May 7, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal


I say " yes " to my hon. friend, and what is most tragic is that the committee had put themselves into communication with the various Ministers of Agriculture, not only in Quebec-the Quebec minister was asked his opinion only at the last moment

in all the provinces. This resolution was endorsed by the Minister of Agriculture
in the province of Ontario, who said: " Yes, we want all our farmers on the farm." It was also endorsed by the Ministers of Agriculture of the other provinces which had elected Unionist members at the last election. iSo there is reflected in that resolution the unbiased, the unshackled opinion of the honest people of this country. Not only are we vindicated by the members of this House, by the committee on agriculture, but we are also vindicated by one of the ministers, the hon. the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Ballantyne). The minister has lived in Quebec all his life, he was born there, and I am proud to say that his brother is one of my electors. That hon. gentleman, speaking in Montreal on Friday last," said:
Mr. Ballantyne praised Quebec's way of answering to the call, stating that while its attitude towards the Military Service Act was not the same as that of many in the country, there was no more loyal province in the Dominion. He also paid his respects to the fighting qualities of the French Canadian, and thanked Archbishop Bruch esi-
Is my hon. friend from Toronto. (Mr. Hocken) here?
-for the great assistance he had given throughout the war.
I would like to sprinkle my hon. friend of the Orange Sentinel with holy water.
In conclusion, let me say that we must all heilp win the war and we on this side of the House are ready to accept our share of the financial burden which Canada must face. We forgive the discreditable arguments used by most of the press of the Unionist party during the last campaign. Indeed, after the battle was over, surveying the debris on the battlefield, we found here and there, many glittering stil-lettoes still dripping in blood, daggers, Rogers knives1, etc., etc., constituting a collection which many a rogues' gallery might well envy. Those were the weapons that had been aimed at the breast of the right hon. and venerable leader of the Opposition. But thank Heaven, he is still living, and the banner of true Liberalism is still floating over this Dominion. We can
well afford to exclaim: " All is lost but honour." I wish that every leader of a Canadian political party could say the same. Sir, in one of his great Midlothian campaign speeches Mr. Gladstone used the following words: .
We oanraot reckon on the wealth of the country, nor upon the rank of the country, nor upon the influence which rank and wealth usually bring. In the main these powers are against

us, for wherever there is1 a close corporation, wherever there is a spirit of organized monopoly, wherever there is a narrow and sectional interest apart from that of the country, and desiring to he set up above the interest of the public, there, gentlemen, we, the Liberal! party, have no friendship and no tolerance to expect.
Above all these, and behind all these, there is something greater than these-there is the nation itself:-The nation is a power hard to rouse, but when roused, harder still and more hopeless to resist. [DOT]
These eloquent words admirably reflect the attitude of the Liberal party, and, we believe, the ultimate unbiased and undaunted spirit of the Canadian people.
My last words must be essentially Canadian. I gather from the newspapers that some ministers are at the present time scheming-yes, if my information is right, scheming-an ex parte trip to London. But. the Prime Minister is not going, and I am glad that he is not going, to London. At the present time he can well afford to follow the example of General Botha; his presence is urgently required in Canada as the leader of the nation. I am told that the Minister of the Interior and the President of the Council are going together to the Englisii metropolis. Why that association? I would be suspicious if I were one of the other ministers. Is Beaufort going to>
London? Is the famous secretarial organization going to London? Perhaps my hon. friend from Russell may have something to communicate to the House in that regard. I have read somewhere that Caesar was always suspicious of the pale man. I also am suspicious of that pale pair travelling together, and if I were a member of the Cabinet I would ask my hon. friends, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and the Minister of Public Works, to accompany them. Why give the two ministers to whom I have referred, a monopoly of the loyalty of Canada in London? Why not the Minister of Labour, for instance? Why mot my good friend the Secretary of State, who doubtless would (be glad to. see his native land, because I know that he is Brit-ish-toom. I spoke with him once at a St, George's Society dinner in Montreal, when I tried to explain to him that St. George when he killed the dragon did not kill the Tory party. Sir, the duty of a minister of the Crown at the present time does not lie in joy-riding in London. We have a minister there in the person of Sir Edward Kemp, we have a High Commissioner there in the person of Sir George Perley. Lord Milner does not care to see those gentlemen, nor Lloyd George either; let them stay

at their post. My hon. friend the President of the Council should rather go into the county of Durham this summer and spend his vacations there among the farmers, cajoling them to allow their sons to be conscripted. Moreover the Imperialistic dreams of the Round Table clubs ana jingo associations, of which we have counterparts in Canada have 'had their day in England. The rising and predominating influence over there is the Labour party, and (the Canadian jingoes will get very little comfort from that source. Let them read, learn and inwardly digest the following words from the leader of that great party. Speaking about the persistent jingo conspiracy against the autonomy of the Dominions', Mr. Henderson said:
With regard to that great Commonwealth ot all races, all colours, all religions, and all degrees of civilization, that we call the British Empire, the Labour Party stands for its maintenance and its progressive development on the lines of Local Autonomy and "Home Rule All Round" ; the fullest respect for the rights of each people, whatever Its colour, to all the Democratic Self-Government of which it is capable, and to the proceeds of its own toil upon the resources of its own territorial home; and the closest possible co-operation among all the various members of what has became essentially not an Empire in the old sense, but a Britannic Alliance. We desire to maintain the most intimate relations with the Labour Parties overseas. Like them, we have no sympathy with the projects of "Imperial Federation," in so far as these imply the subjection to a common Imperial Legislature wielding coercive power, (including dangerous facilities for coercive Imperial taxation and for enforced military service), either of the existing Self-Governing Dominions, whose autonomy would' be thereby invaded; or of the United' Kingdom, whose freedom of Democratic self-development would be thereby hampered; or of India and the Colonial Dependencies, which would thereby run the risk of being further exploited for the benefit of a "White Empire." We do not intend!, by any such "Imperial Senate" either to bring the plutocracy of Canada and South Africa to the aid of the British aristocracy, or to enable the landlords and financiers of the Mother Country to unite, in controlling the growing Popular Democracies overseas. The absolute autonomy of each self-governing part of the Empire must be maintained intact.
I 'regret, Mr. Speaker, to have spoken at such length, tout I thought that this was the proper time to utter the words which I have spoken, in order, in company with my fellow-members, to place the sentiments of my race rightly before the people of this country. As was said so eloquently the other day by the hon. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Lapointe) no press has been debauched to present only one side of the case for .us; no press has been bought to defend

the French Canadians. This Parliament is our only forum.
In conclusion, let. me say on behalf of my compatriots that their national creed can be summed up in one sentence; Credo in imam patriam.

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