August 19, 1914


Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)


The officers of the House have suggested to me that certain Tules of an unimportant character, so far as this session is concerned, might with advantage be suspended during the present session, and I have had placed in my hands this motion, which I now move:

That rules Nos. 9, 10, 62, 90 and 121 be suspended during the present session of Parliament.

I will explain to the House what the rules are. The first is that the Speaker shall within ten days after the opening of each session lay on the table of the House a report of the proceedings for the preceding year of the Commissioners of Internal Economy. Rule 10 provides for the appointment of Standing Committees. Rule 62 provides that the Clerk shall make and cause to be printed and delivered to each member a list of the reports or other periodica! statement which it is the duty of any officer or department of the Government to make to the House. Rule 90 is with regard to applications for private Bills, and rule li

121 provides that a report shall be. .made to the House .at the opening of the session with regard to the state of the Library.


Motion agreed to.



William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. W. T WHITE (Minister of Finance):

I beg to announce that it is my intention to move the House into Committee of Ways and Means to-morrow, arid to present my financial statement or Budget. I realize, however, that the notice I am giving is very brief, and if it will be more convenient to hon. gentlemen opposite that I should fix a later date I .shall of course be very pleased to do so.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)



There can be no objection-Alar from it-to my hon. friend making his statement to-morrow: but peril ap.s we shall not be ready for .such discussion as may take place upon it, and it may then be adjourned to the following day.

Topic:   THE BUDGET.



The House proceeded to the consideration of the Speech of His Royal Highness the Governor General at the opening of the session. Mr. DONALD SUTHERLAND (South Oxford) rose to move that an Address be presented to His Royal Highness the Governor General offering the humble thanks of this House to Hi.s Royal Highness for the gracious speech which he has been pleased to make to .both Houses of Parliament. He said: Mr. Speaker, under ordinary circumstances it is considered no mean compliment by a constituency to have its representative selected to move the Address ,in reply to the speech from the Throne; but, in view of the circumstances necessitating the calling of an emergency session of Parliament at this time, the people of the riding I represent doubly appreciate the compliment paid them. I both appreciate and realize the honour and the responsibility o.f having that task delegated to me. However, my fears in that respect are somewhat mitigated by a consciousness that the present is not a time for empty words, but for action No lengthy disquisition would therefore be in keeping with the occasion. The Address delivered to both Houses of Parliament, though containing few words, conveys a meaning, and is .a reminder to the 4

people ol Canada that there are duties of citizenship, which in times of peace may have been lightly regarded, if not altogether neglected. With all our boasted civilization, advancement, and progress of the last fifty years, there is but one thought in the minds of the people to-day, and that is war. The skill, the _genius, and the energies of the nations of Europe have been applied and devoted to maintaining what they erroneously termed 'an armed peace' by the preparation oi the most tremendous and terrible engines of destruction ever conceived of. Rumblings of distant thunder have been heard and dark and threatening clouds have been visible on the horizon for several years. These have at last burst forth like a tornado, and threaten the whole world with the most terrific and devastating war the world has ever .seen The greatest disaster of recorded time is at hand; many millions of men are now engaged in one of the most desperate and fearful struggles the mind of man can conceive of. Under these circumstances, we may well ask ourselves where we stand, what position we occupy, what are the sentiments of our people in regard to the situation. As a part of the British Empire, when that empire becomes involved in war, we of necessity are involved in war and subject to all that that implies. How the British Empire became involved in the struggle is familiar to every one. The British Government exerted every *means in their power, in the face of great provocations to the contrary to prevent war, and have sought peace with an earnestness worthy of responsible statesmen-not a dishonourable peace, but a peace in keeping with the traditions of the British Empire, and in keeping with the civilization of tne age in which we live. The proposal made to the British Government by the autocrat who to-day controls the German Empire, through his Chancellor, in return for British neutrality in the war into which he had plunged Europe, was an insult to the honour of the British nation, and was well characterized by Premier Asquith as an infamous one. It was proposed that Great Britain should remain passive and allow the despot of Germany, if he could accomplish it, to become the despot of Europe-to strip France, Great Britain's ally, of her possessions, and to overrun Belgium with her armies, in defiance of treaties the most sacre'd and binding to which she was a party. War has been forced upon the Empire, Sutherland.] and Britain has gone to war rather than have a dishonourable peace that would be unworthy of the traditions of the Empire. We -believe their cause -is just, .and-as Premier Asquith stated in the Imperial House of Commons when asking for a vote of credit of £100,000,000, and power to raise an army of 500,000 men-Great Britain is fighting to fulfil a solemn international obligation, which in private life would have been regarded as an obligation, not only of law, but of honour, and, secondly, to vindicate the principle that small nationalities are .not to he crushed in defiance of international -good faith by the arbitrary will of a strong and overmastering power. No nation ever entered into a great controversy with a -clearer and stronger conviction that it was fighting, not for aggression, not for the maintenance of its own selfish interest, but in defence of principles the maintenance of which were vital to the civilization of the world. British rule has given British subjects *the greatest degree of peace, liberty and protection enjoyed by any people in the world, and has been th-e means of bringing the same to other nations as well. It is, therefore, not surprising under these circumstances that offers have been received from every one of the self-governing dominions of the Empire of help to the limit of their resources, both in men and money. There is no mistaking the sentiment of the people of Canada. To-day we are ready to face dbe .issue, and justly so. The British Empire has been forced into .a -war to redeem its pledged word and insulted honour. This is no time for discussion or hesitation; all that can be done must be done. Among the -citizens of Canada are many people of German extraction or birth, who are held in high esteem as citizens, and loyal subjects of His Majesty the .King, and who are not in sympathy with the autocratic military, mad ambitions of the German Emperor and his Government. The attitude and the sentiments of the German citizens of -Canada with regard to the present war have, I believe, been clearly and truly -expressed in .a letter of the lom instant, published in the local press of my county, from the nen of Prof. F. V. Rieth-dorf, of Woodstock College, a part of which I am going to quote, as follows: We must deeply sympathize with the German people in the sufferings and dangers brought upon them by their ruling classes, by their oligarchic, insane, military government. It is the Germany of the 'clinched fist' and the 'drawn sword' of the 'shining armour' and the 'sabre rattling in the scabbard' that calls for no sympathy on our part. It is the Germany that has precipitated the monstrous world struggle of the day that fills us all with horror and indignation. It is for the official Germany and her leader and soul, William II that we have only detestation, not for the peaceable, kind, amiable and sane German people. We are at war with the system of Germany, not with the German race. I am a native German and former German soldier. My own position in this struggle is perfectly clear. My loyalty to the British flag make me stand against any and all enemies of Britain. If need be I should even fight against Germany, though with a bleeding heart. Furthermore, I desire disaster to the German army in this war, for the reason that it will mean restoration of fellowship among the western nations .for one of the greatest peoples of Europe. A liberated, free, democratic Germany will start on a new and lasting era of prosperity, of peace, arm in arm with England and France. Germany's defeat will mean the establishment of a German republic and the elimination of William II and all that he stands for. Such things as ' Divine right ' and ' mailed fist ' are anachronisms, an insult to the intelligence of the people of the twentieth century. William II is the common foe of Europe, and he must be eliminated. Defeat of Germany in this war means ultimate, salvation and freedom for her; Germany will be the greatest gainer through defeat. This is my consolation when I think of the terrible affliction which this war will bring upon her. Victory for the Germans arms would make William II the war lord of the world. He would rule Europe with an iron hand. The militarism of the future would be far worse than the militarism of the present, and there would be no end to war and bloodshed. Germany will and must lose in this righteous war, but she will lose only after a hard and bitter fight. German citizens and those of other nationalities have found, under British rule in Canada and the other self-governing dominions of the Empire, that liberty has proven to be the keystone of the success of the British Empire, not only under our present Sovereign, King George V, but also under our late beloved Sovereign, King Edward VII, whose devotion to duty and peace earned for him in the history of kings and nations a place which will endure through the ages, under the title of Edward the Peacemaker. Liberty also characterized the long reign of Queen Victoria, during which reign all of us were born; and it is recorded in history that no British sovereign was ever so beloved, and that no sovereign on any throne or in any age so commanded the admiration, affection and esteem of all nations as did Queen Victoria the Good. We can assure His Royal Highness the Governor General, the sole surviving son of that royal mother, himself a distinguished soldier, statesman and diplomat, that the people of Canada feel they have been highly honoured and benefited by his appointment as Governor General, and by the services which he has rendered Canada and the Empire during his term of office; and we have learned with pleasure and satisfaction that he is to remain in that capacity until the termination of the present war, during which his ripe experience will prove of incalculable value to Canada, and will do much to strengthen the ties that bind together the vast dominions of the Empire, and promote the blessings of British liberty. The Government are to be commended for their promptness in immediately taking action to forward troops and munitions of war, without waiting for Parliament to assemble, with the certain assurance that the sentiment of the people of Canada and of Parliament would endorse and sustain such action. Canada is enormously indebted to the motherland for much we enjoy to-day. The whole burden of maintaining and sustaining the defence of the Empire has fallen on the shoulders of the people of the motherland. Well may the blush of shame mantle our cheeks when we realize the position we occupy to-day. Let us hope and pray that, before the crucial test comes in the present war, the flower of the youth and manhood of our nation, who are to-day volunteering by thousands, and who are ready, if necessary, to sacrifice their lives for the cause of British liberty, which means the success of British arms and our national existence, may be found fighting shoulder to shoulder with the men of the motherland and the sister dominions. The war may be a long and bitter one; the loss of life is sure to be enormous; suffering and want may come to many who are dependent on those who go to the front, or who may fall in battle. It is therefore the duty of the people of Canada and the Government of Canada to make provision for the alleviation of such suffering and want. Would not the tribute we would be called upon to pay be most beggarly when compared with the sacrifice, the tribute of life-blood paid by our country's defenders ? There is no sacrifice the occasion demands that the people of Canada are not prepared to make. Let our response to the needs of the Empire be immediate and sufficient. Mr. D. 0. L'ESPERANCE (Montmagny): (Translation). Mr. Speaker, this is a time for deeds, not for speeches. While fully appreciating the compliment paid to the

county of Montmagny. by tbe right hon. leader of the Government, in calling on me to second the Address in answer to the Speech from the Throne, I do not propose to take up more than is necessary of the time of the House, so as to permit the prompt putting through of such urgent measures as are rendered imperative by developments of the most grievous and ominous character for every part of the British Empire. I have the honour to represent in this House an essentially agricultural constituency, that is to say a peaceful, thrifty and hardworking community, deriving profit and happiness from the cultivation of the broad acres cleared by our ancestors, emigrants from la belle Prance, and for more than a century enjoying peace and liberty under the folds of the British flag. Indeed, it would have been for me a more pleasing task, Mr. Speaker, to have addressed the House undeT circumstances of a less painful character, when I might have beer content with following in the footsteps of mj forerunners, and after their example, though in less felicitous language, refer in general terms to the prosperity of our fine and immense country, extol its wealth, point out its inexhaustible resources, the development of which is barely started, .then, taking a look into the future, forecast with reasonable certainty the great destiny in store for it. But Providence has not so willed it; the task which has fallen to me is unfortunately of a less agreeable and much more burdensome nature. It is for the purpose of defending the heritage of our fathers, of safeguarding our homes and our liberty in jeopardy, that we are assembled now. There was never a more opportune time for every one of us to repeat, with some slight alteration, the appeal uttered by Nelson when giving the signal for that memorable battle which was to ensure to Great Britain the mastery of the seas: Canada expects every hon. gentleman in this House to do his duty. And should we need some encouragement from the example of others, we have under our eyes what has occurred in the French House of Representatives, where, in spite of the fierceness of the war waged between the various political groups, a free hand was granted, unanimously and enthusiastically, to the Government of the Republic, so as to ensure the safety of the country in the hour of danger. In fact, it may be asserted with absolute certainty that France at this moment is ready for the fray, as fully as she has ever been at any time. The French people are ready to make every sacrifice and to spill their last drop of blood to repel the German invader. We have still in our minds what happened recently in the British House of Commons, when a great lesson in patriotism given by the Irish Nationalist leader, John Redmond, did more possibly to forward the great cause of Ireland's autonomy in the hearts of the English people, than all the fighting of bygone centuries. But why should we look abroad, when in this very country we still have sounding in our ears the noble words of the right hon. leader of the Opposition, stating at the very opening of hostilities, that he would concur in every measure which the Government might think fit to take, so as to enable the most important colony of the Empire t« participate in the common defence. The patriotic stand taken by the Right Hon Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in the terrible emergency which the Canadian people and the Empire are confronted with, will be reckoned among the most admirable achievements of his long and fruitful political career. I shall not dilate at greater length on this subject. It appertains to history and not to me to record in golden letters the patriotic deeds of French, British and Canadian statesmen who, at the proper time, have had the wisdom of setting aside their quarrels, to better insure the salvation of the country. Such examples set by men in high positions will be followed, I am sure, by all Canadians whatever their origin, their creed or their party affiliations. A thunderclap such as that which has just upset Europe and shaken in its very foundations the whole commercial, industrial and financial fabric of the old and tlie new world, such a thunderclap, I say, was needed to make us properly realize the solidarity of interests which binds every part of the British Empire in the matter of national defence. Within a week of the opening of hostilities, the British Admiralty was in a position to announce to the whole world that the great commercial highway of the Atlantic ocean could be utilized safely by ships of the allied or neutral nations. That victory, which is of considerable bearing and of unspeakable advantage for the whole of North America, and especially for this country, w^as a silent victory, won unostentatiously, through the sheer superiority of the British fleet, and before Canada had even had time to contribute a single cent in cash or a single drop of Canadian blood. I was in New York, the great commercial metropolis of the United States, on the day following the declaration of war between Great Britain and Germany. The dismay caused in the business circles of the United States in the course of a few days, consequent on the blockading of the ports, the congestion of grain and merchandise, and the interruption of international trade, challenges description. The worst panic which has ever been witnessed in modern times was avoided, thanks to one circumstance only: the assurance that the British fleet would succeed before long in restoring freedom of intercourse between the two countries. Then it was, Mr. Speaker, that I fully understood the eminently civilizing and salutary action exerted in the affairs of the world by the formidable invincible British fleet. The British empire makes use of that force and of that power, not for the purpose of enslaving peoples, or of restricting the trade activities of its competitors, but with the object of upholding treaties and coming to the rescue of states too weak to defend themselves, such as Belgium, or else of protecting the free intercourse of allied or neutral powers, such as France or the United States, though though they may be rivals of Great Britain in some branches of commerce or industry. We have had in the past our differences of opinion; further differences will crop up between us in the future, when this terrible crisis is over; but there exists at this moment-I make this statement without fear of contradiction-there exists at this moment among Canadians no difference of opinion as to the absolute necessity of our co-operating in the defence of the empire. Already the Government have taken such measures as circumstances rendered imperative; this House will no doubt be anxious to sanction them and approve of all others which will be brought down for the country's security: protection and defence of our large seaports; active supervision of our large business arteries, canals and railways; judicious increase of the paper currency, so as to prevent speculation or the exportation of gold, and maintain our credit on a solid basis, a factor of such great import to our trade and industries during this period of economic stringency. This House will also be called upon to vote moneys for the sending of contingents of Canadian volunteers, in accordance with the requirements of national defence. Not. without a pang will we see the pick of our militia leave our shores to fight for the country outside the boundaries of Canada; but I am satisfied that Canadian mothers will be courageous as their sisters in France, who have words of encouragement only for husbands and sons when the parting hour is at hand, resolutely controlling their feelings until the dear ones have departed. But, then, how differently these countries are situated. On the other side all the men in a position to bear arms are drafted into the service; every home is deprived of its bread winners, fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, mere youths perhaps. Here the service is quite voluntary; in the case of a married man, there is still another requirement: before enlisting the husband must get his wife's consent. It will be incumbent on the Government and on the citizens of this country to provide for the sustenance of the families which will thus be deprived of their means of support. An enlightened patriotism commands that each one should do his duty and undergo willingly his share of sacrifices. Canada will never be able to pay off its debt of gratitude towards those who are leaving to fight abroad in defence of the common country. Glory and honours should go first to those who are the first in the fray. But it is incumbent on those who remain and who will profit by the self-sacrifice of the others, to help in other ways; by contributing to the fund organized for the relief of the wounded, widows and orphans; by tendering help to the families temporarily deprived of their bread-winner; by preventing in every way possible criminal speculation in foodstuffs and staples. Those wretches who avail themselves of these troublous times to grow rich through speculating on the misery of the. people, should be considered as enemies of their country and dealt with accordingly. I understand that certain classes of goods, owing to the increase in the demand or the restriction of imports, will necessarily command a higher price. We are willing to abide by that: it is the inevitable outcome of war. But that, barely a week after the declaration of war in Europe, a staple article of food, such as sugar, for example, should in Canada go up two cents a pound, I say that such a leap can only be the result of a selfish and shameless spirit of speculation, which I do not fear to brand as criminal.

