I am aware that it is alleged that there was an error in the date; but in making affidavits which attack the character of a public man, no lawyer has any excuse for making errors even in dates. If any hon. member of this House had been concerned in making that affidavit, and stated that that was an honest mistake, I would be compelled, under the rules of the House, to accept this statement; but when the men in St. John, who made these statements deliberately, and read them before a public meeting,
say that that was an honest mistake, I for one refuse to believe them. However, that matter has been judged by the people of this country. The changes were rung on these charges on every platform throughout the length and breadth of the land, and _ the people of New Brunswick, the province from which the Minister of Public Works comes, gave a decided verdict in his favour, sending him back to this House with a representation of eleven out of thirteen which it seems to me is a remarkably good certificate of character
We have head references to dredging contracts. In the part of the country from which I come I have herd no complaints on that score; the dredging contracts have been carried on satisfactorily, and at no very great expense. I did hear that the Minister of Public Works was badgered in this House last session for extending contracts for dredging purposes which had already been let, and that there was such an outcry that he gave way and called for new tenders, with the result that the new prices were considerably higher than those for which he could have renewed the old contracts, and the Dominion of Canada consequently lost a large sum of money, I think over $100,000 a year.
The hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Crosby), spoke of the good work done in Halifax by the good Liberals and Conservatives of that city. Well, Halifax is a very fine place, but it has had a peculiar record in Dominion politics. Some years ago it was represented by my good friend the late Hon. A. G. Jones; but there seems to be a lack of stability about it, for it frequently changes from one party to the other. It seems to be something like the monster which is always crying for more, more, and looking for something new. It has always been looking to the government to do something more for it, whether building elevators or something else, though it is a very wealthy city. I suppose in doing this it is consulting its own interests. I expect that four years hence it will change its representation back again to the Liberal party, and eight years hence it will perhaps change again. In the county I represent we have also good Liberals and Conservatives. They took the record of the present government into favourable consideration, with the result that they enabled my colleague and myself to bring that county back to what is and should be its natural home, and unless things change very materially, we propose to keep it there.
The hon. members of the opposition seem to be suspicious of everything. I suppose oppositions are born suspicious-it comes natural to them. Our hon. friends opposite are very often suspicious. A few months ago they were even suspicious that the country was going to turn out the present government and put them in office. But the
results of the_ general election have shown most conclusively and satisfactorily that that suspicion was absolutely unfounded. I do not propose to take up any more time of the House in discussing this matter. I think it has been fairly well thrashed out, and being a new member I shall not trespass any more, Mr. Speaker, on your attention.