In reply to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Tobin) I may say that if that is the view of the citizens of Sherbrooke I cannot understand why they sent two deputations to the hon. Minister of Militia and Defence objecting to the site. I may say in regard to the composition of these deputations that they were selected not entirely from military men but from men of both political complexions, and that they waited upon the hon. minister, and asked that this site be reconsidered and if possible changed. I am not objecting to the locality in which this drill shed is being built nor to the ward but to the particular site on which it is to be placed. It is an old disused brickyard and it is not a suitable site for a drill shed.
They were accepting the new site. They were parties to the negotiations that took place between themselves and the department. The council that were in charge of the matter would be parties to the negotiation with the Department of Public Works in regard to the question and they accepted this site.
My hon. friend from Sherbrooke (Mr. Worthington) knows very well that the majority of the council are in favour of the present site and he is only giving expression to a kick that comes from a small portion of the citizens of Sherbrooke. I live within six miles of Sherbrooke, I am well acquainted with the citizens and I am sure that seventy-five per cent of the citizens are in favour of the present site. I have been informed by parties in Sherbrooke that eight-tenths of the council are in favour of the present site.
In reply to the hon. gentleman I may say that quite a number of the citizens of Sherbrooke are in favour of the site that has been selected, but as I understand it, this drill shed is being built for the accommodation of the militia. It is not being built for the' accommodation of the majority of the politicians to capture votes. It is being put there for drill purposes. There was a site offered to the Militia Department which is adjacent to and fronting the parade ground, the only available place for drill puiposes in the city, and that is only distant from the rifle ranges about ,600 yards and is reached by a ferry which was put on by, and at the expense of the militia. Then, a man is sent down from Ottawa with instructions to go to somebody there and select a site for the drill shed. This he did without even going to any of the militia men in Sherbrooke and it was done entirely at the instigation of the hon. Minister of Agriculture who does not deny it.
Possibly the hon. gentleman has in his mind some site in Sherbrooke that would be more suitable than the one which has been selected, and if so I will be very glad to take the matter into consideration. I am not aware of any pro1 test having been filed by the council againsU the proposed site.
It is the citizens' money which is going into this building. I am perfectly willing to agree that to a large extent the militia authorities should be consulted. The militia authorities are consulted in the person of the hon. the Minister of Militia and through the department here, and I am quite willing to admit that the local military authorities should be consulted also. But, I am hardly prepared to say that the residents of Sherbrooke should not have something to say about it. They are citizen soldiers. In so far as the city of London is concerned I would not be prepared to say that the regiment for whom the drill shed is being provided should have the whole say as to where the site of that building should be. I do not think the hon. gentleman himself would take such a strong position as that.
iMr. KEMP. I am very glad that the hon. acting minister admits that the citizen soldiers of Sherbrooke should have something to say about the location of the drill shed. These men give their services to the country without compensation of any kind. It seems to me that for an officer to go down to Sherbrooke and select a site there without consulting the militia is not right. He did not even call on them as my hon. friend (Mr. Worthington) says. If no money has been spent on that site
If no money has been spent on the building it would be a generous act for the hon. minister to take this matter into consideration and thus relieve the deplorable situation caused by the hon. Minister of Agriculture in interfering with a matter entirely out of his department.