March 9, 1909

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. S. HUGHES.

These are not customs

officers, the United States customs' officers are invariably very courteous and gentlemanly.

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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER.

I wish to mention a circumstance that occurs every day on the train going from Winnipeg west which passes through the town of Morden, some twelve or fifteen miles from the boundary. It has always occurred to me as singular that an American officer should go through a train which does not touch the boundary at any time, and ask the passengers, both male and female, where they are going. I have been many times asked the same question that the hon. gentleman has asked to-day, if American officers have a right to interfere with our people until they have

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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

reacned the boundary and intend crossing the boundary.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I am afraid that the Prime

Minister has not heard very much lately about this practice, because it is so common. Years ago, when it first commenced, it was so new and the outrage so apparent that much was said about it. Representations have been made from time to time, but nothing has really occurred in the way of amelioration. Just the other day I had a letter from a friend, who detailed a circumstance just like the one we have heard of to-day, that occurred on the border in the western portion of the province of Ontario, and he asked me if anything could be done. Outrages of this kind jar upon the self-respect of any people, and Canada is large enough, and has made its character sufficiently good on this continent, not to be subject to that kind of discrimination. What could be worse in a case of that kind than the action of a man in taking away from the train, a young and unprotected girl, a respected citizen of Canada, and taking her out from her journey, without any protector, and in the end, I suppose, deporting her. Surely a white man or v/oman who is a Canadian has a right to some privileges on this continent. I call that a kind of conduct outrageous, whether at the hands of the United States or any other country.

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Motion agreed to, and the House went into Committee of Supply. Department of Militia and Defence-salaries, $111,690.


?

Right Hon. S@

I think it would be convenient that the few observations of a general character, which I have t. o, make, should be made on this item, rather than on each item separately. If the committee will agree in that view, I will proceed to make a statement with regard to the militia.

The reason for the existence of the militia in this country is well understood. The principal object is perhaps the upholding of the civil power in the different provinces of the Dominion. There is also the necessity for maintaining an armed fcrce for repelling invasion, in case any attempt of that kind should unhappily be made. The^ problem in this country is somewhat difficult and exceedingly expensive, relatively to smaller countries, because of the very great extent of Canada and the wide separation of the different centres of population, of industry and of provincial authority from each other. Sometimes comparisons or contrasts have been made, in regard to military forces or organizations and expenditure, between Canada and Switzerland. We have been told that Switzerland supports a citizen army of some

200,000 men for a very small amount of

money; while Canada expends a large sum of money to maintain something less than 60.000. If we reflect that the greatest distance across Switzerland is 150 miles, while the distance from the extreme east to the extreme west of Canada is something like 4,000 miles, and the distance from the international boundary northward in our settled districts is over 500 miles, or if we include the Yukon, about 2.000 miles ; we will see that the conditions in Canada are very different from those of Switzerland. I need not mention another reason which obviously affects the cost, namely, that in Switzerland there is compulsory service, while in Canada there is not. An armed force is necessarily an expensive thing, whether it be a regular standing army or a citizen army like our own; and unfortunately the balance is always on the wrong side. The credit side of the account does not appear in dollars and cents ; at any rate. But if we reflect for a moment on what the Canadian militia have done, even since the time of confederation, to go no further back-the work done at the time of the Fenian raid, the work done in the two Northwest rebellions, the aid which has been given on many occasions to the civil power in putting down riots, and last but not least, the work which Canada did for the empire in South Africa-we shall all agree, I think, that the balance does not stand so far on the wrong side. In the work of aiding the civil power alone, I feel confident, from what I know, that during my administration, more actual cash has been saved to the Dominion twice over, than the whole expenditure upon the militia during the last ten years.

We are all agreed that the first duty of a oung country is to take up the work-as as been done in Canada from the time of confederation down to the present-of developing its great resources, of which we have so many and are so proud. In my judgment this policy of developing the resources of a country, which was inaugurated many years ago, is one which may fairly be considered as of the greatest importance, not only to ourselves . but To1 .the empire. At the same time we must not forget our responsibilities ; and the greater the benefits we have received from a kind Providence, the greater are our responsibilities in defending, as well as developing, them. We hear a good deal said on the question of imperial defence. It is not necessary that I should discuss that question now, but there is unquestionably a duty imposed upon every independent people, the duty of taking steps to defend their own homes and firesides. And in this connection, if we are to speak of imperial defence at all, the very best way in which each part of the empire can contribute towards the defence of the empire, is to make itself strong. That would 711

make much easier the task of the mother country, the great centre of the empire, which is charged first with the duty of defending, and which task she has so patiently and efficiently accomplished for so many years. Local defence then is our first duty, and that is a duty with which all the successive governments of Canada have undertaken to deal. The country has grown and developed very much in the last few years, and of course the expense involved in carrying out any efficient plan of home defence is much greater than it was a few years ago.

