January 22, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Onésiphore Turgeon



(Sir Wilfrid Laurier) when he was leading this Government. The provinces for some years had been clamouring for an increase in their subsidies, asking for more money to spend on their roads and upon education and this demand came more particularly from the Maritime provinces. Before changing the principle with regard to provincial subsidies the Prime Minister of that day (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) called an Interprovincial conference composed of the Premiers of all the provinces of the Dominion and he told them that if they agreed upon one principle the Government would ask the Imperial Parliament to make a change based upon such agreement. They came to an agreement and the policy laid down by the Prime Minister of that day was carried out. But the premiers of the provinces, during the conference last October, were not able to agree upon such a principle. We have had some reference during the present discussion to the question of subsidies. The premiers agreed upon the necessity of granting further subsidies to the Maritime provinces, but there is nothing in the speech from the Throne which mentions that part of the proceedings of the Interprovincial Conference. I would have been pleased to have seen something in the speech from the Throne giving some hope that that part of the proceedings of the Interprovincial Conference would be looked into. Such an announcement may, let us hope, come before the end of the session. I sincerely hope that it will, but so far we are at a loss to know whether the Government of the day is willing to entertain the unanimous recommendation of the premiers of the provinces for an increase of these subsidies.
Meanwhile, do not think that I am indifferent to the position which may be created for the provinces by this diminution of representation. Perhaps if I were to view this question from a party standpoint I might say-although I do not say it with the intention of blaming the Government in advance-that it is most likely that it will be the Liberal party that will be affected most seriously by the change of representa-[DOT] tion owing to the Act of Confederation. Meanwhile we are willing to submit to it. It is not with indifference that I take up that point and recommend it to my fellow countrymen and to the people of the Maritime provinces in whatever position they may be. In anticipation of the possibility that the representation might be decreased in certain portions of the Dominion, the fathers of Confederation inserted a provi-
[Mr. Turgeonl.
sion in the British North America Act guaranteeing as far as possible the representation which the provinces acquired at the time of their entrance into Confederation. It is provided by section 51 of the British North America Act that:
On any such readjustment the number of members for a province shall not be reduced unless the proportion which the number of the population of the province bore to the number of the aggregate population of Canada at the then last preceding readjustment of the number of members for the province is ascertained, at the then last census, to be diminished by one-twentieth part or upwards.
This means that although the Maritime provinces might not perhaps possess the unit of representation made necessary by the unit of representation in the province of Quebec, there is still the safeguard that unless the population of the provinces is diminished by more than one-twentieth as compared with the figures of the preceding census-not with the first census taken after Confederation, or after two or three decades, but the last census-these provinces shall keep the representation which they possessed at the time. Therefore, I wish to call the attention of the Government to that point. It is more particularly in order to call the attention of the ministers and of the members of any committtee which may be formed to look into a redistribution of seats in this House that I have undertaken to speak on that question this evening.
I ask the Prime Minister, who represents Nova Beotia, and I ask the Minister of Marine (Mr. Hazen), who represents New Brunswick, to take care that they safeguard the interests of their native provinces, and, if in the computation to be made there is any chance of one member holding his seat in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia by the operation of this saving clause in the British North America Act, then I ask that it be applied. I know that our population is very close to the necessary number and I trust that the computation may be carefully made so that we shall be justly dealt with. There can be no object in delaying further the introduction of the Redistribution Bill and pressing it to a conclusion at the present session. If only one-half of the people in the Maritime provinces, who are in the United States to-day, had stayed at home, we would have the necessary number of people to give us full representation in this Parliament. We have invited the citizens of the world to come to our shores and we have filled up the West, but in time to come that huge volume of

immigration must lessen or cease altogether, and then, when in the future we have to depend upon the natural increase of population, I believe the Maritime provinces will be able to maintain the standard of representation which was allotted to them at Confederation. We have been in a rather unfortunate position in the Maritime provinces, because in the early days of Confederation when wooden ships were superseded by steel ships, thousands of our people were thrown out of employment at home and they had to seek their means of livelihood in the United States.
