January 12, 1910

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

In accordance with an arrangement already made the Canadian government would undertake the maintenance of the dockyards at Halifax and Esquimalt, and it was a part of the arrangement proposed with the Australian representatives that the commonwealth government should eventually undertake the maintenance of the dockyard at Sydney.

The representatives of the Canadian government at the conference took the ground that it would not be advisable for Canada to have all her fleet on the Pacific ocean. Evidently, as I understand the conference, the British government were anxious to have a strong force on the Pacific. There are considerations the discussion of which I may reserve for a future occasion; at present I am only outlining our policy. I think that every body will agree that it would be very inadvisable that the whole of our force should be located on the Pacific. Our representatives, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) and the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) thought we should have our force partly on the Atlantic and partly on the Pacific.

The question arose as to what should be the extent and character of the fleet to be created in the beginning. Two plans were proposed and discussed, one involving the expenditure of $2,000,000 a year and the other involving the expenditure of $3,000,000 a year. The first one would have consisted of 7 ships; the second one would have consisted of 11 ships, namely, 4 Bris-tols, 1 Boadicea and 6 destroyers. We have determined to accept the second proposition, that is to say, the larger one of 11 ships. That is the force which we pretend to create and to start with; 4 Bristols, 1 Boadicea and 6 destroyers. Perhaps it will be interesting to the House to understand what is meant by a fleet unit, what is understood by a Bristol, by a Boadicea and by a destroyer. The fleet unit which was suggested, and which has been accepted by Australia, and to which the home government contributes a certain sum per annum, is to be composed of one armoured cruiser of the type of the Indomitable, 3 protected cruisers, 6 destroyers and 3 submarines.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Is that the definition of the unit given by the British government?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

That is the definition of the unit accepted by Australia; but there is more than one class of units. This, I understand, is the unit which has been accepted for the Pacific ocean, and which Australia has undertaken to maintain with the assistance of the home government, and this was the unit proposed by the British government at first. Now the fleet which we have agreed with the British government to accept is to be composed, as I said a moment ago, of four

' Bristols,' one * Boadicea ' and six destroyers. These terms are new to the House, as they were new to me, and perhaps it would be advisable to explain what is understood by these terms. A ' Bristol ' is a protected cruiser, which means that it has a steel deck which protects all the vital parts of the ship. It is of 4,800 tonnage, with a speed of twenty-five knots. The number of guns has not yet been determined upon, but the largest ' Indomitable ' carries eight guns. A ' Boadicea ' carries six guns, though it is probable that the number of guns will be made eight. It has a total crew of 391 men, of which twenty are officers.

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CON
LIB
CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

I would like to ask a question of the right hon. gentleman. When does he expect these ships will be ready to put in commission? Has he formed any estimate on that point?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I am sorry to say I have not formed any estimate yet.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I would like to ask the right hon. the Prime Minister a question. Is the object of this legislation to carry out an agreement or understanding reached at the conference of delegates last year or is there anything in this legislation which in

any way varies or tends to change the agreement arrived at there?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

There was no agreement arrived at, but the policy laid down by the conference is the policy which, it is intended to carry out now.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Mr. Speaker, we all regret the indisposition of the hon. the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur), and we trust, with the Prime Minister, that he will be speedily restored to health, and be able to give us upon the second reading of this Bill the fuller explanations which have been promised. It is very natural that so important a subject as this should have attracted a. great deal of attention throughout the country, since the resolution which was passed, unanimously by this House in the month of March last. That resolution was the outcome of a notice of motion placed upon the order paper by my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster). In the discussion which arose upon it different views were expressed. While it may not have been satisfactory to every member of the House, and indeed in all its terms it was not absolutely satisfactory to myself, nevertheless it seemed eminently desirable at the time that it should receive the unanimous support of this House. The participation of Canada in the naval defence of the empire has naturally aroused a great deal of interest. The resolution itself has not escaped comment and criticism, and I am very glad so far as I am concerned, that that comment and that criticism have not altogether been along party lines.

I do not think that any one in this country is prepared to deny the advantage of the present relations and the present connection of Canada with the British empire. The safety of our commerce, the security of our shores, the safeguarding of cur citizens and their property upon every sea and under every sky, the powerful protection of the British flag, the advantages of the diplomatic and consular service of the British empire, with all the might and influence and prestige which that service embodies, the principles of right and justice which are inseparably connected with British institutions and traditions-all these constitute advantages so enormous as to awaken the liveliest appreciation in the mind of every thoughtful citizen of Canada. More than that, Mr. Speaker, the outlook which Canada enjoys as a part of the British empire means a great deal. It is something for us in this country to be able to say to-day that any Canadian has the like legitimate right to aspire to be Prime Minister of Great Britain as to he Prime Minister of Canada.

My right, hon friend the Prime Minister, in days' gone by, has not perhaps

taken the same view with regard to our connection with the empire which I myself entertain; but I do not desire to awaken any controversial discussion of that kind to-day. I was a little surprised at a statement which, the right hon. the Prime Minister made during the early part of the session-a statement in which he declared that if we did have a Canadian navy or a Canadian' naval service that Canadian navy or Canadian naval service would take no part in any war in which Great Britain might be involved unless this parliameht should first consent. I am glad that my right hon. friend has receded, if I understand him rightly, from that position. I do not see how he could avoid receding from it because a declaration of that kind would mean Canada's absolute and complete independence of the British empire. My right hon. friend has admitted it here to-day in the brief remarks which he made. He has said that when the British empire is at war Canada is at war- and he has said that correctly. He is absolutely right in that regard because it would be impossible for the British empire to be involved with a great naval power or with any power unless, as a necessary consequence of that war, any naval service, or any fleet, which we might possess would be subject to attack by the ships of the enemy. Our coasts and our cities would be exposed to attack; and the suggestion that we, while preserving our connection with the British empire, can be at peace with any other power then at war with Great Britain, is the idle dream of some man who has not thought upon this subject at all. Look at the .situation for one moment and my right hon. friend and other hon. gentlemen in this House will realize that to the full. Suppose that a Canadian unit of the British navy is organized-and I prefer to speak of it in that way rather than as of a Canadian navy pure and simple-suppose that a Canadian unit of the British navy, or of the imperial navy is organi-ized and suppose that a cruiser of some great naval power should commit a wanton act of aggression upon our coasts, or should attack one of our cruisers, does not every hon. gentleman in this House understand that the whole might and power of the British navy would be available to this country to avenge that insult and redress that wrong? How would it be possible for any man in this country to imagine that Canada could be at peace with any great naval power in the world if that naval power at that very moment was at war with Great Britain? The thing is absolutely inconceivable. The nations of the Brtisli empire are separated by great stretches of ocean, the empire covers every continent in the world and Mr. R. L BORDEN.

these great nations are divided by vast distances, but upon the sea, any British navy, any imperial navy, must be one. The jurisdiction and power of our government and of this parliament over expenditure and over control in time of peace must be maintained. I frankly admit that we must maintain that principle in view of our autonomy, but in time of war the naval force of Canada, or the Canadian unit of the British navy, must be part of the British navy when engaged in the preservation and defence of this great empire.

I realize that there are a great many people in Canada who have made their views heard in recent months in opposition to what they call militarism.

1 am opposed to militarism and I believe that every hon. member of this House is opposed to militarism, regarded as militarism. There is no doubt about the evil of war. The fact that war exists to-day, the fact that preparation for war is maintained upon so gigantic a scale on the continent of Europe is the best possible evidence that what we call the civilization of the twentieth century is only a very thin veneer over a certain underlying barbarism which has always prevailed throughout the world. War is an economic waste. It is pitiful to think of the suffering and starvation that prevail throughout the world while nations are spending untold millions in preparation for subjugating each other or in contending for the mastery of the world. But, let us realize that war between nations is the court of final appeal and that at the present time there is no other. In every constituted state there are courts, there is the majesty of the law, and the final vindication of the law must depend on the power of the state in every organized community. But as between the nations of the world, as organized at the present time there is no court of appeal. A Canadian writer, Mr, Carman, in a very interesting book which he has writen upon the ethics of imperial- . ism, uses these words:

Of course, war is costly. The world loses immensely by permitting it. The time will come when it will not allow destructive lighting between nations over any question between them, any more than a community will let two farmers burn each other's barns because they do not agree where a fence ought to run. But the world can only stop war in the same way that a community does; that is by providing an impartial court which the nations will trust, and then supporting its rulings with overwhelming force. . . Peace is only to be defended by the weapons of war.

