June 7, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Daniel Duncan McKenzie (Solicitor General of Canada)


Hon. D. D. McKENZIE (North Cape Breton and Victoria) :

Mr. Speaker, I must indeed congratulate the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Stewart) upon his very excellent exposition of public questions as he sees them. This is the fifth Canadian Parliament of which I have had the honour of being a member; including the provincial parliaments, I have been in seven different parliaments. The present Parliament is of particular interest, because it is composed of three strong groups. We had in one or two previous parliaments three groups, but the third group was largely, as has been the case in the British House of Commons, composed of middle-bench men who were exercising the right to their own individual and independent ideas but were not calling themselves collectively a party. In this House now we have three distinct parties, of which the Progressive party contains the largest number of new members. While I am not disposed to be fulsome in praise of them, I must do the new group the justice of saying that of the many Parliaments which I have seen on the Hill I do not know of any large group of new members who have brought to Parliament such a good equipment of parliamentarians as they have. Of course, their ideas of parliamentary life and parliamentary usefulness, their ideas concerning the way in which they should carry out their duties in this House, will undergo some changes when they have been here quite a number of years and have become acclimatized to the conditions in the House. I am not saying that from any critical point of view, but as one who has travelled that road I think it is only fair that I should
tell my hon. friends that if twenty years hence they are still sitting in Parliament they will be surprised at the striking change which their views have undergone concerning how things can be done and the way they should go about doing them. But it would have been a great mistake for my hon. friends not to express their views upon public questions as they have been expressing them and as they will, no doubt, express them during the remainder of this session.
My hon. friend who has just taken his seat has made reference to the duties of citizenship. He points out that the word is used freely, and he says he is not so clear that its meaning is fully understood. Few things in the world are so important as citizenship. The great Scottish poet, Robert Burns, said: "An honest man's the noblest work of God." There is no doubt that is true, and the attributes which Robert Burns had in mind when he penned these words must of necessity be part of the equipment of every true citizen. It is impossible for a man to be a good citizen in the proper sense of the term without possessing those noble qualities to which the immortal Burns has made reference. I am glad that my hon. friend has referred to citizenship. I am sure we are all proud of being Canadian citizens, and prouder, if possible, to be British citizens enjoying all the privileges that the British flag and the British Crown bring to us. We have one king and one crown, one flag and one country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. When we talk of groups and divisions, and of one party attempting to build up one section of the country regardless of the necessities of other sections, let us understand at once that such a thing is an impossibility. It is impossible to build up a country by building up one section at the expense of another, with no uniformity of development, just as it is impossible to build any other structure on the same principle. For these reasons I say at once to my friends of the Progressive party, who are here practically as new men-I need not say it to the old hard-shells of the Tory party, many of whom have been here for a long time, and who make it their boast that they are true and loyal, good Imperialists- that we must have regard to the necessities of the country as a whole, and try to find a policy that will enable us to govern and carry forward this whole country from coast to coast, a policy that will be in

The Budget-Mr. McKenzie
conformity, so far as possible, with the best interests of every citizen in this great country of ours.
Men and women come to this country, they accept our laws and our privileges, they accept the splendid welcome we give them, and in return we expect nothing from them except that they shall perform their duties as Christian citizens of this country, and in that way become worthy of the heritage which has been handed to us by our forefathers, all of which we are willing to hand down to those who come to this country and make their homes amongst us, exacting only from them that they shall be good citizens. Much depends in that-regard upon our own conduct. It is just the same as the example the head of the family sets to his children. As a rule, you will never see well-behaved children in a household where the father has no respect for the amenities which should govern his conduct as the head of the house. On the other hand, if he shows himself well-behaved, a moral, devout Christian man in all the duties devolving upon him, the children are glad to follow in his footsteps. It is the same with citizenship. If we who were born here, or have been here many years, live up to the ideals of British citizenship and of the British flag, if we stand fast by them in honesty of purpose, industry, and everything else that makes for good citizenship, those who come to this country will try to live up to our standards; but if we depart from them, let us beware that we are not dragged down to the standards which the stranger to this country would set up if he found a lack of principles in us who ought to know better.
I have made these observations, Mr. Speaker, I think justifiably, because we have a great many new members, excellent men who are here for the first time. They have heard a great deal about politicians and public men and have perhaps heard that they are men not over-1 burdened with morals, and without any proper conception of what is real manhood, and of what are the duties devolving upon public men in this country. I do not hold myself up to be anything but perhaps a poor example of the good men of this country, but I have been in touch with public men in Canada for the past thirty or thirty-five years or more, and I must bear this testimony, that taking our public men as a class, they are as fond of principle, of honour, of right and square dealing as
any other class of men that I ever came across in this country. I want to convey to my good friends who may have brought here with them from the far West or from the Old Country, or wherever they come from, the idea that public men in Canada are such that they must be on their guard against them, and that they have no proper conception of honour in dealing with their fellow citizens, that such is not the case, and if my good friends will do their part, if they will uphold those high standards of citizenship that the old Nova Scotian, the old British Columbian, or the men of any other province of Canada hold as their ideals, we shall be happy together, and no one will have any reason to find fault with our citizenship.
I do not think that I shall follow the speech of my hon. friend very much further. I agree largely with what he says, and I am pleased to find that he has such a clear conception of his duty and of what should be done in connection with the affairs of this country.
A good many words of praise and congratulation have been tendered to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). These praises have come from all parts and all forners of this great country, and when other hon. members from far-away provinces have tendered their congratulations, and quite properly, to the minister, it is not only incumbent upon me, coming from the same province, a colleague of the minister for many years, and his follower as a humble member of the Liberal party for nearly forty years, but a very great pleasure to tender to him my warmest congratulations upon this the delivery, and the delivery in good style and splendid form, of his sixteenth budget. I suppose, Mr. Speaker, that few men if any-possibly there may have been a few, but I could not myself in any leading countries of the world discover any such person-have had a history like the present Finance Minister. I do not know whether the famous Iron Chancellor-who for many years, although not the real ruler of Germany, was the financial centre and strength of that Empire and was in office at the time of the Franeo-Prussian war of 1870-had the great distinction of introducing into his Parliament as many budgets as our present Finance Minister, but if it was not his good fortune to have done so, I do not know of any one else.
May I be permitted to boast somewhat of our Liberalism in the province of Nova Scotia and to hold out to our friends who

