Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Yesterday the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) asked if I would lay on the table the dispatch from Colonial Secretary Harcourt concerning the flag that is flown in Canada, to which reference had been made on the previous evening. I have the dispatch in my hand and I think it would be of interest to hon. members generally to be apprised of it. If the house will permit, I should like to read the communications. The first is:
Ebenezer, Saskatchewan, Canada, March 11, 1911.
His Imperial Majesty,
King George V.
I am the teacher at one of the public schools in the Canadian northwest.
An order has recently been issued by the department of education that every school in the dominion shall fly the national flag, and there seems some uncertainty amongst the people in this locality as to the flag this school shall have. I hold that the Union Jack pure and simple, is the national flag of the British empire throughout the world; but find some people on this side of the Atlantic have a notion that the "red ensign" with Canadian coat of arms (the naval flag) should be used in Canada.
I shall be much obliged therefore if you would say which is in order.
Trusting to receive the favour of your reply. I beg, etc.,
John F. Stedman.
Colonial Secretary Harcourt wrote to the Governor General in connection with this letter as follows:
12 April, 1911.
I have the honour to transmit to Your Excellency a copy of a letter received by the King's private secretary from Mr. J. F. Stedman respecting the national flag to be flown in Canada.
I shall be glad if Your Excellency will cause the writer to be informed that the Union Jack is the national flag of Canada as of all other parts of His Majesty's dominions.
I have the honour to be,
Your Lordship's most obedient, humble servant,
The Right Honourable,
Earl Grey, G.C.M.G., G.C.Y.O.,
There are two other communications I should like to read, the first being:
2nd May, 1912.
The Secretary of State for the Colonies,
Will you kindly inform me what is, according to correct usage, the proper flag for a citizen of the British empire to use in his own grounds or on his house on say 24th May or Dominion day or other occasion when flags are used.
I mean by this, is the red ensign correct on land: as it is said by some to be the exclusive flag of the merchant marine. Is the flag of Canada correct for this decorative purpose? (Red ensign with badge of Canada in the fly.) Is the Union Jack correct? May any or all of these flags be used by a private citizen, who has no official rank?
Kindly address me, care of the general office: National Transcontinental railway, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Yours very truly,
George S. Hodgins.
The next communication, reads:
21st May, 1912.
I have the honour to transmit to your Royal Highness a copy of a letter from Mr. G. S. Hodgins in regard to the flag which should be used by private persons who are British subjects.
2. I should be glad if you would be good enough to cause Mr. Hodgins to be informed that the Union flag is the national flag of Canada as of all other parts of His Majesty's dominions, and may be flown on land by all British subjects: and that the red ensign, with the arms of the dominion of Canada in the fly, is intended to be used only by Canadian merchant vessels.
I have the honour to be,
Your Royal Highness' most obedient humble servant,
Governor General His Royal Highness
The Duke of Connaught and of Strathearn,
Subtopic: DISPATCH FROM COLONIAL SECRETARY REFERRED TO IN DEBATE ON A CANADIAN FLAG