Right Hon. S@
Mr. Speaker, the House of Commons will honour itself, even more than it will honour the memory of Sir Charles Tupper, by testifying in the most solemn manner its appreciation of the many services and arduous labours of one who was in his time, [DOT] and who must remain for all time upon its roll of honour, one of its most illustrious members, one who contributed in no small degree to make Canada what it >s to-day. Sir Charles Tupper was the last survivor of that galaxy of strong and able men whom the Canadian people delight to honour with the name of Fathers of Confederation. Amongst the able men, who in the fall of 1864, assembled in the city of Quebec with the object of finding a basis of union for the then disjointed provinces of British North America, and whose united efforts brought forth the Canadian Confederation, the name of Tupper stands eminent among the most eminent. Fifty years and more have passed since that date, and perhaps now, we are sufficiently removed from those stormy times to be able to frame a correct estimate of the part played by the statesmen of Canada in that intensely dramatic period of our history.
Undoubtedly to George Brown was due the first initiation of Confederation. He it was, who, by his strong and persevering agitation against the unwieldy union of Upper rand Lower Canada, directed the destinies of Canada towards the Confederation of the older provinces of Biitish North America. It seems to me to be equally true that it was Sir George Cartier who first put the idea into shaue when he set upon it the seal of his essentially practical mind, and brought to it the support of the one province which was material to the idea, if the idea was ever to become a fact.
By his talent and ability, Galt lent aid to the movement; still more did he do so by obtaining for it the influential adhesion of the strong minority in the province fSir Robert Borden.]
of Quebec, of which he was the illustrious representative. It was the good fortune of Tilley to be able, almost from the first, to bring his province to support the idea with a minim|um of division and difficulty. Macdonald was the last to come into line. It is of record that for many years he objected to any change in then existing condition of things, and only a few days before the coalition of 1864 he had almost passionately antagonized the very idea of a federal union. But when ho did adopt the principle he became at once the captain and the pilot. It was his master hand that took hold of the helm, met difficulties as they arose, arrived at solutions of unforeseen obstacles, and steadily and unerringly directed the course until port was reached. And what was the part of Tupper? In his day, this question of Confederation antagonized friends and divided foes. Now that we may look upon it in the calm judgment of history, it must be admitted, I think, that Tupper brought to the cause more firm conviction and took more chances than did any one else. It must be remembered that at that time Nova Scotia was completely against him, and that instead of using time and patience to win the province over to the idea of Confederation, he forced it into the union by the doubtful authority of a dying legislature. The grandeur of the idea strongly appealed to his mind, and he would not let pass the opportunity which if missed might not occur again for many years. If he erred at all, he erred- because he loved not wisely but too well. Indeed, in order to understand the action of Sir Charles Tupper at this important juncture in the history of our country, we must remember what was the chief characteristic of the man. In my judgment the chief characteristic of Tupper was courage; courage which no obstacle could down, which rushed to the assault, and which, if repulsed, came back to the combat again and again; courage which battered and hammered, perhaps not always judiciously, but always effectively; courage which never admitted defeat and which in the midst of overwhelming disaster ever maintained the proud carriage of unconquerable defiance. This attribute of oouTage was the dominant feature of his whole public career, and perhaps never shone more prominently than in the manner in w'hOh he entered public life. It had not been his lot to be born to wealth or affluence. The son of a poor Baptist clergyman, he had succeeded by his own efforts in obtaining an education, and winning a
diploma in the medical profession. He was a young practitioner, not known at all outside the precincts of his own town, and hardly known within them, when with splendid audacity he threw himself against one who was the darling of the people, the most potent influence in Norn Soota and, perhaps the brightest impersonation of intellect thlat ever adorned the halls of a legislature in any part of what is now Canada. Joseph Howe was then the member fox Cumberland. In the province of Nova Scotia there is a tradition still extant, transmitted from father to son, and repeated at many firesides, that on one occasion, when Howe had addressed a meeting of his constituents and had brought Ms auditors to a pitch of enthusiasm even greater than that which his magnetic eloquence had ever before elicited, a young man rose from the audience to reply. It is stated that Howe was somewhat surprised and perhaps not a little amused hut at once yielded assent with something like patronizing -condescension. If the was surprised- at first, he had! greater reason for surprise when he listened to the address of his hitherto unknown opponent. He found that in the speech of this young man there was meat and substance which moved the people and which gave cause for reflection and worry. The tradition further has it, that when Howe returned to Halifax he stated to his friends that he had met in Cumberland a young doctor who would he a tower of strength to the Conservatives and a thorn in the -side of the Liberals. The truth of his prediction was soon borne out, even at his own expense. At the elections which followed in 1855 young Tupper came forward against Howe in the county of Cumberland and wrested it from him. Howe at that time was at the zenith of his fame and it may certainly be said of his successful opponent .that no one ever crossed the portals of any legislature through -so wide an entrance. Sir William Johnson was the leader of the Conservatives in Nova Scotia. He was a man of eminent ability, but being far advanced in years and in poor health, was only too glad to rely on the services of a young man of -so much promise. From the day that young Tupper came to the fore in the legislature of Nova Soo-tia he became the guiding spirit of his party and the inspiration of all his followers. Almost from that day his life became associated with the life of Canada, because it was only a few years afterwards, when
he had become premier of his province, that the movement for Confederation was suddenly started. In that movement for Confederation, with all the excitement that it produced, and with all the agitation to which it gave birth, he found a genial field for his great parliamentary ability.
