Rufus Henry POPE

POPE, The Hon. Rufus Henry

Personal Data

Conservative (1867-1942)
Compton (Quebec)
Birth Date
September 13, 1857
Deceased Date
May 16, 1944
breeder, farmer

Parliamentary Career

May 16, 1889 - February 3, 1891
  Compton (Quebec)
March 5, 1891 - April 24, 1896
  Compton (Quebec)
June 23, 1896 - October 9, 1900
  Compton (Quebec)
November 7, 1900 - September 29, 1904
  Compton (Quebec)
November 14, 1911 - September 29, 1904
  Compton (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 90)

June 24, 1904

Mr. RUFUS POPE (Compton).

Mr. Speaker, I listened with some attention to the little member for Hants (Mr. Russell) in his valedictory to this House and I could not help but remember the many discussions that have taken place in this House and resolutions moved by the hon. Post-nfaster General in days gone by pointing out what a vicious sin it was that men should sit in this House with commissions in their pockets. I suppose this principle, like all the principles and professions of hon. gentlemen opposite, has gone to the great scrap pit. The little man from Hants referred to the fact that my hon. friend from North Victoria (Mr. Hughes) had a free pass to South Africa. As to that X do not know, tout I do know that the hon. gentleman, according to his own confession, anticipates that he has a free pass to a position for life in the province down by the sea. We sent down there a short time ago what we used to style the Goliath of this House, the member for Guysboro and now, in order that these two gentlemen may average up, we are sending the Banty Tim of this House. That hon. gentleman has been the faithful servant of the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and the party to which he belongs. He has never failed to do any work of a character that some legal men might hesitate in doing. We remember him during the election trials and since ' pettifogger ' is the proper word to use, I say that I do not think that any more miserable specimen of the breed whatever it is was ever exhibited either in parliament or the committees of this House than we had in the little member for Hants at that time. He has taken special pains to deal with the word ' foreigner.' What an endorsation for the right hon. Prime Minister and what weight it will have in the country when it is known that the use of that word has been justified by one of the members of this House with a commission in his pocket. The hon. gentleman spent half an hour in discussing the word ' foreigner.' He ceased, but 'Hansard ' remains just the same ; there is the word, the insult has been given, and though the right hon. Prime Minister down to the smallest follower on his side of the House might spend as many hours and days as they liked in trying to explain it, the word ' foreigner ' is on the record of ' Hansard ' untouched and there it remains as an evidenc. of the true heart feeling of the right hon. gentleman when he rose upon that occasion. Why Sir, the little man from Hants stated, as others have also stated that the proposal of Lord Dundonald involved an expend) ture of immense sums of money-the newspapers have stated so-and that consequently it could not be adopted by this country. It was said that the hon. Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) had intimated that there were some things in the report that could not be adopted by Canada. I think it is only just that the representatives of the people should see that report and judge for themselves. Business men and railway corporations have reports made by their managers, but they are not always accepted by any means. We see in England a war commission recently reporting in favour of conscription but the government do not adopt the report.

But there was no reason why it should not be made public, and, Sir, we ought to know what was in these reports. We had an expert here, a man of high character, a soldier, a commander who had the endorsation of the Minister of Militia himself, until this difficulty arose. Only a year ago the Minister of Militia stated that we had an officer equal if not superior to any who had preceded him. Under these circumstances I say that we, the people of Canada having a servant-as they chose to call him.- and that servant making a report to the Minister of Militia upon the public defence of Canada, that report should be placed upon the table of this House. Whatever our deficiencies are we should know them and as a nation always be prepared to strengthen any weakness in our defences, let the cost be what it may. I can readily understand that Lord Dundonald in making plans for the defence of a country 4,000 miles long, with all its sea coast and rivers and long line of protection against the United States a foreign nation, would advise measures that would be covered not by the expenditure of a year, or two years or three years but of many years, and I say we, the representatives of the people of Canada, have a right to see and understand what he was proposing. The Minister of Militia last night took special pains to take a very wide scope. He took special pains also to offer very little support to the Minister of Agriculture in the position he had taken. It is quite true that speaking the other day he endorsed the minister. A man often does things on the impulse of the moment which he afterwards regrets, and as I listened to the Minister of Militia last night, I came to the conclusion that he regretted the action he had taken a few days ago, in endorsing body and soul the Minister of Agriculture for his action. He went so far as to tell us that he thought that if he had been at home instead of being away from home, this difficulty would not have arisen. There was only, one man to interfere when he was away and to create difficulty, the Minister of Agriculture who was acting in his stead. No severer castigation has been offered to the Minister of Agriculture than was administered by the Minister of Militia in that very short statement. These difficulties commenced with the advent of this govern-

ment to power. The right hon. the Prime Minister was warned by many of us, and I can remember on two or three occasions, doing my best to impress him with the trouble that would ensue if he followed out the spoils system by dismissing good servants to make places for political friends and driving the political knife into every one for that purpose. To-day we find the smallest Minister of the Crown, coming I regret to say from the section of country from which I come, carrying out the same system. We have had militia affairs in that country as long as in any portion of Canada but this is the first we have ever heard about the interference of politicians in regard to the formation of our militia. Last year the forces in Compton were reorganized and converted in Mounted. Rifles, just as they were in Missisquoi, Brome and Shefford. There was no interference there because there was no member who felt that lie had a mandate from his electors to select particular officers. The appointments went through the proper channels, and the result was that when the regiment went into camp in June every officer was in his place, the regiment was up to the full establishment permitted by law and there has been no trouble. Two-thirds of the militia men of the eastern townships and two-thirds of the officers are Conservatives. That is the history of the militia there, and history stands behind that statement. The country was originally settled by elements that came in from the United States-; some of them empire loyalists, and others American traders who came there to better their position. In 1849 the question of annexation arose, and we had two parties, the Loyalists on one side and the American trailers on the other. Following that we had Confederation and the Conservative party were the loyal party of the eastern townships, who contended for the preservation of British rights and the flag of Great Britain, on the northern half of this hemisphere at that time. Consequently when the militia was established shortly after Confederation this militia force was composed very largely of Conservative officers and men. I do not say there has not been some change but it has been a very small change, because in our section of the country the French Canadian element has not gone largely into the militia, and the overflow from the other parts of the province of Quebec have settled the back regions of those counties and you have to-day but a small proportion of English and the remnants of the same people who came there years ago and fought that battle and are still fighting it out.

