January 23, 1917


On the Orders of the Day.


CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. I see that I am reported in the Toronto Globe of yesterday as having made a statement which is inaccurate. The Globe states:-

Mr. Wilcox's Information is Not All Reliable.

If Mr. Wilcox is correctly quoted in the Ottawa despatches as to the conditions surrounding racing in his constituency of iSouth Essex and elsewhere, he has got much of his information from very unreliable sources, and the following statement, ascribed to him, is full of inaccuracies: "The tracks at Windsor are

operated by the American Turf Association. They operate in Mexico, just over the boundary line, about a mile from El Paso, and also in Florida in winter time."

I desire to say, Mr. Speaker, that I never said in this House or out of it that the [DOT]tracks in my constituency were operated by the American Turf Association. What I did say is that they are predominated by American influence. I want to say further that I do not want to assume the responsibility of correcting all the inaccuracies that may appear in the columns of the Toronto Globe, but it affords me unbounded pleasure to correct this one.

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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.

ADDRESS IN REPLY.


Consideration of the motion of Mr. G. 0. Wilson (Wentworth) for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, resumed from Monday, January 22.


LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. E. M. MACDONALD (Pictou):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to congratulate you, Sir, upon your selection to fill the very high and distinguished office of first Commoner of Canada. Coming as you do from the same province as I do and representing a constituency in close proximity to my own; enjoying as I have all my life the privilege of your acquaintance, I beg to say that I have every confidence that you will maintain the high traditions which have characterized the public men who in the past have shed lustre on this office, and that we look to you to act with distinction and fairness. I desire also to express my satisfaction and pleasure with the high character of the addresses which have been delivered by the hon. mover (Mr. G. C. Wilson) and seconder (Mr. Descarries) of the Address.

The Speech from the Throne does not contain very many subjects which can be said to be matters of controversial discussion. I am glad to know that the Government have recalled the fact that we are nearing the conclusion of fifty years of our national life, and that on the first of July of this present year Canada will be, or should be, celebrating her golden jubilee. Personally, not knowing the proposals which the Government intend to submit to the House in regard to what I assume will be a matter of the special marking of the day, I am unable to say whether these will be approved or not.

Believing as I do, that the event is one which though we are in the midst of war should be commemorated by our people, believing that there is no land like our land, and that it is our duty as representatives of a free people to see that the administration of affairs in this country is* fair to the boys who are fighting for us, but also to prepare a condition of affairs in this land that will be worthy of them when they come home again, I think, Sir, that the event should be marked in some special way throughout every portion of this wide Dominion.

We are told that a conference has been proposed between the War Council at the seat of Empire and the premiers of the overseas dominions. I am sure the country will approve of the attitude adopted by the leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Lau-rier) yesterday, when he expressed the readiness of all who sit on this side of the House to facilitate in every possible way the .attendance of the representative of Canada at that conference. It must be noted that some criticism has been made in Great Britain of the fact that although a change of Government took place there only two months ago with the object of a more vigorous prosecution of the war, and the narrowing down of its control to one or two people, it is now suggested that the Premiers of the overseas dominions be added to that council, that they may assist in considering the great problem of how the war is to be won. I do not know whether the right hon. gentleman who will speak for Canada will be able to give any assistance in bringing about that great consummation which we all hope for. I do not know whether this country gives him any mandate so far as this conference is concerned, other than to say to the Mother Country that Canada stands behind her until victory is won. But as regards ques-

tions other than those immediately concerned with the winning of the war, it would seem to me as a Canadian that Canada will await with interest the deliberations of that conference, reserving to itself as st people and to this Parliament as a Parliament the right of determining what is in her own best interests as one of the self-governing dominions of this Empire.

Ovep and above every consideration which might appeal to this Parliament at this time is the question of the war. For thirty long months the sad hearts' of the people of this country have watched its weary progress. We had yesterday from the two leaders in this House a resume of the events of the past year, and I am sure, after the figures given by the Prime Minister, that over 310,000 of our sons are now overseas, over 400,000 of our men enlisted, and over 700,000 of our people engaged either in fighting or in work pertaining to the war, we must all realize that there is not a hamlet in this broad land but what is seriously thinking of the terrible consequences of this fateful and world-wide contest. So that the administration of this Government in regard to matters pertaining to the war must be our first interest. If they have failed to do that which they ought to have done, or have done those things which they ought not to have done, the people of this country will expect their representatives in Parliament, without any limitations or reserve whatever, boldly to arraign at the bar of public opinion the conduct of this Government, in order to see whether the right has been done. It must be remembered that this Government is practically the only one among the free peoples of the Empire that maintains during the waT a purely partisan attitude in regard to the conduct of its affairs. We have witnessed the changes that have taken place in the Mother Country, where at the mere solicitation of the men who were in control two changes of administration have already taken place, with the object of securing greater efficiency; and we have witnessed the changes that have taken place in other parts of the Empire. I should like to call your attention, Sir, to a statement showing Australia's position, iand how that country does business in regard to the war. To quote:

The essentials of the Australian system are: (1). The War Minister is a political administrator and does not attempt to be an active military officer.

I might remark in passing that there exists on the statute book a provision that there shall be a certain military officer in supreme command of the forces of this Dominion. We have heard of General Hutton, of General Lake and of General Mackenzie, all very distinguished Imperial officers, hut who in- this country has heard of their successor in this war? There is a general named General Gwatkin, who fills that position to-day. But has the Government given to general Gwatkin, as the Australian Government has given to their chief military officer, exclusive control of the Army? In Australia control is left entirely to a military man, and I think it might be well, having regard to conditions in Australia, for this Government to consider whether or not they have an efficient military head of the forces of this Dominion; *and if they have not one, they had better get one immediately, and place in his hands exclusive control of our military affairs. The Australian system provides':

Political patronage is avoided, and politics are shut out of the army.

My right hon. friend might take a leaf out of Premier Hughes' book-I do not mean Sir Sam Hughes' book-and follow the practice they have in Australia of keeping politics out of the Army. The statement continues : .

Australians are not afraid to give individuals considerable powers in administrative work, such as purchasing supplies. Good men are picked for their posts, are made responsible and are judged by what they do. The knife falls quickly on the incompetent or unreliable.

That is a brief statement of how the Australian Commonwealth is dealing with the war, which I offer for the illumination and consideration of my right hon. friend and his colleagues. But my right hon. friend, disregarding all these considerations and the example of other countries, (has from the beginning of the war assumed that because he happened to be in power when the war began, and because an extension of the parliamentary term was given for war purposes, he has been given the absolute right to proceed along the old lines of partisanship and patronage which have always characterized his administration. That, it seems to me,, is not right; for in this country there has been no monopoly of patriotism in this fight- The boys have gone forth from the homes of men of all political views in this country, without iany regard whatever to political affiliations, eager to play their part in the interest of their native land

in this great battle of democracy against autocracy. We on this side of the House and the people whom we represent in this *country have proved our loyalty by more than word of mouth. Sitting not far away from me are three men, the !hon. member for Edmonton (Hon. Frank Oliver), the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Cruise), and the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff), the fathers of three 'Sturdy lads who went out from their western homes to do battle and, if necessary, to die for the triumph of the eternal right. These boys have solved the great mystery. Beneath the blood-stained soil of France their bones are lying and they are at rest, careless alike of the sunshine or of the storm; of the summer days, or of the wild shrill noise of the shrapnel on winter nights. Around me are twenty-six or more men whose boys to-day are either on the battleline or on their way there. When I say to you, Sir, that, from the farm, the workshop, the office and the cottage throughout all the land the men we represent here have given of their best for this cause, one does not" need to apologize in this free Parliament for anything one may say as to the rights of these boys, as to the way in which they are treated, or as to the ad- _ ministration of this Parliament in regard to them. We are here to ask that the greatest intelligence, the keenest attention, the strictest integrity and the highest ideals should characterize the administration oi the affairs of this country at this time. Any departure from that high ideal deserves and must receive from us 'and from this free people the severest condemnation. In order to effect the winning of this war, the marshalling of our resources in men and supplies and the elimination of graft, patronage, and favouritism are the very least that we, on this side of the House, have a right to ask from this Government which has 'administered matters in this partisan fashion.

