February 17, 1910

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Might I ask the minister this one question-in that letter from Mr. Osman he says: We will not only allow you to charge for vessels over the old wharf, but the extension which we now propose to make. Does not that imply that the Crown cannot own it? He says: We

will allow you the privilege of doing so for both the old wharf and the new; as though it was their own wharf.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I think the hon. gentleman is mistaken as to the language of the letter, but I will say to him that there is no question whatever, and nobody has ever raised a question outside of my hon. friend from Grey (Mr. Sproule) as to the ownership of the soil right in the wharf which the Crown has built. That belongs absolutely to the Crown, it is built upon Crown property and it is the sole property of the Crown. Now, just one other word and then I am done. The hon. member for York (Mr. Crocket) with that sense of fairness, or rather what he would I suppose assume to be fairness, which characterizes him, suggests that this letter which the manager of the Albert Manufacturing Company wrote to me, with regard to giving these privileges upon the wharf originally built by the company, was probably written by myself. I need not answer that suggestion further than to say that those who know Mr. Osman will know that he is just as capable of putting a fair business proposition in a letter as I would be, and a good deal more able to do it than I would be. I can simply say that I never heard of the letter and never saw the letter until it was submitted to me by my officials in the department here at Ottawa. That is the answer which I make to that, and I think that my hon. friend really had begin to devote his attention to somewhat larger subjects; begin to deal with people a little more fairly, and if he does he will not only do more public good, but he will really do himself very much more good than by pursuing the small tactics which he is pursuing.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.


The House resumed adjourned debate on the motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 95), an Act respecting the Naval Service of Canada, the proposed amendment of Mr. Borden there-Mr. PTJGSLEY. to, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Monk.


?

Mr. F. T.@

CONGDON (Yukon Territory), -resuming-Mr. Speaker, this debate has already continued so long that it seems almost necessary that one should offer some apology for venturing to address the House further. I do not suppose that it is possible for either myself or any of the gentlemen who will follow me, to add much interest or refreshment to the topic now before the House. I do not know but we shall be compelled to take refuge in the excuse of Elihu the son of Barachel, the Buzzite who after having listened for a long and considerable time to the elders speaking; to Eliphaz the Teemanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite and to Job himself, deemed it necessary that he should apologize for speaking and gave his excuse in the words: I will speak that I may be refreshed. Under the circumstances, Sir, those of us who are deeply possessed of sincere opinions on this subject may feel that if we cannot refresh the House we may at all events have some satisfaction in refreshing ourselves when we speak on this matter. I trust that none of us will be open to the accusing inquiry that came in the whirlwind: * Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge/ I endeavoured yesterday to review somewhat briefly the panics which had possessed the British public in former years. I endeavoured to show that these panics were largely instigated and intensified by the action of elderly men, whose lives had in some cases been spent in warfare, but who had lost somewhat of the nerve and vigour of their earlier years. I mentioned the Duke of Wellington, Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Ellenborough, and Sir Charles Napier. These are the men who at that time added greatly to the panics which possessed the public mind. I endeavoured to show further that none of these panics were justified by the event. Some of them arose out of the fact that men who for long years had been engaged in military and naval affairs appeared to have lost a correct sense of the perspective regarding the British empire. They seemed to believe that the greatness of the British empire was founded on her army and her navy, forgetting that the greatness of the empire which promises to endure is founded not upon a navy or an army, but upon the principles of freedom and justice, which have inspired the people of that great empire. At the adjournment of the debate, I was endeavouring to show the great progress which had been made in a very few years in the construction of the German navy. I pointed out the great difficulties which met German statesmen; that practically the nation had no harbours;

