Let us not quarrel about these details. Let us see how these poor, ignorant people speak about the result of the election:
The defeat of Drummond and Arthabaska has hurt Sir Wilfrid to the quick. We understand the thing, and as far as he is personally concerned, he is fully entitled to our sympathy.
Under similar circumstances the unfortunate first offenders have twenty-four hours in which to damn their judges. Prime Ministers extend the time to forty-eight hours without finding anything to say. Everybody knows that the pretended equality of citizens before the law is but a myth.
But if the first offenders and the prime ministers have the right to damn their judges in a delay more or less long, we must not forget that it is a right of tolerance, and that in exercising it, one is not permitted to pass beyond bounds of recrimination.
Sir Wilfrid forgot this rule when he said in the House to those who judged him, knowing himself all the circumstances: ' There are sometimes defeats which are mure honourable than victories. The election of Drummond and Arthabaska has not been won by His Majesty's loyal opposition, bat i,y His Majesty's disloyal opposition.
These words are unfortunate as well as inexact. When a man glorifies himself on being the greatest man of his race, lie cannot bring down this race to the stature of wasps without losing some of his owr, stature; and when one is so much concerned with the consideration due to other races, is it not true to say that in the kingdom of the blind, shortsighted men are kings ? Sir Wilfrid has been neither diplomatic nor true in the circumstances.
No, Sir Wilfrid, His Majesty's opposition has not been disloyal in Drummond and Arthabaska. The electors who have judged your naval policy are all good British subjects; only they have not forgotten that thev are also Canadian citizens, and as such, following the example of the Macdonalds, the Blakes, the Tuppers and the Lauriers of other days, they have believed that it is necessary to think first of the interests of the people of the country and afterwards of those of the mother country.
It is properly a case of national egotism; but this is certainly not disloyalty.
. If Sir Wilfrid wishes to know" absolutely to what one must attribute this check that seems so hurtful to his pride, we will tell him what it is.
It is not, as the Prime Minister thinks, that the electors of Drummond and Arthabaska are absolutely ignorant of the policy of the government on this question of the navy. Only those who have voted confidence in Mr. Laurier do not know the first word respecting the naval policy.
The first reason for this check is that the sovereign people believe that parliament has not the right to engage Canada in a naval policy quite new without having first obtained the assent of the people.
some of them purporting-I say 'purporting' advisedly-to be the organs of our own party, that ihere had been a difficulty of any nature whatever between myself and the leader of the Conservative party (Mr. R. L. Borden) upon that question. Surely, although politics in this country, as we all admit and say, have fallen very low and are now in a degraded condition in many respects, it is possible for men who entered parliament together and who have known each other for long years to differ honourably upon questions of this importance without being taxed on that account with entertaining toward each other any feeling other than that of perfect esteem and respect. The leader, in presenting his motion, stated that he adhered to the views he expressed last year on this great question. It would seem that this adherence is manifested in the terms which he has seen fit to use in this amendment. The amendment reiterates the desire and intention to fulfil all just responsibilities devolving upon this country as one of the nations of the empire, and upon this preliminary declaration, it seems to say that it narrows the consultation of the people to the naval policy of Canada. That is, the naval policy, as I understand it, laid down by the government and endorsed by parliament at its last session. That is what I understand by that amendment- consultation with the people upon the naval policy of Canada as it stands, at present. The amendment which we had offered seems to me broader, seems to me more comprehensive. It calls for the opinion of the electorate, not upon the government's scheme only, but upon the whole issue of our participation in imperial armaments, the complex question to be solved by the opinion of Canadian freemen. If the people are to have the right to be consulted, it would seem just, in our opinion, to submit the whole subject to their decision, and not a particular mode of naval assistance. Therefore, though the amendments tend in the same direction, the limitation of the amendment to the amendment, in my opinion, makes it less preferable than the other.
I regret to have taken up so much time, but I deemed it necessary, under the circumstances, to go into some explanations.
(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I regret very much at this late stage of the debate to have to delay the vote of this House on the amendments to the address in answer to the speech from the Throne; but, if I may crave the indulgence of the House for a short time, let me, first, offer my congratulations to the right hon. the Prime Minister, on the occasion of his sixty-ninth birthday, and 1 desire to wish our distinguished leader very many happy returns of this
anniversary, in the interest of his family, his party and his country. Let me further extend my congratulations to the mover and seconder of the,address to His Excellency; they have proved equal to the occasion and discharged their duty in such a brilliant manner that they are fully entitled to the encomiums lavished on them.
