Daniel Duncan McKenzie
Mr. D. D. McKENZIE (Cape Breton North and Victoria) :
Mr. Speaker, although somewhat familiar with the House of Commons for the last almost twenty years, still, coming to this new Chamber, I must confess to you, Sir, that I do not feel just quite as much at home as I used to feel, and I must crave the indulgence of hon. members on both sides of the House and yourself, Mr. Speaker, while attempting to discharge the duty which now devolves upon me to continue the debate upon the motion before the Chair.
Let me at once, Sir, revert to the time honoured custom of congratulating the mover and the seconder of the address, and to assure you in doing so I am not indulging perfunctorily in any old-fashioned custom that one regards merely as a matter of duty. We are proud, Mr. Speaker, of our Parliamentary institutions, traditions, and customs, and we are always zealous that the duty of moving and seconding the address in reply to the speech from the Throne shall be discharged in a manner becoming the House of Commons of Canada. It is therefore a great pleasure to be able to congratulate the leader of the Government upon the manner in which the hon. gentlemen selected by him have discharged their duty.
From the hon. member for London (Mr. Cronyn) we expected the kind of address that he has given us, for we have heard him before, and know him to be of a literary turn of mind, and it is sufficient for me to say that he has done justice to his former reputation in this House.
My good friend who represents the grand old county of Pictou (Mr. McGregor) has not in the past troubled us very much with speeches, and being a very patriotic and zealous Nova Scotian, although differing from him in politics, I was very anxious indeed that he should do justice not only to the good old province of Nova Scotia but to the grand old county of Pictou. I am glad to be able to say to my friends in Nova Scotia that the traditions of our province have been well lived up to in the speech of my hon. friend.
My good friend from London (Mr. Ci-onyn) was during the study of his speech and in the delivery of it reminded of that good old phrase of Scotch thought, that it
required " A stoot heart to, stay brae. ' No doubt he realized that it required a particularly " stoot hairt " to face the " stey brae " of saying anything laudatory about the present Administration. But I must do him the justice of saying that he faced the brae very well;-whether or not he made the grade is another matter.
I shall not, Mr. Speaker, confine my congratulations entirely to these hon. gentlemen. I must congratulate the House, and particularly the Opposition, upon the very able and comprehensive speech of the leader of the Opposition '(Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King). Under our institutions the Opposition is recognized as a part of the machinery of Government, to the extent of its leader being paid, and properly so, out of the funds of the country. The whole House, therefore, must be pleased to know that we have in the person of the hon. gentleman who leads the Opposition one who is well qualified to discharge the duties pertaining to that offce and in the doing of it to follow along proper constitutional lines. I congratulate the hon. Leader of the Opposition, therefore, upon his very excellent speech of yesterday. It opens up a new vista for the Liberal party; it gives them confidence in their leader, in his capacity and in his ability to blaze the way to greater things for Canada than Canada has ever known.
It would be carrying coals to Newcastle if I were to congratulate the old veteran- old, I mean, in parliamentary practice- who so ably and so well leads the remnant of the Government in this House (Sir George Foster). I wish, Sir, that the reply to the able speech of that hon. gentleman had fallen into abler hands than mine.
I listened to the right hon. gentleman's speech with a great deal of interest. I have tried to analyze it and to pick out of it whatever meat might be found in it. After sleeping over it last night and thinking over it a little this morning I find that if you strip the speech of its clever " Fos-terisms " there is not enough left for a decent burial. I shall refer later to the observations of my right hon. friend. It would be folly for a youngster in politics like myself to say that the way in which the leader of the Government delivers his addresses in this House is not able, is not masterful. I shall not attempt to do so; I shall simply make this passing observation : The leader of the Government began wrong some eighteen years ago; he has kept wrong, and I fear that he will end wrong.
We cannot forget our surroundings, Mr. Speaker, on this occasion. We cannot forget the grandeur of the magnificent building in which we find ourselves. The builders of this splendid temple have provided not only for the present, but also for the futux-e greatness of this country. No matter how great Canada may become; no matter how splendid its proportions or its material development or how large its population, for all time to come we and our children after us will have in this building, if God spares it to us, a temple worthy of the great country of which we are so proud.
