Has the hon. member for Dufferin (Mr. Woods) any fear, or does he anticipate, that by this annual drill a militaristic spirit shall be produced in Canada equal to that which existed in Germany? Does he think there is any danger of that?
When these estimates were last considered by the committee, I congratulated the minister on having offered, in the general estimates of his department, a reduction amounting to over $1,000,000 for this year, and I also took consideration of the fact that he had to meet, in some branch of his department, an additional amount of some $500,000 on account of statutory increases in salaries, which increases were not actually shown in the estimates before the committee. I also took the stand that in no other department of the public service could economy be practised to the better liking of the Canadian people than in the Department of Militia or the Department of the Naval Service, and
I asked the Government to consider if it were not possible to grant a further reduction in the item that was before the committee. A similar demand has been made by other members of the committee either on this side or in the Progressive wing, but it has been very strongly opposed by members of the official Opposition. May I admit frankly that the fact of that opposition only strengthened my purpose in asking that the reduction be granted? I may be permitted, perhaps, to take exception to some of the comments that were offered in the press of the country on that demand for a reduction which was made by certain members of the Liberal and Progressive wings in this House; and as there is an amendment to the amendment, I shall possibly be pardoned if I also devote a few moments to the consideration of those comments that have appeared in the newspapers.
Now, Mr. Chairman, it is a remarkable fact that the newspapers that assert that Parliament lacks independence are the very newspapers that always fail to pay tribute to independence when it is shown in Parliament, and, instead, always look for some ulterior motive that may prompt the action of those who take an independent stand on these occasions. The day after that suggestion was made in the House we were astonished to read in the Montreal Star that a real revolution had taken place in this country. On April 26 the Parliamentary letter published in that newspaper bore this caption:
Radicals Make Attack On Canada's Defenders In Debate On Militia
The letter recalled the fact that some five years ago the Canadian army had recaptured Messines Ridge in Flanders, and had performed other military achievements around the channel ports; and the writer went on to draw the parallel between those glorious achievements,-to which undoubtedly we were all happy to pay tribute
and the attitude which some hon. members had taken in this House. There was also an editorial published on the same day entitled: "Have We Forgotten Our Dead in Four Years?" That is a very serious question; and the editorial, occupying two full colums, concluded:
The country might learn from the present exhibition of levity or ignorance that it is exceedingly dangerous to send to Parliament men of such limited knowledge of world affairs as those who have known no better than to
imagine the (present time to be a fitting moment in which to slander our soldiers and seek to strike from their hands such arms as they bear.
If I were disposed to seek an answer to that editorial, which ascribes levity and ignorance to some of us on this side, as well as to hon. members across the way, who must share with us the imputation conveyed, I should need but turn to the same newspaper of the very next day, April 27, in which there was published another editorial under the heading: "We had a War". When I read that title, I must confess that I was under the impression that it would introduce me to another column or so of comments similar to those that had been published in the previous day's issue. But not at all. Only the day following the publication of that editorial that implied that we were forgetting our dead, the Star wanted to convey-you can hardly imagine it-that the people of this country were overlooking the
4 p.m. fact that we had had a war as a result of which we had a national debt of $2,384,996,391; an interest obligation for last year of $130,912,905: and a railway burden which was running the country behind annually to the tune of $100,000,000. These are the things which, says the Star, the people of Canada are forgetting. It says:
Somebody should take certain selected leaders-
Selected leaders, which, of course, cannot mean men who display levity and ignorance.
'Somebody should take certain selected-and largely self-appointed-leaders of opinion in this country to one side, and whisper quietly but distinctly in their ears a piece of news which they do not seem to have heard, viz: "There has been a war''.
Further on there is the following:
We are living off the money-lenders. We have just borrowed a hundred million in New York at a cost to this country of two and a half millions commission .... In the meantime, the Canadians who are here must pay, pay, pay; and yet run deeper into debt every day.
