March 26, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa



I made the point also that we have entered into a Pacific cable contract, in which we have been made the victims, as we have had to pay not only the share originally agreed upon in the scheme, but also a further amount in order to redeem the broken pledges of two of the most interested parties.
I also pointed out that for the last three or four years we have given abundant proof of our loyalty to the British empire, that we have given millions of dollars, that we have given freely of our blood and our wealth both in igen and iponey. And what have been the results ? First, the refusal by the British parliament of any concession whatever to the colonies in the matter of trade ; second, the maintenance without any reason possible of the embargo1 against Canadian cattle in the British market; third, the sacrifice of Canadian interests in the matter of the Alaskan boundary in spite of the strong position taken by the Canadian government on that point; fourth, discrimination by the British government in matters of immigration in favour of the colonies of South Africa at the expense of Canada ; fifth, the declaration by the Colonial Secretary in London of the policy that, while the British government can take the funds of the British people to encourage British emigration to South Africa, they will interfere with the liberty of Canadian people and force Us to admit Mongolian immigration into Canada if it suits the interests of the British government-that is, the principle is laid down by the British government, that they have the right to control the immigration policy of the Canadian people.
So that I claim that within the last four years, we have displayed our loyalty on every occasion, we have made enormous efforts to secure the good will and favour of the British people, with the result that we have received a great many compliments and a great measure of eulogy in the speeches of British statesmen, an enormous amount of printed matter showing how much the Canadian people are looked to in Great Britain ; but, whenever we have asked the British people or the British parliament to manifest that feeling by some measure, not of favour to the Canadian people- because we have never begged for any favours-but simply to show some consideration for the wishes of the Canadian people, we have been told, on one occasion, that there were obstacles in the British statutes, at other times that what we wished was contrary to the principles of the British people. On no occasion have we been able to secure one of the concessions, or one of the equal terms, we have asked from the British government.
I may be told that when I speak in this way I am animated by a feeling of disaffection towards Great Britain and her people. Of course, affection and loyalty are things that are understood differently by

different people. To my mind, the affection, the loyalty and the love that should unite the different members of the British empire should be manifested not so much in words as in deeds. Whenever we have been called upon to prove our loyalty to the British people and the British Crown, we have been glad to take advantage of the opportunity, and we have done it generously. And I say that if we wish to prove that that feeling of reciprocal love is strong, that the new imperialism is based upon a deep sentiment of love and fair play among the different members of the British empire, then, all the deeds should not be on the one side and all the words and compliments on the other.
I was much struck with a remark that was made by one of the London papers at the beginning of the South African war. It was after the first engagement in which the Canadian soldiers had taken part. The newspaper to which I have referred observed that it was not sufficient to mention tnnt so many Canadian soldiers, so many New Zealanders and so many Australians had taken part in the engagement ; but that they should be paid high compliments, because the colonists are fond of compliments ; and if their services are wanted in the future, they must be praised ungrudgingly in this respect.
It may be that we are fond of compliments, but we are not beggars. 1 do not ask that the Canadian parliament and the Canadian people should play the part of beggars towards the British parliament and people. I have more pride and more confidence in the national feeling of my country than that. But I say that we should take a position before the British parliament and before the British people that this is a free people, entitled to the same liberty and the same treatment as any other community in the British empire, and that when we come to deal with the United Kingdom, we must deal on equal terms. For every favour we grant them, an equal favour must be done to us. For every advantage given to the British people, a similar advantage must be given to the Canadian people.
I must confess that the position taken by our representatives for the last few years has had something to do with the belief which has developed in Great Britain as to the facility with which Canadians can be satisfied with words and compliments. I am not referring to the position taken by the Prime Minister, and to the speeches delivered by him, at the time of the jubilee festivities. No doubt the occasion was propitious for the exchange of expressions of friendly feeling. No doubt, the Prime Minister, going there as a French Canadian, the representative of a minority in a British colony where that minority enjoyed equal rights and fair treatment, felt called upon to" express feelings that are at the bottom of the heart of every French Canadian. So long as this remains a matter of sentiment I
shall approve of the expressions of the Prime Minister ; and I shall not begrudge it if he goes there this summer and holds the same language. But when it comes to matters of business, the Prime Minister, when leader of the opposition, stated most eloquently and forcibly the best way to win the appreciation of John Bull. That way was to show John Bull that Canada was the worthy son of his sire, and that we are just as businesslike as he is.
In 1899, Sir Louis Davies, then Minister of Marine' and Fisheries, spent a few weeks in London in order to get the British government to take the right side on the Alaskan boundary question, ne stated at that time that he regretted very much that he was not able to secure from the British government the full support that he expected. But, on the very same trip, speaking to the very same people and government, he said that if Great Britain wanted ten thousand men from Canada, she could have them. It has been stated in the British parliament time and again that it was only a matter of time when the British government could secure in Canada all the men wanted for filling up the ranks of their army and manning the ships of their navy, Englishmen and Scotchmen, no longer showing any great desire to enter the service.
Last year I referred to the late Congress of the Chamber of Commerce of the empire. The records of that meeting give us some interesting information. The hon. member for East Toronto (Mr. Kemp), who spoke yesterday, was there as one ,of the representatives from Canada. Chambers of Commerce in all parts of the empire were represented there. And wliat happened l Our representatives from Ottawa, from Toronto from Montreal, joined by representatives from Australia and Cape Colony, proposed to that congress a motion affirming the principle of taxing the colonies for war purposes and getting from them all the material required. This was carried unanimously. But when it came to the point when the Canadian delegates asked for recognition of the principle that Canadians and colonial trade generally should receive in Great Britain similar treatment to that given ' by Canada to British trade, the representatives from England and Scotland united to crush every motion of that kind made by the Canadian representatives. And yet, Sir, after the congress was over, these Canadian gentlemen went to a banquet of the congress and repeated their assurances of love and loyalty to Great Britain. Again, I say I do not reproach them for having done so, but their declaration should have been coupled with a declaration of pride and confidence in our own country, such a declaration as would make the British delegates understand that if they expected Canadian military help in men and money they should give some evidence of consideration for us.