During the last thirty months the members of this Government have been very sensitive to criticism. Although they have conducted everything from a party standpoint, they seem to regard any kind of criticism that comes from those who are interested in the successful solution of the great question of the war as a species of lfese majeste. The offender must be arraigned, attached and impeached, the moment he makes any suggestion as to improvement in the administration. I commend to my right hon. friend some criticism which has been made of the English Government

in this regard which is so applicable to the conduct of this Government that it will bear repetition in this House, and I am sure the hon. gentlemen will agree with me that it is peculiarly applicable to the gentlemen who at present sit on the treasury benches. A writer in Blackwood's Magazine says:

Indeed, it is not only in the field of foreign affairs that our present Government shows its incapacity. Whatever it attempts it bungles miserably. If it be true to any one principle, that principle is hostility to Great Britain and British interests. With a false magnanimity our ministers are ready to abandon the fruits of victory to anybody whose lips ask to taste them. They affect a loftiness of spirit which is more nearly allied to laziness than to humanity. They seem, indeed, to suffer, one and all, from an atrophy of purpose, an inability to make up their mind, which are doubtless the proper result of a political training. It may he that the conflicting members of the Cabinet reduce it always by their differences of opinion to an inactive condition of stable equilibrium.

That phrase in which atrophy of purpose is said to exist in the British Government is especially applicable to honourable gentlemen who sit on the treasury benches. There are conflicting opinions amongst the members of the Cabinet. The ex-Mihister of Militia (Sir Sam Hughes) has told us of two members of the Cabinet who were continually opposing him. The Prime Minister rather avoided coming to close quarters with the ex-Minister of Militia; he rather avoided and side-stepped an encounter and he intimated that he did not care to discuss these serious questions, although charges of the greatest magnitude, involving the lives of our soldiers, the care of the wounded, and the possible loss to this country of millions of dollars had been made by the ex-Minister of Militia. The writer in Blackwood's goes on to say:

That is to find the kindest explanation for their many futilities. The more probable cause of their failure to govern the country, or to conduct the war with spirit, is a feeling of security. Whatever happens, it sems to them that their offices are safe. They believe that they are the best suited to carry on the war. Why, then, should they bestir themselves? They are indispensable, in their own eyes, and irre-placable, and must on no account he disturbed in the enjoyment of what they believe to be their divine rights.

I am not quite sure that there are not sitting on the treasury benches at this moment certain hon. gentlemen who are actuated by those feelings which the writer of Blackwood's describes, namely, that they are perfectly satisfied that they have a divine right to govern this country, and Sir, because they so believe, we have the inca-

pacity which has characterized the administration of this war from its beginning. In times of peace mistakes may he made which can be readily remedied, but in times of war mistakes cannot be made without their leading to results which are irreparable, and which may mean not only the loss of thousands of dollars to the country, but the loss of hundreds of noble lives that might have been spared.

Lasit night, the Prime Minister in dealing with questions which arose in this debate seemed to assume to himself very great credit on account of the increase of trade that had come to Canada. My right hon. friend was very profuse in his compliments to his Minister of Finance (Sir Thomas White). Whether the Minister of Finance should be placated or not is a matter which the right hon. gentleman knows far better than I do, but the marked distinction between his reference to his colleague the Minister of Finance and his reference to his colleague the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers), of whom the best that he could say was that in the administration of the war he was occasionally assisting the Minister of Labour in doing some things, attracted the attention of the House, and I am quite sure will attract the attention of the country. My right hon. friend chose to assume that the fact that there had been an increase of trade during the past year was something for which the Minister of Finance should be given credit. The Minister of Finance, I think the House will agree with me, had very little to do with it; but if he did have anything to do with it, what a sad reflection he must have. It is only five years ago that we were told we would have no truck nor trade with the Yankees; that it would be a horrible crime, a sin against our loyalty to the Empire, if we bought and sold anything more in the United States than we were then doing. Where does the great increase of trade come from of which my right hon. friend spoke so enthusiastically last night? In 1911 our total trade with the United States was only $378,000,000, but in the past year it amounted to $800,000,000. In other words, if it was disloyal to truck and trade with the Yankees to the extent of $378,000,000 in 1911, what must be the extent of the perfidy of the Minister of Finance, so far as loyalty is concerned, when he permits and enthuses over a trade of $800,000,000? .

I think my right hon. friend, on reflection, will agree with me that the Minister of

fMr. Macdonald.]

Finance was simply a fly on the wheel in regard to this. I notice that my hon. friend the Minister of Finance occasionally causes pronunciamentos to be given to the country through the Conservative press stating that although our industries were paralysed before the war commenced, he was entitled to some credit because the country has been able to carry on. I am sure every one, on reflection, will see the ridiculous nature of the pretext which the Prime Minister put forth last night.

My right hon. friend had something to say, also, on the question of the extension of the term of Parliament-while deprecating an anticipatory discussion of that question. I agree that this House should postpone consideration of that important question until the Government submits its resolution relating to it. Yet I may be permitted to remark that the right hon. gentleman was not very happy in the reference he made in that connection to my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), who leads the Opposition. He referred to the fact that my right hon. leader had said, in 1914, that he would at that time refrain from attempting to open the portals of office with a bloody key. But the leader of the Government himself has, on three or four occasions, tried to open the door of an extended term of office with a bloody key. He has actually inserted that key in the lock on at least two occasions, but has felt obliged to withdraw it. Every hon. gentleman knows that we met in the war session of 1914 without any reservation whatever; that Parliament gave this Government almost plenary powers in regard to the war by enacting the provisions of the War Measures Act, and gave them from the treasury of the Canadian people ad libitum. Yet, we had hardly reached our homes after that session, the first contingent of our overseas forces had hardly reached England, when the leader of the Government and his colleagues considered the question of having an election at that time. It is well understood that certain members of the Government at that time opposed going to the country on the ground that the confidence extended to the Government by the splendid action of the Liberal party in connection with the war should not be abused. And what about the session of 1915? The right hon. leader of the Government experienced a change of heart on the question of soldiers' votes. Had he heard from any of the boys in the trenches that they would vote against this Government if they were given the chance? If he did not hear of that there are thou-

sands of people in this country who did. This change of heart on his part is rather suspicious. He caused the press of this country to attack my right hon. leader because that right hon. gentleman ventured to suggest at that time that there might be some difficulty about taking the votes of the soldiers. He caused his own organ in t'he city of Halifax to charge my leader with disloyalty because he ventured to question-

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

That statement is untrue, whether in regard to the newspaper in Halifax or any other.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I say -the statement is untrue.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Then, who directed Senator Dennis to do it?

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I say the hon. gentleman has no warrant for making such a statement. I never influenced -any portion of the press of Canada at any time to make an attack upon any public man.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Then the right hon. gentleman -should have asked Senator Dennis to withdraw the article. Thi-s is the party organ in the right hon. gentleman's own constituency, and the editor, if he did not make this attack at the direction of the right hon. gentleman-and, of course, I am bound to accept my right hon. friend's statement-at least felt that -it would not displease the right hon. gentleman if it were made. And in this matter of the soldiers' votes, the right hon. gentleman had the ballots printed -and -sent out in charge of Mr. Daly, now Secretary of the Pensions Board. We can still hear the echo of the words of his colleague the Minister of Public. Works (Mr. Rogers), who declared that the people of Canada were calling in thunder tones for an election to be brought on at once, and we all remember that the Minister of Public Works delivered a speech in Montreal in which he gave notice to the whole country that an election was to take place. But the right hon. gentleman will have no difficulty in remembering that immediately there came by telegraph from all parts of the country protests sent by boards of trade, Conservative organizations and other bodies, against the holding of an election. And so, though he had almost inserted this bloody key in the lock, the key fell from his, nerveless hand and he retired to the country for several weeks to rest -after the effort he had made in preparation. So I say the right

hon. gentleman was not at all happy in his anticipatory references to a discussion which, no doubt, will take place later on.

