March 2, 1910


I therefore do most earnestly beg the government and the committee to consider not indeed in any spirit of panic, but with a full recognition of the absolutely novel and as I think alarming circumstance in which this country finds itself whether they cannot do something with the enormous resources which we have at our disposal in the way of the building of ships, guns, mountings and armaments, and our power of finding the necessary funds for dealing with the question of national defence. I ask them not to hesitate, not to delay, but to use to the utmost and as quickly as possible without paltering every possible machine which they have at their disposal for restoring to this country what I greatly fear \ve have temporarily lost-not that two power standard which is far beyond question in this debate, but the one power standard in the matter of ships of first-class power which for the first time in our history seems to be slipping from our grasp. And Mr. Asquith, the Prime Minister, said on the 16th of March, last, as reported on page 962 of the English 'Hansard' : If any one will refer to the speech I made a year ago, he will see that I said, with some


CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CEOTHERS.

confidence, that whereas it would take the Germans 30 months to build one of these ships, we could do it in 24. I was not, of course, committing myself precisely to the number of months, but I did maintain that we had a substantial advantage in the rate of construction, which would always enable us to quickly overtake them when the event occurred. I am sorry to say that is not the case. I believed it to be the fact at the time at which I spoke, but there has been such an enormous development in Germany, not only in the provisions of shipyards and slips on which the hulk or fabric of a ship can be built or repaired, but in what is still iflore serious-in the provision for gun mountings and armaments of those great monsters, those Dreadnoughts, which are now the dominating type of ship-such an enormous development-and. I will venture to say this without attempting to excite anything in the nature of unnecessary alarm in this country-such an enormous development as to be so serious a development from our national point of view, that we could no longer take to ourselves, as we could a year ago with reason, the consoling and comforting reflection that we have the advantage in the speed and the rate at which ships can be constructed.

He said also, in the same debate:

I made two assumptions which have turned out, I shall not say to be inaccurate at the time I made them, but which have not been verified by subsequent experience. I admit it to the full. I got my information from the best possible sources, and I am perfectly certain that the admiralty had taken every means in their power to satisfy themselves of the actual facts. What were these two assumptions I made? The first assumption was that the German paper programme was one that might not be realized and certainly would not be exceeded. That has turned out not to be true, because it is undoubtedly the case that during the autumn of last year there was an anticipation with four ships which belonged to the German programme of 1909-10, in the sense that orders were given, materials collected, and it may be in one or two cases, possibly in more, ships were actually laid down. It was in view of that most grave, and to us not only unforseen but unexpected state of things that we had to reconsider our programme of the present year. When we had that state of things brought home to us, it was a great surprise to us, I confess-the falsification of one of the hypotheses on which we had hitherto proceeded. The discovery of that state of things made it necessary to reconsider our programme and to submit a different set of proposals to parliament.

Now, I wish to read a little authority for the benefit of some of our friends on the other side of the House, which they may appreciate even more, perhaps, than that of the statesmen whose views I have just read. I desire to quote a short quotation from the Toronto 'Globe', which my hon. friends opposite will probably accept as a very good authority. The 'Globe' of 24th March, last, said in its leading editorial :

British feeling for Germany until the last few years has ever been friendly and admiring. Germany's feeling for Great Britain, as was manifested during the Boer war, has been jealous and unfriendly. This unfriendliness reached its climax when Britain and Trance recently entered upon a friendly understanding. The policy of Germany since the war of 1870 has been to isolate France in Europe. The friendly relations with her neighbour across the ohannel have been openly and avowedly resented by the Berlin war party.

The German nation has gro-aned for years under the weight of military preparations. Without lightening that burden an ounce, the Kaiser and his advisers have superimposed the burden of creating a groat navy. There is not another nation in Europe which, if in the same position as Great Britain, would allow another nation to prepare an engine for its destruction without asking for explanations and an understanding. There is not another nation in Europe which would impotently stand by and sec an instrument forged for its destruction. They would seize the reptile while it was still weak and strangle it.

