February 22, 1910

LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

My hon. friend from Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Hughes) wants me to attach too much importance

to him. I was speaking of the hon. member from Victoria, British Columbia, (Mr. Cowan).

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

I was going to remark that in case the hon, gentleman was making reference to me, I would listen, but not otherwise.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

That is just about as unfair as I consider my hon. friend to be. I was speaking of my hon. friend from the city of Victoria (Mr. Cowani). He made a speech last night, in which he deplored the fact that the imperial navy had been withdrawn from Esquimalt and the rest of Canada. But what did he say in that connection? He said it would be a fortunate thing if, out of a regrettable incident of that kind, there should arise a better result and that it should lead to the establishment of a Canadian navy. That is w'hat he said, and what I contend is that the tenor of his speech was in favour of a Canadian navy, although I suspect that he will cast his vote for a subscription to Great Britain and against a Canadian navy. The thumb screw has evidently been operating on the other side as well as this. That is a kind of thing v'hich works both Liberal government have a patent on

*Taysi. Tlle hon- member thinks that the thumb screws, but the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) and his followers, could not twist the hon. gentleman around as they do, unless there was a thumb screw on the other side.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER.

You mean the colonv here.

_ Mr. RALPH SMITH. I mean the prominent men on the opposition benches. I appeal to my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) as one of the old members of this House, one of its most respected, intelligent and experienced members, what can the people of this country expect from a party which could initiate a policy in this House on one of the most important questions that ever came before the country and support that policy, and then within ten months set themselves on record as positively hostile to that same policy. Why, hon. gentlemen opposite have not begun to reflect on the weight of their opinion in the national life of this country. It is an easy thing to turn around, it is easy to say one thing to-day and the opposite to-morrow, but the intelligent electorate of this country want at their head a combination of men to do the business of this country, especially in questions of national defence, on stable foundations-men, who know their own minds to-day and to-morrow-and hon. gentlemen opposite can make up their minds that so long as they exhibit their present weathercock tendencies, they will continue for very many

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

years in the happy seats they now occupy. I must apologize to the House for detaining it so long.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Go on.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

But I should like to discuss for a moment what is the disposition of Great Britain herself regarding the question as to whether or not her selfgoverning Dominions should subscribe in times of emergency to the establishment of naval forces of their own. Is it not important to know just how the British government itself, just how the British admiralty, looks on the question as to the responsibility of each self-governing country in the empire in this matter. Is it in favour of each portion of the empire handing in a servile subscription and waiting for a crisis to arise before doing it? Sir, for fifty years the policy of Britain has been to encourage her self-governing Dominions to establish their own self defence. That the mother country has always regarded as the greatest guarantee of tihe integrity of the empire. And I appeal to sensible men, what would be the position taken by ordinary business men in their own domestic affairs. My hon. friend from Yale-Cariboo (Mr. Burrell) and my hon. friend from Vancouver (Mr. Cowan) referred to the statements of the Prime Minister that the colonies would drop from the mother country as ripe fruit from the parent tree.

Can there be any objection to that principle? Let me remind the hon. gentleman that the analogy that is commonly used between the responsibilities of a family in domestic life and the relations and responsibilities of an empire, is a very striking one. The member for Yale-Cariboo says,

I prefer the analogy of the family, the mother and her child. Sir, Canada is not in the position of a [DOT] child towards its mother; Canada is in the position of a child that has set up housekeeping for himself, of a son who has taken on the obligations of an independent life. Will my hon. friend from Vancouver say that the son who leaves the old homestead and goes away 20 or 100 miles, and makes a home for himself, looks after his wife and family, maintains the integrity of that home, is he any less the guardian of the old homestead because he is maintaining himself and is no longer receiving pauper assistance from the old man? The analogy of hon. gentlemen only proves that they have never studied the question. The young man who stands up bravely, at a reasonable age, and says to his father, I am going to start life for myself-is there any objection to that? But in national affairs we are told that would mean disloyalty and separation. Is there any objection to the members of a family all leav-