Let me say, Sir, that I look with hope to the day when the island of Newfoundland will be included in the Dominion of Canada and when will be consummated that grand idea of rounding out the union of all the British people in North America. I urge upon every member of the House the importance of securing by all proper means the inclusion of Newfoundland in Confederation, for our benefit as well as for the benefit of Canada, and especially of the Maritime provinces. The interests of the Maritime provinces and the interests of Newfoundland are cognate in many respects, and should the ancient colony come into Confederation with a representation of ten or twelve members in this House, and her share of representation in the Senate, then, Sir, tire Maritime provinces would become a powerful entity in this Parliament. I quite understand that to induce Newfoundland to enter Confederation is not an easy task now, but I do regret that the efforts in the past which at one time seemed near to being crowned with success proved futile, and especially do I regret it because of the fact that on one occasion only a sum of half a million dollars stood in the way, a sum which to the Dominion of Canada at the present day is of comparatively small account. Now that we are thinking of establishing a navy, the inclusion of Newfoundland with its hardy maritime population becomes a matter of prime importance. I know of my own personal knowledge that the best people in Newfoundland, the professional men, the clergy of all denominations, are educating the people of that island to appreciate that the destiny of their colony is to become one of the provinces of this prosperous Dominion. For my part I would rather see New Brunswick or Nova Scotia represented here by ten or eleven members, holding their seats by the strength of the constitution, than by thirteen members holding their seats by the 81
charity of the West or the sympathy of Canada. We want to be here by the right of the people and the right of the constitution. We do not want to be here otherwise. We do not want to encroach upon any principle of the constitution, nor do we want to encroach upon the rights of any other province of the Dominion of Canada. I hope that after this debate is concluded the Government will bring down the Redistribution Bill. I expect that the redistribution will be made in all fairness to every party and every province. The Government, in bringing down this measure, will at least be acting according to the constitution, as it should have been done last year, if not two years ago. According to the constitution it should have been done immediately after the figures of the census were obtained, so that the country might be ready for an election.
After speaking in regard to immigration, my hon. friend the mover of the Address (Mr. McLeod) spoke of the Transcontinental railway as it affects New Brunswick. He spoke of the Transcontinental railway having been brought down through the middle of the province of New Brunswick as a great mistake. While I am on this question of redistribution, I must say that this railway is of advantage for this very reason alone, the increase of our population, the opening of our territory to the people in order to bring more population to the centre of the province. New Brunswick has its population to-day merely scattered along the boundaries of the province between Nova Scotia round the north shore, and between the province of Quebec and the state of Maine. We have immense areas of virgin forest lands which have seen no homes yet. By introducing the railway to the centre of the province we are opening up that portion of the province to the lumbering interests and the farming interests, and are thus bringing in many people. We have increased our population already by bringing the Transcontinental railway to the centre of the province. That was one of the considerations which, I remember, the right hon. the leader of the Government of that day (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) took into account, namely, that it would bring more population to New Brunswick, which we desired so much, and which we needed to retain our representation.
I shall not speak of the other advantages, which would accrue to the provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as well, by the building of a branch line from either one point or another to St. John, New Brunswick. It would connect St. John

by the centre as well as by the other route. It seems strange to me that the hon. member for York (Mr. McLeod) blames the Government of that day so much, because the railway has gone through the centre of the province of New Brunswick, a province the interest of which I am sure he has as much at heart as myself. He ought to see that the representation, the very principle upon which he is working to-day, would be greatly benefited by the increase of population in that district.
