February 16, 1910


I do not think there is much necessity to deal with the amendment proposed by the hon. gentleman. I take it for granted that one or two members in this House may be found to support it, but it embodies a principle so novel in the history of Canada and so much at variance with our theory of responsible government, that practically it implies a change in the principles and methods underlying our constitution. At all events, whether open to this objection or not, it is sure to receive so small a measure of support, that I do not think it deserves very serious consideration. The most important matter to discuss is the amendment proposed oy the leader of the opposition (Mr. Borden). In respect of that, I desire to say that it starts out with a statement which very nearly ventures on the borders of audacity and ends with an inconsistency. It starts out with the assertion that this scheme of the government is not upon the lines laid down by the imperial conference of 1907. True, the policy outlined in this Bill does, to some extent, vary from that proposed in the imperial conference of 1907; but does the hon. gentleman accept the doctrines of that conference as absolutely conclusive or final? Has he run aground upon the conclusions of that conference, and is he not willing to allow even an imperial conference, directed by the admiralty, presided over by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, to advance a step in regard to these matters. Because it is plain, from the correspondence which has been laid on the table that, though in some degree the proposition in the Bill mav slightly vary from that originally entertained in the conference of 1907, it does not at all depart from but absolutely carries out the conclusions arrived at by the conference of 1909; and surely, in regard to these matters, we are not bound up by the conclusions of any one imperial conference, but are at liberty to follow from time to time the latest developments and adopt the latest conclusions in that connection. In the conclusion of his amendment, the hon. gentleman was guilty of the inconsistency so well pointed out by my hon. friend from Red Deer (Mr. Clark). It assumes that, without reference to the people,- it is quite proper for this House to vote $25,000,000 to meet the cost of two Dreadnoughts, and send the money over to England to be used there, but that it is improper for us to construct a Canadian navy of our own, out of our own material, by our own men, and man it by our own people, without submitting that proposition to the people of this country. It seems to me inconsistent to say that you shall take so large a sum of the revenues of our people and send it over to the mother country,


and allow it to be spent there without submitting that proposition to the people, but that when you come to consider the proposition of improving our naval capacity and establishing a Canadian navy, you cannot do that without referring it to the people and taking a fresh vote with regard to it. Another point in the resolution, which requires to be dealt with to some extent is, that it is founded on the idea that an emergency is actually in existence. One would imagine that we were in the midst of a long and arduous military and naval struggle with Germany, that the conflict between the British and the German empires was only now reaching the stage which required us to intervene and collect our resources into the shape of a bill of exchange and send it to Britain to save her from destruction. This matter of panics is not a new one in British history. Shakespeare, in Henry IV., indicates the cause of their origin, when he puts in the mouth of Henry IV. this advice to Prince Hal; ' Therefore, my Harry, be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels, that action thence borne out, may waste the memory of the former days.' In those days, when it was necessary to busy men's minds with foreign quarrels, the advice was addressed to stout-hearted men who believed: ' Come the three corners of the world in arms, and we shall shock them, nought shall make us rue, if England to itself do rest but true.' There was nothing like panic then. But in modern times a degenerate spirit has entered the minds of some men, because when they want to divert attention from domestic to foreign matters, they do not busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels, but busy giddy minds with dread of foreign countries. If you come down through the years, you find as early as 1847, a change with regard to this, and that all these panics have been at one time or another, initiated by old men who have lost their nerve. Mr. Asquith, the British premier, says they have usually been initiated by old women of both sexes. I would not desire to use that expression, because coming from me, it contains a measure of insolence, but I say that from the first panic of 1847 down to the present time, there is not one of them which has not been instigated by some elderly gentleman who has completly lost his nerve. Get Cob-den's history of the three panics, and you will find in each one the same little alarms we hear to-day; in each of them- heated speeches, plans of invasions and senseless talk about silent toasts-all those absurd things raised to-day to induce the British empire to imagine that the Emperor of Germany, without any reason or cause, is building up his power for no other reason than to make an unprovoked attack on the liberties -and rights of Britain. There Mr. CONGDON. [DOT] is a class of Englishmen who have inherited nothing but the tendencies of their old Saxon forefathers to dread foreign invasion -who keep peering out over the North sea, imagining that the Danes and Saxons are coming