April 8, 1918

?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

have not done for Britain what their founders expected they would do.

Now, let me for a moment or two draw the attention of the House to conditions in Canada. Some Canadians may glory in their ancestry, but I think the majority of us look facts fairly in the face, and realize that the majority of the men who came to this country, the fathers and grandfathers of the present generation, came to 'this country because it offered to them better opportunity for making their way in the world. To try to claim anything else is to try to set up snobbishness instead of the true standard. I want to say that, in speaking from my place in this House this afternoon, I speak as the son of a man who came here because he realized that the Old Country did not offer him the opportunity for him to advance that he thought this country would, and anything I have in this world I owe to bis industry and thrift and courage in facing Canada when it was a wilderness. Now, Sir, as I said at the beginning, I am a democrat.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

I have always been deeply impressed by the beginning of the second paragraph of the American Constitution, in which Jefferson, influenced by the philosophy of Locke, laid this down as a principle: "We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Now, Sir, I want the House to remember that, in preparing that Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was preparing a political document. It was a political, not a moral, declaration. And when Jefferson said that all men were created equal, he did not mean that all men were created equal intellectually or morally. What he meant was this: that all men before the law had equal rights and equal privileges, and that no one was entitled to priority. I subscribe to that as the sound declaration for a democratic country, and I sincerely trust that before I am through this afternoon the Prime Minister will say that he realizes that the democracy of Canada is equal to that of the country which lies to the south of the line.

I think that the simplicity of our forefathers is something of which we may all be proud. You may ' say that Canadian statesmen were the makers of Canada, but the men also who made Canada were those who came to this country and amid the trials of the wilderness laid the foundation

of the rights and privileges we enjoy to-day. They were the true makers of Canada. But, Sir, no man who has lived in this country within the last ten years can think of Canada's development prior to the war without being shocked by realizing how far we were getting away from the simplicity of our ancestors. We have had in Canada tremendous national and industrial expansion. People grew rich; if a man wanted to make money it was almost impossible for him not to 'grow rich, if he made money his ideal. A new standard was developing prior to 1914 in the matter of how a man was to Ibe measured. We were beginning to value a man toy what he was worth-the size of his house, the number of his motor-cars, and the elegance of their equipment, and the extent of his wife's dinner parties, and the number of gowns she had was beginning to determine what a man's family station was. This war has brought tremendous agonies; it has brought sorrow and anguish into Canadian life, but, thank God, it has brought one other thing; it has changed the standard of value of the citizens of Canada. We no longer value men by what they have; we value them by what they are. Some people call me a Socialist. I should like to define my Socialism. Socialism is a very general term; you may regard it as synonymous with anarchy, or you may define it as the recognition of 'the right that every man is entitled to a fair chance. I am a Socialist, if toy that term you mean that there should be a reasonable equality of opportunity; if you lay down as a fundamental principle that every man should get a due amount of this world's goods for the services that he renders; that no group, no class, no individual should be crippled just because of lack of money to get a fair start in life. I have run, not one, but five or six elections, parliamentary and municipal, in the city from which I come, and if there is one thing that has wrung my heart it has been to find, among the households of people whom I call my constituents, especially bright boys or girls who were obliged to leave school because the factory age had come and the family could not afford to keep the child .at school because of the necessity of their earning to assist the other members of the family.

I am a Socialist, to the extent of my belief that that child is entitled to a chance. It has been strongly bonne in upon me that "slow rises worth by poverty oppressed." My views are to this extent socialistic: that unbearable burdens of this kind should be lifted from the masses of the people.

As I say, the war came. Men went to the w&t from a sense of duty. We learned that in the humblest clay a hero might he hidden; that there was no monoply in virtue. Occasion showed who were brave and who were cowards; who were eaints and who were sinners. Numerous examples might be given to the House of wonderful nobleness of spirit, but two that come from the people have deeply impressed me. One is of that of a hoy John-I do not remember his surname; I remember him only as John. He stood on a certain battleship until he was killed, when every member of the gun crew was gone, because it was hie duty to stay there. He did his duty, and did it unto the end. The other magnificent example .of nobleness of spirit was that of a simple seaman who stood on hoard a man-of-war as she was sinking, having previously drawn the lot entitling him to go into tfhe lifeboat. He turned to a good friend whom he knew had parents to support, and said: you take my slip; you get into the boat-and- then he calmly faced the future knowing that death was inevitable. You cannot get finer examples of nobility of spirit than 'this, and if we are going to have titles, this is the class of people which should have recognition, not those who by vast munificence, have to a certain extent, brought themselves public recognition.

As I said in the beginning, the reason rwhy I am speaking this afternooij is that I fear that out of this war is going to come a great shower of titles. Why . do I think that? Because on the 18th dav of March of this year, the following despatch cf.me from England:

Canada Asks Title Delay.

London, -March 17.-The list of honours of the new Order of the British Empire appears to-night for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Crown colonies, accompanied by the intimation that "at the desire of the Canadian Government submission to His Majesty of the list for the Dominion of Canada has been postponed."

That means, if the despatch is correct, that a list had been prepared and that the Canadian Government had asked that the list be held up. I think that we as members of this Parliament, representing the people, have the right to know who prepared the list, and if it was not prepared on the word of the Prime Minister, or of this Government, we have the rights

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

My hon. friend has gathered an entirely erroneous impression from the despatch. It merely meant

that the Canadian Government had up to that time prepared no list.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

Then, as I always gladly do, I accept the word of the Prime Minister. But in rising it seems to me that the Prime Minister lays down this as a principle; and as the Government of this country has not prepared a list, no list should be submitted to His Majesty for approval without the consent of the Prime Minister.

I say that that is sound and proper. What I intended to ask the Prime Minister was this: was that list prepared by him, or was it prepared with his approval, or was it prepared by somebody else? He tells me that no list was prepared; therefore the despatch was incorrect and I shall not follow the matter further.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I may tell my hon. friend that the Prime Minister was asked to prepare a list, but that he found other urgent engagements which made it impossible for him to give consideration to the subject.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

I am very glad indeed that the Prime Minister found other considerations requiring his attention. If we read into the lines of his remarks the meaning that is obvious, it is apparent that if other considerations had not had his attention, before this fresh hereditary titles might have been bestowed upon Canadians.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The British Empire Order is not hereditary.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

Well, others are. The reason why I speak of the matter from this angle is this: I have a great regard for the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster). I think he is one of the finest examples of the fine Tory politician, mellowed by ripe experience into an Imperial statesman. But in the debate of 1914, page 480 of Hansard, he said this in reply to the resolution of the member for West Peterborough (Mr. Burnham):

I have not very much to say upon this question except that I think the besitowment of honours comes from the source of all honours, that is, the King; and that we must allow the King to have unrestricted scope as to the selection of persons upon whom to bestow tliest* titles of honour.

