organization of a Canadian naval service in co-operation with and in close relation to the imperial navy along the lines suggested by the Admiralty at the last imperial conference and in full sympathy with the view that the naval supremacy of Great Britain is essential to the security of commerce, the safety of the empire and the peace of the world.
Two years ago he had no hesitation in voting for the resolution which declared that it was the duty of the people of Canada not only to enter into a policy of selfdefence but a speedy policy of self-defence. And as the Minister of 'Customs (Mr; Paterson) pointed out, the word ' speedy ' was introduced by the leader of the opposition to make sure that there should be no delay in getting to work on this navy. But why attempt to follow a gentleman who places himself in such a ludicrous position from the logical standpoint as did my hon. friend (Mr. Crothers) this afternoon? He committed another breach of etiquette, which I think is more unpardonable than anything else he did or than anything else that I have seen done since I first had the honour of a seat in this House. He deliberately read from ' Hansard ' statements which had been quoted by the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and the Minister of Marine (Mr. Brodeur) statements, in my opinion, of the most damnable nature, made by certain Nationalist orators during that campaign, and I believe his intention was to make the people of this country-if his words could reach the country-believe that they were the sentiments of the Prime Minister and of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries; and it was only when called to book by members on this side and asked whose words he was quoting,-and he did not, even then, have the manliness to say whose words they were, but he believed he was quoting the words of some person who had spoken in the campaign. I do not wish to be harsh or to say anything against the hon. gentleman or his mode of conducting an argument, but I do feel that when a member is put up by his party for a specific purpose and places himself in such a position as that in which the hon. gentleman placed himself, it is not right to let his action go unnoticed. I hope the House will pardon me for taking up so much time, not exactly in replying to, but in noticing such statements as those the hon. gentleman made.
The history of this naval question and the history of this Drummond and Arthabaska election have been so thoroughly discussed that I felt it would be only trespassing upon your patience were I to go into the facts again. I have read here a portion of the resolution of March 29, 1909, which was voted for by every member of this House. I think the House will
pardon me if I read one or two quotations from the speech of the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) on that occasion, because, to my mind, it is the finest illustration of what appears to me to toe the true principle governing this question that I have heard or read in these debates on the question of the navy. These words of the leader of the opposition were spoken in support of the motion of my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster). I believe that my hon. friend from North Toronto was sincere when he moved that motion. Possibly he may have had the hope that he was getting the government into a little difficulty, because I have found that when the hon. gentleman assumes the aspect of fairness, you need to watch him a little more closely than you would on ordinary occasions. However, he appeared to be sincere. He introduced this resolution which was read by the Prime Minister last evening, the substance of which was that we should get together and get to work as soon as possible and start the nucleus of a Canadian navy. In that debate, the leader of the opposition said:-
I do not desire to say anything more on this subject. I believe that the defence of out own shores and the protection of our own commerce is due to the self-respect which should fill the heart of every man in this country. You say that we may rest contented to depend for our naval defence on Great Britain. Well, if we had assumed the status of a nation in one respect, shall we adhere to the status of a Crown colony in other and still more important respects?
These are noble sentiments. These are the sentiments that actuate the Prime Minister to-day and have actuated the Liberal party for the last two or three years, and they are the sentiments we are trying to carry out, and which we will carry out, and of which, in my opinion, the people of this country will approve when they first have an opportunity to express themselves. The hon. leader of the opposition went on to talk about the Monroe doctrine, showing in what an unenviable position we should be placed if we relied upon the Monroe doctrine for our defence. Then he added:-
We desire that this resolution should go out as the unanimous resolution of the parliament of Canada to the whole world, and I believe it may go out as a message which will do much to keep the peace of the world in these days of uncertainty. It should go in such terms as would entitle the Canadian people to the gratitude of the empire and do much to restore to the people of this country that self-respect in which, it seems to me, we have been somewhat lacking in these days when others have done so much, and we so little, for naval defence so absolutely essential to .the integrity and the maintenance of our great empire.
I can only say that I concur with that sentiment in every particular. I only wish 17}
that I-could say that my hon. friend (Mr. R. L. Borden) and his friends had continued in the manly course which they marked out in March, 1909. Had they done so we should not have had this long discussion, but the matter would have b.een settled and out of sight long ago.