to invade their shores, sack their homes, and put their king to ransom. This endeavour to excite a panic by Teason of anything in the relations between Britain and Germany is absurd-just as absurd as were those panics which took place in 1847, 1851, 1854, 1858 and 1859. These panics exhibit in a mo-st remarkable degree as has been well said by a recent clever essayist ho-w much in the shape of illusion can be accomplished by the resolute lying of a few respectable men. There is no falsehood that has not been urged to prove in former cases that France was contemplating an invasion of England; that later on, Russia was seeking to attack Great Britain, and recently that instead of France or Russia, these old powerful enemies of Great Britain, Germany is taking their place and endeavouring to attack the British empire. In 184748 the panic was begun by a pamphlet written by Prince Joinville, a Frenchman. There was nothing alarming in that pamphlet. He pointed out what he considered the inferior position of the French navy, and paid what were considered by many thinking Englishmen, to be extensive compliments to the British navy. But it was seized on by some panic-mongers _ in England as an indication that the prince was endeavouring, not merely to induce the authorities of France to bring the French navy to a state of efficiency, but that it was intended to build up at once in France a navy that would threaten_the integrity of the British empire and attack Great Britain. That brought forth a letter from the Duke of Wellington to John Burgoyne, which the duke afterwards said he never intended to have published, but which was secured by some person and published. That letter contained an expression to which only the venerable age and the great ability of the duke would have given any weight or influence whatever. In it he said that there was a portion of the southern coast of England which at any season of the year, in any state of weather, or any condition of the tide, could be assailed by France, and an army of 50,000 troops landed without difficulty. As was pointed out by Mr. Cobden, no one would have paid the slightest attention to such a remark from an ordinary man because there is no coast of twenty miles in the world in respect to which the statement of the Duke of Wellington could be considered to be true. There is no coast of that extent where in any state of the weather, in any condition of the tide, or at any time of the year it would be possible in the brief space of a few hours to land so considerable a body of men as 50,000. The campaign relating to that panic went on through 1847 and 1848. It was ended by something similar to what was sought .in the recent budget as a cure for the late panic in England; the panic of 1847-48 was largely cured by an addition of five pence to the income tax. Hume pointed out that these panics in olden times were produced by old women, but that this panic and recent panics differed from the former ones in this regard that they are occasioned not by old women, but by too many clubs in London of half-pay officers who desire employment, and have nothing else to do except write letters to the papers pointing out the defenceless character of the empire and the danger of attack from this, that or the other enemy. It must not be forgotten that Canadians must have regard to their own interests as well as to the immediate interests of Great Britain. It is no disloyalty to say that. By the way, there are some people who imagine that if a gentleman in this House, or in Canada indulges in a criticism which would be taken as a matter of course, a matter of ordinary intellectual interest in Great Britain, if say an Englishman who has come to this country, and is living here where he should be ' in Britain with elbow room and doubly free,' makes use of an expression that would attract no attention or would simply provok s >n answering argument in England, the moment he says it in this country, the answer is that he is disloyal and a traitor. I claim as a British subject living in Canada that 1 am not going to sacrifice one of those rights which the Britisher who remains at home exercises constantly. Mr. Fred. Jane, recently Unionist candidate in Plymouth, has made a most effective reply to the remarkable book of Captain Mahan on ' The Influence of Sea Power In his answer he discusses the question of what must be the ultimate destiny of the great dominions of Britain beyond the sea. He argues and argues with great force and strength that the ultimate destiny of these great dominions must of necessity be independence. He invokes in support of that, history and all the thousand reasons that can be urged in favour of it. Does any one in England say that because Mr. Jane argues that the ultimate destiny of the great dominions must be independence, he is a traitor? And yet I find the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) and even the hon. and learned member for Marquette (Mr. Roche) citing as disloyal a passage from a speech which I had the honour of making in the House last year on this subject in which I introduced Macaulay's reference to the New Zealander standing on London bridge and viewing the destruction around him. No one would ever accuse Macaulay of being 118i anti-British, and yet, because a Canadian happens to venture on a line of argument like that, not indulging in any overt acts or doing anything to break the connection, but pointing out what may be the ultimate destiny of this country, he is met, not by argument or reasoning, but by the wild flopping of the old flag, and shouts of disloyalty. The time has -come in this country when the people are sufficiently advanced to permit, without danger to our relation to the