March 9, 1910


That the idea of provision for naval defence is new some people believe. But the statutes of Canada tell a different story. By chapter 37 of the Consolidated Statutes of 1859 several thousand acre9 of land were vested in the ' commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,' for ever in trust for the service of the said department. The lands so vested were described in the schedule to the Act as follows:- 1. -288 acres in the county of Sherbrooke, county of Haldimand. 2. -389 acres in the townships of Tiny and Tay, in the county of Simeoe. 3. -8 acres and 2 roods at Point Erederiok, in the township of Pittsburgh, in the county of Frontenac. 4. -4 acres on the west side of Meadow street, in the town plot of Gwillimbury, in the county of Simeoe. 5. -3,000 acres at Point Pelee, in the township of Mersea, in the county of Essex. 6. -200 acres in the township of Vespra, in the county of Simeoe. 7. -500 acres on the Island of St. Joseph, Lake Huron. 8. -106 acres on the said island in Lake Huron. 9. -4 acres and 2 roods in the township of Pittsburgh. In the Act provision was made authorizing the Governor in Council to grant other lands to the commissioners under a similar trust, and they were also authorized to purchase other lands out of any funds provided for the purpose by the imperial parliament. Sales of lands were to be made by the commissioners, the moneys received therefor to be paid as they should direct. This Act and two other Acts respecting ordnance lands (chaps. 24 and 36) were repealed by the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1886, chap. 55, in which some of the lands were re-described, while parcels 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were omitted, and the following new parcels were given in the schedule, intitled ' Naval Reserve transferred to the Dominion of Canada ':- 1. -556 acres at Fort Henry, known as the Barriefield Common. 2. -23 acres, Cedar island, tower and glacis. 3. -<125 acres, 2 roods and 1 perch in the township of Pittsburgh, purchased 6th July, 1844. 4. -<102 acres in the same township acquired 20th March, 1840. Chapter 58 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, repealed the above Act and gave a schedule, in which some of the old parcels of 1859 appear, namely, 4, 5, 7 and 8, together with the following:- 1. -219 acres, Grand river. 2. -18 acres, 2 roods and 3 perches, Barbet Point. These are in the schedule, intitled ' Admiralty Lands, or Naval Reserves transferred to the Dominion of Canada/ The total of the three schedules gives 5,674 acres; but, as none of the schedules agree, there is doubt as to the present position of the trust. A statement ought to be laid before parliament showing what lands are still available for naval defence. That article commended itself to me, and I place it upon ' Hansard ' for the benefit of the government and for the benefit of the country. It is important that the people should know that in the early part of the last century there were lands in Canada devoted to the admiralty of Great Britain-not to the Governor General of Canada and his advisers1-and that that trust remains in Canada, ignored now as it always has been, and to-day Great Britain could properly ask for an accounting in respect to these lands. And yet, we talk about our magnaminity, and we talk about our charity in contributing a little navy fifteen years from now, When either Great Britain is licked or has licked the whole of the world that attacks her. Now, Mr. Speaker, let me say a word about the legality of this Bill, for I have so far endeavoured to discuss it only from the material and sentimental standpoint, and from the standpoint of Canada irrespective of what the rights of Great Britain may be. As to the legality of the Bill, I am bound to say that if we were to pass it as it has been introduced by the Prime Minister, we would be_ ultra vires of our rights, and Great Britain would be intra vires of her legal powers in disallowing such a Bill. For that I have to look at the British North America Act, on which the whole constitution of this country depends. To hear some hon. gentlemen talk, one might suppose that already Canada was an independent country, and that Great Britain was allowed to float the "Union Jack over these buildings, and to have a picture of His Majesty the King in this chamber merely as a matter of courtesy, and not as a matter of right. But we must remember that Great Britain still can tax every foot of land, every gold mine, and every thing else in Canada. Great Britain says that we may handle the land of Canada for ourselves, but she might say: 'You are not able to handle it properly,' and take from us the control of it. Great Britain has passed the British North America Act, by which she says that certain things may be done in Canada. She says by one section of that Act: 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 King. It says not only the navy ' in ' Canada, but the navy ' of ' Canada is to continue and be vested in the King. This Bill undertakes, by three or four sections, to say that the navy of Canada is not to be vested in the King, but that it is to be vested in the Governor General, which means practically in the Prime Minister of this country; and no matter how much we may venerate or respect the personnel of any Prime Minister of Canada, we cannot by any vote of this House ou3t the King from the control of the navy, and put the Prime Minister of Canada in his place. We would have to get another British North America Act passed before we could do so. There is another section of the British North America Act which provides that the King in imperial council in Great Britain can disallow within two years any legislation passed by this parliament. It has often been said, and the matter has come up in debate as to abolishing the Senate this year, that Great Britain would never think of interferring with any legislation of ours in regard to any domestic affair. 1 agree with that. Great Britain say3 in the British North America Act that in our domestic affairs we can do as we like; but she reserves the right, if she sees fit to disallow our legislation within two years; and I cannot conceive of a case in which that right ought to be exercised if it i3 not such a case as this, where we go outside of our domestic matters and undertake to say what will be done with a navy manned by British subjects and part of the imperial navy, and, according to the British North America Act, under tne command of His Majesty the King. This being the condition of affairs, I say advisedly, that even if we thought it wi3e, which God forbid, to cut loose from the British empire, we could not legally do it; and we cannot by this Bill do what it purports to do, give control of any navy to the Governor General. The words in the Bill to that effect are useless; and in order to prevent a conflict of authority, I would think it wise on the part of Great Britain that the King in Council should disallow this Bill as soon a3 a certified copy is sent, to the Secretary of State (as has to be done with every Bill we pass), and should say to Canada: You have exceeded your jurisdiction; we cannot have one navy to fight against us, and another to fight for us; we never gave you permission to do what you have done; these matters you must leave entirely to the control of the imperial parliament; therefore, under this other section of the British North America Act, we must disallow your Act as improper and illegal.



For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I must vote against the second reading of this Bill. If hon. gentlemen opposite are anxious to do only what is right, I cannot see why they cannot accept the proposition of the hon. leader of the opposition, which puts no permanent tax, and no permanent policy upon Canada until every body in Canada has a chance to discuss it with their would-be representatives, who will come here in another parliament to vote on the question. They have no mandate from the people for this measure. They had no mandate in 1908 to do this thing, and they have none now. It is practically a breach of faith towards the people of Canada to pass an Act of this kind. When they will not accept the proposition of the hon. leader of the opposition for the sake of unanimity which they pray and beseech us to give them; when they will not see that the way to prevent Germany, or any other nation from attacking Great Britain is for Canada, and all the other colonies to show a united front in supporting Great Britain; and when they reflect that if Germany or any other country thinks that at least half the people of Canada are against always supporting Great Britain, and that it does not necessarily follow that Great Britain will be supported by Canada in a war, then the government supporters are creating the very emergency which they pretend does not exist. When I see them put their political party before the empire, I need make no apology for voting against this Bill. Before sitting down, I will read one stanza of a poem which seems to me to voice the feelings of the intelligent Liberals as well as Conservatives of my county: There is no flag in all the world save Britain's blood-red cross That guards pure justice, honour, truth; and keeps the weak from loss. That gives the poor the righteous law, that lifts the bitter wrong, And champions in the war of life, the weak against the strong! What other nation keeps its pact though all its world shall fall? What other leaves the ease of life to follow duty's call? Honour and duty! noble stars! by which our race is led! God grant their double light may shine forever overhead.


CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. R. LALOR (Haldimand).

Mr. Speaker, I feel that I would not be doing my duty to the constituency which I have the honour of representing were I to permit the vote to be taken on the question before the House without giving my reasons for voting against the Bill proposed by the government. We have had a long debate on this question, a debate lasting for several weeks, and I think the House and the country are getting weary of it. I believe in a full and complete dis-Mr. LANCASTER.

cussion of such a very important measure. I think it wise for the leading men m both sides of the House to express their [DOT]dews on a measure of such great importance; but the speeches have been characterized by too great length, there has been a great deal of repetition in them, md many of them have been read from manuscripts. I think the country would have been better satisfied if the speeches had been shorter. I believe that the people send us here to do business and do not care to have us fill pages of ' Hansard ' with speech after speech, long and wearisome as many of them are. What they want is that we should do business in a business like way and show more brevity in our discussions. One result of our long sessions is to keep out of parliament men of great prominence in business, and in the professions because they cannot afford the time which our interminable sessions would compel them to devote to parliamentary life. As a business man, I should like very much to have our sessions shortened even though that would necessitate the curtailing of speeches to a very great extent; and I trust that I shall not sin against my own views by making remarks which may be found too long or wearisome.

We had yesterday the pleasure of hearing from the splendid representative of the county of South Waterloo (Mr. Clare). If there is any man in this House who can claim to represent here a special nationality, my hon. friend (Mr. Clare) can claim to represent the German people of the Dominion as well as the splendid county of Waterloo; and I am sure that we were all delighted with the speech he made and the sentiments to which he gave expression. For my part, I reiterate the sentiments so well expressed by my hon. friend because I too have the honour to represent a county in which there are a great many Germans, and I can only say that a more industrious, thrifty and law-abiding people you could not desire. I have lived among them in the county of Haldimand all my life, I have grown up among them, and I know that there are no better citizens to be found in that county or anywhere else. We may bring in immigrants from England, Ireland, Scotland or from anywhere else, but we shall get no hetter class than the good German element residing in the counties of Haldimand and Waterloo.

We have been told by many of the speakers who have addressed the House on this question that Germany is preparing for war, that she is a great and warlike nation, and is extending her army and increasing her navy. Well, I presume that Germany has a perfect right to indulge in this extension and in carrying out what she deems to be the best policy

in her own interest. But if the Germans are a war-like or quarrelsome people, that description certainly does not apply to those who have settled in the counties of Haldi-mand and Waterloo because they are just the reverse. They are very quiet, inoffensive and industrious, desirous of living at peace with their neighbours, and they are among the best farmers and the best people in the county I have the honour to represent. Should there be trouble between Great Britain and Germany, we would all greatly. deplore it because Germany and England are bound together by ties of relationship as well as commerce and business, and we hope that no trouble of that kind may ever come between these two nations but that they will continue to live at peace in the future as they have done in the past.

It is my intention, in me course of a few weeks, to visit that great country of Germany. I am not going there for the purpose of studying their war-like preparations, but to see, if I can learn something from those German people in regard to their industries and ability to manufacture merchandise in a way to surpass any other country. And I am sure that as a Canadian and a representative from this House, I can say to the people of the German empire whom I may meet that the people of Canada have the most kindly feeling for them and hope that the time will never come when there will be any trouble between Great Britain and her colonies and the German empire. But in the speeches delivered in this House I have heard sentiments which I was very sorry indeed to hear. I have never, in any election campaign, made any utterances upon the public platform or elsewhere -which would excite racial or creed difficulties. I have been always opposed to that^ sort of thing. I do not believe that it is for the good of either party that such sentiments should be brought up either in the House or out of it, and I am not in accord with any expressions which call into account the loyalty of any section of our people. We are all good Canadians although we may belong to different nationalities. But I have heard from the lips of gentlemen opposite sentiments which rather surprised me, and I must say that that distinguished gentleman, the right lion, the leader of the government himself, has given utterances to some which are not in accord with the views of the Canadian people. In introducing this measure, the right hon. gentleman told us that the navy he proposed constructing was to be a Canadian navy, that it was not to be in any sense an imperial navy. For my part I think that a Canadian navy, if we are to have one, should be certainly an imperial navy. It

should be a navy at the disposal of Great Britain, not by the vote of the Canadian parliament, but automatically. It should be an imperial navy, in every sense of the word, under the command of the King. My hon. friend from Montreal (Mr. Ger-vais) yesterday told us, in speaking about a Canadian navy, built in Canada of Canadian material, by Canadian workmen and manned by Canadian crews, that it would be under the command of the King but at tire direction of the Canadian parliament. The latter condition, I think, was a rider to the imperial character of the navy, which changes entirely its condition. The navy we want is a navy to be under the command of the King and not under the direction of the Canadian government.

The right honourable the Prime Minister told us, when introducing this Bill, that in case of trouble, such as the Crimean war, he would hesitate about the Canadian navy taking any part in it. I think that such an opinion came as a surprise to the members of this House and the people of this country. I do not believe that it was in accord with the sentiments of Canadians, regardless of politics. I can only compare that declaration that he would not allow the Canadian navy, under similar cirumstances, to take part in a British war, with the sentiment expressed by that great Canadian, whose name is revered and loved by the people of Canada, the late Sir John Macdonald. Speaking of the Crimean war, the late Sir John said:

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

I notice the contrast.

-I had great pleasure as a member of the government of Sir Allan McNab, to be instrumental in carrying a vote of twenty thousand pounds sterling given unanimously out of the public treasury in order to show tlnat Canada made common cause with England and with France in the Cremean war.