I have a correction to make here to the statement of my hon. friend from Quebec county (Mr. Turcotte) in reference to the Montcalm election. He stated that the government had been beaten in Montcalm. I beg my hon. friend's pardon; the government was not defeated in Montcalm, but was victorious. In reality, I was not in the field as an opponent of the Liberal government, but was running in that constituency as their supporter; 1 did support them and I secured a triumph for their policy. Our opponents were conspicuous by their absence. I was running as a Liberal, I was returned as such, and should there remain any doubt in that respect, it would be dispelled by the fact that I was introduced to this House by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and one of his colleagues. The newspaper ' Le Devoir ' whose chief editor is Mr. Henri Bourassa, devotes its time and its space to personal remarks about me, its columns are filled with insults, abuse, slanders and calumnies directed against me and every body; but take my word for it, these people never forget me. Would you like to know some of the epithets applied to us? Slaves, time-servers, cronching ninnies, bribed, corrupt, place-hunters, valets, traitors, conspirators, heartless wretches, poltroons, cowards, &c. And to wind up the children of these members of parliament who voted in favour of the Navy Act shall curse their fathers for having passed that infamous piece of legislation.
Such is the language of that important paper, entrusted with the task of educating and enlightening public opinion. Such is the treatment meted out to those who do not share all the views of Mr. Henri Bou-rass
I attended the meetings held at St. Eus-tache, Grand Mere, Farnham, Montreal, and particularly at Chertsey, a parish in the county I represent here; these gentlemen who style themslves Nationalists, had chosen that parish, which is the Conservative stronghold in my constituency, presuming that Lafortune would 'keep in; but, to their great surprise, I was there. They were four against me and felt sure that I was going to be crushed by so many foes. But, you may take my word for it, at the close of the meeting, they laughed on the wrong side of the mouth.
At those meetings, Mr. Borden, the leader of the opposition, the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Lord Grey are held up and denounced as conspirators. Such is the language found in the mouths of these gen-
tlemen. I challenge them to deny my statement. I would like to see them challenging the statement I make here that they, did charge with conspiracy the three statesmen I have just mentioned.
If we are to believe them, the lion. Minister of Marine (Mr. Brodeur) and the hon. the Postmaser General (Mr. Lemieux) shared their views against the navy; but Lord Grey's whip was there to bring them into line and they bowed and cringed before the whip, because Lord Grey had promised these two gentlemen knighthoods.
Such are the reasons given by the Nationalists to fool the public into believing that Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Brodeur cringe before Lord Grey, because they expect knighthoods from him.
If the Nationalists are to be believed, His Excellency Lord Grey, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the leader of the opposition are conspirators who are straining every nerve and endeavouring by fair or foul means to secure the adoption of imperialism, in order the better to serve the interests of the mother country, England.
Such is their language. But let me ask them: Who is your leader? Our leader,
they say, it stands to reason that in Quebec, it is Monk, and in Ontario, it is Borden. Don't you know that with only one leader, we cannot beat Laurier, but with Monk in Quebec and Borden in Ontario, we may succeed in doing it.
Mr. Borden, they say, shall not long hold the leadership; we are going to shelve him. We are tired of his leadership, because he is salaried by the government. He is paid a salary by the government to support Mr. Laurier's policy.
Now I would be glad if Mr. Borden were here and could listen to those men saying that he is being paid to give his support to the Liberal leader's policy.
They cry out: ' It is our duty to give our support to men like Mr. Honors Mercier.' Now that Mr. Mercier is dead, he is extolled to the skies by those men. They forget that it was their outrages, their slanders that killed him. Did they not brand him as a thief, a boodler? Did they not institute and carry on proceedings in a criminal court against him, and did they not strain every nerve to secure his conviction? And now that he is dead, behold! they begin to sing his praises. Is if not rank hypocrisy? My hon. friend from Jacques-Cartier (Mr. Monk) who is my representative as well, because I live in his county, allow me to be insulted in that newspaper ' Le Devoir,' to which he contributes editorials. As a gentleman, should Mr. Monk not wake up and silence once for all those blackguards upon whom their choice has fallen to contest the Drummond and Arthabaska county? Was it a Conservative? By no means, they selected a Liberal who endorsed the general policy of the government, minus the Naval Bill. They did not dare to choose a Conservative. At every one of their meetings, they took good care to parade their candidate as a Liberal. Such Liberals I am in dread of. He endorses the general policy of the government with the exception _ of the Naval Policy. Why? He styled himself a Liberal, in order the better to win the Liberal vote.
