June 26, 1917

LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Mr. Pelletier, the Commissioner of the province of Quebec in London. Ho they want to stop in England? No, Sir: they go further; they cross the channel and go right to the trenches. The other day I read in a newspaper a letter from a young French Canadian from the province of Quebec, stating that even in the trenches practically the only thing they had to read was a paper which was circulated, a paper which was slurring and slandering the French-Canadians. It is a Toronto paper, which has for its title Jack Canuck. That is the kind of literature they get in the trenches, and that is the kind of respect that is shown not only for the slacker, but for the man who has gone to the front to shed his blood.

Not only since the beginning of the war but for a long time before, we have been insulted; but we have borne our ills with patience. The element which is so active against us cannot realize the position. Let me tell them that the French Canadians did not come to this side of the ocean in palatial steel steamers. When the Frenchman came to America he did not proceed to the Windsor hotel, there to spread a map of Canada before him, pull out his cheque hook and decide where he was going to invest his thousands of dollars. He did not come either to seek wealth. His arms and his capital were courage and a strong heart. -The wealth he was seeking was peace and happiness. The twin screw steel p_alaee that he had was nothing -but a small bark, and when he fastened it to the shore of the, St. Lawrence, when he stepped on the shore, there to wrest and conquer from the forest and from the aborigines a piece of land on which he could live in peace and raise his family he was satisfied. What he wanted was to create a home for his descendants, to worship his God according to his creed, to speak his language, and to find happiness with his family by his fireside. This man cannot have the same mentality as the man who came to Canada twenty-five or thirty years ago. This man is rooted to the soil, and his only country in the world is the spot bought by his forefathers by the sweat of their brows, and paid for with their blood. We are proud of the French blood that flows in our veins, but you cannot call us French we are Canadians. The fortune of war went against ns one day; we had to change companions and to submit to a new regime. We did it, we accepted the new companions, to live in peace with them. At that time, Sir, the

partner senior was holding the majority of the stock, 70,000 against 3,000 when men of his blood called Lafayette and Rochambault came and made him a proposition to forego his allegiance and join the American republic; he said no. He was loyal, he knew that he had sworn allegiance to his new associates. Let those who doubt the loyalty of that man go down into the province of Quebec, on the national highway along the St. Lawrence, and there they will see that the French Canadians has in front of his house the witness of his pledge, they will -see on every farm the cross, standing there to remind the French Canadians that he cannot be a perjurer. to the British Crown- and he never will be.

To show the animus of a certain element, I need only refer to what occurred this afternoon. I was amazed at the answers made by the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs). My friend from Cape Breton asked him a question. The member for Parry Sound was making a statement that there were only a thousand French Canadians left at the front, that one regiment had been decimated, that only commissioned and non-commissioned officers were in England. Upon that my friend asked him a question something as follows : You made the statement that there were 5,000 or 6,000 French-Canadians; one regiment has been decimated, 1,000 are in the trenches, where are the others? The hon. member replied: They must have deserted.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Shame, shame.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Sir, is that noble, is that generous, I ask you, is that British-is it even decent? I say no.

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LIB
LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Do you think that a mother with a heart in her breast or a father with blood in his veins will tell his son to enroll under men who express such sentiments as that? What treatment can he expect? You say: Go and fight the

Prussians; in the name of liberty, in the name of democracy, go and fight the Prussians: Why? Because he has called

his pledges scraps of paper, because he has put his heel on the weaker nation, Belgium; because he has tried to wipe from the earth the smaller nations of the Balkans; and in the same breath you treat your fellow countrymen, you treat the men in the trenches, in this way. Read the casualty lists, and you will see that some men have deserted to go to a better land; some have deserted by shedding

their blood; some have deserted by taking Courcelette, and I ask a gentleman who says he has been in the trenches, a gentleman who says he has raised a regiment and who has nothing but words of scorn for men who have lost their lives, I ask: Are we going to enroll with such people? No. And then, Sir, those gentlemen will come-

