March 6, 1919


Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal


Sure ! I would go even further and say perhaps the best. They are so bad because they have the qualities to make them the best. And remember this, the best things on earth, the best things that God has given us, are those that can be most abused. Take a woman as an example. Take whiskey as an example. Take brain power and intelligence as an example. Why, Sir, the 'worst character we have in Canadian public life-the worst we ever have had-is a man who was once a member of this House, a man so able that there are few to equal him. I am not mentioning any names- everybody will recognize the portrait. Intellect, when debased, becomes the greatest curse we have. These Englishmen to whom I have referred as among the worst characters we have are dangerous for the very reason that they have ability -superability. They take hold of these western dagoes and western Germans, and lead them into all sorts of Bolshevism. They are the leaders of Bolshevism in British Columbia, for instance. On the other hand, as I have said, some of the beat men you have in this country are old-country Englishmen. There are good in all classes, and bad in all classes. It cannot be said of men, as the Scotchman said of whiskey,-he said that some whiskey was better than other whiskey, but all whiskey was good. All men are not good. Therefore, I urge these hon. gentlemen to whom I have referred not to discriminate against our citizens, no matter from .what nationality they have sprung. Be just and honest; do what is right; and do not let this war hysteria

longer permeate your hearts and brains. Get down to a reasonable basis and try to do some sane thinking and acting.

I want to pay my respects to the hon. Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Calder). I am sorry he is not in the House. The hon. gentleman the other day showed some signs of repentance. His claim to be a good Liberal is an outward acknowledgment of inward shame.

Hence I feel that he should be with us as it is only the hypocrite's tongue that speaks without the heart. I hope my hon. friend cannot be considered an incorrigible hypocrite. Repentance may avert evil. Repentance is accepted remorse. Repentance ends the suit which passion begins. Repentance should be accompanied by reparation and amendment; otherwise, it is like continually pumping an old ship without stopping the leak. I was going to tell my hon. friend that he was a deserter and that desertion is a disgraceful fault. The deserter has the spirit of a coward. He who at the approach of evil deserts his post is branded with cowardice. He who will desert a friend or cause for a price, be that price gold, place or power, will desert again when he gets a bigger price. So, I hope my hon. friend with proper purpose of amendment, can firmly force his jarring thought to peace as Burns has said in his beautiful epigram on Remorse which I quoted in the House last session.

I hope he may see his way clear to follow the light that my hon. friend the exMinister of Militia saw to-night when he was looking at the darkness on the other side because, after all, knowledge is relative. Where you see a dark, black cloud there is a silver side to it. There is the antithesis, the opposite, and consequently I can fancy that I hear my hon. friend singing "Lead Kindly Light."

There is just one more point I want to take up and that is with regard to our soldiers. I owe a duty to the soldiers perhaps more than a great many other hon. members of this House, a great many of whom have been soldiers themselves. During the voluntary campaign I went out through my part of the country and explained to the boys that this fight was our fight, and that it was for the maintenance of our present democracy and civilization.

I induced hundreds of those boys to go to the front as volunteers. I would not be discharging my duty to those boys, much less to all the soldier boys, if I did not give what appears to me to be the light that is in me to the Government and to the public generally.

In my opinion, the worst service that we can give our boys is to destroy their selfreliance, to destroy their character, to make them imagine that they are paupers, to make them think that they are the wards of the state, when, as a matter of fact, they are the state, and when, as I pointed out before, they^are the future fathers of the families of this country. As the exMinister of Militia pointed out, all they ask is fair play and a fair show. Of course there are those who have been lamed and maimed, those who have been damaged in one way and another and the state should make reparation to them. The resolutions that I have seen passed by the War Veterans' Associations say that they do not want any charity, that they are not looking for charity, that they do not want to be slobbered over and they do not want the caresses of the politician. What they are looking for is their just due and the best and noblest thing we can do for them is to curtail the expenses of this country as far as possible; that is to say, not to waste money by extravagant expenditure and not to waste it on non-productive employment.

I want to say a few words on the question of non-productive employment. It is an unfortunate thing, perhaps, that a great many people think that if a man is paid for doing a piece of work he is earning something. That is not always the case. You can pay a man to carry bricks from one side of the yard and put them over on the other side and you can pay him to carry them back. There is only one element of virtue in that, and that is the element that makes him imagine that he is earning something. But he is earning nothing. It is only taking money out of one man's pocket and putting it in another man's pocket. It is not increasing the wealth of the world or of the nation. If this Government undertake to construct any public work that is not productive they are wasting money just as much as if they threw it into the Rideau canal or the Ottawa river. Labour represents capital and every hour that a man puts in at labour on an unproductive work represents so much waste. The only virtue in paying him is to prevent him from feeling that he is a pauper. But, from the economic standpoint, it is absolutely extravagance and waste. As the ex-Minister of Militia has pointed out, there is any quantity of work in this country that is productive and will provide labour not only for the returned soldiers, but for as many more if the Government will be careful to find out what these things are and

put the men to work in these employments.

There are a lot of little iron trawlers that the Government used for patrol purposes during the war. I understand they put them up for tender a few days ago and that they have withdrawn the advertisement, very good; that is the proper thing to do if they see that they are not going to sell these vessels for nothing as they sold one the other day for $20,000 less than they could have got the day after.

If we took some of those trawlers, and hired, or chartered, them to some companies, or operated the vessels themselves under Government control, and employed some of the young fishermen who were volunteers, to catch fish in the gulf of St. Lawrence, and in the Atlantic ocean on the banks, that would be furnishing employment that would pay cent for cent. That would not only be productive employment, but yield a revenue in excess of that. Then too, men sent out to explore the country, as the hon. ex-Minister of Militia pointed out, could also be placed at productive work. That is to say any explorations of the north lands of this country, if they are carried out efficiently and intelligently, would more than likely pay cent per cent, and even more, as compared with the outlay that would be involved.