And His Majesty King Edward, the peacemaker, in July last went to the root of the whole matter when he declared at Liverpool that readiness for defence is the strongest of the safeguards for peace. If you unroll the pages of history you will

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find that no nation has ever survived whose people were too selfish or too cowardly to fight for the defence of their territory and for th 5 preservation of their national existence. It has been suggested that Canada can never have need of a navy whether she belongs to the British empire, or otherwise. Look at the capture not many years ago of a Canadian ship on the high seas by one of the South American powers. Look at the pressure of oriental nations upon our western coast and realize if you will that it would be the most utter folly for Canada to attempt to isolate herself from the activities of the world. Canada can not be a hermit nation. Canadian interests will exist and must be protected not only upon the high seas, but in every quarter of the globe. The great empire of China attempted to isolate herself from the rest of the world and did so with some measure of success, but the result was not encouraging. To conceive that Canada could play any such part in these days of steam and electricity, when the oceans of the world have ceased to be an impassable barrier and have become magnificient highways, is but an idle dream.

There is another point that I would like to make and it is that those who oppose what they call militarism in this country are apparently under the impression that our participation in the defence of this great empire will impose upon the people of Canada greater burdens than would have to be endured if we were an independent nation or if we were absorbed into the great republic to the south of us. Let me point out the absolute and utter fallacy of that. Put aside for the moment, if you wish, the ties of blood and allegiance and tradition. Consider, if you like, the purely economic aspect; estimate the fair reasonable share which we ought to undertake in organizing an effective defence of the empire; estimate on the other side the cost of our naval and military deience, if Canada were an independent nation prepared to defend its territories and make its flag respected. Consider on which side the balance lies and it is my profound conviction that even upon this purely business basis you will find it largely in favour of our participation in the defence of the empire. The great Conservative leaders of bygone days, Sir John Macdonald and Sir George Etienne Cartier, fully realized the principle which I have just expressed.

The articles of war refer to the navy in these striking words:

The navy, under the good Providence of God, upon which the safety of the realm doth chiefly depend.

Gladstone used these words in 1878:

The strength of England is not to he found in alliances with great military powers, hut is to he found henceforth in the efficiency and

supremacy of her navy-a navy as powerful as the navies of all .Europe.

That we enjoy British institutions, British liberty, British justice, that this wonderful majestic heritage of Canada is ours with all its infinity of promise for the future; all these blessings under Providence are ours because of the British navy. A well known American naval authority, Captain Mahan, has demonstrated in his well known work that in all the great naval wars recorded in history the issue depended upon the control of the sea. In one striking sentence he says:

At Trafalgar it was not Villeneuve that failed but Napoleon that was vanquished; not Nelson that won but England that was saved.

I might quote also, the words of the present secretary for the colonies, Sir Edward Grey, who in June, 1909, giving his view' as to the necessity of the navy for the permanency of the empire said:

The navy is the common security of the whole empire. If it ever fails to be that it will be of no use for us to discuss any other subjects, and the maintenance of the navy in that position must therefore be the care not only of us at home but of the self governing Dominions beyond the seas.

Now', Sir, I come to the resolution of March, 1909, and I desire to say that having heard all that has been said against that resolution, passed unanimously by the House of Commons; having given careful and deliberate attention to every criticism that has been urged against it, if I w'ere speaking to-day under the same conditions that then existed I Would support that resolution just as I did in March, 1909. I realize that the party system is not the best in international or defensive matters; I realize that it is desirable to keep these matters, whenever possible, above the controversy of party strife, and I realize fully that the statesmen of Great Britain, in respect to foreign affairs have endeavoured to act in the best interests of the empire for the time being and to put aside party considerations. I know that it has been urged, and with some force, that we in Canada cannot properly take a permanent part in the naval defence of the w'hole empire unless we are to have some voice as to the wars in w'hich Great Britain may engage. Let me say in the first place, that I do not believe Great Britain will in the future engage in any great war-except indeed it may be a w7ar forced upon her without a moment's notice-before^ consulting the great dominions of the empire. I have some warrant for that statement when I recollect that before Great Britain engaged in the South African war, which was in the end forced upon her, she came to the great dominions of the empire, she came to

Canada and she sought advice and counsel. And, my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, standing in his place in this House moved a resolution in 1899 expressing the sympathy of this House with the efforts which Great Britain was then making to bring about better conditions for her subjects in the Transvaal republic. I remember on that occasion that one of the followers of the right hon. gentleman-a man not now in this House, but one of the ablest and most faithful of the right hon. gentleman's supporters-said to. me when it was mooted that such a resolution would be proposed: I shall support and vote for that resolution but only on the condition that if war does come in South Africa, Canada shall back the mother country up with all her resources and to the utmost of her power. And, Sir, I venture to believe that in future the self governing nations of the empire will have something to say about the wars of the empire. It is not wise to prophesy what the future may bring forth, but I would venture to hope that a defence committee or an imperial conference having special jurisdiction over defence matters, composed of men from both parties in Great Britain itself as well as in the self governing nations of the empire, would have some control over the organization of imperial defence, and as an outcome of such a committee or such a conference I would expect that in future Great Britain would engage in no great war without knowing before hand that she would have the support and the sympathy of every one of the great self governing nations of the empire. "This would give to these dominions a voice in the control of war, because I thoroughly agree that if we are to take part in the permanent defence of this great empire we must have some control and some voice in such matters.

The criticisms upon the resolution of March, 1909, have been many and to some of them I shall refer. The Prime Minister has told us that the proposal which he has placed before the House implements, according to his view, the resolution of 1909, but I fear I cannot concur in that view in all respects. One of the criticisms which have been made upon the resolution is this: That parliament did not then proffer to the empire in the hour of peril anything more than an expression of desire to cooperate and an intention to perform. Well, Sir, so far as we on this side of the House are concerned, that is not our fault. My hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) said, in that debate, with my concurrence :

To-day peril stands at the gateway. It is not for me to say how great it is, but I cannot brush it aside. To-day it impresses itself upon the greatest statesmen of the old Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

country; to-day it appeals to Australia until public subscriptions are taken, and the government is being importuned to do even more than its settled policy to meet the emergency; to-day little New Zealand gives one Dreadnought and offers a second, and to-day Canada faces that position of peril and emergency. Let me say to my right hon. friend, that if after careful consideration he proposes to this parliament a means for meeting that emergency adequately, now and as it should be, whether it he by the gift of Dreadnoughts or the gift of money of this country, this side of the House will stand beside him, and stand for Canada in supporting that measure.

It may not be generally known throughout the country and it may be well for me to mention it now, that under our constitution it would not be possible for any member of the opposition or for any private member of the House to propose to parliament a concrete resolution for ' Dreadnoughts ' or for a gift of money. That could not be done by a private member under the terms of the British North America Act, because such a resolution can only be proposed to the parliament of Canada by a minister of the Crown who must first announce that he has the sanction of His Excellency the Governor General to such a resolution.

Then, it has been argued that the creation of a so-called Canadian navy will have a tendency towards the separation of this great Dominion from the empire. I do not see that it has such a tendency more than the organization of a militia force; less, I say, because the resolution of this House of March, 1909, expressly declared that the organization of a Canadian navy should be ' along the lines suggested by the admiralty at the last imperial conference.' That resolution, as introduced by the Prime Minister, was slightly modified in the end, and, as finally passed, was as follows:

This House fully recognizes the duty of the people of Canada, as they increase in numbers and wealth, to assume in larger measure the responsibilities of national defence.

The House is of opinion that under the present constitutional relations between the mother country and the self-governing dominions, the payment of regular and periodical contributions to the imperial treasury for naval and military purposes would not, so far as Canada is concerned, be the most satisfactory solution of the question of defence.

The House will cordially approve of any necessary expenditure designed to promote the speedy organization of a Canadian naval service in co-operation with and in close relation to the imperial navy, along the lines suggested by the admiralty at the last imperial conference, and in full sympathy with the view that the naval supremacy of Britain is essential to the security of commerce, the safety of the empire and the peace of the | world.