ing the old homestead in due time? What pleases the old man's heart better than to get the glad news that every member of his family, perhaps a hundred miles away, is building a home for himself, is prosperous and happy? What is it that contributes to the happiness and security, of the old homestead under those circumstances? It is the prosperity and security of the sons that have gone away from home. That, Sir, is the prosperity and security of the British empire to-day. I know how the imperialists would maintain it; I understand something of the tactics of the ultra-imperialists in England, and I believe they have very close relations in this country. The attitude and the doctrine of the imperialist is to interest himself in the affairs of people far away from home; he takes credit to himself for looking after the interests of other people. But the policy of the great democratic party in England, and the policy of democracy in any country, is first to set your own house in order. The empire is being maintained to-day under the policy of giving self-government to every colony in the empire, and encouraging it to depend upon its own resources. My hon. friends cannot have read the correspondence of the imperial conferences that have been held since 1897, they cannot have traced the political evolution in the relation of the independent colonies to the empire, as seen in the proceedings of those imperial conferences. The hon. Minister of Militia and Defence will bear me out in saying that at that time Canada was the only colony represented in that conference to suggest that the proper thing to do was to look after Canada, and by so doing they would be looking after the empire. Every other colony represented in those conferences right down to the last one, was in favour of giving Dreadnoughts, of making contributions. But a change has come over their minds, and to-day what is the declaration? I have the record, and one of the most respectable reviews in Australia, one of the strongest men in Australia, says that public sentiment in Australia today is entirely opposed to the policy of a contribution, and that they have started out to defend themselves. They believe that the creation of an Australian naval defence within a few years will be a handsome contribution to the integrity of the British empire. That is all in keeping with the policy of Great Britain herself. Now, I wni read a resolution which was passed in the imperial parliament in 1862, and that policy has been maintained up to the present time:

That this House (while fully recognizing the claims of all portions of the British empire to imperial aid in their protection against perils arising from the consequences of imperial policy)

The British House of Commons had no idea of the colonies subscribing money for the support of the British empire, but they were making provision in that resolution for the imperial government subscribing to assist the colonies under the disadvantages that accrued to them from the operation of the imperial policy:

-is of opinion that the colonies exercising the rights of self-government ought to undertake the main responsibility of providing for their own internal order and security, and ought to assist in their own external defence.

That resolution was passed unanimously in 1862, by the British parliament. In 1865, the Colonial Naval Defence Act was passed. Its object was to enable the colonies to provide for naval defence, and the Act empowers colonial governments to provide men and vessels of war, and also to raise volunteer forces to form part of the royal navy reserve established under the Act of parliament of 1859. This is what the Act says:

The members of such reserves will be available for general service in the Royal navy in time of emergency, when an offer is made by the government of a colony to place them at the disposal of the imperial government.

Sir, when hon. gentlemen come to this House and propose that this country make a subscription to the empire in opposition to the policy of the establishment of a Canadian navy, I say they place themselves in direct contradiction to the policy of Great Britain for the last fifty years. Great Britain has always recognized that the security of the empire depended upon the strength and force of every part of that empire. Canada is the most difficult country within the empire to govern, Canada with its mixed nationality-and this is no reflection upon any people in this House or out of it. The very basis of this country is a constitution for mixed nationalities. In the nature of things, in the peculiar position of this country-enormous country as it is-every nationality in the world is being brought to Canada. The great problem for this country to consider is how these aliens and divergent peoples are to be blended into one. That is the commanding business of the statesman of the future. How is he to accomplish it? By raising sectional cries? By questioning the loyalty of a French Canadian Prime Minister? By telling every Greek, every Galician, every Doukhobor, every alien who may have made his home in this country that he is in a foreign land? Is that the policy which is to shape into unity the development of Canada? That is the policy of more than one hon. gentleman in this debate who has uttered insinuations or made direct assaults against important sections and influences in Canada.

