Mr. J. P. MOLLOY (Provencher):
Mr. Speaker, I desire in the first place to tender my most sincere and kind congratulations to the right hon. Prime Minister of this country. I do so as a member of this House and as a Manitoban. He and I came to this House as a result of the elections held in 1908. Ten of us came to the House together on that occasion. To-day I am on this side, and my right hon. friend is on the wrong side; one sleeps in an honoured grave in Prance; others are enjoying positions as a result of the power of this Government to appoint them to such positions; and the remainder are in that place where the dead still speak, the Canadian Senate. I have great regard for my friend the Prime Minister of Canada. My friends out West at different times have asked me what manner of man he was, and I said then what I say1 now- that I believed he was the best Tory in Canada. He thinks as a Tory; he acts like a Tory, and, if I may say so without being personal, he looks like a Tory-he is a Tory. I give him credit for ability, for industry, and for courage. I am sorry that as a Manitoban I am unable to follow
him; further than that I cannot go. He is a partisan, and so am I, but in our partisanship we differ. He has done all he could in the past, particularly in 1917, when he opened his campaign in the town of Morris, backed up by the premier of that province, to do what he could toward bringing about my defeat. He did not quite succeed. Perhaps he will be more successful next time, but in the meantime he may be kept very busy trying to save himself from defeat. For the reasons that I have given, I congratulate his party on having selected him. That he will live up to the traditions of the Conservative party, there is no doubt, as he is a reactionary; but whether he will be able, so to speak, to sway the multitude, we on this side are anxious to find out, more especially because the people of Canada are very anxious that this test should be made.
This debate has resolved itself into this. There has been some talk of the tariff; but in the meantime the tariff can very well stand; so can the freight rates, and from a western point of view and also from an eastern point of view, so can the question of the natural resources of this country. What we are dealing with especially, in following the amendment to the motion for an Address, is the question whether the people of Canada and the members of this House desire or do not desire a general election. A sub-amendment has also been moved, but, for my part, I cannot understand it; at least I could not understand it until I read the language of the hon. member who moved it. What did he say? Amongst other things he made this statement:
It may possibly not have escaped your attention, Sir, that since last session I have crossed the green carpet and now occupy a position on the side opposite the Government. I do not know that that fact is of any particular significance.
I agree with my hon. friend that it is of no particular significance, because his language Used further on endorses the statement that I make. He said further:
This does not mean that I differ from the Government now any more than I did in the past.
And further on:
I have no desire to see a change in government just at the present moment that would produce unnecessarily chaotic conditions.
The situation in regard to the subamendment, if I understand it aright, is this. It was moved by one who might be charged as acting in the capacity of sub
rosa agent of the Government. That hon. member crosses the floor of the House, but he says that he agrees with the Government. He does not want an election. He knew that the amendment of my hon. leader (Mr. Mackenzie King) was on record many days before he submitted his subamendment. As regards his statement that his crossing of the green carpet or the floor of this House might have no particular significance, I agree with him-there is none. He could have stayed where he had been for the three sessions which have passed since the general election of 1917, and still have moved his sub-amendment. I want to say this in passing: If I had
so far forgotten myself as to have supported Union Government, and I was offered my constituency by acclamation guaranteed; if I had accepted and had gone to that side of the House, being elected as a member of the House at that time, and if I had remained there until the present moment, I ask you, Sir, to accept my word as a member of this House, I would have stayed with the ship; I would not desert it in its hour of dire distress. My hon. friends opposite need men such as my hon. friend who comes as a Liberal from the province from which I come. There are Liberals and Liberals. The true Liberals are on this side of the House; they are not on the other side.
