My hon. friend from Peterborough said with reference to that at the time :
Whoever gave that information to Mr. McGregor, the whole thing Is incorrect.
Yet, in face of that statement, the hon. member for Vancouver reasserts his original statement and gives the authority of Mr. McGregor. Now, then, when one section of the labour union says there is no such a thing as an associated labour union in Peterborough, and says that Mr. McGregor knows it, the hon. member for Vancouver gets up and reasserts that there is an associated labour union there, and that Mr. McGregor,
was chairman of that labour union, was there and spoke. That is denied by the labour men themselves, and they ought to be a better authority than the member for Vancouver. In the next place, Mr. McGregor is supposed to be speaking on behalf of the union regarding facts that ought to be familiar to the union. These facts are denied, or what he was pleased to call facts.
I would like to ask the hon. member if he can prove to this House that there is in this resolution that has been read by the hon. member a denial of any single statement in the telegram.
Mi-. SPROULE. The hon. member for Peterborough has first denied it in this House, and afterwards he has denied the correctness of the telegram that the member for Vancouver read; and in the face of these two denials the member for Vancouver gets up and endeavours to bolster up a statement that the member who is affected by it emphatically denies to be correct.
I understood the hon. gentleman to say that the resolution read by the hon. member for Peterborough denied the facts of that telegram. Now, I want an answer from him-does the resolution of that union deny the facts of that telegram ?
The resolution of the union says that no such union exists-that is a denial of it. Therefore, if no such union exists, they cannot have sent the telegram. In addition to that, my hon. friend from Peterborough denies the correctness of the telegram, says it is absolutely untrue; he knows it for a fact, because he is the manager of the mills, and no man could know better whether they were shut down or not. The member for Vancouver read a telegram saying that they were working consecutively for four years, while only two minutes before that the member for Vancouver said that these mills were shut down during the election, and that the member for Peterborough had previously said that if the present government was returned to power they would not be reopened.
I am not going to refer any further to that; I do not think it is necessary to call the Speaker's attention to it. I am only giving information in reference to that allegation of fact of the member for Vancouver. I say with regard to the allegation of fact contained in that telegram which my hon. friend has denied, that it is a question that affects the veracity of the hon. member for Peterborough as a member of this House. When my hon.
friend emphatically denies that statement the hon. member for Vancouver is bound to accept it.
So far as there is any matter of personal explanation it must be between the hon. member for Peterborough and the hon. member for Vancouver, and as they have both been heard in personal explanation, the matter must be considered at an end. Anything more is a reference to past debates, which we cannot enter into.
I wish to say a few words, and if I am out of order I will soon place myself in order. I am rather surprised at the position taken by the hon. member for Vancouver, a gentleman who,, I understand, was elected as an independent member of this House. But, judging from the way in which he has discussed this question, I think he is more desirous of preserving his party interests than he is the independent interests he was elected to support. The hon. gentleman professes to be a leader of a labour organization in this country, and he has palmed off on this House a telegram signed by one McGregor, as a president of the labour association.
If it is any satisfaction to the hon. gentleman, I will say that the member for Vancouver read a telegram from Mr. McGregor, who, I suppose, misrepresented himself as president of a labour association that was not in existence; and the member for Vancouver, who has taken some part in labour organizations, knows perfectly well [DOT]that any person occupying the position of chairman at a labour meeting does not constitute the president of a labour association. The hon. gentleman knows that perfectly well, yet he reads in this House a telegram signed by a person presumed to occupy that position, a false position. Now, what does this document say ?
Mr. McGregor had no authority to speak for this union.
Who is Mr. McGregor ? A carpenter in the city of Peterborough, a gentleman who has no personal knowledge of the institution managed and controlled by my hon. friend from Peterborough.
That there is no such organization in Peterborough as the associated union, or associated labour union.
And that is true, and there is no bon. gentleman in this House who ought to know it better than the hon. member for Vancouver.
Then, when the hon. gentleman who manages and is part owner of this concern makes a statement and says that the telegram signed by Mr. McGregor is not a correct telegram, does not give the correct facts of the case, the hon. member for Vancouver had not courtesy enough to accept the word of my hon. friend from Peterborough. Now, I would like to ask the hon. gentleman who has been associated with labour organizations, does he mean to tell this House that a carpenter who was never inside of that factory, who knows nothing of the work of the factory, is in a position to give a correct statement of facts in regard to the factory ? The hon. gentleman will not pretend to say that, and yet, for the sake of clinching his argument, as he thought at that time, he produced this telegram sent by Mr. McGregor. Who is Mr. McGregor ? Mr. McGregor is a prominent Liberal in the city of Peterborough and takes an active part in political campaigns in Peterborough. Now, I say the hon. member for Vancouver, as an independent member, was inconsistent when he accepted the words of the telegram coming from an active partisan and politician in Peterborough in order to prove his case.
I have always noticed that when an hon. gentleman of independent proclivities finds himself in a tight box, he always says that he knows nothing of party politics. Now, my hon. friend from Peterborough has been a good many years in this House, he is a gentleman who is not in the habit of occupying much of the time of the House; and I think hon. members on both sides will agree with me when I say that when my hon. friend from Peterborough has anything to say in this House he has in the past been found to be pretty accurate in the statements he makes. In the debate on the budget he, like other hon. gentlemen in this House, differed, it i^ true, from some of the other members in his views; but I believe we can give him credit at least for being honest in his desire to discuss questions in the light in which he sees them, and not for the purpose of misrepresenting facts. I would say in conclusion, that if independent members of this House take a stand on what I believe to be an active partisan basis they cannot blame an hon. gentleman on the government side or an hon. gentleman on this side of the House, for standing up and advocating what he believes the true principles of his party. I think this can be fairly excused, but I do not think it can be excused when it comes from an hon. member who professes to be independent and to hold pure and enlightened independent views.