Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (leader of the Opposition):
Before the House goes into committee I would like to avail myself of the opportunity of expressing our thanks to the hon. member for St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames) for the very interesting, illuminating and comprehensive address to which we have just listened. It has indeed been inspiring to hear from the lips of one who has been in the midst of
affairs in Europe the strong conviction which my hon. friend has voiced that the League of Nations is undoubtedly going to be the success which its promoters had hoped it might be. This word, coming at this time in the world's affairs, is extremely encouraging as we look forward into the future. Certainly, the hon. gentleman has given us this evening a striking contrast between two entirely different attitudes of mind in dealing with the great problems with which the world is confronted. He has spoken of the League as being guided by reason and a spirit of co-operation as contrasted with that other attitude which relies upon force in the management of the relations betwen men and between nations. He has emphasized the fact that through cooperation, rather than coercion, progress will be made in the affairs of the world. I believe that all the members of this House share the hope, and certainly most of us the belief, that it is to cooperation and enlightenment we must look for advance rather than to a perpetuation of the old system-let us call it the mediaeval system -of reliance upon Force in the affairs of nations and of men. He ihas pointed out that already in the very brief space of five months a constructive programme has been entered upon-a programme that from an international point of view deals with such vital questions as health, justice, labour, finance, transportation, and other of those vast interests which the different nations have in common. Certainly if this programme is to be worked out, it will only be through an attitude of good will among nations toward each other; and anything that this Parliament, or the members of it, can do' to promote an expression of good will is certainly likely to be for the good of all of us. [DOT]
I shall not say more than a word at the moment of the suggestion which the hon. member has made that Canada should invite the League of Nations to hold its next annual gathering in this country. There is perhaps something to be said for a certain perspective that it is wise to maintain in these international -affairs; if there is a note of criticism I would offer at this moment, it would be that the remarks of my hon. friend suggest just a slight danger of our taking ourselves a bit too seriously in this new family of nations and that some of the older nations-nations that have played a part in the affairs of the world much longer than we have been privileged to do- may feel that the extending of any such invitation should be made by them in the
first instance. I say that just because I think it is well, as a young country, that -notwithstanding the noble exploits of our men in the war, and the place we hold in the world in many directions-we should maintain if possible that calmer outlook of endeavouring to see ourselves as others see us, as well as endeavouring to display the hospitality and cordiality which the people of this country are noted for.
I should add Mr. Speaker: that
no one could have listened to the address of my hon. friend this evening without being impressed with the changed relations which have come about since the war, and which afford to every country a wider horizon and a larger outlook in regard to matters which are of common concern to mankind. It is, I think, a hopeful sign to find the interest in world affairs which has been exhibited in this Parliament to-night. Canada has much to gain and nothing to lose, in having a wider vision, in feeling herself a part of the great family of nations, and in sharing a knowledge and responsibility in regard to all questions that are of common human concern. The hon. member has well illustrated wherein today we are recognizing the dawn of a new era. He has given us glimpses of this larger horizon; and if I might make any suggestion to him it would be that in the few days he will be with us before his return 'he seek to impress upon fellow members on his side of the House, just as strongly as he can, the belief he has expressed so emphatically this evening, namely, that the League of Nations is a factor to be reckoned with, a factor to be counted upon, and that in regard to military and naval expenditures at this particular time we may do well, perhaps, to follow the advice which the Supreme Council has given of endeavouring as far as possible to give our first thought to productive activities, and to limit as much as possible for the time being, unnecessary extravagances and expenditure.
Hon. NEWTON W. ROWELL (President of the Privy Council): Before you leave the Chair, Mr. Speaker, I desire-on behalf of my colleagues and hon. members on this side of the House, just as the leader of the Opposition has already done for his side-to express our appreciation of the very clear, comprehensive and intensely interesting statement that the hon. member (Sir Herbert Ames) has just made to us. While we have on a number of occasions in this House discussed the plans and the work of the League of Nations, this
evening we have had the opportunity of seeing the League at work. The hon. member has presented to us such a vivid picture of the actual work being carried on, that I am sure every hon. member of the House will go away with a much clearer realization of the important and vital place which the League of Nations holds in the world's life, and of the great possibilities which lie in the League for the promotion of human welfare throughout the world. When some months ago I learned from the hon. member that it might be possible for him to return to Canada before the House rose, it was arranged by correspondence with him that he should have the opportunity, or rather that the House should have the privilege, of hearing him make a statement on this matter; and I am sure that not only is the House indebted to him, but the people of the country also," for I doubt if in any assembly there has yet been made as clear and comprehensive a statement of the work of the League as that with which we have been favoured this evening. The hon. member has made some very interesting suggestions touching matters of policy. I have no doubt those will receive the serious consideration of the Government that such suggestions deserve.
The leader of the Opposition has been good enough to suggest that the hon. member should endeavour to inculcate in the minds of the members on this side an appreciation of the value of the League of Nations. Hardly a year has passed since this question was first discussed in the House and hon. gentlemen opposite then made light of the whole business. I am glad that in the course of the year they at least have been converted to the importance of the League of Nations; and the appreciation which hon. members on this side have always entertained of that League, and of the place of Canada in it, will I am sure be greatly enhanced by the most illuminating address to which we have listened this evening.