I do not know that this Parliament, not having the power of originating or controlling; not being the supreme source of power so far as the bestowment of honours is concerned, has anything particular to say about it, or should pass legislation with reference to it. That is my first objection to the passage of a Bill of this kind in this Parliament.

Now, Sir, there I want to differ from the Minister of Trade and Cbmmeroe. I have

got a long way beyond the divine right of kings. I think the prerogative of the Crown must be exercised constitutionally, and I am not prepared for one moment to admit the doctrine that an overseas dominion hae no voice in the recognition by His Majesty of the citizens of that overseas Dominion. I want to show you. Sir, that il am not the only one who thinks this. Last year, we had in England a conference at which the Premiers of the overseas dominions were present. I am now reading from a little volume called " War-time Speeches of Lieutenant General, the Right Hon. J. C. Smuts." It is published by Hodder and Stoughton, of London, Toronto and New York. Among those speeches, I find the following resolution moved by the Prime Minister of this Government:

The Imperial War Conference are of opinion that the readjustment of the constitutional relations of the component parts of the Empire is too important and intricate a subject to be dealt with during the war, and that it should form the subject of a special Imperial Conference to be summoned as soon as possible after the cessation of hostilities.

They deem It their duty, however, to place on record their view that any such readjustment, while thoroughly preserving all existing powers of self-government and complete control of domestic affairs, should be based upon a full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous nations of an Imperial Commonwealth, and of India as an important portion of the same, should recognize the right of the Dominions and India to an adequate voice in foreign policy and in foreign relations, and should provide effective arrangements for continuous consultation in all important matters of common Imperial concern, and' for such necessary concerted action, founded on consultation, as the several governments may determine.

Surely that lays down the principle that *an overseas dominion within the sphere of the Imperial authority in so far as it affects an overseas dominion, has a right to be heard and to be recognized. General Smuts took also the same view, and I am reading these remarks, to illustrate the sense in which I think the Minister of . Trade and Commerce w.as wrong in the principle which he enunciated in thi6 House in 1914. General Smuts, in speaking to the resolution of the Prime Minister of this Government, said:

The subject matter of this resolution, as Sir Robert Borden has stated, has been carefully considered, and although quite properly, a definite decision on the main problem is to be postponed for future action by a more important conference than this, yet certain principles are affirmed here in this resolution which are very important and far reaching. The resolution refers, in the first place, to the question of the status of the self-governing Dominions. That matter has already been referred to both by Sir Robert Borden and by Mr. Massey, and I wish to say a few words in reference to the

point. The resolution says that any future settlement that is come to must "toe based: upon a full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous nations of an Imperial Commonwealth." The whole question of the future status of the Dominions is therefore raised in this resolution. So far the British Empire has developed along natural lines. The Dominions started as colonies and settlements of the mother country and of the British Isles. They started as Crown colonies; they developed into self-governing colonies, and now they have become the present Dominions. Other parts of the world have been added to the Empire, until to-day we have really a congress of nations. These old colonies and the present Dominions have in course of time increased in importance, increased in population and in economic influence, and are to-day already playing a part in the world which seems to my mind to make it very necessary that their status should be very seriously considered, and should be improved. Too much, if I may say so, of the old ideas still cling to the new organism which is growing. I think that although in practice there is great freedom, yet in theory the status of the dominions is of a subject character. Whatever we may say, and whatever we may think, we are subject provinces of Great Britain. That is the legal theory of the constitution, and in many ways which I need not specify to-day, that theory still permeates practice.

In the light of those speeches and in the light of the resolution, I think the principle as enunciated by the Prime Minister and by General Smuts is the correct principle and one that should govern in Canada, and the position taken by the Minister of Trade and Commerce is not such as a self-respecting overseas domipion can acquiesce in.

Going a step further and coming to the philosophy of titles, if I may so term it, why do people want titles at all? As far as I can find out, and as far as I can think it out, I suppose we must admit that there is vanity in most people. Human beings desire recognition, and the people at large are pleased when such recognition is justly given. Besides, there is in the world a certain class of people who will do more if they are going to get something for it; in other words, if you recognize them. They like it to be known by the world in general and by people with whom they mix that other people recognize their -abilities, and that they have a handle to their name as evidence of their virtue and of their character. If, in every day practice, you could reward where reward should he given, and if it were possible for the Prime Minister -because I still stick to my position that the Prime Minister in England, in 'the main, recommends to His Majesty those to whom titles ehall be given, and it is a constitutional privilege that the Prime Ministers of the overseas dominions must exercise if this thing is to Ibe kept in reasonable check- exactly and accurately to determine all

those to whom recognition should be given .-there might hr some merit in the continuance of the system. But those of us who have thought over the matter, know that this is altogether impossible. We know that, as a rule, titles go to those who have the big places and who catch the public eye, and that the men who, in restricted areas and within their own circles, do just a? efficient, just as thorough, and just as praiseworthy work, get nothing but the goby, with the result that a spirit of jealousy is engendered, and instead of your stimulating a nation to united effort as the result of the recognition of only those who are outstanding, the majority of the people are indifferent, and there is a tendency to think that nothing need be done because nothing will be heard of what has been done. You get away altogether from what I think is the right principle, namely, that virtue is its own reward. If Pitt and Gladstone were big enough to be Prime Ministers of England and to carry to their dying day their own surnames, I do not think we should be going too far if we should ask that men less great should do the same.

I have heard a good deal as to the position I have taken in regard to a woman not being given a title owing to the fact that her husband has been granted a title. To catch my point of view, you have to go back a little and consider the legal and constitutional position of women in relation to the community. In the old civilization woman was really, so to speak, a chattel, the chattel, first of her father, and 'then of her husband. A relic of the old days exists in the fact that on her marriage day a woman is given away by her father. In the old days, the woman belonged to the parent until the father transferred the title, so to speak, to her husband. But the position that woman occupies in society to-day is quite different. First, we had the right gradually recognized that her property could not be taken from her without her consent. There was no longer unity of property. Then we had a further recognition, at least in the province from which I come, by which she was given absolute control of her property, and only a few day ago the leader of the 4 p.m. Government introduced into this House a Bill by which woman is given equal status with man in this country so far as the franchise goes. It is inevitable-it has not reached here yet; it may take a few years-it follows, as night does the day, that you must give her in the near future the right to sit in these halls and in the legislatures of the provincial parliament. If she has brains enough to vote-and we all admit that she has-with a little training she will have the ability to sit and debate in these legislative halls. The whole status of a woman has been changed. She is now an independent entity. She has her own position in the community, and, having that position in the community, I think the time has come when she should' have her recognition by virtue of her individual accomplishments, and not shine, as I said in the early part of my remarks, in the reflected glory of her husband. I want to go further-and in this I may offend certain women in this country -I believe it is the social aspirations of the women that lead them to desire titles in this country. A cynic in this country once said that a man measured his worth by his intellectual capacity and the money he could make, and a woman by her social status, and I have been shocked at the social superiority that some women at-teftipted to assume, simply because their husbands had been singularly successful in making money, and had shown great tact in the method they had adopted in giving donations to certain objects. I think a woman's status entitles her to recognition as of her own right, and I believe if there were no reflective titles, you would have less seeking after them, and you would have greater equality in society, and for these reasons, briefly put, I think there should be no such thing as a woman being given the title of a "lady," by virtue of the fact that her husband is called "Sir."