It is incumbent on the Government to at once take rigorous measures and punish all guilty parties, whoever they be. The people who will be called upon to make enormous sacrifices for the defence of the country should not be made to suffer ruthlessly for the sole benefit of some unfeeling individuals. A few words, Mr. Speaker, and I shall be through. I promised at the outset to be brief, and I do not wish to impose for too long a time on the good nature of the House. Fully aware as I was of my inability to properly address this House in reference to these momentous events of recent date, I had decided at the outset to decline accepting the honour which was tendered me. However, I thought I owed it to the county I represent, as well as to the great mass of my fellow people, farmers and artisans, whose labours, efforts, sorrows and joys I have shared in my youth, to express in the common but sincere language of the people, what I think and do not fear to speak aloud. A member hailing from another province than my own enquired from me last week what Quebec was going to do in the present crisis. ' It's duty,' I answered. And I hastened to add: 'Tell me, at what time in the history of the country did the Frenchspeaking Canadian turn a deaf ear when called upon to defend his country, his religion, his tongue and his rights?' In this war all that is dear to the French-speaking Canadian is at stake. The defeat of England, the dismemberment of the Empire, would signify for him the loss shortly of all that makes up his strength, ensures his prosperity and happiness of his home life. The noble stand of the Nationalist leader, John Redmond, to whom I referred a moment ago, has had its counterpart in previous history: that was the stand taken by the Catholic clergy of Lower Canada, about one hundred and forty years ago, at the time of the War of Independence. And since then French-Canadians have not receded from that stand; on the contrary, they have adhered to it with increasing firmness consequent on the respect shown by Great Britain for our privileges and laws, and the wider autonomy granted to us by the mother country. It is not now, Mr. Speaker, when both our mother countries, France and England, are fighting hand in hand for civilization and liberty, that the French-Canadian will adopt a policy different from that which was laid down for him by his loyal and devoted clergy on the day following the conquest. The sons of those gallant Frenchmen who settled Canada, a cross covering their breasts, with one hand clenching their musket, while the other held the plough, fear neither battle nor bullets when it comes to defend, as in this case, the integrity of the vast Empire, which ensures to them the greatest measure of freedom and happiness which ever people was allowed to enjoy. I have the honour to second, Mr. Speaker, the motion for the Address.


Right Hon. S@

The observations which I shall have to offer to the House are few and brief. In fact, apart from the usual compliments and congratulations to the mover and the seconder of the Address, which, I am glad to say, I have more than usual pleasure in extending to them, I have but one declaration to make.

The gravity of the occasion which has called us together makes it incumbent upon us even to disregard the formalities and conventionalities Which in ordinary times the rules of the House, written and unwritten, enjoin as a wise safeguard against precipitate action, but which, on such an occasion as this, might impede us in dealing with the momentous question before us. This session has been called for the purpose of giving the authority of Parliament and the sanction of law to such measures as have already been taken by the Government, and any further measures that may be needed, to insure the defence of Canada and to give what aid may be in our power to the mother country in the stupendous struggle which now confronts her. Speaking for those who sit around me, speaking for the wide constituencies which we represent in this House, I hasten to say that to all these measures we are prepared to give immediate assent. If in what has been done or in what remains to be done there may be anything which in our judgment should not be done or should be differently done, we raise no question, we take no exception, we offer no criticism, and we shall offer no criticism so long as there is danger at the front./It is our duty, morel pressing upon us than all other duties, at ' once, on this first day of this extraordinary session of the Canadian Parliament, to let Great Britain know, and to let the friends and foes of Great Britain know, that there . is in Canada but one mind and one heart/ and that all Canadians stand behind the

mother country, conscious and proud that she has engaged in this war, not from any selfish motive, for any purpose of aggrandisement, but to maintain untarnished the honour of her name, to fulfil her obligations to her allies, to maintain her treaty obligations, and to save civilization from the unbridled lust of conquest and domination. v

We are British subjects, and to-day wo f are face to face with the consequences which are involved in that proud fact. Long we have enjoyed the benefits of our British citizenship; to-day it is our duty to [DOT], accept its responsibilities and its sacrifices^ We have long said that when Great Britain is at war we are at war; to-day we realize that Great Britain is at war and that Canada is at war also. Our territory is liable to attack and to invasion. So far as invasion is concerned, I do not see that there is any cause for apprehension, for it seems to me obvious that neither Austria nor Germany, our foes in this war, can command any force able to make an attack so far from their base. But no one pretends that our maritime cities on the Pacific and the Atlantic, are free from the possibility of insult by an audacious corsair, who, descending suddenly upon our shores, might subject them to an insolent raid and decamp with his booty before punishment could reach him. This is not an unfounded dread of danger; this is no mere illusion; it is a real and indeed a proximate danger, since it is a matter of notoriety that both on the Pacific and on . the Atlantic there are German cruisers whose mission is to inflict all the injury they can upon our commerce, and even to Taid our cities should they find our harbours unguarded. We are aware that the Government has already taken measures, and very appropriately, to guard against this danger. We know that one of our battleships on the Pacific has been seeking the enemy, and if she has not yet engaged him it is because the enemy has eluded her pursuit.

We have had another and more striking evidence that when Great Britain is at war we are at war, in this'-that oar commerce has been interrupted, and perhaps the expression would not be too strong if I were to say that it has been to some extent dislocated. From the day war was declared- nay, from the day the possibility tf war was first mooted-our shipping to Great Britain and to Europe has been interrupted. Ships were lying at the docks fully leaded and ready to put to sea, but unable to do so

because of the fact that when England is at war Canadian property on the high seas is liable to capture. Our ships therefore had to remain in port so long as precautions had not been taken to clear the way and to ensure their safe passage across the ocean. What measures have been taken in regard to that we have not yet been told, hut I have no doubt that we shall have that information in due time.

