January 25, 1917

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I believe that Miss Wileman communicated with .me on the subject, as well as with the Minister of Labour .and with some of my colleagues. I greatly regret that it will be impossible for me to arrange my personal attendance at the proposed meeting. The great demands upon my time in view of my approaching departure prevent me from having that privilege.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Am I to understand that one of the right hon. gentleman's colleagues may receive the delegation?

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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 did suggest that if application were made to the Minister of Labour a date would be arranged.

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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The reason why I appear to be a little insistent is not that I have

been asked to accompany the delegation, but because it is stated in the letter which is addressed to me that some gentlemen from the western provinces have been telegraphed to and are on their way.

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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 cannot add anything to what I have said. An opportunity will be given for making such representations as may be desired, and no doubt they will be communicated to me, but personally I cannot be present.

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WESTERN COAL MINING.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

William Ashbury Buchanan

Liberal

Mr. BUCHANAN:

Has the Minister of

Labour any further information about the coal mining situation in southern Alberta? I have a telegram stating that the miners at Lethbridge, Coalhurst, and Chinook went out last night and that they are taking a referendum next Tuesday as to whether or not they will accept the Harrison finding. It is also said that the cause'of their going out was their annoyance at the Government's failure to enforce the finding of Commissioner Harrison. I would like a statement from the Minister of Labour with regard to this matter.

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CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers (Minister of Labour)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS:

All that I can say is that negotiations are progressing, and I confidently expect that within a few days they will reach a satisfactory conclusion.

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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.

ADDRESS IN REPLY.


Consideration of the motion of Mr. G. C. Wilson (Wentworth) for an Address to His Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session, resumed from Wednesday, January 24.


LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure) (Resuming):

Mr. Speaker, when you left the Ghair at six o'clock last night I had attempted to answer what I considered to be a reflection, unintentional, perhaps, which had been made during the afternoon by the hon. member for South Simcoe (Mr. Boys) and the hon. member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) regarding the situation in the province of Quebec.

I am glad to congratulate the Prime Minister on the stand that he is now taking in announcing his acceptance of the proposal made by the right hon. leader of the Opposition. We are passing through difficult times, and there must be some give and take on both sides. The Liberal party gave

a splendid example of that principle at the very outbreak of hostilities- In the early days of August, 1914, when most of us were basking down on the seashore at the summer resorts, taking our usual holidays, we suddenly learned with dismay that war had broken out in Europe. We were summoned to an extraordinary -session. The Parliament o'f Canada was called upon to ratify the action which had been taken by the Prime Minister and his colleagues to throw Canada into a European war. The step was a most extraordinary one, having no precedent in our history. The Prime Minister declared in his speech that he had taken upon ihimself the responsibility of that action without having consulted his own colleagues, and we have it now that he did not consult the Liberal party or its leader. The representatives of the people came here in large numbers and in four or five days they passed all the necessary legislation, voted all the necessary money and gave Canada an example of union, harmony and concord which will stand to their credit in the annals of this Parliament. Since then we have tried to carry out that line of policy to- the best of our ability. How easy it would have been for the- distinguished leader of the Opposition to have merely laid down the constitutional rule that any important departure like this should first -be submitted to the referendum of the people; that th-eir consent should first be asked. But he overlooked that, and took the stand that ihe -had always taken in -his public life; that England's difficulty was Canada's difficulty, that England's case was our case. And we took it for granted that the people- of Canada would ratify our action- I am glad to say that the people whom I represent, a mingled community, not -all of the same origin or of the -same stock, -have all gladly ratified my action and by the-ir enlistments in the English and Scotch as well as- in the Acadian French settlements have made a record which will forever stand to their honour.