But, Sir, if the Government is going to build ships at $200 a ton, ships that cost in ante helium days $25 a ton, what will be the result? There is going to be a great deal of non-productive employment, because no ship costing $200 a ton can compete with a ship that costs $100 a ton. Let me draw the attention of my hon. friends on the Government benches to this fact with regard to ships, because I am now discussing a question that I know something about. I have been to sea

a long time, but I want to say that to-night I am more at sea than ever. Let me point out that the cost of a ship, other things being equal, has everything to do with the earning power, for this reason: we have got to insure a ship whether it costs $100 a ton or $200 a ton. They carry the same cargo, and if you insure a ship costing $200 you are out the insurance on $100 as compared with the vessel of cheaper cost. In other words, the one ship cannot compete with the other. The same thing is true with regard to the question of wear and tear, which is a very large-element in shipping, and is a percentage wear and tear. Consequently, you see that it is absolutely necessary, in order to have ships that pay, that they shall not cost

more than the ships they are competing with, otherwise they are bound to be a failure. I am not going to find fault with the Government for starting to build ships last year. When it undertook the construction of ships last year, it did not know that the war was going to end so suddenly. However, we want to get clear of these contracts just as soon as it is humanly possible to do so, and not give orders for the building of any more at these exorbitant prices. If you want to give occupation for the benefit of the men needing it, to prevent unemployment and unrest in this country, put them at works that are productive, and then nobody can find fault.

Now, Mr. Speaker, when my hon. friend on the other side of the House, to whom I have already referred, told us he was a Liberal I knew " the word was on the lip, but the'condition was in the soul." A man who says he is a 'Liberal is not one unless he acts as a Liberal. The man who last year voted, for instance, for the conferring of titles is not a Liberal, because every man in the House and in the country knows that the minute you confer a title on an ordinary individual he ceases to be a Liberal, he becomes an aristocrat, a plutocrat, he is no longer a democrat, and if he is not a democrat he cannot be a Liberal. Another thing that pained me: When my hon. friend the seconder of the resolution, which we are discussing to-night, made that splendid effort of his, and developed and discovered to the House his fine ability as a speaker, and as a thinker, I was sorry to recollect that he was one of the young men who did not-although he faced with all the courage of a Canadian the Hun gas and the Hun gun-have the courage of his own convictions, because last year he talked against titles and voted for them. It was a lamentable thing, but it was not half as bad as the case of the hon. gentleman who made the motion when the right hon. leader of the Government came in and offered what he called an amendment, but which was not an amendment, which actually nullified the original motion, because it accepted the original motion and added in substance after the word " Canada " the words, " except His Majesty shall resign or hand over his prerogative to a party politician in Canada." In other words the right hon. leader of the Government was usurping the power of the King in the conferring of titles, 'and the hon. gentleman to whom I refer did not have the courage to defend his own motion, but darted around behind one of the back pillars of this Chamber and dodged the vote. The exMinister of Militia, in the course of his

speech, spoke about the wonderful exhibition of independence there was in this House. I thought to myself, " If that is what you call independence, dodging a vote upon your own convictions, I do not know what the independence of Parliament means." There are a lot of hon. gentlemen in this House who, as I said last session, sit and listen to the front benches like a lot of young robins, or young crows, with their mouths open, ready to receive worms, shingle nails, or anything else they drop in. That is the kind of food they swallow, and the result is moral and political dyspepsia. But that is not independence. Each man ought to think for himself, and if you want to have good government in this country, I don't care what the question is before the House, every man ought to record his voice and his vote according to his honest conviction. Of course, compromises may be made, I understand that, and there may be cases where a man in order to retain his seat may have to vote for the Government whether he thinks right or not, but the doctrine I have laid down certainly should apply. But that certainly should not apply to the members who sit in this House apart from the Cabinet; it is questionable whether it is even good political morality on the part of members of the Government itself.

So much for independence. I now want to say a few words about this Victory Loan. Any one-I do not care who he is, even if he is a member of the Government-who voted for the exemption of the Victory Loan from taxation is not a Liberal; or if he is he is voting against his conscience. He may be considering that he is choosing the lesser of two evils; that is the only moral ground on which he could rest a vote of that kind. If any Liberal principle was violated more than any other in connection with the Victory Loan, it was the principle which was violated by that clause exempting the loan from taxation. What does that mean, Mr. Speaker? It means that you are exempting from taxation the millionaire, the man who has idle money, with the necessary result that the taxation that ought to be paid by the millionaires is going to fall upon the poor people, the working people. The men of business, the men of affairs, the men who are doing the work of the country, will have to pay the taxes while the big interests who contributed to the Victory Loan will draw their interest and sit like a bump on a log, doing nothing for the good of the country, living on their money and paying no taxes. Yet these

[Mr. Read.!

people will be protected in their life, in their property, in their liberty, by those who have to pay the taxes. That is not Liberalism. If a man stands up on the floor of this House and, while saying that he is a Liberal, votes for a thing like that, it may truly be said that the words are on the lip but the condition is in the soul-and it is not a Liberal condition.

Away back in 1326 or thereabouts our forefathers waded to their knees in blood in order to draw from old King John the Magna Charta of our liberties, the Habeas Corpus Act, the Bill of Rights that was handed down to us as the palladium of our liberties, and we were asked to guard it with our lives. But this Government, Sir, violated the Habeas Corpus Act. It is true that they got the Supreme Court to whitewash them-and they paid them well.

Men who have sat on the other side of the House, calling themselves Liberals, who have not repealed the 7J per cent war tax on goods, are not Liberals, becauseLiberalism stands for equal rights.

Liberalism stands for freedom of trade and for opposition to the protecting of and catering to special privileges and the granting of special privileges. The only way my friends on the other side, who say that they are Liberals, can show that they are true Liberals, is to renounce their Toryism, repent and make reparation.

While the light holds out to burn,

The vilest sinner may return.

There is some talk about a new party, the Farmers' party. I want to say that the Farmers' party and the Liberal party are one and the same thing. It is not one name for different things, like the Union Government; it is two names for the same thing. I have here a letter from our great chieftain addressed to myself; probably one of the last letters that he wrote on a political question. I shall read a few words of it to show that the farmers and the Liberals are one and the same party. I had written to Sir Wilfrid Laurier to learn what his policy would be when he called the convention which was, as he said, to meet next summer. This is his reply:

Tou have noticed that in Wilson's fourteen conditions for peace the third provides for 'the removal so far as possible of economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.'