T,he House expresses its firm conviction that whenever the need arises the Canadian people will be found ready and willing to make any sacrifice that is required to give-to the imperial authorities the most loyal and hearty co-operation in every movement for the maintenance of the integrity and honour of the empire.

The chief amendments that were made in the resolution, as originally introduced by the Prime Minister, were the omission of one paragraph, to which I need not further allude, and the redrafting of the second paragraph. That paragraph, as originally proposed by the Prime Minister, read in this way:

The House reaffirms the opinion, repeatedly expressed by representatives of Canada, that under the present constitutional relations between the mother country and the self-igoverning dominions the payment of any stated contribution to the imperial treasury for naval and military purposes would not, so far as Canada is concerned, be a satisfactory solution of the question of defence.

The difference between the resolution as it was first proposed by the Prime Minister and the resolution as it eventually passed, was this, that the original resolution did not permit what I might call an emergency contribution when war might be impending or might be anticipated within a few years. The resolution as eventually passed, having been in that respect amended by the Prime Minister at my instance, does permit an emergency contribution to be made by Canada when the existence of the empire may be imperilled. You will observe that the organization of a Canadian naval service was to be in ' cooperation with and in close relation to the imperial navy, along the lines suggested by the admiralty at the last imperial conference.' What were the lines suggested by the admiralty at that conference in this respect? The Fist Lord of the Admiralty, at the conference of 1907, said this (page 129):

The only reservation that the admiralty desire to make is that they claim to have the charge of the strategical questions which are necessarily involved in naval defence, to hold the command of the naval forces of the country, and to arrange the distribution of ships in the best possible manner to resist attacks and to defend the empire at large whether it be our own islands or the dominions beyond the seas.

If my right hon. friend the Prime Minister is implementing the resolution of March, 1909, it goes without saying that the control and the command of the Canadian naval service in time of war must be vested in some central authority, in the admiralty, in order that the whole forces of the empire may be concentrated effectively for the purpose of meeting the issue, it may be in some great battle on our coasts or elsewhere. The control of our militia is vested very much in the same

way. The statutes governing the militia of this country have been somewhat modified by the present government; but by the statutes of 1904, chapter 41, section 72. it. is provided:

In time of war when the militia is called out for active service to serve conjointly with His Majesty's regular forces His Majesty may place in command thereof a senior general officer of His regular army.

Thus the control of the militia in war emergency is vested in His Majesty. So it is absolutely essential under the resolution of March last that the supreme control of the Canadian naval force shall be vested in one supreme authority in time of war, acting in the interests of the whole empire.

It has been urged also that the creation of a Canadian naval force will be attended with corruption, the exercise of patronage and all the dishonesty and extravagance which unfortunately have prevailed during recent years. Again, I say the remedy is in the hands of the people themselves, and unless we are prepared to abnegate the power of self government and to admit that we are unfit for the privileges we now enjoy, it is idle to put forward any such reason or excuse. The evil is serious, indeed, alarming, but is not to be met in that way. When the existence of this country and of the empire itself depends on honest and efficient administration, I believe the public conscience of this country will be more thoroughly awakened, and the creation of a Canadian naval force to co-operate with the other great naval forces of the empire may be the beginning of better days in that regard.

It has been suggested that instead of the organization of a Canadian naval force, there should be a system of annual contributions from this country to the mother country; and I am free to admit that, from the strategical point of view, I would be inclined to agree with the view of the admiralty that this would be the best way for the great self-governing dominions of the empire to make their contributions. But, Sir, from a constitutional and political standpoint, I am opposed to it, for many reasons. In the first place, I do not believe that it would endure. In the second place, it would be a source of friction. It would become a bone of partisan contention. It would be subject to criticism as to the character and the amount of the contribution in both parliaments. It would not be permanent or continuous. It would conduce, if anything could conduce, to severing the present connection between Canada and the empire. Let us remember that the British empire as it now exists is of recent constitution. We are apt to consider it as a very old empire. The present relations of the great self-governing dominions to the mother country are of recent

growth and have not yet received their full development. The British empire in some respects is a mere disorganization, and 1 for one believe that co-operation in trade and in defence are essential to its future development and even to its future existence. Permanent co-operation in defence, in my opinion, can only be accomplished by the use of our own material, the employment of our own people, the development and utilization of our own skill and resourcefulness, and above all by impressing upon the people a sense of responsibility for their share in international affairs.

I regard the resolution of March last as the most important step towards co-operation that has been taken in this country for 25 years. My right lion, friend the Prime Minister has taken a certain stand in the past with regard to that great question which it would be invidious for me to enlarge upon to-day. I do not intent to enlarge upon it. I refer to the attitude which he took in regard to participation in the defence of the empire before 1896. He has since said that when the beacon fires are lighted on the hills, Canada will come to the succour of the empire; but he told the British government, he told the statesmen of the mother country in 1907, that so far as any such scheme as this is concerned, he would none of it. There is no doubt about that, and I shall refer to it for a moment because it is not old history, but is a matter of very recent occurrence in the life of this nation. Mr. Smart, who was the colleague of Dr. Jameson, moved the following resolution at the Imperial Conference of 1907:

That this conference, recognizing the vast importance of the services rendered by the navy to the defence of the empire and the protection of its trade, and the paramount importance of continuing to maintain the navy in the highest possible state of efficiency, considers it to be the duty of the dominions beyond the seas to make such contributions towards the upkeep of the navy as may be determined by their local legislatures-the contributions to take the form of a grant of money, the establishment of local naval defence, or such other services, in such manner as may be decided upon after consultation with the admiralty and as would best accord with varying circumstances.

Sir, that was practically the resolution of March, 1909, but my right lion, friend the Prime Minister in 1907, would have none of it. He virtually declined to discuss it in the conference and he said in the end that those representing the other great selfgoverning dominions of the empire might vote for it if they choose but he would vote against it. So, I regarded it as a distinct advance on the part of the right hon. the first minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when he was willing to accept or indeed to move a resolution of that kind in March, 1909.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

who devoutly wish that Sir Edward Grey, in making that statement, could have coupled the name of Canada with that of New Zealand and of the other overseas dominions.

On the 16th of March, 1909, Mr. Asquith, Prime Minister of Great Britain, the man who has more to do with the defence of the empire than any other man within the empire, the man who is more responsible for that defence than any other man within the empire, makes this declaration:

There has been such an enormous development in Germany, not only in the provision of shipyards and slips on which the bulk or fabric of a ship can be built or repaired, but what is still more serious-in the provision for gun mountings and armaments of those great monsters those Dreadnoughts, which are now the dominanting type of ship-such an enormous development-and I will venture to say this without attempting to excite anything in the nature of unnecessary alarm in this country-such an enormous development as to be so serious a development from our national point of view that we could lio longer take to ourselves as we could a year ago with reason the consoling and comforting reflection that we have the advantage in the speed and the rate at which ships can be constructed. This is a fatal and most serious fact. We have both these sets of considerations, both of them I agree invalidate the hypothesis which only a year ago I addressed to the House when speaking on this topic.

That statement of Mr. Asquith is significant in more ways than one. It is impossible for us to believe that such statements made by men holding the highest responsibilities of office, were not well considered. No Prime Minister of Great Britain, no Prime Minister of any one of the great dominions of the empire, could make such a statement as that if he did not believe that there was grave cause for concern. When we hear the Prime Minister of Great Britain declaring: ' This is a fatal and most serious fact, and when we hear him admitting that the considerations which apparently had only come to his notice a short time before, ' invalidate the hypothesis which only a year ago I addressed to the House,' surely there is no man in this country who will venture to say that there is not grave cause for concern, and that the supremacy of the empire is not threatened. On the 29th July, only six months ago, the Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith, made the following declaration :

If we were permanently to lose the command of the sea, then whatever might be the strength and organization of our military forces, even allowing that you had an army like the army of Germany, whatever might be its strength and whatever might be its organization, it would not only be impossible that this country should escape invasion-invasion might not even be necessary-but the Mr. R. L. BORDEN. .

subjection of the country to the enemy would be inevitable. It followed from that proposition that it is the business of the admiralty to maintain our naval supremacy at such a point that w-e cannot lose the command of the sea and that against any reasonable possible combination that could be brought against us we must hold the sea and make invasion impracticable.