The Prime Minister referred to the attitude assumed by the Liberal party in connection with the Boer War. Does he forget that his great predecessor in th-e leadership of the Conservative party and the premiership of this country, Sir John Macdonald, toad always taken the pbsition that there should be no interference by Canada in the foreign w-ars of the Empire? Had he forgotten that other great leaders had gone on record in the same sense? And does he not remember the famous pamphlet No. 6 circulated in the province of Quebec on behalf of tods party, in which it was stated that my right ho-n. leader was too English for them because he wanted Canada to intervene in such wars? He forgets that the leader of the Liberal party, when, in attendance in Great Britain at the jubilee of Queen Victoria, of happy memory, -pledged Canada to give aid and assistance to the Empire in case of need, and supplemented it by giving the first aid Canada ever gave to the Empire by sending our men to the war in South Africa. Future history, I venture to say, will accord with contemporary -history which shows that such a reference as that which the loader of the Government has made , might well have been spared. I cannot understand what object -he could have -had in making such a reference. I recall to-day the situation of the leaders of the Liberal party from the province of Quebec in regard to assistance' given to the Empire. I think of my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Beland, incarcerated for weary months in a German prison; there is my friend, Mr. Lemieux, with his boy a volunteer;

Sir Lomer Gouin in the same position; and my right hon. friend and leader,

Sir Wilfrid Laurier, with the last scion of his race, his nephew, an enlisted volunteer, but discharged on account of illness. When I tMnk of these things I cannot but feel that this reference made by my right hon. friend, the leader of the Government, might well have been -spared.

I think the duty is imperatively laid upon us, when we think of the boys wtho -have gone out and have died for the cause as well as of those who are going'out, to consider questions affecting this war with the greatest possible care. We are told that recruiting in this country has stopped. I think I can give the leader of the Government some reasons why -it has stopped. In the first place, thirty months have gone by. The right hon. leader of the Government said yes-

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Then who directed it? [DOT]

terday that the men who are working in the munition factories are giving services as important to the Empire as axe those men who went out to fight. He might have- -said in addition that the men who work in the coal mines do the same thing, because, in eastern Canada -at least, wherever you have munition works you must have coal in order that they may operate. Then wh-at about the men who work in the lumber woods? Their product is material which is as essential in connection with warfare as are the shells themselves. They are necessary for trench work. The highest prices that have ever been paid in th-e history of the lumber trade in eastern Canada are being paid to-day; if you take the men from the lumber woods you impair production and you are unable to get the necessary supplies. The miners of iron, copper, nickle, zinc, gold and silver are rendering potent aid. How could you have the transportation of the country's products if the importance of the work of the railway men was not considered? What about the farmers of this country? My hon. friend the Minister of Finance two years ago urged production and more production. How was Canada to help production if the men who lived on the farms were not to work and till the soil? Long ago the men who worked in the coal mines of Great Britain were exempted from military service; coal miners were called back from the front to work in mines and munition factories. Moreover, men who worked on the farms in Great Britain were exempted from military service. Hon. gentlemen will recall what they read in the papers only two days ago concerning the protests made on behalf of these men against the provision for their exemption being taken from the Enlistment Act, the protest being made solely in the interests of production. What has my right hon. friend done? Why did he not provide long ago that the men who worked in munition factories should be given certificates that they were working for the Empire and were exempt from military service, and that the men who worked in all these other avenues of employment were in the same position? My right hon. friend has gone on without any system, without any organization; and the trades of this country have become demoralized as a result of his inability to deal with this question. Take, for instance, the coal mines of my own county. The coal miners are naturally among the most adventurous of all our [Mr. Macdonald.!

people, being accustomed to face danger almost every day of their employment, and they have gone to fight in great numbers. The munition factories there are unable to work on account of shortage of coal; the people who live in the country are unable to get necessary fuel on account of my right hon. friend's having no system in regard to this matter.

Over and above that, the patronage system, unlike the case [DOT] of Australia, has been rampant throughout this land. This patronage system prevails in respect of appointments, preferments and promotions in the militia. I make the charge right here in the presence of the Prime Minister that in the province of Nova Scotia-it is his own province-the system of patronage was handled directly in regard to these matters. If a few soldiers were billeted anywhere in the country, no man could sell them tea, sugar or meat unless his right to sell was passed upon by the local patronage committee. The same thing applies with regard to clothing, supplies and medical examinations. Only six weeks ago a further appeal for men was made in my constituency by a recruiting officer. He published a list of the only medical men who could examine recruits; all were Conservatives with the exception of one, and there did not happen to be a Tory doctor where that one lived. My right hon. friend must know thi^. Let us not forget that the democracy of Canada, the plain people of this country-our young men . more particularly-are intelligent.

There is no use in crying peace, peace, if there is no peace. When you appeal to them from the standpoint of the highest ideals that were ever submitted for the consideration of anyone in this world to go out and fight for the Empire and freedom, and when you find that the local Conservative committee runs this whole business, where do your ideals go? That is the story of my right hon. friend's administration in regard to this matter.

Take another matter. I speak particularly of my own province; other hon. gentlemen will speak of conditions elsewhere. My right hon. friend has heard of the 85th Battalion; he is the hon. colonel of it. My right hon. friend's distinguished relative, Colonel Borden, is the colonel of the 85th; he is not, I believe, of the same political faith as my right hon. friend. We in Nova Scotia all (know of the wonderful appeal that Colonel Borden made in the winter months of last year, when he carried the slogan among the highlanders of Nova

Scotia as it was carried in the old Jacobite days. The men rallied to the standard; in one brigade, four battalions, over 4,500 men came together, because they were asked to follow men who would lead them to the ' fight, men who were known to them, who were qualified to lead them, in whom they had confidence and of whom they could be proud. They went; two brothers here from one family; two chums there from adjoining farms on the countryside, who believed they were not going to be separated; they wanted to go out and win together. They went to Aldershot last year and trained there from May until October. My right hon. friend visited them; his Minister of Militia visited them. The Minister of Militia gave his knightly word that every one of those boys could rely upon their going to the front together; that their brigade was not to be broken up; that Colonel Borden was to be made Brigadier-General. When they sailed away on the 13th of October there was no question whatever about this. I had the pleasure of standing on the platform with the distinguished president of Pine Hill College, of the city of Halifax, Rev. Clarence McKinnon, who is known to my right hon. friend and who was one of the chaplains of this regiment. This gentleman with all the prestige of his position behind him, appealed to the mothers and fathers of the country to let their boys go so that they could be in this Tegiment with their chums; so that they could fight and win together. He gave them his positive assurance of this, relying, he said, upon the guarantees which had been given by the Government. There were ideals for you; there "was spirit for you; there

was sentiment for you. They called

the boy from the cottage, from the hillside, from the valley; he came and what happened? Under the inscrutable condition of military affairs existing on the other side -I asked the right hon. gentleman last night who really was in charge of these matters; I do not think anybody did know after reading Sir Sam Hughes' letter- about a month after their arrival over there some one came from somewhere, and said: Take 800 men out of the

brigade, march them over to France; pay no attention to anything. And from all four regiments they were taken; brothers were separated; chums from boyhood were torn apart. The fathers and mothers of these boys who were separated came to the offices of the men in Nova Scotia who had asked them to go, and asked how this could be.. " Can you have any confidence," they say, " in anything that the Government does? My boy might