He has spoken of the forests which were destroyed by fire owing to the railroad going through. Railroads go through other forests in the Maritime provinces and through other forest areas in Canada. At the same time, I would sooner see the immense forest area of New Brunswick in danger of fire caused by railroads than see it without any railroad at all, because, if the railroad was to set fire to the forest traversed by it, you would be sure to have quick communication and speedy assistance, and you would be able to control the fire; whereas you have not been able to do that in large forests where there is no communication of any kind. In northern New Brunswick, before the building of the Intercolonial, you
had the Miramichi fire, which destroyed millions and millions of feet of lumber of the best quality. There was no railroad, no communication, and you had to wait until the elements were able to subdue the activity of the fire. Since the Intercolonial has been built fires have done some small damage, but they have been stopped at once, and the same would happen in the centre of the province.
My hon. friend from York (Mr. McLeod), who moved the Address, is a man of many virtues and good qualities. He is a man who recognizes no limitations; and as the speech from the Throne was not big enough for his ambition, he would not be bound by its subjects, but went further afield. He discussed the Highways Bill of last session and the session before. Following what we have heard from the other side of the House during last session, he has blamed the Senate for having killed the Highways Bill, which was to be so beneficial to the province of New Brunswick, from which he comes, as well as to the other provinces. As I said a short time ago, it was merely in the exercise of one of their protective functions, the protection of provincial rights, the protection of the Constitution, that the Senate made an amendment which would have rendered the Bill constitutional, which would have made it fair to every province in the Dominion, and which would have preserved the rights of provincial governments, whether Conservative or Liberal. The Senate has the custody of the rights of the provinces under the Constitution, and the Constitution states positively that road-building and road-structure belong to the provinces. We only asked that they be left to the provinces, and an amendment to that effect was moved on this side cf the House. The right hon. the leader of the Government replied that it was his intention to do so. We asked him to put his intentions in black and white in the Bill. The Prime Minister and the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals refused to do that. The Bill went to the Senate, and a majority of the Senate took the same ground as we did and added the same amendment. It is said that the majority was a servile majority. If there was any servility, it was servility to the Constitution.
No senator would be true to his mission unless he intelligently and conscientiously exercised that function when he felt it his duty to do so. The Senate put the matter down in black and white; the Bill was referred back to this House, and the amendment was rejected by the Government. It would be better for the provinces to wait a year or two than that the money should be given them against the provisions of the constitution. The hon. member for York (Mr. McLeod) said that it would have been a great benefit to the farmers of his province to have obtained that money for the improvement of their roads. The matter was debated in this House, and I do not wish to go over it again, but I would call the attention of hon. gentlemen to the fact that while the Minister of Railways and Canals and the right hon. the Prime Minister said that the money would be distributed to the provinces according to their population and under their own supervision, when the Bill went to the Senate the representative of the Government in that body put upon the Bill an interpretation different from that of the Prime Minister and of the Minister of Railways and Canals. Mr. Senator Lougheed, who addressed the Senate on behalf of the Government side on May 22, 1913, as reported in the Senate Debates, page 661, had this to say:
It seems to me that hon. gentlemen who have been performing the role of critics of this Bill have a very great misconception of the policy, the nature and the origin of the Bill.

Hon. gentlemen seem to be obsessed, if I may use that term in its more courteous sense, with the idea that a great constitutional wrong has been done not only to the province but to the Senate of Canada by the Government in the introduction of this Bill. Hon. gentlemen seem to be equally obsessed by the idea that a very great discourtesy has been extended by the Government of Canada to the Senate on account of their failure to attach that importance which certain gentlemen think should be attached to this amendment which the Senate made to the Bill last year. If hon. gentlemen will look at the preamble of the Bill they should come to a different conclusion than that which they apparently have arrived at as the object of this Bill. If they will observe the language in the preamble of the Bill they will find that this is not a local undertaking. This has not for its object the improvement of roads in a particular municipality, or group of municipalities. It is not intended for a moment that this assistance should be given to the ordinary highway in a local sense.