That is what the Star had to say in regard to the national debt of the country and the necessity for retrenchment, taking their argument from the very war and the burdens which it had imposed upon the people. The very next day after they had charged certain hon. members of this House with having shown levity and ignorance, because we had asked that there should be a little more economy in militia estimates, this journal could turn round and point out the enormous responsibility
which the war has placed upon us. Another newspaper, the Ottawa Journal, took another stand. It said that the members who urged economy were not anxious at all to have the militia estimates reduced; they only wanted to get back their patronage-they did not care about the militia estimates if the Government would properly deal with the Civil Service Commission or otherwise satisfy them. If that were done they would let the estimates through. Let me quote from that newspaper :
It is understood that this is offered to pacify the Quebec members who are opposing the militia estimates, in the hope that it will result in a saw-off-the militia estimates being allowed to go through, and Quebec members being given freedom in the matter of patronage.
As the only Quebec members who took a stand on the question are my hon. friend from Laprairie and Napierville (Mr. Lanc-tot), the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power), and myself, I think I should attribute to myself, at least, one-third of the comments that are offered by this newspaper. Personally, not referring to the other two hon. gentlemen in the matter, I believe that to the extent that we are free from patronage we can give to the consideration of matters of legislation or of estimates in this House the better care and attention. But as it seems that the saw-off has gone the other way; since the minister has decided, together with the Government, further to reduce the militia estimates, I presume that my hon. friends will have to abandon their patronage hopes, if the Journal is correct.
There were other comments by other newspapers. I take it that they must have been Toronto papers. They said that our only object in the matter was to raise prejudice-the old prejudice in Quebec in regard to militia and naval affairs. Let me say frankly that I believe it to be the duty of every member in this House to express as sincerely and as clearly as he can the feelings of the people whom he represents. I do know that the people who elected me are in favour of a reduction in militia estimates; and I know, as well, that they are not prejudiced, I can say that they are quite willing to yield to the sentiment of the majority. But what makes our claim very strong to-day is the feeling that not only in a certain part of the country, but throughout the Dominion, there is a steady and increasing demand for a reduction in militia expenditures. If a vote were taken a few hours nence and it showed that the representa-
tives of the people, by a majority, reflected the desire of their constituents that there should be no decrease in the estimates, then I would trust myself to go before my people and tell them that the majority in this country stood for those expenditures. But I do not believe that such is the general desire; and so far as I am personally concerned, I conceive it to be my clear and bounden duty, apart altogether from any question of prejudice, of which I hold none, to state on the floor of the House, with frankness and sincerity, the wish of the people whom I represent.
In expressing that wish I am by no means voicing any want of confidence in the Government; certainly not in the minister. I may say without the slightest fear of contradiction that there is no member on this side of the House who has not the utmost confidence in the Minister of Militia and Defence (Mr. Graham). And may I be permitted to add that in so far as the minister, in dealing with the matters of his department, is inspired by his personal recollections and associations in the war, which were of the loftiest and noblest character, there is not a member who would not admit that any statement he might make would command at once the respect and confidence of all. But I repeat, Mr. Chairman, this is not a matter of want of confidence. We are sitting in committee on these estimates. We have had during this very session the rejection by the House of a report from the Committee on Agriculture; yet the Government did not feel that the House had lost confidence in its policy. We have seen a bill recommended to the House by the Railway Committee meet with an adverse vote on the part of the Prime Minister as well as on the part of the chairman of that committee; yet it was not pretended that the House had lost confidence in the Government so far as that committee was concerned. The other day the Prime Minister made it very clear that the Government did not wish to impose its policy on Parliament, but rather was coming to Parliament to consult it and to be advised as to what its policy should be. I quote the words of the Prime Minister as found on page 1490 of unrevised Hansard of this year:
Now, I desire to say, and to say more particularly to my western friends,-who have been saying a good deal in their public speeches, that in my view of responsible government, the House of Commons, the rights of members of Parliament and the rights of the people should be regarded as all-important, and that the
Cabinet should consider itself as a committee of Parliament and not as a body of supermen- I have taken the position that this Government would so regard itself, and that on these controversial questions, so far as it was possible to do so, the Government would seek to ascertain the will and wish of Parliament in a reasonable way and give expression to it in legislation.
