which the hon. gentleman, if he really wished to obtain some redress for his co-religionists, could have obtained hours and hours ago by accepting the suggestion which has been made again and again by hon. gentlemen on this side of the House.
Now, Sir, I would like to say at the outset, that I thoroughly sympathize with every word that has fallen from several hon. gentlemen here regarding the language which is on the face of the declaration. I quite agree with the premier of Great Britain when he spoke of that language as deplorable, and I would be only too glad if I were standing on the floor of the Imperial parliament and a question came before that House on a motion that it should be considered and decided-(I would be only too glad to raise my voice and give my vote in favour of expunging from this declaration every obnoxious term, every term that could even by a stretch of imagination be considered offensive to any one of His Majesty's subjects. If the day ever comes when we are engaged in recasting the political bonds that bind us to the mother land, and in devising any new political arrangement between that land and this, if at that time this declaration has not been modified or removed, and if I am then a member of this House, I will vote heartily for the passage of a resolution to remove any offensive expressions therefrom. But neither of those occasions is the one before us at the present time. We are here as representatives of the people of Canada and we are asked to consider a certain resolution. While I would not like to describe this resolution in terms that would be unparliamentary, if I were outside this House, if in my office a similar document to this were presented to me, I would not have the slightest hesitation in saying that it was as illogical as it was impudent. Why, since the debate commenced we have had many hon. gentlemen in discussing this question either wholly overlooking the terms of this resolution- and I hope that is the case-or misrepresenting the actual facts before the House. We have one hon. gentleman stating boldly that the coronation oath required the King to be a member of the Church of England, and on reference to the coronation oath it is found there is not a word to that effect. The last gentleman who spoke (Mr. Flint) said that the sovereign was compelled by law to be in communion with the Church of England. He nods Ms head in assent. Now, every lion, gentleman must be aware of the occasion when this declaration was put in force. A short time before that there was a sovereign of Great Britain who was in [DOT]communion with the Church of England and continued in such communion until the day came for his reign to end, and then he took the last rites of that church to which he had always been attached and in which he had always believed. And it was at that time that the people of England, knowing that the mere declaration that a sovereign must ;be in communion with the Church of Eng-Mr. NORTHRUP.
land, had not ensured a sovereign being a sincere member of the Church of England, knowing from actual experience that what the hon. gentleman asserted, had not been the fact, they at once put this declaration on the statute-book to attain the end that they had ;n view. It is all very well to refer to the coronation oath, but there is no conflict between the coronation oath and the declaration, and neither can take the place of the other. [DOT]
Now, we are asked by the hon. member for Victoria, N.B., to adopt this resolution.
I have read the preamble and the resolution. and I venture to say that a more illogical document was never jflaced in the hands of a Speaker of this parliament. It is astonishing to me that an hon. gentleman of the legal acumen and the ability of the right hon. gentleman should for a moment have endorsed it, if he has glanced over this document, and seen how thoroughly illogical are the statements in it. Another who failed to perceive the character of this declaration is the hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson). When the lender of the opposition suggested that perhaps the objectionable phrases could be dropped from the declaration, this hon. gentleman from Westmoreland, a gentleman who has come to this House with a great flourish of trumpets, whose advent we looked for with anxiety, with apprehension on this side of the House, for we had heard that he was shortly to occupy one of the important benches behind the premier-when that gentleman arose he said that if you eliminated from this declaration all of the phrases that are objectionable and offensive to any people in this country you have nothing left. Now, that is a statement which is either correct or it is not. Let us see if we can find anything here that can be eliminated without destroying the declaration. If those who support the resolution really desired to obtain relief for a certain class of people, they would have presented it to the right hon. leader of the government and to the leader of the opposition, and an attempt would have been made to secure that support from both sides of the House that should be secured for such a resolution. But no such thing was done. The government alone has been taken into the hon. gentleman's counsels, and by a friendly member this resolution is brought before the House in such a way that 215 gentlemen are taken by the throat and are told : You must either swallow this, accept what I, the member for Victoria, say, or you must throw the whole thing overboard. I think that fact alone is sufficient to justify the description I gave of the resolution already. Let us see how the document proceeds. There is the usual preamble, it speaks about the Act of Settlement, gives the coronation oath, and then says :
Such declaration is most offensive to the dearest convictions of all Roman Catholics.
