April 25, 1919



Laurier Liberal

1. Who is .the Judge of the Admiralty Court at Montreal'?

2. Who iS' the Assistant Judge of this Court?

3. What are the salaries attached to these positions?

4. What amounts have been paid .by the Government to the Judge of the Admiralty Court, and to the Assistant Judge of the said Court, in Montreal, since January, 1915?


Mr. MEIGHEN: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)


1. The Local Judge in Admiralty for the Quebec Admiralty District is the Hon. Sir A. B. Routhier, whose official residence is in the city of Quebec.

2. The Deputy Judge of the District, residing at Montreal, is Hon. F. S. Mac-lennan, whose appointment was'made by the local judge under section 10, Cap. 29, 54-55, Vic. There is no assistant judge in Montreal.

3. Salary of Judge of the District, $1,000 per annum; salary of Deputy Judge, nil.

4. The Judge of the Quebec District has been paid at the rate of $1,000 per annum. The Deputy Judge has not been paid any salary.





Laurier Liberal

1. Had Judge Gibson, of Quebec, anything to do with the taking of votes of the [Military voters dn England or France during the last-elections?

2. If so, in what position did he act, and what, moneys wye paid to him on that account?


Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)



No information in Department of Justice.




John Allister Currie



Has the Government any information in regard to the probable date of the return of the 16th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, from Northern Russia?

Major-General MEWBURN: This information is not yet available.




Jules-Édouard Prévost

Laurier Liberal


What persons were employed by the Registrar for the county of Argenteuil in connection, with National Service Registration, and how much was paid as salary to each of said persons?


Newton Wesley Rowell (President of the Privy Council)


Hon. Mr. ROWELL:

Euclide Deschate-lets, $8; John McLaughlin, $4; Brigitte McLaughlin, $2.50; Margaret McLaughlin, $2.50; Eugenie Brosseau, $2.50; Alice Bros-seau, $2.50; Mary McLaughlin, $2.50; D. Forget, $4; E. Forget, $2.50; M. A. Forget, $4.37; W. Briere, $2.50; Alphonse Aluise, $4; Lovina J. Dalpe, $2.50; Lucienne Mayer, $2.50; John F. Owens, $4; Cecilia Villeneuve, $2.50; Ariele Villeneuve, $2.50; Mrs. A. Kail,. $4; Mrs. A. Kail, $2; Paul Galipeau, $2.50; Lea Galipeau, $2.50; Margaret Quesnel, $2.50; Lily Quesnel, $2.50; Thileus Monette, $36; C. Charlebois, $2.50; Emelda Pilion, $2.50; R. A. St. Onge, $2.50; Lilly McPhee, $4; Leslie Bates, $4; J. C. Herbison, $2.50; Euphemia Bates, $2.50; Thos. Canning, $4; Ferdinand Tessier, $2.50; Miss M. Weir, $2.50; J. Stiles, $2.50; Clementine Baulne, $2.50; Miss Lalonde, $2.50; Thileus Monette, $15; Mrs. A. Kail, $4; H. Hebert, $2.50; C. Trudeau, $2.50; A. Coulterier, $2.50; G. Duquette, $2.50; A. Zenon Morin, $12;

Jeannie Reid, 82.50; Neil MacMillan, 84; Alex. Bethune, $2.50; Gladys E. Cooke, $2.50; D. W. Scott, $2.50; Mary C. James, $2.50; Sarah McGibbon, $2.50; Muriel A. Nichols, $2.50; John Mason, $4; Clara I. Mason, $2; Jean A. Mason, $2.50; Elizabeth M. McKimie, $2.50; Delina LeBlanc, $2.50; Mr. J. Heathe, $2.50; C. M. Davis, $4; J. D. Sobey, $2.50; J. Dubeau, $2.50; Rev. E. Geoffrey, $12; Arthur E. Tomalty, $12; Gladys J. Tomalty, $2.50; John J. Kelly, $8; Mary J. Kelly, $2.50; Dora Gagnon, $2.50; Clement E. Ployart, $10; Albert Delisle, $2.50; Aurore Labonte, $2.50; J. D. Latulippe, $18; Alfred Carriere, $2.50;' Miss Clouthier, $1.25; Jos. Edward Constantin, $12; Lorette Lafleur, $2.50; Eugenie Lafleur, $2.50; Delisca Lafleur, $2.50.




Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka):


1. Does Lieut.-Col. Parkinson, now in the employ of the Ottawa Journal, still rank as head of the Publicity Section of the Overseas Minister of Militia's Staff at Sir Edward Kemp's special office, 34 Grosvenor street, London?

2. At what date and with what rank did Lieut.-Col. Parkinson join Sir Edward Kemp's staff, and what were the dates of. his promotions from captain to lieutenant-colonel?

3. Has he been discharged from the army?

Major-General MEWBURN:

1. No.

2. June 28, 1918, with rank of major. Promoted to Major 8th August, 1915. Promoted to Acting Lieut.-Colonel 26th November, 1918.

3. No; he is on leave of absence without pay.




Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal


For a copy of all documents relating to the investigation made by His Honour, Judge F. S. McLennan in the matter of the soldiers' votes which were deposited at the St. John Barracks, in connection with the general elections held on the 17th December, 1917; also a copy of the report thereon by the investigating commissioner, comprising the evidence arid exhibits relating thereto, and copy of the correspondence and telegrams between the said commissioner and members of the Government, together with statements of accounts in connection therewith.


Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal


For a copy of all documents, correspondence and plans relating to the proposed construction of the Montreal Harbour Commissioners' bridge, extending from the city of Montreal to the South Shore.






William Folger Nickle


Mr. W. F. NICKLE (Kingston) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, an address should be presented to His Most Excellent Majesty the King, in the following words; To the King's Most Excellent Majesty,

Most Gracious Sovereign: ,

We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the House of Commons of Canada, in Parliament assembled, humbly approach vour Majesty, praying that Your Majesty hereafter may be graciously pleased to refrain from conferring any titles upon your subjects domiciled or living in Canada, it being always understood that this humble prayer has no reference to professional or vocational appellations conferred in respect to commissions issued by Your Majesty to persons in Military or Naval Services of Canada or to persons engaged in the administration of Justice of the Dominion.

He said: Mr. Speaker, unless it be

that the multitude of words that you are compelled to hear has made you indifferent as to listening, you will remember that last year when I introduced into this House a resolution in respect of hereditary titles, I drew the attention of hon. members present to the fact that my sympathies went further than my resolution, and that I was prepared to support a resolution doing away with all titular distinctions as applied to persons domiciled or resident in Canada. At that time I feared that public opinion in this country and in this House was not sufficiently advanced to warrant the assumption that a resolution couched in the former language would be sympathetically received. But if I had any doubts of the length to which public opinion was prepared to go at that time, what I have learned since and what I now know convinces me that public opinion from one end of this country to the other strongly supports the doing away with titular distinctions in respect of persons domiciled oi resident in Canada.

For the past four years Canada, with the rest of the world, has been engaged in a great struggle to determine what class oi citizenship should predominate throughout the world. Generally speaking, I suppose one might say, to use a hackneyed expression, that the contest has been one between autocracy and democracy. We have heard so much of those words and they have been elaborated in such diverse and different ways that it would be unwise of me this afternoon to follow them to their extreme and

logical conclusion. But there is one point of view to which I should like to draw the attention of the House, and that is the fundamental difference that lies between f democracy and an autocracy. An autocracj proceeds on the assumption that the choser few have the right to govern and that to them is given, almost by way of divine right, the right to enjoy what is commonly called the good things of life; that the many submit, to the government of the few, because they must, not because they are willing. Democracy, on the other hand, proceeds on a totally different . 4 p.m. assumption, namely that those who govern do so by the consent of the many; that all are equal before the law, and that we choose our governments; that there shall be one man, one vote; that class distinction shall as far as possible be done away with, that there shall be equality of citizenship.

In reference to. autocracy as illustrated in Germany, I was a short time ago discussing with a German woman in my riding the use of the term "von" as used before many German names, and she told me, what I have not as yet had an opportunity of verifying as a fact, that while the term in Germany did carry certain distinctions with it, yet it was a purchasable term, so to speak; if one family had it and had not the necessary means incidental to maintaining the social position attendant on the term, that family had the right to sell it, and it was sold in Germany just the same as one would barter produce of any sort. Might one ask oneself why it is that in Germany autocracy had such an awful hold on the people of Germany? Why is it that class distinction so governed the people that a few men were in a position to plunge the world into war and to drive the people before them to slaughter and bloodshed for a period of four years? Along that line of ihquiry I would like to draw your attention, Sir, and that of the House, to the former American Ambassador, Mr. Gerard's book entitled, " My Four Years in Germany," published in 1917, in which he gives some very illuminative information in reference to what he calls the "system" in Germany. He says:

One of the most successful ways of disciplining the people is by the "Rat" system. "Rat" means councillor, and is a title of honour given to any one who has attained a certain measure of success, or standing in his chosen business or profession. For instance, a business man is made a commerce "rat," a lawyer a justice "rat," a doctor a sanitary "rat," an architect or builder a building "rat," a keeper

IMr. Niekle.]

of the archives an archive "rat" and so on, The rats are created in this way: First, a man becomes a plain "rat," then later on he becomes a secret "rat" or privy councillor, still later a "court secret rat" and later still a "wirklieher" or really and truly secret court rat, to which may be added the title of "excellency" which puts the man who has attained this absolutely at the head of the "rat" ladder.

But see the insidious working of the system. By German custom the woman always carries the husband's title. The wife of a successful builder is known as Mrs. Really Truly Secret Court Building Rat, and her social precedence over the other women depends entirely upon her husband's position in the rat class. Titles of nobility alone do not count when they come in contact with a high Government position.

Now, if a lawyer gets to be about forty years old and is not some sort of rat Ms wife begins to nag him and his friends and relations look at him with suspicion. There must be something in his life which prevents: his obtaining the coveted distinction, and if there is anything in a man's past, if he has shown at any time any spirit of opposition to the Government, as disclosed by the police registers, which are kepi written up to date about every German citizen, then he has no chance of obtaining any of these distinctions, which make up so much o< the social life of Germany. It is a means by which the Government keeps a far tighter hold on the intellectual part of Its population than if they were threatened' with torture and the stake.

-Further on he says:

Besides the " Rat " system, there is, of course, the system of decorations. Countless Orders and decorations are given in Germany. At the head is the Order of the Black Eagle; there are the Order of the Red Eagle, the Prussian Order of the Crown, the Orders " Pour le Merite," the Order of the House of Hohenzollern, and many others. In each of the twenty-five States there are also Orders1, distinctions, and decorations. These Orders, in turn, are divided into numerous classes. For instance, a man can have the Reel Eagle Ord'er of the first, second, third or fourth class, and' these may be complicated with a laurel crown, with an oak crown., with swords, and with stars, and so on. Even domestic servants who have served a long time in one family receive Orders; faithful postmen and other officials who have never appeared on the police books for having made statements against the Government or the army are sure of receiving some sort of Order. Once a year in Berlin a great festival is held, called the " Ordenfest," when all who hold Orders or decorations of any kind are invited to a great banquet.

He ends up by saying:

This system is the most complete that has ever existed in any country, because it has drawn so many of the inhabitants of the country into its meshes. Practically the industrial workers of the great towns and the stupid peasants in the country are the only people in Germany left out of its net.

