March 2, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)



Conservative (1867-1942)

9. The executive government and authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.
Section 17. There shall be one parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen and an Upper House, styled tne Senate, and the House of Commons.
Yet in the face of these facts, we have the right hon. gentleman saying that the King of England has no more rights over us than are allowed him by our own Canadian parliament. Why, the sovereign of England, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons, created this parliament. The King himself is a part of this parliament. And in the face of that we have our Prime Minister saying that the King has nothing to do with us except as we allow him. But the parliament of Canada was created by the sovereign and the House of Lords and the House of Commons of England. Where did these get their rights? The King of England did not acquire his rights from the parliament of Canada. Why then are these observations made? We had the right hon. gentleman going out of his way the other day to say that he would not have allowed Canada to have taken part in the Crimean war, if he had anything to say about it. On page 3044 of this year's ' Hansard ', I find the right hon. gentleman reported as saying:
There was another instance. England was at war in the Crimea with Russia. For myself I do not hesitate to say that if that war were to be undertaken by England under similar circumstances, I would hesitate very much before I would give my consent to our taking part in any such iwar, if conditions were the same now as they were then. But thcv are not, because at present we have British Columbia to look after; and if war were declared between Great Britain and Russia, our first duty would be to look after British Columbia, which might be attacked on the Pacific ocean.
Those are the ideas of our Prime Minister touching the Crimean war. Let me read in contrast what the Rt. Hon. Sir John Macdonald said about the same matter. He said:
Who can look baok to the time when the Crimean war broke out and not remember with pride how Canada rose as one man to stand by the mother country and by France when the French Tricolor and the Union Jack were joined together fighting the battles of liberty against absolutism on the shores of the Crimea? There was a rush of Canadians to the battlefields, and I had great pleasure-
Notice the contrast.
-I had great pleasure, as a member of the government of Sir Allan McNab. to be instrumental in carrying a vote of $100,000, given unanimously out of the public treasury, in order to show that Canada made common cause with England and with France in the Crimean war.

There you had a man down into whose heart had sunken deeply the sentiment of loyalty and patriotism, and had become the inspiration of his life. Contrast that with the disposition of our Prime Minister whom we had saying that if he had been here then, he would not have so acted. Things, he said, are different now. We have British Columbia now, he said, and if British Columbia were attacked, he would fight like blazes. Sir, I choose to look upon the matter in this way. If Vancouver is attacked, the British empire is attacked. If the city of Quebec is attacked, the British empire is attacked. I look upon it in that large sense. I am proud of being a citizen of Canada, but prouder still that I am a British subject, and a citizen of the British empire. The instance I have cited is but another instance of the small ideas, the provincial ideas, that some people have. If British Columbia is attacked, why, we will run to the rescue. If Montreal is attacked, we will run to the rescue; but if some distant part of the empire is attacked, we will sit down in our comfortable chairs and consider whether we will go to the rescue or not. How satisfied would we be, were the British government to take a similar position with regard to us? If Quebec were attacked, would we not expect the British government to send a fleet over as fast as that fleet could get here? I think we would. The English statesmen whose words I have quoted said over and over again that Britain requires a fleet suf-ficently large to protect, not only the British isles, but the remotest part of the empire. If British Columbia is attacked, says the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid haulier) we will rush to the rescue. What narrow, selfish, picayune provincialism.
Our Minister of War (Sir Frederick Borden) is on the same line. He gave us a speech the other night in this House, and during it he was asked some questions. The hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) asked him:
Will the hon. gentleman say whether or not he is in accord with the sentiments concerning independence expressed by the Prime Minister in 1892.
What was the answer of our brave Minister of War to that question? He said:
I am generally in accord with the views of my honoqred leader, and I have absolute confidence in his leadership.
That is, our Minister of War does not know whether he is in favour of independence or not, but when the Prime Minister says * thumbs up ', up go his thumbs.
I might quote from the speech delivered by the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) to prove that he showed just as narrow, selfish, and picayune provincialism as the other hon. gentlemen to whom
I have referred and even more so. I think I might extend that discription to almost every one of the hon. gentlemen opposite who have delivered themselves during this debate. I think there was one exception, but I forget the name.

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