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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 13, 1909, Lethbridge, Alberta THE LETHBRiDGE DAILY HERALD, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER, IS, 1909 SIR WILFRID ER'S GREAT SPEECH ON CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT Montreal, Nov. following isjcept in England. Listen to the lan- uage of the King oi France, Louis written for UK guidance of the yvi-; who was 10 b.- his suc- "La France est Uu euu- monarchi- que dans toute I'etendue. se 1'expres- sion. Le roi y repj estate la nation the text of the address delivered by Sir Wilfrid Laurior an Wednesday, before the Women's Canad ian Club on "Tho British and Ameri can Constitutions: A Contrast." The topic being one that .has always keenly interested the Prime Minister and upon which he is re- garded as one of the greatest living be of great value to students of history. Sir Wilfrid was introduced by Lady Drummond. He said: "Lady Drurmnond, ladies and gen- tlemen the honor, which is now mine, of being your guest, 1 am chiefly inde hted in the 'Secretary of the club, Mrs. Wilson Eeford. My young and charming iriend persuadt-d me to open the meetings of this club during the piesent season, and I deplore her ab- sence, therefore, more than anyone at this hospitable board. My young friend'also persuaded me that an ex- position of the leading features of both the British and the America Constitutions to a Canadian audienc; considering that our own constitutor was. modelled after both, would no be purely academic, but might be. o present and. living interest. -My ob ject, therefore, in here i to lay before you, in as concise .a manner as the subject will permit the. principles which characterize which differentiate and which, at thp entiere, ot chaque partieulier resente qu'un seul individu envere le roi. Pur consequent toute puissance, lout- auiorite dans Its mains du roi, et il ne peut y en avoir d'au- tres clans le royaurnc que celles qu'll ctablit. La nation Jit_. fait pas corps j.n Prance; reside ioute la persoune du roi." Suflicw it to say that for the five dred years which have -elapsed since the days of Edward III. the legisla Jve.poww of England has resided in the king, the Lords and the Com- mons, the three estates of the realm; in other words, no law can be passed was resisted by tine crown strongly in fact, it was only in the early years, of our late Sovereign, of that great good and wise woman, Queen Vic toria, that the principle was at last fully admMted, recognized and acted upon. The principle was as distaste- as to the Tuiors in England except by trie consent of ful to the George three entities composing Uie I and the Stuarts, but today it is fully Parliament, .the king, the Lords and recognized; moment a ministry the Commons. There Ls between' them I has ceased to command the majority perfect equality; they 'have The only book in which any recor r to be round of the British const: Union is the History of England. I 'hut history, from viie first to' th last page, you will find the evolution of the principles "which were fir: controverted but finally 'accepted and -which, one by -one, were embxl ied in the British constitution, th most noble code of political wisdon that ever was devised by man for th( of man'. Bu I should, at, the outset that ail .the ".countries' which at the pres ent moment constitute the: fairest portions of Europe are fragments of the once great Roman; Empire. Italy Prance, England, the Iberian Penin- sula.. the noble Valley of the Rhine is a' monarchical state-in the full acci-ptioii of the term, Tho king represents the whole nation, and each represents only an individual towards the king. Consequently, all all authority, are in the hands >f tiio king, and there can be other ij the kingdom than that which he himself sets up. The nation is wholly in the person of the king." The People Against the King This language was accepted by the people of that age, much as it may ?hock our ideas as British subjects; such was the' rule in France; such 'was j they have the initiative power, and paifty with the Parliamentary major- that the Lords no right what- j it y. This, ladies and gentlemen, is ever to change or to amend their the third great cardinal principle of measures, but must reject or 'approve! the British constitution. I have nam- Bheni just as they are, and that they j you three; first, no taxation except can go no further. by the consent of Parliament, no leg- The Three ..states i except by the consent of the This is the second principle of -the I .estates of the realm, no execu- .British constitution, that the legis jtivt> authority except with the consent lative power resides, not in the king, i oi Parliament. as was the case- in ancient France and in many countries of Europe, but in the three estates of the realm, the king, the Lords anu the Commons. Now with regard to the executive PAGE THREE By'the side of the Lords arose the The. Commons at first w. n; recruited from the landed gentry and the town