September 16, 1919

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Major General MEWBURN (Minister of Militia):

My first knowledge of the matter was when I read the article this morning. I cannot believe there is any truth in it, and, in my opinion, it is entirely erroneous.

Topic:   CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.
Subtopic:   OVERSEAS PAY LISTS.
Permalink

THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.

ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. WHIDD'EN, SECONDED BY MR. MCINTOSH.


The House proceeded to the consideration of the speech of His Excellency the Governor General at the opening of the session. Mr. HOWARD PRIMROSE WHIDDEN (Brandon) rose to move that a humble



Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor General, to offer the thanks of this House to His Excellency for the gracious speech *which he has been pleased to make to both Houses of Parliament. He said Mr. Speaker, in rising to move the Address I desire to express my appreciation of the privilege afforded me of participating in the discussion of matters so vital as those which will be under review during the present session. The speech from the Throne is memorable alike for its brevity and the special features which give it its real character and significance. We are gathered here in Special Session mainly to consider and to ratify, as the representatives of the Canadian people, the Treaty of Peace, the signing of which on June 28 last at Versailles brought to an end the most terrible and cruel war in history. But before making any further reference to this duty which lies before us, I desire to refer to what has already been so appropriately brought to our attention, viz: the presence in this country of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. That he has already won the genuine esteem and affectionate regard of our pebple in those communities fortunately honoured by his visit, is so apparent that we are accepting it with unqualified satisfaction and delight. That his coming is most timely all will agree. Following across the Atlantic many of those with whom he had been associated on the Western Front and by whom he was considered a most worthy comrade, his visit makes possible the further friendships and the maturing of the understandings which are mutually helpful and important at the present hour. The new world adventured forth in time of war and joined the old in common cause, and in doing so found across the seas common ideals, institutions and ruling sentiments; now the old land, by its representative, fares forth in time of peace, and there is soon discovered by him common ideals, institutions andi sentiments among the people with whom for a time he associates himself. We were in reality but new-world Britons over there; he is in reality but an old-country Canadian here. It is probably not going too far to say that more than any other the present royal visitor has caught the Canadian spirit and so is best able to interpret to us the deeper meaning of the essential British spirit. But there is something more than this. The Prince of Wales in Canada to-day is interpreting, perhaps unconsciously to him- self, the significance and advantage of British traditions and institutions, and this copies at a time when Canadians are more conscious than ever before of their own nationhood and possible destiny. Significant indeed, is it not, that so full a response should be given by 'such democratic people to such a democratic Prince, himself the product of the most democratic Empire the world ha-s ever known? We in Canada do well not to forget that we are heirs as well as conquering pioneers and that to-morrow as well as yesterday we shall find a complete freedom and a complete national life most easily possible with an ever rejuvenated mother and constantly developing sisters in the great Britannic family of nations. The meaning for both stability and progress in our growing Canadian life of the debt we owe to the past, our connections in the present, and our possible alliances in the future, cannot be over valued. We do well to move with steady steps in all the advance that is made in the coming days. This will doubtless be known in coming years as the "Peace Treaty Session." Copies of the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany are now before us. It is for us to consider intelligently and with as broad an outlook as we can command the essential items in this great document. Already we have learned from the press its more important features. Making peace is a stern business, -and of necessity there are in this Treaty stern requirements. When we recall the methods and the madness of the enemy we will not fail to realize that severe treatment is not only natural but right. My task to-day does not include reference to special articles or sections. The Prime Minister will undoubtedly condense and interpret for us the outstanding parts of the Treaty. However, I would like to emphasize in a general way the meaning of this Treaty for the world and for Canada. It marks the guaranteed end of the most terrible war the world has known. Devastation, destruction and death have been so common for five years that we can scarcely realize they are no longer with us. Freedom, Right, Civilization itself, were about to be destroyed. This document says they are to continue. The weak and the small were about to be thrown to the wolves; this Treaty says they will have a chance to survive among the fittest. The safety of the eWorld is once more made secure. Permanent peace is made possible in this Treaty by the special covenant of the League of Nations. Provision for this league is the result of the most earnest efforts ever made to win a lasting peace. It is the expression primarily of the best thought of the leading minds of Euglish-speaking statomen. Many of us here have looked for the perfecting of some such plan. While its every detail may not command a perfectly unanimous assent, the central idea must have our undivided endorsation and continued support. * The very fact that the Canadian Parliament is considering this Peace Treaty is itself an evidence that another stage in the fuller development of national life has been reached; and while many influences have been working to this end we do well not to forget the important part played by our own Prime Minister in realizing much of the progress made in this direction. The war is over. Victory was hard to win, but as the grand " old Tiger of France" has put it, " It is harder to win peace than to win war." May Canadians never be behind in performing their full share in order that an unbroken peace for the world may be realized. The labours of war are over; the settling of peace is well nigh accomplished, but as the speech from the Throne suggests, the painful work of reconstruction is just begun. In some respects by far the most difficult task is the one now committed to our hands. Are we to fail in the undertaking, or are we once more to be among the victors? It depends upon the decisions now reached, and enterprises undertaken by the Canadian people themselves. If we enter upon "the piping times of peace'' merely with a view to making the new era one of barbarously splendid material prosperity we will undoubtedly lose. If, on the other hand, we take up the labours of reconstruction as a necessary part of the renewing and rebuilding not only of our own country but of the whole world, we must just as surely win. David Lloyd George has said that one of the real aims of the war has been to " get a new world." We need to get. a new Canada, rightly set in a new world. If this is to be realized there must be a larger recognition of the strength there is in unity of spirit, inflexibility of purpose, and loftiness of national and individual aim. If these were so readily possible in war, why not in times of peace? Our people responded nobly in a thousand ways. A wonderful willingness to co-operate possessed ns. Unflinching determination that the right should conquer held us steadily to our job. Surely this can continue now that the war is over, and yet it will be more difficult to secure in a continued way in times of peace and of new prosperity than during the trying period when the foe was ready to leap upon us. If we are to carry on the rebuilding of the nation we must in some way secure not only the rights of those who have been deprived of them in large measure hitherto, but there must also be a wider recognition of right as necessarily regnant in every relationship that exists throughout the entire Dominion. The present class consciousness which characterizes much of our Canadian life at the present time is but the product of causes definite though complex, and very naturally does it emphasize its rights and its claims. But I dare to predict, Sir, that the coming corporate national consciousness will be more mindful of the rights of all for the sake of all than ever in the past of our nation's history. Industrial unrest will not give way to better conditions until this is so. There must be a coming together of all parties concerned, a better understanding of each other, and a greater willingness on the part of each to give place to the simple claims of the other group. But this end will not accomplish what is needed, nor will it ever come to stay, until there is a larger appreciation of the dominance which righteousness should have in all that we now call our Canadian life. Let drastic legislation be enforced to stop profiteering and to secure fairplay all round. But, at the same time, let there be a rapid and widespread acceptance of those splendid ideals and virtues for the perpetuation of which sixty thousand Canadians laid down their lives. Let those ideals and virtues permeate the lives of those who are now going to live for Canada, just as they permeated the lives of those who have died for us. They sacrificed their all in order that law might of natural consequence not only be enacted but kept as the'very expression of our national conception of life, and that truth and justice might prevail in our land. Further, Mr. Speaker, I think it is implied in the speech of His Excellency that if the task of reconstruction is to be well done, there is need for a truer understanding between the different sections of Canada. Provincial boundaries are a convenient device, and they have their interesting historic associations; but Chinese walls are antiquated, and, indeed, are but the evidence of fear, suspicion' or intolerance. Let there



