May 26, 1908

CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

You have not the information handy just now ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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CON

George William Fowler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOWLER.

He is keeping it in cold

storage.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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?

Mr DANIEL.

We have to take the figures as they are put in the official correspondence, and the claim for the 30 per cent subsidy was on an expenditure of $125,000. If that statement is correct this fortunate company obtains in guarantees and subsidies from the Nova Scotia and Dominion governments $127,500 for building a plant which cost $125,000 or $2,500 more than it cost. Now, Sir, as I have said, the important thing in this matter is not so much the subsidies that are granted to a company for providing cold storage facilities, even if the assistance was considered to be more generous than it ought to have been. I put that on one side entirely, and I say that the point here is simply and almost wholly the fact of a cabinet minister acting in competition with an ordinary private citizen, and in that sense using his influence to obtain assistance of that kind more easily than an ordinary citizen would be able to do ; and I think the connection with these cold storage plants, which has been acknowledged to some extent by Sir Frederick Borden himself, in the letter which was read by the hon. member for North Toronto, the letter of the Minister of Agriculture, and

M. ^ 1 /-v-P TVTi* I) "** *

ister of Agriculture, leave it very difficult for any one to form any other conclusion than that the minister had made use of his position, or at all events while a cabinet minister had acquired subsidies for an enterprise with which he was closely connected. The people generally are disposed to look to public men in prominent positions to set a good example in matters of that kind, and I think it would be a great misfortune for the people of this country if any laxity which is found to arise in that connection were not brought before the public in order that it should be frowned down upon and not encouraged in any way. The Independ-

ence of Parliament Act has been referred to, and if the minister has been guilty of what the ordinary reader going over this correspondence would naturally think he was guilty of, section 10 of that Act reads as follows :

No person, directly or indirectly, alone or with any other, by himself or by the interposition of any trustee or third party, holding or enjoying, undertaking or executing any contract or agreement, expressed or implied, with or for the government of Canada on behalf of the Crown, or with or for any of the officers of the government of Canada, for which any public money of Canada is (to be paid, shall be eligible as a member of the House of Commons or shall sit or vote in the said House.

So that this is a matter of very serious moment, and I think no apology need be offered for bringing it up in this House, and I would certainly be very glad indeed if the Minister of Agriculture could explain away the letter which he wrote, in which he stated that the Minister of Militia had made personal application for a subsidy for a concern in which he was interested. If he can put any other face on that letter than the words would naturally bear, I for one will be very glad indeed. I think it is a misfortune for a minister of the Crown to be even suspected of making use of bis cabinet position to assist any enterprise in which he may be interested. It is just the same as if a member of the cabinet, on an occasion when the government were contemplating changes in the tariff, should make use of the knowledge which his position in the cabinet would give him of such proposed changes for his own advantage in a commercial sense in the open market. What sort of opinion would the people of this country have of such a minister? I am sure that the mere mention of such a thing shows how impossible it is for this country for a moment to allow anything of that kind to he done, or to be suspected of being done, without its being frowned down upon, so that a certain and immediate stop shall be put to it for all time to come.

Hon. SYDNEY FISHER (Minister of Agriculture.) Mr. Speaker, my bon. friend who has just sat down has expressed the hope that I can explain matters a little in connection with this transaction. I think, Sir, if my hon. friend and those who seem to agree with him would exercise a little common sense in their interpretation of things, and not allow themselves to be carried awTay by the desire to cause political injury to my hon. friend the Minister of Militia, they would be able to find an explanation for themselves. My hon. friend has spoken of the honour and integrity of members of the government and of members of parliament. He must be well aware that even supposing the Minister of Militia were a shareholder in a company doing business

with the government of Canada, he would be legally entitled to be so. My hon. friend does not remember, perhaps, but I do well, when the Hon. Thos. White, who was a minister of the Crown in Sir John Macdonald's government, was a shareholder of the Gazette Printing Company in Montreal for years and years while he sat in this' House, and yet he did not violate the Independence of Parliament Act.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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CON

