''carried." I suppose, in fact, I know this will be carried. I have tried to make a quiet statement in connection with this matter and I am concerned about it. I think this is a grave error. Wrong motives will be ascribed to this action, and those motives, however wrongly ascribed they may be, will have an unfortunate effect. This is no time, with the. way things are mixed up at present, to do' anything which, in the heart of the enemy- and he is there-means a weakening of the ties that bind the British commonwealth together.
I honestly believe that to-day it is the greatest force for peace in the world. Never mind what my right hon. friend may think, this step carried into action amounts to nothing except that we may get a little more immediate service spending a little money for it. I am not saying that he does not honestly think that, but he is mistaken in thinking it. In my sincere judgment, he is going to weaken the position of the commonwealth as a whole.
I do not want to delay this matter at all, but I would like the government at least to think it over. If they desire to put it through, that is their business, not mine.
I confess that I have been utterly unable to follow the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) in his argument, if it deserves to be placed in the status of an argument. This question was settled six years ago, when Sir Robert Borden, in 1919, with the full concurrence of the British
government and after the matter had been taken up with the Washington government, arranged that Canada could be represented at Washington by a representative having practically the status of an ambassador. The favourable judgment of the country on that proceeding has, I think, been secured as far as there has been any expression of public opinion anywhere, except perhaps in some of thos ultra loyal districts where it is imagined that our loyalty is in danger if we even look to the United States or think of trading there. I say it has been recognized throughout Canada, and the only criticism I have to offer is a word of censure on the government that an ambassador has not long before this been appointed to Washington. I cannot conceive that our doing so is going to wreck the British Empire. But if such action on our part did wreck the British Empire, then there is mighty little holding it together to-day.
Why do we need a man of the most practical turn of mind at Washington? Not one who is necessarily trained in all the ins and outs of diplomacy, but a man with a knowledge of Canada and of the United States? Because Canada in all her relations with the outside world has far more to do with the United States than with all the other countries combined. I do not wish to call in question what the British ambassadors at Washington in the past may have done in representing Canada's interests. I think probably criticism, might be offered of some of them, but I submit that Canada has to-day reached the point in her development as a nation when she can claim the right and, as I have already said has secured the right to be represented at Washington. In the innumerable matters that come up of Canada's participation in world' affairs, I repeat, we have more to do with the United States than with all other countries combined. And it is natural that such should be the case.
Now, I do not agree with the views held by my hon. friend from West York (Sir Henry Drayton) that it is a bad thing for Canada to have good relations with the United States. I can conceive of nothing that is better for Canada than to have the most friendly relations with the United States.
We need to be on the most friendly relations with the United States. More than half of our trade is done with that country. Furthermore, it is recognized not only by Canadian statesmen but by all the greatest statesmen in the Empire that Canada can play an important part in the maintenance of the best relations between the United States and the other parts of the commonwealth. If we can contribute to that, let us send our man to Washington. As I have said, the only criticism I have to offer is that the government should have done this years ago and not waited until now.
Mr. Chairman, my hon. friend's argument is based upon- I cannot exactly give in parliamentary language what it is based upon. He said I took the position that we were not to be friendly with the United States.
My hon. friend now says he did not say so. Well, Hansard is there. That is the position he took. I never said any such thing. He knows it. I wonder why we cannot sometimes discuss things in this House on something like a decent basis.
Mr. Chairman, I am not going to submit to that sort of talk from my hon. friend from West York, or from any other member. I leave it to the judgment of the House to say whether I am decent in debate or not.
Then I cannot refer to indecencies, so I withdraw the expression. I did not utter one word to justify the remark that I said anything unfriendly to the United States. I make that assertion positively and within my rights. I did not say that we should not have business relations with the United States. I said that we should do there just as we are doing in France, where we are doing it very well. Of course, for the purposes of twisting this case these statements can be made. But I still contend I did not say that we were not to do business with the United States. What I did submit was that we could be well looked after if we had a man like Mr. Roy there. Of course we do business with the United States, and we are going to continue it, too. We have done business with the United States without a representative-in some instances we have done
business which has not paid us, in some instances we have done business which has paid us, and we will continue our business relations. There is no reason in the world why we should not have a proper business representative in the United States, but where we want him is where business is to be got, not in Washington; we need him in New York, or possibly Chicago-a good, sound Canadian selling agent. We need him in the United States, and we need him badly.
But that has nothing to do with the question of diplomatic representation one way or the other. My hon. friend from Marquette (Mr. Crerar) says he cannot understand1 my argument. Well, I am not going to try to make him understand it, but I am going to repeat it. There is no reason why we should not have a proper business representation in the United States. Is that clear? On the other hand, just simply because we ought to have proper business representation there, does not say for one minute that it is necessary for us to go into direct diplomatic representation at Washington. I wonder if that is plain? I may be all wrong in the result, but I want to be so clear that there is going to be no further mistake as to what I say. Well, what are we to gain by this change? What are we to gain by spending more money? What are we to honestly gain to-day by saying, "Here is another tie we are breaking.'' That is what we are doing. Hon. gentlemen may say that the ties are so strong that nothing can break them. God grant it be so. But there arc people talking in Canada to-day that do not think so, and some of them are very strong supporters of this government. If our hearts really are in favour of our staying where we are to-day, in the best collection of self-governing peoples that this old world has as yet produced, why do we want this new toy? We can look after our business; there is no difficulty about that at all. But is it really a good thing that this country here or that country there shall have the opportunity of asking for ambassadorial representation at Washington-Australia here, Ireland there, New Zealand there-because do not think we are going to be the only nation with ambassadors and ministers plenipotentiary? Is it not really better that the family should stay together and have their rows-as they will have them-behind closed doors, and do the best they can in the common interest?
It would seem as if we might very well have our representative
at Washington, call him what you will-ambassador or minister. I quite agree with the Prime Minister that whoever is sent there ought to be placed in a position to carry on the affairs of the country; his salary and expenses ought to be paid. But there is no real reason why we should go into this thing on the scale that is proposed. I cannot understand why we should seek to emulate the practices of the Old Land and have our minister or ambassador preserve a certain state that is not in harmony with the democratic ideals which are supposed to prevail on this continent. I cannot see why we need a huge sum like $60,000 to maintain the office there. There may be diplomatic negotiations to carry on as well as business affairs to transact, but it should be possible to do these in a businesslike way without attaching to them social functions, and so on, which are not in accordance with the ideals of a great many of us and decidedly not in accordance with the principle of economy.
Much as I would like to advocate economy at this time, I think this would be money .well spent. 'Canada has suffered a good deal during the last fifteen years because of a lack of representation at Washington. We need a man of the right kind, a man of broad outlook who understands the needs of the two countries. I do not believe at all that we should have "no truck or trade with the Yankees."
be very substantially promoted if we had the right kind of man at Washington. I do not see why there need be any delicate feeling at all as regards the Motherland or any other part of the British Empire with respect to our hav-
Grand Trunk western lines. Canadian National System.
ing a representative in the capital of a country with which we have more to do than any other. You may call him what you please- ambassador, minister plenipotentiary, or simply representative. I would like to see one appointed this year, and I am sure very much good would result from such an appointment.