March 7, 1910


Arthur Lachance


Mr. LACHANCE. (Translation).

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, I stated at the outset that the first expenditure incurred for the defence of the country dated back to the foundation of Quebec, and that it was ordinary common sense to provide for the protection of our coasts just as we had provided for the defence of the rest of the country. And when you left the chair at six o'clock, I was pointing out what are to my mind the distinctive features of the right kind of imperialism as well as of the objectionable kind.

I now wish, Mr. Speaker, with your kind permission, to say a word on another subject. Some public men, some writers, have, in a sarcastic vein, dubbed these first beginnings of the naval defence a ' tin-pot navy.' All great undertakings, no matter how generous the feeling which prompted them, are bound to have their critics. All things have small beginnings. What would those bitter critics say to-day if the government had appropriated, let us say, $40,000,000, at one stroke, and neglected in consequence other branches of the public _ service? I fancy I hear them complaining bitterly of the government's inefficiency and of the check thus put on the government of Canada for several years to come.

Of course, ten or twelve ships are not sufficient to make the country absolutely secure against attack, at every point along the coasts. But Canada is progressing very rapidly; its revenue is increasing in proportion and will enable us to develop little by little the means of defence, until the day comes when our navy will represent a sufficiently strong unit to provide, in conjuncture with the land forces, full protection against raids, inroads, or interference by nearby or distant foes. Fortunately, for the time being, there is no reason to

suspect on the part of any one a desire of invading, dismembering, or conquering Canada. But what assurance have we that such a thing will not be attempted some day? _

Up to some twelve years ago, Canada was not very much known, and its population being comparatively small, it had not attracted particularly the attention of the world. But the early years of this century have opened wide for her the gates of fame; she presents herself as a peaceful conqueror, anxious to show, as stated by our illustrious leader, that the twentieth century is really Canada's century.

All eyes are turned towards us; our chances are figured on; our future is, I might say, forecasted; our mineral, agricultural, industrial and forest wealth is estimated; and fifteen or twenty years more of progress at the rapid rate of the last decade, will make of Canada an envied and coveted country, on account of its riches, its great population, its brilliant prospects.

Who will say that at any time Great Britain may not be engaged in a war requiring the concentration of all those naval forces. That day may be remote or it may be closer to us than we expect, the natural tendency being to foresee calamities only in the distant future. Will she then be in a position to give us as much help as she otherwise would have been? Certainly not.

Then, will England always possess the power and prestige which she enjoys today? That is our ardent desire, and our sincere hope. May the British empire for ever rule on land and on sea. All Canadians entertain that fervent hope. The proof lies in the very Bill submitted to the House for the maintenance of that supremacy, inasmuch as it lies within our power.

But nothing is endowed with perpetual stability. What has been the fate of these immense kingdoms to which the British empire might be compared? What has been the fate of the empire of Alexander the Great, of the Greek republics, of the Roman empire, and in more recent times of the empire built up by the lieutenant Bonaparte?

And what then? In such a juncture, inadequately protected by the mother country, without means of defence at home, our only resort would be to run about on the ramparts and witness, desolate and powerless, the landing of the invaders, or the destruction of our own merchant navy.

Let us suppose the case when we would be called to take care altogether of ourselves. Should I not tremble in making such a suggestion, seeing that since the beginning of this debate on the naval question hon. gentlemen on tlhe other side represent as a crime of high treason to forecast, or even suggest, the possibility of independence for Canada at any time. On 154J

the part of the members of parliament who are intent on enlightening public opinion, such narrow-mindedness is most regrettable, and warranted the proud reply elicited from my hon. friend for the Yukon, who, to better point out the foolishness of such empty rhetoric, reminded us that Englishmen, not of Canada, but of Great Britain, eminent statesmen, reputable writers, celebrated historians, have spoken of the independence of Canada as of a fact which may and must necessarily come about some time or other, adding that such an event would be in accord with the natural course of history as regards such dominions or colonies.

But that is not all, will hon. gentlemen believe that a Governor General of Canada has been found to echo such sentiments. It is nevertheless a fact, yes, Sir John Young at an official function at Quebec on July 15, 1869, following on his arrival, expressed feelings which were construed as an invitation to Canadians to proclaim the independence of their country. He spoke as follows:

At the present moment, Canada is in reality independent. It has its own destinies in its own hands, and its statesmen and people are recognised as competent to judge of their interests as to what course to pursue to conciliate those interests. England looks to them for her guidance, and whatever their decision may be. either to continue the present connection or in due time and in the maturity of their growth to exchange it for some other form of alliance.

The same views are expressed in the London press of the time, as witness the following extracts from the ' Thunderer ' :

There is no ground for surprise, still less for indignation, if it be asked whether it would not be better for both Englishmen and Australians if the independence the latter have, in fact, should reveive a name. The Dominion of Canada is in all respects independent. It is fitted to become independent as it has the institutions of a great power. It is surely a fair subject for inquiry whether the emancipation of the adult is not as desirable to complete the manhood of the son as it is necessary from the inability of the father to understand the peculiar circumstances of his son's life.

And the 'Times' said further:-

Incidents like these (the withdrawal of troops and the speeches of public men) coming too, in quick succession, showed that the executive government of the United Kingdom acting, as must be presumed in harmony with the imperial parliament, had resolved upon abandoning the old policy of tutelage with its pretensions and responsibilities, and urging the colonies by gentle suasion to take up the freedom of their manhood.

May I be allowed to quote another extract from that paper against the colonial system. I fear lest the hon. member for Frontenac and others whose views are not


*any broader, should have a fainting spell; hi wever, I shall take the risk; there are several medical men occupying seats in this House, and I beg of them to keep their eyes open on these likely patients in case of emergency. I shall then read the wording of the ' Times ' onslaught: not only does it advocate independence for the colonies, but it sarcastically discards the expression ' mother country ' as applied to England:-

Now said the ' Times/ what is meant by speaking of England as the mother country? What is to he understood by the description of Australia, Canada and the rest of her colonies? If all that is intended is to remind us of the historical fact that the citizens of Canada, New South Wales and Victoria are mainly of English origin and descent, we shall not quarrel with the accuracy of the statement, although we may doubt the pertinence of the phrases. England is in this sense the mother country of Australia, and just in the same way some other land, without committing ourselves to the quarrels of ethnologists, we may [DOT]say Shleswig-Holstein is the mother country of England. Again, it may be observed that if Australia be the child of England, the United States are elder brethren of the same family. It is evident that considerations like these, though extremely interesting in their proper-relations, have no necessary connection with the mutual obligations of communities, that is to say, of societies of individuals banded together for purposes of government in different parts of the world. Let us then, in the interest of truth and right conclusions, discard altogether the phrase ' mother country ' in the discussions which are before us, let us even use with deliberation words apparently, so innocent as ' England ' and ' colony/ and remember that what we are called upon to weigh and determine is the proper relations of Englishmen, Australians and Canadians.

I do not concur in the views expressed by the ' Times ' on that point. I believe that the expresion ' mother country/ in a general way, describes the status, the respective positions of England and her dominions. If I recall these facts, it is "to show to those who are unacquainted with them or have lost the memory of them to what extent freedom of opinion and speech is granted out there.

If then these British statesmen and newspapers have referred to the independence of Canada in such strong terms, and even induced Canadians to turn to it, and that without even causing the slightest surprise, *why should people here get angry or feign anger because the right hon. Prime Minister and the hon. Postmaster General and others have now and then referred to that subject in extremely moderate language, as citizens taking an interest in the future of their country? Why should these gentlemen on the other side take occasion of that to favour the House with some bits of eloquence of very doubtful quality, in regard to our so-called disloyalty. That -such winnings should be agreable to them, Mr. LACHANCE.

I do not say the contrary; all tastes are in nature, though it must be admitted some of them are peculiar, but, for the sake of us, let them spare our ears and indulge between ourselves in tht kind of sport.

Moreover, I will tell them very frankly that their unworthy denunciations do not in anv way interfere with our tranquility; our past record is the best answer the turn of mind evidenced by such appeals is almost akin to mania, to a morbid state, the analysis of which may be as much a matter of medical science as of parliamentary debate. Nevertheless, freedom of opinion exists for us as for others; we propose taking largely advantage of it; but we should before all unite with all persons of good will, and broadness of mind towards ensuring the reign of peace in this country. Those whom the spirit of discord torments or that race prejudices distract are free to waste time on the side of the ditch; but we shall continue our progress onwards towards the heights.

So, then, I am quite free to state in this House, that we are perfectly, absolutely, entirely satisfied to live under the present system; but that is not a reason why I should not be at liberty to anticipate a possible condition of independence of Canada, as well as the possible settlement in some way or other of many other problems yet unsolved.

Whom are they expecting to frighten, or alarm, or intimidate, by exclaiming: In your mind, the building of a navy is merely a step towards independence. And supposing it were so, what harm to it? However, that is not a weighty consideration in this debate; the navy is not being organized to-day with a view to conquering independence, but it will be there and will be required, should at any time independence become a reality.

Besides, to be consistent, our opponents should put a stop to all future progress of trade, industry and agriculture, for all these factors help in as great a measure as the navy, and even more so, in developing that degree of wealth, of power and of expansion in Canada which would be required to make independence a possibility.

