Mr. W. F. MACLEAN (East York).
Before the Orders of the Day are called, Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring before the House a matter of public importance, and in order to put myself in order I shall conclude with a motion. The matter to which I wish to draw the attention of the House, and especially of the right lion, gentleman, the Prime Minister, is the serious condition of his honour the Lieutenant Governor of On-
tario. I have already brought this matter before this House, and my motives have been impugned. Hon. gentlemen opposite, by their derisive cheers, certainly impugn my motives now. It may be that I am wrong. It may be that I am doing something improper, or that I am lacking in good taste. But on this I take issue with lion, gentlemen opposite. I am here in the public interest and to speak for the people of my own province. A great political crisis is existing in Ontario to-day. The lieutenant governor of that province is unable to discharge the duties of his office. That statement I made some weeks ago. What I said then was true, and according to the news of yesterday, I can make that statement with still greater force to-day. I have not the slightest intention of reflecting on the venerable old man who occupies the position of Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. He is venerated in this country from one end of it to the other. But we have a constitution, and under it there is a constitutional duty which should, in the circumstances, be performed. I am one of those who believe that in our system of government, the representative of the Crown is no figure-head. The ministers of the Crown are responsible to him as the representative of the Crown. Their political conduct is subject to his revision. In view of the situation existing to-day in the province of Ontario, I believe that we ought to have a lieutenant governor in office there competent to discharge his duties. I say this purely from the constitutional point of view, and I ask the right lion, gentleman, the Prime Minister, what the government intend doing, in view of the situation existing in Toronto, with regard to the office of lieutenant governor. In one of the evening newspapers published in Toronto, I find this statement last evening :
It is very probable that the patent to Chief Justice Moss to act as administrator, with power to give assent to Bills, will be immediately amended to give him power to perform the other duties of the officer, sign lieutenant governor's warrants, &e. Sir Oliver had all official documents signed up to Saturday last, but there are some now waiting for signature, and delay will prove a considerable inconvenience to the government.
I believe that this describes the actual situation. The lieutenant governor is unable to discharge his duties and a serious political crisis exists. The constitutional duty, therefore, devolves on hon. gentlemen opposite of living up to the constitution and seeing that it is properly administered. And, out of respect-and purely out of respect- for the constitution and of the duties of the government, as I view them, I ask the Prime Minister to take the House into his confidence, and especially to take the province of Ontario into his confidence, and tell us what he intends to do in the matter. Of course hon. gentlemen opposite have taken the position-at least some of them have-that
the lieutenant governor is simply a rubber stamp. If that is the case, he being their representative, they assume his duties. They are entitled to do so, but if they do so, it is their duty to see to it that there is a lieutenant governor fully able and competent to discharge the duties of the office.
In conclusion, I have only this to say-in no way do I desire to reflect on the vener-able( old man who is now Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; but simply out of regard for the public interest do I raise this question. If hon. gentlemen opposite continue to make charges that I am doing this from political considerations or that my words are in bad taste, I can only tell them that a countercharge is liable to be made, that countercharge being to the effect that men in office whose conduct is called in question before the country are sheltering themselves behind the infirmities of the venerable old man in a high position. I' do not wish to make that charge; and I do not think it will be made in the country if the government discharges its political responsibilities in this matter. I move that this House do now adjourn.