February 22, 1910

CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

The Secretary of State to the Governor of New South Wales:

His Majesty's government warmly appreciate desire of New South Wales and Victoria to contribute their share of the cost of a Dreadnought, and would gratefully welcome such an addition to the naval strength of the empire.

We were Told by the Minister of Militia the other day that in time of war the fleet which Australia proposes to build is not to go automatically under the control of the British admiralty. Now, the paragraph which I propose to read, from a communication addressed by the Governor General of Australia to the Secretary of Slate, would set that at rest:

In time of war or emergency, or upon a declaration by the senior naval officer representing the British government, that a condition of emergency exists, all vessels of the naval force of the Commonwealth shall be placed by the Commonwealth government under the orders of Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. The method by which the vessels shall come under the orders of the senior naval officer would be by furnishing each commander of an Australian vessel with sealed orders and instructions (to) the effect that upon the declaration to him by the senior naval officer representing British government that a state of war or emergency exists, such sealed orders shall thereupon be opened and, in pursuance of their provisions, he shall thereupon immediately place himself under the orders of the senior naval officer representing British government.

So far as I can see, the fleet will certainly come automatically under The direction of the admiralty in time of war.

Now, a few words in reference to the manner in which Canada received the invitation to come over and consult wi'th the admiralty as to the best means of defence. The following is from the Secretary of State to the Governor General:

His Majesty's government have noted with much satisfaction the resolution passed by the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada on March 29 on subject of national defence, recording its approval of the organization of a Canadian naval service in co-operation with, and in close relation to, the imperial navy, and I understand that the Dominion government proposes that its Defence Ministers should come here at an early date to confer with the imperial navy and military authorities upon technical matters arising upon that resolution.

I desire therefore to commend to you the following important suggestion, namely, that a conference of representatives of the selfgoverning Dominions, convened under the terms of resolution (1) of the conference of 1907, which provides for such subsidiary conference, should be held in London early in July next. The object of the conference would be to discuss the question of naval and

military defence of the empire with special reference to the Canadian resolution.

That was on April 30, 1909. What was the answer of Canada to that plain and respectful invitation? The Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) answered on February 8:

The ministers wish to point out that the views of the Canadian House of Commons on the question of naval defence have a iready been expressed, and, in pursuance of the resolution of that body two ministers, as already announced, will shortly go to London to discuss with the admiralty the best methods of carrying out that resolution. My ministers have not sufficient information to warrant them advising the necessity of such a formal conference as that suggested, but there will be no objection to postpone visit till July so as to suit convenience of imperial government.

One sees there in a moment the difference in the manner in which this invitation was received and accepted by New Zealand and Australia, and the manner in which it was received by Canada. The New Zealand government declared that, in the opinion of the ministers, a representation of all parts of the empire at the conference was essential, and that the course which the home government was taking was the right one and in the best interests of the empire. The Transvaal gave a similar answer, but every one in this House knows the position in which the Transvaal was at that time. Every one knows that the Transvaal was not in a position to give the same answer as New Zealand or Australia.

According to the admiralty memorandum this is their opinion:

In the opinion of the admiralty the 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. The operation of destroyers and torpedo boats are necessarily limited to waters near the coast or to a radius of action not far distant from the base, while there are great difficulties in manning such a force and keeping it always thoroughly efficient.

Will any hon. gentleman pretend that the navy contemplated will, in time of war, be of any material benefit? I do not think they would be able to line up to the war line. In any esse, they would be of no benefit in protecting our trade routes. Outside of our sentiment in favour of protecting our empire, and looking at the matter only from the commercial side, I think that what we want is something that will assist in protecting our great trade routes.

I believe that the time has come when we should say v hat we think in these matters. While I have not the slightest desire to give any offence, I must say that I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that this Bill is framed, in the manner in which it is, in order to please our friends from the province of Quebec. For that province and its people I have the greatest respect. It is one of the oldest provinces in this Dominion, and one of which we have a great many reasons to be proud, but I must say that ever since I have been in this House, it seems to me that in all questions of importance everything has had t-o be subsidiary to the interests of Quebec. That is hardly fair. I do not care whether you take the Autonomy Bill or any Bill that has ever come before this House, you will find the facts to bear out what I say. But I am delighted to see a glimmer of light in that province in that one respect. There is lots of light there in many other respects, but I find there to-day what I never saw before, and what I do not think any citizen of Canada ever saw before, I find one of the leading papers in that province. asking, in connection with this question, is it fair or right that one province out of nine should stand up against the other eight. These are the v.urds of one of the leading French papers m the province of Quebec. I say that this is as it should he. We ought not to legislate in this country for any province, but for the Dominion in the very broadest possible way.

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LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

I really cannot tell. I had the quotation here, but it was very lately-within the last three or four days.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

I do not think you do. I believe that every right thinking man, when we sit down and talk these things over, will say that is the right sort of sentiment, end that it is one which every Canadian should be willing to express.

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LIB
CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFKER.

I want to say in closing that I am absolutely honest and sincere in supporting the amendment of my leader. If I believed that this Bill brougnt down by the government were of any practical value in the protection of this great empi-'e I would be bound to support it, but I do not see how it can be. I have tried to prove by the very best authorities that to-day there is an emergency. My good friend from Nanaimo (Mr. Smith) said that if we had started twenty years ago we might have had a fleet of some service to-day. There is something in. that statement. But twenty years ago Germany

had a very small fleet and this great arming of the different nations was not going on, whereas to-day we are right up against an emergency.

The leader of this House says that it will be at least five years. Well, I do not think any one doubts that it will be at least ten years before the navy which it is proposed by this Bill to provide, will be in practical service. And I do not think there is a man in this House but believes that that will be too late. Suppose that war should come within the next two or three years, what would be the condition of all these colonies? New Zealand would be able to march up to the firing line with her Dreadnought; Australia the same; and I believe, as soon as affairs are settled _ in South Africa, that part of the empire also will be ready. But where will Canada be? She will not march up to the firing line; she will be standing away off shouting through a megaphone, as I think the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Roche) said: 'Don't come near us; we are good runners, but we are no good for fighting.' That will be absolutely the position of Canada, and the Dreadnoughts of New Zealand and Australia will have to defend our little navy, and what will such an inadequate navy cost. Built in England, $11,000,000. Built in Canada, $15,000,000. By time ships are finished at least $20,000,-

000. Maintenance at least $5,000,000 per year. Who is to pay for this? Not contractors; not makers of uniform, ammunition and supplies. All these will make rich out of the undertaking. The bulk of the expense will fall upon the farmer and the wage-earner.

There i3 a most interesting article in last night's Montreal ' Star '. I indicated a little while ago how careful we have to be in what we say aDout the fourth estate. But the Montreal ' Star ', a newspaper of great influence all over this Dominion, probably the paper that goes into the homes of more people in Canada-and I am not advertising the ' Star ' now-than any other paper. But I do not think that the ' Star ' last night was fair. After thumping everybody on both sides of the House, the ' Star ' gave us the assurance that it would announce its policy to-night.

