However, that may be, what I desire to say is that so far as Mr. Devlin's opinions upon the subject of home rule for Ireland or the Nationalist question in Ireland are concerned, they do not concern either myself or the officers of the department particularly, and I am bound to say that I do not see why they should. There may be agents, and there will possibly be agents in the Department of the Interior scattered over various countries, who at times may be guilty of what may be regarded as political indiscretion which it would be quite impossible for any minister to prevent taking place. I do not know but what perhaps we might better leave Mr. Devlin to decide whether it is judicious for him to entertain opinions of a strong character upon political questions, so long as he does not do anything offensive to the government of the country in which he is doing his work. It appears to me that is the limit we ought to place upon the expression of political opinions. So long as Mr. Devlin does not make himself offensive to the government of the country in which he is working, I do not think we need concern ourselves particularly about his political views.
I venture however to say that if it were thought that Mr. Devlin was not a Nationalist in that part of the country in which he is doing his work, his usefulness would be largely gone, and therefore we cannot find fault witht him for at least allowing the people to believe that he entertains that political faith.
As to the effect of Mr. Devlin's tvork I shall quote a piece of testimony, and that is all I shall say on that phase of the question. I am not going to ask the House to take my own opinion or the opinion of any officer of the Department of Interior, nor even the opinion of any member of the Liberal party, but I shall quote the opinion of a gentleman who is a member of the same political party as our friends opposite, and who, I think is very competent to give an opinion on this subject. If the members of the House will look at the Ottawa ' Journal ' of March 31st, they will there find a leter signed ' J. J.,' headed ' Mr. Devlin and Irish emigration.' Now ' J. J.' are the initials of the name of the writer, and I have the permission of the editor of the Ottawa ' Journal ' to state what the name is. I knew the name of the writer at any rate, but I did not desire to disclose it without authority. The name of the person who wrote that letter to the Ottawa ' Journal ' is Mr. James Johnson, a gentleman who corresponds in various parts of
the British Isles, for a number of Canadian newspapers.
Subtopic: ROBERT WATCHORN,