The only argument that can be advanced in favour of the sub-amendment-and there is some weight in it-is the question whether it would be in the interest of the Canadian people to have a general election following the redistribution of seats which must necessarily take place after the census which, we hope, will be completed some time this coming summer. I was a member of this House before the hon. member for Nelson (Mr. Campbell). I was a member of this House in 1911 when the very gentlemen who now sit on the Treasury Benches sat, as I sit now, in the cold shades of Opposition, and they demanded an election on the reciprocity pact as put forward by the Government of that day. I challenge them, all or any of them, to produce from the records of Hansard anything to show that they asked that that election be not held in 1911 on the ground that the West, from which many of them came, would be unfairly dealt with. Did they ask that the election that took place in 1911, and that resulted in the defeat of the Laurier administration, the best this country ever had, be postponed
until the following year, until the then Government could take the census, redistribute the seats and give the people justice? No, they did not do that, and not doing it, if they are sincere now, they were most insincere in 1911. For this reason: The census as taken in that year
gave to my province five additional members, to Saskatchewan, six additional members, to Alberta, five additional members, and if I remember rightly, to British Columbia, including the Yukon, five or six, I think six, additional members. Does any man think for a moment that by a redistribution now the West stands to gain that number of seats? Not at all. The other night this argument was advanced in this House- and I admit there is something to back it up. But will Manitoba or the other western provinces really gain? If we do, the number will be very small. There is in this country one province in which race suicide is not fashionable; that is Quebec, and I hope there are others. If the unit of representation in Quebec, which is represented in this House by sixty-five members, goes up from 30,000 odd to 40,000, how many seats will we gain in Manitoba? Perhaps one or two; and if the Government follows the line as indicated by the Minister of Militia and Defence (Mr. Guthrie) the other evening, where will those seats go?-if you will allow me to put it in that way. They will go to the city of Winnipeg, which represents practically one-half of the population of that province. The redistribution will take away from the rural districts, not only in Western Canada, but in Ontario and Quebec, the rural members that they now have. The Government expects, by so doing, by using such political strategy, that they can appeal to the people in the large towns, cities and centres of industry in this country, and that the Government will be the gainer thereby. They do not want to be too sure of that. I am not a prophet, but I think I can say that in the next House there will be from ten to twelve Labour members, who will come from the large industrial centres, not from the agricultural districts.
So far as the election is concerned, whether we should have it now or later,
I do not propose, as the representative of the constituency which I have the honour to represent, to assume the responsibility of stating that there should not be an election. My reason is very simple. I have endeavoured, no matter how feebly, no matter how I may have failed-if I
have failed-in some instances, to represent the people that I know best and that best know me. I have lived in the county of Provencher since 1879. I passed through it before there was a railway in Western Canada, and I believe that I know the political situation in the province of Manitoba as well as any hon. gentleman on the other side of the House. I do know this: I know the wishes and the opinions of those who live within the boundaries of the county which I represent. Not only do they ask for a general election now, but a year ago, before the last session commenced, they pressed for it just as strongly as we are doing now. There is only one thing for me to do as their representative, and that is to comply with their wishes or to be honourable enough to resign my seat in this House. I have not been asked to resign my seat; I believe these people still have faith in me. Believing that, and knowing their wishes, apart altogether from what my personal wishes or desires might be in the matter, I am going to support the amendment. I certainly, under no conditions whatsoever, will support the sub-amendment.
There are others besides the people of my county who have expressed themselves as desiring an election. There are the returned soldiers of this country. There are the farmers of this country, from Charlottetown to Victoria, who are represented in this House by an intelligent, and by no means, a small body of men. They constitute a recognized party in this House, and have their leader, who will take his chances with us and hon. gentlemen opposite whenever election day may come-and may it come soon. The farmers of this country are asking for an election. The business men of this country are asking for an election.
There is somebody else who is asking for an election, although perhaps not much attention will be paid to this statement by hon. gentlemen opposite. I have some idea of how to conduct an election. My methods may be crude, perhaps not as polished as others, but they are effective. Mr. Speaker, I get my information, I have got it in the past, and I get it now and in the future from the children in the schoolyards. When I am in doubt as to what a certain section is going to do, I make it my business to find out-I do it myself, or some one does it for me-what the children in that particular district may happen to say. If they are against me, I know I am up against it; if they are for me, I
know I am all right. I got many reports from the schoolyard in 1917 that were, I am sorry to say, unfavourable. I would not like to repeat on the floor of this House what even a clergyman said on a public platform in the county from which I come, where we run elections red-hot from the time they start until long after they are over. I know what the children said then in certain districts, and the poll pretty nearly went that way.
Now I pass from the school-children, the business men, the farmers, and the soldiers, and take another large class that has not been mentioned, that is, the enfranchised women of this country who did not vote in 1917. In the district in which I live, the majority of the women in the county of Provencher-and I make this statement believing it to be true-who voted for my opponent in 1917 are going to vote against this Government at the first opportunity. They have fully made up their minds to vote against this Government. Now miracles are not going to happen between now and election day, although somebody on the other side will doubtless try and work them. I say that the women of my county are against this Government, and they have good reasons for being so.