1 that the people had no savoir faire in sea-

manship and that for years it seemed an impossibility to establish in Germany either a naval or mercantile marine. But, by indefatigable zeal and by persistence, the German people have to-day a navy which has to be reckoned with in the polities of the nations. I mentioned also that concurrently with the increase of the German navy there practically disappeared the old wooden ship building industry of Canada. There came to the rescue of the Germans in their effort to found a navy the application of steam power to vessels and the utilization of iron and steel in their construction. The natural aptitude for scientific pursuits of the Germans gave them an opportunity to attain a certain mastery in seamanship. It would have been impossible for them to have become potent upon the sea if the old system of navigation had continued, and if conditions had not so changed as to render no longer necessary that expert seamanship which was required on the old sailing vessels. I referred also yesterday, with some satisfaction, to the announcement made by the Minister of Finance of the abolition of the surtax. I forgot to mention in connection with the panics of former days that they differed from the present day panic in that they were not to the same extent fostered by the yellow press. I think any one who has read the despatches containing the announcement of certain newspapers in England with respect to results which will follow from the removal of the surtax, cannot doubt that the yellow press is to-day a potent influence in fomenting these panics.

It almost leads to the suspicion that they do so for no other purpose than to increase the sales of their miserable papers. The grounds given by the syndicate of papers in England for their opposition to the removal of the surtax on German goods are in line with the remark made by Monck in 1666 when Great Britain was engaged in war with the Dutch. ' The justification of the war,' he said, ' is not this reason or that; but what we want is a greater share of the Dutch trade.' It would seem as if the gentlemen managing these papers in England care nothing at all about the fiscal relations between Germany and Canada, care nothing for the removal of those causes of friction between the two nations which have existed in the past and which to some extent continue to exist today. All they care for is a greater share of the trade of Germany. Let me compare the language used by these papers with the language used by gentlemen in this country to show that the surtax was removed, not in consequence of any result of the British elections, but solely in the best interests of Canadian trade. This fact is expressed in a Toronto paper by a gentleman whose opinions, I have no doubt, will be listened to with great respect by hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House-Mr. W. R. Brock, of Toronto, a gentleman well known not only in that city, but throughout Canada generally, and of course also well known to hon. members of this House, of which he was at one time a member. That gentleman is reported in the Toronto ' Daily Star ' as having said of the removal of the German surtax:

It is better than ten Dreadnoughts, and to my mind it affords an excellent opportunity for this country to look into the very great expenditure on ships of war which they are about to undertake. They are always talking about a war with Germany, but it's not war that Germany is after, it is business. The fact that they have made very great concession shows that they are primarily a trading people. Broadly speaking-I like to speak broadly on such matters-it is of much greater importance to Canada to have the good opinion of Germany and the United States than to have a great expense like this navy will be. Peace and commercial intercourse are heralded by this treaty, not war.

And if you go to the root of this matter I believe you will find that it is to no great imperial reason, no idea of conquest, on the part of Germany, that the difficulties between Great Britain and Germany are due, but that they are due solely to the endeavour of each nation to secure the greatest portion of the commerce of the world.

My object in calling attention to the growth of the navy in Germany was to point out, as I have endeavoured to do, that the difficulty which Germany was obliged t>

meet was similar to the difficulty which we had to meet in this country when our wooden ships began to be superseded on the sea by iron ships, and when we had the misfortune not to have developed our resources, nor to have accumulated capital sufficiently to enable us to turn readily from the construction of wooden ships, which required less capital and for the construction of which we had ample material, to the construction of iron and steel ships. That is not the case to-day. In the eastern part of Canada, in the province of Nova Scotia particularly, in consequence of the policy adopted by a former government of the province, of which my hon. friend the Minister of Finance was then the premier, the coal trade of the province assumed important proportions and increased to a very great extent. It has since become a most important industry in that province. As the result of the adoption of that policy, we have in Nova Scotia, not only the coal, but the iron and 3teel and all other essentials for the construction of ships. The same thing, or nearly the same, is true of the Pacific coast of Canada. So that for the construction of iron and steel ships we are in as good, nay, a better position in Canada than

Germany was at the time of the first serious decadence of wooden ships, for securing a fair share of the trade of the world.