Then I direct the attention of hon.
gentlemen to the first clause of the Bill in which this is entitled the Canadian Highways Improvement Act. A proper distinction should be drawn between the BUI and the meaning which hon. gentlemen are disposed^ to attach to it. Hon. gentlemen seem to think that the Government of the day in its generosity has suddenly come to the conclusion that municipalities should be helped and that the provinces should be helped only so far as the development of local highways is concerned. But there is a larger object than that in view. The Government has the object in view set out in the preamble of the Bill. I maintain that while highways in their local sense are peculiarly provincial undertakings, that this is more than a provincial undertaking. This is an interprovincial and national undertaking and does not come within that class of cases referred to by my hon. friends, and particularly the hon. gentleman from He Lorimer, who cited to us last night section 92 of the British North America Act, in which he sought to bring this undertaking under subsection 10 of section 92, and within the language local works and undertakings.'
Another interpretation, therefore, was placed upon the Bill by a member of the Government in the Senate: an interpretation which had not been given in this House, and which would seem to make it impossible for the farmers living along the byways and byroads of any of the provinces to have obtained the benefit of a single dollar of that money if the Bill had passed and the money had been appropriated according to the views of the hon. gentleman of the Senate from whose remarks I have quoted. I ask the hon. member for York, who pitied the farmers of his constituency because they have not been given that money, would that money have been of any benefit to his friends the farmers of York, or to the farmers of Gloucester, Queens and Sunbury, or any of the other portions of the province? It is not the farmer who lives
within a few miles of a town or city who need this money the most; it is those who have to go from ten to twelve miles over roads that are sometimes impassable, who should obtain the benefit of any money to be appropriated for the improvement of roads. If the recommendation of the Interprovincial Conference is put into effect by this Government, the money given to the provincial governments will be used on behalf of the farmers who particularly want it, and therefore it will pay the-farmers to have waited a year or two to get the money in the way they want it.
There are other considerations which demand the attention of the people of this country. We have heard a great deal during the last few years about reciprocity with the United States. We know that the arrangement which was made by the late Government did not meet with the sanction of the people on September 21, 1911. Although the majority of the people, for many causes and because of many influences, did not appear to approve that policy at that time, I still maintain with all respect that the verdict of the people was a popular error-an error for which the people of Canada have already repented, and which they are ready to repair at the earliest opportunity. I am convinced, although the verdict of the people was against reciprocity, that if the question had been given a fair trial; if the reciprocity pact alone had been 'onsidered; if the question had not been diverted by other considerations, the result would have been different. In the meantime, things have changed. The United States has taken action, and in this country we are confronted with conditions which have changed considerably during the last few years. My right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition has made an offer, as leader of the Liberal party-a leader who has always stood by the principles of true Liberalism-he has told the people of Canada in a speech at Hamilton that he would advocate, free food for Canada-that is food free from customs duties.
The Minister of Finance, the day before yesterday, did not consider very favourably the proposition; he did not, in 9 p.m. my estimation, treat it with the seriousness and the consideration with which he should have treated it as coming from the greatest Canadian statesman of the day. Meanwhile, under the circumstances in which we are situated, with an increasing cost of living and with a great number of our working men out of employment, my right hon. friend, in his

policy of free food or food free from duty for the masses of the people of Canada, has a determined follower in the person of the member from Gloucester. They say: but you have been promising the farmers of Canada a larger market. Yes, we have been promising the farmers a large market and we would have given them the greatest market that any country can look for, a market of ninety five millions of people, which was refused to them by the erroneous policy of the Government supporters in defeating the reciprocity agreement. To-day the right hon. leader of the Opposition appealed for free food for the people and the Minister of Finance says: What effect would it have on conditions? He says that the tariff is not the cause of the increased cost of living. It is not the only cause but it is certainly one of the causes and one of those causes which can be removed at any moment by the action, not of this Parliament, but of the Cabinet itself by the removal of the prevailing duty on wheat and flour. It will not remedy everything but it will remedy one great burden which weighs on the shoulders of the people, more particularly on the working classes who, like the farmers, earn their bread and the bread of their families by the sweat of their brows, the workingmen in the factories, the men on the railroads, the men in the merchant marine of Canada, the men working at days wages. During the last fiscal year the workingmen have paid into the treasury of Canada an amount of over $10,000,000 of duty upon food introduced into Canada for the sustenance of the Canadian people. You must add to that $10,000,000, as was well illustrated by the scientific member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark), the other day, a profit of 25 per cent or 33 per cent which the importer will add to the cost of the food he imports and then you have another $2,000,000 or $3,000,000 to add to that $10,000,000. There is, therefore, in the customs duty upon food for the masses of the people of Canada during a portion of the year, the winter season, when the supply of food from Canada is bound to get short, $13,000,000 that, by the removal of the duty, you can spare to the people and more particularly to the class of wage earners. That class compose the largest portion of the population and they also consume the largest quantity of food products. The poor man has at his table a larger number to feed than the rich man and, therefore, though his table may be more modestly .