If that does apply, Mr. Chairman, to legislation, certainly it applies to the estimates. I will take no notice of comments such as appeared in the Montreal Gazette, for instance, of April 27, which ventured the kind opinion that " the member for St. James should have been disciplined .. . ." or the comment of the Star of a later date, April 29, recommending
-the rule with an iron hand and more or less of the big stick. If Mr. King were able to hand a few wallops to the refractory. . . . his position and that of the Government would be stronger.
Let me say that the "wallop" and the "big stick" have never been part of the Liberal programme, and that they are not to-day. I am only too glad that, not by way of reply to these suggestions, but rather as a general declaration of policy, the Prime Minister has enunciated the principle that we are not sent here as mere mannikins to lift our hands when required to do so, but we are sent here to discuss the estimates which are put before the House and to offer suggestions on our earnest conviction and that of our constituents. The Government is moving over three hundred items of estimates this year in the departments; will any one take the position that because we sit on ministerial benches we may not even be allowed to stand up and say what we think of them? I am pleased to say that while the Liberal papers-and they felt very sensitive on the matter-while some Liberal papers actually approved of our conduct, it was the good old Tory papers like the Gazette and the Star which suggested the "wallop" and the "big stick." If you are looking for the wallop or the big stick you are always sure to find it where a Tory paper is printed. It may be objected that it is not according to tradition or to parliamentary authorities that we should discuss the estimates, and that in placing an amendment before the committee we are actually expressing want of confidence in the Government. If that has been the rule in the past, I do suggest that it is time to change it. I know that we must, in a way, be guided by tradition, but I do not think that tradition should become a chain to impede our least action.
We revere the memory of Bourinot and all those parliamentary authors who died a long time ago, but representing, as I do, twenty thousand living people, I shall never allow myself to be governed in this House by the spirit of a dead book.
No, Mr. Chairman; none of the motives that have been imputed to us have any existence. Only one reason moved us in the action we took, and it is a most logical and simple one: we asked for a reduction in the militia estimates because we wanted a reduction in the militia estimates. That is very plain and understandable. I have figures before me, but I do not think I need place them on Hansard-'they have been placed there before
showing that the militia expenditure was at a certain figure in 1911; that it increased wonderfully in the days of the "big stick" and "walloping" under Tory rule, and that it had been practically abandoned after the war when we were busy with demobilization. The question confronting the country now is whether we should revert to Tory rule in the matter of militia expenditure and spend some $11,000,000 or $12,000,000 a year, or whether we should go back to Liberal tradition and cut down those estimates. I give to the minister and to the Government credit for reducing these estimates by a large amount, particularly in view of the fact that they found an established state of affairs existing when they came into power and had only a few months to work on the estimates. I feel very grateful indeed, and most of the members behind me- certainly a great number of those facing me, and, what is more important, the country at large,-feel grateful to hear that the minister, broad-minded as he is, is able to tell the committee to-day that he will pledge himself further to reduce the estimates; in fact, he proposes to reduce this item by $400,000 and the rest of the items by an additional $300,000. It may be a little less than what was asked, though personally I never committed myself to an amount. I did, however, commit myself to the principle that we could discuss the estimates in this committee, and I held the view that they should be further reduced. As they have been reduced by this further amount I think that we should feel gratified; it is ample proof that the Government are in favour of the principle of decreasing these estimates. As a matter of fact, they are decreasing them in the whole Department of Militia and Defence by nearly $4,000,000, in round figures, this year. I will not commit myself for next year-I
will again come and represent the same twenty thousand living people who think that we should not spend too much on militia. But it is only fair to acknowledge that the Government has done its very best to meet that desire this year, and I will certainly support the amendment to the amendment.
Mr. Chairman, during this session I have enjoyed myself chiefly in listening to the debates going on in the House. I have been rather interested in these estimates because some days ago we were informd that they had been whittled down to the finest possible point and that any further reductions would interfere with training throughout the country. Now, I am not going to criticise any portion of the people, but I will endeavour to show that military training is, to a certain extent, necessary and that militarism is not part of our ordinary military training. In the first place, history shows that since 1759, which is not a very long period1 of history, this country has on nine occasions stood shoulder to shoulder with the troops of the Motherland in the defence of this and other parts of the British Empire. That is an average interval of only eighteen years between the periods of calling out the militia for service.