Accordingly, although this is not the subject just now under discussion, I say it is the part of wisdom to foresee the hour when possibly Canada may separate from the British Crown, and separate without any friction, on friendly terms, owing to circumstances that are still the secret of Providence. That forecast, I repeat it, does not imply any hostility towards the mother country; but since we are discussing a question of national interest, We should consider all its aspects. Events move quickly; what are mere dreams today may be actual facts to-morrow. Some will then advocate annexation to the

United States, others independence, and what not? But whatever proposals are made, wisdom demands that we should be ready, so as not to be at the mercy of anybody.

If to-morrow the tie which binds us to the empire was broken, would there be a single Canadian to deny the desirability of equipping at once a navy? But why should we await that emergency? Are we not even now in fact an independent nation? The British Crown does not take umbrage at that designation, so lightly does that Crown weigh on the British possessions. So let us speak, and especially act, as a nation; let us make the best of the present, but let us also make preparations for the future inasmuch as human forecasts enable us with the help of experience and the teachings of history, to see through that mysterious veil.

We have obligations towards the empire as a whole, but that does not mean that -we should not mind doing an injury to Canada. Accordingly is it not part of the duty incumbent on representatives of the people to discover a means of being serviceable to both at the same time? To cooperate towards the upholding of the power of the empire, to defend our country, to protect our business interests which already aggregate several hundred millions and give promise of increasing fivefold in the near future; such is the treble task with which we are confronted. How -will we succeed in fulfilling it?

Shall we take the advice of these academic thinkers whose only teaching on that question of naval defence, is to have nothing at all to do with it? What is their plan? To delay until danger is at hand? Unless they are gods or demi-gods capable at a moment's notice of providing a well-equipped fleet risen from the deep at the snap of the fingers, what would be the outcome of their procrastination? They should beware lest in waking up they find out it is too late.

Shall we, on the other hand, take the advice of those who favour the idea of a direct contribution? In what way -would Canada and her business interests be protected thereby? To a very limited extent, in a most indirect and uncertain fashion, especially should Great Britain be at war, not to speak of the possible emergency of the mother country being crippled by her foes.

The only other alternative is that which meets all emergencies, gives satisfaction to the just claims of the Empire as well to the legitimate aspirations of Canada; that is the plan proposed in the Bill submitted to the House by the government.

Evidently the people prefer it to [DOT] all others, and justly so. Through it we ensure in a stiil greater measure, if possible,

our political and administrative autonomy. The money required for the building and maintenance of that navy will be spent here; a new field of action will be opened to Canadians; then parliament will have the exclusive control of that force which will be entrusted with the duty of protecting our territory, ensuring the safety of our trade, of our international dealings, and which may, besides, at certain critical times, act in conjunction with the fleet of the mother country, but only when the people of Canada through their representatives will have agreed to it.

True loyalism or patriotism does not consist in giving everything away blindly and rashly; it consists in giving intelligently. Since Canadians henceforth form a separate nation, and since part of its revenue must, be appropriated to military purposes insuch a way as to meet its requirements and those of the empire as well, let it be in such a way at any rate that Canada may reap from it the greatest benefit possible without interfering with the object in view.

It has been contended-the hon. gentleman from L'Islet (Mr. Paquet) who spoke recently is of that mind, and there are others-that is contrary to the constitution, or rather interfering with our autonomy, to put, under the circumstances laid down in the Bill, our navy under the command of the British Admiralty, and in the same way to take part in the wars of the empire. There can be no greater mistake. We have the right, I presume, to organize our land and sea forces for the defence of Canada. Well our right to put the Canadian navy under the control of the admiralty and to have it take part in the wars of the mother country is quite as evident. To deny it one must be in bad faith, or else be absolutely blind to the spirit or ignorant of the letter of the British North America Act of 1867 and of the militia Acts since passed by this parliament. Not only is that our right but even, under the law now in force, we are liable to be called upon to do so as regards the sea forces; even as regards the . land forces, we were in the same position 1 up to 1904, when the statute 4 Edward VII,

* cap. 23 was passed.

As a matter of fact, all our militia Acts passed since 1867, are based on the following principles:-

r 1. The King has the command of all the land and sea forces, and of the whole military and naval service of Canada. i 2. Since 1867 and until the passing, in ) 1904, of statute 4 Edward VII, cap. 23, the ' King had the right, of his own authority,

1 and without the interference or concurrence of the Governor in Council or of parliament, to call out to active service all our land and sea forces, either within or outside of the limits of the Dominion.

3. Since 1904 our land forces can be sum-

mcned to active service only through the Governor in Council or through parliament, and solely for the defence of Canada.

4. Our sea forces can even to this day be summoned to active service within or outside the boundaries of the Dominion of Canada, by the King, of his own authority, the interference or consent of the Governor in Council or of parliament.

Section 15 of the British North America Act, 1867, gives the King command of all our militia corps.

The command in chief of the land and naval militia and of all naval and military forces, of and in Canada, is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.

If these words mean anything at all, it is that the King is commander in chief of the militia, that he has the right to assume command of it, consequently to order it to wherever, he pleases and put it under the command of whomsoever he thinks fit. That section 15 is in itself a peremptory answer to those who, earnestly or otherwise, contend that the Confederation Act of 1867, does not in principle allow our forces to take part in Great Britain's wars or to put the Canadian navy under the control of the Admiralty.

That provision is reproduced in all our Militia Acts since 1867. With a view to giving effect to the provisions of that section 15 and of subsection 7 of section 91 of the Confederation Act, which provided for the organization of land and sea forces, parliament passed in 1868, our first Militia Bill, 31 Viet., cap. 40. That Act has been revised several times since then; the provisions as amended will be found under cap. 11, of 46 Viet., in chapter 41 of R.S.C., 1886. in chap. 23 of 4 Edward VII., in chap. 41 of R.S.C., 1906. It is expressly pro, vided in each of these Acts that the command of the militia is vested in the King, who exercises it in person and may delegate such power to the Governor General, not the Governor General in Council, but to the Governor General alone, as representative of the Sovereign. So that, basing myself on that legislation, I have the right to conclude that our militia can, without infringing on the principle of our autonomy, take part in the wars of the empire.

That construction on the other hand, is confirmed by other provisions of the Militia Bill; as a matter of fact, from 1867 up to the time of the passing of 4 Edward VII, chapter 23, the King had the right to call out on his own authority and without the interference or consent of the Governor General in Council or of .parliament, the whole of our forces to active service, in or outside the Dominion of Canada.

I quote section 61 of the Act of 1868:

Her Majesty may call out the militia or any part thereof, for active service either within or without Canada, at any time when Mr. LACHANCE.

it appears advisable so to do by reason of war, invasion or insurrection, or danger of any of them, and the militiamen, when so called out for actual service, shall continue to serve for at least one year from the date of their being called out for actual service, if required so to do; or for any longer period which Her Majesty appoints.

46 Victoria and the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1886, also contained that provision. So that ever since confederation the King had the absolute right of calling out on his own authority our military forces to active service, in or outside the Dominion of Canada. On whose behalf and for what object might they be called to do active service outside of Canada, if not to take part in England's wars.

In 1904, the Militia Act is revised in part in 4 Edward VII, chapter 23. Radical amendments are then effected, particularly by vesting in the Governor in Council alone the right of calling out the militia to do active service in or outside of Canada and by providing for the summoning beforehand of parliament. Thus, section 70 reads as follows:

The Governor in council may place the militia or any part thereof, on active service anywhere in Canada, and also beyond Canada, for the defence thereof, at any time when it appears advisable so to do by reason of emergency.

So then it will not he the King alone, acting on his own authority, but the Governor in Council, that is our cabinet ministers, responsible to this House and to the people of the country, who shall henceforth have the right to call out the militia for active service. So that constitutes a radical change in our favour.

Section 70 says; ' for the defence thereof ' (Canada). These words and that restriction appear for the first time in our Militia Law. What are we to infer from it, if not that, previously to that, our forces could be called out to do active service for other purposes than the defence of Canada, and for what object then could it be, if not to wage war in the interest of the British flag?

However that statute 4 Edward VII., relates only to land forces, as stated in section 136:

The following Acts of -the parliament of Canada are repealed, in so far as the active and reserve militia land force is concerned, to wit, &c.

Statute 4, Edward VII., chapter 23 has been included in the Revised Statutes for 1906; hut the latter have not abrogated the acts previous to 1906 in regard to the naval forces. To satisfy one self as to that, a reference to schedule A which gives the list of the acts repealed, will suffice. Accordingly, the naval militia has always been and is till to-day liable to being called out directly by the King to do active service within or outside the boundaries of Canada.

466 L

In that regard, the Bill now under consideration is a step further towards a state of more complete autonomy, since, in the future, it will be the ministers in council, or parliament, who will have the right to -call out our war navy to do active service.

It has also been contended that there is no need for Canada providing armaments, as it is protected in virtue of the Monroe doctrine. That is indeed a most extraordinary statement. The hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Lemieux), has already victoriously answered that contention. However, I may be allowed to add a few remarks. That doctrine was given expression to in 1823 by President James Monroe. It is a theory, nothing more, a theory which has not the force of precedent, if I may so expres myself, because it would be going too far to state that it has received the approval or concurrence, or even the acquiescence, of the diplomatic world, or of the chanceries, and nobody will contend that it is part of the rules and principles of international code.

Besides, even supposing it had these features, a circumstance which I would welcome, that doctrine has reference only to the intercourse of European powers with Americans, but has nothing whatever with the intercourse between one American power and another. That distinction is the essential characteristic of that doctrine; and even if it should be a mean^ of protection for us against the peoples of the old world, it would not be a means of protection against the claims, the encroachments or hostilities of the nations which people the American continent. Therefore, I say that doctrine is not a safeguard for us against all and every one, and does not warrant us in remaining inactive without armaments.

