For a copy of all agreements, correspondence, letters, telegrams, memoranda, reports and other documents exchanged, from January 1. 1940 to December 31, 1946, between the government of Canada or any department or officer thereof and any officer, agent or representative of West Kootenay Power and Light Co. Ltd., or Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd., or of either of them or of any other corporation concerned with, interested in or participating in the construction of a dam and power plant on the Kootenay river near Brilliant, British Columbia, together with statements, accounts and reports showing the total cost of this project and the amount of accelerated depreciation allowed to any one or all of the above corporations in connection with their respective income taxes or excess profits taxes in respect of the above mentioned power project.
Topic: CONSOLIDATED MINING AND SMELTING COMPANY-BRILLIANT DAM-DEPRECIATION AND TAXES
I would call the attention of hon. members to the fact that it is not for the Speaker to decide if a notice of motion for the production of papers is to stand or to be adopted. I would ask the minister concerned to cooperate with the Speaker in order that he may give the house the proper answer.
Topic: CONSOLIDATED MINING AND SMELTING COMPANY-BRILLIANT DAM-DEPRECIATION AND TAXES
This concerns more than one department, and we are investigating to see whether we can comply with the request. We are not prepared yet to say whether we will give the information or not. We think we will be able to do so on Monday.
Topic: CONSOLIDATED MINING AND SMELTING COMPANY-BRILLIANT DAM-DEPRECIATION AND TAXES
Mr. Speaker, this being private members' day, there is no opportunity to direct questions to a minister. I should like the consent of the house, however, to permit one question being asked. The Minister of Agriculture made certain announcements this afternoon with respect to the adjustment of the prices of certain dairy products. The question I wish to ask has to do with another food product, namely, fish, on which no such action has been taken.
In view of the prevailing relatively low prices for fish in the maritime provinces and in central Canada, will the Minister of Fisheries advise what steps the government is taking to meet this situation and, more specifically, will he consider proclaiming the Fisheries Prices Support Act, 1944, so that steps may be taken to establish floor prices for this product?
As there are no orders of the day, I believe the question is out of order. However, I will say that this matter has been and is receiving the constant attention of the department, and it is the intention of the government to proclaim the Fisheries Prices Support Act just as soon as a suitable person is selected to be chairman of the board.
That, in the opinion of this house, at the next conference of the representatives of the United Kingdom and of the dominions, the representatives of the dominion of Canada should request the conference to adopt a resolution recommending to the parliament of the United Kingdom and the parliaments of the dominions that an act be passed making it lawful for His Most Gracious Majesty to make such alteration in style and
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titles of His Majesty, more particularly so as^ to include in such style and titles the words-"King of Canada."
He said: This resolution is, I fear, rather of a technical nature, but given the present status of Canada, of a very practical importance. It expresses the wish of this house that at the next conference of the nations of the commonwealth, the latter will pray His Majesty to make an alteration in his title so as to include therein the words "King of Canada". The title of His Majesty the King is based upon the proclamation under an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom known as the Royal Titles Act of 1901. It was altered in 1931 to give effect to Certain resolutions adopted by the imperial conference of 1926. I wish to quote a passage from the report of the interimperial relations committee of this conference, usually called the Balfour declaration:
They are autonomous communities within the British empire equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or internal affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the crown, and freely associated as members of the British commonwealth.
This declaration makes clear the spirit which prevailed at that time. It was conducive to a new legal status and to an alteration in the royal title.
On this point may I quote Doctor Maurice Ollivier, joint law clerk of the House of Commons, from his excellent book which I dare say most members of parliament have read, "Problems of Canadian Sovereignty", at pages 300 and 301:
The royal title has been altered three times in the last sixty-five years. The title which had been proclaimed under the Royal Title Act of 1901 was "George Y, by the Grace of God. of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British dominions beyond the seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India."
When the Irish Free State acquired the status of a dominion, it was recognized that this form of title hardly accorded with the altered^ state of affairs. Having ascertained His Majesty's wishes and obtained his consent a slight change was made pursuant to the recommendation of the conference of 1926 so that the royal title is now: "George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain. Ireland and the British dominions beyond the seas King, Defender of the Faith. Emperor of India."
It is also a convention that this title and that the act relating to the succession should not be altered without the consent of all the dominions. This proposition of the conferences of 1926. 1929 and 1930 appears in the following lines of the preamble of the Statute of Westminster.
"And whereas it is meet and proper to set out by way of preamble to this act that, inasmuch as tile crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British commonwealth of nations, and as they are united by a common
allegiance to the crown, it would be in accord with the established constitutional position of all the members of the commonwealth in relation to one another that any alteration in the law touching the succession to the throne or the royal style and titles shall hereafter require the assent as well of the parliaments of all the dominions as of the parliament of the United Kingdom."
But if we refer to the Statute of Westminster, we shall see that Canada has been given the right to pass her own laws, without the consent of the parliament of the United Kingdom. May I refer hon. members to sections two, three, four and eleven of the Statute of Westminster with which they are acquainted and which I need not read here?
Those provisions deal with the repeal of the Colonial Laws Validity Act, 1865, with extra-territorial powers, with the inapplicability of the acts of the United Kingdom to the dominions, and finally to the word ''colony", in Imperial Statutes, which is stated not to extend to the "dominion".
According to this legislation, Canada was no longer a colony. She had the right to pass laws relating to internal and external affairs-As a member of the British commonwealth, she had become one of the realms of His Majesty the King.
As to external affairs, may I again quote Doctor Ollivier at page 293:
By the statute of Westminster, Canada has complete freedom from control administratively, judicially and legislatively. Having those powers, Canada is sovereign and as evidence of her sovereignty she fulfils the two international tests of sovereignty, entering into treaties with foreign countries quite independently of the United Kingdom, as we have seen, and exchanging diplomatic representatives with them.
At the time the Statute of Westminster was passed, Canada had not yet legislated on most of the subjects on which she was entitled to legislate. But, since then, many laws have come into force under the authority of our parliament.
Since the adoption of the Statute of Westminster, not a session has passed without the Canadian parliament legislating in consequence thereof. This legislation has covered a very wide field, and our government has tackled therein many problems with courage and vision, problems which previously were to a certain extent, if not entirely, outside our jurisdiction.
Those acts, amongst other matters, dealt with the shipping laws, the admiralty, the exchequer court, the oaths of allegiance, the abdication of His Majesty, official secrets, the royal seals, the navy, the army and the air force, etc.
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All this legislation-and I have mentioned only some of the statutes-has given a new status and a new importance to the body of our federal laws. The alteration that has occurred is due to the constitutional evolution of our country which has been brought about in an orderly manner with the inevitability of gradualness.
I want to put on the record a further quotation from Doctor Ollivier's book at page 316:
We now possess all the attributes of a sove-* reign state, amongst others: the right to legislate without interference, right of foreign diplomatic representation, right of abolishing appeals to the privy council, extra-territorial powers, and finally the right to decide what amendments if any, are to be made to the Canadian constitution.
To illustrate better the constitutional evolution of the dominion, it is interesting to turn back the pages of contemporary history a few years and to consider what happened at the coronation of King George VI, on May 12, 1937. Prior to that date the coronation oath, as provided by older legislation was as follows:
Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the dominions thereto belonging, according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, and the respective laws and customs of the same?
I solemnly promise so to do.
The oath which was provided and which George VI took in 1937 was in the following form:
Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa, of your possessions and the territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, and of your Empire of India, according to their respective laws and customs?
I solemnly promise so to do.
The new oath was the consequence of our constitutional evolution embodied in the Statute of Westminster. It illustrated, for all the world to see, the distinct legal personalities of the dominions, which, as stated by Doctor Kennedy in his book, "The Constitution of Canada", in no sense whatever "belong to" the United Kingdom. And further to quote Doctor Kennedy:
It is interesting to record, in this connection, that Canada, conscious of the inappropriateness of the term "belonging to," had already eliminated it from the oath of allegiance which holders of public office take in Canada.
The alteration follows the constitutional development of our country, and we have to consider now our real position among the nations of the world. Canada is represented abroad by highly qualified ambassadors, who enhance her prestige and make her better
known in all parts of the world. Their close relations with governments of other countries contribute to the furtherance of world peace.
