February 27, 1911

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

David Bradley Neely

Liberal

Mr. NEELY.

Sir, this is one of many cases in which these hon. gentlemen have tried to hide their defects of policy or their lack of policy under a vigorous waving of the flag. I presume it is the sincere and honest desire of every man in this House to have the flag of his country shown due respect. I have many American citizens in my own part of the country and a great many in my own constituency. I do not know that any serious harm has ever come from the fact that a few of them bring a small sample of the stars and stripes acros3 with them

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

Thomas Beattie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEATTIE.

I was not referring to the stars and stripes alone. The resolution says a foreign flag.'

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

David Bradley Neely

Liberal

Mr. NEELY.

I am using this merely as illustration; my hon. friend admits, I sup-

pose, that the stars and stripes is a ' foreign flag.' I say I do not know that any great harm has come to this country because a few of these people from the United States bring across the stars and stripes. Perhaps, for a year or so, they decorate the walls of their houses with this flag. But they spend but a short time in this country in the enjoyment of the benefits derived from living under the Union Jack before they very gladly lay away the stars and stripes and adopt the Union Jack for display on all public and private occasions.

But I submit that this resolution in this form is much further-reaching and wider-spreading in its effects than my hon. friend (Mr. Beattie) probably intended. As I object to the terms of the resolution, I will support the resolution of the hon. member for Pictou that the debate be adjourned.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

William Ross Smyth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. R. SMYTH (East Algoma).

Representing, as I do, a constituency that borders on the United States, I would like to say a few words in regard to this matter.

I am astonished to find our good friends on the opposite side quibbling over a matter of this kind. I was wondering, while the hon. member from Humboldt (Mr. Neely) was talking, how long it- would take the House of Representatives of the United States to deal with this matter if it were a question of our flag flying over their flags in the United States. I well remember on one occasion passing up the Sault Ste. Marie river and seeing the American flag flying on the flagpoles of the different houses along that stream. A friend of mine remarked as to one of the men occupying one of these houses that it ill-became them to display the stars and stripes without the Union Jack either in an equal position or on top. The man said he was impressed with the propriety of doing so. When, two or three days after, I had occasion to pass the same way, I found that he had complied with the request of my friendly putting up a Union Jack about the size of a postage stamp on the top of the flag pole, which I considered adding insult to injury. I really cannot understand the attitude of hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House. The hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) has described the resolution of my hon. friend from London as crude. Of course, that is the usual treatment that a layman on this side of the House, gets from members of the legal profession who sit on the other side of the House. Everything that emanates from a layman of this side of the House, is crude, according to the lawyers opposite. I desire to say that whether it is crude or not, I would rather stand by the resolution of the member for London than to stand in the position of the hon. member for Pictou: and crude though it may be, I shall support the Mr. NEELY.

resolution, and I hope the member for London will not withdraw it.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. H. BRADBURY (Selkirk).

I cannot understand the attitude of hon. gentlemen on the opposite side of the House, taking objection to a resolution of this kind. I can understand an objection on the ground that it is not properly framed, but I cannot understand any objection against its spirit. There is no question that the very first sentence in that resolution, makes it possible for the government to accept it, and to frame regulations to govern this matter. Now with regard to the flying of flags on public buildings, I was glad to hear the Minister of Public Works intimate the other night, that our flags would be flown on some of those buildings along the border* towns. My opinion as that the flag should be shown on every public building, owned by the government of Canada, including the post offices'. Regarding the Northwest, and my own province of Manitoba, this is an important matter. We have had an experience in the Northwest that perhaps the people of Ontario have not had. In the city of Winnipeg, on a holiday, as every man knows, who has been there, on such occasions, a stranger walking down the street would hardly know that he was in a Canadian city, he would suppose he was in ai>

American city from the number of American flags that he would see flying. I remember an instance that occurred two or three years ago in Winnipeg, when an American citizen went into the city hall, took down the Union Jack and-placed the stars and stripes on the masthead. That is only an example of what is happening every day in parts of Canada. On that occasion trouble was only averted by the coolness and wisdom of the authorities, who took charge oi the man who had committed the outrage, -and protected him from the men who were waiting at the bottom of the stairs to mob him. He was allowed to go free, there was no punishment meted out to him, because there seemed to be no law against it, I cannot under-stand the attitude of the government in trying to shelve a motion of this kind. If bloodshed has been averted time after time in Canada, it has been owing to the forbearance and common sense of our people, who have been deeply offended by the use which is made of American flags. Now we have a large number of Americans coming into our western country. We have no objections to their flag, I have no objections to the American flag flying in Manitoba, but I have serious objections to seeing it fly without the Union Jack alongside of it, or in the near vicinity. The resolution before us does not deny to any one the privilege of flying his flag, it