But that is not the British way. They have instead endeavoured to keep pace with German activity in augmenting naval power. The contest has become a desperate one. It is a contest between a nation of 65,000,000 and constantly growing, with a nation of 42,000,000, from which its sons swarm across the seas year in and year out. War is deprecated, but, as a matter of fact war is in progress. The contest in sliip-building is war. If the mother country were engaged in a deadly conli'ot, Canadians could not get across the ocean fast enough to the aid of the motherland. The Canadian exchequer would be open to the last dollar in such a cause. But we must recogn-nize that our aid is as much needed now as if a physical war, instead of a war of shipbuilding were on. Germany appreciates that if ever she is to challenge British supremacy and break up the British empire, now is the time.

This is from the Toronto 'Globe', I would ask my hon. friends opposite to remember :

Every year is adding to the might of the British possession, and ten years hence would be too late. The colonies can show by prompt and decisive action that it is already too late. They have it in their power to proclaim to all the world that the empire is one and indissoluble. It will be a stroke for peace, for the moment Germany perceives that the strength and resources of every colony have been cast into the scale, from that moment she will see that she has lost the game. She began her programme too late. It is Canada's duty, from every point of view, our affection for the land of our fathers and our own self-interest to take prompt and praotial action.

I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if the author of that article is one of those whom the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. M. Clark) and the hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Cong-don) so modestly and elegantly referred to ac 'old women of both sexes'. I shal1

have occasion to give my hon. friends opposite some more light from the Toronto 'Globe' before I finish.

Mr. Speaker, as I said a few minutes ago, we have for a hundred and fifty years been living under the protection of the British navy. No one for a moment will dispute that. We propose to live under the protection of the British navy. Even hon. members opposite will admit that they cannot construct anything in the way of a navy, that would protect this Canada of ours, in less than twenty years. They will admit that, during the next twenty years, at least we Canadians are to be protected by the British navy. And we have never contributed one dollar to the construction or maintenance of that navy; we have never promised to contribute one dollar to the construction or maintenance of that navy; we do not propose now, under the Bill before the House, to contribute one dollar for the construction or maintenance of that navy.

Now, the Prime Minister in introducing this. Bill spoke about the position that was taken at the imperial conference of 1902.

The Postmaster General was good enough to put upon ' Hansard ' the whole of the material part of that memorandum of 1902. The Prime Minister said, at page 3032:

This was in 1902, nearly eight years ago, and for eight years this policy of the present government has been ' before the country. From this policy the present government has never deviated. This policy we affirmed again at the imperial conference pf 1907.

Now, Mr. Speaker, let us look, for a moment and see whether these statements are true. We will examine the memorandum of the Imperial Conference of 1902, we will examine the memorandum of the British Conference in 1907, to see whether these statements are true. The Postmaster General was kind enough to place upon ' Hansard ', at page 3114, the material parts of the memorandum of the Imperial Conference of 1902. The substance of it is this:

At present Canadian expenditures for defence services are confined to the military side. The Canadian government are prepared to consider the naval system of defence as well. They are willing-

Now notice the condescending generosity in this proposition:

-they are willing that these expenditures should he so directed as to relieve the taxpayer of the mother country from some of the burdens which she now bears.

Wasn't that generous? What is the proposition? The proposition was that:

We are prepared to consider a naval system of defence as well.

We are prepared to consider it. Five

years afterwards there was another imperial conference, in the year 1907. I do not remember whether the Postmaster General was a member of the government during those five years, or any part of the period from 1902 to 1907; but if he was, I am asking him if the government, during those five years, considered this proposition that in 1902 they declared they were prepared to consider. Now there is nothing in that memorandum of 1902 promising to do anything more than to consider the question, that is the whole thing. Did they consider it during those five years? I do not know whether they did or not. If the Prime Minister was here I would ask him. The Minister of Finance is here, perhaps he knows whether the Cabinet, during those five years between 1902 and 1907, considered a naval system of defence as well. He does not answer.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I am not making a speech.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS.

I have the report of what occurred at this general conference in 1907, and I' think I shall be able to show that although they promised to consider it, they said they were prepared to consider it in 1902, I think it is fair to assume that they did consider it during those five years, and I think the action they took in 1907 shows that having considered it for five years, they came to the conclusion that tney would do nothing. Now let us see. At page 541 of that report you have a motion moved by Dr. Smartt, one of the members of that conference, the Commissioner of Public Works for Cape Colony. He moved a resolution in these words:

That this conference, recognizing the vast importance of the services rendered by the navy to the defence of the empire-

Is that something, Mr. Speaker, we can all agree to?