We in Canada are now in a position, if we so desire, to go into the construction of ships, whether for mercantile or military purposes. To my mind, the real question involved in this discussion may be subdivided into two questions: which is better for Canada, and which is better for the empire? Is it better for Canada that we should adopt the provisions contained in the Bill before the House, and endeavour to initiate and build up in this country a ship building industry; or is it better for Canada that we should take the money of the taxpayers of this country and send it to England in order that all the skill and genius in naval matters should be confined to the inhabitants of the little island across the Atlantic? I venture to say that there can be no question as to which is better in the interest of Canada. And in considering these matters we have a right-possibly a first right, certainly a co-ordinate right- to consider what is in the interest of Canada concurrently with what is in the interest of the empire. To my mind, the only redeeming feature in the initiation of a naval policy is the fact that not only will it secure in this country the ability to construct vessels of war, which can serve as a defence for Canada and as an aid in the defence of the empire, but it will also at the same time, and in the same shipyards, develop an ability in this country to construct merchant ships which can engage in the carrying trade of the world. If we pass money over to England, there can certainly be no such result as that. For my part, I can see no more justification at the present moment for taking twenty or twenty-five millions of money belonging to the Canadian people and sending it to England, and saying to Great Britain, build Dreadnoughts and do what you like with these, we do not want or expect any of it back, than there would be in sending to Great Britain a delegation from the government of Canada to say, we want you to give us twenty-five millions to build ships for the defence of the empire in Canada. This will make you and us more secure than we are at present. Such a proposition would be regarded in England as utterly absurd; but it does not seem to me more absurd than the proposition to send our money to the other side of the Atlantic.

Look at the imperial position of affairs to-day. What do we find? Great Britain never occupied a position of greater naval superiority than she does to-day. All the authorities agree in that. If you read the last annual report of the British Navy League, you will find the statement there made, that during the last year Great Britain has occupied a position of greater superiority in naval matters than she has ever Mr. CONGDON.

occupied before. If you compare the list of British men of war of various kinds, from battleships down to submarines, with those of Germany or of any of the other European nations, you will find that that is absolutely true. From the calculations made by the very highest authorities on the subject, it is stated that if Great Britain absolutely ceased the further construction of battleships until 1919, and Germany carried out the programme-of naval construction upon which she has entered, at the end of that period, the navy of Great Britain would still be superior to that of Germany.

If you look at the reports, you will find that in spite of- this progress of Germany in shipbuilding, the Clyde alone produces more battle and merchant marine than the whole of Germany. And to tell us that in spite of the fact that Great Britain has nearly three battleships and armed cruisers to one of Germany, and that in the matter of tonnage and seamen engaged, she has in the proportion of almost three to one-to tell us that in spite of these facts, this is a period of emergency, that Britain is in danger from the Germans, is enough to make us despise the men who utter such sentiments. We are told that Germany can throw an army into England of 200,000 men and conquer it. Well, if the invasion by 200,000 Germans or 200,000 of any nation, can conquer England, it is about time ~ that England was conquered and some new blood infused into her veins. England cannot be conquered in that way. The idea that she must keep standing armies and be constantly preparing for war, as though Germany and other nations had nothing to occupy them except the idea of conquering Great Britain, is absurd. Britain is not to be conquered in that way. Germany has enough to do to attend to Russia, on the one side, and Austro-Hungary and France, on the other; and it is quite sufficient for her to see That she is safe against the attacks of any of these, without making a new enemy in Great Britain. As it seems to me, the position is this. Great Britain is absolutely safe against Germany. No doubt Germany alone cannot venture to attack Great Britain, nor is she thinking of attacking her. The great thing to do is to establish a circle of protection for the commerce belonging to Great Britain and her various colonies. It is pointed out in Has-lem's work ' The Admiralty of the Atlantic or the Navy League '-but each is equally strongly imperialistic, and whatever they say against any idea of contributing largely to the British navy may be taken as stronger than anything they can say in favour of it-that the only danger to Great Britain from any European combination, is the danger of having to distribute her home forces in order to protect her lines