This is a fair and proper time for some stock-taking so far as our country is concerned. Let us observe, Sir, what has been done; let us observe what it is possible for us to do in the future. Let us hope that this country will live up to the great expectations which the fathers of Confederation had in their minds when they started out to lay broad and deep the foundations of this country. We have in Canada magnificent lands, great areas of country extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We have mineral wealth, forest wealth, agricultural wealth, and we have a great people. Let us hope that we shall continue to utilize and husband our lands and resources, our facilities for transportation, and all that goes to make for the building of a great nation. Let us hope that our statesmen and our people will set themselves to the task of building up a great country, of building up a citizenship worthy of the Mother Country and its institutions-institutions which have made for this country a home of safety, happiness, and prosperity for its citizens. The fathers of Confederation laid the foundations of our transportation system, of the settlement of our vast stretches of country and of the building up of a nation within the bounds of Canada. Let us hope that no divisions of any kind will tend in the slightest way to mar the growth of our country, it unity, its prosperity, its greatness, or to make them less than what the fathers of Confederation had in mind in the days when there was consummated that union of which we are so proud and which we hope will ever be kept intact. Some differences of opinion may prevail among the different parts of Canada; some policies may be regarded as not of application to the whole country. But if we hope to be a nation, Sir; if we hope to grow up as a country; if we hope to be united from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we should so devise our plans and policies of Government as to bring about a reason-
able degree of success and prosperity throughout the whole of our Dominion.
I should like now to devote some time to the speech that was made by the leader of the Government yesterday and to the remarks of the member for London (Mr. Cronyn). I have no criticism to make of the speech of my hon. friend from London. He said that the old methods of Government were breaking down; that those old methods had fallen short of meeting the necessities of the country and that something new had to be brought in.
My hon. friend has not told us what that new thing is going to be, and if he finds the machinery of Government and of the party to which he belongs breaking down, I would invite him to pay attention to the manner in which his Government and party are breaking down and to give up talking about principles in the operations of the old parties.
I am not admitting for one moment that the principles of Liberalism have fallen down or that anything in connection with the Liberal party in this country has fallen down. On the contrary, it is strong and vigorous and willing to carry forward the responsibilities of party in connection with the affairs of this country as it has done of yore. If my hon. friend finds that that party to which he belongs is falling down upon the job; that it is not equal to carrying on the government of this country; that there is not that cohesion or unity amongst the members of that party that is necessary in order to enable it to carry on a common policy and purpose, let him admit the corn and say that they must look around for something new in order to carry on the affairs of government along the lines of party. But I will not admit that there is any occasion to say that, so Jar as we on this side of the House are concerned, there are any signs of decay, of falling short, or of inability to carry on the business of the country in a party way and along party lines.
There was a time in this country-and l suppose the time is not yet gone-when the Tory party stood for something in Canada. iSueh men as Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Charles Tupper, and Sir John Thompson, stood for something in this country. They were great men in their day and generation, and there are in Canada to-day men who are proud of their history and of their doings. Is the hon. member for London (Mr. Cronyn), with one stroke of the pen, going to wipe off the map the existence and history of such men
as leaders of a party and to build up something of some fanciful character, the character of which nobody knows, which has no beginnings of days or end of time so far as we can tell what he has in his mind? That is about all I have to say as regards the speech of my hon. friend, so well delivered, so worthy of him, so worthy of the institutions of this country, and so worthy of the excellent manner in which he discharged his duty.
Let me say a few words about the speech which was delivered in this House so ably and well by the acting leader of the Government yesterday evening. It has been said by the leader of the Opposition that we have not in this country to-day that strength of government that we should have in order to deal with the various important questions that loom up in Canada and with which we have to deal. My right hon. friend answered in his usual easy fashion, pointing out that the Government were all right; that they were perfectly sound, and that no man should pay any attention to rumours in his country; that he and the chosen few who are treading the narrow way with him alone knew what was going on in this country, and the the people of Canada would have to wait until the good time came when he thought proper to tell them something about the Government. He tells the leader of the Opposition that the door of the sick chamber (because I would call it the sick chamber) is well barred; that nobody can get in; and he told us that the bulletins that the newspapers were putting out were unreliable and not the truth, and that we knew nothing about the real condition of the sick person in the sick chamber. Doctors are very zealous about the atmosphere in a sick chamber, and very often they turn people out of a sick chamber. Apparently, whoever is in sick chamber now must be showing some of the symptoms which a person shows when the doctor turns the visitors out, because one after another of those who occupied that chamber are being turned out and we see them wandering at large, and we must come to the conclusion that they are turned out because the nervous condition of the patient will not tolerate any longer their presence in the sick room.
It is well known to doctors and to us all that when a person is sick he becomes nervous, and some things that used to be quite tolerable to him would not be permitted at all within reach of his touch or vision. When conditions grew unhealthy in the sick chamber, there were some
people sitting around whom the patient did not like, and when you see such men as Mr. Calder, Mr. Sifton-