May 22, 1919

UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

The hon. gentleman's reference to a distinguished gentleman sitting beside my hon. friend from Toronto I can take to mean only one person and that is myself. I rise to a point of order. I want the hon. gentleman to correct himself.

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Had I been referring

to the hon. member for Victoria (Sir Sam Hughes) I would have call him the "most distinguished.'' However, the next statement-I cannot characterize it by the appellation of argument-made by the hon. member for South Toronto was that in colleges and schools we have great incentives in the medals that are granted, and he asks why we should not have titles to take the place of medals after the college life is over. May I point out to this House that medals are open to all, not only the rich students, but the poor students, and that medals are granted on a democratic basis on examination open to all and in which the poor boy, often by the fact that temptations to waste time are removed from him, has a better chance, or certainly as good a chance, as the son of the rich man.

My hon. friend went on to detail a list of worthy recipients of the honour. Of course there have been worthy recipients of the honour. There is Sir William Osier, a most worthy man, but I would like to ask my hon. friend before he leaves the Chamber if his admiration for Sir William Osier is due to the fact that he said that all men over sixty should be chloroformed, or is it due to the fact that he said that no man after forty had ever done anything worthy of commendation.

Now as regards military decorations. In our report we distinctly did not touch the question of medals or military decorations. The committee was glad to learn from a gallant and distinguished member of this House that at the front those who originated the giving of medals and

decorations were the rank and file of the army, who transmitted instances of particular bravery to their superior officers, who in turn transmitted them to their superiors. That has nothing to do with the question of titles.

My friend also spoke in eloquent terms and "worked himself up to almost a fury of eloquence in denouncing the worship of money in the United States. Let me tell my hon. friend that since the children of Israel worshipped the golden calf in the wilderness, all nations have suffered from the same disease and have worshipped the same false god. But when the argument is attempted to be made in this House that the American people are greater sinners than others in this respect, I beg to give that statement a most emphatic negative.

I thinik of Thomas Jefferson, who died a poor man, and who was a typical American democrat. He was so fond of an entire absence of titles that he preferred to call a man by the plain name of John Smith, and not even John Smith Esquire. I think also of William Howard Taft, who left the greatest position in one of the greatest nations in the world, a comparatively poor man, to go back to be a college professor.

I think of Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who was forced out of the presidency of Princeton University because he was against rich men's clubs in the university as being undemocratic; they -forced him out of the presidency of Princeton University and into the presidency of the United States. Then we had a tirade against the French Revolution.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

But there was an English Revolution before that, and there was a Charles who was beheaded.

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

There was an English revolution, and there was a Charles beheaded; but I would not hurt the Royalist sentiments, or the tender Stuart proclivities of any hon. gentlemen who sit opposite by referring to those events. But I might speak with pride of the revolution of 1688, when William of Orange came over the North sea and landed in England to found a new dynasty there when the former king disappeared. I believe such a reference as that will not be ungrateful or ungracious to the ears of some hon. gentlemen opposite; they, like me, are warm admirers of that great Dutchman, William of Orange. But we have heard a tirade against the French Revolution. If you will pardon a personal reference, Mr. Speaker, some years ago I had the pleasure of being a student at Edinburgh

University. I belong to a literary and debating society there called the Dialectic Society, which had been in existence a little more than a hundred years. Those Scotch students of the Dialectic Society discussed the French revolution when it was in progress and spread upon their minute book- (I saw the resolution)-that the French revolution would result in greater benefit than harm to mankind. And they were right, because whatever were the extreme measures which characterized that revolution, whatever were the extravagances of those connected with the movement, it was a great liberating movement, a great forward advance in the march of liberty.

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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

Does the hon. gentleman pretend to confuse the French revolution proper with the period of anarchy and Bolshevism?

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

No.

jSir SAM HUGHES: I hope not.

Mr. MdMASTER: But I say that these great changes in the history of mankind are often accompanied by turmoil, disorder, anarchy and crime.

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UNION
L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

Every one has got to

endorse the French revolution. My friend from Toronto-I am not sure from which geographical division-has read history, if I may dare to say, through Torontonian eyes if he does not appreciate the French revolution.

Now we come to the last argument that in this House attempting to do away with knighthoods and distinctions of this sort we are trying to set class against class. That is what they said of John Bright when he was trying to free from taxes the bread of the poor in Great Britain.

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UNION
L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

He voted against the Factory Acts only as regards men.

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UNION

John Hampden Burnham

Unionist

Mr. BURNHAM:

And women and

children.

Mr. MdMASTER: He did not in the case of women and children, that is where my hon. friend is wrong. Let him read Trevelyan's life of John Bright, he will find that John Bright supported the Factory Acts for the protection of women and chidren, but he believed that as far as men were concerned-I think he was wrong as a matter of fact'they could get better

economic justice for themselves through their unions than through legislation. It is an old, old story that John Bright opposed protecting women, and especially children, against the rapacity and the selfishness of their employers. Setting class against class! Why what we are trying to do by this resolution is to endeavour to have true democracy in this country. No one will tell me that knighthoods can be distributed except to those who have got the wealtja to support them. Perhaps one of the least harmful features would be the granting of knighthoods to soldiers in the field; but you cannot knight generals unlesis you are prepared to knight colonels; you cannot knight colonels unless you are prepared to knight captains; you cannot knight captains unless you are prepared to knight lieutenants; you cannot knight lieutenants unless you are prepared to knighit sergeants; and you cannot knight sergeants unless you are prepared to knight the rank and file. T say that as far as heroism and unselfish devotion to duty are concerned, that the rank and file will compare with those of any other branch of the Canadian or any other army. No1, we are not attempting to set class .against class, but we are attempting to do away with a system which we believe has no place in the free air of North America. 'Therefore, I give my most hearty, sympathetic, and warm support to the report which has been submitted by my gallant, brave and unselfish friend from Kingston.

