February 18, 1921


On motion of Hon. Mr. Meighen the Select Standing Committees of the House were severally empowered to examine and enquire into all such matters and things as may be referred to them by the House; and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon; with


ADDRESS IN REPLY


Consideration of the motion of Mr. James Mclsaac for an address to His Excellency the Governor General, in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, and the proposed amendment thereto of Mr. Mackenzie King, resumed from Thursday, February 17.


UNION

Newton Wesley Rowell

Unionist

Hon. N. W. ROWELL (Durham) :

Mr. Speaker, while I have not had the privilege of being in the House and listening during the past two days, to the discusion that has taken place on the motion for the adoption of the Address I judge, from a perusal of Hansard, that the procedure adopted on this occasion is to devote one day to a general political party controversy and the next to the consideration of questions of public importance upon which there is a substantial degree of unanimity in the House. I judge, from reading yesterday's debate in Hansard, that this is the day for a discussion of a matter on which there may be a substantial measure of agreement. I therefore shall be quite within the limits of the procedure so far pursued in discussing the Address, if I confine my observations to that one important paragraph in the Address dealing with the League of Nations and the work of the assembly of the League at Geneva. The House has had the benefit, if the right hon. gentleman will permit me to say so, of a very clear, comprehensive, and wholly admirable review of the work of the Assembly at Geneva and of the purposes for which the League of Nations was formed. My duty this

afternoon, therefore, will be to' fill in some of the details of the picture sketched in such broad and clear outline by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster). Before, however, referring to some of the matters discussed at Geneva, may I say in passing that I shall not attempt to go into great detail this afternoon, for I judge that the time for a detailed discussion, if the House desires to have such a discussion, will be when the estimates for the League are before the House. At that time there will be a full opportunity to ask and to answer questions in reference to these important matters. Let me preface my remarks as to the work of the Assembly by one or two general observations in reference to the League of Nations and the great purpose which it is designed to serve in the world. Prior to the present time, so far as history preserves for us a record, each nation has looked upon every other nation as a real or potential enemy; and because each nation has regarded every other in that light it has felt compelled to protect itself against aggression by erecting works for defence, by establishing armies, by building navies, and by taking all the precautions necessary to protect it against aggressive attack, or if aggressively inclined it has taken these measures to ensure success in its attacks upon its neighbours. The same idea has compelled nations to form alliance, to associate other nations with themselves in alliances more or less close, with the object of offsetting other alliances among other nations and so preserving what has been know for a long time in diplomacy as the balance of power. The culmination of that policy, and its severest condemnation, has been the great war from which we have just emerged, and the crimes and atrocities, as well as the loss and suffering, which that war entailed, compelled humanity to try and discover some other principle which should find expression in the diplomacy and policy of the world. That other expression is, that each nation should look upon every other nation if not as a real, at least as a potential friend, and that the best safeguard of the peace of the world is not in arming for conflict but in cooperating together to prevent armed conflict; and that is the principle embodied in the Covenant of the League of Nations.

We all recognize in organized society the difference between a private wrong and a public wrong. We recognize there are certain injuries which if a private citizen sustains at the hands of another citizen his redress is through the civil courts.

There are other injuries where the law steps in and says, although an injury has been done a private citizen, a public wrong has been committed, and no matter what the desire of the parties immediately concerned, justice must be vindicated and the guilty party must be punished. Therefore we have the public prosecution of public wrongs.

Too often in international affairs serious controversies between states, have been regarded as only of immediate concern to the two parties to the dispute, and each nation has claimed the right to settle its dispute with its neighbour nation in whatever way it thought best, regardless of the views or interests of the other nations of the world. The world is coming to realize the fact that there are public rights and public wrongs in international affairs, just as there are public rights and wrongs in domestic affairs in each civilized country, and it is no longer possible to permit a nation to make war upon another to redress its own grievances and so disturb the peace of the whole world, and that war, or a threat of war, in any part of the world is a matter of concern to all the nations. That is another principle which finds expression through the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Now, Mr. Speaker, let me make one or two observations in explanation of what the League is, and I ask pardon of the House for coming back to a matter which has been so frequently discussed. I do it, however, because wherever one goes one finds great misapprehension as to the purposes and functions of the League of Nations. Let me say, notwithstanding what has been so often suggested, the League is not a super-state. The League has no jurisdiction to undertake the government of the world or to settle all difficulties that may arise in various quarters of the world. I have heard the complaint made that the League is ineffective because wars are now going on in various parts of the world. The League was not organized for the purpose of making peace, following the [DOT] recent war. That is the task of the Supreme Council, and if peace has not been established up to date in many quarters of the world it is not because of any failure on the part of the League. It is because the Supreme Council, in view of the ^policy of the past and the conditions of the present, has not been able to bring about peace. The question came directly before the Council of the League some months ago on the application of the King of the Hed-jaz in complaint against France in con-

nection with certain acts committed in Lebanon. The Council of the League took the position, which is justified under the Treaty and under the Covenant, that it was not their duty to make the peace. They were organized to preserve the peace once it was made, and as peace had not been established as between Turkey and the Allied Powers, the League had no jurisdiction to intervene in that dispute.

I mention these matters because another question has been asked. What is the League doing to secure reparation from Germany for the crimes she has committed and thb losses occasioned by the war? The League, Mr. Speaker, has no jurisdiction over that matter; it is entirely beyond its jurisdiction. That is a matter entirely for the Supreme Council which must deal with that problem and settle it.

What then are the functions of the League? They are of three-fold character. I would call them the primary and secondary functions under the Covenant, and third, certain functions under the Treaties of Peace.

What is the primary function of the League under the Covenant? It is to preserve the peace of the world by the prevention of war, and to prevent war by providing a substitute for war as a means of settling international disputes. The secondary function of the League, as was so well pointed out in the address delivered by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Poster) is to provide a means for international co-operation in a large number of matters of common concern to all the nations of the world. What are the duties of the League under the Treaties of Peace? I shall give two or three illustrations. Under the Treaty of Versailles the League is responsible for naming the commission and organizing the Government of the Saar Basin. On that commission is one of our Canadian citizens, Mr. Waugh of Winnipeg, and I am sure it will be a matter of gratification to you, as it was to us, to hear from the officials of the League in Geneva the strongest testimony to the splendid service that Mr. Waugh was rendering as a member of that commission. The League had also to arrange for the government of the free city of i)antzig,_ to negotiate a Treaty between Dantzig and Poland, and to name a commissioner as governor of that city. They are responsible for guaranteeing the carrying out of certain of the clauses of the minorities treaties entered into pursuant