The correspondence brought down yesterday, however, has informed us that the Canadian Government has already taken steps to send a contingent of twenty thousand men or thereabouts to take their place in the firing line. Upon this occasion I owe it to the House and to myself to speak with absolute frankness and candour. This is a subject which has often been an occasion of debate in this House. I have always said, and I repeat it on this occasion, that there is but one mind and one heart in Canada. At other times we may have had different views as to the methods by which we are to serve our country and our empire. More than once I have declared that if England were ever in danger-nay, not only in danger, but if she were ever engaged in such a contest as would put her strength to the test-then it would be the duty of Canada to assist the motherland to the utmost of Canada's ability. England to-day is not engaged in an ordinary contest. The war in which she is engaged will in all probability

nay, in absolute certainty-* stagger the world with its magnitude and its horror. But that war is for as noble a cause as ever impelled a nation to risk her all upon the arbitrament of the sword. That question is no longer at issue; the judgment of the world has already pronounced upon it. I speak not only of those nations which are engaged in this war, but of the neutral nations. The testimony of the ablest men of these nations, without dissenting voice, is that to-day the allied nations are fighting for freedom against oppression, for democracy against autocracy, for civilization against reversion to that state of barbarism in which the supreme law is the law of might.

It is an additional source of pride to us that England did not seek this war. It is a matter of history-one of the noblest pages of the history of England-that she never drew the sword until every means had been exhausted to secure and to keep an honourable peace. For a time it was hoped that Sir Edward Grey, who on .more than one occasion has saved Europe from such a calamity, would again avert the awful

scourge of war. Sir, it will go down on a still nobler page of history that England could have averted this war if she had been willing to forego the position which she has maintained for many centuries at the head of European civilization;-if she had been willing to desert her allies, to sacrifice her obligations; to allow the German Emperor to bully heroic Belgium, to trample upon defenseless Luxemburg, to rush upon isolated France, and 'to put down his booted heel upon continental Europe. At that price England would have secured peace; but her answer to the 'German Emperor was: 'Your proposals are infamous.' And, rather than accept them, England has entered into this war; -and there is not to-day in the universe a British subject, there is not outside the British Empire a single man, whose admiration for England is not greater by reason of this firm and noble attitude.

So to-day England is at war. Her fleets are maintaining the freedom of the ocean. Her armies have already crossed the channel towards plains made famous more than once by British valour, this time to maintain the independence of Belgium by taking a place in the fighting line beside the small -and heroic Belgian army, and to help scarcely less heroic France, whose forces are concentrated in an effort to repel the invader and to maintain and to save intact that which to a proud nation makes life worth living.

I am wdll -aware that the small contingent of so-me 20,000 men which we are going to send will have to Show double courage -and double steadiness if they are to give any -account of themselves among the millions of men who are now converging towards the frontiers of France, where the battle of giants is to be decided. But, -Sir, it is the opinion of the British Government, *as discl-o-sed by the correspondence whi-ch was brought down to u,s yesterday, that the assistance of our troops, humble as -it may be, will be appreciated, either for its material value or for the greater moral help which will be rendered. It will be seen by the world that Canada, a daughter of old England, intends to stand by heir in this great conflict. When the call -comes our answer goes at once, and i-t goes in the classical language of the British answer to the call to duty: ' Ready, aye, ready.'

If my words can be heard beyond |he walls of this House in the province from which I come, among the men whose blood

flows in my own veins, I should like them to remember that, in taking their place today in the ranks of the Canadian army to fight for the cause of the allied nations, a double honour rests upon them. The very cause for which they are called upon to fight is to them doubly sacred.

In -this country we are not all of the same origin; we are not all of British or of French descent. I was struck by the words of the h>on. member for South Oxford (Mr. Donald Sutherland) in reference to our fellow citizens of German origin. They are certainly amongst our best citizens. This has been acknowledged on more than on-e occasion. They are proud of the land of their adoption, which to many of them is the land of their birth, and they have shown more than on^e their devotion to British institutions. But, Sir, they would- not be -men if they had not in their hearts a deep feeling of affection for the land of their -ancestors, and nobody would blame them for that. There is nothing, perhaps, so painful as the situation in which mind and heart are driven in opposite directions. But let me tell my fellow countrymen of German origin that we have no quarrel with the German people. We respect and admire as much as they do the proud race from which they have their descent; we acknowledge all that the world owes to the German people for their contribution to the happiness of mankind by their progress in literature, in .art and in science. But perhaps our German fellow citizens will permit me to eay that, in the -struggle for constitutional freedom which has been universal in Europe during the last century, the German people have not made the same advance as -have some of the other nations of Europe. I am sure that they will agree with me that if the institutions of the land of their ancestors were as free as the institutions of the -land of their adoption, this cruel w-ar would never have taken place. Nothing can be truer than the words which are reported to have been uttered by a German soldier made a prisoner in Belgium that this war is not a war of the German people; and if there is a silver lining to this darkest cloud which now overhangs Europe it is- that, as- a result and consequence of this war, the German people will take the determination to put an end forever to this personal imperialism, and to make it impossible evermore for one man to throw millions of the human race into all the horrors of modern warfare.

We cannot forget that the issue of -battles is always uncertain, as has been proven

already in the present contest. In invading Belgium, some two weeks ago, the German Emperor invoked the memory of his ancestors -and called upon the blessing of God. The German Emperor might have remembered that there is -a treaty guaranteeing the independence, the integrity, the neutrality of Belgium, -and that this- treaty was signed in the la-st century by the most illustrious of -his ancestors, Emperor William the First of Germany. He might have remembered al-so that there- is this precept in the divine book: ' Remove not the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set up.' But the German Emperor threw his legions against this landmark in the fulness of his lust of power, with the full expectation that the very weight of his army would crush every opposition and would secure their passage through Belgium. He did not expect, he could not believe, that the Belgians, few in number and peaceful in disposition and in occupation, would rise in his way and bar his progress; or if he harboured such a thought for one moment his next thought was that if he met such opposition he could brush it aside by a wave of his imperial hand. Sir, he should have remembered that in the sixteenth century the ancestors- of the Belgians rose against the despotism of Phillip II of Spain, and, through years of blood and fire and miseries and sufferings indescribable, they maintained an unequal contest against Spain-Spain as powerful in Europe at that time as the German Empire is to-day. Sir, if there are men who forget the teachings of their fathers, the Belgians are not of that class; they have proved equal to the teachings of their fathers; they have never surrendered; the blood of the fathers still runs in the veins of the sons; and again to-day, through blood and fire -and miseries -and sufferings indescribable, they hold at bay the armies of the proud Kaiser.

I repeat, Sir, that the issue of battles is always uncertain. There may be disappointments, there may be reverses, buf we enter into this fight with full hope as to the ultimate result:

For freedom's battle once begun,

Bequeathed from bleeding sire to son,

Tho' often lost, is ever won.

Sir, upon this occasion we too invoke the blessing of God

not the God of battles, but the God- of justice and mercy; and it is with ample confidence in Providence that we appeal to the justice of our cause.

Nay, more, already England has won a signal victory, a victory more precious, perhaps, than any that can be achieved

by her fleets or by her armies. Only a few weeks ago the Irish problem was pending in the scales of destiny. The possibility of civil strife in Ireland already rejoiced the eyes . of Britain's enemies. But to-day the spectre of civil war has vanished from Ireland; all Irishmen are united, ready to fight for King and country. The volunteers of the north and the volunteers of the south, forgetting their past -differences, stand- shoulder to shoulder ready to sh-e-d their blood for the common cause. And, Sir, may I not say that the- hope is not vain that in that baptism of blood may be washed away, and forever washed away, the distrust of one another which ha-s- been the curse of Ireland in ages past.

