January 27, 1916

THE GOVERNOR GERERAL'S SPEECH.

ADDRESS IN REPLY.


Consideration of the motion of Mr. Alfred Thompson for an address to His Royal Highness the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, resumed from Wednesday, January 20.


CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. MARTIN BURRELL (Minister oi Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, when the House adjourned last night I had just finished presenting to the House a few words in connection with matters which had been brought up during the course of this debate, and I was about to refer to some things which had been lengthily discussed by the hon. member for Carleton, N.B. (Mr. Car-vell). That hon. member has seen fit to discuss at very great length in this House a question which, from my point of view, and I think from the point of view of a good many other people, it was not in the public interest to discuss. On that point I shall speak a little later. I shall not attempt to follow the ramifications of my hon. friend's arguments, because it would be very hard to follow them, even should I desire to do so; neither shall I attempt to follow all the reckless statements that he made in connection with the subject. I sometimes think that democracy, for whose existence we are fighting now, and coupled with democracy the love of freedom and the liberty of free speech, is not an unmixed blessing when the privilege of freedom of speech degenerates as it sometimes does into license. My hon. friend has made a good many reckless speeches in the course of his career in this House; and he has got into trouble a good many times in this House; he would have got into trouble a good many more times outside the House if he had said outside the House what he has said inside the House. I might, in that connection, direct my hon. friend's attention to the excellent editorial in the Ottawa Free Press of last night, in which the editor cordially invites my hon. friend to repeat the remarks made here in reference to the Free Press outside of this House, when he will find himseslf in the law courts.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Would my hon. friend pardon me.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

Have I made a misstatement?

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LIB
CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

If I have made a misstatement-

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

I want to inform my

hon, friend that I have written a letter to the Free Press, and I am going to give them all the opportunity to bring all the actions they want in the courts of law.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

I am perfectly sure that the House is exceedingly interested in that, and I would suggest that if my hon. friend is very hard pressed he can secure the distinguished legal services of the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley).

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

And he will win for me, too.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

My hon. friend, in the very long speech which he made the other day, started out with .a misstatement of fact. Of course that is not very surprising, although it is rather astonishing to hear a gentleman who is always so keenly desirous of' bringing down proof for every statement he makes, starting out on an argument with an absolute misstatement of fact. In starting to discuss the question of hay in New Brunswick, he made the statement that the conhnaotars in 1915, the Atlantic Hay Company, had 'a contract, for

7.000 tons of hay which was increased later to 10,000 tons. My hon. friend, if he is going to make statements of that kind, should try and get somewhere near the truth because that contract of 7,000 tons was never increased to 10,000 tons. And he makes the -statement further on in that speech, that after they -had filled the terms of this contract they immediately went after more, and he broadly intimates that they got more. I am here to s-ay that they never bad any other contract than that for 7,000 tons. A little further on, he states that the contract was given for $24 a ton for compressed hay; and then -at page 263 Hansard he says:

These men were given a contract for 7,000 tons of hay, afterwards increased to about

10.000 tons-

I have shown the inaccuracy of that.

-at 524 a ton, delivered in St. John from

press, ready to be put on board the vessel_I

am not sure; I was-

I thought my hon. friend was always so sure of the facts.

-under the impression that the contract price was $24.50. My hon. friend the Minister of Customs knows about this, because he and I talked the matter over.

Mr. J. D. Reid: When was that?

Mr. Carvell: That was one night last spring.

Mr. Reid: You are referring to something

which took place a year ago.

Mr. Carvel1.: I am referring to something which took place a year ago.

An hon. Member: That is too deep for him.

Mr. Carvell: No, it is not too deep for him. The Minister of Customs and I will not quarrel over the matter. If he had been allowed to handle this thing there would not have been the terrible condition of affairs that exists in New Brunswick to-day. The Minister of Customs told me' that the contract price was $24.50.

