William Folger Nickle
Mr. W. F. NICKLE (Kingston) moved:
That the report of the Special Committee appointed to consider the question of conferring honours, etc., upon subjects of His Majesty resident in Canada be concurred in.
He said: You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that on April 14, as an amendment to a motion proposed by me, the acting leader of the Government (Sir Thomas White) concurred in a special committee being appointed which should, without partisanship, consider the questions involved in the motion and certain other questions raised by him on his amendment. At the time concurrence was reached with reference to that committee the hon. the leader of the Government impressed on me that his wishes would be best met if at the earliest possible moment the committee's report was presented to this House for consideration and decision.
As a result of his injunction and of the desire of the Committee, consideration was first given on the 24th of April, to the subjects that were to be taken under review and the committee's report was, as
you will remember, presented to the House on the 14th of this month. In justice to the committee I should say that during its deliberations full consideration was given to the questions passed in review, and that while the debates were at times vigorous they were never characterized by anything that could be otherwise considered than in the very best of friendly spirit. I can assure you, Sir, .and the House that careful consideration was given to the subject matter viewed from every possible angle. The report of the committee in tire main reflects what I might call its unanimous opinion, although some findings did not secure unanimity.
Those who took an interest in this matter last year will remember that among the recommendations adopted by this House was one to the effect, that hereafter no hereditary titles of honour should be conferred on a subject of His Majesty ordinarily resident in Canada. The Acting Prime Minister in his address to this House directed the attention of hon. members to the fact that the reply of the British Government was couched in the following language:
His Majesty will not hereafter (be advised to confer any hereditary honour upon a subject of His Majesty ordinarily resident in Canada save on the formal recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada.
The British Government in its reply seems to have overlooked the fundamental principle enunciated by this House, that this House, expressing the collective wish of this country, desired that no hereditary title be hereafter conferred on any Canadian, and the British Government went no further than to say that no such title should be granted except on a formal recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada.