Mr. SAMUEL HUGHES (Victoria and Huliburton).
Mr. Speaker, I desire to rise to a question of privilege. From answers given by the Minister of Militia to a couple of questions in the House in the last day or two, and the form in which those questions were put, a wrong impression might be created throughout, the country. I would take the liberty of suggesting to the .minister that he get some one in his department to answer the questions placed on the Order Paper in a little more definite manner than these questions seem to have been answered. It is very well known that for some years past a conspiracy or agitation has been carried on in this country by agents, direct and indirect, of concerns in the motherland, with the object of discrediting the Ross rifle and injuring it in this country. That rifle1, Sir, has spoken for itself; it has silenced all critics by the answers it has given on the ranges throughout the world during the past year. As president of the standing committee on small arms for the Dominion of Canada, last spring, before the rifle had been very much distributed throughout the country, and in order that it might reach every riding in the Dominion, as far as possible, and be placed in the hands of competent men who would judge it on its merits, I requested the minister to distribute a number of these rifles amongst the members of this House who would see that they were placed in the hands of expert riflemen in their respective localities, and thus meet
the slanders and falsehoods circulated throughout the country against the rifle. Accordingly, some were distributed. I thought one was issued to nearly every member of the House; but I am very sorry this was not the case. They were issued only to a few members of parliament, with that object in view. It is a very meritorious object, and I trust that the minister will see that a rifle is sent to every riding as an eye-opener and an , object lesson to the critics and slanderers of the rifle.
However, the fact that the rifle has swept everything before it, although only a few were issued, at the Rifle Association meeting in Quebec and Ontario and at the meetings of the Dominion Rifle Associations, where nearly every place on the Bisley team and in the Governor General's match was won by the Ross rifle is proof of its superiority. In every provincial and Dominion match, the Ross rifle has made a name for itself as superior to every other. For the first time in history a rifle-of which only a few were used, less than 20 among 4,000- took more than one haH of the first prizes at Bisley. I make these remarks in justification to gentlemen whose names were brought rather frivolously before the House on a recent occasion when there was no need for levity.