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.
House resumed at eight o'clock.