March 8, 1910

CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. LENNOX (Sirncoe South).

(Text.) It is true, as the hon. gentleman says, that the hon. Minister of Justice, upon the floor of this House, did most ungenerously and. improperly impute criminal conduct to the hon. member for North Toronto, but does not the hon. gentleman know that Mr. Justice Magee, in dismissing the action for slander, utterly refute and overturn the statements of the Minister of Justice to that regard.

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LIB

Joseph Ernest Oscar Gladu

Liberal

Mr. GLADU.

(Translation.) I say that there is a man occunying a seat here who has not been acquitted of a charge laid against him in this House, and of which he has not cleared himself. I say I have the right to refer to these facts, though the case may still be before the courts. Besides, we are acquainted with the recent findings of the courts.

The hon. member has also taunted the right hon. leader of the government for having two policies, and for being disloyal t >

the empire. Let me, Mr. Speaker, recall a fact which seems to have slipped from the minds of a great many people here. Mho is prouder of the friendship of France than the British people and their Sovereign? The latter has shown himself greater even than the British empire, by securing to that same empire the noble and beneficient friendship of France through the ' entente cordiale.' Well, at that time the President of the French Republic, Mr. Lcubet, stated that it was in the course of a conversation he had had with the right hon. the Prime Minister of Canada that the idea had been suggested to him of negotiating an ' entente cordiale ' between the two countries, in the same way that it existed betwen the two races in Canada.

Now, let us concern ourselves with another very interesting bird, which I am sorry not to see in his seat just now. I refer to the member for Victoria and Hali-burt-on (Mr. Hughes). That hon. gentleman has thought fit in a speech which he delivered on the question of the Naval Bill to state that the leaders of the rebellion of 1837 were nothing but cowards. I shall quote the very words which he used on that occasion:

In the speeches of the First Minister, and of the Postmaster General, and of the member for Picton-I do not see how the member for the Yukon happend to miss it- they all eulogized the heroes of 1837, and by heroes they mean the cowardly men who went in for misleading the poor innocent habitant in the province of Quebec, and the innocent men in Ontario, and inciting them to commit crimes which led to loss of life and destruction of property.

I have only one word to say in answer to that: These men died in defending a cause which was dear and sacred to them,, and I say that a soldier, or one parading as such, like the hon. member for Victorias and Halihurton, who insults the memory of those who died in defending a cause which was dear to them, is only a plumed bully, and cannot be anything else but the hero of a striking hovel

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LIB
LIB

Joseph Ernest Oscar Gladu

Liberal

Mr. GLADU. (Translation).

I withdraw anything that is not parliamentary, but if you allow what is parliamentary to remain there will still be enough of it left.

I shall now deal with a man who cannot he said to be in sympathy with the French Canadians and the Catholics, but who, nevertheless, solemnly quotes the writings of Father Hamon, a Jesuit, who is not known to him, hut with wdiom I have the honour of being acquainted. 'I give you my word of honour that this gentleman has always had enough dignity and discrimination to avoid the expressions which are attributed to him in a translation, the exactness of which is doubtful.

The House I hope will pardon me this rather long preamble, but I was anxious to point out these insults which may not have the importance I attach to them. The hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) has thought proper to speak with contempt of the memory of a man whom the province of Quebec honours and respects; whom she has represented in his lifetime, and whom she has honoured for years and years by an annual pilgrimage to his tomb. I refer to Honore Mercier.

I shall not say anything of the aspersions he has deemed proper to cast on the Prime Minister of this country. But I shall tell him as well as to the hon. members for Victoria and North Toronto that to my regret, I will have to recall what I said last year: that in every grave there is room only for the corpse; there is noplace for anything else, not even for the poisonous breath of the serpent. In the province of Quebec, we are disgusted with those desecrators of tombs, these gnawers of the dead; we are disgusted with those who thus take pleasure in wrenching open the lid of our great men's coffins and turn over their ashes in the hope of securing thereby some political capital. I road in the memoirs of Mr. Claude, chief of police of Paris, that human vampires repaired at night to the Pere Lachaise cementry and desecrated the graves of virgins who had been inhumed in the course of the day. I say that such men play the part of vampires as regards political celebrities in the same way as these others are the ravishers of dead virgins.

I now come to the question of the Naval Bill. I sh^ll not dilate very long on the proposal emanating from the hon. member for Jacques Cartier. I regret to say that in all earnestness it looks to be as a deliberate attempt at stirring up sectional feeling. I cannot admit that there should be a distinct policy for the Conservative party in the province of Quebec, and still another for the Conservative party in the province of Ontario and the English-speaking provinces, and the province of Quebec will not be misled by such a ludicrous farce.