Following the advice of the minister the other night, that we should take our place in the Empire and comparing our expenditure with that of other parts of the British Empire, I find the facts obtainable very interesting. Australia and Canada are two of the strongest links in the Empire, and in looking over the debates in Australia I was struck with their similarity to the debates in this House. There was one member, Mr. Blackeby, calling out "Brass [DOT]hats, brass hats." Another member derided "Form fours," and said the soldiers had never formed fours in the trenches. Another hon. member said that the boys had gone into training on the old white mare that had been in camp for years. All these things are very interesting and show how similar is the discussion over there to that which takes place in this country. As one who each year since 1889 has been in one camp or another in this country, I may say that I never saw a brass hat at any of these camps. I may have seen boys riding on "the old white mare," but I knew these horses would never go into active service. I knew that that boy was simply being trained to handle a horse and to move in unison with the rest of the unit. I
the North. In our own country you have had the example of achievements of small bodies of men trained locally-the men under Sir Isaac Brock at Niagara, and the men who fought at Chateauguay in Quebec. These were small bodies of trained men. They did their work and they did it nobly, and they showed the result of military training.
Look at the map of the world to-day and we shall see no sign of peace. The nations of Europe are broken up into small states, offering rich possibilities to amalgamations and combinations which must lead to jealousies and, I fear, to war. We had a discussion in this House only yesterday showing the menace to our white population from the yellow races. Asia to-day is overpopulated and the tide is Bursting through in some places. Although the dykes are up against the inundation they are not efficient and they are not unbreakable. These are facts pointing to the conclusion that peace is not at all as assured as some people believe it is. There is also a report which has just lately been published in regard to an agreement between Germany and Russia. Perhaps very few have thought of it, but yet it is a fact. The report stated that a Russian-German military agreement had been signed at Berlin recently which provided that the Soviet government should give Germany 20 warships and maintain a certain number of troops opposite the Polish frontier. Germany was to deliver to Russia arms, munitions, equipment, aeroplanes, wireless equipment, and so on. In addition to that there was another report side by side with it, which stated that it had been learned from reliable sources that France was preparing for the immediate mobilization of the 1918 army, and reserves, numbering about 150,000 men, and this was with a view of enforcing payment of the reparations. These are two very important statements which have appeared in your press and they should cause us to think. I have pointed out to you, Mr. Chairman, the benefit of training. Wipe out military training, cadet training and training of all kinds, and what will be the effect on our boys? We will produce a class of sissy boys. We will produce a class of fanatics and dancers, and will not produce the good old athletic boys who have made this British Empire what it is.
I say at the outset that I yield to no man in my pride in the achievements of the Canadian corps overseas. I
also say to my fellow members from Quebec that, of all the units in that grand army which represented Canada overseas, in my humble judgment there was none which surpassed in its record of achievement that famous regiment from Quebec, the 22nd battalion. May I say further, Mr. Chairman, that I yield to no man in what I conceive to be my patriotic duty to the country of my birth. But I think that, forgetting these considerations, and looking at this question in the light of real facts, and in the light of reason, we can determine for ourselves whether or not in this particular vote the recommendation proposed by the minister shall be given effect to by this committee. According to my way of thinking, the militia has two services to perform. First, it may be called upon to preserve order in this country, a function which, I am happy to say-and I think most hon. members will agree with me-the militia has seldom been called upon to perform; in fact, I know of very few instances indeed in which it has performed that duty. And, second, it may serve as a training preparation for war. There are, of course, two varieties of training the militia may furnish for war purposes, and I would like to examine just momentarily these two varieties, in order that we may ascertain whether or not the militia functions for either purpose. There is, first, the physical training, which it is suggested one gets from the militia training and, second, what one might call the training in the tactics of war. I accept without reservation the statement made by the former Minister of Militia that it took six months, to train a man for overseas service in France. I accept without reservation his statement that over 90 per cent of the men of the first division were members of the militia units prior to their enlistment. I take it-and it cannot be questioned-that a very large percentage of the men who served in the subsequent units which went overseas were not previously members of the militia at all. Let us deal with that. The first Canadian division landed in France on the 15th day of February, 1915, substantially six months from the time that unit was enlisted in this country. With a possible exception of the Princess Patricia Light Infantry, which, I believe, went into the trenches on Christmas day, 1914, not a single unit in the first Canadian division was even in a position to perform active service within a period of six months. That, to my mind, indicates very clearly that, perhaps, the militia
training did not serve effectually and effectively for the purposes which it is alleged here to-day it did serve, because, as a matter of fact, the men in the first Canadian division did not see active service in a shorter period from the time of their enlistment than did the men who had no militia experience at all. One must realize that the primal necessity in training is the physical training in order to prepare the man to withstand the hardships and privations incident to war service. Surely no man is going to suggest that by yearly mili-tia training of, at most, sixteen days a man can be fitted for war services. The situation is simply this: that the six months' experience is largely, if not entirely, needed for putting a man into physical condition, in order that he may endure the conditions he will have to undergo. As a matter of fact, in addition, the training - in tacties may be done in a comparatively short period of time. I saw the statement-and I think perhaps there may be considerable of truth in it-that three weeks of intensive training will train a man sufficiently to enable him to take his place in the ranks. I do not know whether that is absolutely correct or not, but I am quite satisfied in my own mind that so far as training in tactics is concerned, a period of much less than six months is required.