Now, Sir, we are a democratic country. We have been fighting for democracy, sacrificing our best in the defence of an ideal. Now that the armistice has been signed and the war is virtually over, we are confronted with fresh problems, and one of the

problems that is confronting ns to-day is how to deal with the labour and rural unrest that certainly exists. A short time ago there was held in Montreal a meeting of the officials of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, at which the late president was present, and this is what he says:

I have just returned from England. There the situation of labour is a cause of anxiety. Nominally the problems between labour and employers is a question of hours1 and rates of pay. To my mind, and it will be so here, there is something beyond that now. It isl not only a question of hours and rates of pay hut of the actual status of men who are performing such a large portion of work building up industries, and making itself as strong an influence as the capitalists and employers. It is a question of what their social status is to be in the future. We may take It for granted beyond* question that the working man of the future, the working man of to-day, must be permitted and enabled and assisted, he and his wife and children, to lead quite a different existence to that of the past. They must not be confined to the narrow, sordid lives that circumstances have made hitherto. They must have the opportunity to enjoy the good things of life that those in higher positions have enjoyed.

Now, Sir, that enunciates the doctrine that underneath the labour unrest there is in Canada to-day, and, I submit, underneath the rural unrest there lies a dissatisfaction with status-a dissatisfaction with the position that the labouring men and the agriculturalists occupy in this counirv. and one of the problems which I think we have to face and solve is this. How can ,we make for these citizens a broader and more important position in this Canada of ours? Are we going to give satisfaction if wo permit class differences to be increased, if we permit those who may, perchance, occupy what may be considered a somewhat higher position to be still further aggrandized and made greater in a social and titular way?

As I said a moment ago, we have been fighting for democracy, and if we were sincere in what1 we spoke from the platforms and in what we said in this House, then I say, now that the war is over and the fight has been won, let us be consistent and legislate a little for democracy, and let the first legislation that this House undertakes be legislation that will do away as far as possible with class distinctions; not the class distinctions of intellectual attainment, nor the class distinctions of innate difference, because no two men are alike, and you cannot make them alike by Act of Parliament, but let us do away with the class distinction that pretends to give one man a better social position than another, not by virtue of abilities, but by virtue of influence.

I have said that this resolution goes somewhat further .than my resolution of last year. Experience has taught me that if you want to understand anything that is part of the national life in any country that has a constitution such as England or Canada has the way to understand the position of the subject under review is to go back and study a bit the historical development of that w'hieh you are considering, and I want to ask the patience of the House, because I realize that it requires a certain amount of patience to hear a man elaborate an argument that takes him back into early historical times, while I endeavour to place before you, Sir, and before the House, the principles from which knighthood sprang.

We all know how in the early days after the battle of Hastings the feudal system was introduced into England. William the Norman gave to his followers the great areas that the dominant Saxons had enjoyed. As I explained to this House last year, he gave them tremendous holdings, and by a principle of subholdings secured for himself an army by virtue of .the feudal system. The landed proprietors were necessarily the more wealthy class in the community. The knights were the lesser people who held smaller holdings of land. Being of some wealth, they naturally took to the cavalry rather than the infantry, because having the means to purchase horses they fought in the more comfortable way, if I might use that expression. But as time went on and the feudal system developed, men got away more or less from their mere feudal holdings, and men acquired lands by virtue of rentals, and it was then that the Kings of England widened their method of obtaining an army. They said: Those who are bound to us by way of feudal tenure must fight in our army, but those who are bound by way of allegiance must also contribute something to the fighting forces of the nation. Being a knight became an obligation. It was a privilege because it gave a man a social position, but it also carried with it obligations to the state, and whereas, for a time, men were willing to take the position of knights, for the standing it gave them in the community, the time came when to be rid of the obligation was considered advantageous. It therefore became necessary for the Kings of England to interfere, and in 1215 King John directed that every nine knights should provide a tenth, well equipped with horses and arms for tile defence of the kingdom, and should contribute two shillings per day for his keep.

possibility, it is the Order known as the Order of the British Empire. Fortunately, Canada for the present has been spared the flood of titles-the floodof recognitions rather that has come in relation to the Order of the British Empire. South Africa, however, was caught in the mesh, and a flood of titles went to South Africa to such an extent that in a despatch from Capetown on September 2, 1918, it is said the South African press criticises and ridicules the honours that have been conferred in connection with the German East African campaign. The Capetown Times in the course of its outspoken articles ridicules the length of the list, and asserts that when South Africa ceases laughing it will assuredly resent having been made such a laughingstock before the rest of the Empire, for that is what it really amounts to. The membership of the Order of the British Empire consists of the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, the Bishop of London, the King of Arms, and so on, and so on. The recognition is conferred for services rendered to the Empire, whether at home or abroad, and it is open to both men and women. There are five clauses:

Knights Grand Cross or Dames G.B.E.

Knights Commanders K.B.E.

Dames Commanders D.B.E.

Commanders C.B.E.

Officers O.B.E.

Members M.B.E.

Will you believe, Mr. Speaker, that the members of this Order take ceremonial priority over those who won the Distinguished Service Order on the field of battle for bravery and for courage. Why the whole thing is a travesty on modern conditions, and it is well summed up in a short poem which was published in a New Zealand paper some time ago. That poem reads as follows:

Ode to the O.B.E.

I knew a man of industry

Who made big bombs for the R.F.C.

And pocketed lots of L.S.D.

And he (thank God!) is an O.B.E.

I kriew a woman of pedigree

Who asked some soldiers out to tea;

And said "Dear me!" and "Yes, I see,"

And she (thank God!) is an O.B.E.

I knew a fellow of twenty-three Who got a job with a fat M.P., .

Not caring much for the infantry,

And he (thank God!) is an O.B.E.

I had a friend, a friend-and he Just held the line for you and me,

And kept the Germans from the sea,

And died without the O.B.E.

Thank God!

He died without the O.B.E.

