June 24, 1904

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LIB

Thomas Walter Scott

Liberal

Mr. SCOTT.

I was led to understand from the opposition benches that it was a private dinner.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

Then possibly the hon. member was educated from the opposition side. I do not know anything about the dinner. I know the result of it ; and Lord Dundonald has nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to retract or apologize for in connection with that dinner. I have just been informed by the leader of the opposition and by the hon. member for West Toronto that the Montreal ' Gazette ' to-day positively states that its reporter went there of his own accord-that it was a public function. Hon. gentlemen opposite can read it for themselves. I do not know whether they are losing their heart or not, but their tones are very mellifluous to-day.

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LIB

Alexander Johnston

Liberal

Mr. ALEX. JOHNSTON.

The Montreal ' Gazette ' says the reporter went there in obedience to the orders of his chief.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

That is his newspaper chief, of course, as we expect reporters do. I may say that I have badi a good deal to do with reporters in this country, and I have never known one who could be him! to go to any meeting and report for any man unless he was sent by his paper. With regard to the insinuations by the Minister of Militia that Lord Dundonald was publishing these confidential reports broadcast over the old country, that comes with very bad grace from one who has before him every day the Toronto ' Globe,' the Montreal ' Herald ' and other organs subsidized by this government whose columns are reeking with denunciations of the late General Officer Commanding because forsooth they charge him with wanting to impose a system of militarism on this country and build a line of forts from one end of it to the other and all that sort of thing. Let me tell the Prime Minister and the Minister of Militia and the Minister of Agriculture that they will fail in their efforts to prejudice Lord Dundonald, that they will fail to strengthen their own case and make

political capital for themselves by publishing only what suits them, and they will find that they will be forced by public opinion to publish the report of Lord Dun-dona Id in its entirety. I demand, in justice to Lord Dundonald and to the people of this country, that that report be laid On the table of this House, so that we may know really what it is, and I have every reason to believe that before the snow flies my right hon. friend the Prime Minister will be brought to his senses and be convinced of the necessity of furnishing that report in its entirety. The right hon. gentleman ought to know what the principles of responsible government are, though I must confess he has not in this matter given any evidence that he has the slightest conception of those principles. He may stand up here, as I have seen him do often before, and shake that magnificent head of his and slap his breast and declare that he is a politician of the type of the old English politicians-

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CON
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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

Yes, and a democrat to the hilt, but what we require of him is to stand by the principles of responsible government and put his thumb down on men like the Minister of Militia and the Minister of Agriculture who will use these reports and then refuse to let them go to the country. Was it a guilty conscience which led the Minister of Militia to talk of subsidized reporters ? Is he aware that it is the Dominion government which paid for the cabling of the Order in Council of the other day to the English papers ? Is he aware that the Order in Council was cabled across at the instance of a member of the government and was paid for by the government ? Is the Prime Minister aware that out of the fund-I am not sure whether it was the money of the people or the money raked in from contractors- the English press is supplied with rubbish from this side, boosting him and his government to the skies ? Is he aware that out of the money of this country the subsidized agents of the government in the the old country, the officers in Lord Strath-cona's office and in the government agencies, are paid for spending their time writing articles for publication in the North Wales ' Gazette,' the South Wales ' Mirror,' the West Yorkshire ' Tooter ' and a lot of little one-horse country papers, and then this stuff is cabled back as the opinions of the English public. This stuff, which Is written up in the back offices of the government agencies and published in these newspapers is then cabled back to this country as expressing English public opinion. If the right hon. gentleman is not aware of this, I draw his attention to it now so that when the $15,000 item comes up for paying these

men he will be able to explain it with some knowledge of what is taking place. Periodically we get papers from the old country with two or three columns-and mark you, Sir, these are not published for nothing- of speeches of the Minister of Agriculture at different places, describing how eloquently he addressed the public on the way to kill chickens and make butter and things of that sort; and no doubt it is the good solid money from the pockets of Canadian farmers which pays for these eulogistic articles. That sort of thing will have to be stopped. All we ask is fair play. All we ask is that honest reports be sent out to the English press and that our officers in the old country, paid with our money, shall nc(t isend 'columns of hog wash to such papers as the ' Daily News ' and the ' Chronicle.' If the government want to make use of the English press, let them send reliable matter to journals of the stamp of the * Spectator,' the ' Post,' the ' Times ' and the ' Telegraph,' and not to disloyal journals which took the part of the Boers, which were subsidized by the Boer.

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LIB
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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

I can guarantee that there are not many obituary notices traceable to our- hon. friend or any of his party.