I have s-aid that courage was his -chief characteristic; but it was not 'his only characteristic. His mind had been cast in a broad mould. Whatever question he had to deal with he never approached it from the narrow sphere of- parochial -limitation; on the contrary, he approached it always from the broadest conception it was susceptible of. When I entered this House, more than forty years ago these were the two things which particularly struck me in him. He was then in the prime, of life and in the full maturity.of his powers; he seemed to me the very incarnation of th-e parliamentary athlete, always strong, always ready to accept battle and to give battle. Though often my judgment was against him, in every case I -could not -say that he was animated by anything else than the broadest view of Canadian problems. When Confederation had become an accomplished fact he r-o-se to the front in the broader arena, just as he had taken the first rank in the legislature of his own province. From the day that he first entered the Chamber of the House of Commons, now unfortunately destroyed, his power was at once asserted and at once acknowledged by everybody. He came into the Federal House under the most distressing -circumstances, for in tihe elections of 1867, the first after Confederation, his whole province had gone against him; he alone had succeeded in retaining a seat. His conduct under these circumstances was worthy of all pra-ise. He applied himself with untiring zeal and unselfishness -to the task -of binding the wounds of his province, -and of reconciling the people to the new conditions. At first he met with but indifferent success; the feeling of resentment persistent only to be assuaged by the soothing hand of time. He had not the supreme gift of which Sir John A. Ma-cdonald was pre-eminently the master: ith-at of reconciling conflicting elements and, with the minimum of friction, of bringing them together as if they had always been one.
In this House his name must ever remain -attached to two measures measures very different in character, hut each
of -which brought forth the particular qualities with which he was endowed; I refer to Protection, and the Canadian Pacific railway- This is not the time nor the occasion to discuss Protection as an economic principle, but I think everybody, friend or foe, must admit that the introduction of Protection into Canada was, be it for weal or woe, was due to iSir Charles Tupper. Sir John A. Macdonald, as in the case of Confederation, had at first been rather indifferent and doubtful; Sir Charles Tupper never had a doubt. He it was who first became its advocate in this House, and he it was who carried on the agitation in the country; and in my humble judgment, great as was the personality and prestige of Sir John A. Macdonald, the victory of 1878 was due more to Sir Charles Tupper than to any one else. But it was not he, after all, who introduced the priciple of protection as an actual measure. He had been the champion, but be was not its artisan in this House. That honour was reserved for Sir Leonard Tilley. But if Sir Charles Tupper did not introduce the protective measure in this House, it was -simply because he did not choose to do -so. He might have had the portfolio of -Finance, but he rather chose the portfolio of Public Works, which at that time included railways. With this portfolio! he had the occasion to attach his name to another very great measure, the construction of the Canadian Pacific railway. All parties in this country had been in favour of a transcontinental railway, but no party had taken up the question with anything like serious earnestness until -sir Charles Tupper took it up with all the vigour of his nature. He organized the syndicate which built [DOT]the railway. Thes-e terms were- much criticised as extravagant and yet though we may yet criticise the terms granted the syndicate as extravagant-such was the immensity of the enterprise that it was more than once on the eve of collapse. Nothing daunted the couuatge of Sir Charles Tupper. He never had any doubt of its ultimate success, and it was his good fortune to see all his predictions more than fulfilled. Sir Charles Tupper had reached the zenith of his fame and power in this House when suddenly he withdrew from parliamentary life to accept the High Commissionership in London- The reasons which induced him to that step never were given to the public. But whatever they might have been, we who were his oppon-[ Sir Wilfrid Laurier. ]
ents thought that he had committed a great mistake. Undoubtedly his services in London were honourable and useful to the country, but in my opinion he was more fitted for parliamentary life, and his services to the country would have been still greater had he remained on the floor of this Parliament. Though absent from Ottawa and in far-away London, his heart never deserted the field of his former activities, and whenever there was a battle to be fought he appeared on the scene, and, with his characteristic vigour, was always in the thickest of the fray. Next to Sir John A. Macdonald, he was undoubtedly in his time the most powerful figure in the Conservative party. Indeed, it has always been a mystery to me and to those who sat on this side of the House that Sir Charles Tupper was not sent for when the old chieftain died. He was sent for at last, but then it was too late. The battle was already lost, and notwithstanding the vigour and brilliancy with which he threw himself into- the battle, he could not redeem the fortunes of his party.
The public life of Sir Charles Tupper ended with the elections of 1900, when he had reached the age of almost eighty years. His strong constitution had at last been shaken by a life of arduous labour, and he withdrew to a well earned rest. But though he retired from public life and the seclusion of his family circle, he continued from day to day to follow with passionate interest the fortunes of Canada. In that daily -spectacle h-e had this great , satisfaction, that the correctness of his estimate of th-e resources of this country, when they were still unknown and undeveloped, was abundantly justified. When at last the end came his eyes closed upon a Canada whose population had doubled and more than doubled, whose national revenue had trebled and quadrupled, whose commerce had risen from a comparatively small figure to the billion dollar mark -and -more, whose products in agriculture 'and industry had reacted figures that would have seemed fantastic in the first year of the Union-a Canada whose people were united even to the shedding of their blood in the defence and for the triumph of those principles of freedom and justice which the Fathers of Confederation had1 placed under the segais of Brutish institutions. To say that the life of Sir Charles Tupper was without fault would be to s-ay what cannot be said of any human life. But it must be said, and
Should ever be remembered, that but for the life of Sir Charles Tupper Canada would not be what it is to-day.
Motion of Sir' Robert Borden agreed to.
Sir Robert Borden moved:
That the resolution of condolence on the death of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tupper be communicated to the members of his family on behalf of this House by Mr. Speaker.