That was the third clause of President Wilson's conditions for peace. Sir Wilfrid's comment on these words was as follows:

This is in line with the accepted doctrine of the Liberal party and seems to me a condition sine qua non for the removal of war possibilities between the nations. In so far as we in Canada are concerned, the most essential policy would be the largest possible measure of free trade between us and the United States. Tou have seen that the Western farmers have put that plank in the forefront of their platform as recently formulated. It is simply a reiteration of their old policy which they have never ceased to advocate. This will be equally acceptable to you in Prince Edward Island.

I want to say that it is. To those gentlemen who come from the West, may I point out that while some of the western papers and some of the western members talk about the East being against them, so far as my province is concerned our interests are identical with those of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. We stand to a man for Liberal principles and free trade, and although I should hate to see my good friend over there beaten, we will send to the next parliament a solid phalanx of Liberals. With regard to the tariff, I want to say that, notwithstanding what Sir Wilfrid Laurier has said, namely, that we cannot settle finally the tariff question until peace is signed because the conditions of peace may make all the difference in the world, what we can do and ought to do at the first opportunity the Government can give to the matter is to accept in its entirety the reciprocity agreement that was offered to us by the United States in 1911. It is the more important that that should be done immediately because the Congressional elections in the United States last fall went Republican and Republicans are, as hon. members know, not overly enamoured of free trade principles. But if it is once upon their statute books and our statute books, after the way in which the Canadians have served the United States and the Empire so well in this great war, because we were fighting not only for the Empire but for them and ourselves, and for them particularly, because they were laggards in getting to work at the war, I do not believe they would have the temerity to change the reciprocity agreement, for that would be looked upon, at least by us, as an unfriendly act. Therefore, let the Government take the 7i per cent super-tax off at once; let them have the reciprocity agreement ratified immediately, and then at the next session of Parliament, which should be summoned as soon as possible, let them take up the question of the tariff. While I am sorry that this Government has been so prolific in its production of useless commissions-and I am told that the expenditure on them per day is about $8,000 for nothing-at the same

time I think the Government would be justified in creating a commission to take up the whole tariff question, such commission to be composed of equal numbers of Liberals and Conservatives, or, if you like, of high tariff men and low tariff men, men above reproach, men who cannot be bought, because unfortunately, in this country there are on the one side of this question the big interests and on the other side the poor unfortunate ratepayers. If you can get a commission that will give fair play, they can determine, in the meantime, what tariff reductions should be made and how far we can go with free trade without injuring the vested interests of anybody in this country. Somebody is bound to be hit in any change of tariff. You cannot make a change in the tariff without hitting somebody, and you are going to hit even people who will eventually be benefited, because in the readjustment that is bound to take place after the tariff is either lowered or raised, somebody has to suffer who may eventually benefit by the change that is made, either up or down.


(Brandon): Mr. Speaker, in rising to support the motion that is before the House, I find myself in somewhat of a predicament lest, after we have passed from rather dark tragedy to high comedy, there be a shading away into melodrama.

I wish to congratulate the mover and seconder of the motion that is before us, not in any formal or stock phrase, but because of a personal appreciation of the words uttered by those gentlemen as voicing the strong and sound sentiments entertained by them, sentiments which have grown out of experiences which many of us would have gladly shared along with them.

I would not be doing the thing that would express my deepest thought if I did not also pay a tribute of respect for and appreciation of the great leader of the Opposition party whose chair is vacant before us. It was my privilege, just before leaving home for this city, in standing before a group of young people, to speak with honest conviction of the worth and work of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. With all due respect to the consistency of the hon. member for Prince, P.E.I. (Mr. Jos. Read), I do not think the fallen chieftain was really the less a Liberal when he accepted his title.

My impression is that the Government has not in this debate so far suffered severely at the hands of the Opposition. In fact, the pin-pricks have been most mild,

and furthest from the presenting of anything in the way of a constructive contra, there has been hut the time worn attempt to belittle the things that in themselves may< or may not have been of conspicuous importance. I had hoped to pass on immediately to emphasize two or three things that appeal to me as being of outstanding value in the suggested programme as contained in the Address, but I must refer to one or two matters brought up partly this evening and partly on previous occasions by members of the Opposition.

The hon. member for Prince has, in my judgment, gone out of his way this evening to cater to the aliens.


Howard Primrose Whidden



I am sure hon. members on this side of the House will take second place to none in our recognition of the genuine citizenship of foreign born people who have really been willing to be Canadianized.

But as to those who are not willing either outwardly or inwardly, save under the pressure of threatened penalty, to accept the Canadian standard and to believe in the things for which our nation stands, I am satisfied that we should be untrue to the men who have gone overseas to represent us and untrue to all of our gallant allies, if we were not willing now that the armistice has been signed to assume that attitude toward the alien enemy in our land-the man who is alien in spirit-which true freedom-loving Canadians have a right to assume, and a right to retain until the aliens change their, attitude or go home. There are still some alien enemies in Canada who are very much in the position of one of their number, who in a western city a few years ago in connection with the taking of some local census called at the door of a settlement worker of great intelligence and of fine patriotism and asked who resided there. On being told, he attempted to put the name down in his book and then asked what the householder's nationality was. This man with many United Empire Loyalist forebears drew himself up and sought to convey the idea in his soul to the little foreign Canadian in his presence. He used the word "Canadian" more than once in trying to explain what his nationality was and the census man said "Oh, Canadian, Canadian! not many of them people around here." We should all be Canadians around here.

