June 24, 1904

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Shame, shame.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Let me say this to that hon. gentleman that I am familiar with these appeals to passion and prejudice. In my own province-

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

1 want to tell the right hon. gentleman that I have never appealed to passion or prejudice-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Sit down.

Mr. SPROULE-to race or religion and I defy him or any man to say that I have done so, I do not care who he is.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

In my own province the allies of the hon. gentleman, those who fight with him, have traduced me for years as a traitor to my race and religion. But, the cry is getting stale and a new one has to be invented. I have no more fear of this one than I had of the other. My experience has convinced me, toy experience has proved to me that in this good land of Canada, in all sections thereof, in all classes thereof, in all races thereof, in all creeds thereof appeals to prejudice may create a flurry df excitement but, they will invariably end in producing nothing but contempt in the hearts and minds of an intelligent and honest people.

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CON

Thomas Chase Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. CHASE CASGRAIN (Montmorency).

The taunt has been thrpwn across the floor of the House several times by hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House that we have forsaken the cause of Lord Dundonald, that we have nothing to say in his defence. Let me say at the very outset of the few remarks which 1 am to offer to the House that Lord Dundonald needs no defence from me or from a'ny member of this House especially from this side of the House. The name of Lord Dundonald today has become a household word in almost every house in the Dominion of Canada. His defence is in the mouth of every patriotic, loyal and unbiased citizen of this country. Sir, we are now in the times when our young men assemble in the camps, and I have no doubt that every evening around the camp fire the youth of this country are discussing this question and that there are very few if there are any at all of the members of the militia force so assembled in camp who have not the praises of Lord Dundonald on their lips. But, Sir, coming from the province of Quebec, not at all that I believe I represent the province of Quebec, but, I am sure I represent the vast majority of those from the province of Quebec who are members of the militia when I say that if Lord Dundonald's praise is in the mouth of everybody outside of the province of Quebec that same praise is in the mouths of those who form the portion of the militia in the province of Quebec. I have taken particular pains to question my fellow countrymen, not now, but

ever since Dundonald has had anything to do with the militia of Canada and the reply which I have received from the French Canadian officers has been that he has been the best commander in chief of the forces that they ever had.

Sir, he has always made himself especially agreeable to the French Canadian officers, speaking their language to them and showing them every mark of confidence and courtesy which one gentleman could show to another. I was struck by one part of the speech made by the right hon, gentleman, the lesson he read to the Minister of Militia and Defence. Last evening the Minister of Militia and Defence spoke of Lord Dundonald but did not at all speak in those terms which the right hon. the leader of the House has employed this evening. On the contrary I must say that I was pained at the tone used by the Minister of Militia, and 1 can see no better campaign literature for this party than to distribute all through Canada the speech made last night by the Minister of Militia. If I had anything to do with the organization of the party 1 would have that speech printed by the thousand and distributed all over the Dominion. What do we find ? We find the Minister of Militia constantly contrasting the nobleman, the patrician, with the humble colonial and the plebeian. It seems to me that it comes with very bad grace from the mouth of the Minister of Militia and Defence who not long ago, received the decoration of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, and wears upon his breast the star of that ordter, and is entitled 'to be called to-day ' Sir Frederick Borden.' I do not see why these sneers are cast upon the British aristocracy and especially upon Lord Dundonald because the Minister of Militia must have remembered that while it is true that Lord Dundonald was born a nobleman, he has also carved with his sword a great name upon the annals of the empire. Sir, I am an admirer of the British aristocracy. Whilst in other countries the scions of great houses seem- to have forgotten the role they are called upon to play in the different vocations in which they should be engaged, in Great Britain, on the contrary, the heirs of the great names have remained faithful to the traditions of their race, and whether it be in peace or war, we find these great men taking their share either in defending the country in time of war or conductin'-its councils in time of peace.

Another insinuation which my hon. triend threw across the floor of the House against Lord Dundonald was that probably the action which he had seen fit to take when he made his speech at Montreal, knowing that in consequence of that speech he would probably have to separate himself from the militia of Canada was due to the fact that there was a scheme shortly to be placed before parliament by which the office of Commander in Chief was to be abolished.

As if Lord Dundonald was to be influenced in any of his actions by the paltry salary of $4,000 which the country had been paying him for his valuable services ! Then again I was pained to hear the Minister of Militia making another insinuation and a more serious one against the noble lord the late General Officer Commanding, when he insinuated, speaking of the ordnance department, in the two cases of Lieutenant-Colonel Roy and Lieutenant-Colonel Belanger, that probably it was on account of their nationality, of their being French Canadians, that he complained of their elevation to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. I think this was an unworthy insinuation, unworthy of my hon. friend and of the position which he occupies. My hon. friend growing eloquent just now, in speaking of arousing race prejudices, accused this side of the House of having done that. I would like to know what the Minister of Militia had in mind, and what the editors of the government organs have in mind, when they- incite these animosities and say that one of the motives of Lord Dundonald in this case was that he made a difference between a French Canadian officer and an officer of another origin. It seems to me that the strong point of the government on which they have rested their case, was that Lord Dundonald was guilty of a gross breach of discipline in making the speech he did. These are the regulations of the British army which govern the British forces. The minister when he quoted these regulations was quoting something absolutely outside the case of Lord Dundonald. The regulation says :

The- regulations1 of the British army, .which govern the Canadian force in all matters not specially provided for, prohibit ' deliberations or discussion by officers of soldiers with the object of conveying praise, censure, or any mark of approbation towards their superiors or any others in His Majesty's service.'

The regulations for the militia of Canada lay down the rule that ' it cannot be permitted that (officers) shall bring accusations against superior officers or comrades.

What is meant here by ' superior officers? ' Not the Minister of Militia, not any minister, but a superior officer in military command, because this word is certainly limited by the next words * or comrades ' which means comrades in arms, and I would like to know whether the Minister of Agriculture was the superior officer of Lord Dundonald on that occasion. Let me read this part of the Order in Council again.

The regulation for the militia of Canada, lay down the rule that ' it cannot be permitted that (officers) shall bring accusations against superior officers or comrades before the tribunal of public opinion, either by speech or letters inserted in any newspaper ; such a proceeding would be in glaring violation of the rules of military discipline, and in contempt of authority.'

If these are the rules which are to govern this case, is it not a fact that at every military banquet which the minister attends where officers laud the minister for what he has done for the militia, they should be summarily dismissed by this government V It shows that these regulations quoted in the Order in Council and again to-night, are absolutely beside the mark and have absolutely nothing to do with the case in point. They have to rest their case on this flimsy argument which cannot stand the light of the least examination for one minute. My hon. friend has tried to define the duties and obligations of the officer commanding from English authority. No hon. member on this side enunciated the extreme doctrine which my hon. friend tried to put in the mouths of hon. gentlemen on this side this afternoon that the General Officer Commanding was delegated here from the British government to represent the British government in matters military. Nobody on this side ever heard of such a doctrine. No newspaper or organ on this side ever promulgated such a proposition before the patient people of this country. The duties of the General Officer Commanding are laid down in the statute which my hon. friend quoted this evening. The statute says :

There shall be appointed an officer who holds the rank of colonel or rank superior thereto in Her Majesty's regular army, who shall be charged, under the orders of Her Majesty, with the military command and discipline of the militia, and who, while he holds such appointment, shall have the rank of major general in the militia, and shall be paid at the rate of four thousand dollars per annum in full of all pay and allowances.

Now, Sir, the ground I take is this, that the General Officer Commanding is an expert adviser whom this government appoints in order to get advice on military matters which concern this country-upon the defence of the country, and upon all matters which relate to the organization and maintenance of the military force of the cotrfitry. He is not to be here simply as a machine to follow the dictates of this one or that one. He must have some discretion. He is not, as I stated before, an employee of the government. He is a high 'officer of this government, with functions which have always been recognized, and are recognized to-day. I think Lord Dun-donald had an absolutely correct idea of his duties when he said in his statement:

In all of my work I have endeavoured to keep steadily in view the nature of my post.

I have not sought to impose my policy upon the minister or upon the cabinet. I have sought to carry out the plans approved by the government. In the technical administration of the force I held that I should be given a fairly free hand.

Not the control, as the Minister of Militia said last night, but simply a fairly free Mr. CASGRAIN.

hand in the technical administration of the affairs of the militia.

At the same time I w'as careful to ascertain and consider the views of all persons interested. I claimed a smaller measure of freedom than is accorded to the general managers of important commercial companies. To maki a railway pay it is necessary to leave detail matters of administration largely to the expert official in charge of the system. The managing of a military force is expert work, and the safety of the country is surely as important as the success of a railway. My claim for freedom extended only to the technical side of my work. I had no desire to force my policy upon the ministry.