[Mr. Rowell. 1

to the Treaties of Peace. The League is now devoting its energies to these important functions. The Minister of Trade and Commerce has dealt with the organization of the Council and the Assembly, and I' shall therefore pass on to touch upon some phases of the work of the Assembly at Geneva which were not explained by my hon. friend the other day. The Minister of Trade and Commerce pointed out that in the organization of the Assembly we had to appoint a president. Modesty perhaps prevented him from explaining that we had also to elect vice-presidents. There were six vice-presidents who were chairmen of the six commissions of the Assembly, and there were six vice-presidents at large elected by the delegates present at the Assembly. I am sure it is a matter of congratulation to the House and the country that the chairman of the Canadian delegation was chosen as one of the vice-presidents at large of the first Assembly at Geneva. All matters which came before the Assembly were referred for consideration and report to one of the six commissions appointed by the Assembly. The subjects entrusted to these commissions were: First, Constitutional Questions; Second, Technical Organizations; Third, the permanent Court of International Justice; Fourth, the Secretariat and the Budget; Fifth, Admission of new States; and, Sixth, Armaments, Mandates, and the Economic Blockade. In the allotment of positions on these commissions it so happened that I was assigned to numbers one and two; the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) to numbers three and six; and the Chairman of our delegation, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) to numbers four and five. As the work of the Assembly progressed it appeared that commissions one and two, and four and five would meet at the same time; therefore Sir George Foster exchanged places with me, I taking his place on number five, and he taking my place on number two. Consequently in the general work of the Assembly the Minister of Trade and Commerce sat on commissions two and four, the Minister of Justice on commissions three and six, and I on commissions one and five.

Possibly the most important work of the Assembly was laying the foundations for the future. It was not simply an international conference at which men would meet to discuss certain matters and then separate, and the work would after-

wards have to be done over again. It was organizing a new body for permanent work, because any one who is interested in and believes in the future of the League looks forward to its future as not being a matter of years or decades, but a permanent organization, influencing and guiding the international life of the world. Therefore it was of the utmost importance at the first meeting of the Assembly that the foundations should be laid on sure ground, and that the Assembly in its deliberations should he kept on such secure foundations.

It followed that the questions that came before commission Number one, the commission on constitutional questions, had not only an interest for the present Assembly, hut had a real bearing upon the future of the League, and I am sure you will think I shall be taking the right course this afternoon if I devote my time to questions with which I was most immediately concerned on the two commissions on which I sat. I am certain the Minister of Justice will give the House full information with reference to the work of the commissions in which he took such an important part.

Now, Sir, let me take first the rules of procedure. That sounds simple, but we had to decide in adopting these rules whether we would follow the British parliamentary practice or the continental practice; they were not the same. In the result a composite system of rules was adopted, some from the British parliamentary practice, some from the continental practice, and on the whole they were rules which appeared to the Assembly well designed to govern the deliberations of such a body. t

There were two provisions in these rules to which I wish to draw the attention of the House, for they are important and significant having regard to the future work of the Assembly. They received emphasis at a later stage by the action of other committees. One of those rules required the budget to he submitted to the Assembly at its Annual meeting each year. Under the Constitution of the League both the Council and the Assembly have jurisdiction over matters of finance, but one of the first actions of the Assembly was to assert its authority in the voting of money for carrying on the work of the League. That will have a very important bearing on the development of the League in the future.

Another matter set forth and asserted in those rules was that each year the Council should report to the Assembly on the work done by the Council from the date of the preceding Assembly. While the

Council is supreme in any action it takes within its own jurisdiction as outlined in the Covenant, yet the Assembly laid down the principle that the Council should report to the Assembly from time to time. The members of the Council present in the Assembly-all the States were present- accepted that statement of policy. It means that in future all acts done by the Council between the meetings of the Assembly shall be reported to the Asembly at its next annual meeting. That report will be open for discussion and review, just as the Speech from the Throne is open for discussion and review, and every action of the Council may be debated in that open forum in the presence of the nations of the world and before the press of the world. This means further that matters cannot be done in secret by the Council of the League, even though its meetings are not open to the public in the same way as are the meetings of the Assembly.

Then another matter of great interest and importance, having regard to the future of the League, was the discussion of the relations between the Council and the Assembly. There is a good deal of confusion in reference to what those relations should be; there was not a little confusion in the minds of the delegates themselves; and that was natural, because the Covenant does not draw a very clear line between the functions of one and the other. But this much is clear: In matters that are expressly committed to the Council, either under the Covenant or under any of the Treaties of Peace, the Assembly has no jurisdiction to render a decision. Similarly, where matters are expressly committed to the Assembly, either under the Covenant or under any of the Treaties of Peace, the Council has no jurisdiction to give a decision. In general matters both the Council and the Assembly are competent to deal with them as they arise.

There is a third class, and an important one as events at the Assembly showed, in regard to which neither the Council nor the Assembly has authority to take final action. I am now referring to matters included within what I have referred to as the secondary functions of the League, matters which come under Article XXIII of the Covenant. That article is prefaced with a declaration to this effect:

That under the terms- of international conventions heretofore or hereafter agreed upon, the members agree to do so and so.

In other words, in those matters coming within Article XXIII the members of the

League have not committed either to the Council or to the Assembly the final authority; they have said in respect to those matters: International conventions must

be submitted to us, the terms agreed upon must be approved by us, those conventions must be executed by us, and then the Council and the Assembly may proceed to deal with those matters.

Another matter that arose in discussing the relations of the Council to the Assembly, and which occasioned a good deal of discussion, was: What was the position of a member of the Council in giving his vote in reference to the Government which appointed him; did he in giving his vote record his own opinion, or did he record the opinion of the state which named him? The question was raised in the Assembly by the distinguished representative of Italy, Signor Tittoni. He took the ground that the members of the Council were not representatives of their states, but occupied the superior position of magistrates, and were to dispose of matters on the grounds of equity and justice and the broad principles of humanity. Some of the members of the Assembly could not see any good reason why a member of the Council should not at the same time represent his state and dispose of matters on the principles of equity and justice and in the broad interests of humanity.

But that issue goes to the very basis of the efficiency of the League. If members of the League are simply there as a group of public men recording their own opinions, valuable as these opinions may be, you simply have an international debating society without power to achieve anything effective.

If, on the other hand, these delegates represent their Governments so that when they cast their vote the vote,is that of their Governments and binds their Governments only of course to the extent provided in the Covenant-you have a body of plenipotentiaries capable of negotiating and settling matters of very great international importance, and you give to the decisions of the Council and of the Assembly a value and a dignity otherwise quite impossible. That question was carefully considered and the Assembly came unanimously to the conclusion that on the proper interpretation of the Covenant, while a member may express such opinions as he sees fit and is responsible only to his own Government for his opinions, when the vote is cast it is the vote not of the delegate but of the State he represents. So all voting in the Coun-

cil and in the Assembly is by States and those votes bind the States to the extent but only to the extent mentioned in the Covenant.