Mr. Speaker, until the word "nationality" ceases to be used in the press and in the clubs and in private groups by men of foreign birth as applied to themselves and their own blood-immigrant groups- not until then will it be possible for us to accoid to them the welcome which the hon. member who has spoken before me (Mr. Read) seems so willing to extend to them. There is only one nation in' Canada. This is not an aggregation of British American Balkan states and please God it never will be. The attitude of the average man who has gone over and fought our battles, the man of the deep passion and also of the deep sense of the difference between right and wrong, as he represented it and as he found it over there, is having something to say to us to-day and will continue to have something to say to us on the question, what shall constitute Canadian citizenship? We shall hear his voice and in the main I am satisfied that he will speak the right word concerning the people within our borders of foreign birth. We welcome them to continue in our midst if they have caught the soul of Canada, if they are willing to try to understand the meaning of that soul as it has been newly fired and newly shaped during these epoch making days of the past four and a half years. I could not quite understand the combination on the opposite side of " our President " and the questionable fault finding of our gracious Majesty King George in his attempt to entertain " our President." This is surely a new combination for the floor of the Canadian Parliament.

Just a word with regard to "the light." It seems to be sinking lower. Whether the oil is failing or the wick is not being sufficiently eared for I am not prepared to say, but the light does not seem to have the charms that those who placed it in the win. dow seemed to think it would have. In fact I am inclined to believe that it serves more as a warning light in its spluttering and dying moments. There are no sinners on the Government side for whom we need to be ashamed. It is true that there may be need for a choir to chant the good old words " Lead Kindly Light," but pray Heaven may give us an angelic choir, and not the choir put up by the Opposition in the present Parliament.

The returning soldier i's not going to be patronized, coddled or paternalized by the present Government. The plans of this Government are fully as far advanced as those of any of the governments of the belligerent countries at the present time, and

in many respects they are further advanced than the plans of some of these countries.

I believe that one of the great things is for the people of Canada at large to understand the returned soldier's mind. No government can do all that needs to he done for those who have fought for us and are returning to their homes again. The people generally must recognize that the soldier is anxious to become a civilian as speedily as possible and I hope that the splendid officers who are now returning home after having served so gallantly in leading our troops overseas will help to show every private and noncommissioned officer once they have returned to civil life that we are a democratic people, that we are all one. The men who have fought and are returning home are equally worthy of our best recognition and regard. Let no distinctions be drawn; let there be no false ratings; let one and all be the men we know they are-our bravest and our best. The Government is planning for the returning soldiers courageously, thoughtfully and scientifically and these good soldiers will soon find that though some of their old places in the business world may have been filled up that there is still a large place for them, and that upon their soldiers here in the home land there will still rest obligations to live for Canada though they, first and best of all, were willing to die for Canada on foreign soil.

Among the many conspicuous items in the Address which suggest to us in the briefest possible way the Government s programme there are two or three that stand out above all others; and they are what might be called the human or social-agency elements. The war has caused confusion, but it has brought about also new alignments. Let there be no mistake, this is the natural outcome of such a period of conflict upon political affiliations in the best sense as well upon the thinking of intelligent citizens. As a result of what men have fought for there is the emergence of a new thinking, the evidence of a new emphasis, of willingness on the part of men and women the wide country through, and of our Government, that the things that count are the things to be legislated upon first while the things that concern the material can take second place. This has not been a battle for land, or for any material thing; as has so often been said in the press, on the platform and in Parliament, it has been a battle of ideas, it has been a conflict of the spirit-the spirit of the right against the spirit of the wrong.

And there is abundant evidence, to all eyes that are willing to see, in the programme which is suggestively set before us in the Address, of the recognition of the fact that the war has produced a greater willingness than ever before in the history of the country for government to legislate for the interests of all the people in building up a nation that will endure. I mention first, good housing. We may have our parish ideas about that. Some of us may naturally feel that we do not need any more good houses where we live, and that the Government is making a mistake. But then no one of us lives in all parts of the country at the same time. I suppose that even those who come from the West, if they were able to live longer in the East, might see some things here that it is hard for us to see on our hurried visits. And I am sure that if eastern Canadians were to spend more time in the West they too would find conditions other than they have supposed. The housing proposal of the Government is an evidence that the representatives of the Canadian people are keeping abreast of the other democratic members of the Allies- and they are all democratic.

The Government, wisely, and in due recognition of the sociological law and economic conditions, has proposed to bring down legislation to put into force for one year after peace is declared the terms of the Order in Council with regard to the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor. Let none of our people in 'Canada be afraid that Canada is going to be a back number in this respect. The back numbers among the nations are those who ignore the demands of the best thinking, the highest conception of tha development of the life of the individual and of the state as a whole. And is our Government proposing to do anything that does not recognize to the fullest the right of every Canadian citizen to have a say in this matter? It is certainly intimated that after the soldiers are all home there shall be a vote taken on this question, that the Canadian people shall once more put themselves on record with regard to this important, this vital problem. And I trust when we do take up the proposed legislation in this Parliament, the Canadian people as a whole, while making use of the opportunity afforded in the publicity which may be induced, will not forget the fact that Canada stands next door to a very populous, prosperous and wealthy nation which has just taken a new stand, and that if we forget or ignore that condition it might mean that, instead of pros-

perity and individual freedom on a larger scale being ours, we should become the dumping ground of the worst elements and the worst type of business men that the North American continent could send through our open door.

The proposal for a Department of Public (Health has been received with some words of commendation and some words of criticism. There are undoubtedly in this House many who believe that it might be possible to broaden the scope by changing the word from "Health" to "Welfare." But, even if the term "Health" is retained, there still may be possible the co-ordinating of a great many, activities, agencies and officials to operate for the best interest of the people and the safeguarding of physical life in relation to coming demands to be made upon it. Let no hon. member of the Opposition imagine for one moment that some unpatriotic physician is looking for an easy task. I hope that some outstanding physician will have something very real to do with this Department when it is established. 1 am satisfied that the new department will benefit the little children and the older children as well, of our great cities and of all the districts of western [DOT]Canada. Canada peopled by a foreign population, who if they knew how and were placed under more advantageous domestic conditions would do better for the little ones that come to their home, that come to them ip such large numbers as a general thing.

If the schools of our country are to mean all that they should with regard to the mental development of the coming generation, the children of all the provinces of Canada need to be under the constant thought and regard of a great department which shall have a care for them and for all that concerns them as valuable assets of this country in the coming years.