I know that the member for Brantford (Mr. Cockshutt) is an imperialist, and I will not take very seriously a passing allusion he made in his speech, because towards the end of his address he apologized to some extent for what he had said. But he made a passing allusion, which, though not offensive, is not altogether to the credit of the Empire of which he is an apostle. The member for Brantford is an ardent imperialist, and in speaking of this war in which Canadians have taken part in such large numbers, he referred to the fact that

there were so many people in this country of British stock and so many others-fifty-seven other classes. He did not refer to any other particular class at great length, but he made particular allusion to the Brantford Indians. I think that the member for Brantford makes a very grievous mistake if he considers that the glory, the strength, the power, the very foundation of the British Empire, rests merely upon the subjects of the King who are of British stock. It is the pride of England, and it is the pride especially of the British Empire, that the greatness of the Empire is to be found in its 450,000,000 subjects, of whom . but

45,000,000 or less are of British stock, the remaining 400,000,000 being composed of all nationalities, of all creeds, of all languages. To say that in Canada a man must be of British stock to be a loyal supporter of the Government, to be a loyal supporter of the institutions of Canada, to he a loyal supporter of the Crown and of the flag, is to exhibit a most deplorable ignorance of our history. Canada would never have existed as it exists ito-day but for the subjects of the King who speak the French language. The hon. member for Brantford knows full well that when rebellion did break out on this continent it broke out among the English-speaking subjects of His Majesty the King. The temptation for the French subjects of His Majesty the King on the banks of the St. Lawrence to have followed the new star spangled banner was great; but it stands to-day to their credit that although the English-speaking subjects of the King, of British stock, rose in rebellion against Great Britain, it was his French subjects of the province of Quebec who in 1774 saved Canada to the British Crown. The hon. member made a reflection upon the people ,of Quebec which I am. quite sure he did not intend; and if he had intended it, I would refer him to our friend from Peterborough (Mr. Burnham), the most outspoken member on the Government side, the man who says what he thinks, who wired, the day after Courcelette, to the hon. member fpr Rouville, that London *was ringing with the praises of the French-Canadians. That testimonial, unsolicited, came frqm the hon. member for Peterborough, and it was quite true.

Leaving these things aside, I was dealing yesterday with the difficulties that we had to contend with in recruiting in Quebec, and endeavoured to show that there had been conditions in the province pf Quebec which made it difficult to secure recruits in as large numbers as we should have liked. And with your permission, without '

showing any ill-feeling, with all due respect to the feelings of everyone here, with all due admiration for the manhood of Ontario an the West and of the maritime provinces who have gone to the front, as well as for those of the province of Quebec who have enlisted, I think it is only fair, in justice to the province of Quebec and to its citizens, that the facts should be set before this country, that they should be embalmed in the records of Hansard, so that hereafter no unfair aspersions may he cast upon the province of Quebec on the score of recruiting. I hope to be able to prove this afternoon by acknowledged facts that the wrong crew were in charge of recruiting in the province of Quebec; that those who are now the ministers of the King from the province of Quebec do not possess the confidence pf the people of that province, and that they were either sincere in 1911 when they spoke-against Canadian participation in the wars of the Empire, or else they are sincere now, when they aTe speaking in favour of such participation. Were they sincere in 1911 when they were speaking against participation in all wars of the Empire, or are they sincere now? The people of the province of Quebec were put in that dilemma. But the responsibility, if it had rested there, would have been of secondary account; we of Quebec who are familiar with the facts would have passed lightly over this thing.

But there is another responsibility that has been assumed by one of the great political parties of this country; that responsibility has been assumed by the right hon. gentleman who is'now the King's chief adviser in this great Dominion, and in the interests of fair play and justice to the province, in the interests of that British justice to which we are always so proud to refer, I think the facts should be made known and should he stated, without any doubt whatever. Yesterday, in my address, I called your attention to the most extraordinary fact that the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Descarries)-and I regret that at the present moment there is not a single member from the province of Quebec on the Conservative side of this House and has not been for the last three or four days, the bulk of them being down in Dorchester leading a forlorn hope-the hon. member for Jacques Cartier, who seconded the motion now in your hands, was the gentleman who, in 1910, in the town of Lachine, presided over the birth, of the National party. I had known the hon. member for Jacques Cartier for many years prev-