be no Chinese walls separating any parts of Canada. They do not give any guarantee of a healthy spirit actuating the body politic. Healthy rivalry as between province and province, east and west, always has its rightful place and will always continue. But sectionalism should give way to the advent of a truer national viewpoint and a sense of that dominion wide brotherhood which was so noticeable during the five years when we had a common foe to fight and a common cause to bind us together. The problem of re-absorbing the returned soldier is not so much economic and social as it is ethical and national. What Canada needs to take seriously to-day is not so much the re-assimilation of the returned soldier as an assimilation of that ideal and spirit which lead our men to spring to the colours and to live or die for freedom and for the flag, that liberty might still be ours, to be preserved as the priceless legacy of generations yet unborn. We have been well told by some of the strongest of the leaders in our Canadian army on their return to us that we need not be afraid of the returned soldier. This is quite true. The returned soldiers, it is siaid, belonged to us and will very soon find their place once more in the land they call their own. I agree with that; but I believe that we should go even further and say: "Do not be afraid of that high spirit of devotion which took our soldiers overseas and carried them through all the privations and dangers and cruelties of the most frightful war ever fought." Let us make that spirit of devotion our own. We would do well to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, which are applicable to us at present: "It is for us, the living, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced;" and I am satisfied, Sir, as I believe we all are, that it is in proportion as we take up the cause and incorporate in ourselves the spirit of those men who went and conquered ithe enemy, and whom we are proud to have back in our midst, that we shall attain a happy goal. When those who are returning join with us in the dedication of our national life to the making of a greater and better Canada than existed a decade ago, we shall achieve results that would not have been thought possible, at least in our lifetime. If the Canadian people will do this, all the sacrifices and all the cost will not have been in vain, and Canada, standing as she does to-day at the very gateway of her destiny, will enter [Mr. Whictden.l upon an era of real prosperity and achievement of which the greatest of our many great national fathers scarcely dared dream. I am sure that if Canadians will harken to the new watch cry and will accept the new challenge flung down by those who will never speak to us again in audible tones, and by those, also, who have returned to represent the fallen, as they represented all of us in their going, we shall see in the northern half of this continent a nation with a character, and one that in actual achievement will in the coming day shine conspicuously among the nations that have made this world great and good for all the peoples of the earth.