But it is not only in Ireland that you find this union of hearts. In the two other united kingdoms the voice of faction has been silenced. Even those who on principle do not believe in war admit that this was a just war and that it had to be fought. That union of hearts which exists in the United Kingdom exists also in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand. Yea, even in South Africa-South Africa, rent by war less than twenty years ago, but now united under the blessing of British institutions, with all, British and Dutch together, standing ready to shed their blood for the common cause. Sir, there is in this the inspiration and the hope that from this painful war the British Empire may emerge with a new bond of union, the pride of all its citizens, and a living light to all other nations.


Right Hon. S@

(Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, I desire to associate myself with the words of appreciation uttered by my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) with regard to the speeches to which we have just listened from the mover and the seconder of the Address. These speeches fully recognize the duty of unity at the present time, not only in Canada but throughout the British dominions, to meet a crisis, a possible danger, -such as has not *confronted this Empire -for one hundred years -at least. I have listened, too,) with the utmost interest and profound-admiration to- the patriotic -speech which has just fallen from my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition (Sir -Wilfrid Laurier). Already, even before Parliament had been called, he had announced to his friends and to the country that his meetings were discontinued,

that the voice of party strife was hushed for the time being, and that he and his friends would co-operate in every way with those upon whom falls the duty, the very responsible duty at this moment, of administering the affairs of this country, in taking all such measures as may be necessary for the defence of Canada and for maintaining the honour and integrity of the Empire whose flag floats over us.

The war has come upon us in the end very suddenly indeed, and perhaps we have not all adequately considered the awful responsibility that must have rested upon the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom when they and their colleagues took the issue which meant war-which meant the first general European war for a hundred years, and beyond all question the most appalling war history has ever known. We read in the press of the haggard faces and the tremulous lips of Mr. Asquith and Sir Edward Grey when they made their announcements; but there as here they were sustained by the thought that for the time being party strife was stilled; and we do not forget that those in the British Isles who had protested most strongly in the first place against the participation of Great Britain in this war united in upholding the hands of the Government and in maintaining the interests and duty of the Empire.

I need not dwell very long upon the incidents which led up to this war. Last evening I had the opportunity of reading with the deepest possible interest the White Paper which was laid upon the table of the House to-day, and which gives a very full and detailed history bf the untiring efforts of Sir Edward Grey-who has been rightly characterized by his colleague the Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith, as the Peacemaker of Europe

to prevent war. The splendid efforts made by Sir Edward Grey to preserve the peace of Europe command our warmest admiration. When that proved impossible he most earnestly endeavoured to find some way of escape, short of dishonour, by which Great Britain might remain neutral in that awful contest. The armed forces of Europe, as we all know, during the past twenty or twenty-five years have been increasing beyond measure, and the closest students of the world's politics have believed for many years past that war was bound to -come. It did come, and with startling suddenness; and it is my duty to say that after reading the docu-

ments to which I have alluded, after giving them the most careful and attentive consideration which was permitted to me in the short time that has elapsed since their arrival, I am convinced that no government ever with more whole-hearted earnestness sought to keep the. peace of the world and the peace of this Empire than did His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. It has been the policy of the British Government for many years past to seek reduction of armaments and thus to lessen the danger which lurks in the enormous armed forces with which the nations of Europe have confronted each other. At and ever since the Hague Conference in 1907, British statesmen have pleaded with the nations of the world to reduce their armaments. At the Hague Conference, and on many occasions since, Great Britain offered to give up what would seem to be very material advantages to her in time of war, if by such concessions she could induce Germany and other countries to abate the awful increase in armaments which had been proceeding. Mr. Asquith, Sir Edward Urey, Mr. Churchill, Mr. McKenna, Mr. Aeland -I have their utterances under my hand and could read them to the House if there were occasion-time after time, year after year, on occasion after occasion, the British Government has shown itself most truly and earnestly desirous of bringing about -such conditions in Europe as would make for permanent peace if that could be accomplished. Those who may read the papers that have been laid upon the table of the House to-day will find that in the very last moments of peace, before Great Britain finally embarked in the conflict, -she made this earnest proposal to the iGerman Government: that if this most appalling crisis could be passed, she would use every influence and every effort that she could command to bring about such an understanding between Germany and her ally on the one hand, and Russia, France and Britain on the other hand, as would relieve-Germany and Austria from any possible apprehension of attack from that quarter; and the minister declared himself to be inspired with a very full confidence that if this crisis could be passed, that great result would be brought about.

I will not dwell for more than a moment on the earlier aspects of the war-the war which broke out between Austria and Servia; but I cannot escape the conviction, after having read the documents to which I have alluded-and I do not think any

member of this House or any man in thi3 country can escape ' the conviction-that there was a deliberate determination in the first place to force war upon Servia, regardless of any humiliation to which she might consent or of any consequences which might result from that war. I say that such is my deliberate conviction. The most imperious demand ever made upon any free nation in the world was made by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy on Servia on the 23rd day of July. It was not to be called an ultimatum, as they afterwards explained; it was to be called a ' demarche,' with a time limit, and under the time limit the reply to that demand made on the 2-3rd July, had to be delivered not later than six o'clock on the evening of 25th July. I have a summary of the demand and of Servia's answer under my hand, and I say that a perusal of that demand and of the answer which Servia gave to it impresses us with the truth of what Sir Edward Grey stated when he said:

It seemed to me that the Servian reply already involved the greatest humiliation to Servia that I had .ever seen a country undergo.

All demands, demands of the most extreme character, were conceded, except one, and that was rejected only conditionally ; and the demand which was not conceded was one which would have given to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy for the time being control almost of the Servian judicial system, in so far as inquiry was to be made into certain matters connected with the regrettable assassination of the unfortunate Archduke. If the reply was not considered satisfactory, Servia offered arbitration or a reference to the Hague tribunal. The reply of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy to that humiliating submission of Servia was that the answer was not worthy to be regarded, and it was followed by an almost instant declaration of war. Well, as you know, the British Government, and particularly the Foreign Minister, upon whom this tremendous responsibility rested, made every possible attempt at mediation even after that. On the 2fith -and 27th days of July he asked the great powers of the world to join in mediation, and every one of the great powers consented to that mediation except the Government of Germany. The Government of Germany accepted it in principle, but after that there was merely inaction and evasion.

In the end the efforts at- mediation were absolutely fruitless. All pacific action was

evaded, and the question arose as to what should be the course of Great Britain with regard to the war. Great Britain sought by every possible means, by negotiation and otherwise, that war should be carried on under such conditions that her intervention would not be necessary. And the great question which arose at once was as to the neutrality and independence of Belgium, and to have that neutrality and independence respected by the 6reat powers of Europe, particularly Germany and France, both of- whom, in common with Great Britain, had guaranteed that neutrality, first of all in 1831, afterwards in 1839, and again, so far as Germany and France were concerned, during the period of the Franeo-Prussian war. I need not read the disposition of the treaty. It provided that Belgium should for all time to come be an aboslutely neutral and independent country. That was guaranteed by France; that was guaranteed by Great Britain; that was guaranteed by Germany; that was guaranteed by all the great powers of Europe. So great was the interest of Great Britain in this regard during the Franco-Prussian war that she negotiated two treaties at that time, one with the North German Confederation and one with France. The treaty which she negotiated with, the North German Confederation provided that the neutrality of Belgium should be respected, and if the neutrality of Belgium were not respected by France during that war, then Great Britain bound herself to fight with the North German Confederation against France in defence of Belgian neutrality. She concluded also another treaty with France by which in the s>ame terms she bound herself with France that if the North German Confederation during that war should violate the neutrality of Belgium, she would fight with France against the North German Confederation in, support of Belgian independence and Belgian neutrality.

