April 19, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)


I wish the premier to understand that I see a grave constitutional danger in permitting any premier of Canada to have the right to use an armed force in this country over and above the right of the King. The King has always been the guardian, the safeguard and the buckler of minorities, not only in this country, but in other countries of the empire. The King has invariably stood between the people and injustice, between the people and their governors, as is shown by the history of the mother country for three or four hundred years. Now, this danger arises under this clause, in this very Act, and under it there is no guarantee but that a a Prime Minister, with a brute majority at)

his back, may at some future date cast to the winds every principle of the British North America Act, and use this navy as a weapon to drive minorities into doing! something against their will and against the guarantees that they have by the constitution. I think minorities would be safe if the Bill followed the words of Sir George E. fcartier. That gentleman had sustained great struggles, and had fought great battles on behalf of certain interests in this country. When the right hon. leader of this House proposes to remove any of those safeguards, I say he is not doing justice to every section of the community. While there may be no danger, whilst he is Prime Minister, still no man can be assured of a long tenure of life, nor can he expect to rule forever, and the danger may come after be has gone. [DOT]

Topic:   M. J. A. CURRIE.
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