I am sure that every man on either side of the House is waiting in great anxiety to learn what this great paper is going to tell us. It will propound a great naval policy-; it will tell Canada what to say and do. I sometimes think-cannot help but think-what a great blessing to this country it would be if some of the preachers and some of the editors were only in this House. We should not then have such difficulty in formulating and carrying out great policies. The press is a great'institution. We have a tremendous lot to thank them for; they are the dissemina-

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

tors of all that is good. But somehow they sometimes get into the habit of saying pretty hard things. But we have only to wait until to-night, when the Montreal ' Star ' comes in, we shall have a proper naval policy for this great country.

Mr. Speaker, I had no idea of taking up so much time. I have only now to sum up and present my conclusions:

1. I believe that the present position of Canada, that of absolute dependence upon Great Britain for our naval protection, is intolerable.

2. I believe that if the people of this country realized that such a condition existed they would vote almost unanimously to terminate that state of affairs.

3. As ninety-five per cent of our exports are water-borne, it is of the utmost importance that our trade routes be protected. Hitherto, Great Britain has policed the trade routes, but the time has come when Canada should relieve the British taxpayer of some of his burden in this respect.

4. We believe that the government's naval policy is miserably inadequate. We believe it to be a foolish, useless, expensive tin pot navy, one that will be of little service in protecting our trade routes or our empire in time of war.

5. I believe, not in a Canadian navy, but in a great imperial navy, the expense of which is borne by the whole British empire, and not by the taxpayers of Great Britain only. I believe that that navy should be under one directing head. I do not see how it could be effective otherwise. If the navy were made which this government proposes, and if it formed a component part of the great imperial navy, then, in time of war, as I have already said, it might be of some use. It may be my fault, but, for my part, I fail to recognize in this Bill anything that will do what I have asked should be done.

6. Experts tell us to-day that the effective vessels are Dreadnoughts. Then, we should demand the immediate construction of one or two Dreadnoughts to be built for Canada, and at the expense of Canada. That will help to stand off the German menace, or the menace of any other country, thereby giving our assistance in maintaining-what- I believe to be of world wide importance-the supremacy of Great Britain on the high seas.

7. Sir, I believe that the great majority of the citizens of Canada realize that the future hope of the country, commercially, politically and sentimentally lies in continuing our close relation to the British empire.

I repeat that I stand for one throne, one flag, one navy.

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LIB

Louis Alfred Adhémar Rivet

Liberal

Mr. L. A. A. RIVET (Hochelaga).

Mr. Speaker, I believe that it is a circumstance

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of good augury for the measure now before this House that the further we proceed in the discussion of it the more we notice the marked contrast between the abundance of arguments used in its support and the obvious scarcity of reasons to be adduced against it. After having listened with a good deal of attention to the speech delivered by the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Schaffner) I hold this opinion more strongly than ever. For, after having seen the hon. gentleman evidently labouring under pains of difficulty, travelling far afield in search of new arguments and finding none, drawing upon the resources of what I believe to be one of the most fertile imaginations combined with a good deal of the spirit of imperialism, the hon. gentleman at last came to discover-or thought he could discover-a new argument, and one which, I am sure, has been to every member of this House quite a surprise, quite a revelation. Mr. Speaker, when the hon. gentleman stood in his place and stated that this measure had been introduced in this House for the single purpose of pleasing the province of Quebec, I was staggered, as I believe that to-morrow, when he reads it, my friend Mr. Hum Bourassa, the good ally of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), will be staggered.

I do not propose to follow the line of argument which has been adopted by the hon. member. However, allow me to tell him that in regard to this legislation, which I consider, as every member of this House considers, to be of the greatest national importance, the province of Quebec from which I have the honour to hail has not the slightest intention to take a different position from the other provinces. The motives which influence every Canadian irrespective of race and creed are as powerful in Quebec as elsewhere, and we intend to give an undivided support to this legislation, notwithstanding the attitude of some of the leading members of our race and our province, who to-morrow I hope will return to better councils and will admit that the majority was well inspired and took the proper course. The province of Quebec does not wish to assume in this House or in this country a position of isolation. That has never been the policy of the leaders of the province of Quebec. If at one time, and possibly under different circumstances, there happened to be some members of my race or of my province advocating a different course, thank God, those days are gone bv, and they are to be found to-day in a hopeless minority.

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, in the course of my remarks on the budget, I had the honour to inform this House that I purposed supporting the Bill that is now under discussion, and I did so

without advancing any other reason for my intended action than the need of self-protection that should characterize both nations and individuals. I stated that later on I would explain in a fuller and more explicit manner the motives that actuate me in my attitude concerning a matter of such national importance. I am happy to be able to take advantage of the occasion which now presents itself to fulfil that engagement, and, under the sway of a deep-set conviction, a conviction based upon a serious study of all the circumstances that surround the misisterial measure, I rise to reiterate my confidence in the policy of the government.

At the outset let me say that I under stand and appreciate to its fullest, the part that falls to my lot, and the responsibilities I assume at this moment. I do not forget the fact that, if the ministry shoulder all the merit or demerit, as the case may be, attached to the measure that it has originated, it is only a parliamentary majority that can impart to it a legal existence and an executive power, and must especially answer before history for the true or false interpretation that it embodies of the popular will. But I must add that it, is without any apprehension, without any fear of the popular verdict, as has been here and elsewhere often declared, that I place my humble support at the service of the government. I am confident that the public opinion of this country, once enlightened as to the motive and results of the ministerial course, will quickly silence the prejudices and passions awakened by party spirit and will cordially support the government. But should it be otherwise, the prospect of a defeat should not, it seems to me, lessen our attachment to a cause that we in conscience believe to be just and in harmony with the best interests of Canada.

It also behooves us, Mr. Speaker, on this occasion, to divest ourselves of all external influences and, in all conscience and full liberty, to exercise our mandate as representatives of the people. For, if, until the introduction of this Bill, we could have claimed the moral support of public opinion, ready to accept favourably the almost concordant expressions of the authorized leaders of the two great political parties, to-day, the unexpected somersault of the leader of the opposition, followed by the disavowal inflicted on him by his principal lieutenant from my native province, are ill-calculated to direct that public opinion in the direction of a solution of such a vast and yet delicate question. The parliamentary situation, as affected by the amendment and sub-amendment of the left, is more likely to set popular sentiment astray, than to afford it a true solution of the question. What is that situation? By the Bill now introduced the government pro-

vides for the organization of a Canadian naval service. This Bill, with slight variations, is entirely based on our Militia Act, By clause 18 the government may, in case of emergency, place the naval service at the disposal of the British admiralty. On account of the circumstances that gave birth to the project of a Canadian navy, and on account of our particular position as a nation in the British empire, that clause 18 became inevitable and must appear quite a matter of course; but often, the most simple things in appearance, do not seem to be understood in the same way by every one, since our friends of the opposition have seen a world of differences in that clause, according as it has been viewed through the spectacles of Mr. Borden or those of Mr. Monk. And this difference of interpretation has served as basis of the two absolutely opposite systems that summarize the two classes of contradictory attacks made against the Bill.