When I ask for an election now, some one may say, you are playing a selfish game, you are afraid of a redistribution of seats. I am not afraid of a redistribution of seats, nor am I playing a selfish game. It happens that my county is in the southeastern portion of the province, and from a military point of view, so to speak, I am protected on the east by the province of Ontario, on the south by the state of Minnesota, and on the west by the Red river. I have, therefore, only one line of trenches to watch, and so far as I am concerned they can either take away from pr add to my constituency-I care not which. Although I do not care, at the same time I may be defeated, for elections are uncertain, but take my word for this-that if I am, the fellow who gets in won't need a Turkish bath for the next six months anyway.
I say there should be an election for this reason if for no other, that in the year 1917 the Canadian people were in what might be termed an abnormal state of mind. Men said things and did things, and women said things and did things, that they would not do to-day. They have come down to terra firma, so to speak. There is unrest, but happily the unrest is
not gaining ground, at least, we hope not. 11 is unthinkable to me that men who have had long service as members of this House, for instance, the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Poster) or others associated with him much younger than him, can argue for a moment that the people of Canada are the same to-day as they were in 1917, or that they think in any one respect as they did in 1917, when men's passions and prejudices were inflamed, and the people generally were in an abnormal state of mind. I maintain that it is not fair to the people, no matter how the 1917 election was carried-and it was anything but fair to me, and we condemn that-now there is an opportunity for the Government to appeal to the people and get an expression of opinion on the questions of the day, that that opportunity should be denied. The right time to appeal is now, but the Government are hanging on to office, for what? They are hoping against hope, and what they are doing to-day other governments in this country have done before them. The Tupper Government of 1896 held on to the last minute of the day. It was bad business from a party point of view. This Government expect they will be stronger two years from now than they are to-day.
They will be just that much weaker. How can they be stronger? They cannot possibly hold a majority in this House, and they will be mighty fortunate if they do it this session. They are in great doubt themselves; they are in a blue funk at the present moment. We are not crowding the Government, if I may say so. The Opposition have been absolutely fair. They say to the Government: Hurry on the necessary business before Parliament and before the country; take your Supply; be manly about it; get up and get out just as quickly as you can, and go to the country for the approval or disapproval of the people. They will have to go sooner or later, and the longer they delay the worse it will be for them. The other night I listened carefully, as I always do, to the eloquent Minister of Militia (Mr. Guthrie). I may say that there is a personal political interest for me in the hon. gentleman. The first political meeting I ever attended in my life was held in December, 1886, in the county of Wellington. The main actor was the father of the present Minister of Militia, Mr. Donald Guthrie, and when it came to attacking the Tory party and making a speech that was incisive and telling, and one that
would be long remembered, well, he was one of the best I have ever heard. That was quite a while ago. I went to the meeting a Grit and when I came away I was a confirmed Grit; and I wish to say this- and I shall speak of the "acid test" a little later on-that to-day I prefer to be a Donald Guthrie Grit rather than a Hugh Guthrie Tory. Our hon. friend promised us the acid test. Well, I fancy pretty nearly every man on this side of the House has had the acid test applied to him at sometime or other. I got all the acid test I wanted in 1917. I stood up and survived it, and I am prepared to try it again. What is the acid test? Of course, we all know there are many acids, and I guess the acid test which they will apply, if they ever do apply any, will be something in the nature of boracic acid, which is a mild antiseptic that may be applied to wounds. My hon. friends opposite admit that wounds exist; there are wounds on this side of the House', they admit, they say, and they admit that there are wounds in certain sections of the country. And now they want to alleviate those wounds and are repentant. However, their apologies and their repentance will not be accepted by the majority of hon. members of this House, and certainly not by the majority of the people whom those members on this side represent. In the first place, hon. gentlemen opposite think they are very smart. They are going to put on the acid test, they say. In my estimation that is nothing but a bluff. They say: We will put forward the Liberal platform. Well, that will not faze me. They then threaten to bring forward the Farmers' platform. Well, you will not faze me there either, except in so far as one thing is concerned, and that is the Recall. I would not vote for the Recall if it were in the Liberal platform, and I am mighty sure I will not vote for it when it is in the Agrarian platform. I will come here elected to stick, or stay at home defeated; but no little committee back in the old county of Provencher is going to tell me some day, if they have some personal or other grievance, that the best thing I can do is to pack my trunk and go home. If they do I will tell them to mind their own business, for I am here to stay. Why, the thing is foolish; it is not Canadian; and there is not a man in the Agrarian party to-day who can stand up and defend the principle of Recall, eloquent as some of them are. No, Sir; I will not countenance any Recall, -Well, yes, there is one recall that I might
favour. When I cross the river I might find myself dissatisfied with my habitation, and if I were recalled it is likely I should come back. But I will have no Recall while I am a living man.