Now, let us look for a moment, at th$ provisions of the German Navy Bill and at the absolute declarations of prominent authorities in regard to the motives which have inspired Germany in entering upon its naval programme. Again I say that I do not pretend to argue that Germany has at this present moment any desire to make war upon Great Britain. But that is not the test because the disintegration, _ dismemberment and dissolution of the British empire will inevitably follow if British naval supremacy once passes away; it would follow without striking a blow and without the firing of a gun. The German Naval Bill of 1900 contains the following recital and preamble:

Germany must possess a battle fleet so strong that a war with her would, even for the greatest naval power, be accompanied with such dangers as would render that power's position doubtful.

This seems to me to be an express declaration of intention, in case of conflict, to challenge the British navy for the mastery of the seas, because the words ' greatest naval power,' as contained in the recital of the German Naval Bill, can have reference to one power and one power alone and that is the British empire.

A prominent German authority and writer on naval and military affairs, Count Ernest Von Keventlow, in the last ' Navy League Annual ' puts the case in a nutshell. This gentleman is a retired captain-lieutenant in the Germany navy, he is a writer on naval and military affairs, he is associated with the pan-Germanic party and I believe he is regarded as one of the leaders of that party. 1 do not believe he has any official position other than that which I have stated, but this is the way he expresses himself with regard to the matter to which I have been alluding:

We do not doubt the pacific intentions of the British government, but we know that since the commencement of the new century a war between England and Germany has been more than once very imminent; and moreover there are in England quite a large number of people, who consider a preventive war very desirable. It is true that it is now too late for this, and that England has missed her opportunity The cordiality in the relations between any particular nation so frequently dwelt upon nowadays is nothing more than a phase, at times a very useful one; we

decline to enter here into such trivialities.

Economically and politically every healthy

nation works only for its own advantage. Tais gives rise to competition, the earth unfortunately does not expand, and thus mutual strength is necessary in order to render equalization of power and consequently a pacific equilibrium possible.

In other words Germany, the dominant military power upon land beyond all challenge does not propose to rest satisfied until she can successfully challenge the control of the seas by Great Britain. That means either the dismemberment of the empire or its relegation to a condition of inferiority which would lead to its early dissolution. The highest authority in Great Britain has declared that ships of the ' Dreadnought ' type will alone count at a very early date. No one pretends that the British navy is not supreme to-day, bui the continuance of that supremacy will cease within the next two or three years at least, unless extraordinary efforts are made by the mother country and all the great dominions.

It may be said that upon the official figures and by the tonnage Great Britain has still a marked superiority to-day. My right hon. friend went into that in his speech in Toronto. No one doubts that for a moment, but it is not a question of today; it is a question of to-morrow. Does my right hon. friend realize that Great Britain, only two or three years ago, with drew her fleets from all parts of the world to concentrate them in the North Sea? Does my right hon. friend realize for what reason that was done? Great Britain has today in the Mediterranean less than half the fleet she had there four years ago. She lias withdrawn practically her entire fleet from the Pacific. She has concentrated the great majority of her vessels around the British islands, she has done that for some reason and that reason will be outlined by certain official utterances to which I shall direct the attention of the House later on. Further than that, speaking of pre-' Dreadnought ' vessels, Mr. McKenna, the First Lord of the Admiralty, on the 16th March last, used the following language:

What is the purpose of these vessels? To what extent could we concentrate them in the home waters? Clearly we cannot take out the number of ships in the navy, add them altogether and reckon the total tonnage without having some regard to the duties which the navy is called on to perform. We maintain squadrons in Chinese, Australian, South African and East Indian waters. There is another squadron, a cruiser squadron, always kept available for service in the Atlantic.

Does any hon. gentleman doubt that in the early future Great Britain will have to send at least four ' Dreadnoughts ' to the Mediterranean and four to the Pacific?

A very great authority upon German military affairs, Professor Schiemann, whose, weekly ehronique of foreign affairs

in the ' Kreutz-Zeitung ' is said to be the. most influential factor in moulding German opinion Respecting foreign policy, has recently emphasized t-he necessity under which Great Britain labours of guarding not the North Sea or the British islands alone but the four quarters of the world. Here is his opinion which, according to some authorities at least, is German official opinion on this subject:

We know quite well that the German navy will never be called upon to face the massed fleets of the greatest maritime power. At any- moment distui'bances may break out in distant parts of the earth and necessitate the urgent dispatch of powerful British squadrons for the protection of British interests. In point of fact we know very well that England will not be able to escape the necessity of sending a portion of her navy to the East Asiatic stations. Therefore we do not regard the vociferous demands of the British press for the maintenance of naval supremacy in too tragic a light.

I would like to ask my right hon. friend whether anything could he more definite or suggestive? Has he read the provisions of the German Navy Bill in regard to this matter? The provisions of the German Navy Bill I have alluded to in part. Let me quote another very significant passage which is to be found there:

Germany must possess a battle fleet so strong that a war with her would, even for the greatest naval power, be accompanied with such dangers as would render that power's position doubtful. For this purpose dt is not absolutely necessary that" the German fleet should be as strong as that of the greatest sea power because generally the greatest sea power will not be in a position to concentrate all its forces against us.

That is not the utterance of any unofficial citizen in Germany. That is a direct and definite statement contained in the recital of the German Navy Bill of 1900, and it says as plainly as language can express it that in her attempt to challenge the British supremacy of the sea Germany relies upon the fact that the fleets of Great Britain must be scattered throughout the world. Germany needs to guard only her North Sea gate; Great Britain needs to guard all her dominions throughout the world.

There is another significant official utterance to which I would like to direct the attention of my right hon. friend before he finally concludes what shall be his naval programme proposed to this parliament. On the 5th of March, 1907, the parliamentary secretary of the admiralty, the right hon. Edmund Robertson, in explaining to the British parliament the distribution of the fleet and its concentration in the North Sea said:

The chief feature is the concentration of strength in home waters, and its chief result

will be additional security to the people of these islands against what I believe is their only danger-a sudden raid-and that, I hope is not a serious one.

He takes into account the possibility of a sudden raid and expresses the hope that the danger may not be serious, and he explains to the parliament of Great Britain in the same breath that the possibility of this raid is sufficiently serious to justify England in recalling her warships from the Mediterranian and the Pacific and concentrating them in the North Sea. Could an official warning be couched in more significant language? The heart of the British empire is in the British isles and a fatal blow at the heart must result in the death of the entire organism. Thus, the existence of the British empire presently depends upon the safety of the British islands.

My right hon. friend may say: These

statements were made eight or nine months ago, and although it may have seemed to the members of the British government, to the Prime Minister, to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and to the First Lord of the Admiralty that the crisis was imminent at that time, yet since then it lias passed away and there is no need to take further care. These statements pointed to a crisis and an emergency and a peril which might face the British empire within two or three years at the outside. Has that peril passed? No, Sir, we are nearer to it by nearly a year. Has Germany's policy been modified in the meantime? No. On the contrary Germany has since put forward the greatest naval budget in her history: 443,000,000 marks ($105,434,000), $60,000,000 of which are to be devoted to construction and armament alone. My right hon. friend may dismiss all this with a wave of the 'hand and an eloquent phrase and he may say there is no danger and no peril. Sir, in Denmark, in 1864, in Austria in 1866, in France in 1870 a Prime Minister might have done the same, but that would not have altered the record of history. I do not say there will be war; I do not know nor does the Prime Minister know. I trust, I hope, I pray there will not be war. But, without war, without the firing of a shot or the striking of a blow, without invasion, German naval supremacy would bring the empire to an end. It is idle to assure us that there will be no war. The war has already begun, the war of construction, and victory will be as decisive there as in actual battle.

Does the dissolution of the empire signify nothing to Canada and her people? Laying aside other considerations, let us remember that we settled some matters to our satisfaction and to our advantage when the British North America Act was passed in 1867. Not only federal but provincial autonomy was secured and rights and priv-Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

ileges were recognized and are still maintained which are very dear to the hearts of all the Canadian people. But, Sir, when the British empire is dissolved, the British North America Act goes also and with it there departs every constitutional guarantee which it contains. All beyond is chaos and darkness. What may be evolved out of that chaos and darkness, what constitutional status, what final relation, what ultimate balance of conflicting forces no* one of us to-day is bold enough to prophesy or wise enough to foresee. This consideration ought to give food for thought to every one of us who has at heart the future interests of the people of this great country.

