March 1, 1910

FIRST READING.


Bill (No. 150) respecting the Restigouche Boom Company, and to change its name to * The Restigouche Log Driving and Boom Company.'-Mr. Reid (Restigouche). [DOT]


CLAIMS AGAINST GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS.


Mr. GRAHAM moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 151) to provide for the adjudication of small claims arising in respect of the operation of the government railways. He said: The provisions of this Bill are, in short, to create of the Board of Railway Management a body that can be sued for small claims for damages, as they could be sued if they were a company, and that no fiat or petition shall be necessary before making such claims. There is a provision that under certain circumstances a ease may be removed to the Exchequer Court.


LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Mr. E. L. BORDEN.

What is the limit of the claim?

Topic:   CLAIMS AGAINST GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS.
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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Does it include actions for negligence, as well as undei contract?

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

Damages for negligence, but not under contract.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


WATERWAYS TREATY.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Before the orders of the day are called I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether he expects to make any announcement before the end of the session with regard to the Waterways treaty?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

All I can say is that I hope to be able to do so.

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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 Mr. Borden thereto, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Monk.


CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. E. N. LEWIS (West Huron).

Mr. Speaker, I believe we are face to face with a question which will have a greater bearing on the future prosperity, comfort, health, and wealth of the people of Canada than any other question that has been before this House, I was going to say, since confederation, but during the last decade. And, Sir, it is very gratifying to me, and it must be gratifying to every one, to know that both parties in this House are of one mind in regard to the great principle embodied in the Bill which is now before the House. As an evidence of that, I may cite the words of the hon. the Prime Minister, when he said that in case the supremacy of Great Britain on the high seas was endangered, it would be the duty of all the daughter nations to form a rampart around the motherland and protect her from attack; and in winding up his remarks, he said that the life of Canada depended on the safety of Great Britain, or words to that effect. And, Sir, those words were endorsed with stronger language by my own leader, the leader of the opposition.

What more significant event could there be than that which took place when, in one of the daughter nations, 3,000 miles removed from the motherland, 200 men, themselves descended from other lands, English, French, Irish, Scotch, German, and no doubt othersi, but citizens of the daugh-Mr. GRAHAM.

ter nation, elected as the representatives of the people in parliament, rose, not by concerted action, but as one unanimous whole, and sang together that national anthem of the motherland in honour of him who is every inch a king and every inch a man. But, Sir, how absurd it must have seemed to some of the neighbouring nations when they saw afterwards that some of the rabid partisans of both sides and some of the newspapers, probably looking for news, were crawling over each other in the effort to establish the claim that the national anthem belonged to them, that they were the only true, loyal party, that they were the only party that belonged to the motherland. This country is downtrodden, or will be, if we keep on in the way we are going. And the people will be over-ridden and depressed by combines and trusts, and I call upon the hon. Minister of Labour (Mr. King) at this juncture to add to the Bill which he has laid before the House this session a provision that there shall be no combine or trust in reference to the national anthem, the national flag or the loyalty of this country. That pernicious, avaricious, unpatriotic idea should be stamped out. Why cannot we all be of one mind with respect to that matter? In reference to the question of loyalty, my grandfather, when a young man, in 1776, left the state of Connecticut-and came to Canada to follow the flag. In 1812 he was one of the yeoman guards of the St. Lawrence river, repelling the American invasion, anl I take second place to no man with reference to my loyalty to the flag. Probably I know more than any one, excepting two hon. gentlemen in this House, when I say that there are no more loyal people than the sturdy yeomanry and mechanics of the riding from which I come. Who were more distressed, felt bluer or looked more so on the black days during the South African trouble than the men of Huron? Sir, it is easy enough in the large cities for young men to get together and enthuse and froth at the mouth in reference to loyalty, but when the scattered yeoman of the county from which I come came together and enthused in a patriotic way, as they did after the relief of Ladysmith and upon other notable occasions during the South African war, no one can require better evidence of their loyalty, and no overt act is needed. Outside the relatives of the men of the 42nd regiment, which was cut to pieces in South Africa, I do not believe there was a man in England who felt that event as keenly as did the people whose representative I am. I have been elected by the voters of West Huron to represent them in this parliament. This country is run by the larger of two parties, and it is impossible for all men of the different parties to think alike individual-

44.05

lv. Some have to give way to the others. It has been stated repeatedly in the Liberal press that the loyal opposition was divided on this question. I speak with knowledge when I say that there is no more division in the ranks of the opposition than there is in the ranks of the government. There are men on this side who will vote against their ideas and there are men on the other side who will vote against their ideas. There are Liberals who have been elected to follow the Liberal policy and to follow the Liberal party, and while they do not see eye to eye they will vote for their leader as we will vote for our leader. They would not ho doing their duty if they did not do so. I wish to note that I have been told by hon. members on both sides of the House, personal friends of mine, that if I publicly took the stand which I have taken privately I will not return to this House the next general election. If so I shall be sorry, but I trust my people will believe I acted in their interest as I believe I do.