What a contrast between the sentiments of the present Prime Minister of Canada and the sentiments of Sir John A. Macdonald, the leader of the Conservative party and the head of the government of Canada for so many years. Is it any wonder that the memory of that great statesman is loved so well, and that he is held in such reverence by every loyal and patriotic Canadian? Is it any wonder that we on this side of the House, and I believe the people of Canada generally, feel that there is some.

little doubt as to the object of the right hon. leader of this government in establishing a Canadian navy? Is it any wonder that the people of Canada, or the great majority of them, are opposed to this proposition for a Canadian navy? I know that in my section of the country the sentiment is growing every day in opposition to_this scheme, because the people feel that" the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister himself, in introducing this Bill, did not have the right ring about them. They were not good Canadian sentiments; and consequently, although they .are opposed to the idea of the Canadian navy on general principles, they are still more opposed to it when they reflect upon the expressions of the Prime Minister in introducing his Bill. We find that the same sentiment prevails to a considerable extent among the more humble followers ,of the right hon. gentleman sitting to the right of the Speaker. Only a few days ago we heard an hon. gentleman opposite expressing the idea that the ultimate destiny of this country, if not independence, was annexation to the United States. Sir, this kind of sentiment does not meet with much response in the hearts of the people of this country. Let me quote the words of the hon. gentleman to whom I allude, a member coming from the province of Quebec:

But I ask of these men, shall not Canada sooner or later have to choose between annexation and independence?

And a little later in his address he says:

It is neither patriotic nor loyal on the part of these men to put obstacles in the way of the complete development of our political organization and to pretend that we ought always to dwell under the protection of the British flag. But, thank God, I am convinced that this will not he the case, and the creation of this naval fleet in my humble opinion is the last step towards independence.

That was the sentiment expressed by an hon. member of this House from the province of Quebec, sitting on tbe government side, only a few days ago. And the member for St. James Division, Montreal (Mr. Gervais), in his speech yesterday, made reference to the same subject, hut although his language was veiled, there can be no difficulty in understanding his meaning He referred to the American revolution, and he said that had it not been for the possession of a navy by the thirteen colonies, they would not have been able to resist the imposition of taxes upon them by England; and he stated in his address that England has the power, if she likes, to impose taxes upon Canada. I wonder if he means that a Canadian navy will be the means of protecting Canada against an effort on the part of Great Britain to tax this country against her will. I do not see what Mr LALOR-

other meaning he can have for making such a reference. I do not think, Sir, that the people of this country have much fear that Great Britain will ever impose any taxes upon Canada that are not in the interest of the great empire to which we belong.

At six o'clock, House took recess.

After Recess.

House resumed at eight o'clock.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

At six o'clock I was alluding to some of the remarks made by members from the province of Quebec.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me rather unique and strange to open the House without any member of the government being present. A cabinet that has no representative in this House-I am glad the right hon. the Prime Minister has put in an appearance, since the debate was going on without any representative of the cabinet in the House.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

I am entirely opposed to any sentiments that may be expressed in this House in favour of independence. The expressions we have heard here not only advocate independence but some of them separation, and, failing that, annexation to the United States. I hope the time will never come, no matter how large a country we may grow to be, when there will be any sentiment in this country in favour of separation from Great Britain, for independence, of course means separation from the British empire. I believe that in expressing those sentiments I express the sentiments of the county I represent as well as of the people of Canada generally. I do not believe that the people of Canada endorse the principle announced by the Prime Minister that parliament would be called together to consider whether the Canadian navy should be used in case England was at war with another country, for I believe that the people of Canada will be at war when the empire is at war, and that no Prime Minister of this country, whether he be a Liberal or a Conservative, no matter from what province he may come, no matter what government might be in power, could hold back the sons of Canada if the British flag were attacked, and to provide in a Bill presented to this House that a Canadian navy built by the Canadian people with Canadian money can only be used with the sanction of the Governor in Council, which means the parliament of Canada, is a course -that will not he approved by the people of this country, for I believe our people, regardless of political allegiance, are loyal and prepared to stand by the British flag whenever that flag is attacked, or whoever mav attack it. If

Great Britain were at war we would have a repetition of what we saw in connection with the South African war where the Canadian boys would rush to the front, and no government or Navy Bill could hold them back. I believe the people of Canada love the British flag and are ready and willing at all times to show their allegiance to that flag and to our King. But, Sir, while I was surprised at the expression I have already mentioned, I was still more surprised that a member representing a great constituency in Ontario, South Huron, a constituency with which I am acquainted and in which I know the people are loyal and patriotic, should tell us that we owe Great Britain nothing save good will. I believe that when he goes back to his constituency and asks his electors to re-elect him for this parliament he will be buried under the ballots of the people of that county, because I do not believe they would support a member who made such a statement in this House.

We are told that there is no unity in the Conservative party. A few days ago I met a leading physician from an Ontario city, a very strong Liberal in politics. He was very much opposed, as I believe the Liberals throughout Ontario generally are,, to the present Naval Bill. The only argument he could present in favour of his own party was that the Conservative party were divided on this question. The Conservative party are not divided on this question when it comes to being opposed, to the building of a Canadian navy: the Conservative party are as one man all opposed to the building of a Canadian navy. There may be differences of opinion as to what is best for Canada and for the empire, as to the best method to adopt, but there is no question as to the unity of the party so far as their opposition to this Bill is concerned. But, when we are told about differences of opinion on this side of the House, we hear occasionally a discordant note from the opposite side of the House. We heard one to-day from an exminister of the Crown, the hon. member for Westmorland (Mr. Emmerson) who, in a lengthy and eloquent speech has given us a new policy as emanating from the front benches on the government side. He reminded me of the chipmonk that came out of his hole to find the hole closed up after him when he tried to get in again. But the hon. member for Westmorland was not to be caught in this way and he left a little loophole open that he might crawl back. After denouncing the government Bill and saying that the project was too expensive, that our people could not afford it and that we should expend our money in building railways and canals and other great undertakings-and I felt quite proud of him when he was

making these remarks, because I felt he was taking an independent stand.

But I was surprised to find that in the last two sentences he announced that he was going to support a measure that he was so strongly opposed to. I noticed the hon. Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley) sitting beside him. You know what a kindly feeling exists between the hon. Minister of Public Works and the ex-Minister of Railways and Canals, both coming from the province of New Brunswick and sitting beside each other. The Minister of Public Works applauded his remarks and pounded his desk very gently, of course, when he heard the sentiments uttered by the hon. ex-Minister of Railways and Canals. I wondered if the Minister of Public Works himself had some little independent thought in connection with this navy. It is reported that he has. Rumour says that the Minister of Public Works did not like such an enormous expenditure to take place unless within his own department. It is said that the Minister of Public Works actually advocated that all this expenditure that it is now proposed to be made upon the navy should be made upon dry-docks and in the department over which he has charge. He probably had in his mind at the time the Richibucto wharf, known as the sawdust wharf, that he no doubt thought of making use of in connection with these docks for naval defence. But if we were to know the exact sentiments and feelings that exist among the government supporters in connection with this measure, if we could see the letters that they are receiving from day to day by hundreds from their constituents and the petitions that they are receiving from farmers all over the country in opposition to this measure we would know bow much unanimity of feeling there is amongst them. The Prime Minister has a great influence upon his followers. We are free to admit that. They have a very great love and admiration for their leader, and no doubt they are prepared to stand by him and support him in this measure, even though it may be objectionable to them and not to the satisfaction of the constituencies which they represent. But there are other reasons why they support this measure. Some of them have judgeships in view, others have senator-ships in view, others have public offices in view which they know they cannot get unless they stand man to man in support of the Prime Minister and in support of any measure that he may bring before this House. I think that some of them perhaps have in view the fate that befell those who expressed independent views in opposition to the government. I refer to the late Hon. Mr. Tarte, the late Hon. Mr. Blair and many others in the same list,

who, having some independent sentiments, found themselves landed outside of the party and the party councils as a result. The unanimity that may exist upon this measure and the solid vote that may be given by supporters of the government in connection with it, I do not believe is the result of their own consciences or feelings in the matter, but is the result of party caucuses and party whips, because I believe that throughout the whole country, whether it is in the provinces by the sea, in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, or in the great provinces of the west, there is one very general sentiment, and that is in opposition to the building of a Canadian navy, which has been styled a tin pot navy. I think that is a very good name for it. You might add a little more to it and call it the Quebec navy, because I think it is designed to try and give the people of the province of Quebec some halfway measure, some resting place, so that hon. gentlemen opposite may feel that they are satisfying Quebec and at the same time meeting the views of the other provinces of the Dominion. But in this they mistake the sentiment of the country, for if they appeal to the country they will find that the people are opposed to them. The measure should not be submitted as it is to the members of this House merely for them to sanction and carry into effect without it first having been discussed before the people of Canada. I think it should be submitted to the people to have their opinion upon it, and if not, for the people to actually vote upon the measure it should be submitted to them at least in a general election, when every man could stand upon a public platform and advocate either the programme of a Canadian navy or manifest his opposition to it according to the views that the candidate might hold, and upon this measure and upon these views the candidates might receive and expect the votes of the electors in the constituencies that they were contesting.

I am opposed to a Canadian navy first, because I believe it will be absolutely useless. I do not believe that the government or anybody in this country take it seriously. I do not believe that the people think that the navy, when built, will be of any use to Canada or the empire. It is practically a do-nothing policy. It means nothing at all. It means, in the first place, according to the statements made on behalf of the government, that for one year at least they will do nothing and that four or five years must elapse before they can turn out any ships. Probably, if we interpret that statement correctly, it will be ten years before this small, worthless, tin pot navy can be launched or be of any service to the country. Then, the enormous cost of it is too great for the people of Mr. LALOR.

this country to stand at the present time. I do not say that the time will not come when we should have a Canadian navy under the direction of the British admiralty, because the time may come, when the population of Canada may grow to be much larger than it is to-day. Perhaps then we should have a navy. But, I do not believe that a people numbering six or seven millions can afford to build a navy of their own. The government tell us that this navy will cost $16,000,000 or $17,000,000, but I do not believe they know what it will cost, I believe it is only guess work when they talk about the cost of the navy. The right hon. leader of the government told us when the Bill in connection with the Grand Trunk Pacific was introduced that the road would cost $13,000,000 and not one cent more. If we are to judge of the cost of the Canadian navy according to his estimate of the cost of the Grand Trunk Pacific I think that the people of Canada will have a very heavy burden to stand before they get through with the building of the Canadian navy. In place of it costing $16,000,000 or $17,000,000, in a short time, it will be $25,000,000 and it will soon run up to $50,000,000. For the upkeep it is estimated that it will cost $7,000,000 annually which will almost certainly soon run up to $10,000,000 or even $20,000,000 or $25,000,000 a year and even at ten million dollars of an annual expenditure in twenty years we would spend the enormous sum of $200,000,000. When we consider this question from the point of view of what is most economical for the people of Canada we must come to the conclusion that it would be better to present Great Britain with two Dreadnoughts, even if they cost $20,000,000, because the interest upon $20,000,000 would be about $700,000 per year and the people of the country would know just what they are getting and exactly what it was costing them. But, we enter in the thin end of the wedge of an expense in connection with a Canadian navy as to the cost of which we have no definite idea. When the Prime Minister presented this Bill the other day he told us that it was going to cost $16,000,000 or $17,000,000 and he was asked by the hon. member for South Simcoe if there was included in the expenditure the cost of arms and guns. To my surprise, and I think the surprise of all the hon. members of this House, he hesitated and did not know whether it included the cost of these things or not. We know that the greater part of the cost is for armament, so that we can easily judge how enormous the cost of this Canadian navy is going to be. A few days ago I received a letter from a farmer who has been a very strong Liberal in the county that I have the honor to represent. He and his family lived in my county all their lives and he

was always a very active Liberal politician. He has recently moved over to the county of Wentworth and I am sorry the hon. member for that county (Mr. Sealey) is not here in order that he might hear what a gentleman who supported him at the last election and who is a strong Liberal in politics has to say in reference to the Canadian navy.

This gentleman addresses to me an open letter, the last few sentences of which I shall read. He speaks of the representative of the county (Mr. Sealey) as his hired man, and he wants to know what he is doing here, and then he goes on to say:

Who are you going to have for admiral on this fleet. Peary, I presume, or Cook the pole climber. Whoever he is, see that he is a good swimmer and also able to fly for it is my opinion that when this fleet gets into deep water it will either go up or down. No Mr. Member, no Canadian fleet for me hut give Great Britain two Dreadnoughts that will he a credit to Canada, something that Britain can depend on in time of war. Tell my hired man to see that this is done and you help him all you can.

These are the sentiments of a good Liberal farmer in the county of Wentworth whom I have known for a good many years.

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An hon. MEMBER.