Sir, what is the great characteristic of

British institutions? Does the true Briton upbraid the foreigner? Does he chide the alien? Does he slaughter the captured? The strength of the British empire and its institutions is that the Briton makes the foreigner feel that, under the British flag, he is better off than he was at home. Britain has always welcomed men from every country on the face of the earth. And how are British institutions to be maintained? They can never be maintained by fictitious resolutions. The sympathy of Canada with the spirit of the British empire can never be maintained by statute, by resolution, by edict, by force of any kind. What is it that attracts foreigners to this country? What makes them feel that in a British land they have the sympathy, support, the opportunity that it is not possible for them to have at home? The secret is that British institutions involve no tyranny upon any class. The one thing to be kept in mind in the development of Canada is to make every man feel, who was once an alien in this country and is evolving into a British subject, that we are not in a hurry to force him to declare that he is a loyal subject, or that he shares completely our enthusiasm for the gfandeur of the British empire. If hon. gentlemen opposite had their waj', if they could send money contributions from this country without the voice of the people, and if they could continue to tax the people to send money to be controlled and spent in Great Britain, it would not be long before we should have another such lesson as was taught when a large paTt of this continent was torn from the British empire. Mr. Speaker, the great secret of the development of British life in Canada lies in giving to every citizen of Canada the chance to work out his own salvation. Therefore, I maintain that no policy has ever come before this House that will do more for the development of our national spirit than the policy now under discussion.

What does this policy mean practically? We are not building navies for the purpose of having shipyards and docks, but we are building docks and shipyards because we are going to build a navy. Hon. members opposite have said that the strongest argument in support of our policy is the argument of the loaves and fishes. These are not the objects of this policy, hut they are the results of this policy if carried out in a reasonable and businesslike way. Am I to assume that these hon. gentlemen opposite do not want to build our own shipyards, to dig our own docks, to develop our own mines, to construct our own ships, to employ our own sailors and fishermen? Am I to understand, as declared by the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Cowan), that what we want is to go back to the Crown colony stage, and, every time we are in trouble, crawl to the feet of the parent country and importune her to inter-Mr. RALPH SMITH.

vene and help us? I say, Sir, the policy of this government adds to the great name of this country, and gives an opportunity to the increasing intelligence of our citizens to go forward in national development, national manhood, national character, national strength, national defence, which, fifty years hence, will cause every man in Canada to wonder that any party in this country should have the want of foresight or audacity to question the necessity for the establishment of a naval force for our country.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. L. SCHAFFNER (Souris).

which we are trying to claim is fast becoming a nation, must in this, as in other things, assume the white man's burden.

Any nation that seeks to retain it? foreign trade must be willing to assume the responsibility of protecting its trade routes as well as its coasT line and its fisheries. I do not for one moment underrate the great importance of the time in our history at which we have arrived. It would seem, as has been claimed, that we have reached the parting of The ways. We have been depending on Great Britain, the taxpayer of Great Britain has been assuming all the responsibility for the defence of the empire, and now we come to the crisis, the parting of The ways. As has been said, there are certain courses which we may take. I believe we have come to the linger post, and to me the finger points absolutely without doubt what course we should Take. I do not say that to every citizen of Canada that linger points so absolutely. We may, Mr. Speaker, remain one of co-partnership, of a free self-governing state, acting together for a common purpose and mutual defence. We'may cut ourselves adrift, become a separate nation, have our own policy. We may sink our individuality and become incorporated in the great country to the south of us, or we may remain a part of the empire, while refusing co-operation. I say that the lasT course is beneath the dignity of any self-respecting citizen, and that is why I am taking the stand I propose to take on This great question. As to sinking our individuality and becoming a part of the great country to the south, no man in this House has greater respect for our friends to the south than I, and why should we not have respect for them? To use an expression of the Prime Minister's, very much the same blood courses through !their veins as courses through ours. They are a great people whom we must admire commercially and politically. They have done great things. They are good neighbours, and there is nothing that gives us greater peace of mind and greater happiness Than having good neighbours. We always want to be friendly with our neighbours and I hope we will always be good friends. But I judge and believe, from a sound knowledge of the people of this country, that very few people want to become annexed to this country.

