March 2, 1910

LIB

Aimé Majorique Beauparlant

Liberal

Mr. BEAUPARLANT (Translation).

Does the hon. member consider that the question of the building of the navy, which is now under discussion is the most important question that has come up in Canadian politics since 1902?

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

I believe so.

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LIB

Aimé Majorique Beauparlant

Liberal

Mr. BEAUPARLANT (Translation).

Does the hon. member approve of the stand taken by the hon. the Prime Minister at the conferences which took place in London in 1902 and 1907?

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL (Translation).

The policy followed by the Prime Minister in 1902 and 1907, as regards the navy has been approved, because it was on the same lines as that followed by all our statesmen.

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LIB

Aimé Majorique Beauparlant

Liberal

Mr. BEAUPARLANT (Translation).

If the stand taken by the right hon. Prime Minister at the conferences of 1902 and 1907 commended itself to the hon. member, and if the navy question is the most important that has come up in Canadian politics since that date, may I inquire from the hon. member whether in 1908 he was up for election as a supporter, or as an opponent of the government?

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

(Translation.) The hon, member is perfectly well aware that I was not a candidate of the Prime Minister or I would not occupy a seat on this side of the House. As a matter of fact, I am at a loss to answer such a question, and I wonder if my hon. friend knows exactly what he is driving at?

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LIB

Aimé Majorique Beauparlant

Liberal

Mr. BEAUPARLANT.

(Translation.) You were returned as an opponent of the Prime Minister whose position you approved?

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

(Translation.) The Right Hon. Prime Minister opposed me in the course of that election. He even came to Ste.-Therese and elsewhere, and was well re-

presented by supporters of his. But the hon. member for St. Hyacinthe is perfectly well aware that not a word was spoken in connection with the navy at the elections of 1904 and 1908.

In 1902 and 1907, as previously stated, the Prime Minister took a decided and effective stand against militarism. But, in 1910, he gives up the sponge just as he had done in 1899.

Mr. Speaker, in years gone by, when the Prime Minister was sitting on this side of the House, he was fond, during the great debates of 1880 and 1884 on the question of the Canadian Pacific, of trotting in at all times his famous wizard, whose devilish incantations was to his mind the only satisfactory explanation of the policy followed by "his then opponents.

Mr. GERVAI'S. (Translation.) What wizard?

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

(Translation.) One moment and you will hear enough of him. On September 21st, 1880, he spoke as fol-_, lows:

Like the wizard in the legends whose life was at all times imperilled by the scratches and bites of his strange progeny, he has brought to life a monster who threatens to take his life at any time. . .

They have taught us to look on the government as that servant in the Scriptures who answered every call and went whither he was bid.

In 1884, the right hon. gentleman once more called in his magician. I find the following at page 441, vol. 1, of ' Hansard ' for 1884

We can see no other reason than this, that the government are to-day controlled by a power mightier than they. They are like the wizard of old, who, through his incantations, gave life to a monster which made him its slave and in the end destroyed him. The government are in the hands of a company which it must obey, just as the servant in the Scripture, to whom his master said: 1 Go, and he goeth; come, and he cometh.'

I thought it desirable, Mr. Speaker, to quote these utterances, even if it were the sole object of recalling to the right hon. gentleman old-time memories, and point out to him how unmerciful he was in his attacks on his then opponents. I sincerely Hope, Mr. Speaker, that these evil spirits, these magicians, these goblins, will not trouble our public men of to-day, and flit about over their heads. That i3 my sincere prayer, and may the powers above grant it.

In regard to this important question, our friends on the other side show some anxiety as regards th e province of Quebec, any hypocritical tears fill their eyes. They fear that through its present attitude, that province may put herself in a state of isolation. Indeed, these hon. gentlemen have become over scrupulous and wise. Fear is the beginning of wisdom; they have not shown the same reserve or nicety in the Manitoba school question, or in the Riel question, when the right hon. gentleman was intent on shouldering his 1837 musket; or again, throughout the elections, from 1896 to 1908 inclusive, when hon. gentlemen opposite made the most of the race and jeligion cry, crying out unceasingly to the electorate: Vote for a Frencn Canadian, one of your own people, a Catholic who should be given a preference over a Protestant or Orangeman. Mr. Speaker, let me say to these gentleman in closing: You have sown the wind, you will reap the storm. When principles are lacking, expediency is the only door left open.