Said Lord Salisbury ten years ago:

I do not believe in the perfection of the British constitution as an instrument of war. ... It is evident that there is something in your machinery that is wrong.

He was comparing the party system, of government in the British islands with the more strongly centralized systems which prevail in other countries. He concluded and doubtless rightly that the British system was not most effective for such purposes. If the organization of the British islands is thus unsuitable what can be said of the infinitely greater disorganization of the empire so far as concerns the concentration of its powers for defensive warfare. The mere circumstance that there are in Canada those who conscientiously object to co-operation in defence gives room for grave disquietude. I can understand the man who advocates independence. In that case with ten thousand miles of coast line and a great sea-borne commerce, we must of necessity become a naval power at enormously increased expense or else remain the plaything and laughing stock of the world. I can understand the man, if there be anv such in Canada, who conscientiously advocates the union of this country with the great neighbouring republic, but let him remember that such a union would be followed by naval and military charges of from twenty to twenty-five millions per annum. I cannot, however, understand how any man receiving and accepting the protection of the British flag, the advantages of British citizenship, the safeguarding of our coasts, the security of our shores, the benefits and advantages of the diplomatic and consular service throughout the world, the talismanic protection of our flag, can reconcile it with our self-respect to have every dollar of the cost paid by the over-burdened taxpayers of the British islands. We have the power to adopt that position if we. choose because our liberties which we hold as of right and of grace are in this regard absolute, but, with all respect for the conscientious opin-

ions of others, I cannot conceive it to be a worthy or honourable course. It is not so much a question of our duties or obligations to the mother country as of our own honour and self-respect. I am the descendant of those who have never lived under any other than the British flag since it first streamed to the free winds of heaven. I am as profoundly and unalterably attached to British institutions and connection, and as ready to work, and if necessary to fight for them as any man in Canada. But if my country, one of the richest in the world in proportion to its population, should accept the humiliating, the degrading, the pauperizing position of receiving future protection and safety at the hands and cost of the British taxpayer without contributing one dollar in aid or assistance, I would say that the sooner the empire was rid of her the better for all. When the battle of Armageddon comes, when the empire is fighting for its existence, when our kinsmen of the other great dominions are in the forefront of the battle, shall we sit silent and inactive while we contemplate with smug satisfaction our increasing crops and products, or shall we pauper-like seek fancied but delusive security in an anneal to the charity of some indefinite and high sounding political doctrine of a great neighbouring nation. No, a thousand times no. There will be no such outcome. It may be that the Canadian people absorbed in the development of their marvellous natural resources have paid little heed to the wideworld activities of the empire, and have realized but imoerfectly the responsibilities and duties of their country as one of its greatest dominions. But they do not lack the intelligence, the vision, the courage, the patriotism necessary to realize those duties and accent those responsibilities. So, if Canada be true to herself she will not fail in the day of trial, but stand proud, powerful and resolute in the very forefront of the sister nations. But she must not stand unprepared. I say to my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, so far as my words have any weight with him: Go on with your

naval service. Proceed slowly, cautiously and surely. Lay your proposals before the people and give them if necessary opportunity to be heard, but do not forget that we are confronted with an emergency which may rend this empire asunder before the proposed service is worthy of the name. In the face of such a situation immediate, vigorous, earnest action is necessary. We have no Dreadnought ready; we have no fleet unit at hand. But we have the resources and I trust the patriotism to provide a fleet unit or at least a Dreadnought without one moment's unnecessary delay. Or, and in my opinion this would be the better course, we 56

can place the equivalent in cash at the disposal of the admiralty to be used for naval defence under such conditions as we may prescribe. In taking this course we shall fulfil not only in the letter, but in the spirit as well, the resolution of March last, and what is infinitely more imnortant we shall discharge a great patriotic duty to our country and to the whole empire.

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CON

Clarence Jameson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARENCE JAMESON (Digby, N.S.).

Mr. Speaker, this is probably the most important measure that has ever been brought down to this House by any government since confederation. It involves a radical departure from the well defined policy of Canada. If carried out, its influence on the destiny of Canada, will, I believe, be more far reaching than any man can at the present time accurately forecast. I think it will be granted by all that it must tend either to draw closer the bonds which at present unite us with the empire or that it must lead in the opposite direction. Because of its vagueness and uncertainty, and because I do not think the naval policy as outlined by the government is in line with public opinion, the needs of Canada, or, if they have been considered at all, the requirements of the empire, I desire at the outset to submit that this question should be referred to the people for their verdict. In the first place, in my judgment, this House has no mandate from the people to bind them to this or any other permanent policy of naval service. The policy of a Canadian navy means-there is no use in attempting to disguise the fact-either a broadening of the community of interests which exist today between Canada and the other selfgoverning dominions and the centre of the empire, making them stand as against the world like Dumas' three guardsmen, * each for all and all for each,' or it means a weakening of that natural and unfettered alliance. Which is it to be? It seems to me that it is for the people of Canada, and not this House, to decide. When the Canadian naval programme is framed, that question may as well be dealt with and settled once for all; and the people of Canada should and I believe eventually will settle it. The people have not an opportunity to express their will on the naval question. The press of the country is divided. Some of the most influential are diametrically opposed. The party press reflects what it considers to be the political expediency of the hour. The editorial columns of others contain the ideas of individuals, or at most of the little coterie that surrounds the directing mind. What is required, I believe, is an expression of the solid common sense of the people of Canada. I think the people of Canada should be consulted by means of a referendum or plebiscite. Will any hon. member

adventure his political existence by saying that the people should not be heard from before they are taxed for ships of war which they and their sons must pay for and man; and a permanent ..policy of this nature is grafted on to the political economy of this country and that grafting-who will doubt it? will prove an expensive process. Plebiscites are not new to this government. They found the need for one in 1898. At that time the government did not desire to deal energetically with the question of the liquor traffic, without, as they said, securing the endorsation of the people. To be sure they never did deal energetically in that regard. There seemed to be some misapprehension between the people and the government respecting it. The majority of the people who voted, said that they voted for prohibition, and the government in effect said that might be, but it was not the right people who had voted for it; that when those who were opposed to prohibition demanded it the government would grant it to the country. However, the point I wish to make is that the government then subscribed to the doctrine of consulting the people before declaring their intentions with regard to a matter of great public importance. Is not the present question of naval defence equally worthy of being submitted to the people for their consideration and verdict? When the right hon. Prime Minister discussed this question in March last he said:

It behooves us as freemen to look at our position calmly and deliberately, to review the situation as it is, to ascertain where we are, and to determine whether we should alter or whether we should persist in the course we have adopted long ago.

The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) said that ' the time had now come when the parliament and the people of Canada should sit down together and take stock of the position and come to some conclusion.' What opportunity do the government intend to give to the people of Canada to ' sit down and take stock of the position and come to some conclusion '; and of what avail, if they do come to a conclusion, if they are not to be permitted to express themselves thereon before the government bind them to a line of policy that may be altogether foreign to their wishes? .