In the opinion of the leader of the opposition, clause 18 upsets all the economy of a naval project, the principal aim of which should be to strengthen the British fleet. By that clause Canada withdraws with one hand what she gives with the other. In a word, according to Mr. Borden, the radical fault of the Bill is the too absolute control of Canada over the navy, the too rigorous application of the principles of autonomy that govern our national life. According to him, the same idea of autonomy is at the bottom of the policy of constructing vessels of a class only useful to Canada and of no use to the mother country in the hour of danger. The hon. member sees only one way to remedy the evil he seems to dread, and that is the gift of $25,000,000 to England with the subsequent approbation of the people-after the money would be safely landed in the British treasury. This is embodied in his amendment, which is the expression of the policy of . the bulk of the opposition. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier thinks, on the other hand, that the same clause 18 is destructive of our autonomy, the upsetting of responsible government, the reducing of our parliament to simple municipal institutions, the total loss of all the fruits derived from the sacrifices and struggles of our fathers in the cause of liberty. For the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, a Canadian navy, created under clause 18, would only be a squadron of the British fleet, intended principally for the defence of the mother country, and this interpretation leads him to claim, in his amendment, that the government's policy modifies, in a wholesale manner, our relations with the empire-and he, therefore, demands an appeal to the popular vote.

Thus the two Conservative leaders reach the same goal, but by different roads. For both of them, clause 18 contains nothing Mr. RIVET.

worthy of the occasion. For the one, under its mask are all the traits of evil, where the other considers them the traits of good-and vice versa. In other terms, the leader of the opposition sees in that clause the incarnation of nationalism, while the hon. member for Jacques Cartier sees in it the incarnation of imperialism. Could a more flagrant contradiction be imagined? The best way to reconcile their views would be for both these gentlemen to change spectacles. But they will do no such a thing, for none are so blind as those who do not want to see. What is the truth, Mr. Speaker? If our friends on the left desire to sanely intercept clause 18, they will see in it none of the dangers that they apprehend from both sides, but they will find in it the guarantee that all desire -that is to say, our country's autonomy and our effective aid in the maintenance of the supremacy of the British navy. But, as I said a moment ago, this contradictory assault on the ministerial policy, and which, in case of an appeal to the people, is repeated outside, is scarcely likely to enlighten the public mind, nor to inspire a verdict in accord with facts. Hence, the duty of the majority arises from the very circumstances of the case. Invested with popular confidence to solve in this parliament all problems of national interest, we should fulfil our task without undergoing the jostling of divided opinions, nor the onset of passions excited by the prejudiced and unscrupulous. In this question, as in all others, our mandate authorizes us to safe-guard the true interests of the country, and, were we to. be unfaithful to our duty, the people of Canada would be justified, later on, in visiting us with punishment for our lack of initiative and of patriotism. This much being said, Mr. Speaker, I assert that a Canadian navy, in conformity with the dispositions of the present Bill, constitutes one of the essential obligations of our position as a colony, and is one of the consequences of our national evolution.

Before discussing that proposition, I desire, Sir, to lay down some fundamental principles, which, in my humble opinion, underlie the spirit of this Bill.

1. The organization of a naval defence is not a blessing, but a necessity imposed on us by the present conditions of civilization. This principle has been admitted in all times, even by those whose convictions were opposed to war in every form. John Bright, an English statesman, well known for his pacific leanings, has admitted the necessity of national defence as long as, between nations, war should remain as the final tribunal of arbitration.

2. Militarism consists in a preponderance of an exaggerated sort given, in a country, to the milita-y element; our defence

organization could only draw us into it in proportion to the degree in which we follow the example of the European nations that bend under the load of their armaments.

3. Canada is an autonomous colony of the British empire, enjoying practically a quasi-independence, but theoretically and absolutely under the domination of the British Crown. The colonial tie may be almost imperceptible; yet it exists in all its strength, and only a successful revolution, or the consent of Great Britain, could dissolve it. We will see later how the close of England's naval supremacy could effect our actual position.

4. The breaking of the bond with Great Britain would leave two alternatives for Canada: Independence or annexation with the United States.

5. The safest foundation of the British emnire lies in the liberty of action and the free autonomous development of its component parts.

All those who have written or spoken against this Bill seem to have forgotten one or two, and, in some cases, all of these principles. It is not wonderful that such forgetfulness should have led them into contradictory conclusions, contrary to facts and to the best interests, both of the Canadian people and the British empire*

I. therefore, say that it is not possible to discuss in an intelligent manner this problem of naval defence without having present to the mind the fundamental ideas that I have just indicated, because they must necessarily be found at the root of any policy respecting means of mutual protection, as between Great Britain and her self-governing colonies.

As I have already pointed out, the government, in its naval policy, has been from the beginning, confronted by two different and contradictory lines of attack. On the one hand, it has been claimed that the only policy that suggests itself under the circumstances is one of immediate assistance, by way. of a cash contribution to the mother country, this is the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden). I am satisfied that such a solution of the question has already been proved unacceptable by some of the supporters of the government. It has been conclusively shown, to my mind, that a system of cash and periodical contributions is a temporary and costly expedient, that brings no definite solution of our relations with the mother country, in respect to naval defence, and is a violation of all principles of self-government, could only be excused on the ground of an imminent crisis in the naval history of Great Britain. As this alleged crisis has been found to be a night-mare, got up for political purposes, the position of the ultra-loyalists of the

opposition becomes untenable. I propose then to leave aside that aspect of the political situation created by the Borden amendment, to deal exclusively with the opposition offered to the Bill, in other parts of Canada, namely, in Quebec, on the ground that the only policy to be followed by the government in matters of naval defence should be one of complete inaction. We now knt>w the arguments of the opponents of a Canadian navy in the province of Quebec. Nationalists and Conservatives, the latter having taken the programme of the former, have agreed to try and convince the people of Quebec that military imperialism, according to their view, has brought us this Bill, and that, by the sacrifice of our autonomy, it has Tendered the tie with Great Britain an intolerable yoke. Yet, the greater number of them, and the member for Jacques Cartier is one, have carefully avoided drawing the people's attention to the consequences for our country of a separation from England. While their premises drive them fatally into separation they have not had the honesty to go to the logical end, and to either cry out for independence or for annexation.