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LIB

Charles Avila Wilson

Liberal

Mr. WILSON.

(Translation.) Before the hon. gentleman takes his seat, I would like to ask him a question.

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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL.

(Translation.) Go ahead.

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LIB

Charles Avila Wilson

Liberal

Mr. WILSON.

(Translation.) Does the hon. member for Terrebonne intend to support the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) at the next election?

Mr. NANTEL (Translation.) I may say in answer to the hon. member for Laval that on this side of the House we are free to differ from our leaders. We have opinions of our own. We stick to principles in preference to mere expediency. .

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LIB

Cyrias Roy

Liberal

Mr. CYRIAS ROY (Montmagny).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, at this late phase of th,e discussion on the Bill now before the House, I hope I am not expected to take up seriatim the various statements made by the previous speaker (Mr. Nantel) in support of the sub-amendment submitted by the member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). However, I do not wish to leave the impression that the arguments, or so called arguments, brought forward by him are uncontrovertible, and with that object in view, I may be permitted to refer to a few of them.

The hon. member, I observed, opened his remarks by stating that he was in favour of the creation of a navy for the defence of our coasts, but not of a navy to be under the control of England. That statement seems to be for circulation in the province of Quebec; but in that case, it seems to me that instead of coming to the conclusion to which he has come, that is of voting in favour of the sub-amendment, he should have decided to support the Bill now submitted to this House considering that it provides for that very control of our government over the Canadian navy.

I shall now rapidly go over the notes I have taken while listening to the remarks made bv the hon. gentleman for Terrebonne. He stated that the proposal made

by his leader (Mr. E. L. Borden), if adopted, would lead to results less objectionable than those which would follow on the passing of the Bill. Nevertheless, he has just stated that he is in favour of providing a Canadian navy. Now, as we all know, the Bill provides for that contingency, while the hon. leader of the opposition contends, in his amendment, that the Bill is not far-reaching enough. That is the first inconsistency which strikes me in the speech delivered by the hon. member for Terrebonne.

Then again, the hon. gentleman says that under the British North America Act, this House has not the power to provide a navy for the defence of the empire, but solely for the defence of Canada. The hon. member is a lawyer, and a few words will be sufficient to show that-if he will pardon me_ for so stating-he cannot be taken seriously. The British North America Act was passed to define the respective powers of the Canadian government and of the governments of the various provinces making up confederation If; as the hon. member suggests, there is a provision in the Bill whereby the Canadian navy will be made to serve as part of the imperial navy, we are making a gift, and there is nothing in the constitution to prevent us from making such a gift to England. No such clause exists.

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CON

Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PAQUET (L'Islet).

(Translation.) If my hon. friend thinks that we are making a gift to England in providing a navy which is to take part in the wars of the empire, he must approve also of the proposal of a money contribution, without involving the principle of imperialism. Does he really believe that we are laying down a principle of imperialism by making a gift to England in the shape of a money contribution?

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?

Mr. KOY@

(Translation.) I do not hesitate to answer no, and when I say that it is a gift, I am merely repeating the arguments of the member for Terrebonne in order to show their inconsistency.

Now, the hon. gentleman is of opinion that the Bill would be much better if clause 18 was struck out. But he holds that even then the measure would be premature. It seems to me that it is precisely that very clause which protects the rights that the hon. member wishes to preserve for the province of Quebec, for it is therein provided that the government reserves the right to send out the navy whenever it sees fit to send it out.

A great part of the speech delivered by the hon. member for Terrebonne aimed at showing that the leader of the government and all his supporters are imperialists. I believe that such remarks ought to apply to the hon. gentlemen sitting on his side of the House.

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?

Mr. CYEIAS BOY@

That the Canadian government might provide a force of cruisers and destroyers comprising four cruisers of improved ' Bristol ' class, one cruiser of the ' Boadicea ' class, and six destroyers of improved River class.

Such is the opinion and the suggestion of the admiralty, and it has been accepted by the Canadian government. Therefore, any contention that- the government has not acceded to the wishes of the admiralty is futile and unfounded. Many other details were discussed and finally the whole was ' unanimously agreed to.' I am quoting from the report of the decision of the conference. I will now continue to read from the amendment:

The proposals of the government do not follow the suggestions and recommendations of the admiralty and in so far as they empower the government to withhold the naval forces of Canada from those of the empire in time of war are ill-advised and dangerous.