Then comes the third possible course, the independence of this country. I know there are some who look towards independence as the great goal of our ambition, and I shall refer to these later on. The Prime Minister, in view of what he has said in this country and in oTher countries of our position and what we look forward to, cannot say that we have not some reason to ascribe to him some of the independent views which have been ascribed to Mr. SCHAFFNER.

him from this side of the House. But I say That apart from the right hon. gentleman and a few men throughout this country, there are very few who look forward 'to or want to look forward to the independence of Canada. Rather we look forward to the consolidation of this great empire, the empire on which the sun never sets, an empire with one-third of the world's population, one-third of its land. Her flag and her ships and her enterprising sons carry the ideas of justice and fair play across every .sea and into all the world's ports, and we are proud, every one of us, that we belong to that great nation, There are so many reasons why we should be proud to belong to that nation that it would detain the House too long to state them.

Then there remains but this one thing, to remain a part of this empire. I am not with those who say remain with the empire, let them protect you and do all that they can for you, but refuse to do anything in return. There is a class of people in Canada, including many of the clergy, and I regret to say that there are some of that class in this city of Ottawa, who are fond of saying that we want to remain part of the empire but that we refuse co-operation. They say that Canada should not give anything in support of the naval defence of Great Britain. True it is that these gentlemen and other gentlemen often end their pious declarations with the words: But if the time should ever come

when Canada is in need, then we will spend our last dollar for its defence, we will give our last man. Even Sir Wilfrid Lanrier, in his address, said: If the time ever comes when the supremacy of Great Britain on the high seas is challenged, I will take the stump, I will go through this country, especially will I talk to my compatriots in Quebec, and say that the salvation of Canada depends on the salvation of England. That sounds good, but it is mostly sound. Does this House realize, do the people outside of this House throughout the country realize that over one billion dollars of British capital is invested in this great country of ours? Do they realize that over $200,000,000 of British money is being invested in this country in one way and another every year? Do our people realize that we are the greatest borrowers of all the countries in the world from the motherland? If we do realize that, is it not some reason why we should be willing at least to do something towards the maintenance of this great country and its salvation, because we have to admit that the salvation of Great Britain and all its colonies absolutely depends upon the supremacy of Great Britain upon the high seas.

Let me read the borrowings of different countries from Great Britain. Of eight

countries, the annual borrowings from the British Isles are as follows:

Chili $ 20,696,000

Japan 33,361,000

Russia 47,703,000

Mexico 64,371,000

United States 68,000,000

Brazil 73,000,000

The Argentine 117,000,000

Canada (nearly) 200,000,000

Receiving that tremendous amount of money every year from Great Britain surely we should be willing to do something in support of her navy. They say that in the hour of need they would be willing to spend their last dollar, but where would they get their last dollar, all these dollars I have been talking about? Further than that, what would our farmers do? We export to Great Britain about $135,000,000 worth of our products every year. What will we do in the hour of danger if we cannot get the money? I cannot understand the argument of our friends opposite that if the hour of need comes then they will do something. What can we do in the hour of need? If there is any one thing that any one country cannot buy, no matter how rich it is, it is naval strength.

It takes three years in Germany and five years in Great Britain to train soldiers; and if we should have a war with Germany, would it last three years or three months? How long do naval wars last in these days? And, unfortunately, we cannot buy Dreadnoughts at the corner store. It takes considerable time to construct these ships, which experts say are the only, kind that are of any service to-day in naval wars. These patriots talk about duty and about what they will do when the hour of need comes; but they actually refuse to allow us to make preparations so as to be in a position to do our duty when the hour of need does come. They cry peace, peace, when there is no peace. There is no assurance for peace equal to a strong navy. What has done more for universal peace throughout this world than the supremacy of the British navy? No man will dispute the fact that in the past the paramount influence of the British navy has been the great factor in maintaining the peace of the world. But that influence must remain efficient and sufficient, so that England and Canada and all the other colonies together will be able to hold their own against all-comers. I picked up to-day the sayings of some men whose opinions are very much respected- not ancient men, but modern men. Mr. Roosevelt says that 'a first-class fighting navy is the most effective guarantee for peace the United States can have'; and what is true of the United States is true of every other country in the world. President Taft has just expressed the same 128

opinion. Lord Roberts says that 'an effective army is an essential condition of peace and security'. The present German chancellor says that 'the moment Germany decides to reduce her equipment peace would be seriously threatened'. Mr. Deakin, the ex-premier of Australia says that 'they who prepare for war in point of fact do so only to preserve peace*. It is Alfred Austin, the poet laureate, who sings to us from across the seas:

Nor you nor we would others wrong.