Now let us take up the proposal of the hon. leader of the opposition. I am forced to the conclusion that it is unfair as regards a large section of our people. What right have you, ask, in a country such as ours, made up of heterogenous groups of population, of various nationalities, of Italians. Germans, Frenchmen, Russians, &c., what right have you, 1 say, of taking the money contributed by these taxpayers and producers and make a free gift of! it to Great Britain, who will apply it to building Dreadnoughts, with which

I now take up the plan submitted by the right hon. Prime Minister, and I find it acceptable to those who make up the people of Canada, to those who supply the funds, who pay the taxes, towards our progress and our development. They cannot" take exception to the building of a fleet which will remain our property. I find it acceptable, because under it our money will not be handed over to a nation who, 'though at peace to-day, may at any time be at war_with the mother country of any of the peoples I! have just mentioned. The moneys appropriated by us towards that object, will be spent right here, and since we are entitled to make whatever use we think proper of the public revenue, nobody will have reason to complain. These moneys will be spent in Canada and for the benefit of Canadians.

There is a matter, Mr. Speaker, which seems to have made a vivid impression on the minds of hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House, it is the question of loyalty. There is no need for me of referring to it once more; the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Beland) dealt with it the other day in a masterly way, pointing out the various circumstances in our history when that loyalty asserted itself. I shall be content with recalling what Frechette said one day; appealing to the English speaking population of this country and pointing to the British flag which floated over the citadel of Quebec, in a stanza which will live forever, he exclaimed: Mr. GLAD!'.

'Had it not been for us, it would be there r.o more.' Should I recall also the memorable dates of 1775 and 1812. If Salaberry and his three hundred Canadian voltigeurs had not fought at Chateauguay, what would have become of the British flag? In 1870, have we not also generously contributed our share to the defence of the country? And what shall I say of 1885? The hon. member for Victoria stated the other day that we had approved of the rebellion of 1885. Does he not know that in 1885 the 65th battation, under the command of the French Canadians, ex-Justice Ouimet, vigorously took a hand in the defence of that same flag and in quelling the Northwest uprising. The same may be said of the 9th battalion of Quebec. Has the hon. member for Victoria forgotten that in 1899 my countrymen have generously given of their blood for the defence of that same British flag on the African veldt? I challenge him to mention a single instance in which our people refused to generously fight and work for the upholding of the British flag. We are taunted with being disloyal because the Prime Minister of Canada, on a certain occasion, stated, it appears, that possibly some day independence might be our lot. Well, in this connection, I shall quote the opinion of a man whom nobody, I am satisfied, will think of charging with disloyalty. Lord Milner, in the course of a speech at a banquet in Montreal, stated that fifty years hence, Canada would have to choose between imperial federation and independence.

We are taunted with being disloyal; but should not such a charge be brought forward rather against those who, in England, from day to day, add to our political freedom, who of their own accord, sever the ties binding us to Great Britain. Disloyal you say? Who can be more disloyal than the men who, occupying seats on the other side of the House, make it their special duty to sow discord and strife between the various races, by charging us with fanaticism and disloyalty, and most unfairly, as we have shown in the past.

There is all the difference in the world between the line of conduct of these men and that followed by the_builder of this country, the peace-maker between its various races, of that man who appealing to the good will of Canadians of all origins, urges them to work in harmony, at any rate whenever the interests of Canada are at stake? What marked contrast there is between the policy of the man who made this country what it is to-day, great and prosperous, and those who in order to subserve their political aims, have been content purely and simply with running down the country, injuring its good name and doing their best to nullify it in the eyes

of the world. I shall not delay the House any longer, since I promised to be short. For the reasons I have mentioned I shall vote with pleasure in favour of the government's proposal; I shall do so without fear, without weakness, and I even say, without hesitation.

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CON

Thomas Beattie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMAS BEATTIE (London).

I shall not, Mr. Speaker, offer any apology for taking up the time of the House for a short while because I believe that every member of this House should pronounce himself on this most important question; and in giving expression to my views, I trust that I shall not utter one word which may offend any hon. gentleman. The question of loyalty, I am sorry to say, has been brought up several times in this debate. To my mind it would have been better for this Dominion had that question not been raised, but, of course, I am simply giving my opinion and others may differ. But, >t seems to me that after the generous manner in which Canada has been treated by Great Britain during the past half century there ought not to be one man in this House or out of it-be he Scotch, French, Irish, English, or born Canadian-who would stand up and say that he would be anything else than a good, loyal, British Canadian.