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

May I interject a question? That will mean, will it not, that the representatives must always be drawn from the party which is in control of the administration of the country which they represent?

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UNION

Newton Wesley Rowell

Unionist

Mr. ROWELL:

I do not think so. The vote is cast by the chairman of the delegation, and he should cast the vote in accordance with the views of his Government. But that does not prevent the representation of other sections of the people, if the Government in question chooses to name them. It is for the Government of each country to name its delegates to the Assembly.

The only other important constitutional question to which I shall refer is that of amendments to the Government. There were three important groups of amendments: 1st the Scandinavian; 2nd the Argentine; 3rd the Canadian. Two important amendments were submitted by the Scandinavian group, first, to provide for compulsory arbitration or to give the new International Court of Justice, when created, compulsory jurisdiction; and second, to provide for the election of all the members of the Council. The Argentine delegation presented practically the same amendments; and Mr. Doherty on behalf of the Canadian delegation presented a proposal to strike out Article 10. The Assembly decided to refer all these proposals to the Council with the request that the Council appoint a Commission to consider these amendments and report to the next Assembly.

May I now refer to two constitutional questions which arose from out of the work of commission number two,-questions which have a very important bearing on the future development of the work of the League, and are of great interest to the people of this country. The first arose from the suggestion of Italy and Switzerland that the Assembly should take into consideration the question of monopolies in raw materials, and of the equitable distribution of the raw materials to the several countries of the world. It was not the first occasion on which the question had been raised. I understand, that before the Treaty was signed, Italy put forward proposals to the effect that the Cov-*

enant of the League should cover this question. These proposals were not accepted. When the International Labour Conference met in Washington in the fall of 1919 the representative of Italian labour brought forward a similar proposal and asked that a resolution should be adopted calling upon the League to institute an investigation into the world's supply of raw materials * with a view of securing their equitable distribution. On that occasion the representatives of the Government of Canada felt compelled to state clearly the position of Canada; that while she would administer her raw materials in the way that she considered just and fair to all interests involved, she could not permit any other power to interfere with the manner in which she handled this matter of purely domestic concern. When the question came up at Geneva the representatives of Canada took exactly the same position. But that did not stop the discussion. The Minister of Trade and Commerce can tell you that during the whole period of time that commission number two was in session, proposal after proposal was made; when one was unacceptable another, in modified form, was brought forward, with a view of committing the League in some form or other to this important principle. Canada, in her resistance to this proposal, was ably supported by the other Dominions and' India; the brunt of the fight against the proposal rested upon the Dominions of the British Empire and India. Great Britain as a member of the Council had already assented to an inquiry into the question of raw materials on the motion of the representative of Italy; she was therefore not in a position to oppose the resolution in the Assembly, as the Dominions were.

The objections of Canada to the proposal were on three grounds. We said that the question did not come within the scope of the Covenant; that the League of Nations was not a super State with power to take up any question it might see fit to take up; but it was an agreement among States to co-operate for certain definite purposes in the manner provided in the Covenant, and not otherwise or for other purposes. The first objection, therefore, was that the question was not within the scope of the Covenant, and that to attempt to drag it in by a side door was not fair to the nations parties to the Covenant and not fair to the League itself. Secondly, even

if you assumed for the sake of argument -though I am quite convinced you cannot do so-that you could stretch Article 23 so as to bring that question within, then Article 23 is quite clear that before you could have the right to deal definitely and finally with such a matter, you must have an international convention agreed to by the nations parties to the Covenant, and you could only act in accordance with the terms of that international convention. Just let me read the introductory clause to that Article, because we have not yet reached the end of this question. It is bound to come up in the next Assembly and at future Assemblies of the League, due to the great need of raw materials in certain countries of Europe and to the acute' distress which exists because of that lack of raw materials. No one can learn the facts in connection with the industrial life of many of these Central European countries without sympathizing-very deeply with them in their difficulties, and without being anxious to assist in providing some remedy for them. But that does not involve one's departure from the terms of this Covenant and embarking upon an impossible enterprise. The introductory clause of Article 23 is as follows :

Subject to and in accordance with the provisions of international conventions existing or hereafter to be agreed upon, the Members of the League:

And then I will come down to the provision they rely upon:

(e) will make provision to secure and maintain freedom of communications and of transit and' of equitable treatment for the commerce of all Members of the League.

Under that head of "equitable treatment for the commerce of all members of the League " they claim to bring in the question of the supply of raw material. Now, as I have said, we claim that if by any stretch of construction this question could be held to come within Article 23, then there is no right to deal with it unless and until an international convention is agreed upon among the members of the League, and then whatever action is taken must be pursuant to the terms of that Convention. If that procedure were followed, the convention when drafted, would be submitted to the Government of this country, and the Government in accordance with the precedent established in dealing with important international agreements, would submit the Convention to this House for consideration and approval.

The people of Canada would have full opportunity of discussing, of considering and reaching a conclusion on this important matter before Canada was finally committed to the policy outlined. Therefore, one can see how important it is, if we are to reserve our legitimate control over matters which do, in some respects, touch our internal or domestic affairs, that we should follow strictly the terms of the agreement embodied in the Covenant.

The third objection was the practical one. You cannot undertake to control or provide for the equitable distribution of the world's raw materials unless you undertake a measure of control of the industrial life of all the industrial nations of the world. That is utterly impracticable. Who is to say what this nation needs or what that nation shall have? Therefore, while the question is one upon which Canada feels strongly because of her position, the proposal is objectionable not only from the standpoint of Canada but equally from the standpoint of the League itself. If you hold out to the nations of Europe, who are in great industrial distress to-day because of a shortage of raw materials, that the League will provide an avenue through which they can get raw materials, and they find, as they would find, that they could not get them from the League, then you turn their anger and animosity against the League and interfere with the League carrying out its primary functions. Instead of the League being an organ for preserving the peace of the world, you make it an instrument for international friction and trouble. On the other hand if you say that the League has power to do this, you create at once on this side of the Atlantic a sentiment against any league of nations which has authority to interfere in our domestic affairs. Whether it be North or South America or the newer countries of the Eastern world, they will all be opposed to a league which has any such authority. The ground taken by Canada was constitutionally sound; it was sound from a commonsense,, practical business standpoint, and it was also greatly in the interest of the League itself.