of commerce. But if we contribute a powerful assistance and leave the navy of Great Britain in the North sea, where it can readily protect the empire against any European enemy, we will be contributing all that is desirable and can be required from us for the defence of the empire at present. The best authorities I can find on the subject indicate that the. great danger to the British empire is not immediate. The danger is that Germany may secure preponderance over Britain in naval matters by becoming able in her shipyards to produce ships faster than Britain can. The danger is that in the race for superiority, by reason, as she thinks, of her workmen and iron and steel and other matters of that kind, Germany may be enabled to outclass Great Britain, and in a given time turn out a greater number of ships. For shipyards are the roots of the navy. Without them you can have no navy. By the policy of the government, we shall not be contributing to the defence of the empire merely for the day. The great objection to the policy of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition is that it is a make-shift policy and contains no provision for the future. Whereas the policy of the government is one which decides the way in which, for all time, we can contribute to the defence of the empire. We certainly would be contributing immensely to the strength of the British navy if we^ were able, within five or ten years, to point to three or more naval yards in the Dominion, where we would have material superior in quantity and equal in quality to any in Germany, and have that material ready at a moment's notice to be utilized in building ships of any character we might require. It seems to me absurd to imagine that the whole genius and skill of the British empire are to be centred in those little islands, and that no encouragement or outlet is to be given to the genius and ability of the people of the rest of the empire. They are not to be permitted to qualify themselves at all; _ they are not to be permitted to utilize their own resources in the defence of the empire. No, the only people, apparently according to the leader of the opposition-if one properly reads the implication of his resolution- the only people who have the skill and ingenuity to build ships are to be found in the Briti ish islands, and those descendants of Britain who have crossed to this side, and our other people, have lost all genius and skill in that regard. Well, Mr. Speaker, that is not my opinion. I believe that the best interests of the empire will be served, not by contributing to the building of ships in the British islands and the development of the skill and genius to be found there, but by enlisting the abilities and skill and genius to be found in all por-119

tions of the empire, and utilizing them in the constructing of a great system.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Frederick Tennyson Congdon

Liberal

Mr. CONGDON.

thought she was bound to display. On the contrary, she has trusted them, and the only way you can secure the allegiance and confidence and loyalty of a people is by that mode which Great Britain adopted in the case of the Boers. And to-day, as the result of that generous treatment, you will find among those men in South Africa, who only a little while ago were fighting British troops and our own sons among those troops, as loyal and devoted sons of the British empire as can be found in any portion of the empire.

The most serious objection which my hon. friend the leader of the opposition has offered to the policy of the government is to that clause which leaves to the determination of the Governor in Council when the naval forces of Canada shall take part in any war of Great Britain. One *would imagine that it was an unheard-of thing for Great Britain to be engaged in a war without Canadians being in danger of having their houses burned about their heads by the enemies of Great Britain. Why, if I am not mistaken, Great Britain is at war at the present time, yet most of us know nothing about it except as we gather a few stray facts from some obscure paragraph in the newspapers. Great Britain has been engaged in scores of wars in which Canadians took no part and no interest. And, in future, Britain may be engaged in similar wars. But, of one thing we may be sure, and that is that when war becomes a serious strain upon Great Britain, a danger to the empire, there will be no lack of the loyalty which will lead to the declaration that the military and naval forces of Canada shall take part in that war. It seems to me that the suggestion that there may ever be any difficulty about that matter is a reflection upon the loyalty of Canada. My hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) seems to doubt himself, his party and perhaps the rest of us. He seems to thihk that we should bind ourselves now for fear that our loyalty may not be sufficient to cause us to do our duty later. But when a war breaks out he can trust Canadians, for I believe the people of Canada are so loyal that no government would desire or dare to withhold the forces of Canada from the assistance of the mother country when that assistance was required. That is all that is necessary.