The acid test, Mr. Speaker, is being applied every minute, every hour, and every day as time goes on; while we are sitting in this House it is being applied. Who is applying the acid test, though? The manufacturers of Canada are applying it at least hourly to this Government. They say: Boys, come across before election, or we forget you. If you don't hurry you will find yourself in the wilderness of No Man's Land, as described by the high protectionist the other day, the member for St. Hyaeinthe (Mr. Gauthier). The Government know that they must satisfy the manufacturers or else land in No Man's Land. But whether they satisfy the manufacturers or not is of no consequence, for No Man's Land is exactly where they are going to find themselves, anyway. Some one else can apply the acid test just as well as those on the side of the Government. Their numbers may be greater; numerically they may be stronger; but that is not the whole thing. We may be a remnant, as we have been described. Well, we allow them to say so. But there was a remnant at the Battle of Waterloo, in the Old Guard; there was a remnant in the shape of the Light Brigade at Balaklava; and there were remnants among our own sons and brothers in the fields of Flanders during the war. But they all came back. A remnant is not so bad after all as something upon which to build a political party that will rule the country in which they belong. There have been many remnants, but we are a much stronger remnant in this country than they imagine. Hon. members opposite may say we are a remnant, but that will not hurt us. We know, as everybody else knows, that they are the remnant. They are a remnant that is afraid to hold an election. They are afraid to reorganize the Government. The Prime Minister is anxious to reorganize, and he shows his good sense in the desire to do so; but he is afraid to open seats for Cabinet Ministers, because he knows that there is not a constituency where a Cabinet Minister has a chance of being elected. There is not one from Charlottetown to Victoria.
We have been taunted by the statement that in certain provinces the representation on this side of the House is very small. On the face of it that statement is true. I
do not know how it was in Eastern Canada at the time of the general election; but I do know what went on in Western Canada, at least in some parts; and I want to say that the tyranny and the terrorism that prevailed in that section, backed up by every newspaper in the three western provinces so far as my knowledge goes, except two, were such, that it is no wonder that there are two men on this side from Western Canada. How so many came from the eastern provinces I do not understand. But we shall find out what went on, and we will prove that tyranny and terrorism did exist in this country in 1917. I believe it had the backing of the Government, although I would not say it had the backing of all its followers in this Chamber or out of it. I believe it was winked at by the Government, the idea being " Put this man out of business by any means, pretty much, that you desire." That day is over. They will not on the eve of the next election be able to promise the farmers of the country "You vote for us and your sons shall be exempt from Military Service." I say such a proceeding as that was a contemptible piece of business on the part of any man or any government. Although I represent a farming constituency I opposed that procedure. I maintained that the son of a farmer had as much right to go to war as anybody else when conscription was the law. Then what did the Government do? After making that promise to the farmers of Canada they immediately turned around and, as in the case of the signing of the Treaty of Limerick, they broke that pledge, before the ink was dry, to suit their own convenience.
Well, Mr. Speaker, I am about to conclude. I want to go on record, as a western man, as in favour of an election before re-distribution although by re-distribution I should gain. I am in favour of an election because the people whom I represent and the people are generally calling for it.
Not that all the electors are going to vote for the candidates of the Liberal party; their votes will be divided, there is no question about that. The representatives of three or four parties will be before the people and each will get some support. But I believe that the ballots of the great majority of electors will be cast in favour of those who have urged an immediate appeal to the people. For our part we welcome that appeal and we have no fear as to the outcome. We shall stand where we have always stood,
maintaining true Liberal principles. As a representative of the Liberal party I shall be found standing where I have stood in the past. Every man in my constituency knows my attitude and what my views are upon all questions that have been debated in this House. If my constituency sees fit to reject me, I shall have no complaint to make and neither should hon. gentleman across the way who to-day are in the position of usurpers. The best proof of that is the fact that they * are afraid to go back to the very people who sent them here but a few short years ago. I maintain that the people desire a general election and wish it to take place at the earliest possible moment. Such being the case the amendment of the leader of the Opposition will have my hearty support.
At six o'clock the House took recess.
The House resumed at eight o'clock.