I had intended this afternoon touching on certain other questions that arose under this article 23 of the Covenant, but I shall not do so. An opportunity will arise when the Estimates are up, if members are interested, in a discussion of those questions. Those were the proposals to create new international organizations as subsidiary of the League, one relating to communications and transit and the other re-

[Mr. Rowell. 1

lating to finance and economics. These give rise to one of the most important discussions in the Assembly. I shall now refer to the other commission upon which I sat, No. V-the admission of new states. No question excited more interest In the Assembly than the question of the admis-' sion of new states to the League. This interest, of course, related particularly to the admission of former enemy states. Austria and Bulgaria had applied for admission. Germany did not apply. The conditions which must be complied with,

- in order that a state shall be admitted to the League are set out in article 1 of the Covenant and are as follows:

Any fully self-governing state, Dominion, or Colony, not named in the annex, may become a member of the League if its admission is agreed to by two-thirds of the Assembly, provided that it shall give effective guarantees of its sincere intention to observe its international obligations, and1 shall accept such regulations as may,be prescribed by the League in regard to its military and naval forces and armaments.

Therefore, when Austria and Bulgaria applied for admission, the question immediately arose whether they were in a position to comply with the conditions of admission. Three sub-committees of commission V were appointed to examine the applications of the fourteen states which applied for admission. The sub-committees were asked to investigate and answer these five questions:

1. Was the application for admission to the League of Nations in order?

2. Is the Government recognized de jure or de facto and by which states?

3. Does the country possess a stable Government and settled frontiers? What are its size and population?

4. Is the country fully self-governing?

5. What has been the conduct of the country concerning both acts and assurances with regards to: (1) her international obligations;

(2) the prescriptions of the League of Nations as to armaments?

In the case of Austria and Bulgaria, the only point of difficulty was the second last question-have these two countries given effective guarantees or satisfactory evidence of a sincere intention to perform their international obligations? That question had to be answered in the affirmative before those States became qualified for admission to the League. After the most careful investigation from all available sources, the commission reached the conclusion that both of those States satisfied that requirement, and they recommended the admission of Austria and Bulgaria to the League. That recommendation was

adopted by the Assembly, and those States and four others were admitted. No one who sees the situation as it exists in Europe to-day can fail to recognize the importance of this step. It is a real step towards the reconciliation of Europe and, however much we may feel the wrongs of the war, however much we may cherish the feelings that were bred of the war, no man who looks out upon Europe in its present disorganized condition, where in certain sections, the very future of our civilization is in jeopardy can do other than reach the conclusion that it is of the first importance to Europe and to humanity as a whole that this reconciliation should proceed; that Europe should get back to real peace and to the spirit of peace, and to production in order to repair the loss and wastage of the war. Therefore, the admission of those two States had more significance than simply their actual admission; it was a step towards the reconciliation of Europe.

The other States admitted were Albania, Costa Rica, Finland, and Luxemberg. The States rejected were Armenia, Azerbigan, Esthonia, Georgia, Latavia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, and Ukraine. I will not discuss to-day the reasons for their rejection they all appear in the records of the Assembly, and if a discussion on them is desired, it can take place later.

Two or three questions of principle, however, arose before commission No. 5, and I wish to mention these questions of principle because they affect not only the present but the future. The first was *-Did the admission of a State to the League amount to its recognition de jure by the powers? The opinion of the jurists of the League and of eminent jurists of the great powers who were present was asked on this question, but they could not agree. Some thought that admission involved recognition de jure; others did not so consider it. When it was proposed that we should settle this question by a vote, that is, which view we should recognize, . common sense prevailed, we decided not to undertake to settle these questions of abstract principle upon which we might honestly differ; but to deal with each individual case and pass judgment upon the application of that State.

The question did arise in the case of Albania. The argument of the members of the committee who contended that admission to the League amounted to recognition de jure was that if it did amount to recognition de jure we should not admit any State

not already recognized de jure. In the case of Albania the committee reported against the admission of that State until her status should be more clearly determined. The rejection of Albania's application was moved by France and seconded by Great Britain. South Africa moved that Albania be admitted, and was supported by Canada and a number of the smaller States. The majority in the commission, was against the admission of Albania. The matter was carried into the Assembly, and South Africa on the floor of the Assembly moved the admission of Albania. South Africa was supported by Canada, and in the discussion which ensued Great Britain and France withdrew the objections which they had made in the committee and Albania was admitted to the Assembly. That was the one case in which the report of the commission as to the admission of new States was changed. Why was Albania admitted? While the war was on, by the secret Treaty of London, provision had been made for the partition of Albania, without consulting her, at a time when she was occupied by the armies of the powers, and it was agreed upon by States ,who had guaranteed her neutrality. At a later date and in order to settle the dispute' between Italy and the Serb-Croat-Slovene State it was proposed by the Supreme Council, that Albania should be partitioned. That proposition was vetoed by the action of the President of the United States, and when it was proposed that the case of Albania should stand over until her status should be more fully determined by the powers, the majority of the Assembly came to the conclusion that they could not recognize either the legality or the justice of any group of powers undertaking to provide for the partition of a smaller State which had done no wrong, and they determined to put it out of the hands of the powers to carve up Albania in the future by admitting her to the League, and by article ten all the States became guarantors of her territorial integrity. That, of course, particularly applied to her neighbours the other Balkan States, who were not particularly anxious to have her admitted.

One other question cf principle came before this committee, which I wish to mention. It was proposed, in this case by South Africa, I believe, without full consideration, that hereafter no State should be_ admitted to the League unless that State entered into a Treaty similar to the Minorities Treaty entered into by certain of the new central European States as a condition of their recognition as sovereign

States. The Minorities Treaties provided for the protection of the racial minorities that were transferred by the terms of the peace treaty from their existing sovereignty to a new sovereignty. It guaranteed them their language, their religion, their schools, and Government grants. In other words, the design was to perpetuate the racial minority in all its rights and privileges and status. The objection to that proposal, as a general proposition, was twofold. First, we should not add to the conditions of the Covenant for admission to the League a new condition. The object should be to facilitate the entrance of States into the League, rather than to impose barriers against their coming in. Secondly, although that principle under the conditions existing in Europe was probably essential for the preservation of peace in Europe, it did not apply to the conditions existing in the new world. It did not apply to the conditions existing in Canada, where apart from the two great races and the two religions the policy is not to perpetuate the various racial minorities that come to us from Europe and other parts of he world. The policy is not to have a little England, a little Ireland, a little Scotland, a little Belgium, a little Germany, and a little France all over this country. The policy is to develop a Canadian nationality. The policy is assimilation rather than perpetuation of the divers races and creeds that exist in Europe. We do not want to transplant the troubles and the prejudices of central Europe to this new world, and therefore the position taken was that you should not attempt to lay down as a general policy covering the whole world a principle that is applicable only to a section of the world; that while, if you were dealing with a European organization only it might be perfectly proper to lay down that principle, in dealing with a world organization it was wholly wrong to lay down a principle that would not apply to the whole world. The resolution was therefore amended to meet these objections, and it passed, Canada not voting on the matter.