He was well aware that the conservatives would support him anyhow. These are liberals of the Bourassa stamp. The latter, as well, represented himself as being a liberal, having a deep admiration for the right honourable gentleman. Of such liberals the number is always too great. To be a true liberal one should follow in the footsteps of D. A. Lafortune. If the member for Drummond and Arthabaska is a liberal, he should have asked to be introduced by two Liberal members. I ran in the Montcalm division against a Liberal candidate, but after I had won the victory on a Liberal platform, I did not select two Conservatives to introduce me to the House. I came in led by the Prime Minister, the leader of my country and of my party.
Where is the hon. member for Maison-neuve (Mr. Verville) seated? Along with us, although he is opposed to the navy.
I would have liked the member for Drummond and Arthabaska to act likewise, since he terms himself a Liberal.
Mr. Bourassa says we are humbugs. He calls me a clown and an ill-bred individhal. He points to us as comedians and compares the leader of the government to the comet. How gentle, how courteous. He even goes as far as to say: It is that sorry fellow (meaning me) who is the representative of the Crown in Montreal. Yes, for the last four years, I have the honour of being the representative of the attorney general in Montreal, and I only hope that Mr. Bourassa is not jealous on that account, he who has been studying law for fifteen years past without succeeding in getting admittance to the Bar. He managed to get through a Bill allowing him to study law, but he is still a student at law, and will remain so until he dies.
In order, Mr. Speaker, to give you an idea of that gentleman's good breeding, I may state that he wrote in his paper that ' Lawyer D. A. Lafortune was not at the Letellier Club last evening, having attended the horse show and being engaged in conversation with jockeys and government colts.' Now, is that not gentlemanly? If Mr. Bourassa read what is printed in his paper, lie would blush for shame. On that very evening I addressed two thousand electors of St. Mary's division, represented by our friend Mr. Martin. And'Le Devoir' calls these electors jockeys and government
colts. And it is such a paper that is distributed in the colleges, and in the convents; for it is a fact that 'Le Devoir' has access to colleges and convents. It is a shame that those who are entrusted with educating our children and bringing them up properly should allow them to read that paper.
That paper states that Mr. Lafortune was elected as an independent, but that Mr. Laurier's whip brought him into line. I an independent! when for thirty years back I have been fighting the battles of the party, to brand me as an independent! No, I am not of such a stamp, and I would not play the hypocrite for the sake of getting the Conservative vote. I stated to the Conservatives in Montcalm: When you vote for D. A. Lafortune, you vote for a Liberal. If you defeat me, you will be defeating a Liberal. Those are the colours under which I entered this House, and I shall leave it flying those same colours.
The member for Hochelaga, my good friend (Mr. Rivet), was present at a large meeting at Rawdon. He ventured to insinuate that the fight was between a government supporter and an independent candidate. I stopped him right there, and as a gentleman that he is, he took it back, saying: I took him for an independent, he
said, but I see he is more of a Liberal than I am myself.
In the course of this debate, Sir, reference has been made to many things which occurred during the campaign in Drummond and Arthabaska. Now, do you know what these gentlemen have done? They had special constables sworn in whom they had sent to Drummond and Arthabaska for the purpose ostensibly of maintaining order, while in fact they were employed as enumerators. These men visited the homes of the people, inquiring how many children, how many boys there were in the family. That occurred three or four days before polling day. They applied to the clerk of the court where I have the honour to be the representative of the Crown and had these men sworn in to carry on that dirty work. I would like to see these people contradict me. They will continue insulting me in their paper, but that does not affect me, the mud slinging will fall back into their faces.
Mr. Bourassa writes things without realizing their meaning. I read through the desperate article he wrote on polling day.
I was sorry to find what insulting terms he used therein in reference to the Prime Minister. You know, Sir, how he wound up that article: The great man's glory sinks in the. . . .dirt. If it were not for the presence of ladies in the gallery, I would mention the exact word. Well let the ladies close their ears, I shall say the word: The great man's glory sinks 'in dung. How beautiful. And such things will be given Mr. LAFORTUNE.
to read to young girls, college boys, in priests' houses, in respectable homes in Montreal. It is high time a stop be put to it, or else people will think the man is losing his head.
