February 17, 1910

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Yes, every word. I know all about the old flag.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

What we want to know is that the old flag shall fly.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

We will look after that.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

I can give the First Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) a guarantee that there are lots of the boys who will look after it if he does not. If he does not do it willingly, he will do it anyhow-he will go as the fellow went with the bayonet behind him. The policy of the Conservative party is that the old flag shall fly, and the policy of the government is that the old flag shall not fly.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

If my hon. friend (Mr. Hushes) knows, why does he ask me?

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

I want to commit the minister. But it seems impossible to get these gentlemen committed. They plead the equivocal. They say: We will lock after that-and when the time comes they do not look after it. But, leave non-essentials aside, and let there be fair warning that, when the hour arrives, the old flag is going to fly.

Canada cannot declare war, there is no doubt about that; she is not a nation, not even a sister nation, and she cannot declare war, and rightly so. Nor can she prevent her people from taking part in the defence of the empire. No matter what the orders may be from Sir Wilfrid Laurier, neither he nor any other power in Canada has authority to prevent the Canadian who wishes to do so from serving the empire. In peace or war, the Canadian flag has no authority beyond the three-mile limit, and is not recognized beyond that. Suppose that war were to break out, and one of our ships were down in South American waters, or in the Mediterranean-

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An hon. MEMBER.

How could it get so far?

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Suppose it were towed there, or engineered somehow. If war were to break out at that time, what would hap-

pen in the case of that ship? The First' Minister is considering whether he will take part in the war or not. What flag does that ship fly in the meantime? The British flag? Then, if so, the first ship of the enemy that comes near her, lets into her and down she goes. But suppose those on board do not know what flag to fly- Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his cabinet have not decided whether they are going to let us fight ox not. Of course, the boys are always ready to fight; but .suppose even it is decided not to fight, and the flag is taken down. What is the position of that ship? She is a common pirate; and not only the enemy's ships but the ships of every nation would be bound to capture her, for that is the law of nations. In war or peace our ships must fly the Union Jack or nothing. And, as I have said, our intention is that the Union Jack shall fly. The First Minister has spoken of responsible government, and his word is being? repeated. Now, I would like to point out that the policy of the. leader of the oppo->

sition maintains the policy of responsible government, and the policy enunciated by the First Minister departs from that principle. A few years ago, this country freely voted a sum of money-I think it was $250,000-to the relief of the poor in Ireland. Would any one maintain that because of that vote we were under tribute to Ireland? At a later time we voted money to San Francisco-did that mean that we were under tribute to the United States? We voted money to relieve the sufferers in Sicily: were we departing from the principles of responsible government in doing

SO?

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LIB
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

We voted $50,000 to France the other day-a splendid country. I wish some of our hon. friends opposite had as sound ideas of freedom as they have in France in many things.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Have not we French domination? I have heard the hon. gentleman (Mr. Hughes) say that.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I apologize. I have heard it stated that we were suffering from French domination.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

There is a wing of the French element which is trying to make us suffer, but fortunately there is another wing that tries to keep things in proper shape. Will any one say that because of the vote given to France the other day, we are subject to the domination of France? Not for an instant. We were standing by the principle of responsible government in every one of these votes. We appropriate money for the exhibitions in foreign coun-120J

tries-hundreds of thousands. Are we then, subject to the domination of Belgium and these countries to which we send our officers with our exhibits? We are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for lighthouses and other means of protection for the commerce of the world on our coasts. Are we subject to the nations that are thus benefited? No. The money was freely voted. In voting it, we stand by the principle of responsible government, and we seek no subterfuge, and make no equivocation. But what is the position of the government, as we find in the speech of the First Minister? They are quoted in many parts of the country as being in favour of helping the motherland, but when we come to analyse them, you find that the ship he is proposing does not fly the British flag. And what is going on in Quebec to-day? Why, it is whispered about: ' Never mind; vote this money; it is all right; it means Canadian independence.' The First Minister tells us that he is accused on both sides-accused of being too loyal, and accused of not being loyal enough. But there is no question as to our position-we are standing by the principles of responsible government, and we aTe not obtaining the money for our policy by false pretenses. Under our policy Canada would have a voice in the councils of the empire, because Canada, having contributed these ships to the navy, would be represented on the imperial defence committee, and her voice would be heard, not only in the management of the ships, but on the question of war or peace. Our policy is a policy for the whole empire, and not a policy for Canada alone.

There are four or five ways in which Canada could have helped the motherland in this extremity, and of those four or five ways the government has chosen the worst possible way from Canada's own point of view or the point of view of the empire. The first policy is that of the government of Canada having a navy no matter where it is bought, controlled by Canada-and we know what that means-which may or it may not be loaned. There is the policy of . the government in a nutshell, and as I pointed out before, the British flag is not necessarily the flag that floats over that navy.