There was never a contract given for $24.50. There was no mention of it, .and the Minister of Customs could never have said it. My hon. friend the member for Carleton should not have believed it, because he did not get the facts, and he could have got them if he had wanted to. I shall not go into the whole question of that contract, but I wish to touch on some features of it. It was given on January 4, 1915. I did not happen to be here at the time, because I was then recovering from pneumonia and was in the Southern States. The department, however, and those who had anything to do with the department, acted in perfectly good faith in giving that contract. My hon. friend refers in very scathing tones to the iniquities-he almost used that phrase-of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen), who, he gives us to understand, is playing havoc with everything that is good and pure and righteous in New Brunswick, and whom he holds responsible for these things. Well, if a matter came up concerning the province of New Brunswick, I do not know that it would be a crime to ask the advice of, or to consult with, the minister who represents that province in the Government. If my hon. friend ever achieves the distinction- I do not think it likely that he will-of being a cabinet minister, I can easily believe that he of all men-

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

You know that some very ordinary men have become cabinet ministers.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

If my hon. friend ever

did achieve such a distinction, he would be the first to expect to be consulted when things come up in connection with his own province. I do not think my hon. friend is ever likely to achieve that distinction; looking at his record, I certainly do not think he ever will. The hon. member for Carleton was elected in 1904 by a majority of 274. He appealed to the electors again in 1908, and he had meanwhile forfeited their confidence to the extent that he got

in by a majority of only 154. He appealed again in 1911, to find that he had forfeited nearly all the confidence of the electors because he hnly got a majority of 11; that time he got elected by the skin of his teeth, and if he continues to keep up his reputation in this House he will certainly not get elected next time. I think it would be good policy on the part of my hon. friend to support an extension of the term of the present Parliament, otherwise we may not see much more of him.

Mr- GRAHAM: Was that the argument

used in caucus?

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

Now let me refer for a moment or two to the question of hay. The first offer we had of pressed hay was from Kennealy and Wetmore. I think they are Conservatives

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

No, Liberals; one, of

them is anyway.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

I am not sure about

their politics. Anyway, on January 2, 1915, they made an offer of 10,000 tons of hay at $21.50 a ton. The condition was made that the Department of Agriculture should furnish the presses and the tender was not accepted. I think, perhaps, it would be well in that connection to put two letters on Hansard, because they will show how the thing took place.

St. John, N.B., Jan. 2, 1915.

J. A. Ruddick, Esq.,

Commissioner, Department of Agriculture, [DOT] Ottawa.

Dear sir,

At the request of Hon. J. D. Hazen we have submitted a tender for ten thousand tons compressed hay delivered West St. John for War Office account.

Hon. Mr. Hazen advises us that your department can arrange for the presses for this business. Will you advise us full particulars of the arrangements covering this item so that we may take the . necessary steps to complete arrangements providing our tender is accepted.

Awaiting your reply, we are,

Yours very truly,

Kennealy & Wetmore, Ltd.

Messrs. Kennealy & Wetmore, Ltd.,

St. John, N.B.

Dear sirs,-I have your letter of the 2nd instant, which has crossed mine of the same date. I do not know what the Honourable Mr. Hazen had in mind when he advised you that this department could arrange for compressors to handle New Brunswick hay. As a matter of fact the only presses which the department has control of at the present time are those which are in use at Montreal. There must be some, misunderstanding on that point.

Yours truly,

J. A. Ruddick,

Commissioner.

These letters explain why at that time Keunealy & Wetmore did not get that contract. The Atlantic Hay Co. was the only other tender received or considered at that time, and a gentleman came down here-I am now only speaking from memory of what Mr. Ruddick said, because I was not here at the time,-I think he was the son of a member of the firm, or at all events he was some one connected with the firm. The matter was discussed, and he asked for a contract at the price of $24, at which price they offered to supply their own presses. My hon. friend knows that the cost of . freight, and of the installation of presses and motors comes to a very considerable sum; they put it at about $20,000.

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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Thirty cents a ton will

pay for the whole thing; 1 did it.

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CON

Martin Burrell (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BURRELL:

Will my hon. friend sit down.

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January 27, 1916