Mr. C. G. POWER moved:
That, in the opinion of this House, the ancient walls and fortifications of the city of Quebec, having for all military purposes become obsolete, it is expedient in order to better preserve these valuable heirlooms as a historical monument for future generations, that their upkeep and control be now vested in the National Battlefields Commission.
He said: Mr. Speaker, this motion came up for discussion on a previous occasion when the Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie) stated that he would have an investigation made by his officers into the practicability of carrying out this proposition. In a few words the situation is that the walls and fortifications of Quebec are rapidly crumbling away; that it would require a considerable sum of money to keep them in a fit and proper condition; and that-I think this is generally admitted-they no longer serve useful pur-
pose in so far as military necessities are concerned. I think it is universally recognized that in these days of high power artillery, and other implements of warfare which we now have, the walls of any fortified town, however well protected, cannot resist for any great length of time, so that for military purposes these defences have become obsolete. On the other hand, the associations connected with the walls and fortifications of Quebec, and with the city of Quebec itself, are such that, to my mind, and I think most hon. members will agree with me, it would be a pity to see these monuments of our country's glorious past disappear. It should be our duty, in order to promote a true Canadian spirit to encourage so far as possible a reverence and admiration for the memory of those of our forefathers who have accomplished much on this continent to make Canada the nation which it is and to enable it to reach that higher status to which we hope it will attain. These are the considerations which have permitted me to once more place this motion on the Order Paper. I may say that the proposition has been received by the newspapers of Quebec city and elsewhere, with considerable approval. It is not a matter in which politics intervene, for Conservative and Liberal journals alike have given the project their blessing. The different public bodies in the city of Quebec have also, I understand, on several occasions passed resolutions favouring it. I do not know that there is any more to add except that if the Minister jf Militia has not had time on account of his numerous occupations to look into this matter since March 16th, I think it was, last year, when the resolution was first debated, I would like him to give this subject very serious consideration during the coming year. Should he transfer the cost of the upkeep of these walls and fortifications to an independent body such as the National Battlefields Commission he will undoubtedly relieve his department of a burden which should not belong to it and which, from a military standpoint, does not make for the efficiency of our defences in Canada.