March 8, 1910

FIRST READINGS


Bill (No. 157) for the relief of Cecelia Marie Pringle.-Mr. Price. Bill (No. 155) to amend the Government Annuities Act, 1908.-Mr. Fielding. Bill (No. 156) to incorporate the Weyburn Security Bank.-Mr. Turriff.


CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READING.


Bill (No. 69) respecting the Prince Albert and Hudson Bay Railway Company.-Mr. Neely.


NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.


House resumed the adjourned debate on the motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 95) respecting the naval service of Canada, the proposed amendment of Mr Borden thereto, and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Monk.


CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE A. CLARE (South Waterloo).

Mr. Speaker, for reasons known to you and to many members of this House I have not for some time taken part in the discussion of any of the important questions which have come before us; I have contented myself on each occasion with giving a silent vote, so that at least-. I would be on record in reference to the-various matters dealt with by this House. I would prefer to do this even now, but the question before the House is so momentous, and so far reaching in its'effect that I consider it a duty to myself, to my-

constituents and to Canada to say a few words in it. I beg of you to bear with me for a few moments while I explain my position.

Before doing so I would like to say a few words of the people whom I have the honour to represent in this House, the people of South Waterloo. They are composed of many different nationalities, the English, the Scotch, the Irish, the German, the Hollander, the Russian, the Austrian, the Swiss, and many other different classes of Europeans. We have in the southern part of my riding, the intelligent and sturdy Scotchman, who has settled the township of North Dumfries, and made of that township a veritable garden of beautiful homes and beautiful farms. We have the tenacious, enterprising Englishman, we have the brave and open-hearted Irishman, we have the peace-loving, honest, and thrifty people who speak the German language, whether they be German proper, Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish, Mennonite, Hollander, or Bohemian, people who have asked no special privileges from the legislature of this country, who have adapted themselves to the conditions in this country, and who obey its laws. Besides all these people, we have the admirable young Canadian who can hold his own anywhere in the world. Through the assimilation of all these nationalities, there are to be found in the county of Waterloo-and I hope the Minister of Labour (Mr. King) will pardon me if I speak of the county as a whole- a population unexcelled, yes, I believe, unequalled, in this Canada of ours. They work together, they are friendly with one another, they assist one another, and they have made Waterloo county a hive of industry. Their manufactured goods are to be found throughout the length and breadth of Canada, so that the name Waterloo is a household word with the people throughout this country. There are no better farmers, and no better tilled farms. But, above all, these people of different nationalities, who have made this country their home, are loyal Canadians, and, as such, proud of the great empire to which they owe allegiance.

Mr. Speaker, my parents were born in Germany. They were proud of the country from which they came, but I believe they were prouder of the country which they made their home. They instilled into me a feeling of love, affection and attachment for the great country of their birth. Forty years ago the German empire was a number of scattered provinces. By uniting, these became a great nation. Through its educational system, through its technical schools and through the policy of protection inaugurated years ago, Germany has become a great .manufacturing country. They are a business people and Mr. CLARE.

in their state-owned utilities they have shown what a nation can do. The state-owned utilities of Germany, run and managed by the civil service there, have brought in immense revenues to the country and have reduced taxation accordingly. The imperial government of Germany and the governments of the several states of that empire, through their various state-owned business, cleared for the people in 1908 no less a sum than $277,385,095. Here are some of the items:

The leased lands of Germany are worth $198,122,725, and they produced an income for the people of $7,925,309.

The forests of Germany, worth $730,898,200, brought in, over and above all expenses, $29,235,938.

The mines of Germany, worth $128,907,725 brought in $5,116,309.

The German state-owned railways, worth $4,706,904,750, have shown the enormous profit toi the people ol $189,916,190.

The state-owned telephones, telegraphs and express and mail services within the German empire worth $694,816,650, earned for the people $27,792,666.

Other state-owned utilities worth $435,184,900, showed profits of $17,407,476.

Bavaria, one of the provinces of the German empire, pays 39 per cent of the cost of administration from the profits of its state-owned utilities; Saxony, in the same way, pays 31 per cent; Wurtemburg pays 38-7 per cent; Prussia, which forms five-eights of the empire, pays 47 -36 per cent of its public expenses from the profits of state-owned utilities. The state . of Prussia enjoys an income from its state-owned utilities of no less than $176,000,000, which is more than twice the amount of all taxes of that state, amounting to only $85,000,000.

