Joseph READ

READ, Joseph

Personal Data

Party
Laurier Liberal
Constituency
Prince (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
October 31, 1849
Deceased Date
April 6, 1919
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Read_(Canadian_politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=18f384df-6db6-4b46-8c71-b9ba8166d43b&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
master mariner, merchant, shipowner

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - April 6, 1919
L LIB
  Prince (Prince Edward Island)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 38)


March 6, 1919

Mr. JOSEPH READ:

There are no aliens in my constituency.

Topic:   RE LOANS TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
Full View Permalink

March 6, 1919

Mr. JOSEPH READ:

I hear a great deal of dissent. Mr. Speaker I know what I am saying to be a fact.

Topic:   RE LOANS TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
Full View Permalink

March 6, 1919

Mr. JOSEPH READ:

But it is an unfortunate fact that the laws of nature have not provided for such a thing as Union Government unless it be for some single special purpose. When that single special purpose has been consummated, Union Government is an anachronism;, in the nature of things, it does not fit the times. If you superinduce magnetism at the one end of the needle, the opposite magnetism takes places at the other. There is, in nature, no such thing as half ness that has any good to it. All nature is double and

so is every one of its parts. You cannot have light if you have no darkness. You cannot have an "up" if you do not have a " down." You cannot have an attraction if you do not have a repulsion. If I went to pull my hon. friend, the Minister of Public Wqfks (Mr. Carvell) out of his chair, I would have to push as much with my feet as I pulled with my hands. I have said that all nature is double; and so is every one of its parts. A Union Government is an unnatural combination and comes into being only for a special purpose. But this country has more interests involved in its government than one. To win the war was one great purpose, and for a time overshadowed everything else. If the Union Government had been formed to win the war, and if the war was the only thing to which it was absolutely necessary for the people of Canada to apply themselves, then Union Government would be all right so long as that condition lasted. But the moment the armistice was signed and the war over Union Government was no longer fitted for the conduct of the affairs of this or any other country. Let me illustrate from history. The Province of Prince Edward Island has the second oldest responsible government of any community in North America. The local Government of Prince Edward Island is older than the American government, older than the governments of the Canadas, older than any other government in North America except Nova Scotia. Once, the province of Prince Edward Island had a coalition or union government on the school question. Hon. Sir Louis Davies, now Chief Justice of Canada, was premier of Prince Edward Island, and formed a coalition government on a fifty-fifty basis-not the promise of a fifty-fifty basis which was broken, but a real fifty-fifty. No sooner had this coalition government passed the legislation for which it was formed than a cleavage set in and the coalition ceased to exist almost immediately. Only one of the ministers of the Conservative persuasion changed his politics; the rest remained true to their old party. In the nature of things such a thing as a coalition government cannot exist. There is no co-ordination between our friends on the other side of the House, and it is no wonder they cannot do anything. The Government of this country has developed into an autocracy; there is no such thing as a democratic government in Canada to-day, and the most unfortunate thing about it is that we have got to keep this Government in power this session. So I was not at all astonished when I heard

the ex-Minister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) say that he was still going to support this Government. I am going to support them too-that is, to the extent of giving them the best advice I can, and criticising them, of course, when I think they are wrong. But there is this to be said. We cannot have an election until the boys come home, so there is no use talking about turning this Government out yet. We have to submit to the inevitable; we have to submit to the results of the conspiracy of 1917-a conspiracy that will go down in history as one of the most diabolical acts of a class of people called politicians.

Now I am going to give my hon. friends on the other side of the House some advice. I shall give it in all sincerity and without the slightest tincture of either a partisan or a politician; I mean that kind of politician that gets glass eyes and seems to see the things that are not, which is Shakespeare's definition of a scurvy politician. My advice to the Government is this: Announce to the House on Thursday that at the end of this session this Parliament will be dissolved and a mandate sought from the people to conduct the Government of this country as a democracy, which we claim to be, and which we believed we were. That is the only way I see out of the terrible difficulty which the country is in at the present moment. With the House in session, and the suspension of Orders in Council in the interim, and the acceptance or rejection of Orders in Council that have already been passed, surely we can keep the Government going for this session, and when the session is over most of the soldiers will be home. In the meantime, I hope an amended Franchise Bill will have been passed, and I do also hope, in the interests of common decency and common honesty, that the Government will bring down such a Franchise Bill as will permit the electors of this country, men and women, to record their votes for their choice, instead of'mutilating their votes as the WarTime Elections Act did.

I should perhaps have begun my speech by congratulating the mover and the seconder of the Address. For young men, they certainly did credit to themselves and honour to the House, and I sincerely congratulate them. But I must take issue with them both on some of the statements they have made. Much of what they said was all right, but notwithstanding their splendid effort, in my judgment they both erred. The mover of the Address (Mr. Eedman) amongst other things talked about the de-

portation of alien enemies. Have we alien enemies in this country? If we have, they should have been deported long ago. But are the people whom we have subdued our enemies? Is that the spirit in our brave soldier boys who have brought honour to Canada and to the British name? Do our soldiers hold in their heart that terrible revenge that would jump upon a man when they have got him down? That is not what we in our part of the country consider bravery or justice or honour or anything that is good. I would ask hon. gentlemen who preach the doctrine that we ought to destroy these unfortunate people whom we have coaxed and cajoled to this country, and to whom we have given the right of citizenship, shall we be like the Prussian Kaiser and consider that citizenship a mere scrap of paper?

I would suggest to these gentlemen that they should be a - little careful; otherwise, perhaps they may run foul of the British Royal Family, for they are of German descent. Our great and good Queen Victoria was a beautiful German lady in her young days. Why, the very word "Anglo-Saxon," which to a great many people represents the ne plus ultra of race superiority, is taken right from the German. We are descendants of the German race, those of us who are of English descent, as I happen to be. But I thank Heaven I am a Canadian. My people for three hundred years have been born on this side of the water, and I am a typical Canadian. And for about three hundred years before me, my people have lived, and raised their families, and died under the British flag on this side of the water. As to these aliens, if there are disloyal people among them, send them home; they have no right here. But, if we have loyal German and loyal Austrians here, if we have loyal Turks here, let us make good citizens of them. For thirty years of my life I was " monarch of all I surveyed." During those years I was a commander of men-Canadians, Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotchmen, Greeks, Germans, Dagoes, Negroes, and all the rest oi them. I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that of all those classes of men the Canadian was at the top-he was the best man of the lot. But I found this, Sir, that the Canadian, after all, was only an improved Englishman, Irishman, Scotchman or German. And, travelling arpund the world I found that the people who most readily lent themselves to assimilation, who were most ready to establish themselves completely in their foster country, were the

Germans. I found this to be true whether they settled in Brazil among the Portuguese, in the Argentine Republic among the Spaniards, in the United States among the Anglo-Saxons-or Anglo-Celts if you like-or in Canada. And I would draw the attention of the House-and I do this simply because I can afford to do it; the hon. members from British Columbia or from some of the Western Provinces could not afford to do it for political reasons-to the fact that some of the worst characters we have in this country are old-country Englishmen.

Topic:   RE LOANS TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.
Full View Permalink

May 23, 1918

Mr. J. READ:

It is the same subject exactly.

Topic:   THE ZINC BOUNTIES ACT, 1916.
Full View Permalink

May 23, 1918

Mr. JOSEPH READ:

-and the party to which I belong that I hope the hon. gentlemen who are going to represent us in the United Kingdom will not give away any of our rights and will not do anything to prejudice the interest of Canada until they come before this House, and receive instructions.

Topic:   IMPERIAL CONFERENCE.
Full View Permalink