November 30, 1910 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Frank Broadstreet Carvell



sons are going to be taken away and roasted and disembowelled by the enemies of England, and we are opposed to a navy because it is English, and we have had too much of English tyranny-when these people come before their leader and put this proposition to him, what does he do? He moves another amendment, and he supports it by a speech in which he declares that we cannot have this Canadian navy for at least two or three generations and probably half a century. Now, I would like to know, in the face of all that: Have not the people of Canada a right to ask what kind of a coalition or compact exists between the Conservative party and the Nationalists of Quebec? Do hon. members opposite deny anything that was said by the Nationalists in that campaign? Has any member of the Nationalist party denied a word they have said? The hon. member for Champlain says: I did not
say some of these things, but I did say some things, and he takes mighty good care not to tell us what part it was he did say. He has had three different opportunities since this debate commenced, and he has never told us what he did say, but he reiterates the statement: I have not
been properly reported in the newspapers, and I did not say all that you say I said. Well, heaven knows, he said enough. He said more than I think the Conservative party like to stomach, but, for political purposes, they are compelled to do so.
Now7, do we need a Canadian navy? Are w7e right in the policy which we are adopting? Our Conservative friends said we were two years ago. To-day I do not know what they say. They do not know themselves where they are at on this question. The hon. member for West Elgin (Mr. Crothers), who has just preceded me, comes out, I think, frankly, if you can form any conclusions from his remarks, and says: We do not want a Canadian
navy. He says that we should contribute in money. The hon. member for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Hughes) talked for an hour and a-half the other night, and he did not say anything. He hopes that possibly before he dies his party may be in power, and, of course, in order to get the reward that he is after, he must vote for them, although he is not in accord with them. The hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) discussed this matter the other night, and he said nothing. The hon. leader of the opposition has discussed this matter twice during this debate, and w7hile he has moved a resolution which intends to put the thing off forever, he has not said: We do not want a navy.
The only logical men on the other side of the House are the Nationalists. They come out flat-footed and say that they do

not want a navy; they are men enough to say so, and I respect them for having the courage of their convictions.
But, Sir, I cannot speak in that way of the members of the Conservative party who talk one thing, and two things, and a half a dozen things, and say nothing in the end. It has been said in the House to-day, that we have halT the kindly protection of the British navy for 150 years. Yes, and we had the protection of the British army for 125 years down to the year 1861, when trouble impended between Canada and the United States. Since then we have looked after our own defence, and only once in my lifetime was it necessary to have recourse to arms, viz., the Riel rebellion, when the people of Canada looked after their own defence. In 1899 Britain was at war, and although we were not compelled to send soldiers to South Africa, we sent them of our free will. Then, comes the present time when we are asked to do something to protect ourselves on sea as well as land. The South African war demonstrated that the British Empire is able to protect herself no matter in what part of the globe she may be attacked, and Canada demonstrated during that war that an armed force capable of doing pretty fair work in the field can be made effective in a few mpnths. But, it is not so with a navy. My hon. friend from West Elgin (Mr. Crothers) told us it would take 50 years to build a navy, and I agree with him, and that being the case there is the greater reason why we should get to work on our navy at once. It is, Sir, the duty of Canada to protect herself, it is the duty of Canada to take her place in the empire, it is the duty of Canada to do whatever is necessary to protect herself and to take her place in the defence of the empire if trouble should come. I am not here to shout loyalty, I leave that to members on the Conservative side of the House. But, Sir, I do believe that in the British Empire there is the greatest freedom, the greatest advancement, and the highest conditions of civilization to be found in this world. I believe in the British Empire because it stands for everything that is best. Perhaps, I have not that sentiment towards the gentleman who happens to occupy the position of King which some other hon. gentlemen may have, but I respect the high office he holds, and I venerate the principles he represents rather than the man;, although, I have nothing but the most eulogistic words to speak of the present King. To my mind it is to what he represents that we should be loyal, and if the British Empire of which he is the head be all that I think it is, then it is worth fighting for. As I have said, in 1899 we sent 10,000 soldiers to South Africa and we spent a few million dollars, but in sending these soldiers we did more to consolidate the British Empire, in conjunction
with the other colonies, than anything that has occurred in the last 100 years. At one period of that war we heard stories of European intervention, but that was before the colonial contingents were sent to South Africa, and, when the world saw that a new force had arisen in the British Empire, and when our colonial soldiers took the field, from that very moment nothing was heard of interference by European nations, I say, Sir, that we accomplished more by sending these 10,000 men to South Africa than we could accomplish by sending $100,000,000. It is not the money that counts, for they have lots of money in England, it is the men that count. The same argument would apply to the navy. We could send the mother land $25,000,000 this year and $50,000,000 next year, and it is only so much taxation taken off the shoulders of the British taxpayer, but, Sir, the thing that counts above all is the sending of the men, and we cannot send men and make them effective unless we have ships on which to send them. You cannot send 10,000 men out to man a navy unless you have a navy to man. We can do nothing that will so solidify the empire, as by doing our duty to ourselves first, and do our duty to the empire as a whole. And, Sir, let me say here that I have never been so proud of the Prime Minister of this country and of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and of the whole delegation from the province of Quebec as I have been during this campaign. There has been no white feather shown by these gentlemen. They nailed their colours to the mast in 1909, they stuck to them in 1910, and now even after a temporary reverse in Drummond and Arthabaska brought about by a combination of the Conservatives and Nationalists, the Liberal delegation from the province of Quebec still stick to their colours, and they come here in the face of the whole world and declare that they are ready to do whatever is necessary to protect Canada, and the empire as a whole. And, Sir, when the right hon. gentleman appeals to the country as he will in the course of the next two or three years, and when the Minister of Marine and Fisheries goes back to his people, I have enough confidence in the fair common sense of the people of Quebec to feel that they will give them the same support they have given them in the past, and I know that so far as the English speaking provinces are concerned they will give their support to the naval policy of the government, and that hon. gentlemen opposite will receive from them the condign punishment which they deserve.
On motion of Mr. Foster the debate was adjourned.
House adjourned at six o'clock.

Thursday, December 1, 1910.

Topic:   J. E. PEER AULT.
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