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LIB
CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

The hon. gentleman is asking me for information. There are two bad habits becoming prevalent in this parliament which tend to warp the dignity of parliament and interefere with the continuity of debate. One is asking questions which generally, like boomerangs, recoil on the persons who ask them. I have been very soTry at times to hear questions from this side of the House, because I felt that the person who asked them sometimes got the worst of it and vice versa. I am only going to speak for ten minutes, and if any person wants information I will be glad to give it to him, if I can, when I get through, but until then I do not want to be interrupted. One of the important features of the question before the House is what is the great pressing danger threatening the British empire. There is no doubt that the supremacy and life of the mother country rest entirely upon the $400,000,000 of toll which she receives for the carrying of the commerce of the world, and without which she could not stand for a moment. The main question is: How can we, as we have all agreed to do, help the mother country if she is in trouble? I do not think, from the documents which I have read and some of which I will hand into the House, that there is any pressing danger as far as Germany is concerned. Lord Beresford and Lord Roberts come out here and say there is. They have earned the right to say what they like, but they are men of war and they come out here and talk of war. The great canal man would come here and talk of canals, the great medical man would come and talk about tuberculosis or similar matters, but it rests 1401

with us to give consideration to all these views and help the country in the best way we can. I believe, Sir, that what Germany is preparing for is intervention by the United States in South America.

In support of this contention I give not my own opinion, but that of Captain Mahan, the greatest living naval expert who has declared that the German fleet is not unlikely to be used to establish a new state of things in Brazil or to dispute the control of the Panama canal. I also cite as an authority the Ottawa ' Citizen,' in which it was stated that the Germans are looking for a large tract of country in the Argentine republic, and Professor Schmoil-ler, a German, has declared that he looks forward to the day when there will be a second Germany of 30,000,000 people in southern Brazil. And, Sir, in this connection I would point out that the emigration to Brazil and to South America is of an entirely different class from that which comes to the shores of the northern part of this hemisphere. The German who comes to the land of the beaver or the land of the screaming eagle is rapidly assimilated into the population and becomes a supporter of the established institutions of these countries, but the German immigrant to South America is German, first, last, and always. But, Sir, notwithstanding the fact that there are experts who assure us there is no danger to England from the German menace, it is nevertheless the part of prudence to be prepared for war. As a recent editorial in the Toronto ' Telegram ' pointed out the unity of the British nations during the South African war prevented the terrible consequences of intervention by other nations, and the strength of the British fleet during the Spanish American war prevented intervention by Germany. The maxim is as true to-day as ever it was, that in time of peace we should prepare for war, and, Sir, the life blood of the British nation depends on the British fleet. The question then remains: How can we as Canadians discharge our duty to the motherland. I say, Sir, that the solution is not to be found in the creation of a Canadian navy. Canada as a country is not ready for militarism, and God forbid that militarism should ever thrive in this peaceful land. I stand here taking my political ife in my hands to say, that I am unqualifiedly, unreservedly, and unconditionally opposed to regular militarism in Canada whether it is to be found in an army or in a navy. Of course, I do not include in that our militia system, but, I should be horrified to think that there would be imported into this country that militarism . which is the curse of some European countries and which can only end in officialism, red tape, circumlocution, poverty, and socialism. We have the evi-

dence at hand that our young Canadians will not join voluntarily-and they cannot be forced to join under our present happy conditions-the regular military service whether in the navy or in the army. I might point to the regular regiment at Halifax, which I believe is now only three-quarter strength, and I am told that 90 per cent of the men are British army pensioners. In a prosperous and growing country like Canada the young citizens of the country cannot be induced to give up their prospects and to tie themselves down to a life of idleness in the barrack room. For my part, I do not want to see in this country one-half the people working, slaving like the people in the old lands, keeping their noses to the grindstone, in order to support the other half in idleness preparing for a war which may never come. Then, I may be asked how do you expect to help the motherland? In a work entitled ' The A B C of the British navy,' prepared by Admiral Henderson and Mr. Bussell, it is pointed out that the great need of the British fleet is men. Lord Beresford has intimated to the British House of Commons that four-fifths of the British fleet is undermanned, that one-half of it had only the nucleus of crews, that one-fifth of the fleet only had its full compliment, and in a document which I shall lay on the table of the House for publication in ' Hansard.'

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

The hon. gentleman must read anything which he wishes to appear in ' Hansard.' The custom of the House is that anything that is to be published in' Hansard ' must be spoken or read.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

Then, Sir, I will have to take up more time than I intended, and I regret having to do so, but I am in hopes that these citations may have some bearing on the question before the House. The literary digest, as quoted in the London ' Standard,' and the Hamburgher ' Nach-richten,' referring to the report of a German naval expert on the British navy says:

England's Half-manned Ships.

