they finally brought in another resolution which I think it would be well to read:
Clause 16. When the customs tariff of any country admits the products of Canada in terms which on the whole are as favourable to Canada as the terms of the reciprocal tariff herein referred to are to the countries to which it may apply, articles which are the growth, produce or manufacture of such country when imported direct thereform, may then be entered for duty or taken out of warehouse for consumption in Canada at the reduced rate of duty provided for in the reciprocal tariff set forth in schedule D.
(a) That any question that may arise as to the countries entitled to the benefits of the reciprocal tariff shall be decided by the collector of customs subject to the authority of the Governor in Council.
(b) That the Governor in Council may extend the benefits of such reciprocal tariff to any country which may be entitled thereto by virtue of any treaty with Her Majesty.
In order to get over the difficulty that no power existed in this government to extend such a privilege as they were prepared to extend to Great Britain without extending the same privilege to Belgium and Germany, they introduced this resolution. It was again pointed out that this resolution did not remove the objection made to the original one, but was every whit as objectionable. Notwithstanding that objection, however, they went on and passed that resolution. To be as brief as possible in the history of this matter, when that resolution was passed it granted to Great Britain a preference ranging, during the course of time, from 12i to 33i per cent. As soon as that preference was granted, Germany claimed an equal preference, and Canada denied that she was entitled to it. Canada then either had to get into trouble with Great Britain, to whom she had granted the preference, or Great Britain had to get into trouble with Germany, who was entitled to the same advantages. The difficulties increased, matters kept getting worse, and until finally to help this government out, Great Britain denounced the German and Belgian treaties, so far as Canada was concerned. What then was the position? Canada was outside the treaty, and having closed the custom house door in the face of Germany at a time when she should not have done so, naturally enough the German people retaliated and imposed the heaviest duties possible upon their imports from Canada. Then, that matter pressed so heavily upon Canadian interests that this government thought they would cure it in some other way, and, to meet the adverse taxation imposed upon them by Germany, they put on what is known as the surtax. The result of that was that Canadian trade was being reduced all the
time, Canada was losing enormous sums, her interests were being more adversely affected every day. It became absolutely necessary, in order to correct the mistake they had made and to put the country on a fair basis of trade with Germany, to undo the wrong they had done. So they withdrew the surtax, and they have now entered into a temporary commercial arrangement with Germany. Now, in the face of the facts, if any hon. gentleman will say that the diplomacy exhibited by this government in the arrangement of the Japanese treaty, and in the dealings with Germany will compare favourably with the diplomacy exercised by Great Britain in the Ashburton treaty and in the Oregon treaty, I can only say that I believe he fails altogether to apprehend the action of either party in connection with these matters. The comparison, instead of being disparaging to Great Britain, shows, on the contrary, that Great Britain exercised the very greatest <care and much greater diplomacy in guarding the interests of Canada than has been shown by the gentlemen now in power.
I might go on and refer to many other cases-there are others. But let me give one illustration-one which contrasts the action of the two authorities in relation to one matter. In 1854, the reciprocity treaty with the United States was negotiated by Lord Elgin on behalf of Canada. The effort was a successful one to obtain what Canada desired in regard to trade relations. I need not enter into the manner in which it was obtained; that, perhaps, is pretty well known. The fact is that the reciprocity treaty was obtained by British diplomacy for the benefit of Canada. And that it was for the practical benefit of Canada is shown by the trade returns of the eleven years during which the treaty was in force. The trade grew from $20,000,000 up to $80,000,000 in that period of eleven years. That treaty was revoked. And, although these gentlemen who occupy the treasury benches had promised that one of their first acts upon attaining to power would be to negotiate another reciprocity treaty with the United States, and though they have made attempt after attempt, though, time and again, they have journeyed to Washington on this mission, they have always come back empty-handed. At last they declared that there should be no more journeys to Washington, no more attempts to obtain a reciprocity treaty with the United States -they have abandoned the whole project which they once promised to carry into effect. Here we have, in this one instance, the diplomacy of Britain succeeding and succeeding admirably in the interests of Canada, yet the efforts of these hon. gentlemen in the same direction absolutely and entirely failing. I ask if, in view of this,
one can, make a favourable comparison for Canada in diplomacy with that which has been exercised by the British government on behalf of Canada. I might also refer to the French treaty and to the Alaskan boundary. In each and every one of these cases, I venture to say, one cannot view the facts fairly without _ coming to the conclusion-however unwilling he may be as a Canadian to do so-that Great Brit-has, on all occasions, shown the greatest concern for Canada and has secured the interest of Canada to a larger extent than have those who now control our affairs.