The opposition, which in part recognizes the leadership of the hon. member for Halifax, proposes an amendment while opposition No. 2 led forsooth by the hon. member for Jacques 'Cartier presents an amendment to the amendment, both demanding a plebiscite but for different reasons in each case. As several hon. gentlemen on this side have pointed out, and justly so, a plebiscite is demanded in regard to an expenditure of $43,000,000, appropriated towards the building of a navy which will be our property and constantly in use by us; but all thought of a plebiscite is rejected when, as per the amendment of the opposition, it is proposed to contribute $25,000,000 to the British exchequer as a free gift. Surely that is a striking example of a breach of logic, no wonder the opposition has not yet been able to explain, such inconsistency on their part.

Then, as was stated by the hon. member for Bed Deer, if we repeat that contribution two or three times, it will ultimately turn out to be a direct invasion of the principle which the opposition is so prone to invoke: 'No representation, no vote.'

Now, there is a matter concerning which the opposition might, with better grace to my mind, have sugggested a referendum, it would have been in regard to that proposal of a gift of $25,000,000.

The hon. member for East Grey answered: 'There will be no more contributions.' How does he know? Has he consulted the augurs, the witches, and put in motion the sacred tripod to be thus in a position to utter an oracle. At the time of the sending of the Canadian contingent in 1899, it was also stated that there would not be any more contributions; barely ten years elapsed and we are called upon to contribute once more.

The question of naval defence, it is contended, is a novel one. It cannot be gainsaid that it is before the public in explicit terms since the conference of 1902, when it was proposed to provide for that defence. General elections have taken place in 1904, a new conference was held in 1907, a further general election took place in 1908, and every time that same Liberal government was kept in power, and, inferentially, its then policy which has not been changed since, may be said to have been approved.

But, to say the truth, it was not in 1902 for the first time that the question came up, it is in 1867, when the British North America Act wa3 up for discussion. As a matter of fact, it recurs in all our militia Acts which have been passed in the meantime, such as the Act of 1868 which provides for the organization of land and sea forces. So then, for 43 years, almost a half century, the naval defence proposal is grafted on our legislation, notwithstanding which a referendum is called for under pretense that the question is a novel one. Evidently, advocates of the plebiscite idea are lacking in information.

But I might submit a further consideration which is very peremptory to my mind. Is not this proposal concerned with the defence of Canada and her most vital interests? Now, is not providing for the defence of the country the primary right of representatives of the people a right undeniably implied in their mandate and its most essential feature? Even more, it is not only their right, it is their duty, the first, most sacred and the most imperative of duties, and if in this respect we were to accede to this plebiscite proposal, I am not very sure that we would not be a subject for wonder, nay for laughter, to the rest of the world.

Like many others, I had hoped that this country would not be called upon to assume the heavy burden of armaments, that when it would have reached its full manhood, warfare would have become a thing of the past. Accordingly, it was not without a feeling of pain, a sort of anguish, that we to-day talk on the floor of this House of the possibility of war for Canada,

a land of hope, a land of hospitality; it is not without a pang, without some bitterness, that still close to the cradle out of which our young country has just come to take its place among nations, we should have to evoke scenes of bloody warfare; and we mourn at the thought of adding to these precious jewels with which we had adorned it-civil liberty, religious freedom, political liberty, liberty of trade- the battle axe, not for purposes of attack, but for purposes of defence, direct or indirect. How much more we would have preferred to adorn it with olive and laurel blossoms, as symbols of peace.

But alas, the hour of disarmament, of universal peace has not yet come; and should we not despair at finding that even the most civilized nations have heretofore as a last resort pinned their faith to the effectiveness of their guns. What would be the use of persistently taking refuge in doctrines and theories of a very humanitarian character, and which all accept and admire, if, at a certain moment we are made to decamp at the point of the bayonet. War is abhorrent to all of us, but, if war is declared or waged against us, are we foolishly to let other people take our lives without a move, so as to express our aversion for such a scourge.

For six centuries past, humanity has condemned war, and during all that time nations were waging war on one another under pretense of rights to vindicate, of grievances to avenge. Will ever a means be found to ensure the maintenance of universal peace? We may at least hope so. But before that is found, are we justified in dispensing with means of defence? Would it not be almost equivalent to suicide?

Therefore, I say it is a duty incumbent on us to overcome that aversion, and to consider the present and the future as practical men who love their country. Since it is necessary, let us begin by providing Canada with the means of protection indispensable towards ensuring her safety, her advancement and the respect of foreigners in her national life, as well as in her business transactions; but at the same time, let us express the hope that we shall never be called upon to draw the sword against other peoples; should that be the sole result of armaments, it would be ample compensation for our sacrifices. Yes, God forbid that our immense plains should ever be moistened by anything else but the morning dews! God forbid that in our Canada the roaring of guns should ever be heard, except, to proclaim the benefits of peace, to echo the rejoicings of our people and proclaim the glories of our country.


George Halsey Perley (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE H. PERLEY (Argenteuil).

Mr. Speaker, the question before the House is so important that I desire to say a few Mr. LACHANCE.

words on it before the debate closes. This Canadaof ours is the greatest self-governing colony of the British empire, and so far as I have been able to judge we have received in our day and generation at least, just as fair treatment from the motherland as we could reasonably wish. In the course of the debate some hon. gentlemen have referred to incidents that have happened in the days gone by, but such past events have little concern with the issue now before the country. The United States rebelled against Great Britain for grave reasons, and Great Britain learned the lesson how to govern her colonies so as to obtain their love and respect. Now, Sir, there is no one in this House more loyal to British connection than I am. I suppose that the right hon. gentleman who leads the House would possibly refer to me as a dreadful imperialist, but that appellation has many different meanings, and the proper meaning of that word is one who believes in maintaining the British empire by all reasonable means. I am a Canadian first, I am for Canada, but I believe that it is to our interest to stay in the British empire, because to my mind it is thus that we can best ensure our peace, our security, and our happiness as a nation. I need not refer to the present day greatness of the British empire or to the noble part she has played in history. Never has the world seen such a grand empire, and the dearest wish of my heart is to see it perpetuated if that can be accomplished and in a way satisfactory to all the component nations. I believe, Sir, that our race is surely capable of finding some practical solution of imperial problems, among which this one of naval defence is now presented for our consideration. The hon. the leader of the opposition has very closely set forth in his speech my views when he gave utterance to the following language:

It is not wise to prophesy what the future may bring forth, but I would venture to hope that a defence committee or an imperial conference having special jurisdiction over defence matters, composed of men from both parties in Great Britain itself as well as in the self-governing nations of the empire, would have some control over the organization of imperial defence, and as an outcome of such a committee or such a conference I would expect that in future Great Britain would engage in no great war without knowing before hand that she would have the support and the sympathy of every one of the great self-governing nations of the empire. This would give to these dominions a voice in the control of war, because I thoroughly agree that if we are to take nart in the permanent defence of this great empire wre must have some control and some voice in snch matters.

It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that this prophecy is sure to come true, if the empire is to hold together, and if we should now ask for some representation of that

kind in the empire's councils, provided we give regular and effective assistance to the imperial navy, in what way may seem best to us, is it not likely that Great Britain would grant our request. Autonomy is certainly essential to the welfare of a colony, but not absolute autonomy in everything. The whole empire must be greater than any one part of it, greater than Canada or the United Kingdom in themselves, and the voice of the empire so expressed would carry greater weight, and have more power than the voice of any single Dominion. Each part of the empire must have control over its own local affairs, but some means ought to to be found so that in future, if there is to be a war, that war will be declared by the empire, and not by the United Kingdom as at present. And, Sir, if we are to stay in this British empire, as I hope we may, then we must do our share to defend ourselves, for that is the only thing that would satisfy Canadians who are a self-reliant, and a self-respecting people. I think, Sir, that we should do our share of the empire's defence of our own free will. Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and every nation must protect itself. I do not pretend to say that it is easy to declare exactly how this should be done, or how we should do our share in the empire's defence. In my view, Sir, the question has not been long enough before the people. The Prime Minister stated that the people of Canada had the question before them since 1902, but I do not agree with the right hon. gentleman in that. It is true that in 1902 the question was raised at the imperial conference of that year, but until the past year it never came up for consideration before the people as a whole. I think I am safe in saying that not five per cent of the people of Canada ever heard of or knew what resolutions were passed in 1902, and therefore, I submit that our people have not had sufficient time to consider this very serious matter. I believe that it is to the interest of all classes and races . in this Dominion that British connection should be maintained, for I think I am safe in saying that no country except Great Britain has ever given to her colonies such civil and religious liberty as Canada enjoys. And, in this connection I may say that it is my belief that the great masses of the people of Canada, not only English Canadians, but French Canadians, are loyal to the British Throne, and appreciate the advantages which we have received from the motherland. In 1870, Sir George Etienne Cartier who is generally acknowledged to be as great a statesman as Canada ever produced was Minister of Militia, and in that year a question arose with regard to Canada providing a permanent militia to replace some of the imperial troops which had been withdrawn from this country.