1, also have always understood that it was in case of the empire or any one of the colonies being a war, that the admiralty wished to obtain help from the colonies. It is for that reason that the Bill says ' in critical time,'1 or ' in case of war,' so that instead of withholding the naval forces of Canada, as stated in the amendment, the Bill provides that those forces may be sent out. By the way, Mr. Speaker, you can see in that part of the amendjnent a good answer to be made to the contention of those who, together with the leader of the opposition, are working against the adoption .of this Bill, of those speakers apd newspapers in the province of Quebec and elsewhere who, in order to promote a cause which has nothing to do with the fulfilment of a duty, are making never ending dissertations with regard to ' shall ' and ' may ' or peut ' and ' doit.' He, the leader of the opposition, contends that the government may withhold the naval force, while the contrary is affirmed in the province of Quebec. Any means whatever, are good for such people.

' Ill-advised proposals ' are the words used in the amendment. Has the hon. leader of the opposition any doubts as to the soundness of his own judgment, and of the judgment of every member of this House, or of the judgment of those who will succeed us, that he should be unwilling to leave to parliament the discretionary power which the government intends that it should have?

Those same provisions offer certain dangers. I hfave always thought that the creation of a navy was caculated to ward off danger. Such is the opinion of the British admiralty, even though that opinion were not shared by the leader of the opposition. But I know that it is his own opinion, as in another portion of his amendment, the only condition required by him previous Mr. CYRIAS ROY.

to the discussion of the project of a permanent navy is that it should be referred to the electorate. He would be loath, I suppose, to present to the people a measure fraught with danger.

The amendment goes on: [DOT]

The proposals do not insure that unity of organization and of action without which there caii he no effective co-operation to any common scheme of empire defence.

In giving expression to that opinion, thje mover of the amendment seems never to have read clause 48 of the Bill which

says:

The Naval Discipline Act, 1866, and the Acts in amendment thereof passed by the parliament of the United Kingdom and now in force and the King's Regulations and admiralty instructions now in force, shall apply to the naval service and shall have the same force in law as if they formed part of this Act.

If the rules of discipline, the King's regulations and the admiralty instructions form part of this Act, how may any one seriously pretend that this Act does not insure unity of organization and of action, a.nd that there can exist no effective cooperation.

It is a most singular coincidence that, last year, th(e leader of the opposition, with all his followers including the member for Jacques Cartier, gave his support and approbation to a resolution to the effect that the House would cordially approve of any necessary expenditures designed to promote the speedy organization of a Can-dian naval service.

This House will cordially approve of any necessary expenditure designed to promote the speedy organization of a Canadian naval service.

Now, this year the House is seized with a Bill providing for such a naval organization, but the hon. gentleman will have none of it. He was ready to approve of anv necessary expenditure, but is no longer willing that parliament should make any expenditure with that object in view. Last year a plebiscite was out of the question; this year a plebiscite is an absolute necessity, but when should it take place? He does not say so; and still he speaks of ' the impending necessities of the empire.' But to cap the climax, when the hon. gentleman is making his speech, he thinks that the government does not go far enough, and when he drafts his amendment, he does not even think to suggest the creation of the navy which he means to have. In order to please his friends of Jacques Cartier and of Terrebonne, he proposes to consult the people, but about what project? I would not like to say that the hon. gentleman does not know what he is talking about, but I may well say that he does

not know bis own mind; and it was with good reason that the Minister of Militia explained to the House why that change of mind had happened and how the hon. gentleman had got into that trouble.

I now come to the last paragraph of his amendment. ' In the meantime,' that is to say when the hon. leader of the opposition shall have made up his mind, ' the best means of discharging the immediate duty of Canada,' which means that later on important business will be dealt with,

' and of meeting the impending necessities *of the empire,' here is that sublime means,

' consists in placing without delay at the disposal of the imperial authorities such an amount as may be sufficient to purchase or construct two Dreadnoughts.'