In conclusion, I am unalterably opposed to the Bill now under consideration for the establishment of a naval defence. I think I have shown-at any rate, I have satisfied myself from my investigation-that the Bill is"not one in the interest of the Canadian people or in the interest of the empire^ as a whole. I have tried to show, and I think I have succeeded, that an attempt is being made in' this Bill to wrest from His Majesty a part of his command and control over the armed forces of this empire. I think I have shown that the government, wrongfully, improperly, have endeavoured to secure the power to deny to His Majesty the assistance and benefit, even in time of necessity, of the forces that this Bill undertakes to Taise. In fact, the right hon. Prime Minister in introducing this Bill, or subsequently, stated that there might be occasions when he would feel it his duty to-withhold the services of this navy from Great Britain. Surely, in this day and age, such a condition of affairs will not be allowed to prevail in this Canada of ours. I think I have succeeded in showing that the government in supporting this Bill, or in leading hon. gentlemen in this House to support it, have not the information or data or knowledge concerning it which should convince this House, or any one, that it can ever be of material service to the empire, or to assure this House that it will be of real service to Canada. On the contrary, they have said enough to satisfy this House and the people, I think, that the efforts they are making will cost this country an enormous amount of money-they do not even know the amount-and that this expenditure will keep on increasing until it may become such a burden that the people of Canada can ill afford to bear it. I think I have shown that the reason put forth by the right hon. Prime Minister for retaining this control and for establishing the navy in this way-that interests having been sacrificed heretofore by British diplomacy-is a fallacy, there is no foundation in fact for it. And, for these many reasons, I shall feel it my duty, not only to my constituents, but to myself and to my country as a whole, to oppose this measure. I am
a Canadian-I think I am a better Canadian because I am a British subject.
I represent a riding containing men who are as loyal as any man who ever wore a hat, men who are not only willing to pay, but are willing to tight for the maintenance of the British empire, men who are just as anxious as any one can be to retain Canada in the position she now occupies as part of the British empire, and who icherish the hope that she will always occupy the proud position she now holds as the brightest gem in the British crown.
Mr. ERNEST ROY (Dorchester) (Translation.) Mr. Speaker, at this stage of the discusion on the Bill now submitted to the consideration of the House, it is rather a difficult matter to bring forth further arguments and even to find new forms for the expression of arguments already submitted. So, I shall be content with presenting a few considerations without entering into a thorough discussion of this measure.
I intend making only a brief reference to the speech delivered by the hon. member for Hastings (Mr. Porter) who has just taken his -seat. Let me, however, congratulate him on that part of his speech in which he pointed out the main difference between the policy of the government and that of the opposition in connection with this matter. Of course, I cannot agree that he has correctly pointed out what these differences are in every respect; but that part of his speech will help, I hope, in correcting the false impression which the friends of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, the leader of His Majesty's opposition No. 2, aTe trying to create in the province of Quebec. As a matter of fact, the friends of the latter's, hon. member for Jacques Cartier, without eliciting a single protest on his part, are creating the impression outside of parliament that it is a farce which is going on within the precincts of this House. I find that idea expressed in a resolution passed by the members of a farmers' club in one of the parishes of the county of Dorchester, and which reads as follows:
Considering that Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada, has made an agreement with Mr. Borden leader of the Opposition with a view to putting through the Naval Bill No. 95, introduced on January 12 1910.
That idea is also given, expression to in the petitions forwarded to this House from the province of Quebec against the passing of this Bill. The hon. member for Hastings, by pointing out to the House in what respects the policy of the Liberal party and that of the Conservatives who follow the lead of the hon. member for Halifax, differ essentially from one another, will have helped to correct the false notion to which I have just called attention.
It is to be regretted, Mr. Speaker, that there should be in Canada people having so little concern for our parliamentary institutions, and such a short-sighted view of patriotism, as to spread among the Canadian people the impression that their representatives in this House, are only comedians in disguise. It is to be hoped that the hon. member for Jacques Cartier and his followers will realize that it is incumbent on them to set the public right by means of a public statement. The first duty of a member of parliament is to ensure public respect to the institution of which he forms part.