I propose to consider this question in its relation to the empire purely from the business standpoint as it presents itself to me. The government proposal is not one to meet an emergency, but is the beginning of a permanent policy. If the measure were one to meet a present pressing emergency that would not wait, the case would be different, and parliament would, I believe, be not only justified in providing, but would be required to provide, against that emer-Mr, JAMESON.

gency. If the government were proposing action under what may be termed the emergency clause of the resolution of the 29th of March last, which reads:

The House expresses its firm conviction that whenever the need arises the Canadian people will be found ready and willing to make any sacrifice that is required to give to the imperial authorities a most loyal and hearty co-operation in every movement for the maintenance of the integrity and honour of the empire

The case would be entirely different. But the fact is that the government have not recognized that an emergency exists. By their policy to-day, they declare in effect that no danger threatens Britain's supremacy on the sea. As matters stand, it seems to me that is the large question. Upon the sufficiency of that navy depends the safety of Canada. Under the operation of the government's proposed policy, no effective number or class of ships can be placed in commission within a long period of years. In view of this fact, to deny the people the right to express their opinion of the proposed policy in a constitutional manner seems to me to be not only undemocratic but a usurpation of their prerogative. Nor do the proposals of the government contemplate .the construction of ships of the class declared by naval experts to be the first essential in the case of a self-governing colony desiring to create a navy. Two members of the government, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, and the Minister of Militia and Defence, journeyed to England last year to consult the British naval authorities on this subject. The report of that conference which the government have given to the House and to the country is somewhat meagre. It will not be disputed in this House I think that British naval experts lead the *world, always granting, of course, the qualification, in their own minds at least, of the Minister of Militia and Defence and the Minister of Marine and Fisheries to review their opinions. In the report of the imperial conference of the representatives of the self-governing dominions on the naval and military defence of the empire, held in London in July and August last, at which the gentlemen I named were present, we find as paragraph 5 of the admiralty memorandum this statement:

In the opinion of the admiralty, a Dominion government desirous of creating a navy should aim at forming a distinct fleet unit; and the smallest unit is one which, while manageable in time of peace, is capable of being used in its component parts in time of war.

And as paragraph II of that memorandum :

As the armoured cruiser is the essential part of the fleet unit, it is important that an

' Indomitable' of the ' Dreadnought' type should be the first vessel to be built in commencing the formation of a unit fleet.

Here we find the large armoured parent ship spoken of as a necessity, the first essential in the creation of a fleet unit. Australia and New Zealand have adopted the plan of the naval experts, yet the government of Canada deliberately ignore it and propose placing in the water ships, which in the stern test of modern naval warfare, would he as helpless as a family of small children dumped down in a vacant tenement and told to shift for themselves. Again, the class of ships proposed to be built by the government would, in the event of war, compel Canada to take a position inferior to Australia and New Zealand, who are each preparing to provide ships capable of taking their place in the battle line. It was the boast of the people of Canada, irrespective of race or creed, that when the Canadian volunteers went to South Africa, they took their place on the firing line, they fought shoulder to shoulder with the best troops which Great Britain or any of the colonies sent to the front, they won honour for themselves and reflected honour on their country. To-day Australia and New Zealand are each preparing to provide cruisers of the Dreadnought type. These vessels will not only be a deterrent to our common enemy, but in time of war would take their place in the -battlle line in defence as well of Canada as of every other part of the empire. Where would the proposed Canadian ships be if they are built, or obsolete craft such as the government are considering the purchase of? Too light to withstand the fire of a powerful enemy and only from such would an attack come; if they went to war at alb they would be forced into a position inferior to that of the ships of the other self-governing dominions, and would actually have to accept the protection of the larger ships of the younger and smaller colonies. The self-respect of the people of Canada, including, I believe, the descendants of the veterans of Montcalm and Wolfe, would cry out against the indignity to which the government proposes to subject this -country. And there is no man, in this government or out of it, who can tell where, this naval scheme -once entered upon, the cost will end. Like the Grand Trunk Pacific scheme, when the government brought it down, they do not know within $50,000,000 or $100,000,000 what it will cost. The preliminary figures are small, just to accustom the people to the title so that they may not shy at it when they see it in its immensity hereafter. But we know this is the growing time. The expenditure of the Department of Militia and Defence, for instance, has increased from $1,574,01.3 in 1895 to $6,474,715 in 1908. This 561

is getting close to a war tax in time of peace of $1 per head of the population of Canada. But the government have something to show for it. The Minister of Militia stated to the House a short time ago in reply to a question by the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards) that the Kingston Battery of soldiers had recently performed a stunt for certain manufacturers of moving picture films. Thus, the people of Canada, on payment of the small additional sum of 5 cents a head, may be privileged to witness the daring military manoeuvres of the forces of the first war lord of Canada. The average cost per unmounted man in the force is $564 per year, and of a mounted man $674 per year, and since 1895 $10,818J80 have been charged to capital account and added to the public debt of the country for this service. Burdens of this character are not lightly to be taken on, and only in cases of emergency should they be heaped on the people with indecent haste.

The proposed naval programme is only calculated, in my judgment, to increase the burden of taxation in Canada without lessening the weight of taxation in Great Britain for the defence of the empire, Canada included. I am discussing only the business side of the question, the sentimental side has no part in it, at the moment. What useful purpose would be served by a navy of the proposed Canadian type as'ide from its use as training ships? It would not relieve the pressure on the British fleets on the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans for Great Britain has many ships of the variety proposed to be built or acquired, which naval experts declare will ibe comparatively useless in the prospective sea fights of the future unless they are -supported by powerful armoured cruisers. It would not relieve the pressure on the British fleet in any other part of the globe; it would not, I venture to say, protect Canada; it -would be too light to take its place in the firing line with the ships of other colonies. Against who then is it to be used? If we starved every public service in this country and utilized every available dollar for this purpose, it would take at least 25 years to create a navy which of itself would -be effective. Meantime the decisive battles may be waged not by fleets of the sea but by fleets of the air. The British navy protects us to-day; on that navy -Canada" must depend for her protection for many years to come. If it were destroyed, no navy which Canada might possess would be capable of protecting us against a power capable -of destroying the British fleet.

There are those who at times prate of the Monroe doctrine as being the bulwark of Canada. It may be beyond the question to say that- the United States largely nullified the effect of the Monroe doctrine by

possessing themselves of territory in the far east. It may also toe toeyond the point to say that we might some day pray to/be delivered from our friends. I have a high admiration for the people of the United States. They are a great and progressive people and their country reflects their greatness and progress; tout the British navy is the bulwark of Canada. The people of the United /States, with their great population bordering on 90,000,000, have serious problems of naval defence confronting themselves. In this connection I may be permitted to quote Congressman Richmond P. Hobson, the hero of Santiago, who in a speech at Washington on ' The Philosophy of Naval Policy for the United States,' is reported to have said:

As things are going the United States will probably be in for defeat in the first stages of the conflict.

And later on, speaking of the Japanese question on the Pacific coast:

Being defenceless in the Pacific ocean ive cannot even discuss the question with Japan. Japan has practically compelled us to surrender the right of local self-government.

And the United States has been spending an average of almost one hundred million dollars yearly during the last ten years.

It is well known that had the suggestions of President Roosevelt been carried out the naval programme for the United States would have been a more energetic one than it has been in the past few years.

Let me state the cost of the navies of the great nations of the world during the past ten years as reported in ' Brassey's Naval Annual ' for 1909, the figures being reduced to Canadian currency:

Total naval

expenditures. Average 10 years, yearly

1900-1909. expenditure. Great Britain.. .. $1,640,293,035 $164,029,303Germany

604,246,755 60,424,675United States.. .. 991,022,104 99,102,210France

636,659,160 63,665,916Italy

265,856,995 26,585,699Russia (9 years).. 481,678,575 53,519,842Japan (4 " ).. 138,927,085 34,731,771Does not this contain a lesson for Canada which it would be well for us to take to heart? This measure will furthermore give without warrant from the people additional tremendous spending powers to an administration proved beyond a shadow of a doubt by the report of the Civil Service Commission and the report of Mr. Justice Cassels' investigation to have absolutely run mad in extravagance, patronage and waste. The subject should only be dealt with from the broadest possible viewpoint and after most careful investigation and consideration. Yet, if appearances indicate anything, it is liable to be embarrassed with sectionalism from the outset. Cer-Mr, JAMESON. I