I am mistaken; the real exponent of nationalism, Mr. Oliver Asselin, in a pamphlet published under the title,

' Naval Defence and the British Empire ', after having criticised in advance the naval policy of the government as being an attack on our autonomy, and the imposition of an undeserved and unbearable burden, faces the following alternative. Having declared that the government's policy would force us to take part in all wars wherein England's interests would be at stake, and having enumerated all the services we render to England, Mr. Asselin concludes thus:

These services, these sacrifices, England cannot ask if, henceforth, we are to take part in all wars in which the honour or integrity of the empire are at stake. Independence would then be doubly as valuable, and so it seems to me.

Thus the few of our opponents who have the courage and frankness to tell us whither they tend, raise the standard of independence. In the presence of such a declaration, it behooves us to calmly study the obligations that flow from such a new situation in our country. Would independence, from the standpoint of naval defence, impose greater sacrifices on us? It seems incontestable, and I doubt strongly if the partisans of independence are not imbued with the same idea-namely, that independence would entail a much heavier naval outlay than would the policy of the government. I cannot believe in the sincerity of men who place our national security under the wing tf the Monroe doctrine, or under some species of American

equilibrium fashioned after that of Europe. A few days ago the hon. Postmaster General settled fairly that question of the Monroe doctrine. I will add only a few words to his eloquent remarks. In fact the Monroe doctrine is not one that enters into the international code, and, as such, is accepted by all nations. It has no obligatory force, it has no sanction outside that of the authority whence if emanates. Now, that authority is not the United States Congress or Senate, that have exclusive jurisdiction in matters of international treaties, but is the good will of the president of the United States, whose individuality changes every four or eight years. The so-called Monroe doctrine was only an expression of opinion by a president of the United States, given to harmonize with the circumstances of the time, not applying even to Canada, which it expressly excludes, which had been laid aside when the interests or the caprices of the American people required it, as has since been seen, on memorable occasions and which will be laid aside every time that such action is deemed necessary by our powerful neighbours. But even supposing that the Monroe doctrine would respect or protect our independence, is there a serious man in Canada or the.United States who would pretend that such protection would exempt U3 from participate ing in the defence of our coasts and our ports? Is it at the moment when the American people aspire more and more to play a world-wide part, caress visions of imperialism, and accordingly impose fresh sacrifices on themselves and increase their naval budget, that they would consent to assume, without any compensation, the defence of such an extensive territory, as exposed as their own to attack? For all well-thinking people of Canada, as in the United States, the conditions of such a protection would be as humiliating for our national dignity as they would be dangerous to our liberty of action, and even of our independence. We would, in that way, become the vassal of the United States. Is there a Canadian, jealous of his national dignity and conscious of the great future of Canada, who would freely submit to the ignominy of such dependence? The argument of an American equilibrium compared to that of Europe is not serious. It is to insult Canada to believe that her protection may be the result of geographical conditions such as regulate the existence of small countries like Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, or Montenegro. It is clear that the geographical conditions are not the same, and, moreover, there can be no comparison between those smaller countries, that have reached the zenith of their power, and Canada, whose growth has scarcely commenced. Moreover, history shows that the independence Mr. RIVET.

I of those small countries is precarious, and is ever at the mercy of new combinations likely to arise, and that, besides, each of them is provided with a war fleet. Charles Dupuis, professor in the school of political science in France, in his book, ' The Principle of Equilibrium and the European Concert ', writes as follows:

The principle of equilibrium cannot be one of international law, unlike the law, it could sever create a judicial principle, furnish clear, precise and identical solutions: it interdicts but few solutions and dictates none. It could only guarantee the rights of all if it could secure the maintenance of the statu quo or else counterbalance any increase of power amongst the stronger states, by means of a co-relative increase of the power of the feebler states. The maintenance of the statu quo is impossible and the counterbalances have rarely been established save to the benefit of the strong and the injury of the weak.

Thus our independence would not guarantee us against the cost of naval defence nor against equivalent sacrifices. Mr. As-selin, himself, in the pamphlet I have just mentioned, is obliged to agree, at page 40, he says:

If we were independent, nothing would prevent us from creating for ourselves, for ourselves alone, that navy which we are bound to create for others and to make friends at the same time amongst the larger states, England included, with the trade benefits which we now give free to the metropolis.

The opponents of the measure in Quebec are not deceived on this point, and despite their cry about the Munroe doctrine there are but few amongst them who have any belief in any independence in the near future. If there be any who secretly nurse the thought of independence, its realization seems to them very far off, not of our generation, something to be secured only when Canada shall have attained a degree of development and power which would afford the ambition and means of holding that privileged position. I do not pretend that those Canadians who entertain the idea of independence at some future date, should be amenable to the tribunal of jingoism presided over by the hon, member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). It is not treasonable and it is not quite permissible to think and to say that Canada, having reached her full development, like the ripe apple falling from the tree, may eventually, by the force of circumstances, become a sovereign nation. I am not referring to those who may have that idea in mind. But I speak of the men who proclaim themselves partisans of a Canadian republic -at an early date, and in view of escaping the obligations of naval defence, and I say that there is none of them who would not bitterly repent of his declarations and separatist speeches, if, in the near future, some fine morning, England were to aban-

don her finest colony to itself, leaving it all the risks and responsibilities of an independent state.

The hypothesis of an annexation to the United States scarcely need to be mentioned. If such annexation were the political doctrine of a given number of Canadians belonging to either or both of our great political parties, (for in this regard, in looking over their past, neither of these parties can cast a stone at each other), I submit that in our day, amongst the framers of public thought, save and except Goldwin Smith, we can find no one who openly professes that theory in regard to our national future. The same may be said of the mass of the people. In the province of Quebec, especially, despite the large number of its citizens who have emigrated to the United States, and who have kept up cordial and unbroken relations with Canada, annexation is looked upon as a danger for the institutions and! for the language of the French-Canadian minority. This is why our fellow-citizens of the province of Quebec, more so than those of any other province, would prefer either the status quo or independence, to *the risks of a situation so menacing to their race.

But it is quite possible that, between the peril of American assimilation and the terrors of military imperialism, some of our French-Canadian fellow-citizens may incline to the first of these evils as the lesser. In that case, it becomes our duty to undeceive them and to remind them that the dream of American imperialism, expressed in ever-increasing maritime armaments, would load them with a tax in money and men far heavier than could ever their free co-operation with the British admiralty in the defence of Canadian soil; and, on this .subject, I may be permitted to point out, and without any thought of reproach, that the Spanish-American war claimed more victims amongst the soldiers and sailors of [DOT]Canadian extraction, than did the Boer war, in which, indeed, many of our people fell fighting for the British flag. But I am convinced that few Canadians harbour any illusion in this regard, or imagine that annexation would bring them some kind of national sovereignty freed from the corresponding obligations-more burdensome than those of our present state.