The Budget-Mr. McKenzie
are not very fond, I believe, of the old party, some of the beauties, the traditions, and the achievements of that party in the good old province down by the sea-a province where law is respected, where citizenship is respected, where property rights are respected, and where religious beliefs-and everything that goes into the making of life what it ought to be and making life happy and contented

are respected. There is no province in the Dominion of Canada, no Spot in the world-and that is said without any disparity to any other place-* where those essentials of life are better preserved and more respected than in the little province of Nova Scotia. Let me say that while we have had splendid men in the province of Nova Scotia and have given splendid men to the world-we have had such men as Joseph Howe; Mr. Johnson who was the contemporary and also the premier of Nova Scotia "as well as Howe

the Tuppers, the Bordens, Fielding, Murray, and many others who stand high in the ranks of the public men of Canada-[DOT] among them all there was none who contributed more to the stabilising and the elevating of the public life of Canada than the hon. gentleman who is now the Minister of Finance of the Dominion, and who has had the honour of introducing the budget we are now disci'ssing.
I am sure it would be surprising for some people to know that ever since Confederation we have had only one change of government in the province of Nova Scotia. I need not tell hon. gentlemen how long ago that is. During that fifty-four years <ve had just one change of government. That was in 1878 when the Conservative administration took the reins of office; but in 1882 they went out of power and ever since that time the people of Nova Scotia -who are bright, intelligent and alert people-have consistently followed in the one track, and have consistently recognized the one policy, the one love, and the one system of government. The present premier, who to-day occupies the place of honour and power in the province of Nova Scotia will, some day next month, have been sitting there for twenty-six years, he will have been continuously in office for twenty-six years. I refer to the Hon. George Murray, a gentleman who is well known from coast to coast, a gentleman who, after twenty-six years of office, exhibits the purity and the bright hope of a consistent and progressive life as a politician and a Liberal of the Liberals. If in this great province of ours we can produce from the
[Mr. McKenzie. I '
Liberal party a man like that, who has given us a spiendid government and a splendid record of progress, am I not justified in presenting, not only to this House but to the world, the good old Liberal party and saying that within its ranks, and exhibiting its doctrines and its principles, are to be found men and measures worthy of this great country, and that these measures deserve to be developed, perpetuated and continued? Let me add that for fourteen years before the Hon. Mr. Murray took charge of the affairs of the province of Nova Scotia, the Hon. Mr. Fielding, who is now the Finance Minister here, was the premier of that province. That also involved being the finance minister for the province as well, for he was also the provincial treasurer and provincial secretary, the duties of which, in our province, correspond to those of the federal Minister of Finance. So that the fact deserves to be noted that Hon. Mr. Fielding is not only presenting his sixteenth budget in the Dominion Parliament, but he had previously presented fourteen budgets in the Nova Scotia legislature, making a record more unique and more striking than that of any other man, I believe, who ever occupied high office under the British flag.
Now, I may be criticised perhaps, for talking about these things, but I think it is only right and proper that there should be a due presentation of them to this House and to the world. Public men do not always, perhaps, get the praise and the credit that is due to them, and when there are clear and striking evidences of this kind due recognition should be forthcoming. For the province of Nova Scotia is just as exacting-perhaps more so-of a high line of conduct from its public men as any other part of Canada. So happily have the expectations of the province in this regard been fulfilled that for twenty-six years we have had one premier (Hon. Mr. Murray), and for fifty-four years we have had the one government or the one party in power excepting, as I have said, for a brief spell of four years. This shows there is virtue, stability, a high conception of honour, and efficient administration to be found in the party which is so appreciated by the little province down by the sea. I am producing these goods largely for the benefit of my hon. friends of the Progressive party. I would ask them to examine them and, if they are of a proper type and fitness, let them wear them.
At six o'clock the House took recess.

The Budget-Mr. McKenzie
After Recess
The House resumed at eight o'clock.

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