The increase in our trade has given to this dominion a most predominant influence amongst the nations. Canadian ships are carrying the name of this country to every part of the world. People abroad have learned to understand us better and to appreciate our way of living.
Even before the war, when His Majesty the King visited Canada, he addressed us as "King of Canada".
Canadians are not vassals of other countries, but subjects of His Majesty George the Sixth who, being a constitutional monarch, acts, as far as Canada is concerned, as King of Canada, and then only upon the advice of his Canadian ministers.
May I quote on this subject the Ottawa Ciiizen of November 9, 1945, in an editorial entitled "King of Canada":
Since King George is constitutionally King of Canada with his own Canadian ministers to advise him the inclusion of the word "Canada ' in his official title is merely recognition of a constitutional fact.
A change in the King's title so as to_ include the words "King of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa," would doubtless be approved by King George himself. To him, his Canadian tour, as he has often said since, was one of the greatest experiences of his life.
Moreover, it is not a small matter that in all royal documents sent to every country in the world or appearing in proclamations in the United Kingdom, the name of Canada should be there for millions of people constantly to see.
A well known French paper, Le Devoir, in its edition of November 7 speaks as follows:
Each dominion is not designated by name: it is implicitly mentioned in the expression "British territories beyond the seas". The word "territories" savours of disdain and does not correspond with the constitutional evolution of those countries which we are prone to praise. The English wording of the enumeration is most respectful: George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India." We note here the word "Dominion" which is not in the French version.
Since the Statute of Westminster, the government of the countries of the British commonwealth of nations are equal in principle; they are respectively designated under the names "Government of His Majesty for the United Kingdom", "Government of His Majesty for Canada", etc. The King is King of Canada, of Australia, of New Zealand, of the Union of South Africa to an equal degree and just as directly as he is +he sovereign of Great Britain. His reigning majesty asserted his direct kingship over Canada at the time of his visit to Ottawa in 1939. He sanctioned bills, received credentials from the minister in Washington and spoke
'King of Canada
of "My Kingdom of Canada". However, the instruments issued in the name of the monarch do not expressly mention Canada amongst the kingdoms.
As members of one family, with different branches, all united by personal union under the same king, can we not be clearly identified as different realms of the king especially when we are just coming out of the recent war?
The most significant part taken by the Canadian people at home and in the front line during the conflict established our position as a sovereign state.
Like the United Kingdom, Canada has declared war of its own free will, without for instance, like the Soviet republics, waiting to be attacked by the forces of nazism, and this war was conducted by our own government and our own people without any interference from outside powers, but with complete cooperation. Victory has become a glorious reality due to the combined effort of Canada and other allied nations. The magnificent contribution we have made in money and manpower speaks loudly for our love of freedom and self-government.
At the end of this terrible conflict, have we not the right to claim a better designation of our beloved country? Have we not the right to ask for the full recognition of our actual status as a free nation? During these painful years, Canadian statesmen have discussed on equal terms with statesmen of other countries, Canadian soldiers have fought and died with no less courage than soldiers of any other allied country. Canada has, thus, as a result of those tremendous sacrifices, won her place amongst the victorious nations of the world. As an equal member of a British commonwealth, is it not just and fair that Canada's name be embodied in the designation of His Majesty's titles?
The crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British commonwealth of nations. As the head of a family, a father would proudly designate each of his children and not differentiate between them, so are we hopeful that the king may designate in his title each of the countries united by a common allegiance to the crown.
The object of this resolution is to suggest that its subject matter be brought up in the next imperial conference in order that steps be taken to include Canada's name and the names of the other dominions so that they may be included in the designation of His Majesty's royal title. In discussing this question, the house may put forward recommenda-
tions which might be the basis of subsequent consultation with His Majesty the King and with the other interested governments.
Especially when we have adopted recent legislation respecting Canadian citizenship and a separate ministry of external affairs, I suggest that we should unanimously accept the principle involved in this resolution. This could not bring an immediate change to the royal title because it is in accord with the established constitutional position of all the members of the commonwealth in relation to one another that any alteration in the law touching the royal style and titles requires the assent as well of the parliaments of all the dominions as of the parliament of the United Kingdom.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, that this house will, when the time comes to deal with this matter by legislation, take the necessary steps to give to our country its real significance in His Majesty's royal style and -title.