I admit that in the heat of debate, as stated by the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, a moment ago, one may lose his temper and say things which should not be said; but when a man goes to the length of signing such stuff, it is no wonder that people should become anxious over his future doings. And by the way what has become of him?
He claims that members do not vote independently ; that they are after patronage. Mr. Lafortune is seeking a judgeship; so is Mr. Ethier. We are trying to get some kind of appointment. Now, what do you think he would do, if only he had the chance? Did he not endeavour to be appointed Speaker of this House? He did. When did he begin waging war on his oldtime leader? Now, if 1 had a word of reproach to say to the Prime Minister, it would be this: You have been too generous towards him, that is how he proposes to repay you presently.
And while we are dealing with office seekers, I may state that there is not a single family in the Dominion which has benefited by so many appointments: judgeships, prothonotaryships, clerkships, positions of deputy clerks, surveyors, assistant engineers, and what not? There is not a single family which has been so much taken care of as his own. And he speaks of office seekers. Well, he should try and gobble up the whole pudding and that would settle the business.
When questioned as to what he did with the money he received from the government when a member of that international commission, he is content with answering: That is none of your business. He never would settle that account. He denounces dishonesty, patronage seekers, boodlers and the like. He should have enough fairness to let us know how he spent that money. But he refuses to give any information as to that.
If we are to believe him, he is the champion and has the monopoly of honesty, honour, devotedness and disinterestedness. Everything in his make up is abnegation. What was the price paid for his treason? Why has he abandoned the Liberal party? What amount, or what kind of reward did he get? Several secret meetings have taken place between himself and the Conservatives. The price to be paid for his cooperation was discussed; the question of the ways and means to be adopted and of the policy to be followed was a matter of debate. In the first place, he said, I lay down this condition, that I shall have a newspaper, of which I shall be the chief editor, and my salary must be $5,000. How
disinterested! Now sliould I be mistaken as" to the exact figure, I pray the representative of ' Le Devoir ' to state the price in to-morrow's issue. That is the kind of disinterestedness you will find in that man. First a newspaper in his own name, then the editorship of that paper with $5,000 of a salary, which, as I am told, was exacted even previous to the issuing of the paper. Such is his disinterestedness. And it is that man who calls us office seekers. As for him, he works solely for the love of God. That is his contention, but who will take stock in such a statement?
There is no end to his harassing and slandering the right lion, gentleman. Why? Would you like to know? I will tell you: he wished to occupy the speaker's chair, which, Sir, you occupy so worthily. In this he failed, and since then he is in a rage and insults everybody. But he will never get there.
At the outset, Mr. Bourassa opened fire on those who were in office in Quebec. He called Mr. Prevost a thief, a boodler, a perjurer, as well as Mr. Turgeon, while still proclaiming his deep admiration for Mr. Laurier. As regards the latter gentleman, he had not a word to say, only praise to lavish on him. He wished to play a part in Quebec, and with that in view, he resigned his seat here to run for the local house in Quebec. He made a stand against Mr. Turgeon, but we defeated him in Belle-chasse by over 800 of a majority. Later on, he was elected accidentally in St. Hyacin-the, though actually defeated by 40 or 50 votes, a deputy returning officer having omitted to initial the bulletins, these had to be put aside. That is how his election came about by one vote. In St. James Division, Mr. Gouin felt so sure of victory, that he did not look after his candidature in that division, running at the same time in Port-neuf where he was elected by an overwhelming majority. Mr. Bourassa, as representative of St. James, proceeded to Quebec, intended on annihilating his opponents. He was bound to prove that Mr. Turgeon and ' Brainless John,' as he then called Mr. Prevost, were thieves. Having failed to do so, he now is making preparations to come back to Ottawa. It appears he intends to run for the Dominion House. However, he has not got there yet; there is something in store for him if he tries. He would revile and slander us, and keep on saying that the right hon. gentleman is about" to go down in the mud.
