February 21, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal


This question was
mooted, not last year, but three years ago, and I think this is the third time we have voted the money necessary to maintain a Canadian ambassador at Washington. It is very easy for my right hon. friend, in answer to my question, to say that he will be appointed just as soon as we decide who shall be appointed;! but if you never decide, no one will ever be appointed. I have no warrant to say that, but my knowledge of British traditions and my com-10 p.m. mon sense dictate the answer I gave a moment ago to my right
hon. friend. I say that Great Britain, through the foreign office in London, will never allow the Canadian Government to appoint a dual ambassador at Washington, and why should the foreign office give Canada, which has no sovereignty, the right to discuss with the United States the interests of Great Britain at large? Aye, if you were to appoint a High Commissioner like the one you have in London or the one you have in Paris, the case would be quite different, and I have already stated in the House and several others on this side also stated that they would see with pleasure, indeed, the appointment of a Canadian, of a man of substance who knows Canada, who is familiar with her trade interests and Canadian affairs generally, to Washington, where we have so many problems to discuss and to settle. That, I would approve most heartily but again I repeat to my right hon. friend that it is no more necessary to have two ambassadors in the British Embassy at Washington than it is necessary to have two ministers sitting in the Department of Justice. What would my right hon. friend say if, for instance, the province of Quebec or the province of Manitoba were to insist on the Government having alongside my right hon. friend in the department over which he presides, I must say, with grace and ability, a jurist, a lawyer from either of their respective provinces to assist him in his task? My right hon. friend would protest. Would he resign? I think he would.

Topic:   W. J. T UPPER,
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