I want to go a step further. I am speaking again of hereditary titles. I have no sympathy with other titles, but my resolution is directed against hereditary titles. When I ask myself the question, why should a title be hereditary? I cannot .answer it, and one of the greatest difficulties I had in preparing an argument on such a question as this, is that I could not consistently put up a mental man of straw that I could later on knock down. I could not conceive why there should be such a thing .as hereditary titles. Lloyd George once used what I might call a brutal simile. I do not know that I would like to adopt it, but he was the great democrat twenty years ago, and is yet. In talking of the hereditary titles in England, he said: "I never could see"- these are not his words but the gist of. his argument-"how we get to the position that all the quality is in the oldest pup in the litter." It is- a rough simile, but I cannot see why the oldest son has all the qualities,

Courts of Descent limited in such Letters Patent, it shall and may be lawful for His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, to annex thereto, by the said Letters Patent, if His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, shall so think fit, an hereditary right of being summoned to the Legislative Council of such Province, descendable according to the Courts of Descent" so limited with respect to such Title, Rank or Dignity; and that every person on whom such right shall severally so descend, shall thereupon be entitled to demand from the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Person adminstering the Government of such Province, His Writ of Summons to such Legislative Council, at any time after he shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, subject ne,ertheless to the Provisions hereinafter contained.

Therefore, we see that this sixth section of the Constitutional Act made provision for establishing in Canada a hereditary legislative council. One of the reasons why that was not carried out in practice probably was that Lord Simcoe and Lord Dorchester, both firm old Tories, Lord Dorchester the greatest Tory of them all, advised against the creation of hereditary titles. Lord Dorchester said:

The fluctuating state of property in these provinces would expose all hereditary honors to fall into disregard and disrespect.

He saw that if you were going to have a hereditary aristocracy for the support of the monarchy, you had to make provision for money for the decent support of those who enjoyed the titles. .

I now want to read to you another extract, because I am afraid that perhaps some one will say: This man is setting up a new doctrine; but what does he know about it after all? He is expressing his own ideas, and they are not entitled to much weight. They are only the expression of one man's idea. You know how you can laugh a case out of Court, and I have known many good cases to be laughed out of Parliament. I want to read a quotation from Professor Shortt's life of Lord Sydenham, which is as follows:

The legislative council was supposed to be the counterpart of the House of Lords. A great part of the Constitutional Act was taken up with provisions for securing in the colony a body of landed aristocracy which, when furnished with suitable titles of honour, would provide the requisite nobility from which to recruit the legislative council, or Canadian House of Lords. The proximity of the exalted rank and dignity of those Canadian nobles would incidentally sharpen the tooth of remorse which was assumed to be gnawing the consciences of those fallen republicans in the lower regions to the south.

The provision for an aristocracy contributed the Family Compact, with the necessary accompaniments of land-grabbing intrigues, for an impecunious aristocracy would inspire little awe and less envy.

As the members of the legislative council held their offices for life, they were free from the corrupting influences which press upon those who have to keep in touch with the vulgar multitude. They could, therefore, if so inclined, freely devote to public questions an enlightened mind and unbiased judgment; or, if differently minded, they could devote themselves with equal effect to the pursuit of private interests and class privileges, with a calm disregard of public opinion.

If you have no respect for the opinion of Professor Shortt who wrote the life of Lord Sydenham, let me refer you to what Fox said when the Constitutional Act was under debate in the House of Lords. He said this:

As to the points of hereditary powers and hereditary honours, to say that they were good or that they were not good, as a general proposition, was not easily maintained; but he saw nothing so good in hereditary powers and honour, as to incline us to introduce them into a country where they were unknown, and by such means distinguish Canada from all the colonies in the West Indies. In countries where they made a part of the constitution, he did not think it wise to destroy them; but to give birth and life to such principles In countries where they did not exist, appeared to him to be exceedingly unwise. He could not account for it, unless it was that Canada having been formerly a French colony, there might be an opportunity of reviving those titles of honour, the extinction of which some gentlemen so much deplored, and to revive in the West that spirit of chivalry which had fallen into disgrace in a neighbouring country. He asked, if those red and blue ribbands, which had lost their lustre in the old world, were to shine forth again in the new? It seemed to him peculiarly absurd to introduce hereditary honours in America, where those artificial distinctions stunk in the nostrils of the natives. He thought these powers and honours wholly unnecessary, and tending rather to make a new constitution worse than better.

He goes on to say:

The legislative councils ought to be totally free, and repeatedly chosen, in a manner as much independent of the governor as the nature of a colony would admit. Those, he conceived, would be the best; but if not, they should have their seats for life, be appointed by the King, consist of a limited number, and possess no hereditary honours. Those honours might be very proper, and of great utility, in countries where they had existed by long custom; but, in his opinion, they were not fit to be introduced where they had no original existence; where there was no particular reason for introducing them, arising from the nature of the country, its extent, its state of improvement, or its peculiar customs; where, instead of attracting respect, they might excite envy; and as but few could enjoy them, those who did not, might be induced to form an unfavourable comparison between their own situation and that of their neighbours, among whom no such distinctions were known.

Now, Sir, I said at the beginning the reason I brought this motion up to-day was that I thought the war would he used as a

[DOT]479

reason for the creation of honours. I want to direct your attention to the fact that in 1791 the war was used as a reason for the attempted creation of a hereditary class that should intervene between the democracy and the Sovereign. The war may toe the reason to-day why hereditary titles may be introduced into this country.

I would like to read another instance before I leave the subject. Lord Bryce is a man for whom we have much respect, and I would like to read to this House, and through Hansard send out to the country what Lord Bryce thinks of hereditary titles. I will now read extracts from his American Commonwealth:

It may seem a paradox to observe that a millionaire has a better and easier social career open to him in England than in America. Nevertheless there is a sense in which this is true. In America, if his private character be bad, if he be mean, or openly immoral, or personally vulgar, or dishonest, the best society may keep its doors closed against him. In England great wealth, skillfully employed, will more readily force these doors to open. For in England great wealth can, by using the appropriate methods, practically buy rank from those who bestow it; or by obliging persons whose position enables them to command fashionable society, can induce them to stand sponsors for the upstart, and force him into society, a thing which no person in America has the power of doing. To effect such a stroke in England the rich man must of course have stopped short of positive frauds, that is, of such frauds as could be proved in court. But he may be still distrusted and disliked by the elite of the commercial world, he may be vulgar and ill-educated, and indeed have nothing to recommend him except his wealth and his willingness to spend it in providing amusement for fashionable people. All this will not prevent him from becoming a baronet, or possibly a peer, and thereby acquiring a position of assured dignity which he .can transmit to his offspring. The existence of a system of artificial rank enables a stamp to be given to base metal in Europe which cannot be given in a thoroughly republican country.