He proceeded to Belgium to get evidence in support of his charges against Mr. Turgeon, incontrovertible evidence.^ People expected that he would succeed in procuring such evidence in Belgium and that he would-you know how cocksure he always is-reduce Mr. Turgeon to atoms. Now he failed to produce one tittle of evidence in support of his slanderous charges. Did he
not brand Mr. Prevost a perjurer, did he not point out to him as a counterfeiter and a thief? He even insinuated that Mr. Prevost travelled in company with young lady secretaries. He did not dare say so in plain words, he only insinuated immoral conduct on his part. To-day he is cheek by jowl with that same Mr. Jean Prevost whom he slandered and reviled formerly. They are both of a kind. I believe Mr. Prevost is an honest man, as for the other he is a public liar. He insinuated in Bellechasse that he had the support of Mr. Laurier. He spoke in that sense in every locality, so much so that our friends did not know what to think of it. A telegram was sent to the Prime Minister who wired at once that Mr. Turgeon had the full support of the Liberal party. Mr. Bourassa had given to understand that he had the moral support of the Prime Minister. He did not even stop at that. He stated that if he had so wished, he would have Ion" a"o become a member of Mr. Laurier s cabinet He made a similar statement m regard to Mr. Gouin, but was emphatically contradicted. There is nothing beyond that gentleman's reach; any vagary of his imagination at once assumes for him an air of reality. Can you understand such a make up? I for one, am unable to do so. His wrath, his fits of passion, his thirst for vengeance are the result of his failure to reach his ends. He will never forgive the Prime Minister for having preferred to him the Hon. Mr. Brodeur and the Hon. Mr. Lemieux. That meant his utter downfall. What! Prefer Brodeur and Lemieux to Henri Bourassa! Why that is shameful, incredible, preposterous. And from then on, you may be sure that he made it rough for the Prime Minister and all the rest of us; you may be sure that he made things uncomfortable for us.
At Farham he said: I am a Liberal, that is the way he would fly the Liberal colours in order to deceive the people and mislead the youth of the country. He is an envious and jealous fellow. Envy is a combination of jealousy and sorrow brought about by the discovery of the other fellow s superiority. It is a painful feeling, an rritating pain, a feeling both of hatred md anxiety at witnessing the happiness, he success, the welfare enjoyed by others. Snvy, like a flame, blackens whatever lasses overhead and which it cannot destroy. Envy is inspired by egotism, by selfish aims, by offended conceit. Envy, oeing unable to rise to the level of worth, mdeavours to get even by dragging down its rivals. Such is the man, you cannot fail to recognize him.
Our opponents propose that we have recourse to a plebiscite, in order to find out whether the government should incur that expenditure on the navy. Why did they not make the suggestion at the time the
resolution was introduced on March 29, 1909. Was a plebiscite resorted to at the time confederation was established? Not at all, the word was not yet known at the time. Was there a plebiscite suggested in connection with the Northwest Territories, or in connection with the Pacific scandal, or the canals, or the school question over which you have been weeping for so long? Did you suggest a plebiscite in connection with the Tay canal, with the famous Curran bridge, or with the Connolly-Me-Greevy scandal ? Did you suggest a plebiscite in connection with the traitors' nest which was exposed by Sir Mackenzie Bowell, or in _ connection with the altering of electoral lists and the gerrymandering of constituencies?
On the_ other hand, we have insisted on a plebiscite in 1896, and we licked and defeated you;^ and in 1900, 1904 and 1908 as well. And if Mr. Laurier bids us to defeat you all in 1912, we shall do so. Take care what answer the plebiscite gives you in
In the speech from the Throne, there is a reference to a treaty of reciprocity with the United States. I represent a thoroughly agricultural constituency, and I would rejoice in the interest of my electors to see such a treaty negotiated, if as a result duties were reduced on our exports of farm products. The exportation of hay especially would be greatly benefited thereby.
On the other hand I would feel gratified if our government would do something in favour of the exposition which is to be held in Montreal, and I suggest that a handsome amount be voted towards that end.
Then, I would like that something be done towards the building of the Georgian Bay canal.^ 1 trust the government will consider it their duty to ask the House for a vote in this connection. I hope the government will take the question up in the near future and that we shall be called upon to discuss it in the course of this session.
The member for Terrebonne (Mr. Nantel) referred to gifts, to the presentation of an automobile to the Prime Minister. Let me say to the member for Terrebonne that such references are mean in themselves. I know a good many who would not be as generous as the right hon. gentleman, who protects even opponents of his. That is how he is repaid for it. That is the treatment meted out to him. Refrain from referring to such things, and you will have a better name for generosity.