Through his influence ana the influence of others the matter was arranged, and Sir George Cartier prepared a state paper on May 19, 1870, from which I quote as follows:

The announcement in the former despatch (from Lord Granville) of the 12th February last, that the arrangements therein contemplated are contingent upon time of peace, and are in no way intended to alter or diminish the obligations which exist on both sides in case of foreign war, is very satisfactory to the Canadian government, who receive with gladness the reiteration of the assurance conveyed in the despatch of the l7th June, 1665, that the imperial government fully acknowledged the obligation of defending every portion of the empire, with all the resources at its command, on the reciprocal assurances given by the Canadian ministers, then in London, that Canada was ready to devote all her resources, both in men and money, to the maintenance of her connection with the mother country.

This paper was concurred in unanimously by the Dominion cabinet on May 20, 1870, and it shows the feeling of Sir George Cartier at that time and the feeling of the people whom he represented.

Now, Sir, it seems to me that the first thing we ought to decide in connection with this matter at present is that whatever we do shall be efficient. I do not believe that this country should spend a vast sum of money without giving any real help to- the empire. Whatever differences of opinion there may be in this country on this question, we surely all agree in that. The present proposal of the government is one of no real practical value. It seems to me that it is only a farce, and will only result in our having a false sense of security, while we spend vast sums of money, which will go on increasing year by year; and we shall not have any ships which, in case of war, will be of any real benefit to us or to the empire in helping her to defend us. I believe this government has tried to deceive the people m this matter; it has tried to make them believe that it is really proposing some effective measure, that it is doing what the British admiralty wishes it to do. Last summer there was in London a conference of the self-governing colonies. I am not going into the details of this part of the question, because it has already been discussed in this House by many of the speakers who have preceded me. But in general I would say that at thiat conference the British admiralty stated that as a matter of naval strategy the best thing the colonies could do would be to contribute in money; but at the same time it was recognized that that would not be satisfactory to the colonies. Then the British minister, Mr. McKenna, stated that whiat the admiralty would really like would be a fleet unit on the Pacific. Australia had

promised a fleet unit, New Zealand had promised the principal ship of a fleet unit, Great Britain herself was to give a third, and what the admiralty would like was that Canada should give a fourth. The Canadian representatives demurred at that, and asked that something should be suggested that would not cost so much money. Then the British government suggested that Canada might get an auxiliary Bristol, some cruisers and other vessels, in accordance with the scheme now proposed by this government. The British -admiralty did not say that these ships would be of any particular service to them in time of war; yet this government has adopted this scheme and put it before the people of this country as a fulfilment of the wishes of the British admiralty. In the speech from the Throne last November there were the following words:

Two members of my government attended the imperial conference called by His Majesty's government, on the question of defence. A plan was adopted, after consultation with the admiralty, for the organization of a Canadian naval service, on the lines of the resolution of the House of Commons of the 29th of March last.

This clause in the speech from the Throne was drafted for the purpose of making the people believe that the plan suggested by this government was the one proposed by the admiralty. 1 submit that these words should not have been put into His Excellency's mouth when the government intended to bring down this Bill, which does not provide for any effective assistance. Moreover, the government's plan is not on the lines of the resolution of last March. That resolution has been fully discussed, and I do not propose to quote it now; but I understood it to mean that we Canadians were prepared to render effective assistance in the defence of the empire when it was required. The resolution of last March was passed under special circumstances, and was intended to show to the world that we were a unit in our desire to maintain the British empire, and to do what was reasonable to that end. At the same time, I do not argue that the exact words of that resolution are binding for ever. Circumstances change, and while our intent is the same, we may carry out that intent in a different way from what was proposed at that time. The Prime Minister has attempted in his speech to lead the country to believe that we are not ready to act up to this resolution while the government is. On February 3, at page 3035 of 'Hansard' thie right hon. gentleman said:

When this resolution was moved, and accepted by a unanimous vote, we believed that it would be binding upon the other side of Mr. PEELEY.

the House as it is binding upon this side, but in this _we made a mistake. We supposed when this resolution had been voted on, gentlemen on the other side of the House who had given their assent would at least have the small merit of consistency, but in this we were deceived. It never entered our minds that men on the other side of the House would go back on the vote they had solemnly given. In tins again we had made a mistake. We paid them too great a compliment.

I submit that the government itself has not carried out this resolution and that this proposal of the government is not in accordance with it. The resolution was passed unanimously by the House, but the government ha3 taken to itself the sole right to interpret it. In that resolution are the words:

Along the lines suggested by the admiralty at the last imperial conference.

This proposal of the government does not follow the lines suggested by the admiralty at the last imperial conference. To establish that I shall read a part of the English report of the 1907 conference contained on page 129 where Lord Tweedmouth says:

We welcome you and we ask you to take some leading part in making more complete than it is at present the naval defence of the empire. I wish to recognize all that our cousins over the sea have done in consequence of decisions of former conferences. I know that you gave to the government and to the admiralty with a free and unstinted hand, the help that you thought you could manage to give. Gentlemen, I have only one reserva-tation to make, and in making it I ask that, as we have proved ourselves successful in the past, you should put your trust in us now. The only reservation that the admiralty desire to make is, that they claim to have the charge of the strategical questions which are necessarily involved in naval defence, to hold the command of the naval forces of the country, and to arrange the distribution of ships in the best possible manner to resist attacks and to defend the empire at large, whether it be our own islands or the dominions beyond the seas. We thoroughly recognize that we are responsible for that defence. We want you to help us in that defence, we want you to give us all the assistance you can, but' we do not come to you as beggars; we gladly take all you can give us, but at the same time, if you are not inclined to give us the help that we hope to have from you, we acknowledge our absolute obligation to defend the King's dominions across the seas to the best of our ability.

In other words, the only thing that Lord Tweedmouth asked was that they should have charge of the strategical question of naval defence in case of naval war, and this proposal of the government does not so provide. Therefore I say that when the right hon. gentleman who leads this House undertook to make the country believe that we. had gone back on our resolution while the government had stuck to it, he is re-

versing the true position, because this government has certainly not brought down a Bill or a suggestion of naval defence which accords with the resolution of last March. The right hon. the Prime Minister in his speech on the address in reply to the speech from the Throne on November 15 last, said:

Need I say to my hon. friend that whether we have such a navy or not, we do not loose our right 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.

Clauses 18 and 19 of the Bill provide that the Governor in Council may place at the disposal of His Majesty the Canadian ships which this government proposes to build. Clause 19 provides that if the Governor in Council decides to place our ships at the disposal of the British admiralty then parliament must be called at once to consider it, but if the government decides not to place the ships at the disposal of the admiralty then nothing happens, parliament is not called together, and the ships do not go. It seems to me a curious distinction. If parliament is to decide as to what the ships shall do, then parliament should decide whether it is for or against. I do not see why this distinction has been put in the Bill. In any case the right hon. gentleman and the other members of thi3 government must know that these clauses in the Bill are wholly misleading. In case of a war between Great Britain and some foreign country, that foreign country will be the one to settle whether Canada is at war or not, and if the country which is at war with Great Britain attacks our vessels we must then fight or haul down the Union Jack and practically secede from the empire. So I say to the government that these clauses must have been placed in the Bill to mislead somebody, or other, because it is impossible that Canada should keep out of any war that Great Britain may be in, if the foreign country which is at war with Great Britain chooses to come here and attack us.

This seems to be too important a matter for any government to have the right to decide. I do not think that any Canadian government, I do not care who might be at the head of affairs, should have it in its power to virtually decide in this extraordinary way that Canada should become independent. We know that this Liberal government arrogates to itself great powers in every direction, but surely it is for the people of this country to decide a matter of so vital importance, and not for any government.

I was exceedingly sorry to see that the right hon. the Prime Minister in discussing this question attempted to make party capital out of it. He followed the

Liberal party press in trying to make out that this plan of the government had been agreed to by both parties. The Liberal press has in many cases referred to this Naval Bill as the Laurier-Bordenjorogram-me. For instance I find that the Toronto 'Globe' on January 3, in an editorial says:

The ' Citizen ' virtually says that Mr. Ellis is prepared to swallow the Laurier-Borden naval programme, even to the extent of leaving the control of the fleet to the Canadian people in time of peace.

I claim that this is an unfair way of putting the case as there was no Laurier-Borden programme whatever. There was a resolution passed unanimously by this House in March last, but the difficulty regarding it consists in the interpretation which might be put upon it, and in the way in which it might be thought best to carry it out. If it was intended by the government that this Naval Bill should be a joint arrangement agreed to "by both parties, then, I submit, it was the duty of the government to keep the leader of the opposition informed as to what was going on, to consult with him and to arrive at some understanding satisfactory to everybody as to what was best to do. I have always thought that that would have been good statesmanship, and that in a matter of this kind it would have been better for Canada if the government had taken the leader of the opposition into their confidence when this matter was being discussed and tried to have arrived at some programme that would have been satisfactory to both sides. Instead of that, the proceedings of the conference were kept absolutely secret, and even after parliament met it was with the greatest difficulty that we could find out exactly what the government had decided to do. When the proposal of the government in this matter did come down, it was found by our side of the House to be entirely different from what the resolution and the admiralty called for. As an alternative of this plan of the government, the leader of the opposition has suggested another, which will not only be more economical for this country, but will give a great deal more help to Great Britain than the proposal suggested by the government. When the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) moved the second reading of this Bill, it seemed to me that he did not take the dignified course that I should have expected of him on that occasion. This question is, perhaps, the most momentous one that has ever been brought before this parliament, because the consequences which will flow from it will extend over many years and the decision taken at this time must greatly affect the course we shall have to pursue

in the future. When the Prime Minister was moving the second reading of such a Bill, it seems to me, he ought to have confined himself to a statesmanlike review of the Bill in order that every person should understand it thoroughly, and that the people of the country might have a chance to consider it carefully. Instead of that, the right hon. gentleman made a campaign speech in this House without discussing very much the merits of the Bill. He began by taunting this side of the House because, he said, we had a divergence of views, we did not all think alike. He spoke of this at some length, attempting to set one part of the opposition against the other, and to have the country know that we had some difference of opinion. The right hon. gentleman, when he discussed the question in that way, forgot that he himself had changed his mind regarding this question, and that in 1907 he had refused to do practically exactly what the government now proposes to do. In the conference of 1907, it was moved by Mr. Smartt:

That this conference, recognizing the vast importance of the services rendered by the navy to the defence of the empire and the protection of its trade, and the paramount importance of continuing to maintain the navy 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 up-keep 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 services, in such manner as may be decided upon after consultation with the admiralty and as would best accord with their varying circumstances.