When the hon. gentleman ' refers to Mr. Baker and his family his reasons for doing it are well understood. Mr. Speaker, you have not heard anybody refer to the Fisher family in the eastern townships as being great soldiers. Oh no, they prefer to keep behind a fortress which they themselves own Mr. POPE.

and control by a servile following which cannot be penetrated. The Minister of Agriculture has made his choice and has taken a family from which to select officers. He has selected the family' of Milti-mores, and we find Miltimore No. 1, Milti-more No. 2, and Miltimore No. 3. He has a right to take these men if he sees fit, and to call them his proper representatives as an eastern township family. We find Clifford Miltimore put forward as a fit and proper person for a position of command. I find this record in regard to him :

I, undersigned, John J. Barker, of the village of Cowansville, in the district of Bedford, printer and publisher, do hereby solemnly declare :

1. That I am a resident of Cowansville, in the county of Missisquoi, in the district of Bedford, and a duly qualified elector of said county.

2. I was present at the meeting of the municipal council of Cowansville when the preparation of the voters' lists was in progress, and I made application to the said council to have the name of Clifford Miltimore struck therefrom, as I believed he had not the legal qualifications required by the law. He had previously been a tenant within the corporation but had ceased to occupy the premises which had been leased by him.

He resisted the application to have his name struck off and asserted that he was otherwise qualified as having his domicile within the munieipa.! iTy, and in support of that pretension made oath that he was so qualified and therefore entitled tb have his name retained.

The Council being guided by the statement so made by him under oath retained his name upon the list.

Knowing the circumstances, X was impelled to petition one of ittae judges of the Superior Court to strike his name off. The petition was resisted 'and after proof his name was struck off the voters' list by the judge.

Here is the judgment of the judge, striking his name off that list, showing conclusively that this man took an oath that was false. That is his first recommendation. I presume, for preferment. I know Mr. Pic-kel very well, and I have no fear of his reputation, handled as it may be by the Minister of Agriculture, being tarnished. He stands in his community respected and admired by' every one. The official positions he fills as mayor of his town and warden of his county are a sufficient endorsation of the man without any statement on my part. We can well understand that a man of that character was not very ambitious, as Colonel Smart's letters and others here show, or very anxious to join the militia. But the young men of that community said, if you can get L>r. Pickel to head this squadron, it will be a great success. Consequently Colonel Smart tried to get Dr. Pickel, and with what result we will see. Now, Sir. I find the Minister of Agriculture on page 5391 of the revised 1 Hansard ' saying : . I took no exception to this. But I found a recommendation in regard to the neighbour-

hood of Sweetsburg, which, I .confess, surprised me, and to which I did-take exception.

I must premise my explanation in regard to this matter by saying that Senator Baker of Sweetsburg, is the acknowledged and active leader of the Conservatives of that district. .

Certainly, Mr. Speaker, Senator Baker Is an active leader, as the Minister of Agriculture chooses to describe him, of that district, an old and respected citizen of that district, and also a lawyer ; and he had the suit against Mr. MeCorkill. the pet of the Minister of Agriculture, who was the provincial treasurer at Quebec and brought that suit to a conclusion; and Mr. Mc-Corkili is ready to throw up the sponge and declare the corruption took place in his election. That is where the sore spot is. The history of the election of Mr. MeCorkill shows that everything known to chicanery in elections was used in it. It was one of the most corrupt, I am told by the very best authority, and the very best proof that that authority is good is the fact that Mr. MeCorkill has thrown up the sponge. That is the sore spot in regard to the Baker family. We all understand why the Minister of Agriculture feels so tender and waxes so furious when he thinks of the town of Sweetsburg and even of Cowans-ville, which is only a couple of miles from it. That district haunts him night and day, ever since the time of the Quebec election. It will haunt him more and more in the future. It will be,a nightmare for bim so long as he remains in public life. He goes on to say :

I found this list of proposed names for the staff of the neighbourhood of Sweetsburg. First, Mr. John M. Gibson, a nephew of Senator Baker, and talked of as a possible Conservative candidate in the constituency of Missisquoi, to be third in command of that Tegiment.

Well, Sir, that is not a bad endorsation for this man.

Dr. Pickel, one of the strongest Conservative workers of the neighbourhood and a family connection of Senator Baker

This, I suppose, is nearer the truth than the hon. gentleman has been for a long time, because Dr. Pickel is a cousin of a boy who married Senator Baker's daughter. There is a semblance of truth in that statement, and I congratulate the lion. Minister of Agriculture before this House and before the press of Canada on having made one statement that has a grain of truth in it:

Dr. Pickel, one of the strongest Conservative workers of the neighbourhood and a family connection of Senator Baker, to be major in command of the squadron which, though gazetted for Adamsville, was to be changed to Sweetsburg to suit his convenience. Mr. G. H. Baker, son of Senator Baker, to be senior captain of the said squadron. Mr. Thomas R. Pickel. son-in-law of Senator Baker, to he the junior captain of the said

squadron. Then there were the names of two gentlemen, Messrs. Steacie and Reynolds of Montreal to be lieutenants. And down at the bottom of the list Mr. Thomas F. Cotton, * Liberal, son-in-law of the above-mentioned John M. Gibson, and grand nephew of Senator Baker.