burgesses. It remained so for many centuries. In 1832 there was a 'bill of reform, followed by sev- eral similar measures in quick succes- sion, which extended the franchise iratil now in Great Britain the right to vote is given to cverp respectable wage-earner, and that -country has come to the day of democracy. Happy England if her democracy remember that moderation in triumph is the keynote.to stability and progress, and that what has made England what she is tody is not revolution, but evolution and reform. (Applause.) The British constitution is the result of a process of evolution; the appli- cation of a few leading principles, by maxims, rules and lonjr to wiieh have grown with the ages, de- ermined one at a time, and all tenti- ng ane "single object, the gov- constitution "noToiUv a power, in every civilized nation it is vested in the chief magistrate, and in the rule in .every country in Europe, England the chief magistrate is the England alone excepted. It must not kin. thp noble Valley of the Rhone, all these countries were, at one time, un- the domain of Imperial Borne. Rise of Feudal Europe The day came when the mighty fabric tumbled to pieces as much under the weight of its :coucentratin_ at by the efforts of northern barbar- ians, and several centuries thr- of Europe was chaos. From "this confusion arose., not the Europe of the present time., but. feudal Eur- ope, to be again followed by the Europe as we have known it during the Ust few centuries. When the b- .supposed, however, that the kings were of different and bet- ter1 clay .than the sovereigns of the rest of Europe, they were human, and very human. Norman kings, the Plantagenets, the Tudors, and the Stuarts were all as fond of arbitrary po-wer as thfe other sovereigns who ruled in Europe, but here was the ifference: In Europe the assumption of despotic authority by the king may iave been, more or less resisted at in the course of time it arew, and at tost was tamely sub- mitted to; hut 5n England, at all imes and by all classes, all attempts at unbridled authority by the king vere met by determined unflinching and unconquerable resistance. 'In all the tribes which invaded the Soman Empire, the Angles in Great Britain, the-Pranks in'Gaul, the Goths in Spain, and tho Lombards in Italy, among all these tribes -there was very little '-civil government but there was some rude system of representation to transact the'." business- of the com munity... In every country in Europe, save system of repre- sentation was' gradually done away with, was set. aside'by the rider, but England.'the first crude .system of representation grew and developed in power and influence, -uniil it- became tin? Parliament, the- Parliament of king, but under the- present system the exercise of the executive power ij subject to a condition which is ab- solutely unique, which was never found in any nation until it was adopted in England, and that is that the king, in the exercise of his ex- ecutive power, is subject to the will and the control of Parliament. Even the most despotic king must have ministers, he cannot do everything himself ia -connection with any of the great departments' of state, but he -ap- points ministers, who carry on the Power of the Barons Kow, 1 am bound to sav, in truth and. in justice to history, .that tHie of first checking the ambition of the Sovereign, the merit of first plant- ing the seed of constitutional govern- ment does not belong to the class which we today call "the but it belongs to the Barons, to the Lords, to the aristocracy of Britain. Under the feudal regime in every country in Christendom the great- landed proprietors almost strong and powerful as the king him- self. After tie fall ...of the Carloving- ian dynasty in France, Hugues Capet who was the first king o'f the French, once said to a subject, who had taken the title of count: "Who made thee, The insolent rejoinder was: "Who made thee In England during the reign of Edward the First of tne people by the people hemselves. HOAV true are the words f Tennyson, in my estimation the idsl English of ail the 'English 'poets ince the days cf Shakespeare, when e -summarized the benefits 'of Ens- and's free institutions: You ask mo why, tho' ill at ease" Within this regiion I subsist. Whose spirits falter in the mist, And languish for the purple seas. It is the land that freemen till. That sober Freedom chose; Hie land where girt with friends or foes, height of her glory, is not to be com- pared a -power which has dotted over the surface of the whole globe -with her possessions and military pests, whose morning drum-beat, following sun and keeping company with the circles the earth with one continuous and 'unbroken strain of the martial airs'of England." This beautiful language graphically expresses the power which has been by the small island whose modest beginning has just been plained. If today Webster were to speak ujxm the same subject, if he could gaze upon what we today j with our own eyes, and were he descant upon the sam..