We only claim to hold our own;

For this we arm, for this keep strong. Safeguard justice on her throne.

No logical mind can deny the truth of the argument that strength discourages war and helplessness invites attack. The question of the safety of the empire in my opinion must be put beyond any possible doubt. As an empire we do not aim at any aggressive action or any increase of territory. We do not threaten any other country. We want to keep clear of all international disputes. But nevertheless we do wish to consolidate this great empire for the purpose of mutual defence. Hitherto the British navy has solely maintained that supremacy. In my opinion it is high time we were doing something to share that burden. We should be standing shoulder to shoulder as Britains. Union is strength, and closer union means greater strength. No other nation is so dependent upon waterborne food and raw material for its existence. We must keep our trade routes free from attack from other nations. Is there any doubt in the mind of any hon. gentleman that an attack on our trade routes would paralyse the trade of Canada as well as Great Britain? To give this House and this country some idea of the enormous trade of the empire, let me give the relative proportions of the shipping interests, taking the latest figures of tonnage that I can get here:

Sailing: Steam

vessels. vessels.

Tons. Tons.

United Kingdom..

1,461,376 10,023,726Australia

126,579 249,832N atal

856 811New Zealand

43,967 88,629Canada (including inland navigation) 287,867

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
?

Newfoundland. .. .@

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink

$361,572,159 2,487,461 REVISED EDITION.


All this tonnage has been hitherto protected. Something like $700,000,000 of our trade travels the high seas absolutely protected bv the Royal navy, towards which Canada contributes nothing. Morsover, Canada does not contribute to the common defence of the empire. When the day comes when through international difficulties the existence of Canada is menaced, can the other parts of the empire he blamed if they decline to help us? What then becomes of Canadian hopes of a Canada one and indivisable? Mr. Speaker, when this government has been driven to act- and I use that word advisedly-I do not know of any one thing they have done in the way of expressions of loyalty or help to the empire that has not been forced upon them by the great Conservative party. When the government are driven to', act, what do they propose to do? Just what any little South American republic would do. But the navy of any of these little republics is not reckoned in the safetv or governance of the civilized world. Why should they do it? Because, sir, the right hon. gentleman who leads this House and the gentlemen who surround him to fail to recognize the position of Canada as an integral portion of the great empire of which we form so important a part. They are following the policy of Venezuela. It does not for the reason I have stated. Sir, in my opinion, it is an endeavour to differentiate between Britishism and Canadianism. I do not stand for a Canadian navy but for an imperial navy which will carry into the worlds' domains that conception of unity and co-ordination which, I believe, notwithstanding what may be said by hon. gentlemen opposite, is fast forming in the minds of our people. My hon. friends opposite say that if we are to have a navy, we ought to build it at home. There is undoubtedly in that contention something which at first sight sounds very attractive. But even so, it is so contrary to anything these hon. gentlemen have ever advocated, that I cannot understand their bringing it forward as their policy now. Did you ever hear of these people advocating the building up of our home industries or the buying of goods at home if they could get them cheaper abroad? Has it not been the policy of hon. gentlemen opposite always to buy where you can buy the cheapest? In my own county, when talking about agricultural ' implements, my Liberal friends have time and time again put up to me the argument: Suppose you do make your own agricultural implements and increase your own home industries, see how much better implements you can get on the other side of the line. I now turn against them their own argu-Mr. SCHAFFNER. ment and I say that we are not in a position to-day to build Dreadnoughts that we are absolutely unable to do so. I even go further and say that if this government had any idea that they would ever have to depend on the ships they would build to protect our country, they would never dream of going to such a wholesale experiment. But they know well with whom they are dealing. They know that they are dealing with that old mother who has taken care of us all along the line, and they know that they can always depend on her to give u# the protection of her ships, built out of the taxes of the English people and which have stood the test. It is about time that this government called off the bluff that they are trying to strengthen the empire and help the British navy. If we are going to sing God Save the King, and Rule Britannia, let us do something worth while and not embark on this miserably inadequate naval policy. When I consider the proposal of the right hon. the Prime Minister and his glowing statements about the duty of Canada towards the empire, I begin to have a new conception of the use of eloquence. The declaration that if Canada should build a navy, that navy shall not be utilized for the empire unless Canada is satisfied that the cause is a just one, is to me offensive. What is the onlv inference which you can draw from such an assertion? It is this, we are willing to go to war with Great Britain so long as the war in which she is engaged is a just one. But is there any man in Canada to-day who believes that England will ever get into any other kind of a war. Does any one believe that that country, which has been the cradle of liberty for ages, which has ever stood for the rights of man, for the liberty of conscience, liberty of speech, justice and fair play-does any one in Canada believe that that country will ever engage in a war of tyranny and oppression? If we do not, then I say that when England turns to new ideas and engages in wars of this description, it will be time enough for Canada to turn to new gods. I do not think that the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Smith) answered very well the question put to him by my hon. friend from Vancouver (Mr. Cowan). In the British North America Act there is a clause, section 15, which provides: The command in chief of the land and naval militia and of all naval and military forces of and in Canada, is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen. That section is embodied in the Bill in section 4, but there is in the Bill another clause, clause 18 which provides: In case of an emergency the Governor in Council may place at the disposal of His Majesty, for general service in the Royal navy, the naval service or any part thereof, any ships or vessels of the naval service, and the officers and seamen serving; in such ships or vessels, or any officers or seamen belonging to the naval service. The point to which I wish to call attention is this. How can you reconcile these two sections? In the one, the command in chief of Canada's naval forces is vested in the King; and in the other, the Governor in Council may place that force at the disposal of His Majesty for general service in case of an emergency.


CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

It is an attempt to take away a power that belongs exclusively to the imperial government.

Topic:   $361,572,159 2,487,461 REVISED EDITION.
Permalink
CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

He says there is peace.

-and yet, at the same time, combined with this total absence of all question of friction, there never was, in the history of the world, so threatening and overpowering a preparation for war. That is the sign which I regard as most ominous. ... I admit there are features of this general preparation for wer which must cause special anxiety to the friends of Great Britain and of the British empire.

Certainly, Lord Rosebery remains under a feeling of anxiety. It is true the leader of this House (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith), the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald) and others of hon. gentlemen opposite do not feel anxious. But I have no right to regard these gentlemen as of the same authority in this matter as Lord Roseibery and others whom I have named. These hon. gentlemen opposite tell us that there is no danger, but the great men in England tell .us that there is danger.

When I see one country alone asking for 25 millions of extra taxation for warlike preparations ; when I see the unprecedented sacrifices which are asked from us on the same grounds, I do begin to feel uneasy as to the outcome of it all, and to wonder where it will stop. . . . Gentlemen, we can and we

will build ' Dreadnoughts' or whatever the newest t.vne of ship may be as long as we have a shilling to spend on them or a man to put into them. All that we can and will do, but I am not sure that even that will be enough, and I think it may be your duty to take back to your young dominions across the seas this message and this impression: that some personal duty and responsibility for national defence rests on every man and citizen of the empire.

Is 'this the doctrine that our friends are trying to impress upon the people of this country? I think not. I say, and without the slightest desire to give offence, that the gentlemen on the other side, from the Prime Minister down, are trying to misrepresent the facts to the people of this country; and I believe that before I get through with my address I can prove beyond 'the shadow of a doubt that the Liberal press or at least some part of it, as well as many members of this House, are trying to misrepresent the facts in this matter.

Yes, gentlemen, take that message back with you. Tell your peoples-if they can believe it-the deplorable way in which Europe is relapsing into militarism and the pressure that is put upon this little England, to defend itself, its liberties-and yours! But take this message also back with you-that the old country is right at heart; that there is no failing or weakness in her; and that she rejoices in renewing her youth in her giant dominions beyond the seas. For her own salvation, she must look to herself, and that failing her she must look to you.

And Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary, speaking after Lord Rosebery a't this conference, said:

I endorse every word he said. We are in comparatively calm weather, not in stormy weather, in foreign politics at the present moment, but the excessive expenditure on armaments makes the weather sultry. And the seriousness of that expenditure cannot be over-rated; but you should know to-day how conscious we are at home that we have far too much at stake to allow our naval expenditure to fall behind, however great the burden, and you from beyond che seas have made it clear to us how great the resources of the empire are. In upholding the empire surely we are going more and more towards the ideal to which Mr. Kirwan referred in his speech yesterday-of a union of allies- of self-governing dominions.

The right hon. Mr. McKenna said:

W e look to the future and we see growing difficulties surrounding our empire. We foresee possibilities in which we should be called upon to unite our whole strength in a common defence.

I believe in a common defence. Yet, in the face of this utterance of Mr. McKenna, hon. gentlemen opposite try to ^convince the country that there is no danger, no Mr. SCHAPFNER.

emergency. Hence, they ask what is the use of giving Dreadnoughts? Why not be content with a tin pot navy? ' It is true,' they say, ' the Conservative party have forced us to do something, but we will do as little as we can. Then we shall be able to go to Quebec and o'ther parts of this country and tell the people that we were forced to do something, but that we did as little as possible, and' we can assure you that when ift comes to real war our little tin pot navy will not be in sight.'

The right hon. Alfred Lyttelton said:

Well, my belief is, the actual position the actual situation of affairs at this moment is different from that which it has been since the battle of Trafalgar. We are in the presence for the first time of powers equal to ourselves in wealth, . . . and I was delighted to hear Sir Edward Grey on this occasion endorse what he said-that this country may always be relied upon to spend her last shilling if it is necessary for her own defence and for the defence of the empire, but that a time might come when it would be necessary for her own safety and for their own safety that the dominions over the seas should assist her in a tremendous struggle. I firmly believe myself that the ultimate destiny and fate of this empire will depend-must depend-upon the achievement of a really closer and more consolidated unity and a more perfect organization of defence.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, as a fair-minded man which, of the two policies before this House leads to closer consolidation-the little home navy without one of the warships of any great importance, or the policy of this side of the House, declaring that there is an emergency, and that in that emergency we should send two Dreadnoughts at least, the only ships that will be able to line up at the front in time of war? Certainly the latter, without any doubt. What does Mr. Balfour say:

The fate of Australia, the fate of New Zealand, of Canada, South Africa, India-that is not going to be decided in the Pacific; it is not going to be decided in the Indian ocean; it is going to be decided here, and everybody who attempts to read the signs of the times will, I think, agree with the weighty words which fell from Lord Rosebery.

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about it, the great battle that is going to decide the fate of the British empire will be fought in the North sea. Germany to-day, from her geographical position, needs and possesses the strongest army in the world; she is able, if necessary, to put 4,000,000 armed men in the field. Great Britain, from her geographical position, must have the strongest navy in the world, and that navy alone will be the only thing to protect us whenever that crucial moment arrives.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   $361,572,159 2,487,461 REVISED EDITION.
Permalink

DOMINION MILLERS' ASSOCIATION.


On the order for private Bills:


LIB

Motion agreed to.


NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.


House resumed the adjourned debate on the motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 95) respecting the naval service of Canada, the proposed amendment of Air. Borden thereto, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Monk.


CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

Air. Speaker, when you left the chair at six o'clock, I was dealing with the question as to whether there existed an emergency, and as to whether this country, if it believed that there was an emergency, should do something practical to meet it. In support of that proposition I was quoting authorities from both sides of politics in the old country, words that were spoken, not at a time of political contest, but at a time when the country could give a fair and just expression of opinion. I gave all the authorities to which I wished to refer except Lord Roberts. He said:

Recent events, however, prove conclusively that a new era has commenced, and that our whole empire may again have to fight for its own, as the people of these islands have many times had to do in the past. The question is: Are we prepared to do this? Fleets and effective armies cannot be improvised to meet the rapid movements of modern times. Nothing but forethought and preparation, extending over years, can give us a naval or military strength which may be relied on in any great emergency, and which is in itself the greatest guarantee of that peace which we desire and

need more than any other nation. I think I know what your main difficulty will be. It is not easy to convince the mass of the people In this country of the existence of real danger.