Now, Sir, was any fact given in this House yesterday or to-day which shows that Lord Dundonald went beyond what he conceived to be his duty, and what was laid down as his duty in plain words ? In this statement' which he issued to the press there is not a tittle of evidence that he ever did anything which could be classed among acts of insubordination or disobedience to his minister, or which clashed with the' authority of the head of his department. A good deal has been said yesterday and today with regard to the suppression of the second part of his report of 1902, and the minister's dealings with the report of 1902 and 1903. The leader of the House gave an altogether different reason for holding that those reports should not be published. He did not take the ground which the hon. Minister of Militia took last evening ; but he went to a good deal of pains to quotei authorities to show that those reports were confidential documents, and could not be laid on the table of the House except with the permission of the minister in charge of the department, in this case the Minister of Militia and Defence. He quoted from page 442 of Todd on * Parliamentary Government in England.' I will not make the whole quotation again, but I will quote this much :

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.'

Again my right hon. friend is beside the mark. These remarks do not at all apply to departmental reports in the sense that they are in the blue-books and are each year put upon the table of the House. You have only to refer to two pages before to see that these remarks refer to ' the practice in regard to the granting or withholding by the executive of information desired by either House of parliament.' When a mo-

tion is made in the House for the production of a document, the government on certain occasions is authorized and empowered to withhold the dooument on the ground that it may contain confidential or secret information, or information which it would not be in the interest of the public to lay before the House. This does not apply to Reports which the minister is obliged each year to lay before the House. Why, the very Militia Act, which enacts that a eom-mander-in-chief shall be appointed, contains the following in section 126 :-

All regulations made under this Act, and an annual report of the state of the militia, shall be laid before parliament by the Minister of Militia and Defence, within the first thirty days of the then next session thereof.

My right hon. friend says that even before this report could be handed to the minister, it should be asked ; but the statute says the contrary. I take the right hon. gentleman's word on a great many occasions as laying down the correct law, but when I find him in direct contradiction to the statute, I say he must be wrong. It was the bounden duty of the Minister of Militia and Defence, within the first thirty days of the session, to lay the report of the department before parliament ; and how is this report made up ? It is made up of the report of the General Officer Commanding and the heads of the different branches of the department, just as the report of any other department is made up. Therefore the argument of iny right hon. friend falls to the ground. This is not the ground that the Minister of Militia took last evening. The ground he took was that this was a Confidential, private or secret report; and he said the same thing last session. He gave as his reasons for not producing the second part of the report of 1902 that it was a secret and confidential report. I say that argument is not correct. The report itself not only was not marked private, but by its very nature it was intended for pub lication. My hon. friend founded the principal argument he made upon the fact that the covering letter by which the report was sent to the minister was marked private, t and he quoted this letter to show that the ' report itself must also have been private. Let me read some of these extracts again in order to show that the ground falls from under the feet of my right hon. friend. This is what the General Officer Commanding said :

' Private.'

Creichton Lodge,

Ottawa, Jan. 29, 1903.

Exactly what the statute enacts that he should do. He is bound to describe the condition of the militia at the time he makes his report. He goes on to say :

I hope that the recommendations I make will commend themselves to you. I think they will, as from our conversations I believe we agree on many essential points. I don't think the country can obtain a cheaper or more efficient system for money expended than the one outlined if only you can see your way t'O get it adopted and the proper funds voted.

I am still confined to the house but hope to get out to-morrow and shall look forward to seeing you Monday at latest if convenient to you.

This letter was marked * private ' because it was intended for Sir Frederick Borden alone and not for his department. But to argue that because this letter was marked ' private, ' the report itself was private and confidential is presuming rather much on the lack of intelligence of this House. My hon. friend the Minister of Militia last evening tried to make us believe, from reading these letters, that the general had consented to the suppression of part 2nd of his report. After stating his case, he said :

Now that is the record. Does that record bear out the statement which this right hon. gentleman has seen fit to make in this address of his to the people of Canada ?

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

Yes.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Who says yes ?

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

I do.

I was bold enough to say that the record bore out the statement which Lord Dundon-ald had made in what my hon. friend calls his address to the people of Canada. Why, all through these letters, the general discusses the question of the publishing of his report. Here is a letter dated the 31st of January, from the Minister of Militia and Defence, in which he said :

Dear Lord Dundonald,-I have carefully read your very interesting and able report. I don't know whether you intend Part II to form part of the annual report of the Minister of Militia and Defence for this year (i.e. 1902), but I am afraid it would not do to put forward a scheme which has not yet been considered as a whole even by tbe minister and of which the other members of the cabinet have as yet had absolutely no opportunity of knowing anything. Besides, there is the very grave question of propriety of giving such a scheme to the world ; at any rate, in such detail. Furthermore, you are aware that a scheme was recommended by the Defence Committee of 1898, approved by the War Office and adopted by the Canadian government.