The status quo, our position of self-governing colony within the British empire,- such is undoubtedly the desire of the great mass of the Canadian people. .Their adhesion thereto is not baseless; it is reasoned and reasonable, it is founded on special advantages and benefits belonging thereto. .These advantages and benefits have been enumerated. The Postmaster General, in his masterly speech the other day, told us of the liberties and extensive' privileges that we enjoy under the British flag. If

we have not the title of nation, we exercise all the leading prerogatives and (responsibilities of one. The extreme independence in our economic and social life, the safeguards of our trade and industries, the prestige and advantages derived from the capacity of British subjects, and, especially for us French-Canadians, the guarantees that surround our institutions, our religion and our language; these are the principal actuating influences in our fidelity to our British allegiance. And this brings us. ,to the one and only question: Can this status quo be maintained indefinitely without our fulfilling our obligations in regard to naval defence? If the reply be affirmative, the organization of a Canadian naval service, in conformity to the provisions of .this Bill, would be no longer a free question of principle, but only a question of application and terms. I therefore submit, Sir, that in view of the principles that I have just laid down, the organization of our naval defence, in cooperation with the British admiralty, is only a natural result of our national evolution and of our situation as a self-governing colony. I say, further, that the government, in .the application of its naval policy, has selected the time, the form and the means best suited to the interests both of the Canadian people and of the British empire. As I am disposed to repeat arguments used by some of those whQ have already spoken in support of the Bill, I will be as brief as possible in the demonstration of that proposition.

They who, like the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, claim that the government in its naval policy, bring in a dangerous innovation and lay aside the principles that have always governed our national life, have evidently not taken the trouble to carefully examine the declarations and the attitudes of the founders of our Canadian nationhood. All the negotiations that ended in confederation, the memorials and speeches of the statesmen concerned therein, come to show that their intention, apart from doing away with the parliamentary deadlock that had marked the closing years of the union, was mainly, to lay the foundations of a new and great nation, sufficiently strong to look after its own defence and to take part in the maintenance of British power. I may be allowed, Mr. Speaker, to make a few citations; they may cast some light on the present debate. In a letter sent to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in October, 1858, by the delegates of the Canadian government, in London, Messrs. Cartier, Ross and Galt, in regard to the project of confederation, I find the following:

But, independent of reasons affecting Canada alone, it is respectfully represented that the interests of the several colonies and of the empire will be greatly promoted by a more

intimate and united government of the entire British North American possessions. The population, trade, and resources of all these colonies have so rapidly increased of late years, and the removal of trade restrictions has made them,, in so great a degree, selfsustaining, that it appears to the government of Canada exceedingly important to bind still more closely the ties of their common allegiance to the British Crown, and to obtain for general purposes such an identity in legislation as may serve to consolidate their growing power, thus raising under the protection of the empire an important confederation on the North American continent. . . . With a population of three and a half millions, with a foreign commerce exceeding twenty-five millions sterling, and a commercial marine inferior in extent only to those of Great Britain and the United States, it is in the power of the imperial government, by sanctioning a confederation of these provinces, to constitute a dependency of the empire, valuable in time of peace and powerful in the event of war, forever removing the fear that these colonies njay ultimately serve to swell the power of another nation.

We all know that these first negotiations Were not successful, and that it was only after the Quebec conference of 1864, and the ratification of its proceedings by parliament in 1865, that the adhesion of the imperial government to the scheme of confederation was again solicited by the Canadian delegates to London, Cartier, Macdonald, Brown and Galt. In a speech delivered in London, at a banquet given in their honour, on the 26th of April, 1865, Sir George Cartier, one of the delegates spoke as follows. I beg the indulgence of the House on account of the length of my citations, but they throw a) vivid light on the present situation:

In consequence we seek a system that will permit us to make still greater progress, we wish to knot more closely the relations with the maritime provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. We frankly told them that we possess in Canada the necessary elements for the establishment of a strong nationhood, the population and the soil, but that we lack that other element which makes for -England's greatness-the naval element. We told onr friends that they are too restricted in their territory, while we need seaports and that, by uniting together we could become powerful and prosperous. Our government sent a deputation to England to show to the imperial government the absolute necessity of the realization of this confederation scheme. We desire its adoption not only to increase our prosperity and strength but also to be iu a better position to participate in the defence of the British empire.

We fully conceive that in case of invasion we could not resist the enemy without the aid of England's armies, hut with a union of all the provinces, we propose to take part in the defence of our country with all our might.

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LIB

Louis Alfred Adhémar Rivet

Liberal

Mr. RIVET.

When we spoke of a confederation of all the colonies of North America, we did not mean a system of weakening the bonds that unite those colonies to the mother country, hut a system calculated to develop, for the benefit of all, British American trade. Our confederation scheme lias in it nothing to awaken a fear of events such as have been witnessed in the United States. There is no danger of a conflict between the rights of the different states and the privileges of the federal government. We purpose declaring to the imperial government that we are ready to do our duty even alone for the defence of our country, but we represented at the same time that, if this confederation became an accomplished fact, we would be in a better position to help Great Britain in case, which I hope will never come, of a war between Great Britain and the United States. I take occasion now to remark that, in binding ourselves to furnish our share in defence, we assume a considerable expenditure, hut I add that you need not fear the results predicted- an increase of duty on English merchandise imported into Canada. As these predictions might lead to unpleasant impressions, I here declare that they are baseless. It was stated in both Houses of parliament, in certain newspapers of the country, that since Canada was separated, it would he better for England's safety to ieave her free to become independent, or to be annexed to the United States. We in Canada know that we cannot he the cause of war, war can never come save by the will of the imperial authorities. We also know that our country is vulnerable, but we would suffer it to become a battlefield, if required, whereon to avenge the honour of England.

We in no way desire to become independent and still less to be annexed to the United States. We reject with horror the very idea.

Is this clear and explicit enough? It is the express and formal affirmation of Canada's obligation to organize her own defence apd to give the .mother country the benefit of that organization.

The same affirmations are to be found in the words of Sir John Macdonald, George Brown, Tache, and of all the fathers of confederation who spoke on the question. There is nothing surprising therein. To settle their work on solid foundations, the Canadian statesmen of 1867, understood the necessity of laying those principles common to all nations at its base. In order to give her the right to live, they sought to give their country the right of self-defence in defending, at the same time, the British flag, under the folds of which she should expand. The same aim gave rise to the policy of military organization in 1868.

Thus, as has 'been remarked, at the beginning of confederation Sir George Cartier took the portfolio of Militia. In that position it was he who had charge of the Bill that is still the fundamental basis of our military system. I have already quoted some of his remarks on the subject. I will ask leave to add thereto the following:

I do not fear, in introducing this measure, the same check as the Militia Bill of 1862

caused my colleagues and myself to fall. I believe it necessary to complete the great work of confederation. I have already remarked, on other occasions, that three indispensable elements constitute a nation; the population, the territory and the navy. But the indispensable crowning of the edifice is the militia. No people can ever pretend to the title of nation, unless they have with them a military element, a means of self-defence.