Now then go it: I have just said that he felt loath at spending a small portion of our yearly income fcr the org-anization of a Canadian navy; and now he is ready to borrow $25,000,000, to be spent not in this country, as the government intends to do, but to make a gift of it to England. Did you notice, sir, that the word ' Dreadnought ' had been inserted at the end of this amendment just to please the extremists of his party who are always clamouring for Dreadnoughts? Personally, he is not anxious to have any, for, down to the end of his amendment, he says, ' giving to the admiralty full discretion to spend the said sum, at such time, &c.,' therefore, he is not quite sure about those ' impending necessities,' ' and for such purposes of naval defence,' for apy purposes whatever, that is quite immaterial to the hon. gentleman, he forgets that this money was offered for Dreadnoughts; 'for such purposes of naval defence as in their judgment may best serve to increase the united strength of the empire.'

Yes, union is strength; but surely, all the - members of the opposition did not combine their efforts in order to give strength to such a colourless amendment.

All the Conservative member^ who have addressed the House did state that they would support the amendment proposed by their leader. Let me tell them that they have very little pride. It cannot be said that they are urged and induced to do so by the allurements of ministerial promises and favours; but what may safely be said is that they are zealous party men, burning with a zeal which nothing can damp, not even a feeling of the heart or a breath of their intelligence.

But I also said that I would try to show that the hon. member for Jacques Cartier ' had not been happier than his leader in the statement of his views.

This Bill, to his mind-I quote his own words- ' with the exception of clause 18, does not present any very striking feature; it is the extension of legislation which we

have had in a diminished form upon our statutes ever since the mother country called upon us to assume our proper share of the burdens of defence. Elsewhere he tells us that ' it is impossible to grasp and to thoroughly understand the meaning of a policy which the right hon. Prime Minister has not explained to him.' Further on, he says: ' This policy, is absolutely new and novel,- differing in every way from any policy enunciated or suggested before, and as to the real meaning and import of which the people have been so far kept in the dark.

What a mass of contradictions! How are we to believe now that the intelligent gentleman (Mr. Monk), the mover of an amendment to a bill, the meaning and import of which he does not grasp, can speak with authority on the question?. This Bill ' does not present any very striking feature,' and yet he is impressed by clause 18. The Bill has not been explained to him; he does not grasp its meaning; still he admits that it contains a policy that is absolutely new and novel. That proposed policy cannot be new and novel, if, as he says, ' it is the extension of a legislation which has already been placed upon our statute-books.' Nevertheless, the hon. gentleman tries to show that this policy is new and novel, and with that end in view he gives quotations from newspapers.

As we are called upon to interpret the provisions of this Bill and not the statements of newspapers, let me rather quote a few words from the speech delivered by the Hon. Mr. Asquith, at the conference of 1909, and which the hon. gentleman himself did quote. Here is what the Prime Minister of England said:

This conference was of a purely consultative character. The result is a plan for so organizing the forces of the Crown wherever they are that, while preserving the complete autonomy of each dominion, should the dominions desire to assist in the defence of the empire in a real emergency, their forces could be rapidly combined into one homogeneous imperial army.

As regards Canada, it was considered that her double sea-board rendered the provision of a fleet unit of the same kind unsuitable for the present. It was proposed according to the amount of money that might be available, that Canada should make a start, with cruisers and destroyers.

It is those decisions of the imperial conference that are embodied in this Bill. There is nothing new in all this, and such has always been the policy ot the Liberal party: the safeguarding of our autonomy and loyalty to the empire.

The hon. gentleman asks by his amendment that the people be consulted. Have the electors changed thbir minds since 1908? They were consulted when it was decided to build the transcontinental and we all know the nature of their answer.

A member of parliament has something else to do here besides moving amendments to bills. The mandate he hjas received at the hands of his electors is quite sufficient to enable him to vote in the passing of new laws, and were we to be called upon to go before the people, whenever there arises a new question to be decided, there would be no end to elections. Is it necessary to have a plebiscite and to consult the people, in drder to know' whether they are willing that the government should consult parliament when a new W'ar breaks out in the empire? The government is only doing what the House last year with one voice and without any plebiscite, decided what it should do. We know the people's opinion just as well as you do, gentlemen of the opposition pro forma, and we have not found that the people is anxious to be consulted, no more than the people from the other British dominions.