UNION

John Charles McIntosh

Unionist

Mr. JOHN CHARLES McINTOSH (Nanaimo, B.C.):

Mr. Speaker, I have the

honour to second the motion of the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Whidden). To me the honour is somewhat onerous, lacking as I do experience in Parliamentary life, and I trust that the House will be patient with me in view of this circumstance. Since last session there have been several changes in the ministry. The House, I think, will join with me in expressing regret at the loss of the great and talented services as Minister of Finance, of Sir Thomas White. He gave his services freely to his country at great personal sacrifice to himself. The life of Sir Thomas White should be a model and an inspiration to the boyhood of Canada. Reared upon a farm with a widowed mother to support, and being charged with the responsibility in early life of the management of that farm, he had great difficulty in obtaining the education which is at the command of most boys. He worked, and worked hard to acquire the education which has enabled him to take such a brilliant part in the affairs of Canada. His success from the very beginning was mostly the result of personal effort; the money necessary to enable him to pursue his studies at the university and the law school was obtained by working as a newspaper man and in other capacities. Therefore, I repeat that the life of Sir Thomas White and the industry and perseverance with which he applied himself to the attainment of the objects before him should serve as a model to the boyhood of Canada.

His place in the Government has been taken by Sir Henry Drayton who has made such a brilliant record for himself as chairman of the Dominion Board of Railway Commissioners and I doubt not that the great ability which he has brought to the discharge of the important duties of that

office will characterize the discharge of his new duties as Minister of Finance.

The portfolio of Agriculture has been bestowed upon my hon. friend from Victoria City (Mr. Tolmie). This appointment, I am sure, is one which will have the approval of all the people of Canada as it certainly has the approval of the people of British Columbia. The hon. the Minister of Agriculture is a true farmer. He is a farmer not only in the theoretical sense, but he is an actual larmer. He not only performs manual labour upon his own farm but he has received an education along technical lines in agriculture. The hon. the minister's merits are of no mean character; he has attained to a position of eminence in the agricultural world particularly with regard to live stock. He has long been looked upon as one of the great authorities in North America and that recognition is of such a character that in the United States of America his opinions and decisions are continuously reported in the official bulletins.

The people of Canada will, I am sure, share the sorrow of the people of the sister Dominion of South Africa in the loss of that great empire statesman, Sir Louis Botha. Although formerly an enemy he gave his life to the promotion of those great ideals and principles upon which the British Empire is founded.