Cartier thus recognized that the time had come to endow Canada with an effective military organization and that the country should have the means of providing therefor. The success that crowned his efforts proves that public opinion was with him and acknowledged the responsibility of a nation in what concerns its own protection.

And to those that might pTetend that Cartier's idea, and that of his government, did not go as far as the establishment of a naval service, I would point to the provisions of the Militia Act, which provide formally for the formation of a war fleet. Section 1 of that Act Teads thus:

1. As provided by the fifteenth section of the British North America Act, 1867, the commander in chief of the land and naval militia, and of all naval and military forces of and in Canada, is vested in the Queen and shall be exercised and administered by Her Majesty personally, or by the government as Her representative.

Clause 6 of the Militia Act of 1868 reads, in part, thus:

6. The Militia shall be divided into active and reserve militia. The active militia shall consist of the volunteer militia, the regular militia and the marine militia.

********

The marine militia shall be composed of seamen, sailors and persons whose usual occupation is upon any steam or sailing craft.

. . . the waters of the Dominion.

By clause 61, the Queen had the discretionary powers to mobolize the militia in or out of Canada, in case of war, invasion or insurrection, without the assent of the government or parliament of Canada.

61. Her Majesty may call out the militia or any part thereof for actual service, either within or without the Dominion, at any time, whenever it appears advisable so to do by reason of war invasion or insurrection or danger of any of them; and the militiamen, when so called out for actual service, shall continue to serve for at least one year from the date of their being called out for actual service, if required so to do for any longer period which Her Majesty may appoint.

Thus even at that time, the government's policy was not only to create a Canadian navy, but even to place the control of it in the discretionary power of the sovereign, acting on her own authority without the assent of the Canadian authorities.

It may be supposed that the causes for the postponement of Cartier's naval programme were both the absence of an immediate necessity and the meagreness of the public revenue. I might here multiply authorities and examples to maintain that Cartier's conception of 1868 was the true one: that is to say, that the navy is but the necessary complement of the military organization of any people, and that if, at that period, it was indispensable to provide for the country's defence by establishing a strong militia, the naval service was also to be included.

There is one page in the book of Mr. A. D. Decelles, ' Les Etats Unis,' which illustrates vividly the influence of sea power, over the destinies of nations. Although it may stir up painful recollections in the minds of my French Canadian colleagues, I cannot resist the temptation of quoting it. The writer refers to the last episode in that great drama played in America for the conquest of Canada by England. At the time referred to the army of Wolfe was within the walls of Quebec:

The chronicles of the time picture the anxiety of the English and the French in the springtime of 1760, after the second battle of the Plains of Abraham. The two, enemies worn out by a long series of troubles, still saw the ' final issue undecided. They awaited the arrival of the fleet that was to either confirm the success of Wolfe's army, or to repair Montcalm's disaster and revive the hopes of de Levis. As the first white sail appeared on the sky rim around the point of the island of Orleans, feverishly did their hearts beat and for a few moments there existed one of those agonizingly decisive moments in the history of a people. Finally the Union Jack spread its bright colours to the sky. A cheer of joy went up from Quebec, and deep bursts of grief from de L6vis' camp saluted that banner. England's maritime power had gained her the day, as, forty years later, she was to destroy the prospects of Bonaparte in the east, and to carry her might into every port in the world, while remaining herself, undislodgable behind her wooden walls.

In this connection, I wish also to mention that the United States, soon after the final recognition of their independence, adopted an aggressive policy of naval defence, and started to form the nucleus of a war fleet. In 1851, that war fleet was not very formidable, but it was the outcome of a systematic and well-planned policy in the direction of naval organization. In his speech delivered in Washington, on the 4th of July, 1851, on the occasion of the inauguration of an addition to the Capitol, Daniel Webster used the .following language with respect to the navy:

The navy is the active and aggressive element of national defence, and let loose from our own sea coasts, must display its own powers on the seas and channels of the

enemy. To do this, it need not be large and it can never be large enough to defend at home by its presence all our ports and harbours.

But in the absence of the navy, what can the regular army, the volunteer militia, do against the enemy's line of battleships and steamers falling without notice on our coast? What will guard our cities from tribute, our merchant vessels and our navy yards from conflagration? Here again we see a wise forecast in the system of defensive measures which, especially since the close of the war with Great Britain, has been steadily followed by the government.

It is also to be remembered, that after the war of independence, the population of the United States did not exceed three millions. It is exactly this wise forethought expressed by Daniel Webster in the case of the United States that inspired Cartier and his colleagues with a policy of military armament, which, in their minds, equally implied the organization of a naval service. In their eyes, the future of Canada appeared as brilliant as that of the American republic, and it was this clear view of the high destinies of our country that inspired them to give to her economic life and her general development those guarantees of independence and security which had been adopted by the great country to the south of us. It did not flash in their minds, that the protection offered by England could absolve them from participating in the defence of a territory so vast and so exposed to the enemy as in Canada, and, in accord with the public opinion of the day, they considered that the best and most effective way to secure the protection of the mother country was to contribute thereto within the limits of Canada's resources. Under like conditions, and thanks to them since that day, Canada has been able to move along the different stages of development and to reach the degree of progress and power that she now enjoys. If the happy results of Cartier's policy are now felt by us, it is, however, proper for us to inquire if the time has not come for the final execution of that policy. If so, such can be done only by the adoption of a naval programme in accord with the present conditions of the country. Thus I come to that part of my theme wherein I purpose briefly indicating how and why the government's naval programme is but the logical and opportune development of the traditional policy of our early statesmen in regard to matters of national defence.

The partisans of the status quo or of abstention from any naval programme, forget, or seem to forget, that on both sides, in the mother country and in Canada, affairs have spun along at a lively rate since 1868, and that in each country, changes have taken place that Mr. RIVET.

necessitate modifications in our defence policy. In Canada we are far removed from the point we occupied at confederation and at the original organization of our militia system. The great growth in population, the development of our national resources, the wonderful expansion of our trade and industries, the establishment of a comprehensive system of transportation, as well as the importance of our sea-ports, threaten to make Canada a serious rival in the economic field. After a long period of folding herself up,, in order to take a grander bound forward, Canada is now spreading out and seeking other outlets for her trade and productions. The systematic attention of other nations, at the birth of this new competitor has gradually turned into a mistrust that she may soon become a rival.