only asks that where a foreign flag is flown, a Canadian or British- flag should be flown alongside of it, in an equally prominent position. That is a reasonable proposition, and I do not see how the government can object to it. American citizens coming to the western country, who are reasonable and self respecting men, cannot object to it. They admire their flag, and by -the great honour they pay their flag, they have obtained the respect of the world. A man who respects himself, will be respected by others; a nation that respects its flag will see its flag respected by other nations. If we fail to respect our own flag, American citizens and other foreigners who come into this country, will also fail to respect it. I am satisfied that they would respect out flag more than they do, if we showed more respect for it ourselves. I would ask the Minister of Public Works to pursue the policy he has outlined, and that he cause the Canadian flag, the Union Jack, to be shown on every post office as well as other public buildings, so that foreigners coming to this country may learn to respect our flag.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

John Patrick Molloy

Liberal

Mr. MOLLOY.

I must take objection to the remarks of the hon. member for Dauphin (Air. Campbell), regarding the attitude he says the Liberal party took in the election of 1907. I was a candidate in that election, the flag incident was one of those discussed by the people, and I won the election. I won the election against the Attorney General of the province, who went into a certain district of the constituency, inhabited largely by Germans, and told them that they would not be compelled to fly the British flag on their schools. These men swore to that fact, and I used that fact against the Attorney General of the province, on the ground, not that I was opposed to the flying of the flag, but I was opposed to any man or any party trying to make a political football of the British flag.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. A. B. CROSBY (Halifax).

I desire to congratulate the Minister of Finance on his change of sentiment, regarding the flag, and likewise the hon. member foT Pictou, (Air. Macdonald). To-night we have seen a rather peculiar condition of things. First, we had the Atinister of Public Works undertaking to lead the House in this matter, and finding that things were not going right, the Alinister of Finance took hold. He failed to set them right, and then. the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Alacdonald), undertook to lead the House, and he simply told the House that if they did not do what he wanted them to do, he -would move the adjournment of the debate. The First Alin-ister, who has been accustomed to lead the House, has not seen fit to say anything yet. I congratulate the Finance Alinister,

because, when he was Premier of Nova Scotia, we never saw the Union Jack flying over the provincial building, the only flag we saw was the flag of Nova Scotia. Well, the flag of Nova Scotia is very good in its place, but since the province has become part and parcel of the Dominion of Canada, the proper flag to fly over the provincial building is the Union Jack. On many occasions during the time the hon. Minister of Finance was premier of Nova Scotia, resolutions were brought into that House calling upon the government to pass an Act to compel the schools to fly the British flag on the 1st of July, but these resolutions were never carried. I think I am quite safe in saying that the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald), was a member of the House at that time.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Air. MACDONALD.

No such suggestion or resolution was moved in the local legislature at the time when I was there, and I was there for six years, by any member of the Conservative party.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

If the Alinister of Finance would say that that is the case I would say that I am in error, but I think I am quite safe in saying what I have said.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I am quite willing that the hon. member shall keep on saying what he likes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

The Minister of Finance knows I am saying what is right. I do not propose to say anything but what I can back up, and if the Finance Minister will say that I am not right I will try to get the documents to prove that I am right. If I fail to do that I will be satisfied that I am wrong and I will apologize to him. But he knows I am right and therefore he will let me say what I like. It is not often he allows me to do it if he can help it.

The hon. member for Humboldt (Air. Neely) had a. good deal to say about flag flying and he made a mournful cry about the people not being able to put up the stars and strips in their houses. In this country we are manufacturing wall paper and there is no necessity for people to use the stars and stripes with which to decorate their walls. Let them put up the paper that is made in this country. He also said that we on this side of the House could not do anything without bringing in the flag. The Conservative party had been noted for that. They never arrange any policy without including the British flag. We have had intimations on many occasions from men on that side of the House, men who, perhaps, do not sit on that side of the House now, men who have been superseded by others of uie same opinion, that it was a cry. They have said that the flag did not make any difference to them, that it was a question more or less of business and