- subject, with what images could he describe the power of England! HP could speak of her, not as encircling the globe with her but as the centre of a group of daughter nations who found the adoption and appli- cation tu themselves of the of liberty, but a closer bond of with the motherland. Proud as we may be as British subjects of these achievements of a country to .which we belong, there Is another respect in. which, it semis to me, the British subjects can derive still greater pride. The British constitution in another way encircles tiht: globe. tl'has been carried over the globe not only by -.British hands, but by the friends and lovers of liberty. During the last century all the nations of the contin- ent of Europe have been convulsed by revolutions in the struggle of tflie people for liberty, and they found it at last to the new conditions as a republic. 1 arn in honor bound to say that wherever they departed from it they 'lid not improve but rather weakened their condition, and-I claim for. 'constitution of Gireat Britain that it is more elastic, more practicable, more amenable- to the public .weal, and, more democratic than the constitution of the Republic of America. In so far as legislative power is concerned there is absolute- ly no difference at all; it.is the Brit- ish constitution entire ent names. They have under differ- Parliament, but the Parliament is called Con- gress; it is composed of two Houses, not of course tihe Lords and the Com- mons; there are no lords in the Unit- ed States, except the moneyed lords, the moneyed barons, perhaps, but they have House of Representa- tive? and the Senate. The head of the nation, the president, is elective, and all legislation must be consented o. to be effective by the House of Representatives, the Senate and the siilent. This is exactly the same is legislation by the King, the Lords the Commons. A man may thing he will. Selvts business who advise the sovereign king desired the Earl -of Norfolk president, as the case may :be. take part in an. .expedition to Gas- natural that the king, hav ing appointed his ministers, his aniii- cony, and- tihe latter 'peremptorily re- fused. The king, in a petulant isters should be responsible to him. passion, exclaimed: "By (fc ,Sir. Earl So it was -for many centuries and ages in Great Britain, but when the long contest which took place between the British Parliament and the king' over the legislative power had been closed, Parliament advanced a step farther. Ministerial .Responsibility. you will go or 'hang." The cool an- swer was, "By God, Sir King, I .shall neither go nor hang." The spirit of resistance was -the same in France as in England, but it perished in the first, whereas in the latter country it remained >a flame which never was ex- 'and thus "permeated the' It was found 'by the 'Course of events j who'le. body. All honor, I say, to the 'northern tribes burst the frontiers of the.Boman Empire the rich provinces which composed it -were -cut up and divided amongst the invaders. These nrw territorial divisions became the possessions of the most successful oldiMs, and at the head was the most renowned soldier of all. .He was the king, bat his powers as such were rather vague and undefined, he w ,is more a military chief than a civil juler His ii office it were, was not hereditary but elective: he was simply the first among his equals. He was selected by his own compan- and the position to which he was elrcted he held for life, unless he was displaced by a more success-' fu! rival, and the powers which he executed for the guidance of the com- munity were subject to the advice of _ I England., the pride .01 ail British sub- jects all. parts of the and alike the envy and "the aim of 'all friends law -and order all the world-over., Growth of Parliamentary Power It .was by-this-.nascent Parliament that the ambition of kings was ?d, and this' was done through the orin-cipb which was asserted -almost with the origin of the monarchy in England, that in the realm of Eng and the king has no powers to levy taxation upon his subjects, .except the consent of his subjects. -This vas a bold principle in the middle when, the doctrine was preval- of the ever-growing omnipotence the king of the .innointed of the ,ord. as the phrase was then current. That principle bred in the- people of England- a strength of .character and a spirit of freedom which ;was not hen to be found in any other race. t was, as I have said, the nascent 'arliament of which checked !i-- powers of the king, and I ara ound to say that the sovereigns of tnose days east a covetous eye upon the of the other monarch- ies of Europe "which -could tax their subjects to their own -s.we.