I think that last phrase expresses the sentiment of the country. Pretence and

ceremonial priority is what at times stirs my indignation, and at other times appeals to my sense of humour. The other night I was sitting looking into a grate fire picturing a ceremonial procession in which possibly the Minister of Trade and Commerce (now overseas) the ex-Minister of Militia, and the Acting Premier and the member for St. Antoine might have been present, and I saw the deferential manner with which the ex-Minister of Militia allowed the Minister of Trade and Commerce to take priority of him. I thought, Sir, I could see the Napoleonic mien and the grim expression of the ex-Minister of Militia as he took priority over the Minister of Finance, the Acting Premier, who with a gracious bow allowed him to do so,

and then I saw the Acting Prime

Minister fall into place, followed, I trust, with his usual humility by the member for St Antoine, Montreal. But, Sir, as I said, you cannot apply mediaeval age conditions to a democratic country such as Canada is to-day. In the Middle Ages, the twelfth, the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, half of the people of England were serfs. The ancient orders, as I said, came into existence for a purpose. Their purpose served they became decadent. But see what happened? These recognitions determined that those who had them were entitled to social position, social priority, social preferences, and in the long number of years of peace that England enjoyed, her merchant and commercial class became wealthy. They said, "If those who have been to the wars have done something for England, if those who have done work for the state have done something for England, and have priority, we also are entitled to recognition. We are entitled to priority because we made great wealth, and that is an advantage to the state." And then with the lowered franchise, as I propose to show in a few moments, contributions to party funds became essential, as was shown last year and as I shall endeavour to show this afternoon, these recognitions which gave social priority, which gave position, were bartered and sold and given to those who had assisted the party for the time being in power. As I said, in the early days knighthood was avoided by the poorer nobles and was sought by rich citizens, and history repeated itself when the same thing took place in the days of the industrial aggrandizement of England.

There is a gentleman in Ottawa, Mr. Andrew T. Thompson, who has more wit than I have, who has the happy

faculty of expressing himself in verse, and who recently published a little pamphlet called "The Canadian Knights' Entertainment" in which he deals with the creation of certain knights in Canada in a humourous way. I said a moment ago that recognitions were given for political contributions, and Mr. Thompson has so aptly hit it off that I hope it will not be improper that I shall read to the House some of his verses on the subject. I might say that there are various verses in regard to various classes of knights, but I shall just read one or two. This is entitled "The Contributor Knight":-

And now a quiet smooth-faced man Appears to speak his part,

A pros'prous man, of middle age.

And not too big a heart.

" I won my title well," said he,

" I saved my country dear,

Subscribing to election funds,

When there was cause to fear.

"Unless the boodle pot were full,

The other side would win,

And so wipe out all vested rights.

Which surely were a sin.

" I spent my thousands lavishly,

And -when we won the day?

They handed me my knight-hood, and- That's all I've got to say."

Then there are verses in regard to " The Railway Knight," and I feel sure the member for Springfield (Mr. Richardson) will appreciate these:

A sterner man succeeds the last,

A man of threat'ning mien,

And masterful-a leader he.

It's easy to be seen.

" Ve prate of ancestry," quote he,

" And blood both red and blue,

But my descent can straight be traced-

I swear to you it's true-

" From brave Sir Henry Morgan,

Of buccaneers the King,

Who swaggered through the Spanish Main, And robbed like anything.

" Of Spanish ships he took his toll,

He raided many a city.

His fame's kept fresh unto this day,

In roaring sailor ditty.

* The Freedom of the seas ' was his,

For none dare say him nay,

He took his tithe from anywhere.

His motto, ' Make them pay.'

" From his hot veins my blood I draw,

His watch-word, too, is mine,

I love to ponder on his might,

In the days of Auld Lang Syne.

" [DOT] From near Atlantic's sounding wave,

To far Pacific's shore,'

I've looted ev'ry treasury,

I've gathered more and more.

"Until, my primacy confessed,

They made of me a Knight,

In ermine's white and spotless fur,

I'm safely now bedight."

In other words, it simply means that these recognitions are not given on account of worth or of greatness of service or sacrifice, but on account of the attainment of an influential position.

Now, Sir, I said that I proposed to show or to endeavour to show, that in England, the home of these distinctions, corruption is playing a not insignificant part in the awarding of titles. Lord Bryce, whom we all know and for whose opinion we have the highest respect, says in 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 skilfully 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 affect 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.

I am not going to read extracts, as I did last year, from the House of Lords Debates of 1914 and 1917. Hon. members who are interested in the subject can refer to Hansard of last year in reference to the debate on hereditary titles, or if they wish to imbibe more fully they may read the debates in the House of Lords to which I have referred. No man can read those debates and not be impressed with the fact that it is generally recognized that distinctions which should be the reward of merit are not always so awarded, but that they are bought and sold, and that money considerations, not national contributions, are the factor that to a very great extent determine their award. But, Sir, it may be said: I have

nothing to do with what takes place in England. I am not willing to go exactly that far, as I said last year, because so long as Great Britain has legislative authority over Canada, so long do I think that Canada and Canadian legislatures are interested in the personnel of the House of Lords and of those who are influential in the Imperial Councils. 'But if in England with its traditions, with its conservatism, with its worship of the old, corruption has become a dominant source of recognition in the awarding of titles, then, I say, how long is the Canadian executive going to be able to stand against the attacks that will be assuredly be made upon it in the days that are to come unless once for all we put an end to the practice, and the time to do so is before it gets well begun.