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Do not call him a gentleman.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I am not calling him, I am talking about the gentlemen, on the other side generally. They will come and call us the white-livered brigade, the cold-feet association, the slacker band. Do they think we are going to follow their footsteps? Who is the man who is foolish enough to go and enroll when he knows he will have a greater fight with the men who are commanding him than he will have with the Prussian when he meets him? The insinuations, the implications, the slurs and slanders against my fellow countrymen were started by a certain element in the neighbouring province of Ontario. Mind you we exempt certain good-willed people. A movement was made to try and bring about a better understanding between the two provinces. There was the bonne entente delegation. I had the pleasure of being present when they came to Three Rivers, and I may say that they were all delighted and some were surprised at what they saw. A return visit was made, but some titled editors laughed and scoffed at it. Why, Sir, what we want now is unity. What we want now is not strife and struggle; we want to understand that we are a common people fighting for a common cause, and that there is no superior and no inferior race in this country. I will never consent to be a party to ratify broken pledges. I will never consent to be content when one class of the citizens is being brushed aside with the hand as unworthy of being Canadians.

As I have said, the member for Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs) and the member for North York (Mr. D. A. Armstrong) are not the only ones. We, whc depend upon treaties and pledges for our safeguard, have heard the statement made in this House, by members who claimed they represented the people, that they did not care for the constitution I will quote the speech so that I will not be unfair to the hon. gentleman. Mr. Armstrong of North York started with the usual complimentary address:

I must say that the reason why conscription faces ixs to-day is because French Canada has failed to do its duty.

Further on he says:

I personally do not care two straws whether it is constitutional or not. Personally I would puncture the constitution a dozen times, if it was necessary, in order to stand by the boys at the front and to uphold Canada's arm in this struggle.

Going back to the opening of his address, I find he made the following statement:

Those who know the political history of the part of the province from which I come know that the riding of North York has,long claimed to be the birthplace and cradle of reform; that it has given to the public life of Canada men like George Brown, William Lyon Mackenzie, Sir William Mulock and Sir Allen Aylesworth, names that are closely interwoven with the history and principle of old time Liberalism.

Sir William Lyon Mackenzie and George Brown are gone, hut there are men living to-day who must find a considerable change in the constituency of North York. I had the pleasure ,of being closely associated with one of them, Sir Allen Aylesworth, and no man had more respect for the constitution than he had, and I ask myself, how is it that to-day North York is sending to Parliament a man who wants to puncture the constitution? He had* better go and puncture the Prussians first. What are we fighting for and what are we asked to fight for? The very same thing that the Allies are fighting for. We are asked to fight because the constitution, or pledge or treaty that Germany signed, protecting a smaller nation, Belgium, has been treated as a scrap of paper. The hon. member from North York says, " I will tear in pieces the treaty or contract which safeguards you as a minority. In the name of liberty, I enslave you. In the name of democracy I shackle you." I remember the indignation of the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce when we passed legislation creating new provinces. I was reminded of the preacher in an old church in the southern states, when he made us hear the rattling of the shackles on the young man on the plains of the Northwest, and when he made them cry, " Give me liberty or give me death." What are we to expect? Has Prussia been transported to America. Has Kaiserism been implanted in Ottawa? Has the gentleman gone into hysterics, or is it mental aberration? I do not know what to think. My people do not know what to think. Are we going to be slaves, or are we going to be treated as slaves. I say, No.

The ex-Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) said the other day that one of the influences which worked against recruiting was that some young people would get on

the platform and call the others slackers. And he says the young men who were called slackers would get tiheir backs against the wall and say, "We will not enroll." Mr. Speaker, do not let our friends believe that, because iwe do not hold the majority of the stock in this association, we are going to run away. Don't let them think that abuse or threats are going to scare us, either inside or outside of this House.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB
CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR:

The hon. member says

that upon this side of the House reflections have been cast upon the clergy of Quebec. Will he kindly explain who cast those reflections?

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LIB
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An hon. MEMBER:

We have not forgotten that.