Mr. Tarte's name has also been mentioned. That man never sailed under false colours. He did fight at times with us, but it would have been more becoming on the part of the member for Terrebonne not to recall his memory. You have no respect for the living, but you should at least abstain from reviling the dead.
The name of Mr. Borden, leader of the Mr. LA FORTUNE.
opposition, has been mentioned. The member for_ Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) deprecates his policy; but as I say this, I notice he smiles, which goes to show that he is not very much in earnest. He also deprecates the policy advocated by my own party. He thinks there is something funny in that, since he laughs. But nobody will be deceived by the member for Jacques Cartier. It is hoped that with Mr. Monk as leader of the party in Quebec, and Mr. Borden as leader of the same party in the other provinces, it will be an easy matter to overthrow the Prime Minister. But you are not the stuff to defeat him. How could such a policy be defined? You sound one note here to-day and to-morrow it will be quite another tune. And do you know what is the explanation? These gentlemen term that ' going through evolutions.' These gentlemen are performing evolutions, but their object is always to defeat Laurier.
Reference has been made to fanaticism. What did the late chief of the Conservative party do, I mean Tupper? Did he not say, one day, during the election of 1896 in Regina: 'How could you prefer a French Canadian such as Laurier to one who is English like yourselves? ' And later, when he came down to Montreal and these words were brought home to him, he also 'evolved.' I was speaking in a large hall, he said, and tiles on the roof not being very firmly set, there was some noise in the hall, and I was misunderstood.
On June 22, 1896, Laurier appealed to his fellow citizens of the province of Quebec to only return one of his candidates out of two and that it would be sufficient to make him Prime Minister of Canada. He was not aware that the cry of warning had had its effect and that the French Canadians were about to feply in proper fashion to the fanatical appeal which I have just mentioned by throwing in the face of Tupper a majority of 30 in favour of Laurier. wnen-ever a disposition is shown to run down people of the province of Quebec, you will find us ready to resent aspersions.
Mr. Speaker, I beg your pardon for having spoken at such length, but I judyed tnat it was incumbent on me to vindicate myself and to show in their true light tnose who write such insults and obloquy as I have mentioned. I have a request to make to the hon. member for Jacques Cartier who is my representative, since I have a vote in his constituency: Why do you not put a stop to the insults printed in that newspaper? Why do you allow one of your fellow citizens to be reviled in such a way?
I protest against these infamous sayings published in ' Le Devoir '; it is incumbent on you to protect us. If you do not do so, I say you are not acting right.
(Translation.) Mr. Speaker, allow' me to beseech the indulgence of the
House so that I may find it an easier matter to get through my maiden speech. My intention is to be courteous towards all, to utter only loyal words as regards Canada and the empire. At the same time I do not wish to deviate from the stand taken during the campaign, or to break faith with those who returned me.
I was selected as candidate, I agreed tq run, and was returned for Drummond and Arthabaska as a protest against the refusal of the government to grant a plebiscite, to protest also against the refusal of the government to take heed of petitions forwarded by the people, and especially from the people of Drummond and Arthabaska.
In Drummand and Arthabaska, we love our country, and we believe that in regard to a question of such importance as that of the navy-a new departure-the people should be consulted. In the county of Drummond and Arthabaska, we have full faith in the wisdom of the province of Quebec as well as in the wisdom of the province of Ontario and of every province in the Dominion. When we suggest that an appeal be made to the people, we do so as regards all the provinces in the Dominion, in behalf of all those living on Canadian soil. We are opposed to the Naval Bill believing that there is in the provisions of that Bill certain things inimical to our autonomy. In the county of Drummond and Arthabaska, we are anxious to preserve that autonomy which has been secured to us through the efforts of all our public men since confederation; we are anxious to preserve it for the benefit of all those who live in the land, for the benefit of Frenchspeaking Canadians, as well as for the benefit of English-speaking Canadians, in a word for the benefit of all those who breathe Canadian air.
In Drummond and Arthabaska, we are anxious to develop the resources of the country, we are anxious that things be so arranged that the Canadian people may have a fair return for any expenditure they make. Let us suppose I am the owner of some property and I put some one on the property to develop it and take care of it. Well, all I can require that man to do is to prevent any trespassing on that property and to enjoy any returns he gets from it. As long as I am confident that he is ready to defend it at the price of his life, I cannot exact any more from him. It is in such manner that I propose fulfilling my duty towards Canada.