You will notice that this resolution does not call for any particular form of contribution; it may be given in the form of money, or the establishment of naval defence, or in other service. When that resolution was moved, Sir Wilfrid Laurier said: I

I am sorry to say, 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 our respect in that country before committing ourselves to a general claim.

So, the right hon. gentleman changed his mind since 1907, and it seems to me that, when moving the second reading of this Bill, he might have occupied his lime to much better advantage than in talking of any difference of opinion there may he among members of the opposition in this House. We may have our differences of opinion; we acknowledge that frankly. Our friends opposite have as great differences among themselves, but they keep them quiet for fear they may lose control of the reins of power.


George Halsey Perley (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)


I take great pleasure in supporting the amendment of tlie leader of the opposition on this occasion. It seems to me that in the critical state which exists at present in Europe, we ought to do something to show the mother country and the world where we stand, and that we are willing to help the mother country in case of emergency. As to whether there is an emergency or not, I will quote the words of Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, a man better fitted than any other to understand the true position of affairs:

When the German programme is completed Germany will have a fleet of thirty-three Dreadnoughts. That fleet will be the most powerful the world has ever seen. This' imposes upon us the necessity of rebuilding the whole of the fleet. That is the situation. If we were to fall into a position of inferiority we should cease to count for anything among the nations of Europe, and we should he fortunate if our liberty were left, and we did not become the conscript appendage of some stronger power. That is a brutal way of stating the case; but it is the truth.

These are not the words of a jingo or a scaremonger, but of Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary. Under these circumstances, I say, it is our duty to show Great Britain and the world that we are prepared to assist her in an emergency of this kind. This we can do of our own free will, and it would in no wise compromise our autonomy, which we are all as anxious to maintain as the right hon. Prime Minister himself. There would be no promise of an annual contribution, and the question as to what we might do in the future would be left entirely in abeyance. This would enable our people to have time to really understand this question before finally deciding what Canada ought to do. Wh:it strikes me, I may say, most forcibly in this matter, after hearing all the discussions in this House and talking it over with many people outside, is how little the people understand it. It has not been before us long enough for us to thoroughly grasp it, and there is no doubt in my mind that the ideas of the people regarding it have not yet been crystallized, although it is generally recognized that Canada should assist in her own naval defence according to her ability. The acute stage of this question has only lasted about a year, and there have been no debates or meetings throughout the country at which this question has been expounded so that the people might have a chance of hearing and understanding all sides before making up their minds. How can we possibly expect that the people should thoroughly understand this question when those of us who have studied it most carefully find it exceedingly difficult to make up our minds what method would be the best for us to follow? It strikes me that the question is one which

requires plenty of discussion, and I do not think that a plebiscite would be the best way in which to accomplish this purpose. That would give us no chance for discussion and explanation. The only real way in which the people can reach an understanding on this problem is to have it taken up in a general election. If we had a plebiscite or referendum, there would be no reason why any one should go out on the platform in the cities or the country districts to discuss this question from all sides and enable the people to understand it, whereas if we had it discussed in a general election, the fate of the government would depend on the issue, and we would be all out trying to have the people look at it as we do, and the people would really have a chance of learning something about it.

In conclusion, I would say that I have the honour to represent a county with a mixed population, in almost exactly the same proportions as are to be found in the Dominion. I firmly believe that both the French and the English would vote to protect their own homes and firesides if they only understood this question. I believe that the great majority of the people of all classes are in favour of the British empire and the maintenance of our British connection, but I am sure that they do not want to contribute regularly or annually_ to the defence of the empire without having some say regarding the questions of war and the methods of using their contributions of ships or money. To my mind, this is the greatest question which has been before this parliament for many a day, and consequently our decision cannot fail to be most important. It will be one which will affect the course ot events, not only in this country but in various parts of the British empire, for many years to come, and it seems to me that the people of Canada should be given ample time to thoroughly understand this question and to give it their cool and calm judgment before it is finally decided.


Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. O. S. CROCKET (York, N.B.).

I do not intend to occupy much of the time of the House at this late stage of the debate. The question has been so exhaustively discussed that it is almost impossible for one to take it up at this time without treading on ground which has already been traversed again and again. I feel, however, that I cannot allow the motion for the second reading to pass without expressing, otherwise than by registering a simple vote, my uncompromising opposition to the measure. I regard the Bill as the most revolutionary proposal, so far as the relations of Canada with the mother country are concerned, which has ever been submitted to this parliament for its approval.

I have carefully studied the Bill, and can view it in no other light than that it is a direct blow, deliberately aimed by its authors, at British connection. What proof of this, you ask?

I reply that barring clause..4, which nominally, and only nominally, vests the command in chief of the forces in the King, there is not a line or a word from the beginning to the end of the Bill, which, by the remotest implication, acknowledges that any connection whatsoever exists between this country and Great Britain and her other over-seas dominions. On the contrary, the whole Bill studiously ignores the existence of any connection and is framed upon the bold assumption that Canada is an independent nation, owing no allegiance to or interest in the British empire. As I have said, clause 4 of this Bill nominally, and only nominally, vests the command in chief of the proposed naval forces in the King. But for this one clause, the effect of which, as I will show, is completely nullified by subsequent clauses, the Bill is precisely such an one as might be passed by this parliament if it were the parliament of a separate and distinct republic. Clause 4 of the Bill is inserted for the reason that the constitution which the parliament of Great Britain gave this country makes it impossible to omit it. My hon. friend from Vancouver (Mr. Cowan), in the very telling and eloquent address which he delivered the other night in opposition _ to this Bill, quoted section 15 of the British North America Act. Let me quote that section again:

The command in chief of the land and naval militia and of all naval and military forces of and in Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.

That provision makes it impossible for this parliament to divest His Majesty of the command in chief of our naval forces reserved to him by the terms of that section; and I firmly believe that -were it not for the fact that this parliament is thus restrained by imperial enactment, the name of the King w'ould not have appeared in this Bill from beginning to end. However, it does appear for the reason I have given, and then follow immediately clauses which completely nullify and abrogate clause 4. Let me read clause 5:

5. The minister shall have the control and management of all naval affairs, including the purchase, maintenance and repair of the ordnance, ammunition, arms, armouries, stores, munition and habiliments of war intended for the use of the naval service.

And clauses 6, 7 and 8:-

6. The minister shall have the control and management, including the construction, purchase, maintenance and repair, of naval es-

tablishments and of ships and other vessels for the naval service.

7. There shall be appointed an officer, not lower in rank than rear admiral, to be called the director of the naval service of Canada. If a suitable officer of such rank is not available then an officer of the rank of captain may be appointed, who shall have the rank of commodore of the first class.

2. The director of the naval service of Canada shall, subject to the regulations and under instructions of the minister, be charged with the direction of the naval service.

8. The Governor in Council may appoint a naval board to advise the minister on all matters relating to naval affairs which are referred to the board by the minister.

2. The composition, procedure and powers of the board shall be as prescribed.

Then we have sections 17 and 18:-

17. The Governor in Council may place the naval forces or any part thereof, on active service at any time when it appears advisable so to do by reason of an emergency.

18. In case of an emergency the Governor in Council may place at the disposal of His Majesty, for general service in the Royal Navy, the naval service, or any part thereof, any ships or vessels of the naval service, and the officers and seamen serving in such ships or vessels, or. any officers or seamen belonging to the naval service.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it will be seen by every one who carefully examines the language of those particular sections, 17 and 18, that they are absolutely inconsistent with section 4 and with the command in chief of the navy being vested in His Majesty. Take section 18. How absurd it is to say that the command in chief of the navy is vested in the King and then immediately to follow it with the statement which appears in this section that the Governor in Council may place at the disposal of the commander in chief the naval forces of Canada? The Governor in Council may place at the disposal of the King, who is the commander in chief under section 4, the naval forces of Canada and the Governor in Council may not place this navy, of which the King is the nominal commander in chief, at the disposal of His Majesty for service in the imperial navy. The Governor in Council may withhold the navy from its commander in chief, the King, or may refuse to allow the navy which is' to be established by his Bill to co-operate with the British navy in any war in which Great Britain may be involved. Under section 17 the Governor in Council, who is the government of this country and at the present time means none other than Sir Wilfrid Laurier, is authorized to send this navy to the assistance of any nation of the world without regard to the intereste of the British government. There is authority given under the terms of that section to place the naval forces, or any part thereof,


Oswald Smith Crocket

Conservative (1867-1942)



on active service at any time and in any place. They are given full power, if they dare to exercise it to send this navy to the assistance of France, United States, or even Germany. These, it seems to me are powers which should not be vested in the government of this country-I do not care of whom composed. Under section 17 of this Bill, Sir Wilfrid Laurier may send the navy to the assistance of any nation in the world as he may under section 18 withhold its co-operation with the British navy and prevent its participation in any war in which Great Britain may be engaged. It is very clear to me, and, I think, must be clear to any one who has carefully examined the provisions ot these sections, that they divest His Majesty the King, of the command in chief of the naval forces in Canada, and that they are, therefore, unconstitutional. I believe that if the British government is well advised, if its members have not been duped by the constant dinging into their ears by the Prime Minister and his antiimperialistic colleagues of this wearisome cry of autonomy, they will advise that the royal assent be withheld from this Bill until at least these two clauses which are clearly in violation of section 15 of the British North America Act are expunged. If these clauses stand and are allowed to become law it is as clear as the noonday sun that the Bill places in the hands of the Goverinor in Council an instrument in the form on an absolutely independent navy the use or non-use of which may be fraught with the most far-reaching consequences to our position as a Dominion of the British empire or as a nation of the world.

