Does the hon. gentleman mean to say that under the last administration the government ever paid to the firm of McCarthy, Osier, Hoskin & Creel-man fees direct for work done by the late Mr. Dalton McCarthy ?
The costs incurred were iu respect to the constitutional fight conducted by the firm of McCarthy, Osier & Co. on behalf of the St. Catharines Milling Co., and these costs were guaranteed by the government.
I am sure the hon. gentleman does not want to misrepresent the late Mr. McCarthy. The government never gave the fees or had the power to give the fees to Mr. McCarthy in any case. His clients were the St. Catharines Milling Co. who fought the case and it was only when it went to the Privy Council that the government guaranteed the fees. The matter has been threshed out over aud over again.
I say that it was denounced by the then opposition as something unseemly and indecent for a member of parliament to do. Now, as far as Mr. George Chew is concerned he lives in the town of Midland and he will be my opponent. He has been nominated. I can only say that I do not think that if Mr. Chew had to do this over again he would have taken this $400 or $300 as it is said to be. It is a matter between Mr. Chew and the public and I do not know tliat any of his friends
are very proud of the fact that he entered into the arrangement that he did enter into with Burton & Brothers. I understand that he gave a part of it to the church just to ease his conscience to that extent. I say that if the government is going' to reprobate the conduct of members of this House taking matters into the departments and charging grossly excessive fees, all well and good. I do not think it will raise the tone of the parliamentary institutions of this country and I do not believe that such a thing would be tolerated in Great Britain or in any other country. If it is right and honourable for a member of parliament to take a departmental matter up and charge a fee for it, it is equally right and honourable to go up into the Railway Committee and demand a fee for advocating a claim there. I have nothing to take back in regard to what I have said and I can tell the hon. member for North Simcoe that in the township of Oro which will form a part of the constituency of North Simcoe he will have an opportunity in the next election, although it is not in the riding I have the honour to represent, of hearing these matters discussed on the public platform, and I would invite him to ask the electors to decide whether such conduct in a member of parliament is to be reprobated and condemned or whether it is to be admired.
If the sole duty of a member of parliament is to see what he can make by trucking around the departments then I say that the dignity of parliament will sink to a low depth. The hon. gentleman has evidently been scouring everything. I am not going to throw back names; he can call me what he likes, but he should remember that:
Immoderate words admit of no defence
For want of decency is want of common sense.
I am prepared to discuss this case upon its merits and I am not afraid to say that I believe that the right hon. the Prime Minister regrets that the matter has been made public and hopes with hon. gentlemen on both sides of the House who are actuated by a high sense of public duty that a recurrence of such an incident will not be heard of for many years to come.
why he asked the firm of Bennett and Fin-layson to give their cheque to the Methodist church; whether he thought this matter would ever come up in parliament; and he wanted the signature of the member for East Simcoe on the cheque in order to show where the money went to;-but what I want to say is, that it was not an honest statement such as we would expect from the hon. member for East Simcoe, or from any other member of this House.
I do not care what the hon. member for North Simcoe charged Burton Brothers for selling to the town of Midland any more than if they had sold to the city of Montreal or the city of Ottawa. In a matter between the hon. member for North Simcoe and his clients, his own clients are the best judges of whether or not the charge has been excessive ; and they apparently paid the bill without remark, something that had nothing to do with the government at all. But, Mr. Speaker, if it had anything to do with this government it was perfectly proper. If the hon. member for North Simcoe acted improperly, the hon. member for East Simcoe was the first sinner in that respect, because after he was a member of this House and before the hon. member for North Simcoe was a member, he was dabbling in water lots in the town of Midland and along the shores of the county of Simcoe. I am not here as solicitor or counsel to say that is wrong for one single instant. The Independence of Parliament Act does not say it is wrong ; the hon. member for East Simcoe had a perfect right to do it. But the hon. member is getting to a depth to /which few men will descend when he tries to smirch a member of this House by first making statements which the Speaker has decided I must not say are untrue, but which are not strictly in accordance with the facts, and then places a wrong interpretation upon the facts for the purpose of striking at a man who is a political opponent, but who is not a member of this House and therefore cannot be heard.
I need hardly remind my hon. friend that to-morrow is a private members' day. There are several Bills on the paper, and if we get through with them in a reasonable time, we shall take up government business and go into Supply.