ions to that. I had known him in the provincial life of Quebec; I had known him when he was an ultramontane supporter of the Mousseau Cabinet; I also knew him when he was a supporter of the Quebec Government in the days of the Riel troubles in the west. I knew him later on when he was a strong Conservative, when the Con-iservatives were again in power. I knew him as a Nationalist, and I know him today as a True Bleu, expressing from his place in this House astonishment at the fact that the electors of Dorchester do not allow Mr. Sevigny to be elected by acclamation, and hoping that this Slight insurrection, ms he calls it, will blow away. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier was the man who presided at the birth of the Nationalist party. The sponsors for that party were, among others, the present organizer of the Dorchester election, the hon. the Secretary of State (Mr. Patenaude), who first distinguished himself as organizer in the election in Drummond-Arthabaska, who repeated his work in the Chateauguay election and is now on trial in the Dorchester election. Along with these two sponsors was Mr. Cousineau, an unfortunate leader, who can say, as Francis the First said, all is lost save honour. Mr. Cousineau lost all he could lose in the province of Quebec. He was the leader of the Conservative party in that province in May last. He is the man who went forward with eighty-one candidates in the province of Quebec. Six of these were returned-no, five, because one was at the front and was allowed to be elected by acclamation in Westmounit. Five of has candidates out of eighty-one were elected. The present ministers of the Crown representing the province of Quebec have constituencies there. Part of the constituency represented by ithe Secretary of State (Mr. Patenaude) returned by acclamation, the Liberal organizer for the district of Montreal. The constituency of the present Post Master General (Mr. Blonddn) went back on him to the tune of sixteen hundred votes; and the county of Dorchester which Mr. Sdvigny carried by three hundred lin 1911 ias a Nationalist elected Mr. Cannon in the last local contest by over five hundred majority. Why did the province of Quebec turn so strongly to the support of the local Liberal Government? It wias because the local Government was a good Government to begin with, but above all because the immense majority of the people of Quebec were tired and sick of Tory rule at Ottawa and at Quebec. Mr. Cousineau was one of the sponsors at the birth

of the Nationalist party. This National party caone into existence at, Lachine; it took its first flight into history at 'St. Eustache, where the resolutions that I read yesterday were passed. Mr. Monk subrnit-ted these resolutions, but one paragraph was inserted' at the request of Mr. Bourassa, who refused to take the leadership of the new alliance unless it was stated that the Borden policy was condemned as well as that of the right honourable leader of the then Government (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), These people began to preach this gospel. What was that gospel? It was: that the policy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier was nefarious -that the policy of the Hon. Mr. Borden was equally nefarious. And what was meant by this wbrd nefarious. It meant going to the support of England when England was .at war; it meant that we should exercise our rights as free and loyal subjects of the King; it meant that Canada should not vote one dollar, or send one man to the defence of the Empire in any of its wars. That was the nefarious policy which Sir Wilfrid Laurier had preached in the province of Quebec, and which Henri Bourassa condemned, which the Conservatives of the province of Quebec condemned, and which every French-Conservative elected in the province of Quebec condemned. These gentlemen were elected upon this platform. But here I put a query. There are two facts in this case which have not yet been brought to light. The members of this House who knew the late Mr. Monk had for him nothing but respect. The honourable Mr. Monk was a man who gave a sincere proof of his convictions when he resigned his portfolio and practically retired from public life because he did not seek to impose a new naval policy upon Canada without consulting the people. The honourable Mr. Monk had given his promise to the electors of Jacques Cartier that he would not vote any money for the creation of a Canadian navy, that he would not vote for a contribution to the navy unless the people of Canada were consulted upon the subject. He moved such a motion in this House, and he declared so openly throughout the whole campaign. After the election, when, to the great surprise of the whole Dominion, and, I might even say, to the surprise of the whole English-speaking world, it was learned that Sir Wilfrid Laurier had been defeated by a combination of Nationalists and Conservatives, what happened? The present Prime Minister of Canada