-to the defence of the empire and the protection of its trade, and the paramount importance of continuing to maintain the navy-

Do we all agree wdth that?

-in the highest possible state of efficiency, considers It to be the duty of the dominions beyond the seas to make such contribution towards the upkeep of the navy as may be determined by their local legislatures-the contribution to take the form of a grant of money, the establishment of local naval defence, or' such other seriices, in such manner as may be decided upon after consultation with the admiralty, and as would best accord with their varying circumstances.

Now, where was the representative of this government when that motion came up? Remember they told the British government in 1902, five years before, that they were prepared to consider the establishment of a naval force. Here was a proposition Mr. CROTHERS.

submitted by Dr. Smartt, recognizing the duty of the over-seas dominions to make a contribution towards the up-keep of the navy. You cannot get out of it by saying that it was a proposition to give a money contribution

The contribution to take the form of a grant of money, or the establishment of local naval defence or such other services.

Or in such other manner as would suit the circumstances of each dominion Now what was the evidence of their having considered the matter for five years? We find on the very next page, 542, the remarks made by the right hon. leader of this government in opposition to that motion. Here is his language:

SIR WILFRID LAURIER. I am sorry to say, so far as Canada is concerned, we cannot agree to the resolution.

We cannot agree to give money, we cannot agree to establish a naval defence, we cannot agree to do anything. The right hon. the Prime Minister stated the other day, as I have just read to you, that they reaffirmed the proposition in 1907 that they would establish a navy. Let me give you some more:

I am sorry to say that so far as Canada is concerned we cannot agree to the resolution. We took the ground many years ago that we had enough to do in that respect in cur country before committing ourselves to a general claim. We have too much to do otherwise. . . . For my part, if the motion were pressed to a conclusion, I should have to vote against it.

Now there you have, in the year 1902, the Prime Minister of this country telling the British government that they were prepared to consider a system of naval defence, and after considering it for five years, he says, I am against a monetary contribution for the establishment of a naval system or any other service, and we do not propose to do any more than we have done.

In the face of that we had him in this House the other day saying:

This was in 1902, nearly eight years ago, and for eight years, this policy of the present government has been before the country. From this policy the present government has never deviated.

Was that a deviation from it in 1907 when the right hon. gentleman declared: No money, no battleships, no tin-pot navy even, no nothing? In the face of that he comes before this House on the 3rd day of February, .1910, and tells us that in the year 1907 at this conference he reaffirmed the proposition that was made in 1902:

This policy we affirmed again at the imperial conference of 1907. We affirmed it again last year in this House when the question came up for concrete and immediate action. This

policy is embodied in the Bill now before this House, and by this policy the present government stands or falls.

What did Dr. Smartt say to Sir Wilfrid Laurier after he made those observations, after he refused to give any money, after he refused to establish a naval force, after he refused to do anything, saying we have too much to do otherwise? Dr. Smartt said:

I thought the wording of this resolution would have specially met your views, because towards the up-keep of the navy it may take the form either of a grant of money or the establishment of a local defence force or other services.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier said:

I have said all I have to say on the subject.

That settled it, we will do nothing, I won't even discuss it with you any further. Then the report proceeds:

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?

Thomas Aaron Hartt

Dr. SMARTT.

I should like very much to hear the opinions of the representatives of the other portions of the empire.

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?

Mr. DEAKIN@

I have no hesitation in entering into the discussion if desired; but if we are not going to pass the resolution, is it worth while ?

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?

Thomas Aaron Hartt

Dr. SMARTT.

I think it is a great pity we do not pass something. We have done so much in the way of pious affirmation, that I am anxious wTe should do something of a practical character.

I should say so. Then the discussion continues:

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WJLERID LAURIER.

It can be passed if there is a majority. Eor my part I must vote against it.

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?

Henry Alfred Ward

Sir JOSEPH WARD.

To do any good we would require to be unanimous about it.

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Thomas Aaron Hartt

Dr. SMARTT.

Yes, I suppose so.

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Charles Edward Church

Mr. WINSTON CHURCHILL.

It is not much good to have a resolution at all if we cannot, be unanimous.

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LIB

Gilbert Howard McIntyre (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN.

I think we had better not proceed any further just now.

The motion was allowed to drop.