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LIB

Jacques Bureau

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

We discussed in this House a motion asking for an expression of sympathy for those French Canadians who live in Ontario, asking whether in the opinion of this House it would be well not to abolish the teaching of the French language in the schools of Ontario. We remember how that motion was received, and I will abstain from going into details. The French Canadians of Ontario, when they made that request, were practically told: Those privileges ars constitutional; they do

not extend beyond the limits of Quebec, and your privileges are co-extensive therewith. Therefore, the only conclusion to be drawn, although it was not put in so many words, was: If you want to. enjoy those privileges, go back to the province of Quebec. I have here an expression of opinion, not by a French Canadian, not in a paper published in Quebec, not even in a paper published in'Canada or in the United States, but in an English paper called the New Witness and edited by Mr. G. K. Chesterton. On page 78 of the issue of May 24, 1917, I find the following:

As we are in the act of celebrating Empire day, it may be well to consider what is the charter of the Empire, General Smuts said recently: "The British Empire, or this British

Commonwealth of Nations, does not stand for unity, standardization, or assimilation, or denationalization; but it stands for a fuller, a richer, and more various life among all the *nations that compose it. And even nations who have fought against you, like my own, must feel that they and their interests, their language, their religions, and all their cultural interests, are as safe and as secure under the British flag as those of the children of your household and your own blood."

This is the comment of the editor:

And at this very moment, in Canada, we are giving the lie to his words. The slander that the French Canadian has been a slacker in the war, which has been given a good deal of publicity, was bad enough. But that slander has been effectually rebutted by the Montreal paper, La Presse. What is now happening is more serious than mere vulgar abuse. The French Canadian is being robbed of his language. Despite our solemn guarantees, tne use of French in the Manitoba Legislature has long ceased; but now the separate French schools have been abolished-a few months ago the final blow was struck. In Ontario it is now a crime to teach French to little French Canadian boys and girls in French Canadian schools. The penalty is a fine of $500 or six months' imprisonment. In the event of the French-speaking people of Ontario. refusing to submit meekly to this iniquitous rule, they are threatened with the fate, of Manitoba; their schools will he suppressed. What does General Smuts say? "Even nations that have fought against you feel that their interests, their language, their religions, and all their cultured interests are as safe under the British flag as those of the children of your own household and your own blood." But in the war of American Independence the French Canadians stood by the British flag-and this is their reward! Redress has already been refused by the Privy Council. But we cannot he content to know on Empire day that in this "free" Empire of ours we are imitating so slavishly the methods of Prussia in Poland and Alsace-Lorraine.

That is not from the pen of a Frenchman or from a newspaper in Quebec, but from an English paper published in London. How does this compare with the Toronto

News of 2nd June, 1914, shortly before the war? It boldly repudiates the pledge and says, "One-hundred-year-old treaties must be interpreted in the light of new circumstances." Just exactly two months and three days later the Prussian Chancellor was using the same language in the German Reichstag. Now they are telling us: You of the province of Quebec have no enthusiasm, or inspiration. How can we have it, Sir, when we have to fight at home. We are being attacked as if we were to be isolated. We are being slandered and slurred. Is that an encouragement or an inspiration to us? In the hour when we close onr eyes to the sun where will we find the friend, where could the word of consolation so sadly needed in that hour come from? When we see around us nothing but hatred and slander, w'hen we hear no word of sympathy,

I for one can feel no enthusiasm.

But that is not all. Why does the Government refuse a referendum? The Minister of Trade and Commerce said this was a dilatory motion moved for the purpose of gaining time. The Prime Minister has

offered an election but has refused a referendum, and is has been stated in this House on both sides that the referendum was refused because it was feared it would be defeated. Even those on this side of the House who do not share our views have expressed the same opinion. My hon. friend from South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) urged that we .have an open vote, because there were men who were opposed to conscription, he said, who dare not express their views.

Mr. Speaker, a man who dare not speak his mind has no right to call his neighbour a slacker. A man who has not the courage to stand up in a free parliament and say what he thinks, or stand'up in a free country and express his opinion, has no right to call his neighbour a coward. The coward is he who is afraid to speak his mind when he thinks he is in the right. Kaiser-like, this Government, knowing the people do not want conscription, say: We will put our heel on their necks; we will be the masters. Is that democracy? Is it in the name of a democracy such as that, that we are going to compel our race, who have ideals, to enlist? Sir, that is no inspiration to us. We do not want to fight for liberty in Europe and create a condition of slavery in Canada. We do not want to fight for democracy in Europe and establish autocracy in Canada. The time has passed when we can be called to slavery

