May 3, 1910

CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister as to one of the three returns which I asked for yesterday. Two have been brought down this morning, but there is another in reference to the armament on the great lakes. Does he think he can bring it down?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I will make inquiries and let you know to-morrow.

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ADDRESS TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL.


Rt, Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister). By your leave, Mr. Speaker, I would beg to interrupt the order of proceedings which is laid down on the programme of this day in order to remind the House that the term of office of His Excellency the Governor General is fast drawing to a close and that when we meet again at the opening of the next session he will no longer be with us and His Majesty will have selected another person to be his representative in this country. There is, I have reason to believe, a unanimous wish in this House that ere we separate we should convey to His Excellency an expression of our high appreciation of the great services he has rendered to this country whilst he has had the honour of being the representative of His Majesty. The observation has on more than one occasion been made that Canada has been extremely fortunate in the character of those who since confederation have held the high office now held by His Excellency, and the five years of his stay with us I am sure will give still more prominence to this prevalent opinion. From time to time in recent years paragraphs have appeared in the press to the effect that at the present stage of Canadian development it would be fitting that a Canadian should be representative of His Majesty. In this we find the expression of a laudable, but to my mind, a misguided expression of national pride. The system which has been in operation since confederation of His Majesty appointing to be his representative in this country some of the great names of Great Britain has worked most harmoniously and most satisfactorily, and any change in that system would not, I am sure, be productive of good results, but perhaps on the contrary would jeopardize something which we hold dear. The first effect of this system of having some high statesman of Great Britain to be the representative of His Majesty in this country has undoubtedly been to strengthen if possible the ties which bind us to the motherland and to keep them constantly before the hearts of the people. The next effect is to place at the head of the administration one who by the very nature of things is not connected with our party or political differences, and who by the same nature of things is more apt than anybody else to keep even the balance between all contending parties. The other value of the system is to ensure the presence at the head of the political administration of one who from early youth has been bound to public life and who has had the advantage of experience of constitutional government in the country where constitutional government originated, and where it is best understood. In these respects His Excellency was pre-eminently qualified. The name which he has the honour to bear, the name of Grey, may have equals, but it has no superiors in the long list of statesmen who for ages have been connected with the history of constitutional government in Great'Britain, and His Excellency proved a worthy addition for he had a distinguished career not only in England, but in some distant parts of the empire. So in his case it was pre-eminently a case of noblese oblige, and from the very day he landed on our shores it is a matter of history that he gave his whole heart, his whole soul, and his whole life to Canada. Canada became the all-absorbing _ object of his thoughts. He was not satisfied, as every one knows, to give to the discharge of his official duties the most careful and close at-



tention, but he associated himself with everything that went to make the national life of Canada. His constant object was to advance and to elevate the national character in everything, in all the human speculations which go to make up the highest expression of civilization. It is nothing but justice to say that under his wise and generous guidance the arts, letters and the sciences have received a notable impetus. In the matter of science especially he gave the most careful' attention'and was diligent and active in that branch which is connected with public health, and it is due to his efforts, not only his own efforts but to the efforts of those associated with him, that a disease has been checked which levied every year a large tribute, the disease that is known as tuberculosis. But if anything were the characteristic of the career of His Excellency amongst us, I would say it was the particular attention he gave to the study of our own history. The conception was his and his alone which resulted in the establishment of the Battlefields Commission, the effect of which will be to consecrate and to hallow the ground around the city of Quebec which has been marked by the most dramatic events in our history. But we should not forget the graceful and noble companion of his life. The Countess Grey associated herself readily with all the efforts of her illustrious husband to promote the Canadian welfare. Several hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.


LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Mr. Speaker, I have very great pleasure in seconding this motion. The fitting terms of the resolution and the eloquent words of the Prime Minister in moving it leave little to be said by me. I join most heartily in the appreciation which the Prime Minister has expressed to the House of the work of their Excellencies Earl Grey and the Countess Grey and their charming daughters in all that concerns the -welfare of Canada during the period in which Earl Grey has served this country and the empire as Governor General of Canada. To say that Canada has been fortunate in her Governor Generals, particularly during recent years, is so true that it needs not be emphasized. Earl Grey and his distingu-

ished predecessor, Lord Minto, have presided over the destinies of Canada at a most interesting period, not only in the development of this country, but in the development of the empire as a whole. They have seen, in all the great dominions of the empire, wonderful material development. More than that, they have seen throughout the empire-in Canada, in Australia and in South Africa-a great advance towards the development of a closer co-operation between the great dominions. of the empire and the mother country in all that concerns the welfare of the empire. The work and the activities of His Excellency in this country have been characterized by a broad and generous sympathy which has won the affection and the esteem of the people of Canada, and when he leaves these shores he will leave behind him an affection and an esteem in the hearts of the people of Canada which will be a monument to his memory more enduring than any other he could desire. A man of courage, of initiative, of imagination and of clear imperial vision, we recognized him when_he came to the shores of Canada as a man than whom there was no truer imperialist throughout the empire. As he leaves the shores of Canada we recognize in him as true a Canadian as is to be found in this great Dominion. I may be permitted to say, in conclusion, that when he returns to the motherland he may bear with him from the people of Canada this message to His Majesty the King, that the free people of Canada are gravely conscious that there are great problems in respect of co-operation between the great dominions of the empire and the mother country which must in the early future present themselves for solution by the statesmen of the empire. I think he may bear with him this further message, that the people of Canada are not less gravely conscious of their responsibility in the solution of those problems and are perfectly willing, and indeed anxious, to accept every legitimate responsibility in connection therewith. The terms of the resolution and the words of the Prime Minister make it unnecessary that I should add anything further, except to say on behalf of hon. gentlemen on this side of the House that I have the greatest possible pleasure in seconding the resolution which has been so appropriately and eloquently proposed by the Prime Minister.

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Motion agreed to.


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I beg to move, seconded by Mr. Borden:

That a message be sent to the Senate informing Their Honours that this House has passed an Address to His Excellency the Governor General on the occasion of the approaching termination of His Excellency's official connection with this country, and

requesting that their Honours unite with this House in the said Address.

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Motion agreed to.


INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.

LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Early in the session, I asked for some information in regard to drill halls and armouries in Canada. A part of my question was answered in due time by the Minister of Militia and Defence but the balance of the information which should have come from the Minister of Public Works has not been furnished.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I presume my hon. friend dropped the question. If he will send me a note I shall endeavour to get the information to-morrow.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

The minister will remember that I made a personal call on him some days ago.

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. U. WILSON.

The Minister of Public Works promised me a list of furniture that had been sold from Rideau Hall and the prices paid. I have not yet got the list.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

I judge that my hon. friend is engaged in an interesting examination in regard to furniture at Rideau Hall extending over a good many years and it will take some time to get the information. I did not understand that I Jwas to get it immediately, but I will have it obtained as soon as possible.

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CON
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

My hon. friend did not limit it particularly to any number of years. I presume I am to go back to the date of confederation.

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ORDER DISCHARGED.


On motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, No. 14, House in committee to consider the following resolution: Resolved, That it is exj>edient, in connection with Bill No. 95, now under consideration by this House, respecting the naval service of Canada, to provide for the establishment, under regulations in that behalf, to be made by the Governor General in Council, of pensions and gratuities for the permanent naval service; such pensions and gratuities not to be larger in amount or granted upon more favourable terms than the pensions and gratuities authorized under the Militia Act, was discharged.


May 3, 1910