In this new situation, growing rapidly more pronounced, Canada owes it to herself and to the mother country, which has watched over her progress and development as effectively as situations would permit, to protect not only the vital parts of her economic organization but also her trade and industries. Despite the ridiculous pretention that Canada has no foreign trade to protect, on the pretext that her merchantmen are registered at the British admiralty, those vessels are truly Canadian ships, carrying Canadian merchandise and having a right to our country's protection. Were Canada tp become a sovereign nation, those ships would none the less remain attached to our ports and would continue to carry on every sea the products and wealth of this country. Under these conditions, is it not evident that the exigencies of national defence have considerably augmented, and if we do not, ourselves, subscribe to them, England must be asked or else the United States to do so for us. We have seen that it is impossible to count on American protection for it would be too costly and too inimical to our liberty of action, to the preservation of our territory and even to our independence.

Can the mother country effectively protect our interests?

Have we the right to ask it of her?

In this regard, I may be permitted to recall the fact that while the work of our national expansion has been going on in England, an evolution in the conditions surrounding naval defence has taken place. That evolution was not so much the result of the British will as it was the outcome of the conditions of European equilibrium. Since 1867, an entirely new situation has arisen in Europe. The Franco-Prussian war, the birth of the German empire, the formation of the triple alliance, the aggressive expansion of Germany have obliged the other European nations to modify their alliances and increase their armaments in

an abnormal manner. To maintain her naval supremacy, and to be true to her alliances, England had, herself, to increase her outlay for naval defence. This state of things is certainly deplorable, contrary to the tendency of civilization and none regret and condemn it more than I do. But say or do what we may that situation is unavoidable, and we must submit to^ it with all the inconveniences it carries. There may be reason in the assertion that the defence of Canada has nothing to do with England's projects of armament. I believe, myself, that in her naval policy the mother country only obeys the influences that the present situation in Europe suggests. But we cannot say, in face of history, that the increased burden of defence is the effect of a wrong diplomacy. On the contrary, it is well known that England, spurred by the expansion of Germany's imperialism, has cleverly assured herself of such alliances - and friendships as guarantee the peace of Europe. And for my part, as a French-Canadian, I rejoice in witnessing the realization between the land of my forefathers and England of that 'entente cordiale' which has produced and will produce again most excellent results for both countries and for the peace of the world.

Then, Sir, it so happens that as Canada feels the need of augmenting her means of self-protection, England, through the circumstances I have just related, is unable to offer us any additional guarantees of defence. In these circumstances is there aught more natural than that between the mother country and her first daughter an amicable understanding should take place, whereby the means most effective to secure a satisfactory solution for both countries may be obtained. If this need of understanding means imperialism, I have no hesitation in proclaiming myself an imperialist.

Imperialism, as it exists in this country, proceeds from two different sources. There is one kind of imperialism, which I may call sentimental, which is derived from that deep attachment which binds, heart and soul, all those Canadians who were bom and brought up in England to their mother country. This love of their native land occupies in their sentiments a privileged place paramount to that devoted to Canada, their new country. They are Britishers first, Canadians afterwards. This sentiments leads them at times in all good faith and sincerity to sacrifice the interests of Canada to those of Great Britain. This is the imperialism of some of the hon. gentlemen opposite who have already spoken on this question. I respect their sentiments, but I must say that I cannot share them.

But there is another kind of imperialism based upon a reciprocity of interest as be-1294

tween England and Canada. This is the imperialism of those of our fellow-citizens who having been born and brought up in this country, are attached to their native land through one or more generations of their ancestors, and naturally give to Canada the first place in their hearts, without in any way forgetting their obligations to Great Britain, which has granted them their liberty, their self-government, and. protects their interests and their national life. Such an imperialism is based upon a true conception of our position as a people and the future of our country, as well as upon the idea that the prosperity and greatness of the British empire chiefly depends upon the free development of its colonies and their voluntary co-operation in the work of mutual consolidation of commercial relations and means of defence. This imperialism is the one professed by the majority of the citizens of this country who think it is possible to conciliate their duties as Canadian citizens with their obligations as British subjects without any sacrifice of either. This imperialism is mine, and I ask my opponents to respect my convictions as" well as I do their own. Need I say, Mr. Speaker, that the imperial conference of 1909 has been the outcome of this latter kind of imperialism.

The Conservative-Nationalist party in the province of Quebec imagined that in that conference they could see the fuse of a conspiracy hidden, threatening our political liberties. There are people who, craving the title of saviours of their race and their country, try to find ambushes and dangers everywhere-and in their mad desire, hesitate not to misrepresent facts, falsify language and impute to others the worst and most perfidious intentions. With the best motives in the world, no doubt, my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier poses as the leader of the adversaries of a Canadian navy, and assisted by some newspapers in the' province of Quebec, he is trying to divert public attention from the real issues involved in this Bill.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

What papers does my hon. friend allude to?

Mr. RIVET, i am alluding to that paper published in Montreal called the 'Devoir,' but which to my mind has not the least notion of the meaning of that word.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

If it is to that paper my hon. friend alludes, I may tell him that I cordially subscribe to everything it has said upon this question.

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LIB

Louis Alfred Adhémar Rivet

Liberal

Mr. RIVET.

Well, if the views of that paper suit him, he is welcome to them. Now a careful and impartial perusal of the deliberations of that memorable conference of 1909 will suffice to convince us of the futility of the nationalist theory.

A careful and impartial perusal of the deliberations of that memorable conference, should suffice to convince us of the futility of the nationalist theory. For all men of good faith, the report of the conference attests the spirit of conciliation that presided at its deliberations and above all, the solicitude of England to respect the liberty of action of her self-governing colonies. Thus, while the British admiralty insists on the importance, from a strategical point of view, of a single fleet *maintained by the different parts of the empire, she does not scruple to admit that such considerations must give way to the political and geographical conditions that obtain in each colony. This is admitting the priority of colonial defence over imperial defence. It is this principle recognized [DOT]and in practice, at all times, in Canada, that our plenipotentiaries upheld. The principle being once established, the only thing remaining was to come to an understanding as to the modus operandi. This was no easy task. If our representatives in London could, without difficulty, have their policy accepted by the English admiralty, they had but slight illusions as to the reception they would meet with from [DOT]certain elements in Canada. They had good reason to fear that programme of the ' just midway ' would not easily obtain the support ef the extreme groups that represent here the olden bureaucracy traditions, on the one hand, and the olden spirit of distrust in and hostility towards England, on the other. However, they could reasonably expect that the two great political parties swayed by a just conception of the interests and duties of the moment, would unite in common action without any consideration other than the accomplishment of a national enterprise. The occasion was most favourable for proof that the ancient prejudice had no voice in the national assembly, and that a moderate view, that of the vast majority of our citizens would prevail in the House. The Liberal party had to assume the duty , of justifying in all respects the forecasts of its leader, and the unanimous support given from this side of the House is ample evidence of its success. Does this mean, Sir, that the Liberal party had not to undergo the influence of extreme ideas, at an equal distance from both of which the government had set up its naval programme? Not at all, but our party's merit lies in its triumph over such influence, in its courageous undertaking to have the electorate accept its views. After the patriotic declarations of the leader of the opposition at Halifax, on his return from London, the hope was then entertained throughout Canada that the same course might be adopted by the Conservative party. Unfortunately such a hope has been of short duration.