When selected to run in that election, the farmers in the constituency were among those who requested me to accept the candidature, so that the farming community might have one more representative in this Parliament. I appealed to the farmers for their vote; when in sympathy with the farming community, one may boast of being in sympathy with all classes of society, for
on that class rests the welfare of the country as a whole.
I was returned to protest against the Naval Bill and to declare in favour of an appeal to the people.
Such was the position I took during the campaign. I have explained it to the electors as they wanted me to do. I wished to be the people's servant. During the campaign I said I was a Liberal. In fact, I am a Liberal, but I do not consider myself bound to- this party such as the hon. member for Montcalm (Mr. Lafor-tune) claims to be. He is a lawyer. I was twenty-one years old and I did not know how to write, but I understand that a Liberal is a free man, and I will have lost everything on the day I will have no right to think, to believe or to act.
I will vote for the amendment of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) because I think it is more generous and would allow Canadian people to give their own opinion on this Naval Bill and militia question.
Hon. Mr. FISHER (Minister of Agriculture. (Translation.) Before going over the subject now in discussion, I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska (Mr. Gilbert) for his maiden speech to-day in this House. I do not approve of his politics on which he has just pronounced himself, nor do I share his views on the subject, but being myself an old member of this House, I wish him personally a hearty welcome.
I would not have undertaken to speak at this late stage of the debate were it not that there are one or two things in the speech of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) which deserve some notice, and ought to be corrected. Before, however, dealing with those matters, I wish to draw attention to the reference which he made to a pamphlet published in the Drummond-Arthabaska election, and which, if I remember rightly, was said to have been published by Liberals. When speaking a few minutes ago the hon. member referred to a certain journal called ' La Gazette d'Arthabaska ' as a Liberal newspaper.
My information is that the pamphlet was printed in the office of that newspaper, and that, perhaps, is the foundation of the statements made by hon. gentlemen opposite that this pamphlet was put out by Liberals in that contest.
The hon. member for Jacques Cartier referred to his dispute, if I may call it such, with the Prime Minister in regard to the passage of a certain order in council. I will not go over the subject, as it has been dealt with by the Prime Minister himself. But if my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier has
accomplished anything he has shown the House that the said order in council was passed on the 10th of February, that an order for a return was passed on the 22nd of February, and that the return came down and was made public, and within the knowledge of the hon. gentleman, on the 5th of March. Now, in the earlier part of this debate, the hon. gentleman said that this fact was not made public until long after. We find, however, that the ' long after ' is 25 days, between the 10th of February, when the order in council was passed, and the 5th of March following. One would have supposed, in hearing the hon. gentleman, that months had passed, that a long time had passed. But we find, as a matter of fact, that the publication of that order in council was made just as soon as, in the ordinary routine, it could have reasonably been made. But the hon. member is making a direct accusation of what is not fair, or just, or right ^gainst the Prime Minister. He accuses the Prime Minister of having deceived the people by suppressing certain information-and to that I will refer a little later. But he goes on in regard to this particular occurrence, and states that this order in council was passed during a session of parliament, and that it ought to have been made public and that parliament ought to have acted upon it. My hon. friend knows very well, if he knows anything of constitutional government, that the passage of such an order in council is an act of the executive, that the executive takes full responsibility thereof, and is responsible to parliament for any action arising out of it.
But what is that document, and in what way did it commit this country? It was a despatch in answer to a communication from the imperial authorities, and that communication was a consequence of the imperial conference at which certain conclusions were reached. The action of that imperial conference is well known It took place two years before, and this was but the necessary sequence to the resolutions and conclusions of that conference. The hon. member says that the order in council settled the matter-I took down his words-' The order in council settled the matter.' Now, Mr. Speaker, if that order in council implied any action on the part of the Dominion of Canada, it implied action which must necessarily be carried out by a vote of this House of Commons, by the expenditure of public money, which no order in council could accomplish, but which could only be accomplished after the House had voted the necessary supply to carry that action through. The hon. gentleman knows perfectly well that any action in regard to the general staff, any arrangement by which the Militia Department of this Dominion could accomplisn what was outlined in that order, must be carried out after the necessary subventions had been Mr. FISHER.
voted, after parliament had discussed the question and had taken action thereupon.
If my hon. friend will allow me-does my hon. friend say that an order in council could bind the country to share in the expense of the maintenance of the general staff, particularly when parliament was in session?