I knew you would not find a Liberal very nearly related to Senator Baker. The Minister of Agriculture says : But I have

included some Conservatives and I have included some Liberals. Mr. Speaker, what is the principle upon which our militia force should be governed ? Is it the principle of selecting some Conservatives and some Liberals ? No, Sir, it is the principle of taking men irrespective of party. That is no defence on the floor of parliament. It may perhaps be satisfactory on the hustings ; but it is no argument for a minister of the Crown to come here and tell us that cheap sort of thing, that the fact that there were some Liberals and, some Conservatives vindicates him for interfering politically with the formation of this regiment. The moment he conveys that knowledge, that moment he confesses judgment on the resolution of the hon. leader of the opposition. There Is no avoiding it. Sir, In any court of justice, he would have received such sentence as the crime demanded.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we will proceed. We find the Minister of Agriculture saying this :

The position which I took then, and which I take to-day, is this : Colonel Smart was a


Not a foreigner, Mr. Speaker, only a stranger-

-going into the district of Bedford to organize this regiment. He appears to have got into the hands of certain people out there.

Any one going to Sweetsburg and Cowans-ville will get into the hands of certain people if he wants to meet the best people of that district ; and that gentleman got into these same hands.

He told mer himself that he had no political intentions. I fully accept that statement.

There is where the difficulty is, Mr. Speaker. If he had had some political intentions, and these .had squared with the ideas of the Minister of Agriculture, we would never have heard one word about this question.

I believe Colonel Smart, in making the statement that he had no political intentions, made a statement which was absolutely accurate and truthful.

Now, Sir, what more does anybody want for a colonel going into that district to form a militia corps, than that he went there free from political intentions ? If that is not the very best reason why the hon. Minister of Agriculture should have his nose out of the matter and gone on plant-


5527 COMMONS ' 5528

ing tux-nips, lxoeing corn and spreading manure and keeping strictly to the management of his own affairs, I do not know what is. He says again :

Hon. gentlemen opposite are very solicitous against political interference. They do not condemn me at all, Sir, because I asked that Mr. Russell, a well-known Liberal, should he removed from the place of major of another squadron and that he should be replaced by a well-known Conservative.

Well, I do object. I object just as much against the removal of Mr. Bussell as against The removal of Dr. Picket It is a great principle we are fighting for. If the integrity of the militia is to amount to anything, if it is to have any strength as a fighting force in the defence of the country, it must be non-political and its officers must be selected from the very best men available.

I said a few moments ago that the hon. gentleman said Colonel Smart's action was nonpolitical. I acquit Colonel Smart, hut, as I said a few .moments ago, I cannot refrain from saying again that although Colonel Smart's intentions were not political, his actions were intensely political.

Sir, either Colonel Smart went there as a politician or he was not. If he went there, not as a politician, but purely and simply to organize the regiment regardless of politics, then the statement of the Minister of Agriculture is one unworthy of a gentleman occupying his position. The position taken by the govex-nment and the minister opens the door wide to every politician in Canada to interfere in our militia. The minister says :

In suggesting the name of Mr. Adams, under the circumstances, was I interfering politically ?

I think he was.

No, I was interfering simply in a common-sense way.

Mr. Speaker, that thing is unknown to the hon. gentleman. It is foreign to him.

I was interfering simply in a common-sense way in the organization of the new regiment. I grant fully, and no man is more prepared to admit it ^ than I am, that on purely military qualifications the military experts at the command of the government ought to rule.

I want to know, Sir, what higher duty can a military expert have to perform than the selection of the officers, upon whose intelligence the lives of the men under him must depend. You may make a mistake in the construction of a fort, but the first basis of a military force is the intelligence of its officers, and the hon. gentleman has pleaded guilty a dozen times over to his interfering politically in their selection. Then the minister went on :

When it comes to matters connected with the affairs of this country ; when it comes to matters involving local knowledge of local conditions and knowledge of the people of Canada-

Full View Permalink

June 24, 1904


I call tbe attention of the House to the concluding words :

-and with the duty of rendering such advice and assistance on military affairs as may be required of him.

Not as be may choose to offer himself but as may be required of him. and the difference between the duties which are imposed upon the commander of the forces in Great Britain, and the duties which are to be performed by Lord Dundonald according to his own conception was, that he was not to wrait until he was asked to give advice, but he was to proffer advice to the Minister of Militia, which the Minister of Militia was bound to accept whether he approved of it or not. Let me go a point further.

I know'-and it is heralded by the press which supports hon. gentlemen opposite- that a crime has been charged against my hon. friend the Minister of Militia-a grave offence has been put upon his shoulders- because he has refused to accept the advice of Lord Dundonald, and has refused to bring that advice before parliament. It was stated in the House yesterday, and I believe it has been repeated to-day. that it was the bounden duty of the Minister of Militia, as soon as he was given that report by Lord Dundonald, to bring it before parliament- that if he failed to do so. he failed to comply with the law of parliament. Sir, nothing could be more in contravention of the law of parliament than such a doctrine.

I assert. Sir. as a principle of parliamentary law, that all reports which are sent to

the government or to the head of any department by subordinates, unless they relate to mere questions of fact and routine and the every day transactions of the department- that all reports in which are implied questions of policy-are from their very nature confidential, and remain confidential until in the judgment of the minister they become the contrary. This is a broad statement to make, perhaps, but I make it on authority. I have already quoted Todd, who is acknowledged to be the best writer on this subject. Let me call the attention of hon. gentlemen to w'hat he says on this point:

The system of laying upon the table of the House reports from officers addressed to particular departments of the executive government is most objectionable. And the House ought not to insist ' upon the production of papers and correspondence which concerned the preparation and preliminary consideration of measures ; they would thereby put a stop to that freedom of criticism which was always invited on such occasions, and which contributed so much to the perfection of public measures.' If the House were to insist upon the production of such documents, instead of the government getting what we get now, confidential reports, containing the most minute details of the opinion of officers, given frankly and freely, for the heads of departments, we shall have a system of reports framed for laying upon the table of the House of Commons, and those will he accompanied by ' confidential reports for the head of the department alone.' There have been cases in which reports of a confidential character from officers of the government have been laid upon .the table of the House, to prepare the public mind, and also that of parliament, to consent to some large measure, or perhaps some considerable vote of public money ; but, generally I think it is a course which the House ought not to sanction.'

Mr. CA8GRAIN. Will the right hon. gentleman say whether that is Todd in Canada ?