Europeans have been known to ask whether the United States do not suffer from the absence of a hereditary nobility. As may be supposed, such a question excites mirth in America; it is as if you were to offer a Court and an Established Church. They remark, with truth, that since Pitt in England and the Napoleons in France prostituted hereditary titles, these have ceased to be either respectable or useful. "They do not," say the Americans, "suggest antiquity, for the English families that enjoy them are mostly new; they are not associated, like the ancient titles, with the history of your nation; they are merely a prize offered to wealth, the expression of a desire for gilding that plutocracy which has replaced the ancient aristocracy of your country. Seeing how little service hereditary nobility renders in maintaining the standard either of manner, or morals, or honour, or public duty, few sensible men would create it in any European country where It did not exist; much less then should we dream of creating it in America, which possesses none of the materials or conditions

which could make it tolerable. If a peerage is purchasable even in England, where the dignity of the older nobility might have suggested some care in bestowal, purchasable not so openly in Portugal, or a German principality, but practically purchasable by party services and by large subscriptions to public purposes, much more would it be purchasable here, where there are no traditions to break down, where wealth accumulates rapidly, and the wealthy seek every avenue for display. Titles in this country would be simply an additional prize, offered to wealth and ambition. They could not be respected. They would make us as snobbish as you are." A European observer will not quarrel with this judgment. There is a growing disposition In America, as everywhere else, to relish and make the most of such professional or official titles as can be had, it is a harmless way of trying to relieve the monotony of the world. If there be, as no doubt there is, less disposition than in England to run after and pay court to the great or the fashionable, this is perhaps due not to any superior virtue, but to the absence of those opportunities and temptations which their hereditary titles and other social institutions set before the English.

Lord Bryce declares, further, and I want the House to pay attention to what he says;

It would be the very wantonness of folly to create in the new country what most thinking people would gladly be rid of in the old one.

I fear I am wearying the .House tout I would like to direct attention to another side of the question.-and it is a most serious side -the corruption that is toeing brought to view in the granting of titles in England.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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L LIB

Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

I will quote from the proceedings as found at page 274, Lord Eibblesdale was speaking to a resolution which was before the House. The Earl of Selborne had moved:

That a contribution to Party Funds should not be a consideration to a Minister when he recommends any name for an honour to His Majesty; that effectual measures should be taken in order to assure the nation that Governments, from whatever Political Party they are drawn, will act according to this rule; and that this House requests the concurrence of the House of Commons in the foregoing Resolution.

In other words Lord Selborne asked that an assurance be given that party funds were not to be got by the sale of titles. Practically no member of the House of Lords denied the existence of the practice. Men like Lord Eibblesdale, of a cynical temperament, admitted that it existed, but said it was not of much importance. Hear what he said as printed on page 274 of Hansard :

I am afraid I belong to the class of people which the noble Lord behind me (Lord Cham-wood) very pleasantly alluded to as people who seem to think that these things must be, that they do not very much matter, that they have always gone on and are likely to go on, and that if they do not go on in one form will go on in another. That is precisely my opinion.

He admits the existence of the fact, and says that, as far as his opinion goes, it must go: on. Let me read you what the mover of the resolution says:

There is a prevalent belief-I do not think that I should be guilty of exaggeration if I said a very widely prevalent belief-that persons are often recommended for these honours whom no one would have thought of so recommending if they had not contributed largely to Party funds. That prevalent belief takes three forms: as I know, not only from the Press, but from a voluminous correspondence on this subject. It is believed that persons who have social ambition, or whose wives have social ambition, and who have really no claim at all to receive an honour, can purchase it if they go to the right place. Again, the belief takes this form, that there have been cases where social ambition has never entered into the soul of the innocent rich man, but where he has been tempted and where an honour has been actually hawked to him on condition that he would make this contribution. The third case is rather of a different kind, but still, I maintain, a great evil. It is the case of men who have really done public service, whom public opinion would be very content to see honoured, and who have had pressure- I would almost say brutal pressure-put upon them to make a contribution to Party funds which they did not wish, and in some cases could not afford to make. If it were necessary, I could quote sheaves of cuttings from the public Press to prove the prevalence of this belief, and from newspapers covering the whole field of political opinion, from the Labour Leader to the Morning Post, and from the Nation to the Saturday Review, and last, but not least, we have the

new publication, the Candid Witness, in which Mr. Gibson Bowles has dealt very fully with this question. And further, every Playgoer knows that this matter of the sale of honours is now openly scoffed at in the theatre; and it has also even been thrown across the floor of the House of Commons as a taunt from one member to another.

And, then, 'Sir, it did not stop there. A resolution along similar lines to that moved in 1914 was again moved iby Lord Selborne. In the course of the debate Lord Be res ford, one of the outspoken, men who says what he thinks, is reported .at page 184 of Hansard to the following effect:

.My Lords, I should like to support the views of my noble friend Lord Selborne. There is no doubt that the feeling in the country is that most of the Party funds are raised in a man

ner which Is discreditable to public life; that enormous sums of money are paid for Peerages, Baronetcies, and Knighthoods, and they believe further that sums of money have been paid for Privy Councillorships.

Then he goes on and says:

This, war will be celebrated in history for the large numbers of honours, rewards, promotions, and even offices given to people who have disastrously failed. Nobody can deny that. Many of these people wbo have received honours have no earthly right to them except that they were lucky enough to be plutocrats. Why should not the Patent for a Peerage be made out on exactly the same lines as the Patent for the V. C.

He meant Iby that that the patent should set out the reason for granting it. Then I would refer to pages 204-5 of the Debates of the same year, in which Lord Salisbury waxes warm in regard to the matter. The Marquess of Salisbury says this:

Does anybody doubt, even after hearing my noble friend's speech, that there is corruption in the administration of honours in this country? Nobody doubts it. My noble friend said that he knew nothing about it, and1 had never heard of it. O sancta simplicitas: Does my noble friend1 really expect us to believe that the leading public men of this country do not know of the corruption which exists in the administration of honours.

Earl Curzon of Keddleston, replied:

I said that I was perfectly well aware of the rumour. I said-and' I repeat it-that I know of no established case; and I ask for one.

The reason I read this reference is this: When I come to the October, 1917, debate in the House of Lords, it was established beyond peradventure by oases given in that debate that titles aTe sold in Britain. Not in the same way that you may buy butter and cheese over the counter, but grants to party funds to secure men peerages, baronetcies and knighthoods. And the Marquess of Salisbury hopes nobody doubts the existence of this evil.