I cannot resist the conclusion, and I do not think that any man who reads these documents can resist the conclusion, that it was the deliberate intention of the Government of Germany, formed many years ago, to violate the neutrality and independence of Belgium in case war should break out with France. Every man in this country, every man throughout the world, knows that plans of campaign are not made after war breaks out. Plans of campaign are made long in advance, and the German plan of campaign which has been carried out in

the present war is one which involved as a first step in their warlike operations the absolute violation of the independence oi Belgium. Let me read a few words from Sir Edward Grey's speech in that regard. He said:

We were sounded in the course of last week as to whether, if a guarantee were given that, after the war, Belgian integrity would be preserved, that would content us. We replied that we could not bargain away whatever interests or obligations we had in Belgian neutrality.

In speaking of the interests of the small nationalities of Europe in this event, he pointed out what will commend itself to the judgment of every man in this House: that once a free nation, once any of these small nationalities commits itself to the principle of having its territory overrun by the armed forces of another nation without offering any resistance, from that time not only the neutrality but the independence of that country is gone. Sir Edward Grey went on to say this with regard to Holland and Belgium:

.-The smaller states in that region of Europe ask hut one thing. Their one desire is that they should be left alone and independent. The one thing they fear is, X think, not so much that their integrity but that their independence should be interfered with. If in this war which is before Europe the neutrality of one of those countries is violated, if the troops of one of the combatants violate its neutrality and no action be taken to resent it, at the end of the war, whatever the integrity may be, the independence will be gone.

Further on he quoted with striking effect the words of Mr. Gladstone, uttered, if I remember correctly, at the time of the Franco-Germ an war of 1870. Mr. Gladstone said:

We have an interest in the independence of Belgium which is wider than that which we may have in the literal operation of the guarantee. It is found in the answer to the question whether under the circumstances of the case, this country, endowed as it is with influence and power, would quietly stand by and witness the perpetration of the direst crime that ever stained the pages of history, and thus become participators in the sin.

That was the question which presented itself for the consideration of the ministers of the United Kingdom, and that was the question which the British Government, acting, I think, as they were bound to act in the interests of this Empire as a whole, declared that they could not answer except by affirming that the whole power and resources of this Empire were pledged to defend the independence and integrity of Belgium as guaranteed by the treaties of 1831 and 1339. It is true that a promise

was made that after the war was over the neutrality of Belgium would be absolutely respected, but the words of Mr. Asquitn put the ease with regard to that as cogently and forcibly as it could be put. He said:

What would have been the position of Great Britain to-day in the face of that spectacle if we had assented to this infamous proposal? Yes, and what are we to get in return for the betrayal of our friends and the dishonour of our obligations? What are we to get in return? A promise-nothing more; a promise as to what Germany would do in certain eventualities; a promise, be it observed-I am sorry to have to say it, but it must be put upon record-given by a power which was at that very moment announcing its intention to violate its own treaty and inviting us to do the same. I can only say, if we had dallied or temporized, we, as a government, should have covered ourselves with dishonour, and we should have betrayed the interests of this country, of which we are trustees.

And I am sure that every man in Canada will say Amen to Mr. Asquith's declaration.

I was glad indeed to listen to the words of my right lion, friend with regard to our attitude toward the German people. We have absolutely no quarrel with the German people. I believe that they are a peaceable people, that they are not naturally a warlike people, although unfortunately they are dominated at the present time by a military autocracy. No one can overestimate what civilization and the world owe to Germany. In litejature, in science, art and philosophy, in almost every department of human knowledge and activity, they have stood in the very forefront of the world's advancement. Nearly half a million of the very best citizens of Canada are of German origin, and I am sure that no one would for one moment desire to utter any word or use any expression in debate which would wound the self-respect or hurt the feelings of any of our fellow citizens of German descent. So far as those who were iborn in Germany or Austria-Hungary are concerned, and who have made Canada their adopted home, 1 may explain that since the outbreak of war we have had to consider the disposition of those who under the laws of their country are bound to per-for;m military service, and we have adopted this principle which I think will commend itself to the judgment and common sense of this House. We have no reason to believe that those people are inspired by the militaristic tendencies which influence the German Government at the present time or the Austrian Government for that matter. We have no reason to doubt, and we do not doubt, that these people will be

absolutely true to the country of their adoption. Therefore we have declared by Order in Council and by proclamation under the authority of His Royal Highness the Governor General that those people who were born in Germany or in Austria-Hungary and have come to Canada as adopted citizens of this country, whether they have become naturalized or not, are entitled to the protection of the law in Canada and shall receive it-that they shall not be molested or interfered with, unless any among them should desire to aid or abet the enemy or leave this country for the purpose of fighting against Great Britain and,her .allies. If any of them should be so minded we shall be ohliger to follow the laws and usages of war in that regard with all the humanity that may be possible. But up to the present, we have seen no disposition among these people to do anything of the kind. They are pursuing their usual avocations pud behaving themselves as good citizens of Canada. We honour and respect them for it, and have every confidence that they will pursue that course throughout this crisis, however long it may continue.

It is proper that I should state to the House some matters which have to do with the precautions which the Government was obliged to take on the outbreak of war. I need not say that in the United Kingdom among those most closely in touch with these matters, especially among the military and naval authorities in the United Kingdom, there has been for many years a conviction that some effective organization .in the dominions of the Empire should be provided so that an emergency such as that which arose so suddenly would not find us altogether in confusion.

Documents were presented to the Government of Canada, and submitted to me for consideration, toy the Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, Sir Joseph Pope, last December; and on the 6th day of January, 1914, after having gone carefully over the documents which were so submitted, I wrote to him the following .letter, which I think it desirable to communicate to the House:

Prime Minister's, Office,


Ottawa, January 6, 1914.

Dear Sir Joseph Pope,

I have carefully considered the papers which you left with me a short time ago relating to a proposed conference of deputy heads for the purpose of concerting measures to he taken by the various departments of the Government primarily concerned, in the contingency of an

outbreak of war affecting His Majesty's dominions, and more particularly of considering the preparation of a War Book which shall set forth in detail the action to be taken by every responsible official at the seat of Government in the event of such an emergency.

The suggestion meets with my approval, and as the first notification of the outbreak of hostilities would emanate from your department, X authorize you, as Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, to call such a conference of deputy heads, to consist in the first instance of (1) yourself as chairman; (2) the Governor General's Secretary; (3) the Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence; (4) the Deputy Minister of Justice;

(5) the Deputy Minister of Naval Affairs;

(6 ) the Commissioner of Customs ; (7) the

Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries; (8) the Deputy Postmaster General; (9) the

Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals; with Major Gordon Hall, Director of Military operations (representing the Department of Militia and Defence), and Mr. R. M. Stephens, Director of Gunnery (representing the Department of the Naval Service), as joint secretaries.

You will keep me informed from time to time of the progress and results of your deliberations.

Yours faithfully,

(Sgd) R. L. Borden.

Sir Joseph Pope,

Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, Ottawa.

The work went on during the winter months, and, if the House will permit me to do so, I can describe wihat has been accomplished more conveniently by reading a memorandum which has been prepared by the chairman, and which is as follows:

Memorandum relating to a conference of deputy heads of certain departments of the public service, which met in Ottawa in the early part of 1914 to concert measures for the drawing up of a general Defence Scheme or War Book, embodying a record of the action to be taken in time of emergency by every responsible official at the seat of Government.