I have puzzled my mind trying to discover why it is that any one should contend for a continuance of these titular distinctions in Canada. I have considered the arguments advanced by this one and by that to determine the philosophy of the thing, the natural reason for the existence of the practice, and the best that I have been able to get from what I have read and heard is this: That there are three reasons why men should get titular distinctions. One is, that there is an innate desire in human nature to be recognized, that recognition is very dear to some people; that other people are instigated to efforts through the belief that they may get recognition; and that man will render service to the State if they think there is a possibility of recognition coming. Let us see what all this means. It means, if you are prepared to admit the correctness of such philosophy, that human nature is so weak that it will not do great things unless there is something in it for the doer. It brings human nature down to the standard of a cynic, who was described as being a man who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. Now, I have more faith in human nature than that. I am not prepared to admit that Canadian life is so poor that our men are not willing to serve the State and do big things, unless they think there is recognition in respect of the services rendered. Why, Sir, the. consciousness of duty well done should be reward enough for any man; virtue should be its own reward; and while, as I said a moment ago, some men may be carried away with vanity, I see no reason why the desire of a fe w should result in the stamping-if I might so express the idea-with baseness those who have done public service for the sake of public service. I said


a moment ago that in a war such as this, when the whole nation has been organized for the purpose of its successful prosecution, it is ridiculous to think that it is possible to distinguish between those who should obtain reward and those to whom reward should not be given.

You cannot begin to do it. The complexity of the situation is too great; the ramification of the service is too far extended.

How are you going to determine what . man shall be given an honour, or what woman, as the case may be; and what man and what woman shall be left out? It is beyond the ability of any Prime Minister, any Government or any group of men to determine where reward shall go and from whom it shall be withheld. How are you going to determine the relative qualities of service and sacrifice in one man as against service and sacrifice in another? Why, Sir, it came home to me with crashing force within the last few weeks. I was speaking to a man from overseas who has been connected with a battalion that has done magnificent work; what they did was well done and was of signal service in the war. He was critical of me, because, he said, my attitude in reference to titles last session had stayed the Government's hands and certain recognitions that would have come to him and his fellow officers and men had been withheld pending the presentation of this resolution to the House. I said to him: "Are you not satisfied with the consciousness that you have done good work 'and that the people of Canada know that your- work has been efficient"? He said, in effect: " No,

I am not, and the reason why I am not satisfied is this: if these recognitions do not come through for us, the world will say that our work has not been well done, because others have them and they are the only imprimatur or recognition that will make the people feel that service has been adequately rendered." That is a false standard, Mr. Speaker; it is a standard that you cannot apply in a war like this; because just as sure as you try to apply it you are bound to have jealousies, you are bound to have heart-burnings, you are bound to have bitterness-and that is what we do not want to come out of this war.

I said that you cannot measure sacrifice and you cannot measure service. As I stand here this afternoon speaking to this House I see a woman in dull black who came into my office some five or six months ago and told me that she was a widow; that her only son, -who had gone to the front, had

been killed. She said: "All I ask is that you get me a picture oi the cross that marks his grave in Flanders fields; I shall be content to have that as a memento that he did his duty in a time of national peril and in a time of world crisis." Could you measure that woman's sacrifice and service as against the sacrifice, if needs be, and probably the service, of hundreds of men who stayed at home and did their best, but whose best was incomparably less in sacrifice than the sacrifice that .this widow made in giving her only son to a great cause? The Postmaster General in the late administration expressed the idea a few days ago that these titles went by favour, and that when the Government of which he was a member was in power certain people transferred their allegiance from his Government to another party because they did not obtain from his leader the recognition by way of titular distinction to which they thought they were entitled. Sir, the idea is absolutely. exploded that the King is the source of honour. We exploded that idea last year when the Prime Minister announced to the House that his Order in Council, which had anticipated the debate that took place, provided for recognitions to Canadians being given on the responsibility of the ministry. That inevitably carries with it the conclusion that while the source of the bestow-ment may be his Majesty, or Her Majesty as the case may be, the recommendation comes from the Prime Minister of the day, and the ministry of the day really are responsible in that they make the selection.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster), in a debate which took place in this House when the member for West Peterborough (Mr. J. H. Bbrnham) introduced a resolution on this subject some four or five years ago, said:-

I have not very much to say upon this question except that I think the bestowment 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 these titles of honour.

That may have been the old doctrine; the Minister of Trade and Commerce may have considered this view sound at that day, because it was made abundantly clear in the discussion that took place last year that there had been a conflict of authority between the Canadian authorities and the Colonial Office in England as to who was responsible for those recognitions. But the Order in Council of last year, as read in this House by the Prime Minister, if it has been accepted by the British Government,

makes it clear and beyond discussion that hereafter while these bestowments come from His Majesty, they come on the recommendation of the ministry of the day.

I have been told that these recognitions coming from overseas stimulate loyalty to the Empire. Well, I do not believe it. I do not believe one bit of loyalty is stimulated by these overseas recognitions. People know that they come on the recommendation^ of the Canadian ministry, and I cannot bring myself to believe that they tend to produce any greater loyalty. Loyalty in Canada to the British Empire is not in respect of titular distinction, is not in respect of badges, bands or sashes, but is in respect of the sentimental tie that binds us to a country which, we realize, has done much for civilization and which we believe still has a great work to do. We are proud to be British citizens, yet, while we are British citizens, we are equally proud in knowing that we are Canadian citizens. I do not think there is an iota of truth in the assumption that we shall longer remain British simply because His Majesty may from time to time take it into his mind, on the recommendation of the Canadian Ministry, to confer certain honours and distinctions on people in Canada. The question we have to decide in this House of Commons is: What is best for Canada? We have not an aristocracy such as England has; we are a democracy-and I hope we are going to be a democracy in the broad and true sense of that word. And if I might say a word without being considered as preaching, I would say that to my mind the great sin of the day-although sin is not the proper word-is the love of extravagance and show in Canada, the false standard of living that prevails, the development in some quarters of what the military people would term " swank " and what in the vulgar parlance of the street I would term "snobbery." What- I should like to do is to lay down some principle that would aid us in getting away from these false standards and realizing that newer and simpler standards are what should govern in this country; that the recognition of value, not price, is what should count.