Full View Permalink

June 10, 1904


As this unfortunate subject, Mr. Speaker, which has attracted the attention of the House this afternoon, seems to have originated in the section of country, from which I come, it will perhaps be not altogether_out of place that I should say something with regard to it.

The point has been raised this afternoon, and made a good deal of by the hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House, that the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Fisher), who, apparently, has been transformed into a fighting man fit to be head of the department of wat, decided that Dr. Pickel had not the qualifications to enable him to fill the position of officer in the reorganized mil-tia force of the district. Previous to this militia reorganization of this particular part of Mr. CLARKE.

the eastern townships, reorganization took place last year in the county which I have the honour to represent. The old 58tL battalion was reorganized as mounted infantry. The principle adopted in that case was that the colonel was called upon by the Department of Militia and Defence to reorganize or create a force of mounted rifles from the old 58th battalion of infantry that had existed in the county for many years. As I understand it, the colonel was given carte blanche to select his officers, irrespec tive of whether they had passed any examination or not. Mr. Speaker, I am not versed in military matters, and do not pretend to have any knowledge of the details of this -reorganization. It not being a political matter, so far as the county I represented was concerned, I took no particular interest other than to give such indirect assistance as I could by communicating, as representative of the county, with the Department of Militia at the instance of those interested. The reorganization took place. Young men were selected for their worth as citizens first. Though not pretending to know anything about militia matters, I believe that the upright, honest, straightforward, patriotic young citizen is the best foundation for a soldier you can find. They were selected on that ground. The officers of that reorganized corps had not passed their examination. The Minister of Militia was good enough to establish a school at Sherbrooke in the autumn after the first year of their drill, and in that school these officers became qualified, and this year they are going out full qualified men after having passed the requisite examination. Under these cir cumstances, I think that the argument presented to this House by the Minister bf Agriculture that Dr. Pickel was not qualified falls to the ground. In the case I referred to, we had an entire regiment, or whatever they choose to call it, reorganized with officers who had not the necessary qualifications. So far as Dr. Pickel is concerned, I am not here to defend him ; and. if he were present, it would not be neeessarv for any man here to rise in his defence, for he is quite capable of defending himself anywhere. He is very popular, a man of splendid character and of precisely the right age. And, as I understand it and know the facts, when the reorganization of this imilitia force in the county of Missisquoi was proposed they were looking for a man of character, some natural leader of men, to take i prominent position in the militia force and make the organization absolutely -successful -not to make it, as the Minister of Agricul ture said this afternoon, a political machine ; not at all ; but to make it what the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) and every other good citizen of Canada would desire, as perfect a militia organization as it was possible to get in that vicinity. In order to accomplish that Dr. Pickel was soqght. He did not seek the positon ; he is

beyond seeking positions ; positions are offered to him. The people who know him best offer him the best it is in their power to give him. Those interested in this reorganization sought him and asked him to fill this positicn. He accepted it with modesty ; lie felt that he was not a qualified officer, and made certain excuses on that ground. But finally he said : I am a good, loyal citizen of Canada, and if my connection-temporary, if nothing else-will do something to help the reorganization of this militia force and put it on a proper footing,

I consent. These were the conditions under which he consented. And we can readily understand that, when it was represented to him that his connection with the force, from the very fact that he was a prominent Conservative, was checking the work of reorganization, he would say at once : I do not want it ; it is nothing to me ; put me out and go on with the reorganization, if it will please the Minister of Agriculture and help on the work, leave me out. Every one who knows Dr. Pickel knows that that is the way he would regard it, and the Minister ot Agriculture knows it perfectly well. So far ns the family history in connection with Senator Baker, or with any other Conservative family of the eastern townships, that the Minister of Agriculture has presented here to-day, I do not think it is altogether a ground of fault-finding for those Conservative families to say that they are built of the peculiar stuff of loyalty and patriotism that, when you want to form a militia corps, you are obliged to go to a Conservative family to find the leaders, the men in whom the rank and file will have confidence. It may suit the purposes to-day of the Minister of Agriculture. I listened to that hon. gentleman-of course, I speak under prejudice ; T understand that perfectly well ; I own the corn, I speak under prejudice. At the same time I listened to the speeches the hon. gentleman (Mr. Fisher) delivered. At first I remarked the articles that had been prepared and typewritten for him and that he read ; and then I listened to his second speech, in which he contradicted every position taken in those typewritten articles, and in which he confessed the crime-if it is a crime-with which he is charged. If it is a crime for a public man in a high position, moved by influences which do not appear on the surface, to prefer one citizen as against another as a defender of this country, then the Minister of Agriculture is as guilty as any criminal who ever stood in the dock, and that is proven toy his own confession in this House. Now, the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) made a speech this afternoon. He insisted that the General Officer Commanding should understand that the government of this country would not be dragooned. Yesterday we had a statement from'one of the right hon. gentleman's lieutenants in the Senate. And, putting these two things together, we have the principle

laid down by the Prime Minister that if the General Officer Commanding chose to do anything for the militia of Canada without consulting the Privy Council he would be guilty of dragooning the government.

The right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) also said that in his early days he was a military man.

I was surprised to hear that. We knew there was a period in his life when he expressed a willingness to be a soldier. We knew that he had said that he would shoulder his musket on the banks of the Saskatchewan to fight on behalf of a rebel. That is the only time I ever heard of the right hon. gentleman shooting a gun in the Dominion of Canada. I do not know if he refers to an earlier part of his career, there may be an earlier part when the right hon. gentleman was unknown to Canada. But, Sir, he is not the only soldier. We have another soldier in the rank of the government, the Minister of Agriculture. It may not be known to you Sir, but I shall inform you in order that you may carry it back to the constituencies in which you commune now and again. The Minister of Agriculture is a gallant officer. True he has never passed any examination, true he has never fought any battle for his country true he has never substantiated any principle that he ever fought upon. But nevertheless he is 'supposed to be a gallant soldier. He found, perhaps for