If you will pardon me for repeating for a moment, because I want to impress this thought upon your mind and upon the minds of my hon. friends who are in this House, and through this House upon the minds of the electors of this country, that we have had our Prime Minister in this House declaring that he confirmed in 1907 the proposition that he made in 1902, and I think I have proved to the hilt from the record that he did nothing of the kind. Instead of confirming the proposition in 1907, which had been made in 1902, he absolutely and positively refused to do anything. And this has another aspect: the statement that- the Prime Minister made the other day is invoked as a reason why the people of this country should not be consulted before we enter upon this interminable expenditure of the construction 146

of a Canadian navy. He has said to this House, his organs throughout the country, and his supporters in this House are repeating it, that this proposition has been before the country for eight years and has never been varied during that time, that he confirmed it in 1907. What are the facts? The facts are that the people of this country in 1904 paid no attention whatever to what had been done in 1902. We all know it was not a subject of discussion on the public hustings at all, but- even if it were discussed what was done in that year was cancelled in the year 1907 and prior to the last election. The last announcement the people of this country had from the right lion, gentleman on the question of a navy was: Vte shall do absolutely nothing. That was in the year 1907. So I say that we have done nothing, we have never promised to do anything, we have absolutely refused to do anything, and we do not propose now to do anything to strengthen the royal navy.

I overlooked something, the government did promise to do some little thing when they were over there in 1907. Sir Wilfrid Laurier left the matter of addressing the conference largely to Mr. Brodeur. At page 138 Sir Wilfrid Laurier said:

Mr. Brodeur will speak for Cauada.

And Mr. Brodeur proceeded to speak and to tell the people there how much we had expended in protecting our fisheries and in establishing a hydrographic survey, etc., but not one word that they would do anything to strengthen the British navy, except what we find on page 141:

We have taken over, or are going to take over, the Halifax and Esquimalt dockyards- in fact, we are in possession already, from the 1st of January, of the Halifax dockyards. 1 do not know exactly how inuch those dockyards were costing the British admiralty-or the one at Halifax, but I may say we have assumed all the obligations in connection with those dockyards, and we have provided specially that the amount which the British admiralty was to pay as an annual subscription to the graving dock at Halifax, would be paid by us instead of by the British admiralty. We have, as 1 have said, provided for the establishment of docks at Halifax and Esquimalt.

That was in the year 1907, nearly three' years ago. The hon. the Postmaster General a few days ago quoted from an address delivered by Sir William White on the 17th day of November last, before the Royal Society of Arts in old London, and I shall quote a few words from the same author, which will be found at page 16. You will remember that in the year 1907, in the presence of the right hon. the leader of this government, Mr. Brodeur undertook to take over the Esquimalt and Halifax dockyards, and to assume all obligations in connection with them. Sir William

White last summer examined these dockyards, and I call him as a witness whose testimony will be accepted at once. On November 17, 1909, he says:

During the past summer I have visited the naval yard at Esquimalt, and obtained first- hand knowledge of its present condition. . . . The only naval base possessed by the royal navy on the western coast of the American continent. I found the fort unarmed, the guns lying on the ground at the foot of the hill in the open. The naval yard was without a staff capable of maintaining in good condition th? expensive machinery left in the work shops, or the buildings, some of which were erected only a short time ago. The stores had been disposed of locally at ridiculously low prices and a naval base of importance had been virtually abandoned and was rapidly deteriorating.

From information received, I have reason to believe that the naval base at Halifax is also in an unsatisfactory condition.

So that we have the representative of this government at the imperial council in the year 1907 undertaking to take over the dockyard of Esquimalt and to maintain it and to assume all obligations in connection with it and, more than two years afterwards we find this report by Sir William White that they are allowing it to tumble to pieces. And still they tell us that the same policy that we adopted in the year 1902, we affirmed in 1907, and have been carrying it along ever since.

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CON
CON
CON
CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS.

And they sold the stores at ridiculously low prices as Sir William White says. So we have had the protection of the British navy for 150 years; and the government proposes to have it for the next twenty years at least, never having paid a dollar towards the construction or maintenance of that navy, never having promised to pay a dollar and not proposing to pay a dollar now. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that that is not a position which the people of Canada, English or French desire the government of Canada to take.