Then he goes on to say :

Dear Sir Frederick,-I am sending you with this my report for the year 1902. I only received the last of the sub-reports to me last Saturday-there has been, as you are aware,\a great deal of w-ork involved, first in becoming acquainted with the system, then in discovering its weakness, then in suggesting remedies for improvement.

Then there is the financial question. It is absolutely necessary that I should have a carefully prepared estimate of the cost involved in your proposals before they can be considered by the government.

So that tbe House will see that what the Minister of Militia was trying to do was to

Who were the 'impetuous friends ' ? Were they ' impetuous ' in getting up this military organization. No. They were "Impetuous ' political friends of my hon. friend the Minister of Agriculture. This shows that the hon. Minister of Agriculture was taking counsel in the county not from those who were trying to get up the organization of a regiment of cavalry, but from those who were trying to foist upon the regiment men whom they thought it desirable to appoint to the positions in it. And the Minister of Agriculture says that he has not got so much as his ' impetuous ' friends asked for, but that he had got a good deal. He confesses judgment-he says that he has tried his best to get all that his friends demanded, that he has got a good deal and that they must be satisfied. And what does Colonel Whitley say at page 27 of the same report ? This was read by my hon. friend from Compton, (Mr. Pope) but it will bear repetition:

I think I told you, in Ottawa, my views re the drinking question. I dread an intemperate officer: they are useless, indeed of great harm wherever they appear, and, candidly, I would prefer political opponents to such.

The worst man would be an intemperate officer, but the next would be a political opponent. All through this correspondence, it is plain to be seen that the object these hon. gentlemen had was not to keep this regiment from being made a Tory preserve, but to make it a Liberal preserve. And what does Mr. Brenham say-page 29 ?

Now, if you do not get any applications from any of our fellows, rather than see It go to those fellows in Sweetsburg, I would take a commission and do the best I could, so will leave the matter in your hands and will be satisfied with the results.

Sir, these gentlemen were trying to get their ' fellows ' into the regiment. Who were their 'fellows'? Their political friends. And they were trying to exclude as far as possible any member of the Baker family, exclude as far as common decency would permit, any Conservatives from the regiment and were trying to get their 'fellows ' in if possible. Now, let me read further on from this same page, 29, a letter from the Minister of Agriculture to a Mr. Clinton :

He and Mr. Parmelee and I have been discussing matters here at length, and Mr. Parmelee and I are satisfied that he is honestly desirous of remedying these mistakes and doing anything he can to meet our views.

Here is Mr. Parmelee brought in now. For what purpose ? Is Mr. Parmelee a military expert ? Does he know anything about the requirements of the militia ? Does he know anything about the military qualifications of these gentlemen ? If he was consulted, he must have been consulted merely as to the political qualifications of

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CON

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CASGRAIN.

'our fellows' in the different places in which this regiment was being recruited.

It is impossible, however, to make all the changes that our friends would like.

' Our friends would like.' It was purely from a political standpoint and no other that these appointments were being made.

The most Important ones, have, however, been made. Dr. Pickel is not to be given command of the squadron, and Tom. Pickel is to be made lieutenant Instead of captain.

When they could not put him out they reduced him in rank.

Clifton Miltimore Is to be given a captaincy. We have adopted the plan that men without any military experience as a rule should start as lieutenants. The squadron which was named for Adamsville is to be changed to Cowansville, not Sweetsburg.

No, they would not go into that Tory town of Sweetsburg, but they would go somewhere else-always the political motive at the foundation of everything in the organization of this regiment.

* The squadron which was named for Man-sonvile is to be changed to Knowlton.

Many hon. gentlemen may not know that Mansonville in the county of Brome is the place in which Mr. Manson resides, and that Mr. Manson was an opponent of Mr. Mc-Oorkill in the local fight of which I have just spoken. Of course they had to take the squadron out of Mansonville so that it would not be contaminated by Mr. Man-son or any of those bad Tories, and put it in Knowlton which was not such a Tory locality as Mansonville. But ( is it not a fact that far from being disproved, the statement of Colonel Smart was carried out by all the letters which have been written by my Eon. friend, and my hon. friend has stated before this House time and again that he was determined that this regiment would not be a Tory preserve. Here again we see that the political hand of my hon. friend was busy in meddling in this matter and in trying to keep as many Conservatives out as he could.