Mr. Speaker, before proceeding any further, I wish to correct as regards a misunderstanding in regard to the meaning of some remarks I made in this House last year concerning the resolution of March 29, 1909, a misunderstanding resulting from the erroneous construction put on those remarks by some hon. gentleman. The hon. gentleman for Marquette, among others, contended a short time ago that, on March 29 last, I had condemned the proposal for the building of a Canadian navy. It will be sufficient for me to quote short extracts from the ' Hansard ' of last year to set the House right in regard to the position I actually took at the time. Following on some general remarks as to the reasons which might be urged in favour of the immediate building of a Canadian navy, I spoke as follows:
(Hansard 1909, page 3550). What I have said does not imply that Canada should not adopt military measures for the defence of her coast and of her territory. . . Canada being a nation surrounded by other nations whose interests may conflict with her own, is bound to provide means of defence.
Page 3551. Let Canada organize a naval force to protect her coast line and her seaports both on the Atlantic and the Pacific; no one objects.
And I summed up my remarks in the following terms:
The House is no doubt unanimous in its opinion that Canada should get up a naval force which will enable her to make first among the nations, and thus command that respect which otherwise she would not command from those nations having hostile intentions against her.
The above extracts clearly show that last year I was in favour of the establishment of a Canadian navy, and that I then considered that undertaking an essentially patriotic one. I have not changed my mind in the meantime.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Saint Ann's, on February 24 _ last, delivered a speech which the opposition generously applauded. The hon. gentleman from Victoria (Mr. Barnard) gave expression to the admiration and enthusiasm which that
speech stirred up in the minds of his colleagues by challenging hon. members on the government side to find in their ranks any one who would dare analyse that speech not to say to attempt answering it. At the risk of being thought presumptuous. I intend taking up that challenge and answering briefly the few, though long winded arguments, set forth by the hon. member for St. Ann's. I shall do so with the same calmness of mind as when in the ordinary course of my professional practice. I appeal to a higher tribunal from the judgment of an inferior court which does not seem satisfactory.
The arguments brought forward by the hon. member for St. Ann's may be summed up as follows, and I shall take up first that which comes last in his speech. Canada, he says, without breaking the constitution is at liberty to grant to Great Britain a sum of money towards helping the mother country in maintaining her supremacy oyer the other nations of the world, or else-towards relieving her of part of the burden which she has to bear in order to keep the world at peace, by having an argument superior to that of any other nation. I recognize the soundness of that proposition. The rightful owner is entitled to transfer his property rights to whomsoever he wishes. That legal proposition cannot be gainsaid, and Canada has the right to donate the people's money to England. So the Dominion can legally do what is provided for in the latter part of the amendment submitted by the hon. leader of the opposition.
The hon. member for St. Ann's, on the other hand, admits that Canada would be justified in granting such a gift to Great Britain only in case the latter was in such a position that the money would be needed to stave off an attack on the part of Germany. He admits that, if it were not for Germany, there would be no occasion for a gift of Dreadnoughts or money. That is a question of fact, and after going into the matter, he draws the conclusion that there actually exists a German danger, and that it is desirable that Canada should make a contribution to Great Britain either in money or in Dreadnoughts.
I have also on my own account gone into that question of fact. My authority is the English people, British opinion. I find it is divided on that point. Even in England, some contend that danger exists, while others deny it. However, I am assured that those who deny the existence of any danger, are not impelled by any feeling of disloyalty, are not lacking in patriotism. I must then come to the conclusion that the people most interested in finding out, discovering, detecting any danger, deny its existence. Will Canada and particularly will this House claim that we have a better insight into the matter than the British people and
the British parliament themselves. I think it would be bad form on our part to assume that we are in a position to enlighten the British people and British parliament in matters of patriotism and political foresight.
Therefore I say that so long as the English people have not themselves clearly recognized that the danger exists, we should keep our money, and direct our efforts towards helping the mother country in another way, in the way that was recognized to be the best at the colonial conference of 1909, where all interested parties were represented. -
The hon. member for St. Ann's contends in another proposition that the passing of the Bill would result in a restriction of Canada's autonomy, inasmuch as she would divest herself of all national sentiment. He further contends that a proposal entailing such consequences should be submitted to the people previous to its being adopted by this House.