Let the right honourable gentleman, who has so often offended the British sentiment of this country, have his way, when it comes to the question of Canada going to the aid of the motherland in any war which mav arise, and let him refuse to send the so-called Canadian navy, if he choose or if he dare. What of the consequences?

. It is only necessary to ask the question. Beyond all doubt, his ultimatum in such a contingency would be a declaration of independence.

Is this parliament, are the people of this country willing to place such a power in the hands of this or any government or Prime Minister, especially in the hands of the present Prime Minister, who, in this parliament only a few days ago, boastfully stated that he was no imperialist, who has declared, over and over again, on the floors of parliament, in the province of Quebec and even upon the soil of a foreign country, that the goal of his aspiration was * independence ' and the severing of the tie that binds us to the motherland, who, in the imperial

conference of 1907 registered the Dominion of Canada-to the. shame of every patriotic Canadian-as the only colony of the empire which was not willing to contribute in any way to the maintenance of the naval supremacy of the British empire, and who since this Bill was introduced had had the temerity to state in the loyal city of Toronto, that the King has no rights in'this country except what the parliament of Canada has given to him?

Why does the government of Canada want a navy separate from, and independent of the British navy, repudiating, as this Bill does, all connection with the British admiralty? Is it that we know better! how to build a navy? Is it that we know better how to man and run a navy? Is it that we can build or maintain it more cheaply or more efficiently than the British admiralty? Is it that a navy constructed under the direction of the government of Canada will be more valuable and effective for the defence of the empire, or for the defence of Canada alone, if you like, than the British navy? Not one of these questions but has to be answered in the negative-no, to every one of them. 1 do not think that a single hon. gentleman on the other side of the House would contend for one moment that we know better how to build or man a navy than do the British' -admiralty or that a navy built in this country will be more effective for the defence of the empire or of Canada than a navy co-operating with the British navy and under the direction of the British admiralty. Then, why is it that the government is determined to build and run a navy on its own responsibility? It is because and only because the government is more zealous to defend Canada against even the semblance of British connection than it is to defend Canada or the empire against the ships or guns of a foreign foe.

Autonomy, autonomy, they shout when the shores of Great Britain and the integrity of the British empire are threatened by a grave and imminent peril, and when our autonomy, so-called, has never once in our history been restrained or threatened in the slightest degree so far as the full and plenary powers which have been assigned to this parliament by the British North America Act are concerned.

Then, what do they mean by this cry of autonomy? They mean, in my humble judgment, just precisely what the word in its true signification means-they mean independence, they mean separation; they mean, in short, what Sir Wilfrid Laurier has so repeatedly declared is the goal of his_ aspiration : Independence and disunion, the severing of the tie that binds Canada to the motherland. That is the reason, and the only reason why the parliament of Canada is asked, when laying

down its naval policy, to recognize no association or connection with the greatest navy of the world-the pride of every loyal British subject-and to own no allegiance to the greatest empire in history. 'This parliament may stand for that, but I venture the prediction that the people of this country will not. Certainly, as one member of this parliament, I do not propose to stand for it. In my judgment this is the paramount objection to this Bill, that it makes for disunion. But it is not by any means the only objection. No matter from what standpoint we regard it -whether we look at it from an imperial standpoint or a Canadian standpoint, or from a purely practical business standpoint-there does not seem to be a single consideration of any kind to commend it, unless indeed the huge expenditure of money for which it provides is its commendation in the minds of hon. gentlemen opposite. It ignores the present threatened danger to the supremacy of the British navy, which is the only reason for our doing anything at all at the present time. It does absolutely nothing to meet this emergency, in as much as the navy for which it provides cannot by any possibility be ready for action for years after the crisis has passed and Britain's supremacy has been decided, probably once and for all. It provides for a navy whose ships will be obsolete before they are ready to be manned; a navy of such puny proportions tha't even if it were ready for action it would be incapable of attack and incapable of defence; a navy whose only function in the event of war, according to the statement of the government's principal French Canadian newspaper organ in Montreal, will be to elude pursuit; a navy which would not only be useless but positively mischievous and dangerous. But, Sir, a navy which will entail upon the Canadian people an initial capital expenditure estimated by the government at $16,000,000 or $17,000,000, and an annual expenditure for upkeep and maintenance estimated at $6,000,000 or $7,000,000; and, if the past-record of this government in the matter of financial estimates affords any criterion, these figures will have to be trebled and even quadrupled. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, this Bill, as was pointed out by the member for Argenteuil (Mr. Perley), violates all the essential principles of the resolution passed by this parliament on the 29th of March last. It completely ignores, as I have said, the present emergency. It provides for the establishment of a navy absolutely independent of the British navy, contrary to the advice of the British admiralty. It provides for a navy owning no connection or association with the Royal Navy of Great Britain, whereas the resolution of last year distinctly laid it down that if our contribution to imperial defence

should take the form of a navy to be built by Canada, it should be in co-operation with and in close relation to the imperial navy along the lines suggested by the admiralty. For these reasons I propose to vote against this Bill.

In respect to the amendment moved by my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) though I fully agree that this parliament should not venture to commit Canada to such a novel and far-reaching policy as the government now proposes, without first obtaining a mandate from the people I cannot support the amendment of the hon. gentleman for the reason that he has moved it as an amendment to the amendment proposed by the hon. leader of the opposition, and if it were carried it would supplant the amendment of the leader of the opposition, which not only provides that the people of the country shall have an opportunity of passing upon the question of a Canadian navy, and in a more regular and constitutional manner, before the country is committed to such a policy, but which at the same time provides for an immediate contribution of two Dreadnoughts to the British admiralty to meet the present crisis. I shall, therefore, vote with the greatest confidence for the amendment proposed by the leader of the opposition, and I shall vote with equal confidence against the second reading of this Bill, which I consider, as I have already stated, is the most revolutionary proposal which has ever been submitted to this parliament so far as the relations of Canada with the British empire are concerned.



St. Anne followed the example of other hon. gentlemen on the opposition side of the House, notably the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Cowan) in making reflections upon the loyalty of the Prime Minister; but what might be excused in the hop. member for Vancouver cannot be excused in the hon. member for Ste. Anne, who at one time occupied a dignified position on the bench. These two gentlemen set up their ODinions against the opinion of His Majesty the King of England, who, on the occasion of the birthday of the Prime Minister last year, sent him a telegram, not only congratulating him on his birthday, but naying a tribute to his loyalty to the Crown and thfe empire. This is the answer to those two hon. gentlemen, and I would rather accept the assurance of His Majesty the King than the unsubstantiated vapour-ings of two disgruntled politicians. Now, some gentlemen have insinuated that the principal object of this Canadian navy was to cause a separation or to make a wide breach between Canada and the empire. I am quite satisfied that these insinuations are very much uncalled for. The plan of the leader of the government is good-he looks farther than the leader of the opposition. The right hon. leader or the government years ago looked forward to the time when Canada would be a great nation within the empire, but he has not forgotten that Canada did not reach her present position without a struggle. Compare the policies of the two great parties. The government has one which has not only been suggested by the admiralty, but which meets the approval of the Liberal party as a whole. The Conservative plan, on the other hand, is to hand over to the British government the money to purchase two Dreadnoughts, and then submit to the people the question whether we should have a Canadian navy or not. I do not think the people will hesitate between these two propositions. The government's policy is a truly Canadian one. It helps to build up the country, it causes money to be circulated, it means that the money wall be kept in Canada; because in order to have a Canadian navy we shall require shipyards and drydocks, which will be either at Halifax or at St. John. In these shipyards a large number of men will be employed, which will mean an increase of population, which in turn will help the merchants, the lawyers, the doctors and the farmers. Then these dry-docks will be used, not only for thje construction and maintenance of a Canadian navv, but for other ships and steamers of the great transportation lines. As we have now no dry-docks in the maritime provinces, any ships requiring to be repaired have to be taken to New York or elsewhere, and Canadian labour gets no


