I just wish to say a few words in explanation. The suggestion ot the right hon. the Prime Minster (Sir Wilfrid Eaurier) that this motion should be withdrawn has rather surprised me, because it is a motion which is not made without serious reflection. It is based upon the distinct statement made to this House by the right hon. the First Minister . himself that the House had been surprised in this matter by not knowing that it was creating a new charge upon the revenue and that the report ought certainly to be reconsidered. To-day the right hon. gentleman suggests to me to withdraw a motion which I based upon that statement of his. I have already pointed out that the report was adopted on the day following that upon which it was presented. The motion was also ba-ed upon a statement made by the hon. the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) on behalf of the government that he had supported the motion for the adoption of the report on the understanding and the assurance given to him by the chairman of the committee (Mr. Gervais) that this report involved no additional charge upon the revenue. It seems to me that under these
circumstances I was justified in making that motion for a reconsideration of the report and that there "would be a failure to fulfil my duty if I withdraw it upon the statements which have been made here.
Mr. Speaker, I am very glad that the chairman of the committee, in the very long speech which he saw fit to make to the House on this question, did not suggest that I had any motive in making this motion. I had none at all excepting that I did not believe that the appointment was properly and regularly made and I incline very much to the suggestion made by the hon. member for Beauharnois (Mr. Bergeron) that we do not require additional translators. What we require is an efficient staff and I am bound to say, from what I have seen since I have been a member of this House, that considering the way in which the members of the staff fulfil their duties, and the accuracy and the rapidity with which they make their translations, I do not think they are sufficiently paid. Taking that view, I think it is very absurd, when there is no demand no request, no allegation on their part that they are insufficiently manned, to crowd the staff of translators with new names, and it will be almost impossible, if that system is adopted, and when they do not ask for additional strength upon their staff, to give them the remuneration to which they are entitled for the important services which they render. I would like to say a word upon the question of the literary qualifications of Mr. Charlier. After hearing the statement of the hon. member for St. James I must, to a certain extent, correct the statement I made that I did not know Mr. Charlier. I do not know him, excepting that I do believe that upon one occasion that gentleman came to my office, as stated to the House by the hon. member for St. James, but I know nothing of him whatever. I also desire to say that as a genera] rule we accept too easily in this country newcomers and we give them government positions in the province of Quebec and also on the staff of the federal government without sufficient inquiry. Positions on the translators staff should, as far as possible, be reserved for our own people. We have competent men in this country, quite as able as Mr. Charlier, whatever may be his literary qualifications, and we should give the preference to our own people, rather than give way, too readily, as we do, to the blandishments of those newcomers who are cosmopolitan in Their manner and who are able to insinuate themselves into the good graces of the Canadian people.
Mr. Charlier has been working on the translating staff for four years and he has proved a very efficient proof-reader. I have just read a certificate from Mr. Larose, the chief translator, stating that Mr. Charlier has already proved his' efficiency as a translator.
I do not question that. I have heard of Mr. Charlier as a writer and the certificates given to the House sufficiently prove what I never had any doubt about, that he is efficient as a writer of the French language. But I base my motion on the statement made by two members of the government that if there had been any surprise that report would be reconsidered. I do not discuss the technical question whether a report adopted as this was can properly impose a new charge upon the revenue. I think myself that the imposition of any new charge must come from the government. If that principle had been adhered to in this case none of these difficulties would have arisen. Although I have not the acquaintance with Mr. Charlier that my hon. friend (Mr. Gervais) seems to think, I feel that I have rendered him a considerable service inasmuch as I have led the Prime Minister to compare him to that most eminent divine Cardinal Wiseman. It is certainly a statement of importance and would benefit Mr. Charlier for the Prime Minister to say that in certain phases of his existence in this country, Mr. Charlier bears traces of resemblance to Cardinal Wiseman. That is not the way in which I understood it, nor are the circumstances in which Cardinal Wiseman found himself at all the same as those which arose in the case of Mr. Charlier. Mr. Charlier was very sev-erly condemned by the courts for an abominable libel upon a most respectable clergyman of Montreal. It was not one of those cases of political libels or of libels where the imposition of a fine reflects no serious discredit upon the party condemned. This was a most unjustifiable and gross libel and it was for that reason the court condemned to jail the party accused and found guilty. As regards the blackmailing charge, that of course entirely distinguishes this case from the case of Cardinal Wiseman to which my right hon. friend has referred. Did I understand my hon. friend (Mr. Gervais) to assure the House that a ' nolle prosequi ' had been filed in that case ?
That may to a certain extent mitigate the matter but we know the jury disagreed in that case and that 'nolle prosequis ' are filed every day where the Crown does not find it possible to obtain Mr. SAM. HUGHES.
sufficient proof to establish guilt. Did I understand my hon. friend to say that a ' nolle prosequi ' had been entered ?
That may be the case, but it was a very grave accusation and the jury disagreed. I do believe that my motion ought to pass, not-only for the reason that Mr. Charlier's appointment was irregularly made, but also for the reason given by my hon. friend (Mr. Bergeron) who is a member of'that committee. We have an efficient staff ; there is no doubt that the system of making additional appointments to that staff when they are not asked for by the staff itself seriously interferes with the others getting that remuneration which they deserve. It is alleged by one of the members of the committee that no additional help is required on the translating staff, and I think this is the proper moment to go fully into that question.
Mr. MONK-by Mr. Bergeron-asked :
1. Is the government opposed, in connection with the All-Red Line, to the proposed Irish route and the port of Blacksod being used?
2. Has the government authorized the High Commissioner for Canada in London to state
that they were opposed to the said Irish route and to the port of Blacksod being used in connection with the All-Red Line?
3. Has the government authorized any one to represent its views to the British cabinet committee in connection with the proposed All-Red Line route?
Rt. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime
1. It is not the intention of the government either to oppose or to suggest any port in connection with the All-Red Line. This is a question which should be decided on purely business reasons and left altogether to the company which may undertake the service, the only condition to be insisted upon by the government being the service must be between the United Kingdom and Canada.
2. The government is not aware that the High Commissioner ever expressed any opinion on this subject otherwise than stated above.
3. Whilst the Prime Minister was in England last year he and the High Commissioner discussed the All-Red Line question with the British cabinet committee, and the Prime Minister has no doubt that Lord Strathcona has continued to do so.
Mr. LEFURGEY-by Mr. Blain- asked:
What was the date of the signing of the contract for the building of a new ice-breaking steamer for the navigation of Northumberland straits with Messrs. Vickers, Sons & Maxim, Limited, of London, England, and when is the boat to be completed ?
(Minister of Marine and Fisheries)