Just a word as to the other social feature that stands out prominently in the Address-that is the proposed legislation in regard to vocational education. I am satisfied that a great deal needs to be done along this line for the young mechanics, and for the children of the older mechanics in our great industrial centres in connection with thoroughly modem and up-to-date instruction in night schools. I am satisfied that a million dollars a year or thereabouts will be a slight beginning in the right direction in order to meet the situation as it is today. We are already aiding agricultural education in a limited way. I venture to suggest, Sir, that at a very early date, possibly during this session, the Government

should consider the advisability of widening its interest in, and its contribution to, the work of education.

If our material resources are to be developed as they should be by our Canadian people themselves in relation to the building up of a future great and good country, we, as a Canadian people, must have more provided for us in the way of technical education generally. Is it not rather a shame, Mr. Speaker, that at the present time one technical institution across the line in the great republic to the south of us has a larger yearly budget than the combined budgets of all the technical departments of our Canadian universities and technical schools from coast to coast.

This is not a purely provincial matter and I for one do not believe that the members of this House or the Canadian people are going to be afraid of any difficulties in connection with the British North America Act in relation to it. Let us have the splendid beginning that it is proposed to make in the interest of vocational education this year and let that give place to a larger, and increasingly generous and important programme for technical work in order that our young men and young women may have placed within their reach the possibility of securing instruction along lines that have been so splendidly organized and provided in the Motherland and that we too must provide in the immediate future if we are to meet the demands that will be made upon us in the days of expansion ahead. Mr. Speaker, I have much pleasure in supporting the motion before the House and I am satisfied that the country will learn with satisfaction that measures are being introduced, and that legislation will be enacted, that are in the interests of the great body of returning heroes and in the interests of the people of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Mr. JOSEPH E. S. D'ANJOU (Rimouski.) (Translation) : Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to join the honourable members who have spoken before me, in expressing my humble but most earnest sympathy on the occasion of the demise of Sir Wilfrid Lau-rier, whose whole life was identified with the noblest traditions of his race and whose disappearance from the political arena of Canada is so deeply regretted, not only by the whole province of Quebec but by the whole Dominion. In fact, he was the idol not only of the French Canadians, who acknowledged him as their best friend and their most zealous vindicator, but also of the English-speaking Canadians, who admired his genius, the broadness of his views

and his spirit of justice towards all the races inhabiting our beloved country.

The Liberal party in Canada has just lost, in Sir Wilfrid Laurier. the most illustrious and most respected of its chieftains; the province of Quebec, the greater and most distinguished of her sons, and Canada, the man who converted this colony, small though it were before 1896. into a happy and prosperous nation. Therefore, scarcely had the eminent and regretted chief of the Liberal party breathed his last when the people began to talk of erecting monuments to his memory on our public squares. Surely a monument, will be erected in every part of the country to the memory of the man who was the greatest of us all. But at this very moment thousands and thousands of monuments are being erected in order to perpetuate the remembrance of the remarkable man who has been removed from our sight, and those monuments. Sir, are to be found in the heart of every Canadian worthy of the name and holding remembrance in veneration. Laurier is no more, but his shadow hovers forever in this House, whose chambers have so often resounded with his powerful and eloquent voice.

Laurier has not died entirely, his mind remains with us and will continue to inspire us so that we may always follow the path of honour and of justice from which he himself never deviated throughout his long and fruitful career. From beyond, our great fellow-citizen will keep his eyes on us, and will be pleased to witness that we are not giving up the good battles which he so gallantly fought during the whole of his life for the defence of the rights of the Canadian people, for, as it was written by Sully Prud-homme, "beyond the graves, the eyes which we have closed, do yet see."

The life of Laurier, made wholly of simplicity, honesty and untiring devotion to his country is, for us of the younger generation a model to 1>e followed. Let us love our country, let us work for our country as Laurier did and we may bear witness to ourselves that we have been useful to Canada, our common country.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the mover and seconder of the Address in reply to the speech from the Throne. They proved equal to the task and showed a spirit of true independence which bids well for the future. But while T am glad to congratulate the bon. members, I regret, ISir, not to be able to tender my compliments to the Government for having ignored the rights of His .Majesty the French language in the

present occurrence. Truly, there is no reason to justify their attitude and I protest with the utmost energy against such an outrage upon the rights of the French language in this House and in the Dominion. I may be told that there have been precedents. I care not. Precedents do not eliminate rights which were acquired and formally recognized and sanctioned. It is not a question of begging for justice, liberty and right, for the French language is one of the two official languages of this country, and as such must be respected. As the hon. Premier of Saskatchewan said in the course of a speech which he delivered before the legislative assembly of that province recently, the French language is the tongue which was used by the first inhabitants of this Dominion, by the missionaries who soaked its soil with their blood and opened this country to civilization and Christianity.

The Government had among its supporters a member who was perfectly qualified to second the Address in French. I mean the hon. member for Edmonton (Mr. Mac-kie), who would surely have appreciated tile honour and would have fulfilled tRe task successfully. The language which they persecute and wish to see eliminated from this Parliament is nevertheless the language spoken by the great Marshal Foeh and by the famous General Pau whom we had the privilege to greet here a few days ago, and by all the French poilus who, by their obstinate courage, have contributed more than any other to the . preservation of civilization and liberty. It is also the language spoken by the famous 22nd French Canadian Battalion which won eternal fame at the front and whose splendid achievements there are innumerable. Moreover it is the language spoken by nearly three million Canadians, the inhabitants of this country who, though loyal subjects of the British crown are first of all, primarily and always Canadians, following the motto of our late lamented leader, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. and respectful of the rights of other nationalities but mindful of their own, and ever ready to firmly require that they be recognized and respected.

While on this question, may I be permitted to read an extract from a letter addressed by one Mr. Phalen to the Ottawa Citizen recently, in which the writer made the following right observations on the failure of fanaticism:

No wonder the educated class in Great Britain has given up the narrow idea of " one flag, one language, one school." They are nearer the horrible demonstrations than we are. The

Poles, the Zecho-Slovaeks and the people of Alsace-Lorraine are not far from London ; and to bring us still nearer, the British Parliament, in July last, adopted the principle of bilingualism for Scotland-a victory for the beautiful old gaelic language.