This, to my mind, is one of the most momentous and historical sessions of our Canadian Parliament, called .as it primarily is to ratify the Treaty of Peace which has just been signed-by the representatives of our Government who were delegates to the conference held for the purpose of formulating that treaty. It is .a fitting epitome of the great work done by the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden,), who has given his life an|d his talents to his country and whose name will go down to posterity with the names oi other Canadian statesmen such as Sir John A. Macdonald, and the late lamented and much revered Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

It is momentous also from the fact that to-day His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, heir to the British Crown, is in our midst, and has performed the historic ceremony of laying the corner stone of the tower of the newly reconstructed Houses of Parliament. It is but right and proper that this should be so, .as his grandfather, the late, revered King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, performed a similar cefe-mony when these buildings, the first

houses of Parliament of the new Confederation of Canada, were constructed. We welcome him here to-day even as the people of that day welcomed his ancestor. The ties which bind the hearts of the Canadian people to the Throne of Great Britain were never so strong as they are to-day. Though they be but ties of loving sentiment, fine as. silk, yet they are stronger than the toughest bands of steel. His Royal Highness has all the lovable qualities of his grandfather which so endeared him to his people. The son of a great ancestor of his, then Prince of Wales, greatly loved by the English people of that day for his soldierly qualities, was called Edward, the Black Prince; our Prince, showing soldierly qualities in no less degree, is equally well beloved of his people as Edward the White Prince. His admiration for our soldiers while in France was shown by his presence for two months with them while in the field fighting for freedom. May his life long be spared to his fellow countrymen, and when the time comes that he be King, may he rule long and wisely.

That the Prince has the right ideal was, I think, shown by a statement which was made the other day by him. He said:

The splendid services of the British Dominions in the war have given them a new prestige among the peoples of the world, and they have established their status as self-governing nations once and for all.

In June 1535 a Norman Frenchman, an adventurous seaman named Jacques Gar-tier, sailed from the seaport of St. Male, and gave Canada to the world. This has been well described by that brilliant and talented statesman, the late Thomas D'Arcy McGee in the following lines:

In the seaport of St. Malo, 'twas a smiling morn in May,

When the Commodore, Jacques Cartier, to the westward sailed away

In the crowded old cathedral all the town were on their knees

For the safe return of kinsmen from the undiscovered seas.

Some three hundred and seventy-nine years later when the vengeful Germans broke through Belgium into fair France the prayers of the people of France were answered. Canada saved France from destruction and helped save the civilization and liberty of the world from German aggression and tyranny. So long as the tongue of man is capable of utterance, so will the brave deeds of the Canadian Army Corps be spoken of in tones of admiration. Their deeds are imperishable and indelibly

imprinted upon the pages of history in letters of the blood which they so freely shed in France and Flanders.

The Canadian Army Corps was no ordinary army corps, but an army in very truth, greater in point of numbers than any corps in the British service, and let it be said with pride, never under strength. Canada not only gave to the world a brave and effective fighting force, but gave also what was even more rare, a great and successful leader in the person of Sir Arthur Currie. No aUny corps commander stood higher in the estimation of those great leaders, Marshal Foch and Sir Douglas Haig, than Sir Arthur Currie, and deservedly so. Sir Arthur Currie is no creature of fortunate circumstances, no accidental genius. His success was the result of many years of hard work on military lines performed long before the war. Of this I can speak with knowledge, as he was a fellow-citizen of mine in British Columbia for some twenty years. No work on military technique was too formidable for him to peruse and master. Military work was his one great obsession, and how well for his country did it prove.

Although the Peace Treaty has not yet been laid before the House, it is so much a matter of record and discussion the world over that it would here seem permissible to discuss some of its salient features.

There was some slight criticism when the Right Hon. the Prime Minister and his colleagues attended the Peace Conference. This criticism was never justifiable. The war as waged by Great Britain and the Dominions was not a war of aggression, was not for lust of conquest, but for me liberty and civilization which we value so highly. When the call came, Canada, as well as the Motherland, was ready to defend the right. If with this noble object in view we expended the best of our blood and much of our treasure, so was it right that we should be called with the other powers into conference as to the terms that the defeated enemy should receive. Surely it goes to the very root of our political liberties that as to the expenditure of tmoney we should be represented, and it is a stronger reason when we give our best blood. We have been well and ably represented at the conference by the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden, and the world has given him due credit for his great work there. The result of the work of the conference will shortly be before us.