To put the public under the impression that this is a new policy, an innovation, the hon. gentleman stated in his speech that the Canadian delegates at the conference of 1909 fully endorsed everything that related to naval defence.

His political leader, on the other hand, thinks that the representatives of Canada did not follow the suggestion of the British admiralty. Both the hon. gentlemen state what is contrary to the truth; the hon. member for Jacques Cartier does not even attempt to substantiate his statement. But in order to convince us that the delegates yielded to the demands of the British authorities, he sums up all the conditions required from the colonies that desire to establish a fleet unit.

The hon. gentleman also v'ent in a disquisition bearing on the word ' suzerain,' used on a certain occasion by the right hon. the Prime Minister, and all this in order ' to show the province of Quebec what lurks behind the government mea sure.' Whether this word was rightly applied or not, the use of a word cannot change the terms of the present Bill nor the decisions of the imperial conference. The delegates of the various dominions had been called together in order to be consulted as to the intentions of the dominions which they represented; the responsibilities assumed by those delegates had to be submitted for approbation to the respective parliaments of these dominions, and in the famous clause 18 of this Bill which the hon. gentleman seems to find fault with, we find the words: ' The Governor in Council may.' Should parliament pass this Bill it will not be in pursuance of an order of the sovereign or the suzerain, if you like, but it will be enforcement of a suggestion of the sovereign, represented by his ministers. It is a pact or a convention which both parties must respect. He who makes a promise

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LIB

Cyrias Roy

Liberal

Mr. CYRIAS ROY.

binds himself, after acceptance of the promise; but he does not bind himself beyond what he has promised. After having agreed to do a certain thing, a dominion cannot be forced to something else, unless the relations between that dominion and the empire be severed. Under our constitution, the sovereign can disallow our laws, but he cannot modify their terms.

. In the light of these incontestable principles, the three conclusions arrived at by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier are illegal, invalid and void and it is right to call public attention to them in order to prevent the errors they contain from spreading. He says: 1. We will be more closely bound by the foreign policy of the British government and will, therefore, undertake to support by force of arms its action abroad. 2. If we approve of the plan submitted by the Imperial Defence Conference we will be bound to take part as belligerents in imperial wars. 3. We will be held responsible for Great Britain's engagements towards foreign nations.

In short, the hon. gentleman's argument rests upon nothing when he contends "that we have undertaken to take part in all the wars in which England may be concerned, the contrary being stated in section 18 of the Bill. Let us, therefore, set aside as idle phraseology all the instances given by the hon. member of circumstances under which we might be obliged to go to war and his declaration that we explicitly ' guarantee the integrity of the empire.' The hon. member for Jacques Cartier points to the declaration of the right hon. the Prime Minister that ' When Great Britain is at war, Canada is also at war.' The present bill is not required to make such a statement true. The government of a nation has a right to make use of all the resources of her colonies, without liow'ever infringing upon their constituencies, if they have any. But apart from this consideration, should not a colony which enjoys the advantage of the protection, prestige and generous policy of the dominant power, in its own interest and from motives of gratitude, place its resources at the disposal of its benefactors? In that sense it is true that Canada, like all other British possessions, is at war when Great Britain is at war. When theTe is a question of duty at stake, whether that duty arise from gratitude or from interest, or from both, the members of this House are bound to accomplish it. It is not necessary in such a case to consult the people; on the contrary, our constituents would blame us if we hesitated to accomplish that duty, especially when it is enacted that our navy shall be used only when we so desire it, ' if at any critical period the Governor in Council wishes to place the navy at His Majesty's disposal.'

In support of the same contention that

we will be for ever bound, the hon. member quoted the Ontario ' Sun ' that ' if the Canadian people are bound to bear the responsibility of British policy, their attention will be more and more turned from Canadian to English affairs.' If such were the case it might suit some of our Conservative friends who are ardent partisans. It is in no case a gratuitous insult to the people of the province of Quebec and of the other provinces to state that they are not sufficiently educated to perceive that they are being led away from the path leading to their own interests and aims. .

The hon. member quoted another extract from the same paper: ' There exists a plan conferring upon the government power to send the Canadian land forces wherever the central authority may desire.' The hon. member should be well versed in Canadian policy; has he discovered any such plan? If it exists why has he not disclosed it to the people? No, the statement is without foundation and the question which arises is always the same. If any such plan exists, before carrying it out the consent of the government and of parliament are required. Moreover, our Militia Act says the contrary as to our land forces.