Now I come to the debate of 1917. That is the -debate par excellence. That is the debate in -which the facts of the whole issue came out. And I am going to read from it at considerable length. I fear I am going to weary the House, tout I w.ant the House and the people of this country to know that if the system of honour is going to be continued in Canada, it is going to result in the establishment of a system in the days to come which is going to have a very pernicious effect in this country, because if both parties in England will dispose of honours-, it is not going to toe long before the principles which I have been .speaking of this- afternoon-and I do not see how anything else can be admitted-must be adopted in Canada; that is, if the Prime Minister of this country lis responsible for the recognition given to Canadians, it will not be long before Prime Ministers in this country may find them.selv.es unwillingly, and perhaps unknowingly, being parties to just such a system, as exists in England. I want to be absolutely honest and frank, and my reading of the debate leads me to this conclusion, that the Prime Ministers are not actually aware that they are improperly giving recognition to certain men by granting titles, that it is done through the party whips, and as

That this House, convinced that Ministers have in recent times advised His Majesty to confer honours and dignities on persons who have given or .promised money to Party funds as a consideration therefor, considers that His Majesty's Government ought .forthwith to give effect to the following provisions: (1.) That when any honour or dignity is conferred upon a British subject, other than a member of the Royal Family or the members of the Naval, Military, or permanent Civil Service under the Crown, a definite public statement of the reasons for which it has been recommended to the Crown shall accompany the notification of the grant. (2.) That a declaration to the Sovereign be made by the Prime Minister in recommending any person to His Majesty's favour for any such honour or dignity, that he has satisfied himself that no payment or expectation of payment to any Party fund is directly or indirectly associated with the grant or promise of such honour or dignity.

Sir, as I said a moment ago, I want to be perfectly fair. That was the resolution proposed, but the resolution as passed was varied to this extent. The preamble of the resolution as proposed read as follows:

That this House, convinced that Ministers have in recent times advised His Majesty to

confer honours and dignities on persons who have given or promised money to Party Funds as a consideration therefor.

That was in the resolution. But during the debate it became manifest that, if this clause were left in, the country at large would read it as meaning that the Prime Ministers were aware of the fact that money had been paid, and that it would have involved the honor of the Prime Minister and might involve the good faith of ;he 'Sovereign, and when the resolution was finally passed, these words were deleted, rnd the second part of the motion was also varied by being made to read as follows:

That the Prime Minister, before recommending any person for any such honour or dignity, should satisfy himself that no payment or expectation of payment to any party or political fund is directly or indirectly associated with the grant or promise of such honour or dignity.

In other words, the House of Lords declared that the bestowal of. titles had reached such a stage in Britain that hereditary titles had lost the position that entitled them to respect, and that they were degenerating into a by-word, and a hissing. Let me read to you a few extracts from the speeches made at that time.

The noble and learned Earl said: My Lords, the subject that I am bringing before your lordships is no new one. In February, 1914, before the war, Lord Selborne moved:

"That in the opinion of this House a contribution to party funds should not be a consideration to a Minister when he recommends any name for an honour to His Majesty; that it is desirable that effectual measures should be taken in order to assure the nation that Governments, from whatever political party they are drawn, will act according to this rule; and that this House requests the concurrence of the House of Commons on the foregoing resolution."

That resolution was passed without a division, with unanimity, in this House; but unfortunately, as I think, the House of Commons has taken no notice of that communication. It has been stated here that during this year a number of Peers aud Privy Councillors, of Whom I was one, endeavoured by private ways to advance this same object. In August last Lord Selborne raised the same question in this House, but some of us, also including myself, did not think that the answer which was then given, or the way in which the question was met, was satisfactory. I should myself have much preferred if Lord Selborne, who, greatly to his honour, was the first to bring up this matter, had consented to bring forward this evening the motion which stands in my name. He has, however, thought otherwise; therefore I move it myself.

I have thought it right to state plainly on the Notice Paper the ground of this notion, so that there should he no question as to he attitude which is taken up. It is this-"that Ministers have in recent times advised His Majesty to confer honours and dignities on persons who have given or promised money to party funds as a consideration therefor." I believe that to be the truth; and it lies at the root of this

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Take your time.

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Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

And those of us who know anything of British history know how great were the evils that existed in Walpole's day. I might go on and read the remarks of other members of the House of Lords. Lord Sumner says:

Some noble Lords In speaking-, have minimized the evil. Some treated it with an almost paternal indulgence. Some have said that it is not so toad as it was. Some have, in terms, admitted its existence. Nobody has said he does not believe that it exists. I have the greatest difficulty in. believing that any noble Lord will speak on behalf of the Government to-night and say that he, for his part, disputes its existence. If he did, I am inclined to think that your Lordships will .be disposed to ask in what clostral solitude he has passed his meritorious life.

The Marquess of Lansdowne e-ays, in. regard .to the question of the granting of honours:

I believe there have been what it is perhaps not too much to call scandals in connection with it, scandals for which the Prime Minister of the day has been in no way responsible, hut which have been due to indiscretion or overzeal on the part of his subordinates. Therefore, when my noble friend Lord Seltoome suggests that some of us were sceptical about the extent of this evil, 'I say at once that although he probably considers that it exists on a larger and a more flagrant scale than I do,-

And this is what -an ex-Governor -General of this country says:

-I am entirely at one with him in believing that there is an evil and it requires to be ^redressed.

He says further,speaking of qualifications:

I venture to suggest that the real test is this .-that no amount which has been contributed in his way by a possible recipient of honours should be recognized as a qualification for him, unless he is abundantly qualified for wholly different reasons un-connected with contributions to party funds.

I would like to direct attention to the fact that Lord Curzon's reply for the Government does not deny that these things exist. He admitted they existed, but in stating the case for the Government insisted the Prime Minister was not aware of it, and the very fact of Lord Curzon speaking for the Government practically meant that they accepted the resolution of the noble Earl Loreburn as truly stating facts. It gees to show, that so far as the Lords were concerned, they were -satisfied that these evils did exist. If any gentleman is -interested in going further into this matter, it is for him to read. But before I sit down-and I am now reaching, what probably all hon. members will be glad to know, the end of my remarks,-I am going to read one or two extracts from the

Canadian Press, because I -think the Canadian Press, to a very great extent, mirrors public opinion. While I do not believe that this House -should ever be stampeded by public opinion, merely, because it is public opinion, yet when from the

5 p.m. Atlantic to the Pacific you hear but one voice raised by the[DOT] public press, and that is that hereditary titles have no place in public life, I thinkwe should listen to what is said. Before,

however, I read those extracts, I should like to read a remark made in the legislature of the province of Ontario by the present President of the Privy Council when he was the leader of His Majesty's loyal Opposition in that House. T-he president of the Privy Council says:

I venture to think that in the free democracy of Canada we are not improving conditions by importing hereditary titles passing from father to son. I hope it may be the last. I think that when we are fighting the battle of democracy the world over the tendency will be in the old country to bring themselves into harmony with the spirit of democracy rather than for us transplanting part of the old feudal system into Canada.