' Mr. MACPHERSON. There was no room there for anybody else but yourself.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

There is another little matter to which I wish to refer. The Ministers of Militia and Agriculture and also the Prime Minister have charged Lord Dundonald with not observing the principles of responsible .government. But neither in their subsidized organs nor from their places in this House have they pointed out one act of Lord Dundonald which is nqt in harmony with the principles of responsible government. Suppose Lord Dundonald did defy them and make a speech in Montreal, is that contrary to the principles of responsible government ? Did not Hampden defy the government of England and bring about a reform ? Did not William the Third and his friends defy tyranny in Great Britain and bring about a reform? Did not George Washington and his friends in the United States take a stand against the government of that day and bring about a reform ? If Lord Dundonald has taken a stand in this country in order to bring our people to a realization of the position they occupy and the practices that are going on, he is quite prepared to take the responsibility of what he did and there is nothing in his action contrary to the principles of responsible government. Suppose he has fallen foul of our friends, he is ready to abide by the consequences. He asks no favours and he has acted in a legal

and constitutional manner. Where then has he done anything which was not in perfect harmony with the principles of responsible government ? Hon. gentlemen opposite failed to show us that Lord Dundonald has sinned in any way against responsible government, but they have attempted by their bluster to cover up the real issue and justify their own shortcomings. The Minister of Militia waxed very warm last night because Lord Dundonald 'had said that there was some difficulty between himself and the government. But surely the hon. minister must understand the use of the English language. The charge is made by Lord Dundonald against the government and not the government against him. I hope the Minister of Militia will study nil the proper use of the English language and not give us another exhibition similar to the one he gave last night. At one time I thought the hon. gentleman was going to explode when he told us in excited tones that this officer had yet to learn the first principles of proper conduct and before trying to control the government should learn to control himself. But I do not see how Lord Dundonald could say otherwise than that the charge was made by him against the government. It is he who is putting the government on its defence, and before the government are through, this matter they will find they are very much on their defence.

The Minister of Agriculture did not say much ; but he claimed that it was his right as a citizen, his right as a member of parliament, his right as a Minister of the Crown -nay, more than his right, it was his duty -to intermeddle with the organization of the regiment. All I have to tell him is this-that had I been Colonel Smart he would have got out of that business in mighty short order. As the Minister of Militia knows, one Liberal heeler tried it in reference to my own regiment, and he got out of it about as quickly as he knew how. And I may say that, in the olden days, long before I had anything to do with politics, when a Conservative administration was in power, a pettifogging Tory

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Hear, hear.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

Yes-you have

scrubs in every camp-a pettifogging Tory, one about the calibre of the Minister of Agriculture, undertook to meddle in the affairs of that regiment and to force the appointment of a chap who happened to be a friend of his, and a Tory. I say it to the credit of every Tory in that regiment, he was jumped on with both feet, and the officer who was entitled to the place got it in spite of this fellow's meddling. And in the days of Alexander Mackenzie, when the Liberals were in power, the Liberal organization undertook to force an appointment in that same old regiment, and, to Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

the credit of Alexander Mackenzie, I am glad to say that, when the matter came before him, he turned them down and sternly said : There must be no political interference in the militia. But I want to say this- 1 blame Colonel Smart, I blame him very severely, for his course in this matter, in that, though knowing that this meddling was going on, he had not cleared the decks long ago and publicly branded the Minister of Agriculture for his interference. But I presume that he was anxious to get the regiment together, and to keep things going smoothly and pleasantly, and so he put up with the petty persecuting, meddling spirit displayed by that gentleman. The Minister of Agriculture speaks of his close political connection in the eastern townships. How is a man who only knows the people in their political relation to judge who are the proper men to command a regiment ? No. Give me the man who knows the boys as they show up at the rifle range, the man who is ready to go into cami>

with the young fellows of the regiment. Colonel Smart knew1 these men ; Colonel Roy knew them ; Colonel Whitley knew them. I am informed that Colonel Whitley is a prominent Liberal, that Colonel Roy is a prominent Liberal-

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LIB
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LIB
?

Mr. SAM@

HUGHEiS. I am very glad to hear it. At all events, Colonel Roy was only the District Officer Commanding. And here let me point out where the Minister of Militia was unfair last night. And I want the minister to hear this, for I am reading him a lecture and I intend that he should profit by it. The minister was unfair in half a dozen things, but the one thing to which 1 wish now particularly to refer was this-that he made-it appear that Colonel Roy had been overlooked by the General Officer Commanding. As a matter of fact, not a solitary recommendation was made by the General Officer Commanding that did not come through Colonel Roy-and it was through Colonel Roy as District Officer Commanding, that they should have come. I take it from the remarks of the minister that he wished to ieave the impression that Colonel Roy, as District Officer Commanding, had been overlooked in this matter because he was of French Canadian descent. I thought that was far beneath the Minister of Militia. For he knows, and knows well, that the District Officer Commanding has nothing- and ought to have nothing-to do in these matters, other than to take the reports of the officer commanding the regiment in the organization of the regiment. The General Officer Commanding, with the minister's knowledge and consent, gave the organization of the regiment to the brigadier, Lieutenant-Colonel Whitley, a staunch Liberal,

as the minister knows. And the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Militia were closeted with Colonel Whitley when Colonel Smart came on this first expedition to Ottawa. Was Colonel Smart admitted to the sacred precincts within which that conference was held ? No. He was kept at the door, and Colonel Whitley the Liberal was taken in and consulted with by these gentlemen.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

My hon. friend (Mr. Sam. Hughes) will allow me to correct him. My recollection is that Colonel Whitley and Colonel Smart were both in the room with me

in room 27-the only time I ever saw them.

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Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAM. HUGHES.

Well, perhaps the Minister of Militia may be let out. It may be that it was only in the sacred conference with the Minister of Agriculture that this occurred. Of course, Colonel Smart was not in the room with Colonel Whitley in the office of the Minister of Agriculture.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Most upright conduct on the part of Colonel Smart.

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June 24, 1904