Now what are the consequences of all this? The consequences of this intermeddling will have a deterrent effect upon the minds of those who want to join the militia of this country. When men of means, capable of joining the militia force would like to do so, they will be deterred by the knowledge that if they are Conservatives they will have no advancement and no promotion, that they will be kept out of positions, and that they will get scant justice and even scant courtesy from the hands of hon. gentlemen opposite.

Now this country has to choose between the Minister of Agriculture and Lord Dun-donald. My right hon. friend the leader of the House this evening said that he could

not agreee with the last paragraph of the resolution moved by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition. He went further, and he said that this last paragraph is not borne out by the facts laid before the House. Sir, it is true that Lord Dundonald, in his statement to the press, has given other instances of meddling and interference by the Minister of Agriculture. But what came to pass ? This came to pass, that ' the last straw which broke the camel's back ' as the hon. gentleman said last night, was the meddling of my hon. friend in the organization of this squadron in the eastern townships. It was his meddling and interference, when he had no right to do it, because he was interfering from purely political motives, and this is what Lord Dun-donald resented. Now we see that the action of the hon. gentleman has culminated in the retirement of Lord Dundonald, in the dismissal of Lord Dundonald, in his being sent away from this country under a cloud, as it were, having his services dispensed with by this government. The country will have to choose between Lord Dundonald and the Minister of Agriculture. I never knew before that my hon. friend was so great an adept in military matters, and I am forcibly reminded of one of the letters of Mr. Dooley entitled ' In peace and in war.' Hon. gentlemen who have read this remarkable book will remember probably that the President of the United States is recruiting some officers to send them to the war, in Cuba against the Spanish, and one man comes up and the president said: 'What kind of pyjamas do you wear ' ? ' Silk pyjamas.' 'Well,' said the president, 'I will make a brigadier general of you.' Sir, I must apologize for having mentioned before this distinguished audience these unmentionables, and I must also apologize for having called to the mind of my listeners the spectacle of the Minister of Agriculture arrayed in his somewhat unmartiai rig. Now this Is the question before the House. The country will be called upon to decide, in a short time I hope, between the Minister of Agriculture and Lord Dundonald. We have put the case before the country. The people know the merits of the question, and I have no doubt that when the time comes to decide, Lord Dundonald will emerge from the discussion what he is now, and what he was when he came to this country, a most useful and experienced soldier, whose reputation the Minister of Agriculture has only endanced in the hearts and minds of every fair minded citizen of Canada.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. ANDREW B. INGRAM (East Elgin).

Though the hour is late I shall uot apologize Tot taking up a few minutes in discussing this question. I shall try to make my remarks free from any partisan bias whatever, and aside from any political opinions I may hold. I have for years in this House

taken some interest in military matters, not that I am a military man, but observing from session to session that though we have a membership in this House of 214, whenever a question came up affecting the militia of Canada, fhe discussion was conducted by but very few members. So I felt it my duty in my own humble way to take some part in the discussion of military questions when they came before this House, because the greater part of the members did not do so. Since I have been a member of this House I have noticed a vast difference in the military feeling among the members. A good many years ago when the Minister of Militia asked for a reasonable amount to promote the militia he received very little assistance in passing his estimates, although they were niggardly in amount. During the Conservative regime I always understood. at all events, I never noticed that any partisan feeling governed the action of the Militia Department in those days.

I would like to believe to-day that no political feeling is engendered by the lion. Minister of Militia and Defence in the administration of his department. I would like to believe that and on that line I am going to proceed with my argument though my remarks will be brief and to the point. It has been said in this discussion and said repeatedly by the hon. Minister of Agriculture that he had no desire to introduce party politics into the militia of this country, that what he did he did in the interest of the militia and that was his sole object and aim. I would like to believe that statement in the interest of the militia, but I do not think the hon. gentleman will pretend to believe that his conduct in this matter was purely non-partisan. His language has been such as to lead me to believe that his conduct was rather partisan, But, the point at issue in this case is simply this : The commander of the forces of Canada, by reason of certain interference, has, in a speech at Montreal, stated that the act of the hon. Minister of Agriculture was the last straw that broke the camel's back and that by reason of that act the commander of the forces was forced to speak out at the banquet in Montreal. Now, Sir, I anl not going to enter into a discussion as to whether he was acting improperly in doing that. I am not going to enter into a discussion as to whether the government are justified in dismissing him. That is not the point I am going to discuss. I have always been led to believe in this House that the military forces of this or any other country, I care not where it is, are the most successful that observe strict discipline. I have recognized that there is a head of the militia force. I have recognized that the Minister of Militia is the head of ,the militia force of this country and that next to him is the commander of the forces. I have looked over the report of the Department of Mill-