mother country, without the slightest danger to the interests of the empire or of Canada, every citizen of this country to indulge in the freest and most open possible manner, not only thought and intellectual exercises in regard to these matters, but open and free discussion of them. The next panic that occurred in England was the panic from 1851 to 1854. That panic was raised in very much the same way. It was said that England was going to be invaded and occupied by an army of 50,000 Frenchmen. There was the usual complaint of some French General proposing and laying out the whole scheme for the invasion of England. He denied ever having made such a plan._ No one ever produced it, but again arid again it was reported that such a plan had been proposed by him. There were all the usual incidents of these panics, 'our special correspondents' at Paris kept writing about the vast increase in the French navy, and the same inquiry was made that has been made in this House repeatedly: What does France want of these ships, if not to attack England? The same cry that we hear to-day except that instead of France it is Germany, what can Germany be building ships for except to attack Great Britain? I want to know if France in those days, if Germany to-day, has not as reasonable and fair a right to build up her naval strength as Great Britain has? You must find and show some reasonable ground for believing that it is directed solely and wholly against Great Britain before you can start any complaint in regard to it. It is the duty of every great people to provide for their own defence. There never will be a time, I trust, when any portion of the British empire will not be ready to engage in the greatest sacrifice in order to protect itself against attack from without. But I say that it is the duty of every loyal subject of the British empire, that it is the duty of every man who is loyal to civilization and the happy progress of the world, not to go around howling and raising prejudices against Germany or any other country. The hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Roche) read a number of German extracts, from articles for which I do not know how much had been paid by the magazines. One gentleman seemed to say that every na-

tion must have one other nation that it hates and the nation that Germany had especially selected for hatred was the British empire. Does the hon. gentleman want us to cultivate something of that same spirit in order to meet this hatred? Is it necessary that the people of the British empire should take pains to instill in the youthful breast of every British subject hatred of Germany? Is it not better that we should rather be silent on these subjects than incur the danger of creating in this country a hatred of Germany and increasing the corresponding hatred of Germany to us? Is it not better that, if we have any causes of ill-feeling and friction with Germany that we should have such pleasant removal of it as we see to-day, in the conclusion of an agreement by the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Fieiding) with the hon. the Consul General of Germany and endeavour to remove all possible cause of friction between these two nations. The remarkable feature of this panic to which I have been referring, from 1851 to 1854, was that, as Cobden said, had a British subject left England on a certain day he would have been in the midst of a panic created by the possibility of a French invasion of Great Britain. Had he gone to New Zealand, and immediately returned to Great Britain, he would have seen two fleets lying side by side in Besika bay, the British and the French fleets. And knowing only what he knew of the relations of the two peoples when he left England he would naturally be solicitous to know what would be the result of an encounter between the British fleet and the French fleet, and he would be overcome with surprise when he learned that these two fleets which he contemplated as only enemies to one another were lying side by side in alliance against the great power of Russia. That panic was concluded by the alliance between France and Germany, the two nations that took part in the invasion of the Crimea. Then came the panic of 1858-59. Notwithstanding the fact that the Emperor of France, Napoleon the Third had always been friendly and was then engaged in Italy in his war against Austria, notwithstanding that apparently all the rest of the world considered that his hands were full with the management of that conflict, the panic started. It was represented in Britain that the French soldiers at Rome were chafing in their eagerness to get across the channel to take part in the sack of London. That panic continued until the Mason and Slidell incident-the Trent affair. On that affair arising Great Britain found it necessary to rush forces to Canada. Great Britain found that she was short of long boots and the French government sent a message across to England offering the British gov-Mr. CONGDON. ernment 1,500 pairs of boots to supply the soldiers who were going to Canada. Further than that, notwithstanding the attacks made upon it by the panic mongers, the French government joined with the other governments of Europe in urging upon the government of the United States that it had made a mistake in this seizure, that it had violated the law of nations, the result of these representations being that the United States government returned the two gentlemen who had been taken off the British vessel by an American man-of-war. That incident was closed in that way. Yesterday the hon. member for Pietou (Mr. Macdonald) went over the history of the later panics, and it seems to me that no one can review the panics of this kind without being