Mr. J. A. DION (Lake St. John-Roberval) (Translation):
Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I second the resolution put forth by the boa. member for Kamouraska (Mr. Marquis). I quote:
That, in the opinion of this house, at the next conference of the representatives of the United Kingdom and of the dominions, the representatives of the dominion of Canada should request the conference to adopt a resolution recommending to the parliament of the United Kingdom and the parliaments of the dominions that an act be passed making it lawful for His Most Gracious Majesty to make such alteration in style and titles of His Majesty, more particularly so as to include in such style and titles the words -"King of Canada."
To sum up, w^e request that at the next conference of the representatives of the United Kingdom and of the dominions, His Majesty's royal titles be modified in order to include the words "King of Canada".
It has been said and- repeated on several occasions since the enactment of the Statute of Westminster, that the dominions which make up the British commonwealth are equal in status, in no way subordinate to one another in any aspect of their domestic or international affairs and united only by a common allegiance to the crown.
Every one of them should therefore be on the same footing when designated in His Majesty's titles. The historic statement made by Lord Tweedsmuir. former governor general on the sovereignty of Canada has often been quoted. It reads as follows:
She is a sovereign nation and cannot take her attitude to the world docilely from Britain or from the United States or from anybody else. A Canadian's first loyalty is not to the British
"King oj Canada'
commonwealth of nations but to Canada and to Canada's king and those who deny this are doing, to iny mind, a great disservice to the commonwealth.
This opinion was recently corroborated) in this house by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent), when he said that Canada, from now on, must take her own stand on external affairs.
Since Canada is now a sovereign state and as such her sovereign, His Majesty the King, must be officially designated as the King of Canada, it must be admitted that from a practical standpoint, we are still lacking certain attributes which denote .the full sovereignty of a state. Those attributes may be summed up as follows:
1. The right of Canada to amend her own constitution.
2. The abolition of appeals to the privy council.
3. The selection of a distinctive flag which does not bear the emblem of another country.
In regard to the first point, everyone knows that our country must still request from the British parliament authority to amend her own constitution. In this respect we are lagging behind the other dominions, such as Australia, the Irish Free State, South Africa and New Zealand, who now possess that right.
I understand that in practice the present procedure is as follows: An address is voted
by the parliament of Canada to the parliament of the United Kingdom informing the latter of the desired amendment to the Canadian constitution. The British parliament, acceding to the wishes of the Canadian parliament, approves by its vote the amendment to the constitution of Canada as expressed in the British North America Act.
The fact remains that the process is quite unworthy of a sovereign state. No country fully master of its destiny can tolerate some other country's interference in the matter of the changing of its constitution. I realize that this principle is recognized by the vast majority of both Canadian and British statesmen, but its application is being delayed for reasons of convenience which, sooner or later, must also be discarded. However, before Canada is allowed to change its constitution, we shall certainly have to look carefully into the machinery and methods whereby the change should take place. If Canada is to change its constitution, we must know just how it should go about doing so and to that end a dominion-provincial conference must be called to study the matter. An organization must be set up and endowed with full authority to act, completely respectful of the rights and prerogatives of both the provinces and the central government. This conference should take place in an atmosphere of calm and serenity above futile party bickering. To succeed, it should be free from animus and from political argument which can only spread dissent and give no positive or lasting results.
The second point I wish to stress and which now prevents Canada from declaring itself a sovereign state, is the maintenance of appeals to the privy council. Yet this tribunal itself recently declared that the Canadian parliament has a perfect right to abolish such appeals. All we have now to decide, is the proper time to achieve that end. In my humble opinion, the sooner it is done, the better shall true Canadian interests be served.
It cannot indeed be held that a state master of its destiny should confer upon a tribunal, however respectable, in some other country, the right to interpret its laws and its constitution. All the more so since, in constitutional matters, the privy council had handed down interpretations which were equivalent to actual amendments of the Canadian constitution. The venerable court was then overstepping its judicial powers and entering the legislative field. Indeed, in the case of the Temperance Act. the privy council decided that an emergency situation was not necessary to empower the federal government to invade the field of provincial prerogatives as defined in section 92 of the British North America Act.