What is his name?

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

I would be very glad to show the hon. member the letter and give him the name, but I do not think I should give it in public.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Name.

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

I will be glad to show this letter to hon. gentlemen opposite and give them tha name if they come over to this side of the House. I believe, Sir, that this farmer and strong Liberal represents the feelings of the farmers of this country about the navy. We find the 'Farmers' Sun,' the leading farmers organ of this country, opposed to the Canadian navy; we find the farmers throughout the country regardless of politics petitioning parliament in opposition to the Canadian navy, and I want to tell the Prime Minister and his followers that there never was a more unpopular measure presented to the parliament of Canada than the proposal to build this navy. I believe, Sir, that when this government appeals to the people-and I only wish it were at once-they will go down and out on this policy. I believe that it is much better for us to give Great Britain a sum sufficient to buy two first-class battleships or two Dreadnoughts than to adopt the Bill submitted by the government. I believe the proposal of the leader of the opposition would be less expensive by far to us, and at the same time it would be more satisfactory to the British admiralty and more satisfactory to the Canadian people. I am opposed to the measure 160

submitted by the government, and I shall have great pleasure in supporting the resolution moved by my leader (Mr. R. L. Borden) which reads as follows:

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

That no such proposals can safely be accepted unless they thoroughly ensure unity of organization and of action without which there can be no effective co-operation in any common scheme of empire defence.

That the said proposals while necessitating heavy outlay for construction and maintenance will give no immediate or effective aid to the empire, and no adequate or satisfactory results to Canada.

That no permanent policy should be entered upon involving large future expenditure of this character until it has been submitted to the people and has received their approval.

That in the meantime the immediate duty of Canada and the impending necessities of the empire can best be discharged and met by placing without delay at the disposal of the imperial authorities as a free and loyal contribution from the people of Canada, such an amount as may be sufficient to purchase or construct two battleships or armoured cruisers of the latest Dreadnought type, giving to the admiralty full discretion to expend the said sum at such time and for such purpose of naval defence as in their judgment may best serve to increase the united strength of the empire and thus assure its peace and security.

Topic:   AN EARLIER CONTRIBUTION.
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CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE (North Simcoe).

Mr. Speaker, I begin with the prayer that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, who, were he able to be here, would have presented this Bill to the House, may speedily be restored in health and to his accustomed seat. I have listened with a great deal of attention to the speech of the right hon. the leader of the government; I have listened to the Japanned oratory of my hon. friend the Postmaster General; I have also studied the cryptic formulas on this great mystery of a Canadian navy which were submitted to us by the hon. the Minister for War, and I have listened to the speeches of hon. gentlemen opposite in which they have lauded the leader of the government and his ministers. I have also listened to the speech which my hon. leader (Mr. Borden) delivered in this House when the measure was presented; a speech which in strength of reasoning and sustained eloquence will bear close comparison with any speech ever delivered within these walls. After listening to all these speeches, after reading the newspapers every morning and considering the various policies that have been dished up to us daily for our consumption; after having taken counsel with my friends as well, I have come to the conclusion that the question now before us is one of the greatest moment and one which should not be trifled

with. It is a question that should not be discussed from the point of view of the Conservative, or the Liberal^ or the nationalist, or the imperialist; it is a question. which, to my mind, should be discussed entirely from the standpoint of the Canadian. It is a question which requires sound statesmanship, for, by this Bill, we propose to change the policy followed by this country for a great many years, and to embark upon a new career. And, Sir, it is my view that a question of that great importance should be approached in a nonpartisan spirit and that we should deal with it on the principles of broadest statesmanship. Statesmanship is not a matter of instinct; it means a close study of present events in the light of past experience and future contingencies. That light of experience is not given to us, so far as I can see, by a study of the life of Peter the Hermit, or of the career of Isabelle of Croye, and neither do I think that we can find much help in the solution of this problem in the life of Lord Durham or the story of his famous report, to all of which the Prime Minister directed our attention.

A good deal of water has gone over the - Chaudiere falls since March last when this question was first raised in parliament. The resolution then unanimously passed in this House has been quoted often, and it is not necessary for me to cite it again. Let me recall, however, some of the contemporaneous conditions existing a year ago. There was a so called scare passing over the British speaking world. For some years a state of hostility, without actual declaration of war, had been existing between Great Britain and Germany. The German emperor's message to Kruger, which was delivered after some German vessels had been seized in Delagoa bay, had caused the first break in the long friendship which had existed between Germany and England from the time of Frederic the Great and the Seven Years AVar. There was friction in Morocco, and other trouble between Germany and Great Britain over some railways located in the territory contiguous to the Persian gulf. These diplomatic clashes are the foster children of war, and as a result, for the first time in a great many years, the British fleet was concentrated for decisive action.

That will explain to some extent the real reason for the absence of a large portion of the British fleet from various seaports in Canada. An army scatters to distant continents, and to barracks during peace; but when there is war an army mobilizes or concentrates to fight. It is so with a fleet. This trouble, as I have stated, did not arise yesterday.

In the battle of the Sea of Japan between the fleets of Russia and Japan, Mr. CURRIE.

naval instructors and strategists learned several important lessons. The first of these was the deadly accuracy of the large guns at long range, the tremendous advantage the larger guns gave; the second was the great advantage the armoured battleship had over the unarmoured cruiser, and the third was the importance of the torpedo boat- in night attacks and blockades. The great battle fought in the Sea of Japan was decided in a few moments. The Russian admiral in that battle perpetrated the great mistake of placing his cruiser squadron, consisting largely of unarmoured cruisers, in the first line, and his battleships in the second. The Japanese reversed that order and opened upon the cruiser squadron of the Russian fleet at heretofore unheard of range, and in a few minutes destroyed the cruiser squadron. When panic reigned supreme in the Russian fleet, the Japanese massed their battleships and destroyed the Russians in less than an hour. The lesson learned from that battle I have already described. The first nation to realize that lesson was Great Britain, with the result that the British navy decided to adopt the big type of battleship known as the Dreadnought. For some fifteen years the Germans had been building a commercial fleet. It had grown from nothing to be the second greatest commercial fleet in the world. As long as this fleet was not protected by a navy, it remained merely a hostage in the hands of the British navy in case of war. The British navy had always been, and is to-day the trump card of Great Britain in a diplomatic fight in Europe. The German commercial fleet is the hostage for Germany's good behaviour, while the British fleet has enabled Great Britain, in all these diplomatic struggles, to prevent the balance of power in Europe from being disturbed, and also to a large extent to nullify what is known in Europe as the pan-German movement. Germany could not hope, in a great many years, to equal the preDreadnought navy of Great Britain, in the, number of ships or guns; but the moment this lesson had been learned in the Sea of Japan, and the British authorities had decided to build a type of capital ship which meets the conditions, in regard to speed, heavy armour, enormous guns and gun power, that very moment the Germans realized that since they were commencing to build a fleet of their own, they should take advantage of this opportunity, and virtually commence building a new navy on even terms with Great Britain. The advent of the Dreadnought, according to naval writers, and those in authority, marked as great an era in navy building as the ironclad did over the wooden walls. The Germans, therefore, started building their navy virtually on even terms with Great

Britain. They provided enormous subsidies, which had been voted unanimously by their parliament. Now, Sir, two courses remained open to Great Britain in that event. One course was to keep pace with the Germans, following them in building capital ships or Dreadnoughts, and instituting a system of conscription in Great Britain similar to that which existed in Germany. That course was virtually endorsed by leading military authorities, such as Lord Roberts, who were agitating at the time for conscription. The other plan was to duplicate the German ship-building programme, and let conscription go for the time being. This has been the plan adopt-ed._ Now, Sir, in order to arouse public opinion to the danger that hung over the horizon, it was necessary that a great many public men in England should speak out, and speak out in alarmist tones. A panic ensued, and was not confined alone to Great Britain. It spread to the colonies, as we all remember, and I might say that it spread to Germany also. When this panic was at its height, the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Poster) moved the famous resolution of March last. I would not trouble the House with a recital of these events, known to us all, were it not that we are often prone to forget the events which impel us to act in a certain manner. At that time, if we had offered to the British authorities two Dreadnoughts, following virtually the same lines as the other colonies, we would have saved this House, and this country perhaps a great deal of trouble. But that plan was not adopted. The plan that was adopted by this House was adopted in good faith, for the purpose of preventing any partisan spirit or discussion arising over this question in any manner, shape or form, and I regret very much that the right hon. leader of the House has brought in a Naval Bill which must of necessity cause partisan discussion.

Now, let us follow the events in their chronological order. In that way we may be able, as Mr. Gladstone would say, to sift this matter down to the bran. A few months after the resolution was passed, delegates from this government were sent to London to find out what Canada should do under 'the terms of that resolution. These delegates went to attend what was known as an Imperial Defence Conference. They were to find out all about the German peril, so that Canada could act in a manner suitable to her position as the premier colony of the empire. I take it that that was the principal business of the commissioners-to ascertain if there was a real ground for a war scare, or whether it was a business transaction of the music halls, and the great warship and gun-building concerns, which are represented in I60i

England by Vickers Sons and Maxim, and in Germany by the Krupps.

The resolution of March last declared that ' the naval supremacy of Great Britain is essential to the security of commerce, the safety of the empire, and the peace of the world.'

This commission went to London to ascertain if that supremacy were really threatened, and if so, in the language of the said resolution, to give:

To the imperial authorities the most loyal and hearty co-operation in every movement for the maintenance of the integrity and honour to the empire.

Was there any peril? Did the commission find there was any cause for alarm, any need for mad haste in armament? Let the Prime Minister answer in his own words, he is supposed to be the chief fountain of knowledge on this point, and the commissioners were his associates in council, and surely would report the facts to him. He gave this House the result of his inquiry, the benefit of his knowledge in his speech on the second reading of this Bill. He said:

For my part I do not see any cause of danger to Great Britain at the present time.

Again:

It is true that Germany is creating a navy, but I see no reason whatever for supposing that Germany is creating a navy for the purpose of attack.

Now Sir, if the naval supremacy of the empire is not threatened, if what the Prime Minister say3 is true, I contend that the proper thing for him to do is to come to this House and courageously separate the question of emergency from the naval policy proposed for the future. In other words, revert to the statu quo, or the policy of 1907, which received the approval of the people at the polls.

1 can quite understand why there is such a large element of our people, especially such a large number of Liberals, not only in Quebec, but even more so among the English speaking provinces, who cry out against the proposed navy. The Prime Minister whom they have followed, in whom they believe, has said: * There is no danger to British naval supremacy.' Then they say: Why indulge in the luxury of an independent navy? Why tear up the tree of peaceful colonial development and expansion by the roots? Why launch this country alone, and not under the aegis of the British navy, on the mad torrent of European militarism, of bankrupting European competition in warship building? The millions that will be spent in useless warships might better be expended in improving transportation facilities, in enlarging our canals, in helping the farmer

to build good roads, in aiding him to contend with noxious weeds, in opening up new country to settlement, in developing industrial enterprises, in establishing technical schools, and doing the many things necessary to enable us to take advantage of the great undeveloped natural resources that lay dormant at our very doors.' These are the men who are going to pay this money for this navy. They are the true empire builders, and they say: ' If there is no danger to the naval supremacy of the empire, then allow us to turn the furrow and throw the shuttle in peace/ If there is no danger, if there is not going to be a war, why not stand pat, follow the old blazed trail, keep in the middle of the road. For many years this country has struggled against adverse circumstances. For years we have had to contend against the ignorance of the world as to our natural resources, our climate, and our opportunities. The republic to the south of us for years offered an asylum to the down-trodden masses of Europe, who sought to escape from grinding, hopeless systems, of terrorism, despotism and militarism. There they could start life anew. There they had equal opportunity irrespective of birth or fortune. There the conscription did not tear them away from their homes and workshops. There they had no grinding tribute to pay to the god of war, who constantly hovers on the European frontiers. The arts of peace, there predominated over the arts of war. Historians and observers of social customs tell us that it is the brightest minds, the most intelligent, courageous and energetic are those who immigrate. These people did not know that within the boundaries of Canada there were equal opportunities, equal freedom. But now we are coming to our own, and what happens? We are about to establish a navy and institute an old-world system which is one of the chief objections of these people against the countries from which they came. They say it is not disloyalty surely to wish to develop the resources of this country in peace. It is not disloyalty to desire to keep as long as possible free from the terrible financial drains, the grinding taxation, the economic waste, that follows in the train of a standing army or its collateral, a navy. Ten millions per year this toy navy will cost, and we will forfeit forever the right to say to the prospective immigrant, Canada offers you an asylum free from the terrors of old-world militarism, free from the domination of the sword/

If the Prime Minister is right, and we *will rest the responsibility upon him, that there is no danger to the naval supremacy of the empire, then those who believe in standing pat, are quite justified in opposing this Bill and denouncing the govern-Mr. CURRIE.

ment which has forsworn Liberal principles and traditions.