The German empire and its people, in the management of their public utilities, are an example to the people of Canada. They are, above all, an example to the Minister of Railways of this government who is managing a state-owned railway at an enormous loss. The German people excel in literature, in art and in science. The population of Germany is over 65,000,000, and, as has been stated before in this debate, it is increasing at the rate of over 1,000,000 people a year. They have a large and growing foreign trade. Their merchant vessels are seen on every sea. And, like the people of Great Britain- for they are in exactly the same position-the German people with this 1 immense foreign trade must have a navy to protect that trade. As the trade increases, the number of merchs&it vessels must increase, and as the merchant vessels grow in number so must the war vessels grow in number. But do the people of Germany want war? Do the people of

England want war? I. say, no. For these great business and manufacturing countries, these peoples who compete in the foreign market there is no danger of war except it be a commercial war, a war which might occur through competition. This might lead to .actual conflict. In the past, these two great nations, Germany and England, have never warred against each other; they have been firm allies in many wars for the upbuilding of humanity.

I have had the pleasure of visiting both Germany and England several times. As a public man I have tried to find out the views of those people upon the question of war between these two great countries. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, and I can assure the people of this country that as far as the educated and working classes go in Germany, they have a perfect respect and love for the English nation. This may not be universal, there may perhaps be exceptions in their army and navy of which I do not know. I say again and I cannot help it, I have a feeling of attachment to the great empire of my forefathers. If you do not love your country either you, or your country, are no good. You, Mr. Speaker, and your compatriots, have a feeling of love and veneration for the great country of your forefathers. You are interested in the traditions of France, you are proud of its marvellous people and the wonderful good that they have done in the world, but being proud of that country, being proud of the country of your forefathers, does not prevent you from being proud of your adopted country; in fact, I believe it makes you feel prouder of Canada, the country that you have made your home. The French and the Germans will always stand for Canada and its interests. The majority of the people of this country will do their duty to Canada, to the empire and to His Majesty King Edward VII. We are one people and one people only, and the only way in which we can differ is as to how we can best do our duty to the great empire to which we belong. The Prime Minister, when introducing this Bill, charged the opposition, and I was sorry to hear it, with having differences of opinion on this great question. He charged that in the ranks of the opposition there are differences of opinion. I want to say to him that there are. No great question has ever come before the two great parties in this country without differences of opinion. I am rather proud of the fact that in the Conservative party, amongst eighty loyal citizens of this country, there were differences of opinion as to how best we could serve our empire. On the other side of the House they have differences of opinion too. But they must-do as they are told, and I believe that when the vote is taken every hon. gentleman opposite will support the government in its policy.

Some hon. MEMBEES. Hear, hear.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLAEE.

Yes, you can cheer, but 1 believe what I tell you. While the Prime Minister can make you vote as he pleases, he cannot make you think as he please 3 There have been no two speeches delivered on the government side of the House which have not shown greater differences than have been shown on this side of the House. The hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McLean) lias told the Prime Minister and his supporters what he thinks of England. He said that we owe them some respect, but we.owe them nothing else, because they have not paid us more for our grain or our produce than they have paid to the people of the United States. So, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for South Huron says that we owe nothing to England. There is no loyalty in him. He says: I must say nothing for England, and then he tuirns around and says to the people of Canada: I will vote for a large expenditure for a navy which will be no good to this country, which will be no protection to this country and no protection to the British empire. What is this navy going to be for? Is it going to protect us against Patagonia or Uruguay? This navy will never protect us against any self-respecting nation. I have stated, Mr. Speaker, that I believe the majority of the people of this country are loyal citizens of Canada and the empire. I want to say the same thing about the members of this House. I believe as. a whole that the members of this House are loyal Canadians and if there is a doubt on this question, if there is a doubt that there may be a single man who may be disloyal to his country, that doubt has been forced upon me by the Prime Minister himself, in speeches in the United States in which he said he preferred the American dollar to the English shilling. I do not like to talk of these things and in spite of these statements I am ready to believe the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is an honest man, is loyal to this country and is loyal to the empire. While I admit that he is loyal, I claim that he has^ made many, many mistakes in his public career, and I wish to recite a few of them so that we can afterwards decide whether we are right-in accepting his judgment on the Navy Bill. When the "great statesman, Sir John Macdonald, introduced a Bill for the construction of the Canadian Pacific railway, providing for the building of a road from the Atlantic to the Pacific, where did we find the present Prime Minister? Why, Mr. Speaker, he was opposed to the policy, he did not believe in it. Pie and his party said the road was going through a sea of mountains. The Conservative party and Sir John Macdonald lived in hope and they believed that this enterprise .would be a good thing for this country. They carried it in spite of the opposition of the then