handed over to Mr. Monk the choice of his colleagues for the province of Quebec. The first man who was called upon by Mr. Monk to enter the cabinet, was Mr. Armand Lavergne, the man who refused to answer the call of the late Minister of Militia to muster his regiment in the county of Mont-magny, and enlist for overseas duty. Our friends from Ontario escaped the fate of having Mr. Armand Lavergne as one of their leaders, as one of the members of this Cabinet. Mr. Armand Lavergne is just as good as the three gentlemen who are in the Cabinet now. They all preached the same policy. I think Armand Lavergne i3 better.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MAROIL:

Armand Lavergne stood

true to his policy, and if the Liberals of Dorchester, or of Champlain, or of Montmagny, had been willing to support Mr. Lavergne, in doing' what his Conservative friends in the province of Quebec did, enter into an alliance with the Nationalists, he would have run there. The very reason that Mr. Cannon is opposing Mr. Sevigny to-day is because the Liberals in the county of Dorchester insisted upon having a Liberal candidate in the person of Mr. Cannon, who is a loyal member of the party.

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Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh. oh.

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LIB
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Twenty-three.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

But he mistook his- men. They abandoned the idea, which was to go to the fountain head, we might say, of constitutional principles, and they went into trough politics. They went in the wrong direction. The present Prime Minister of Canada has been kept busy appointing these Nationalists to office. Practically, the only changes in his Cabinet have taken place in the Nationalist ranks and in relation to Quebec matters are going from bad to worse. The old-time Conservatives in Quebec, Conservatives of the'eminence of Sir Alexander Lacoste, Sir Auguste Real Angers, 'and Hon. Louis Beaubien, men who for forty years upheld the traditions of the Conservative party in the province of Quebec, are no longer represented on the Treasury benches. The old Conservatives in the province of Quebec have been wiped out. It is Nationalism that is triumphant; the Nationalists are there, they are in office and they intend to stay.

There was another point that I wanted to have cleared up. Our friends in the province of Ontario think that the people of Quebec are very bad. I am amazed sometimes to think that men of the intelligence of John Ross Robertson and Sir John Willi-son can publish in their newspapers, the Toronto, Telegram and the Toronto News, so much rubbish in reference to the province of Quebec. You will not find in the British Empire a more contented, a more peaceable, a more law-abiding citizen than the average farmer in the province of Quebec. If you wish to know what genuine hospitality is, if you wish to see what genuine politeness is-the politeness which existed in the old days-go into one of the parishes of Quebec. Every man you meet will bow to you, whether you are a perfect stranger or not. If there is anything he can do in the way of giving you information, or inviting you to his house, or extending to you hospitality, he will do it and you will find in him the true, ideal citizen. Do these people in the province of Quebec bother their heads about what is going on in Ontario or in the other provinces? Not at all. They are peaceful, law-abiding citizens; they never see the Toronto News or the Toronto Telegram; they never will, and they do not care whether these papers exist or not. Some of them have noticed the name of Sir John Willison 'as the former biographer of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. None of these people have ever seen or read the Orange Sentinel and never will. I want to say a word to our Orange friends from the province of Ontario who may be in this House. I do not agree with Orangeism, but this is a free country and a man has a right to think as he pleases in politics as well as in religion. But, if our friends from the province of Ontario want to know the true political history of Canada as Orangeism knew it in the old days, if they -want to know what true, political liberty has been in Canada, they will find it in the province of Quebec. They will find it in the life of the late Julius Scriver, one of the "noble thirteen" from the province of Quebec who represented the county of Huntingdon-which rdnks as the banner Orange constituency in that province-for twenty-five years on the floor of this House and who was not found in the ranks of the Conservative party. When my hon. friends utter such nonsense as that a vote for Laurier is ^ vote for Bourassa they must be very childish if they expect any one to accept 'an assertion of that kind. The people of the province of Quebec are prepared to extend to all the greatest cordiality, the greatest friendship and the greatest freedom of thought in religious as well as - in civil and political matters.