Mr. ROBERT H. HALBERT (North Ontario) : Mr. Speaker, in rising to make a few remarks on the Address in reply to the speech from the Throne and the amendments thereto at this late hour in the debate-and I know the Government is anxious to bring the debate to a close-I am sure, Sir, you will permit me to dispense with the time-honoured custom of throwing bouquets.
First, I want to thank the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) for his warning to us in his speech. He seemed to be worried that we of this little group were being courted by the hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King). I also want to thank him for informing us that our wooer is insincere and is trying to deceive us. The information did not cause any serious heart throbbings among the members of our group. But for the peace of mind and comfort of the right hon. Prime Minister, I would hasten to remind him that all courtships do not end in marriage-as he no doubt is well aware after his somewhat fruitless wooing in the province of Quebec, although there are symptoms that he has secured one convert, as it is generally understood that the hon. member for St. Hyacinthe-Rouville (Mr. Gauthier) is making go-goo eyes across the floor and longing for the flesh pots of a Cabinet position. But there are always jealousies between wooers, especially if they are both wooing for a purpose. The old
saying tells us that "faint heart ne'er won fair lady," but I am sure, Sir, rto one would ever accuse the right hon. the Prime Minister of being faint-hearted. However, the wooing which he and his supporters are indulging in will never win for them the support of the intelligent, democratic-thinking people of Canada. Even the wooing of his tariff policy is losing its chloroforming effect.
I would like to draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, and, through you, the attention of hon. members to the words of the right hon. Prime Minister as recorded on page 37 of Unrevised Hansard. He was speaking of the Colchester by-election and he said:
There was a candidate of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Crerar) who is represented to-day by the distinguished member for Red Deer. There was a candidate of that party in the county of Colchester and they had some rather questionable support-support from men who advocated very strange doctrines, very strange doctrines indeed, doctrines put into practice in only one country in the world that I know of. But that party had a candidate and its candidate was buried under a majority of some 1,500 votes.
I wonder what very strange doctrine the right hon. Prime Minister was referring to. Perhaps, Sir, if we would read some of the big headlines in the Colchester papers that were supporting the Government candidate we might get a little information on the point. You wil find in the Truro Citizen of Saturday, September 18, 1920-and it was in all the local Conservative papers-this heading in large letters-so large that you can probably read it, Sir, when I hold it up in my hand:
Will the Farmers and Working Men of Colchester Stand for Deviltries of Bolshevism?
I will not take up the time of the House in reading the whole advertisement, but I will quote one or two items, which I think will be sufficient for my purpose. This is all about the Bolshevik doctrine in Russia; I do not know what that had to do with the Colchester by-election, but it was given great prominence in this paper. I will quote some paragraphs:
Women are reduced to the level of chattels. Free love is the Bolshevik doctrine. No longer is woman regarded as a human creature to be loved and protected. The Bolshevick treat her as a beast, to be bought, sold, and raped as their cruel passions dictate.
Will the farmers and working men of Colchester stand for such deviltries ; and approve of being linked up in this campaign with canvassers who openly espouse the cause of Bolshevism?
Now, Mr. Speaker, in connection with that I am going to read a report of the
proceedings at the Conservative nomination convention in East Elgin. The heading of this news item is:
Foster Puts U. F. O. With Bolsheviki
Aylmer, Sept. 11.-At the Conservative Nomination Convention in Bast Elgin yesterday. Sir George Foster made a slashing attack on the U. F. O., ranking that organization with the Bolsheviki and the British miners who would oust responsible Government.
This is -what the right hon. gentleman said:
Be careful before you arise and from the top of the soap box or anywhere else propound that it shall be swept aside,-
He was speaking about the past history of Conservatism.
-smashed to pieces, that you shall put some class interest in its place-Soviet, Bolsheviki. miners' or farmers' party, I care not what it is-one is almost as bad as the other-
Thank goodness for that little word "almost." Now I want to read from the Mail and Empire. Speaking of the right hon. the Prime Minister it says:
At the Granby meeting Premier Meighen had something to say about Winnipeg Labour extremists uniting themselves to what appeared to them as the most formidable opposition to the Government. This was the C'rerar party, or the Western Grain Growers' Organization.
Premier Meighen's reference to this was well warranted and appropriate and does not, in the least, carry the inference that he deemed the Canadian farmer in general to be Bolshevist.
The Crerar group and the Canadian "farmers" are by no means the same.