in the name of liberty, and to love in the name of hatred. Let us get together. I have spoken my mind without any reservation and without any malice. I have stated the facts as they are, and put the case as I conceive it to be. That being done I repeat my appeal to my hon. friend from North Grey. I appeal to - him and to all the ministers of the Cabinet to find half a dozen men of good will who will stop this campaign of slander and calumny in Ontario and other English-speaking provinces against Freneh-Canadians. Not till then shall we have peace and unity. Do not think because we are in a minority that we are heartless; we feel all the more on that account. We can only appeal to sympathy, and how can conditions be bettered when that sympathy is lacking, and distrust and worse is in the hearts of those to whom we appeal. If this campaign of slander were stopped and good-will were established between the two races it would not be necessary to put a Conscription Bill on the statute book to get French Canadians from the province of Quebec to enlist. When you show some sympathy to the French Canadian of the province of Quebec Tie will reciprocate and show how he is loyal and true. The things that are so dear to him, his fireside, his language, and his faith, are the only things that have kept him patient under circumstances where any other man would have lost his patience. It is his love for the land that he has discovered and conquered that has kept him silent. If I were a young man eligible to enlist I would consider that the condition I have exposed would justify me in not enlisting. If the people of Quebec have not responded the fault is not with the right hon. leader of the Opposition or members on this side of the House from the province of Quebec, but it is for the reasons I have stated.

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CON

Ferdinand Joseph Robidoux

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FERDINAND JOSEPH ROBIDOUX (Kent, N.B.):

Mr. Speaker, I would take no part in this debate did I not feel bound to raise my voice in support of the measure introduced by the Prime Minister, and I take this position believing it to be in the best interests of the race to which I belong, as well as of the country generally. I have : followed with close attention the debate which has taken place in this House during the last few days, and it'seems to me that there are a few things which have been pretty conclusively established, the first of which is the fact that the principle of compulsory military service has been embodied in our statute law ever since Con-

federation. It is therefore quite clear that the proposed Military Service Act does not introduce into the legislation of this country any new principle as far as compulsion for the defence of Canada is concerned, except in so far as it provides that troops shall be raised by selective drafts and not by the methods laid down in the Militia Act, which require that the men be selected by ballot. The new Act does not trust to luck for the selection of the men; it provides that the selection shall be made in an intelligent manner, having regard to the requirements of the great industries of the country, chief among which must necessarily rank agriculture and the fisheries, which are the most important agencies of food production.

In the second place, it has been shown beyond question that the Governor in Council already has the power, under the terms of the Militia Act of 1904, to send Canadian troops beyond the limits of Canada for the defence of Canada in a case of emergency. The hon. member for Kamouraska has cited old statutes in force before Confederation, in which it was specially stipulated that the militia could be called out and marched to any place without the province, but conterminous therewith for the purpose of repelling or meeting an attack. My hon. friend cited those old statutes in an endeavour to prove that under the present Militia Act the same limitations applied. But in my judgment he has only succeeded in proving exactly the contrary proposition to that which he sought to establish. In the Militia Act of 1868, drafted by Sir George Etienne Cartier, as well as in the Act of 1904, the word " conterminous" has been eliminated, showing conclusively that the framers of the new law had in contemplation certain circumstances which might arise and might compel Canada to send her troops even beyond the seas to fight for the defence of Canada. Otherwise the word " conterminous " would have been left in the statute. Moreover the words uttered by the then Minister ot Justice, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, at the time the clause dealing with this matter was adopted, words which have already been quoted in this House, evidently show that this is the true and proper construction to put on that clause.

There is another fact which, clear and distinct, looms out of this debate and out of the events which transpired in this country at the outbreak of the war. Canada went into this war, not only because Great Britain and the Empire were threatened

by a grave danger, not merely for the purpose of helping Great Britain and France in the tremendous struggle into which the unjust aggresision of Germany 'had thrust them without cause or warning; but Canada entered this war for the stern and fixed purpose of protecting herself and her people against a grave and serious danger which would inevitably become a disaster should Germany win out. It was mainly this sentiment of self-preservation which prompted the people of this country at the outbreak of the war, and ever since, without distinction of race and creed, to unite in a common voluntary effort to resist the German menace and help crush it, and upon this sentiment chiefly rested the appeal which was made to the youth of Canada in order to urge them to enlist and fly to the defence of our country.