the benefit of his health, perhaps because he had been promoted to a high position as a member of this government, and become to some extent an aristocrat, that it was incumbent upon him to own a saddle horse, and he bought one. This horse was not easy to ride, and you can understand as well as I can that a man who has toiled hard and long upon, the farm, pulling *weeds and hoeing corn and digging away and spreading manure, is not suited to a horse that is not docile and to a certain extent cumbersome. It was suggested to the gentleman who was keeping the livery stable in this city that exercise might be given to this horse, and he went to the Minister of Agriculture. It was intimated to him that the volunteers were about to go forth to their annual drill and that somebody might be induced to ride this horse and pay him for its use and, being a great financier, as well as a patriot and a man of war, he determined that his horse should serve his country which he had never done, and that he should get paid for its use. The double temptation was great, and the horse went forth to battle. He battled for 12 days which is the rule in this country and fought those imaginary battles that are fought under these conditions, and then he returned. As you know the volunteer, the man who leaves his business and goes forth into these imaginary battles receives for himself and his horse $1.50 a day, and if you multiply that by 12, you will find that

he gets $18 altogether. That is what the man got for the horse belonging to the Minister of Agriculture and himself for those 12 days. Now, Sir, it is the Minister of War we are speaking of, and to show his deep patriotism, his intense interest, as he portrayed it this afternoon, in the development of the militia system of Canada-I was surprised to hear him as I did not know that he possessed such intense interest and patriotism-the generosity of that Minister of War or that pro-Minister of War was so great that when this man came to him with that $18, which he had received for himself and the horse, the Minister of War took the whole $18. We do not often get such sacrifice, such evidence of deep patriotism, such soldierly feeling, perhaps in the empire, not alone in Canada. When I heard the minister to-day and saw him standing with defiance and saying that he assumed the entire responsibility in this matter, although we have had some humorous and ridiculous situations, I do not think we have ever seen anything as funny as the valiant position taken by the proMinister of War. Of course there were no guns pointed towards him and he was absolutely safe when fighting this great battle. Sir, a man who had taken $18 for the use of a horse for 12 days when the poor devil only got $18, could not stoop to any position other than the most honourable, and when I heard him I said to myself : At last that animosity, that miserable feeling which I should not entertain towards the Minister of Agriculture must vanish, and when I go forth from this House I must bow with that great respect that should be given by every citizen of Canada when he meets a man moved with these deep, manly, warlike feelings, which the Minister of Agriculture is supposed to entertain.

The representative of the Prime Minister in the Senate yesterday said that the General Officer was to be a servant of Canada. We are all servants of Canada' and the true servant is the man who does bis work without prejudice. I have heard that the general has not brought this question before the House with a lawyer's dexterity. That is the absolute test of his honesty as a soldier ; let it come here as it might. It is said that he gave the memorandum to the hon. member for North Victoria (Mr. Hughes) when he should have given it to the minister. When was that presented- to this House ? After the clock pointed to the hour of three. The master owes a duty to the servant as well as the servant to the master, and it is the duty of the master to protect the servant until be does not deserve protection. I ask whether that servant had not the right to expect a letter, a request from the minister to go to his office in order to discuss this situation, to see if he had any defence for the position he took in Montreal. He waited until three o'clock. Would you ask him to Mr. POPE.

wait until four ? Was he to go to the master who had said nothing to him, or was he to present to parliament his simple defence and let parliament decide on its merits ? I believe the general took the right course. We are all servants, the Prime Minister is a servant, the President of the United States is a servant, the King of England is a servant if you like. Do you, Mr. Speaker, or the right hon. Prime Minister or any member of the government tell me that because the King of England receives a salary, that because the President of the United States receives a salary, or that because the Prime Minister receives a salary, there is to be no distinction between any of these, and the most menial servant who labours in this country ? Has the time arrived when no distinction is to be made ? I say that the King of England has a right to be treated according to the position which he occupies, that the President of the United States has the right to be treated according to the position which he occupies, and the right hon. Prime Minister according to the position that he occupies, and I say that the General Officer Commanding who stands at the head of the militia force of Canada, has the right to the same treatment and not to the treatment of the most menial servant in the land.

Full View Permalink

June 8, 1904


Full View Permalink

June 8, 1904


If it is the same Mr. Fielding who thus spoke in the Nova Scotia legislature, he is to-day the Finance Minister of Canada. Are all these gentlemen on the Treasury Benches of the same kidney ? Is the Minister of Finance as great a sinner as the Minister of Trade and Commerce and are they all sinners alike 1 Mr. Fielding, referring to the coal trade said :

Referring to the coal trade he said the Liberal party would not preach one doctrine in Cape Breton and another in the rest of the Dominion. If the coal business could not be carried on without protection, then it is better not to carry it on at all. Protection was not a necessity for its welfare ; the coal business is not a pauper business.

You would hardly believe it, Mr. Speaker, that the Mr. Fielding who thus spoke and who pledged himself to free coal, is the man who to-day dictates the fiscal policy of the government which maintains a duty on coal. Again Sir Richard Cartwright said :

Now if there be a principle of political economy clearer than another, it is the principle that the worst tax which could be imposed is a tax on a necessity of life like coal. Moreover it is a tax exceedingly partial and unjust in its operation. It will fall on the poorest classes of the community in the depths of the Canadian winter. It is absolutely sectional, pressing heavily on the people of On-Mr. POPE.

tario, and not at all on the great masses of the people through the other provinces. It will form a standing grievance. It is a most doubtful benefit to Nova Scotia.

Well, Sir, the province of Ontario was not so selfish and so narrow as to endorse this statement. The province of Ontario believes that there should be reciprocity of tariffs between province and province. In view of such language from the gallant knight, and in view of his practices since he came to power, it is no wonder that he is going around to-day alone, looking for a constituency. If he had been consistent in his conrse there would have been at least some one to have gone along with him; there is nothing so faithful as a dog. The robbery which the hon. gentleman spoke of is going on to-day, and it has been going on for eight years, and the hon. gentleman has been approving of it with his vote and his talents. Sir Richard Cartwright, speaking on the Budget on April 26th, 1897, and referring to the preference of 12J per cent which he said was open to all countries, said :

And lastly, what my free trade friends will remember and lay to heart, we have turned the ship's head in the right direction and toward the open sea.