persuaded that it is absolutely necessary and essential as a common sense people that we should not allow ourselves to be carried away by panics of this kind, but that we should endeavour as far as possible to assume the part of true statesmen by not creating, increasing and arousing panics but by honestly and sincerely endeavouring to allay them. There is found a passage in a speech, or possibly a pamphlet, of Sir Robert Peel who will be recognized by every one as one of tte most cautious and sagacious statesmen that Great Britain produced in the last century. His language ought to appeal very strongly to all Conservatives, because he was undoubtedly one of the great Conservative leaders of the last century, and it seems to me that his language in this regard contains so much truth and common sense as to be worthy of being inculcated in the minds of all sane people. He was speaking of this eagerness for armaments in time of peace instead of reserving the gigantic efforts of the nation for times of war and he said ' We must consent to incur some risk.' He is urging retrenchment and he is pointing out that the nation is not fitting itself best for war if it expends too great a part of its resources on war in time of peace. Sir Spencer Walpole referring to the old Roman maxim si vis pacem, para bellum-in time of peace prepare for war-points out that it is a maxim which has been greatly modified in modern times by the recognition of the fact that money is the sinews of war and that the best preparation for war is by husbanding our resources in time of peace. As Defoe said it is not the longest sword, but the longest purse that wins in the end, and it is wise to he governed in these matters by a certain conservatism and to recognize that if not only Canada, but the whole British empire expended all its resources in endeavouring to secure itself against attack, such an expenditure made by the mother country and by all the great dominions in the endeavour to secure the em- pire against every possible risk would not probably achieve its object as completely as would be done by merely initiating proper movements of defence and consenting with regard to the rest to incur some risk. The great trouble about all these discussions is that the very starting of the idea of danger, the mentioning of another nation as possibly coming in conflict with Great Britain, the statement that the British empire may soon be involved in war with Germany, the very consideration of the subject, tends to produce in both nations a spirit that inevitably must help to lead to war. Let me say in regard to this country, that I do not think that any real danger of trouble in the future is likely to come from any of those gentlemen in this House, or throughout the country, who are frequently made the objects of attack as being disloyal and traitorous to the empire, but rather from the ultra-loyal gentlemen, who, not being satisfied with their devotion to the British empire, must exhibit on all possible occasions their hatred and detestation of all other nations. It does not seem to me that the man is extremely loyal, however much he may think he is, who, not satisfied with loving and serving .to the utmost his own country, but thinks it necessary to pin-prick and create hostility in the minds of other nations and incur difficulties in the future. I believe, myself, that a moderate course in this regard is the proper course. I do not believe that it is wise for us to continue to the extent even that we do to-day this policy of endeavouring to dominate the world. It is enough for the British government to dominate the British empire, it is enough for the people of Canada to dominate the vast domain which they possess. More than that, is a spirit which is provocative of war. It may lead to the ultimate destruction of civilization if we are not satisfied with controlling our own dominions and treating other people with that same respect and regard with which we wish them to treat us. I heard a gentleman, not long ago, not in this House, but elsewhere, state that our children and, if not our children, our children's children, would see the time when Canada would dominate the whole of this continent. Could anything be more absurd than an idea of that kind? Could a gentleman who expects to see his children, or his children's children dominating this continent, including the great republic to the south of us, which has so much power to-day that it would have no great difficulty in dominating this country if it desired to do so, complain if the Americans say, if this is the spirit which is to dominate civilization, we will be guided by it also, and we will attempt to dominate the American continent? Lord Beaconsfield originated the absurd policy, which he was obliged to withdraw, the policy of claiming for Great Britain ascendancy in the councils of Europe. Why has Great Britain to arrogate to herself ascendancy in the councils of Europe? Does Great Britain expect to have ascendancy in the councils of France, of Germany, and of Russia? Is it not to be expected that Frenchmen, Germans and Russians will resent such a policy, and what would be thought if they attempted theniselves to dominate any portion of the British empire? It is not the spirit that should dominate the Canadian people in endeavouring to aid the British empire and her colonies. Now, I shall come more directly to the question before the House, although I think that the discussion that I have already entered into is incidental to the assertion contained in the amendment of the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden), that there is an emergency which requires this aid. I think what I have said is germane to that in showing that there