The second policy is that proposed by the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden), a direct contribution in the meantime, and then we will be prepared to fight out at the polls whether the policy of the government is the one that should be upheld^ or not. That policy would fly the Union Jack.

The third policy would be that outlined by the admiralty, an imperial navy with docks, naval schools, training ships, etc., in Canada, so that whether we confederat-

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ed or remained as we are, we would do somethin? towards the upkeep of the empire, That policy, too, would fly the British flag.

The fourth would be a combination of a *direct contribution and an imperial unit, working in harmony with the admiralty. Jack would fly from the masthead.

The fifth is the one to which I have adhered for many a long year and which I trust will come within a very few years, a confederation of the empire, a full partnership on a union basis. That would combine all the good that is in the others and we would have the manhood of the nation elevated, there would be no complications in the matter, and the old Union Jack would fly from the masthead.

The only one of all these policies concerning^ which there is any doubt as to the position of Canada is the one that the government has selected, and why is that? Why? All we can do is to surmise. I am free to admit that the First Minister is in a rather difficult position in this matter. But it is the old question of chickens coming home to roost, and he cannot complain of anybody but himself.

Let us take a little review. We have listened so long to misrepresentation of these heroes of 1885, of the heroes of 1870 and the heroes of 1837-38 and all this sort of thing, that I think it will do no harm to nlace a few facts before the House. In 1763, by the treaty of Paris, Britain acquired the French property in the new world. In 1774 the Quebec Act was passed. Under that Quebec Act what happened? I am not referring to any concessions given to the then province of Quebec further than to point out that the territory for which the American colonists have given their 'time, their money and their lives, the valley of the Mississippi and Ohio, that great tract including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, part of Minnesota and Michigan, was taken deliberately from the British colonists in the United States and handed over under the Quebec Act to the province of Quebec.

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LIB
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Because it did not belt ng to them, because they never conquered it, because it was bought by the blood of the men of New England and of Virginia, it was captured from the French by the blood- of New England. In 1775, there was the American revolutionary war brought about not alone by the Stamp Act and kindred Acts, but bv the fact that this territory for which these men of Virginia and other parts of the British dominions had given their lives had been taken from them. That is why these men rebelled more than anv other single cause. The American revolution was brought on by Mr. HUGHES.

the Quebec Act of 1774 more than by any other single cause.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Following that came the Constitutional Act of 1791. I have not a word to say against the passage of that Act, only that our French-Canadian fellow countrymen did not ask it, it was given them by .the English speaking people there, many of whom had lived under responsible government in England. They had heard the name and they wanted a Constitutional Act passed in Quebec whereby they would have self-government. They got self-government, in other words representative government, the control of their own assembly, but had not control of the appointment of the ministry.

In 1783, owing to the fact that the Yankees gained their independence, the states that they had won from France, formerly, that is Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, part of Minnesota and Michigan, they again took back and they took them back from Britain and from Quebec. They then were parts of the American union, so in 1791 the province of Quebec was curtailed and was divided into upper and lower Canada. But from that time on a small party in Quebec, active until the present hour, began an agitation to sever that province from the British Crown. For a few years after they got the Constitutional Act passed, there was hardly a Britisher, only three or four, to be found in the whole assembly. British immigrants were practically forbidden to enter the province and were treated as foreigners, and when the settlers came in from the United States and colonized the eastern townships, the opposition was so strong that they would hardly build a road in there. The statement was then made: We must preserve the land for our own people, and the statement has been made in a Montreal paper within a week from to-day that we must have this province our own and must join the French-Canadian fellow countrymen of the New England states with the French-Canadians of the province of Quebec. Fortunately these views are not held by many in Quebec and they have thus far fallen on unsympathetic ears. The chief agitations were against British immigrants, English, Irish and Scotch. They also demanded that they should have an elective legislative council, and in the province of Quebec to-day they have not an elective legislative council. I believe that legislative councils and senates should not be elective for a Short term, they should hold office for life or a very long period. They also demanded control of the revenues from timber, from minerals, from forests and the lands.

Then followed the rebellion of 1837 and 1838, in Ontario, in Upper Canada led by a mountebank agitator, who had been a man of no character in his own country, Scotland, and had come out here. He had heard of responsible government in the old land, he did not know anything about the constitutional methods to be pursued, he gathered a few innocent people near Toronto, and the muskets being short-ranged in those days, the bullets could hardly reach them, they ran so fast.

