Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance).
If I had been aware that the hon. gentleman intended to bring this matter up to-day I should have read over the debate to see how far there wras any conflict between the hon. gentleman's statement and my own. I am quite sure any statement the hon. gentleman makes, either at this time or at any other time, has been made in good faith. Busy men hesitate to speak with confidence concerning conversations that took place several years ago, and I feel that I should hestitate to speak definitely about a conversation on that matter of several years ago. But this I do know, that the attitude of my mind with relation to the Farmers' Bank was such that if my hon. friend or anybody else had given me any substantial reason against the issue of that certificate, I would have welcomed it, because it is notorious that I did not wish to issue the certificate to the Farmers' Bank. My hon. friend is right, I viewed it from the beginning with anxiety. 1 do remember I had a conversation with him about the matter, but I do not remember that he gave me any information bearing on the subject which would justify me in refusing to issue the certificate. I am sure, in a matter of such importance, my hon. friend if he had felt that he had material evidence to submit, would not have been content to trust the matter to memory, but he would have sent me a communication giving me definite information. It is, however, beyond question that anything that came to me on the subject from any quarter represented the anxiety which business men had concerning the flotation of this bank, an anxiety which I felt. But against that, I had the sworn testimony of the man who came into my office and swore that he had complied with all the provisions of the law. That sworn testimony should have outweighed probably any casual conversation I may have had from any quarter at all. I do not for a moment imagine that the
hon. member for West Toronto (Mr Osier) did anything in this matter except with the best intentions, and I am quite sure that neither he nor I have any desire to misrepresent one another.
WAYS AND MEANS-THE NEWMARKET a CANAL.
Mr. FIELDING moved that the House go into Committee of Ways and Means.