In 1913 the Secretary of State for the Colonies communicated to this Government certain memoranda of the Oversea Defence Committee outlining the action to he taken by the naval and military authorities when relations with any foreign power become strained, and on the outbreak of war. The suggestion was conveyed that the governments of the various self-governing dominions might advantageously prepare a similar record in each case to meet such contingencies. By the direction of the Government these recommendations were considered by the local Interdepartmental Committee (which is composed of the expert officers of the Naval' and Militia Departments sitting together). The committee reported that a conference of those deputy ministers whose departments would primarily he affected by an outbreak of war, should be held to consider how best to give effect to the proposals of the Oversea Committee.

This suggestion was submitted to the Prime Minister and received the approval of the Gov-ment. Thereupon, a meeting of the undermentioned deputy heads, together with the Governor General's Military Secretary, was held under the chairmanship of Sir Joseph Pope,

Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, on the 12th January, 1914:

The Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence, The Deputy Minister of the Naval Service, The Deputy Minister of Justice,

The Deputy Minister of Customs,

The Deputy Postmaster General,

The Deputy Minister of Railways and Canals, The Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries, with Major Gordon Hall, director of military operations (representing the Department of Militia and Defence), and Lieutenant R. M. Stephens, director of gunnery (representing the Department of the Naval Service), as joint secretaries.

At this meeting it was decided that the secretaries should acquaint each member of the conference of the various contingencies which might arise in the event of which the eo-opera-ton of his department would be required; thus enabling him to decide what steps would be necessary to give effect to the decisions of the conference, and to detail an officer of his department to confer with the secretaries in the actual compilation of the War Book.

Meetings of sub-committees were subsequently held from time to time, at which the necessary action to be taken by the various departments in the event of certain contingencies arising was carefully considered and determined. Each department then proceeded to develop its own line of action in detail, the whole being subsequently co-ordinated and incorporated in one scheme, indicating the course to be followed by the Government as a whole on an emergency arising. This scheme was then submitted to and approved by the Prime Minister.

The taking of these precautionary measures proved most fortunate, as on the receipt of intelligence during the last few weeks of the serious situation in Europe, this Government found itself in a position to take, without the slightest delay, such action as the exigencies of the moment demanded, concurrently with His Majesty's Government and with the sister dominions of the Empire.

17th August, 1914.

I cannot overestimate the great advantage to the country which resulted from having these matters considered, determined and arranged in advance in conjunction with the Imperial Government. The arrangements which were instantly necessary, and to which I shall allude more in detail in a moment, were made without the slightest confusion. All communications from the Imperial authorities were acted upon promptly and with, as I say, an entire absence of confusion. Every detail had been previously worked out with precision, and I am informed by the chairman of the conference that especially are the thanks of the people of this country due to Major Gordon Hall and Mr. Stephens, upon whom a very large part of the work in making these arrangements necessarily devolved.

In connection with the outbreak of hostilities, the Government has been obliged to take some extraordinary steps, and certain of these steps will require ratification by

Parliament. We realized, and I hope every member of this House and all the people of this country will realize, that there was a tremendous responsibility upon us, and I can, assure all the members of the House that in so far as we took any action which might Tequire the ratification and approval of Parliament we took it only because we believed that in the exercise of our duty we were bound to do so before Parliament could possibly assemble. On the very day before the war broke out we purchased two submarines, having first consulted with the Admiralty. Crews have been procured for both, and I believe the officer in command on the Pacific coast at the present time is an expert in such matters, and that the crews are already competent to make these submarines useful for the defence of our coasts and of our shipping if occasion should require. The Rainbow, already in commission, was furnished with the necessary ammunition and stores,and her crew was supplemented by a number of naval volunteers. I think that great praise is due to those in command of her for the courageous act which they undertook in going south in face of two modern German cruisers to assist in bringing back the small boats Algerine and Shearwater which were then in the south. The Niobe has also been put in commission as she poseseess some fighting strength, and she will be manned in part by the crews of the Shearwater and the Algerine and in part by British naval reservists. All of these boats have been placed under the direction of the Admiralty by virtue of the authority contained in that behalf in, the Naval Service Act, 1910.

The correspondence which has passed between the Government of Canada, and the Government of the United Kingdom, and also the correspondence which has taken place between Mr. Perley and myself, as well as the Orders in Council, have been laid on the table. I may say that, on returning to Ottawa on the morning of August 1, I consulted with such of my colleagues as were in Ottawa at that time, and I sent two telegrams both of which have since been made public, one yesterday and one on a previous occasion. The first telegram I sent on August 1 is as follows:

Aug. 1, 1914.

Secret. In view of the impending danger of war involving the empire my advisers are anxiously considering the most effective means of rendering every possible aid and they will welcome any suggestions and advice which Imperial naval and military authorities may deem it expedient to offer. They are confident that a considerable force would be available for service abroad. A question has been

mooted respecting the status of any Canadian force serving abroad, as under section sixty-nine of Canadian Militia Act the active militia can only be placed on active service beyond Canada for the defence thereof. It has been suggested that regiments might enlist as Imperial troops for stated period, Canadian Government undertaking to make all necessary financial provision for their equipment, pay and maintenance. This proposal has not yet been maturely considered here and my advisers would be glad to have views of Imperial Government thereon.

The answer which we received and which was not made public at the time, as war had not yet broken out, was on the 3rd of August, and it is as follows:

With reference to your cypher telegram 2nd Aug., please inform your ministers that their patriotic readiness to render every aid is deeply appreciated by His Majesty's Government, but they would prefer postponing detailed observations on the suggestion put forward, pending further developments. As soon as situation appears to call for further measures I will telegraph you again.

That telegram is significant because it shows that then, on the 3rd of August, the Imperial Government not only were using every endeavour to preserve peace, but had hopes that peace might be preserved. Therefore they made their answer to us in the guarded language which I have just quoted.


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


Is that signed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies?


Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)


That is signed

by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Mr. Haroourt. All these communications go from His Royal Highness to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and the replies are received in the same way.

On the 4th day of August they sent us the following further telegram with regard to the same matter:

Though there seems to be no immediate necessity for any request on our part for an expeditionary force from Canada, I think, in view of their generous offer, your ministers would be wise to take all legislative and other steps by which they would be enabled without delay to provide such a force in case it should be required later.

On the 6th day of August they sent us the following despatch:

With reference to my telegram of August 4, His Majesty's Government gratefully accept offer of your ministers to send expeditionary force to this country, and would be glad if it could he despatched as soon as posssible. Suggested composition follows.

The suggested composition which followed later was, as stated by my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, to whom I have communicated several of these des-2

patches in the meantime, that we should

send forward a division, comprising about 22,500 men.

On the 1st day of August I also sent through His Royal Highness the Governor

General, the following telegram:

My advisers, while expressing their most earnest hope that peaceful solution of existing international difficulties may be achieved and their strong desire to co-operate in every possible way for that purpose, wish me to convey to His Majesty's Government the firm assurance that, if unhappily war should ensue, the Canadian people will be united in a common resolve to put forth every effort and to make every sacrifice necessary to ensure the integrity and maintain the honour of our Empire.

To which on the 2nd day of August the following reply was received:

With reference to your telegram 1st August, His Majesty's Government gratefully welcome the assurance of your Government that in the present crisis they may rely on whole-hearted co-operation of the people of Canada.