Some hon. members of this House seem to entertain the idea that it is a sort of treason for us to question any utterance of the British admiralty. But in England they do not so regard the- matter. I notice that my Lord Charles Beresford, who thought it necessary to get into parliament in some way or other, does not reserve himself in his criticisms of the admiralty. He says that the whole thing is guided by espionage, favouritism and other disgusting things.

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LIB

Frederick Tennyson Congdon

Liberal

Mr. CONGDON.

But, according to some hon. members, we in this country should be so loyal that we cannot be allowed to question any decision of the admiralty, but, when it has told us what it wants we must yield without a word. For my part, I would sooner be guided by the declarations of the leader of this government in anything regarding the relation of Great Britain and her overseas dominions than I would be by the Lords of the Admiralty, or even by the Prime Minister of Great Britain. We have in this country trained statesmen equal to any imperial statesmen of the time. The necessities of our situation, the fact that we have two races in this country, have made it a necessity that our leader should have a power, a diplomacy, a courage equal to those of any statesman. It is much easier to manage Englishmen and Scotchmen together than it is to manage Englishmen and Frenchmen together; and the fact that we have raised up statesmen who have governed the country agreeably to the wishes of their French Canadian constituents as well as to their British constituents, shows that we have developed a statesmanship in that regard which is unsurpassed in the history of the world. The checks and limitations which the leader of the government has placed upon the military forces of Canada, exactly similar to those which have been placed upon the military forces of this country are required by the whole situation not only of Canada but by the British empire. My hon. friend would carry his argument a little further, and, because we have to-day one of the greatest and best kings ever known in the history of the world, would think it insulting to continue in his case the limitations imposed by constitutional monarchy. But I do not think much support will be given to that idea, It is true that we have a great king, a king whom we can trust, in admiration and support of whom we would go to any length. But we think it a wiser principle to confine the operation of every branch of our government to its legitimate sphere and not to allow it to transgress its due limitations. And, notwithstanding our loyalty to our sovereign, notwithstanding the great love in which we have held that sovereign, no one would think of removing one of the limitations upon his absolute monarchy. And the same with regard to the imperial -parliament. It is true, we have confidence in imperial management, but we have so much confidence in their management that we prefer to. leave it to its own proper sphere and to retain for ourselves control of that sphere which properly belongs to us. It is absurd, in my humble judgment, to ask our people to adopt a policy which will take from the responsible governors of this country the control of any large por-

tion of our public revenue and hand it over to the imperial government. And it seems to me that the dangers that would be involved in such a confusion of authority afford the best reason for not venturing upon so unusual an experiment.

I think that the Bill introduced by the leader of the government best expresses what is in the interests of the people of Canada and of the empire. I do trust and hope that circumstances in international affairs may take such a line that it will not be necessary that we should construct any considerable number of ships. But one thing is certain-that, while we will not join in any imperial policy of aggression, while we will not back up any policy which seeks to infringe upon the rights of other nations of the earth, we in Canada will always be ready to yield up every ounce of our influence and every bit of our resources for the maintenance of the great empire to which we belong. We should be lacking in the self-respect which must be the attribute of a great and free people if we were not ready to sacrifice ourselves in order to defend our institutions. _