It is frequently urged, and has been urged, that we should support and develop the militia in preparedness for possible war service. I am frank to say that I, for one, feel greatly disappointed in the view which has been taken in connection with that matter. We all realize, we know now, if we never knew before, that the theory about preserving peace by preparing for war is one of the most fallacious arguments which has ever been presented. All I have to suggest to this committee is that no nation was more prepared for war than Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire, and yet to-day Germany and Austro-Hungary are in ruins, as a result of their preparations for war; and not only that, but they lost the war despite their previous preparations. I say to you, without the slightest hesitation, that history has proven that war is a gigantic and dismal failure, and that the Armageddon of the nations which, happily is now past, has simply had the result of leaving the world in ruin, and in despair. I will quote from an article which appeared in the Free Press of Winnipeg a short time ago-and
I think this House can endorse every word it uttered:
There is no profit in war ; the loser loses, the victor loses, the neutral loses, everybody loses. The last war exposed and exploded all the arguments urged on behalf of war-they were all seen to be false. Nobody gained, everybody suffered, vast numbers are suffering still; war was failure, total and ghastly; it was left without argument or apology, something which was demonstrably a total loss to the human species.
With every word of that statement I agree. There is only one other thought that I have to utter. I listened with a great deal of interest to the remarks made the other day by the hon. member for Bur-rard (Mr. Clark), a gentleman who, I am told, served his country faithfully overseas. I quote a portion of his remarks on that occasion. He said:
The People who talk most to-day about being sick of war are those who are sick of their shame at not having done their duty in the past.
I confess that I for one am heartily sick of war, and if the rest necessarily follows, then I must plead guilty to the indictment of the hon. member for Bur-rard. But I want to suggest to that hon. member that, while it is true that a comparatively large number of men served their country overseas faithfully and well, and nobody gives them credit more than I do, we must not forget that, on this side of the Atlantic, there were thousands, yea, there were hundreds of thousands who served their country just as faithfully and well. Perhaps they did not endure the physical suffering and agony which may be incident to active service; but they endured what, to my mind, in many instances at least, was a far greater and more difficult trial and sacrifice. During the last campaign, although it was my fortune to be opposed by a gentleman representing the Liberal side of this House, I had occasion, in answer to a criticism made by a representative of hon. gentlemen to my right in connection with the war service of the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) of this country, to say that, in my humble opinion, the present Prime Minister of this country had served1 Canada faithfully and well during the war period, and not only that, but that he had served Canada more faithfully and more effectively than he possibly could have served her if he had gone overseas in any capacity whatsoever. I have no hesitation in stating also that I am convinced that it would have been nothing short of a public calamity if the present leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) had, at that time, thrown
down the reins of office and gone over to Prance to serve in any capacity whatsoever. Furthermore, what is true of those distinguished gentlemen is true of the men who worked in every capacity, the workers, the people engaged in transportation service, and the men engaged in working in the mines or in the forests. All these men contributed in great measure to the victory which could not have been achieved except for their splendid service. And I for one, having served overseas, am prepared to pay tribute to the people who stayed in Canada and did their duty here so faithfully and so well.