Now, Mr. Speaker, what is the duty of Canadians in these circumstances? What we should do, it seems to me, depends entirely upon the conception we have of the destiny of this country. What is our conception of the destiny of Canada? Is it that we shall remain in the empire, is it that we shall become independent, or is it that w"e shall become a mere annex of the United States?. And, before we can properly and satisfactorily answer the Mr. CROTHERS.

question as to what we ought to do we should first determine what is our position. There never was a time in the history of this country before when Canada so earnestly called on every one of its sons to think and consider, and judge for himself what is best to do. It would seem to me, judging by the speeches we have heard from hon. gentlemen opposite, that they have never yet grasped the idea of empire, and I say that without any desire whatever to be offensive to any one Their speeches do not indicate that they have ever risen to the idea of empire. Let us read what some of these gentlemen opposite have said. The hon. the Minister of Militia in his speech (page 3388 of 'Hansard) referring to the leader of the opposition said:

To-day he wishes to tax the people of Canada. $25,000,000 and to send it away out of sight where Canadians can have no possible interest in it.

Just'weigh these words for a moment, Mr. Speaker: To send $25,000,000 to the British government to build two Dreadnoughts away out of sight of Canada where Canadians can have no possible interest in it. Did the man who uttered these words ever grasp the idea of empire?

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

No.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS.

We had the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McLean) saying in so many words in this House: We owe England nothing, we are indebted to England for nothing, why, because she does not pay us any more for our apples, or any more for our cheese, or any more for our bacon, or for our canned goods than she does for similar merchandise entering England from the United States, and therefore we owe her nothing. Narrow, selfish, picayune provincialism. As well might he say that the merchant of Montreal pays him no more for his eggs, and butter and cheese than he would to an American coming into the market of Montreal, and therefore, we are not indebted to Montreal at all, and if Montreal be attacked we shall not come to the rescue of that city. A gentleman from Nova Scotia (Mr. McKenzie)) told us that England has more money than we have, that she had facilities, for building ships, that she could build all the ships that were necessary to protect not only the British isles but to protect the remotest part of the British empire. And, he, a member of the House of Commons of Canada and a citizen -of Canada was willing to allow the taxpayer of the United Kingdom alone to raise money to construct and maintain a navy to protect him in this country. Narrow, selfish, picayune provincialism. And, Sir, wehavehad similar remarks from member after member on the other side of the

House. Talk about defending our coasts, or protecting our trade routes, why Mr. Speaker, this empire of ours, as the 'Globe' truly said, is one and indissoluble; the British empire must .stand or fall all together. We have had remarks made by the Prime Minister showing, I submit to- you, Mr. Speaker, that even he has never grasped the idea of empire. Many of you have read the remarks he made on independence a few years ago. Now, I do not desire to be offensive; I want to say boldly that if there be any man in this country who believes honestly and sincerely that it is in the interest of the British empire that we should become independent he has a perfect right to that belief and he has a perfect right to advocate it if he pleases. But, the people of the country, if he be a public man, have the right to insist that he stfall come out in the open and say so. We had the Prime Minister a few years ago stating, that he held out to his fellow countrymen the idea oi independence. That is not the only time the right hon. gentleman has made some remarks he should not have made in my humble judgment; remarks, which coming from a man occupying the prominent position he does, have a disintegrating effect upon the affections which the people of this country should entertain towards the British empire. And, it is not away back in the year 1902 either that he made those remarks, for, in the year 1907, the right hon. gentleman said in the city of Toronto :

We have to realize that John Bull has not always done his duty to his Canadian son. If we take all the treaties from the treaty of 1783 up to the treaty of 1903, we Canadians do not feel particularly cheerful over the way we have been treated by the British plenipotentiaries.

And in Ottawa, in the same year, addressing the Manufacturers' Association, he said

We take the record of diplomacy in Great Britain in so far as Canada is concerned, and we find that it is a repetition of sacrifices of Canadian interests. We have suffered on the Atlantic, we have suffered on the Pacific, we have suffered on the lakes, we have suffered wherever there has been a question to be discussed between British diplomats.