Last year there was, as there is every year, in London, a demonstration in order to develop what is now spoken of as the real imperialistic sentiment. The occasion was the Dominion Day dinner. This has developed into one of those numerous social functions of which Mr. Chamberlain very cleverly avails himself to gather the colonial representatives and cause them, after a very pompous banquet, to make declarations of love towards the mother country, that he may explain to the British people afterwards that these colonies are so generous that Great Britain may expect anything from them and need not give them anything in return. The late Minister of Justice, Mr. Mills, was there, and what did he say :
[DOT] [DOT] . . The feeling in favour of the unity of the empire has grown very rapidly during the last five years in Canada. Every one was anxious to see the unity of the empire preserved; to see by degrees some system of union organized which would prove satisfactory to the selfgoverning colonies and to the United Kingdom. They were satisfied that such a condition of things might be brought about, and that feeling was largely due to the reciprocal feeling which had sprung up in the United Kingdom. . . Well, sir, it is most amusing that this declaration, which is an acknowledgment of reciprocal feeling on the part of the British people, was made by a Canadian representative just two weeks after the British parliament had repulsed by what I might call a unanimous vote, coupled with ironical cheers and laughter, the idea that the British people could be asked for a slight sacrifice in favour of colonial trade-of which 1 gave an illustration yesterday.
Now, what is the feeling of British statesmen themselves on that question ? Let me take as an example the most powerful public man in Great Britain to-day, one of the greatest English statesmen in this century, who has forced the imperialist sentiment upon the British people, I mean Mr. Chamberlain. In 1897 the attention of Mr. Chamberlain was called in the British parliament to the preferential policy which had just been adopted by the Canadian parliament. Mr. J. F. Hogan asked: I
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the colouies (1) whether he has observed that the new Canadian tariff provides for preferential trade relations with the mother country; and (2) whether Her Majesty's government will embrace the earliest opportunity of recognizing and, if practicable, reciprocating the action of the government of the Dominion in this important matter ?
The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. J. Chamberlain) :
The answer to the first part of the hon. member s question is in the affirmative. Her Majesty s government cordially appreciate the friendly spirit which is shown by the action of the Dominion government, but I understand that the proposals do not depend on any alteration of the system of free trade established in the United Kingdom.

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