In the past history of Quebec there are instances of this which are worth citing. The English element in the province of Quebec has sent to this House some distinguished men such, for instance, as the late Hon. Luther Hamilton Holton and the late Hon. Lucius Seth Huntingdon, the man who brought about the change of 1873 in connection with the Pacific scandal, and

these great men were to be found in the ranks of the Liberal party. These men represented constituencies which were largely peopled by French-Canadians. In that province the Irish element, which is not as numerous, probably, as it might have been if circumstances had favoured a larger immigration from Ireland, has been represented in this House by distinguished men. I might mention the late Hon. Mr. Curran from Montreal Centre, the late Hon. Thomas D'Arcy McGee-the greatest of all-the present Chief Justice of Canada and the present Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty). Two of them have gone but I appeal to the other two who remain to say if I am not giving a true statement of conditions which to-day exist in the province of Quebec. These gentlemen sat in this House largely as the representatives of French-Canadian electors, especially the present Chief Justice of Canada, who was the spokesman of the Irishmen of Canada, and who represented a constituency which was 99i per cent French-Canadian. He was here as the representative of French-Cama-dian electors, hut he spoke for the Irish people throughout Canada. The Minister of Justice knows well that one-half, if not more, of his constituents are French-Canadian. The people of Quebec are broadminded in these matters; they elect English Protestants to this House and these are things that our Orange friends should remember.

There is an incident that I wish to recall. One day, when I was campaigning in Sim-coe, near Penetanguishene, against the present representative of that riding, I was invited by the then Liberal candidate, a former member of this House, to enter an Orange lodge after the usual evening's business had been disposed of. My friend said: They will look upon you as a curiosity coming from the province of Quebec. I did not find any objection to entering this Orange hall. I entered and received a hearty welcome. Naturally, I was invited to speak; I did speak, and I gave these people a brief review of some of the conditions that had prevailed in the past political history of the province of Quebec; I showed the broadmindedness of the French-Canadian people, and I cited the fact that the only instance in which the Protestant minority in that province had been honoured by having one of their own number elevated to the premiership of that province was when Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniere, a knight of the old school of chivalry and one of the greatest and

noblest in Canada, was placed by the Liberal party at the head of public affairs in the province of Quebec.

I mention these facts because, incidentally, upon reading the morning papers, I saw that the present Minister of Inland Revenue is going to some trouble to explain that the present candidate in the county of Dorchester is an Irishman, that he has Irish blood in his veins and that he has no authority to ispeak for the French Canadian people. There are Englishmen, there are Scotchmen and there are Irishmen who have undertaken to speak foT the province of Quebec as their representatives in this Hpuse and I hope this will always happen because the people of Quebec look more to the man than they do to his creed.

I noticed that the hon. member for South Simcoe (Mr. Boys) went to some trouble to give a French pronunciation to the name of Mr. Cannon. Mr. Cannon is a good Irishman, he is the great grandson of an Irishman and the " Lucien " very probably came to him from his French mother. Yet, the Minister of Inland Revenue makes it an offence for him to undertake to speak for the French Canadian people in the county of Dorchester. But this is nothing new for the Minister of Inland Revenue. The first time he appeared upon a public platform in the province of Quebec was as a candidate for the local House in the county of Nicolet. Then he ran against a gentleman who was well known to many hon. members of this House, a broad-minded, great Canadian who, unfortunately was cut down in his full man-hpod. I refer to the late Hon. Charles Devlin, a man who had the distinction not only of being a member of the Canadian House but also of being a member of the Imperial Parliament and who died while a Minister of the Government of the province of Quebec. When Mr. Devlin went into the cpunty of Nicolet, he was the hearer of ah Irish name, but he appealed to the French Canadians and he was elected by them. The Minister of Inland Revenue at that time raised against the Hon. Charles Devlin the cry that he was " un Irlandais," an Irishman, and said that he should run in one of the Irish constituencies of the province of Quebec. So the present Minister of Inland Revenue is now reaping what he has sown.