die and his brother would not be there; it was because they would be together that I let them go." Is it any wonder that recruiting does not go on under such methods? Now the brigade is broken up and nobody knows exactly where its members are. We would like to have an official statement upon this matter. Look at the Irish Rangers of Montreal. In the raising of that regiment there were appeals to the heroic race, the sons of old Ireland and the grandsons of old Ireland over here in this land were called on to rally together and to send to the front a distinctively Irish regiment. I see by to-day's Montreal Gazette that Colonel Triliey makes the statement that if that regiment is going to be broken up he will not return to the front. Why are these things done? Do you mean to tell me it is any answer to say, as the Conservative organs s^y, that there are not so many chances of the boys getting killed if they are separated as if they are all together? That is what the Halifax Herald, my right hon. friend's organ, says; that is the excuse advanced for this breach of faith. What use is there in saying to the men of Nova Scotia, that you are going to do anything about this war in the face of an absolute, unquestionable failure to keep one's word? These are the conditions. Is it any wonder that we point out these things under my right hon. friend's administration and ask the Government to consider what they mean? But, Sir, we have in addition to that a colleague of my right hon. friend, the man whom he last night complimented for his handling of affairs in Val-cartier, over his'own signature in the public press making nineteen distinct charges in regard to the administration and interference with administration by this Government during this war. There is no precedent in the whole parliamentary history of the British nation for the publication of any such correspondence as that which took place between my right hon. friend and his late Minister of Militia. On one occasion Disraeli wrote a letter to Lord Chelmsford about whose position as a possible leader in the House of Lords as Lord Chancellor he was believed to have some doubt; but the letter written by Disraeli was on a change of administration, on his assumption of the premiership. Other than that instance, there is no parallel in the whole history of the British Empire for a Minister of the Crown, retiring under the circumstances under which Sir Sam Hughes retired, leaving nineteen distinct charges of mal-

administration against the Government of which he was a member. My right hon. friend did not attempt or pretend to answer Sir Sam Hughes last night.

'rhen where does my right hon. friend (Sir Robert Borden) stand on the question of conscription? I recall that my right hon. friend, in the debate on the Address last year, stated that he had said at the beginning of the war that he was opposed to conscription, and that he repeated that remark with emphasis. The Minister of the Interior (Mr. Roche) told us that he had gone to Chicago at the Christmas season and had met some immigration agents there, and he gave us the letter which he wrote in regard to the question of conscription at the time. We have had an agitation in this country on that question. The country looks for leadership from my right hon. friend. If this Administration is going to do anything in the war,

4 p.m. if it is going to assume the responsibility of dealing with these questions, we have a right to ask: has my right hon. friend changed his mind or has he not? Why have all this discussion upon this question? Why have all this unsettling of the public mind? Either my right hon. friend stands where he did last year or he does not.

Then take this matter of Dr. Bruce's report. Is there anything-and on this I appeal from the House to the country- is there anything which, in this war time, could bring sadder hearts to the homes of the mothers of the boys who have gone forth to fight than the thought that, having escaped the terrors of war and having been brought to England, they are there to be immured in hospitals and under conditions such as are described in the report of Dr. Bruce? If the statements contained in the report of Dr. Bruce are true-and they have been, given publication in the press of this country, although I find on coming to Parliament that I am unable to get, from the Militia Department, on inquiry, a copy of that report for perusal-if there is talk about boys not recruiting, how can the Prime Minister expect them to go out and take the risks of all these conditions? And we are told that Dr. Baptie, whoever he is, and some other men, whoever they are, have examined into these affairs and have made a report, reporting this and that about Dr Carleton Jones and some other men, all of which is very interesting, but not instructive. And when you add to that the various cables that have been printed as coming

from Sir George Perley, from which you find that the man who made this report condemnatory of these hospitals is promoted to the posiiton of consulting surgeon to the British army in France, I want to know whether Dr. Bruce's report is true or not. [DOT] This House wants to know, this country wants to know.

I want to submit to my right hon. friend that this question of Dr. Bruce's report, this question of Dr. Baptie's examination of that report, is of such a serious nature that the whole matter should be submitted to a committee of this House for investigation in order to ascertain what the real conditions are. I know that there are a great many people in this country who talk beautifully about this war-men who have neither chick nor child to go and do not expect to have any-yet they will talk to you in the most learned and beautiful way about how the war should be run. But I talk for the fathers and mothers of the 300,000 boys who have gone, and I want to know whether they are going to be' treated that way over in England. Glib words and honeyed talk about winning the war is not going to satisfy this country-either our boys are going to be looked after or they are not, and we expect them to be looked after.

I have referred to the charges made by Lieut.-General Sir Sam Hughes. My right hon. friend dismissed 'him, to use the short term, from the position of Minister of Militia. He did it in a letter in which he gave two reasons: First, he said because Sir Sam Hughes administered his department as if it were a separate government. The other reason was because Sir Sam told the Premier that he knew that a certain statement which he had made was incorrect, when he said that he had had the same control over affairs in Great Britain in 1914 as in 1916. My right hon. friend gave those two reasons as the grounds for dismissing Sir Sam Hughes. The country have a right to know something about this. SiT Sam Hughes was a conspicuous figure in the administration of this war. My right hon. friend's friends put him forward as a man of great achievements, as a man of whom the country ought to be proud, and my right hon. friend suddenly, not because of anything that Sir Sam Hughes had done in the way of administration, not because there was any reference to any statement that had been made in regard to Sir Sam Hughes being this or that, but simply and solely because, as a matter of departmental arrangement, he had administered his department as if it were a separate govern-

ment he dismissed Sir iSam Hughes. We have a right to know why 'he did this. General Sir Sam Hughes, according to the correspondence, denies this charge. He says he was never asked to send in orders in council except in regard to one particular thing, that was secret service, and he says the Prime Minister came and asked him to be careful to send these orders in council in because, as the Prime Minister said, the Department of Railways, the Post Office Department and the Department of Public Works were going on spending money without getting any orders in council. That is the answer Sir Sam makes to my right hon. friend. Where was the Finance Minister at that time? Where was this watchdog of the treasury, when, according to his own colleague, the Minister of Public Works, tire Minister of Railways and the Poistmas-ter General-and, according to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Militia himself- were spending money when there should have been orders in council authorizing such expenditure?

The Minister of Finance must have known that. It is generally conceded in the country that the Minister of Finance was one of the chief objectors to the former Minister of Militia. Evidently it was for that reason, and if so, why did he not stop it if it was going on? Why did he permit departments to spend money without an order in coun-cd'P Why did he permit other departments to do it after it began in one of them?. The Minister of Finance did nothing at all until the Prime Minister had to dismiss Sir Sam Hughes because he would not ask for an order in council. Was that the reason my right hon. friend dismissed Sir Sam Hughes, or was it because of an act of maladministration? I think ;he should tell the House and the country. My right hon. friend studiously avoided any reference to that last nigfht. There was a phrase of' his that I see in Hansard which rather indicated on his part a disposition not to engage in any discussion with Sir Sam Hughes. " I do not propose," he says, " to [DOT] enter into a discussion as to whether he was right or wrong," referring to a little dispute that occurred between himself and the exMinister of Militia in reference to what was being done in France. Does my right hon. friend belong to that class of people who think that they have a divine right to rule? And if a minister chooses to make charges of a very grave character, as Sir Sam Hughes did, does he refuse to discuss them? This is the man whom he, himself, has put forward since 1911 as the beau ideal of what a minister of militia ought

to be. Then, he takes a whim and turns him out. My right hon. friend, from his standpoint of divine right and with that germanic tendency that seems to have got into his system, comes and tells the people that he does not propose to discuss this question. We must find out something in regard to this matter. My right hon. friend showered all the honours upon this colleague of his, permitted him to be a Lieutenant General, he was created a K.C.B., and then my right hon. friend dismisses him because he does, not get an order

in council when he wants him to. That is a very flimsy reason. Why does he not dismiss the Minister of Public Works for the same reason? Why does he not dismiss the Minister of Railways and Canals? The Minister of Railways is very strong on this patronage question.