I would like to place some of the salient features of the Treaty before the House.

It defines the boundaries of a new Germany shorn of its ill-fated military prestige.

To France has been given back that which was forced from her fifty years ago, the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.

The new found freedom of the Polish people is made effective by the return of the territory so long held in subjugation by (Germany, Austria and Russia, and an outlet to the sea given them.

A new independent state has been created as Czecho-Slovakia, and the necessary territory for the self-determination of the future of these people ceded by Germany.

The boundaries of a new Belgium are delineated, and a new system of government formulated for Luxembourg and the Saar basin.

The people, of Northern Schleswig are to be given the right of self-determination ruthlessly withheld from them by the Ger-.mans since 1866.

German-Austria is to be recognized by this new Germany as an autonomous and independent state, and thus separated from unscrupulous German influence and control.

The colonial possessions of Germany the world over have departed from her pernicious control to the several powers subject to the mandate of the League of Nations, our sister Dominion, that of Australia, having control of certain island territory adjacent to her shores.

Germany's army and her armaments are restricted, making her harmless from a military point of view.

Those persons, including the ex-Kaiser, who are responsible for this horrible war, or who have, committed offences against international law, are to be placed on trial for their acts before special tribunals representative of the powers.

Reparation must be made by Germany for the ruin and distress she has caused.

Certain ports, railways, rivers and canals are to be internationalized.

Guarantees are arranged for the due carrying out by Germany of her treaty arrangements so that the future peace of the world may be assured.

These-are shortly, the main features of the Treaty. The great outstanding fact is that Germany is shorn of her proud boast and vain ambition of "Germany over all." It was her lust of conquest and desire to put into being this selfish ambition which has caused the unutterable distress throughout the world.

Of all the countries that participated in the war Canada should recover the most quickly. A country of great area, greater in territory than that of the United States

and Alaska together, she is a vast reservoir of raw material for which the world hungers and cries out. The conversion of these resources into marketable products and their sale will soon create a vast trade, and only by the creation of this trade can we effectually carry the financial burden which the war has placed upon our shoulders. This, however, is dependent upon industrial peace. Industrial peace can only be obtained by legislation and regulation in a remedial way for the protection of the worker, the creator of all real and true wealth.

This was recognized by the great powers in the Peace Conference, and incorporated in the Treaty.

At page 193 of the Treaty, being part XIII relating to labour, the preamble reads:

Whereas the League of Nations has for its object the establishment of universal peace, and such a peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice;

And whereas conditions of labour exist involving such injustice, hardship, and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled;

And an improvement of those conditions is urgently required ; as, for example, by the regulation of the hours of work, including the establishment of a maximum working day and week, the regulation of the labour supply, the prevention of unemployment, the provision of an adequate living wage, the protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment, the protection of children, young -persons and women, provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own, recognition of the principle of freedom of association, the organization of vocational and technical education and other measures;

Whereas also the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labour is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries ; etc.

To this declaration Canada is a consenting party. The general principlesembodied . in this part of the treaty are the result of' the work of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden.His was the mind which conceived

this portion of the treaty; his was the hand that wrote the words, and too great credit cannot be given him for the work that he has done along these lines.

The motion of the Prime Minister which put into effect these principles

at the Peace Conference is incorporated in the treaty as Article 427, which is to be found at page 204. It reads as follows;

The High Contracting Parties, recognizing that the well-being, physical, moral and intellectual,

of industrial wage-earners is of supreme international importance, have framed, in order to further this great end, the permanent machinery provided for in section 1 and associated with that of the League of Nations.

They recognize that differences of climate, habits and customs, of economic opportunity and industrial tradition, make strict uniformity in the conditions of labour difficult of immediate [DOT] attainment. But, holding as they do, that labour tehould not be regarded merely as an article of commerce, they think that there are methods and principles for regulating labour conditions which all industrial communities should endeavour to apply, so far as their special circumstances will permit.

