I will withdraw the expression at your order, Mr. Speaker. Now, the matter which particularly brought me to my feet was the reference made by the Prime Minister to the fact that the Manitoba elections had gone against him and his government. I regret exceedingly that the Prime Minister is not in his seat, because I would like to have said what I have to say in his presence, and in the presence of the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) whom he designated as his authority for the statement he made to this House. The Prime Minister said that the reason, and the sole reason why the Manitoba elections had gone against his government was that the lists were most outrageous, and he quoted as his authority the hpn. member for Brandon. But. he qualified his quotation of that member as a reliable authority by saying that he thought he could give credence to the hon. member for Brandon. Were the Prime Minister in his seat, I would tell him that he has another thought coming, and I will explain to you, Mr. Speaker, why I say so. The Prime Minister said the lists were most outrageous. Were he here, I would ask him if he had ever read the Franchise Act of Manitoba. Had he read that Act, marked, learned and inwardly digested it, he could not have failed to see that, if lived up to, it was the fairest election law on the statute-book of any
province of this Dominion. It is absolutely impartial. No appointee of the government has the right to put any name on the list, with the exception of the judges of Manitoba, who I understand, are appointed by the Dominion government. Any man, twenty-one years of age, a British subject, whether by naturalization or by birth, who has lived one year in the province of Manitoba and has lived three months in the constituency, can and must get his name on the list, if he goes and makes personal application. And there is no case-and I state this advisedly-that can be shown of any man, whether Grit or Tory, Independent, Socialist or anything else, who had the right to get his name on that list and who has taken the oath to that effect being kept off the list. These are the absolute facts, as I call all men to witness, and I defy even the hon. member for Brandon himself, and the hon. member for Proven-cher (Mr. Molloy) who comes from Brandon, to deny what I am stating. I will prove it in this way. The 'Telegram,' which is supposedly a paper in the interest of the Conservative party in Manitoba, came out with a challenge. Let me read that part that pertains to this subject :
Firm in this confidence, the 'Telegram' will pay $25 to any qualified elector, who, not being on the voters' list and applying in the regular manner, was refused the right to register in the last revision of the Manitoba voters' lists.
I am not calling any Conservative to prove this case, but I call on every Liberal in the province of Manitoba. I call on every Liberal member who sits here. For, had any Grit in the province of Manitoba known of any case, do you think he would not have tried to earn that $25 ? Would not the hon. member for Provencher, who had an election staring him in the face, have tried to earn that $25 to assist in paying his election expenses ? Even the hon. member for Brandon, who is reported to be a millionaire,-why, $25 would have gone a long way, I feel sure, to save his personal pocket in the cost of his election. And not only that, but it would have justified the stand that the Prime Minister took the other day when he said that he had been defeated by a list which was outrageous. If 'outrageous' in the dictionary of my right hon. friend means right, and proper, and honest, I agree with him. But if it means, what ordinary English dictionaries tell us it means, I cannot agree with him. If he said the lists were outre from the Liberal point of view, or from the point of view of the Liberal party heelers of Manitoba, I would agree with him, because from their experience, a straight list is something that they cannot comprehend.
May I digress to the extent of going back to the system followed by the Greenway government, the former Liberal government Mr. CAMPBELL.
of Manitoba ? When the Greenway government were in power, they brought out one list which one of the most prominent Liberals in Manitoba characterized as a monstrosity of monstrosities. No Liberal can say that of our lists. I venture to say that in the little constituency that I have the honour to represent, where there are between 8,000 and 9,000 voters, not more than ten names had been left off the list that should have been put on, and these, I fancy, were left off by a typographical or clerical error. Besides, of the men whose names were so left off, the majority were supporters of mine. How different from the time of the Greenway government.
They had a Franchise Act and they appointed a partisan registration clerk. He took in the names that were handed to him by any Liberal, and the names that were handed to him by a Conservative were quietly shelved. They had petty lawyers as a rule-I say rule, because it was the rule that obtained in Dauphin-they had a petty lawyer from Winnipeg appointed as judge. I went to him with over 240 names- I am speaking from my own experience- names of my own supporters. I took them to the court of revision for the constituency of Dauphin, and Dauphin, remember, is one-third of the whole province of Manitoba, extending from one side of the province to the other. I went with him over that constituency and gave evidence, and got Liberals to give evidence. I did everything legitimate in the power of man to do to get these men on the list, and out of those 240 there was so few put on the list that it didn't matter much one way or the other. At every court of revision when I gave evidence or procured evidence in regard to any name I wanted on the list, this petty lawyer from Winnipeg who was appointed as a judge, this partisan Grit who was appointed by the Greenway government, would say: I will take this name to Avisandum. He took the list to Avisandum, and that person took it down to Winnipeg. I thought I had sufficient education to understand what Avisandum was, but I did not understand till afterwards that Avisandum meant Theodore Burrows in the city of Winnipeg, the Greenway candidate. That is the way things were manipulated under a Liberal government in our province, and I defy any man in all Canada to controvert successfully what I am saying. The result was that I went out into the election, a byelection at that-because the gentleman I have just mentioned never ran an election in his life till this last time-I went into that election and was counted out by two. And how was that majority of two procured? It was procured by stuffing the ballot box at Fisher river, where only eight men voted. Four of them voted for me, four voted for my opponent, and the others were found in the ballot box. Some of the men whose
ballots were found in the box were visiting in England; two of them were visiting in the happy hunting grounds, .above or below. Those were the methods, that was the style of education I had to learn in regard to politics. I have already mentioned the fact that I could call every Liberal in Manitoba as a witness to the truth of what I say with regard to the Manitoba Franchise Act. I have already mentioned the fact that I could call upon the ex-Minister of the Interior, the member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton), to deny the truth of what I say. He cannot deny it, because he knows it is true. The other members from Manitoba cannot deny it, because they know it is true. If any Liberal was disfranchised in Manitoba through the fault of the Conservative party in that province, he had a right to be. The challenge came out in the Conservative organ of Manitoba to get out like men and say: That is false and here is the evidence. And when they did not do that, it was time for them to sit down and for ever hold their peace.