Here is another bad reason: 'We have neither control over nor representation in the British parliament which makes war and peace and guides our destinies.' If we were represented in the British parliament would he then favour the government's measure? Would he who refuses to take any part in the wars of the empire be better satisfied if we had four or five members in the great imperial parliament? Does he suppose that we would be then in a better position than he is now in a House of Commons called by the Governor in Council to decide as to the advisability of taking part in any special war?

In another part of his speech the hon. member admits ' that Canada is obliged to provide for its own defence and that the duty should be carried out.'

He must therefore be in favour of the present Bill. Canada faces two great oceans. It is possible to defend the country against any enemy without a navy?

The hon. member mentioned the name of Sir George Etienne Cartier in an attempt to prove that former Conservative leaders never contemplated the creation of a navy, except for the defence of Canada. We find here another proof that the question is not a new one. The very memory of that great Conservative leader is a reproach to the hon. member. Cartier did not consider it necessary to appeal to the people when he first submitted the Militia Bill to the House. In doing so he was not at first in accord with the feelings of the majority in his province, but appealing to the interest

of the country in its own defence and also to Canada's debt of gratitude to England, he won the people over to his views. In doing so he did not hesitate to make use of the same arguments as might have been used in any other province. If he still lived, he would not be the man to shirk his responsibilities by demanding a plebiscite. He would declare that in consequence of our increased wealth the time had come to create a Canadian navy for the protection of Canada and also, as he said in his lifetime, to offer England out of gratitude all our available resources in time of need.

The hon. minister also mentioned in his speech the reply made by the Canadian cabinet in 1862 to a communication of the Duke of Newcastle concerning the sending of a military contingent. The principles stated in that answer are precisely those contained in the present measure, and the hon. member for Jacques Cartier will allow me to submit in his name that reply to his leader. The hon. member will not object as he said himself in his speech that ' the whole note the Canadian cabinet is a protest against the principle that the military and naval forces of Canada should be submitted to any control but tnac of the legislature that established them.'

The hon. member next descants on the attitude of British governments in the past in negotiating treaties concerning Canada. He is perhaps right in claiming that we have not always obtained justice and it is probably for that reason that thanks to the persistent efforts of our distinguished leader we have obtained almost complete liberty as regards our treaties of commerce. Why should he have made such a digression when he had only to show, which he did not do, that a plebiscite was necessary before beginning to discuss this measure' All this may be useful in proving his erudition, but will not in any manner help to prove his case.

Many other similar contradictions would be found were we to take the necessary time for dissecting the speeches of our opponents on this question of the navy. But I have held long enough, Mr. Speaker, the attention of the hon. members who have listened to me.

Let me therefore sum up: Although a Canadian of French origin, I am none the less disposed, as are all my countrymen of the same origin, to help the mother country inasmuch as the condition and resources of the country allow. The empire is not now at war; should such a case unfortunately occur before our navy is fully built and equipped, it will then be time for the parliament of Canada to decide as the nature and amount of the help to be sent over.

Certain opposition newspapers and leaders are endeavouring to mislead public

opinion as to the loyalty and sense of duty of the French Canadians. It is of the utmost importance that the position we intend to take should be well understood. In compliance with a desire expressed by the admiralty, we think that we should increase our share of imperial burden in proportion to our resources. But, contrary to the impression sought to be conveyed to the people of Quebec, we have no intention of beginning a career of militarism. They are deliberately deceiving the public, those parties who, speaking without any sense of responsibility, declare that the policy of the government will entail expenditures which will cripple our public works. Without our present revenue of one hundred millions, as the hon. the Finance Minister has declared, it will be possible, without resorting to a loan, to provide for the building of our navy and also for the normal development of our natural resources.-

But the government will never agree to give of the slightest portion of responsible governments, of that autonomy which we enjoy, by consenting to waive the right of complete control in the future over a fleet built by us and with our own money.

What can be the meaning of this sudden seal for placing our fleet under the control of the empire, even in times of peace, when we find that in a memorandum from the general staff, it is stated to be the ' duty of each self-governing portion of the empire to provide as far as possible for the security of its own territory.'