Since the debate originated, I was always expecting from hon. gentlemen- opposite some evidence that logic had been respected in the amendment submitted by their leader. Speeches ran their course and there was nothing forthcoming. Of course reference was made to the ' tin pot navy,' to the German scare, to the loyalty of the Canadian Prime Minister, to the disloyalty of French Canadians, to the lack of patriotism of the Liberals, but no satisfaction was given to the public mind, very naturally puzzled by this chaotic assemblage of disconnected ideas. The hon. member for St. Ann's, with his judicial mind, had observed that gap, and for three hours and a half applied himself to filling it.
It is no wonder that the opposition which until then had fought in a haphazard way, without any plan of campaign, with the sole idea Of fighting the government, and could not find its way out of a debate wherein they had engaged without the help of logic, it is no wonder, I say, that the opposition should have greeted with utmost pleasure the member for St. Ann's who, they thought, had found a means of solving the difficulty. They applauded him, thinking that once more out of chaos light had come. But that way out which the hon. member for St. Ann was supposed to have discovered, did not exist in reality, it was an effect of mirage, a delusion of the senses, originating from a keen thirst for logic, which the hon. gentleman has been unable to satisfy.
The Bill now under consideration, would be a restriction on our national autonomy were it to become law, says the hon. member for St. Ann's. And why? Because, he says, a war navy is always destined for attack, and he states in support of that contention an utterance of the British admir-I alty at the colonial conference of 1907.
Since, he goes on to say, a war navy is a means of attack, Canada having no right to declare war, that means would be entirely for the use of Great Britain, who alone has authority to lead an attack on a foreign nation and declare war. If that be the case, the Canadian navy will necessarily be under the control of the only power within the empire in a position to make use of it. Now, he adds, as any declaration on the part of Great Britain can only be the outcome of her foreign policy, and as Canada has nothing to do with that, it will happen that the British authorities will declare war and utilize Canada's naval force, without Canada having been consulted as to the desirability or the fairness of such a decision. Thus, Canada sacrifices in part her national conscience.
That is a fallacy couched in pretty language, but which cannot be defended on any grounds. The whole force of this argument is dependent on the truth of the contention that a war navy is necessarily a means of attack, and cannot be looked upon as a means of defence. That is the statement the falsity of which I intend to show first.
At the colonial conference of 1907 the proposal was made to provide a) single imperial navy under the immediate and exclusive control of the British admiralty. It was stated at the time that the British'navy could not be considered a means of defence, and that was true in the case of Great Britain, seeing that her supremacy in that respect cannot for the time" being be denied. Great Britain is a sovereign state having the power to declare war. She cannot let other nations whose strength is inferior provide themselves, with navies to protect them, selves one against the other; but as soon as any power tried to go further and build a navy which not only would ensure its superiority over neighbouring powers, but would put it on a par with Great Britain, that departure would be looked upon as an agression, since such an armament could be aimed only at the only power superior to it at the time. In that case, it would be a matter of elementary wisdom on the part of England not to wait until the enemv had-completed his means of attack. She should take the lead and cripple the power thus threatening the world's peace.
Canada is not a sovereign country, and while enjoying complete liberty as regards her domestic administration, she is, as regards her foreign relations, under certain restrictions due to her status of dependency. Canada is free to repulse whomsoever invades her territory; but she has not the right of declaring war against a foreign country. Her militia is for purposes of defence, but she could not of her own accord lead an attack, because whenever Canada took such a step, she would be asserting her independence.
As a result. Great Britain's relative posi-Mr. E. BOY.
tion among the nations of the world, her naval forces are destined to take the offensive, while. Canada's political status requires that all our forces should be for purposes of defence. That statement cannot be contradicted. The forces of Canada can be used for purposes of attack only in cooperation with Great Britain should the latter engage in war.
