military and the civil power in England has been settled more than a hundred years ago, and settled in favour of the civil power, still every now and then there is an attempt made to revive the old rule and to bring back the military power in control. Not later than two years ago, there was at the head of the army in Great Britain a gentleman who has left a record dear to the hearts of Canadians-Lord Wolseley. He was the Commander in Chief ; and strange to say-or perhaps I should say, natural to say-even such a soldier as Lord Wolseley, a man acknowledged to be prudent in his course and in his views, had a difference of opinion with the Secretary of State for war. He offered advice to the Secretary of State for War, and the Secretary of State for War, like my hon. friend the Minister of Militia, would not follow that advice. Then Lord Wolseley did what I think Lord Dundonald, if he had been better advised, should have done also : he placed his resignation in the hands of the government. If Lord Dundonald had followed that course- and he says he had the idea in his mind- if, instead of taking the violent, the extreme, the unpardonable course of committing a breach of discipline, he had resigned, and placed his resignation on paper, he could have brought before parliament everything he wanted to bring. It could not have been pigeon-holed, as he suggested, but it would have been brought before the House, and the House could have judged of it. Lord Wolseley took the better course of resigning, and some time afterwards on the floor of the House of Lords, he gave expression to his views. On the 4th March, 1901, he addressed the House of Lords and criticised the administration of the War Office, and the nature of the relationship between the Commander in Chief and Secretary of State for War. Lord Lansdowne, who was the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, replied in the House of Lords, and made use of the following language, which will be found in the Parliamentary Debates, 4th series, -Vol. 90, page 356

In another part of the statement of the noble Viscount, he told the House that he thought it was extremely necessary in the interests of public safety, . that when the Commander in Chief and the Secretary of State for war were 1 unable to agree, the public should be taken

Into our confidence, and that we should leave the public, as it were, to choose between the two.

I am afraid that that is somewhat a council of perfection. Does the noble and gallant Viscount think that the government of this country would be possible, that the administration of the War Office would be practicable, if, whenever the Secretary of State and the Commander-in-Chief were not at one, their arguments were to be publicly paraded and to form the subject of controversies in the press or on the platform. I cannot conceive a more fatal arrangementj than that there should be disputes of this kind in the eye of the public. The noble and gallant Viscount is' a great supporter of a very popular institution called the Military Tournament. I should be very sorry if the Secretary of State were obliged to take part in a military tournament of the kind which the noble and gallant Viscount suggests.

Now I pause and ask the attention of hon. gentlemen opposite : Is not the language of l ord Lansdowne applicable, in every particular to the case we have in hand ? If you substitute for Lord Wolseley, Lord Dundonald, and for the Secretary of State for War, the Canadian Minister of Militia, you have our case in every particular. The following day the debate was participated in by Lord Salisbury, and I commend the language of Lord Salisbury as that of one who has always been noted for his Conservative tendencies and strong, rugged common sense. This is what he said :

It is said of a certain class of correspondent that the important observation always comes at the end. I think that applies to the speech of the noble and gallant Viscount. He told us, not as one of the main points on which he was insisting, but as something which occurred to him at the end, and which ought to be mentioned before he sat down, what was his solution of any difficulties that might arise if the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of State were not of the same mind. I think he puzzled the House. He said we were to take the people into our confidence, and to tell the press what we thought, and then the question at issue was to be discussed openly. How you were to decide which party was to be victorious, I do not know, but the result of the battle royal was to determine the particular decision on which the ofBce was divided. I allude to this because I think it is a matter which is really at the bottom of our difficulty. I do not think the disputants, especially if they are military disputants, have entirely realized that the army is under parliament and that the minister who controls the army does it as one who is responsible to parliament and represents all the authority which parliament possesses. Unless you keep that steadily in mind, no doubt you will see many anomalies in our military system, and Its relations to the civil power. But It is no use comparing our army with the army of Prance or of America, or of Germany or of Russia. They all differ in that one point, that the parliamentary system of governing the army does not exist among them. We must accommodate ourselves to the present state of things. Everybody knows historically how It has grown up, and everybody knows that it is intertwined too closely with all the fibres of our constitution Sir WILFRID LAURIER,

to justify any one who forms his projects and bases his reasoning on the supposition that this relation can be modified. At the end we must have an army governed by parliament, governed by a minister who is responsible to parliament, and in any difference of opinion, whatever it may he, the Commander in Chief must be a subordinate of the Secretary of State.

Some bon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.

Sir WILFRID LAURIER (reading)-

Military men may not like that, but there it is. It is one of the bed rock circumstances of the situation, something from which you cannot depart ; and you must devote your hands to making it work and it has worked in the main hitherto very well.

Yes, I think it has worked very well in England. [DOT]

And take care that It produces In the future, as it has produced in the past, results which it would have been impossible to produce in any foreign country. I feel that this debate will be lost upon us unless we take care to guide ourselves by that chief and predominant principle. In speech after speech from military men, men who know the language and spirit of the War Office, it is easy to detect a desire that military problems shall only be solved Ijy military men ; but any attempt to take the opinion of the expert above the opinion of the politician must, in view of all the circumstances of our constitution, inevitably fail. It must not be supposed that in such contests the expert must win. In all these discussions there is an evident and growing desire to shake free of this necessity. I thought I traced it even in the peroration of the noble Earl, although I am sure he is too good and constitutional a statesman to entertain any idea that the existing system can be radically! changed. That is where the shoe pinches-that the men who know, or who ought to know, namely, the experts, are not the men to decide the 'dispute in question ; but the decision, if it accords with their view at all, must be brought about by the concession of the civilian and the politician.

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June 24, 1904