I wish to say a word on behalf of the old Reformers. The right hon. leader of the government and the Postmaster General called upon the spirits of Papineau, Lafon-taine, Baldwin, Mackenzie and all the old Reformers to witness that they were the true descendants of those old Reformers, and that in foisting an independent navy upon the people of this country, they were doing just what these heroes would have done under similar circumstances. I never realized more fully that famous chapter of Macaulay, where he recalls the scene in Dante, in which is described the transformation of the woman and the serpent, and he says that parties change, that the Tory of yesterday is the Radical of to-day, and the Radical of to-day the Tory of to-morrow. The Prime Minister and the Postmaster General are not the only students of history in this House. I confess that I have read a little of the history of those stirring times, the days of the men of 1837. If I have judged the characters of these men right, they would have been found fighting on this side of the House, before they would have permitted any government of this country to tie this country up to any standing army or navy.

These men fought their fights for principles, for new world freedom, against old world ideas. They would not have swallowed in 1910 what they deemed as right in 1907. In this debate some aspirations have been cast upon the actions of these men of '37. It is too late in the day to revive old partisan feeling. I am a Tory, and whilst I cherish the traditions of my party, if I found that those traditions clashed with what I considered the true interests of my countrymen of to-day my voice and my arms would be with my country, Had I lived in '37, who knows I too might have come linking down the forest trail with Lount, and the men from Simcoe who followed him, with their old iron pikes and rusty scythes, seeking what? Not victory, for I have spoken to many of these old heroes, and they never expected victory, not wealth and power for there was neither to be had in the country at that time. Not even immortality, but they took arms in their hands and marched away bravely. They said ' Morituri morituros salutant,' in order that if some of them should die, the attention of the whole world would be called to their grievances and these righted. It requires courage to die for one's country in this way. To die, on the gallows with the stigma of traitor sounding in one's ears, in order that one's country may be delivered from tyranny. But it is from sueh sacrifices that we have obtained what liberties we possess, even our civilization.

Our brothers in Quebec have never been behind, in opposing wrong in seeking to destroy the tyranny of the placemen, who were then as now ruling this country after old world methods. That was then the real issue. Carpet baggers was the name given to this class of men in the United States, after the civil war. This government has a similar system in vogue in Canada today. A government despotic, irresponsible, retained in office by placemen. Knowing the lives of these men as I think I do, I can imagine how the hero of Montebello, would have rallied his followers against this Naval Bill, how Lafontaine would have thundered his burning periods against the administration. How the calm analytical Baldwin would have criticised the fallacy of the measure. How the fiery Highlander Mackenzie would have indulged in fierce invective against such a Bill. They would have insisted strenuously upon the statu quo. They would not seek to lay violent hands upon the policy of free democracy which by their sacrifices they had succeeded in establishing in this country. It is well in studying the lives and actions of these men to glance at contemporary history. If we do, we will find that similar struggles were taking place in the mother country. These were the days of the Chartists, of riots and blood shed when men there also fought for representative government. The right hon. gentleman cannot read Papineau, or Baldwin, Lafontaine, or Mackenzie, neither can they read Lord Durham into supporting this measure. If they read and studied the lives of these men more closely; if we all who seek to legislate for this country did so, we would take a more statesmanlike view of things. The lives of these old Reformers will shine brightly from the pages of our history, let us give them credit. They and the men who consistently opposed them in maintaining British connection would on a question such as this be found fighting on the same side. For this independent Canadian navy is a new departure, a complete reversal of our old colonial policy.

Now at the time of the Imperial Defence Conference where did our ambassadors stand? The old question of participation in naval defence had been discussed in 1902, and in 1907 it came up again. Australia and New Zealand agreed to accept the proposals of the admirality, in other words, they agreed to join in a great naval league of defence of the empire. The Canadian ambassadors refused. They pleaded the peculiar situation of this country. That was an obscure term. They agreed, however, that they 'would carry out a modified programme. They would not accept the fleet unit idea, because they had ideas of naval strategy of their own.

Australia accepted the programme, and let us see what the Australian government did. Instead of bringing down a naval Bill, such as this government has brought down and is endeavoring to force upon parliament, they went to work by way of presenting a resolution. Here is the resolution which was moved by Mr. Joseph Cook, Minister of Defence for Australia, in the House of Representatives, on the 14th of November, and remember this was before any Bill was introduced:

That this House approves the new scheme of naval defence adopted at the recent imperial conference, and it is of opinion that immediate steps .should be taken to provide the proposed Australian unit of the eastern fleet of the empire.

In introducing this resolution he said that he asked the approval of the House for the scheme in simple form leaving ways and means for further consideration. He said:

Should the motion which I am moving be carried we shall turn over a new leaf in the book of our evolution. Our tutelary stages are past, our time of maturity is here. Let us hope that with it has come a deepening and increasing conviction of the immensity of the debt which we owe the mother country for sheltering us while we grew. In passing the motion we shall enter what has been called the Great Sea League of the empire. The Pacific will be allotted to us as the worthiest and most adequate contribution to the defence of the empire that the highest naval authorities can devise.

Having dodged that issue, this government are introducing the principle of a Canadian independent navy by a Naval Bill and endeavouring, with much casuistry and loud professions of loyalty, to carry it through this House. It would have been fairer to this House, and better for this country had the Australian plan been adopted.

The hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) the other day charged some of the Liberal leaders in Quebec with voicing the idea of the separation of Canada from the mother country. But the separation issue is not confined, Mr. Speaker, to Quebec alone. I am assured that it was in Ontario that this idea first took root. The Ihon. the Postmaster General acknowledged that he was associated with a gentleman by the name of Elgin Myers, on the platform a few years ago in Montreal. The idea of the independence of Canada has been

prevalent for a number of years, andI. may say that I have here withme to-ni: sfht a book which has beenpublished by a gentleman who is a

resident of this city, a Mr. John Ewart.

Mr. Ewart has pubished a great many speeches which he has delivered at Cana-

dian club banquets, and the study of this book shows that it was written largely for Ontario consumption. In this book the virus of autonomy, or so-called independence is strongest, and in it he suggests that the vast majority of his compariots in Ontario are in favour of his ideas. I understand he is one of the leading counsellors and friends of the right hon. the First Minister. In his book he rails against imperial federation, against the imperial conference, against the British people. Anything that has ever happened in this country, from the Quebec Act down to the fall of the Quebec bridge, is described by Mr. Ewart to our British connection, or to Downing street. On the matter of imperial defence, Mr. Ewart, by innuendo and those petty-fogging methods which are adopted by lawyers of his kind, lays down the doctrine that in case the empire should be at war, Canada's policy should be: Not a man, not a gun, not a dollar. His idea is separation, he does not call it autonomy. He calls it separation, independence. The only thing he would retain is the King. No doubt he does not wish to lose the initials after his name, the K.C. He made converts among the English speaking people of this country, so did Dowie, and the chiefs of Holy Boilers. In this book he immortalizes the Prime Minister. The Minister of Marine, and the Minister of War, also find a place in this temple of fame. The Prime Minister apparently believes that Mr. Ewart voices the aspirations of the young English speaking Canadians, because they listened to his trash at the Canadian club dinners without dousing him in the horse trough. Mr. Ewart calls this separation; the premier calls it autonomy. Mr. Ewart is his ideal. He had to be honoured. Instead of incarcerating him in a mad-house, because I consider any man a mad man who talks separation, which spells revolution, and the shedding of fratricidal blood among Canadians, instead of putting this sensation-monger in a straight jacket he was given employment by the -government. On him is bestowed one of the highest honours that could be bestowed upon a member of his profession in this country. He was selected as counsel for this country before the Hague tribunal, and that was the endorsation given to him and his book by the right hon. Prime Minister, and the" Minister of Justice. Thus they approved of the book, of the man. He was in London, I understand, while this imperial conference was going on. He had to have more time for the preparation of his brief for the Hague. He was no doubt too busy pulling wires behind the scene for this beautiful separatist navy. This policy bears the marks of his hands. Even the flag incident. He is strong on a Canadian flag in his book. Any ship in the world might be proud to Mr. CURRIE.

fly the white ensign of the British navy for many brave deeds have been performed under its folds. Deeds for humanity, as well as for freedom and country. But he wants a Canadian flag. He says we must have separation-or you may call it complete separation, and a King. The King of England, or the King of Canada.

A Canadian King would mean a Canadian court, with Canadian lords and dukes and counts and viscounts. They call this autonomy. Are we to have the folly of the Maximillian Mexican empire duplicated here? Mexico had separation first. Then there was an attempt to set up an empire with an emperor and a court. It did not last long. The irate Mexicans took their emperor out one fine morning and shot him. Brazil had separation or autonomy, also an emperor, and he had to flee to escape the fate of Maximillian. The atmosphere on this side of the world is not healthy . for local kings or home made emperors.

This government, as I have already said, endorsed Mr. Ewart and any one who reads his book will come to the conclusion that the idea underlying this policy and this Naval Bill is undoubtedly the same idea as is enunciated by Mr. Ewart. The trouble with a country of this kind, in fact one of the troubles of the British empire, is the plague of cranks who w'ant to turn everything upside down and provide new constitutions. It is assumed by the Prime Minister in nearly all his speeches that there has been a constant struggle for liberty or so-called autonomy in this country. The policy of Great Britain has always been to allow the colonies to develop and thrive as free self-governing democracies. That was the old colonial policy ended with the American revolution. It is also the new colonial policy, which was inaugurated in this country by the Quebec Act, and which ante-dated Lord Durham by 200 years, the policy of Great Britain giving to her colonies absolute freedom. That was the principle always. Petty oligarchies set themselves up, they surrounded the governors, got the ears of the governors and endeavoured to stifle the will of the people. Any one who reads Canadian history, will find that in all the struggles in this country the British government had never departed from their policy. Let any one read the despatch sent by Lord Goderich on this orin-ciple, dated November 8, 1832, to Sir John Colborne, which has frequently been quoted. That despatch says that the people must not be interfered with in having a free election of their representatives or in having free government.

The hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) some time ago, at Montreal, said that the time might come -when we might

elect our governor. He took to cover when some one questioned this. He would not need to, it would not be the first time. In 1756 the British empire was far greater than it is to-day. The colonies of all the European countries had fallen by conquest to Great Britain. Canada, Cape of Good Hope, India, every desirable spot in the world was ours. The United States were then happy and flourishing colonies. The glory of the British empire was on every tongue. If we talk of autonomy, why they had more then than we have now. They wrote their own charters or constitutions. They had free, representative self-government. They were free democracies. Rhode Island and Connecticut elected their own governors. Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut could pass laws that were not even subject to revision or the imperial veto. The Navigation Laws gave absolute inter-imperial preference. This preference went so far as to confine colonial trade to British bottoms; colonial built ships, of course, being included. A monopoly in the manufacture of wool and bar iron (1719), felt hats (1732), molasses (1733), and steel furnaces was conceded to Great Britain: It was the trade and the wealth which this system gave which enabled Britain to face single-handed and overthrow the combined navies of the world, and which brought the empire triumphant through the seven years war. The policy of a self-sufficing empire dominated both JJreat Britain and the colonies. The colonies were not a bit behind in contributing to imperial defence. In 1741, 3,000 colonials *shared the glorious victory of Carthagena under Vernon. During the seven years war, 25,000 men from the colonies were in the field. The colonial contribution to the navy at that time was over 400 ships of war. Pennsylvania and the other colonies spent millions of dollars in this war. In 1756 the loyalty of the colonies was unquestioned. In 1776 this great imperial federation which had reached a more advanced stage than the empire of to-day, was torn asunder, shattered to fragments. Students of history will tell you that the reason was that there was no statesman of the time with sufficient power and influence to evolve a form of government whereby a strong representative executive of the empire could reconcile the particularist or provincial tendency of the individual parts. No great constructive statesman appeared. I am of the opinion that had he been permitted, had) not legislation, human ignorance and passion hurried a climax, Franklin would have worked out a constructive solution of the problem. But the false stigma of a colonial prevented the British people from giving proper heed to his counsel, and when the crash came he, of necessity, joined his own colonial brethren and showed the world by his constructive work on the American constitution, what might have been done had Britain only called in the colonials for advice and counsel in the crisis. The same crisis is bound to arise again in the empire; I doubt but it is here. The theory of taxation without representation is bound to clash with too ardent patriotism and imperialism. And we, Sir, into whose hands in a measure the destinies of the empire are confided, should study the history of the empire in the period preceding the American revolution, to equip us the better to work out our own future destiny, looking to a united and greater empire. The true light of past experience is to be found in those musty, torn, and tear bedimmed pages that tell the story of the saddest days of the empire.