England at present, to judge from her parliamentary reports, is in a terrible condition of alarm over Germany's naval expansion. Each party blamed the other because ships with less than half crews had been ordered to sea. ' We have the ships, we have the men, we have the money too,' rang the old music-hall song. It is now admitted that England has the money, and can make as many shi,. . as she chooses, but the men are wanting. The present state of things we thus summarize from the London ' Standard ':-

The grave position of the home fleet is made plain in the details of its units as it assembles to-day off the mouth of the Thames for a cruise. Although it is composed of four squadrons, consisting in all of eleven battleships and fourteen cruisers, the startling fact Mr. LEWIS.

is disclosed that of these twenty-five vessels, fourteen are dangerously undermanned.

Of the undermanned vessels, six battleships have only half-crews; two of the cruisers have half-crews, while the remaining cruisers have only two-fifths crews.

Fourteen of the twenty-five ships, therefore, can not manoeuvre with the remaining eleven, can not fight, and can not run away. It is officially announced that this British war fleet is to exercise in the North Sea-where it will be subject to the keenest foreign criticism.

Commenting editorially on this avowal, the ' Standard ' observes:-

Such is the fleet which Mr. McKenna has sent to manoeuvre in the North Sea in winter. The useless hardship unnecessarily inflicted upon officers and men, the gratuitous waste of money, need no comment. But there are wider aspects of this incredible action to be considered. These are two. The first may be briefly indicated. At a time of somewhat critical international relations, the first lord sends to sea a fleet of t^venty-five ships whien an efficient squadron of half its size could sink or destroy, and the pitiable state of disorganization and weakness to which the^ British fleet has been reduced is advertised in the face of the whole world.

Of the keen foreign criticism which this London organ anticipates we may perhaps find a sample in the following remarks of the * Hamburger Nachrichten ':-

' It is not the ships but the men that do the fighting,' still remains the truest of dictums. And yet one often hears the question of a navy's strength or weakness decided merely by the number of its vessels-cruisers, battleships, torpedo boats, and submarines. As to the question of the number of her sailors, the recently formed reserve fleet is both undermanned and undertrained, but probably this will not be recognized until the moment of mobilization, which will result in its incorporation in the regular fleet. But what is very apparent is that in case of war Great Britain will suffer most from the insufficient manning of her own vessels.-Translation made for the ' Literary Digest,' March 27, 1909.

I cite the following from the Ottawa 'Citizen':

Men wanted in Navy-Ships are wasted for lack of Hands-Some have two-fifths of the Complement-Where will Crews be found for New Ships?

London, Oct. 25.-It has been stated officially that the battleships of the Albion class, which are to be stationed at the Nore as a reserve for the home fleet, are to be manned with reduced nucleus crews-that is to say, with about two-fifths of their full complements. _

The ships of the Albion class-the Albion, Canopus, Glory, Goliath, Ocean, and Vengeance-though not large vessels, are very useful. They are of 12,950 tons, and carry-four 12-inch and twelve 6-inch guns, and are still capable of making eighteen knots when pushed. They have all been completed since 1900.

The Albions will join a number of ships

which are already laid up in reserve, manned with a fraction of their nominal complements.

The obstacle in the way of sending them to sea, however, is shortage of men.

Among the battleships which are laid up at the home ports in the third and fourth divisions of the home fleet are eight ships of the Majestic class-ships of 14,900 tons, armed with four 12-incli and twelve 6-inch guns and completed in 1895-8. These ships have- or are supposed to have- about three-fifths of their full complement on board, a large proportion of the short service men, who spend their years in the navy, principally in the ships, and are then passed into the reserve without any adequate training in the work of a sea-going fleet.

The ' Prince George,' of this class, is kept ' in dockyard hands,' for no other reason, apparently, than to save the cost of a crew.

Now, Sir, we have been told by the First Lord of the Admiralty in England that the preponderance of Great Britain in ships is so great that he absolutely refuses-I quote his own words to take over Bhips which are being built in England for foreign countries:

No Cause for Alarm-Britain is quite Safe-

First Lord of the Admiralty says the present supply of Dreadnoughts is Ample.

London, March 25, 1909.-Reginald McKenna, First Lord of the Admiralty, stated in the House of Commons that he declined to consider the advisability of purchasing one or other of the three Brazilian battleships now under construction in this country. He added:-

If we require more ships I think it would be better to build them ourselves, but we don't require any more ships at present. As regards the future, we will have ample time to build them.

I have some short citations here which 1 would like to have published in 'Hansard' without taking up the time of the House to read them.

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I regret that I cannot grant permission to the hon. gentleman because it has led to abuses in the past. The 'Hansard' must be a report of what is said or read in the House.

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March 1, 1910