trade. It is strongly intimated by shrewd and careful calculators-whether they are right or wrong, I am not going to argue the question because it is not up for argument at the present time-that the only thing that the agreement that is before us now has to recommend it is closer relations, so close that the flag will be coming across and staying across and not going back at all. Our friend Mr. Ham says: What is the use of going anywhere because you only have to come back again?-but this will be a case of coming where it does not .go back. Therefore, I am not surprised at the Minister of Finance trying to prevent this issue from being voted on squarely. The hon. member for Pictou says that this resolution does not mean anything. This resolution has been on the Order Paper for four or five days and if the hon. member for Pictou had been particularly interested in framing a resolution the grammar of which would meet with his approval, because he is a man of very great ability in his profession, he has had sufficient opportunity to do so. I feel satisfied that if he makes up his mind now to do it he and my hon. friend from London could get together and frame this resolution in such a way as would meet the situation and there would be no necessity for adjourning this debate. Adjourning the debate simply means that we vote down the resolution because there will be no other opportunity of bringing it before the House. This is the last private members day and even if it were not there would be no opportunity. Therefore, the adjourning of the debate means nothing more nor less than voting down the resolution and blocking the whole matter. The hon. member for Pictou went further and said that this would give the -government an intimation as to what should be done. This government have been in power since 1896, we are now in the year 1911, and they do not yet know what they should do with the flag. That is a splendid condition indeed! The hon. member for Pictou has had to get up and tell the people on that side of the House that during all this time they did not know they had a flag. The hon. gentleman tells them something that they did not know before, that they have a flag, and he adds that they will take the matter into consideration and fix the flag. I will not be very well pleased with the way that they will fix it up, but I am quite willing fo leave it to the members of this House to *regulate it for them. Let us regulate it "to-night. We have not very much to do, the government has nothing'to bringdown, it is private members night, let us fix the flag. In the morning we will be able to wake up and say that we have done some thing-we have regulated the flag. If they Mr. CROSBY.

are able to steal our trade they cannot steal our flag. Let us fix the flag. I do not desire to take up more of the time of the House. I do think that the hon. member for Pictou should not vote against the resolution. If the grammar does not suit the hon. gentleman let us get the grammar into it. Let us get half a dozen grammars into it if necessary, but let us have the resolution voted upon. Let us show, every one of us, that we are true Britishers. I am not trifling with a matter of this kind to-night.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

There are a great many

' hear, hears ' over there that have not much behind them. Still, I am willing to accept them on this occasion. There f-re many occasions on which I do not think much of their ' hear hears,' but, to-night, if they say * hear, hear,' I say: Let them vote * hear, hear.' The hon. member from Humboldt has come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to compel people, instead of putting the stars and stripes on the wall, to buy the paper manufactured in Canada with which to decorate their walls and thus stimulate the trade of the country. I trust that the hon. member who introduced this resolution will hold to his resolution as we hold to him. We have no desire to force the resolution upon the hon. member for Pictou or any other member. He can put more grammar or dictionary or any other additional conditions into it that he likes if it will make it any smoother for him, because sometimes it is very hard for him to swallow things and I hope that we may vote on the resolution to-night if he can fix it up.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. M. CLARK (Red Deer).

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House, that I detain it for one moment with the greatest possible reluctance, but this is to me an entirely new class of political discussion and I do not care to give a vote in which the flag is implicated without explaining my position. I am affected by this resolution exactly as I should be if any hon. member on the other side arose and proposed that we should record that it is right for all Canadians to show respect and love to their parents. If any hon. member proposed such a resolution I should feel that it was insulting. I am affected exactly so towards this resolution. I think it is a most undesirable thing in the interests of all that we hold dearest in this country to have a vote upon the flag at all. I must say that those who force such a vote incur what to my mind is a very great responsibility. There are no doubts on this side-who infuses the doubts on the other side, and why infuse them? I must say in regard to our ' American citizens who come into the west