There is one other point that I should like to clear up for our Ontario friends, as they may not know it, and that is with reference to the understanding that was arrived at in the province of Quebec in the reciprocity campaign of the summer and

fall of 1911- Hon. gentlemen who were members of the House know what took place. I had the honour of being Speaker of the House at that time, and I know full well what happened. Speech after speech came from the Conservative benches urging Sir Wilfrid Laurier to go over to England and attend the Coronation. The idea of having the late King Edward VII, the great peacemaker, the creator of the bonne entente, the real entente -cordia-le, crowned in the absence of the great French Canadian Premier of Canada, was a thing not to be thought of. Hon. gentlemen opposite insisted day after day that the Premier must go over to the other side. Well, he did go over, and during his absence what did the [DOT]present member for St. Antoine (Sir Herbert-Ames) do? I have great respect for the hon. member personally. He has done remarkably good work in connection with the Patriotic Fund, and I believe he is sincere in bis political views; but he is very devoted to his party- He undertook the organization of the district of Montreal in the reciprocity campaign. Charles Chaput, a good old-line- Conservative, v'as made chairman of the Anti-Reciprocity -League, but the hon. member for St. Antoine was its chief organizer. He undertook to look after what we consider the English constituencies in the province of Quebec, and he agreed with Mr. Monk and Mr. Bourassa that they -should look -after the French cone-tituanciee of that province. While the hon. member for St. Antoine and his English friends were thundering against reciprocity, it was understood that -Mr. Bourassa and Mr. Monk were to thunder against the navy. Mr. Bourassa has declared repeatedly that it afforded him considerable enjoyment to receive money from the Conservative election fund to enable him to carry on the campaign against a Canadian navy. It has been stated over and over again that the hen. member for St. Antoine, who at that time was representing the Conservative party in the district of M mtieal and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, -contributed personally in some form or another to the campaign fund, either in the shape of subscriptions to Le Devoir, or for the support of candidates in doubtful constituencies. I understand, however, that he contributed in the form of subscriptions to Le Devoir, to have it circulated in the province, because Le Devoir was against Laurier at the time, and they acted on the bid principle, " anything to beat Laurier." So there we have the explanation of that fight. The manufacturers of Montreal,

apd in fact throughout Canada, opposed reciprocity; and the consumers of Canada all know now why the manufacturers were so stubborn against it at that time. But the Nationalists said, we cannot very well oppose reciprocity in the province of Quebec, because the people here think it a reasonable thing; they live alongside the American border, and do not see any difficulty in dealing with our American neighbors. So Bourassa and his allies, with Le Devoir, gave up the campaign against reciprocity and -confined themselves to -the navy; -and Bourassa enjoyed it immensely, because his paper was being circulated at the expense of the Imperial-Conservative funds in the province of Quebec. These, Mr. Speaker, are the gentlemen who have been put in power and trusted by the Canadian Parliament and the Canadian people with the organization and maintenance of Canada's participation in the war.

The people of the province of Quebec now find themselves in this quandary; Were the Nationalists sincere in 1911 when they told us that under the Militia Act of Canada, framed 60 years ago by the. representatives of both elements in this country, the duties of Canadians should be confined solely to the defence of Canada, or are they now sincere when they come with their new Imperial ideas and tell u-s we must go beyond the seas to fight? In Drummond and Arthabaska they won a victory, and contributed to the , downfall of the great man who leads the Liberal party. But now they are reaping the whirlwind; they sowed then, and now they must reap.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier has been genefous ever since war was declared. He allowed the late Postmaster General to be elected by acclamation in the county of Quebec, where at the last election the local Liberal member was given a majority of 1,600. Sir Wilfrid Laurier had to go and plead with the Liberals of the city and county of Quebec to allow the late Postmaster General to be elected by acclamation. The present Postmaster General (Mr. Blondin) passed through the same door that was opened for the late Mr. Casgrain. When the ex-Secretary of State, Mr. Coderre, was elected as the successor of the late Mr. Monk, Sir Wilfrid Laurier again appealed to his people to elect him by acclamation. What was the reason for all this? The reason was that Sir Wilfrid Laurier wanted Canada to be united, that we might take our full part in