Canada is a young country, and so far as we know, we have no fear for either the immediate or the distant future. We are very fortunate, situated as we are on the northern half of this continent, in having, as our only immediate neighbour, a country with which we have lived in peace for a hundred years. I think it would be a very becoming and splendid thing if this young country, inspired by new ideals and a desire to set a standard to the rest of the world, could say that we, at least, are prepared to disarm to the uttermost. If we did1 that, I am satisfied that our action would constitute not only a challenge but an inspiration to peoples in other parts of the world, less fortunately situated than ourselves.
I do not propose to say anything further than this, that I had hoped that the Minister of Militia and Defence (Mr. Graham) would, have reduced his estimates considerably more than he has. I have every confidence in the minister; I am satisfied that he is not a militarist and never can be one, because he is not constitutionally made that way. While I regret that he has not seen fit to reduce his estimates more, I desire to say that, in view of the fact that he had hut slight opportunity to go into the matter, I shall not object to the reduction which he proposed this year. But, unless some more substantial reduction is made next year, I shall certainly feel then that it is my duty, not only to my constituents and to the country generally, but to myself, to submit to this tribunal of the people that he has failed to measure up to the responsibility which is his.
I am frank to tell the hon. member for Burrard (Mr. Clark) that I am proud to call myself one of the citizen soldiers. I never had any service in any camp prior to the outbreak of war, and, prior to that time I had no connection with the militia.
I understand the hon. member to ask whether or not I have any connection at this time with the militia. I am frank to tell the hon. member that I really do not know. I do not know whether an officer or a person who has been discharged as an officer has severed his connection completely with the militia. I understand there is some system by which he is retained on the force, somehow or another.
I did not intend to take any active part in this debate, but I cannot let this opportunity go without saying a word or two. It is regrettable that so much time has been taken up in this House in criticising a body of men who have rendered so much service to this country before war, during war and since war. It is regrettable also that some hon. gentlemen see fit to criticise such a body and to forget it so soon after the war. I had hoped that the estimates of the minister would go through when the committee sat on the 25th of last month, without any criticism. I was so pleased with the minister's presentation of his estimates that I felt it incumbent upon me to congratulate him. I am sorry he has come back now, evidently because of having pledged himself to a compromise to appease a certain element in his own party or possibly in the Progressive body. I have no wish to be over-critical, but I feel that the militia has not in the past been given the consideration which it ought to have had; and with the present cheeseparing policy it certainly cannot hope to be efficient. The minister the other night
was asked whether, with the reduction of $100,000 or, for that matter, of less, there could be efficiency, and he answered positively, no. I regret that he has seen fit to change his mind. If he was right then, he must be wrong now.
I want to correct some statements made by my hon. friend. I am interested in militia matters myself, and I do not want any misapprehension to exist in any respect regarding the militia. The hon. member made the statement that very few men were available for overseas service out of the old militia. Let me tell him that in the city of Toronto 75 per cent of the militia composed a force of 36,000 that went overseas, and those who were unable to go overseas were prepared to take their share of responsibility in training the younger element. It was because of the existence of the militia that the first contingent was able to go overseas so expeditiously.- Many hon. gentlemen talk of the badges and frills in connection with the militia. Well, to any extent that there are badges and frills, the cost is borne by the officers and not by the country. Many thousands of dollars have been contributed by the officers, in the city of Toronto and throughout the country, towards the upkeep of the militia, and it is not for anybody to criticise any of the red tape or "brass hats" or anything else of that kind, because the only thing that the Government pays for is the pure khaki. I noticed that when a few badges and frills were introduced into the estimates of the Minister of Agriculture the other evening, when there was an increase of $45,000 made for the purpose of killing pests and bugs, there was not an hon. member opposed to the expenditure. But anything appertaining to the militia and law and order finds opposition. I am sorry that conditions are as they exist today in connection with the militia, and I hope that the minister will see to it that he gets every dollar he asks for, and that he will give to the militia the fair consideration and treatment which it has not had and which, I fear, if one is to judge by the expressions of opinion that have fallen from hon. members, it will not be given at the present time.