In this connection, I would like to say a word as to a matter in which I am sure the members of the committee are interested and which has been discussed to some extent in the newspapers. I refer to the question of establishing an imperial general staff-a general staff for the whole of the empire, including this Dominion. The other day the papers were moved for in this connection, and despatches from the imperial government and the answers by this government were brought down, ana I hope at an early date will be printed, lne question of the establishment of an imperial general staff was under discussion at the imperial conference which took place in London in 1907, and I think I cannot do better, by way of introduction, than read the resolution which was passed unanimously at the conference of the premiers of the self-governing colonies, with the Colonial

Secretary in the chair:

General Staff for the Service of the Empire. That this conference welcomes and cordially approves the exposition of general principles embodied in the statement of the Secretary of State for War, and, without wishing to commit any of the governments represented, recognizes and affirms the need of developing for the service of the empire a general staff, selected from the forces of the empire as a whole, which shall study military science in all its branches, shall collect and disseminate to the various governments military information and intelligence, shall undertake the preparation of schemes of defence on a common principle, and, without in the least interfering in questions connected with command and administration, shall, at the request of the respective governments, advise as to the training, education, and war organization of the military forces of the Crown in every part of the empire.

I have in my hand a copy of a despatch sent to this government on this subject within the last few weeks, which I would like to read because I am sure its language is much clearer than any words of mine would be and more authoritative. I would ask, therefore, that the committee allow me to read some extracts from a despatch sent from the War Office, through the Colonial Secretary and the Governor General, to this government.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

That is one of the papers laid on the table?

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

country. Local defence schemes will be studied, and will be as well understood in the mother country as they are here; and what an immense advantage it would be, in the event of any serious trouble, for the armies of the mother country to co-operate with our own forces in Canada, on Canadian _ territory; what an immense advantage it would be to the officers who have studied all these conditions to have complete co-operation between the forces of Canada and the forces of the mother country. So much then for the imperial general staff.

There is one other general observation I would like to make before proceeding to the discussion of the estimates now before the House, and that is the question of physical training in the schools. On several occasions in this House I have had the honour to bring up this matter, and to say that I hope the time will come when, in all the schools of Canada, there will be undertaken by the respective provincial governments, which of course control education, a uniform system of physical training for younger children, of elementary drill for the older ones, and of rifle shooting for those still older. I am happy to say that this policy, if it may be dignified by that name, has been very generally discussed throughout the Dominion; and so far as I have observed, all the best newspapers which more correctly indicate the trend of public opinion, have favoured this idea almost without exception. I have on one or two occasions quoted from newspapers, but I will not detain the committee by such quotations at present. But there are one or two observations which have been made by no less an authority than Mr. Goldwin Smith, whom no one will charge with any particular fondness for militarism, and which I think I might properly give to the committee. Mr. Gold-win Smith, so late as February 2, 1907, writing a letter I think to the president of Cornell Universitv, used the following language:

I cannot help expressing my pleasure on finding that military drill is not to he abolished at Cornell. Military training is and always is likely to be indispensable to those who are charged with the defence of public order and the defence of the commonwealth. I always advocated it at Oxford. Tn our case it was the sinister attitude of the French Emperor that produced a national call to arms. In your case, there is no special call, but there is a general and permanent necessity. You are receiving a vast inflow of alien immigration, some of them from questionable sources. Apparently you feel unable to close your gates. Your great cities_ will soon be hardly American. A large and increasing number of immigrants now bring with them from the scenes of political and social conflict in Europe, tendencies adverse to the principles of American civilization. At more than one point there have have been disturbances arising from that source.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

It is surely to be desired that at a critical moment calling fox military action in defence of the public order the republic should feel safe under the protection not only, of paid soldiery, but of her loyal citizens at large.

I also have here an article written by President Hadley, of Yale, a very noted man and educationalist, from which I will read just a few words:

The man who would fully prepare himself for public service must not only do his duty in time of peace, but must be ready for the possible exigencies of war. The fact that for forty years we have not had a war which has seriously strained the powers of the nation should not blind us to the need of preparing to meet the dangers of international conflict from without and the still greater dangers of anarchy and lawlessness from within. If in the places where you settle there is any militia organization really worthy of the name, identify yourselves with it.