His song then was : now we are under full sail ; we have been in power for one year, we have fifty odd majority who will swallow everything we ask them to swallow, the flag of the Liberal party for free trade is floating, our barque is in full sail with Captain Cartwright on board. But she did not sail far. She struck a rock before she left harbour. I do not know whether there was any of these two cases of rye whisky on board that the Minister of Agriculture furnishes, but whatever the causes may be the ship did not sail far, and yesterday the knight from South Oxford got another slap in the face, what we call a double backer. He had told the country that one of the things that did not deserve protection was the woollen industry ; but yesterday his colleagues wiped- out the preference so far as woollens are concerned and further protected the woollen industry. So to-day the hon. gentleman (Sir Richard Cartwright) gets up in the House to endorse the new condition ; he will endorse any condition that helps out the Cartwright family. I believe the hon. gentleman to be clever, notwithstanding all his faults, notwithstanding the cruelty that has been shown towards him by the party to which he belongs, who haven't the decency to point the open road for him in the future, and notwithstanding the weak character of his speech to-day ; and he must have said to himself as he sat down, thank God I have got even with you for what you did yesterday. Mr. Fielding said :

So far as protecting the industries of this country are concerned, eternal vigilance must be the price of protection.

That is what our Finance Minister said a few years ago. Tq-day he is not satisfied with one tariff or two tariffs, but he wants three tariffs ; and . he is trying to make them subject to the dictation of an autocrat who sits in the government. We shall see about that. We have had various tariffs in this country, but we have never before had a proposition to place in the hands -I will not say of one member of the government, but one citizen of Canada, the right to say what our duties shall be, when they shall be lowered and when they shall be put up. Talk of Russia ! Sir, they know nothing in Russia of the limit of legislation as compared with that of the supposed Liberal party of the Dominion of Canada-men who were supposed to be, if not the fathers of Liberal thought, at least the men expected to perpetuate Liberal principles in Canada. The Finance Minister makes this proposition in face of the fact that he formerly said that one of the absolute necessities of business was stability of the tariff, even at some cost to the industries of the country. He has laid down that principle again and again in parliament ; and here you find him proposing legislation under which you will not know from one week to another what the tariff will be. When the hon. gentleman tries to put this dumping act into effect, he will get into more trouble than the man who tries to run a monkey team in a theatre. Do you think the electors of this country are going to allow any one man to dictate when the tariff shall be changed, put up or put down ? When the people of Canada get acquainted with this proposition of hon. gentlemen opposite it will be known as the dumping tariff, because in my opinion it will dump them out of power. I find that Sir Wilfrid Laurier said :

We will get a treaty with the United States if we can ; and if England objects we will consider her objection. Let Lord Salisbury take care of the interests of England and we will take care of the interests of Canada.

The Liberal party will never cease the agitation until they have finally triumphed and obtained continental freedom of trade.

I do not know what they call a triumph. Perhaps seven or eight years of power is not considered by them as a triumph :

What my hon. friend has said as to my protection proclivities is perfectly true. ^ I do not deny that I have been a protectionist, which I am still.

The policy which we advocate, is the removal of all commercial barriers between this country and the great kindred nation to the south. The Liberal party as long as I have anything to do with it will remain true to the cause until the cause is successful.

Well, Sir, the right hon. gentleman gained power and went to Washington, and came back again ; but he did not bring anything with him except the bills of expenses. The people of this country had the chance of paying $45,000 or $50,000, I forget the amount exactly, but approximately that is correct. The only other benefit we had was that that trip to Washington taught the Prime Minister never to go there again, and he has said on more than one occasion that he was not knocking at that door any more. We are glad to hear that; but that is one of the principles which the Liberal party said they were going to put in force. We have sat in the House and heard the changes rung hour in and hour out that the Conservative party never could get anything from the United States because we did not treat them fairly-because we wanted an alien labour law, or this or that for the Dominion of Canada ;-because we were British in sentiment we could not expect to receive any benefits from the United States. So the right hon. gentleman said : Put us in power. He had never been in power ; he had been only playing politics up to that time. This is what he said :

When the Liberal party comes into power it [DOT]still send commissioners to Washington to propose a mutual agreement by which there will he free trade along the whole line.

It does not occur to him for a moment that his proposition will not be accepted. The new Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the greatest French Canadian, will be going down to Washington. So he went. He said :

There will be free trade along the whole line, doing away with restrictions and removing the customs-houses that go so far to cause friction between the two countries.

What a farce ! Mr. Speaker, the reading of that language and its comparison with the language which these hon. gentlemen have used as an introduction to the present legislation, is alone enough to drive them from power if there were enough thinking people in this country. The right hon. gentleman also said :

If we come to power on that day, I promise you that a commission will go to Washington, and if we can get a treaty in natural products and a list of manufactured articles that treaty will be. made. The policy of the Liberal is to give you a market with sixty-five millions of British men upon this continent.

We have not yet got that market. To show how little these gentlemen knew what they were talking about, and how foreign the responsibility of government was to their thought, we find them now proposing a dumping clause by which they are going to exclude, if they can, these very 65.000,000 people. Such a contradiction of policy was never before presented to any nation on

the face of the earth. They have not learned the lesson yet, Mr. Speaker. He goes on to say :

The Liberal party believe in free trade on broad lines, such as exists in Great Britain ; ani upon that platform, exemplified as I have told you, the Liberal party will fight its next battle.

They fought that battle. They put their faces towards the open sea, and all got on board. I ask you, where is free trade in this country as it is in England to-day ? What did these hon. gentlemen do ? As is well known, the right hon. gentleman went to England. He had the opportunity of his life, in the judgment of people who knew English sentiment at that time. It was previous to the Jubilee, when the whole British empire was looking for something better in the way of British sentiment than we had known in the past. That noble sovereign, Queen Victoria, was to have her great Jubilee.