There was a good deal of informal conversation about Russia, the United States and Germany, entering the League, but I shall not enter into that this afternoon.

Everyone recognizes that the Russian situation must be cleared up in some way before Europe can return to normal conditions. One hundred and seventy millions of people in Russia have been producing in the past great quantities of food stuffs and raw materials for the consumption of

[Mr. Rowell.1

the nations of the world. That production has largely ceased, and until it is restored the other nations will want for food and raw materials. On the other hand, Russia has been a great purchaser of the world's manufactured articles. She is no longer a purchaser, and until she becomes a purchaser again, there must be tens of thousands of workmen out of employment who in the past were engaged in the manufacture of goods for Russian consumption. The world is greatly interested in clearing up the Russian situation, but I think every one at Geneva recognized that the situation could only be cleared up by the Russian people themselves, and that the less outside interference there was with Russia the more speedily she would settle her own problems. Speaking for myself, I must say that I sincerely hope that the trade agreement which Great Britain has negotiated with Russia will be ratified by the two government, so that international trade may commence to flow again between these two countries, for I believe that nothing will more quickly bring the Russian people to an appreciation of the benefits of sound constitutional democratic government than free communication with the other nations of the world. So, while the Assembly was acutely concerned in the future of Russia, and in the attitude of Russia, I am sure the Assembly felt that the least said and the freer we left Russia to work out her own destiny and settle her own problems as to her form of government, the more likely we were to promote the peace of the world.

I shall not discuss the question of Germany. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) put the case, as I believe it was viewed by the Assembly, and he also, I believe stated the situation with respect to the United States in the way it was viewed by the Assembly.

I have only this remark to make. When one ask, will the United States come in? let me remind you that we asked exactly the same question during the first two-and-a-half years of war, while the United States discussed and debated the question, [DOT] and events in that country developed. The result was that the circumstances of the situation, plus the conscience and judgment of the American people, brought them into the war and we know the powerful assistance and the hearty co-operation they gave towards bringing the war to a victorious conclusion. I believe the same result will follow in the case of the League of Nations, and that after they are through their discussion and consideration,

perhaps not exactly in the present form of the Covenant but in some satisfactory form, the events of the world, the compulsion that comes from world events, plus the judgment and conscience of the American people, will bring them into the League. Whether they come or not is a matter for themselves and for themselves alone to settle, but the nations of the world will give them a most cordial welcome into the League. Apparently one of the surprises of the Assembly was the independent attitude of the representatives from the Dominions of the British Empire. The representatives from the majority of the states apparently went to Geneva believing that the views of the Dominions and their votes would necessarily follow the views and votes of Great Britain; and when they found this view did not prevail, there was very great surprise. When one of the Canadian delegates incidentally mentioned, by way of illustrating a certain point, that we in Canada did not even permit the statesmen of the Mother Country, for whom we had the greatest respect and administration, to interfere with our domestic affairs, they thought it was proclaiming a revolution. They had an idea that the statesmen of Great Britain managed our affairs. The London Times correspondent remarked that the Assembly would have been worth while if for no other reason than to enable the nations of the world to see, by actual demonstration, what the British Empire really is. The representatives of the nations thought that an empire could not exist in which the various parts had freedom to express their own opinions. They failed to appreciate the fact that this is the very reason why the British Empire does exist, and that without freedom it could not exist at all. They had not realized that the self-governing Dominions have passed from the colonial status and are now free self-governing and sovereign states under a common sovereign, on an equality with the Mother Country. I am sure the experience of other delegates present at the Assembly will confirm the conclusion which I know I reached, that Canada had a larger liberty, a more real independence, and a vastly greater influence as one of the states of the British Commonwealth than she could possibly have as an independent state outside the British Empire. While we claim the fullest freedom for the individual parts of the Empire we must also keep in view the

importance of maintaining the unity of the Empire as a whole. One is just as important as the other. When the forces of disintegration are at work among the various peoples and nations of the world, there is no force existing to-day with such a stabilizing influence for law and order, and peace and justice, as the British Commonwealth of free nations. I am asked if the League will succeed-

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Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BELAND:

May I say a word before my hon. friend considers that point. I thought he was going on to speak on the question of the admission of states to the League. Will he gratify the House by emphasizing somewhat the point regarding the admission of Germany, in regard to which the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Foster) spoke? Is he in a position to say whether the general sentiments of the members of the League were in favour of or were opposed to the admission of Germany at the present time?

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Newton Wesley Rowell

Unionist

Mr. ROWELL:

It is difficult to express any more than one's own personal opinion on such a matter. Germany did not apply for admission to the League, therefore the question did not come before the Assembly in any form on which it could take action. It was mentioned several times in the debates and many delegates expressed the hope that Germany would be admitted at an early date. One of the most striking incidents of the whole Assembly occurred during the discussion on the admission of Austria. M. Motta, President of Switzerland, and one of the ablest delegates in the Assembly, speaking on the admission of Austria expressed the hope that the time would not be far distant when Germany, the United States and Russia would be admitted, pressing the contention that the League would not accomplish its greatest results or perform its best service to the world until these other Great Powers were admitted. He had no sooner mentioned the word Germany than M. 'Viviani immediately arose and asked for the floor, and when the President of Switzerland resumed his seat, M. Viviani delivered the most eloquent and moving oration of the whole Assembly. When he resumed his seat he was given an ovation by the entire Assembly. ' In that very eloquent and impassioned speech M. Viviani based his argument on Article 1 of the Covenant, and his contention was that Germany had not yet given evidences of her sincere intention to perform her international obligations, and

speaking on behalf of France he said: "When Germany did give evidence of such an intention they would no longer object to her admission to the League." All that is the point upon which the controversy will arise, and it is a question upon which the various states would no doubt record their opinion, as they believed in the sincerity of Germany's intentions or did not so believe. In the provisions of the Reparations Agreement which was recently submitted by the Supreme Council to Germany and which is to be discussed at the Conference to be held in London next week, it was stated in the press that one of the penalties which was to be imposed on Germany if she did not carry out the agreement was exclusion from the League of Nations. That has been stated in several press despatches. I understand that that is not the form of the clause in the agreement. The clause is to the effect that they will not sanction the admission of Germany. The Supreme Council have no right to determine whether Germany shall or shall not be admitted. That is a matter which is left exclusively to the Assembly. The Assembly is the only body who can determine the admission of new states. I take it that all that this declaration in the Reparations Agreement means is that the powers represented at the Supreme Council, say to Germany; "If you do not carry out this agreement we will not ourselves sanction your admission," and they would justify that no doubt on the ground that if she did not carry out those terms she would not have furnished evidence of her sincere intention to observe her international obligations. I hope I have answered by hon. friend's question.