It may be inquired when Canada is likely to be attacked. I am not a prophet, but Canada might be attacked as the outcome of a declaration of war on the part of several allied powers desirous of wrenching from England her supremacy. It might also occur as a diversion by the forces of a power attempting to repel an attack on the part of Great Britain by striking at her colonies. Canada might also be the object of an attack through a desire for conquest on the part of a foreign nation suffering from overpopulation, and which, not having at home sufficient resources to draw on, might deem itself justified in laying hands on a country such as Canada, provided with the very things that power would be in need of. Would the property rights, held by Canada, her desire to reserve for her children the wealth within her borders, her repugnance to allow the introduction in the country of a civilization foreign to hers, would all that suffice to keep out those hungry foes? Certainly not.
Under all such conditions the Canadian war navy would undeniably have its usefulness. But the building of the navy will have its immediate and more certain usefulness in helping to maintain the supremacy of the British empire throughout the world, and thus ensuring for many years to come peace to Great Britain and her colonies.
When these colonies will, each and every one of them, have war navies severalty owned by them, and will see to their own protection without any expense to the mother country, any power anxious to attack Great Britain or one of its colonies, will have tp have at her command forces superior to those of Great Britain and her colonies. The expenditure which such an undertaking would necessitate and which that power would have to bear single-handed, would probably be considered too heavy. Its only recourse would then be in contracting alliance, and here it would be met with the wiles of British diplomacy, which would leave very little chance of success.
Alliances have always been the most efficient means for ensuring the world's peace. Very few countries are powerful enough to command respect by themselves, but an alliance may often result in securing the co-operation of three or four other powers, which altogether may be in a position to command respect for the rights of each and every one of them.
When England will be surrounded by colonies all provided with war navies, slie will
offer to the world the spectacle of an alliance of many nations, an alliance founded on interest and on sentiment, that is, on the most potent influences in human life. So then I say that the hon. memoer .or St. Ann's has no grounds for saying that the navy which is to 'be provided under this Bill cannot possibly be for purposes of defence, and must necessarily be for purposes of attack.
Our constitution contained in the British North America Act allows us in clause 7 of section 91, to provide means of defence on land and on sea; it grants us the power to create a land force and a war navy for the defence of Canada, That navy, of course, remains under the control of the Dominion as well as the militia.
I say that the Canadian navy will remain under the control of Canada. However, that is questioned by the wing of the opposition which has the hon. member for Jacques Cartier as its leader. That section of the opposition party, together with those in the province of Qudbec who are their exponents, contend that the control of the navy must ultimately rest with Great Britain, and that thereby our national autonomy will be restricted. Both the government and that wing of the Conservative party which follows the lead of the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Borden), contend that the control of the Canadian navy will continue to be with the Dominion. The government and their followers take credit to themselves on that account, while the opposition taunts the government with having, under the Bill, retained that control for Canada. Of the 221 members making up the House, there are only seven or eight, under the guidance of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, who fail to construe the law in that manner. But as every one knows, the worst cases -of blindness are those of people who refuse to open their eyes.
After thus disposing of the fallacy which the hon. member for St. Ann's has invoked in support of his contention, I am justified in saying that the Canadian navy will be a means of defence for staving off any attack directed against Canada. That navy will remain under our control. In building it, we are merely exercising a power which is granted to us by the constitution; in keeping it under our control, we are also exercising a power granted by the constitution, and the mere fact of exercising a power cannot logically restrict that power; on the contrary, it causes it to pass from the domain of theory into that of reality.
Will it he contended that by section 18, Canada relinquishes part of her autonomy? How is that section worded? It says that in a ease of emergency the Canadian government will have the power to place the Canadian navy at the disposal of the
British admiralty, which should be effected with the consent of the Canadian parliament, if it is in session; and should it be during recess, parliament will have to be summoned to meet within a fortnight of the action thus taken by the government.