-t will and to their heart's content. that if the ministers of tihe king were not'in close sympathy with .the ma- jority in. Parliament they could eas- ily baffle the will'of Parliament as expressed in the law, and therefore Parliament advau-ced the doctrine -the king must be served by min- isters who were in sympathy with .'the elected representatives of the people and responsible .to them. This prin- ciple was not adopted in a day. It A land with settled A land of just and old renown, 'Where freedom slowly broadens down -From precedent to precedent. Where faction seldom gathers head, But by'degrees-to fullness wrought. The strength of some diffusive thought- Hath time and space to work and in the application to them- f the British constitution. Imitation That Is World-Wide Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ger- many, Austria., Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Norway, these countries have adopted, in wfoole or in part, the British constitution, all events, those '-which have At not ATo better definition of the British system has ever 'been written than is contained in these beautiful lines. great During the last century the American statesman, Daniel Webster, a visitor in the old city" of ?ec. At that time there .was a de- tachment of the British army doing garrison duty in the Gibraltar of the American continent. One evening the by a of Webster were saluted of the English troops, and a crossed his mind, -which shortly afterwards, ixi a speech de- aristocracy of England. History does not record a -class which has done better service for the state, and in Congress, "he oa-i boast of more illustrious fame.! these w-crds, while speaking of Happy England if nobles'of the! land.-.......... "Webster's Tribute the question .of. actual -suffering was yet afar off, they raised their flag against a power, to which, for purposes of foreign con- quest and subjugation, Rome, in the adopted it entire have adopted thos .two cardinal principles: "No taxi tion except by the consent of the peo pie and Ministerial is that all. These great prin -ciples have cros-sed the farthes oceans, a-nd by them the dorman civilization of the Orient has been quickened to life. Japan has adopt- ed it, and by doing so, it has jumpe; at one bound into the highest rank in peace and war; and even the Em- pire of Turkey itself, the decadent power, the sick man, as Lord Pal- merston used to call it, is seeking and may find in the British constitution regeneration. And, ladies and gen- tlemen. there is one power that hat o adopted the British oonstitrt- ticn. and it is. the most illustrious oi century, faithful to the tradi- tions, of the. past, in-, tihe new princi- ples and .new conditions which come up will stand as their forefathers in the vanguard-of freedom and reform. The all, that is the American When the thirteen colonies- viol ly rent themselves from the mother- land paid- .her the compliim-at of incorporating in the consthunon which' they afterwards adopted for themselves, almost in its entirety, with few exceptions, the princip.es of the constitution of the old coun- try, as far as they could apply their. Why Stanficld's Make Underwear a council selected from the tribe. Then j the same thing took place -among all the countries of Europe. The Day of the Strong Wh'-rever in ar.y place there arose a. strong ruler to dominate and over- awe his companions he aside the election of a successor and divided his estates and realm, or the" community, sUch as it was, amongst his children. That was the course of Charlemange; that was the -course, of William the Conqueror. This division or-cutting which, under a strong have reached a hirii of states, fruler, might Lstate of unity and .strength, was, of a source cf weakness. New modifi-wuioris iot-k place and finally the crown was placed on the head jof i-Jir; f.uU'st son. This I WAS tho origin of hereditary mon- jarchy -in Europe. In every country [except same thing took place. The king discarded all' check 'upon his authority. He became ab- solute: his will was the law, and his word the law. This took place everywhere, as I' have said, ox- A Cardinal Principle That principle was the cause of a long struggle between th- kings and the Parliament, which lasted with varied fortune until the days of Charles the First, when Parliament asserted it nut only by r.solutions. not only by speeches, but when they t'.mbodied it. in a statute to which the ungraciously assented, and from h lie vainly sought to escape, principle was established in- the statute, of 1641, and assorted that it was: "The ancient right of the subjects of this kingdom that no subsidy, custom, impcst, or any charge, what soever, ought or may be laid or im-j posed upon any merchandise export-! U P to 20 years ago, most everyone con- it all matter and shrink wrong o a way on imported by subjects, aliens without common consent in! "Parliament." j Ami this is the first cardinal prin-j ciple of the British constitution, that> the king has no power of taxation ex i cept by the common consent-rf Par-! Haraent. You may ask me what was i in those early clays the -composition Oi Parliament. It was exactly as it is today, composed of the hereditary Peers and the elected Tho only difference was that in those early days the Lards and the ws sat was one house. How the houses afterwards divided, how, one -became the House of Lords, the other tho House of Commons, is a