in large numbers that my experience is that of my friend from Humboldt: that they are extremely easily assimilated; not because that in an assertive and what might be to them an offensive way we wave the flag in their eyes, but because we try to show them we have a country over which the flag waves in which they can have as great privileges and as great happiness and as great prosperity as are to be found anywhere in the world. They learn to love the country, they learn to love its institutions, they learn to love, if you like its lower tariffs, and then they love the flag. My hon. friend from East ASgoma (Mr. Smyth) derives his inspiration in support of this resolution from the United States. I wonder he goes there for an example for anything. He told us the United States people would not wait an instant in a matter of this kind, and in that respect at least the hon. gentleman (Mr. Smyth) is a good States man. I have not found that the people of the United States are offensive in this manner. If I might venture to be egotistical I might tell the House that a few weeks ago I had the honour of delivering an address before the Canadian Club at Boston, and, in honour of your very humble servant the Union Jack floated from the Parker House to the other side of the street all the time I stayed at that hotel. But I differ from my hon. friend from East Algoma; I do not go to the United States for my thinking or inspiration on a subject of this kind; I would rather go to the other side of the water and I must say that I have never found any of what I would call this fussy self-assertiveness amongst the men who hold the historic position of being the greatest defenders of the flag. I recall the story of a fussy subordinate who in the days of the Indian mutiny went up to Sir Henry Havelock and said to him: Sir, I always carry out your orders to the letter, and Sir Henry replied : My good man, I never give orders, I only carry out those of the little lady (referring_to Queen Victoria). A like fussy person met the Duke of Wellington outside of a church, long years after the day of Waterloo, and he said to him: May I have the great honour of shaking hands with the hero of Waterloo, and the duke turned to him and said: Don't make a damn fool of yourself. I do not know, Mr. Speaker, whether that advice would be unparliamentary if I repeated it to gentlemen on the other side of the House, but, I submit it as being well worth their consideration. It is because (and I say these words in all sincerity) it is because I have always found in my hon. friend from London (Mr. Beattie)-for whom I have as great a persona! regard as for any member of this House-those very qualities of solid substantial manhood and the absence in his general deportment of what I have termed fussy self-assertiveness, that I regret extremely he did not accede to the very simple request, based upon good grounds as I think, that no great haste should be shown in pressing such a motion as this to a division.

Mr. PAQUET (L'lslet), (Text.) Mr. Speaker, I wish to offer a word of explanation. I approve the principle of the resolution introduced by my friend from London (Mr. Beattie).

I do not come here to scream about the loyalty of my race towards British institutions; it is known!

We, French Canadians, respect, we love the British flag, and are happy, in our province, to see it flying side by side with the tricoloured flag. Moreover, we like to see these two flags mix together on our social and national holidays, we are proud of both our splendid flags. And we would not have waited for that motion to put it into practice in the province of Quebec.

I am paired with my friend from Kamou-raska, otherwise I would vote for that resolution as its principle is written in the heart of every French Canadian.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRUNO NANTEL (Terrebonne).

(Text.) I shall say but one word, Mr. Speaker. I very cordially approve the sentiments which the hon. member for L'lslet (Mr. Paquet) has just expressed. I sincerely believe this resolution should not have given rise to so much discussion, and that it should have been carried unanimously as was the one which the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) introduced the other day.

Last year, during a very important debate, the hon. the Prime Minister reminded the member for Jacques Cartier that he should not forget he was not only a Canadian subject, but also a British subject. Well, as a British subject, there should not be the least objection to the British flag flying together with the tricoloured flag which is dear to us.

As I am not paired, I shall with all my heart vote for the resolution of the hon. member for London.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. WM. CHISHOLM (Antigonish).

We have heard with some interest the remarks of the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Crosby) and of the nationalist members for Quebec, but it seems to me that the flag is in great danger when it comes to be placed in the care of these gentlemen. I might tell my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark), whose remarks were very appropriate to this discussion, that he need not worry in the slightest over the remarks of these hon. gentlemen. The junior member for Halifax finds fault with the Liberal party in Nova Scotia because the flag did not fly over the citadel in Halifax on certain occasions, but I have yet to learn that he or his party have ever shown any endearing affection towards that flag, and

when he commented upon the remarks of the hon. member for Pictou and of the Minister of Finance, I was rather astonished that he should venture on such ground. He spoke of the 'dictionary' and the language of the hon. member for Pictou, but possibly he was not able to understand the dictionary that the hon. member for Pictou used. So far as the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Crosby) is concerned, nature has not endowed him with any very high intelligence, and he has not been favoured with an education which would enable him to stand up here to criticise the language used by members on this side of the nouse, and more particularly by the hon. member for Pictou.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

I did not criticise the grammar of the hon. member for Pictou; I asked him if he would assist us in putting it in grammatical form.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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LIB

William Chisholm

Liberal

Mr. CHISHOLM (Antigonish).

I should say he could have put it in proper form without any suggestion, hint or opinion from the junior member for Halifax. I am sure he would not thank that hon. member for any suggestion from a grammatical point of view. As to his remarks about the member for Pictou and the dictionary, I think they are entirely gratuitous, and I would suggest that when he comes to waving the flag he coniine himself entirely to the flag and do not give way to any criticism of any one else's diction.

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Subtopic:   FLYING OF FLAGS IN CANADA.
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February 27, 1911