tain sections will receive the shipbuilding plants, and others, no doubt, will demand and receive a sop as compensation. It will not be forgotten that the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Pugsley), last summer spent some time in the west, and during the course of his triumphal tour, he radiated promises of public works estimated to cost $25,000,000 to $30,000,000. The Secreary of State (Mr. Murphy) last year also went avisiting, and when, like young Lochinvar, he came out of the west from his courting of Miss Canada, the modern gallant warbled the lay ' box cars, not battleships.' This sounded like a bid for the vote of the new American settlers who are naturally not expected to bubble over with enthusiasm at the idea of assisting to provide a navy, whose guns will look into the muzzles of those of their quondam countrymen. And the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) contributed his share to this policy of placation, by telling where the necessary money was to come from. He stated to the House that on March 31 next the population of Canada was estimated to be 7,450,990. He also stated to the House the ease with which he contemplated, next year, effecting the painless extraction of $100,000,000 from the pockets of the Canadian taxpayer, with which to stock the government's cornucopia. This would make the average tax per head of the people of Canada $13.42 in 1910; whereas in 1895, it was $7.05 per head. The minister also stated to the House during the course of his budget speech, that the cost of the naval service would next year be defrayed out of consolidated revenue account and not charged to capital. Then he paused for the applause which he evidently expected from his supporters; but none came. Even that declaration failed at that time to arouse their enthusiasm on this subject. Like the cheers of the young gentlemen students at Dotheboys Hall, when Mr. Squeers made his famous speech, the response of the minister's supporters, was merely sighs of extra strength with the chill on. The extravagance and recklessness of this government knows no bounds. Their system of patronage, I believe, is costing the country millions of dollars yearly. I do not think that voting more money to the government will make them more prudent, more capable or less anxious to benefit their friends at the public expense. If the government had recognized the existence of an emergency and were asking parliament for power to meet it, I would support any reasonable measure to that end. But they have, in effect, declared that no emergency exists. By their policy of to-day they propose to bind the people of this country, without asking their leave or opinion. They propose to spend the money of men who must man

the ships and pay ,the bills without deigning to consult them. They are denying the people their right to speak as to the government's action in disregarding the advice of naval experts; they are refusing to let their voice be heard as to the old policy of one empire, one navy. I do not think the administration or this House possess that right, and I submit, with all due deference, that this question should toe referred to the' people of Canada by means of a plebiscite before the adoption of a permanent naval policy upon the lines proposed by the government.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier).

Everything, Sir, connected with the discussion of this all-important matter seems to be a surprise. For my own part, I little anticipated the turn which the discussion has taken this afternoon, and reasonably so, I think. It seems to me that, having taken the opportunity of expressing my view about this matter upon another occasion, I was entitled, in the ordinary courtesy which exists within the working of a party, to some indication that, upon this occasion, at the first reading of this ' measure, the party itself, as I understand it, would express its policy. I say that has been a surprise to me which, I think, I have not deserved. But, Sir, even under these circumstances, I would have been prepared to await the moment usually chosen for the discussion of the principle of a Bill to defend before the House, as I have defended outside of it-and intend defending in the future-my opinion in this matter. Unfortunately, expressions have been used which make it necessary for me to at once challenge certain statements that have been made. And let me say this further, Mr. Speaker: Although I have the

misfortune to differ from many on this side of the House-and apparently from all on the other side-on this question, I consider that advantage gained in this country, where we enjoy those free institutions which we have been so earnestly invited to maintain and defend, in speaking of people who do not hold our own views as people without sense of honour, without self respect. If that course is carried too far, those who have initiated such a mode of attack will be the first to suffer from it. I deem it now, at this stage of the discussion, necessary to point out how I and others like myself understood this resolution to which so much reference has been made and which was passed on the 29th of March last. The better to give the House my impression, I will relate the facts as I know them. At the opening of the session my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) gave notice of a motion, which is no doubt familiar to every member of this House, but the sense of which was, that it v/as time for Canada to have a navy of its

own for the purpose of its own defence, of defending its own coasts and harbours. The moment I saw that_ motion upon the orders of the day, I said freely to those who sit on this side of the House, and to many of my friends on the other side, that I would not approve of that motion. I mentioned that to my hon. friend from Toronto, I think I spoke of it to the leader of the opposition; at least he was spoken to about it in that sense by others than myself. I said that I did not deem it opportune. Sir, one would suppose, from some of the arguments we have heard this afternoon, that we are a people prepared to lie down and allow ourselves to be killed. We are not that kind of people. We are discussing the assumption of serious, unusual and new responsibilities, and we pretend that we can discuss them freely. Well, what happened? It cannot have been my intimation surely which caused the delay of the presentation of that motion of my hon. friend from Toronto, for weeks. I have not the data here, I have not come here prepared to discuss this question fully, when I return I will have the data. I say the motion remained in abeyance. I say more than that, although my memory on that point is not fully clear, I think I was given to understand that the motion would not be pressed. If I were certain of that I would assert it here. But it remained in abeyance until nearly

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

To make the question clear to my hon. friend, so far as I am concerned, no such promise was made by me.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

No, it was not made by my hon. friend. But I did not say any promise was made. I said I had a distinct recollection of understanding that the motion would not be pressed, because many people in this country believed that the time was not ripe for Canada to build a navy. Some of those whom I have heard this afternoon are of that opinion still. I believe myself we are not fit at the present moment to build it. However, to return to the resolution of the 29th of March. On the 16th of March-I think that is the date-a very violent discussion took place in England upon the question of armaments. I have stated elsewhere, and I say it here, as my conviction that that discussion was brought on for political motives with which we have-no concern, which we do not understand, to which we are strangers. But it seems to-have fired people all over the empire. I have the testimony of people who were in England at the time. It created a panic which lasted nearly a month, and it blew over. Recent statements by responsible men from England lead us to believe that these violent and exaggerated statements are not borne out by the facts. But at the time, the discussion produced on the minds of people within the empire the impression

that the empire was in grave danger. On the 29th of March, strange to say, just about the time the news of that violent agitation reached here, we felt the effects of it, and that resolution of my hon. friend was presented to the House. Now', I appeal to my fellow members of this assembly as to what took place then. My hon. friend presented his resolution. Immediately the leader of the government presented an amendment, an amendment which entirely changed the sense of the original motion. Will anybody deny that? It gave the original motion an extension which nobody had dreamed of, which I had not dreamed of. What happened? Upon a question of such vital importance-which I trust before this discussion is ended we will be able to show has an immense influence upon the whole future destiny of this country-what took place? On that day several members of this House spoke on the amendment of my right hon. friend. There was, if I remember right, a speech from the hon. member from the Yukon (Mr. Congdon), and I think by the hon. member for Bed Deer (Mr. Clark). I may be mistaken, but I am speaking without preparation. I think there was a speech by a gentleman on this side of the House, the hon. member for North Grey (Mr. Middle-bro). The hon. member for Nicolet (Mr. Turcotte) spoke in French, against what he called at the time imperialism. I think also my hon. friend from Dorchester (Mr. Koy) spoke, but I cannot from memory recollect what he said. We were told then, being, as I said, under the impression that a war scare existed in England and throughout the empire, and feeling that a war by a powerful enemy was about to be waged against the United Kingdom and the Crown of England, that it was the duty of the dependencies of the empire to manifest their willingness in that emergency to stand by the empire. In the presence of an impending catastrophe of that kind, although it appeared to some of us, as it did to me, purely a matter of political partisanship,-it was suggested, in face of this ado, through the whips to the leaders of both sides, to do-what? To frame such a resolution as I understood it, and as all understood it-let us be frank about it- such a resolution as would convey to the mother country, at the moment when she was threatened with an onslaught by a powerful enemy, an assurance that we were not going to choose that moment to desert her.

I wonder if there is any man in this House, whatever may be the blood that flow's in his veins, who is a British subject, who, at that moment, would have felt himself called upon to get up and discuss fully this phase of the question, this system, the system which is going to be imposed upon us, and express'his active dissent from that Mr. MONK.

resolution? I would have been ashamed to do so; I never would have dreamed of doing so. The resolution was adopted. I believe I was not in the House when it was adopted. I believe, if my memory is right, that my hon. friend the whip of the Conservative party, reported to me the terms of this resolution tendered under these circumstances and which resolution was going to be cabled to England the next day and all over the world to show that at that moment, indeed as at every other moment, we were not going to back out. I went away and the resolution was adopted in my absence. Are we going to be told that under these circumstances to-day, after numberless discussions when this fever, this panic-I believe more designed than people generally knew-had been sprung upon us, when a conference had taken place and when, at that very conference, it was laid down expressly by the members of the British government themselves in so many words, because even in England they have other notions of freedom than what we apparently have here, that anything that had been settled there would not become effective until each of our parliaments had approved of it-are we going to be told here at the very outset of this discussion upon the presentation of the Bill that there is no discussion to be had, that the incident of the 29th March of last year, binds and fetters us, and that with the policy as laid before us in the Bill, the result of this discussion-we have nothing to do but that, as honourable men, we must subscribe to that policy? I deny that, Sir, and I say that there is going to be very full and ample discussion of this question, at any rate, as far as I am concerned. One would suppose, Mr. Speaker, that the discussion of these new relations, because they are new to the whole empire, these formidable responsibilities which we are going to assume and which we may have to assume-I do not pretend like other people to be infallible- would be essential to their proper understanding. But, we are told that we are not to be allowed to discuss them freely. We will see about that. That is my interpretation of this resolution of the 29th March. Had I known that the use was going to be made of it that I have seen made of it in the newspapers and elsewhere, had I known that all future discussion of the conditions of this new system was going to be forbidden, I would then and there, not have discussed it, because no man in this House could have discussed that phase of the problem intelligently upon the spur of the moment, but I would have asked for its postponement to a later date. I think that at this stage it is essential that I should make this statement as far as that particular incident is concerned.