served, it is as expensively served as the table of the rich man with two or three children, and while you save. $15,000,000 or $16,000,000 for the people you have done something towards reducing the high cost of living. This is particularly necessary in a period of depression in business and in trade, when you have a lack of work in Toronto, Montreal, Eegina and every other city in the Dominion. Under these circumstances, certainly one of the best remedies that can be employed and one which can be applied at once is the removal of the duties on food stuffs, and then we can look for other remedies.
The Minister of Finance talks of education and he says his Government did a great deal last year because it voted $1,000,000 for the education of the farmers of Canada. I submit that the farmers of Canada need, in many respects, more education, but that cannot be done in six months, in three months or in three years. It is a matter of time to give education to the the farmers, and it will have to be made permanent and to be made effectual. The hon. member told the House that his Government had been ahead of the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) in this respect. He ignores the fact that four years ago the Liberal party and Liberal Government created that Commission on Technical Education which has gone around the world and is preparing a report which I am sure, when it is published, will command the admiration of the people of Canada and will result in the establishment of a real system of technical education for farmers as well as for mechanics. But all of that will take time, that is, for the generation that is growing. It is not a remedy for the conditions of to-day. However, I claim that the Liberal Government must be given the credit of having appointed that Commission in consideration of the conditions existing in Canada. They say that production is not sufficient to meet consumption. I admit it, but the best way to increase production would be to give a market, and, four years ago, the Liberal party, under the supervision of its devoted and admired chief, asked the country to accept an agreement with the greatest market in the world, the United States, by which our people would have all the market that would be required at any moment, and that market would have benefited the people of the West as well as those of the East.
But they say that by that agreement Canada would have lost its fiscal independence. Are we British subjects? If we are British

subjects, if there is any British spirit in any Canadian, he will never lose his fiscal independence any more than he will lose his loyalty to the flag we all revere. Lose our fiscal independence! Look to-day and compare the agreement of 1911 between Mr. Fielding and ex-President Taft with the tariff that the United States, looking only to their own interest, have adopted for themselves. It is in their own interest that they have made a new tariff, they have not looked to Canada but to themselves, and we find that the pact agreed upon by both the Canadian Government and the United States Government would have given Canada a great many more advantages than Canada secures by the tariff framed by the United States looking solely to their own interests. Therefore I claim that conditions have changed in Canada to-day owing to the enlightenment of the new President of the United States. I claim that the people of the West would have saved over $20,000,000 if the reciprocity treaty had gone through. To my mind its defeat has contributed very largely to the condition prevailing to-day.
I heard with interest the hon. member for Edmonton say the other night that but for the reduced duty on oats going into the United States the- people of the western provinces where the crop of oats this year has been immense, would have made a dead loss. It was the reduction of duty that saved the farmers of Alberta and Saskatchewan. But supposing the six cents duty were taken off altogether, what a difference that would make.