tia and Defence which was laid on the table of the House this session and I find that, notwithstanding the quotations of rules and regulations read by the right hon. Prime Minister and by my hon. friend from Montmorency to-night, this report states that :

The present organization of the department, so far as the branches under the control, or supervision, of the General Officer Commanding are concerned, is outlined in a Minute of Council, dated October 29, 1903. which was promulgated as General Order 159, 1903, as follow's :

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DISTRIBUTION OF DUTIES.


The General Officer Commanding. 1. The Genera] Officer Commanding shall he charged with the military command and discipline of the militia, shall issue General Orders and hold periodical inspection of the militia. He shall be the principal adviser of the Minister of Militi'a and Defence on all 'military questions and shall be charged with the control of the branches of the Adjutant General, the Director General of Military Intelligence and Military Secretary, and the general supervision of the other military branches. He shall be charged with the general distribution and localization of the militia, jand with the selection and proposal to the Minister of Militia and Defence of fit and proper persons to be recommended for commissions in the militia, of fit and proper officers for promotions, for staff and other military- appointments, and for military honours and rewards. Then this goes on to state the duties of the respective branches. It refers to the adjutant's general's brahch, the intelligence branch, the military secretary's branch, the quartermaster general's branch, the engineer service branch, the ordnance branch and the medical services branch. It concludes: All orders or regulations inconsistent with this Order in Council are hereby cancelled. These are the duties of the various officers whose work js subject to the approval of the commanding officer, who, after he has approved of any matters affecting the forces, submits them to the minister for his approval. In this report I do not see that the hon. Minister of Agriculture has any duties to perform in connection with the militia, and I am giving to the hon. minister of .Agriculture the same rights as the hon. Minister of Finance or any other cabinet minister has and what are "they ? They are that when the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence takes his report to Council and these gentlemen sit around the council board, whenever that document is placed before them for their consideration, they are quite within their rights and they are doing their duty as I understand it when they undertake to discuss that document. We have heard a great deal about etiquette in the city of Ottawa. I take it when the commander of the forces referred to etiquette in the city of Ottawa he meant


L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

that the hon. Minister of Agriculture, without consulting the head of his department, without consulting the commander of the forces had undertaken to write to certain officers in the eastern townships asking them to accept commissions in the force in which it was no part of his duty, but interfering with the duties of the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence and the Officer Commanding the forces of this country, thus committing a breach of military etiquette. It does not require a military man to go down to the camp which is now being held at Rockliffe to discover that a corporal is jealous of his authority and of his rights, that a lieutenant, a captain, a major, or a colonel is jealous of his authority and stands on his dignity in exercising his authority. So it is with the General Officer Commanding the forces. The hon. Minister of Agriculture stated that when the officer commanding the forces telephoned to him and asked him to make some arrangement by which he could discuss this question with him, he gave him to understand that he had an office down town and that if there was anything he desired to consult him about he knew where to find his office. I would have thought that if Lord Dundonald or the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence desired to consult the hon. Minister of Agriculture on matters affecting agriculture the least the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence or the commander of the forces could do would be to go to the office of the hon. Minister of Agriculture, but when the hon. Minister of Agriculture was asked to discuss some matters in which he was interfering and for that purpose to come to the office of the hon. Minister of Militia and Def ence it would not have been undignified on the part of the hon. Minister of Agriculture to have done so, and it certainly would have been more in line with the discipline of the militia of this country. He was dealing with a question affecting the militia of Canada in a department with which he had nothing to do other than any other Minister of the Crown has occasionally to deal with certain matters coming before the Privy Council of which he is a member. I do not deny him the right to deal with these matters at the Privy Council but the hon. Minister of Agriculture had a right to go and consult the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence and the commander of the forces, if he felt disposed to do so. I want to say that if this hon. gentleman had shown a disposition to make matters easy for the commander of the forces, if he had not desired to create dissensions amongst military men or put obstacles in the way of the commander of the forces, if his sole desire was to promote the welfare of the militia in the eastern townships the least he could have done would have been to have gone to the Department of Militia and Defence and there to have sat quietly down and dis-

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cussed this matter with the commander of the forces. I am sure that Lord Dundonald would have quietly sat down with him and discussed this matter and that if he had suggested anything that Lord Dundonald deemed to be in the interest of the militia or in the interest of that portion of the force in the eastern townships he would have been only too glad to have accepted the suggestion.