In Quebec another man, clever and brilliant in many ways, but a man fitted for anything in the world almost rather than for leadership, gathered together a lot of poor, innocent fellows from various parts of the province and they met with disaster also. But history records that not one of the solitary grievances has ever been put in type that could not have been settled infinitely better by constitutional means as the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) pointed out the other night that Nova Scotia settled her grievances without much fuss-a gentle hint to those so-called heroes of 1837 and 1838 in Ontario and Quebec that they were wrong in their agitation was all that was necessary. The aim in both provinces was independence. But, we have heard of other grievances. I can well remember the time when I sat in this House long years ago, and when gentlemen who occupy seats in the Senate, and who were appointed before they had ceased for a year to be members of parliament, stood up at these desks and declared that a law should be passed making it illegal for a member of parliament to hold a seat in the Senate, or a position anywhere else under the government, within a year after his retirement from the House. They demanded that the land should be kept for the settler in the Northwest. They said that we should have free trade in this new land of Canada, and they declaimed against robbers great and robbers small up and down the country. They also demanded that the Senate should be reformed. Most of them are in there now and it is pretty well reformed. They demanded rigid economy. There was almost a rebellion in the country because the Conservative party had an expenditure below $40,000,000, while these gentlemen have run it up to over $120,000,000. They demanded that we should have purity in public life and we have a splendid illustration of it in the government of the day. They also demanded that the question of prohibition should be placed before the public, that the people should vote on it and that' it should be carried, but their voices are dumb to-day on that question and we hear no more about it. Then we have this laudation of rebellion, but as that has been referred to before, I will not take any more time discussing it. All I will say is this, that the right

hon. the First Minister and his colleagues who are ever prone to glorify the so-called patriots of 1837-38, both of Upper and Lower Canada, are the men who forced upon a free people, people accustomed to responsible government, which the people of 1837-38 were not, upon the free men of Saskatchewan and Alberta, in 1905, an iniquitous measure which should have brought about rebellion among free men in that country if anything could have done so. What was the policy of the right hon. gentleman and his colleagues in that regard? One of the demands in 1837-38 was that the assembly should have control of the revenues from the land, timber, mines and water-powers. The chief thing that the government restrained the people of Saskatchewan and Alberta from was the exercise of their rights with regard to the control of the land, mines, timber or water-powers. In 1837-38 it was right to rebel because the assembly, composed of men in both provinces who did not understand responsible government, were not given absolute control of these natural resources, while it was wrong in 1905 with a free people skilled in government. They took their rights away from them and they doled them out a pittance every year the same as a remittance man here receives from his father in the old country. Under the constitution. education belongs to the provinces, and yet this government that pretends to be Liberal, took from the people of these two provinces, in 1905, the right to control their education. Yet they will talk of the heroes of 1837-38 who had not one ground upon which to base any objection to the legislation of the time, and they will preach autonomy and responsible government. I have often thought that in their hearts they must despise these free men of Alberta and Saskatchewan for tamely submitting to these iniquities, while being ready to glorify the men of 1837.

I have not heard either of the last two speakers indulge in this criticism-perhaps the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) will when he goes away down alone by the sea-but the criticism has been made of the Conservative party that we joined hand in hand with the hon. gentlemen opposite in passing the

resolution one year ago and then have gone back upon it. Such is the language of the First Minister. Let us examine it man to man and see what we have done. The resolution reads:

This House fully recognizes the duty of the people of Canada, as they increase in numbers and wealth, to assume in larger measure the responsibilities of national defence.

Have we gone back on that? We are standing by it to-day.

2. That this House reaffirms the opinion, repeatedly expressed by representatives of Canada, that under the present constitutional

relations between the mother country and the self-governing dominions the payment of any stated contribution to the imperial treasury for naval and military purposes would not, in so far as Canada is concerned, be a satisfactory solution of the question of defence.

We stand to it to-day. We do not believe in paying regularly and periodically a contribution to the motherland. We are in favour of paying an emergency contribution to-day to keep our flag flying because it is better to be sure than sorry, in the meantime and how cheaply we would all feel if the British fleet should happen to be defeated for lack of the two Dreadnoughts which Canada could have supplied. That is the policy we favour to-day. We are not in favour though of paying that regularly because before many years shall have elapsed some systematic form of naval assistance will have been devised.

3. This House will cordially approve of any necessary expenditure designed to promote the organization of a Canadian naval service.

Does the government provide a speedy service? How can they have the hardihood to ask hon. gentlemen on this side of the House to support such a resolution? There is no speedy contribution about it. We are standing by the resolution. We want something done 'speedy*.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

I do not refer to a boat going up and down grafting for hon. members on the other side; I refer to the resolution that something should be done quickly. I see that some of my right hon. friends over there think I mean the ' Speedy,' and have reference to graft, &e

This House will cordially approve any necessary expenditure designed te promote the organization of a Canadian naval service in co-operation with and in close relation to the imperial navy.

Is that the policy proposed by the government-'in co-operation'? Co-operation is something mutual. This is a jug-handled, lop-sided plan. They may say: We will not go. We. on this side, desire that the plan shall be co-operative. When Britain is in trouble we will help her, and when we are in trouble we want Britain to help us. We may think that the condition of our stomachs is such that we cannot allow the navy to go and help Great Britain when our help is needed.

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February 17, 1910