Mr. Speaker, what would be thought of a son who would delight in parading before the world the shortcomings of his mother? Whatever else might be thought of him. no one would think of accusing him of having any affection for her. So seriously did the British Ambassador the Right Hon. Mr. Bryce, regard these observations made by the Prime Minister of this county, that in Toronto he referred to them, and said: -*

146i

I will ask you to suspend your judgment upon all those questions in which it is alleged that British diplomacy has not done its best for you. In those matters you have only heard one side of the case, and I feel it is my duty to my country, and to the government which I represent, to tell you this, and that I believe you are entirely mistaken if you think that British diplomacy has been indifferent to Canada or has not done the best it could for Canada.

When the right hon. premier of this country says that Canadians do not feel particularly cheerful over the way we have been treated by the British plenipotentiaries, I ask, who were the British plenipotentiaries? I asked you what would be thought of a son who would delight in parading before the world the shortcomings of his mother; but what would you think of a son who would parade before the world accusations against his mother of which she was not guilty? And I want to show you, Mr. Speaker, that these very plenipotentiaries to whom the right hon. gentleman refers were named by himself, every one of them. In speaking of the treaty of 1903 he referred of course to the Alaska boundary treaty. I have in my hand the correspondence touching the Alaska Boundary, and in it you will find at page 63 the following:

To the Earl of Minto, Ottawa, from the Secretary of State, March 7, 1903.-The ratifications of the Alaskan boundary treaty were exchanged on the 3rd instant. Time for the preparation of the case, article 2, has consequently begun to run against us, and it is important that composition of British half of court, also appointment of British agent, should be settled without delay. Hope, therefore, your responsible advisers will favour us with their views on these appointments as early as possible.

On the very same day the Governor General sent this message to the Colonial Secretary:

In view of the short time given for preparation of the ease, my ministers desire to proceed immediately, and, therefore, suggest an early settlement of preliminaries. As to the composition of tribunal, my ministers suggest chief justice of England and two Canadian judges, names to be telegraphed hereafter. As to counsel, my ministers desire that Mr. Edward Blake, K.C., London, and Mr. Christopher Robinson, K.C., Toronto, be of counsel to uphold the British contention and junior counsel. Under that clause of the treaty which provides for the appointment of an agent to represent each party before the tribunal, my ministers desire that Mr. Clifford Sifton, Canadian Minister of the Interior, be appointed to fill such position.

On the 17th of March, 1903 the Governor General sent this message to the Secretary of State:

In addition to chief justice of England, my ministers propose Sir Louis Jettis, a retired

judge of the Superior Court of the province of Quebec, and now Lieutenant - Governor of Quebec, and Justice Armour, of the Supreme Court of Canada, as members of the Court of Imperial Jurists under treaty for settlement of boundary of Alaska.

You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that the late Justice Armour died, and the present Minister of Justice was appointed to his piace. This correspondence shows conclusively that the government of Canada named all three of the gentlemen who represented 'the British empire on that board of arbitration, and that the Chief Justice of England, named by the government of this country, agreed with the three gentlemen who represented the United States, and hence there were four to two against us on that question. And in face of the fact that Sir Wilfrid Laurier named the three gentlemen who represented Great Britain on that board, we find him at Toronto blaming the British government for the award that was given. Have I made it clear, Mr. Speaker, that the right hon. gentleman has taken delight not only in parading the shortcomings of his mother before the people, but in making accusations against his mother that are not borne out by the record? Only a few days ago the right hon. (gentleman delivered" another address in Toronto, and what did he say? It is very peculiar. Sir, that a gentleman occupying the prominent position that the right hon. leader of the government does, should make such remarks. I venture to say that no one ever knew or ever read of a British statesman speaking of the government of Canada as the Prime Minister of this country so glibly and so delightfully speaks of the British government, ' This is what he said, as reported in the Globe of the 5th of January:

The King of England has no more rights over us than are allowed him by our own Canadian parliament.

Now, what was the necessity of making a remark of that kind? What is the object? Did you ever hear Sir John Macdonald talk that way? What are the facts? I have here some extracts from the British North American Act in these words:

Be it therefore enacted and declared by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

1. This Act may be cited as the British North America Am, 1867.

3. It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, to declare by proclamation that, on and after a day therein appointed, not being more than six months after the passing of this Act, the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia and ivew Brunswick shall form and be one dominion under the name of Canada.

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CON

Mr. CROTHERS.

Conservative (1867-1942)

9. The executive government and authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.

Section 17. There shall be one parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen and an Upper House, styled tne Senate, and the House of Commons.

