Mr. D. D. McKENZIE (North Cape Breton).
Mr. Speaker, at this stage of the debate I suppose it will be somewhat difficult to interest the House to any great degree in anything new that I may have to offer upon this subject. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Wright) who has just taken his seat, has gone over the ground pretty well from the standpoint of his party, and criticised the policy of the present administration in a modest and moderate way. Speaking for myself, I have no great fault to find with the manner in which he has discharged his duty to himself, and, as I suppose, he feels he is called upon to discharge his duty to his constituents and to his party. The keynote of the hon. gentleman's speech was the reckless expenditure of public moneys in the Dominion of Canada. If there be a reckless expenditure of public moneys that is a matter of which the public, whose money is being expended should take note. It is a matter to which their attention should be called and it will certainly be the duty of the people to take such steps as are necessary to prevent any reckless expenditure of money, if reckless expenditure there be. But, we are pleased to note, notwithstanding the description that my hon. friend has given of the people of the city of Winnipeg, that we have in Canada a highly intelligent class of people. We have a class of people that, I venture to say, are as intelligent, taking them man for man, as any other number of people in any part of the known world, if not more intelligent. After the opposition, which, I presume, was doing its duty, had sifted out to the very foundation anything that could be said to be wrong about the administration, the case) has been once, twice, aye, three times submitted to that intelligent, well qualified jury, and every time they have brought in a verdict, that, as far as they could ascertain, and having had the evidence fully before them, they found no extravagance in the administration. They found that the government was capably and competently conducting the public affairs of the country, and that whatever money was expended was expended in the best interests of the people. That being the verdict of the people more than once, more than twice, I am not much disturbed by the speech made this afternoon by the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat. The conclusion that a large majority of the people have come to is that there are no wasteful expenditures and that if there are expenditures they are in the best interests of the country. As my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) said on a previous occasion, if we are today spending $100,000,000 in this country we are spending it on a hundred million dollar country. That is the difference between the expenditure that is being made to-day and the expenditure in the days when the friends of my hon. friend were in power. They were proportionately spending very much more money than we are spending to-day, spending it with very poor results and spending it in such a manner that when the administration of public affairs was submitted to that high and intelligent jury of whom I spoke a moment ago, the actions of the government were condemned and they lost the confidence of the people. There is a great difference between the two administrations. My hon. friend from Halton (Mr. Henderson), the other night, said that the party to which he had the honour to belong never lost the confidence of the people by reason of their tariff or fiscal policy. I agree with the hon. gentleman that they did not, but he must not forget, while he and his friends are charging this administration with extravagance and mismanagement, the real reason why his party were turned out of power. While the hon. gentleman said they were never put out of power by reason of their financial policy he neglected to tell us why they were put out of power. It is no new story to this country that they came into power in the early days of confederation and that they went out of power in 1873 or 1874. Why did they go out of power then? It is well known that they went out of power, byreason, not only of reckless expenditure and mismanagement of public affairs, not only by reason of expenditures that were wasteful and could not be defended, but by reason of dishonest expenditures and by reason of shockingly scandalous expenditures that the people could not stand for and they were hurled from power. That is the reason why they went out of power on that occasion and not by reason of any defect in their financial policy. They got back to power and why
did they go out of power again? Ask them and ask the records of this country. It was because some of the canker, some of the microbe, which we heard so much about from the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) still remained. It seems that this microbe got into their constitution and the people's scourging in 1873 did not eliminate that microbe altogether. It broke forth again in 1894, 1895 and 1896, and the people were again obliged to scourge them from power. This time the people, having given them two opportunities of giving the country an honest administration of its affairs and having found that they were not capable of taking tne lesson, again turned them out of power. It seems to me that the great public have made up their minds that never again will they give them an opportunity