Sir, you ask me why I reier to that unfortunate period. It is because I am opposed to this Naval Bill. The Prime Minister of Australia said the time had come to turn a fresh page in history, we, too, have turned a fresh page, and on it what do we propose to write?-the fatal word 'separation/ for this independent navy spells separation. Better contribute four, yes and ten times four, Dreadnoughts than place a Bill on our statute-book that means ultimate separation. Better do nothing at all than involve this country in a quarrel with the motherland over the fatal principle of no taxation without representation. Why not tell the mother country the truth? Why not tell this government of England, which is now tottering to its fall, that before any scheme for contribution to imperial defence can be safely considered other and greater questions must be settled, that when the time comes to consider an adjustment of the relations of the colonies to the empire, while kindred blood and common ideas can bind two peoples together as strongly as links of steel, each must feel that its material advantages and privileges are associated in that union.

The empire is not lost, far from it. Thanks to the efforts of the greatest constructive statesman the British empire has yet seen, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, one of the great parties in Britain to-day is formulating a plan for further solidarity along material and business lines, and in full sympathy with the colonies. The future of the empire must rest upon a business foundation. Let us not repeat the errors of 1776 by adopting this naval policy, this Naval Bill, which is turning the hands back on the clock.

Sir, one of the excuses for this Bill is that we are doing something tor ourselves and at the same time for the empire, that we can no longer be charged with sponging upon the mother country. Let us ex-

risen to such greatness in this respect that they challenge the attention of Great Britain. It is for us to consider, if we are going to spend so much of the money of this country on a navy, whether we should not adopt a policy which'has been so successfully followed by these two nations, rather than the policy adopted by the United States, which experience has shown to be wrong. On various occasions the Americans have endeavoured to secure the adoption of a policy along the German and Japanese lines; but their tremendous expenditures on the navy, which a great many of their people consider useless, have prevented the adoption of such a policy. France also has adopted a policy of subsidizing ship-building and operating ships. In 1891 the French mercantile fleet amounted to only 300,000 tons, whereas to-day it amounts to 1,300,000 tons. Norway also has recently adopted the subsidy system. A ship subsidy Bill has been before the United States Congress on numerous occasions, and has been defeated because the people have had such enormous sums to pay for their navy. The result is that the United States tonnage in 1810 was virtually just as great as that of to-day. There is at the present time a Bill before Congress for the purpose of fixing a subsidy for the building of these ships, which proposes that they shall be fast merchant ships, with a speed about equal to that of our Canadian cruisers, and with considerable freight tonnage capacity, and when subsidized, they are expected to establish lines of communication between the United States, Brazil, Argentina, China, and New Zealand. These ships will carry freight, and will have gun platforms, on which guns of as great power as those of the Canadian cruisers can be mounted. They will thus be not only merchant ships of the latest class, but cruisers equal in speed and armament to ours. I think it would be wise for this government to consider the advisability of adopting a policy of that kind. The Canadian farmer, when he gives up his ox-team, goes and buys a good team of general purpose horses-he does not start a racing stable. In carrying out their naval policy, that is what this government should do, because cruisers built under these specifications would be able to carry our produce to the mother country in time of peace, and, in case of war, they would do the same thing, and at the same time have guns to fight the enemy's cruisers. The hon. members of this House know that I am deeply interested in ship-building, and I realize that it would be of great advantage to the maritime provinces to be able to regain once more the great industry of ship-building which they possessed twenty-five years ago, when Canada stood fourth in the great ocean-tonnage countries of the world. The policy proposed by this Mr. CURRIE.

government is not founded on business principles, and if adopted will involve such a great expenditure that this country will never have the ship-building industry established along sound commercial lines like other nations. In order to build a fleet you may establish shipyards and dry-docks, but after you have built three or four ships, what will you do? You will have nothing further to go on with, and the men who have come here from Glasgow, Belfast, and the Tyne, and have built these ships with foreign material, will have nothing to do. The beams will come from Great Britain, the plate from Germany and the United States, the machinery from Glasgow, the guns from Birmingham, and when you are through, what will happen? Your yards will have nothing more to do. The guns and machinery will represent about one-half the cost, and the armour about twenty-five per cent, which will leave about twenty-five per cent to be divided between the material for the hull, and the labour of assembly.

And I say that all the Canadian people will get out of the building of this fleet will be about 15 per cent. I do not think that is good business. The proper way to establish ship-building is to establish it on commercial lines. If you establish it by giving a subsidy, say of $3 per ton, on ships built in Canada and in addition confine your mail and shipping subsidies to ships built in Canada, you will soon find Canadians ready to put their money into the enterprise and make it a success. You will soon find that business established on a sound basis and your ship-building yards will always have plenty of work for the artisans. Then, if necessary, to build say torpedo boats and small destroyers, you will have workmen trained to do the work rapidly and efficiently. When we have that industry .established on a sound basis, you will also find establishments in this country willing to go into the manufacture of the material required. The Dominion Iron and Steel Company have a large -mill for the rolling of plates, but they have it housed up in a shanty because, under existing conditions, they could roll in a month all the plates used in Canada for a year, But, if you can show a substantial policy of this kind, they would soon erect their mill, and in a short time we would not only be rolling our own plates but be able to furnish all the machinery required, and the time would not be far distant when we will make our armour plate because the nickel that goes into the armour plate of the world comes from this country. We will also be able to -make our own guns and even tender for the building of warships for the British navy. The government should seriously consider this. If they should adopt the policy

they now advocate the door would be closed for the next 25 years in Canada as far as ship-building is concerned and as far as the hopes of the maritime provinces in that respect are concerned for the next generation. That is a consummation which no patriotic Canadian desires. What every one wishes is to see a ship-building industry established in the maritime provinces because .such an industry will give an impetus to agriculture and every other development in this country. It will also bring a large influx of population which, instead of coming here from Glasgow and other ship-building centres and going back as soon as the ship is built-because it is only a few days journey back home, will make their homes here since they will have plenty of work all the year round and will thus form an important adjunct to our population. But, instead of doing this, the government are proposing to establish the navy on such unsound lines that no member from the maritime provinces would be justified in supporting it.

I now come to another point and that is the command of this navy. As this House knows the command in chief has been taken out of the hands of the King and placed in the hands of the Prime Minister of this country, because that is what an order in council means. When this question came up at the conference the Minister of War (Sir Frederick Borden). quoted the Militia Act. I would like to deal with that Act, and point out what has been done with it. It is said that the Militia Act did not permit our Canadian forces to. be employed in the defence of the empire outside Canada. That statement has been made on many occasions. Let me say that the old Act did permit our military forces to be used outside Canada and so does the new Act.

Let me tell the House something about our militia and military affairs before going further. Let us for a moment glance at history and perhaps obtain some idea of what is at the bottom of this Navy Bill and what the results are likely to be. The militia was originally, in England, a parliamentary force. It was established previous to the time of Cromwell, but the army was reorganized in 1660 when Charles II. come to the throne. He was allowed a small standing army, and the same Act which established a standing army, established a militia, and placed the command of that militia in the hands of the sovereign. Two years later, with the^ dread of the standing army in their minds, the parliament of Great Britain declared that the King was the supreme officer of the militia, and by another clause gave the command of that militia over to the lord lieutenants of counties. While the King was declared to be the commander in chief

in substance, he was not in fact, because the command of the British militia was in the hands of the lord lieutenants of the counties, who took their orders from parliament. That existed until the reign of Queen Victoria, when an Act was passed which gave the command in chief of the militia and standing army personally into the hands of the Queen. That was the Act in force when confederation wras enacted. If any one will take the trouble to go back to the time when the Conservative party was in power in this country and will look up the Revised Statutes of 1884, he will find th-at the command in chief was personally in the hands of the sovereign. The member for Jacques Cartier, in his speech, touching the relations of the sovereign to the militia, expressed the ideas of the old Act. He was mistaken, there has been a great change in the relation of the militia of this country to the Crown. Clause 3 of this Act, of the Act of 1886, says:

The command in chief of the land and naval militia and of all the military and naval forces of and in Canada is vested in the Queen and shall be exercised and administered by her personally, or by the Governor General as her representative.

The House will observe the term ' naval forces ' in that clause, and also that the command is personal, not legislative. Now clause 4 of the Consolidated Statutes of 1906 says:

The command in chief of the militia is declared to continue vested in the King and shall be exercised and administered by His Majesty or by the Governor General as his representative.

One clause enacts positively, the other is purely declaratory, and what is more, the command of the naval forces is cut out entirely. Why? Was this independent navy anticipated when the Militia Act was amended in 1904? Was this amendment prepared in anticipation of what we now have? It looks like design. The King so far has certainly been written out. Let us now take up the clause dealing with calling out the militia, for that is really the enacting clause of the statute. Clause 79 of the old Act says:

Her Majesty may call out the militia or any part thereof for active service either within or without Canada, at any time when 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 active servjce, if required so to do, or for any longer period which His Majesty approves.

That, Sir, was the Act that was in force when our soldiers went to South Africa. The King notwithstanding anything said to the contrary had the power then to order

militia regiments for foreign service in the cause of imperial defence. The Crown could call out the militia at any time for service anywhere. The new Act is different. The present government, not a Tory government, made the charge also an English minister. Let us examine the new Act and see what it says on this point, and we will begin to locate the thin edge of this separation wedge.

Clause 69, R.S.C., 1906, says:

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.

Sir, you will see that the Act of 1904, and the revision of the same of 1906, has not only taken the command of the militia away from the King, but further it has taken away the authority of the Crown, to order the militia on active service. It does exactly what the Act of 1662, did to Charles . II. in another way. Whilst the King is normally the head of our militia the only authority to order that force on. active service is an order in council. In other words the Prime Minister has usurped the functions and prerogatives of His Majesty. The same idea is carried out in this Naval Bill. Was there any necessity for taking the personal command of the militia away from the King? Is there any necessity for depriving the King of the personal command of this navy? His Majesty has not shown any signs of seeking to become an absolute rather than a constitutional monarch. There is no indication, that the people of this country are to be deprived by the Crown of those British laws, and institutions, that freedom greater than any other country which we possess and which is given to them under the British North America Act. Let us see there may be something else. Has this separatist policy gone further? We found in the old Militia Act, the following provision:

Clause 78, says:

The officer commanding any military district or division or the officer commanding any corps of active militia, may upon any sudden emergency of invasion, or unsurrect-ion or imminent danger of either, call out the whole or any part of the rn ilitia within liis command until the pleasure of Her Majesty is known, and the militia so called out by the commanding officer! shall immediately obey all such orders as he gives, and march to such place within or without the district or division as he directs.

Now, Sir, that was a wise provision which enabled a commanding officer to call out his men in case of invasion or insurrection to take the initiative in preserving the statu quo and await his sovereign's commands. But, Sir, I search the new Act in vain for a similar provision. It is not there Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

and why was it removed? Was its removal another step in the policy of separation when there could be established by civilians, and political clubs, a new constitution, free from that tyrannical British justice, and British guarantees? What is the result of this tampering with the Militia Act, with the King's executive authority? Let us see. The only authority to call out the militia now in Canada, is an order in council. Commanding officers can no longer oppose insurrection in the King's name. Five hundred resolute men with arms in their hands, under a bold leader could seize the person of the Governor General and the loyal members of the cabinet in this city, and they could easily overturn our constitution, and proclaim a separate kingdom or a republic or dictatorship. That is a startling fact, but nevertheless true. The old Act provided that the King or the officers commanding corps could call out the troops in such an emergency, to protect parliament, and the Crown's authority. If the council were prisoners, if they refused by collusion or otherwise, in such a case to call out the militia to defend the constitution what would happen? Nothing. The revolutionists would be in absolute control. If a commanding officer called out his militia men to oppose separation now, he could be treated as a rebel, and shot, and the law' as it novi' stands w'ould not give him the rights of a belligerent, in maintaining the statu quo, or the dignity of the Crown. Everything has been arranged so as to make a possible coup d'etat. Why? Honourable gentlemen may make professions of loyalty. They may pull up big red herrings out of the' sea, and clothe them in the British lion skins, and roar themselves hoarse. But the country has a reason to ask then, why has the authority of the British Crown, the guarantee of o/ur constitution, been eliminated from the Militia Act, and now from the naval force ? That is a question that will need a lot of answering. It is a question which every peaceful Canadian should ask-Why have such great changes been made in the relation of the British Crown to the militia and armed forces been made without a discussion, and a full disclosure? That should in itself be sufficient to kill this Bill. Why has the authority of the King been usurped by the order in council or in other words by the Prime Minister? Is this navy going to be a royal navy, or another instrument under the absolute control of the Prime Minister? Where is this ambition going to end? We have a Laurier militia. Now we are going to have a Laurier navy. Let me warn the Prime Minister that there is but a step from the Capitol to the Tarpeian rock. ,

Now, during this debate reference has been made to the question of guarantees.

