July 26, 1904

TOBACCO INDUSTRY.

CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier).

Mr. Speaker, I beg to move the motion of which I gave notice yesterday :

That the report of Judge McTavish on the tobacco industry and the evidence taken by him and all documents filed, he printed forthwith, and that rule 99 be suspended for that purpose.

Topic:   TOBACCO INDUSTRY.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I have no objection to this motion. I may inform my hon. friend that the order has been given to have the papers printed. My hon. friend refers to the documents tiled. I understood that he wanted yesterday to have the evidence printed also.

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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The evidence is very voluminous, and the printing will involve a good deal of expense. It would make quite a pile if placed on the table. At all events I have no objection to the motion.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not think it is possible to appreciate the report without the evidence.

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Motion agreed to. DUNDO N A LD FA it EWELL.


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE.

Mr. Speaker, might I ask the government if it is their intention when the House rises at six o'clock to-night to allow it to remain adjourned until nine o'clock. I understand that a very distinguished gentleman, who occupied a prominent position in the life of the empire i,s about to leave our country and I am sure that both aides of the House -would like an opportunity to bid him farewell. I refer to Lord Dun-donald.

Sir WILFRID LAURIER, We are now in the fifth month of the session and I think the best way for us to serve the country now is to attend to our business here.

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PERSONAL EXPLANATION-HON. WM. ROSS-DENNIS EAGAN LETTER.

LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Hon. WM. ROSS (Victoria, N.S.).

I would ask the indulgence of the House while I make a personal explanation in connection with the charge that was made against me by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Blain). The hon. member read from the Journals of the House and he had my denial before him when he made the charge. I am not going to read the whole of that denial. I said that I was in a position to give the

strongest and most emphatic denial the English language would enable me to do. I shall not, however, trouble the House with the whole of my personal denial which I made thirty years ago in this House. The hon. gentleman had my denial before him on the same page from which he read and we know what is thought of the man who conceals the truth. The same charge was made against me in a Tory paper in the year 1878 in the island of Cape Breton and 1 replied to it, also in a Conservative paper, as follows :

X did not think that out of some self respect, the old infamous charge that I wrote the * Dennis Eagan letter ' would be repeated, particularly as the most learned of the proprietors of the ' Advocate ' stated, ' we know now that Mr. Ross did not write the Dennis Eagan letter.' A more dishonest and disgraceful accusation was never made by one man against another. I stated in my place in parliament, as I now repeat in the strongest and most emphatic language, that it is possible for me to use, that I never by pen, pencil, or by any act of mine wrote the said letter, and that I never saw it. I was promised that it should be placed in my hands, hut that written promise was never fulfilled, but thinking it would, I had copies of it lithographed in pencil and ink as if written by me, so that they could be compared with the original, and I now send you the said copies and ask the editor of the ' Advocate ' if he has any regard for honest and truthful inquiry to compare it with the real letter which he still unjustly repeats was written by me. Why was this letter never produced in parliament and shown to those who are familiar with my writing ? In Victoria Dominion officials wandered about canvassing against me, and though asked, I never would so far forget my position as to write or use anything against them, and it would be folly to imagine that I would have followed any other course in Cape Breton. When the statement was made in parliament that I wrote the said letter, I telegraphed to North Sydney for information, and received the following reply from John Vooght, Esq. : ' You are at liberty to state in your place in parliament that I can prove that you did not write the Dennis Eagan letter.' I therefore, hurl back this vile slander, to the source from which it emanated, as the most unfounded and false accusation that it was possible to be made against me. If the editor of the ' Advocate ' could be moved to that sense of honour that should characterize noble minded men, instead of reiterating this slander, he will express his regret that he was entrapped and seduced to write what he must now know, was pure and unfounded.

The editor of the paper, also then a warm Conservative, wrote the following :

In the spirit of fair-play that has always characterized our paper, we have published Hon. William Ross's letter knowing that many of his friends in Victoria are our friends and subscribers. It is also due to Mr. Ross that we state that we have full and ample proof that the ' Dennis Eagan ' letter, of which such public use was made, was not written by him. A regard for truth and justice compels us to make this fact known to Mr. ROSS (Victoria).

our readers, were it necessary we could here write the name of the author of said letter, having the pleasure of seeing him almost every day. Nothing can indeed be gained by this unfair abuse of one who has retired from public life, and who has left a record behind him in Victoria and Cape Breton, for honour, justice, and Integrity In all his public career, which it would be well that others of greater sound and pretensions would follow and imitate.

Sir Charles Tupper made the same charge against me, and I Wrote him giving an explanation. Sir Charles Tupper, acting as a man of honour and a gentleman, made this public announcement, which will be found on page 1077 of the ' Hansard ' of 1887 :

I wish to make a very brief statement to the House before the orders of the day are called. The House will remember that, on a recent occasion, when the question arose of the policy of various governments in regard to the action of subordinate officers, I read a letter to the House which was handed to me by an hon. member who sits behind me, from a printed paper published at the time, which was some time ago, and which I had no idea was not authentic. It purports to be a letter written by Mr. Wm. Ross, then a member of this House, and at one time a member of the government ; and when I read that letter to the House I had entirely forgotten when it was originally produced, its authenticity was challenged. That statement was made by an hon. gentleman opposite, and I think it is right that I should say that I have received a letter from Mr. Ross calling my attention to the fact of his having denied the authenticity of the letter, and assuring me that the letter was a forgery. I take this opportunity of stating to the House that I accept that statement. I have not the slightest doubt of the accuracy of the statement made by this gentleman, who at this moment holds a very high and important office under the government. I have very great pleasure in making the fullest amend to the hon. gentleman, and in expressing my regret that I should have forgotten, what I now remember, that at the time the letter was produced, its authenticity was denied.

There is the statement of a gentleman. When I placed the matter before him, he gave a public denial of the charge he had read. I think that that is an example which should be followed by men who would like to be called gentlemen in this House, and who should regret having brought a false accusation against another hon. member. This false accusation was publicly denied by me thirty years ago and my denial was accepted, but to-day we find an hon. gentleman who would stoop to revive this old calumny. A more disgraceful accusation was never made in this House by one member against an other. It was due to myself and my constituency, to my friends in Halifax and in this House-and I have friends on both sides ; so much so that gentlemen on the other side express to me their regret that this old disproved accusation should have been revived-it is due to all parties. I say' that I should take this occasion to again

show up the falsity of this charge, and I trust we will hear no more of it.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I wish to say that as the hon. gentleman did not give me any notice that he would bring this matter up, I have nothing to say at present, but will answer him in the course of a few days if necessary.

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LIB

William Ross

Liberal

Mr. WM. BOSS (Victoria).

The hon. gentleman never gave me any notice when he brought that accusation against myself, and I am treating him just in the same way as he treated me.

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RAILWAY ACT, 1903-AMENDMENT.

?

Hon. CHAS@

FITZPATRICK (Minister of Justice) moved third reading of Bill (No. 132) to amend the Railway Act of 1903.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT, 1903-AMENDMENT.
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IND
LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

According as each amendment is disposed of other amendments may be moved.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Do I understand that it is the intention of my hon. friend to move several amendments to this Bill on the third reading ?

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IND
LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I doubt, Mr. Speaker, if he can move more than one amendment.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

The hon. gentleman himself cannot move more than one amendment, but I understood him to ask whether other amendments could not be moved by other members.

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July 26, 1904