Now, Sir, I certainly do not wish to de-

tain the House at this time. I had no idea whatever when I learned of the illness of my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries that anything else would take place to-day than the introduction of the Bill by the Prime Minister; in fact this was announced by the newspapers. It was expected that the real discussion of this measure would be postponed.

It involves a great many questions, Mr. Speaker, that I will not trouble you or the House with this evening. Are we in a position to build a navy? Are we able to build something that will count, that will be worth anything at the present time? Have we the money for it? Can we, at present, with the immense works which we must necessarily execute undertake to build a navy? Have we more essential work at the present time even in the interests of the empire, not in our own interests alone? After all we belong to the empire, we are of the empire, but I suppose that many of us were born, bred and brought up here and that we have some special object and some special task here to perform. As between ourselves and the Fiji Islands, for instance. I suppose that a divine providence has placed me here with an object expecting me to exercise my activities here in a particular way, for a particular purpose and for this particular country. But, that is another question. I do not intend at the present moment to touch upon these questions, but they will be referred to later on if I have the advantage of being present when these matters are brought up. My hon. friend the leader of the opposition has stated that the idea that in case of war we should summon parliament is an idea which does not commend itself to him or indeed to anybody. I think that is very true. There is no man who reflects for a moment who will advance the proposition that if war is waged against us, we must, before defending ourselves, summon parliament. But, he has emphasized in that respect a point which I wish to indicate for the consideration of the House, and that is the enormous consequences of the step we are taking to-day.

I will do that and make no further observation at this preliminary stage of the Bill. I say that if Great Britain is involved in war, whether it be to suppress an insurrection in India, or against any foreign country, or in virtue of her numerous alliances or treaties, the moment that war breaks out -if we carry out this plan and the scheme generally laid down by the Imperial Defence Conference-we are into that war. It is said that that is absolutely necessary any way. I deny that. I am now speaking *of war only, and, I deny that. I am not alone in that opinion, because it will be established here that statesmen of no mean repute, patriotic men who knew something

about this country, have maintained that under our system as it has existed in the past, we were not necessarily drawn into the foreign wars of England. I will read to the House when the time comes a most able memorandum sent by the Macdonald-Sicotte ministry to England in answer to a request of the Duke of Newcastle that we should raise 50,000 troops in this country, and in that document it is clearly demonstrated that the consequence of the adoption of the plan offered by the Duke of Newcastle was to make us in a sense responsible for every war into which the British Crown entered. But what I wish to point out is this: does it not strike the members of this House-indeed in. this very discussion it has been alluded to-that if we are to carry out this policy we shall find ourselves in the position that we become responsible jointly and severally with the people of the British isles for the whole foreign policy of the empire, and mind you without having had a single voice in the formation of that policy. The very first words which the right hon. the Secretary of State addressed to the conference of 1907 were these-and every representative of the Beitish government at this conference from the very beginning spoke in the same sense. He said: ' The Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier has spoken of our inviting you to our councils. We do. We cannot possibly ask you to take up with us the burden of defence; we cannot decently do so without inviting you to participate in the formation of our policy, in our diplomacy. Why is it that that most vital side of imperial defence schemes has been left out? What! Are we going to be in the position that the whole foreign policy of the empire is going to be framed, and formed, and carried out by a cabinet of men in Downing street, men absolutely controlled and elected by the electorate of the British isles; that we, British subjects like themselves, are going to be placed upon a different footing, that we will not have a voice in the conduct of that policy, that we are to be responsible for everything while having no voice in the conduct of anything? That was not what on more than one occasion- I have simply mentioned the principal one -was stated at the conference, and stated not by colonials but by men who knew that it would never work with Anglo-Saxon people to have in any sense taxation without representation. Sir, if there were no other, but there are many others, that alone is a vital defect in this policy. My right hon. friend has on more than one occasion spoken of Paul of Tarsus. Paul was a Roman citizen by special favour and in Paul's time that special favour was not by any means extended to everybody. But, Rome, falling as she was beginning to fall recruited her strength and her legions from

the outlying provinces where there was no Roman citizenship. Rome went to these provinces for her soldiers and her gladiators and her armies to resist the invasions of the barbarians. And these men who held back the rising tide of invasion had no Roman citizenship; they were not consulted in the policy of Rome, and it was only two or three centuries after Paul of Tarsus that Caraculla, seeing that the Roman empire was going, constituted that general citizenship of Rome which brought every man who was of the empire into the full enjoyment of the rights of Roman citizenship. What is proposed to-day here is to invite us to assume responsibilities which I will claim we are not bound to assume. What is proposed to-day is to invite us to become responsible for the policy, for the diplomacy, for the treaties, for the alliances of which we know nothing, over which we have no control, made by men, excellent men no doubt, but men who are not responsible to us. And, the proposal is to ask us to assume all these responsibilities without our enjoying the privileges of representation. I do not speak for the province of Quebec; I say you will never find Anglo-Saxons who will willingly accept that responsibility, who will willingly bend their heads to what I consider to be an infraction of the ancient rights of British subjects established centuries ago in England. That is my view of it whatever it may be worth. Can we not more properly be likened to those who, from Gaul and Germania and Dacia, were brought down to Rome to enter the Roman armies and the Roman arena and who had no representation in the councils of the Roman republic? That is the condition which, I submit, this plan is imposing upon us, and it reminds me of the man in the gladiatorial arena dying:

He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes Were with his heart, and that was far away;

He recked not of the life he lost nor prize, But where his rude hut by the Danube lay, There were his young barbarians all at play,

There was their Dacian mother-he, their sire,

Butchered to make ia Roman holiday-

All this rush'd with his blood-shall he expire

And unavenged? Arise! ye Goths, and glut your ire!

That, much truer than the story of Paul of Tarsus, is the spectacle which is presented to me under the terms of this scheme, Mr. Speaker, I must apologize to the House, but it is free to every member of this parliament to express his opinions and it seemed to me that to be silent under what has been said this afternoon would not be proper because silence would amount in a sense to acquiescence. Although I may be in a very small minority, and although Mr. MONK. '

it is a matter of very great regTet to me to have to differ from friends of mine on this side of the House, and indeed from any member of the House, upon a question of this magnitude, I claim the right to my conviction, and I intend expressing it most freely during the progress of this discussion.

Mr. FOSTER-Mr. Speaker, before the Bill is introduced, I would like to ask a question of the Prime Minister. I think I have seen reports in the newspapers of sundry negotiations amounting to purchases of war vessels and the like of that. I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether and to what extent there is truth in that statement; and if it is so, on what parliamentary authority the government has acted. We have had the promise of a policy to be submitted. Surely it cannot be that the government has forestalled parliament and has already made its purchases and entered into contracts?

Sir WILFRID LAURIER-The government has made no purchase whatever. The government has entered into negotiations with the imperial authorities for the passing over of a ship. The whole matter is subject to parliamentary approval, and nothing can be done until it is considered by parliament.

Mr. FOSTER Will the right hon. gentleman have these papers brought down so that we can have them in this discussion?

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

As soon as the negotiations are completed, certainly.

Topic:   NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


QUESTIONS.

INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY DISMISSALS.

CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAMUEL SHARPE:

How many men were dismissed from service on the Intercolonial railway each month from October 1, 1908, to March 31, 1909?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY DISMISSALS.
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January 12, 1910