benefit therefrom. After paying out $20 -C00,000 or $25,000,000, the leader of the opposition proposes to refer the question of a Canadian navy to the people; but he is quite willing himself to spend $25,000,000 of the people's money without asking their consent, and send it out of the country, and give it to the British authorities to spend as they see fit. They might use the money for the erection of a dry-dock in New Zealand, or a coaling station in Honduras or somewhere else, ana even though' it might be spent within the British empire it would be very unsatisfactory to the people of Canada. A great deal has been said about the loyalty of the people of the province of Quebec. I think the people of the province of Quebec are as loyal to the British empire as they need to be, and we are proud to have a French Canadian leader, who believes in equal rights and privileges, as the Prime Minister of Canada does. I do not think anybody, English or French, should be condemned or found fault with if he is not altogether in favour of either a direct contribution or the establishment of a Canadian navy. I may say that when this matter was first talked of last year, I myself was rather of the opinion that the movement was a little premature. I did not think that Canada had any need to launch out on such a project, and I believe the great mass of the people I represent were against it, and they are as good British subjects as any of the hon. members on the opposite side of the House. I was of the opinion that if Canada had any money to spend it could be just as well spent in the developing of its farming interests and mining and the encouragement of proper immigration from different parts of Europe to this country. I quite realize now that with the growth of Canada, particularly since this government has come into power, with our magnificent revenue of something over $100,000,000, with our farming lands unexcelled in the world, with our timber lands and our mineral wealth yet unexplored, we have a great heritage that is worth protecting; and as a move has been made to assist the empire either in the form of a direct contribution or a Canadian navy, I am willing to accept and advocate, as my constituents will also, the establishment of a Canadian navy. Another point that has been dwelt upon is that there is an emergency. For my part I do not believe there is any emergency. A great election campaign has just been fought in the old country, but during its course not a word was said about an emergency, the whole election was fought out on the budget and tariff reform. The Prime Minister of England, speak-Mr. McAllister. ing at the Reform Club in Liverpool, a few days before the election, said: Let me say then, once for all, and I speak with full deliberation and after careful and prolonged inquiry, that the navy to-day is able to maintain, not only this year, but in the years that lie before us, our supremacy at sea (cheers), and should the necessity arise, which God forbid, to guarantee the integrity of our commerce and the inviolability of our empire. The sister service, the army, is reaping now in full measure the benefft of the foresight and the constructive power and the undefeated energy of Mr. Haldane. That was his opinion just before the election. We have heard nothing from England about an emergency. We have in London a High Commissioner, a gentleman of wide experience, and with exceptional opportunities for acquiring information, and if any trouble of that kind were brewing our government would have been notified long ago of its existence. There is too much of this militarism in the world anyway; often fanatics get together and work themselves up until they suffer from hallucinations, a form of insanity. I have here a few extracts from a magazine article: Tre most virulent and devastating disease now raging on the earth is militarism. What do you think of that? The terror of a patient who is suffering from mental derangement is often pathetic. Surround him with granite walls, ten in number, and every wall ten feet thick, and he will still insist that he is unprotected. Like a few of our hon. friends opposite, who think we are gone, body and soul. So it is with the militarist. Like many another fever, militarism grows by what it feeds on, and unless checked by heroic measures is certain to burn the patient up. Men in a delirium seldom have sense of humour. The world is fearfully grim to them, and life a solemn and tragic thing. They express absurdities with a sober face, and make ridiculous assertions without a smile. It may be that the militarists are in a sort of delirium. All the great nations are to-day facing deficits, caused in every case 'by the military and naval experts. Into what a tangle the finances of Russia and Japan have been brought bv militarists is known to everybody. Germany has, in a single generation, increased her national debt from eighteen million dollars to more than one billion dollars. I might read more of this article, but this is sufficient to illustrate my idea that this whole thing is exaggerated.


Duncan Hamilton McAlister



The ' Atlantic Monthly.' Would you like to have it? My hon. friend's question reminds me that there

has always been a lot of suspicion, I have evidence of it myself, among hon. gentlemen opposite. I do not like to see that. It is the worst thing in the world. I do not like to see any individual member or any group of members too suspicious. You know that the fox is the most suspicious animal, and that that rascal is the first fellow to rob a hen-house.

The defence conference saw the importance of the dominions beyond the seas laying the foundations of future dominion navies of their own, which forces would contribute_ immediately and materially to the imperial defence if need should occur. The Canadian ministers then in the old country agreed in that, and the next step was to see what the admiralty would suggest. What did the admiralty suggest?

That certain vessels be constructed as a nucleus of a Canadian navy.

^ To .this the Canadian ministers- then in England agreed, and the proposals now before the House are exactly in accordance with that suggestion. There seems to be some misapprehension in regard to the admiralty's proposals. Conservative members and the Conservative press speak as if the British admiralty suggested a course that had not been carried out by this government. That is not so. I understand that these objections are based on the fact that the British admiralty asked first a direct contribution or the establishment of a fleet unit consisting of a Dreadnought and auxiliaries. A careful perusal of the blue-book shows how closely the present proposal harmonizes with the admiralty's suggestion. The blue-book says:

As regards Canada, it was considered that her double sea-board rendered the provisions of a fleet unit of the same kind unsuitable for the present.

The reason for this must be obvious. A fleet unit to be any good must remain intact, and how can it remain together if it is to be stationed on the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts? To divide it would destroy the object sought and the British admiralty saw the position we were in. Knowing that to create and maintain two units would be beyond the financial position of Canada, they wisely determined to adopt an alternative course:

It was proposed, according to the amount of money that might be available, that Canada should make a start with cruisers of the ' Bristol ' class and destroyers of an improved river class-a part to be stationed on the Atlantic sea-board and a part on the Pacific.

The principle of making a start was here clearly laid down:

Canada and Australia preferred to lay the foundations of fleet units of their own.


The scheme now submitted to the House by the Prime Minister is exactly upon these lines. Canada is making a start, and is making that start not only with the approval of but on the direct lines recommended by the admiralty. I think this reaches the objection raised by the opposition to the non-establishment of a fleet unit. As further evidence that the admiralty approved and recognized Canada's action, I refer to page 24, where it is said:

While laying the foundations of future Dominion navies to be maintained in different parts of the empire, these forces would contribute immediately and materially to the requirements of imperial defence....A simple contribution of money or material may be to one Dominion the most acceptable form in which to assist in imperial defence. Another while ready to provide local naval forces, and to place them at the disposal of the Crown in the event of war, may wish to lay the foundations upon which a future navy of its own could be raised.

I think this should be sufficient to dispose of the suggestion that Canada's action is contrary to the wishes of the admiralty. At page 24 of the report I find:

The main duty of the forthcoming conference as regards naval defence will be, therefore, to determine the form in which the various Dominion governments can best participate in the burden of imperial defence with due regard to varying political and geographical conditions. Looking to the difficulties involved, it is not to be expected that the discussions with the several Defence Ministers will result in a complete and final scheme of naval defence, but it is hoped that it will be found possible to formulate the broad principles upon which the growth of colonial naval forces should be fostered. While laying the foundations of future Dominion navies to be maintained in different parts of the empire, these forces would contribute immediately and materially to the requirements of imperial defence.

In the opinion of the admiralty, a Dominion government desirous of creating a navy should aim at forming a distinct fleet unit; and the smallest unit is one which, while manageable in time of peace, is capable of being used in its component parts in time of war.

Then at page 25 of the conference blue-book, we find:

It has been recognized that in time of war the local naval forces should come under the general direction of the admiralty.

This clearly contemplates that the navy should remain under local control in time of peace.

Great Britain cannot go to war without the consent of the British parliament; Canada cannot go to war without the consent of the Canadian parliament. In both cases they are co-equal. Why not?

Topic:   EDITION'.

Samuel Hughes



I won't ask it, if he gives permission in that manner.

Mr. MeALLISTER. Well, yes, Sir.

Topic:   EDITION'.

Samuel Hughes



Can Canada declare war?

Mr. MeALLISTER. She can if the cabinet says so. What more do you want?

Topic:   EDITION'.

Samuel Hughes



She can not.

Mr. MeALLISTER. Very good. That's some more information I have got. As was stated by the Prime Minister, and as cannot be denied, when Britain is at war, Canada is at war. It follows as a sequence that parliament would give the necessary authority to pass the Canadian navy into the control of the imperial power should such a misfortune occur-and I must say that I do not see that there is any need of it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I announce myself as supporting the policy of the government because I am convinced that it has the approval of the imperial authorities-that is the principal thing->

and also for the reason that the Bill under discussion is made with due regard to oui constitutional rights and privileges, which it is our first duty as representatives of the people to maintain and protect.

I have listened, as I said, with a great deal of care and attention to the speakers who have preceded me. I am going to read you a synopsis of what I think the most important speeches made during the debate. The hon. member for St. Anne (Mr Doherty) thought that the time for Canada to establish a navy was when she had a voice in imperial foreign affairs. The hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. McGrath) would make a contribution of ten millions to Britain spread over a few years -whatever that may mean. The hon. member for North Ontario (Mr. S. Sharpe) wanted a Canadian navy as outlined by the government increased to the extent of two Dreadnoughts, and this should be done without delay. The hon. member for East Lambton (Mr. Armstrong) would give two Dreadnoughts at once to Britain and submit the question of establishing a Canadian navy to the people. The hon. member for Huron announced that, in view of the policy of the government, he would support Mr. Borden's amendment, though he might not be in favour of it. The hon|. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), the alleged leader of the 'Conservative party in Quebec, advocated no contribution of vessels, money or anything else. The hon. member for Souris (Mr. Schaffner) said he was in favour of one navy, an imperial navy, and Canada should contribute to it Mr. MeALLISTER.

but have no control over it. The hon. member for Victoria and Haliburton advocated doing a big thing. Entering into an obligation to provide half a dozen Dreadnoughts would, he said, meet with his approval. The hon. member for Huron would give to England, would pay the interest on a sufficient sum to enable that country to spend $50,000,000 in Dreadoughts, then there would be a navy to lend to Canada in case of emergency.