If the hon. gentleman does not agree with the remarks I have read-I know he does- it is his privilege to -rise in his place and contradict me as quoting him incorrectly. The Ottawa Journal-Press says:

We may have had doubts as to the wisdom of introducing life titles into this new country, but we have no doubt at all as to the unwisdom of establishing hereditary titles here. This can toe said without any reflection upon recent recipients of such honours.

The idea that any man should be set apart, should be given a handle to his name, and any precedence or advantages attaching thereto, simply because of something done by his ancestors, is foreign to the make-up of the people of this country.

Our principle is and should be that every man must stand on his own feet, and that this .position among his fellows must he gained by merit. The acquisition of wealth sometimes upsets that principle, but hereditary titles violate it to an extent that calls for protest at the very outset.

The Hamilton Herald says:

Once more the Herald enters its protest against the -bestowal of a peerage or any other hereditary title upon a Canadian resident in Canada and intending to remain in this country. If encouragement is given to this new departure in the way of Imperial honours in Canada, it may not be long before we shall wake up to find ourselves with an aristocratic caste fastened upon our social system. In Britain these hereditary honours stand for something real.

I -do not think the writer knew of the debates of 1917.

They are links with Britain's historic part, survivals of the forms of feudalism though dissociated from the powers and privileges which accompanied them in the old feudal days. They

I

are, therefore, interesting historically, and, to a people who reverence their past, they have real symbolic value. In Canada they are exotics, and, to be frank, seem somewhat absurd. There is no historical background for them in this country. They are as in incongruous and out of place here as would be a Gobelin tapestry in a log cabin or a suit of medieval armour in the cottage of a day-labourer. And will mere baronies satisfy the craving of the new aristocracy? If barons, why not Canadian viscounts and earls and dukes? The reason for engrafting the lesser hereditary honour upon the Canadian social system may prove equally good when claims are made for the higher honours. No man who wants 'to be a baron, no woman who wants to be ''Lady", will be content with these distinctions when there is any prospect of the baron becoming an earl and the lady a countess. It is to be regretted that a beginning was ever made in this bad business but we hope there will be so general and pointed a protest against it that it will be discontinued.

This is an essentially democratic country, and we are sure that so far from there being any general desire here for the establishment of a hereditary titled aristocracy, such a movement if attempted would be regarded generally with resentment and disgust.

And the Journal of Edmonton, Alberta, says:

There are reasonable differences of opinion on the subject of titles in general but there is practical unanimity in this country with regard to those which pass from father to son. They are out of keeping entirely with Canadian life. It is no time to introduce them here when feeling against them grows stronger all the time even in the Old Land. There is much to confirm the view that those by no means young will live to see the day when the only hereditary honour in Britain will be the kingship. It stands on quite a different plane of usefulness from that of the various ranks of peers.

The Westminster Gazette of England contended that:

Honours do create and intensify class divisions ; they encourage snobbism, and stamp inequality, but we cannot do without them because without these things you could not finance political parties nor could you reward political service.

They do create snobbery .and flunkeyism. I am not going to use the name which appears on the head of this p-aper, but is there any decent, fair-minded man who does not resent this sort of thing? You cannot pick up the Sketch of Britain without seeing a picture on its pages underneath which may be primed.

The Hon. X. Y. Z. walked down Pall Mall with her dog Ponto yesterday. The Hon. X. Y. Z. takes a great interest in munition (workers.

Why should she not? Here is an item which reads:

Princess X. helps the workers and takes a great interest in the soldiers.

Why should1 not the Princess X take an interest in the workers of the munition factories and the soldiers? 'Some of us feel we are giving a great deal to try and help democracy in this country, to maintain constitutional monarchy, and to maintain the present dynasty on the throne of England. We are proud of our monarch. We sing "God Save the King" with reverence and feeling, but I say it is snobbery and flunkeyism where that 'Sort of thing is presented in the country as a reason

why we should look up to the Princess or to others to whom I have referred.

I have tried to make a case without feeding. I have tried to show why women should not have a reflective title. I have tried to show this House thatreflective titles have no justification in history, that the title should carry

with it service as well as recognition.

I have tried to show you how it corrupted the Kings of England, and how it was used to' obtain money. I have tried to show you how the prerogative of the Crown became a constitutional prerogative, and how the responsibility to a very great extent of such a recognition is vested, in so far as Great Britain is concerned, in the Prime Minister of those three isles, and that, so far as Canada and the overseas Dominions are concerned, it is vested in the Prime Minister of the respective Dominion. ;I have shown, not from my own mouth, but from, speeches, delivered in the House of Lords that the rankest corruption exists in England and stinks in the nostrils of the people, and if something is. not done in Canada, it will stink in the nostrils of the Canadian people. I have tried to show there is no justification for hereditary titles in Canada. If there is some justification in the minds of some gentlemen, there is none in mine; but I say to this House and to this country that we have sacrificed much for the maintenance olf democratic principle, and1 if out of this war should arise a crop of titles which would make the people, of this country feel that their sacrifices have 'been in vain

and there is no greater sacrifice in this war than that of the iwife who has given her husband, and the mother ,wtho has given heT son, and the young man who has given his future-and if there 'should arise from this war a feeling that worth did not obtain recognition-and that feeling will grow if titles are without justification given-then the inevitable conclusion will be reached- that while princes and lords are but the breath of kings, an honest man is not the noblest work of God, and people will realize, to use the words of Mr. Asquith, that we are establishing a class in this country who

are sincere " in the tranquil consciousness of effortless superiority." I do not want that class in this country.

Speaking from this side of the House today I want to extend my thanlks to the hon. gentleman from Birome ('Mr. Mc-M-aster) who -allowed me to move this resolution because I said to hiim: "Let it come from the ranks of the Unionist party rather than from the ranks of yours. Let it not come from your -side, but from mine, so that the people will know there is no politics in it, that we approach it on a broad basis, because we think it is pregnant with possibilities of irretrievable injury to this country, and will militate against the establishment of a wholesome democracy for which we crave and pray.

Mr. A. R. Me MASTER (Brome): My first words must be those of thanks to the hon. gentleman from Kingston (Mr. Nickle) who has associated me with him in the resolution before the House this afternoon. It is true that eleven months ago, almost to a day, in accepting the nomination in the county which I have the honour to represent, I told the delegates that if I were fortunate enough to be elected to this House I would place upon the Order Paper a resolution saying that it is undesirable that hereditary titles should be bestowed upon Canadians living in Canada. Perhaps a word of explanation iq due to the House and to my constituents why I have associated myself with the motion of the hon. member for Kingston (Mr. Nickle) rather [DOT]than that I should promote my own motion. The reason is that his motion was a better one than mine. It goes further in the first place, and it is better planned from the point of procedure. He is an older parliamentarian than I, and his motion was couched in more practical terms, and called for action, which my motion did not. Then there is the advantage to which the hon. member for Kingston alluded, when he said that if the motion came from the Government side it would be presented in a non-party sense. Party feeling is an extraordinary thing and there are no doubt some Conservatives, if such exist now in the country, who, if as a Liberal I had moved it might have looked askance at the motion. There may be perhaps those on my side of the House whc might have thought that the motion had something bad in it, if it came from +he other side. So that we are both godparents to this interesting child. As Hercules in his cradle throttled the snake, I hope this child will throttle this snake of

hereditary titles in the Dominion of Canada. II am proud to associate myself in this matter with the mover of this resolution. .