I was struck with a statement in the work of Jane on ' Heresies of Sea Power,' to which I before referred in discussing this matter. There are some gentlemen possessed with the idea-and they hold it as though it were a political axiom-that sea power has always dominated the world, and that the nation that has the sea power is bound to be the dominating nation. Jane points out that if you follow the course of history you learn that this idea is absolutely unfounded; there are as many cases in the history of the world in which the nation having no knowledge 'of sea power, no possession of sea power, has conquered as there are instances in which the nation possessed of that power has conquered. If you go back to the old struggle between the Athenians and the Spartans, you find that the Athenians were the finest seamen, while the Spartans knew nothing of seamanship ; yet the Spartans had the fighting qualities and they won out. Ilhen when we come down to the wars between Carthage and Rome we find that, though Cartilage had inherited the great^ sea skill of the Phoenicians, and, at the time when the wars opened actually commanded the sea, and though the Romans did not even know how to build a ship until some unfortunate Carthaginian ran ashore and furnished them with a model, yet the result of the Punic wars was the complete conquest of Carthage by Rome.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

That did not take place until the Romans had become dominant on the sea.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Rome first acquired the dominion of the sea, and it was for 1194 ! J

that reason that Hannibal had to march through Spain and over the Alps.

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LIB

Frederick Tennyson Congdon

Liberal

Mr. CONGDON.

But does my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) mean to say that the Carthaginians had not command of the sea for the first, the second-

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

They lost command of the sea in the first Punic war.

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LIB

Frederick Tennyson Congdon

Liberal

Mr. CONGDON.

I confess, I cannot understand the interruption. The assertion with which I started was that the nation that had the great sea power met the nation that had no sea power and was ultimately defeated and conquered. My hon. friend points out, in objection, that the nation that had the sea power at first afterwards lost that sea power. It lost it because the nation with which it came into conflict was the greater nation, with the greater courage.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

I did not wish to interrupt the hon. gentleman (Mr. Cong-don), but, on the other hand, I do not wish him to misunderstand me. What I said was that Rome did not conquer Carthage until she had acquired dominion of the sea.

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LIB

Frederick Tennyson Congdon

Liberal

Mr. CONGDON.

That is quite immaterial to my argument. Of course, I do not object to the interruption, but it is quite immaterial to me to fix the exact time when the sea-power passed from Carthage to Rome. It is undoubtedly the fact that, in the commencement, all the sea-power was with Carthage while Rome had none. I am coming simply to this, that it is not the possession of ships or any of these things that determines ultimately the conquering powers of a race, fitness to win is the determining factor. As Mr. Jane says: It is not ships or the ability to handle them, it is not great commanders or ready obedience, but the sum of the sentiment of every individual combatant. What I urge is that if in Canada we conduct ourselves in such a way as to build up a free democracy, a democracy that does not need a large standing army in order to stimulate a martial spirit, that does not need any of these adventitious aids to martial spirit, we shall be able to protect ourselves, come what may * in our future. I believe we should possess the spirit pictured by Caesar as possessed by one of his lieutenants. He tells in the story of the great and terrible revolt of the Gauls, how one of his lieutenants, in dire distress, had surrendered and was butchered with all his followers. Labienus was in equal straits, but, says Caesar, in splendid praise of his bitter enemy of later years: In these difficulties he took counsel from the valour of his mind. Difficulties and dangers may assail the Canadian people, but if we see that we build up in this country a vigor-

ous, a stout-hearted, a moral and a righteous people, we shall always be prepared to defend ourselves. It is this fitness to win that is the determining factor. You may get all the ships you want and all the guns, but you must have the men behind them to accomplish much.