George Taylor (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

He is dead : let him alone.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

He is dead, and he was an honourable man who would not have done anything contrary to the Independence of Parliament Act; and yet he was a shareholder in the Gazette Company at the time he was Minister of the Interior, and when the Gazette Company had a contract with the government.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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CON

George Taylor (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

Let his ashes rest in peace.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Let his ashes rest in peace. He did perfectly right, and my hon. friend from Leeds and the hon. gentlemen around him are the men who are casting aspersions on the memory of Mr. Thos. White. Hon. gentlemen opposite think a great deal of the Hon. Joseph Chamberlain, who was a member of the imperial- government; and yet it is well known that at the time he was a member of the government he was a shareholder in a company in Birmingham which constantly had contracts with the government of which he was a member. The hon. member for St. John (Mr. Daniel) has just alluded to the position of a member advocating changes in the tariff. The Hon. Joseph Chamberlain was a member of a company which was interested in the manufacture of screws and other things at the very time he was carrying on a propaganda for the purpose of giving protection to the industries in which he was engaged.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

He was not a member of the cabinet.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I am making no accusation against Mr. Chamberlain, or questioning the perfect integrity of what he was doing; but I am pointing out that it does not lie on the lips of hon. gentlemen opposite, who approve of the actions of the gentlemen to whom I have referred, to come here and endeavour to cast aspersions on the Minister of Militia, who was not and has never been a member of a company carrying on business with or receiving subventions from the government of which he is a member. ,

Sir, a great deal of stress has been laid bv my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) on a letter which I wrote to Mr. Williams. I did that perhaps in rather loose language, since my hon. friend's ingenuity has been able to draw from it prac-

tically the basis of his whole accusation against the Minister of Militia. The Minister of Militia had been talking with me and probably a great many other people, of the importance of developing the fruit industry and other agricultural operations in the province of Nova Scotia. The Minister of Militia is a land owner in the province of Nova Scotia and has properties there which he thought were not giving that great return which they ought to be giving and might be made to give if properly managed from an agricultural point of view. He discussed these things with me on many an occasion. He talked to me about the proposition he has here described of establishing a company which I think was called the ' Canada Lands Produce and Cold Storage Company, Limited,' a large undertaking intended to be capitalized at a million dollars with which to develop large fruit growing and other agricultural industries in the county he has the honour to represent. I cannot see for a moment that in this my hon. friend was doing anything improper. On the contrary, he was doing what was in the very best interests of the people whom he represented, the people of the province of Nova Scotia at large and the people of the Dominion of Canada at large. When that question of cold storage came up my hon. friend the Minister of Militia, like myself and the other members of the government, believe that the Act which was being placed upon the statute-book for the encouragement of cold storage would be a good one. Supposing even for a moment that he was interested in a company which might get a bonus under that Act, supposing even for a moment that that was the case

he has denied that this is the case and as far as I am personally aware of the matters, I know that it is not the case and 'that he was not interested in any company that got the bonus or was expecting to get It-but supposing that he was, would it be proper and right for him as a minister of the Crown to block a proposition of the government to be laid before parliament which was in the interests of the people of Canada at large ? If a cold storage proposition-

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Oh, oh.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

My hon. friend smiles.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I am smiling at the trend of the argument.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

Yes, I suppose my hon. friend can hardly realize it.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

No, I suppose not.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I hardly expected he would. I would like to know whether he would go so far as to say-

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. FOSTER.

Dear knows whether he would or not.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I do not know how far he would go because it would be far beyond my ken.

Mr. FISHER

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I dare say; your ken does not go very far.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink
LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

We will let that drop.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Now go on with your argument.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENTS TO THE CRIMINAL CODE.
Subtopic:   R. J. GRAHAM.
Permalink

May 26, 1908