February 17, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Samuel Hughes



Suppose it were towed there, or engineered somehow. If war were to break out at that time, what would hap-

pen in the case of that ship? The First' Minister is considering whether he will take part in the war or not. What flag does that ship fly in the meantime? The British flag? Then, if so, the first ship of the enemy that comes near her, lets into her and down she goes. But suppose those on board do not know what flag to fly- Sir Wilfrid Laurier and his cabinet have not decided whether they are going to let us fight ox not. Of course, the boys are always ready to fight; but .suppose even it is decided not to fight, and the flag is taken down. What is the position of that ship? She is a common pirate; and not only the enemy's ships but the ships of every nation would be bound to capture her, for that is the law of nations. In war or peace our ships must fly the Union Jack or nothing. And, as I have said, our intention is that the Union Jack shall fly. The First Minister has spoken of responsible government, and his word is being? repeated. Now, I would like to point out that the policy of the. leader of the oppo->
sition maintains the policy of responsible government, and the policy enunciated by the First Minister departs from that principle. A few years ago, this country freely voted a sum of money-I think it was $250,000-to the relief of the poor in Ireland. Would any one maintain that because of that vote we were under tribute to Ireland? At a later time we voted money to San Francisco-did that mean that we were under tribute to the United States? We voted money to relieve the sufferers in Sicily: were we departing from the principles of responsible government in doing

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