Were it not for the remarks that fell from the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McLean), I would not have taken part in this debate. In his speech that hon. gentleman said that we owe nothing to Great Britain but good-will and respect. I can only compare my hon. friend with that celebrated old character, Rip Van Winkle- I hope, Mr. Speaker, this remark is not unparliamentary. I am very much afraid that he has been asleep during the past half century, unconscious who was protecting him, or he would not have made the statement he did. Or he must have forgotten that there is such a place as Great Britain. But, of course, we all know that the clan McLean, during the flood, was said to have been quite independent of Noah and the ark, because they had a boat of their own; and by a similar flight of the imagination my hon. friend probably convinced himself that he wa3 perfectly safe under the protection of the old family shot gun. I would like to tell the hon. gentleman that our forefathers were not driven from Great Britain. They had not to leave Great Britain, because the people who had to leave were generally sent to Botany bay. They did not come to Canada for Canada's good, but because they were under the impression that by so doing they could improve their position, both socially and financially, and in my opinion ninety-five per cent of them did so benefit. But had Great Britain not sent her army and navy to Canada and planted the-Union Jack on

our shores, our people would not have had this Dominion to come to; and for that alone we owe more than good-will and respect to the mother country.

If Canada expects to continue within the British empire-and I believe that we all do wish and intend to remain under her benign sway-we should not expect to live like drones in the bee hive, receiving all the protection, honour and benefit the em pire can give us while refusing to assist in adding any honey to the hive. The question before this country and parliament is: Shall we give Great Britain for the British navy a present of two of the best battleships that can be built, or shall Canada build a so-called navy, which has been very aptly described by my hon. friend from Montreal (Mr. Doherty) as a stay at home navy? Two battleships would cost about $18,000,000, and not $25,000,000, as stated by hon. members opposite. But what would the contemplated government navy cost? I am informed that the annual expenditure on the maintenance of that navy would be alpout $7,000,000 and that amount would be expended on a navy which would have nothing to do, and would be compelled to remain idle in our harbours of Esquimalt and Halifax and others. The crews would have no other occupation but to paint the ships, scrub the decks and eat three good meals a day, to which they would, of course, be entitled. And the officers,, no doubt, would fill in their time giving pink teas occasionally to their friends on shore at the expense of the people of this country.

Let me now recall some of the many favours which Great Britain has bestowed on Canada in the past few years, and I shall only mention those which are fresh in our memory and for which we have never paid or were asked to pay one dollar. Take the first trouble that occurred in our great northwest-that great heritage of which we are all so proud and boast so much. Did Great Britain not send us out General Wolesley, one of her best generals, who took charge of the Red River expedition, restored that country t-o peace and quietness, and handed it over to this Dominion. Then look back to the civil war in the United States, what did Great Britain do when there was danger of trouble along our borders? What did she then do for Canada? Did she not send us 10,000 of her best troops, composed of her best regiments, and several of her most efficient batteries of artillery, landing them at Halifax and marching them a thousand miles overland through ice and snow to the western part of Ontario? Well do I remember, as a small lad, the arrival of the 63rd regiment in London one midwinter midnight in the sixties. After that came the 53rd regiment and the 47th and the 60th rifles,

one of the best rifle regiments in England. There also came Major Balfour's Grey battery of artillery-one of the best in the service. These troops were kept in Canada many years, at the imperial expense, until all danger of trouble was over. That expedition alone must have cost Great Britain much more than the price of the two Dreadnoughts we propose to give. And yet, although those troops were all stationed within gunshot of the door of my hon. friend from South Huron (Mr. McLean) that hon. gentleman says we owe Britain nothing but respect and good will. Did we ever pay one cent for that expedition? No, we did not. Were we ever asked to pay a cent for it? No.

Hon. gentlemen opposite keep telling us, over and over again, that two Dreadnoughts would cost $25,000,000, but I have it- on the best authority that two of the best battleships can be built at a cost of $18,000,000 at the outside. Would it not be better to pay that amount and be done with the matter than to go on with the proposed navy, the cost of which, when completed, no one can foresee, and which, when completed, will be of no earthly use to Canada, but be simply a stay-in-the-harbour navy. And I am informed on undoubted authority that the upkeep of that navy will amount to $7,000,000 per year. Our militia, which in 1896 cost us but $1,000,000 per year, is now, thanks to the right hon. the Prime Minister and his sunny ways, costing us over $7,000,000 annually. Add these two annual expenditures, and you have $14,000,000 for the yearly upkeep of the navy and militia, or $2 per head-for every man, woman and child in this country, babies included.

