self-governed colony, making our evolution within the bounds which unite us to England with a proconsul who represents the point of junction. It is all very well to say the contrary in election time, to flatter the people, or after a banquet among the fumes of wine which lead to boasting, to overestimation, and to the burning of frankincense.
Our treaties are made through the intervention of the British diplomacy, our own ministers being, however, allowed to act freely, just as the master often allows his subordinate to act, and feels very much amused when he sees the latter put on airs as if he was a real ambassador.
Our constitution of 1867, defines our station, the part we are to play in the empire, determines our rights, our powers and our obligations. Thus, on the question under discussion, section 91, sub-section 7, traces our line of conduct-authorizes the parliament of Canada to create a militia and a naval service for the defence of the country .-just as sub-section 5 of the same section authorizes the establishment of a postal service for Canada.
Under those powers, could we establish a postal service for New Zealand? Evidently not. Could we create a naval service for the defence of Australia? No more.
' Could we create a naval service for the defence of England, when our constitution authorizes us to do so only for the-defence of our own country, Canada? I do not think so. Unless through a fiction, it were held that the defence of England is the defence of Canada. Such an interpretation would be improper and unacceptable.
We are a portion of the empire; but our duty, the part we have to play as concerns the defence is limited to Canada. Everything is restricted to Canada; to the defence of our own country we have but the powers which are delegated to us, and those powers allow us to legislate only for the defence of Canada,
The Militia Act of 1906 is based on those powers, and could be construed only in the light of those principles. So, in section 2 of the Militia Act, paragraph B, should the word ' emergency,' which means war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended, be construed as meaning a war; an invasion or an insurrection, real or apprehended outside of Canada, as in India, for instance? I do not think so.
As to the naval service, are we clothed with larger powers? No, it is the constitution itself which grants us that power. Why then should we take larger powers under this Act than those contained in the Militia Act passed by parliament in 1906.
Our Land Militia Act is known as: ' An Act respecting the Militia and Defence of Canada.'
The present Act should be intituled: ' An Act respecting the Naval Service and De-Mr. NANTEL
fence of Canada. The words ' and defence' have been omitted and it merely reads:
' An Act respecting the Naval Service of Canada'
Subsection 7 of section 91 seems to admit of no other idea but that of defence; it seems to eliminate for Canada all wars except that undertaken for the defence of Canadian territory.
In the Militia Act there is no similar clause to clause 18 of the Naval Service Act. Still, under section 69, chapter 41, Revised Statutes of 1906, the Governor in Council may place the Militia, or any part thereof, on active service beyond Canada, as well as in Canada, provided it be for the defence of Canada.
When this Bill was brought down, it was stated that when England is at war, in any part of her empire, Canada is at war. .
Theoretically, that axiom is true, in so far as Canada could be attacked; but practically speaking, it is neither correct nor should it be taken in an absolute and strict sense.
Then, there is a permit which should be well understood and made clear to us; namely, in case of war, when and where should Canada be set in motion, to participate in the war?
Under the constitution of 1867, according to the letter and the spirit of the Act, and the construction placed upon it, as well as by practice and custom, Canada, so far has never had to go to war, except for the defence of her own territory, while at the same time she participated in' the defence of the empire, in compliance with the part she had to play, and as she had been called upon to do.
When Great Britain is at war, Canada is at war. Be it so; but there is a distinction; to be made between civil or intestine war, and offensive or defensive war. Should a civil war in England or in Ireland, or an insurrection in India break out, would Canada be at war? I do not think so.