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UNI L

Michael Clark

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, I do not rise with any purpose of dealing with this question on what one might call its merits; I think that is unnecessary afteT the very eloquent and able speech, from my point of view, of the hon. member from South Toronto (Mr. Sheard).

I rise with a double purpose, Sir, in my mind: The first purpose I have is to give a slightly different view of what happened before the Committee than is given either in the report, or in the speech which we we have had to-day from my hon. friend from Kingston (Mr. Nickle). I was a member of that Committee and I did not get the notice calling the final meeting for the adoption of the report until the meeting itself was breaking up. The reason for that was: The notices culling that meeting iwere not posted in the post office until nine o'clock the night before, and sometimes business is of such a nature that it does not detain members after that hour. I understand there was only a bare quorum

when the report was adopted. If I had been present I should have made it quite clear that I could not concur in the report as adopted because, to my mind, it is illogical, iit leaves certain anomalies, and if we analyzed the report carefully, the House, by its adoption, would be going very far towards lending its countenance to the absurdity.

Now with regard to the question of hereditary titles. I do not think there is much difference of opinion in this House or in the country. The question of heredity is totally apposed to the question of the distinction conferred upon a man in his own lifetime-opposed in principle. A man who gets a distinc< tion in his own lifetime, from a monarch or any one else, presumably has earned it.

But the man who only gets it from his father has inherited it, and has had nothing to do with the earning of it. I take it that this whole House would be opposed to any continuation of the hereditary principle.

But with regard to the other findings of the Committee, I can scarcely think that a majority of the House will support them when they understand exactly what the report recommends. It is said, for example, that we are to recommend His Majesty to insure the extinction of titular distinctions. The paragraph immediately succeeding that which makes this recommendation says that "a suggestion was made that the titles of * Eight Honourable ' and ' Honourable ' be discontinued, but the suggestion did not meet with the approval of the Committee.'^ I submit to this House that the titles " Honourable " and " Eight Honourable " are titular distinctions. As a matter of fact, what happened was that I had the duty of moving that those titles, if Parliament abolished all titles, must go likewise, because I wanted to be logical. That was voted down on the Committee by only six to three. There were only nine members at the moment taking sufficient interest in the proceedings of the Committee to give a' vote on what I conceived to be a very important point.

We are asked by this report-in which I should have been very sorry to concur, because I cannot, the way my mind is trained, concur in anything which is the embodiment at once of democratic cant and illogical nonsense-in one paragraph to recommend His Majesty to abolish all titular distinctions in Canada, and we are asked in another paragraph-by a six, to three vote of the same Committee-to retain the titles " Honourable " and " Eight Honourable," which I contend, on any fair interpretation of the English language, are themselves titular distinctions. What is the difference between the " Sir " which goes with a knighthood and the " Eight Honourable" which goes with a Privy Counsellorship? The one comes to a man because he is made a member of the Privy Council; the other is conferred directly by the Sovereign. The same applies to the term " Honourable " to this extent, that while the " Sir " is conferred directly by the Sovereign, the title " Honourable " comes under the provisions of the British North America Act, if I am not mistaken, to members of the Senate and to the members of provincial or Dominion Administrations. Wen, with regard to the present occupants of portfolios, whether in the provincial governments or in the Dominion Government, I suppose we are all prepared to say, " Brutus is an honourable man; so are they all, all honourable men." But I am perfectly sure in regard to the history of some of the men who have held that title of honourable in the past, the title was very much needed, because a good many people would not have suspected the existence of what the title suggests.

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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

Would the hon. gentleman be good enough to show me where the word " abolish " appears in the report?

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UNI L
UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

The hon. member used the word " abolish." I do not see it anywhere in the report.

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UNI L

Michael Clark

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. M. CLAEK:

Mr. Speaker, it is only a mind like that of the hon. member for Kingston that could see a difference between abolition and extinction. When I am extinguished I shall be pretty badly abolished. I do not want to dispute this point. I quoted the word " extinction," and if my hon. friend is out for literary accuracy in dealing with the report, why, Sir, he can have the word " extinction." Extinction is coming to us all, and when we are extinguished we shall be abolished.

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UNION
UNI L

Michael Clark

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. M. CLAEK:

Mr. Speaker, I shall really have to ask the hon. member for Kingston not to interrupt.

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?

Mr. SPEAKEK@

The hon. member for Eed Deer has the floor.

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UNION

William Folger Nickle

Unionist

Mr. NICKLE:

Yes, unless he gives me the privilege of putting a question, and I think he should do so. May I have the privilege of putting this question? Then I will not

interrupt again. Does my hon. friend not see " to insure the extinction " applies only to hereditary titles?

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May 22, 1919