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Newton Wesley Rowell

Unionist

Mr. ROWELL:

You ask, Will the League succeed? Its form may change, but the ideals for which it stands will prevail because they meet a great human need. It has been said truly: 'Humanity has struck her tents and fs on the march.' She is leaving the low plains, strewn with the bodies of her dead, where the sounds of her drums are almost drowned by the cries of the wounded and the dying. She is on the march to the high uplands, which promise a new order and a better day. The way may be long and difficult;- therfe are many obstacles to be overcome and heights to be scaled; the journey may cost much in tears, in blood and in treasure-but the bugle will never sound the retreat. Humanity is on the march and will not

pitch her tents till the heights are scaled and the uplands are reached. Canada, breathing the free and invigorating air of the new world, untrammeled by either the prejudices or'the traditions of the old, is in the very forefront of this advance. If our faith and our courage fail us not we will keep our place until the goal is reached.

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Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. FERNAND RINFRET (St. James) :

Mr. Speaker, I will frankly admit at the start that it is not my intention to join in the chorus of praise a,nd eulogy which has been uttered with respect to the new Prime Minister by the originators of this debate. Not that I underestimate the ability of the Prime Minister, but to my mind his name is associated with some of the nefarious measures which have been put through this ' Parliament and from which the Canadian people are still suffering. I consider him responsible to a certain degree for the feeling of unrest and mistrust which at present prevails in the country, and in strict accordance with the terms of the amendment of the leader of the Opposition I charge him with usurping power and occupying an indefensible and unconstitutional position at the head of a Government which has not been, and never will be, given mandate by the Canadian people. I am not ignorant of the courtesy that we should certainly accord to the right hon. gentleman, but I consider the debt has been paid, and possibly overpaid, by our leader himself, whose courtesy was met in a very strange way. What did the Prime Minister, with that sardonic smile and irrepressible irony which are customary to him, say to the leader of the Opposition. Let me quote the Prime Minister's words:

I assure him here and now that if the essential humour of his addresses is always to be so thinly covered by a veil of argrument and satire our relations will never be disturbed in parliament.

Possibly, Mr. Speaker, I should not interfere, but I may be permitted to say that if weak arguments make for good friendships we should not feel so bitter towards the Prime Minister on account of his last speech.

The debate on the Address and the amendment thereto has already lasted for a week and has wandered somewhat from the main point in discussion, as is often the case under such circumstances. My intention is to restrict my observations to the main point of discussion, and to discuss the right of the present Government to retain power and to administer the affairs of the

country under the prevailing circumstances. To do so it may be necessary to throw a brief glance at what has taken place in, or around, the Government since the last session. My right hon. friend became Prime Minister on a warm July day last summer. The Unionist party was dying, in fact it had become moribund, and it seemed imperative to its leaders that a new group, or the semblance of a new affiliation, should be formed; and much, Mr. Speaker, as Unionism had been formed in 1917 to cover the sins and the omissions of the war Tory party, this right hon. gentleman was entrusted with the task of forming the semblance of a new party to cover the sins and omissions of Unionism. Accordingly the right hon. gentleman was chosen-not by the people, not even by a convention representing the Conservative Party at large; he was chosen by a group of parliamentarians who formed part of the crumbling remnants of the majority of 1917. The right hon. gentleman was satisfied with the choice, and with the little authority that it conveyed, and he went to work on his programme and began his appeal to the people. Do not, Mr. Speaker, be deceived by this statement. When I say " his appeal to the people " I do not mean an appeal through the polls but an appeal through speeches. He did not tell the people " Vote and decide for yourselves." He said "Listen and see how nicely I can speak." Then my right hon. - friend formed his Cabinet. He gathered around him some of the Ministers of the old Administration who were ready to serve unde: him and he infused new blood by choosing two of his partisans out of the majority of 1917. He was very careful to choose them in constituencies where there would be no risk in the by-election. My right hon. friend's party is bragging about these victories in St. John and Colchester; but, Mr. Speaker, it was not surprising that out of over one hundred partisans the Government was able to pick two constituencies where it could safely risk an election. I will frankly admit the personal reputation of my right hon. friend as a great debater. This it was that gave rise to the legend, very carefully spread throughout the country, that the new Saviour was born, that the old Tory Party had been rejuvenated, and that very bright days were ahead fo: the Ministry. By that time the magnates of the new administration had got together and had decided upon a new title for the Party. They gave it the compound and complex name of the National Liberal and Conservative Party. It is very striking, Mr. Speaker, how history repeats itself. We have read of another period in our history when something like this took place. A speech of Hon. Edward Blake has often been quoted in this House, reciting what took place when the Liberal-Conservative Party was formed in the Eighties. I do not now wish to quote from that speech more than a few of the more striking passages. Here they are:

The Tory Party in the old world and in Canada has from time to time chosen to adopt aliases, it has chosen to adopt new names,- it has designated itself by a variety of epithets which it thought from time to time would conceal its identity, and would enable it to mislead under a new and more attractive guise. It was not the Tory Party at all I had to oppose when I first came to the County of Bruce. It was the Coalition Party-the "Party of Union and Progress." They were quite insulted if you called them Tories. Then there was a No-Party Party. Then there was a Patent Combination Party. Then it became the National Policy Party. As Liberal principles grew strong they have from time to time called themselves "Liberal-Conservatives", in order that they might get weak-kneed Reformers to join them because of the name liberal.

These remarks of the Hon. Edward Blake are very striking because again to-day we have a coalition looking for a name, or rather we have a title which misrepresents as M. Blake pointed out; we have a few week-kneed reformers, trailing round behind the right hon. gentleman who leads the Government.