Finally it has been shown by the Prime Minister, and i.t has been generally admitted by those who have spoken in this debate, that the system of voluntary enlistment had ceased to , yield the requisite number of .men to maintain the Canadian troops at full strength at the front. While this state of affairs is to be regretted, at the same time I agree with those who hold that voluntary enlistment has not been a failure. My own native province, the province of New Brunswick, has done wonders under the voluntary system. It gave me a good deal of satisfaction the other day to hear the former Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes), quoting from a memorandum on recruiting which he had addressed to the Prime Minister on July 10, 1916, state that " it must be borne in mind that the Acadians have done magnificently." While I might not be justified in saying that the Acadians in proportion to numbers have enlisted as .well as their Englishspeaking fellow citizens in my province- and there are good and valid reasons which I need not give here which can account for this-still it, can indeed be stated truthfully that they have nobly answered the call to arms and that they have performed their duty as Canadians and British .subjects in a splendid manner. But, Sir, the attitude taken by my compatriots in the present war is in line with the best traditions of the past. In years gone by, in the hour of their country's need, they never failed to respond to the call of duty. As far back ,as in the year 1812, when they had just begun to recuperate from the hardships of evil days, when hostilities broke out between Great Britain and the United States, we

find them faithfully -and courageously serving their king and country in the militia of their respective provinces. A few days ago I came across an old militia list containing the names of a comparatively large number of Acadians from my own county, the county of Kent, the population of which was small in those days, the names of men who, within a month -after the declaration of war, had enlisted to fight for their country. I would like, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, and the consent of the House, to put these names on Hansard as a matter of record:

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MILITIA LIST, KENT COUNTY, 1812-1815.


