Benjamin RUSSELL

RUSSELL, Benjamin, K.C., B.A., M.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Hants (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
January 10, 1849
Deceased Date
September 20, 1935
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Russell_(Canadian_politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=925d89b2-1491-4eb7-85e8-697379f26f2d&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer, professor of law, stenographer

Parliamentary Career

June 23, 1896 - October 9, 1900
LIB
  Halifax (Nova Scotia)
November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
LIB
  Hants (Nova Scotia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 30)


July 29, 1904

Mr. RUSSELL.

The next time the hon. gentleman has anything to say to the member for Hants I hope he will say it when he is in the House and not when His back is turned.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   T995 COMMONS
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July 12, 1904

Mr. RUSSELL.

I think it is very likely that the Deputy Minister of Justice, in drafting this clause, was endeavouring to make the clause analogous to the general principle of the law, which embodies the doctrine of ' common employment.' The Deputy Minister of Justice, as a sound English lawyer, very likely had that in his mind when he was drafting this clause. But as the doctrine of common employment is a wholly irrational doctrine, and one which ought not be part of the law, we might very -well adopt the suggestion of the boil, member (Mr. A. T. Thompson) and strike out the limitation, which does not seem to be fair or reasonable.

Topic:   THE MILITIA ACT.
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June 24, 1904

Mr. RUSSELL.

I would rather put the blanket on my hon. friend.

I .made all fold the blanket Indian fashion so as to cover the knees, and with heads set facing the storm off we all went.

Further the eye of the imagination is forbidden to pry, but further as Macaulay says of Robert Montgomery the eye of our imagination will insist on prying.

I suppose it is all fair in love and war.

Admitting the Boer success.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OP LORD DUN-DONALD.
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June 24, 1904

Mr. RUSSELL.

Who is Turpin ? this House will ask perhaps. There may be some ignorant people in this House, who may not know the story of ' me and Turpin.' There may be those who do not know that the hon. member with this great man Turpin, ' my man Turpin,' as he designates him

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OP LORD DUN-DONALD.
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June 24, 1904

Mr. RUSSELL.

I was going on to say that the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) who leads this House would have been perfectly justified in standing by the expression he used. He would have been warranted by the usage of some of the best writers of English, had he stood by the word that first sprang to his lips. Finding that it did not as accurately convey his meaning as another that immediately suggested itself he withdrew it and substituted the other. Everybody knows that he withdrew the word, and did so before any of the hon. gentlemen opposite had the perspicacity to raise any question. But I say he would have been absolutely right, and justified according to the usage of some of our best writers, had he allowed the word to stand. If there ever was a writer who will be recognized as a master of absolutely choice and perfect English it was Joseph Addison. Using this very word ' foreigner,' Addison says that " water is the only native of England made use of in punch, but the lemon, the brandy, the sugar, the nutmegs are all foreigners." These things came, some from our own colony, some from the West Indies, they came from countries under the English flag, yet they were all foreigners because they were not natives. ' Native ' is contrasted to ' foreigner ' and ' alien ' is the only word the right hon. gentleman could have used if he had any such meaning in his mind. A bill of exchange which is drawn in England on Canada is a foreign bill of exchange, not an inland bill : a company incorporated in England is a foreign company and not a domestic company ; a judgment recovered in England is a foreign judgment. Lord Brougham talked of English law as foreign law to a Scotchman, and by the same token why could not a Scotchman be spoken of as a foreigner, or an Englishman as a foreigner even in British colonies. In the same way, a Nova Scotia judgment is foreign in New Brunswick; and Scotch commentators treat all English judgments as foreign judgments. and speak of all persons resident out of Scotland as foreigners.

Well, Sir, the right hon. gentleman might very properly have adhered to the word if he had seen fit to do so ; but he found another word and a better word for his purpose, and one more accurately conveying the meaning which he undoubtedly meant to convey, as everybody knows, and which every honourable man in this House recognizes that he intended to convey, when be used that expression which has been so much tortured out of its proper meaning, and distorted into a meaning injurious to the right hon. gentleman. And for what

purpose ? For the purpose of discrediting a man whose record in this country has belied the injurious meaning from the earliest days when he took his seat in this House down to the present, and will continue to do so as long as he may hold a seat in this House-God grant that it may be for many years to come ! an hon. gentleman, I say, who has had perhaps move than any other public man in this country a true and just conception of, and has displayed a tenacious adherence to, the two great foundation principles, two of the greatest foundation principles upon which the noble fabric of our civilization is based. One of those great cardinal principles is the principle of local self-government, the right of every portion of the kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of every colony of the empire, to exercise a practical sovereignty in the management of its local affairs. That is one great principle which lies at the base of our British system. If there be any that is greater than that, it is the ascendancy of the civil over the military authority, the absolute and unquestioned subordination of military functionaries to the civil authority of the state as administered by a government responsible to the houses of parliament. Those, I say, are the two great basic principles of our English polity and the polity which ye inherit from England, both of which are opposed by this Dundonald campaign, one of them implicitly and the other explicitly and emphatically. ' Better, I say, that every British nobleman should withhold from us the light of his lordly countenance for evermore than that we should forfeit one iota of our rights of local self-govdtnment or abate one particle of the authority of this Canadian parliament to administer the affairs of this Dominion. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, proud as we may be, thrill as our hearts may well thrill in contemplation of the achievements of our soldiers and sailors in all periods of our history and in all portions of the globe, better I say again that the name of every one of them from Henry of Aglncourt to Roberts of Kandahar should be blotted from the page of our history and perish from the memory of mankind than that we should abate one jot or one tittle of the principle which subordinates every military authority in this Dominion, high or humble, nobleman, gentleman or yeoman, to the people of Canada as represented in the parliament of this country.

Mi-. JABEL ROBINSON (West Elgin). I am not sure who is to blame for bringing about this great discussion that has been going on now for two days. Although I have listened attentively to every speaker and have read all I could about it, I am not sure I say whether it is the Minister of Agriculture who is responsible for this deplorable discussion. If it is the Minister

of Agriculture, or whoever it may be, he should be compelled to pay all the expenses that are incurred in the prolongation of this discussion. Let us ascertain who it is, and all this-time should be charged up against him and taken from his indemnity. Borne hon. gentlemen may squirm at this proposition, because they may be the guilty parties. We do not know who it may be, but circumstances point towards the Minister of Agriculture. If the Minister of Agriculture had not been so officious, if he had not been acting in the place of the Minister of Militia, and if the Minister of Militia had been at home in his office, this thing never would have happened. Now I think myself that the militia, the military, the navy the church, the school and all like institutions, should be free from politics. I think whenever politicians undertake to interfere with the religion of the people, or with the education of the people, or with the disposition of the army, they are making a great mistake. If a commander prides himself on anything, it is on the men who are to assist him in defending this country if it is attacked, and an officer who has not the good will of his soldiers is not likely to succeed in battle. Therefore I say that the men themselves should be consulted as to the officers who are to be appointed over them. The Minister of Militia told us in his speech last night that he -was away from his duty at the time, and had been away previously for five or six weeks, in the city of Boston. Now if a member of this government can leave his duties for so long a time, it seems to me that almost any person could fill that office. If you put the Minister of Agriculture in his place it is not a proper thing to do. and if ever I am appointed to be a minister I will stay in the office and look after my business, and if I go to Boston I shall be able to give a reason for it.

Topic:   SUPPLY-DISMISSAL OP LORD DUN-DONALD.
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