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LIB

Louis Alfred Adhémar Rivet

Liberal

Mr. RIVET.

Notwithstanding the open and repeated declarations of its leader, that party soon began to resort to its favourite tactics. After having oscillated between the two poles of nationalism and imperialism, which alternately attracted it, impotent as it was, to overcome either the one or the other of these influences, it has ended by dividing itself in two irreconcilable groups which each in its own way strives to defeat _ the ministerial policy. And that, Sir, instead of adopting a course of moderate and loyal criticism of the details of the Bill, such as might have been expected of an opposition, worthy of its part, hon. gentlemen opposite have started a campaign of denunciation and vituperation, against the most eminent personalities of our party in the House. Even the right hon. Prime Minister, in spite of long and meritorious services in the cause of Canada and the British empire, could not be spared from invective and abuse, from that quarter. The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) started the ball rolling, and the man who lives in a glass house, began to throw stones at others, aiming particularly at the right hon. leader of the government, whose unblemished record and political integrity is an unpardonable crime not to be condoned, or overlooked, on any occasion. The rank and file was not slow in following in his foot-steps, and since the unparalleled pronouncement, in point of personal abuse, delivered by the hon. member for North Toronto, we have had other utterances of the same character, the most remarkable of which, havel been probably, the philippics of the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Cowan). What a contrast, Mr. Speaker, between those reckless deliverances and the dignified and public attitude followed on this side of the House? While we seek to maintain this debate, within the high sphere of reason and facts, most of the hon. gentlemen on your left, endeavour to obscure issues, by appealing to prejudice, to passion.

As a party man, I would feel rather inclined to rejoice over those tactics, for they prove too clearly the bad faith and administrative incapacity of the Conservative party, not to strengthen the confidence of the people of Canada in the Liberal administration

As a Canadian, anxious for the future of my country, I regret them sincerely. As a French Canadian, priding myself upon belonging to the nationality which clams the leader of the government as one of its own. I wish to enter my protest against the undeserved abuse to which he has been subjected since the opening of this debate. I wish also to state how keenly I resent the words uttered againet the men of my race, who fought and shed their blood in the cause of political liberty, and to whose

sacrifices we owe in a large measure, the blessing of responsible government. I desire also to place on record, that notwithstanding anything which has been said, or hinted at, by some hon. gentlemen opposite, and notwithstanding the ill-advised attitude of some of my compatriots of Quebec, on the naval question, the Canadians of French origin are above those infamous suspicions of disloyalty thrown at them, and I say they are to-day just as loyal as they have been in the past, perhaps more loyal than those same hon. members who are asserting so loudly their attachment to England, but who might be found wanting should the test of loyalty involve any personal sacrifice of their own.

I do not purpose replying to those attacks of the leader of the opposition and the apostles of extreme imperialism. I will merely point them out to my fellow citizens of the province of Quebec as the best answer to the arguments of the Nationalists. ,

. In fact, should the pretensions of the leader of the opposition and of his follow^ ers on this question prove to be well founded, the position taken by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, and his allies, is quite untenable. , , ,

The Prime Minister cannot be found guilty of the crime of treason to British interests, and be convicted at the same time on the charge of disloyalty to his [DOT]country. As a matter of fact, the right hon. Prime Minister is guilty of neither of these two accusations, both of which have been inspired by extreme party feeling, or personal jealousy, and which every one by whom they have been proffered knows to be false and unmerited. This cannot be otherwise, when to-day, all over the empire, there is only one voice to proclaim that the noble personality, as well as the whole career of the leader of the House, offer the most striking and conspicuous example of what loyalty, devotion and patriotism combined with eloquence, statesmanship and integrity, have ever done for the building up of Canada and the maintenance of British institutions. Well can we recall, in this connection, the words of the French fable writer, Lafontaine:

Le dieu poursuivant sa earriere,

Repand ses torrents de lumiere Sur ses obscurs blasphdrnateurs.

However, the indictment of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier is too formal, to be ignored, and while his attack has been eloquently refuted, I feel that I must return to it again. .

I desire, in the first place, to register here the hon. member's significant admission that the naval defence of Canadian soil is not, in itself, a new policy. I will quote his own words: __

The Bill in itself, outside of section 18, does

not present to my mind any very striking feature; it is the extension of legislation, if 1 may use such an expression of legislation, which we had in a diminished form upon our statutes ever since the mother ca|, 1

us to assume our proper share of the burden of defence. Therefore I think that one may say, with the exception I have just pointed out, this legislation is not in any way extraordinary.

While putting on record this statement of the hon. gentleman, I cannot help con" trasting it with the statements which are made to-day in Quebec by the Nationalist allies of the hon. member who says that this naval defence policy, even applied to Canadian territory, is altogether a new one and should never have been originated without consulting the electorate upon this point. I shall not dwell on this difference of opinion between them, because after all it is of no- importance in the settlement of this question. __

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Does my hon. friend approve of the decisions of the Colonial Defence Conference of 1909 to which our delegates adhered? Does he approve of these conclusions?

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LIB

Louis Alfred Adhémar Rivet

Liberal

Mr. RIVET.

I approve entirely the position taken by onr Canadian delegates in London.

The hon. member, then, does not fand it strange that one should be busy organizing, from a naval standpoint, the protection of Canadian territory. But he is opposed to our lifting a finger for the defence of the mother country-that step-mother, to whom we owe nothing whom we can do without, who, moreover, sacrificed our interests on all occasions and who persists, despite all that to drag us into the vortex of militarism. Our consent to help Great Britain, despite her unworthiness, seems to be the new policy which that honourable gentleman finds in clause 18, which reads as follows:

In case of an emergency the Governor in Council may place at the disposal -of Bis Majesty, for general service in the Royal Navy, the naval service or any pant 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.

It is loudly asserted that this clause is not permissive, hut imperative. I presume, that, when the Bill reaches the committee stage, we shall have ample opportunity to debate that point. Then, I suppose, we shall have the interesting spectacle of learned jurists, on the other side of the House, arguing one way or the other, sonae claiming that, unfortunately for England, that clause is too permissive, and some complaining that, unfortunately for Canada, it is too imperative. But I shall say

to the honourable member for Jacques Cartier, were Great Britain as unworthy as he seems to think her, we should not bargain with her, when called upon to use the discretionary power embodied in clause 18, especially when it is considered that Canadian as well as British interests are at stake.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Does my hon. friend think the clause imperative or permissive?

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

February 22, 1910