The right of Canada to donate to Great Britain a sum of money in the shape of a contribution and without in any way restricting her autonomy, cannot be denied by any one. On the contrary, such action would go to show that Canada has the right to dispose of her property in the same way as any private owner. If instead of giving money to Great Britain, Canada were to give guns or rifles, she would still be acting within her powers and would not be relinquishing or restricting any of her powers. If instead of donating rifles or guns, Canada preferred loaning them, it would merely be depriving itself of certain of the privileges of ownership, usufruct, and such action would not in any way affect her powers. Then again, if instead of donating money or loaning rifles or guns, Canada, in a case of emergency, loaned to Great Britain another war machine, its navy, the same principle would apply, and Canada would not he losing anything of its autonomy. The right to give has never been restricted through its being exercised. Let me demonstrate that fact by means of a comparison. The interdict is deprived of the right of making any transaction in regard to his holdings. He is not permitted to sell, loan or give his property without being authorised to do so by some other person. Even should the interdict be a millionaire, he would not be allowed to dispose of his property any more than if he was a pauper. It is autonomy, it is liberty that is lacking. But, whoever retains his full rights and is left with a free hand in the administration of his property even, should he have only a few cents, would in giving them, be giving proof of the actual possession of his autonomy, of his liberty. To my mind, Canada would not be losing its autonomy if, in a case of emergency or which would he considered such as regards Great Britain, or herself she put the Canadian navy at the disposal of the British admiralty, any more than she lost her autonomy when she voted a grant for the sufferers in the Paris floods, or the sufferers in the earthquakes of San Francisco or Messina.
If Canada has the right, without impairing her autonomy to loan her navy to Great Britain whenever she thinks proper, she has the right to delegate that power to her trustees, the government, under definite circumstances, and the fact that in delegating that power she requires that her trustees. after fulfilling their trust, should give an account of their management does not
in any way alter the principle. It is a mere matter of policy.
I think I have shown that Canada is free +o exercise the power conferred by the constitution in regard to providing a war navy and loaning it as well to England, without losing anything of her power, liberty and autonomy.
The next question to be considered is whether it is desirable that we should exercise that power. The right of ownership implies that of safeguarding property rights; and whoever recognizes the right of ownership, must also recognize the right of the owner to defend his property and to take the necessary means to that effect. The right of defence is thereby recognized.
Nature is a great teacher m that regard. All living beings are provided with means of defence enabling them to protect their life against any attack. Man, she has endowed with intelligence and with the power to take hold of things and adapt them to his own usage, either for the preservation of life, or of property, or for purposes of defence.
Canada is a large holder; she has the right Qf utilizing her possessions, but she has also the duty, in order to maintain her property rights, to provide means for their defence against all comers. In the natural world, only those being who are destined to be food for other are unprovided with adequate means of defence, and have no thought of providing themselves with such means. In the realm of intelligent beings, the incapable, the improvident and the cowardly alone neglect providing themselves with means of defence However, ineapables, that is to say, children and sick persons, are not always exposed to suffer on that account, for 'in the human heart there has been instilled a feeling, motherly love, filial love, friendship or humanity, feelings which lead the strong to protect and defend under certain circumstances those who are weak. Even nations have shown that they were endowed with feelings of humanity, since Great Britain is known to have provided out of her own resources for the defence of ner colonies still too young to protect Ihemselves, just as the father of a family looks after, protects and defends his child so long as the latter has not reached a sufficient age, or has not acquired sufficient strength to render that protection superfluous. The child should not wait until his parents give him to understand that he is in a position to look after himself or to provide part of his sustenance; he should realize what his parents have done for him, and without hesitation look out for himself as soon as he is capable of doing so.
British colonies have enjoyed heretofore and for the last century or more, in the Mr. E. EOY.
case of Canada, a condition of perfect peace, whereby they have been enabled to make marvellous progress. And that era of peace, they owe to England, who, by making the required sacrifices towards acquiring supremacy among the nations, has lendered her colonies secure against any danger of attack. That era of peace will be maintained only inasmuch as England's power is upheld. Now that the colonies are in a position to lighten the burden of the mother country, they should do so willingly. They should do so, in the first place, by endeavouring to provide for their own wants, in the same way that the child should relieve his parents of part of the burden of becoming self-sustaining.
The measure which is now under consideration, does not provide from the start a defence service for Canada, but aims merely at completing the system already in existence, and there is nothing exceptional about it. It simply provides for a need in the ordinary course of things.
Is there a single Canadian engrossed with the welfare of his country who would have expected Canada to increase in national wealth, to treble in the space of a few years the volume of her trade, to increase her population in marvellous fashion, to make a reputation for her products in the greatest markets of the world, to reveal to all nations her resources, her great possibilities, and to develop in every way her assets, and that this same Canada would remain indifferent as regards any steps to be taken for the defence of her possessions.