Sir James Macintosh has pointed out the change that has taken place in conditions of this kind since men emerged from a state of savagery and a state of despotism into the free institutions of to-day. He points out that in a despotic country it is necessary to have an army as a seminary of martial spirit, in order to prevent the despot sinking into languor and laziness; in order to stir up the best impulses and faculties of the savage, it is essentia] that he should be stimulated at times by the frenzy of rvar; but in this greatest of free communities, the British empire, we need no such stimulants as that. We have, in the habits and modes of our life, that which readily lends itself to the system and genius of war. We have a free people; the point of honour with our nation is not its army, not its navy, but liberty, and if you preserve this liberty throughout the empire, if you preserve the freedom of the individual and of the component parts of this empire, there will be never lacking, either in Canada or any other of the Dominions of Britain, a spirit that will defend that particular portion and assist to the greatest possible extent in the defence of the whole. The people ot Great Britain have never been a people of soldiers, no occasion has arisen on which they have not shown themselves a nation of war-Tiors. I believe the same thing will be true of Canada, that we have to-day' in Canada enterprises that require identically the same skill, as much courage and persistence, as are engaged in the task of war. You have the pioneering population engaged in operations as serious and dangerous as any of those ever taken part in by warriors; you have our whole railway system, which requires as much genius in organizing and operating as are required in the organization and operation of a large army. And so, in all the diverse operations and business of civilized life, you find that which stimulates every faculty of the mind, which stimulates all the best qualities in men and prepares them when there is any danger, to defend themselves without having to go through preliminary drills in awkward squads. What we need is the nucleus of military and naval defence. So far as this Bill carries that out, I am heartily in favour of it. So long as it is only the legitimate and just provision for the defence of this country and contains no threat of aggression on any other nation unless we are attacked, I am in favour of it, and I mistake the spirit of my eountry-Mr. CONGDON.

men if they have not sufficient faith in our genius, to undertake the construction of all the instruments necessary for our defence without sending their money to Great Britain or any other country to be expended for that purpose.

I believe that such a policy is in the interests of this country and of the empire and therefore I shall have great pleasure in voting for the original resolution before the House.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAMUEL HUGHES (Viotoria-Hali-burton).

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the House has listened with a great deal of interest to the very magnificent essay, partly on. philosophy, partly on metaphysics, with a little touch of religion in it some very badly quoted history, a eulogy of the First Minister, a eulogy of the Nova Scotia Steel Works and the natural resources of our country, an apology for every enemy Britain has had and a condemnation of everything that has gone to make up Britain's greatness in days gone by. We have listened to the hon. gentleman along this line yesterday afternoon and to-day, and I am sure he has contributed very little to the matter before the House, the Naval Bill which the government has brought down and the amendment moved by the leader of the opposition (Mr. B. L. Borden). According to this luminary on military and naval matters, the opinions of Lord Boberts, Lord Kitchener, Lord Wolseley, Lord Charles Beres-ford, Hon. Mr. Asquith, leader of the Liberal government, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Haldane, every prominent statesman of to-day-and they are not old men because the Asquith government boasts of being young men-are of no value. These gentlemen are in their dotage, they are old women, to use his own expression, and they know not whereof they speak in warning Britain whereof they know, that Britain is in danger from the sea power as she is from the military power of the German empire. Dreamers are always nice gentlemen to meet but very dangerous men. Bobe-spierre in France was one of the most beautiful types of intellect that could be found in the whole of that magnificent empire. He would weep at seeing any of the minor animals in trouble, a chicken losing its head caused him to shed tears, and yet Bobespierre was the man of all others who drenched France in blood when he got the authority. Dreamers are dangerous men, Sir. My good friend has referred in contemptuous terms to the Duke of Wellington, to Lord Beaconsfield, to Charles Napier, and to numoers of other gentlemen whose names I was unable to catch as he uttered them. He has spoken of the English to-day as panic mongers, and has said that these agitations were gotten up in music halls, by half-pay officers, and that there was no falsehood that has not been

urged in creating these panics in Great Britain against Germany. He went further and condemned the journals of the city of London, the leading newspapers of the world, regarded as such in every land, as a yellow press, and he referred in eloquent terms to the removal of the German surtax as an evidence of the friendliness of Germany. We are all, I presume, more or less pleased at the removal of any trade barriers if their removal will benefit this country. But does any one suppose that the removal by this government of the surtax on German goods was not actuated by the action of Germany? When she penalized the Dominion of Canada, Canada, I say, very properly penalized Germany.