I spoke in that regard of the united spirit and action of the people of Canada, and subsequent events have shown that I was not in any wise mistaken in placing that estimate upon the sentiment of the Canadian people. The men of Canada who are going to the front are going as free men by voluntary enlistment-as free men in a free country. They are coming forward voluntarily for the purpose of serving this Dominion and this Empire in a time of peril. Already I am informed by the Minister of Militia that thousands more than 'will be required have volunteered to go. I desire to express my absolute concurrence in the view put forwiaird by Die hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Sutherland) in his eloquent address, namely, that it is the duty of the people of Canada, and of the Government of Canada too, so far as may he necessary, to make all suit-aJble provision for the families and children of those who are going to the front. We are giving to-our country land cur Empire at this time of our best, and we are proud to d-o it; but we must not forget our duty to those who' are left behind. Neither the people of Canada nor the Government of Canada will ever -for one moment forget that duty.

There has also been -made public a telegram which we despatched to the mother country with regard to a provision which we thought might be very welcome, not only for the material assistance which it would afford, but as a reminder to the mother country that the people of the Dominions were with them in every sense, and that this

great Dominion of ours has bean justly called the granary of the Empire. Therefore we sent on the 6th day of August through His Royal Highness the Governor General this telegram:

My advisers request me to inform you that the people of Canada through their Government desire to offer one million bags of flour of ninety-eight pounds each as a gift to the people of United Kingdom to be placed at the disposal of His Majesty's Government and to be used for such purposes as they may deem expedient.

It was thought desirable that this should go as a gift from people to people, but that it should be placed at the disposal of the Imperial Government to be used for such purposes as they might determine. We received in Teply to that the following telegram under date of August 7, expressing the greatest possible appreciation:

On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom His Majesty's Government accept with deep gratitude the splendid and welcome gift of flour from Canada, which will he of the greatest use for the steadying of prices and relief of distress in this country. We can never forget the generosity and promptitude of this gift and the patriotism from which it springs.

I desire to express appreciation at this moment of the action of the provinces of Canada and of individuals in Canada during the past week or ten days. From provinces and from individuals gifts have come, great and small, showing the intense eagerness of the people and of every province in Canada to associate themselves in this great issue with what we are doing in the Dominion as a whole and with all that is being done in every dominion of the Empire. The people as a whole, not only here in Canada, but in the mother country itself and in every Dominion will, I am sure, feel the most grateful appreciation and render the warmest thanks for all the aid thus tendered. _

I have spoken already of our action with regard to reservists. I have said that we have proclaimed to them that as citizens of Canada they are entitled to the protection of our laws and that they are not to be molested, unless they attempt to leave this country to fight against us, or to give *aid to the enemy or otherwise violate obligations undertaken as citizens of Canada.

I might allude to the fact that we found it necessary to establish censorship. That was regarded as absolutely essential at the outset; and we took upon ourselves to order censorship, trusting that Parliament, in so far as might be necessary, would approve our action afterwards. We had also to take

measures with regard to the detention of ships. All such matters had been arranged by the inter-departmental committee. We had also to provide for the prohibition of the export of certain articles. That prohibition in regard to certain articles has since been relaxed in one or two particulars, after consultation with the Imperial authorities; and, in so far as the prohibition may not be found necessary for the purposes of war it perhaps may be further relaxed from time to time.

From every part of Canada we have had most unmistakable evidence of the determination of the people of this Dominion to support the mother country and the other dominions which are bound together by the strongest possible ties, the ties of absolute British liberty and of perfect self-government. Those ties bind together the provinces of Canada in this Dominion. Those ties bind together the dominions of the Empire with the mother country; and we rejoice to know that, in a time of stress and perhaps of peril such as this, they have proved the strongest possible ties that could be devised by any government throughout the world.

It might not be out of place to say a word with regard to the navy, which has been alluded to very eloquently by my right hon. friend and by the mover and seconder of the Address.

It is barely two weeks since war broke out. Already nearly every pathway across the ocean has been cleared. Our foreign commerce has been but little interfered with, very little indeed. The splendid organization of the British navy has enabled this to be accomplished. Those who are familiar with the religious service used at sea will remember that prayer goes up from the men of the navy, in peace as in (war, -that they may be a safeguard to their Sovereign and his dominions and a security for such as pass upon the seas upon their lawful occupations. The quaint words of that old prayer express as perfectly as may be that which is most essential for the security and integrity of this Empire, a safe pathway across the seas. Surely that prayer has been fulfilled even in this appalling war, for already the silent victory on the sea has been won. The Atlantic now is, and we have every reason to believe that the Pacific shortly will be practically as safe and secure for those under the protection of the flag as in times of peace.

In connection with the gift to which I alluded a moment ago, the gift to the British

p-eople, of a million bags of flour, may I add that during the past week we have been in correspondence with Mr. Perley twith a view to offering to the Government of France, if they -should desire to accept it, a hospital of fifty beds which we will be prepared to acquire, equip and maintain. The proposal has been put forward through Mr. Perley, as High Commissioner, who had been instructed to ascertain the wishes of the French Government with regard thereto. I believe a similar proposition has been made by the British Government to the French Government. But, in the appalling stress -and pressure of affairs which confront the Government of France at present the British Government have not been able to obtain an answer to their own request, and so we have not been able to obtain an answer to ours. But I thought it desirable that I should here publicly state that (the Government of Canada, with the approval of (Parliament, which! am sure will not be withheld, are prepared to establish, equip and maintain, in Paris or elsewhere, a hospital, making provision for fifty -beds for the comfort of those who may be wounded in the war.

The leader of the Opposition has alluded

to the uncertainty of human events, and particularly events such as are before us in the great war which now confronts the Empire. True, the future is -shrouded in uncertainty, but I believe that the people of Canada look forth upon it with steadfast eyes. But, let me say that while we are now upborne by the exaltation and enthusiasm which -come in the first days of a national crisis, -so great that it moves the hearts of all men, we must not forget that -days may come when our patience, our endurance and onr fortitude will be tried to the utmost. In those days let us see to it that no heart grow faint and that no courage be found wanting. I was very -much touched by the words of a despatch which came in only an hour ago-these despatches are sent to ns from hour to hour. It -shows a spirit which later we may need to emulate when perhaps tidings shall come to us that those of our best and our dearest who have gone to the front have fallen in battle. I wil. read the words of the despatch, which are very -simple and direct:

Paris, August 19, 11.10 a.m.-A woman

with four sons in the French army to-day walked slowly down the steps of one of the municipal offices where relatives are officially informed whether soldiers are dead, wounded or unreported. She was exceedingly white, but 21 " .

her emotion was greater than could be expressed in tears. A friend came up quickly and said: 'Have you good news? I am so glad my Jean is safe.' ' Yes, they are all safe/ was the reply; ' they are safe in the arms of the Father; I am proud to give all to the cause.'

It is not fitting -that I should prolong this debate. ** In the awful dawn of the greatest war the world has ever known, in the hour when peril confronts ns -such as this Empire has not faced for a hundred years, every vain or unnecessary word seems a discord. As to our duty, -all are -agreed: we stand shoulder to shoulder with Britain and the other British dominions in this quarrel. And that duty we shall not fail to fulfil as the honour of Canada demands. Not for love of battle, not for lust of conquest, not for greed of possessions, but for the cause of honour, to maintain solemn pledges, to uphold principles of liberty, to withstand forces that would convert the world into an armed camp; yea, in the very name of the peace that we sought at any cost save that of dishonour, we have entered into this war; and, while gravely conscious of the tremendous issues involved and of all the sacrifices that they may entail, we do not shrink from them, but with firm hearts we abide the event.


Motion agreed to.


Frederick William Borden


That the said address be engrossed and be presented to His Royal Highness the Governor General by such members of this House as are of the Honourable the Privy Council.


Motion agreed to.


On motion of Hon. W. T. White (Minister of Finance), it was ordered that the House on Thursday next go into Committee to consider the Ways and Means to raise the Supply to be granted to His Majesty.

August 19, 1914