Saint Louis-Rornain Voutour, Charles Henry, Oliver Bariault, Jacques Henry, Jean Baptiste Johnson, Jean Johnson, Pierre Thebaud. Saint Charles-Raphael Richard, Jacques Daigle, Pierre Luc Robichaud, Fabien Daigle, Jean Louis Daigle. Richibucto Village-Anselme Bourque, Janvier Hebert, Hilario'n Babineau, Urbain Richard, Emmanuel Richard, Jean Bte. Thibodeau, Laurent Richard, Germain Thibodeau, Laurent a Petit Jean Richard, Charles Maillet and Charles Maillet (Cousins), Pierre Daigle, Raphael Caissie, Simon Richard, Augustine Maillet, Joseph Maillet, Damase Richard. Buctouche-Francois Cormier, Andre Jaillet, Laurent LeBlanc, Thadee Bastarache, Moise Bastarache, Denis Cormier, Benoni Girouard, Joseph Girouard, Placide DesRoches, Benoni Savoie, Placide Richard, Marin Girouard. Cocagne-Benoni Bourque, Usebe Leger, Georges Breau, Honore Desprez, Hubert Lirette, Cyrille Gueguen, Placide Gueguen Grand Digue-Thomas Poirier, Maurice Hache, Isaac Hache, Louis Arseneau, Joachim Gallant, Placide Poirier, Fleurant Caissie. Baie des Winds-Louis Guimond, Benoni Meunier, Dominique Martin, Louis Mazerolle. Our young men have enlisted to bear their share in the present great struggle, because they had .a proper appreciation of the free institutions under which we have lived and prospered; because they prized highly the rights and privileges of British citizenship, and because they did not w-ant German rule and Prussian militarism to prevail. They enlisted also because of the appeals which were made to them fey the highest authorities in their church and by the public men to whom they looked for leadership. Let me quote in this connection the eloquent and earnest words uttered by His Lordship Bishop Edward LeBlanc, the Acadian bishop of the diocese of Saint John, in my province, at a mass meeting held in the city of St. John a short time after the outbreak of war. I wish to put on record the eloquent words of that distinguished prelate as they are -a true and faithful expression of the sentiments which have animated and guided the Acadians in the present crisis. Having stated that it was a happy coincidence that his first utterance on a public platform, in (the loyal city of St. John should be for the noble purpose of encouraging our young men to enlist for the defence of the Motherland and that he was heartily in accord with the object of the meeting, and that he should consider he was lacking in patriotism and in his duty to the Empire were he, the leader of the Catholic people of St. John, to remain absent or silent -,on that occasion, he proceeded to say: We are living in perilous times; war is being brought home to us in a way we never experienced before. England, our Motherland, and France, the land of our ancestors, the two nations that are in the forefront of civilization and human liberties, are to-day fighting desperately against a powerful foe; they are engaged in a struggle the issue of which is still uncertain. "The British Empire is now fighting for its existence. I want every citizen to understand this cardinal fact," said. Lord Kitchener the other day. As Canadians our cause is bound up with the cause of Great Britain; her interests are ours. If England falls, we are going to fall with her, and we are going to lose all the glorious privileges we enjoy as citizens of the British Empire. Canada, now so free and so happy, so blessed by God with such great resources, Canada that has such a brilliant future before her, will be reduced to a condition of vassalage and crushed under the iron heel of a foreign and unsympathetic ruler. Failure for England in this war will mean England's destruction and even success will have to be dearly paid for; but, let us thank God, the age of chivalry is not passed; there is still enough patriotism and heroism in the young men of this province to make a supreme effort now for England's cause. Our hope is in our young men; to them we look to uphold the honour and the glory of the British Empire, of that Empire which, rather than to break its plighted word to little Belgium has been willing to sacrifice the best and noblest of her sons. I need not enter here at length into the causes that led to this terrible war; I need not dwell on the violation of the neutrality of Belgium, that wonderful little kingdom which the Bishop of Salford called "the victim and the saviour of Europe." I need not recall the breaking of a treaty which the powers had solemnly promised to keep intact, or England's entente with France for the protection of the channel ports. Above all this stands the one great fact that England did not want this war, but now that she has been forced into it, it is our duty as loyal subjects of His Majesty the King to uphold her cause and to rally to her defence. Young men of New Brunswick, we appeal to you not to allow Britain, to whom we are indebted for our civil and religious beliefs, for our just laws, and for the protection and prosperity that we enjoy, to have her very existence imperilled without striking a blow in her defence. To-night from over the seas is wafted to us the cry of the Motherland: More men, more men! It is England's call to arms. Let every man who is willing to heed that cry enlist. It will not do for Canadians to be behind; better things are expected of us; we want our best and bravest sons from this province and from the different parts of Canada to go forth to stem the tide of hostile aggression, to say to the enemies of the Empire, this far shall you come but no farther. Remember, young men, it is just possible * that unless you strike a blow now in defence of the Mother Country, our days of prosperity may soon be ended. The enemy is dangerously near our doors. The fall of Antwerp, the occupation of Ostend and the disastrous battle off the Chilean coast a few days ago threatens them. Would it not be possible to have enacted here and in our quiet country homes tragic scenes similar to those which have taken place in Belgium,-and in north2 ern France,-prosperous villages where once reigned peace and contentment now burnt, or destroyed, magnificent cathedrals and public buildings laid in ruins, millions of innocent and suffering people seeking refuge in other lands. Go forth to battle now, while the future of Canada is being fought for on the plains and river banks of France. Let the .spirit of patriotism prompt you to-night to say "England never did, nor ever shall be at the proud foot of a conqueror." At a late date in January 1917, Bishop LaBlanc in a pastoral letter again urged the young men to enlist and he wrote: As long- as the world will last, nations will have recourse to arms whenever principles are to be defended on pain of dishonour. At present, it is British freedom against Prussian tyranny; it is a struggle for right and civilization against brutal force and despotism. Realizing the justice of our cause, it is our duty to assist the Empire by every means in our power. There is no use minimizing the danger to which we are exposed. The outlook is very serious. It is to he regretted that people do not take the matter more seriously to heart. Men who are physically lit are still wanted in the army; in the matter of enlisting there should be no delay. Chief Justice Landry, another eminent Acadian and also a 'recognized leadeT of public opinion in New Brunswick, spoke in ithe same strain on many occasions; so did Senator Poirier; so did my good friend the member for Gloucester (Mr. Turgeon) *and other men occupying leading positions in public life as well as in the church. No man in the public life of the province of New Brunswick ever had a better and a tauer conception of the many and precious advantages derived from British rule and British institutions and of the corresponding responsibilities which these advantages involve than had Mr. Justice Landry, and he did not hesitate to advise his fellow-countrymen to join the colours in this war. I shall not quote from the many speeches which he delivered on recruiting and which- were published in the papers, but I shall read a letter which he wrote to Mr. Raymond Leger, the Mayor of Shediae,



