November 29, 1910 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)


My right hon. friend modestly inquires who is it and he is perhaps justified in doing so since he is the one man in all Canada who is perfectly unaware to whom I refer. We had a striking illustration in the House a session or two ago of the fact I mention, when a motion was made for the production of some papers. That motion was greeted with shouts of derision and cries of ' lost' from the other side, but when one small voice was raised from the seat occupied bv the right hon. gentle man, uttering the word ' carried,' every hon. gentleman on that side became mute at once and the resolution was allowed to pass without further challenge. We have had instance after instance of that kind in the present parliament and the speech from the Throne before us carries out the line of policy I have indicated, introduced by the right hon. gentleman and apparently to be continued, namely that the people are not to be consulted about the matters in which they are interested and in respect of which they must foot the bill. The right hon. gentleman and his ministers decide during recess what is to be done and rely with absolute confidence on the majority behind them endorsing whatever their views may be, as illustrated in the case to which I referred a moment ago. When once the ruler has spoken, the measure, he calls on his followers to accept at once, automatically passes into legislation.
In this speech from the Throne, I notice that th" first clause has reference to His Excellency the Governor General. It may be somewhat presumptuous on my part to add a word to what has been so well said by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) regarding the present occupant of that high office, but lest perhaps some hypercritical mind might think that my hon. friend was speaking merely officially and not from the heart, Mr. NORTHRUP.
I venture to say that in what he said, he gave but expression to the public sentiment of the country. I believe that we all understand that whatever other factors there may be that justify the existence of that high office and call for its continuance there are two that overshadow all others. One is that there should be a reserve power somewhere, that if necessary could be called upon. The very existence of which is the best guarantee that it will not be called upon. We all know that it has been called upon and that it is capable of being called upon if necessary. Another overshadowing factor is that by his occupancy of that office he can do much to strengthen the ties strong as steel and light as air that bind us to the mother land. And I venture to say that when His Excellency leaves this country it will be said from one end of the country to the other that no previous occupant of the office has ever proved a more sincere, painstaking and successful administrator.
The next reference which I see in the speech from the Throne is to the lamented death of our late King. It would be presumptuous and superfluous on my part to attempt to add anything to the beautiful eulogy pronounced in this House a few days ago by the right hon. gentleman. I may only say that if during the life time of our late Sovereign, it had not fallen to the lot of the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wil-fried Laurier) to deprive him of one of his prerogatives, the control of the navy in every portion of his Dominions, we might better appreciate the sincerity of his eulogy.
The next paragraph the speech refers to is trade and commerce, and I notice an extraordinary clause in it indeed. The government calls on the people of the country to notice and be grateful for an extraordinary phenomenon, namely, that the total volume of imports and exports far exceeds all previous records. Now it may seem a small matter to cavil at a statement such as that in the speech from the Throne, but I venture to submit that there is a vast deal implied in the fact that the government of the day should call upon the people of the country for congratulation on the ground simply and solely of the fact that our imports and exports have increased. If the right hon. gentleman is sincere, I should be only too happy to point out to him a way in which he can secure a still further increase in our imports. If he will strike off the duty on coal and the bounties and duties on iron, there will no doubt follow a tremendous increase in our imports.

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