Some have gone to the extent of spreading throughout the province of Quebec the falsehood that the government is building a fleet with the view of obliging every person able to bear arms to take part in the wars of the empire. In the face of such an absurdity we are obliged to explain that those only who desire to take service in the navy will be called upon to go to war if the government and parliament of the day so decide.

I need not add, Mr. Speaker, that I will vote against both amendments in support of the government measure.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. W. CROTHERS (West Elgin).

Mr. Speaker, that so much thought and energy and wealth are still being devoted throughout the world to the invention, construction and operation of instrumentalities designed to destroy our fellows shows that as a race we have not entirely emerged from savagery, nor yet within measureable distance of the millennium. That- such conditions and others akin thereto obtain nineteen centuries after the advent of the Prince of Peace shows that from a finite viewpoint the upward movement of humanity is exceedingly slow. It will thus be seen that I am not one of those who believe that war

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NAVAL SERVICE BILL.-A DESIRABLE AMENDMENT.
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LIB

Cyrias Roy

Liberal

Mr. CYRIAS ROY.

or preparations for war are per se essential to the highest weal of this or any other country. While it would seem that all right thinking men regard the horrors of war as too terrible to contemplate, and deplore _ the many evils incident to the preparations for war, still we must adjust ourselves to world-wide conditions, and to escape the greater must manfully endure the lesser evil. And there are greater evils than war or preparations for war. There are grounds for the belief that the best way to avoid war is to be prepared for it. A few months ago. at the launching of a great battleship by the Japanese government, one of the ministers declared that the ship would be used to maintian peace in the far east. At the same time they liberated a large cageful of white pigeons as an emblem of peace. Mr. Roosevelt, when president of the United States, said:

' I hail the building of the American navy. Our voice is now potent for peace, and it is so potent because we are not afraid of war.' A few months ago our own King declared at Liverpool that the best guarantee for peace was thorough preparation for war. .

Now, Mr. Speaker, what are the conditions in which we are more immediately interested? One hundred and fifty years ago Canada became a part of the British empire, and it seems to me that the'first question -we have to ask ourselves is: Do we desire that Canada shall remain a part of the British empire? Do we appreciate the privileges and advantages of being a part of the British empire? Is the British empire worth preserving? If these questions are answered in the affirmative, we are imperialists; if they are not so answered we are sepal-artists; andwhen the Prime Minister of' this country says, as he did the other day,in introducing this Bill that he did not pretend to be an imperialist and did not pretend to be an anti-imperialist, the two positions are absolutely inconsistent. He is either an imperialist or a separatist; there is no middle ground between the two. I say that one hundred and fifty years ago Canada became a part of the British empire comprising today the United Kingdom, the four great self-governing nations of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, and numerous other smaller possessions scattered over the globe, senarated from the centre and from each of the parts by thousands of miles of water. The high seas are the world's highways of the different parts of the British empire, and the continuance and integrity of the British empire depends upon the safety and security of these great highways. The United Kingdom for two hundred and fifty years, ever since the Dutch fleet bade defiance to the British fleet in the Thames river, has been mistress of

the seas. Russia, Sweden and Denmark in 1801 challenged the supremacy of the British navy at Copenhagen, and challenged it in- vain." France and Spain in 1805 at Trafalgar challenged the British navy, but. in vain. The continuance of Canada as a part of the British empire depends upon a continuance of the supremacy of the British navy. We have a country growing up near the United Kingdom, a country that has developed more strength during the past fifty years than any other country in Europe, the German empire, a great people, an intelligent people, a moral people, a skilled people, a thrifty people; sixty-five millions of them, and increasing' at the rate of a million a year; with an army of four millions of soldiers who could be put in the field in a few hours. There is but one obstacle that stands between the ambition of the German Emperor and the leadership of Europe, and that one thing is the British navy. With sixty-five millions in Germany, and increasing at the rate of a million a year ,and her lands nearly all occupied, Germany must emigrate her surplus population or burst. Where are they to go? It is the ambition of the emperor of Germany that when his people emigrate from Germany, they shall go to a place where they shall still be under the flag; that is, Germany must have colonies. Where is she to get them? Where are there any colonies that she desires? Only those that are held by the British empire. In the year 1900 the German people undertook to rebuild their navy, and in the preamble of their naval Bill they put these words:

Germany must possess a battle fleet so strong that a war with her would, even for the greatest naval power, be accompanied by such danger as would render that power's position doubtful.