Among these methods and principles, the following seem to the High Contracting Parties to be of special and urgent importance:

First: The guiding principle above enunciated that labour should not he regarded merely as a commodity or article of commerce.

Second: The right of association for all lawful purposes by the employed as well as by the employers.

Third: The payment to the employed of a

wage adequate to maintain a reasonable standard of life as this is understood in their time and country.

Fourth: The adoption of an eight hours day

or a forty-eight hours week as the standard to be aimed at where it has not already been attained.

Fifth : The adoption of a weekly rest of at

least twenty-four hours, which should include Sunday wherever practicable.

Sixth: The abolition of child labour and the

Imposition of such limitations on the labour of young persons as shall permit the continuation of their education and assure their proper physical development.

Seventh: The principle that men and women

should receive equal remuneration for work of equal value.

Eighth: The standard set by law in each

country with respect to the conditions of labour should have due regard to equitable economic treatment of all workers lawfully resident therein.

Ninth: Each State should make provision

for a system of inspection in which women should take part, in order to ensqre the enforcement of the laws and regulations for the protection of the employed.

These are the principles laid down by the conference in regard to labour and included in the Peace Treaty. I say that labour should have no fear of the mind that conceived these principles; labour should have no fear of the hand that wrote the words embodying these principles; labour should have no fear of the personality that brought these principles into being. On the contrary the foundations laid by Sir Robert Borden at the Peace Conference will be the beginning of a new era for labour in Canada-the Prime Minister's work on these lines, when brought into effect in Canada by legislation, as I feel sure it will be shortly, will, to my mind, be the saving of our country from industrial unrest.

The necessity for this legislation is selfevident. The report of the Industrial Relations Commission shows this very clearly, and their recommendations will, I feel sure, be immediately given effect to by necessary legislation brought before this House when the work of the Industrial Congress which' has been called together is finished.

Organized labour is playing the game, even as they so manfully placed the game in their participation in the war. Of the great army which Canada sent overseas to put into effect the great principle of right, seventy per cent came from the ranks of labour. True organized labour still contends for right. They are rapidly casting off the false Bolsheviki doctrine advocated by the One Big Union, which is declining as rapidly as it rose. They still, however, have their objectives, and their principal objectives are just and laudable ones. Chief among them are statutory regulation of hours of labour, establishment of mini mum wage, insurance against unemployment and insurance against old age. The first two objectives are dealt with in the treaty and no one can justly deny the right of labour to receive these rights.

We are told by scientists that two great basic and primal instincts survive in the human race to-day. One is the instinct of self-preservation. It is deeply implanted in all of us. The margin of safety to the worker-what is necessary to maintain life -is miserably small. The nightmare of unemployment is ever before him-the great and constant fear that he and his dependents may feel the gnawing canker of actual want. This calamity must be provided against by the State and that constant fear removed from the mind of labour.

The men leading organized labour are safe and sane men; I have sat in council with them in my own constituency and in the city of Victoria. Their mentality is sound, and they are certain of the justice of their demands. I would like to see labour represented in this House; I do not think it is to the credit either of the people of Canada or of our present system of representation that the condition in this regard should remain as it is. It seems to my mind an anomaly that the great proportion of our population occupying the ranks of labour should be without direct representation in Parliament. Not only is it their right that they should have that representation, but it would make for the safety and stability of our nation.

I am glad to know that the Board of Commerce is performing the functions for

which it was created, and I trust that its powers may be amplified if found necessary.

The fundamental cause of the extraordinarily high cost of living is undoubtedly the lack of production during the war and the destruction of so much material wealth throughout the world. This condition, however, has been aggre-vated by the selfish greed of those who took advantage of the opportunities which the war afforded them. This is something which should be strongly repressed; I trust that the work of the newly-created Board of Commerce will be effective in curbing this menace.

The high cost of living bears harshly upon the worker. It may be said that wages have advanced concurrently with the increase in the cost of living. That is not strictly true, because the increase in wages generally takes place a considerable time after increases in the prices of commodities necessary to life are made effective.

Then again, if unemployment takes place or there is only intermittent or casual employment, suffering is sure to ensue. The great fear of actual want is more oppressive than ever before upon the mind of the worker.