I notice that my genial friend fromColchesteT (Mr. Stanfield) is not herebut I want to say this for the hon.

member for 'Colchester, that the iMin-ister of Railways and Canals has been getting a tremendous lot of kudos for this supposed high and noble stand which he has been taking on the question of patronage on the Intercolonial railway. I desire to put the House and the country right on this question. There is not a man employed as a briakeman, or a wiper in the shed, or a lamplighter, or a section, man, or in any other capacity on the Intercolonial railway unless ha 'has a letter from the man who has the patronage, either a Conservative member or ia Conservative candidate. The real issue between the hon. member for Colchester-though I think he has not perhaps conceived this method of putting it- and the Minister of Railways and Canals is as to whether there are not men in the Maritime Provinces who have grown up on the Intercolonial-whether it is these men that the hon. member for Colchester recognizes or not-whether there are not men on the whole Intercolonial Railway from Montreal to Sydney who are competent to be in charge of the terminals in the city of Halifax. That is the question. The Minister of Railways and Canals chose, at the suggestion of Mr. Gutelius, to think differently. Mr. Gutelius was a foreign citizen until after he had given his report on the Transcontinental railway and until after my hon. friend from Carleton, New Brunswick, (Mr. Carvell) had put the question in the House to find out whether Mr. Gutelius had ever been naturalized or not. Not until that day had this gentleman been naturalized and now this gentle-

man comes, and, because he happens to have some friends in other parts of Canada, takes a man down and puts him in charge of the terminals of the railway and says to the railway men of the Maritime Provinces: It is true that you produce premiers occasionally-they have all gone to the Conservative party by accident-it is true you produce men prominent in every walk of life, but you cannot produce any man from the Intercolonial railway who is good enough to look after the terminals at the city of Halifax. My right hon. friend allows the Minister of Railways and Canals to do that and he allows him to go on and spend money without orders in council. He does not ask him for his reasons. Why does he not? The right hon. gentleman would not tell us last night.

Is tl^ere any one of his colleagues who would tell us why the Minister of Militia was singled out for this offence-a very grave one-and why it' was that the Minister of Finance did not protest against the Minister of Railways spending money without orders in council and against the Minister of Public Works spending money without orders in council; when he protested against Sir Sam Hughes doing it? These are questions upon which the country has a right to get some information.

The difficulty between Sir Sam Hughes and this Government rests upon the very vital question as to who is in control, and who ought to be in control, of the Canadian Forces in Great Britain. That is the question at issue and Sir Sam Hughes made certain charges in regard to it. The first charge which he makes, is this: My right hon. friend cho.se to say that the conditions over there were bad. In October of lasj year he made up his mind that there should be two changes and he proposed to make these changes and to put Sir George Perley in charge. He wrote the then Minister of Militia a letter to that effect. The then Minister of Militia in replying to that letter makes the first charge in regard to that memorandum as follows:

I entirely agree that the one object to be accomplished is the winning of the war; but I must submit that the proposed order in council of September 22nd ult., with its accompanying regulations, will, to my mind, cripple, impede and again reduce the force overseas, to the chaotic condition to which it had fallen at the end of the first nine months of the war under a system practically what you now propose establishing.

Sir Sam. Hughes had been, my right hon. friend's constitutional adviser in regard to

military matters for five years. My right hon. friend is not a military man and Sir George Perley is not a military man. I think he ought to have told Sir George Perley that as High Commissioner he should not take anything more upon his shoulders than he had. That is the opinion of everybody that I have seen who has been in England. But my right hon. friend cannot get away from this distinct charge of Sir Sam Hughes that by making this change he was inaugurating a system which would cripple, impede and reduce the Canadian Forces to a chaotic condition. That is what he charges and under those circumstances is it any wonder that the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade was broken up, is it any wonder that the Irish Rangers were broken up? What else would you expect? There was nobody to control or protect it. What

has the Premier, what has the successor of the Minister of Militia, to say to the charge that the Canadian Forces in England were in a chaotic condition? That is what this responsible minister, the fidus Achates of my right hon. friend for five long years, tells this country?

What else does he say?

From the outset I strongly objected to the fact that practically the entire management of our force, our supplies, our equipment, our transport, etc., had been taken completely out of our hands, and was controlled by the British authorities, we, notwithstanding, paying the bill.

Is that the condition of affairs to-day in Great Britain? Only yesterday in the Montreal Gazette, a paper friendly to my right hon. friend, the following letter was reproduced from the London Times:

London, Jan, 20.-The following letter signed "Civilian" appears in The Times:

The First Canadian Division sailed for France in February, 1915, and has therefore been in the front line two years. It contained Canadian Militia officers serving as brigadier-generals who have exhbited courage, skill and judgment in a marked degree, particularly in that capacity for measuring the unknown, which is the quality of the true soldier. Yet, however rapidly the ladder of promotion has been climbed in the Imperial army, not a single one of these brigadiers has received more than one step in rank as reward for two years of hard, distinguished service.

Let us look at the other side of the picture. There has been from the start in the Canadian corps a sprinkling of Imperial officers, whose services have been of the utmost value, but the moment a vacancy has occurred in any of the high positions they occupied, another regular officer has been appointed to fill the place. The Canadian militia officer feels this state of affairs is both a bar to his career1 and a reflection, upon his capacity. After two years of war, in

succession to his previous service, he must either be fit to hold these posts or be by nature incapable. At the same time it appears to him that to belong to a Canadian corps is a final disqualification for that rapid promotion which he sees falling to contemporaries in the Imperial army. "So far shalt thou go and no farther" seems to him written over the portals of war for all who do not possess the cachet of the staff college. Is there not a good deal of justice in this complaint?

My right hon. friend cannot ignore a statement such, as that wihich is directly corroborative. of the charge made by General Sir Sam Hughes. That statement appearing as it did in the London Times and being considered of sufficient importance to be reproduced in the Montreal Gazette, indicates a serious condition of affairs. The Minister of Militia says further:

I do not know^ whether the Canadian High Commissioner had the authority of the Canadian Government or not; but a day or two later that gentleman, of his own initiative, strongly spoke to me and briefly said: "You

do not pretend surely to have anything to do with the Canadian soldiers in Britain.'' I suggested that he might be well advised to study not alone the Canadian Military Law, but the British Army Act, as well as comprehend the spirit of the Constitution. I felt then, as I feel today, and as I am pleased to say the entire Biitish Government and War Office officers also realize to-day that our officers and men being in the pay of Canada, Canada should absolutely control them in Canada and in Britain, excepting in so far as securing camping grounds is concerned'*, and at the front for everything excepting the command and general administration under the command.

The charge made in " Civilian's " letter to the Times apparently shows that the state of affairs which Sir Sam. Hughes said that he had remedied had been reverted to again. The ex-minister goes on:

For the first ten months our suggestions were practically ignored ; our equipment, stores, supplies, armament, everything provided bjr us, was set aside. The pay department was found to be absolutely chaotic, the medical service, modelled on the British, lacked system, efficiency and comprehensiveness.

He goes on to say to the Prime Minister, that he had in his memorandum, "proving the utter falsity of their bogus excuses regarding our wagons."

My right hon. friend dealt with that to some degree last night, and it was the only matter with which Ihe did deal. He spoke of a muster parade being held, and some inquiry being made into that particular matter, and that was the only point to which he referred- The Minister of Militia goes on to saw that he accepted under protest, for tftie first year this management of the forces in Great Britain, and further on he said,

referring to the very system which my right hon. friend (Sir Robert Borden) inaugurated, and which is now in effect in Great Britain, that to adopt the Prime Minister's suggestion of a separate member of the Government to look after things in England " would bring about a return of the irregularities in management, in training and in promotions " which the Minister of Militia had been endeavouring to eliminate, and he says that it would, " as was the effect rmder the cancelled order in council, cause clhaos in the administration and destroy the present friendly relationship between the Canadian forces at the front and in Britain on the one hand, and the British Administration on the other." I ask my right hon. friend to let the House and country know whether the chaotic condition indicated by the ex-Minister of Militia has occurred in regard to our forces in Great Britain, The minister goes on to say that by reason of certain changes he had made he had saved Canada upwards of six millions of dollars. Does my Ihon. friend the Minister of Finance know about that saving? How much more was lost? If Sir- Sam Hughes was able to save only six million dollars, how much was lost during the ten months when demoralization existed and supplies were being scrapped, and when the Pay and Records Office was in a chaotic condition? The Minister of Finance is asking the common people of the country, the plain people of this country, to practice thrift. Will he be prepared to tell them how much money he permitted to be lost in England during those ten months of chaos? The ex-Minister of Militia goes on to say:

We have raised a force and managed it in spite of all sorts of intrigue.