That in my judgment would have been a proper course to pursue. A good deal has been said about Lord Dundonald in this House. I have watched closely and read extensively of the career of that gentleman in South Africa and it struck me that the language used was not justified by his career. The language was harsh and in my judgment uncalled for. Lord Dundonald is human like the rest of us, and he may have his faults. I heard the Prime Minister say let ' him who is without sin cast the first stone.' If he had erred in this case, I suppose he must suffer to the extent of his error, but whatever his error might have been I am quite within the mark when I say that his hearty whole-souled desire was for the welfare of the militia of this country and not for his own advancement. No man will charge him with being a political partisan. He has had a great deal of experience as an officer for many yearsL and now after one year in Canada we are told that he is unfit to command the militia of Canada.

We have heard a good deal about his report. Last year when the report of the Militia Department was laid on the table- and I take sufficient interest in the militia to read carefully every word submitted by that department for consideration-I discovered that there was a second report not published, and like two or three other members on this side-who take a lively interest in military matters, I was eager to know the contents of that report, because it occurred to me if we have an officer as capable as Lord Dundonald, capable enough to be sent by the British authorities to Canada, to take charge of our militia, any suggestions that he might have to offer to the people would be worthy of perusal and of consideration, and of examination in order to see whether the suggestions offered were such as the [DOT]people of this country ought to adopt. I have here a report that was placed before the Privy Council, a document with the 13th Dragoons struck out on the 14th of May. That was done while it was before council. Why ? On account of certain interference by the Minister of Agriculture, certain objections he raised to certain persons on the list, in connection with the military organization in the eastern townships. Again on the 19th of May, the Minister of Agriculture struck out the name of Dr. Pickel, in the name of the Minister of Militia. If the Minister of Agriculture was requested to act in the place of the Minister of Militia on that

particular occasion, the 19th instant, and if he on that morning had received a document from Colonel Smart to the effect that he wanted the name of Mr. Pickel struck out I would go so far as to say the Minister of Agriculture acting on behalf of the Minister of Militia, had a perfect right to strike it out, but when I go that far I call the attention to the fact, that he interfered previous to that, and had written letters in order to block Mr. Pickel in this matter when he was not acting as Minister of Militia. There is where the sin and the partisanship on the part of the Minister of Agriculture came in. He was not acting as the Minister of Militia, but was acting the part of a partisan. I would like to draw attention to a little matter in my own experience some few years ago and from this experience and the debate which is drawing to a close, I am bound to say that if the people of this country make a change from an officer who comes to this country from England and place the militia in the hands of a Canadian officer, we will have many instances of this kind occurring. On Wednesday, November 7th, 1900, we had a general election. In 1900 we bad an estimate brought down in this House for a grant for an armoury, in the city of St. Thomas, of $8,000. The ground was bought on May 21, 1900. In 1901 we had placed in the estimates $24,000 in one case and $7,000 in another, a total in all of $39,000 for a drill hall and armoury in St. Thomas. The election took place on the 7th of November, but no contract was let, and no money was voted beyond the $8,000, but on November 3rd, four days previous to the general election although no contract had been let, the Minister of Public Works came to St. Thomas brought several soldiers there, and the Minister of Public Works went down and turned the first sod of an armoury for the building of which not one dollar had been voted by parliament. I think that comment is unnecessary; I shall simply place that on record and leave the House to judge whether there has been any partisan interference in this department. Last session I heard a gentleman make one of the best military speeches I have heard in this House for many years, a gentleman trusted by this government who filled a very important position in London, during the Jubillee. I refer to the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. Thompson). I am bound to say that he spoke without any partisan feeling. His remarks were approved by members on both sides. After the hundreds of thousands of dollars which we had expended in this country for the purpose of promoting the welfare of the militia the hon. member for Haldimand (Mr. A. T. Thompson) rose and among other things said :

I have shown that we were called upon to furnish the skeleton of a skeleton. I now state that we have actually turned out the shadow of a skeleton of a skeleton. Can anything so

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ghost-like be longer called a militia force? . . . . I know the case of one company

which this year had two officers and six noncommissioned officers to command two men, one of whom was the cook.