Where do we find the Prime Minister now? He is following in the footsteps of that great Conservative leader, and he is imitating him in the building of a railway across the continent. The right hon. gentleman had no opposition from this side of the House on the question of building that railway, but we differed with him as to the manner in which it should be built, and events have proved that the Prime Minister was all wrong, because we have all seen how woefully he was mistaken- in his prophecy as to what that railway would cost. Then, there was the movement for commercial union, and the right hon. the Prime Minister persuaded the greater part of his followers to support a policy of commercial union as between the United States and Canada and against the empire. I do not know whether that was disloyalty or not, but I do know that it was sailing mighty close to disloyalty. But, I thank God. and I believe the Prime Minister to-day thanks God, that his policy did not prevail.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that I am very sorry to have to point out any defects in the great leader of the Liberal party in this country, for no one admires him as a man more than I do. But, Sir, I feel it my duty to point out these defects and I cannot help saying further, that in this naval policy of his he has made the greatest error of all the errors in his political life. The navy which this government is going to build will not be effective, it will not protect our Canadian shores, and much less will it be of any assistance to the British empire. This navy will be no protection to Canada; it will be an expensive luxury. We have no guarantee from the right hon. gentleman and his eovernment as to what the navy will cost, because, judging by past experience, any estimate they may give is not reliable. In addition to all other defects in the policy, this navy may lead us into difficulties with countries nearer home in a way which we now do not foresee. I read in the newspapers since this Bill was introduced that an application had been made to the government by some of the states bordering on the great lakes to have the privilege of building warships, and the probability is that this is suggested by the example of Canada. I believe, Sir, that if the greatest care is not taken there may be danger of complications between these two nations, and in that way the navy proposed by the government is a menace to us. As to the cost of the navy, we have the statement of the government that in the initial stage it will amount to $15,000,000 for construction, and that the up-keep will cost us ,4,7,000,000 each year. Of course, this cost must increase enormously; Canada will have to keep on building snips and opening, shipyards, and there is no knowing

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARE.

where our financial liability is going to end. We know that some fourteen years ago we expended on the militia of this country only one and a half million dollars a year, but to-day we are spending seven million dollars annually, so that for the up-keep of our militia and onr navy we will have an annual charge at the lowest calculation of $14,000,000, which, of course, is bound to increase as the years go on. I do not think there is any man on the government side of the House who will deny that in a very few years the expenditure of Canada for warfare will be at least $25,000,000 per annum. And, Mr. Speaker, what does $25,000,000 mean? It means that if we placed $25,000,000 per annum at the disposal of the Minister of Finance he could go to the money markets of England and borrow between $800,000,000 and $1,000,000,000, which would represent enough money to rebuild the whole British navy. That is what we are going to expend in this_ country. It would mean that the Minister of Finance could take that money and build the Georgian Bay canal, and deepen and extend the Welland canal, and buiid the Hudson Bay railway, and two or three transcontinental railways, and still have some money left in the treasury. I am opposed to this navy. As I have said, it will be no protection to Canada and no protection to the empire. And, Sir, the people of Canada, the voters of this country, the people who make and unmake governments, should be treated fairly in this matter and should be consulted. I appeal to the Prime Minister of this country that he should in all fairness withdraw this Bill and consult the people of Canada first, and if the people say: we want a navy

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB
CON
LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. M. Y. McLEAN.

Does the hon. gentleman propose to transmit $25,000,000 to Great Britain

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Order.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARE.

The hon. gentleman cannot put words in my mouth that I did not utter.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. M. Y. McLEAN.

I did not put words in the hon. member's mouth; I simply asked him a question.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Order.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB
CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARE.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am entirely opposed to that enormous expenditure. Is that what the hon. gentleman wants to know; I could not hear his question? .

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink
LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Order, sit down.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
Permalink

March 8, 1910