In the case of an offensive war of England, a war of conquest; say against Belgium, would Canada be at war? I say no. We are under no such responsibility, anl we should beware of assuming any. Section 91, subsection 7, provides only for defence. A defensive war? Just so, the British North America Act provides for it and imposes upon us such responsibility. Let us defend the Canadian territory, within its limits and beyond those limits. Then if, by defending Canada, we happen to protect the empire, so much the better. Let us in that way promote the defence of the empire, according to our means and with all our strength. '
In order to achieve this end, that is to say the defence of Canada, while at the same time protecting the empire, or vice versa, we need no more provision than
that which is already ambodied in the Militia Act. Under that Act we may defend Canada, by placing our militia on active service, even beyond the limits of Canada. Through a certain fiction of the law, we could even send our militia to tight on the coasts of England, should it be desirable to prevent an attack being made upon Canada by the enemy, we could send our troops ahead to fight against the enemy. Under the Act, as it is worded, the [DOT]Governor in Council may simply declare that, in thus sending our militia beyond Canada, his intention is. to prevent an attack being made upon Canada by the enemy and thereby to' provide for the defence of Canada. The Governor in Council exercises that power and discharges that duty, under his own responsibility to parliament and that is all.
But because it would be justifiable for Canada in a defensive war, in a war waged by England upon a powerful enemy, to go to her assistance by contributing men and money, in order to prevent an attack being made upon Canada, it would not be warrantable to participate in a war of conquest, when Canada has no quarrel nor any ground for a quarrel, nor any fear of an invasion and it would be impossible to plead the defence of Canada.
Were the wording of this Act similar to that of the Militia Act, and especially were clause 18 eliminated, it would be just as easy to do with our naval forces what we are now doing with our land force, under1 the same responsibility. Those naval forces could be sent beyond Canadian waters to fight the enemy, and participate in the defensive wars in which Canada or the defence of Canada might be concerned.
Then there would be left no room for doubt; the control of the navy would be similar to that of the Militia; the constitution would be safeguarded and the present policy would be the very course followed by Sir George Etienne Cartier, whose name has been invoked, when this Bill was brought down.
In order to make of this Act the counterpart of Cartier's Militia Act, the preamble ought to be amended and clause 18 struck off; then the only thing it could be reproached with would be that it is from twenty to twenty-five, years ahead of the times.
By embodying clause 18 into the present Act, this legislation is given an imperial character and it is thus intimated that the intention is to amend the Militia Act in the same direction, by introducing into it a similar provision. And the conclusion which is inferred therefrom is this: that the intention is to take part in all the wars of the empire, whether offensive or defensive wars; that the end aimed at is to establish solidarity between Canada and
England; that the intention is to place Canada at the mercy of England, every timq England may go to war; now, such a policy is at variance with our constitution, ancj cannot be applied, so long as the relations between Canada and the empire remain what they are, or the constitution remains what it is now, and so long as Canada has no voice in the council which will be called upon to decide those wars. It is the infringement of the principle: no taxation without representation. _ _
If the defence of Canada is what is aimed at, while occasionally lending a helping hand to the empire, as I explained a little while ago,, that could also be done without clause 18, by the Governor in Council under the ministerial responsibility. Then, clause 18 serves no useful purpose here.
The hon. Minister of Militia said the other day: ' For the navy as well as for the militia, there is no doubt that, in a case of emergency the Governor in Council would not want to take action till the meeting together of parliament. That would not be necessary and such is not the intention of the law. The militia may be called out for active service whenever required by critical circumstances, but the law provides for the meeting of parliament. Should parliament then pronounce itself against the action taken by the government, the ministers should resign.'
I think that this Ts the right construction. But what leads to confusion is that, on the 15th of November last, the _ right hon. the Prime Minister, when- replying to the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, said:
' My hon. friend also said that if we were to build a navy we would be drawn thereby into European wars. Need I say to imy hon. friend that whether we have a navy or not, we do not lose our rights to self-government; that if we do have a navy, that navy will go to no war unless the parliament of Canada, including the hon. gentleman, choose to send it there.'
The doctrine propounded by the Minister of Militia seems to me sounder than that laid down by the Prime Minister. The Governor in Council takes action for the navy, just as for the militia, although the wording of the law be somewhat different; then parliament comes in and gives or withholds its sanction and there is an end of it. The meeting of parliament does not involve any other remedy; the downfall of the cabinet or their remaining in power. In time of war, it would be better not to drive the government out of power; and there would be nothing left but for parliament but approve and to pay.
It is none the less true that clause 28 which is not to be found in the Militia Act, as the Minister of Militia told us, is not necessary in order to empower the Governor in Council to call out the militia for active service, for the service of the