This is a statement made not by any partisan on this side, but by a government supporter in a non-partisan spirit. And in view of the fact of our having some 4,000 miles of boundary line, between this country and the United States, it is not too much to say that Lord Dundonald's remarks were quite justified, when he said that we are living in a fools paradise. .

So we are ; there is no question about it. If anything should occur between the United States and Canada, which Cod forbid, should we not in time of peace prepare for war ? The very fact that we are preparing for war is the reason we shall have peace maintained in the country. If the recommendations of the General Officer Commanding are not to be considered, what is the use of having a man of that character come to this country ? It is simply a waste of time and a waste of money. When this report is kept from the people of this country we are not in a position to judge of it. Some hon. gentlemen say, why should we be allowed to consider it ? If hon. gentlemen will take the pains to go into the library and turn up the militia reports submitted to this House from year to year, they will find that certain recommendations are made in all those reports by the General Officer Commanding, the deputy minister and other officers, which are not carried out. Some are carried out and some are not carried out. In view of that fact, is there any harm in the commander of the forces having his suggestions embodied in the report ? If parliament does not feel disposed to adopt any of them, well and good. The majority in parliament have that power. I think this unfortunate occurrence is greatly to be regretted, and nobody will regret it more than the militia of this country.

I am called on to-night to cast a vote for the amendment moved by the hon. leader ot the opposition. I have heard that amendment criticised. I have heard the question asked, why have you not moved a resolution condemning the government for dismissing Lord Dundonald ? I suppose that when Lord Dundonald made his statement in Montreal, he knew what he was doing. I presume that in making that statement, he felt that the breach would be made so wide between the government and himself that it would be utterly impossible for him to remain in the service any longer. Therefore it is not for the leader of the opposition to move in respect to that. What has he moved ? That :-

The selection and appointment of officers in the millitia should be made without regard to party political considerations which if permitted to exercise an influence will prove disastrous to the efficiency of the force.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OP LORD DUN-DONALD.
Subtopic:   DISTRIBUTION OF DUTIES.
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L-C
L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. E. HACKETT (West Prince).

Mr. Speaker, before you put tbe question, I would like to ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture, who it appears is the Minister of Militia, has any trouble arisen in Prince Edward Island with regard to the militia camps ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OP LORD DUN-DONALD.
Subtopic:   DISTRIBUTION OF DUTIES.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I cannot give the hon. gentleman any answer.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OP LORD DUN-DONALD.
Subtopic:   DISTRIBUTION OF DUTIES.
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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

Well, where is the Minister of Militia V Who is the Minister of Militia in this country ? I have here a clipping from the Charlottetown ' Daily Patriot,' the organ of the government in the province of Prince Edward Island, published on the 24th of June, 1904, which says :

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OP LORD DUN-DONALD.
Subtopic:   DISTRIBUTION OF DUTIES.
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THE MILITIA CAMPS.


Militia orders were received in this city yesterday prohibiting the use of Victoria barrack grounds as formerly for militia camp. It had teen represented to the department that the stores and buildings were in probable danger of fire in having such a large body of men encamped in.the immediate vicinity. It had been also represented that the latrines were offensive to the families in the vicinity. , I need not read the whole of the document, but want some information from the government. The article goes on : We might say, as far as the latrines are concerned, they are inspected daily by the medical officer, field officer and captain of the day and specially attended under the supervision of the quartermaster. Up to this date there has never been a single complaint on this matter. On receipt of the communication from Ottawa, forbidding the holding of the camp, to Colonel Moore, D.O.C., Colonel Stewart immediately called a meeting of his officers, who, after learning the situation, wired as follows: Charlottetown, June 21, 1904. To Messrs. D. A. MacKinnon and H. Haszard, M.P.'s, Ottawa. Letter dated June 16th from A.G. to-day, refused use of barrack square militia camp next Tuesday. Contracts already let for supplies, as orders were issued to encamp usual place. In camp there seventeen years. No other grounds available this late date. Building -safe from fire. Latrines never offensive to families Adjutant General visiting here last year said, * Ideal place for camp.' Scenic grounds. See Militia Department. Very urgent; wire. (Sgd.) D. STEWART, Lieut.-Col.


June 24, 1904