I am in thorough accord with the hon. gen-773
tleman on that point. Tlie declaration is of necessity offensive to the feelings of all Roman Catholics. X am sorry it is so, and would be only too glad to do anything in my power to remove that offensive character. Then he goes on to speak of the staunch loyalty of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects in Canada to whom it is very offensive to be branded as idolaters by their sovereign. I am thoroughly in accord with that too. I am sure there is not one gentleman on this side of the House but would raise his voice in endorsing that sentiment. These two premises being admitted, first that part of the declaration is offensive, second that the loyalty of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects should not be rewarded by being so treated, let us see what is the conclusion. The conclusion from the premises is :
That in the opinion of this House the above-mentioned Act of Settlement should be amended by abolishing the said declaration.
If there is nothing in the declaration that is not offensive, as the hon. member for Westmoreland (Mr. Emmerson) has said, then it is open to the objection that is raised, but let us see whether, if we do eliminate the offensive phrase, there is anything left. Bearing in mind the fact that the Crown had just been settled on William and Mary, who had no more right to the Throne of England by blood than any hon. gentleman in this House, that their title to it was wholly statutory, that, on the other side of the water, was the old sovereign King James who was encouraged and supported by Louis XIV. of France, who subsequently landed troops upon the shores of England; bearing in mind these facts, and the fact that his brother, Charles II., had taken the communion of the Church of England all his life, and had died in the rites of another church, we find that the House of Lords and House of Commons decided that this declaration must be taken by every sovereign who ascended the Throne. What was that declaration ?
I, A. B., do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare that I do believe that in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever.
Every Protestant in the world believes that, and there is nothing offensive in saying that any Protestant becoming King shall be called upon to declare that he does not believe in that particular doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. There is nothing offensive in its use here. There may be a statement of a theological belief to which a Roman Catholic as a theologian might object, but there is nothing offensive in that statement. The declaration goes on :
And that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacri-25i
flee of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous, etc.
All the rest of this declaration is open to the objection of the hon. member for Victoria, N.B., but, if we eliminated every other offensive phrase we would still have left in it the statement that the sovereign does not believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation. For 200 years, whether wisely or not, this has been part of the oath, and for 200 years it has been taken by every sovereign who has ascended the Throne. A new sovereign has just ascended the Throne, and it is our wish that he may long occupy that position. Throughout the mother land, objection has been taken to that oath by lawyers, by the press, by parliamentarians and by the people who regret this phrase and declare the necessity of removing it. Why, then, in the name of all that is sacred, should the time of parliament and the money of the people of this country be wasted here in discussing a question which we believe will be settled in the mother land in just the way we think it should be settled. I could not help suspecting, when the suggestion was first made by the leader of the opposition, that a conference should be held between the leader of the government, the leader of the opposition and the mover of the resolution to see if it would not be possible to agree upon terms, and when the leader of the opposition went so far as to intimate that he was willing to eliminate all the expressions that are offensive to the religious belief of a portion of the subjects of the British Crown, when I found the right hon. leader of the government and the mover of the resolution refused, although appealed to again and again to save the time of the House, to save the risk of having religious excitement stirred up in this country, when I found that the right hon. Prime Minister refused only a few moments ago to allow the debate to be adjourned, insisting that we should proceed to a decision to-night, and when I found that the leader of the opposition was willing that the resolution should take the ground of asking for the elimination from the declaration of the offensive expressions, it occurred to my mind that the elimination of the offensive expressions would not meet the desire of the mover of the resolution. What he desired was, although he has not told the House, but one or two members on the other side did blurt out what he really desired, was not the elimination of the offensive expressions, but to strike out the whole of the declaration so as to get rid of this particular declaration, which, rightly or wrongly, the people of Great Britain, for 200 years have considered one of the bulwarks of their religion. I would be glad to see the people of Great Britain do anything they can to bring about the removal of these expressions which cast a reflection upon a religious body, but I am not a member of the