rather warlike speech of my hon. friend (Mr. Spence), I rise to support the reduction made by the minister in the item under consideration. I have no hesitation in saying that I should have been gratified if the reduction were greater than it is. If
we compare the amount we are spending on military training in Canada to-day with what it was ten years ago, we find that there has been a very great increase indeed. I rather object to the criticism that is indulged in by some hon. gentlemen in this House, of those who wish to reduce expenses, that they are animated solely by antagonism to the militia and have no respect whatever for it. That is not the case. We can surely consider the estimates and discuss the question of reducing them without having levelled at us these suggestions in the way of criticism. So far as this particular item is concerned, let me repeat, I support very heartily the suggestion made by the minister to reduce the amount by $400,000, and my only regret is that he was unable to go a little further. Before I resume my seat I want to say a word in respect to the remark offered by the hon. member for Burrard (Mr. Clark) with reference to my hon. friend from West Calgary (Mr. Shaw). My hon. friend from West Calgary made, I think, a very excellent speech this afternoon. He is a modest gentleman, and in order to remove any wrong impression that may exist in the mind of my hon. friend from Burrard, who also saw distinguished service overseas, let me tell the committee that the hon. member for West Calgary served for over two years in France with such distinction that he was awarded the military cross.
Mr. d'ANJOU (Translation) : Mr. Chairman, I would like to add a few words before these estimates are voted, so as to properly explain my position. Ever since I have had the honour to occupy a seat in this House, I have at each session joined with the members of the Opposition of the time in requesting that the Government reduce the militia estimates as much as possible. I have not changed my views, neither have I altered my principles, because of the fact that I now occupy a seat on the government side of the House; yet, I must say that I am pleased with the decision taken by the Minister of Militia (Mr. Graham) to further reduce his appropriations this year. At the beginning of the session, when I spoke on the address in reply to the speech from the Throne, I congratulated the Government on having decided to make a considerable reduction in the militia estimates. I would surely like this reduction to be greater still, and I hope that next year when my hon. friend the minister comes again before this Parliament, we shall have a far more substantial redue-
S upp ly-M ilitia
tion. As I stated, this is for me a question of principle, not a question of figures. I may state that I am entirely satisfied with the reduction now made by the hon. minister. If we add the reductions which he intends to make, we find that the militia estimates alone are less by about two million dollars, and we are also aware that the Government intends to reduce the estimates of the "fighting navy" if I may use that expression, by more than a million dollars which brings the total reduction close to three million dollars divided between the Militia and Naval Service Departments. I sincerely congratulate the Government and I express the hope that if they do not decide to sink the five old tubs, a gift of the British Government, they will at least decide to put them up for auction within the shortest delay possible.
Both in and out of this House, I have always proclaimed myself energetically an anti-militarist and against this imperialistic policy, and I have not changed my views on the subject. The more we reduce these militia estimates, the sooner we sink the navy, the less we become imperialists and militarists.
I am aware of the difficulty that the Minister of Militia (Mr. Graham) may have had this year in further reducing these estimates. The Government which at present directs the affairs of this country has hardly been in office four months. It stands to reason that all the ministers have not had time to become well acquainted with their departments and master all the details. Consequently, it seems to me that one may be an anti-imperialist, stick to his principles and support the Government in such circumstances. As it was said during the course of this debate, not only a part but the whole country is tired of militarism, tired of listening to war talk. Everywhere disarmament is advocated, considerable expenditure is incurred for that purpose, our own Government has been called upon to expend quite large amounts to take part in these conferences on disarmament. Certainly it would not be putting into practice what has been decided in these conferences if we were bent on increasing the militia estimates in Canada.
The Government has done the proper thing, it has taken the right means and I trust that it will continue doing so. The late war was sent to abolish militarism in this world, to destroy this infernal German machine, and it strikes me that it is time we should return to common sense. A
wave of unrest overran this country during the war; it is time that people should understand that we must come back to peace conditions, if we wish our country to returii to its past prosperity. In the course of the present session, when the estimates on agriculture came up, we spoke of reducing the grants to agricultural fairs. I believe that the reductions which we are making to the militia estimates should go to increase the agricultural budget, or else, for instance, to endow with pensions the widows and children of those who were killed overseas.