There are three sorts of Liberal-Conservative. There is the Conservative who calls himself Liberal-Conservative because he likes a hyphenated name, and because the word " Liberal " looks good to him, but, apart from that there is no liberality or liberalism in his makeup. Then there is the Liberal-Conservative who has been defined by a great English statesman as one who sometimes talks Liberal but always votes Conservative, and then there is the Liberal-Conservative to which class my hon. friend belongs, the impression of whose words and thoughts and actions on the public is to make us realize how right the French political philosopher was when he said there was a great deal of artificiality in the political divisions into which mankind is divided.

The first point I wish to make is this: that hereditary titles are unpopular in Canada. If proof of that -were required, I would suggest that by a short Bill-I think we have had almost enough Orders- in Council this session-that genial authority which you, Mr. -Speaker, -so well exercise, and to which we all cordially and respectfully bow, should he extended -sufficiently to enable you to make a progress through this- -country-beginning with your old historic province, you might place yourself at the corner o-f some popular street in- the county metropolis- and ask every man who passed whether he was in favour of hereditary titles or not. I do n-ot believe that, if you questioned a hundred men, you would find one that was in favour of that principle. If you went to the metropolis of Canada, the city of -Montreal, and placed- yourself on St. James street, unless- -by chance you found-some financial magnate who had already received a hereditary title, I -feel satisfied the result would he the same. In Toronto I am inclined- to believe that not two people out of a hundred would he in favour of hereditary titles. As- you went westward,

I believe it would be well for you to he accompanied -by the -Serjeant-at-Arms and the Mace, because, if you -asked that question of the stalwart democrats of the West,

I am afraid you might be in- d-anger of personal -violence; they would1 not tolerate being even asked such a question.

Edmund- Burke has said that the strength, the spirit, the essence of the House of Commons is -that it is the express image of the nation. If we are true to that concep-

tion of the House of Commons, we must see to it that the desire for the elimination of hereditary titles, or at least the feeling against the perpetuation of hereditary titles, has its necessary legislative action dn. this House.

Are the people right in their desire? I say they are. I say that hereditary titles are, first of all, undesirable socially; that they are undesirable politically, and that their perpetuation or increase in this country is a breach of faith with the men at the front. Why are they undesirable from the social standpoint? It is difficult for me to say anything new on this subject, because it has been treated in such an exhaustive and masterly way by the hon. member (Mr. Nidkle), 'but let me say that hereditary titles lead to the caste system.

I shall give an illustration. A friend of mine was once speaking about a very prominent banker in Montreal, the son of a baker who had gone into a bank in Scotland. He told me that if that boy had been born in England he never would have got into a bank, because the son of a baker in England, through the caste system, could not have been received in a bank. In Scotland, due very largely to the influence of the democratic Presbyterian Church, there is a more democratic feeling and the boy was admitted to a hank. He rose to the highest position in the Canadian banking world.

The caste system, leads to snobbishness, and snobbishness leads to the caste system. Snobbishnesis is not one of the lesser evils; it is one of the greater evils. A young lady takes a trip to another land and she comes hack after having acquired an accent that she forgets in a few years. This may be a matter of email moment, but it is more serious than that. Snobbishness often means extravagance. Snobbishness means contempt for and disrepect of parents. It means very often delay in marriage until the young folks can start where the old folks left off, and delay in marriage produces all sorts of social evils. But, I need not labour the point.

Is it not politically undesirable? I do not think we want to strengthen the House of Lords in England. I believe the people in England are not very fond of an hereditary House of Lords. They have been talking for years themselves of mending or ending the House of Lords. The members of that august body themselves have had plans under consideration for their own reform. We do not want to increase that power or to transfer power to the House of Lords and that is a sound idea on the part

of the Canadian people. Why? The members of the British aristocracy have done valiant service in this war. They have been as brave as the Scottish shepherds, as brave as the Dundee trawlers, as brave as the boys from the plains of Saskatchewan, as brave as our own lads from the counting houses and banks, but no braver, and we have the right to look at the question whether the House of Lords has been an influence making for progress in the Old Land or whether it has been against progress. .

In 1906 the Liberal party in England, after having been in opposition for some years, came hack into power and started a great era of reform-old age pensions, the Licensing Act, the Education Act, and reforms of that sort? What was the history of those measures? When those Acts, to give better living conditions to the poor people of Great Britain, came into the House of Lords they were defeated. When it was desired that a better education should be given to the children of British workingmen, the Education Act was defeated in the House of Lords. When the people wished to control the liquor traffic in the Old Land, when they wished to have local option, did you not hear the honourable gentleman who addressed this House before me state that a man was to receive a title on condition that he withdrew his support from the Licensing Bill? The Licensing Bill was thrown out by the House of Lords.

In order to effect great social reforms and to provide ships of' war, Lloyd George brought in his great Budget of 1909, and that Budget came up in the House of Lords. It was thrown out by the House of Lords. They dared to oppose the constitution of Great Britain which had said for hundreds of years that the House of Lords must not reject a Bill dealing with money. They had a great election in January, 1910, at which time the British people reaffirmed their determination to deal with financial .matters through the House of Commons alone. What I wish to impress upon the House this afternoon is that the House of Lords, in thus dealing with the Budget in 1909, and in dealing with these other reforms that I have just mentioned, was running true to form.

In .spite of notable exceptions to the general rule, in spite of the individuals who have given great talents and great wealth to the furtherance of social progress, I make the declaration that every step in the direction of progress taken during the

nineteenth century by the British people was met with the stem, the -unrelenting and the bitter opposition of the House of Lords. Take Catholic emancipation. Before 1829 Roman Catholics did not have the right to vote for members of Parliament. The Duke of Wellington and the Tory party of his day refused to pass the Bill for Catholic emancipation until they had brought the country to the verge of revolution.

In 1832, three years afterwards, the great Reform Bill was brought forward by Lord Grey, which tried to effect some equality between those who did the electing and those who were elected. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, how before that time a few houses in one place, or a small village in another place would elect a member to Parliament, while great industrial cities with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants had no representation at all. You would have thought that a reform to do away with that inequality would not be resisted. But, it was resisted toy the House of Lords, and for several days Great Britain was on the -brink of a revolution.