It will not be long before Canada finds itself all alone still clinging to the discredited policy of unilingualism "One flag, one languageThis sounds well until the time when you remember that in all the countries where it was applied, the " one flag " has given way to several flags and the number of languages has remained the same.

Five years ago, there were two or three flags in Europe, the preservation of which based on the suppression of a dozen languages. The flags are gone, but the languages have remained.

I wish, Mr. Speaker, to call the attention of this House, and of those who are now listening to me, to the pitiable expression on the faces of the hon. members opposite the other day, when the hero of 1870, the renowned General Pau honoured us with his visit.

That was another illustration of the merits of bilingualism, but unfortunately our friends on the other side were unable, on account of their ignorance of the French language, to appreciate the eloquent remarks made by the hon. member for Two Mountains (Mr. Ethier) on that occasion. As they thought probably that the hon. member was resuming his criticism of the Government, they dared not applaud the w'ords of welcome addressed to the glorious wounded of 1870.

Once more, Mr. Speaker, as a member of this House and on behalf of the people whom I have the honour to represent here, I wish to be placed on record as protesting most energetically against the action of the Government, fvho, deliberately and without any justification renounced an old tradition and seriously impaired the rights of the French in this Parliament and the whole Dominion.

I do not intend to deal with all the matters mentioned in the Governor General's speech. For most of them were discussed on their merit and justly criticised.

However, I must say at once that I look askance at the new franchise measure enabling women to sit in Parliament. There may be found somewhere people who shall think that I am wanting in gallantry towards the ladies; that is of no consequence lo me and will not alter my views.

Last year, when the bill enfranchising women was discussed, I gave my opinion upon the principle of the Bill and you may rest assured, Sir, that I still hold the same opinion. To-day as yesterday, I am utterly opposed to any dabbling in politics by wo-

men. They do hot love their country those who invite them to exceed their attributes and who offer them an opportunity to enter the political arena. The passing of such a measure would necessarily and inevitably destroy harmony in Canadian homes. This is an unpatriotic measure and one detrimental to Canada, and I wish you to believe that I shall oppose it with all my might when it comes before the House for discussion.

The speech from the Throne is especially interesting on account of the matters which are not even mentioned. For instance, nothing is said concerning the policy of the Government as to the abolition of the censure which gags the press of this country. The retention of censure is a nameless outrage and the Government should not wait to be compelled to suppress it. In the name of outraged popular liberties and of all lovers of freedom, I beg the Government to do away at once with censure. With censure removed, we should also witness the ending of the shocking abuse of Orders in Council. For the present Government shall be known in after ages as having ruled by Orders in Council. During a single year, they have had the prodigious audacity to pass more Orders in Council than all the Governments who ruled the country since the time of Confederation up to 1916 had passed during that long period of time.

For more than four years they said war was waged in defence of democracy and freedom among nations. Canada also took part in that horrible struggle in order to ensure the victory of democracy against autocracy, of freedom against bondage, according to the disunion Government who rule the country by Orders in Council and through countless commissions. Notwithstanding which Sir, there is probably not a country in the world enjoying less freedom than Canada at the present time.

We have responsible* government no longer and the most sacred rights of the people are trampled upon by a combination of men reflecting the acme of fanaticism and having but one aim: to oppress the people and to get rich at their expense.

The present Government committed enough encroachments to stir up ten revolutions in our country.

To rule the country by means of Orders in Council is an intolerable and revolting policy. However, that is what the Government has been doing since the last elections. They even passed many of them when Parliament was sitting. Such conduct fully savours of Hun methods and

deserves the reprobation of every honest man, ol all those who are fond of freedom and would like to see it grow once more on Canadian soil.

I am desirous of calling attention to another encroachment, also a most serious oner the sending of our soldiers into the snow-bound mountains of Siberia. Have our present day potentates taken the advice of the people; have they consulted the Canadian Parliament before deciding upon such a course'r No. Sir. As they always do, they disregarded the rights of the people and added another outrage to their record, disreputable as it was. And who are those that were sent in the distant regions ol Siberia? Were volunteers enlisted for an expedition of that kind? No; poor conscripts were compelled to go 'to a place where the Military Service Act of 1917 was putting them under no obligation to go.

The conscription Act was passed in order to maintain our military strength at the front, that is in France. Consequently, the Government have no plausible reason to give in explanation of that silly military venture in Siberia. Such encroachments may involve the most serious consequences for our country. Surely the people will get tired at last and say at no distant date, appropriating to themselves the stinging reproach of Cicero to Catilina"How long, O! Borden, wilt thou take advantage of my forbearance?" Unfortunately, when we shall have reached that stage, it will he too late, and our self-styled Union Government having sown the wind will reap the tempest.

Among the hon. members who addressed this House, several raised the question of military defaulters. If you will permit me, Mr. Speaker, I shall say a few words on that very delicate matter.

If a few young men neglected to report for military duty, it is because they thought they would be more useful to their country and to the Allied cause in doing so. Most of them were farmers or sons of farmers. They believed it was better for them to remain here and work on the land, thus contributing to the success of the Allies in supplying them with food which they needed so much to feed their soldiers. The tillers of the soil played an important and praiseworthy part throughout that dreadful war which, thank God, culminated in a complete victory for our armies. Therefore the Government ought to show themselves more lenient toward the defaulters and pardon them all with a full amnesty. After all, these men were not altogether wrong in"


remaining on the land to work, in order to supply the Allies with food, as the hon. Minister of Public Works stated in his speech on the Address that, in 1917, the transportation__of agricultural products was more useful than that of soldiers. These products were obtained through the exertions of these young men, who thought they were also helping the cause of the Allies in digging trenches in the ground to reap larger crops and prevent our soldiers from dying with hunger.

As a member of this House and representing a county, which supplied hundreds of volunteers, two of whom were awarded the Victoria Cross, I beg the Government to stop persecuting the defaulters and to grant them peace henceforth.