With a few exceptions, all jurists today admit that a Canadian court should be called upon to hand down final decisions in cases relating to civil and constitutional rights. Appeals to the privy council in the criminal field have been abolished many years ago and no one has dared to suggest that the Supreme Court of Canada jurisprudence had been on a lower plane than that of the privy council.
If, in matters of constitutional law, it could be claimed that our present supreme court-does not offer sufficient guarantees, means of changing its constitution should be considered, but, at all events, we feel that an exclusively Canadian court should be called upon to hand down final decisions in all Canadian cases in the civil, criminal and constitutional fields.
The third point, which I shall not labour, but which I take the liberty to mention, is that of a distinctive and essentially Canadian flag, bearing the emblem of no other country. I hope that Canadian opinion, more and more enlightened, will finally realize that a country such as Canada must have a real flag, which may be unfurled anywhere as a solely and decidedly Canadian emblem. Can-
'King of Canada'
ada, due to its wonderful development in both the national and international fields, due, especially, to the sound policy of our present prime minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) who has established embassies in all the important countries of the world, Canada, I say, is presently acknowledged as an international power. But an international power should be a truly sovereign state and a truly sovereign state cannot allow another state to amend its constitution. It may not permit a court of another country to interpret its statutes and its constitution and it should not accept a flag unless it be absolutely distinctive and show no emblem originating in another country. Moreover, a truly sovereign state must insist that, in the designation of the sovereign to whom it renders allegiance, its name be directly mentioned.
Briefly, to be a truly sovereign state, Canada must be in a position to call its king the King of Canada. For this reason, I sincerely thank the hon. member for Kamouraska for having moved his resolution.
I take pleasure in supporting it with all the means in my power and I shall also be glad to vote for it.
The motion before the house illustrates the necessity of abolishing private members' days immediately, particularly when there is so much other important work before us at the present time. In the first place the motion is out of order. What does it propose to do? It proposes to change the title of His Majesty. According to a great textbook the office of the crown is indivisible. Instead of bringing in a bill along these lines the hon. member proposes a resolution. If we discuss all the resolutions on the order paper we shall be here until after September. Private members' days should be abolished altogether.
Let us read the motion to see what it says:
That, in the opinion of this house,-
It is not the opinion of this house or of the country. I continue:
-at the next conference of representatives of the United Kingdom and of the dominions-
There is no conference proposed. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has said that it is a daily conference with the other dominions and with the overseas authority. This proposal was discussed at the time Sir Wilfrid Laurier came into power in 1896. At that time it was proposed to call the reigning sovereign, the late Queen Victoria, the Queen of Canada. What this motion proposes would mean a change in the British North America Act as amended, because the
office of the sovereign is described therein. It is the same whether the sovereign is a king or queen. The office is described as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the dominions beyond the seas, Emperor of India, Defender of the Faith. That is the present title. It may be amended next- year because of the situation in India. This motion refers to a conference of the representatives of the United Kingdom and of the dominions, and that the representative of the Dominion of Canada should request the conference to adopt a resolution. What conference? There is no conference. Representatives of New Zealand and Australia were here and asked for a conference on trade, defence and migration within the empire, and also preferences. What did we do? We rejected it. There used to be, every ten years or so, what is known as a conference, which is all set out in a textbook. That book gave the title of the king. I am not going to read it today because it would be a waste of time. I hold in my hand a copy of that textbook, which sets out. the status, sovereignty, autonomy, of the sovereign and of the component parts of the empire. It is a modern textbook. The Statute of Westminster also gives the status, rank and titles of the sovereign. It states that the office of the king is indivisible. He is king of all the dominions overseas. I shall come to that in a moment.
Let us pursue this a little farther. The resolution continues:
-the representatives of the dominions and of Canada should request the conference to adopt a resolution recommending to the parliament of the United Kingdom and the parliaments of the dominions that an act be passed making it lawful for His Most Gracious Majesty to make such alteration in style and titles of His Majesty, more particularly so as to include in such style and titles the words "King of Canada."
He has no power to do that. It is all in the British North America Act as amended. The office of the king is described therein. There is no conference. This resolution proposes to request His Most Gracious Majesty to change his title, which he cannot do. He is now the king of Canada and he has always been the king of Canada, king of all the dominions overseas. The title has not been changed.
