February 17, 1910

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Congdon) quoted some gentleman named Jane, and declared in the fulness of his eloquence that it was the right of every citizen to discuss the future of this country. We are not disputing that, but when it comes to a matter of legislating for independence, then it is time that the people of this country sat up and understood what was going on. I trust that I shall be able to show before I am through that in the Bill now before the House there is the most sinister attempt at laying the foundation of the independence of Canada that has ever been presented to the public. Our good friend made various other references, but I will discuss them as I pass on. Now, Sir, what has been the policy from start to finish of this question? A mandate was (issued by the conference, in which Canada took part, for the defence of the empire. Last year a resolution was solemnly passed by this House containing a mandate to the government. The absolute unanimity of the House was behind that resolution instructing the government to act. First, there was to be speedy assistance. Does the government's Bill propose speedy assists ance? To my mind it proposes no assistance whatever, and certainly there is no pretense that there will be any assistance forthcoming for the next four or five years. That resolution proposed co-operation. Is there any co-operation provided by this resolution? I fail to find it. That resolution gave the government a mandate last year to stand by the unity of the empire. I fail to find in the Bill proposed any provision for standing behind the unity of the empire. Co-operation means operating together for the same end. I find nothing in" this Bill providing for the operation of these fleets towards the same end. Cooperation means mutual help. The Bill before the House does not guarantee mutual help. It is a jug-handled policy; we are always to receive the help of Britain when we need it, but Canada will help Britain according to her own sweet will. Co-operation means reciprocal assistance, Mr. HUGHES.

and under this Bill there is no reciprocal1 assistance proposed or guaranteed. It means concurrent effort, and under the Bill before the House there is no proposition for concurrent effort Now, Sir, the First Minister was even more equivocal-I hope that will not be offensive, I do not like to say anything that may offend the First Minister, I know he is in a very difficult position. He has played the game so long-appealing with one cry to certain elements in the province of Quebec, and with a different cry to certain elements in other provinces-he has flayed the game so long that the old adage is coming true about the chickens coming home to roost. We can all remember when in 1885 he stood on the Champs de Mars in Montreal, and stated that had he been on the banks of the Saskatchewan he would have shouldered his musket to fight the loyal Canadian soldiers who went to the front. In 1895 and 1896 in the province of Quebec, where it was congenial, he stated in regard to the vote of $3,000,000 for the purchase of rifles for our volunteers, and his friends also stated it: Are you going to put the Tup-per government in power and have your money sent to Britain to buy rifles to have your sons fight Britain's battles in all parts of the world? I need not re,fer to other agitations led by the First Minister. In 1896 the song that was sung in Ontario was: Hands off Manitoba. No coercion of Manitoba, and, quoting from Shakespeare he struck that beautiful attitude which he can so well assume and said: No Italian priest shall tithe or toll in these our fair Dominions. Then, the right hon. gentleman went to the province of Quebec and told the people: 'Will you trust Tupper, a Protestant and an Englishman, or me a Frenchman, and Roman Catholic, put me in power and I will give you a stronger remedial Bill than Tupper will.' I need not follow him down to 1905, and show his attitude at'that time further than to point out " that the chickens are coming home to roost, and in view of his equivocal language in the past I can see the position the First Minister finds himself in. Even though he wished to come up and do his duty to the old empire he has tied himself by his own past actions, so that I can easily make an apology for him which he finds it impossible to make for himself. Had the government brought in a proper Naval Bill, had the government obeyed the mandate of this House last year to give speedy assistance and cooperation so as to maintain the unity of the empire, there is not a single Conservative in this House who would not have endorsed such a proposal. Further, I wish to take my good genial friend the Postmaster General to task. In the speeches of the First Minister, and of the Postmaster General, and of the member for Pictou-I do

not see how the member for the Yukon happened to miss it-they all eulogized the heroes of 1837, and by heroes they mean the cowardly men who went in for misleading the poor innocent habitant in the province of Quebec, and the innocent yeomen in Ontario, and inciting them to commit crimes which led to loss of life and destruction of property. These gentlemen have stood on the public platform, and even in this House in this very debate they have eulogized the rebels of '37 and '38. Why have these gentlemen stood up in this parliament and insidiously endorsed rebellion. The hon. member for Pictou, in his remarks the other day gave a very nice touch to the leader of the government in that regard. He showed how constitutional government had been obtained in the province of Nova jgcotia, and, in censuring the member for Jacques Cartier he said:

I have the same rights here as my hon. friend, I come from a race of men

How proud these gentlemen are of the race whence they sprung.

I come from a race of men who in the little province of Nova Scotia fought the battle of responsible government just as did my hon. friend's compatriots in the province of Quebec.

And now comes the gentle slap at the Postmaster General and the First Minister:

Our people in Nova Scotia won that battle and won it a little earlier and without any particular display, but we won it nevertheless and it is just as dear to us as it can possibly be to the people of any other province in the Dominion.

Then he refers to the ' heroes ' in Quebec and the ' heroes ' in Ontario. Why, Sir, what does history teach about these ' heroes '? I have the facts here, if any one disputes the statement I make. The truth is they deceived and misled the poor fellows who took up arms, and I say here to-day that no man can name a solitary wrong under which these people lived at that time that could not have been easily redressed by an appeal to constitutional methods. I go further and I say that one solitary wrong cannot be mentioned that these people laboured under at that time which could have justified in the slightest a recourse to arms. What was the conduct of the leaders in Ontario and Quebec? The moment they got. the poor, innocent, misguided fellows into trouble, the moment the first shot was fired the leaders skiddad-[DOT]dled.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB
L-C
LIB

Charles Avila Wilson

Liberal

Mr. C. A. WILSON.

Are you referring to Dr. Chenier of St. Eustache as a man who fled from the battle?

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

I am referring to Papin-eau, the leader of the rebellion in Lower Canada, and to Mackenzie, the leader of the rebellion in Upper Canada.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

Charles Avila Wilson

Liberal

Mr. C. A. WILSON.

That will please Mr. Bourassa, the friend of Mr. Monk.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

They were leading Liberals for a great many years, and if the hon. gentleman disputes what I say I can give the reference.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

Charles Avila Wilson

Liberal

Mr. C. A. WILSON.

I will dispute it so far as Dr. Chenier is concerned.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

So far as the leaders all over were concerned, they made quick time and left the poor fellows whom they incited to suffer from the evil effects of the rebellion.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB
LIB

Joseph Alfred Ernest Roy (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. E. ROY.

The member for L'Islet will answer that.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

These gentlemen opposite endorsed not only the rebellion of 1837-38, but the Northwest rebellions of 1870 and 1885. These gentlemen opposite, in endorsing rebels, are getting the people of this country accustomed to believe, simply because the loyal men of the country do not care to come out and oppose them on every occasion, they are getting the loyal people of the country gradually to believe that there were some wrongs to be redressed in 1837 and 1885.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET.

Is the hon. member prepared to prove that the people of Quebec were misrepresented as he says?

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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CON
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LIB

Joseph Alfred Ernest Roy (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. E. ROY.

Would you tell us something about the rebellion of Cromwell?

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Cromwell's rebellion was just; the United States rebellion was just; but here in Canada we had two or three rebellions and there was no justification for them at all.

Topic:   THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

Joseph Alfred Ernest Roy (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. E. ROY.

They won responsible government for us.

Mr. HUGHES I cannot hear the remarks of the hon. gentleman. These gentlemen have whistled that tune so long that they actually believe it. They have endeavoured so long to justify the rebellion of 1885 in the Northwest that they have actually come to believe that it was just.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

Do I understand my hon. friend to say that the American rebels were right?

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February 17, 1910