Yet in the face of these facts, we have the right hon. gentleman saying that the King of England has no more rights over us than are allowed him by our own Canadian parliament. Why, the sovereign of England, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons, created this parliament. The King himself is a part of this parliament. And in the face of that we have our Prime Minister saying that the King has nothing to do with us except as we allow him. But the parliament of Canada was created by the sovereign and the House of Lords and the House of Commons of England. Where did these get their rights? The King of England did not acquire his rights from the parliament of Canada. Why then are these observations made? We had the right hon. gentleman going out of his way the other day to say that he would not have allowed Canada to have taken part in the Crimean war, if he had anything to say about it. On page 3044 of this year's ' Hansard ', I find the right hon. gentleman reported as saying:

There was another instance. England was at war in the Crimea with Russia. For myself I do not hesitate to say that if that war were to be undertaken by England under similar circumstances, I would hesitate very much before I would give my consent to our taking part in any such iwar, if conditions were the same now as they were then. But thcv are not, because at present we have British Columbia to look after; and if war were declared between Great Britain and Russia, our first duty would be to look after British Columbia, which might be attacked on the Pacific ocean.

Those are the ideas of our Prime Minister touching the Crimean war. Let me read in contrast what the Rt. Hon. Sir John Macdonald said about the same matter. He said:

Who can look baok to the time when the Crimean war broke out and not remember with pride how Canada rose as one man to stand by the mother country and by France when the French Tricolor and the Union Jack were joined together fighting the battles of liberty against absolutism on the shores of the Crimea? There was a rush of Canadians to the battlefields, and I had great pleasure-

Notice the contrast.

-I had great pleasure, as a member of the government of Sir Allan McNab. to be instrumental in carrying a vote of $100,000, given unanimously out of the public treasury, in order to show that Canada made common cause with England and with France in the Crimean war.

There you had a man down into whose heart had sunken deeply the sentiment of loyalty and patriotism, and had become the inspiration of his life. Contrast that with the disposition of our Prime Minister whom we had saying that if he had been here then, he would not have so acted. Things, he said, are different now. We have British Columbia now, he said, and if British Columbia were attacked, he would fight like blazes. Sir, I choose to look upon the matter in this way. If Vancouver is attacked, the British empire is attacked. If the city of Quebec is attacked, the British empire is attacked. I look upon it in that large sense. I am proud of being a citizen of Canada, but prouder still that I am a British subject, and a citizen of the British empire. The instance I have cited is but another instance of the small ideas, the provincial ideas, that some people have. If British Columbia is attacked, why, we will run to the rescue. If Montreal is attacked, we will run to the rescue; but if some distant part of the empire is attacked, we will sit down in our comfortable chairs and consider whether we will go to the rescue or not. How satisfied would we be, were the British government to take a similar position with regard to us? If Quebec were attacked, would we not expect the British government to send a fleet over as fast as that fleet could get here? I think we would. The English statesmen whose words I have quoted said over and over again that Britain requires a fleet suf-ficently large to protect, not only the British isles, but the remotest part of the empire. If British Columbia is attacked, says the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid haulier) we will rush to the rescue. What narrow, selfish, picayune provincialism.

Our Minister of War (Sir Frederick Borden) is on the same line. He gave us a speech the other night in this House, and during it he was asked some questions. The hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) asked him:

Will the hon. gentleman say whether or not he is in accord with the sentiments concerning independence expressed by the Prime Minister in 1892.

What was the answer of our brave Minister of War to that question? He said:

I am generally in accord with the views of my honoqred leader, and I have absolute confidence in his leadership.

That is, our Minister of War does not know whether he is in favour of independence or not, but when the Prime Minister says * thumbs up ', up go his thumbs.

I might quote from the speech delivered by the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) to prove that he showed just as narrow, selfish, and picayune provincialism as the other hon. gentlemen to whom

I have referred and even more so. I think I might extend that discription to almost every one of the hon. gentlemen opposite who have delivered themselves during this debate. I think there was one exception, but I forget the name.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NAVY ESTIMATES.
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CON

George Henry Cowan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COWAN.

The hon. member for Sun-bury and Queens (Mr. McLean).

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   NAVY ESTIMATES.
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March 2, 1910