The revision of the American tariff has been an immense relief to the people of this country; but there is one thing the farmers of the West want, and that is the removal of the duty on wheat going into the United States. It is up to the Government to open that market to the farmers of the West. They can do it at any moment by simply removing the duty on American wheat. If that had been done this year the people of the West would have shipped their immense crop of wheat across the border and made bigger profits. The Argentine Republic was quick to remove its duty on wheat *in order to get the benefit of the American market and are we behind the Argentine? I do not wish to be severe in my remarks but I must say I cannot understand the attitude of the Government in maintaining the duty on American wheat. If it were removed now it would at once let free the immense amount of wheat in the elevators and granaries of the West. The Minister of Public Works told the electors in the
*constituency of Macdonald last December that the Government would consider the advisability of removing the duty on wheat. Is it possible that the 13 or 14 wise men of Canada have taken that matter into consideration and have not been led to the conclusion that it was to the advantage of the West that that duty should be removed? They will not take advice from their best friends, not even from Premier Roblin of Manitoba. They would not take advice from the Conservative members from Alberta who came here a few days ago with a resolution from their friends in that province. It would seem however, that they must have left the resolution in the train, because, as -soon as they get here they vote a motion of confidence in their present leader. I addressed several meetings in my constituency before coming up here-I do so every year-and let me tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the farmers of my country in expressing their desire for free food were voicing the opinions of all the farmers of Canada. What we want is large markets which would benefit both the working classes and the farmers. When we claim larger markets for the farmers we claim also the reduction or elimination of the duties on farm implements. The farmers to-day are expecting that more particularly since they became rich had the advantage of that great market which should have been placed at their disposal a few years ago. When you tax the farmer for his implements, for any article of necessity he has to purchase for the maintenance of his family-boots and clothing for himself, his wife and his children-you increase the cost of living, whereas, if you free these articles from taxes you decrease the cost of living and it is by this policy that we can ensure greater happiness to all classes of the community. I repeat that I stand here to-day a determined supporter of my right hon. leader, that the population of Gloucester county sent me here at the last election by a thousand majority and that they are prepared to send me here again with 2,000 majority. We are advocating to-day as strongly as ever, and more strongly than ever, that change of which I speak. It is not because we have been defeated once that we are going to abandon our principles and change our views. We were for larger markets before, we are still for larger markets and we will be in opposition as we were in the Government for larger markets and not till the Government of the day sanctions our policy or gives free food to the people of Canada and opens

the markets of the United States for the wheat and oats of the people of the West will we cease to proclaim the necessity of removing these burdens from the shoulders of the people. They say that the people of the West should go into mixed farming but I believe that the people of the West have gone very largely into the mixed farming of late. We saw published the other day a statement of the immense crop of the West. It is composed not only of the wheat that they have been growing in Saskatchewan and Alberta but also of millions of bushels of oats, barley and flax. Considering that they have been settled only for thirty or thirty-five years, which is a short period in the life of a country, they have made remarkably good progress in mixed farming. While I am a free trader in principle and theory I know that you cannot bring in absolute free trade all at once, but when our friends opposite, because they were accidentally transferred to the other side of the House by the vote of September, 1911, say, that the Liberal party has done nothing towards free trade, I say that under the tariff revision of 1897 there were changes which were notable not so much for the volume of the decrease in the tariff as for the decreases which were made in the rates upon articles required by the mass of the people.
The introduction of the British preference was a great step towards free trade, it was a great step in favour of the farmers of Canada who have to buy a number of articles imported from Great Britain or else from the United States, and if a farmer buys an article from Great Britain in consequence of the lowering of the tariff against that article, which he would otherwise have purchased in the United States, it is an advantage to the country, and it is also an advantage to those poor workers in the British Isles, who are receiving so much sympathy at the hands of the Conservative party to-day in connection with this talk about a contribution, but who never get much sympathy from them when we are talking of purchasing articles from them at a lower rate of tariff. If in this country it is desired to decrease the cost of living without at the same time hurting the manufacturer, let the manufacturer be inspired by the sentiments which inspire the manufacturers of France and Germany; let them so improve the processes of manufactures that they will be able to produce at a cheaper rate than they have ever ,
been able to do before. If we lower the cost of production we lower the price at which the article can be sold in the country, and if an article is sold at a reasonably low price, or as low as it can be sold, the better it is for the home manufacturer, because the manufacturers of other countries are not so interested in trying to fill the markets here with their own goods, and therefore look for markets elsewhere.