the great war that is now in progress. The people of the province of Quebec, every man, woman and child of them, are heart and soul with the noble cause of the Allies, and we are so for two reasons. First, because the blood of France flows in our veins, and secondly, because of England, to whom we owe our liberty and our present status as free citizens on the North American continent. We are with the Allies for those two potent reasons, and there is not a man, woman or child in the province of Quebec who is not in some way or other helping the cause of the Allies. Away down in the Gaspe Peninsula, in the county of Bonaventure, in the whole south region, and in the north region, the people of the province of Quebec are contributing to the Bed Cross fund, the Belgium Relief and other funds. Tag days are so numerous down there that there seem to be two or three of them every day. Then there is the work of the women, sewing and knitting, and the work of the school children, the work of the clergy under the appeal of the Venerable Archbishop Cardinal of Quebec, and of the whole episcopate of the province.

' All that could possibly be done in Quebec has been done to give the ranks of the Allies a fair representation of the people of the province of Quebec. If there has been failure, the failure is to be charged against the Government and its representatives in that province. It is to be charged against the men who represent the King in that province, and in whom the people have no confidence, and it is to be charged against their faulty organization.

I do not intend to speak at any greater length, but I wish to add this with regard to the National Service. The National Service cards have been circulated through the province of Quebec, but the questions are so vague and indefinite that it is difficult to obtain satisfactory answers, particularly in the more remote districts-. When you ask a fisherman or a farmer living on the outskirts of the province of Quebec, and having a large family-and families in the county of Bonaventure and Gaspe are generally large-whether he is willing to give up his present work to do similar work in another part of Canada, he is in -this position. Is he going to give up his farm and undertake munition work in other parts of Canada? And if he is free to leave the constituency where he may be earning $1.50 or $1.75 or even $2 a day, which is the highest rate of wages, is that man going to un-

dertake to work in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa or Winnipeg at those rates? He naturally cannot undertake it and at the same time look after his wife and family who are left at home. The appeal in this respect is ineffective, and the returns would not be satisfactory. But what is troubling the people of the province of Quebec more than anything else is this-. What impelled the Prime Minister of Canada to establish the fixed number oJ 500,000 men when an authority like Baron Shaughnessy, who in these matters I should consider is the equal of the Prime Minister, declared that 500,000 men could not be sent out of Canada without crippling i-te economic and industrial resources? Now, what is the Government after? Is the Government after men to go to the front? The speech from the Throne does not say so. The paragraph dealing with the National Service is very mild and is worth reading:

-Steps have been taken by my advisers for better organization of National Service, and attention has been given to the more thorough utilization of our natural resources.

But the questions are so vague and indefinite that people do not know what they mean. If the Government would send a circular throughout my constituency saying: We need 500 shantymen at $40 a month for a period of six months, they would get -them in a week. If they would send another circular saying: We need so many deep-sea fishermen and we are going to pay them so much a day and employ them for so long, they would have an immediate response. But the Government cannot expect a deep-sea fisherman or a planter of potatoes to undertake to go to work in a munitions factory in London, or Winnipeg or Montreal, leaving his wife and family behind. The whole organization is faulty.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY.
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CON

William Sora Middlebro

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MIDDLEBRO:

If the Government sent out a request for 200 volunteers, would they get them in your constituency?

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH.
Subtopic:   ADDRESS IN REPLY.
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January 25, 1917