However, Mr. Speaker, there are people in this country whom the Government ought to punish, and their reason for abstaining is probably that they are nearly related to them. The men whom the Government ought to punish, either by a fine or imprisonment, are not the defaulters or deserters, but the profiteers, who enriched themselves here during the war, while our boys were giving their lives in Europe in defence of liberty and civilization. Those men like Flavelle and many others whose names I forget just now, were selling their "bacon" and all their goods at exorbitant prices, exploiting the people and reaping the profits, while, over there, our poor soldiers many a time were starving and giving their blood and making the supreme sacrifice for the triumph of civilization and democracy. I believe those are the individuals whom the Government ought to punish. Perhaps the jails would not be large enough to keep them all. Instead of obtaining titles and peerages for them, the Government should rather send them to the penitentiary for a few years at least, if not for the remainder of their lives.

The present Government assumes on all occasions the attitude of a benefactor, of a friend and a father to the soldiers, to those who went voluntarily and fought on the soil of France and shed their blood with the poilus to ensure the triumph of democracy over autocracy. This Government, while pretending to patronize the young men who, volutarily and without the need of a coercive measure, went and fought on the battle fields, either do not know what is going on, or theif organization is defective.

In the county of Rimouski, one of the counties which supplied the largest number of volunteers in the Quebec district, we glory in having two soldiers who fought

with such bravery that they were awarded the Victoria Cross. Among others in the city of Rimouski, there is a family which gave three sons voluntarily to the war. One of them was killed; the two others were wounded. One of the three is back from the front and the Government saw fit to give him some kind of a job. They appointed him caretaker of -the armoury at Rimousk-i. This man who is married and has one child gets a salary of $45 a month, along with a monthly pension of $5. Up to now, the young man did not complain, but to-day the Government informs him that if he does not carry on the work for $10 a month, the position will be .given to somebody else. However the brave boy is completely disabled and unable to earn a living as he used to do before enlisting.

I belive, Sir, that a Government who, as we know', secured power by exalting the patriotism of our soldiers, who promised everything to them, wTho used to say in this Parliament as well as on the hustings that there was nothing too good, and too fine for our returned soldiers, ought to care a little more now for these men who left voluntarily and did their utmost, many of whom have sacrificed their lives or have returned incapacitated forever, thus being unable to resume their pre-war activities.

The other day, the hon. Acting Prime Minister told us that the War-time Election Act may be expected to remain on our statute books. I t-ake it. Sir, that this Act is the most iniquitous piece of legislation that was ever imposed by a Government on any country in the world. It has enabled the Government and the party in office to steal the elections, and it is the most bare-faced robbery that was ever perpetrated or recorded in history. They have disfranchised Canadians who have been living in the country for fifteen or twenty years, who had been invited to this country by the former Government, who had been granted letters of naturalisation and upon whom had, at the same time, responsibilities and rights had been conferred. And not the least among the rights was the franchise. Those men had perhaps cast their votes at several elections, but because they were of German or Austrian extraction, and the Government thought they would record their vote for the Opposition, they have been disfranchised.

Now the war is over

perhaps too soon to the liking of our hon. friends on the other side who would have rather see it protracted-but, after all, it is an accomplished .fact; peace is about to be signed and this Government who were returned to

power only for the war, should repeal all the Acts passed for the duration of the wrar. I take it therefore that the 'Government is recreant to its duty in letting that Act remain on our statute books. -But what can we expect from a (Government composed of men who have banded together not for winning the war, but for winning the elections and making money. What else could be expected from a -Government who have climbed into office by the means we are all aware of and "Who will leave no stone unturned to get a new lease of power. Mr. Speaker, all the speeches we have listened to from the hon. gentlemen on the other side were so many appeals to union and harmony in this country. It is all very well to appeal to union but it would be still better to put it into practice, and if those hon. gentlemen are sincere in their professions and really wish peace, harmony and concord to revive here, let them take the means of realising it. Let us put a stop to that campaign of fanaticism and hatred that is being carried on in Canada; let the different ethnical elements of our population come to a better understanding, if we want peace to prevail in our Canadian homes. If we want the unrest referred to by the hon. Minister of Public Works which really exists in this country to disappear and -peace and quiet to be restored, let the Government give up administering the country by Order in Council. Let grievances be redressed and liberty have full sway, if we want our country to resume its march onward towards a bright future, and to work out its destinies and occupy the -place it is entitled to in the council of nations. That state of things should cease, and as the late hon. Mr. Mercier said: "Let us put a stop to our fratricidal wrangles," and we ought to remember that we are all Canadians, whatever may be our extraction. Loyal as we are to British institutions, we love above all Canada, and it is the duty of members of Parliament, of those who exercise some influence over their fellow countrymen to preach that doctrine and especially to put it into practice. And to the men who will have devoted themselves to that task the country will owe a debt of gratitude.

There are some Ontario people who understand us. There should be more. There are also some to be found in the other provinces, but let us all realise that before being French, English or Scotch, we are Caai-adiam, and that -through l-ove of our country it is our duty not to arouse religion or national animosities, and not to

revive the conflicts of the past by heated appeals to racial and creed prejudices. Let the policy of our revered chieftain who has passed away, a policy of peace and harmony which he advocated in his lifelong career, but which he did not. see brought to realization, triumph and be carried out.

Let us hope that in the great beyond he may see in a near future all the citizens of every race and religion joining together in an united effort, clasping hands and working together for the happiness and prosperity of our common country, Canada.

On motion of Mr. Michael Clark the debate was adjourned.




Bill No. 11, respecting The Central Railway Company of Canada.-Mr. McMaster. Bill No. 12, respecting W. C. Edwards & Company, Limited.-Mr. Fripp. Bill No. 13, respecting The Grand Trunk Railway Company of Canada.-Mr. Morphy. Bill No. 14, respecting The Lachine, Jacques Cartier and Maisonneuve Railway Company.-Mr. Lemieux. Bill No. 15, respecting The Western Dominion Railway Company.-Mr. Morphy. On motion of Hon. Mr. Burrell the House adjourned at 10.50 p.m. until Thursday. Thursday, March 6, 1919. The House met at Three o'clock.