I ask you to think of the repeal of the Corn Laws. I ask you to think of how Richard Cobden and John Bright went through the length and breadth of Great Britain preaching that the poor man's food should not he taxed. Where did the great opposition come from? The great opposition came from the landed interests of Great Britain, and that landed interest was entrenched most firmly in the House of Lords. Do you remember the condition of the working people at that time? Surely it iwas enough to wring the heart of any man with feelings of humanity in his bosom. Do you remember that famous Corn Law rhyme:

" Bread taxed weaver dost thou see,

" What this tax hath done for thee,

" See thy children vilely led,

"Singing hymns for shameful bread,

" While the stories of every street "Know their little naked feet."

That was the call of the British people *for bread, for untaxed food. And what was the reply from the aristocracy of Great Britain, the landed interest of that day? The Duke of Richmond suggested the advisability of the working class staying the pangs of hunger by mixing a little curry-powder in water and drinking that between meals.

I need not rehearse the story of the different steps taken towards democracy in Great Britain: how when the franchise under the influence of John Bright was extended to work peoiple in. 1868, the upper-classes, the House of Lords set their faces

against it, until John Bright had to protest against the Botany Bay view of their fellow-countrymen taken by these men, and Gladstone had to recall to the foes of the measure that the poor people were their own flesh and blood. By whom was the disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Ireland resisted? By all the highest aristocracy in the House of Lords. I could go on and rehearse the whole history of the 19th century in English reform but it would serve no purpose because I am talking to those who are -already converted.

I need not dwell, Mr. Speaker, upon the corrupting influence of hereditary titles. That has been most ably dealt with by the speaker who preceded me. We have tried -and I think it is just to us to admit we have succeeded-to conduct the discussion of this resolution upon the level of principle, and not upon the level of personality. There are those who have received hereditary titles in Canada, who perhaps deserve them as well as any one else, if hereditary titles are to be given. There are others whose meteoric careers have filled us, their fellow citizens, with astonishment and wonder, if not with admiration. We can think of one of them sitting down in Great Britain on some quiet Sabbath afternoon in the' old land, and thinking of the old Scottish paraphrase as he writes to another in Canada:

High is the rank we now possess,

But higher shall we rise,

But where we shall, at length attain

Is hid from mortal eyes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

That is the sort of thing that has been going on. That is the sort of thing we would like stopped.

This country has been warring for democracy, we have been fighting for liberty, for equality and for justice. Is it right that in the old land and in this land, when the boys .are fighting for democracy, that we should establish, or that we should allow to be established, a hereditary aristocracy in Canada? I do not believe, Mr. Speaker, that the voice of Canada will be unheard when this resolution goes before the Throne in Britain, .and I want it to go there. I want this resolution, either to he accepted by the Government of the day, or for them to allo w this matter to go to a vote, so that by an overwhelming majority the mind and heart of the Canadian people on this subject may be known to the people across the ocean. Why should we encourage and now compel men to fight for democracy and perpetuate an aristocracy, or,

rather, a plutocracy, among ourselves. I want to say, in conclusion, that I am at one with the mover of this resolution in his feeling that titles of all sorts should be done away with if possible, but seeing that our forebears came from Scotland, and that prudence is a Scottish virtue as well as economy, we have started in at the most vulnerable point in the armour of the so-called aristocrats. The weak joint in their armour is that these hereditary titles are opposed to common sense, and opposed to the spirit and the heart and the mind of the Canadian people. I trust that the Government of the day will accept cordially and emphatically this resolution, and that if they cannot see their way to endorse it that they will allow us to vote upon the resolution so that our views may he given expression to.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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?

Right Hon. S@

the meaning which, my ho-n. friend attributes to them. 'He was speaking of the prerogative of he Crown in its relation to the Government and to Parliament in all the Dominions of the Empire, and he was not dealing especially with Canada.

My hon. friend attacked the principle of primogeniture, and he seemed to be under some apprehension that it might be established in Canada. I have not the slightest apprehension that that principle will ever again be established in Canada. It was abolished in the very early history of every (province in this Dominion, and unquestionably it never will be re-established in this country. IHe referred also to the .baronets of Nova Scotia. I believe that Order was established, as he says, by King James 1. We have never really heard very much about them in Nova Scotia, and I can assure the hon. gentleman that, so far as the material, moral and constitutional development of that province is concerned, it has never suffered in the slightest degree from the institution of that Order.

Miy hon. friend from Kingston went at considerable length into the question of alleged corruption in connection with the bestowal of titles in the United Kingdom. I shall not follow him in that. If there is .presently prevailing in the United Kingdom any evil of that kind, I thank we may safely entrust its removal to the people and the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and no great advantage wffi accrue to the public interest either here or in Great Britain by having such matters made the subject of discussion in this Parliament. ,So far as Canada is concerned I have never heard it suggested from first to last that .under any Government in this country has .there ever been any evil of that kind, and I do not believe that there is the slightest probability that any such evil ever will .arise here.

, It will be necessary for me to go into an examination of the question in a somewhat .broader aspect than has hitherto been brought to the attention of this House this .afternoon, and it might be 'advisable to call it isix o'clock now so that I can take .up the subject this evening.

At six o'clock the House took recess.

After Recess.

The House resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Rt. Hon. Sir ROBERT BORDEN (resuming) :

Before coming to the more general aspect of the resolution presented by the

hon. member for Kingston (Mr. Nickle), I should like to say a few words with regard to that portion of it which relates to the use of titles by any person other than the person in recognition of whose services the honour or title has been conferred. As I understood from the hon. member, this portion of his resolution is designed to prevent the wives of knights, baronets or peers from being addressed by the title of "Lady" in this country. I am not of the opinion that that proposal really adds very much strength to the motion. Unless I am greatly mistaken, the appellation of "Lady" is applied to 'the wife of .a knight only as a matter of courtesy; I think this is true also of the wife of a baronet, although I am not quite sure of that. The member for Kingston, to whom I spoke on the subject, is of the contrary opinion. I have had neither the time nor the desire to make elaborate study of that rather minor question, hut in looking at a couple of standard dictionaries I find that the version I have given is the correct one: That is to say, the appellation of "Lady" as applied to the wife of a knight or baronet is entirely by courtesy. Would it not he rather absurd for this House to ask His Majesty to make a formal pronouncement in respect of a matter which is purely one of usage.

Some hon. gentlemen on this side of the House exhorted the member for Kingston to make "a thorough job" of this question. Well, if we are to make "a thorough job" of it, we must go much farther than my hon. friend has proposed. For example, as a title of respect, archbishops are addressed by courtesy in this country as "Your Grace"; bishops as "Your Lordship." More than that, members of the legal profession, to which both the mover and the seconder of the resolution belong, when seated on the Bench, are addressed as " Your Lordship." I know that they are so addressed in nearly all provinces of Canada-perhaps not in the province of Quebec.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Oh, yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   HEREDITARY TITLES IN CANADA.
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION BY MR. NICKBE FOR ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY NOT TO CONFER THEM.
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April 8, 1918