Mr. SAM. HUGHES.
We have heard their speeches in this House, we have heard speeches px-oduced in this House made by these bon. gentlemen and their friends before the last general election in the province of Quebec. We have had documents here, sworn to, and published in the ' Hansard.' My young friend is very innocent, or he would not ask such a question. More than that, we have seen that spirit manifested here by these gentlemen again and again. I do not know who that Liberal friend is that Informs Mr. Glenn of these things he mentions in his letter ; but at all events, our friends opposite are gradually going in that direction. They demand the making of our own treaties, they demand that there shall be no appeal to the Privy Council, they demand that we shall have a Canadian General Officer Commanding, they demand that every tie that binds ns to the motherland, except the old flag, shall be cut asunder, except that one link the Governor General ; and then it will be a mighty short time until they come out and demand a republic. Whether that is the aim of the Minister of Agriculture, who, on his recent trip to Japan has been lecturing to the Geisha girls, whether he has the desire to supplant the Prime Minister and become a sort of president of a new republic, I do not know. At all events, there is no use in shutting our eyes to the fact that the tendency of these gentlemen is in that direction.
Now, I may say that some years ago, when I had an opportunity of standing up for the rights of the people of Canada against the tyranny of the General Officer
Commanding, not because be was a Britisher but because he was taking an unconstitutional course, I had the privilege then ol' proceeding along certain 'lines which had been laid down for upwards of a hundred years in the parliament of Great Britain. I resented the illegal action of that officer. Our good friends opposite do not seem to be able to see the difference between an illegal action -and a legal one.
I say here that if it can be shown that Lord Dundonald practiced any of the illegal actions that General Hutton practiced,
I shall be the first to admit that the government did right in dismissing him. But neither directly nor indirectly have they shown the first solitary instance where Lord Dundouald's course has not been thoroughly constitutional, thoroughly in line with the spirit of responsible government. When the movement was on foot to have a Canadian General Officer Commanding succeed General Hutton, I took the opportunity on February 25, 1901, to say this in the House of Commons :
That in brief, is the correspondence. I have brought this matter up, not in order to vindicate myself, and not because I have any objection to the General Officer Commanding the Canadian forces being a British general. On the contrary, I desire that our General Officer Commanding should be a British general. I know that a great many of my friends, both on the other side of the House and on this side, in view of the conduct of some of the .General Officers in recent years have expressed the wish that a Canadian officer should he appointed to that position.
I wish to say, standing here that it is my desire that the General Officer Commanding should he an imperial officer and I believe that if we paid that officer $10,000 a year, which is the pay of a major general in England, and is about what little New South Wales pays to her General Officer Commanding we would get an officer to come out here to take command of our troops who would be a credit to the position and to the empire.
Lord Dundonald came to this country a credit in every sense to the empire. And here it may not be out of place for me to give -a few of the reasons of that spirit of antagonism to Lord Dundonald. Who can fail to understand the spirit manifested both by the Minister of Agriculture and by the Minister of Militia last night ? Who can fail, I say, to observe that the antagonism to Lord Dundonald was due to the fact that he was a member of the British aristocracy, and because he was a member of the British army. It ill becomes gentlemen who, a few years ago, boasted themselves as democrats to tlie hilt, and wlio on every occasion since have been sacrificing their previously pi'ofessed principles for titles and for offices-I say it ill becomes them to stand-up in this House and sneer at any one because he is a member of the British aristocracy. I maintain that the General Officer Commanding the Canadian
troops should he am imperial officer, not because Canadians aire not capable of filling the post, because I believe Canadians are capable, not only of being General Officers Commanding in Canada, provided they have the necessary training, but they are capable of being Commanders-in-Chief of the imperial armies, provided they have the necessary training. I want him to be an imperial officer, not because he might he an Englishman, because, although some Englishmen may be bumptious, we have seen Canadians who are bumptious also. That is not a fault belonging exclusively to Englishmen. There are some Frenchmen, there are many in England, some in Scotland andl a few in Ireland who are inclined to stick to their own opinions. You will find that all over the world. I want an imperial officer, not because he may, be am imperial aristocrat
although let me say this, that other things being equal, a man from the ranks of the aristocracy, if he is thoroughly trained, should be just as good a man at all events to command our militiary forces as any one else. So it should be no drawback to a man that he is an aristocrat. I say that in Lord Dundonald the Canadian government have had a true aristocrat. a gentleman who has done credit to Canada and has been a credit to the empire. I want an imperial General Officer Commanding, not because he Is a better man, but because be is better trained ; I want an imperial General Officer Commanding because, if he turns out to be objectionable, we can get rid of him, because there is a greater field for selection in the imperial service than in the Canadian service ; because changes are beneficial ; because there is less jealousy arising in Canada when there is an imperial officer than when there is a colonial officer, because there Is a greater selection in the imperial service than in the Canadian service, because changes are beneficial, because there Is less jealousy arising in Canada when there is an imperial officer than | when there is a colonial, because there is less intrigue, influence and unscrupulousness exerted in the appointment of officers-we have an instance in the organization of this regiment alone of intrigue, influence and unscrupulousness having been brought to bear in order to keep certain officers out of that regiment-because an imperial trained officer has greater chances of becoming proficient than a Canadian trained officer has, because if we limit ourselves to a Canadian General Officer it would tend to prevent the introduction of that system which we hope soon to see in force, an exchange of officers between the two services, because to limit the selection to a Canadian would tend to exclude Canadians from positions In the great imperial army of the British empire, because the retaining of an imperial officer is a link between the old empire and the
colony, because in the future of the empire the day is not far distant when there will be one great imperial militia and one great Imperial army for the whole empire. Let it be understood that Canada's fighting force must of necessity be the militia. We want no great standing army in this country. The militia is democratic and of the people. A standing army is aristocratic and tends to breed autocrats and oligarchs whom we find exemplified in the hon. Minister of Agriculture. The militia, while maintaining law and order, defending the country and giving the youth of the land ne-cesary discipline, preserves a proper balance between the people and the executive, between an ultra democracy and an aristocracy. The militia upbuilds the independent man and makes all men more self-reliant. The militia trains the mass of the people of the nation as against a few trained by the regular army system. The militia suppresses the spirit of militarism while the standing army develops .it. I do not know that it is necessary to go on further, I was going to point out but I shall take another occasion to do it that there is an agitation going on through the country to get rid of the connection between Great Britain and the colonies in so far as it is possible by removing the treaty making power from Great Britain. However, I shall take another occasion to deal with this question. I desire to be through before six o'clock because I understand the right hon. Prime Minister does not want to go on after six.