Mr. Chairman, we have in this House listened to members advocating militarism; they would like to see the whole of Canada turned into a military camp. Most of these gentlemen are so-called drawing room officers, peacocks that have paraded here during the war, paraded1 the streets of Montreal, Ottawa and elsewhere, while the sons of farmers and workmen were being killed in Flanders. We are not to be lectured by them. I represent a county which is absolutely against militarism and I hold the same views, even though I now sit on the Government benches.
The item under discussion is the item for annual drill which was presented by the Minister of Militia and by the Government to the House and which stood at the figure of $1,400,000 when the item was under discussion just about two weeks ago to-day. The proposal of the minister or of his colleague the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Lapointe), now is that the amount of $1,400,000 for annual drill shall be reduced by $400,000. Some wonderful transformation has taken place in the intervening two weeks. As I recall the scene in this House about ten o'clock on the evening of the 25th of April, the minister was in a fairly safe as well as triumphant position. It is true that one of the supporters of the Government had moved to reduce the item by some $1,100,000, but the minister certainly rose to the occasion. In answer to the motion of the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) for a substantial reduction in this vote, the minister demonstrated to the intelligence of the House that he was on solid ground. He had the support of the vast majority pn one side of the House; he had the unanimous support of the fifty members sitting in the group of Oppositionists in chis corner of the House. That, surely, was his moment for action; that was the moment he should not have let pass. That
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is when he should have tested the feeling of the House. He was on firm ground. He and his Government had considered the matter carefully before submitting it to the House; they believed they were right, and the majority of the House of Commons believed it also. But for some reason best known to himself, he let the moment pass, and then some of his own supporters began the process of belabouring and using the big stick. The hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret) complains that the newspapers in some parts of Canada have expressed the view that his leader should belabour them and use the big stick on them. But he has no reason to complain; why, he and his friends have used the big stick on the minister in the interval. They have taken him by the throat, practically; they have dragged him into the caucus; they have told him that he either had to cut down, to trim, or they would put him out.
And to-day, in spite of the laughter that comes from the other side, we have evidence of the truth of what I state when the minister comes to Parliament and puts himself in the humiliating position of saying: My own followers will not support me; I will have to ask the House to reduce our appropriation for annual drill by $400,000.
My hon. friend says that is democracy; I say it is the result of the use of the big stick, of the belabouring methods which have been employed by certain hon. members from the Quebec section of this House. That is the result; it is humiliating; it cannot be a pleasant thing for the minister himself. How are estimates laid before this House? The minister is advised by his staif as to the requirements of the department. Very capable men surround him for that purpose; he himself has paid high and well deserved tribute to these men during the present session. They are competent men to advise him, men of very great experience. On the basis of this information he prepares his statement and presents it to his colleagues in council as the requirements for annual drill for this year. He has to convince his colleagues that he is right. They agree. The matter then goes before His Excellency the Governor General. He, in turn, agrees. Then, it is brought before ParlOli
liament as the considered opinion of the Government and of the minister. In introducing the militia estimates, the minister said, page 1177 of unrevised Hansard:
The militia estimates, I might say, have been pared down to a point as low as is compatible with national safety.
That is a very strong declaration; a very significant statement. The estimates were not brought together in haphazard fashion. They are not ill-considered. They were gone over carefully. And they were, according to the minister's statement, pared down to the lowest point consistent with safety. The House, of course, took the minister at his word when he made that statement, and a great many hon. members of the House knew to be absolutely correct. The minister meant it; this Government meant it; it was based upon fact and founded on the advice of the men whom this country pays to advise him. But, alas, the debate had not proceeded very far when certain elements among his own supporters 'began to show what they could do with estimates and proposals by the Government. My hon. friend from St. James seems to overlook this in his argument. Under the parliamentary practice of this country and of the Motherland, under the constitution of this country, no private member can come here and propose a money vote. All financial proposals must be made by the government itself and must first be submitted to and have the approval of His Excellency the Governor General. It is the government that is specially charged with financial administration; no matter how brilliant may be the private member of this House, he cannot introduce a money bill. Consequently, it has always been considered good parliamentary practice-