There is no doubt in the -world but that some guarantees were made in the British North America Act. Consider the condition of the country at that time. It was torn by dissension and agitation, it was threatened with invasion from the south. All parts of the country had reached that state of political agitation when business was suspended and something had to be done. On the 10th of October, 1864, the Quebec conference met and lasted eight days. At that conference was written out the charter of our liberties. At that conference the various provinces represented exchanged guarantees, guarantees respecting the rights of religious minorities, guarantees with respect to language, guarantees with respect to property and with respect to commerce. All these guarantees were included in the constitution agreed upon in 1864. Now, Sir, after these guarantees had been agreed upon, it was necessary to ascertain whether the British government would assent to them, and at a meeting in Great Britain guarantees were also exchanged between the representatives of Canada and the representatives of the British Crown. I have before me a report made by the great men of that day, men whose names stand high, not only in the councils of the Reform party, but also in the councils of the Conservative party. The men who signed that report were the Hon. George Brown, a well known Reformer; Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George E. Cartier and A. T. Galt. Now, the question of defence was discussed in London at that conference, and they stated in this report what Canada would guarantee so far as defence was concerned. I will trouble the House by reading one or two sentences of that report:

On the part of Canada, we expressed the desire that this plan for the defence of all parts of the province should be taken as the basis of arrangement; and that a full and candid discussion should be had as to the share of the cost that ouvht to be borne respectively by the imperial and provincial exchequers.

We expressed the earnest wish of the people of Canada to perpetuate the happy existing connection with Great Britain, and their entire willingness to contribute to the defence of the empire their full quota, according to their ability, of men and money. '

That was the pledge given by Canada to Great Britain at the time of confederation, when Great Britain agreed to pass the Act of Confederation. Sir, what did Great Britain do? Great Britain gave to Canada the following pledge:

It will be gratifying to many devoted subjects of Her Majesty throughout British America, whose fears have been excited by the language too often heard of late years, on the subject of colonial connection, that we

received from Her Majesty's ministers the assurance that the British government acknowledge the obligation of defending every portion of Canada with all the resources at its command.

I feel very strongly on the matter of these guarantees, and I think when any question arises in this country involving any change in the guarantees exchanged between the provinces or between Canada and the British Crown, we should go very slowly and not rock the boat too much. It is much better for us to maintain the statu quo in matters of. this kind than to rashly enter upon changes. The guarantees are sacred. The ministers of the Crown will not grant an appeal to the people. They have not had a mandate from the people on this naval question, which certainly to my mind involves a reversal of our own policy, the adoption of a new policy, the possession of an independent navy. If they refuse us the privilege of going to the people ourselves to discuss this question then the least they can do would be to follow the suggestion of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier and submit this very important and serious question to the people. My leader has made the same suggestion. The guarantees winch were exchanged at the time of confederation should not be lightly set aside, l am sure the people of Ontario are just as eager to maintain the constitution established as the result of the Quebec conference, that is the British North America Act, as any other portion of Canada, and if the rights of my province were threatened I would be the first- man to raise my voice. While this navy may not perhaps involve a question affecting any province directly, it certainly involves the question of the separation of this country from the motherland. To that question, as far as I am concerned, there is only one answer, that is the word, no.

While the resolution of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier does not enter into any discussion of the greater issues involved, such as a contribution, it deals directly with this Bill, and, for the benefit of this House, I shall read and examine that resolution so that we may better judge whether we should vote for it or not. This resolution, as I have already said, deals only with this Bill, which after all, is the only thing that is actually before the House. The resolution of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) was proposed by him as a sub-amendment or substitutional amendment. Every one who understands the rules of proceeding from a school meeting up to parliament, knows that every amendment to the amendment is an amendment to the main motion. It involves three principles. Let us examine them.

This House, while declaring its unalterable devotion to the British Crown, is of opinion that the Bill now submitted for its consideration changes the relations of Canada with the empire, and ought, in consequence, to be submitted to the Canadian people in order to obtain at once the nation's opinion by means of a plebiscite.

In the first place the hon. member recites the unalterable devotion of this House to the British Crown. I cannot feel in my heart that I can vote against that. In the second place he states that in his opinion the Bill submitted for the consideration of the House changes the relation of Canada with the empire. Every body who has followed the debate, especially in the last two weeks will realize that that is the direction in which this debate has tended, and that hon. gentlemen opposite have not been afraid to rise and state that it is the ultimate object of such legislation as this to bring about separation from the British Crown. Therefore, I say as a sound constitutionalist, and as a believer in the British North America Act that I cannot find it in my heart to vote ' no ' for that proposition, because I firmly believe that this Bill does endeavour to change our relations to the British Crown, and ultimately lead us to separation. He says it ought in consequence to be submitted to the Canadian people in order to obtain at once the nation's opinion by means of a plebiscite. Many people will take the ground that it is not British nor constitutional to have a plebiscite. We have heard some professors of constitutional history recite their views in this House, and some of those views to my mind were very misty and hazy, but it seems to me that any one who knows any thing about constitutional history knows that this our constitution was based largely on the American constitution. I have stated that the fathers of confederation at that time met and wrote our constitution at the Quebec conference. These men understood constitutions and constitutional history a thousand times better than we do and why? At that time they had written constitutions in other countries, some of which had failed, and some had succeeded. France had a written constitution. A few years before that the constitution was torn to pieces by Napoleon the Third. Italy had just been united as a limited monarchy under Cavour a few years before. Spain had been in the toils and struggles of revolution, and to the south of us the United States was fighting out the principle of the rights of states as against federal authority, which involved very serious constitutional changes. The fathers of confederation were seized of all these facts, they realized the importance of the work they had in hand, and the British North America Act which they prepared is, to my mind, Mr. CURRIE.

one of the soundest and ablest state papers that ever emanated from any people-. They knew all about these matters. They established in that Act the principle that we, the members of parliament, represent the people, the principle of representative government. In the United States they believe in representative government, and there is no man in this House who will say he does not represent his riding. The principle in England is the reverse, as far as representative government is concerned, prerogative comes from above; our prerogative comes from the people, we believe in representation by population. The United States government has a written charter, we have a written charter, and when any change is involved in the American constitution what happens? They put the amendment to the constitution before the people in a plebiscite. I believe it would be wise for us to adopt that principle in this case, especially as this is a matter which, involves a very great change in our relation to the empire. We have a change here involving the setting up of a new empire, or a new King? One would think that we had no rights at all, that we had less liberties than they have in Great Britain. I would ask any hon. gentleman if we have not greater liberties than the people of Scotland have? They do not make their own laws, or impose their own taxation.

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An hon. MEMBER.

Or Ireland.

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John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. CURRIE.

Yes, poor Ireland. What about poor England or Wales? We have greater liberties than they have in any of these countries and we find that this Naval Bill challenges these liberties. As far as my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) is concerned I cannot find it in my heart to vote against his amendment. I will vote for it because it involves a great principle and a principle that I think every one ought to vote for. As far as the principle involved in the amendment of my hon. leader (Mr. R. L. Borden) is concerned, I shall vote for his motion because it meets with my heartiest approval. Because two good things are presented to us and because the lesser is included in the greater it is no reason why we should reject either one or the other. From the purely business standpoint and the sentimental standpoint the amendment of my hon. leader is one that should be adopted by us and that is that we should contribute to the cost of our insurance like men and be done with it. If a policeman guards my property I pay taxes for his protection. If you have ships to carry your trade away you establish the principle that you pay subsidies to those ships. If you do not wish to establish a navy of your own, if

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you feel that the burden is great in opening up and developing the resources of the country, you do not need to go to that expense because there is one of the largest nations of the world that has had a long experience in the construction and management of battleships which is ready toi do it for you which has guaranteed under the British North America Act that she will aid you. For that reason, as far as I am personally concerned, I intend to vote for both these resolutions. To every one. who has read the pages of history it must be apparent that there are other very grave questions involved. We should adopt the soundest and wisest policy and move as slowly along this line at the present time as we can. We have Scylla on one side and Charybdis on the other and unless we have the wisest statesman to guide us we may get into very serious trouble with the old country or with some other nation. A year or two previous to the trouble between the mother country and the American colonies one of the greatest statesmen of the time-Franklin-wrote the following:

I am of the opinion that the foundation of the future greatness and stability of the British empire lie in America, and though like other foundations they may he low and little now, they are nevertheless broad and strong enough to support the greatest political structure that human wisdom ever yet erected.

m

These foundations are being laid in this country by us. It will be time enough when we have twenty or thirty million to take into consideration the question of any changes in our constitution. Let us remain a free and happy people and let it not be said that for over a hundred years the people who have lived in this country have been trying in an humble wav to realize that prophecy of Franklin's and they have failed. For forty years we have lived a united people working out our salvation along those lines. Let us make haste slowly with regard to this stupendous question. Those questions that form the basis for debates in the schools and colleges as to whether Canada should be independent or annexed to the United States are all childish questions and the men who bring them up in this House or try to voice them throughout the country simply show that they are acting in a childish way. We have a constitution the equal of which cannot he found and we cannot hope to improve upon it at present. Let us maintain our constitution and in future years let it not be said in time of emergency that a great empire and little minds go together.

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Joseph Arthur Lortie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. LORTIE (Soulanges).

(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, before this debate is closed, I deem it my duty to express

an opinion on this burning issue, on this intricate question which is now before us, the creation of a marine, an issue which, for several months past, has agitated all minds, either in this House or outside of it. The note I am going to strike is likely to sound harshly and to grate upon the ears of many people, while it will be in accord and in tally with the feelings of all true patriots who endeavour to preserve in their integrity the rights and privileges guaranteed by our constitution; rights and privileges secured to us by the indefatigable and incessant efforts of our great statesmen and faithfully adhered to by Sir George Etienne Cartier, Sir John Macdonald, Tupper, Angers and Monk.

As remarked by the hon. member for Berthier (Mr. Ecrement) in his speech, in seconding the address: 'We are at the

parting of the ways in our history; we are entering upon one of those history-makers, one of those epoch-making periods in the history of Canada.' Are not such words, Sir, calculated to cause us to ponder, and do they not warn us to deeply think over the responsibilities we are going to assume and the action we are about to take?

The Bill providing for the establishment of a navy is, to my mind, the most important piece of legislation the Canadian government has been called upon to deal with since confederation. The creation of a fleet, the control of which passes automatically into the hands of the British admiralty in time of war, destroys our autonomy and effects our constitution, of which all Canadians are justly proud.

I notice that in the report of the imperial conference (page 24), there are three conditions mentioned as means of assisting in imperial defence.

The first form in which to assist in imperial government from expenses which bution of money or material.

A second form would be to provide local naval forces and place them at the disposal of the Crown, in the event of war.

A third one would be in undertaking certain local services not directly of a naval character, but which may relieve the imperial government from expenses which would otherwise fall on the British exchequer.

Tihs last condition is the one that has been so far carried out, it is the one, I say, that this country should stick to, while putting forth greater efforts for the development of our territory.

Look at the thousands of miles of railway we have built so far! We shall soon have three transcontinental railways which will cross the country in every direction. Besides, we have improved our waterways, by dredging our rivers, by making canals and providing better accommodation and facili-

ties at our ports. There are so many efficacious means of abridging distances from ocean to ocean and facilitating, in the event of war, the transportation of British troops and goods. Besides, are we not responsible for the protection and defence of our territory? Have we not undertaken to protect our coasts, our ports and our fisheries, so many ways of relieving the British government from expenses they would have to face otherwise?

We are a colony, but a colony with a territory as vast and as immense as that of Russia. When we assumed the responsibility of developing, protecting and defending .a territory which is five or six times larger than the British isles, with a population of six or seven millions, did we not give an extraordinary proof of our gratitude and loyalty towards England? Could she now require anything more from us, for the present. Therefore we are wrongly charged with disloyalty when we ask to remain in the statu quo.

I want to remain in the staru quo: first, because the creation of a navy which will be part of the imperial fleet, involves too large and expenditure of public money, which will-result in considerably retarding the development and progress of the country.

Secondly, because it completely changes our relations with the empire.

Thirdly, because the people have never been consulted on that point.

Are we now in such a financial position as to be able to build a navy? If I open the blue-books and examine our financial position, I find that the country is saddled with a debt of 472 millions. In his budget speech, did not the Finance Minister tell us that the public expenditure had exceeded the revenue by 45 millions? What will happen, when we are fairly embarked upon this scheme of militarism? Is not the example of all countries launched into militarism a sufficient warning to make us shudder with fear. With tne construction of that navy, I have no hesitation in saying, without fear of misleading public opinion, that as early as next year, the deficit of our budget will be considerably increased and even doubled.

That debt of 472 millions snows that we are poor; we are a mere population of seven millions to meet such a large debt and provide for the new expenditures we shall have to incur for the development of the resources of Canada. Would it not be far better to devote * our money, our revenue, our energies and our labours to the development of the country, instead of building a navy which will probably prove a source of danger for Canada in the future?