During this debate I have heard some hon. gentlemen describe Canada as a nation within the empire. Would not the terms ' Dominion within the empire ' sound just as well? For my part, I do not care for that word nation. To me, it has a tingle of separation, and I trust that we shall continue, as I believe we shall, to remain under the good old Union Jack, because I believe that five years of separation would inevitably land us under the wing of the American eagle. Let me say in conclusion, that I trust no member sitting in this House to-day will live to see this Dominion separated from the British empire.

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Mr. P. A.@

SEGUIN (L'Assomption.) (Translation.) Mr. Speaker, in order not to take too much of the precious time of this hon. House, I intend to offer but a few remarks. Still, I deem it my duty to express my views on the important question which has been under discussion for several weeks, namely, the creation of a navy for our national defence.

I have carefully listened to the speeches delivered from the very inception of this debate, and with a few exceptions I have Mr. BEATTIE.

found that most of the violent objections raised against the proposed navy are based on the fact that the measure introduced by thct government does not go far enough..

Even the disloyalty of the French Canadians has been referred to, and the Prime Minister himself has not been spared the most outrageous attacks, on account of his attitude on this question. I am surprised that neither the leader of the opposition nor the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, who know how to wave, each to his own way, the opposition flag, have deemed it their duty to protest against those violent expressions directed against the government by hon. members opposite.

But violent as the debate has been, it has served a useful purpose in enlightening the minds, and I am free to say, Sir, that I am satisfied from what I heard of this debate that the government, in seizing the House with this Bill for the creation of a navy, has thoroughly mastered the question, having considered it from every standpoint, and that they have viewed it from the standpoint of the general interest of the country, irrespective of any party or racial consideration, or any local or private interest.

T may say that at first glance, prior to the debate and before I had examined the matter, the statu quo seemed to me an ideal state of things, and along with others, I was inclined to think that, the country having so far done without a navy, might very well do without it for a good many years, but I have since found out that it was a falacy.

The nations are groups of individuals, therefore, like the individuals, they grow in order to reach adolescence and then mature age.

Canada is still in its period of adoles-cense but without being disloyal to the mother country, we are quite free to think, in looking into a more or lesa remote future, that the time will come when our country will have, to shape its own course; in short, Canada will do like the grown up boy who leaves the paternal roof in order to create a home for himself..

If we may have an insight into the future of our country, is it not desirable that we should, from this moment, begin to prepare ourselves for the struggle for life in the future?

There is not a single country, however small it may be, in Europe and in the rest of the civilized world, anxious for its future destiny, which has not its nucleus of a navy for national defence.

Although a mere colony, Canada, owing to the vast extent of her territory, her immense natural resources, her population growing yearly by leaps and bounds, is much ahead of those countries I have just referred to, and yet, she would remain indifferent to the fate which the future keeps

in store for her. That would be, to say the least, imprudent. *

Looking at the question from the standpoint of our relations with the mother country, I find also that it is hut fair that w'e should contribute in some way and help to preserve the supremacy of the empire. The other colonies have responded to that very natural feeling; will Canada alone lag and stay behind? Np, Sir, the political genius of the Prime Minister has devised the means of saving our autonomy and has succeeded in making the best of that scheme of national defence.

While allowing us to freely discharge our duties as colonists towards England, the government Bill provides first for our national defence, and it may well be said once more, on the present occasion, that the Liberal party has adopted the policy of ' Canada for the Canadians.'

The creation of a navy is calculated not only to give satisfaction to the just pride of a whole people, but moreover, to give the country the benefit of a new industry; the establishment of several navy yards for the construction of those warships will materially contribute to the prosperity of a portion of the population, and then, the building of those warships will be followed by the construction of merchant ships; now, everybody knows that for a country like Canada a merchant marine is the thermometer of its prosperity. Moreover, as we have in Canada the advantage over other countries of possessing enormous deposits of iron and nickel and everything that enters into the construction of ships, we may hope that this new industry will take an enormous development and even allow us to build ships for other countries, to the great benefit of our country. This new ship-building industry in Canada is going to procure work to thousands of heads of families and secure an inexhaustible source of'revenue for them. Besides, this national navy will open to our young men an honourable career well worthy of their best aspirations. In short, Mr. Speaker, I consider that we have in that policy a new and considerable element of national prosperity.