The sentiment of the people is against the conferring of these titles. I said last year that I doubted it, but if I doubted it last year I am confident of it this year. The President of the Privy Council (Hon. N. W. Rowell) in his public utterances has time and again stated where he stood. Why, Sir, the farmer's platform, a copy of which I have in any hand, states distinctly that

the discontinuance of the practice of conferring titles upon citizens of Canada is one of its foremost democratic planks. It was not many evenings ago that the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. T. A. Crerar) stated that he believed that that was a good platform when it was enunciated and that it is a good platform to-day. So I have at least one member of the Government with me.

If my memory serves me correctly, in August, 1917, a great Liberal convention was held in Winnipeg, at which the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Hon. J. A. Calder) was present, and at that convention a resolution was passed denouncing titles in language much stronger than I have used this afternoon, I think, therefore, that I have shown that the agricultural population are against them; that what was called in 1917 the Liberal Party of the West were against them.

And surely the press are against them. You can hardly turn to a newspaper to-day in which something is not said against titles. For instance, I refer to an article in the Winnipeg Free Press which reads h.-follows:

So luxuriously has the flower of knighthood been blooming" in Canada, however, that there is grave danger of it becoming "common". Honorary colonels have become so plentiful since the war commenced that even the bearer of the real article Is sometimes lightly looked upon. There is the same danger in connection with the honours of the King. In fact, men are suspected of going after knighthoods to-day! Yes, laying their plans deliberately to secure them. So much is this the case that when a wealthy individual undertakes to give his services free on behalf of any worthy war cause the casual and matter-of-fact remark is often heard, " Oh, he is looking for knighthood."

Other papers have expressed themselves pretty strongly on this question. There have been some very strong articles in a paper published in Woodstock, and let me read just one or two extracts because I do not want to take up much of the time of the House this afternoon:

The sooner we learn to honestly face the facts of our national existence; the sooner we learn to distinguish between what is real and what is mere fiction, between the recognition that is earned and the recognition that is bestowed for a consideration, the better it will be for Canada, both as a young nation and as a part of the British Empire. The more faithfully Canada clings to her own ideals the better service she will be able to render to the Empire They are no friends of Canada who are seeking to re-establish in this young land the worn out institutions of other countries, and especially such institutions as are antagonistic to the

spirit of our democracy It is no

answer to say that these titles and honours oome from the King, and that the bestowal of them is part of his prerogative. In a sense they do come from the King; but nobody be-

lieves that the King himself is responsible in this matter in any other way than as a constitutional ruler who acts on the advice of his responsible ministers.

And then the Kingston Whig, a paper published in my Riding, says:

Public men in England are not so eager for knighthood. Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright did without it in their day, and Mr. Balfour, Mr. Asquith and Lloyd George have done without it so far. Canada is being overladen with titles, and they are not congenial to the soil.

I might continue reading similar extracts for half an hour, but it would be wearisome to the House without giving members very much further information.

I admit there are difficulties in working out the problem to a logical conclusion, but I do not believe the difficulties are insurmountable. I believe the whole tendency of modern legislation is to do away with social distinctions. I have endeavoured to show this in relation to knighthoods as developed in Great Britain. We are on the threshold of a nation, and the problem we have to consider is: Are we to start aright, or are we "to get off on the left foot"? Is Canada to be a true democracy where equality before the law is recognized, where there is no such thing as social or ceremonial priority; or are we to allow this great war to be used as a means of getting the thin edge of the wedge of aristocratic practices into the life of this country? The mass of the people are against this, and the question which this House, as representing the people from the Atlantic to the Pacific, has to decide this afternoon is: Shall we voice the sentiments of our constituents, which I know by conversation with many members are the sentiments of the members of this House; or shall we submit to those who assume the right of thinking for us?


Robert Lorne Richardson



Mr. Speaker, I do not think I can do better than begin my remarks by reciting another extract from that valuable collection of poems some of which the hon. member for Kingston, (Mr. Nickle) has just embalmed in Hansard. This is the product of an ex-member of the House (Colonel Thompson), and inasmuch as it refers to political knights, it will be of special interest at this time:

In ancient armour now we see,

It surely is a sight,

A politician high in place,

Who also is a Knight.

" From turret to foundation stone

I am a Democrat,

' The rank is but the guinea's stamp '

Rab Burns was right in that.

" But when knighthood was offered me,-

Now show a little reason,

To flout the kingly offer then,

Were surely like to treason.

" And don't forget, there's Lady Z.,

A wife both good and true,

Who wanted to be Lady Z.,

So pray what could X do?

" Don't bother with the ' Sir ' to me,

I know it's not in favour,

And for a red-blood Democrat,

It hath too high a savour.

" Just call me Harry, Tom or Dick,

Or Cliff, or Bill or Sam,

All titles are, I'm quite sincere,

Not worth a tinker's damn."

I do not rise to second the motion of the hon. member for Kingston. You will recall, 'Sir, the discussion that occurred last year when my hon. friend introduced a resolution for the purpose of putting an end to hereditary titles. On that occasion I moved an amendment striking out the word " hereditary " and asking that an effectual end be placed to all titles in Canada. I want to congratulate my hon. friend in making real progress during the intermission. I am not accusing my hon. friend of grand larcency, but this session he steals my thunder by introducing a motion along the same line as my amendment of last year. I congratulate him upon the very able presentation of the case he made last session and the extremely able presentation he made on the present occasion.