We have duties to discharge towards the empire under the British flag; we have Mr. LORTIE.

faithfully fulfilled those duties in the past, and we are quite ready to continue so doing in the future. But, on the other hand, we cling to our flag; and we think that to impoverish Canada in order to indulge in sentimentalism and pseudo-marine, is far from being a practical and patriotic policy.

If we now turn our attention towards the great public works which are an absolute necessity, in order that our country may keep pace with its development and the increase of population, we find that we shall need fabulous sums of money. What will be the cost of the Grand Trunk Pacific? Two hundred million dollars will hardly be sufficient to complete the work; an amount quite different from the estimated cost given by the Prime Minister and his followers. I still remember the pompous and emphatic tone assumed by the speakers when haranguing the people on the pubic platforms, when they exclaimed: ' We are going to build, a transcontinental railway, from ocean to ocean, at the cost of $13,000,000. The public domain will not be sacrificed, as under the Conservative rule, in the building of the Canadian Pacific railway. We won't see a repetition of the famous plunders of the boodlers of those days. If our public lands have not been sacrificed so far, I may say that the public exchequer has been looted. So far, the cost of that undertaking exceeds 160 million dollars.

After such contradictions on the part of the hon. gentlemen opposite, could I not say, without fear of leading public opinion astray, that the government is going to spend three times more than is necessary for the building of the navy, which would increase that exenditure to 45 millions.

Here is the proof of my assertions. In January last, when introducing the Naval Service Bill, the right hon. the Prime Minister said: ' The estimated annual cost of maintenance is $3,000,000.' Now, upon the occasion of the second reading of the Bill, three weeks later, he stated that the cost of maintenance would reach $4,150,000. Oil January 10, the prime minister's right arm, the Minister of Militia, said that the estimated cost of maintenance would be $4,680,000; and he continued; ' I have here a paper prepared by Admiral Kingsmill. It reads as follows: Estimated annual cost by Adm|iral Kingsmill for maintenance?, interest on the cost of the navy, $468,000; of the cost of the navy to provide for replacement, $1,560,000; maintenance of college, barracks, &c., $1,030,000; maintenance of training ships, $1,244,000; maintenance of Bristols, and torpedo boats, $1,885,000; total of annual cost, $7,157,000.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we are all agreed that the construction of the Georgian bay canal is a necessity. According to the reports of

experts, the cost of that undertaking will be $100,000,000. The consensus of opinion in this country is that this is a matter of urgency. Should the building of that canal be delayed a few years longer, the western trade will be diverted from Canada to the United States. Why have we not started building that waterway? I leave the answer to the hon. Minister of Marine, who, at a banquet tendered by the Reform Club to the Secretary of State, said: ' The causes are want of money and the insufficiency of our resources.'

If our resources are insufficient for urgent works of paramount Importance, if we find it impossible, for lack of "means, to construct works which would yield us enormous revenues, is it not ridiculous, not to say absurd, to build a navy the pressing necessity of which for the country has not yet been shown, and which may, in the future, prove adverse to our interests?

Would it not be preferable and more logical, Sir, to devote those millions to the building of the Georgian bay canal, which would be an important step taken in the right direction for the development of our commerce and the progress of the country?

Besides those great works, those undertakings of first magnitude, are these not works of secondary importance which are more pressing than the building of a navy?

Are not the harbours of Quebec and Montreal in need of better accommodation and of more modern equipment, in order that they should be on a footing of equality with the neighbouring harbours? Halifax and St. John are far from having the requisite equipment to become national ports. The needs of the harbours on the Pacific ocean should not be ignored either. I am quite satisfied that the majority of the inhabitants of this country realize that there is a more urgent need of undertaking, improving and completing those works than building a navy? I do not think I am very far from the mark in estimating at 400 millions the cost of those works. In my opinion, therefore, from the financial standpoint alone, irrespective of other considerations, it is impossible for Canada to undertake the building of a navy.

What will be the cost of that navy? We have, it is true, the statements made by the Prime Minister, who says that it will not exceed $15,000,000. If the right hon. gentleman had never led public opinion into error, I would most willingly accept his word. But the history of the past is calculated to cast some doubt in our minds. I need no other proof than tne history of the building of the transcontinental, in regard to which the people of Canada were led into error and completelv deceived.

The creation of a navy involves other expenditures besides the building of the warships. There are many necessary ex-161

penditures. Besides the cost of the dockyards, equipment, uniforms, stores, ammunition and coal, have we not also to provide for fortified revictualling harbours, offering an armed refuge in case of damage suffered by ships. Those ports will be for repair of ships, with dry docks and floating docks. Moreover, in the memorandum of the admiralty, is not a pension for seamen mentioned? [DOT]

What is the life or term of service of those warships going to be? Their lease of life is very short, according to the statistics in connection with such navy. Owing to the fact of keeping those ships on the open sea, as stated by shipbuilders, their life is about twenty years. On the other hand, owing to the rapid development of the naval science and of mechanics, the existence of these ships becomes still shorter. After ten or twelve years' service, they become obsolete, out-of-date, and ships of a more modern type and more up-to-date are required.

The creation of a navy, according to the scheme subm'tted by the Prime Minister, changes for the future our relations with the mother country. Our autonomous constitution, the Militia Act, and particularly section 69, militate against such a scheme. Section 69 reads: .

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.

Emergency means war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended!

It is clearly enacted in the above section that the militia may be called out on active service only for the defence of our territory. Therefore by that section we are not bound to take part in the wars of the empire.

Therefore, our soldiers, our militia men are trained and maintained only for the protection of Canada, wherever those interests mav be.

Did not the Minister of Militia collaborate in the framing of the Act of 1904, and did he not approve of it?

Listen to what he said then:

The very fundamental idea of a militia force has always been and is now home defence. In every portion of the British empire, without any exception, the same principle is laid down which is found in the Bill before the House-that the militia of that part of the British empire shall be limited in their service to the particular part of the empire in which they live. I have taken the trouble to examine the old militia laws of the different provinces which made Up the Dominion of Canada, and in every one of those provinces, we find the same limitations.

them is the part of despotism or bureaucracy?

The plebiscite is not a new departure in our country; it is not even a new departure for this government. Has not the right hon. Prime Minister and his colleagues had recourse to a consultation of the people on the question of prohibition, a matter of very little importance in comparison with this.

This Naval Defence Bill is really a turning point in Canadian politics. In my humble opinion, Mr. Speaker, that 221 members should take on themselves to bind the country to militarism, that scourge which has brought about financial embarrassments in all countries affected by it, and that without obtaining the approval of the people who are the supreme judges in the>

matter, such action, I say, cannot be justified.

We representatives of the people hold from our constituents no mandate either! direct or indirect authorizing us to add to our obligations, which are already burdensome, contributions in money and men tors ards forwarding the ambitious aims of the mother country. And since no recourse is had to a plebiscite, is not the inference that the people have nothing to do with settlement of such questions? Must it then be admitted that the people's part consists in meekly bearing as best they can the burden of imperialism which the government is about to lay on their shoulders. Of course, hon. gentlemen on the other side are opposed to the plebiscite idea lest, impelled by legitimate indignation, the people should condemn that imperialistic measure and forever prevent its adoption.

Mr. Speaker, in closing I wish to state that I cannot vote for the Bill, because it will lead us to imperialism. Neither can I vote for the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition, because it has not yet been clearly proven that Great Britain is actually and urgently in danger of losing her supremacy on the seas. Accordingly, I shall vote for the sub-amendment proposed by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), because I take it to be in harmony with our principles of selfgovernment and likely to safeguard us against imperialistic tendencies.

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CON

Charles Lewis Owen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. L. OWEN (Northumberland, Ontario).

Mr. Speaker, I have the very greatest sympathy for you, because, I notice that since the beginning of this debate, you seem to have grown older, and I am not much surprised at that. You look weary, Mr. Speaker, and sympathizing with you as I do, I shall not trespass on your patience for any length of time tonight. I have listened to most- of the speeches that have been delivered in this House during the past five weeks on the Naval Defence Bill, which I consider one Mr. LORTIE.

of the most important questions which has ever come befoi'e this parliament. I have heard a great deal about loyalty and disloyalty, and I would hate to believe that any minister of the Crown or any supporter of the government is disloyal. I do not believe it, Sir. I believe that every member of this House is a loyal man, and that our difference is after all only a difference of opinion. I give to every man the right to hold his opinions, and I claim that right for myself. We have listened to long speeches and to the reading of essays on this important question; speeches and essays that have taken us back almost to the time of the flood. No wonder, Sir, that you look weary. A good many hon. gentlemen have spoken of what took place 150 years ago, but I fail to see what that has to do with the issue before us, because I take it that we have been sent here to legislate for the present and the future, and not to bother about the past. Many mistakes have been made in the past, and we cannot remedy them now; let us do what we can in the interest of this great Dominion at the present time. I regret that the Prime Minister did not bring down a Naval Defence Bill so framed that every member of this House could have supported it. The right hon. gentleman did not choose to do that, and so I have to express my dissent to his proposal to build a Canadian navy. Now, Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to the building of a Canadian navy for several reasons. I am satisfied, in my own mind, that Canada does not want a navy, and if Canada did want a navy, I would not approve of laying the foundation of it by building third-class cruisers, which will be out of date in ten years, and which will then have to be replaced1 at an additional expense of millions of dollars. In building this navy we are opening up an avenue for an expenditure of millions of dollars per annum, and I claim that the country cannot afford that at the present time. I believe that from the financial point of view we are not able at this juncture to lay the foundation for a Canadian navy. We are the banner colony of the great British empire, a fact of which every member of this House is proud. I hope we will always remain part of the British empire, and my hope is that this great Dominion shall become part and parcel of that empire with representation at Westminster. Now, Sir, I do not believe that any man who talks about separation from the mother country is sincere, because it would be the height of folly for us to dream of such a thing. The question has been asked often during this debate if we are not under an obligation to the mother country? Why, certainly we are. We have enjoyed peace and prosperity for many years; true, we had a little civil war which has passed into bir

tory, but we have been at peace with our neighbours, and that peace is due to the fact that we have been protected by the royal navy. The mother country has protected us in the past, she is protecting us now, and she is prepared to protect us in the future. And, Mr. Speaker, as Britain protected us while we were young and weak, now that we are older and stronger, it is our duty to in some way show our appreciation. We have heard a great deal of talk about the German nhvy, and you will remember that in 1900, when the German naval programme was submitted to the German parliament the preamble of the Bill set out that Germany was going to build a navy stronger than the strongest. We all know that Britain to-day possesses the strongest navy in the world, and when Germany announces that she is giong to build a navy stronger than the strongest, we may assume that she is not going to build it as a mere toy to look upon. 1 believe, Sir, that the designs of Germany are upon Great Britain, and I believe that if a naval battle does take place, the scene of it v/ill be in the North Sea. Germany is not going to divide hex fleet; she will keep it in active service in the North Sea, and as Great Britain must keep a stronger navy in the North Sea than Germany has, the contribution of two Dreadnoughts to the royal navy is most important. I think that every Canadian here to-night should be proud to do something to show his appreciation of the good old mother country and what she has done for us in the past, and I think that every member of this House who has the welfare of the British empire at heart should vote for the amendment moved by Mr. R. L. Borden, the honoured leader of the Conservative party, which proposes to send the equivalent of two Dreadnoughts to the royal navy, and to send it at once. Now, Sir, I have referred to the matter from the financial point of view, and I want to point out what this country has set out for itself to do for the future. We have pledged ourselves to complete the National Transcontinental railway, which will cost millions of dollars; we have to deepen and widen the Welland canal, which will cost many more millions; we have to complete the Trent canal, which will cost other millions, and we ha.jje also to build the Quebec bridge.

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An hon. MEMBER.

And the Newmarket canal.

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Charles Lewis Owen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OWEN.

Yes, and the Newmarket canal. Then, we are also committed to build the Hudson Bay railway, which will cost many more millions, and I notice that the Prime Minister stated the other day to a deputation that he would build the Georgian Bay canal as soon as the Minister of Finance could see his way clear to provide the funds. In face of all these obligations, I do not think we are financially strong enough to lay the foundation of a Canadian navy. Indeed, I do not see that we have any use for such a navy, because if we build the third-class cruisers which the Bill calls for, I cannot conceive of what value they will be after they are put into commission. For these reasons, I shall support the amendment proposed by my leader (Mr. Borden).