This is an address to the young men of the college.

If there is not, try to establish one. It may be that yon will not be called upon for anything heroic in the way of military service. I certainly hope you will not. But if you are ready to meet the danger in advance you will lessen the liability of its coming; and if it does come you will have prepared yourselves for the performance of the most vital of all public duties-the duty of protecting your country against imminent destruction.

Now, something has been done in this regard. An order in council, after correspondence had taken place with many of the premiers of the different provinces, and after I had seen, I think, all of them but two, was passed carrying into effect an agreement which had been entered into between the Militia Department, acting for this government, and the province of Nova Scotia. I will not detain the committee by reading that; but, in a general way the basis of the agreement is this: The Dominion government, through the Department of Militia and Defence, shall undertake from its permanent force to supply instructors who will go to the normal schools and to the different institutions in the various provinces where teachers are taught.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Why not take expert men from the ranks of the ordinary militia?

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

There would be no objection to that except that we have a permanent force now. We are paying them and it seemed to me that the proper thing was to use that permanent force as instructors ; in fact, it would be a very useful thing for the men of the permanent force themselves. A special teaching body will be established. It will be something

for the men to look forward to, because, of course, they will receive, later on, a higher rate of pay and their position will be more important. On the other hand, the province will undertake to make it obligatory upon the teachers to receive this instruction, and, as a matter of fact, upon all teachers, to pass an examination and become qualified in physical training, which will apply to both sexes, and in elementary training in the use of the rifle which, of course, will only apply to the men.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Do you not think the women can shoot straight?

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Yes, there is no Teason why not, but it is not so much in their line. The lady teachers will teach the physical training in the school, and it is just as important that the young girls in the schools should be taught physical training as the boys. If we are going to build up a strong nation, we want healthy and strong girls and women just as much as healthy boys and men.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Is it not the intention that the lady teachers shall teach the rudiments of military drill? They do it in England, even in the Quaker schools.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Yes, under the age of 12. After the age of 12 or 13, of course, the boys will be advanced to the higher grades in the schools and will come under the control of the male teachers. As far as the male teachers are concerned, thev are the men who teach the boys of 13 and upwards and they will be given commissions in the militia and a small bonus will be given to them according to the amount of work they do and the character of that work.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

By proficiency they get that?

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Yes, and an inspection will be provided through the permanent force of the Militia Department. Inspectors will go through certain sections of the country set apart, visit these schools, see what is being done, make notes and report, and the bonus, such as it will be, and it will not be a very large amount, will be bestowed, as my hon. friend suggests, upon proof of efficiency and work done.

I do not know that I need detain the committee longer, because I have a good many other things to go into, but this is an extremely interesting branch of the subject, and it sems to me that there is a great opportunity herein to do important work for this country. .

Private citizens are spending money in order to do something to try and remove or overcome the scourge of tuberculosis. I believe that this will afford a very excellent

means of acting as a preventive measure. Tuberculosis, as we all know, can be prevented; we all know that it is very largely due to the want of proper exercise, and that if every boy and girl in the country is taught to stand and sit erect, take proper exercise, get the proper amount of fresh air, and the importance of all these things, it seems to me that the effect upon the next generation will be very advantageous indeed; to say nothing of the asset which will be built up in that way, and the means of defence, in the event of any trouble ever coming to this country which would make it necessary to resort to arms. Take the boys of 13 to-day; in five years time, under this system, every boy who is physically fit will come out of school more or less trained and, if his eyesight is good, a fairly good rifle shot. _ I hope that in the militia of the not very distant future, instead of having to hunt about for recruits to go to camp, of a rather undesirable character, we will be able to_ fill up the ranks of the active militia with the young men who have come out of school at the age of 18 or 20, allowing them to enlist for three years, have three years in camp and then go on the reserve and organize that reserve so that it may be turned out perhaps for one day each year. In the next ten years, if this scheme is taken up by the provinces, as I hope it will be, and as I have every reason to believe it will be, we will have a uniform system of physical training, of elementary drill and of rifle shooting in existence from one end of this country to the other, and we will have tens of thousands of young men who will form a tremendous asset in the matter of defence.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

I understood the minister to speak of some of these young men being qualified as officers-

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

I mean the teachers, that is, the teachers of the schools would be given commissions.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

That's good.

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March 9, 1909