Let us examine this question further. It is founded on separatism. There is a regular wave of separatism, liquidation and scuttling the empire in the world today, nnt only in the dominions but in other parts of the empire. That is going on here-also change the flag, the anthem-yet hon. members pay no attention to empire affairs, and some of the press are not much better. Little or no
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attention is paid to it. I do not blame them for that; far from it. These academic matters, like this resolution, are not worth discussing at the present time, particularly when we have more important matters with which to deal. Here we are wasting a whole day on these academic matters. Last night the budget was delivered and it may be days before it is discussed. The same thing happened last year and the year before. We had discussions on the flag, the anthem, appeals to the privy council, and on many matters such as status, sovereignty, autonomy and so forth. All these things involve a change in the status of Canada. This motion is based on the status of Canada, on our autonomy and sovereignty. The resolution is based on that. Our status and autonomy were good enough for a million men in the first world war. They went overseas voluntarily under that status; 130,000 of them fell on the field of battle, and what they did changed the whole history of the world. In the second world war five times as many went, and at ten times the cost. If our status, autonomy and sovereignty were good enough for these men it should be good enough for those who stayed at home.
I wish to point out that the present gracious sovereign and his gracious queen paid a visit to the hon. member's constituency, Kam-ouraska, and to the constituency next door in his province, Temiscouata, at Riviere du Loup. No part of Canada gave a finer welcome to the king and queen than did the loyal people of Quebec. These people have done a lot for the country and for confederation.
This matter of king of Canada came up at the time Sir Wilfrid Laurier was in power, but it did not get very far. The resolution is not properly worded. No part of Canada gave a better welcome to the king than did the counties of Ivamouraska and Temiscouata. The school children with flags marched around the park five or six times. The stay which was supposed to take about half an hour took an hour and a half. The gentleman who is now chief justice of New Brunswick, Hon. Joseph E. Michaud, but who was a minister of the crown at that time, was in charge of the visit. The king asked him if all the school children of Quebec were at the gathering at Riviere du Loup. All the people of Quebec acted in the same way, of giving the king and queen a wonderful welcome.
I should like to refer to the visit of the king and queen and the gracious Princess Elizabeth to South Africa. The princess made a speech which appealed to me, as I am sure it appealed to other hon. members. It was
made to the youth of twenty-one years of age and under, in the whole empire. I hope it will be read for many days in this country and in the schools; her solemn declaration and dedication of a lifelong service to the empire by a girl of twenty-one years, in her appeal to all youth, which reached the hearts and minds of all the youth of our glorious empire.
I am not going to say much more about this motion, because there are others who no doubt wish to take part in the discussion. But there seems to me to be a wave of separatism passing over this country at the present time. We have thirty-six representatives here from foreign countries whereas we used to have none. We have twenty-six ambassadors abroad on the seven seas representing Canada. A list was given the other day; compare that with Great Britain. Great Britain is represented in foreign countries by no more than fourteen ambassadors. France has fewer representatives abroad than the Dominion of Canada. We have more than Russia or the United States. I cannot help thinking that there is a deliberate attempt to scuttle the empire, liquidating parts of it here and there.
I wish to point out the law in regard to this matter. I submit that the motion is out of order because the object sought can be attained only by means of an address from both houses of parliament to the parliament of Great Britain to change the British North America Act. It cannot be done by resolution. The only procedure that we can adopt is an address by this House of Commons and the other place. An address to whom? To the king and the parliament of the mother country-an address to amend the British North America Act. After all, is not His Majesty at the present time the king of Canada, and always has been, and also king of all the dominions overseas? In this connection I would like to read from the "Statute of Westminster and Dominion Status". I recommend this book to hon. members. They will find it well worth their attention. The author is K. C. Wheare, London, England. I quote:
It has seemed necessary at the outset first to distinguish constitutional rules of strict law. as exemplified by the Statute of Westminster, from non-legal constitutional rules, as exemplified by the conventions declared in the Imperial Conference Reports, and immediately thereafter to assert the interrelation and interaction of these two classes of rule, as exemplified in the term "dominion status," because there is a tendency, in the discussion of British constitutional development to underestimate the importance of rules of strict law, and in particular of statute, in that development; to overestimate the import-
'King of Canada
ance of non-legal rules; and seriously to misconceive the relation of the two classes of rule to each other. It is asserted, for example, that Great Britain and the British empire have an "unwritten" constitution.