' Even for the greatest naval power '- read between the lines. What is the greatest naval power to-day? It is the British navy. So that, in the preamble of their Naval Bill, the Germans say practically that they must build a navy stronger than the British navy. Why? Can any one suggest for one moment any reason for building this navy except to be prepared to challenge the British navy. Such a navy is not necessary to protect Germany's coast, and there is no other navy in the world that calls on Germany to build such a navy as she is building except the navy of England. Therefore it seems to me perfectly clear that what the German people are aiming at is to have a navy stronger than the British navy for the purpose of challenging it. And if they succeed in getting such a navy, and if they should challenge the British navy and the German admiral should come off triumphant in the North

sea, where the fight would be bound to take place, that would be the end of the British empire as it is constituted to-day. There can be no question about that. The Germans are systematically going to work to educate their people in favour of a great navy. How do they go about it. They build a battleship and give that ship the name of some inland city or town. The one I have in my mind they christened the ' Nuremberg They built a model of that battleship and sent it to the city of Nuremberg in Bavaria, over 300 miles from the sea. The model was placed in the city hall, the people were invited to come and inspect it, and they came in hundreds and they said: This is our battleship; this is the ' Nuremberg In that way the whole people of Germany are becoming imbued with the desire to possess the greatest fleet in the world. For what purpose? For the purpose of challenging the British navy. There can be no other object.

We have had a good deal of evidence brought forth to show that there is no ground for alarm.' Newspaper clippings have been read by the score, brought to us second or third hand, and written in the old country during the excitement of an election campaign. One hon. gentleman read a letter from some one who had put in a few weeks in South Africa. Another read what purported to be a copy of a telegram sent by some unknown individual in the old country. We all know how much reliance can be placed upon political statements written during the excitement of an election campaign and published in party organs, whether on the one side or the other. We all know that little if any reliance can be placed upon these, and for that reason I do not propose to read newspaper articles written during the excitement of an election, but I want to read a few words delivered by responsible statesmen in the English House of Commons at a time when there was no political campaign on hand. You will find the few words I am going to quote from Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in the English * Hansard ' on March 9, 1909, page 50. Sir Edward Grey said:

We desire by a just, fair and reasonable statement of our position to get not victory but confidence. Let me review the situation in that light. First of all, the House and the country are perfectly right in the view that the situation is grave. A new situation in this country is created by the German programme. Whether that programme is carried out quickly or slowly the fact of its existence makes a new situation. When that programme is completed, Germany a great country close to our own shore will have a fleet of 33 Dreadnoughts. That fleet would be the most powerful which the world has ever yet seen. . [DOT] [DOT] That imposes on us

the necessity of rebuilding the whole of our fleet.

Consider that for one moment. The German programme proposes to build thirty-three Dreadnoughts. A country with which she is now in close alliance, Austria, has eight Dreadnoughts; and if a war were to occur between Germany and England, Austria would be in the line with Germany, so that England to-day requires to rebuild her navy, requires to build at least fifty Dreadnoughts, which are to be the great battleships of the near future, to meet the German programme. What does that mean? Each Dreadnought costs about $10,000,000, and the complements of smaller vessels in each case, cost3 another $10,000,000. Fifty Dreadnoughts and their complements at $20,000,000 each, means $1,000,000,000. That is what it will cost to rebuild the British navy. And that British navy is to be rebuilt for what? Not for the mere purpose, as these statesmen said in the House of Commons, of protecting the British isles, but for the purpose of protecting the remotest part of the British empire. It is necessary for the British exchequer to expend $1,000,000,000 in rebuilding a navy to protect us as well as to protect the British isles. Are we to take advantage of that expenditure for our protection, at least during the next twenty years while we shall be constructing our navy, and contribute nothing towards it. That does not strike me as being self-respecting or honourable.

i.US see w^at Mr. Balfour, the leader of the Conservative party, said in the British House of Commons:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NAVAL SERVICE BILL.-A DESIRABLE AMENDMENT.
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NAVY ESTIMATES.

March 2, 1910