Who was intriguing? Was it the colleagues of the hon. gentleman? What use is it for those gentlemen to tell the people of this country that their first duty is to win the war and then for them to go into the Cabinet Council and proceed to intrigue against their colleagues? That is the direct and ^positive charge which the ex-Minister of Militia makes, and it is on these matters that the country wants enlightenment. Referring to the system which the Prime Minister had inaugurated, Sir Sam Hughes says:-

This whole proposition is based on misconception of the facts, and can but have three motives to inspire it, none of which is the welfare of the officers and men, or the winning of the war.

What are those three motives? My right hon. friend knows and he won't tell us. The

ex-Minister of Militia makes the positive assertion that not one of those motives has to do with the improvement of the welfare - -of the men or the winning of the war. What right, I ask, has this Administration at tips time to be actuated by any other motives than the winning of the w.ar, or the welfare of our men?

My right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) yesterday quoted the charge which has not been answered yet, that if the system which the Prime Minister insisted on putting into effect 'had been in effect in the early days of the war, the first division would never have left Valcantier. He pointed out that the second division was held up by haggling about motor trucks for four months. In other words, this Government, which, according to the Prime Minister, yesterday was doing such strange and wonderful things, lost four months in haggling and fighting among themselves, and delayed for that length of time the outfitting of the second division. The ex-Minister of Militia goes on in the correspondence to take issue with the Premier on the question of truthfulness, and the Prime Minister asks for his resignation.

Then the ex-Minister of Militia declares that the Prime Minister was proposing these changes on account of certain intrigues which for a long time he had had on foot with the High Commissioner. Is that true, or is it not? It may be said that there is no necessity to pay any attention to these charges, but he was a responsible minister of the Crown and my right hon. friend put him forward for five years as the beau ideal of a man who should have charge of this nation in time of war. My right hon. friend cannot ignore those charges, serious as they are. The ex-minister goes on making certain other statements which also cannot be ignored. He declares that in regard to the question of administration with reference to what has been done at Valcartier the right hon. gentleman objected to his going ahead and doing, things without orders in council. Then he makes this charge:

It is difficult for me to recall where you have actively supported me in the passage of any order in council concerning the up-building of the Militia when apposed by two Members of the Cabinet usually antagonistic to anything proposed by me. As you are aware, it took up four months in the midst of this great war to fight through the principles of purchasing, for the Second Division,- trucks at the lowest wholesale prices.

The country has a right to know who were those two members of the Cabinet who continually opposed their colleague in the ad-

ministration of the war. If he was unfit, why was he not removed long ago? But why should this haggling have gone on while boys were dying in the hospitals or being killed at the front? These men, eager to advance their own ambitions, to pursue their own intrigues, were engaged in fighting in the council in regard to such matters as are detailed here by their own colleague. Such is the situation. The exMinister of Militia, speaking of another matter, goes on to say:

I do remember you asking me on one occasion to submit orders in council where possible before incurring large expenditures, but the reason you assigned was not protests from my colleagues over my action, but that it was to set an example so as to assist you to control others. You instanced the Post Office Department, the Railway Department and the Public Works Department where projects had been undertaken without authority by order in council, and I remember distinctly you stated that some boats had been purchased and other large expenditures incurred, without your knowing anything about it, and wthout any order in council.

Does the right hon. gentleman know that boats have been purchased involving large expenditures of money without an older in council being passed? Inta what new arena was my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Rogers) proceeding when he made purchases without orders in council? Where was my hon. friend the Minister of Railways (Mr. Cochrane) going to spend this money? Was it to buy cars down in the United States when he might have bought them in Canada, or was it to engage in some other enterprise recommended by his superintendent which he did not wish to submit to the scrutiny of all his colleagues? Where was the Minister of Finance? Had such a condition of affairs existed when the minds of the people were not enthralled by the war, it would have resulted in the impeachment of the four ministers who were involved. The only reason the hon. gentlemen have escaped that attention which ought to have been paid to the serious situation has been the dominating influence of the war. Is the country ever to know from the Prime Minister what was the expenditure made by the Minister of Public Works, without authority, illegally, under the law? What was the expenditure made by the Minister of Railways, without authority, illegally, under the law? Or if it was my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries who bought the steamers without authority, what was the

expenditure that he made? Suppose that in Great Britain to-day any one of the ministers who- had served under Mr. Asquith had, two months ago in a document made public by the Prime Minister, although he need not have done so, charged that three of his colleagues had, not in expenditures for the war, but in purely departmental expenditures, transgressed, and broken the law, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had permitted the public funds to be diverted illegally and contrary to the law for that purpose, what would public opinion be? That, however, is the position in which we in Canada stand as a result of the charges made by the ex-Minister of Militia.

The ex-minister goes on to charge the Prime Minister with grave errors and with misrepresentations of facts. Surely the good old days of courtesy between public men are gone. Here is a deliberate cold-blooded charge on the part of a colleague against his former Premier of misrepresentation of facts >and of grave errors in regard to statements made. I think hereafter hon. gentlemen who do' not see eye to eye with the Prime Minister may be pardoned if they question the authenticity of statements made by him, when his colleague, his faithful friend, pillories .him before the whole country with the charge of misrepresentation of fact and deliberate errors in regard to statements made.

The ex-Minister of Militia wants to know how the Minister of Finance got loans without coming to Council in regard to them. He makes the statements that the Minister of Finance proceeds to deal with the credit of the country, and to make the loans, without coming to Council. It is a serious matter indeed that we have a government in power which so absolutely disregards the law that, instead of the ex-Minister of Militia being the only one who undertakes to run a separate government, each minister who is strong enough to carry out his own whims does the same thing. And the Minister of Finance seems to have been guilty with the rest.

Then this former colleague of the Prime Minister goes on to say:

I have known and experienced, for a long time, the meddling and intrigue which has been going on. More than a year ago, I understand, you had. it in contemplation to get Sir George Perley in control in England.

He goes on to quote from a letter of the Prime Minister in regard to a cablegram which ho sent on July 31, and says:

It is my belief that had you been actuated by the best interests of the force instead of favoritism that cablegram would not have been despatched.

Then, here is the situation: The former Minister of Militia charges his Prime Minister with being actuated by favoritism in regard to military matters instead of by considerations of the true interest of the force. Either there is some basis for that charge or there is not. And this country wants to know. Is it to be expected that " the country, in the face of these charges, will have confidence in this Government and in its management of the war? Is it to be expected that the people will send their sons to the war under these conditions? Consider what the former Minister of Militia said in Toronto:

Saddles were pulled out of the mud, harness scraped up and article after article, and department after department gone through, and to-day Canadian stuff is used at the front by Canadians, and by British In some parts, and Is regarded as better than their own.

In other words, supplies and equipment, for which the hard-earned money of the Canadian people had been spent, were thrown into the mud and the ex-Minister of Militia had to get them out. And he charges that the Prime Minister proposed to bring back the same state of things in this regard that had existed before. The ex-Minister of Militia said further:

The Canadian soldiers were allowed to come under the knife of first-year medical men In. charge of some of the hospitals in England, while qualified doctors from the Dominion were available but not used.

Now, is it a fact that these boys, over whose going we have been so enthusiastic, and whose splendid spirit we have commended because they went out to fight for the right, when they are wounded in battle. and sent back to England are not attended by qualified surgeons from the Dominion, but are dealt by first-year medical students?- Does the Prime Minister think he can ignore such a charge as that? Do hon. gentlemen who support the Prime Minister think they can ignore it? Let me tell them that the fathers and mothers of the boys, and the boys themselves, will hold them responsible if these statements are true, and the day of reckoning will come sooner or later. We simply call the attention of Parliament to these facts and ask for an investigation. No answer has been given to the charges. The Prime Minister, in his correspondence with the former Minister of Militia, does not answer them in

any way-does not pretend to. In his speech last night he took the course I have intimated. There was a side issue in connection with General Alderson and General Steele which could not be held to be so serious or important as are these charges, especially those in regard to medical matters. This House

expects, this country expects, that an investigation will be held in order that the facts may be made known. I speak with no feeling other than this-I want to know whether or not these boys of ours are being looked after? If they are being looked after, then this country can rest with an easy mind on that point; if they are not being looked after, then I beseech the Government, no matter what individuals may stand in the way, no matter what political considerations may intervene, to so deal with this question that the fathers and mothers of our boys may know that when those boys go across the ocean they will be as safe, so far as the Administration is concerned, as they would be in our own country. The facts must be made known, and when made known they can be dealt with.