matter of history, which I'need not dilate upon. Com- cniy how well cut and. harden. In those days, the makers were working idea. They were trying to to Jlnish Underwear so that it would not shrink, instead of trying to find a way to get the shrink out the wool before the yarn went to the knitting machines. The late C. E. knew wool as only a man can know it who studies it from the sheep's back to the wearer's back his attention to the problem for years. Living in Scotia, he soon realized that woolen underwear, and the best of pure woolen underwear, was the only kind that would and could protect the Canadian against the rigorous Canadian Winters. He found that as underwear was then made, he could not make woolen underwear that would not-shrink, mat and harden. He devoted himself to this problem and after many years of experimenting, he finally discovered a method by which he could take the shrink out of the wool before the garments were knitted. This method, improved and, perfected, has made possible the immense business of Stanfields Limited, with a larger output of their special classes of Underwear than any other factory in Canada. The Stanfields make underwear today because Canadian people find Stanfield's Underwear the most comfortable, the most durable, and the warmest for its weight. The Stan fields are making more underwear every year because the buying public demands more of it. Popularity is a good test of quality. In 3 standard (Red Medium (Blue Label) and Heavy (Black Label) and 17 other weights and qualities to suit the needs and requirements of every man and woman. The best dealers everywhere handle Stanfield's Underwear. Catalogue showing styles, and sample of fabric, sent free for your address. i _ Preston! Slanflcld's Limited. TEUBO, N.S. A Radical Departure in so far as the Executive power is concerned it is vested in the Pre- sident, but, here arises the first radi- cal departure between the American constitution and the British consti- tution. There is no ministerial re- sponsibility lib; the United States. The .President is elected for four :years and during those four years he is the head, power; he is ab- solutely beyond the control of Parlia- ment; the people who have" elected him have no control the Congress, which passes the has no power over him; toe is abso- lutely supreme, and if he does any- thing wrong in the eyes of the na- tion there is no force whereby he can b" rigiht. Now, I am very sure in this respect that our constitution is far superior to the American con- stitution. The American, publicists. however, have an answer to this: they tell us that the theory of tfteir con- stitution is from ours; that tlffeir theory is that the whole scheme of government is divided among, three different branches the legis- lative, the executive and the judicial, and that each one is absolutely, inde- pendent in its own sphere. one has to recognize that this bold and noble conception, that every, branch of the government should be absolutely independent, and that it- can move unchecked in its own Yet I submit that while this vie.w is .pectacular. it is not as practical .as, our own. A Striking Contrast I understand that in 'a speech 'of the kind I am now delivering I must schew everything- which -would even, approximate to politics., but I do nbt: Jiink I will commit a very ,grave; breach of this rule if'Hell you that: .here was an election in Canada in he year 1896, and there was also n the United States'. It so Iso, and I will not defend nee to it, that the .-result in' each- ountry was that the' party kt vas defeated. Well, in in. three weeks after the verdict of the people had been recorded, a administration had callert and installed in office, whereas in the; United States the verdict was. ren- dered in the first week of November, but the new administration. was not installed until four months after. Ifc took four months in the United States, where they have the reputa- tion of being prompt, quick and' sharp, to do what we did on this side of the line in three weeks. Now, the ui the constitution, both in Canada and the United States, is to have a government of the people by the people and for the people, as Lincoln called it, if the object is to have the will of the peope carried into effect, everybody must admit that our system of Ministerial res- ponsibility is far more effective, more prompt, and far less liable to friction than is the American system. This, T admit, in times' of peace, in times of moderation, under ordinary cir- cumstances, where no irritating question is before the people, might not indeed present any great incon- venience, except that it would per- haps jar a little upon the impatience of the victors, but when there is be- fore the people soe question which wrought great excitement, when popular have been aroused to a very high pitch I submit, with all due deference for the opinion of our American friends, that their system is liable to very serious dan- ger. How Lincoln Wss Fettered And here again, I will give you a complete exnrnple, p