That is what Lord Roberts said, and I commend these words to my hon. friends on the other side of the House:

It may be even iess easy to convince the populace of colonies that have enjoyed for a century protection, which has given them security from attack, that real dangers threaten them also. . . The growth of the colonies in wealth makes them more and more objects of envy to nations which do not possess such valuable areas of the world. So, if we are to he secure, we must stand side by side in common effort and common sacrifice.

Air. Asquith said:

After very anxious careful examination of the conditions of ship-building in foreign countries, the government have come to the conclusion that it is desirable to take all necessary steps to ensure that the second four ships referred to in the programme shall be completed by March, 1912.

I will not refer to any more of these authorities. I think this House and the country will agree with me that the authorities to which I have referred should go farther and mean more than the authority of the Postmaster General, the First Minister or any of the friends who support them.

Now, a word or two about loyalty. That is one of the subjects which our friends on the other side of the House would rather we should not refer to. It seems to be a tender spot in their make-up, but whose fault is it? It is not our fault. It is not pleasant to see that we are led by an hon. gentleman who has placed himself, by his own words, in a position with which I think, we have just reason to find fault, and in a position which we believe is not in the best interests of this country, which we believe leads to disintegration rather than to what we should all desire-consolidation. Now, I wish to refer to these remarks, because I, personally, am impressed with the sentiment that the Bill which is before the House leads directly to the separation of this country from the great empire. The right hon. _ the First Minister, speaking in Boston, said:

Canada would never consent to imperial federation even on commercial lines alone, because the consequence would be the participation of Canada in British wars,

I shall have something to say about that later on.

-and Canada would never consent to participate in British wars.

I hold out to my fellow countrymen the idea of independence, but, whenever the day comes, it must come by the consent of both countries, and we shall continue to keep the good feeling and the good-will of the mother

sums which this country was willing to spend. Then the experts advised our representatives what they thought were the bes't ships that could be got for that amount of money. In a few words, that is about what occurred, and I do not think our friends opposite can possibly make the people of this country believe that in this Bill they are carrying out what the admiralty asked for.

. Now, I am going to take a little time to prove some of the things I have said in reference to Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Here is a communication from the Governor of New Zealand to the Secretary of State on March 22, 1909, very near the time when this House debated the resolution of last year:

Government of New Zealand offer to bear cost of immediate building and arming by the British government of one first-class battleship of the latest type. If subsequent events show it to be necessary, will also bear cost of second warship of the same type.

That is what New Zealand offered, a coun'try with one-fifth the population of Canada, and with less than one-fifth the natural resources of Canada. This is the reply received by New Zealand:

Please hasten to assure your Prime Minister that his message has been received by me with the highest appreciation of the generous and spontaneous offer made on behalf of New Zealand. It will be at once laid before His Majesty's government.

The following is also from the Secretary of State to .the Governor of New Zealand:

I am commanded by the King to inform you that His Majesty is deeply gratified by the patriotic feeling displayed by New Zealand towards mother country in their splendid offer, and to convey at once his gratitude and high appreciation for fine patriotism and generosity shown in the magnificent offer made so promptly and spontaneously.

Again from the Governor General rto the Secretary of State:

Am desired by Prime Minister to convey to His Majesty the King government of New Zealand's deep sense of gratitude for gracious message and for His Majesty's generous recognition of New Zealand offer of battleship to the mother country. People of New Zealand pleased to evince in a tangible way to His Majesty the King and to help to maintain strength of empire.

There was some doubt as to whether the federal government of Australia would offer Dreadnoughts or whether it would be done by the different provinces. The Governor of New South Wales made the following offer to the Secretary of State:

If Commonwealth parliament does not adopt this course, governments of New South Wales and Victoria have agreed immediately to take the necessary steps to obtain the authority of their respective parliaments to share costs of a Dreadnought on a per capita basis.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink

February 22, 1910