Cities increase the police force and take fuller measures of safety as the value of property increases within their limits. The banker will spend more to protect his hundreds of thousands of dollars against the attacks of robbers than the common labourer will do to protect the small sums he keeps at home. Means taken for the safeguarding of wealth should bear a certain proportion to the value of that wealth. Property should be protected in due proportion to the volume of that wealth. Property should be protected in due proportion to its value for greed keeps pace with the value of the coveted objects.
We are told, Mr. Speaker, that we have not the right to complete the means of defence of the country without consulting the people. If I understand aright the theory of our constitution, Canada is governed by an executive council composed of ministers, presided over by the Governor General who represents the King. It is the duty of the government to see to the enforcement of the laws, and to provide means that will enable Canada to fulfil her destiny. It is incumbent on them to prepare the legislation under which the country will develop and its citizens be allowed
to enjoy full liberty, exercise their rights, and hold property.
That government is responsible to parliament for its stewardship; the representatives of the people are its judges. On the other hand, these representatives are responsible to the people for the carrying out of their mandate. They should be courageous enough to realize fully what duties are incumbent upon them and live up to those duties. The mandate which we as members of parliament have received from the people is not specific but general. We are here to consider the questions which are submitted to us; we should look into them and not play the part of a shyster lawyer. The advocate who is anxious to fulfil his duty advises his client, studies his case and takes the responsibility of the opinion he gives, realizing that since his client has come to him, it is because he relies on his honesty and his special knowledge of the subject. The lawyer who is indifferent to the dictates of his conscience, who may be a smart practitioner with a difficult case, rather than probe it to the bottom, will confer with his client, present the matter to him in a more or less satisfactory light, and endeavour to get from him a clue, so that should he fail later on in winning the case, he may fall back on his client and say: I have done as you diretced me to do. Such an excuse is not valid.
Mr. Speaker, I love Canada as warmly as any Canadian. My ancestry in this land of Canada can be retraced as far back as 1663, and if the grim reaper spares my home, I shall leave a numerous progeny to continue the family name on this land of Canada. I love Canada and I love the Canadian people of whatever origin. I wish for my country a happy future, _ a future of greatness which will cause its name to be inscribed in golden letters in the annals of history. I am willing to work all my life, and put at its disposal the activity, the intelligence and the enthusiasm which I have inherited for promoting its intellectual, social and material progress. I am willing to work and accumulate for ourselves and for those who will come after us great riches of all kinds; but I wish also that after thus amassing wealth we should be far-seeing enough to conserve it; and on behalf of the hon. gentlemen occupying seats in this House, if they have the power of developing the resources of Canada, without having to consult the people in regard to each and every measure submitted for that purpose; if they have the power to modify the constitution of the country as they have done so, at the time of confederation, without first consulting the people; if they have the power to ensure the greatness, happiness and prosperity of Canada, in that way, I claim for
them the right of conserving the benefits accruing from their labour without being obliged to consult the people. Not, Mr. Speaker, that I intend disparaging or showing disrespect for public opinion, or ignoring the sovereignty of the people; no, but in so doing, I would fear lest my constituents told me, and rightly so, that when they sent me here to get acquainted with the history of my country, study its resources, imbibe its ideals and aspirations, they expected that I would do my duty valiantly, conscientiously and patriotically.
I would fear lest they told me, and rightly so, that it is useless to elect representatives, if as regards every measure of some importance, the farmer must leave the plough to make a study of politics, the merchant, the manufacturer, and banker turn away from their business, from their undertakings, to unravel the intricacies of constitutional law, or carry on an investigation regarding the general business of the country from the political standpoint, so as to be in a position to direct the government as to the course it should follow. In the meantime, members of parliament would be taking a rest.
No, let us take a serious view of the question. What the Canadian electorate wish for is a body of representatives who are capable of study and reflection, of appreciating and judging things. What the people want is a body of representatives showing patriotism, good will, activity and self reliance. What the people want is the maintenance of our constitution and our parliamentary traditions. What the people want is a bodv of men capable of developing Canada, of putting in store the results of each successive advance; not dreamers who live in the clouds, not firebrands of loyalism who would fain counteract the natural course of things, who would have water flow up hill, and the child play the part of the mother. What the people want, it is a body of representatives who take lessons from the-past to prepare the future, but who are always mindful that man is master only of the present and that the true patriots are those who do things, and not those who are content with dreaming.