Canada, I say, properly penalized Germany; so that this new concession, this surrender on the part of Germany, is not in the interest of the British empire, not in the interest of Canada, but it is in the interest of Germany herself that this surtax has been removed. The hon. gentleman reproved my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) with daring to speak of the leader of the government as a master of circumlocution and deceit. There is an old maxim that in a corrupt government there is no such thing as patriotic feeling. Its place is supplied by private interest, public fame and devotion to a chief. We found from first to last that the hon. member, in speaking upon this subject, beslobbered the leader of the government -adulation, devotion to a chief-and his only argument against the proposition of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition was this: Don't send money to England; keep it in Canada and spend it among the boys. Yet this is the gentlemen who reproves my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier for having spoken in terms that did not meet with his approval regarding the first minister, and in the next moment, in referring directly to the motion and, indirectly to the leader of the opposition, he uses the terms, 'audacity' and 'inconsistency.' There is an old Scotch proverb that would aptly fit the hon. member for the Yukon. I need not quote it because he knows it:

Oh, waud some power th' giftie gi'e us

To see oorsels as ithers see us. I

I will challenge the pages of 'Hansard' for a number of years past to find more reflections cast upon prominent men in Great Britain than have been cast by the hon. member for Yukon upon the statesmen and soldiers of the old land in his speech of yesterday and to-day. Not content with that the hon. member indulges himself in a little-what shall I say?-I must be careful and not use a harsh term -shall I use the term misrepresentation? His language is as follows:

It does not at all depart from but absolutely carries out the conclusions arrived at by the conference of 1909.

He was speaking of the Bill introduced by the First Minister. What was the proposal of the British government as set forth at the conference of 1909? I shall not go farther back, as it has been entered into in detail before. Section 5 of the report, at page 21, says:

In the opinion of the admiralty, a Dominion government desirous of creating a navy should aim at forming a distinct fleet unit; and the smallest unit is one which, while manageable in time of peace, is capable of being used in its component parts in time of war.

Then it goes on to recite what a fleet unit it is. and in section 11 it speaks of a vessel of the Indomitable type as being necessary. Then, referring to the training, it says:

If the fleet unit maintained by a Dominion is to be treated as integral part of the imperial forces, with a wide range of interchangeability among its component parts with those foroes, its general efficiency should be the same, and the facilities for refitting and replenishing His Majesty's ships, whether belonging to a Dominion fleet or to the fleet of the United Kingdom should be the same.

Further, as it is a sine qua non that successful action in time of war depends upon unity of command and direction, the general discipline must be the same throughout the whole imperial service, and without this, it would not be possible to arrange for that mutual co-operation and assistance which would be indispensable in the building up and establishing of a local naval force in close connection with the Royal navy.

In not one solitary point have the wishes of the admiralty, or have the propositions made by the admiralty at the conference of 1909, been carried out by the government in the matter. Our hon. friend enlarged upon the policy of the leader of the opposition in favour of extending $25,000,000 to Great Britain, and our objecting to the construction of this navy in Canada. Why, Sir, where is the evidence that they are constructing their navy in Canada? Not only are they not constructing a navy in Canada, but they are buying British ships and spending money in weakening the imperial fleet in case of war. If they would build ships it would be all right. We have the guarantee of the right hon. the First Minister that these ships are not going to be of assistance to Great Britain in war unless his sweet will dictates that they shall go. Therefore, with Canada buying these ships as she is to-day, suppose Great Britain were engaged in a war in the course of a few weeks, what would be the position of Canada should the leader of the government not see fit to allow these vessels to go? In the first place, Canadian

money would have been spent in Great Britain, and in the second place, the British fleet would have been weakened to the extent of the number of ships she had sold to Canada.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

Onésiphore Ernest Talbot

Liberal

Mr. TALBOT.

Why do the English admiralty sell them if they are weakening their own strength?

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

I presume they are a lot of old things that they wanted to get rid of." They are unloading on this government a lot of old ships that- they want to get rid of.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

February 17, 1910