I happen to be one of the Crerar group, and I am proud to have as my leader a man of the standing, integrity, ability and honesty of the hon. member for Marquette.
Now then, who was the farmers' candidate in Colchester? His name was Captain Dickson, a young farmer who owned a farm near Truro, and who when the war broke out turned his farm over to strangers to work, enlisted and went overseas, did his bit in France, was wounded, and came back when the war was over as a captain and I am told decorated with a Victoria pr a Military Cross-a very creditable candidate I am sure you will admit, Mr. Speaker, a candidate you would not think of accusing of being a Bolshevik or linked up with humbugs, fakirs, or nation-wreckers. Did those who are making those insinuations do as much for their country as Captain Dickson did in its hour of peril?
I would like to draw your attention, Sir, to another article in the same paper headed in big type:
A Carnival of Corruption Charged. How the U. F. O. Did It in Ontario. Some Light on Farmers' election in Dufferin County, Ontario.
The truth of the matter is that there were no corrupt practices, and none were proven, and the judges who sat on the election protest ordered the party who filed the charges -and who was of course backed up by the Conservative Government of the province
to pay all costs in connection with the case, as they stated that everything in connection with the election was honest and above board. But, Sir, those insinuations and charges had done their work in Colchester in assisting to defeat Captain Dickson and in electing the hon. member for Colchester, the Minister of Public Works (Mr. McCurdy). We in this group, and Captain Dickson as well, would sooner be defeated than elected and hold office by such highhanded misrepresentation and stooping to such low degrading deceptions and questionable methods. When men or governments will stoop to such practices to be elected, what can you expect of them, Sir, when they get in office? Is there not a grave danger of their continuing those same methods? There is only one safe course to pursue for all who want to maintain self-respect and public confidence, and that is to play fair in everything. The structure of society and government is built upon the basis of respect and confidence, and when that fails , society or government becomes but a rope of sand; and any government holding office that has not that confidence weakens the respect that people have in government and in public men.
I will have to vote for the amendment, Mr. Speaker, because I believe this Government has not that confidence, and that the people are anxious for ,an election at as early a date as possible. In support of that, I will only refer you to the by-elections in the province of Ontario. The hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. McGibbon) claimed to speak for that province, but, Mr. Speaker, Ontario has spoken with no uncertain voice. We have had five by-elections in Ontario-* Tory Ontario; did the Government win any of them? You, Sir, well know that a Government which has the confidence of the people seldom loses a by-election, but this Government has lost them all. In Glengarry, in Temiskaming, in East Elgin, in North Ontario, the candidates who ran on the Farmers' platform were elected and now sit in this group; in West Peterborough a Liberal candidate was elected. I would not then, he doing my duty to my riding, to my province or to this Dominion were I to vote to support a government which, as the by-elections go to prove beyond the shadow
of a doubt, has not the confidence of the people.
The hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) said during the course of his speech on the Address that it would be better to hold on to the seat he had, than to take chances in an election. This sentiment was endorsed also by the hon. member for South Toronto (Mr. Sheard). I have no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that they were speaking not only their own opinion but the opinion of a good many of the men who sit around them.
We have heard a good deal about redistribution; it is one of the main arguments that is being put forward by hon. gentlemen opposite as an excuse for their hanging on to office. It is contended that it is not fair to disfranchise the West, which should have increased representation. But, Sir, not only the West but a large part of the Dominion is not represented now-or perhaps I should say, is misrepresented- and the Government seems determined to disfranchise these people until they get good and ready and get the constituencies changed so that they will be able at least to re-elect a corporal's guard from those on the opposite side of the House.
We in this little group feel that great issues are at stake to-day, and that the next few years will determine the future of Canada. All who have the interests of Canada at heart feel that we have ahead of us many years of steady, patient, earnest and perhaps sometimes heartrending toil, but along this way lies the only road to satisfaction and success. It will test our metal, the sincerity of our purpose and the purity and strength of our ideals. It will find the weak spot in our moral makeup-but at the end lies the goal, the making of Canada and the well-being of her people. Have we, Mr. Speaker, the courage to face the future with the inspiration of a great purpose and find a joy and an honour in the doing of it, or are we going to let past and present conditions continue to break our hearts, mar our morals, and destroy the birthright which is the inheritance of all those who were born in and love this great Canada?
