Rt. Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister):
I beg to move, seconded by Sir Wilfrid Laurier:
That this House do accept the Mace presented in 1916 by Colonel the Rt. Hon Sir Charles Cheers Wakefield, then Lord Mayor of London, and by Sir George Alexander Touche, M.P., and Sir Samuel George Shead, then Sheriffs of London, and that the warm thanks of the House be conveyed by Mr. Speaker to the donors.
The House will remember that shortly after the fire which destroyed the Parliament Buildings we were in receipt of a communication from the then Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs of London in which they asked to be permitted to present a mace to this House to take the place of that which unfortunately had been destroyed in the fire. I consulted with my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) at that time, and we agreed that the offer should be accepted. The mace has been prepared by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company, Ltd., and during my recent visit to England it was presented to me in order that I might transmit it to Mr. Speaker and obtain the formal assent of the House to its acceptance. The mace is now on the Table, and McC.ea.]
hon. gentlemen have had an opportunity of examining it. I am sure they will all agree that it is a very beautiful piece of workmanship, and that the warm thanks of the House are due to Sir Charles Wakefield, Sir George Touche, and Sir Samuel Shead for their generous gift. This gift and its acceptance form a new link of association between the Parliament of Canada and the great city at the heart of our Empire.
I might perhaps with advantage place on Hansard a description of the design of the mace, which has been prepared by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company:
The general design of the Mace is on similar lines to that used in the English House of Commons. The vase shaped head is divided into four panels by female figures with acanthus leaf terminals. These panels contain the following beautifully embossed emblems. The Arms of the Dominion of Canada, the Rose for England, the Harp for Ireland, and the Thistle for Scotland; above each emblem 'is the Royal Crown and the initials G. OR. are placed on either side. In the spaces above the figures is shown the Beaver executed in bold relief. The Head of the Mace is supported by four ornamental brackets and is surmounted by the Royal Crown, indicating the Royal Authority; beneath the arches where the cushion is usually placed, there is a raised circular space on which appears in relief the full blazon of the Royal Arms of Great Britain and Ireland. The Staff is divided at intervals by two spiral fluted knops, and the whole length is richly chased with the Rose, Shamrock, Thistle and the Maple Leaf. The massive foot of the Staff is decorated with Roses, Thistles and Fleur-de-lys, the plain space above bearing the following inscription:-
'This Mace replacing the original Mace of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, destroyed by fire on February 17th, 1916, was presented by Colonel the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Cheers Wakefield, Lord Mayor of London, and the Sheriffs of London, George Alexander Touche, Esq., M.P., and Samuel George Shead, Esq., June, 1916.'
In its design and execution the Mace forms an emblem of authority well worthy of the great country for which it is intended.
It will be observed that the date of the destruction of the Parliament Buildings is incorrectly stated in the inscription. I am at a loss to know how this mistake could have occurred, but I have no doubt it can be easily rectified. The Lord Mayor of London placed the Council Chamber of the Guild Hall at the disposal of the donors for the purpose of presenting the mace, and he himself attended and presided over the ceremony. Each of the donors spoke and their expressions of goodwill to this country and of appreciation of the part which Canada is taking in the great struggle in which we are now engaged were all that any of us could desire. I am sure there will be a perfect unanimity of feeling in
the House in assenting to this resolution, and I trust that Mr. Speaker will convey in fitting terms to the donors the appreciation and thanks of the House, together with a copy of the resolution which I am now proposing.
Right hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER: On Friday, we shall know exactly what my right hon. friend (Sir Robert Borden) has brought back from his visit to England. Yet even to-day we see and must acknowledge that he has not come back empty-handed, but on the contrary he has brought in this mace a very substantial evidence of the work he has accomplished on the other side of the water. This emblem and its presentation are evidences of our connection and growing relations with the Motherland. For my part, though I am a democrat to the hilt, I certainly appreciate all these evidences of our parliamentary history as it has come down to us through the ages. All these symbols and ceremonies have their uses. I-t may be that when a new member comes to this House, he may think it somewhat archaic when he sees the sergeant-at-arms with the mace preceding the Speaker, but when he becomes better acquainted with Parliament, he finds that each of these customs has its significance. One of England's historic personages called the mace a "bauble," and ordered it out of the Commons, but its restoration signified the restoration to England of constitutional government as it exists to-day. Parliamentary government has come from England to Canada, and this gift to us is an emblem of those parliamentary institutions which are so highly prized, especially now that we are under fire in the present world war.
Subtopic: VOTE OF THANKS TO THE LORD MAYOR AND .SHERIFFS OF LONDON.