But these hon. gentlemen did not want it out of sight. There was a time, I believe, v'hen they would have been glad to have it buried. 1 do not wish to intimate that there are not dozens of men on that side of the House as loyal as those on this side. If there is anything I have particularly disliked in what I have heard since coming to this House it has been the periodical shout of ' disloyalty ' on the part of hon. gentlemen opposite. I am not impeaching their loyalty, but I do find fault with the means they are adopting to get into power. I believe that when the resolution of March, 1909, was introduced, practically every member on the other side was in entire accord with the sentiments expressed. And, as was pointed out by the Prime Minister last night, members went away from that session believing that all were a unit on this question. But something happened. The first thing that happened was that the Tory leaders in Manitoba and in Ontario saw that it would never do to have their party fall in line with anything proposed by the Prime Minister. So, some means had to be found to get out of it. The means found were very simple. The Tory bosses of Manitoba came down to Toronto and set up a cry that there was an emergency, and so we must not create a navy, but must contribute money to the navy of Great Britain. That was taken up by the Conservative leaders all over Ontario, and when my friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) reached Toronto he found that his position depended upon going back on the alliance he had made with the government-a manly alliance I call it-and trying to do something else. He said: All right; we will go back on what we said a year ago and come out with a policy of contribution because there is an emergency. Of course, I am not to judge whether they believed at that time that there was an emergency or not. If they were honest about it and believed that the Germans were likely to attack Great Britain and believed that it was necessary to send $20,000,000, or $5,000,000 to the old country, I give them credit for being logical. But there was a little trouble staring them in the face. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier is reported to have kicked over the traces. He says: No, I don't believe in contributing to the navy, nor do I believe in having any navy. But I believe we ought to do something, we ought to consult the people about this thing. Mr. Borden says: Oh, that is very easy, we will put both planks in our platform and we will make a
new olatform; we will say we believe there is an emergency to-day, and we will give $25,000,000. Then we will say that it is not constitutional to build this navy, and we will go to the people and find out what they want to do about it. Now, I want to read to you what the leader of the opposition proposed in 1910, on the 20th of April, as found in volume 5 of the debates, starting at column 7535. After arguing the matter to some extent, he says:-
This is the principle I stand for, and the principle I desire to see carried out. It is desirable, in the first place, that we should co-operate upon some permanent basis. It is desirable, in the second place, that if the conditions of the empire at the present time are emergent, we should bear some immediate and effective aid to the empire as a whole. I still maintain, notwithstanding all the arguments that have been advanced to the contrary, that the proposals I submitted to the House involved the true principle in that regard; and that the true solution, the wise solution, of the great problem that is before the people of Canada to-day would be, in the first place, to bring immediate and effective aid in the manner I have already indicated to the House on the second reading of the Bill, and in the second place to mature more carefully and wisely the proposal for permanent co-operation by Canada in the naval defence of the empire, to bring those proposals into parliament and discuss them, then to submit them to the people at a general election, and after that to have them carried into force according to the mandate and the direction of the free people of Canada.
Well, Sir, there is nothing in that declaration which says that we must have imperial federation before we can have a navy; but he simply declares that we should make a cash contribution first, then mature our plans and bring them forward. Now, let us see what he says to-day. I want to quote to you the words of my hon. friend in this House on the 24th of November instant.
I do not know whether I have made my position clear, but I have done so according to my humble capacity. I think the question of Canada's co-operation upon a permanent basis in imperial defence involves very large and wise considerations. If Canada and the other dominions of the empire are to take their part as nations of this empire in the defence of the empire as a whole, shall it be that we, contributing to that defence of the whole empire, shall have absolutely, as citizens of this country, no voice whatever in the councils of the empire relating to the choice of peace or war throughout the empire? I do not think that would be a tolerable condition, I do not think the people of Canada would for one moment submit to such a condition. Should members of this House, representative men, representing 220 constituencies of this country from the Atlantic to the Pacific, no one of them have the same voice with regard to those enormous imperial issues that the humblest taxpayer in the British isles has at this moment. It does not seem to me that a condition of that kind would stand for the integrity of the empire,