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CON

John Hampden Burnham

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BUKNHAM:

Has the hon. gentleman endeavoured to find out from the officers or men of the Canadian troops in England whether they were or were not satisfied with the treatment they received in hospitals or elsewhere? I can assure him, from meeting hundreds and hundreds, that there never was a complaint-nothing hut the greatest possible gratitude.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

All I have to say is that my hon. friend (Mr. Burnham) should wrestle out that problem with Dr. Bruce and the ex-Minister of Militia. The hon. gentleman may know more about the matter than Dr. Bruce and Sir Sam Hughes, but he can hardly expect us, he can hardly expect the friends of the boys who have gone across the water, to disregard the position taken by a surgeon of the standing of Dr. Bruce or the statements made by the former Minister of Militia, and to accept the hon. gentleman's own ipse dixit as settling the whole problem.

I pass to another question. I notice that the Minister of Finance is going to make a/i appeal to the people of this country to practice thrift. I have looked at the expenditures made under this Administration this year and last year. We all know that last winter we voted a tremendous sum of money for the use of the great spending departments, Eailways and Canals and

Public Works-where they spend money without orders in council-and we know that that money was voted on the distinct assurance that only those expenditures should be made which were absolutely and essentially necessary.

Later in the session I shall give to the House instances where this assurance has been absolutely disregarded so far as the Maritime Provinces are concerned, in the Department of Public Works, for one. I find that my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, in his controllable expenditure down to December 31, 1915, spent $7,127,000 more than he did last year. It is true that there was a decrease of approximately $7,000,000 in the capital expenditure, but under ordinary expenditure my hon. friend spent $7,000,000 more. My hon. friend has spoken of the'policy of thrift, which I conceive to be absolutely necessary. Apart from political considerations, we must recognize that as citizens of this country we are, to a certain extent, living financially in a fool's paradise. Tremendous expenditures have been made in this war for munitions and supplies; an enormous amount of money has come into Canada, and our people have been spending money without regard to the consequences. It is absolutely proper that the true financial situation of the country should be placed before the people. When the war is won the responsibilities occasioned by the tremendous debt of the country, the pensions system apd other permanent obligations will necessitate the greatest possible economy in private and public life, particularly having regard to the fact tnat the expenditures, which are now being made in Canada shall have come to an end.

My right hon. friend will recall that last winter I pleaded with the House that [DOT]the extra money being received by the Post Office Department through the sale of war tax stamps should not be spent in unnecessary mail routes, particularly in eastern Canada. There was no necessity for the duplication of routes, and while the extension of rural mail delivery is a splendid and desirable thing under normal conditions, can it be said that in order to give mail facilities to any portion of the com-[DOT] munity you should spend twice as much this year as you did last? Can it be said that the system should be duplicated all over the country and that enormous increases should be made in the staff of clerks employed in Montreal, Quebec and other offices, resulting in the total absorption in one year of all the money that was col-

leeted by way of taxation through the war tax stamps? I know that in my province this duplication of mail routes has been going on wherever political necessity seemed to justify it. Provincial elections were held there during the last year; mail routes were promised and put into effect, and the extra money was spent. The Minister of Finance must not expect the plain people to respond to his appeal for economy and thrift if they see that the Government is disregarding war conditions and spending money liberally without any regard to the economy that ought to be displayed and which must be displayed in this country by the very necessities of the case, no matter what party is in power. We shall await the explanation of the Minister of Finance in this respect. I regret that he was not here earlier to-day, when I said that I thought he had no right to take the credit which was given him by the Prime Minister for the increased revenue of the country.

The situation in Canada to-day from all quarters indicates a peculiar condition of affairs. There is unrest abroad. Why is it that we hear from Conservative sources the demand for a national government? How is it that the departure to England of the Minister of Finance synchronized with the resignation of the former Minister of Militia? How is it that soon after his return it was announced that a prominent public servant, well known as having been identified with the Conservative party in the past, was going to make an announcement that Canada needed a stronger hand at the head of affairs? Why is it that the Conservative press of this country, outside of the party-owned papers, are in many instances urging that as a remedy? The Minister of Finance found it necessary, notwithstanding the adulations of the Prime Minister about the party loyalty of his colleagues, to publish an announcement to the people stating that he was really loyal to the Prime Minister. My experience of life, both public and private, is that where true friendship exists it is not necessary for any man to go to the housetops and announce his loyalty and devotion to his friends. It would be of interest to know whether the Prime Minister of this country was afraid of the Minister of Finance when he beslobbered him with compliments last night, just as he is afraid of the exMinister of Militia. The gingerly and pacific way in which the Prime Minister avoided any combat with the ex-Minister of Militia was deliciously amusing to the House. Either that, or the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance are working in common, realizing that all over this land

there is a feeling that the Government is not strong enough to cope with the interests of Canada in the war. This talk does not come merely from Liberals; it comes from Conservatives all over this- country, and it involves an implied condemnation of the Government. Unquestionably this will be the feeling if the Government goes along in this lackadaisical way; if it proceeds on present lines, disregarding all considerations of higher national interests, making the expenditure of every dollar in connection with the war a matter of party patronage, keeping their party hacks working from one end of the country to the other as the dispensers of money that the people of Canada have to spend in connection with the war.

It seems to me that it is time for the Canadian people as a whole to take stock of their condition. Never before in the history of this Empire or of any of its Dominions was a public document placed before the people making such serious charges as those made by Sir Sam Hughes against his colleagues in the Government. These things cannot be effaced; they are known by the people. The people to whose high ideals you appeal when you ask for recruits have read in the newspapers what the former leader in military matters has said of the Prime minister. Hon. gentlemen may have some secrets in regard to the late minister that we on this side of the House and the people of the country have not. When the boys who have gone out to fight come back they will want to see the administration of this country rid from the complaints that have been made against it. For myself, I leave the question for the consideration of the House and of the people.

I have spoken strongly on this subject, I admit; but I feel that this House and the country must realize that it is our duty in the interests of the Canada that is yet to be to do everything possible to secure the winning of the war. Sacrifice of position, sacrifice of place, must be made by us in order that this end may be attained, just as freely as we give our boys to go out and do and die. If there be any foes without or weaklings within this land who in the 'supposed distractions and political dissensions of our form of government believe that they have found elements upon which they can calculate that there is a doubt as to the wholeheartednese of our people in their desire to aid in winning this war, I can assure them they mistake the genius and the character of the Canadian people. And if they count on our

dissensions and on the 'rivalries of our pub-lie life, they will count on them to their confusion.