That is what this motion seems to contemplate.
A constitutional statute is regarded therefore as something alien to the spirit of the constitution. On such a view of the nature of the British constitution, and of the constitution of the British empire, it was inevitable that the passing of the Statute of Westminster should appear to be a mistake. Some members of parliament in the United Kingdom and in the dominions objected to the proposal to pass the statute, not because of the terms it contained, but because it was a statute. Lord Buckmaster, an ex-Lord Chancellor, put this point of view in the House of Lords during the second reading of the Statute of Westminster Bill. He said that he intended to support the bill, but that he felt it was a mistake. "It is not-he said- that its actual terms offend any of the relationships existing between ourselves and our dominions. It is that it is, as I believe, for the first time, an attempt made to put into the form of an act of parliament rules which bind the various component parts of the empire, and that I regard as a grave mistake." He went on to assert that "the thing which has made this country grow is that it never has had a written constitution of any sort or kind, and the consequence has been that it has been possible to adapt from time to time, the various relationships and authorities between every component part of thiis state, without any serious mistake or disaster. That is what I think ought to be the ideal aimed at between ourselves and the various other nations which together make up the British empire . . . You should avoid as far as possible putting a definition of what the relationships may be into the unyielding form of an act of parliament. That is what this statute has attempted to do."
Chapter 7 of this book, the Statute and the Legal Status of Canada, sets out the law on this subject-and this is regarded as one of the most learned text books we have. I quote from page 177:
The fundamental fact in the case of the Dominion of Canada was that it was a federation. The powers and functions of the federal and provincial parliaments and governments were demarcated and their existing distribution was guaranteed by an act of the United Kingdom parliament, the British North America Act, 1867. This act was unalterable in essentials by the federal or provincial legislatures in Canada; it was completely alterable by the United Kingdom parliament only. From 1867 to 1930 inclusive, it had been amended seven times by that parliament. No clear rules regulated the procedure by which amendments of the British North America Act, desired by the provincial or federal parliaments in Canada, should be transmitted to and executed by the United Kingdom parliament . . .
Thus dominion status, after the passing of the Statute of Westminster, as before, though its predominant characteristic is conventional equality of status, contains legal ingredients which are different and are unequal from one
dominion to another. Apart from this common ingredient of conventional equality, the recipe differs in each case to a greater or less degree. Dominion status to-day, it should be emphasized, means equality of conventional status, but it does not necessarily mean equality of legal status or identity in the legal rules which define that status for each dominion.
It can be seen that from the legal point of view what is proposed here is not the proper form in which the motion should be presented to parliament. As I have pointed out, the proper procedure should be through an address by both houses of parliament praying for an act to change the British North America Act.
On the question of policy, is it desirable at this time that we should pass a motion of this kind? After all, consider what the mother country has done for us. She has borne the brunt of the war, and there is no reason to believe that the status, the autonomy and the sovereignty of Canada are at this moment endangered. If our status is good enough for over a million men who enlisted, so many of whom died, so many of them having suffered so much on land, on sea and in the air, then I suggest that that status should be good enough for those who stayed at home. Is there really any interest in this motion? Look at the slim attendance there is in the chamber today, at the very mention of the word "empire". We barely have a quorum. Next to the Christian church, Mr. Speaker, no other agency has contributed more to the freedom, liberty and civilization of the world than the mother country has done. For two and a half years she stood alone, save the dominions, while others did nothing, and but for her we would have lost the war.
I would like to have your ruling, Mr. Speaker, on my submission that this resolution is out of order on the ground that it is not in the form of an address to both houses. In my opinion it is not necessary. In fact, I think it would be a good thing for parliament and the country if private members' day were abolished altogether for this year so that we could devote our time to the consideration of practical questions for the welfare of the people.
We have heard with interest the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church), who is one of the most distinguished members, but unfortunately we cannot share all his views. If we did, the hon. member would not be sitting on the other side; he would be here.