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Mr. E.@

PROULX (Prescott;. Mr. Speaker, if the subject before the House were not of such vast importance I would content myself with giving a silent vote, but I believe I owe it to my constituents on this occasion to state my reasons for the vote which I shall give to-night. We have before the House three policies: the one proposed by the government in the present Bill, to build a Canadian navy; the one proposed by the leader of the opposition, which I may call the Dreadnought policy; and the one proposed by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) which I may call the do-nothing policy, at least for the present and until the people have pronounced upon it by means of a plebiscite. The government's position is based on a resolution which was adopted unanimously by this House on the 29th of March last. It is also based upon tne view that there is no great crisis, and that Canadian loyalty is best shown by forming the nucleus of a Canadian navy, which will eventually place Canada in a position to protect herself properly and be a strong arm of defence in time of imperial peril. Singularly enough, this policy was approved of by the hon. leader of the opposition, and in fact by all the members of the opposition last March and up to the opening of this session. When the leader of the opposition was in London last summer he attended on the first of July the Dominion Day banquet, at which he is reported to have said:

Some feeling was created in the British Isles owing to the fact that Canada did not, by resolution or by speech from the Prime Minister, vouchsafe the offer of one, two, or three Dreadnoughts. He (Mr. Borden) thought the resolution in the form in which it was passed, whilst its terms might not upon their surface seem as significant at the moment as the offer of one or two Dreadnoughts would have been, laid down a permanent policy for the Dominion of Canada upon which both parties united and which would serve a more practical purpose than any such offer of Dreadnoughts.

So we may conclude that the hon. leader of the opposition last July believed that the building of a Canadian navy would be a more permanent policy for this government to adopt than the giving of two or three Dreadnoughts. After he came back from England he spoke in his constituency

in Halifax, affirming the same opinion. He also affirmed it in Toronto last October. But when the session opened he appeared to have modified his views. I do not know whether the instruments of which the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) spoke some time ago in this House, as having been used on this side of the House, were used by his own supporters in the memorable caucus at the opening of the session. At all events, the hon. leader of the opposition has come now to this position, that he wants to offer to Great Britain the cost of two- Dreadnoughts at present, and wait until the people have had an opportunity to pronounce upon a Canadian navy. So the opposition now preach another policy, which is called present and practical aid to the mother country. The gift of two Dreadnoughts, they claim, can alone meet the emergency. The opposition seem to believe firmly in Germany's hostile intentions towards England. They also claim for themselves the sole interest in Canada in the diffusion of loyal principles, and some of them declare that the policy adopted by the government will lead to the separation of Canada from the empire and the dissolution of the empire. It seems to me that the policy of the opposition depends on whether or not there is a great crisis in Britain's foreign relations. It has been proved many times in this House since the beginning of the debate that there is no great crisis and that the German peril does not in fact exist. The hon. member for Bed Deer (Mr. Clark) has quoted high authorities, and the Postmaster General (Mr. Lemieux) has quoted the authority of the First Lord of the Admiralty, and some important newspapers in England, disclaiming any real cause for the German scare. The authorities of Germany have also spoken. The other day the Chancellor of the German empire, discussing the budget, said that Germany had no hostile intentions towards Great Britain, and was building a navy only for the purpose of protecting her shores and her commerce. We have also important German newspapers disclaiming any hostile intentions on the part of Germany towards Great Britain. Some of these expressions have been translated by the 'Literary Digest' of New York, as follows:

Germany's Denial of Evil Intent.

Words can scarcely convey the indignation felt by many German periodicals as they grasn the purport of Robert Blatchford's warning to England against the German navy, recently quoted in these columns. ' A flagrant attempt to appeal to the worst nature in both countries at the very moment when the official leaders of both nations are holding out the hand of good fellowship.' Such is the characterization, for instance, of a German resident merchant, Mr. Charles Huchmann, writing ' The Nineteenth Century ' (London). The Mr. E. PRODLX.

sentiment is echoed in many of the leading German dailies. They agree that no motive in the new imperial chancellor is stronger than that of friendship with the English government and people. The letters of Robert Blatchford have prodigiously impressed the people of England.' to quote the ' Vossische Zeitung ' (Berlin), which adds:

Blatchford is a sensational socialist journalist who has the ear of the English proletariat. In England the naval crusade has always been somewhat aristocratic in its temper, but to-day we have evidence of a determination to make the anti German agitation a working-class movement. It is likely to succeed. It is highly probable that every British workman will, before many years, imbibe the idea that the German Emperor is eager to conquer England.

The cunning of the agitation is thus evident. The English are not taught to hate the Germans. They are all the time assured that it is the German Emperor who has resolved to force his conquering fist upon the English. It seen's idle to repudiate any such intentions. As long as a battleship on the high seas floats the German flag, this English agitation will continue. We can afford to ignore it, hut it is calculated to he a source of peril to international peace for many years to some.

The socialist German dailies, on the other hand, tend to confirm, more or less indirectly, what Blatchford says. The 'Berlin Vor-waerts ' is perpetually referring to ' mad schemes of conquest beyond the seas ' which it attributes to ' exalted personages.' For this it is taken to task by that faithful organ of German imperial policy, the Berlin ' Kreuz Zeitung.' Germans never dream of invading England,' it says, ' and we feel sure that this latest scare is merely a rehash, for popular consumption, of the one that has done duty so many times before. It urges Germans everywhere to avoid any conduct calculated to irritate the English and to assist the German chancellor in his effort to cultivate the good opinion of the British government. The Berlin ' Tageblatt ' quite despairs of ever disabusing the mind of the English of its inveterate suspicions. It reminds us that the English, ' being crowded closely together upon a small island,' are prone to panic ' because of their delicate geographical position and the resulting nervousness it produces.' The Berlin ' Post ' observes:

It is fortunate for us that the English are willing to let us use flying machines in our tactical manoeuvres. Should they take -it into their heads that we contemplate an invasion of their coast by means of the aeroplane, we can think of no way of calming their agitation. Lord Cromer says Blatchford has obtained material for his latest panic from socialists in Germany. How true is that statement? It ought not to he forgotton that no German socialist is in a position to obtain information which is out of the reach of the German chancellor, and, in fact, which the chancellor says has no existence.

The real explanation of the latest English scare is the desire of many influential interests in London to prevent all understandings between the two powers. The attempt will unquestionably meet with some measure of success. The English distrusts us and they are likely to distrust us for a long time. That need not discourage us in our efforts to culti-

vate friendly relations with them. But we must be prepared for exasperations.

The government of Canada, in coming to a commercial understanding only the other day with Germany, has also tended to remove any friction which may exist between England and Germany. As my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Claik) has said, there have been many scares before. Russia was at one time a chronic bogey and there have also been French scares. Before the entente cordiale, England was very suspicious of the intentions of France. Canada, in building a navy, is simply carrying out the traditional policy laid down by Great Britain as far back as 1862. In that year, a resolution was passed by the imperial parliament enunciating the principle that the colonies exercising the rights of selfgovernment ought to undertake the responsibility of providing for their own internal order and security and assisting in their own internal defence. This principle was embodied in the Naval Defence Act of 1865, which empowered colonial governments to provide men and vessels of war, the same to be available for service in the royal navy when an offer is made by the government of a colony to Diace them at the disposal of the imperial government.

The main objection of those who favour the attitude taken bv the hon. member for Jacques 'Cartier (Mr. Monk) is that the building of a Canadian navy will involve a heavy expenditure. This was the main argument of the hon. member for Sou-langes (Mr. Lortie) who spoke to-night. Well, it is true that a Canadian navy will cost something. It is calculated that it will cost about three per cent of our revenue. But is that too heavy a price to pay for the protection of Canadian commerce and the maintaining of our position in the British empire? Should the policy advocated by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) prevail, that would in all likelihood involve .separation, from the empire; and then, if Canada were independent or became part of the United States, the burden of the Canadian people for the purposes of naval defence would be much heavier than if she remained a part of the British empire.

In my opinion, if a consultation of the people were had on this Bill, the great majority in Quebec, as in the other provinces, would vote for doing something- either build a Canadian navy or give a contribution. The people throughout Canada understand their duty, and I do not think we need resort to a plebiscite to inform ourselves as to their views. The Canadian press is almost unanimous in advocating the building of a Canadian navy or doing something to help the mother country by way of gitt or contribution; and the representatives of the people

in this House have duties to perform, the most important of which is to provide for the safety, peace and good government of this country. We do not need to ask people for advice in these matters. Great questions have been decided before and important steps taken in the political history of our country without any resort to a plebiscite. When the Canadian militia was established in 1868, there was no plebiscite. Before the various Canadian provinces went into confederation, there was no plebiscite to ascertain whether the people in each province were in favour of that change.

We also have the objection raised that in this country we are not able to build a navy; and those who raise that objection are not the ones who are in favour of the statu quo but are those who want to make a, gift or contribution to the mother country. For my part I think that the hon. members who raise that objection cannot have much pride or confidence in their own country or the capabilities of our own people. To decide whether our people have the ability to organize a Canadian navy, we need only study history. Take the great works which have been built in this country. Take the building of the Canadian Pacific railway, the Grand Trunk railway, the Intercolonial, the Canadian Northern and the Transcontinental, take our Canadian banking and insurance systems and the development of our other great enterprises-all these bear testimony to the ability of Canadians to manage their own affairs and build their own industries. The hon. member from North Ontario (Mr. Sharpe) saicf he would be in favour of the government, policy if two Dreadnoughts were added to the ships to be built. Well, in that respect I differ from him; but if there are other ships to be built than those proposed by the government, I would like these to be merchant ships. I believe that these should be built as a corollary to our war vessels. They would carry food to the British navy in time of war, free of cost, and have in this way real commercial value. They would afford also training to our seamen in the art of peaceful trade; and if we should build these ships to carry Canadian cereals, meats and dairy products for the consumption of the imperial navy, we would relieve Great Britain's burden, build up a mercantile marine, and re-t move competition from Canadian farmers in the markets of the world. Canada's reputation and self-respect would best be maintained, so long as she remains within the empire, by continuing to control her own national politics. Australia and New Zealand are doing this, South Africa is also doing it, each part of the empire is

[DOT]doing it in its own way, and is thereby best promoting its own national strength. Mr. Goldwin Smith is reported to have said:

If Canada has a navy, it will be necessary to determine very clearly with whom rests the declaration of war.

This is what seems to worry the hon. member for St. Anne, Montreal, who spoke the other day. The existence of a Canadian navy will not in any way affect Canada's liability to be involved in British wars. Whether we have a navy of our own, or pay the British government for our protection, or continue to pay nothing for naval purposes, so long as Canada is part of the British empire it will be liable to attack by any nation with which Great Britain is at war, and we may be sure that the enemy would not hesitate to strike that part of the empire which was most vulnerable and least prepared for war. But when Canada shows its willingness to bear a fair share of the defence of the empire, the King will not, if he wishes to secure the co-operation of Canada, agree to a declaration of war without consulting the government of Canada. Mr. Speaker, I will not delay the House any longer. I will conclude by stating that I am opposed, both to the amendment of the leader of the opposition, and to the amendment to the amendment of the member for Jacques Cartier; I shall have much pleasure in voting for the policy of the government and in doing so I think I am acting in the best interests of my constituents.

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CON

Arthur Meighen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Portage la Prairie).

stituency, and to this country that I disaffirm his position utterly. I refer not to all that was said by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, but -chiefly to the sentiment wherein he called in question, and in my view laid at the door of British diplomacy a charge of treachery to this country. In so far as his utterances on that subject were concerned, I must do everything in my power to dissociate myself from any sympathy with them. Therefore, on the main ground that it would be in my mind placing myself in the position of truant to the trust which a great constituency has reposed in me, I refuse to vote for the amendment to the amendment offered by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk). I refuse to place myself in a position which I conceive to be rebellion to a great trust imposed so.

Haying disposed of my own position, having without fear, and without hesitation, and after such careful consideration as in my view the serious consequences, the great import of this question demands of every member, having discharged to the best of my ability the duty that I believe rests on me, then, Sir, the situation is changed, but for the present I cannot believe under our form of government, under the plainest rules, at all events, rules that are more than plain to me, I cannot conscientiously or fairly or consistently support the amendment to the amendment.

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Thomas MacNutt

Liberal

Mr. THOS. MACNUTT (Saltcoats).

There is little new that I -can add to this debate, and I intend to be very brief. I believe we are safe in assuming that the empire will be threatened with war at some time or other. The natives are arming and the millennium has not yet arrived. Great Britain has been in the past, and is at the present time, well prepared to defend herself. While her colonies were growing, she in effect, sai-d to them: Go on and get

strong, we will protect you, and when you do get strong we expect you to do a little to assist in the general defence of the empire. The question is: What is Canada going to do? I do not think that Canadians intend to take the stand of sheltering themselves behind the guns of Great Britain or the Monroe doctrine any longer. I think they realize that it is up to them to do something to assist in the defence of the empire. What line should they take? There are three -propositions before the House. The first is that we build a Canadian navy. Some hon. gentlemen opposite describe this as a tin-pot navy, but if it is there are many units of navies connected with other nations that might be so described. It will be, as I understand, allied with the British navy, and prepared to take its part in co-operation with the British admiralty. I am no naval expert. Although this debate has de-

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March 9, 1910