May 26, 1930 (16th Parliament, 4th Session)


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I am glad the hon. gentleman now believes that they are part of the inevitable process of evolution. If however anyone will listen to his observations at this time and compare them with the observations of the hon. member for Bow River, who has just taken his seat, I think they will find some difficulty in accommodating themselves to .the view that the expression of his opinion represented evolution, but they would be rather inclined to the thought that his remarks were revolutionary.
Be that aS it may, I think there is a general recognition of the fact that the resolutions of 1926 are declaratory due to the vision and foresight and statesmanship of succeeding generations of statesmen who have directed the destinies not only of Canada but of all other dominions throughout the empire, and in the motherland as well. Particularly might it be said that we owe our position not only to ithe different parts of the empire but to the sacrifice, the courage and the blood of 60,000 Canadians; I think that faot can safely be stated. When the resolutions of 1926 declared that this country had attained equality of status with other parts of the British Empire and .there was no subordination of one

Shipping Legislation-Mr. Bennett
part to another, we realized, and the Prime Minister subsequently stated in this house anl elsewhere, that that was a statement of a condition which required to be qualified, because many events had to take place before it could be fully realized. It was because of that fact that a committee was set up under the Lord Chancellor, and which at a later date was presided over at the London conference by our Minister of Justice. As a result of the deliberations of that body, which represented every part of the self-governing portions of the empire, we have the resolution that is now before this house seeking approval of the work of that committee.
I recall very clearly that the late Bonar Law said that at any time if Canada desired to leave the British Empire there was no one in England who would raise a hand to stop us. In his lifetime he made it abundantly clear, born though he was in Canada, that if the people of Canada intimated, as apparently the member from Bow River hopes they will, their desire to dissociate themselves from the empire-

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