Topic:   EDITION'.

Thomas Chisholm

Conservative (1867-1942)


I am sure the hon. member will allow me to correct him. I never suggested hiring Dreadnoughts of anything of that kind. Perhaps the hon. gentleman misunderstood me, or perhaps he was not in the House when I spoke.

Mr. MeALLISTER. I may have the wrong constituency down. What constituency does the hon. member (Mr. T. Chisholm represent ? [DOT]

Topic:   EDITION'.

Some hon. MEMBERS


Mr. MeALLISTER. There are two or three Hurons. Evidently the hon. gentleman does not represent the right Huron. The hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Roche) believed that Canada should give two Dreadoughts at once or the equivalent in money. So I could go on and read half a dozen more. But I have read enough, Mr. Speaker, to show you the diversity of opinion on the opposite side of the House. I can assure these hon. gentlemen that there is no diversity of opinion on this side. I would suggest that the hon. gentlemen go into caucus and to sing. that good old song:

Why do we wait, dear brothers?

Why do we wrangle so long?

If we don't get together in one policy, We'll be hungry ever so long.

But we on this side, join with sweet accord, under the wise and ever-seeing eye of the Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada, in favour of a Canadian navy built in Canada; we are in favour of a Canadian navy, built in Canada by Canadian people; of a Canadian navy, built in Canada by Canadian people with Canadian money; of a Canadian navy, built in Canada by Canadian people with Canadian money, under local control in time of peace and imperial control in time of war.

Topic:   EDITION'.

John Herron


Mr. JOHN HERRON (Macleod).

The hon. member for Kings and Albert (Mr. McAllister) accused hon. members on this side of favouring a navy for imperialism and protection. I am prepared to admit that hon. members on that side have no desire for protection or they would not put faith in this Canadian tin-pot navy they propose. Rising at this time to address the House on this important question, I feel that I owe the House an apology for taking up


time at this stage of the debate. I would not do so but for the fact that the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) alluded to myself, with some other hon. members on this side of the House, in his first speech after the opening of parliament this year as having gone back on our position of last March as expressed by the resolution passed by this House unanimously at that time in regard to helping the British empire in what seemed at that time to be a crisis in naval supremacy. I did not altogether approve of that resolution when it passed the House, but I was present when it was passed and am prepared to take my share of the responsibility for anything that was wrong in that resolution, even of anything I objected to at that time. The reasons why we let that resolution go through unanimously have been very well explained by previous speakers. This matter has been dealt with very thoroughly by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), and several other hon. gentlemen on this side of the House. So I w'ill not take up time to discuss that phase of the question. But, having been present, I am prepared, as I have said, to take my share- of responsibility. I would have stood by that resolution, and intended to stand by it, and did stand by it until after our delegates returned from the imperial conference last summer. But at a reception tendered to them on their return to this country the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) gave a synopsis of what had been done in the *old country, and expressed great faith in this idea of political autonomy. In stating what had been done at the conference he said they had agreed upon a Canadian navy. I gathered from reading his address that it was either by extraordinary strategy or else by threats or force that Canada had wrested from Great Britain her political autonomy. This idea of political autonomy seems to me a mania with hon. members on the other side. They talk about it, and how we have practically wrested it from Great Britain by force or otherwise. I have never heard of Britain trying to prevent us from exercising the full powers vested in us under. our constitution, until I heard hon. members on the other side talk as they did. As I have said, I intended to stand by that resolution, and would have done so but for the reasons I have stated. They compare their Naval Bill with the resolution of last March and accuse us of going back on the resolution which we unanimously supported last session. According to that resolution a navy was to be built, but it was to be built immediately, and to act in co-operation with the British navy, whereas the navy proposed by this government is not to be any part or parcel or to

have anything to do with the British navy, so that on that score I do not think that this Bill in any way attempts to carry out the resolution unanimously passed last March. The navy then contemplated was to fly the British flag, but I understand there is quite a question to-day as to what flag we are to fly on our navy when built.

As regards employing our own labour and our own material, while I admit that we have the material in this country to build a navy and the brawn and the brains, while we have mechanics and labouring men just as capable, if properly directed, as any in the old country, our experience in the past has not been such as to give our people any confidence in the capability of our Marine and Fisheries Department to build a navy with any efficiency or economy. The report of the investigation into that department has not been assuring in any degree to the people, and consequently we may well hesitate in trusting that same department with the building of a Canadian navy. There is another assertion which I am prepared to make regarding the administration of that department. The other day I listened to a debate on the estimates between my hon. friend ' from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) -and the Minister of Public Works with reference to a dredge which was built last year, in which the Minister of Public Works denied a statement made by the hon. member for East Grey, although I think the minister only cleared himself by a technicality. For my part, I am going to make this statement on a rumour which I believe to be well founded, and if it should turn out t-o be untrue, I am prepared to apologize to the House .and withdraw. Within me last year or year and a half, the Marine and Fisheries Department built a dredge in the docks at Sorel, which cost in the neighbourhood of $200,000. AfteT it was launched, they started putting in machinery and anchors and chains, and the vessel would have sunk to the bottom of the river, before even a pound of coal was put into it, if she had not been taken hold of with grappling irons. She was returned to the dock, and is there now getting a false bottom put into her. I have that statement on good authority, and I would like to have any minister, speaking for the Department of Marine and Fisheries, state whether it is true or not. Things of that kind and the other things we all know of that department are not reassuring to the people and not calculated to give them confidence in entrusting the building of a Canadian navy to that department. Not only would there in all likelihood be a great waste of money, but the lives of the crews, British subjects and Canadian citizens would not be safe in a navy built by these gentlemen. _

As regards the cost of construction, that

Topic:   EDITION'.

John Herron



city necessary to such an enterprise, I would say: Go on and build the navy. But, by all means, give the people who are going to pay for this navy a chance to express their opinion with regard to it. No one party or government should determine whether we should enter into this enormous expenditure for the building of a navy, but I think that the people who are going to pay for it should have the right to a voice in the matter and should be given the opportunity of saying whether they are going to have a navy or not. If this navy that we are proposing to build was going to be part of the British navy and was going to meet an emergency, I would be prepared to make any sacrifice and take the responsibility upon myself of voting for it, but at the present time I do not feel like doing so. With reference to the cost, I mentioned what the government figures are in connection with the navy that they propose to build. I _ noticed that the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat said that what is proposed by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition in his amendment is to contribute $25,000,000 or $30,000,000 to Great Britain as the price of two Dreadnoughts I listened with a great deal of interest to the statements of hon. gentlemen on this side of the House who went to a great deal of trouble to establish the correct figures, and their estimate was that the price of two Dreadnoughts would be about $1Q,000,000.

I -would be prepared to say that if we could build them for $19,000,000 or $20,000,000, or even $25,000,000, I would be in favour of the proposition, because I would like that whatever we do for the British navy may be well done, and that if we build Dreadnoughts for Britain we will build ships that are able to go into the front of the fighting line. With reference to the question as to whether an emergency exists or not, I would like to read to the House a portion of a letter received by me from one of my constituents last November, just after the House met. If the House will allow me, I would like to read the extract from this letter and to withhold the name of the man who wrote it. If any one on the other side of the House wishes to see the letter, I will be pleased to hand it over to him. The writer of this letter is a German by birth and served as an officer in the German army. He says:

Now, as you know, I came from that nation which has caused that justifiable scare in England, and, therefore, I know something of my old Fatherland, its spirit of patriotism and also its coasts along the North Sea. Should the time ever come when the German people felt strong enough and felt that they had a justifiable cause to attack England at sea, the attack will be so swift and so sudden and the results so decisive, either one way or the other that it would be childish to think of sending for the ' political fleet' of Sir Wilfrid

Laurier. You must be aware that owing to the natural conditions around England, should she lose this first battle, and her ports blockaded, starvation and surrender would be the end of this war, while on the other hand, Germany is far more favourably situated. So in face of these facts it is the merest hypocrisy for any honest Canadian to talk of having a navy of our own for the purpose of helping England. The Monroe doctrine up to now has been the fighting asset to which the Liberal government has pointed with pride to defend our shores. Why now a Canadian navy? Time and again in the past Britain has sent her cruisers to protect single individuals in foreign countries, and we, up to now, have not paid one cent for this protection (more shame to us). We should now make a start to maintain this fleet. If the utterances of our public men, of loyalty and devotion to the flag are not a screen behind which they pick the raite-payer's pockets, then by all means let us send our contribution in cash. Then we will know our money is spent in an honest and efficient manner, which we could never expect under the government proposal.

These are the views of a naturalized German. How much more strongly should a born Briton feel on the subject.

I would commend this opinion to those hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House who have been so emphatic in the declaration that there is no naval scare and no need of Canada doing anything at the present time. I promised that I would only speak for a few moments and I am about done. I would like to see the amendment proposed by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition put through, the Navy Bill thrown on the scrap heap for the present, and an appeal made to the people, whom you will find British to the core. ' One King, one flag and one British navy,' is good enough for me.

Topic:   EDITION'.

March 7, 1910