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