The dean of all newspaper men, iColonel Henry Watterson, fondly as "Marse Henry," the friend of men of letters and the companion of statesmen, in his reminiscences now being published, declares civilization to be balanced on the edge of a precipice, either to go upwards to higher things' or to go down to a thousand years of barbarism. I do not agree with this. Civilization must be ever upward, no downward plunge awaits it. It should, however, be our constant care to guard against any retrograde movement by taking care of conditions as they arise and not allow irritation to grow into open discontent. I have every faith in the mental stability of the Canadian people to safely override any storm which may arise.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY MOVED BY MR. WHIDD'EN, SECONDED BY MR. MCINTOSH.
Permalink
L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. D. D. McKENZIE (Cape Breton North and Victoria):

Mr. Speaker, I am

sure that, having in view the purpose for which this Parliament is summoned, no hon. member on this side of the House will have any fault to find with the text of the speech from the Throne. I am further sure that no hon. member will have any fault to find with the speeches made by the mover and seconder of the Address in reply to the speech from the Throne. For many years I have had the pleasure of being in this House, and :I have listened to

many speeches, of a like character. We always, on occasions of this kind, look forward to good speeches, carefully prepared and well delivered, and if I may be permitted, let me assure the hon. gentlemen who have performed the duty of moving and seconding the address this afternoon, that their speeches rank well and equal to the best of those which have graced the traditions of the past. I have always been proud of being a native of that little province where the mayflower blooms beneath the snow down by the roaring Atlantic, and I have further reason for being prouder to-day that we claim as a Nova Scotian the hon. gentleman who moved the Address. While I -must confess I am not sure of the homeland of the hon. gentleman who seconded the Address, his attainments and his name would justify the presumption that he is a Nova Scotian, and until there is evidence to the contrary, I shall ask the House to believe that he is.

I am sure that we are very much pleased and edified by the very learned manner in which the hon. gentleman dealt with the various subjects implied in the speech from the Throne and also in the duty for which we are called here to-day. But it is not my purpose, nor will the occasion on which I arise in the arrangement which appears to be understood, between both sides of this House permit me to say very much at present on the Address or on the speeches which have just been delivered. I have nothing in any way controversial to say in regard to those speeches. The hon. gentleman who moved the Address spoke eloquently, and I am sure feelingly and conscientiously about the great blessing of unity not only between separate nations but within individual nations themselves. If he has ever felt any lack of unity or has ever seen any signs or evidences of lack of unity in this country, I am sure his great ability as a Canadian, as a member of this House and as a gentleman will come to his raid in trying to stamp out any spirit of that kind which he may meet with in this House, and I will advise my good friend to begin with that very excellent work at Jerusalem.

Let me hasten to associate hon. gentlemen on this side of the House and the Liberal party generally with the kindly reference made in the speech from the Throne to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. The Canadian people, and indeed the British people at large have a right to expect and do expect great and splendid things from the Prince of Wales who will in due course and we hope in the dispensation

of Providence, one day be the Sovereign of this great country. Without wishing to approach anything like exaggeration I may say that our highest expectations have been more than realized in the person of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. We pride ourselves upon being a democratic country; we pride ourselves upon having our very life, politically and otherwise, based upon the sound principles of democracy, freedom, justice and right, and we have every reason to hope and believe, aye, Sir, we are sure, that we have in the person of the Prince of Wales a gentleman who understands those principles and who, during his future career will do much towards supporting those ideas and placing them on a surer and wider foundation than they ever have been in the past. When the day comes in due course and in the dispensation * of Providence that he shall become King and Emperor of this great country, he will, I am sure, from his education, his training, and his contact with the people of Canada, be fully equipped for carrying forward the great heritage handed down to him by those who have preceded him on the glorious throne of Great Britain. We all wish His Royal Highness the greatest possible happiness in his trip through Canada, a safe return to the motherland, and all happiness and prosperity during his career as Prince of Wales and as our future King.