All the true and honest men of the different parts of the empire-black and white- were to be present to do homage to that great sovereign. Canada, which is one of the brightest spots in the empire and which never cost the empire a farthing, sent over her Prime Minister. That Prime Minister had promised us in London or Hamilton' that the first thing he would do when he went to England would be to treat for reciprocal trade on reciprocal conditions-preference for preference-between Canada and England. Was that promise carried out ? It was not. It was broken like so many others, and what was the excuse ? The excuse given was that this government wished to give England a preference without imposing upon her the bane of protection, which had been a curse to Canada, and also they wished to give it freely as a recognition of the splendid liberty which England had given us. Certainly, Sir, England has given us liberty, but nothing more than the rights which British people enjoy everywhere in this great empire, be they black or white. The Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier stood at the foot of the throne to tell our late beloved Queen how Canada valued British liberty and British connection. But, Sir, there was a time when we were given the opportunity to show our faith and loyalty. That time was when the empire called on all her sons to give the mother country their aid in South Africa. \te had the opportunity then, and we know with what generosity of feeling the First Minister responded to this appeal to protect the British flag. We have not forgotten the stand he took on that occasion.

On the subject of a preference, we found Mr. Fielding indulging in these remarks :

England, which, after a great struggle under Bright and Cobden, has made the people's food free, was asked to turn back the hands of the clock and tax the food of the people. Eng-Mr. POPE.

land was asked again and again to accept this condition ; and just so long as that demand was made, the great journals and leaders of thought in England scoffed at preferential trade of that kind.

Well, Mr. Speaker, time has gone on and the hands of the clock were not turned back, but have gone on ticking every day from that time to this. And every day the strength of the position taken by us, not from a selfish standpoint, but from the best standpoint in the world, the strengthening of the empire, has become more apparent. Anything that strengthens Canada strengthens the empire in its most vital part. We are a highly intelligent people as compared with other people, in the world. Consequently the more of us there are in this country, the stronger will be the British empire, and the nearer to the very heart of the empire will be a people prepared to live and die for the perpetuation of British institutions. Any act, commercial or otherwise, that strengthens Canada strengthens the empire just as much as if it were strengthening the empire in London-aye, more, because we have fresh air and plenty of space and opportunity in this country for the application of men's ingenuity. And we have hope in the future of Canada. Yes, we had that hope when this country was being painted black by the oracle of hon. gentleman opposite who addressed the House this afternoon. Under those circumstances, the clock has gone on keeping time, and we have witnessed the departure from the British cabinet of one of the most able of British statesmen, Mr. Chamberlain, who has taken up this same fight, not for us alone but for all the empire, and the ground upon which he stands is no selfish, narrow, contracted ground, but broad and generous, and his policy, if carried out, will do more tor the development and prosperity of this country than all the legislation this government has passed or can ever hope to pass. It means the entry of our agricultural and lumber and the other products we send to Great Britain, into the British market under a system of preference. Hon. gentlemen opposite have adopted certain principles of protection in this country. Why should they object to the adoption of a system in England which will protect us in the very market where our goods have to be sold ? The greater price we are paid for our products, the greater value is added to every acre of land in this country. And in no part of the Dominion will greater benefit be experienced from the adoption of Mr. Chamberlain's policy than in its eastern portion. Our eastern provinces cannot compete with the great west in the raising of grain, but in the manufacture of dairy products and the fine qualities of beef, mutton and bacon, we can hold our own, and if given protection in the British market, we could distance all competitors.

Yesterday was an important Hay, as is always that on which the annual statement is made of the finances of Canada, and as time rolls on and our population increases, that day becomes more important. There may have been a few people pleased with yesterday's statement because there were some changes in the tariff, but in my judgment there were many more who were disappointed. And if you take all those to whom that speech was addressed, you will find that not one in twenty-five understands what the tariff really means. I am competent there are not ten men on that side who can tell you how that tariff, which was brought down yesterday, really will affect the trade of this country. Still, when the Finance Minister got up and said: behold this splendid combination tariff that I have created,' there was tremendous applause on the other side, and from none did that ap-lause come more fervently than from those tvho did not understand what it meant. We know that it has a disturbing element. It has a disturbing element because we cannot have a law hanging over every man's head whereby he may be compelled to pay a special duty in addition to the ordinary duty, under certain conditions, without its having a prejudicial effect on trade conditions. But that is not all. Protection as understood by hon. gentlemen on this side, means but one thing, but as expressed in the resolutions moved by the leader of the opposition on more than one occasion. Our national policy takes in all the great natural resources of this country. It embodies a great constructive principle which can be applied in the tariff for the upbuilding of the nation. But when we take up the policy of hon. gentlemen opposite, we find it an unknown quantity. It may be one thing to-day and something else to-morrow.

You will never develop the great resources of Canada with any such fluctuating tariff as hon. gentlemen opposite are now proposing. I agree with the Minister of Finance that a fixed tariff is essential to the prosperity and advancement of the country. I take him at his word. He did not much improve the tariff last year. But he dared not go twelve months longer under the tariff we had. In order to avoid the difficulties which faced him last year, he did improve his fiscal policy then somewhat, by proposing bounties on silver-lead and on iron. But he dare not now come down and say : I am a protectionist, because he has been talking free trade. And so you have an exhibition of a government, a set of men acting together jfor party purposes and personal gain who cannot, announce any principle, who cannot lay down any rule of broad minded legislation that they can undertake to follow. I do not know what would have been the result if we had here the government we had seven years ago. Because, Mr. Speaker, there has been a great change in the personnel of the government. It was said to be a strong government, because it contained Mr. Tarte, because it contained Mr. Blair, because it contained Sir Oliver Mowat, Sir Louis Davies, Mr. Geoffrion, Mr. Dobell, Hon. Mr. Mills and Sir Henri Joly. These men are all gone. And whom have we in their places ? Read the history of Canada and you learn nothing of their names. A record of municipal politics might enable you to trace them, but you do not find their names in the national history of Canada. Whether, with the old cabinet we would have had this bulldozing in the trade relations,

