April 18, 1916

OF THE DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA SIXTH SESSION-TWELFTH PARLIAMENT 6-7 GEORGE V, 1916 VOL. CXXV COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF APRIL TO THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF MAY, 1916, INCLUSIVE OTTAWA


PRINTED BY J. db L. TACHE,


PRINTER TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY CANADA


House of Commons Debates


OFFICIAL REPORT-REVISED EDITION.


Speaker: Hon. Albert Sevigny. Tuesday, April 18, 1916.


PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That the names of Messrs. Devlin and Ross be substituted for those of Messrs. Molloy and Tobin on the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.
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Motion agreed to.


PRIVATE BILLS.

FIRST READINGS OF SENATE BILLS.


Bill No. 92, for the relief of Robert Charles Vondrau.-Mr. Scott. Bill No. 93, for the relief of Percy Lynn Woods.-Mr. Boys.


THE BILINGUAL QUESTION.

CORRECTION OF STATEMENT IN WINNIPEG TELEGRAM.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Mr. Speaker, may I interpose just for one moment on a question of privilege. I would like to correct a report which I find in the Winnipeg Telegram of the 13th inst. referring to me, and which, under the circumstances, is a gross and mischievous misrepresentation. The Ottawa correspondent of the Winnipeg Telegram, whom I do not know at all, writes to his paper on the 13th of April as follows:

Ottawa, Ont., April 13.-Long- after midnight Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Hon. Rodolphe Lemieux, Hon. Jacques Bureau, and Ernest Lapointe! M.P., who have been chosen by the Liberals to introduce a bilingual resolution in Parliament were in conference in the Liberal leader's office. Previous to this conference Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Senator David, and Senator Choquette had met and discussed the question. Senator Choquette, following his speech in the Senate on Ontario volunteers, went with Senator

David to the Liberal leader, and, it is believed, Sir Wilfrid Laurier conveyed their views to his supporters in the Commons.

This correspondent refers to the close relationship of Senator Choquette with Sir Wilfrid Laur-ier. I refer to this, under the circumstances, because the atmosphere being rather charged with electricity, there is an insinuation-net an insinuation, but a positive statement for which there is no foundation of fact whatever. The relations between Senator Choquette and myself are not close; they, are the reverse of close; they are very strained politically, as was admitted by Senator Choquette himself on that very day. I have never seen Senator Choquette during this session except once, and not to discuss the bilingual question. The only thing that was discussed between us was a railway question of which we may hear further during the present session. As to my relations with Senator Choquette,

I call the attention of the House to the explanation which he himself gave in the Senate the day after he made his antirecruiting speech. Everybody knows that my views and the views of Senator 1 Choquette upon this question are the very antipodes. I need not say what has been my attitude on the subject of the war, and of Canada's participation in the war, during this session and during all previous sessions. Senator Choquette made a statement on the subject because he had seen in the newspapers that my name had been connected with his. On the 13th of April Senator Choquette, on the floor of the Senate spoke as follows:

I take on myself the whole responsibility of my words in this House and outside, and I protest most strongly against the report connecting my words with the name of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the great leader of the Liberal party, in order by insinuation to represent him as being responsible for what I said.' I advocated Liberal principles for thirty years under Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the other House, but we all know -I grieve to say it but must do so in order that the responsibility for my actions and words may be properly fixed-that over ten years ago I had some difference with Sir Wilfrid Laurier about what he should do. I have the greatest

respect for Sir Wilfrid, and I hope he has friendship for me, but we differed ten years ago when I had to take part against the Premier of Quebec at the time. Again, not more than five years ago I opposed Sir Wilfrid on his Naval Bill [DOT] I took the responsibility of my stand on that occasion, and I know the Tories were very glad to use my speech and my views against Sir Wilfrid Laurier at that time, to serve their purpose.

This is the total refutation of the imputation that is conveyed by the correspondent of the Winnipeg Telegram, and I hope he will take the opportunity of correcting that impression.

Topic:   THE BILINGUAL QUESTION.
Subtopic:   CORRECTION OF STATEMENT IN WINNIPEG TELEGRAM.
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WAR CONTRACTS.

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF MILITIA.


On the Orders of the Day: "


L-C

Samuel Hughes (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal-Conservative

Sir SAM HUGHES (Minister of Militia and Defence):

Mr. Speaker, with the indulgence of the House, I desire to make a personal explanation. On the 9th of March I left Ottawa for England. [DOT] A week or so prior to my leaving, I spoke to my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden)' and some of my colleagues, explaining to them the necessity of my going.

I asked the Prime Minister if he would see the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and ascertain if there were any questions likely to arise in connection with my department which would require my attendance here. It was agreed that I should see the 'leader of the Opposition, and I did so. I saw also the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald), the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean), and others on that side, and asked them if there were any questions affecting my department that would require my attendance here. The leader of the Opposition frankly stated that he did not know of any; but also, with the statesmanship which characterizes him, he declined to assume responsibility for all his followers. But I think I am justified in saying that he said he did not know of anything-

Topic:   WAR CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF MILITIA.
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April 18, 1916