Ottawa, 13th.-From the ' Soleil's 5 correspondent.-That poor Mr. Arthur Gilbert, the Conservative - Libera 1-Indepen dent-Nationalist-autonomist representative of Drummond and Arthabaska, is going from bad to worse. After that frigid welcome in the House, after his meaningless speech and his inconsistent voting, he now becomes the hero in a gruesome episode which nevertheless has its comical side.
Thursday last, a message was handed to the hon. member. It bore the signature of Mr. Poirier, and imparted the news of the decease of Mr. Gilbert's mother, the funeral to take place on the Saturday following. Mr. Gilbert was not slow in leaving Parliament House and reaching the railway station, and, greatly moved, proceeded to his home. He was surprised not to see any crape hanging at the door, and still more so to find his mother smiling and in good health. The member suspected some gruesome joke and resolved on finding out the author. Accordingly the message was resorted to once more, and to the surprise of all it was found to have been sent from a place in Beauce, to Mr. Philemon Gilbert, a messeneger in the House of Commons. Besides the sender, Mr. Poirier, is utterly unknown to the member. The iat-ter spent the rest of the week at home and it is only on his return, last night, that he returned the message to the compa ny, whence it was transmitted at once to Mr. Philemon Gilbert. The astonishment and grief of the unfortunate messenger on learning the sorrowful news of the deacease of his mother, two days after the funeral, may be readily perceived.
It is" expected that further developments will take place and that the member will be called upon to explain how he failed to catch the meaning of the message and why he retained it in his possession such a long time unmindful of the feelings of his namesake.
Mr. Speaker, I protest strongly against the falsehoods contained in this item. Here are the facts in regard to the piece of news which appeared in ' Le Soleil ' on December 13. On December 8t,h, at 11 p.m., I found in my room a telegram to my address. That telegram conveyed the news of my mother's decease. I was not taken by surprise at this sad news, seeing that my mother was seriously ill, and had been given up by her physicians. Of course I boarded th'e first train homeward bound. On reaching Montreal, a telegram inform-me that my mother was living. I then returned to the House of Commons the telegram which had been sent to me on Lau-rier avenue. It was not four days afterwards that I returned that message, but on December 9 at 2 p. m., realizing that there
might be some other person by the name of Gilbert in the House of Commons.
Now, I shall read to the House a letter received from the Great North-Western Telegraph Company, through which the' telegram was sent:
Ottawa, Ont., Dec. 15, 1910. Arthur Gilbert, Esq., M.P.,
House of Commons,
Dear Sir,-In answer to your request to find out the date on which you returned the message from St. Joseph de Beauce, addressed to A. P. Gilbert, House of Commons, and which was delivered to you by error, I may say that our office in Montreal advised us at 2.30 p.m. on December 9, that you had returned the message to the company, giving as a reason that the message had not been delivered to the proper address.
Hoping that these explanations will be found satisfactory.
I remain, your truly,
CHARLES E. DAVIS, Mgr.
Such are, Mr. Speaker, the facts exactly as they occurred.
Now, I have always acted as a gentleman, and to my mind, it is a shame for our country that such newspapers should be published.