The Treaty to which reference has been made by the hon. gentlemen who moved and seconded the Address will no doubt occupy the centre of the stage during this session and will in due course receive the careful consideration of the members of the Government as well as of hon. members on both sides of the House. From the observations made by the hon. gentlemen who moved and seconded the Address, particularly by the mover, it appears, and we believe there are in that treaty terms which may possibly change the conditions and status which have hitherto existed between this great country of ours and the motherland. If any action of this House is to have for its purpose or effect the changing of our relations with the mother country, the changing of the constitutional status of Canada, we shall have, indeed, to be very careful as to how we deal with such questions. This is a democratic country; this is a country in which we profess to act along the lines suggested by the free will of the people as expressed at the polls. This matter of changed relations between Canada and the mother country has never been submitted to the Canadian people and if this Treaty

has for its purpose the making of any such change without its being submitted to the people, we should move with the greatest possible care and caution. I am sure that such a spirit will animate every member of this House and of the Government in dealing with this question.

I suggested a moment ago that it was not my purpose for the present to go fully into this discussion, but I thought it well to make these observations at this stage, as I have it in view to move the adjournment of the debate in a lew moments.

It has been arranged with the Prime Minister that the discussion on the Address shall not proceed for the moment, as he is anxious to bring forward some business in connection with the Treaty, and, of course, we are only too glad to facilitate this important business. I now beg to move that the debate be adjourned.

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Motion agreed to.


UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES (Victoria):

Might we have some intimation when the debate will be resumed ?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Very soon, I think. There is a matter of urgency on which I desire to speak. With the permission of the House I should like this afternoon to take the resolution which is to be found on page ii of the Votes and Proceedings, and which reads as follows, with the addition of two words which were accidentally omitted:

Resolved, that it is expedient that Parliament do approve of the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and .Germany (and the Protocol annexed thereto), which was signed at Versailles on the twenty-eighth day of June, nineteen hundred and nineteen, a copy of which has been laid before Parliament, and which was signed on behalf of His Majesty, acting for Canada, by the plenipotentiaries therein named, and that this House do approve of the same.

I beg to inove for the leave of the House to proceed now with this resolution, which in the ordinary course could not be taken until to-morrow.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACQUES BUREAU (Three Rivers and St. Maurice):

May I ask whether this resolution involves a full discussion of the Treaty which has been laid on the Table to-day?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Certainly.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I might remark that I have not had an opportunity of reading the Treaty, except such parts of it as were published in the newspapers; and I think most of my fellow-members are in the same

position. We could hardly have an intelligent discussion until we have had an opportunity of studying the Treaty. I understood that this resolution was put on the Order Paper to give the Prime Minister an opportunity to make a statement, and that after the statement had been made the debate would be adjourned until hon. members had had an opportunity of studying the Treaty.

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UNION

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

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I think it would be only reasonable, if hon. gentlemen desire it, that the debate should be adjourned after I make my statement. On the other hand, I think the statement which I shall make to the House may possibly be of some assistance in giving to hon. gentlemen a conception of the salient points of the Treaty, and especially as they affect the interests of this country. It was really with that idea I proposed to take this resolution this afternoon. I shall be quite agreeable to whatever my hon. friends on the other side may desire as to to adjourning the debate after I have made the statement.

Mr. D. D. McKENZIE (Gape Breton North and Victoria)): I am sorry I omitted to say that the Prime Minister agreed this morning to adjourning the debate after he had made his statement. j

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UNION

William Findlay Maclean

Unionist

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (South York):

I

think a large number of copies of the Treaty should be printed and distributed for the use not only of members of this House, but of the Canadian public. I do not think it wouli take a great deal of space to incorporate it in Hansard. At all events, the Treaty and the associated documents should be printed immediately so that the members of this House and the public may become acquainted with the real issues involved.

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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

I have not had the privilege of reading the resolution or the Treaty, except as it appeared in the papers. I do not know what the object of the resolution may be. I cannot find it in the Votes and Proceedings. I think in all fairness to members on both sides of the House some notification should have been given, so that we would have known this was coming up. Is it the intention that the Prime Minister's statement shall conclude the debate?

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UNION

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

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I have already

explained that I desire to make a statement which I thought might be helpful to members of the House in grasping the salient points of the Treaty, and that immediately after I have made the statement the debate may

be adjourned if any bon. gentleman so desires.

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UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

That is this debater

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UNION

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

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Yes.

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September 16, 1919