In this hour of national menace, differing as we do and must as to means to be- employed and as to weakness shown in admin-tration, a devoted people and a united Parliament stand above all for the winning of this war. _

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to make a brief contribution to this debate, I wish to associate myself with those who have preceded me in the remarks that have been made in reference to His Royal Highness the late Governor General and also to Their Excellencies who have just come to us from the Old Land to take that high and honoured position. I also wish to join with all who have spoken in such high terms of the valour, the determination and the achievements of out troops at the front. It is a matter, I think, for pride for every true Canadian and every true Britisher, to know the splendid record made by our men at the front. I shall not therefore go into detail on that subject, hut shall simply join with those who have, in eloquent terms, paid tribute to our soldiers. I think, however, that every Britisher would do well to consider this fact, that if, in August 1914, we looked upon the task which then presented itself to us as worthy of our metal, worthy to tax the brain and the brawn of this country, I think we should realize today that the task is even greater in magnitude than it seemed to us at that time, because I well remember that the vast majority of the people of Canada expected that perhaps forty, fifty or at the wildest estimate one hundred thousand men, would be all that would he needed from Canada, and that perhaps .six months or a year or eighteen months would be required to settle this great question; but from the appalling figures given us by the

5 p.m. Prime Minister last night, not only of what Canada has done, but of what the Empire at large has done, we must realize that this task is one which will demand every energy, every effort that it is possible for the people of this Dominion to put forth. Realizing that, it Seems to me that it is the duty of this House to concentrate its whole energy, not upon picayune, small topics, not upon the question- of whether a certain comparatively trivial matter has been well administered, whether a certain form of this or that is right, but upon the far more important question

whether, in the main, the administration of affairs is right, and if the accomplishments of the Government and the troops at the front, of the Empire at large, are commensurate with the honour and the ability of the country as a whole- Some -say that we have done enoug)h. Some say that there is a limit to the demands that may be made upon Canada. I do not join in any such sentiment as that. I believe, as I think every true Canadian does, .that there is no sacrifice that we -should stop at in securing the successful termination of this war; and I have said on tlhe public platform -and I will say it here, that if Canada emerges from t'h-is crisis- with her honour intact and her liberty and her connection with the British Empire as it was before the war, and at the -same time bankrupt or losing all material wealth for the time being, -she will still be the gainer in the struggle.

I -have listened with a great deal of attention to the address of my hon. friend from Pdctou (Mr. E. M. Macdonald). I was tempted to pass by -his speech with very few references, in fact, I did not intend to say anything about it at all. He Urns made sweeping charges against the Administration, charges that have absolutely nothing behind them so far as his statements are concerned. I do not question the right of any hon. member of this House to make a charge against the Government, but I do hold that it is the duty of an hon. member who is prepared to make -a charge against the Government to make that charge in a manner which will demand an investigation such as we had last year foT instance, so that the question m.ay be settled. Fortunately for the Government, the investigations held as the result of charges made last year left the Government in a position where its honour was not in the slightest degree sullied, and I wish to congratulate the Government on that fact, that in sp-i-te of the most bitter attacks last year, the Government can come before this House wi-tlh not a single charge of those made last year proven against them. No reckless charges should be made. If there is anything wrong, or any member has reason to believe that anything is wrong, then let the hon. member who is in possession of the facts present them before the House, not in a spirit of elation at catching the Government, but in a spirit of sorrow that such a thing should be possible. But no such charge should be made unless the hon. member is willing to back it up.

The hon. member for Pictou says that if the Government has done things it should

not have done, and has left undone things that it should have done, it should be brought to task before the people of Canada and on the basis of that assumption he makes a long series of statements, not charges, not bona~ fide charges, but a long series of statements, and I propose very briefly to deal with a few of his statements. First, let met say that I rather regret that the hon. member should call particular attention to the question of Liberal or Tory at the front. I do not look upon it in that way. We are not Liberals and we are not Tories, I hope; we are Canadians and Britishers, whether we are at the front or backing up those who are at the front. I would say to him if he were in his seat that some of the dearest friends I have fighting at the front, who have been there ever since the outbreak of war, are members of his party, apd I cherish their friendship as much as I do that of my friends who sit on this side and who are members of my own party. There should be no partisanship in the question of loyalty to the Empire. I do not desire to raise it, but my hon. friend has raised it, and I think it is to be regretted that he should do so.

One of the statements made by my hon. Friend, or one of the insinuations, is that the Government is not competent and it has not administered the affairs of the country correctly and rightly; and he said and rightly said: Look at the great mother of Parliaments, look at England. There they have remodelled the Government on two or three occasions. He held that up in one part of his speech as a pattern for this Government and country. And then, forsooth, a little later on, he produced a most scandalous attack on the British Government published in Blackwood's Magazine and read that, on the one hand holding the British Government up as a pattern to this Government, so far as procedure is concerned, and on the other hand bringing forward a malicious attack, in a magazine, upon that Government and reading it here, and then laying all that was said against the British Government on the head of the Government controlling or directing the affairs of this country. I think it ill becomes any member of this ' House to take up newspaper or magazine attacks upon the Imperial Government and to make it a subject of debate in this House. If we want harmony, we certainly cannot have it by introducing the expressions of individuals who may have personal reasons for giving their opinions about other governments closely associated with us in this great task of carrying on and winning the war.

Then my hon. friend (Mr. Macdonald! proceeded with all the ingenuity and skill, of which he is so highly possessed, to stir up a little strife between the Prime Minister and one of his late colleagues. I will take second place to no one in my admiration of the ex-Minister of Militia; at the same time I think it is very small politics, and it does not contribute in the slightest degree to the successful carrying on of this war, to introduce a question of personal strife between any two members of this House whether they are in the Government or out of it. These are matters which they can very well afford to settle between themselves. In taking up an hour's time reading statements, enlarging upon them, and introducing into them matters which were not contained in them at all, my hon. friend did not contribute very much to the successful termination of the war or to helping to carry on this great struggle.

But, he says that mistakes have been made which may cost this country thousands of lives. I would like to ask my hon. friend if he associates himself in this statement, because his language very much resembles their's, with those who claim that because the Ross rifle has been used, there have been thousands of lives lost. If I remember rightly, all through the years in which he has been a member of this House, he has stood stolidly behind the Ross rifle. If the Government have been guilty of mistakes which have caused the loss of lives because of the use of the Ross rifle, then my hon. friend is equally responsible with them because he stood solidly behind the Ross rifle from first to last. He will not stand in his place to-day and condemn the Ross rifle, and he knows it. ' What is the use of bringing forward a statement of that kind? If the Ross rifle has proved unsuccessful or unsatisfactory in its practical use in this war, then the Government has done right in taking the advice of Sir John French, and Sir Douglas Haig and other high officers, and for the time being discarding it for active service at the front. I think that we as sensible men must recognize that in the progress of a war of this kind, when new methods are being used, when machines are being brought into use that were never thought of before, experiments, to a certain degree, must absolutely be made. I remember the case of a cer-

tain member of the Royal Flying Corps who, in defence of England against one of the early raids of the Zeppelins, indulged in an experiment which cost him his life. He charged straight at the Zeppelin with the result that his machine fell to the ground and he was killed. But, that was the forerunner of the method of attack upon the Zeppelins which deprived this Hun method of warfare of its terrors and which enabled British airmen to successfully meet and defeat the Zeppelins. Will my hon. friend say that, because a man lost his life, such an experiment is not to be made? There are thousands of Britishers ready and willing to lay down their lives in any kind of an experiment that is going to improve our chances of winning the war.

My hon. friend from Pictou proceeded to say that in 1914 and 1915 this Government had a notion of going to the country, that they had the key in the lock of the door and that they were about to appeal to the country when a cry went up from the people that we were to have no election, which cry was evidence that the people were satisfied with the way in which the affairs of the country were being administered. Yet, his whole speech to-day, if it meant anything at all, meant that there should be an election, and a change of Government, It was an arraignment of the Government from beginning to end, and yet, in another argument which happened to suit his fancy for the moment, he pointed out that the people were satisfied with the Government and did not want any change at a time, as he says, when they had a notion of appealing to the people.

Recruiting, he says, has been injuriously affected. Is it any wonder, he asks, that there has been any cessation of recruiting in Canada when hundreds of our boys are dying in the hospitals because of lack of treatment. Such a statement is absolutely unfair to the medical staff, to the nurses, to those in charge of the hospitals and to everybody who is carrying on this medical work.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I never made any such statement.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

My hon. friend may not have used those words but he made the statement.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Not at all. I ask my hon. friend to take that statement back. I decline to be under the imputation of having made any such statement.

TMr. Stevens.]

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The rule is very clear that the statement of an hon. member as to what he said must be accepted.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I accept your ruling, Mr. Speaker, but I wish to say that my hon. friend criticised the Government bitterly and at great length because of the condition of the hospitals in France and England.

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January 23, 1917