I am glad, Sir, to see some reference in the speech from the Throne about the building of the Hudson Bay Railway, and I hope that the right hon. the First Minister, in sending out his survey parties, will carry out the promises made to the people of my constituency by the ex-Minister of the Interior, the member for Brandon, and the promises made by my opponent in the late election. Both of them had the Hudson Bay road surveyed to the house and doorstep of every farmer in my constituency, and I hope that the Prime Minister will see that his survey parties will carry out the promises made by these gentlemen on the public platform in Dauphin.
There is another matter I wish briefly to refer to, and that is the timber regulations that prevail in my locality arid in the province of Manitoba. This is not a matter of national interest, but it is a matter that concerns deeply every man in the district I have the honour to represent. That is not a prairie country like most of the territory of Manitoba, it is a scrub country. A change was made some years ago in the inducements that had drawn most settlers into that country. These inducements were free timber in unlimited quantities. Settlers were induced to come in for the reason that timber was there in unlimited quantities, and it could be cut and used freely, and in any quantity desired by the settlers. Those were the regulations that obtained when settlement first came into Dauphin. Those regulations were changed lately, regulations that had been in force since 1896. At present a farmer can only take from the forest reserve to the amount of 10,000 feet per year, and the amount the farmer has to pay for that 10,000 feet is exactly double what he had to pay under the
former regulations. Now, Sir, if a petition were sent round to the people of that district, there is not a man there who would not sign to have the regulations changed back to what they were before. I might go into this subject at greater length, but I do not wish to detain the House. I may add that when the new regulations went into force the reeve of the new municipality of Dauphin was a Liberal. He is now president of the Liberal Association of Dauphin. Two of the councillors moved a resolution praying that the regulations be changed back to what they were before. Copies of that resolution and that prayer were sent to the various municipalities throughout the province, and over 50 municipalities responded by signing that petition to the government of Canada to change back the regulations. Before I came here I had the pleasure of speaking to the Minister of the Interior on this matter. I told him that I did not desire to make political capital out of it, because I represent the great proportion of the honest Liberals of my constituency as well as all the Conservatives in my constituency. All I desire is fair play to the people in the locality from which I come. All I ask of the hon. Minister of the Interior is the privilege of discussing this matter with him for half an hour, and I know he will grant all I am asking. I have passed over-and I regret that I have- the reason that I might have given the right hon. the First Minister for the defeat of his party in the province from which I come. In the words of a dead language, they are ' multum in parvo.' One word very nearly describes the whole situation from the Manitoba point of view; that word is ' Siftonism.' It is a word that we had to coin. We were compelled to coin a word to describe properly the whole situation. It could perhaps be described in the words of the commission.who made inquiry into the Department of Marine and Fisheries-found conscienceless, ineffective and without any regard for the public weal. That is what defeated in Manitoba the government of the right hon. the First Minister.
Before I sit down I want to refer for a moment to the remarks of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Mr. Bro-deur). He was like the rest of the ministers, in that when fault was found with the administration of his department, he laid the blame on some poor old Conservative hack. He did not blame himself for want of horse sense; he blamed some poor Conservative employee. That has been the history of the Department of the Interior. Some years ago the whole law of Canada was changed in the matter of the regulations with regard to the giving of timber to applicants-changed for a few months- changed by the then hon. Minister of the Interior, the present member for Brandon
(Mr. Sifton)-changed long enough to give fifty square miles of the best timber in the riding that I come from to his brother-in-lawf for ;a nominal sum-giving it away without any tender, simply as a gift from the people of Canada; a gift that lasts not for a few years only, but just as long as he likes to keep it; a gift which evidently, in-the experience of the poor Euthenian farmers who live in that neighbourhood, includes not only the timber, but the little hay which grows in the swamps; because last year the employees of this gentleman seized three or four tons of hay which had been put up within the bounds of that limit by a poor Euthenian farmer who was trying to eke out a living in that neighbourhood. It is shameful, when you think of it, for the brother-in-law of the Minister of the Interior to get anything he asks in the way of timber at a dollar a thousand, and to have the law of Canada changed so that he can get it, and the farmers, who by the labour of their hands and the sweat of their brows are building up that western country, obliged to pay $3 a thousand and to take not more than 10,000 feet, and with no redress if any one else comes in and takes their stuff, while the Mounted Police of the Northwest Territories are brought down at public expense to conserve the interests of my late opponent, Mr. Burrows. Isn't it rctten, Mr. Speaker? There is no* other wcrd that I know of that can properly describe it.
I was speaking of the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries. His speech was very similar to the speeches made by my opponent in the campaign through which I passed lately. They were a whine from beginning to end. He was excusing himself all the way. The French axiom, ' Qui s'excuse s'accuse,' describes his position. I would give the hon. minister a pointer. I understand that ' he, or his department through him, has been spending during the past year public money on;, musical instruments in the way of fog-horns. These fog-herns, I understand, do not benefit any of the members on either side of the House with the exception perhaps of one. I would suggest, Sir, that he buy musical instruments that will be a benefit to most of the members of this House, such as megaphones and ear trumpets, so that the members on the back seats can hear what is said.
Motion (Mr. Todd) agreed to.