February 22, 1910

LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

The strange thing about my hon. friend's conclusion is that he wants to submit a Canadian proposition to the people for their approval, but he is willing to tax them and send away their money without asking their opinion; yet he says to the House: I am quite willing to support a navy if you are willing to submit the question to the people. Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the policy of establishing a Canadian navy is part and parcel of the great work of development in this country. If it is a reasonable thing for Canada to build railways from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and to transport the products of this country to foreign lands, but principally to Great Britain, is it not equally reasonable that these products should be protected on the high seas? If it is reasonable to open mines, to build factories and railways, to bring population into the country, to develop the country to such an enormous extent as we are doing, does my hon. friend consider it unreasonable- that we should commence, perhaps in a small way, but as soon as possible to provide ourselves with the means of protecting in some measure the trade of this country and of supplementing the navy of the empire at some future day when a more

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

serious emergency arises than any that exists to-day?

I do not intend to read any more of the speech of my hen. friend from North Grey (Mr. Middlebro). But he spoke of the magnificent productions of British Columbia, and Alberta, and Saskatchewan, and Ontario, and Quebec, and* New Brunswick, and that important province down by the sea, the province of Nova Scotia, and asked if hon. gentlemen did not consider that these were the things we ought to protect, and if this was not a reason why we ought to commence as soon as possible to provide for a Canadian navy.

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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

I beg to differ with the hon. gentleman in his interpretation of mv speech. I have the speech before me, I have read it over and I entirely agree with everything in that speech. I will just read an extract from it.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Order.

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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

With the permission of the hon. gentleman. If he does not want it, of course, I will not do it. I am making a personal explanation. The hon. gentleman has said that my speech of last year indicated that I was in favour of a Canadian navv. I will read an extract from my speech to show my position.

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

I do not think my hon. friend is entitled to get up and read from his speech; I can read it for myself.

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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

I ask the hon.

gentleman this question: Does he now say that my speech of last year indicated that I was in favour of a Canadian navy; and if he does, will he allow me to quote my own speech to show that that is not true?

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

If I made the statement that my hon. friend said so then, I ought to be allowed, as having the floor, to prove my statement. I do not see why my hon. friend should be so extremely anxious to read his own speech.

I wanted to save the House trouble and save myself annoyance. What I do say is that my reading of the speech led to the conclusion that the protection of the great resources of this country, which were being developed from the Pacific to the Atlantic, was the great question to be considered.

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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

Now, will the hon. gentleman just allow me to read? I think that is only fair.

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Of course, the hon. member for Nanaimo has the floor, and cannot be interrupted.

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

Mr. Speaker, I did not intend to take up so much time,

but now I am driven to read my hon. friend's remarks. I made the statement that my hon. friend said that the great business of this country was to protect the industries of this country from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

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CON
LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

I will read my hon. friend's remarks:

We are here to protect the great industries of British Columbia with her total yearly production of $88,000,000 worth, her fisheries worth between sfx and seven millions, her mineral production amounting to twenty-three million dollars, her 13,000 men engaged in the fishing industry, and her 9,000 men engaged on the shore fisheries of that province. Then I pass over the Rocky mountains and come to the province of Alberta. We are here to protect the nineteen million bushels of grain that are raised i* that province, valued at ten and a half million dollars, and her $3,000,000 worth of cattle exported from that province last year. Then I pass on into the province of Saskatchewan. We are here to protect the 105 million bushels of grain raised in that province during the last year, and valued at sixty million dollars I pass onward into the province of Manitoba, and we are here to protect the 113 million bushels of grain raised there, of a value of something like $50,000,000. I come down into the old province of Ontario with its many agricultural products. We are here to protect the 185 million bushels of field crops grown in that province, to protect its butter, its cheese, its fruit, its cattle that are being exported to Great Britain. Then I come on to the province of Quebec, and we are here to protect its eighty-five million bushels of field crops, to protect its large exports of butter and cheese, to protect its 260 million dollars worth of foreign trade. I pass on to the maritime provinces, and we are here to protect the products of their farms, of their mines and of their fisheries. I pass on to the coast of Nova Scotia, with her unprotected sea coast of 5,600 miles, extending from the Bay of Fundy to the straits of Belle Isle. It is said that the farmers of this country will not sanction any contribution towards the maintenance of a naval force.

What kind of naval force did my hon. friend mean? .

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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

Will my hon. friend allow me to explain what kind of naval force? Let me read this:

Every Dreadnought of the British navy is a movable fortification. Every Dreadnought can transfer its power from one portion of the British empire to another. Every war vessel is nothing more or less than a species of fortification that can be transferred to any part of the empire in which it is required. That is the strongest kind of portable fortification that any country can have It therefore behooves us to strengthen the hands of the British government and to give

our contribution towards upholding the British navy.

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

Mr. Speaker, experience last night proved that hon. gentlemen opposite are very easily excited. Experience this afternoon proves that hon. gentlemen always act before they think.

I was not contending-

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

Hon. gentlemen opposite always pass judgment before the truth is told, because they do not like it, especially my hon. friend from Victoria and Haliburton. I was not contending, I could not consistently contend, that the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule)) was opposed to a contribution to the empire. What I contended was that last year he was in favour of developing a Canadian navy. I was not denying the position that my hon. friend was willing to make a subscription to the British navy. I have asked my hon. friend a question which he has not answered. I could not say that he had an objection to building up the British navy when he is supporting the policy of the leader of the opposition in favour of a contribution of 20 or 25 million dollars. What the hon. gentleman said was this:

It is said that the farmers of Canada might not sanction any contribution towards the maintenance of a naval force.

What naval force?

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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO.

The naval force I referred to is the naval force, a part of the British navy, as recommended by the admiralty.

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

My hon. friend has made a very satisfactory, explanation, and I am quite right in contending that he was advocating a Canadian naval force, but he says it is the kind of force which the British admiralty recommended. I was not questioning whether he wanted a little or a big one. I was simply declaring that a year ago the hon. gentleman advocated the establishment of a Canadian navy. In a little temper, my hon. friend protested against that statement and his friends around him applauded, but he finally admitted that he did want the establishment of a Canadian navy on the condition that that navy represented the recommendation of the British admiralty. Well, even that is a Canadian navy, and that is what I am talking about.

Now, I wish to say a word about my hon. friend the member for Victoria.

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February 22, 1910