(My hon. friend has found, as I have and as, I am sure, all members have found during the recess, that the country is practically unanimous in favour of the abolition of all titles. That being the case, it was to me a source of great regret last session that the same practice as the Acting Prime Minister (Sir Thomas White) introduced this session in connec-5 p.m. tion with the subject of daylight saving, was not followed by the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) and the question thrown open as a non-party one to the House generally. I am satisfied, had that been done, this House would have pronounced overwhelmingly in favour of the abolition of all titles. One of the regrets that I have over the passing of the late distinguished leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) is that he is not here on the present occasion to participate in this debate. Hon. members and you, Sir, will recall the position he took last year when he declared that, notwithstanding the fact that he had taken a title himself, he did not believe in titles, and he declared his willingness to toss his title on a bonfire and have it consumed. Such an expression

of opinion from a man holding the position of leader of a party in this House is bound to have an effect in this House and throughout the country. I agree with the hon. member for Kingston that the country is almost, if not unanimously in favour of the total extinction of titles of practically any kind. I was struck with the history which my hon. friend gave of titles. He went away back for almost a thousand years and traced the development of titles.

Now I have lived in Western Canada a great many years and in company with my hon. friend from South Winnipeg (Mr. Allan), whose effective tones we may expect to hear in this House one of these days, because he is a speaker of prominence and ability, has witnessed many an Indian pow-wow in the Northwest, where the big chiefs togged out in paint and feathers and the squaws wearing fantastically coloured blankets danced to the more or less seductive music of the tom-tom. To go back further into the animal kingdom, we all know how the peacock and the male turkey strut around the barnyard displaying their feathers and making a proud exihibition of themselves. The Indians follow their example, and I have always been astounded, Mr. Speaker-I do not know what you personally think about it to see on the occasion of a coronation or some other great event, human beings, supposedly with God-given intelligence, wearing fantastic feathers in their hats, and bedecked with gold lace and ribbons and braid strutting along in grand procession, just like the Indians do. It does seem to me that, although these things cost a little more money, the human race has made very little real progress indeed.

We see this mad race for distinction even in the present day. Men do not seem to be satisfied with the real dignity of the honest name inherited from their parents with the simple dignity of citizenship, but must, forsooth, be Lord this or Duke' that or Sir the other. I even understand that a new Order has been introduced for "dames" to appeal to the female portion of our community. That does not seem to me to comport with the idea of progress in this country; it does not comport well with the idea of real simple modest dignity. These things do not make the man. As Burns said:

A prince can make a belted knight, -A marquis, duke and all that;

But an honest man's above his might,

Good faith, he must not try that.

I have not rendered it in the Scotch, although I could do so. No potentate or

body or army of potentates can add dignity to manhood or womanhood, and still we find even in this country the same mad race for social distinctions.

As you will recall, Mr. Speaker, when I moved my amendment last year the right hon. the Prime Minister took the view that it should not pass the House as he was in communication with the Government of the old land, to whom he had made certain proposals. He staked the Government s and his own existence on the fate of the amendment which I made to the motion of my hon. friend. The House was therefore suddenly confronted with a crisis. Had the amendment carried, as I certainly believe it would have done but for the Prime Minister s statement-I am satisfied that you too, Sir, believe that the House was overwhelmingly in favour of the abolition of titles-the country would have been faced with a crisis. The Union Government, for which so many sacrifices had been made by men of all parties, and the continuance of which was so essential to the country, especially in view of the war situation at that time, would have gone out of existence. What was a humble member like myself, without special experience in a situation of that kind, to do?

I felt it was desirable to subordinate the less important matter to the carrying on of the war. I should not have liked to have the efficiency of the Canadian troops m any way impaired and the winning of the war jeopardized by the downfall of the Government, so I asked leave of the House to withdraw my amendment. That leave was not granted, and I was then up against the difficulty of deciding whether I should vote for or against my own amendment. I know some hon. gentlemen criticised me because I took a middle course. I declared then and I reiterate now, that when you do not know what to do, it is often a very good thing to do nothing. So I sat still in my seat and did not vote either way. The maxim does not always hold good, but in that case I thought it was the proper thing to do. A great deal of water has passed under the bridge since the House was face to face with that temporary crisis, and I am satisfied that most hon. members have found, as I have done, that the country is very largely, if not almost unanimously, m favour of the abolition of all titles. I therefore trust we shall not have a repetition of what happened last year, but that hon. members will be enabled to vote according to their convictions on this question. Though not of paramount im-

portance, the question is of deep interest and considerable importance to the people of this country.

My hon. friend has explained pretty fully the ancient idea in the creation of knighthoods. In the old days knighthoods were created purely for military reasons and people did not go seeking knighthoods, but had them thrust upon them. I dislike reading, because it often tires the House, but just here I should like to quote from an excellent article I read in the Chronicle when I was in London last summer, written by Arthur Pollen, one of the greatest authorities on this question in the British Empire. He says:

The number of honours bestowed by the King, on the recommendation of his ministers, has of late been so great that people have wondered how so many fellow-citizens, of whom they had never heard before, have earned the titles, hereditary and otherwise, by which they have been distinguished.

How similar has been our experience in Canada!

The official reasons given for each selection fail to satisfy the pardonable curiosity so created.

It is not, however, into this controversy that I propose to enter, but into another one raised two generations .ago by Matthew Higgins, the famous "Jacob Omnium" of the Fifties. War after all, is primarily an affair of the soldiers and sailors, and when, after the Crimean War, the civilians seemed to Higgins to have helped themselves too liberally to the decorations, he scored them with a very caustic pen on the text: Kings with their armies did flee and tvere discomfited ; and they of the household divided the spoil." It may be instructive to see how honours in our own time have been allotted between those defending their country at the war and those defending the war in the country.

Mark that distinction: "between those

defending their country at the war, and those defending the war in'the country." To continue:

Dealing with the higher honours, that is, those which carry titles, how have these been distributed since the outbreak of hostilities? In all, 61 peerages have been created-

This is important as showing how few honours have been awarded to the men who fought for the liberty of the Empire, and how many titles have been awarded to politicians and others vrho did not go to the front.

In all, 61 peerages have been created, including steps upward by those already ennobled. Of these, Mr. Asquith created 28 and Mr. Lloyd George 33.