I do not know. Whether we would have had these half-hearted changes, I do not know. But I do not believe we would. I believe that they would have made such an impression upon the Prime Minister, that they would have bolstered his courage sufficiently, that he would have come forward and said : I am now for the national policy, because the principles of the opposition in this House are the only principles by which Canada can be successfully and well governed : I forsake the pathway of the past ; I apologize to Canada, and I am now the head of a strong protectionist government. But we have now an administration of weaklings, the successors of the strong men of earlier days. And so we must accept vacillating legislation, doubtful legislation, legislation in which we find no vestige of principle, while the Conservative party stands for principle as a unit. We know how difficult' it is, even when men are agreed upon a principle, to lay it down sufficiently strong to make it work out to the development of the country's resources, to overcome local prejudices and feelings of provincialism that exist to a greater or less extent everywhere. Even if the Prime Minister and his party were united, it would be difficult enough to bring down legislation to upbuild Canada as she should be upbuilt. But when you have a party made up of here a free trader, there a low protectionist, there a high protectionist, and the other fellow nothing at all, it is impossible to get, through such an aggregation, a straightforward policy based upon sound principle.

The Finance Minister yesterday consoled himself with the fact that we are having pretty good times; not quite so good as they 'were a while ago ; they are beginning to pinch here and there a little. He mentioned one or two industries that were very promising in different parts of Canada and I suppose he thought he had knocked the. last spots of the sun, by the changes in the tariff that he now proposes. But let him look at Sydney and the condition of the industries there and read the quotations. Let him look at the Soo and the industries there. Let him look at the cotton industry, look at the price of butter and cheese : let him look where he will and see if he cannot find a few spots still left. If there is an industry in Canada that should be in

a most flourishing condition, it is the pulp industry, of which I will speak of later on. The Minister of Finance is beginning to realize, as everybody else is realizing, that we are beginning to feel the effect of competition from abroad. Why, Sir, to look at the trade figures alone is quite sufficient. Take our total exports $214,000,000,-and our total imports-$224,000,000. There you have a balance of trade against us for 1903 of $10,410,000, exclusive of coin and bullion. Sir, we are a young nation, with lots of energy, with plenty of raw material, great fwater powers and Immense possibilities, and what we want is men and money, and especially money, in order to develop these great resources. A tariff that gives us at the end of the year $10,000,000 less money as a result of our trade than we had at the beginning is not a tariff that tends to the develpment of Canada. If the Prime Minister discovers that we have too much money, that we are too wealthy, that we have money to give to the United States or Germany more than they give to us, instead of keeping it at home, his policy is a right one. But if Canada needs money, his policy is wrong, because the figures show that we are $10,000,000 worse off at the end of the year than we were at the beginning. During the by-election in Montreal the right hon. Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) made a speech on this subject. He said : Look at the volume of trade-four hundred odd million. True, more than half that is against us, or is money that we are sending away, but, at the same time, there is the volume of trade. According to that,, a man whose wage is $1.25 a day and his exxienditure is 75 cents a day would have a total volume of trade of only $2. But if you take a man whose earnings are $1.25 a day and whose expenditure is $1.50 a day you have one whose total volume of trade is $2.75-and this man, according to the Prime Minister, would be growing rich. If we were an old, completed nation, with a number of people living in luxury, following the hounds across country spending their time as ladies and gentlemen do in great centres, all this would be very well. - But you are legislating for a different kind of nation altogether. We are a bee hive ; we have to work, we are a comparatively poor people ; our history is comparatively a short one, and every man should work, word, work ;-that is the way to build up the country ; and every man should have protection for his industry and his labour. You cannot expect much good from the policy of a man who lays down the principle that the volume of trade is an indication of a nation's wealth. When our policy proceeds on that theory you may look for hard times before very long.

I have shown that the balance of trade is $10,000,000 against us. Let us look at Mr. POPE.

some of the details. In 1903 our exports to Great Britain amounted to $125,000,000. Our imports from Great Britain amounted to $57,793,000. That left a balance of trade in our favour as between ourselves and Great Britain of $67,000,000. For the year previous, 1902, the balance in our favour on our trade with Great Britain was $68,000,000. But now, if you take the figures of our trade with the United States of America you will find that our imports were $128,t 000,000 while our exports to the United States were $49,000,000, leaving a balance against us for 1903 of $79,000,000 in our trade with the United States. What we ship to Great Britain are our great agricultural products mainly. We ship, probably $100,000,000 of grain, animals and their products and other products of our farms.

It comes back to Canada, the policy of the hon. gentleman has been that when this 867,000,000 got back here they would no(^ keep it here to furnish employment for the people and encourage industries in this country where possible, but to send every dollar of that to the United States to pay for industrial life in the United States. You cannot upbuild Canada on these lines.; its an absolute Impossibility. Wlien we have the money in our own hands, why do we not legislate to keep it in our own hands, by giving prosperity, by giving profitable investment V You will find in the United States that the old farmers on the flats of the Connecticut river and other valleys' invest money in the bonds of railways and enterprises of all sorts in the United States. Their surplus, money is not sent to us, but is invested in their own country, and_ by following a policy of that kind for nearly a century they have built up the greatest nation on the face of God's earth to-day. They are adopting the same policy on the southern part of the continent of America, and does it require much argument to show that it must ultimately be adopted here if we want to upbuild this country ? We have the opportunity if we seize it; but it will not be by allowing the balance of trade to be as it is to-day, $75,000,000 against us, and going from bad to worse year after year while the hon. gentlemen have been in power.

Now they propose a dumping policy. I want to know Where they are going to begin to dump. The right hon. gentleman must 'be with me in saying that any policy adopted should be one that we can understand, and that laws should be such that a lawyer could understand and define them. The legislatiion now proposed no man can understand. You have a dumping axe, or whatever you like to call it, that comes down at 15 or 50 per cent, but can the right hon. gentleman tell me when dumping is going on V I would like to ask him how he is going to find out when dumping is going on V Let us take, for example, the case of ani-

Full View Permalink