Anyway, the Prime Minister went on his great speaking tour, and he first staged his Barnum-like circus in Sherbrooke. We feel very grateful to him for having chosen our native province to make his initial bow as the angel of peace and harmony. What was his message to the province of Quebec? That all the misunderstandings of the past were to be forgotten, that all the slanderous posters, all the code telegrams and all the vote manipulations were to be ignored; nothing survived, Mr. Speaker, but his great love for the province of Quebec. And the host of paid supporters, who had been given free transportation from Montreal to Sherbrooke, surrounded him on the platform and applauded him so heartily that the Tory press throughout the country was enabled to report that he was winning the heart of the province of Quebec, and to spread the belief in Ontario and the West that he was winning fresh support from us. This comedy of the Sherbrooke meeting, coupled with the by-elections in the Maritime provinces, was framed, I say, to convince the people that this new party was going to be very vigorous under the leadership of the right hon. gentleman.

But alas, a series of mishaps followed, and soon dispersed to the winds the "thin humour," as my right hon. friend would say, of that comedy. The first of these mishaps was his vain effort to have the Canadian people forget his own record and that of the past Administration and to confine their attention mainly to the tariff. It is true, there had been war scandals; it is true, there had been a general state of waste and incompetency; it is true, there had been a lamentable disregard of public interests; it is true, there had been a disastrous railway policy, originated by my right hon. friend and carried out to the point of collapse; it is true, there had been electoral shifts and distortions which were due to my right hon. friend's inventive genius. But that did not count-nothing counted but the tariff; and the Prime Minister, called to the bar of public opinion, assumed the attitude of the defendant in a court of justice who asked on what ground he was first to be tried, and said: "Try me, not on what I did in the past, but on what I will do in the future."

Another mishap was that {remarkable peroration delivered by the Prime Minister in Granby and other centres, when he portrayed himself as the nation's saviour and all his adversaries as nation wreckers, anarchists and bolshevists. I know that my right hon. friend has laboured very patiently to establish that he never .said that, but even his own explanation retains very much of the doubtful flavour of the original declaration. Here is what the Montreal Gazette reported of his Granby speech:

The Premier proceeded to show how the Parmer's Party was committed to free trade, and that the strength of that organization was enhanced by the undoubted fact that it had joined hands with and dragged behind it-all the malcontents and restless elements of the *country. "X do not say that the leaders of that party, much less their followers, want to overturn responsible government, but I do say that those with whom they have aligned themselves, as, for instance, the Winnipeg and Vancouver seditionists, had as their goal the upsetting of the system of government in Canada."

When the right hon. Prime Minister was confronted with these words this is the explanation he gave to Mr. Drury himself:

A new party has arisen in Canada, best described as a farmers' free trade party. It has issued a platform. It demands to be placed in power in Canada. It has covered under its banner and trails behind it every class of theorist and malcontent, and to-day, beyond all doubt, it constitutes the most numerous and strongest organization opposed to the present Government. "Indeed," added the Prime Minister, "at other points I plainly stated that the

farmers were not inimical to responsible government, but unfortunately had aligned with them many others who were."

In another instance when confronted with the charge of having said those words in Granby he was more concise-he flatly and emphatically declared that he had never said anything of the kind at Sherbrooke.

New mishaps came later in the shape of by-elections,-not in those safe constituencies which had been carefully chosen by the right hon. gentleman, but in by-elections in counties which were opened in the ordinary course of events. It is not my intention to analyze the vote in Yale,-that has been done before, and we all know that the majority of the Government dwindled practically to nothing. Nor is it my intention to analyze the vote which was given in East Elgin, an old Tory county, where the Farmers' candidate was elected.

But perhaps we should stop, and it is very refreshing to do so, at the result in West Peterborough. We now have the official figures of that election, and what do they show, Mr. Speaker? They show that not only the Liberal candidate had a plurality of over one thousand, but also that the Government candidate was defeated by the combined registered vote of his opponents to the extent of over four thousand. But we hear them say that the Tory vote was split between Mr. Burnham and Mr. Denne, and that the support given to Mr. Burnham would have been transferred to the Government's candidate had Mr. Burnham not been in the field. Well, let us see the kind of appeal Mr. Burnham made to the electorate in that particular instance. I have here his manifesto, but I will quote only the first two paragraphs, as they are very interesting: He states:

Owing to my resignation a by-election will be held here on February 7th. I resigned because when Liberals and others joined in electing me to support the Union Government of Sir Robert Borden in 1917, I promised, as did Sir Robert Borden and those supporting him, to go to the people in a general election when the war was over. Without that promise it would have been useless and unfair to ask for Liberal support. Union Liberals were warned against a trap, but they could not believe that anybody would betray their trust. And who would have believed it? The Union Governement was elected for the period of the war, and no longer.

But the war eneded and the Union Government ended,-

So states Mr. Burnham.

-and why was the promised general election not held? Because, without any mandate or mission from anybody on earth but themselves,

Messrs. Meighen and Calder seized the reins of

power and announced to an astonished Canada a new Government and a new party? "The National Liberal and Conservative Party." The members- of the Conservative Party and of the Liberal Party were directed to hand in their submission to the new Party without delay. Was there ever such a hold-up staged' before? This is the age of hold-ups, it is true, but till now no one has attempted to run off with two parties and a whole state.

It will be seen from this manifesto of Mr. Burnham that not only the Liberal vote and the Farmer vote of that constituency went against the candidate of the right hon. Prime Minister, but also at least fifty per cent of the Conservative vote polled by Mr. Burnham.

So significant was the result that the next morning an editorial appeared in the Montreal Gazette, which said:

Why not an appeal?

The Government has declared its intention to live out its term, and constitutionally has a right so to do. Its parliamentary majority may prolong its existence for nearly another two years. But, will it continue as a strong Ministry for that period? A majority somewhat perilous when Parliament prorogued has been reduced. The bye-elep-tions won by the Government mean merely the retention of seats, and indicate no new popular confidence, while the contested seats like East Elgin and West Peterboro have swung to the Opposition, and weakened to that extent the strength of the Ministry. Gqvernments are not constitutionally upset by loss of a bye-election or two, but no government can disregard the hand-writing; and above all no government can gain in the present, nor survive in the future, thht does not owe its existence to popular support.

Further, the Gazette says:

If more time permitted, Parliament might have another session, and, after redistribution of seats, dissolve the House. In ordinary course, this would he the way of procedure, the. way we have hoped would he pursued ; but in the circumstance of adverse results from recent by-elections the situation is changed, and the advice we have to give to the Government is to proceed with the Supply Bill and then permit the electorate to express its preference for parties in order that stable administration and confident policy may be carried on. The situation is now uncertain; the life of the Ministry hangs by a thread; and under this circumstance strong and effective administration of affairs is impossible.

Did my hon. friend pay any attention to this advice from his friends?