Civilians have received 58 of these. Only two have been conferred upon soldiers and one upon a sailor. Six Garters, four Thistles, and four Patricks have been given. With the exception of one, civilians have received all the Garters, and the same rule applies to both the

Thistles and Patricks. Fifty-six favoured individuals have become "Right Honourable" as Privy Councillors, and they are all civilians; and 107 have been made baronets, of whom no fewer than 106 were civilians and only one a sailor. Of the honours, then, that confer hereditary rank 164 have been given to civalianis and four to sailors and soldiers, the ratio being 41 to 1. The great Orders have been given .in the ratio of 11 to 3, and Privy Councillorships in the ratio of 56 to nothing. Lump them all together, and it is 231 to 7.

The fighting men fare, of course, a good deal better when it comes to the humbler business of knighthoods. Omitting the Indian honours, 262 soldiers and sailors have either been admitted to the rank of an Order that carried a title with it, or have received the advancement from Knight Commander to Grand Cross. If I am not mistaken, no soldiers or sailors at all have been made Knights Bachelor-at least not for military or naval services-a matter which has created some comment; for knighthood, after all, suggests nothing if not service in arms.

I call particular attention to that phrase: " For knighthood, after all, suggests nothing if not service in arms."

Still they have received 262 knighthoods or advances. But a considerable number of these have not been given for services in the war at all. They have followed from seniority, administrative services at home, and so forth, just as they would have followed in peace. They are practically civilian honours conferred on soldiers. They include, for instance, officers employed in the War Office and at the Admiralty, who have presided over departments, the responsibility for which has alwTays conferred a claim for a K.C.B. ; and the same is true of advancements from K.C.B. to G.C.B. In or dinary times such knighthoods and advancements would amount to 15 or 20 a year, so that it would probably not be safe to reckon more than 180 or 200 at most as honours for special war services. In the meantime, civilians, men and women, have received 739 knighthooods or their equivalents! Both Mr. Asquith and Mr. Lloyd George have bestowed these decorations in about the same proportions. Mr. Asquith made 210 civil and 84 military knights, Mr. Lloyd George 473 civil knights, 46 dames, and 178 military and naval. The score then stands, for the greater honours, at the ratio of 46 to 1. and in the lesser, in the ratio of rather over 3 to 1.

This gives some idea of -the way in which honours have been distributed in the Old Country. Do we desire to emulate the example of Great Britain? Sometimes she is set up as a proper example to follow, but 1 am sure that in a matter such as is under consideration this afternoon this Dominion should act on its own judgment. When I was in England I was struck with an article written by Robert Blatchford, the great socialist writer in England and one of the most prominent socialists in the world. In this article the writer advanced what in my opinion is an unanswerable argument against the conferring of titles, and an indictment of all classes of snobbery. Mr. Blatchford had received a letter from an optician in England, who wrote as follows:

I am practical watch and clock maker and optician, and, besides possessing the oldest business in the town, I am old-fashioned enough to love my children, and to wish to do my best for them, and pay for it.

I approached the principal of one of those higher schools, somewhat snobbishly described as "for the sons of gentlemen," and was told that my boys could not be accepted beacuse I "kept a shop" in the town. In other words, because my children have been so foolish as to choose a vulgar tradesman for a father, they are to be socially and educationally ostracised.

I had hoped that four years of horrible war had washed out that kind of snobbery and class cleavage, but it appears I was wrong.

I may mention that the parents of at least two of the high school scholars owe me money which I shall never get.

Commenting on this letter, Mr. Blatchford, in the article referred to, states:-

This matter of the optician's letter may seem trivial. But it is not.

Nor dioes the matter end there, for the letter indicates something more than a class or caste division amongst the people; it shows us quite plainly that there is something radically and seriously wrong with a nation in which such blind snobbery is possible. It shows a national misreading of values, an appraisement of men not by their deservings, nor by their utility, nor by their character, but by their garments, or their occupations, or their manner of pronouncing certain words.

I do not think Mr. Blatchford overdraws the situation in that description. Does this new western nation desire to set up an aristocracy and to institute a reign of snobbery such as that here described? If it does not it must set its face unalterably and determinedly against all social distinction and titles, and this Parliament, in my judgment, is in duty bound to express its opinion on the matter. I discussed with Mr. Lloyd George, that great tribune of the people, the question of titles, and I presume I violate no secret-he did not ask me not to repeat his words, and I have no doubt he would be ready to pronounce them himself publicly if he were requested to do so-I do not think I violate any confidence when I say that he informed me that he was unalterably opposed especially to hereditary titles, and that it had been his intention, and he hoped still to be able to do so, to introduce a Bill that would abolish hereditary titles altogether. He did not so much object to temporary titles being conferred on men who had distinguished themselves on the field or in some other striking capacity, but he was absolutely opposed to hereditary titles. I drew a bow at a venture, in speaking with the right hon. gentleman, and suggested that possibly I might some day be obliged as a journalist to

record the fact that he had accepted a title himself. He laughed heartily and answered: " My dear friend, you can set your mind absolutely at rest on that point. Lloyd George will die, as he has lived, a plain man of the people." Would the acquiring of a title add anything to the majesty of character and the greatness of the career of Mr. Lloyd George? On the contrary, I think it would seriously detract from his greatness.

I do not purpose to sipeak at any great length on this subject, but I shall conclude with an amendment to my hon. friend's motion, as I did last year, but I shall present it at the conclusion of my remarks. I have always thought that if you are to have titles, (and I of course disapprove of them in any form), if the sense of the public were in favour of titles, they should have been fairly distributed among the people of the country. The valuable services of the educationists of the country should be recognized. The farmers -a class without whom it would be impossible to successfully develop this country- should also be recognized. Have we ever seen a farmer knighted in this country? Then I think that prominent physicians and surgeons, men who have done much for the alleviation of human suffering, should have been recognized.


April 25, 1919