We hear great criticism of the farmer's organization and the farmers' group. The hon. member for Brantford took some measure of comfort, I have no doubt, from his criticism of the Ontario Government. But the farmers have never shown that they were at all dangerous, except in the minds, perhaps, of members on the opposite side. Why are the supporters of
the farmers' platform branded as Bolshevik? Because they refused to be influenced by the backwoods ranting of politicians who trade on partyism and bigotry and we say that henceforth the standard of Canadian citizenship is to be measured by a man's worth and not according to the length of his ancestry of party heelers. The farmers are bound to Canada with an intensity of attachment. They are rooted in its soil; as native sons they love Canada with the passionate love of children for their mothers. Their fathers and forefathers cleared the land and railed the highways. Prance is finding her hope today not in her cities and large industrial centres, but in the industry and thrift of her rural people. It was this same industry and thrift that paid France's indemnity to Germany after 1870. It is the peasants of Belgium who are re-creating that country and making it again the garden of Europe. It was the farmers of Denmark who in 1880 created the organization out of which has grown, perhaps, the biggest national business success of modern times. Only by the same grit, determination and steady, plucky labour can Canada ever hope to become great or can her place among the nations be assured. If Canada in the years to come is to make any lasting contribution to civilization, it will be because her people have breathed the spirit of true democracy and feel the responsibility of the great task which they have inherited. With a task so gTeat before us, Canada can well afford to take stock of her resources and of the spirit of her people. It is a significant fact that the people of Canada to-day are learning their own power, are doing their own thinking, and are prepared to accept and discharge the responsibilities that all this implies. Were it otherwise, Canada would be unworthy of her inheritance, of the sacrifice of her bravest sons, and of the great future which awaits her.
We have, Mr. Speaker, another very important task; we must cement our common citizenship. Our flag is made up of different colours of silk or wool, but taken together they make up the Union Jack of which we are all so proud. This magnificent building in which we meet is built of stone, brick and marble, but what unites these elements in a building which will endure forever? Cement, is it not? We have in Canada people of different races and creeds. What is needed to unite them? The gospel of Canadian citizenship. Between these different races and creeds there must be agreement as to the national ideals,
and this agreement will be brought about not by force but by education and goodwill and friendly co-operation. We should aim to make Canada and Canadianism so dear to the hearts of all who live within our borders that they will seek this citizenship of their own accord, and cherish it as a privilege and a source of pride. Build up Canada and true Canadian citizenship, and the rest will take care of itself. This is the work of a united people, and must find its inspiration in a great national need. If we fail in this task, we shall suffer loss: if we succeed, our children will rise up and call us blessed and civilization will learn to pay tribute to the greatness of the spirit of the Canadian people.
There has been considerable discussion, Mr. Speaker, about who should be on the Government benches; several hon. members intimate that the leader of the Opposition turns a longing eye in that direction, and that he is angling for the Prime Ministership. But, Sir, that is not the issue to-day; that is not what is being discussed outside this House. The issue is not the right hon. Prime Minister and the National Liberal and Conservative Party; not the leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Party; not the hon. member for Marquette and the National Progressive Party; the issue to-day is whether Canada is going to have its destinies controlled by a greedy plutocracy or whether we are going to be allowed to establish a real economic democracy without which political democracy is farcical. There must be a change, Mr. Speaker, or our civilization will be hopelessly brutalized. The horn and hoof of the protected interests have been long enough upon the doorstep of Canadian homes and Canada's House of Parliament. The fight for freedom from this vulgar and oppressive domination has only begun, but, Sir, it will never let up until the common people, the wealth-producing people of Canada, are liberated from the thraldom of the financial barons who own this country financially and control it politically, and until we have a condition of equal rights to all and special privileges to none. No matter how fertile the soil of a country may be; no matter how frugal and industrious its people, it will remain poor and backward and its people will be lacking in the highest comforts of life if its trade laws and its fiscal policies are unsound.
Protection in any country creates a class, bound together by self-interest alone, armed at all points and ready for action against any one or any party that would dare to curtail its privileges. Such a class
is without private or public honour and actuated solely by greed for financial gain. Protection has been called slavery of the same kind as American slavery, but not in the same degree; but the day is not far distant when we shall see embodied in active legislation the ideals and aspirations of the plain folk of Canada. Though the ship may swing with the tide, while the anchor holds firm to democracy, we are safe.
Sixty thousand of the brightest, best and bravest of Canada's sons lie buried on the fields of France and Flanders, for what? Because they were willing to die for the economic and political emancipation of the world.