is no more evidence of hostility to-day than tjiere was on every one of those previous occasions, and history shows that every one of these panics was so utterly and inexcusably absurd as to render the old gentlemen who created them absolutely a subject of laughter to those who read the history of that time. Let us come directly to the question: What is it necessary Canada should do, having due regard to her own self respect, in the way of taking part in the defence of the great empire to which we belong? There are several courses before Canada. I am not speaking now as to the form of the defence, but as to whether she shall continue to rely upon the defence afforded by the vast naval power of Great Britain? If Canada is to continue to do that then no one who has any regard for his self respect could refuse to aid in a reasonable and proper proportion in the defence afforded to Canada by the British navy. One gentleman, in his newspaper, has repeatedly opposed the policy of the government as well as the policy of granting two Dreadnoughts, and he has said that Canada for her defence is amply provided for if she depend upon the Monroe doctrine. Well, I am one of those who believe that there is no reason why the Munroe doctrine-which by the way originated with a great British minister-should not supplement materially in assisting not merely in the defence of. Canada, but in the defence of the whole empire. But I do say this, and I think most Canadians will concur in this view, that even if we were safe under the protection of the Munroe doctrine, the self respect of a courageous people, such as undoubtedly the Canadian people are, will not let them accept such defence without contributing their portion of assistance towards what is required to maintain the Munroe doctrine. Therefore,

in my humble judgment, whether we. continue to rely upon the protection of the great _ British fleet-and every one of us in this parliament is anxious and willing to make the greatest possible sacrifices in order that we may so continue whether we so continue, or whether we are to abandon British connection and rely solely and wholly on the Munroe doctrine for our protection, our own public spirit, the pride and self respect of our people will certainly declare that whether protected by the navy *of Great Britain or by the navy of the United States we must contribute a fair proportion to the support of the protecting navy. I think it is perfectly evident from my observations made in this House on former occasions, that I am one of those who do not believe in militant imperialism. I believe that, the imperialism that is going round flopping the flag and insulting, and causing quarrels with other nations is the greatest mistake in the world. And, even though some gentlemen who deem it extremely loyal to flaunt the flag, may think that one who objects to that is not loyal, I venture to say that the highest and truest loyalty to the British empire is to be found in the endeavour to keep that empire out of difficulty and trouble. If you regard the condition of the German navy at the present day you will find certain curious things. In the first place you find in Germany a most remarkable growth of naval power. It is only a few years since there was no German navy. I must confess that I sometimes think it is the irony of history that to-day Great Britain is being cursed to a very considerable extent by the dread of a German navy, when I recollect that in 1850, in the days before the German empire was established and when the German confederation existed, there was a difficulty about Heligoland, and when the Germans sent out some of their hired fleet, they were notified by the British government that there was no such flag known on the seas as the German flag, and that any vessel flying that flag would be treated as a pirate. I do not think that any one who has any conscience at all would to-day justify on the part of Great Britain such treatment of the inferior naval power of Germany at that time. At all events Germany has reached a position to-day that no vessel flying the German flag is longer in danger of being treated as a pirate. It is within the memory of most of us living, when Germany scarcely had a sea-port and when the German empire had to buy five square miles from the Dutchy of Oldenburg to get a naval station. We know that the naval stations of Kiel, Wilhelms haven, Emden and Elbing are practically artificial, and that when the present German Emperor came to the throne Germany scarcely had the semblance of Mr. CONGDON. anything approaching a navy. The progress made by Germany in creating a navy is surprising to every one who studies the evolution of the nation. The great progress of Germany in the construction of warlike ships has been accompanied by equal progress in the building of merchant vessels, and by the industry, the aptitude, and the intelligence of her people Germany has today placed herself in a very considerable position among the nations of the world, as regards both her naval and merchant service. It is a noticeable fact that the decline of ship building in Canada was practically concurrent with the growth of ship building in Germany. It was due undoubtedly to the fact that wooden ships had passed their day, that steel ships were coming into vogue requiring mechanics, artisans, stokers, electricians, all congenial to the scientific bent of the German people. Germany started to build a navy, and Germany has to-day a navy that is certainly remarkable considering the short time spent in its development. On the motion of Mr. Congdon the debate was adjourned. Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at six o'clock.

Thubsday, February 17, 1910.

February 16, 1910