List of persons permitted to take intoxicating liquors into the Northwest Territory during the year ended December 31, 1918; Statement showing land sold by the Canadian Pacific Railway during the year ended 30th September, 1918; Annual report of the Department of Indian Affairs for the year ended March 31st, 1918.-Hon. Mr. Meighen. Copy of correspondence between the Secretary of State for the Colonies and His Excellency the Governor-General relating to the. gift of two submarines to the Canadian Government.-Hon. Mr. Rowell. Report of the Committee appointed under Order in Council to examine into the conditions of the Printing Bureau.-Hon. Mr. Burrell.



Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)


Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Solicitor General) :

Moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 18 respecting bankruptcy.


Some hon. MEMBERS:



Hugh Guthrie (Solicitor General of Canada)



The principle of this Bill is embodied in a somewhat similar Bill introduced in this House last session. That Bill was referred to a Special Committee of members of the House, which Committee dealt with the subject somewhat exhaustively, and reported a measure to the House, but at a time when the session had so far advanced that it was impossible to make further progress. The present Bill embodies very largely the same principle which was contained in the former Bill, which in the interval has been pretty generally distributed among the various commercial and mercantile associations. There are one or two radical .changes in the present measure which I would like to have the opportunity of elaborating to the House when the Bill comes up for its second reading.

Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.





Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MURPHY (Russell):

Preliminary to asking the Government a question I desire to draw attention to two cablegrams which appeared in the Montreal Star, the first in the issue of February 4, in these terms:

London, 'March 4.-Sir George Perley, at the luncheon inaugurating the tour of the Canadian officers to the industrial centres in England, organized by the Federation of British Industries, urged this most powerful Imperial commercial body to use its influence to obtain changes in trade restrictions in order to allow Canada equal opportunities with other nations.

He gave the impression that there was no intention on the part of the authorities to favour the United States or Japan. The regulations, however, were not working as expected, and many protests are now being made to bring about a speedy change.

The second cablegram appeared in the Montreal Star of March 5th in these terms:

London, March 5.-A deputation of British M.P.'s, members of the Unionist Business Committee, which influences about one hundred votes in the House of Commons, made strong representations yesterday to the president of the Board of Trade respecting practical discrimination against the Canadian manufacturers in the present working of the British import restrictions.

The deputation strongly emphasized that by granting import licenses to United States goods, which were denied the Canadian manufacturers, the British officials were running directly counter to the policy of Empire preference, as formerly adopted by the Imperial War Cabinet.

Lord Shaughnessy, who returns to Canada on Saturday, in discussing the question with the

Star representative, said he had no belief in a trade that comes as a result of sentiment. Canadians were ready to go into the open market and face competition. That is the only road to success.

But Canadians have the right to expect, all things being equal, that goods should be ordered by Britain from the Dominion overseas in preference to other countries. This was not asking favours, but fair play.

Lord Shaughnessy added that he had no knowledge of any strong reason in favour of the present practical discrimination. " The whole thoughts of the British people, in Parliament and outside, seem centred in home affairs, and fail utterly to grasp the existence of a great Empire and what it means," he concluded.

I desire to inquire whether the Government continues to be without information on the subject referred to in these two cablegrams, and, if not, whether such information as the Government has received will be imparted to the House.


William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)


Sir THOMAS WHITE (Acting Prime Minister) :

Mr. Speaker, when the matter referred to was first drawn to my attention on February 27, I despatched this cablegram to Sir George Perley:

"Despatch in yesterday's Montreal Gazette from London stating that Harris and Jones have protested to Lloyd George against discrimination by Great Britain against Canada in favour of United States and neutral countries. Please take up matter and cable me particulars of discrimination and what protest has been made and by whom."

To this the following reply has been received from Sir George Perley:

"Have telephoned Harris who knows nothing of interview. Jones is on the ocean. Harris wrote you fully February 14th regarding restrictions under license system."

As to information in the possession of the Government on this important matter, I desire to say-as I intimated, I think, upon the last occasion on which I spoke with respect to it in the House-that the Prime Minister, Sir George Foster, Minister of Trade and Commerce, and Mr. Lloyd Harris, have been in continuous touch with the heads of important departments, and the chairmen of important committee^, with regard to this general question of trade restrictions. As I stated the other day, it has not been intimated to me in the many communications which I have received, that there is any discrimination. Further than that I have no information. The question undoubtedly arises out of the system of restrictions of import licenses which Great Britain, for reasons which appeared wise, to her, has recently adopted, and which sometime ago were publicly announced. Should any further information bearing upon the subject come to my attention I [Mr. Murphy. 1

shall be glad to make communication to the House.




Martin Burrell (Minister of Mines; Secretary of State of Canada)


Hon. MARTIN BURRELL (Secretary of State):

I would like to refer to a matter of some importance connected with a document I have just laid on the Table, which is the report of a committee of experts appointed to inquire into the conditions of the Printing Bureau. I direct attention to this matter because this morning's paper contains nearly a couple of columns concerning a meeting held by the employees of the Bureau last night. I desire to say that there have been various matters under discussion between the employees of the Bureau and the Minister of the Department, which have been looked into from time to time, but which have not yet been dealt with in their entirety because a year ago last March an Order in Council was passed suggesting that the conditions at the Bureau were so complicated that it was deemed necessary in the interest of the country to have a committee of experts appointed to examine into those conditions with a view to efficiency and economy. That report was only recently received, and it was laid before the Government by the Civil Service Commission who were empowered to make the appointments. The report was placed in the hands of a sub-committee of the council, who now have it under consideration and the employees of the bureau were informed by the King's Printer of this. Having in view the nature of that report-which was to the effect that in various branches of the bureau there was such great inefficiency and such an amount of overmanning in the service, and that the cost of the whole operations of the bureau were so excessive-it seemed to me impossible, and I so directed the King's Printer to inform the men, that the minister could recommend to the Government, or that the Government could take any action at the present moment, in respect to either adjustments of wages, or hours of employment, or the settling of any grievances, until the report had been fully considered by the Government. The Government now has it under consideration; in the meantime, I have laid the report on the table of the House.




March 6, 1919