There is another subject which was discussed by my hon. friend the mover of the Address; I refer to that great question of a contribution. He also joined the concert on the other side in stating that Canada had been humiliated by the position of the Liberal majority in the Senate, which had in a sense objected to the passing of the Naval Contribution Bill granting $35,000,000 with which to build three dreadnoughts as our contribution to the British navy. I do not wish to speak at length on that question, as I had occasion to give my views to this Parliament and to Canada with regard to it last session, but let me tell you again that I see no humiliation for Canada in the position taken by tlie Senate in asking the Government not to pass that Bill before an appeal is taken to the people, and to put into execution the promise which was given by the right hon. leader of the Government himself when he introduced his measure, and also before he introduced it. He stated publicly upon his return from England that he would introduce the Bill, and that if Parliament did not grant the money he would appeal to the people. The Senate said: Appeal to the people first, and if you are sustained by the
people we will vote your Bill. We are told we have brought about national humiliation because the members on this side of the House did not agree to endorse the changed views of the ministers and their supporters with regard to the navy, but when we remember that in 1909 they were in harmony with us in suggesting a Canadian navy and protesting against the contribution, it is not to be wondered at that we were not able to swallow the altered views of the Government. And if these gentlemen opposite thought our action led to humiliation of the empire, why have they not brought on an election to test the feelings of the people of Canada. Where is there an emergency to-day; why have they not sought the opinion of the electorate? Let

me point out that the people of England, as represented by the First Lord of the Admiralty, have not looked upon the action of this Parliament as a humiliation. The Hon. Winston Churchill, speaking in the English House of Commons on the 16th of July last, after the prorogation of this Parliament, said:
Although the Naval Aid Bill was rejected, the question of Canada participating in her own defence and in that of the empire is by no means dead. Whether we read the speeches of members of the Government or of the Opposition we see that although there are differences of opinion and method, and although the matter is one of party disputation, there is an overwhelming consensus of opinion that action should be taken and that soon.
Mr. Churchill knows that there was an overwhelming expression of opinion that action should be taken by Canada, and that it was only a difference of method between the Liberals and Conservatives, which difference of method was because of the withdrawal of the Conservative party from the Naval Service Act, to which they had given their adherence two years previously. Mr. Churchill went on to say:
The position is not yet clear, and I am very much inclined to think that harm rather than good may result from our attempt to debate it much in public. Canada is absolute mistress of her own destiny. Although I cannot attempt to forecast the course to be finally decided by Canada, I think that these speeches taken by themselves, apart from all other public and private information plainly show that the question of Canada taking effective part In the general naval defence of the empire is by no means closed, and we have no right to assume at present that we are to he left to face the emergencies of the future unaided and left to bear the whole burden alone.
Later on, Mr. Churchill said:
By next year, however, it is probable that the Canadian situation will have defined itself and we shall be in a better position to judge whether further acceleration of next year's ships or atlernatively, direct addition to our programme will be forced upon us. That is the policy which we recommended to the committee and which we regard as a wise, sober and adequate provision. We shall not be drawn from it by any agitation.
In view of the statement of Mr. Churchill, that the action of Canada would be known this present year, it is inexplicable to me why the Government have not introduced their naval policy. The Prime Minister knows that the question of contribution is awaiting the determination of the people of Canada; he knows that his promised permanent policy will have to be submitted to the people, and why then does he not introduce a fair redistribution Bill, pass it this session, and submit the question to the
people. I challenge the right hon. gentleman to take this course. I thank the members of the House for the kind attention they have given me.

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