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Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

Did he pay any attention to the popular verdict in Peterborough? Did the Government decide to appeal to the people? A few days later we had the reply in the Gazette correspondence emanating from Ottawa, with the following headlines, which were very clear:

New Ministers have already been Selected. Problem now is to Create Necessary Vacancies. By-Elections as Test Government's Fixed Policy

"Fixed policy."

-is to retain power for Two More Sessions.

I will not read the correspondence, but I would like to read the last paragraph:

If such an amendment was adopted, or the Government lost further by-elections, an darly appeal to the country would) be obligatory. Under/ such circumstances the Government will carefully select test constituencies, except in the Province of Quebec, where the choice is very limited. The Ontario constituencies in view are counted safe for the Government, as are the Western constituencies that will be offered representation in the Government. It is the fixed policy of the Government to retain power for two more sessions. v

The Gazette had foreseen the amendment which came from the Opposition.

Quite a curious policy. That was the response to the people. But, Mr. Speaker, the verdict in Peterborough was not "Reorganize;" it was: "Clear out." But my hon. friend will not clear out; he will reorganize in choice constituencies, of which the number is "very limited" in Quebec.

My right hon. friend has been angling for months in Quebec for a fish, as the member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) very aptly and very properly put it yesterday. But the fish do not seem to be in biting form just now. The hon. gentleman has come to us begging for support. In 1917 we were bad, disloyal citizens, pro-German, slackers; but now my hon. friend comes to us and begs us to aid him against another class of bad citizens-those anarchists, Bolshevists and revolutionary farmers from the West.

The action of the Ministry in my province has been very properly compared to that of the old farmer's dog which goes part of the way with every passer-by but always comes back alone. One of the passers-by has stopped at the gate-possibly I should say, sat on the fence, but in this case it seems that after looking him over the dog decided not to come back. Such was the situation when the House met a week ago.

After the Address in Reply had been moved the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) very properly offered a motion of non-confidence in the Government. By what right, asked the leader of the Opposition, does the Government hold power? If it is a new Government it should appeal to the people. If it is an old Government, its mandate ceased with the war.

He showed very clearly that the main issue in 1917 was the war, the sending of reinforcements to the Canadian Army in the trenches.

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Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

only two speeches in support of the attitude of the Government, the speech of the Prime Minister himself and that of the hon. member for St. Hyacinthe-Rouville (Mr. Gauthier), the one because he does not want to get out and the other because he is very anxious to get in. But the Government and its supporters have offered no argument; they have not even attempted to justify their course of action, their usurpation of power, their desperate clinging to office in face of an unwilling and ever protesting people.

But they say they we are not sincere. They say we are moved by political considerations. They say we are bluffing. Well, if they think we are not sincere, if they really think we are bluffing, why do not they call our hand? I say Mr. Speaker, that we are animated by no such motives. We are not seeking any party advantage. We are merely conveying to the foot of your Chair the persistent and ever-growing clamour of the Canadian people for a general election. This clamour can be heard all over the Dominion. It comes from the Pacific coast, from the mavellous region of the Rockies, from the great billowy plains of the West, from the industrial centres and the farming districts of Ontario, from the ever loyal and over-slandered province of Quebec, and from the peaceful yet progressive provinces by the Atlantic. All with one voice are claiming a right dearly fought for in earlier years, and enjoyed in the past, but which is denied them to-day- the right to elect their representatives. It may be that the general elections will bring back the Liberals to power; it may be that they will return the Farmers; it may be that they will give the victory to another group or party. But that is not the question; we are not arguing for advancement, we are arguing principles and the constitution; we are not clamouring for power for ourselves, but we are asking for power for whatever party can command a majority in a proper and newly elected Parliament representing the paramount will and the indestructible rights of the Canadian people.

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John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. JOHN WESLEY EDWARDS (Fron-tenac) :

Mr. Speaker, I should like to add my humble word of praise to those which have already been passed upon the mover and the seconder of the Address. I also wish to avail myself of this opportunity to convey to the Prime Minister (Mr. Meighen) my most hearty congratulations on his elevation to the high position which he now occupies. I think, Sir, when we lay aside our party differences, we are all

,

agreed that the people of the Dominion of Canada, as much as the people of any other country in the world, have reason to be proud of the men who from time to time have occupied the position of Prime Minister of Canada, and it is my firm and pleasing conviction that in the present Prime Minister we have a man who will maintain the best traditions of his office, and be worthy of his distinguished predecessors.

The hon. member for Yale (Mr. Mac-Kelvie), in the course of his admirable address, made specific and special reference to the question of apples. It may be of interest to that hon. gentleman to know-[DOT] and I desire to bring this up while the hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King), is here, if he would not mind staying for a moment-that last year this question was brought up in the House in a speech made by the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar). On that occasion the hon. member for Annapolis (Mr. Davidson) asked this question of the hon. member for Marquette:

Is the jion. gentleman in favour of making apples free?

The answer given by the hon. member for Marquette was:

Certainly, I am in favour of making apples free. My hon. friend from Annapolis is badly mistaken if he thinks he is putting a poser to me in that regard.

I commend the hon. member for Marquette for his candour in answering that question. There was no equivocation, no side-stepping, no quibbling. He was not at that time disposed to deal with that particular item of the tariff at all events, by a method which has since occurred to him-the method of easy stages. Now we know where the hon. member for Marquette, the leader of the Southeast party here, stands in regard to that particular item in the tariff. We also know the attitude of the Government. The Government stands for protection for the fruit industry. Now the question I wish to address to the hon. leader of the Opposition is the question that was put last session by the hon. member for Annapolis to the leader of the Southeast party. I wish to ask him this question: Are you in favour of

making apples free? I trust my voice carried across to the hon. gentleman's desk.

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Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. While the hon. member for Frontenac is quite within his right in submitting a question, I must point out to him that it would be a most

unusual proceeding1 if an hon. member who had the floor were at liberty to interrogate individual members in their seats and expect a reply. It is not in order. Ia has never been done, and it may not be done. The only occasion upon which a question can properly be put and an answer be expected, is when an hon. member who is speaking is addressed by an hon. member from his seat.

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Michael Clark

Progressive

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK (Red Deer) :

May I ask, Mr. Speaker, whether the hon. member for Frontenac is in order in defining a party by a point of the compass?

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John Wesley Edwards

Unionist

Mr. EDWARDS:

I do not think that it would be easy to define the party to which my hon. friend belongs by anything more definite than a point of the compass. I was alluding to its location in this chamber. It remains to be seen whether the party itself will define itself any more definitely in the future. Before I sit down I shall endeavour to show that it has not definitely defined its position so far, but as a matter of fact has shifted its position on many occasions, as my hon. friend from Red Deer has done more than once.

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February 18, 1921