As against the policy enunciated by the government, the hon. gentlemen opposite present two policies, quite indefinite and diametrically opposed; first, the hon. leader of the opposition wishes to place at the disposal of the Imperial authorities two Dreadnoughts, that is to say, all at once a sum of from twenty to twenty-five million dollars, even if we have later on to decide whether it is desirable or not to build a navy. I should not like to use here any offensive language, for I am loath to follow the hon, gentlemen opposite on that ground, but I wonder if the leader of

the opposition, in formulating his proposal, has duly taken into consideration the interests of our country and its future destiny? Should it become urgent, in a more or less remote future, to build a navy for the defence of our country and the experience of other countries shows that such urgency will soon be felt-of what use will those twenty-five million dollars have been which Canada, at one blow, would have given to the mother country? Would not that void produced all at once in the public exchequer be calculated to retard the creation of our navy, and who knows what would result from such delay? It seems to me that the policy of the leader of the opposition on that point is disastrous., and it does not require much musings on the matter to come to such a conclusion.

Then comes the proposal of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), who says that the question ought to be submitted to the people to obtain at once the nation's opinion; but I ask, what is the use of an expenditure of two or three hundred thousand dollars when the nature of the result of that plebiscite is known beforehand?

I consider that the newspapers of Canada reflect public opinion; then, all you have to is to consult them, if you want to be well posted in that regard. I did very carefully consult those papers and I find that for the most part they are in favour of a contribution of Canada for the defence of the empire, and I infer therefron^ ^Sir. that the project of contribution devised by the Canadian government is the one which tallies best with the aspirations of our people. A few newspapers are more noisy than serious in their opposition to the government measure; but in their case it is easily seen that they aim more at stirring up popular prejudices against the government, the creator of this marine scheme, than against the scheme itself; in short, it is but a pretext and nothing else. I should not like to insinuate that the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, in advocating a plebiscite, is only aiming at setting up for a champion of the rights of the people. I am quite ready to believe in his sincerity, but undoubtedly one of the reproaches he will incur later on will be that of having used a subterfuge in order to avoid pronouncing himself, by his vote, on the merit of the policy of both parties on the issue now under discussion.

To my mind, Mr. Speaker, the attitude assumed by the hon. memoer for Jacques Cartier and some of his friends seems to show that the policy of the government, in this matter is absolutely fair and in full accord with the best interests of the country. Having realized the extravagant character of the policy advocated by the leader of the opposition and by his sup-

porters, they cannot give it their support; but as they should think they were failing in their duty of blindly approving, in any and every case, the measures brought down by the government, they fall back upon a policy of plebiscite which, after all, means nothing and would have no results.

Personally, Sir, exclusive of the powerful voice of the press, I find that the opinion of nearly all the representatives of the Canadian people assembled in this legislative hall, with a view to working in the best interests of this country, is unquestionably the sound opinion of the whole people of Canada. Now, the nature of this opinion is well known, and with the exception of a small group of seven or eight members, the whole deputation- even should there eixst some difference of opinion as to the mode of contributing to the defence of the empire-none the less admits that it is desirable to do something in that direction.

Therefore, Sir, I infer therefrom that the well-understood interest of the country, our trade relations with the mother country and our future destiny are so many reasons which militate in favour of the creation of a navy for the national defence.

Therefore, I will vote in favour of the Bill, because I am satisfied that the revenues of the country are amply sufficient to meet the expenditure involved in the creation of such navy, without it being necessary to increase taxation; and, moreover, because it cannot affect the national works under construction, as well as the works that are now contemplated. It would be idle, and I should take without any necessity the time of the House were I to give a statement of the revenues of the country and of our national wealth; just as it would be an unnecessary repetition of former statements to give the figures showing the increase in population; and to compare the present position of Canada with what it will be in a few years.

It is quite easy to agitate public opinion, to go through the country as some one is now doing in the county of L'Assomp-tion, which I have the honour of repre-presenting, trying to rouse prejudices by means of sonorious words, more or less devoid of sense. They talk about militarism, they refer to imperialism, they talk of millions of dollars; but, Sir, I should like to know if such verbiage is suggested by a sound and enlightened patriotism. Does that verbiage, on the contrary, not betray an ill-disguised ambition, a certain personal interest which seems, so to say, to silence the voice of reason and of public interest? But the electors of my county, as well as the electorate of the whole country, far from listening to those interested clamours, will realize that their mandatories had something else to do besides play-

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Paul-Arthur Séguin

Liberal

Mr. SEGUIN.

ing the part of a demagogue. That mandate, Sir, I did accept with all the responsibilities involved, and the oath I have taken as a representative of the people makes it incumbent upon me, under the circumstances, to give my most loyal support to the Bill providing for the creation of a navy for the national defence, and so doing, I think I have well deserved of my country.

On motion of Mr. Loggie, the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Fielding, the House adjourned at 10.55 p.m.

Wednesday, March 9, 1910.

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March 8, 1910