on November 25, 1914; I quote the letter because it contains in writing, over his own signature, the view® of a man who devoted his whole life to the advancement of his own people and whose greatest ambition was to secure for them that position which they have attained in the Government of the country. I translate the letter which was written in French: Saint John, N.B., November 25. 1914. Mr. Liver, Mayor. Shediac, N.B. Dear Sir: I regret to be unable to be present at the patriotic meeting to be held in Shediac. If my presence or my voice can stimulate the worthy and necessary work of recruiting, they both are with you to-night, although much to my regret I personally cannot be present. Two of my sons have taken the steps to reach the firing line and I would view with satisfaction, however dire is the necessity thereof, the voluntary enlistment of one member of each Acadian family in New Brunswick. Our ancestors were heroes in the days of adversity; may their descendants display as much patriotism and heroism in the crisis which is now threatening the very foundation of Christian civilization. May they play an honourable part in that gigantic struggle the issue of which may imperil the British Empire and carry with it the triumph of an aggressive militarism, unless the full resources' of the nation are available. (Sgd) P. A Landry. Let me say here that later on Chief Justice Landry became so imbued with the importance of the war, in so far as it affected Canada, and so impressed with the necessity to mobilize the forces of the nation that he did not hesitate publicly to advocate conscription, and he did so at a meeting of the Supreme Court in the city of St. John, observing at the same time that it was the fairest and most equitable system of raising an army. Now, Sir, I am only repeating what has already been stated over and over again in the debate when I say that, to-day, Canada is face to face with a situation the extreme gravity of which cannot be oveiesti-mated. It is evident that we have reached the point where we must either adopt new methods to do that which voluntary recruiting is not doing and maintain our forces at the front, or we must gradually drop out of the war. In other words, the time has come when we must make up our minds either to remain in the war to a finish or practically get out of it. Mr. Speaker, I think I voice the sentiment of this country when I say that the Canadian people, English and French speaking, are determined to stand by Great Brit' ain and her Allies until this war has been carried to a victorious conclusion. They are so determined because they know that so long as Great Britain shall be in danger, Canada will equally he in danger and that, in the words used by Bishop LeBlanc, "If England falls, we are going to fall with her." Speaking for the people I have the honour to represent, I think I can say that they are in accord with the great majority of the people of Canada on this question; that while the idea of compulsion is repugnant to them, they will not hesitate, when they realize the seriousness of the situation, to assume cheerfully and bravely their full share of responsibility in the prosecution of the war. They have behaved magnificently in the past and they will so conduct themselves in the future however difficult may be the task before them. I must register my protest against the unfortunate remarks which were made in this House by the hon. member for St. Hya-cinthe (Mr. L. J. Gauthier) at the close of his speech. The words which he uttered were not worthy of himself and of this Canadian parliament; they were certainly not worthy of the great race to which we both belong, and I will venture to say that they do not voice the sober sense of the people of the province of Quebec. I see no reason why there should be a distinct line of cleavage over this question between the two great races which have inhabited Canada for a century and more and have made it what it is to-day. Their interests are identical; they have the same love for freedom and liberty and for those British institutions which are the best guaranty of liberty and freedom; they are facing a common foe in the trenches of Flanders and of France, and French and English lads are fighting side by side, making the supreme sacrifice and laying down their lives for the common cause. Sir, I believe that, fortunately for Canada, the deeds of bravery and of heroism which have been performed by the sons of French Canadians at Courcelette, at Vimy Ridge and elsewhere on the bloody battlefields of France, will play a far greater part and will wield a much broader influence in shaping the future destinies of this country than will the irresponsible speeches of demagogues and political agitators. Under no other flag and under no other possible form. of Government would we enjoy as large a measure of 'freedom and of protection as we now have under the British flag. For this reason, and for other reasons which I have given, convinced as I am that the destinies Of Canada are closely linked with those of the Empire; feeling as I do that the French Canadian race has more at stake in the present conflict than any other element of the population of Canada, for, should Germany win this war we would lose many of the precious rights and privileges we now have; believing as I do that, not only is it necessary, but that it is fair as well to the men who have already gone into the trenches, that sufficient reinforcements be provided for our troops in France, I will support the Bill. On motion of Mr. Carvell the debate was adjourned. On motion of Hon. Mr. Burrell the House adjourned at 12.15 a.m. Wednesday. Wednesday, June 27, 1917.


June 26, 1917