I would like to call the attention of the House to some statements which were made by the right hon. leader of the Opposition and the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) in my absence on Friday last. The statement of the hon. member for Rouville, which is to be found on page 3,592 of 'Hansard,' is as follows:
I do not wish to offer any objection to the Bill, but I might remind the House and the leader of the Government that the Minister of Justice is more generous than the Postmaster General. Three years ago a mail carrier perished in trying to save the mails during a storm on lake of Two Mountains, between Ottawa and Montreal. He left a widow and five or six children. The case was brought to the notice of the House by the hon member for Two Mountains (Mr. Ethier). He begged the Government to do something for the widow and children, but the minister refused. More than that, the people of Oka petitioned the Postmaster General to transfer the mail contract, formerly held by her husband to the widow of this man. The petition was turned down, the widow has received nothing, and there she is to-day.
On page 3,593 I find -the following:
Sir Wilfrid Laurier: I agree with the minister in everything he has said, but I would strongly recommend to him the case brought to his attention by the hon. member for Eouville. It is not in his department, I know, but the circumstances are very much the same. Here is a man who lost his life in the performance of his duty. The circumstances may not have been heroic, but, after all, the case is deserving of attention from the State, which has benefited by the performance of this man's duty. If the hon. minister could prevail on his neighbour, the Postmaster General, to do the same for this man's widow, he would win the gratitude not only of the widow but of every member in this House.
Mr. Doherty: I shall be very glad to call his attention to what has been said.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier: Calling his attention to it will not accomplish much.
As I said, tho.se statements were made in my absence. A.s a matter of fact, I asked Parliament to vote $1,000 for this
poor woman, and that amount has been voted and paid. Moreover, much against the wishes of many of my political friends, I got this woman appointed as postmistress at that place; and I have received from her letters expressing her most profound gratitude. In one sentence of the letter 1 have in my hand she .says:
. It seems to me that I have suffered enough since that time without having people heap reproaches on my benefactor after what he has done for me.
These are the facts.